Blog: I voted against my party because I believe in localism, says Nick de Bois MP

19:30 29 April 2013

Nick de Bois is MP for Enfield North

Nick de Bois is MP for Enfield North

Archant

Conservative MP for Enfield North, Nick de Bois, writes for London24 about voting against the government - and siding with his constituency’s Labour-led council - over a recent planning Bill.

"As a local Member of Parliament I am conscious that I must always rise above party politics and do what I think is best for my constituents and the country as a whole."

Nick de Bois MP

I’m an incredibly strong supporter of localism – which is about granting people more power over what happens in their communities. This support is part of the reason why I recently took the difficult decision to vote against my own party and the government in the House of Commons.

The government had sought to introduce an increase in “permitted development rights” as part of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill which would have doubled what people are allowed to build on their own properties without the need for any planning permission.

However, I had been contacted by many residents in my constituency and the Labour-led Council about their concerns that such changes could lead to numerous unsightly buildings being built; and ultimately the relations between neighbours could suffer because of potential developments.

In the House of Commons last week, an amendment was tabled by one of my Conservative colleagues to allow local councils to opt-out of the reforms to “permitted development rights”. As a strong supporter of localism, and therefore believing that Government should not seek to dictate how local communities govern themselves, I backed this amendment along with a number of my colleagues in Parliament.

While even though the government defeated this amendment, the majority with which it won was so reduced that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles publically pledged that it would re-think these plans.

While I never enjoy voting against my own party, as a local Member of Parliament I am conscious that I must always rise above party politics and do what I think is best for my constituents and the country as a whole. In backing this alternative amendment I joined forces not only with my Labour-led Local Council but many people throughout the country who were concerned by these plans.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:22
The man was found seriously injured in Meridian Avenue, close to the Pickett Flyover (Picture: Google Streetview)

A man was found lying in the middle of the road with multiple injuries in the early hours of Saturday morning in a suspected hit and run in Enfield.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:48
Mitch and Janis Winehouse pose next to the statue of their late daughter Amy in Camden (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

A life-size statue of Amy Winehouse has been unveiled by her parents in her native Camden on what would have been the Back to Black singer’s 31st birthday.

Read more
Friday, September 12, 2014
The man was slashed in the face at Stratford station on Tuesday (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

A man was slashed in the face in a ‘sustained attack’ on a busy train and Tube platform at Stratford station on Tuesday lunchtime.

Read more

London Bloggers

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes