Infrastructure Bill — Motion to Decline Second Reading — 8 Dec 2014 at 21:41
John Penrose MP, Weston-Super-Mare voted for the wide range of provisions in the Infrastructure Bill which include introducing strategic highways companies, giving British Transport Police more powers, introducing species control orders, changing the planning system for national infrastructure projects, and enabling the extraction of petroleum and geothermal energy from land at a depth of at least 300 metres below the surface without the permission of the landowner.
The Bill provides for:
- The appointment of "strategic highways companies" to manage strategic roads in England in place of the Highways Agency.
- To give members of the British Transport Police the same powers as constables of the police force for the area they are in with respect to to damage to property (prior to the Bill they only had such powers where required to save life or to prevent or minimise personal injury).
- To allow British Transport Police powers to exercise the powers of a constable of the relevant local force even if they are not in uniform and not carrying evidence they are British Transport Police constables.
- To enable the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police to require information as to identity of driver of a vehicle be provided in relation to specified road traffic offences.
- Environmental control of animal and plant species through species control agreements and orders and giving powers of entry to officers.
- Changes to the arrangements for the consideration of planning applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects by an "Examining authority"; including establishing the authority earlier and allowing the authority to be a panel of two people (one, three, four of five people were permitted at the time of the vote).
- Introducing a "deemed discharge" of a planning condition where a local authority has failed to make a decision within a specified time period.
- Allowing surplus publicly owned land to be transferred directly to the Homes and Communities Agency.
- Transfer of responsibility for local land charges from individual local authorities in England and Wales to the Chief Land Registrar at the Land Registry.
- Introducing powers for the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers to make building regulations provisions in relation to off-site measures for abating carbon dioxide emissions taken by the developer or by a person on the developer’s behalf, or consisting of payment into a fund that invests in carbon abatement projects.
- Introducing the "community electricity right"; a power on the Secretary of State to make regulations giving individuals and/or community groups the right to purchase a stake in a renewable electricity generation facility in their local area .
- Measures intended to increase transparency of data in the extractive industries
- Measures intended to maximise the economic recovery of UK offshore petroleum
- To enable the extraction of petroleum and geothermal energy from land at a depth of at least 300 metres below the surface without the permission of the landowner.
- To enable regulations to be made establishing schemes to facilitate and encourage renewable generation of heat.
The motion rejected by the majority of MPs in this vote was:
- this House declines to give a second reading to the Infrastructure Bill :
- because, whilst welcoming efforts to further enable necessary infrastructure projects and acknowledging that long-term strategic planning and investment for transport infrastructure is urgently needed, the Bill fails to establish an independent National Infrastructure Commission to set out an evidence-based analysis of future infrastructure priorities in sectors including transport, waste and energy, and to hold governments accountable for delivery,
- because the Bill creates a new Strategic Highways Company, which could result in an increasingly two-tiered road system when there is no evidence that a new company is needed to deliver a road investment strategy,
- because the Bill fails to address the deteriorating condition of the local road network due to the cuts in spending since 2010 on local road maintenance, because the Bill does not ensure that unconventional gas extraction could only happen in the context of robust safety and environmental standards, comprehensive monitoring and strict enforcement,
- because the Bill fails to give communities new powers so that they can build the homes they need locally in the places they want, and because the Bill fails to include Garden City principles to underpin the next generation of New Towns, fails to strike the right balance between communities and developers in the discharge of planning conditions, and fails to properly plan ahead to ensure that building standards address CO2 emissions and climate change.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Infrastructure Bill
-  Explanatory notes to the Infrastructure Bill
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||252 (+1 tell)||0||0||83.5%|
|Lab||0||187 (+2 tell)||0||73.3%|
|LDem||41 (+1 tell)||0||0||75.0%|