Much has been said about Levelling Up over the course of the past three years since it became a central tenant of the manifesto upon which myself and my Conservative colleagues stood. As this agenda has developed into tangible results over that time, myself and many colleagues are keen to ensure that developing and improving our green spaces is part of our wider levelling up agenda.
Along with support from others, I tabled an amendment to the Government’s flagship Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that finished its passage through the Commons today. This amendment would have introduced a wildbelt designation that could protect wildlife areas such as the Colne Valley. While this was not pushed to a vote, I was grateful to the Minister responding who reassured me, at the end of the debate, that the Government has considered the importance of wildbelts and remains committed to improving biodiversity as well as people’s access to nature.
Focusing on other aspects, I tabled and signed further amendments to this important bill, and I was glad to mention these in my short speech. I also thanked the Government for moving on housing targets and asked Ministers to be open minded to future amendments designed to give local authorities greater power over air quality locally.
The Bill now goes through to the House of Lords for further scrutiny, and I anticipate its return to the Commons in the new year.