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I assure the hon. Member for Windsor that we intend to develop the 2007 Act. In fact, the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill, the private Member's Bill promoted by the hon. Member for North-East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), attempts to take forward the 2007 Act. It is hoped that the Bill will complete its passage through the House before Dissolution. The Government support the Bill because it will make the process more efficient and more responsive to the needs
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of local people. It will also allow us to capture and use the experience we have gained so far-experience such as that of the hon. Member for Windsor-to improve the procedure for the next round.

This is the first time such a large exercise has been undertaken and I know that lessons can be learned by all concerned, including the selector panel. That is why the amendment Bill is so valuable. It will give the hon. Gentleman and Windsor and Maidenhead council the opportunity to influence the future working of the 2007 Act.

Adam Afriyie: I thank the Minister for her careful and reasoned response. I am pleased that we are able to have the debate. If I understand correctly what she is saying, it would be possible for the royal borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to reapply in the next round, because that round might look different from the previous one. Have I heard her correctly?

Barbara Follett: The hon. Gentleman has heard me correctly-as long as the myriad amendments tabled by the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) do not prevent the amendment Bill from going through the House.

The Government want an amended Sustainable Communities Act to be part of the architecture of local government. We want to give councils the chance to embrace all the opportunities the Act presents. I reassure the hon. Member for Windsor that there will be a second round, and that Windsor and Maidenhead will have a second chance to submit.

Question put and agreed to.

4.44 pm

House adjourned.

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