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Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois to introduce bill on penalties for overrunning roadworks

05 Feb Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois to introduce bill on penalties for overrunning roadworks

Mark Francois has announced he will be introducing a bill on penalties for overrunning roadworks after being successfully drawn in the Private Member’s Bill ballot.

Twenty lucky MPs were drawn in the ballot which took place in January, and these MPs have spent the past few weeks deciding on which topic they wish to introduce legislation.

Mark Francois was drawn ninth in the ballot and the bill will be the Control of Roadworks Bill.

It is up to the Member to decide on the Bill’s topic, and Commons clerks may offer advice on drafting.

13 Fridays in each Parliamentary session are allocated to debating these Bills, although they will need to go through all legislative stages in both Houses of Parliament before they can become law.

A list of the Fridays set aside for debating Private Member’s Bills is available here.

Priority on debating time is given to those MPs who have appeared near the top of the ballot, although all twenty bills will formally appear on the House of Commons order paper.

For a bill to become law (officially known as an Act of Parliament), the following stages – which usually take place over a number of weeks – apply:

  • First Reading (the formal presentation of a Bill, no debate)
  • Second Reading (a debate on the general principles of the Bill, and a vote on whether the Bill should progress any further)
  • Committee stage (a chance for a cross-party group of MPs to give line-by-line scrutiny of the Bill, and a chance for MPs to table amendments)
  • Report Stage (a further chance for MPs to amend the Bill and to debate any changes made at Committee stage)
  • Third Reading (a final – and usually quite short – debate on the Bill’s general principles)

Once it has gone through these stages in the House of Commons, the process is repeated in the House of Lords. Both Houses must come to an agreement before Royal Assent is granted – this is the formal process of a Bill becoming an Act of Parliament.