LOCAL GOVERNMENT (EXPERIMENTAL ARRANGEMENTS) BILL [HL]
10. The purpose
of this private member's bill is declared to be to enable local
authorities in England and Wales to operate, for a temporary period,
experimental arrangements with respect to the way in which they
take decisions. These arrangements could include a directly elected
mayor, delegating functions to such a mayor and delegating functions
to one or more members of the council. The Department has supplied
a memorandum (printed in the Annex to this report) which has helped
us in our consideration of the bill.
11. The mechanism
provided by the bill for establishing any experimental arrangements
is for a local authority to apply to the Secretary of State for
his approval of the proposed experiment. If the Secretary of State
gives his approval he makes an order under clause 3.
Henry VIII powers
12. An order
under clause 3 can include Henry VIII provisions. Clause 3(4)(c)
allows the order to give effect in the local authority's area
to any of the modifications of enactments set out in the Schedule
to the bill. In effect the Secretary of State's power is limited
to specifying which of the provisions approved by Parliament and
set out in the Schedule are appropriate to the particular experimental
arrangements to be adopted in an area. We consider that negative
procedure (subsection (9)) is appropriate for a power of this
kind. There are further Henry VIII provisions in clause 3(4)(d)
and (i) but in view of the limited scope of those provisions and
the fact that orders are limited to particular areas and specified
periods we consider negative procedure appropriate for these also.
6 is concerned with the approval of applications for the extension
or variation of experimental decision-making arrangements. An
order under subsection (5) or (6) may include any of the provisions
which could be made under the Henry VIII powers in clause 3.
Again negative procedure (subsection (11)) appears appropriate.
11 deals with the termination of experimental decision-making
arrangements. An order which revokes an order under clause 3 or
6 may modify enactments (subsections (9)). Again negative procedure
(subsection (11)) seems appropriate for this Henry VIII power.
15. The Committee
draws the attention of the House to the inclusion in the bill
of the Henry VIII powers. There is nothing else in the bill to
which the House's attention need be drawn.