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The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, the Scottish local authorities may lay themselves open to being charged with overspending because of the generous local authority settlement that they have received from my right honourable friend the Secretary of State.

However, underlying many of the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, is the assumption with which we agree: that it is good practice for education authorities to give appropriate consideration to safety issues when considering whether or not it is necessary to make school transport arrangements in respect of an individual pupil. That is exactly what many education authorities do. Therefore, the addition of the amendment to the face of the Bill will not impose any new burden on them because we are simply formalising a practice already followed.

However, where local authorities are failing to follow this good practice, additional costs would be involved. But we would simply be asking those local authorities which are failing to take safety into account when organising the transport of pupils in their area to do so. In that instance, we believe that it is a justifiable additional burden which should fall to local authorities, given that it is good practice that the consideration of safety should be taken into account.

The noble Lord made some other points which went much wider than the amendment with which we deal at present. The view of my honourable friend the Minister for Education at the Scottish Office is that this amendment is a very specific amendment on this one subject. It does not seek to deal with the wider implications that the noble Lord raised.

Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, could he in any way quantify the additional costs that he suggested might be involved? They will be important to local authorities. Can he give us a percentage or a rough idea of whether they are

17 Jul 1996 : Column 986

excessive? How do the Government intend to reimburse local authorities for something which has been caused by the Government, with the best of intentions, when they changed the rules in the middle of the game?

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, our view is, first, that it is impossible to quantify the costs that a local authority may take on when it considers safety in the provision of transport for its pupils. Circumstances vary dramatically between areas and schools. We have deliberately introduced considerable flexibility into the amendments so that the widely diverse circumstances can be taken into account by each school, police force and the parents who will be involved in such situations.

The essential point is that any good local authority will, as a matter of good practice, already take into account the safety of pupils when deciding whether to offer transport. Therefore, for the authority there is no additional cost.

Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his explanation which I will read in Hansard. It is rather late in the day to believe that anything else can be done with the Bill, so I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 11.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

12

Schedule 5, page 30, line 24, at end insert--


'. After section 13(3) of the Self-Governing Schools etc. (Scotland) Act 1989 (eligibility for self-governing status) there shall be inserted the following subsections--
"(3A) Without prejudice to subsection (3) above, where an education authority makes a proposal to discontinue a school by virtue of section 22A of the 1980 Act, no resolution shall be passed or request made under subsection (1) above during the relevant period.
(3B) The relevant period is whichever is the shorter of the period from the date when the education authority decides to consult persons in accordance with section 22A of the 1980 Act to the date the decision to discontinue the school is reached or--
(a) where no consent is required under section 22B, 22C or 22D of the 1980 Act as regards the decision to discontinue the school, three months later;
(b) where consent of the Secretary of State is so required, six months later.".'.

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 12. This amendment limits the use of procedures for schools to seek self-governing status by school boards or parents simply to block school closures proposed by an education authority.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 12.--(The Earl of Lindsay.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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Deer (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill [H.L.]

11.7 p.m.

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons amendments be now considered.

Moved, That the Commons amendments be now considered.--(The Earl of Lindsay.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS
[The page and line refer to Bill (101) as first printed by the Commons.]
COMMONS AMENDMENT

1

Clause 10, page 9, line 41, at end insert 'and'.

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1. In doing so, I wish to speak also to Amendments Nos. 2 to 15. The amendments are all technical or minor in nature. There is a group of amendments designed to regulate the coming into force of the Act and to ensure a smooth transition to the consolidated Act. The remaining amendments represent minor changes to the Bill or small corrections. I commend the amendment.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1.--(The Earl of Lindsay.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

2

Clause 10, page 9, line 42, leave out from 'validity' to end of line 47 and insert--


'(8A) No authorisation shall be granted under subsection (2) or (3) above unless a code has been published under subsection (10) below, and any such authorisation shall contain a condition that the person concerned shall comply with the relevant provisions of any such code.'.
3

Page 10, line 2, leave out 'subsection (8)(c)' and insert 'subsection (8A)'


4

Page 10, line 10, at end insert--


'(2) Where on the commencement of this section a code has been published under section 33(4D) of the principal Act, that code shall be treated, after that commencement, as if it had been published under section 33A(10)(a) of that Act.
(3) Until a code is published under section 33(10)(b) of the principal Act (which is inserted by subsection (1) above), section 23(3A) of that Act shall have effect as if for the word "any", in the second place where it occurs, there is substituted the word "unenclosed".'.
5

Clause 11, page 10, line 20, at end insert--


'(bb) section 25AA;'.
6

Clause 12, page 11, line 13, leave out ', in relation to woodland,'.


7

Clause 14, page 12, line 11, leave out from 'force' to end of line 13 and insert 'at the end of the period of three months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed'.


8

Page 12, line 13, at end insert--


'(2A) Until an order in relation to red deer stags and hinds is made under section 21 of the principal Act (close seasons), as substituted by section 8 of this Act, the period for the purposes of subsection (1) of the said section 21 for--
(a) such stags shall be the period commencing on the twenty-first day of October and ending on the thirtieth day of June; and

17 Jul 1996 : Column 988


(b) such hinds shall be the period commencing on the sixteenth day of February and ending on the twentieth day of October.'.
9

Page 12, line 18, leave out subsection (4).


10

Schedule 1, page 13, line 14, after 'each";' insert '; and


(iii) after the word "been" there shall be inserted the words "taken or";'.
11

Page 16, line 19, after 'enclosed' insert 'or unenclosed'.


12

Page 16, line 22, leave out 'shot' and insert 'taken or killed by him or by any person, other than the owner or his servants in ordinary service, authorised or nominated by him under or'.


13

Page 17, line 3, at end insert--

'The Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948 (c.45)

.--(1) The Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948 shall be amended as follows.
(2) In section 39 (control of injurious animals), after subsection (3) there shall be inserted the following subsection--
"(3A) In subsection (3) above "deer" means any species of deer which is not included in the definition of "deer" in section 35A of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1959 (interpretation).".'.
(3) After section 42 there shall be inserted the following section--
"Meaning of "animals" for purposes of section 40 to 42.

. In sections 40 to 42 of this Act "animals" does not include any species of deer which is included in the definition of "deer" in section 35A of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1959 (interpretation).".'.
14

Schedule 2, page 17, leave out lines 25 to 27.


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