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Last edited 13 May 2022
Queens Speech 2022
 Background and Introduction
In May 2022, for the first time, Prince Charles stood in for the Queen to open the new session of Parliament, due to her mobility issues. He gave her speech outlining her government's priorities, to mark the opening of Parliament. This included all the traditional ceremony, with Black Rod, representing the Monarchy being shut out from Parliament, an expression of the independence of Government in decision making.
This year's speech listed 38 new Bills, a very high number in comparison to previous years. Below is prioritised look at the Bills in in terms of their relevance to the construction industry, with a short description of some, followed by comments from leading industry partners.
For a full description of each Bill please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2022
 Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill
|“A bill will be brought forward to drive local growth, empowering local leaders to regenerate their areas, and ensuring everyone can share in the United Kingdom’s success. The planning system will be reformed to give residents more involvement in local development.” To “lay the foundations” for all of England to benefit from a devolution deal by 2030 and give local leaders greater power.|
- A new model of combined authority - a ‘County Deal’; local leader powers to enhance local accountability, 'join up services and provide transparent decision making to rejuvenate communities, increase the ability to reflect local preferences including directly elected leaders’ titles. A duty on the government to set Levelling Up missions and produce an annual report updating delivery of these missions.
- Strengthen neighbourhood planning, make it easier for local authorities to get local plans in place, digitise the system to make them easier to find, understand and engage with, and to limit speculative development. Simplifying and standardising the processes for local plans to be produced more quickly and easier for communities to influence, giving residents more of a say over changing street names.
- New powers for local authorities to bring empty premises back into use instigate rental auctions of vacant commercial properties. A new approach to environmental assessment in planning and a locally set, non-negotiable levy to deliver housing schools, and infrastructure (replacing Section 106).
|“My Government will introduce legislation to improve the regulation of social housing to strengthen the rights of tenants and ensure better quality, safer homes.”|
- Increase social housing tenants’ rights to better homes and enhance their ability to hold their landlords to account, addressing concerns that the Grenfell Tower fire raised.
- Enable a regulator to intervene with landlords performing poorly on consumer issues, and inspect landlords to make sure they provide tenants with quality accommodation and services. New tenant Satisfaction Measures to allow tenants to see comparative landlord performance, and enable requests for information from landlords.
- 48 hours notice to a landlord before a survey is carried out, powers to arrange emergency repairs of tenants’ homes following a survey, and where there is evidence of systemic failure by the landlord. This is to ensure serious issues are resolved rapidly where a landlord is unable or unwilling to act. There will be no cap on the fines that the Regulator can issue to a landlord who fails to meet required standards.
- Applying a legally binding Decent Homes Standard in the Private Rented Sector for the first time, giving tenants safer, better quality, and better value homes.
- Abolish so-called ‘no fault’ evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, for tenant security in the private rented sector, empowering challenges to poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of retaliatory eviction.
- Reform possession grounds for landlords, introducing new and stronger grounds for repeated incidences of rent arrears, and reducing notice periods for anti-social behaviour, ensuring they can regain their property efficiently when needed.
- Introduce a new ombudsman for private landlords so disputes can be resolved without court, ensuring landlords take action in response to complaints.
- Introduce a new property portal to help landlords understand obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account as well as aiding local authorities.
 Infrastructure and services
|“My Ministers will bring forward an Energy Bill to deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy. This will build on the success of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year.”|
- Deliver on commitments published in the British Energy Security Strategy and Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, to build a more secure, homegrown, cleaner, more affordable energy system. Attract investment whilst maintaining safe and secure energy supply, helping to protect consumers against global price fluctuations and unfair pricing via the energy price cap.
- New regulator for heat networks sector and a new pro-innovation regulatory environment for fusion energy.
- Develop the first large-scale hydrogen heating trial, and introduce state-of-the-art business models for carbon capture usage, transport and storage.
