Once a year the Queen attends the House of Lords to deliver a speech. Perhaps one of the most widely watched political events in the calendar, she takes this opportunity to outline the governments’ priorities for the months ahead. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, this year was no exception.
So, what does 2021/22 have in store for us? Quite a lot, as it happens.
In an effort to further its ‘levelling up’ rhetoric, the government is rolling out a number of new projects which include a High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill, an Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill which will facilitate ground-breaking scientific discoveries, and a Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to extend 5G mobile coverage across the country.
From a housing perspective, developers will benefit from the new Planning Bill which will introduce changes to the planning system, and a Building Safety Bill will stipulate new regulations for high-rise buildings and the inspection of construction sites.
Those entering higher-education will soon be able to take on a flexible loan as part of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, and a proposed Online Safety Bill will put pressure on tech giants to do more to address any harmful or illegal online content.
Speaking to the lords and members of the House of Commons – albeit a limited number due to the Covid restrictions – the Queen said the intention was to support jobs, businesses and economic growth, while addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services.
Welcome news for many of us after such a turbulent year, I am sure.
Particularly for our clients operating in construction, as well as those in the legal sector, and those who specialise in cyber and IT infrastructure, the changes may have a professional as well as personal impact.
We will be watching the progress of the proposed changes and the Bills with interest as they make their way through the consultation process.