A great success for the groups campaigning to stop the privatisation of the Land Registry? Yes, but this is merely the winning of a battle. The war goes on.
The second reading of the Neighbourhood planning Bill took place in the House of Commons on the 10th October 2016.
Richard Drax (conservative, South Dorset) asked Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, "I was wondering whether he would mention the privatisation of the Land Registry. I understood that that was to have been done under the Bill, but that no decision was taken, and that the issue was, in effect, kicked into the long grass. Has privatisation of the Land Registry gone? Could it be brought back? Where are the Government on the issue?"
Sajid Javid responded "As my hon. Friend has rightly identified, measures on the Land Registry are not part of the Bill, and the decision on privatisation will be for the Government to make in the future; it will not form part of this Bill, nor will it be introduced into the Bill in any shape or form at a later date."
So, no privatisation of the Land Registry within the current Bill. There is no doubt this is due to the high level of opposition and campaigning against the privatisation proposal. The legal profession, businesses, the public, and MP's from all political parties campaigned against the privatisation, with a public petition reaching over 320,000 signatures.
One noteworthy part of Mr. Javid's reply however is "the decision on privatisation will be for the Government to make in the future".
So it would appear that privatisation has not been abandoned, but merely postponed until a more suitable occasion.
Those opposing the privatisation must stay alert for its reintroduction at some point in the future.
A transcript of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill debate can be found here;