Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Ninth Report



  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.

  13.    Clause 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.

  14.    Clause 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.

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Prepared 19 December 1997