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Clause 25 - Directions

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 23rd June 2005.

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Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity) 2:00 pm, 23rd June 2005

That is useful clarification, but I think that the fact that we have included in clause 25(2) that the

Secretary of State must publish any directions given under this section” means that if the commission were to announce that it was going to do a piece of work on, let us say again, affordable housing in rural areas, and the Secretary of State, by direction, said that it was not allowed to do so, that would be published and there would, understandably, be an outcry in the country, particularly in rural England, that the Secretary of State had constrained the commission from carrying out what everyone would consider to be useful work. I hope, on that basis, that the hon. Gentleman has the reassurance that he needs.