- Introduce competition to onshore electricity networks, support low-carbon energy systems and reduce gas dependence providing new, skilled jobs.
|“My Government will establish the UK Infrastructure Bank in legislation, with objectives to support economic growth and the delivery of net zero.”|
- Create a UK Infrastructure Bank with clear objectives to support regional and local economic growth and deliver net zero, with a full range of spending and lending powers, a £22 billion financial capacity with £18 billion more via the private sector. Operational independence by setting out clear accountability for how it is to be run, including reporting and board requirements.
|“My Government will improve transport across the United Kingdom, delivering safer, cleaner services and enabling more innovations. Legislation will be introduced to modernise rail services and improve reliability for passengers.”|
- Provide a new body, Great British Railways, with powers to act as the single national leader of the railways, with clear lines of accountability and joined-up leadership for a customer-focused railway. Transfer contracting powers for passenger services to Great British Railways, expand private sector role under the new model, improve accessibility and promote open data.
- Introduce new laws to safely enable self-driving and remotely operated vehicles and vessels, supporting the roll-out of electric vehicle charge points, and enabling the licensing of London pedicabs.
- Provide the powers to build and operate the next stage of the High Speed Two (HS2) network between Crewe and Manchester.
|“New legislation will strengthen the United Kingdom’s financial services industry, ensuring that it continues to act in the interest of all people and communities”.|
- Revoke retained EU law on financial services and replace it with an approach designed for the UK. Update the objectives of the financial services regulators to ensure a greater focus on growth and international competitiveness.
- Reforming rules that regulate the UK’s capital markets to promote investment. Ensuring that people across the UK continue to be able to access their own cash with ease. Introducing additional protections for those investing or using financial products, to make it safer and support the victims of scams.
- Increasing the competitiveness and efficiencies of UK businesses by reducing burdens, for example by creating a data protection framework that is focused on privacy outcomes rather than box-ticking.
- Make sure that data can be used to empower citizens and improve their lives, via more effective delivery of public healthcare, security, and government services.
- Create a clearer regulatory environment for personal data use that will fuel responsible innovation and drive scientific progress. Ensure the regulator takes appropriate action against organisations who breach data rights and that citizens have greater clarity on their rights.
- Simplifying the rules around research to cement the UK’s position as a science and technology superpower.
- Ensure UK citizens’ personal data is protected to a gold standard while enabling public bodies to share data to improve the delivery of services. Use data and reform regulations to improve everyday life, for example, by enabling data to be shared more efficiently between public bodies, so that delivery of services can be improved for people. Designing a more flexible, outcomes-focused approach to data protection that helps create a culture of data protection, rather than “tick box” exercises.
|“Reforms to education will help every child fulfil their potential wherever they live, raising standards and improving the quality of schools and higher education.”|
- Strengthen regulatory framework for academy trusts, establishing new statutory standards to support schools in trusts to level up standards. Support more schools to become academies in strong trusts by removing barriers to conversion for faith and grammar schools where requested by local authorities
- Implementing a direct National Funding Formula, so each mainstream school will be allocated funding on the same basis. Support the ambition for 90 percent of primary school children to achieve the expected standards in reading, writing, and maths by 2030.
- Duty on local authorities to provide home education support, improve safeguards by expanding registration requirements for independent institutions, work with Ofsted to expand investigatory powers, and strengthen teacher misconduct regime. Strengthen school attendance, and provide tools to improve safeguarding for children wherever they are educated, including through ‘children not in school’ registers.
|“Reforms to education will help every child fulfil their potential wherever they live, raising standards and improving the quality of schools and higher education.”|
- Enable the introduction of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement, a new and flexible way of providing loan support for post-18 study. This will provide individuals with a loan entitlement equivalent to four years of post-18 education (£37,000 in today’s fees) that they can use over their lifetime for a wider range of studies, including shorter and technical courses.
- Fulfill manifesto commitment to tackle uncontrolled growth of low-quality courses, ensuring appropriate fee limits can be applied more flexibly to higher education study within the Lifelong Loan Entitlement and effectively regulated.
- Shorten business rates revaluation cycle from five to three years from 2023, improve valuation accuracy and timeliness with new duties on ratepayers, and measures to support compliance.
- Give power for Valuation Office Agency to provide ratepayers with information on the calculation of rateable value. Tighten appeals against rates on the basis of changing circumstances, building on recent legislation and £1.5 billion pandemic support fund by future-proofing business rates against further shocks.
