Clause 17 - Commission for Rural Communities

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 23rd June 2005.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 9:45 am, 23rd June 2005

I support what was said by the hon. Member for South-East Cornwall and my hon. Friend the Member for South-East Cambridgeshire (Mr. Paice). I do not carry a copy of the Labour party manifesto around with me, but I am sure that the Minister will be able to remember whether it contains a provision calling for deregulation. I bet that it does. Certainly in the Budget before the general election the Government were clear that deregulation should be a priority. Yet, two weeks after the election, this Bill is published. Surely it falls at the first fence when judged against that agenda of deregulation because it confirms the re-establishment of a quango. We must question, as the hon. Member for South-East Cornwall did very effectively, whether that quango is needed.

The body’s very name—the Commission for Rural Communities—should tell us something about it. I liked the fact that the Minister was able to announce this morning that it will be located in Sheffield.