Clause 89

Part of Localism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 15th February 2011.

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Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford Labour, Greenwich and Woolwich 5:30 pm, 15th February 2011

I obviously agree that it is ideal to encourage and incentivise people, but as a realist I also recognise that an element of compulsion is sometimes needed. As a London Member, the hon. Gentleman will know that the planning system in its old form will continue in London, with the Mayor acting as the regional planning body and having the power to instruct individual boroughs. Those powers will remain.

The hon. Gentleman’s argument was not about election but about whether people should be persuaded or ultimately, in certain cases, told. In London, the Mayor will be able to tell boroughs what is required, and the hon. Gentleman’s Government accept that. If they believed that the old planning system was that bad, they would dismantle it in London as well. I accept entirely that the Mayor has additional authority because he is elected, but there will nevertheless remain a regional tier of government, and if the Conservative party really believed that that was the problem and that people would not respond if they were told what to do by a regional authority, they would change the powers in London.