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Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 248G to 248N:

Page 70, line 27, at end insert (", or a local implementation plan as proposed to be revised,").
Page 70, line 29, leave out ("prepared") and insert ("submitted").
Page 70, line 31, after ("above") insert ("or, as the case may be, section (Procedure for revision) (2) above").
Page 70, line 33, at end insert ("or, as the case may be, section (Procedure for revision) (2) above").
Page 70, line 34, after ("plan") insert ("or a revised local implementation plan").
Page 70, line 35, after first ("above") insert ("or, as the case may be, section (Power of the Mayor to prepare a revised plan) above").

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Page 70, leave out line 38 and insert ("approved by the Mayor under section 128 above or, as the case may be, a local implementation plan as proposed to be revised, approved by the Mayor under that section.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 130, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 131 [Implementation by the Mayor]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 248P:

Page 71, line 2, at end insert--
("( ) Subsection (1) above applies in relation to a local implementation plan, as proposed to be revised, approved by the Mayor under section 128 above as it applies to a local implementation plan approved by the Mayor under that section.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 249 not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 249A:

Page 71, line 15, leave out ("administrative").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 131, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 132 [Directions by the Mayor]:

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 249AA:

Page 71, line 21, leave out paragraph (b).

The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 249BA, 249EA, 249EB, 249G and 249H. Under Clause 132 the mayor has considerable powers of direction over the boroughs with regard to the manner in which they are to exercise their functions regarding local implementation plans.

I can understand the mayor's interest in the outcome, but should the mayor be concerned with the process, say, for the time by which the local implementation plans will have been created and put into effect, Clause 132(2) includes the timetable as one of a list of six matters, and they are not, in themselves, exclusive.

Amendment No. 249AA deletes from Clause 132(1)(b) the mayor's power of specific direction as to the manner in which a London borough council is to exercise the functions. Amendment No. 249BA deletes Clause 132(2)(b), which contains directions as to the bodies or persons who must be consulted about a local implementation plan. Consultation by a borough is a matter for the borough; it is a local matter.

Amendment No. 249EA deletes Clause 132(2)(e), which sets out directions as to how the borough is to implement the proposals contained in the local implementation plan. The action to be taken by the borough seems again to be a matter for the borough since the mayor is concerned with overall strategic matters which will include important local details but should not, in our view, allow the mayor to become involved unduly in detail at local level.

Amendment No. 249EB deletes Clause 132(2)(f) which provides for directions as to the steps required to be taken to remove the effects of action which is incompatible with local implementation plan proposals. That seems to us to be very wide. Whose action is the mayor able to direct the London borough council to agree with? One hopes that borough action will have

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been determined with consultation with residents and neighbouring boroughs. This seems to be a particularly wide provision.

Amendment No. 249G provides that direction should be given only with the agreement of the assembly. As I have said, these are wide powers. Even if we are told, as we may be, that these are again reserved powers, we believe that the scrutiny role of the assembly would appropriately give it a role in this exercise.

Amendment No. 249H requires prior consultation with the borough in question before these powers of direction may be exercised. The Committee may gather from this that we do not much like Clause 132. I beg to move.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I have tabled a Motion that Clause 132 does not stand part of the Bill. I may as well speak to that now. I shall be brief because the noble Baroness has pretty well deleted the clause with the amendments she has just moved.

This amendment is a boost for subsidiarity. The mayor should not have untrammelled rights to dictate to councils how they perform their transport functions. Councils are close to the local people affected and more knowledgeable about local circumstances. Councils are responsible and better able to ensure that the local implementation plan interfaces with the other policies and functions of the council. Councils should be accountable to their electorate and not to the mayor for the implementation of policy. Therefore, I agree with the amendments moved by the noble Baroness.

Lord Whitty: This clause provides the mayor with the ability to give legally binding instructions to councils on the manner in which they perform any of their duties under this clause or the previous four clauses. It is vital that the mayor has sufficient powers to ensure that the strategy is properly implemented. Our intention is that the mayor's strategy should cover high-level areas with the detail left to the boroughs, as the noble Lord implied in his general approach to this clause.