- Introduce new 12-month carbon heat networks that are assessed as separate entities for business rates.
 Trade and Procurement
|“Public sector procurement will be simplified to provide new opportunities for small businesses.”|
- Enshrine in law the objectives of public procurement including: delivering value for money, maximising public benefit, treating suppliers equally and without discrimination, acting, and being seen to act, with integrity.
- Require buyers to have regard to strategic priorities for public procurement as set out in the National Procurement Policy Statement. Introduce new, clearer arrangements for how contracting authorities can buy at pace if necessary to protect life or health, public order or safety, with strengthened safeguards for transparency.
- Tackle unacceptable behaviour and poor performance through new exclusion rules and give buyers the tools they need to properly take account of a bidder’s past performance. Providing a number of sector-specific features where necessary, including tailored rules to better suit defence and security procurement in order to protect our national interests. Reform the Single Source Contract Regulations to ensure we continue to pay fair prices on single-source defence contracts while providing value for money.
|“My Government will continue to champion international trade, delivering jobs across the country and growing the economy. Legislation will be introduced to enable the implementation of the United Kingdom’s first new Free Trade Agreements since leaving the European Union.”|
- Provide the power to make changes to UK procurement regulations to implement the obligations in the Government Procurement chapters of the Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreements.
- Strengthen protection and support for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, and increase accountability of companies and organisations to drive out modern slavery from their supply chains.
- Mandate reporting areas in modern slavery statements published on a government-run registry, extended to public bodies, introducing civil penalties for organisations that do not comply. Strengthen Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders and Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders, to prevent and disrupt modern slavery crimes, better protect victims, backed up by criminal sanctions.
|“Legislation will prevent public bodies engaging in boycotts that undermine community cohesion.”|
- Empower Government to ban public bodies already subject to public procurement rules from conducting their own boycott campaigns against foreign countries or territories. Stopping public bodies from taking a different approach to the UK Government on sanctions and foreign relations. This includes preventing public institutions from carrying out independent boycotts, divestments, and sanctions against, foreign countries and/or territories, or those linked to them, the sale of goods and services from foreign countries or territories, and UK firms which trade with such countries or territories, where such an approach is not in line with UK Government sanctions.
 Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill
|“A bill will be brought forward to further strengthen powers to tackle illicit finance, reduce economic crime and help businesses grow.”|
- Broaden the Registrar of Companies’ powers to become a more active gatekeeper and custodian of more reliable data, including powers to check, remove or decline information submitted to, or already on, the Company Register. Introducing identity verification for people who manage, own, and control companies and other UK registered entities. This will improve the accuracy of Companies House data, support business decisions and law enforcement investigations.
- Providing Companies House with more effective investigation and enforcement powers and introducing better cross-checking of data with other public and private sector bodies. Tackle the abuse of limited partnerships (including Scottish Limited Partnerships), by strengthening transparency requirements and enabling them to be properly wound up. Create powers to more quickly and easily seize and recover crypto assets, which are the principal medium used for ransomware. The creation of a civil forfeiture power will mitigate the risk posed by those who cannot be criminally prosecuted but use their funds to further criminality. Enable businesses in the financial sector to share information more effectively to prevent and detect economic crime.
 Comments from the Industry
Leading electrotechnical and engineering services body ECA has welcomed today’s Queen’s Speech, which outlined several new pieces of legislation to deliver cleaner energy, safer homes, and higher standards for skills and education.
It was announced in the Queen’s Speech that the Government will introduce:
- an Energy Bill to deliver cheaper, cleaner, more secure energy;
- a UK Infrastructure Bank, to support the growth and delivery of Net Zero solutions;
- a Higher Education Bill to introduce a Lifelong Loan Entitlement for adults wishing to retrain or upskill;
- a simplified procurement process to provide new opportunities for small businesses; and
- new legislation to improve the regulation of social housing, to strengthen the rights of tenants and ensure better quality, safer homes.
“Today’s speech showed a commitment to delivering Net Zero along with a recognition of the vital importance of better technical education and skills. We hope to see this promise realised in a tranche of new funding and support for industry-endorsed training to deliver the EV charge points, solar panels, heat pumps and battery storage systems that will place the UK in pole position in the race to Net Zero carbon.”
