Jack Brereton, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South, successfully advanced his ‘High Streets (Designation, Review and Improvement Plan) Bill’ over the latest parliamentary hurdle.
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… I am delighted to get this important new law that will help revive our high streets…
Jack Brereton MP Stoke on Trent South writes:
The new Bill, is focused on improving the condition of our high streets by getting local authorities to assess the condition of their high streets and come up with action plans to help them improve. The Bill does not create new powers for local authorities but is about getting them to better use the powers they have already got, working with other stakeholders on our high streets, to focus on providing the focus our high streets need to improve.
Jack Brereton MP has been working with colleagues in Government and across Parliament to introduce new legislation with the aim of saving high streets throughout England. Today in Parliament the Bill managed to attract support from across the political divide with impassioned speeches about the importance of our local high streets and taking action to save them.
The Second Reading allowed MPs in the House of Commons their first opportunity to debate the main principles of the Bill. MPs voted in favour of clearing the Bill and it now successfully continues its process through the scrutiny stages of the House of Commons and House of Lords before hopefully receiving Royal Assent.
Following the debate Jack Brereton said:
“I am delighted to get this important new law that will help revive our high streets to the next stage through Parliament. As we heard during the debate people care passionately about our high streets and want to see them succeed.
Our high streets, particularly those locally in North Staffordshire have faced many challenges with changes to shopping habits and my Bill is about helping them to turn the corner. Once passed my new law will ensure local councils work properly with local communities and businesses, coming up with plans that address the challenges faced and providing the action needed to help our high streets thrive again.”
Also, in the House of Commons, the Minister for Levelling Up, Jacob Young MP, said:
“I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent South (Jack Brereton) on his success in the ballot and his sponsorship of this important and worthwhile private Member’s Bill. His unwavering commitment and efforts to champion our high streets, including those he mentioned in his remarks, has led to this matter being raised in the House. I thank other hon. Members for backing the Bill. I confirm that the Bill has the Government’s full support.”
“We know that every high street is different and that local areas are best placed to understand their own problems and find the right solutions through strong local partnerships on the ground. Those partnerships are often key to transforming the fortunes of our town centres. We want to support councils as well as local businesses and local communities and ensure that they have everything they need to succeed, so that wherever someone is in the country, they have a high street that meets the needs of their community and one that they can be proud of.”
“I am enormously grateful to my hon. Friend for introducing the Bill and to other hon. Members for their support and contributions during this debate. We are backing the Bill and backing our high streets. I commend the Bill to the House.”
The ‘High Streets (Designation, Review and Improvement Plan) Bill’ introduced by Jack Brereton MP has been done so as a Private Members’ Bill (PMB) and follows him securing eighth place in the PMB ballot. PMBs are public bills introduced by backbench MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. As with other public bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population.
The long title of the ‘High Streets (Designation, Review and Improvement Plan) Bill’ outlines the brief description of the Bill’s aims as follows:
Bill to require local authorities to designate high streets in their area; to require local authorities to undertake and publish periodic reviews of the condition of those high streets; to require local authorities to develop action plans for the improvement of the condition of those high streets; and for connected purposes.