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

The most sureal moment at the Commonwealth Opening Ceremony was the sight of some giant dancing Tunnocks tea cakes (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Did you watch the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony last night? It made us misty-eyed for London 2012, when the whole world was watching our city, so we decided to compare Glasgow 2014 to Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. Be prepared for a blast from the past!

Read more
The Eid al-Fitr party in Trafalgar Square promises to be fun, fantastic, and free! (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Check out our five-minute guide to celebrating the end of Ramadan in London.

Read more
The Met has been accused of spying on the family of Jean Charles de Menezes (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Police spied on the family of Jean Charles de Menezes after the Brazilian was shot dead by officers who mistook him for a suicide bomber in July 2005, it has been claimed.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more
Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
A normal day at London Liverpool Street station

This quiz is for people who think they know the Tube and rail inside out.

Read more