Results 121–140 of 1367 for speaker:Mr Matthew Green

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I am following the hon. Gentleman's train of thought and I agree. Does he agree that, if Worcestershire were to move to a unitary authority, one could achieve the same effect through area committees? One would obtain the saving that he talks about, but still have the local democracy taking decisions for Worcester.

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I start by congratulating the hon. Member for Congleton (Ann Winterton) on securing the debate. I thought that we were going to hear a little more about the cost of regional government and the possible savings, but there we are. I will stick more firmly to the title of the debate, although I appreciate that it is an Adjournment debate, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I agreed with virtually everything...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I agree; the reorganisation of local government does not have to have anything to do with regional assemblies, and could be done anyway. Nevertheless, the Government have chosen to do the two things at the same time and are linking them. Whether that is the route that I would have chosen or not, the two are happening together and I am raising the issue. I would happily have a unitary...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I will come to exactly which ones we would like to be devolved. If the hon. Gentleman had listened to earlier debates on regional government, he would have heard us speak about that before. The Minister still has a chance to convince his colleagues; perhaps the Deputy Prime Minister will win his arguments with his Cabinet colleagues. As the Minister knows, there are areas that we would like...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: That is even more helpful to my case, because they should be devolved. If the Minister took regional government seriously and believed in it, he would seek to devolve more functions, and Departments in Westminster could be abolished because they would no longer be necessary. The Department of Trade and Industry is an obvious candidate for abolition. At a regional level it acts as a dead hand;...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I realise that part of Humberside was historically Lincolnshire, but that is not as significant a problem as the hon. Gentleman would like to pretend. In the north-west, there is a reasonable sense of regional identity, although there are differences. [Interruption.] There is not the same degree of support among Labour Members in the north-west as in other regions—perhaps that was too...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: Go on then.

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: Lord Greaves is not actively backing the yes campaign for the main reason that not enough powers are to be devolved to the regional assemblies. Where I disagree with Lord Greaves is that I think that the proposals are a starting block. We support the campaign so that we can build on it, whereas he thinks that it is not worth supporting because not enough powers are to be devolved. I hope that...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: Hereford.

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I have certainly not done the latter. It would be a huge task to travel round the region that I have proposed asking people that. We may have to do that if there is a boundary review. I hope that we can consider the proposal and that the hon. Gentleman is not ruling out the possibility, because I believe that there is support for it. I have discussed the matter with councillors and officers...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I suspect that whatever I said, I would not convince the hon. Lady. I thought that I had given some examples of where savings can be made. Many local government reorganisations have been botched. Let us take Shropshire, which was reorganised under the Conservative Government. After the county had made it clear that it wanted to retain two-tier government, the Government said, "No, we do not...

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: Yes, but in a very long-winded, involved way. The present tier of regional government was largely set up by the Conservatives; they set up Government offices. The result is that we now need accountability at that level, and democracy costs money.

Regional Government (16 Jun 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: No, not any more, because I am sure that the Conservative Front-Bench spokesman would like to speak. Democracy can cost money, but the argument for not having a democratic tier when powers are already exercised at that level is an argument for doing away with MPs. People might say that it must cost a lot to have MPs in Westminster. It is also an argument for doing away with councillors. One...

Town Planning (26 May 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: How much?

Town Planning (26 May 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: Does the hon. Gentleman share my concern that the Countryside Agency has just stopped giving grants to communities to produce village design statements as part of the vital villages scheme? I hope that he regrets that as much as I do.

Town Planning (26 May 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: We have just heard two speeches, but neither would bear a huge amount of detailed scrutiny. The Conservatives' motion is broadly on the point and for that reason we shall support it. However, it is only broadly there. There are difficulties with the Government's approach to planning. They are over-centralist. The recent Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill takes powers away from local...

Town Planning (26 May 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: The hon. Lady may have a point, but there is a consensus that housing density should increase. She was verging on saying that that should not happen. However, in broad terms I agree with her. I have experience of local Conservatives in my area. Their approach to development seems to be to say no to everything. In fact, the Conservative party appears to have a planning policy that is "Always...

Town Planning (26 May 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I will not give way because I am conscious of how much time was taken up by the first two speeches and I realise that other Members want to speak. There is a policy vacuum in the Conservative party. The one occasion on which the Conservatives announced a policy on planning and housing was Monday. The hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr. Hayes) made the announcement and then...

Town Planning (26 May 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I would be very surprised if Liberal Democrat councillors throughout the counties did not point out the Conservatives' failure to defend elected members over unelected regional authorities. I would also be surprised if it did not get mentioned in the odd "Focus" leaflet. Members from other parties like to mention "Focus" leaflets, but before they jumped up I thought that I would do it for...

Town Planning (26 May 2004)

Mr Matthew Green: I would not want to vilify supermarkets or go as far as Lord Rooker, who speaks for the ODPM in the House of Lords. Only a couple of months ago, he referred to "the spivs in the retail industry"—[ Official Report, House of Lords, 5 February 2004; Vol. 657, c. 854.]— not, I think, one of the highlights of recent ODMP speeches. There are, however, problems with supermarket developments,...


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