ECA Director of Legal and Business Rob Driscoll said:
“In leading Cabinet Office’s SME Advisory Group on payment, ECA has worked hard with Government to design a post-Brexit environment allowing for simplified procurement. The announcement in today’s speech should lay the ground for establishing UK procurement processes which embrace and unlock the potential of SME contractors as Government seeks to build back better.”
Mike Smith, ECA Technical Director, said:
“ECA and our industry partners have fought hard (and sometimes uphill) to improve the safety of people’s homes. While the recent Building Safety Act has brought us closer to our goal, today’s announcement should help provide a more uniform approach to electrical safety in social housing, including high rise residential buildings like Grenfell Tower. We expect further legislation to highlight competency as a key factor in making homes safer for residents, and we will be keeping a very close eye on developments to make sure that is the case.”
This response was issued as a general ECA press release on May 10.
 ICE response on the Queen's speech
Chris Richards, Director of Policy at the Institution of Civil Engineers said: "The Queen's Speech today contained several ambitious and necessary proposals relevant to infrastructure, pushing forward urgent programs including levelling-up, planning, energy system reform and setting up a new infrastructure bank. The Bills in this Parliamentary session offer an ideal moment for MPs and Ministers to enable the infrastructure system to play its fundamental role in addressing the pressing issues of climate change and sustainable development. Examining the need for natural capital to be included in the definition of infrastructure, as well as the role a single national policy statement could play in speeding up the planning for new infrastructure, are just two future focused challenges we would expect to see MPs take decisions on."
This response appears on the ICE website dated May 10.
 APM’s response to the Queen’s speech
Association for Project Management (APM) has challenged the UK Government to harness the power of projects for social and economic benefit, following the Queen’s speech: the State Opening of Parliament.
The announcement of the new Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill has put the regeneration of the UK’s high street in the spotlight, but APM has urged the Government to also deliver the infrastructure, technology, communication and transport projects – among others – that will enable it to achieve its levelling up ‘missions’ by 2030. APM is also urging the Government not to miss the opportunity of the link between levelling up and sustainability, but to use the momentum of the recent COP26 climate change conference to level up in a sustainable way, to support net zero commitments.
Speaking after The Queen’s speech, Andrew Baldwin, Head of Public Affairs at APM, said: “There are clear benefits to regenerating the UK’s high streets, but it’s only part of the picture. It’s important that levelling up investment is not compromised for the many other projects that are needed to tackle economic inequality. The recent National Infrastructure Commission warning that parts of the National Infrastructure Strategy are in danger of slipping demonstrates why we need renewed Government focus here.
“Other noteworthy project-related announcements in the speech included new legislation to set up the UK Infrastructure Bank, a body designed to increase financing of infrastructure projects; an energy security bill to deliver the commitments in the British Energy Security Strategy and the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution; and new powers to build and operate the next stage of the HS2 high-speed rail line.
“It’s good to see so much new legislation linked to projects. But it’s important to remember however that legislation itself will not deliver these projects, which are so vital to the levelling up agenda. A strong vision, a clear delivery roadmap and a project-centric approach are needed to make levelling up succeed. We’re committed to working with the Government, businesses and the wider project community to support delivery of the projects that will change people’s lives for the better.
This response appears on the APM website dated May 10.
- Media Bill
- Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill
- Electronic Trade Documents Bill
- Brexit Freedoms Bill
- Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill
- Harbours (Seafarers’ Remuneration) Bill
- Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill
- Public Order Bill
- National Security Bill
- Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
- Identity and Language (Northern Ireland) Bill
- Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill
- Conversion Therapy Bill
- Independent Football Regulator
- Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
- Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill
- Online Safety Bill
- Draft Audit Reform Bill
- Draft Victims Bill
- Draft Protect Duty Bill
- Draft Mental Health Act Reform Bill
- Queen's Speech 2021.
- Queen's Speech 2019.
- Queen's Speech 2015.
- Aligning net zero with the levelling-up agenda.
- Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
- Government departments responsibility for construction.
- Government publishes UK infrastructure strategy.
- Levelling up.
- Levelling up the infrastructure agenda.
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