2015–17 Parliament: Legacy Report Contents
11.Because of the dissolution of Parliament we had to close inquiries into Housing for older people and Overview and scrutiny in local government before taking any oral evidence, but we have published the written submissions we received. We believe that these demonstrate the importance of both inquiries, and encourage our successors to consider restarting them both.
12.Shortly before the announcement of the General Election, the Committee considered its programme for the rest of 2017, and beyond. We list here the inquiries we had agreed in principle, so that our successors can draw on what we judged to be the important issues within the Committee’s remit when they come to consider their own future programme.
13.The two large inquiries for the autumn were to have been into:
- the Private Rented Sector, looking at the powers local authorities have to apply and enforce standards and whether they take a strategic approach to the sector for the provision of accommodation; and
- Brexit, covering the devolution to local government in England of powers repatriated from the European Union and the future of Regional Development Funds.
14.We had also planned a number of shorter inquiries:
- Planning guidance for fracking, considering the lack of up to date guidance from central Government on the handling of applications for fracking works, which are dealt with under the normal planning application process;
- The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL): we had been told by the Housing and Planning Minister that the Government would be responding to the independent Community Infrastructure Levy Review in the autumn of 2017 to coincide with the Autumn Budget. Reforming CIL and the method of capturing developer contributions is particularly important in light of the conclusions we reached in our report on the Capacity in the homebuilding industry with regard to encouraging smaller sites, permitted development rights and site viability; and
- Land value and the land market, to explore the feasibility of increased public intervention into the land market to incentivise schemes that prioritise long-term community benefits over short-term commercial profit.
15.In addition we had intended to follow up our evidence session with Dame Louise Casey on her report on integration once the Government had announced proposals to implement its recommendations.
16.Finally, we feel that our work was hampered by delays in the Department responding to our reports and hope that their performance will improve in the next Parliament.