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Lib Dems welcome new powers over by-laws

September 1, 2010 11:35 AM
Cllr Colin Rosenstiel

Colin Rosenstiel

Government plans to allow local authorities to abolish outdated by-laws and create new ones have been welcomed by Cambridge Liberal Democrats.

They move means the city council no longer has to seek permission from Whitehall to act. It can update bylaws and get rid of redundant ones simply by consulting with residents.

It is a victory for Cambridge City Councillor, Colin Rosenstiel who has lobbied for the change in the law for several years at national level with successive ministers.

He said: "It's been a long haul to make the case which I am pleased to see has borne fruit at last."

Some of the redundant Cambridge by-laws prohibit residents from:

• throwing orange peel or banana skins on the carriageway to the danger or annoyance of passengers;

• carrying soot, lime, paint or tar to the danger or inconvenience of any person;

• endangering any person or property by being negligent while driving cattle, horse, ass, mule, sheep or goat;

• between the hours of 8am and 9pm, bathing from the bank of any river, pond or boat without wearing suitable drawers or other sufficient covering to prevent indecent exposure within 200 yards of any public place, unless effectually screened from view.

Now the Lib Dems are checking with the government to see whether this new approach will allow them to address areas that were difficult under the previous controls on law-making, such as parking on grass verges and aggressive punt touting.

Cambridge City Council leader, Sian Reid said: "This move by the government is extremely welcome. It gives local authorities the power to update by-laws and get rid of redundant ones so that we can take action relevant to our city without Whitehall interference.

"Some of our by-laws are clearly outdated; we have one that allows us to licence porters and another that regulates the sale of butter."

Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Community Development, Tim Bick said: "This is a good step in the right direction. Labour canvassed local authorities about this in the spring of 2008 but then failed to act.

"Devolution of power and cutting government bureaucracy were key Lib Dem election pledges and this decision is testament to those promises."

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