Increase in East of England Quangos threatens to silence Suffolk voters

Thursday, 7 February, 2008

David Ruffley MP has today expressed his grave concern over a raft of new legislation before Parliament which will take away power from local people across Suffolk on planning issues, and impose a host of unelected planning Quangos on them.

The proposed new quangos include:

• The new unelected Homes & Communities Agency, with powers to seize land, enter private property and act as its own planning authority

• The new Infrastructure Planning Commission, which will take complete control of planning permissions for large developments like airports, power stations, sewage plants and landfill sites.

• Unelected Regional Development Agencies which (outside London) will adopt all the powers of the unelected Regional Assemblies, but with no local councillor involvement.

David said:

'After ten years of this Government, the number of people who own their own home is falling for the first time.

'Gordon Brown's planning legislation and Whitehall targets have clogged up the planning system, and weakened the say of local residents. Even higher stamp duty and soaring council tax bills have made it incredibly challenging for Suffolk people to get their foot on the housing ladder.

'Gordon Brown is now showing his true control freak tendencies- introducing an army of Quangos to silence the voice of Suffolk people.

'The new Infrastructure Planning Commission will take complete control of planning permissions for large developments like power stations, sewage plants, landfill sites and airports. These are exactly the sort of developments that worry local people here in Suffolk and they have the right to voice their concerns.

'The planning system is in need of reform, but we need to ensure that the voice of local communities remains strong and continues to be heard'