Government considers supporting Daylight Savings Bill

Published on Friday, 28 October 2011 09:30
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Government is to consider supporting the Daylight Savings Private Members Bill which could eventually mean the advancing of time by one hour throughout the year across the country for a trial period, but only if there is UK wide consensus The Government is seeking amendments to the Bill, at the forthcoming Committee stage in the House of Commons, expected in early November. The Bill will need to be passed by both Houses by the end of the first session of Parliament, which ends in April 2012.

The most notable of these amendments will be to require the Secretary of State to consult the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales and to obtain the agreement of the devolved administration in Northern Ireland to any proposed trial. The Government would not, however, expect to introduce a trial if there was clear opposition in any part of the UK.

The Bill as drafted would require a review of the potential costs and benefits of advancing the clocks by one hour. It would then require the Secretary of State to bring forward legislation in Parliament to implement a trial advancement of the clocks by one hour, if a new Independent Commission concluded, in the light of the evidence, that this would be beneficial. Any trial would then last three years.

Further amendments to be tabled include changing the Independent Commission to an Independent Oversight Group who would advise the Secretary of State on the preparation of any report.

Business Minister Edward Davey said:

This is an issue which affects everyone across the country so we cannot rush head first into this. As the Prime Minister has made clear we would need consensus from the devolved administrations if any change were to take place. We have therefore tabled amendments to the current Bill to make sure that it addresses these concerns.

“It is only right that we at least look at what the potential economic and social benefits of any change might be. Lower road deaths, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved health have all been argued over the years as possible benefits. If there is strong evidence to support this then we should at least see what the possible benefits are.”

 

This year, British Summer Time (BST) will end on Sunday 30 October at 2.00 am GMT throughout European Union Member States. The clocks go back giving an extra hour. This means that at 2.00 am (British Summer Time) the UK will move to 1.00 am GMT.

Source: BIS

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