Greater London Authority Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART I, THE GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY - continued

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Vacancies in the Assembly
Resignation.     5. - (1) An Assembly member may at any time resign his membership of the Assembly by giving notice to the proper officer of the Authority.
 
      (2) Any such resignation shall take effect on the officer's receipt of the notice.
 
Failure to attend meetings.     6. - (1) If an Assembly member fails, throughout a period of six consecutive months from his last attendance, to attend any meeting of the Assembly, he shall cease to be a member of the Assembly.
 
      (2) A person shall not cease to be a member by virtue of subsection (1) above if the failure to attend is due to some reason approved by the Assembly before the expiry of that period.
 
      (3) For the purposes of this section, an Assembly member shall be deemed to have attended a meeting of the Assembly on any occasion on which he attended-
 
 
    (a) as a member at a meeting of any committee or sub-committee of the Assembly; or
 
    (b) as a representative of the Assembly or the Authority at a meeting of any body of persons.
      (4) A person shall not cease to be a member of the Assembly by reason only of a failure to attend meetings of the Assembly if-
 
 
    (a) he is a member of any branch of Her Majesty's naval, military or air forces and is at the time employed during war or any emergency on any naval, military or air force service, or
 
    (b) he is a person whose employment in the service of Her Majesty in connection with war or any emergency is such as, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, to entitle him to relief from disqualification on account of absence,
  and the failure to attend is due to that employment.
 
Declaration of vacancy in certain cases.     7. Where an Assembly member-
 
 
    (a) ceases to be qualified to be a member of the Assembly, or
 
    (b) becomes disqualified from being a member otherwise than-
 
      (i) under the Audit Commission Act 1998,
 
      (ii) by virtue of a conviction, or
 
      (iii) by virtue of a breach of any provision of Part II of the Representation of the People Act 1983, or
 
    (c) ceases to be a member of the Assembly by reason of failure to attend meetings of the Assembly,
  the proper officer of the Authority shall forthwith declare the member's office to be vacant, unless it has been declared vacant by the High Court.
 
Election of member as Mayor.     8. If the person who is returned at an election under section 16 below to fill a vacancy in the office of Mayor is an Assembly member, a vacancy shall arise-
 
 
    (a) if he is a member for an Assembly constituency, in that Assembly constituency; or
 
    (b) if he is a London member, in his office as a London member.
Date of casual vacancies.     9. - (1) For the purpose of filling a casual vacancy in the membership of the Assembly, the date on which a vacancy is to be regarded as occurring shall be-
 
 
    (a) in the case of any person being returned-
 
      (i) at an ordinary election, as the Mayor and also as the Assembly member for an Assembly constituency, or
 
      (ii) at an election under section 16 below to fill a vacancy in the office of Mayor when he is an Assembly member,
 
    on the date on which he is returned as the Mayor or, as the case may be, to fill the vacancy in that office;
 
    (b) in the case of non-acceptance of office by any person who is required to make and deliver a declaration of acceptance of office, on the expiration of the period appointed under this Part of this Act for the delivery of the declaration;
 
    (c) in the case of resignation, upon the receipt of the notice of resignation by the proper officer of the Authority;
 
    (d) in the case of death, on the date of death;
 
    (e) in the case of disqualification under the Audit Commission Act 1998 or by virtue of a conviction-
 
      (i) on the expiration of the ordinary period allowed for making an appeal or application with respect to the relevant order or decision under that Act or (as the case may be) that conviction, or
 
      (ii) if an appeal or application is made, on the date on which that appeal or application is finally disposed of or abandoned or fails by reason of its non-prosecution;
 
    (f) in the case of an election being declared void on an election petition, on the date of the report or certificate of the election court;
 
    (g) in the case of a person-
 
      (i) ceasing to be qualified to be an Assembly member, or becoming disqualified, for any reason other than one mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f) above, or
 
      (ii) ceasing to be an Assembly member by reason of failure to attend meetings,
 
    on the date on which his office is declared to have been vacated either by the High Court or by the proper officer of the Authority as the case may be.
      (2) The proper officer of the Authority shall-
 