Nevertheless, there will be specific areas where, in order for the overall strategy to work and for the co-operation to exist between the boroughs, the GLA and the London boroughs, there will need to be specific powers; for example, if local boroughs' policies cause problems on a GLA road, then the mayor needs to have powers to intervene. If, as was alluded to at an earlier stage in the consideration of this Bill, there are problems where one borough has given parking priority to residents on one side of the road and the other borough has given parking priority to residents on the other side of the road to the detriment of cyclists and through traffic, then the mayor has to have powers to intervene specifically.

I hope that these general powers will be used on only limited occasions. The wide range of traffic and transport responsibilities which the mayor has will only be implemented if a positive and constructive relationship is built between the boroughs and the GLA. It is important, therefore, that we do not rely on reserve

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powers to deliver the strategy. The kind of instances to which I have referred will arise from time to time and there will be difficulties in resolving them unless the mayor is given reserve powers.

It is important to recognise that the boroughs will already have been fully involved in the development of the mayor's strategy in the first place; that the requirements of that strategy are well communicated to the boroughs prior to them drawing up their own local implementation plans; and that in the same way that local transport plans in the rest of the country will be scrutinised and accepted or otherwise amended by the Secretary of State, within London those powers are there for the mayor. The mayor will have powers of direction should the overall policy or co-operation across London be jeopardised by the failure of the local implementation plan to operate in a way which delivers that strategy.

It is not the intention that the mayor should have the responsibility for dealing with every individual item within the boroughs' strategy; that must be for the boroughs. But there will be exceptions where the mayor will need to intervene. To remove these powers entirely, as would happen with the removal of Clause 132 and as suggested by the combination of measures put forward by the noble Baroness, would leave the mayor in a very much weakened position.

The specific requirement that the mayor should seek the agreement of the assembly, which is covered by Amendment No. 249G, is again a confusion of the powers of the assembly and the executive powers of the mayor. A direction is a matter for the mayor. It may be sensible to discuss this with the assembly, but at the end of the day, the decision should be the mayor's to issue a directive.

These are reserve powers. They would not be used very frequently but, in order to make a reality of the strategy, they have to exist and, unfortunately, on occasion situations will arise where they will need to be invoked. I hope therefore that noble Lords will not press these amendments which drastically reduce that power.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: Can the noble Lord tell the Committee, in relation to this and some of the previous amendments relating to the relationship between the mayor and the London boroughs, what importance he lays upon a system which will encourage good relations between the boroughs and the mayor as compared with a series of provisions which are almost bound to put the mayor in conflict with the boroughs? That is at the root of the objections to the clauses by members of both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Front Benches.

Having lived in a two-tier authority area and worked as part of a two-tier system, I know that one has to work hard to secure agreement between the two levels. Simply putting in the hands of the chairman of Surrey county council a requirement that the local borough or district council should do such and such would have contributed nothing to the creation of good relations between the two tiers in that county.

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1 a.m.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My noble friend is right. I return to something that the Minister said earlier--that the mayor is elected to do a job and how would the electorate feel if he does not do that job? The converse applies in this case. London borough councils have been elected to do a job and some of the new powers will take away the jobs that they were elected to do. The Minister's contention is that in some cases, the councils will be performing the job poorly. Surely that is for the electorate.

If the Government intend that, as soon as a council does not perform well, someone else should take over and run matters, that is yet another disincentive to the public to turn out and vote through the ballot box for a more efficiently run council. I accept that there is a fine balance in letting inefficiency continue but it is not the mayor's job to interfere in what is clearly a local issue.

Clause 132(2)(b) refers to the people who should be consulted. The borough council may have consulted a number of bodies and persons and produced a set of issues and a way forward that is acceptable locally. The mayor may not find that way easy to work with. He may not like it. But it is not reasonable for him then to ask a different group of people to come up with a different question. It is a matter of subsidiarity. I do not think that writing into the Bill something that takes that away will add to the wish of local people to contribute to the implementation plans--which is important if they are to work--or strengthen the role of the mayor.

There is confusion in the drafting of the clause between what is truly strategic and what is operational. If the mayor were involved in such detail in several London boroughs, he would not have time to pursue much of his strategic role.

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