HC Deb 07 May 1999 vol 330 c1263

Order for Second Reading read.

2.28 pm
Mr. Jim Cunningham (Coventry, South)

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

I am well aware that I have about two minutes to raise a complex subject. My intention is to nudge the Government into producing their own measure as hon. Members do not have sufficient resources to draft proper Bills.

The Bill relates to an issue on which, at first glance, people assume there are no major problems, but it can set neighbour against neighbour, lead to people's liberties being infringed and their health being affected, and often results in court cases.

Last week I met the Minister responsible, who assured me that the Government's proposals should be ready within a couple of weeks. He said that they had taken soundings from a number of organisations including Hedgeline. Individuals have also written to the Government about some of the problems caused by high trees and hedges. One disabled lady was scared to death to leave her home because a burglar had hidden in high trees. Some people are effectively in an invisible prison.

In view of the Government's assurances, I shall not press my Bill but wait to see what they do in the corning weeks. If they take no action, I shall seek to take the Bill further.

It being half-past Two o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed on Friday 23 July.