The Tracker: status of Public Bills before the UK Parliament - July/August 2008

United Kingdom

Welcome to this month's edition of the Tracker. Parliament had a busy time up to the summer recess; with the amount of bills sitting on the Parliamentary table, it looks like they are going to have a busy autumn right up until the close of this session on 3 December.

Some bills to keep an eye on, in the autumn:

  • Climate Change Bill - this has made it through to the Commons' Committee stage, after starting life in the Lords. It shouldn't therefore be long before this attempt to create a legal framework to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with a target of 2050 becomes law.
  • Counter-terrorism Bill - the Lords' Committee stage of this government bill is planned to start on 9 October. If it goes through as it is, amongst many other things it will amend the law relating to asset freezing procedures under UN terrorism orders.
  • Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill - after an active start in the Lords and in Scotland nearly a year ago, a date has finally been planned for the Commons second reading on 6th October. This is the Bill that would move unclaimed assets in the banking system into an FSA-regulated central reclaim fund. The money would then be re-invested in the community.
  • Employment Bill - part of the Lords' bill is to amend the procedure for resolution of employment disputes. It had its second reading on 4 July in the Commons.
  • Energy Bill - this bill works alongside the Climate Change Bill. It aims to provide a robust legal framework for secure and affordable energy supplies and to provide incentives for renewable energy generation. It went through the Lords' Committee stage in July so is on the "home run".
  • Pensions Bill - this too is likely to become law in the autumn.
  • Planning Bill - to establish the Infrastructure Planning Commission, to authorise projects for the development of nationally significant infrastructure and to make provision about town and country planning. It's likely to make it to Royal Assent by the close of the Parliamentary session: the Lords Committee stage is proposed on 6 October.
  • Planning and Energy Bill - not two-for-the-price of one bill: this one is to enable local planning authorities to set requirements for energy generation and efficiency in local plans. It's third reading is on 8 October 2008.
  • Powers of Entry Bill - the authorities would have regulated and standardised powers to enter land or property, and officials would be given powers to order production of documents. This one might not make it through in time, though: the third reading in the Lords where it started last November was on 17 July.

I hope the Tracker will be useful to you. I expect I will write the next issue towards the end of October, to give Parliament some time to get some work under its belt after resuming the session in early October.