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Clause 25 - Directions

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 23rd June 2005.

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Photo of Roger Williams Roger Williams Opposition Whip (Commons) 1:45 pm, 23rd June 2005

Perhaps I can be a little more explicit about the avenue of thought that I was pursuing. What if the Commission for Rural Communities wanted to look into an aspect of rural life in which the Government felt they were failing? I would be concerned about the Secretary of State having the power to tell the commission, “No, you can’t look at that, because we’re very sensitive and we know we’ve failed.” I am not talking about this Government, but a Government in the future. That is the real concern that I have about that power. It is not the power of being able to tell the Commission to go and do something; it is the power of saying that it cannot look at something because the Government feel very sensitive about it.