Bills unveiled in the Queen's Speech 2016

THE Queen's Speech 2016 had very few surprises, steering clear of controversy and focusing on uniting the Conservative Party after the June 23 referendum.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh leave the House of Lords following her speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London in 2015. Alastair Grant/PA Wire

Relatively uncontroversial, there is little in the legislative agenda likely to spark a back-bench Tory rebellion or much protest from Labour over the next 12 months.

A move towards greater bus regulation to make journeys easier for passengers, a legal responsibility to roll out fast speed broadband and planning changes will be of interest for those in Yorkshire.

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The Government also made a renewed committment to the Northern Powerhouse.

However for those after something lighter, legislation will be put in place to build the UK’s first spaceport and to look into putting driverless cars onto the roads.

Digital Economy Bill

Giving every house the legal right to a fast broadband connection with a minimum speed of 10 mbps.

Simpler planning rules for broadband infrastructure.

A new right for compensation when things go wrong with broadband connection.

Modern Transport Bill

New law to develop driverless cars and the first spaceports for commercial space flights.

Local Growth and Jobs Bill

As already announced, allow local authorities to retain 100% of business rates.

Better Markets Bill

Open up markets and boost competition in the energy market and to make switching providers for a range of services easier.

Pensions Bill

Removing barriers for consumers who want to access their pension savings flexibly.

Providing Master Trusts - multi-employer pension schemes often provided by external organisations.

Children and Social Work Bill

Elements of this Bill have already been announced. Its overall drive is to quicken up the adoption process and support for those leaving care with the Care Leavers Covenant.

Bus Services Bill

Give elected mayors and transport authorities the power to improve bus services.

Mayoral combined authorities would be given London-style powers to franchise local services.

Education for All Bill

After the Education Secretary’s climb down over making all schools academies, this Bill focuses instead on converting those in the worst performing academies.

Fairer funding for rural schools.

Higher Education and Research Bill

Allowing universities to charge more than £9000 a year if they excell in teaching. Permitting “challenger” institutions from the world of big business to set up academic courses.

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill

Measures to speed up the planning process by minimising delays caused by pre-commencement planning conditions.

Establish the independent National Infrastructure Commission.

Prison and Courts Reform Bill

New powers for prison governors to give them unprecedented control over prison management.

Criminal Finances Bill

UK wants to lead the fight in international corruption by making it a criminal offence for corporations that fail to stop staff facilitating tax evasion.

Policing and Crime Bill

Stronger oversight for PCCs resolving local complaints.


Legislation to charge overseas visitors for treatment.

Bill of Rights

Proposals will be brought forward for a British Bill of Rights. This will deliver on the Government’s manifesto pledge to introduce a British Bill of Rights and reform human rights law.