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In Parliament a record haul of new private bills includes London shopping bags bill, Crossrail trundles on and there’s new legislation for local authorities

by ben [November 8, 2007]

Private bills are deposited in Parliament once a year, in November. This session, Sharpe Pritchard consolidated their position as the leading firm for private bill promotions by depositing 7 out of the 9 private bills. They include a Bill for the London Borough Councils to prohibit the provision of single use shopping bags and four new bills to deal with street trading, pedlars and touting. This is the largest number of private bills deposited by one firm of Parliamentary Agents in any year since 1992 when the Transport and Works Act took most infrastructure authorisations away from Parliament’s jurisdiction.

Alastair Lewis, Partner and Roll A Parliamentary Agent said, “there has been a real resurgence in local authority private legislation and this is reflected in the number of bills deposited this year. We are particularly pleased to have secured the promotion of every local authority bill this year."

The firm has also continued to play a major role in the Crossrail Bill proceedings, having acted for over 30 petitioners in the House of Commons and, now that the Bill has finally reached the Lords, have deposited 19 petitions there, including the vast majority of local authority petitions.

The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 contains important new provisions relating to local authorities’ executive arrangements and local authority companies and finally provides the primary legislative authority for single tier reorganisations in a number of areas in England. Secondary legislation, providing for the detailed implementation of those proposals in the counties concerned has already been laid before Parliament. Sharpe Pritchard provided advice on the progress of the legislation and drafted amendments for clients at various stages. The implementation of the Greater London Authority Act 2007 is also underway, and as well as drafting amendments during its progress, Sharpe Pritchard have advised on its implications in the planning sphere. An article on this subject by John Harrison will be appearing in the Journal of Planning Law. In the new session, amongst others the Housing and Regeneration, Planning, Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions, and Criminal Justice Bills contain significant changes for local authorities and Sharpe Pritchard have been advising on the progress of those Bills and drafting amendments.

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