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Political and Legislative Moves and News Items

June to August 2001


No Support from Ballot Winners | Not in Government Programme, June 2001 - September 2001 | Changes After the Election | Party Statements in Run-up to Election

Items Still Current, from Before June 2001

John Taylor's Hedge Bill | Disappointing, 'Draft Guidelines'

Index pages

  • No Support from Ballot Winners

    No Ballot Winner has taken up the High-Hedges Bill for this Session despite the fact that the Bill again appeared on the Government's list of Government-drafted bills which were available for Private members to sponsor. This Session of Parliament, which starts June 2001, will last for 18 months.

    During this time we must do everything we possibly can to keep up the momentum, to keep the issue in the Government's mind.

    Contents of this page |Index pages

  • Not in Government Programme, June 01

    The Government have indicated that they are not, themselves, going to put the High-Hedges Bill through Parliament during this Session. (The High hedges Bill was drafted by the Government and sponsored by John M. Taylor MP as a Private members' bill in the last session of Parliament.

    Michael Jones has received the following in a letter from the new DTLR, in reply to his letter to Mr Stephen Byers, the minister now in charge of this Department.

      'There were many demands on the legislative programme and many good Bills that the Government has not been able to include in this first session of the new Parliament. The Queen's Speech focused on the Government's priorities of reforming public servicees - raising standards in the health service and in schools, for example - and promoting enterprise. These measures must take priority - in this first Session at least.

      The Government remains committed to introducing new laws as soon as there is space in the Parliamentary timetable'.

    The Campaign

    Contents of this page |Index pages

  • Changes After the Election   June 2001

    The DETR has been split into two parts.

    1. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
    2. The remaining parts of the DETR become the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR).

    'High hedges' now come under the 'Urban Policy Unit' of the 'DTLR' (which deals with the Urban White Paper, Urban Green Spaces Taskforce, urban greening, urban/rural interface etc).

    Our new minister, and address for writing.

      The Rt. Hon. Stephen Byers MP
      Eland House,
      Bressendon Place
      LONDON SW1E 5DU.


    The same Civil Service Officers will be dealing with the issue.

    Contents of this page |Index pages

  • Party Statements Before the Election

    Now in the build up to the election, Hedgeline has asked two of the main political parties to give their statements of policy regarding hedge legislation in the new session.

    The reply on behalf of the Labour party to a letter addressed to Tony Blair was,

      'Thank you for your recent letter to the Prime Minister,dated 22/05/02, regarding your campaign to'Control Monster Hedges'. As I am sure you can imagine, Mr Blair is extremely busy at present, but he has asked me to thank you for sharing your views and to reply on his behalf.

      The problem of high hedges is one that this Government takes seriously and as I am sureyou,aware'ihe-pepartment forthe Environment, Transport and the Regions introduced a bill in January to address this specific issue.

      However, due to the calling of a General Election, a bill that has not made its way fully through the legislative process is dropped, and has to be re-introduced when Parliament returns after the election.

      Although at this point we are not able to say whether, or at what time, a new Bill covering the issue of high hedges will be introduced, it is certainly something that will be carefully considered should we be re-elected.

      We appreciate the time and commitment taken to let us know your view, and I hope that this goes some way to answering the questions raised in your letter'.

    The reply on behalf of the Tory party to a letter addressed to William Haigh was as follows,

      After the delay in bringing in the new Law had been decried, Mr Wells, on behalf of William Hague went on to say -

      Conservatives believe that local communities should be given greater powers to resolve these issues. We propose that local authorities be given powers to treat hedges in the same way as permanent structures which block light and cause a nuisance to neighbours are treated. We will also alter planning legislation to give local authorities new powers to set up and enforce regulations on the acceptable height of hedges, relative to the size of gardens and neighbouring properties.
      Thank you for taking the trouble to write.

    We await the election and the 'settling in' of the new Government before we can decide on our next moves.

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