Congleton MP to address Localism conference

The Localism Bill and its likely impact on the Cheshire region will be the subject of a high-profile debate hosted by law firm Hill Dickinson, at Chester Racecourse on 1 April.

Hill Dickinson has secured two keynote speakers for the event who will give their perspective on the Localism Bill, its implications and likely impact to the region.

Fiona Bruce MP, member for Congleton and member of the public committee for the Localism Bill, will outline the Government's aims and objectives for the Bill, a change in legislation that will introduce elected mayors into 12 English cities and give local authorities more control over finances, planning and social housing.

Offering an alternative perspective will be second keynote speaker, Iain Jenkinson, director of planning, development and regeneration at GVA, who will speak in support of the Bill's overriding 'Big Society' theme, but warn that 'Localism' must not become 'parochialism'.

The speaker slots will be followed by a panel question and answer session, chaired by head of Hill Dickinson's Chester office Robin Jones.

Joining the keynote speakers on the panel will be Cllr Mike Jones, Leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council, Matt Crompton, joint managing director of Muse Developments and John Holmes, head of planning at Hill Dickinson.

Hill Dickinson has invited a range of regional clients to attend the event and pose their questions to the expert panel.

Jones said: "The Localism Bill promises a significant shift of power away from central government and into the hands of communities. It will have a major impact upon the planning process and, with planning and property law being one of Hill Dickinson's specialisms, we are as interested as our clients in the potential changes that the Bill will bring about. Hill Dickinson has organised this event to examine the issue, securing speakers of authority. I feel sure we can expect constructive debate and discussion."

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