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COMMONS AMENDMENT

95

Clause 118, page 66, line 16, leave out 'such' and insert 'the bodies representative of architects which are incorporated by royal charter and such other'.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 95. It may be convenient at the same time if we consider Amendments Nos. 96 to 104, Amendments Nos. 126 to 128 and Amendments Nos. 130 to 132. Amendment No. 95 would add the specific requirement for the new Architects Registration Board to consult bodies of chartered architects--and this means the Royal Institute of British Architects and its equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland--before prescribing qualifications and experience needed for entry to the register of architects. The Bill as drafted already implies this. It requires the board to consult such professional and educational bodies as it thinks appropriate. Our view is that it would be unreasonable for the board to fail to consult the chartered bodies including the RIBA, which is the professional organisation to which 70 per cent. of architects belong. Clearly, it would be right for it to consult the bodies that it thought appropriate in respect of the remaining 30 per cent. of architects.

Nevertheless, this amendment aims to reassure the RIBA that it will continue to have a major input in the setting of prescribed qualifications by putting on the face of the Bill the requirement to consult it. We

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recognise that the RIBA plays a predominant role in architectural education and we do not wish the board to duplicate that role. But, at the same time, we must preserve the right of the board to determine the qualifications and experience necessary for registration as an architect. We believe that Amendment No. 95 strikes the right balance between recognising the RIBA's role and ensuring that the board can carry out its duties properly.

I turn to Amendments Nos. 96 to 103 and Amendment No. 128. Clause 119 creates the new disciplinary offence of professional incompetence and replaces the existing offence of disgraceful conduct with unacceptable professional conduct. It increases the level of protection given to the public by making bad work as well as bad behaviour a disciplinary offence. These amendments add the word "serious" before "professional incompetence". We have accepted the concerns of the profession that otherwise we may face the risk, albeit a small one, of trivial or vexatious allegations being made.

Amendment No. 104 and Amendments Nos. 130 to 132 bring the maximum penalty for practising under the title "architect", while not registered applicable in Northern Ireland, into line with that for the rest of the United Kingdom; namely, level 4 on the standard scale. Amendments Nos. 126 and 127 remove uncertainty and bring the drafting up to date. They have no other effect. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 95.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

96

Clause 119, page 68, line 6, after '(b)' insert 'serious'.


97

Page 68, line 17, after 'or' insert 'serious'.


98

Page 68, line 20, after 'or' insert 'serious'.


99

Page 68, line 33, at end insert 'serious'.


100

Page 68, line 41, at end insert 'serious'.


101

Page 69, line 12, after 'or' insert 'serious'.


102

Page 69, line 20, at end insert 'serious'.


103

Clause 120, page 70, line 44, after 'or' insert 'serious'.


104

Clause 121, page 71, line 16, leave out from 'registered),' to end of line 17 and insert 'for the words from "to a fine" to "therefor:" substitute "to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale:".'.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 96 to 104, to which I have already spoken.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 96 to 104--(Lord Lucas.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

23 Jul 1996 : Column 1353

COMMONS AMENDMENT

105

After Clause 127, insert the following new clause--

Regeneration and development: Welsh Development Agency

'.--(1) In the Welsh Development Agency Act 1975, after section 10 insert--
"Financial assistance for regeneration and development.

10A.--(1) The Secretary of State may appoint the Agency to act as his agent in connection with such of his functions mentioned in subsection (2) below as he may specify.
(2) The functions are--
(a) functions under sections 126 to 128 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (financial assistance for regeneration and development), so far as they relate to--
(i) financial assistance which the Agency has power to give apart from this section; or
(ii) financial assistance given under that Act in pursuance of an agreement entered into by the Secretary of State for Wales before the coming into force of this section, or
(b) functions of the Secretary of State in relation to financial assistance given by the Secretary of State for Wales under sections 27 to 29 of the Housing and Planning Act 1986.
(3) An appointment under this section shall be on such terms as the Secretary of State, with the approval of the Treasury, may specify; and the Agency shall act under the appointment in accordance with those terms.
(4) The Agency's powers in relation to functions under an appointment under this section include the powers it has in relation to functions under subsection (3) of section 1 by virtue of subsections (6) and (7) of that section."
(2) In section 2(8) of that Act, after "declared that" insert ", except as provided by section 10A below,".'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 105. I should like to speak at the same time to Amendment No. 115. Amendment No. 105 inserts a new clause after Clause 127 in Part IV of the Bill. It allows the Secretary of State for Wales to appoint the Welsh Development Agency to act as his agent in Wales, first, on regeneration and development issues--where these functions fall within the Welsh Development Agency's powers--and, secondly, on the administration of urban investment grant agreements. This mirrors the powers which the Secretary of State for the Environment has already used to appoint English Partnerships as his agent for regeneration in England. Amendment No. 115 is consequential and will bring the new clause into force the usual two months after Royal Assent.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 105.--(Earl Ferrers.)

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, we have no disagreement with the Commons amendment. I should like to make one small point that I hope the Minister will bring to the attention of his right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales. I must report that the Welsh Development Agency does not have a very good record for paying its bills. Having said that, I very much hope that the noble Earl will pass on that remark to his

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right honourable friend. On numerous occasions in Wales the WDA has not paid its bills on time. I hope that that will cease as of now.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, if the Welsh Development Agency reads Hansard the practice will probably cease. I will ensure that the observations of the noble Lord are passed on to the appropriate quarter.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

106

Clause 129, page 74, line 21, at end insert--


'and regulations made under paragraph (c) may provide for particular questions arising under the regulations to be determined by the authority.'

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 106. I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 107 to 109. The purpose behind these minor amendments is to increase the flexibility of the relocation grant provisions and to bring them more into line with the provisions for renovation grants.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 106.--(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

107

Clause 131, page 76, line 13, leave out 'in the same area a dwelling of the same type' and insert 'a comparable dwelling in the same area'.


108

Page 76, line 33, at end insert--


'(8A) Regulations may make provision requiring any information or evidence needed for the determination of any matter under this section to be furnished by such person as may be prescribed.'
109

Clause 132, page 77, line 13, at end insert--


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