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MP: 'Plans to help economy undemocratic'

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

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GOVERNMENT plans to kickstart the economy have been branded "half-baked and undemocratic" by Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood.

In a scathing attack on official measures to rejuvenate the UK economy, the Lib Dem politician accused ministers of "trashing" people's employment rights with a "nasty vindictive" proposal.

It came as the Government pressed ahead with moves to streamline the planning system.

Opening the second reading debate of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the legislation would make it easier for energy firms to build new power stations and speed up the rollout of super-fast broadband across rural areas, while protecting greenbelt land and beauty spots.

In some cases, it was taking "far too long" for the planning process to be completed, he argued.

The bill also set out a scheme, for workers to sacrifice employment rights for a stake in their small firm.

But Mr Horwood spoke out against the measures, arguing the "hasty looking" bill seemed to go against the move to hand down decision-making to the grassroots, and urged a rethink.

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  • Coingrass  |  November 08 2012, 4:54PM

    Major investment in large infrastructure developments like power stations, airports, motorways etc is essential if the economy is to expand yet current planning laws can delay such projects for years and years, pushing up costs and holding back economic development. These projects ought not be hamstrung by outdated and over-complex planning laws that can easily be exploited by groups of well-organised nimbys to protect their own selfish interests at the expense of the rest of the country.

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  • Lord_Gaga_  |  November 08 2012, 4:47PM

    i hope he has made his feeling known to his boss

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  • GlosYap2  |  November 08 2012, 1:42PM

    This Bill sounds like it has a lot of nasty proposals riding on the coat tails of the positive "headline" broadband rollout. Would be useful to know exactly what it is proposing in detail. Hopefully this sort of Bill isnt a move towards the type in the American legislative process where rights-crushing laws get passed because a section of them mentions some weasley words about upping charitable funding....

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  • Shireresident  |  November 08 2012, 12:58PM

    I'd have more respect for Mr. Horwood if he wasn't propping up the Con Dem government in Westminster. Still I suppose he feels obliged to grandstand locally to try and retain his seat after all where else would he get paid £65K for promulgating his usual platitudes.

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  • Lecorche  |  November 08 2012, 10:11AM

    He's right,in a sort of way . The Lib-Cons running the economy have kick-started it to a pulp.

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  • TIMONLINE2010  |  November 08 2012, 9:25AM

    Since when have locval residents ever had a say in planning permissions?!

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