The Tour de France and my Committee

Baroness Thomas

How on earth is the Committee I chair – the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee – connected in any way with the Tour de France?
Turn the spotlight on Harrogate and you’ll see why. The finish of the first stage (the Grand Départ) happened to be adjacent to a large open area in Harrogate known as the Stray. This is governed by the Harrogate Stray Act of 1985 which protects the area as an open space, and prevents or restricts the Borough Council from using it for any other purpose. The Order coming before my Committee in March this year was designed to allow the Borough Council to put up temporary grandstands and giant screens etc. while the Tour de France was in Yorkshire, thus temporarily overriding the 1985 Act (Procedural geeks might be interested to know that this was the first Order under the Localism Act 2011 allowing the Secretary of State to amend, repeal or disapply a statutory provision which prevents a local authority from exercising the general power of competence.)
Happily it didn’t take long for the Committee (and a similar House of Commons Committee) to agree that the negative resolution procedure should apply, meaning that the Order allowing the Stray to be used in this way sailed through Parliament without debate.
Harrogate Borough Council sent a letter afterwards expressing their appreciation, as they knew that in theory Parliament could have thwarted their plans by not agreeing the proposals in time.

1 comment for “The Tour de France and my Committee

  1. MilesJSD
    07/07/2014 at 9:13 pm

    As I recall “An Unfinished History of the World”, historian Hugh Thomas shows one conclusion that
    (“)cars are not a longest-term success-factor for human civilisation & this living Earth;

    whereas pedal-bicycles are(“).

    Yet it is difficult to find a bicycle celebration that proactivates the ordinary non-athletic person’s health-maintenance and has a major sustainworthy and key longest-term ecolonomic place
    in both our Lifeplaces and Workplaces.

    [Racing-bicycles ‘score’ poorly in the same sort of vein as the newish “Life Centres” that nonetheless still push Olympist fitness models based on strength and speed as the target norm and as a modern essential for the “socially mobility” aspirant;

    when what is hugely-really needed not by a mere affluently privileged 7 million but by the whole 7 billion and growing human bodies world-wide
    is basic and unhurried
    progressive all-round flexibility,
    gentle movement enablement; and effortless self-control practice.

    In the absence of a much huger and worldwide popular “actually-nurturing-my-weakest parts daily without artificial gadgets” gymnasiums, olympics, athletics, racing including the Tour de France lightweight long-distance bicycling, and General Fitnessing concentrations all majorly lose generic-health-building effect.
    [Confession: I shall nevertheless be sitting on the front edge of a supportively-firm chair
    ‘spiritually-participating’ in the televised parts of this 1903-founded bicycling peace-success from within ‘our’ European civilisation].

    Thank you for introducing the current British Isles’s historic part in this otherwise French-‘owned’ Tour de France.

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