Jack Brereton, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South, has introduced a new Bill to Parliament named the ‘High Streets (Designation, Review and Improvement Plan) Bill’, which is focused on improving the condition of our high streets. The Bill has already attracted support from across the political divide and Jack now starts the process of promoting the Bill through Parliament.
Jack Brereton MP has been working with colleagues in Government to introduce new legislation with the aim of saving high streets throughout England. His Bill is focused on getting local authorities to assess the condition of our high streets and come up with action plans to help them improve. The Bill does not create new powers for local authorities but is about getting them to better use the powers they have already got, working with other stakeholders on our high streets, to focus on providing the focus our high streets need to improve.
Jack Brereton MP has said:
“Our high streets have seen huge change in recent years with move to online and out of town as well as all the challenges following the pandemic. More than ever, we need to focus on addressing this decline and provide a focused plan to help each of our high streets thrive again. I am very pleased to have had my Private Member’s Bill successfully picked and to have the opportunity to present this to the House of Commons.
People care passionately about our high streets and locally across North Staffordshire we’ve see fantastic examples of independent retailers and community organisation defying the odds to bring new exciting uses on to our high streets. However, we need to go further to tackle some of the real challenges faced and take the steps to improve things. The ‘High Streets (Designation, Review and Improvement Plan) Bill’ offers a real opportunity to address the decline of our high streets.
This Bill will ensure that there is a duty on local authorities to properly consider the condition of the high streets in their area and working with local stakeholders produce an action plan to improve our high streets.’
The ‘High Streets (Designation, Review and Improvement Plan) Bill’ introduced by Jack Brereton MP has been done so as a Private Members’ Bill (PMB) and follows him securing eighth place in the PMB ballot. PMBs are public bills introduced by backbench MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. As with other public bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population.
Whilst in the House of Commons this week, Jack Brereton MP presented the Bill Parliament for its First Reading. In doing so, he secured a Second Reading debate for the Bill which will take place on the 26th January 2024. This will give MPs in the House of Commons their first opportunity to debate the main principles of the Bill. Following this if successful the Bill will then continue its process through the scrutiny stages of the House of Commons and House of Lords before hopefully receiving Royal Assent.
The long title of the ‘High Streets (Designation, Review and Improvement Plan) Bill’ outlines the brief description of the Bill’s aims as follows:
Bill to require local authorities to designate high streets in their area; to require local authorities to undertake and publish periodic reviews of the condition of those high streets; to require local authorities to develop action plans for the improvement of the condition of those high streets; and for connected purposes.