UKTC Archive

Paul and High Hedges

Subject: Paul and High Hedges
From: Alan Reeves
Date: Feb 06 2001 19:39:18
For you Paul  -
In answer to one of Paul?s queries
High Hedges
Lords Hansard account


24 Nov 2000 : Column 1099
a lot of public interest in the matter; 91 per cent of
the responses came from members of the public. Local
authorities took the time and the opportunity to
consult widely in their own localities before
responding, and there were striking similarities
between the views expressed by local councils and the
public. 
The vast majority of respondents believed that new
laws were the answer to nuisance garden hedge
problems. That included 95 per cent of the individual
members of the public and 77 per cent of local
authorities. As to what form those laws should take, a
new complaints system run by local authorities was the
clear favourite. That was option four in the
consultation paper and was supported by 73 per cent of
the public and 67 per cent of local authorities.
However, local authorities were more likely to want
other measures, such as mediation, to be introduced
not instead of, but alongside that legislation. 
The consultation showed that there is support for a
tougher line to be taken on controls. We take
neighbourhood problems seriously so we announced, in
the summer, that we would prepare legislation to give
local authorities in England powers to determine
complaints about problem garden hedges. The National
Assembly for Wales also decided that the new
legislation should apply to Wales. We are keen to get
the legislation in place quickly, but wanted to flesh
out and ensure that the new rules would and could be
enforced. 
Today we are asked by the noble Lord, Lord Luke, and
the noble Baroness, Lady Parkes, to give a commitment
that the Bill will be included in the Government's
legislative programme for the next Session. The noble
Lord, Lord Luke, recognised that I cannot anticipate
what might or might not be included in the Queen's
Speech next month. However, I can assure the noble
Baroness, Lady Gardner, that people are looking for
legislation and a resolution of their problems sooner
rather than later, and we will do our best to meet
that need. 
24 Nov 2000 : Column 1100
The question was raised as to why we could not use
existing legislation. But that legislation is based on
Victorian laws. We believe that we need an up-to-date
solution to the problem of modern living, not least
because of the importance in this case of mediation. 
The noble Baroness, Lady Gardner, also raised, as did
the noble Baroness, Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer,
why her own Bill could not be used. The proposal in
that Bill would add boundary hedges to the statutory
nuisances in Section 79 of the Environmental
Protection Act. We considered that possibility but do
not believe it is appropriate to use that legislation
in order to resolve this problem in the most effective
way. 

and a recent posting (British Trees?) from Richard
Nicholson

Just to let you all know the High Hedges Bill is being
promoted as a Private
Members Bill (3rd on the annual ballot) and has had
its first reading on
17th January. 
No date yet for the Second Reading but convention has
it that the sponsor,
John Taylor MP for Solihull, will select the third day
allocated for Private
Member's Bill business to reflect his place in the
ballot.
I would not bet against this hitting the books before
the election.



That's all I have for now
Prior to this we ran a small item in the AUG 2000
Treeline
Is it up Andy?


=====
Alan Reeves
27 Garstang Road North
Wesham
Kirkham
Lancashire
PR4 3DB
01772 XXXXXX   07971 XXXXXX

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