PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES (LONDON) BILL
7. This Private
Member's Bill provides for the licensing and regulation of the
private hire business in London. The Bill provides that the Secretary
of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions shall
be the regulatory authority for the London minicab trade, and
contains power to make regulations prescribing, for example, conditions
in respect of operators' licences (clause 3(4)) and requirements
for London private hire vehicles (clause 7(2)(a) and (b)). The
power to make regulations covers all the procedural detail which
other clauses leave to be "prescribed" and covers the
fixing of fees (clause 20).
8. Under clause
32 regulations are made subject to negative procedure. Clause
32 also governs the power in clause 37 to make regulations for
transitional purposes. This power extends to modifying any enactment,
but only for transitional purposes; on this basis the Committee
considers that the negative procedure provided is appropriate.
is one point of detail which caused the Committee some concern.
The Bill contains a commencement order power (clause 40(2)) which,
as is usual for such powers, is not subject to Parliamentary control.
However, as the Department's explanatory memorandum makes clear,
clause 40(2) provides that commencement orders may contain transitional
provisions of the kind which could be included in regulations
under clause 37, in particular provisions modifying enactments.
The House will wish to consider whether it is appropriate that
provisions which would be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny if
included in regulations under clause 37 should escape that scrutiny
if included in an order under clause 40(2).
10. There is
nothing else in the Bill which the Committee wishes to draw to
the attention of the House.