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Session 2006 - 07
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Supplement to the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
23 February 2007

SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM HARBOROUGH RAIL USERS GROUP AND OTHERS

20th February 2007

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of Harborough Rail Users Group and others

Declares that the petitioners support the campaign to safeguard all off-peak rail services to and from Market Harborough from December 2008.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Transport to ensure that the company awarded the new East Midlands franchise maintains these services during the term of the franchise.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM THE RESIDENTS OF OXFORDSHIRE

20th February 2007

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of the residents of Oxfordshire

Declares that the Petitioners are extremely concerned that in some instances Council Tax Bands do not fairly reflect the decreased market value of some properties;

Further declares that the residents of Guardian Court in Banbury are in Council Tax Bands B and C for properties which the Valuation Office acknowledge are closer to the lower-rate Bands A and B based on almost identical properties near-by in Banbury;

Further declares that despite what is a record 37 appeals by one road in Oxfordshire to the Council Tax Appeals Tribunal, the Tribunal remains powerless to re-value Council Tax within bands to ensure Guardian Court residents pay a fair Council Tax;

Further declares that the Government's postponement of the Council Tax revaluation because of the Lyons Commission, residents in Guardian Court will continue to pay Council Tax in some instances almost two Bands higher than the market value of their property until at least 2012;

Further declares that Council Tax payers just want to pay a fair price for their property rather than wait for a revaluation by stealth.

The Petitioners therefore call on the House of Commons to urge the Government to empower Council Tax Appeals Tribunals to re-value the amount of Council Tax paid within a band where there is a clear case of the property being lower than its market value.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the Petition [12th January 2006, in the last Session of Parliament] from the residents of South Derbyshire and others that the House of Commons vote to pass the Animal Welfare Bill.

    The Government welcomes the Petition from the residents of South Derbyshire and others in support of the Animal Welfare Bill.

    Once passed into law, the Animal Welfare Bill will reduce animal suffering by placing on those who own or are otherwise responsible for animals a duty to ensure their welfare. This duty of care will allow enforcers to take action when an animal is being treated contrary to its welfare needs, even if it is not immediately suffering.

    It is already an offence to participate in any way in animal fighting. Indeed cock fighting and dog fighting have long been banned in this country. This will continue under the Animal Welfare Bill. However, the Bill will increase significantly the maximum penalties available for cruelty and fighting offences.

19th February 2007


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Petition [15th March 2006, in the last Session of Parliament] from narrow boat owners from the canals of the UK and others for the continuation of the red diesel derogation.

    The Government notes the Petition of narrow boat owners from the canals of the UK and others.

    As the Petition requested, the Government worked closely with the leading boating organisations in the UK, and received a great deal of helpful co-operation from them, in developing a strong case for renewal of the derogation from the EU Energy Products Directive which allows the use of rebated gas oil ("red diesel") in private pleasure craft. Since the Petition was presented, the European Commission has rejected the Government's application, but officials have begun the process of meeting concerned and affected organisations to discuss the implications of the Commission's decision, and the Government will be exploring the options for the most appropriate implementation.

20th February 2007


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the Petition [29th March 2006, in the last Session of Parliament] from residents of Worcester Constituency against changes in the arrangements made for wardens of sheltered housing provided by Worcester Community Housing.

    Worcester Community Housing has introduced changes to the warden services at its sheltered accommodation. Wardens are no longer in attendance 24 hours a day and are now on site from 9am to 5pm and on call outside of those hours.

    These changes are a matter for Worcester Community Housing. They have taken 18 months to implement and have involved consultation with residents, wardens and Worcester City Council.

20th February 2007


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the Petitions [20th July and 25th July 2006, in the last Session of Parliament] from residents of Thundersley and Benfleet against the storage of hazardous waste in their area.

    These Observations are on the basis that the petition relates to the application to Essex County Council, reference ESS/23/06/CPT, in respect of the use of land as an asbestos waste transfer station, including the demolition of an existing building, at 195 Church Road, Benfleet, Essex.

    The application was submitted to Essex County Council on 26th May 2006 but was subsequently formally withdrawn by the applicant on 11th September 2006.

    Parliament has entrusted local authorities with responsibility for development control in their areas. It is for them to decide, with particular regard to the provisions of statutory development plans, any relevant views expressed by neighbouring occupiers, local residents and other third parties (although they are not bound to accept those views) and any other relevant material considerations which fairly and reasonably relate to the application concerned, to decide whether or not a proposal should be given planning permission. The Secretary of State intervenes in this responsibility only in the most exceptional circumstances and then only when issues of national or regional importance are involved. To do so more often would undermine the responsibility given to local planning authorities.

20th February 2007


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the Petition [16th October 2006, in the last Session of Parliament] from the residents of Hadleigh, Essex and others against a planned development in Park Chase, Hadleigh.

    The application to Castle Point Borough Council, reference CPT/585/06/FUL, is in respect of the proposed demolition of existing buildings on site, and the construction of 29 flats together with parking and amenity area, at 4-12 Park Chase, Hadleigh, Essex.

    The application was considered at Castle Point Borough Council's Planning Committee held on 31st October 2006. The committee resolved that planning permission be refused for the development.

    Parliament has entrusted local authorities with responsibility for development control in their areas. It is for them to decide, with particular regard to the provisions of statutory development plans, any relevant views expressed by neighbouring occupiers, local residents and other third parties (although they are not bound to accept those views) and any other relevant material considerations which fairly and reasonably relate to the application concerned, to decide whether or not a proposal should be given planning permission. The Secretary of State intervenes in this responsibility only in the most exceptional circumstances and then only when issues of national or regional importance are involved. To do so more often would undermine the responsibility given to local planning authorities.

    As Castle Point Borough Council has resolved to refuse planning permission, the applicant has the right to appeal to the Secretary of State against this decision. It would therefore not be appropriate for the Secretary of State to comment on proposals that may come before her.

20th February 2007



 
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Revised 23 February 2007