MPs set to ease Broads law blockage

A bill to improve the management and safety of the Broads is expected to be released from a parliamentary blockage today after a Commons debate on it.The Broads Authority Bill will be discussed for up to three hours in a 'second reading' debate secured by Norfolk MPs Keith Simpson and Richard Bacon.

A bill to improve the management and safety of the Broads is expected to be released from a parliamentary blockage today after a Commons debate on it.

The Broads Authority Bill will be discussed for up to three hours in a 'second reading' debate secured by Norfolk MPs Keith Simpson and Richard Bacon.

They have delayed the legislation by a couple of months because they objected to it being approved 'on the nod' without debate in the chamber in accordance with normal procedure for a private bill.

Mr Simpson, the Mid Norfolk MP, stressed yesterday however that there was no intention to “talk out or destroy” the legislation.

After representations from concerned constituents, he and Mr Bacon had wanted to ensure, he said, that there was proper discussion in the Commons of matters such as navigation rights, the costs of administering the proposed arrangements and representation on the board of the Broads Authority.

If the Bill is approved this evening it will proceed to a Commons committee. Norwich MP Ian Gibson was asked by the Broads Authority to 'sponsor' the legislation in the Commons. And if it reaches the House of Lords, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, will have the same responsibility there.

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In its bid for new powers the Broads Authority has secured binding legal agreements on the bill with the Yachting Association, British Marine Federation and Inland Waterways Association. But Mr Simpson said concerns were still being expressed, “largely by individuals”.