Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, warned today that three new laws proposed by the Government would strip local people and Hertfordshire County Council of their voice on planning, transport and housing; other proposals include revaluing council tax bands that properties fall into and increasing council taxes for higher valued properties.

    Peter Lilley said:

    “Planning Bill: The Labour Government hasn?t listened to the overwhelming public concern about its proposed changes to the planning process. It wants to strengthen the role of regional politicians and unelected officials, and reduce the role of elected local councils, weakening the ability of local people to have their say on local developments across Hertfordshire. This is entirely in tune with John Prescott?s recent action in taking the decision about building 10,000 houses West of Stevenage out of the hands of Hertfordshire County Council and the Transport Ministers attempt to treat the expansion of Luton airport as a fait accompli

    “Regional Assemblies Bill: A new tier of regional politicians based in Cambridge or Norwich paid for by a regional council tax, will also reduce the say of Hertfordshire people and their County Council on housing, transport and waste disposal. By-passes, incinerators and sprawling housing estates could be imposed by Whitehall on environmentally sensitive areas and green fields across Hertfordshire, irrespective of local wishes. Liberal Democrats have failed to stand up to the Government, and also want to weaken the say of local people.

    “Local Government Bill: On top of this, the Government is giving itself new powers to revalue council tax bands and introduce new bands. People who live in homes, whether renting or owning, whose value have risen because of higher properties prices, face being hammered with yet higher council tax bills.?

    ” I promise to fight tooth and nail for local people to retain and regain the right to take decisions affecting their own environment through their own elected local representatives.?