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Viscount Colville of Culross: Before the noble Lord sits down, does he agree that the Broads Authority is

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also a by-law making body? If that is right, does the noble Lord agree that the by-laws that it makes about the way in which boats are used on the broads and in the harbours at Lowestoft and Yarmouth can be extremely relevant to a strategy and may very well be a matter that should be considered, quite apart from the planning functions of that authority?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I am obliged once again to the noble Viscount for that observation. When I spoke of planning obligations I put the umbrella rather too crudely. The noble Viscount is right that by-laws provide useful assistance. Any responsible authority in considering passing by-laws must pay attention to the question of crime in particular parts of its area, whether it be the Broads Authority or a planning authority in the case of the national parks. For that reason I repeat that in most cases this is not as central a matter as a district council's responsibilities but it is of use and importance. I hope that I have responded reasonably to the tease that has been offered.

Lord Northbourne: I welcome the inclusion of the Broads Authority and the parks authorities. It seems to me that the increase in crime and disorder in the countryside is particularly likely to take place in areas where there are lots of tourists. I would have thought that this was an entirely sensible provision.

Lord Henley: I am virtually satisfied by the explanation particularly that relating to the second pair of my amendments. However, I should like to refer to the first amendments and a policy which in effect excludes districts, although there is no reason why districts cannot be consulted by the counties.

I am still in a state of confusion as to exactly what happens. When dealing with Scotland earlier we heard a great deal about Clackmannan and Alloa. Perhaps on this occasion as an example I can refer to my own part of the world, Cumbria, which has six districts within the county. On top of that there is a national parks authority in the form of the Lake District Special Planning Board. In effect there are seven bodies. Am I right in thinking that Cumbria County Council must set up a crime and disorder committee to consider this matter and consult the chief constable of Cumbria, and that at the same time the six different district councils must set up an appropriate committee and consider crime and disorder strategies for Carlisle, Copeland, Allerdale, Eden, South Lakes and Barrow; or is it the case that all six should get together with the county and produce one single crime and disorder strategy which could be achieved merely by the county producing it in consultation with the others? That is what I fail to understand.

If there are to be seven different strategies, what happens if, for example, the Carlisle strategy differs from that produced by the county? Precisely who will the people of Carlisle consult? Do they consult just the local chief of police in the Carlisle area or must they consult the chief constable; in other words, will the chief constable be involved in seven different consultations

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before the seven different areas produce their strategies? I should be most grateful to receive further explanation from the noble Lord.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I do not believe that there is any difficulty. If one looks at Clause 5(4), the local government areas are defined. In England they are districts; in Wales they are counties or county boroughs. That is the answer to the noble Lord's question. There is no requirement for separate county-based strategies. What one is looking for is consultation and informed in-depth co-operation in the relevant local government areas as defined in Clause 5(4).

Within the county of Cumbria there will be separate areas as defined and specified by the noble Lord. Equally, to take the Dyfed and Powys police area, there is more than one county authority. I take Carmarthen, Cardigan and Pembrokeshire at random. All of those county authorities are within the Dyfed and Powys authority. Certainly, in Wales the county authorities are not coterminous with the police authorities.

I take Dyfed and Powys as an example because I know it reasonably well. Parts of Dyfed and Powys police authority, for instance Llanelli, are industrialised built-up areas; parts of Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire are rural. To take the example of the noble Lord, Lord Northbourne, they have particular problems but they are different problems from those to be found in a built-up area like Llanelli. Sometimes one has problems of tourism, travelling communities, drugs and motorised crime. All of that depends on a particular area and authority. All we are saying is that we want maximum co-operation and consultation and optimum flexibility. That is the way to deal with these matters rather than have something that is too prescriptive, which perhaps is what the noble Lord is looking for.

No authority in the past has had the statutory duty to do what is necessary in the interests of its inhabitants in this area of crime and disorder. We are placing this duty on the local authorities because we believe that the production of a strategic plan is in itself a useful discipline. It concentrates the mind and avoids the duplication and waste that are presently found and, just as important if not more important, it requires targets to be set so that those who are intimately affected, the people who live there, can say at the end of a year or two years, "These are your targets. Have you met them? By the way, the local elections are coming up".

Lord Henley: I remain confused. The noble Lord referred me to Clause 5(4) which defines "local government area" in paragraphs (a) and (b). That seems to imply "district". I return to Clause 5(1)(a) which contains the words,


    "the council for the county which includes the district".

That appears to imply that the county council is also involved. I accept that there may be validity in taking the district approach as opposed to the county approach, but what Clause 5(1)(a) appears to say is that both are involved. I believe that that is unnecessarily bureaucratic. If the district is to do it, it is all very well for it to consult the county, but one should not have both

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of them producing it. It may be that I have completely and utterly misunderstood Clause 5(1)(a), which I suspect is the case.

7 p.m.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I think that the noble Lord has. There is no requirement for separate county-based strategies, merely district-based strategies. It may be that the noble Lord is wrong. It is possible that I am wrong. We can both reflect on the matter, and send each other a postcard, I dare say. It is normally a big postcard these days. If there is still any ambiguity, obviously I shall attend to it on the next occasion.

Lord Henley: I am most grateful to the Minister. I should be pleased if his officials could look at the wording of Clause 5(1)(a) because I do not understand it, and it would help if it were made clear. With that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment 100:


Page 5, line 17, leave out ("established under section 3 of the Police Act 1996").

The noble Lord said: I have already spoken to the amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 101 not moved.]

On Question, Whether Clause 5, as amended, shall be agreed to?

Lord Hylton: Perhaps I could invite the Minister to throw whatever light he can on subsections (2) and (3) of this clause. They mention persons and bodies to be prescribed by the Secretary of State. Will he say whether "persons" includes magistrates? As regards "bodies", I may be wrong, but I take it that the Bill has in mind voluntary organisations.

As the Minister will be aware, there is an immense number of voluntary organisations and associations, ranging from housing associations, through organisations concerned with young people and children, parent/teacher associations attached to particular schools, and, at the other end of the spectrum there are organisations concerned with victims of crime. Will the Minister assure the Committee that none of the relevant voluntary organisations will be ruled out when the Secretary of State comes to prescribing? Can he give us any idea of how the views of the different kinds of relevant organisations may be co-ordinated in the future as regards the making of strategies?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I am most grateful to the noble Lord. He is, of course, right, but again I revert to my original point. Particular areas throughout England and Wales differ. In some areas, for obvious reasons--perhaps need, perhaps historical--some voluntary organisations are much more prominent than in other areas, because there is not universal coverage. Victim Support, for instance, would not necessarily claim to be equally active and effective in every area of England

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and Wales. That is true of the charitable organisations and the other organisations mentioned by the noble Lord.

"Persons" would include magistrates. The Home Secretary has the highest regard for the co-operative responses he always receives from the Magistrates' Association. The Secretary of State wants the widest consultation to make the Bill not just as effective as possible but its practical effects as useful as possible. I undertake to transmit the noble Lord's views to the Secretary of State, because he has a wide power, as the noble Lord said:


    "every person or body of a description which is for the time being prescribed".

The Home Secretary might well wish to give a wide description, which would include a large number of different voluntary organisations, specifying them by category rather than by name, because of course voluntary organisations sometimes come up to meet particular needs. I am most grateful to the noble Lord for bringing that point to our attention.


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