Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Twenty-Seventh Report


  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.

  9.    There 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.

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