On 17 October, MPs debated the amendments made by the House of Lords to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. Disappointingly, the government has disagreed with the amendment (22) that would have enabled the option of remote meetings. The official response is that local authorities should continue to meet in-person to ensure good governance. Though the vote was passed to overturn the amendment, it’s encouraging that during the debate, there was still much cross-party support for the change. The full debate can be read in Hansard or on parliamentlive.tv.
The amendment now enters a period of ‘ping-pong’ which is the toing and froing of amendments to Bills between the House of Commons and the House of Lords until both are happy before it reaches the final parliamentary stage, Royal Assent. Like the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO), Lawyers for Local Government (LLG) and others, we will be urging peers to re-amend the Bill.