2013 Queen's Speech - what could be in it?
LGiU policy briefing 

This briefing comes through an arrangement Involve has with the Local Government information Unit (LGiU). It is not the full briefing: we have edited it for items of particular voluntary and community sector interest. Let us know if it is helpful.


 On Wednesday 8 May Her Majesty The Queen will formally open a new session of Parliament, outlining the Government’s legislative programme. This briefing collates together some of the firm legislative commitments made by the Government ..

It is important to point out that the actual speech itself may not mention each and every Bill to be taken forward in the next session; though all Bills will be announced on the day by the Government. And the speech is drafted in such a way that enables the Government to introduce additional measures during the course of the parliamentary session.

Bills continuing from 2012-13 Session

Public Bills introduced in current session which have already been the subject of carry-over motions allowing them to proceed in the next:

  • Children and Families Bill – providing for a range of legislative change including to the operation of the family justice system, childcare, adoption and children in care and providing for a single system for special educational needs.
  • Energy Bill - encouraging low carbon electricity generation, ensuring security of supply and providing consumer redress. .

Draft Bills which are or have been subject to pre-legislative scrutiny

The fact that a Bill has been subjected to pre-legislative scrutiny does not automatically mean it will be introduced in the next session or even taken forward at all. Though these draft Bills are a useful starting point to consider what legislation might be taken forward in the next session

The draft bills which are or have been subjected to pre-legislative scrutiny but which have yet to be formally introduced in the current session:

  • Anti-Social Behaviour Draft Bill - providing measures to focus the response to anti-social behaviour on the needs of victims including the right to require agencies to deal with persistent anti-social behaviour and giving victims a say in the punishment of offenders out of court.
  • Care and Support Draft Bill –providing for a single legal framework including duties expected of local authorities on the assessment of need, funding and the provision of services together with the rights to be expected by service users and their carers.
  • Local Audit Draft Bill - providing for a new local audit framework where local public bodies will be able to appoint their own auditors from the open market. It will also abolish the Audit Commission.
  • Pensions Draft Bill - introduces a single-tier pension which will, for future pensioners, replace the current two-component State Pension (basic State Pension and additional State Pension). .

These draft Bills have only recently been published so they are unlikely to feature in the speech, though depending on their progress, this does not mean they could not be formally introduced later in the session:.

Possible new legislation

The Government has made a number of announcements on its intention to bring forward primary legislation. As is the convention they do not specify when this might happen. So what is set out below should be considered as a long-list from which a legislation programme may be drawn including draft legislation. We have presented these measures by department for convenience. This holds no significance.

Cabinet Office

  • A statutory lobbying register – a long standing commitment, following consultationlast July, it was expected there would be a White Paper and a draft Bill during the current session of Parliament. Recently Nick Clegg told Parliament that legislation would be published "in due course”, but other indications are this measure may not feature.
  • Co-operatives - David Cameron announced in January 2012 a new bill to consolidate and simplify the current legislation. While no date was given for this the Law Commission business plan indicates that at least draft legislation may be possible sometime in the next session.
  • Parliamentary Privilege - A joint committee from both Houses is set to report on a Government Green paper and draft clauses to clarify the extent to which MPs can use parliamentary privilege to defend themselves and prevent its misuse by MPs accused of serious wrongdoing.
  • Power to Recall MPs - Pre-legislative scrutiny has already been undertaken in the previous Parliamentary session on draft legislation which would allow voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing.  The Coalition’s mid-term review confirmed its intention to bring forward legislation; though recent comments from Nick Clegg stopped short of a guarantee that it happen in the next session.
  • Public Service Choice - Last July’s Open Public Services update launched a call for evidence on a legislative proposal to provide a ‘right to choose’. A recently published Government commissioned independent review has provided more specific proposals; a response is awaited, with a firm legislative proposal seeming to be some way off.

Communities and Local Government

  • Anti-Social Behaviour of tenants - to make it easier to evict tenants (social or private) if they have been involved in criminal behaviour away from their homes, at a scene of a riot. If taken forward this is likely to be within a Home Office Bill.
  • Community Events - possible reintroduce legislation, following an unsuccessful private members bill, to allow the public to hold councils to account for cancellation or banning of events on health and safety grounds. This may be reintroduced as a ‘hand out’ bill for a private member bill.
  • Local economic growth - enabling local authorities to create combined authorities and ensuring that the existing legislation is fit for purpose for local authorities to promote economic growth, as promised in the response to Lord Heseltine’s report on growth

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

  • Flood Insurance – Ministers have told Parliament that some form of primary legislation may be required to implement whatever solution they come up with to replace the current agreement with the insurance sector, which ends in June and guides the provision of flood insurance, making sure it is affordable. This includes adding clauses to the Water Bill (see before).  

Home Affairs

  • Immigration, Welfare and Public Services – David Cameron has recently announced a range of measures to curb immigrants’ access to benefits, free health care and housing. It is unclear to what extent all these measures will require primary legislation.
  • Independent Police Complaints Commission - extending the remit and the IPCC’s powers, so, for example, that it is able to investigate private sector companies working for the police and other matters.
  • Minimum unit price for alcohol - though not formally confirmed, it was recently been widely reported in the press that the Government has dropped these plans. A Government statement in response was ambiguous whether legislation will be taken forward.


  • Freedom of Information Act 2000 – the Government has said it will make changes to improve the operation of the Act including giving the Information Commissioner more time to prosecute alleged offences and introducing a dedicated exemption for pre-publication research.   

This briefing can  be viewed  in full  on  LGiU's briefing site or downloaded as a PDF.

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