 
    (a) give written notice of any casual vacancy among the London members to the Greater London returning officer; and
 
    (b) give public notice of any casual vacancy among the constituency members.
      (3) Any public notice under subsection (2)(b) above shall be given-
 
 
    (a) by posting the notice in some conspicuous place or places in the Assembly constituency concerned; and
 
    (b) in such other manner, if any, as the officer considers desirable for giving publicity to the notice.
      (4) Any notice under subsection (2) above shall be given as soon as practicable after the date on which the vacancy is to be regarded under subsection (1) above as occurring.
 
Filling a vacancy in an Assembly constituency.     10. - (1) This section applies where the office of an Assembly member returned for an Assembly constituency is vacant.
 
      (2) Subject to subsection (8) below, an election shall be held in the Assembly constituency to fill the vacancy.
 
      (3) At the election to fill the vacancy-
 
 
    (a) each person entitled to vote at the election shall have a constituency vote; and
 
    (b) the Assembly member for the Assembly constituency shall be returned under the simple majority system.
      (4) The date of the poll at the election shall be fixed by the constituency returning officer in accordance with subsection (5) below.
 
      (5) The date fixed shall be no later than 35 days after the date of the relevant event.
 
      (6) In subsection (5) above, "the relevant event" means-
 
 
    (a) in a case where the High Court or the proper officer of the Authority has declared the office to be vacant, the making of that declaration; or
 
    (b) in any other case, the giving of notice of the vacancy to the proper officer of the Authority by two or more local government electors for the Assembly constituency concerned.
      (7) Section 243(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 shall apply for the purpose of computing the period of 35 days referred to in subsection (5) above as it applies for the purposes of section 89(1) of that Act.
 
      (8) If the vacancy occurs within the period of six months preceding an ordinary election, it shall be left unfilled until that election unless subsection (9) below applies.
 
      (9) This subsection applies if, on the occurrence of the vacancy (or, in the case of a number of simultaneous vacancies, the occurrence of the vacancies) the total number of unfilled vacancies in the membership of the Assembly exceeds one-third of the whole number of Assembly members.
 
      (10) A person may not be a candidate at an election to fill a vacancy if he is-
 
 
    (a) the Mayor;
 
    (b) an Assembly member; or
 
    (c) a candidate in another such election.
      (11) The term of office of the person returned at the election-
 
 
    (a) shall begin immediately upon his being declared to be returned as the constituency member; and
 
    (b) shall end at the time when it would have ended had he been returned as the constituency member at the previous ordinary election.
Filling a vacancy among the London members.     11. - (1) This section applies where the office of a London member is vacant.
 
      (2) If the London member was returned as an individual candidate, or the vacancy is not filled in accordance with the following provisions, the vacancy shall remain unfilled until the next ordinary election.
 
      (3) If the London member was returned (under Part II of Schedule 2 to this Act or this section) from a registered political party's list, the Greater London returning officer shall notify the Chair of the Assembly of the name of the person who is to fill the vacancy.
 
      (4) The person who is to fill the vacancy must be one who-
 
 
    (a) is included in that list;
 
    (b) is willing to serve as a London member; and
 
    (c) is not a person to whom subsection (5) below applies.
      (5) This subsection applies to a person if-
 
 
    (a) he is not a member of the party; and
 
    (b) the party gives notice to the Greater London returning officer that his name is not to be notified under subsection (3) above as the name of the person who is to fill the vacancy.
      (6) Where more than one person satisfies the conditions in subsection (4) above, the Greater London returning officer shall notify the name of whichever of them is higher, or highest, in the list.
 
      (7) Where a person's name has been notified under subsection (3) above, his term of office as a London member-
 
 
    (a) shall begin on the day on which the notification is received under that subsection, and
 
    (b) shall end at the time when it would have ended had he been returned as a London member at the previous ordinary election,
  and this Act shall apply as if the person had been declared to be returned as a London member on the day on which the notification under subsection (3) above is so received.
 
 
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