John Penrose MP...

Are you feeling tranquil? If so, you're very unusual. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has worked out how to measure 'tranquillity', and

Are you feeling tranquil? If so, you're very unusual. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has worked out how to measure 'tranquillity', and it's disappearing fast. Modern Britain is a hustling, bustling place. Finding a peaceful spot is getting harder every year. Locally it's an issue too. People complain to me all the time about low flying aircraft from Bristol International Airport, or traffic noise in Banwell. After dark, Weston's street lights shine more strongly than most stars, even if you're several miles out of town. Of course sometimes we want a bit of noise. On Friday nights most of us want to go somewhere that's buzzing and fun. But variety is the spice of life, and sometimes we want peace and quiet instead. So what can be done? Well the Government has said that 'tranquillity' is important, so I'm going to take them at their word. I'm introducing a new bill in Parliament asking the Government to measure and protect 'tranquillity' in future. It would mean, for example, that Bristol International Airport's planning applications would be turned down unless aircraft noise was reduced. I'm going to use a '10 minute rule bill' to do it. It's an opportunity for ordinary MPs to propose a change in the law. You get 10 minutes immediately after Prime Minister's Questions on a Wednesday to convince your fellow MPs that your idea is worthwhile. It's the Parliamentary equivalent of 'Dragon's Den'. If they agree, your bill goes forward for debate. If they don't, you're toast. Sadly, very few 10 minute rule bills make it into law. Even if they clear the first hurdle, they often get stuck in no-man's land and die. But they're still valuable. Surprisingly often, the Government picks up an idea and sticks it in one of its own bills. Fingers crossed...


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