Noise Bill opens up dispute on party lines

A Private Member's Bill to control night-time noise from domestic premises received its second reading in the House of Commons on 16 February. The Bill has all-party support, but many MPs complained that the £40 fixed penalty for offenders will not be an effective deterrent, and some felt that it will pose serious practical and resource problems for local authorities. The debate also exposed a deep divide between Labour and the Government over whether the Bill should be mandatory on local councils or leave them to decide whether to adopt the new powers.

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