Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham 12:15 pm, 23rd June 2022

Q That is very helpful. As parishes, town councils and volunteer networks—particularly in London—look to the future on the presumption that this Bill will become law, given the relatively low percentage of areas that have an active neighbourhood plan, how prepared are parish councils and town councils for taking on the work that is going to come down the line. In the case of London, how robust do you think the London boroughs can be?

I ask that through the lens of having been a London councillor for 12 years, before moving to the countryside and later having the privilege of being elected to the House of Commons. Thinking through some of the geography, the London borough I sat on was smaller geographically than some of the parishes in my constituency now. While I totally salute the efforts of volunteer networks across the capital, do we think that the geography in some parts of London, particularly inner-London boroughs, lends itself to those boroughs still having that primacy?