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Baroness Carnegy of Lour: In view of her local government experience, I am sure that the noble Baroness does not need advice from me. When a person giving permission to someone who has an interest to speak and vote is in close everyday communication with that person and with the body, it would be very different from the Secretary of State disapplying the prohibition in the case of the Environment Agency. The mayor will be in constant communication with the transport people and a quite awkward situation could arise. I am sure that the noble Baroness will look carefully at this matter--and my noble friend will be glad of that. I think there will be a small problem if we do not make a total prohibition.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My recollection of local government--I will, of course, write to the noble

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Baroness if I am wrong--is that the chief executive advises a member but the decision is taken by the member. Categories of people--for example, local authority tenants--may be excluded from being disbarred by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. However, I shall read the noble Baroness's comments carefully.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: Before the noble Lord responds, I must say how much I welcome the response from the noble Baroness the Minister. There is a small gap in the Bill in the form of what one might call the codes of conduct or codes of probity that normally surround these sorts of bodies. I wonder whether the Government might be encouraged to consider the possibility of issuing guidance or of making secondary legislation--or using any other suitable means of achieving the desired outcome--to establish some guide posts for how the conduct of members of Transport for London should fit into the evolving code of good practice and good conduct for people in public life in general.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I am grateful to all of those who have taken part in this short discussion--my noble friend Lady Carnegy and the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas. I also thank the noble Baroness the Minister for her reply. I am delighted that she has promised to consider my points and produce some amendments, presumably on Report.

We got off to a good start today when I heard from the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, that he had added his name to my Amendment No. 294, and now I have gained a concession from the Minister regarding these two amendments. I am delighted about that, and I look forward to the outcome. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 254 not moved.]

Schedule 8 agreed to.

Clause 134 [Directions etc by the Mayor]:

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved amendment No. 254A:

Page 72, line 14, after ("Mayor") insert ("and Assembly")

The noble Baroness said: This amendment would allow the assembly a say in the issuing of guidance and directions to TfL, currently carried out by the mayor. I know that Ministers feel that there should be a complete separation between the exercise of the powers of the assembly and the exercise of the powers of the mayor. But in other legislation which is either before this House or on its way, the scrutiny power of the assembly is, in other sorts of local authorities, to be allowed to be a prior scrutiny of what is going on. For that reason, we believe that the addition of the assembly to the mayor's role in issuing guidance and direction to Transport for London might fit into the way in which the Government are currently looking at the question of the division between the executive and what is sometimes called the scrutiny part of local government. I reject utterly the term "legislative" when applied to a body such as a local authority or an assembly. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The amendment would allow the assembly to take a major role in the

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day-to-day operations of TfL. We do not think that that is an appropriate role for the assembly. The assembly's role, as voted on by the people of London, is to provide a check on the major through its extensive powers of scrutiny.

The roles to be played by the mayor and the assembly are complementary, but not the same; they should not be confused. The assembly will rightly be consulted on the overall transport strategy; however, the detailed information of the overall strategy is best left to the mayor and TfL. TfL is the mayor's executive transport body. It will be for the mayor to provide political direction to TfL, not the assembly. The assembly's task is to scrutinise the performance of both the mayor and TfL. It would not be able to do that with the necessary degree of independence if it were as closely involved in the running of TfL as the amendment envisages. I therefore hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

Lord Avebury: Surely the amendment does not involve the assembly in the day-to-day management of these affairs. I do not know how often the Government envisage guidance being issued by the mayor as to the manner in which TfL exercises its functions. I should have thought that it would be issued at the beginning of the whole operation, and then, once guidance had been issued, TfL would be left to get on with the job, subject to observance of the guidelines that have been laid down. The mayor will not issue a fresh set of guidelines in the following week telling TfL how to conduct its operations in that second week. So to say, as the Minister did, that this involves the assembly in the day-to-day operations of TfL is, frankly, a distortion of what my noble friend is trying to do.

Baroness Hamwee: My noble friend pre-empted me. I had also intended to point to Clause 134(1)(a):

    "guidance as to the manner in which it is to exercise its functions", and to sub-paragraph (b):

    "general directions as to the manner in which it is to exercise its functions". My noble friend has made a valuable point about the need not to see scrutiny as simply happening after the event. The Government have made great play of that in their promotion of new models for local government.

The Minister said also that there would be a confusion of roles. But the mayor's role may also be confused: the mayor will be a part of Transport for London and will be issuing guidance to himself.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I shall consider carefully the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury. It is apparent to me that there are two issues: one is the overall strategy plan and policy; the other is the relationship between the mayor and the executive body carrying those out. The amendment as it stands

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would put the assembly between the mayor and that second part. However, I will consider the points raised.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: I thank the noble Baroness for her various replies. I do not accept that the assembly will be between the mayor and Transport for London. On the contrary, the role of the assembly as we envisage it in this amendment would be to assist the mayor in the drafting and creation of the pattern of guidance. However, I shall read the Minister's remarks. At present, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

6.45 p.m.

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 254AA:

Page 72, line 24, leave out ("perform") and insert ("exercise")

The noble Baroness said: This is a short probing amendment. The amendment proposes that in Clause 134(3)(a) the term "perform" should be replaced with the term "exercise". In Clause 134(1)(a), (b) and (c), the term used is "exercise". I am unclear as to whether there is a distinction between subsection (1) and subsection (3) of the clause. I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: I was somewhat puzzled by the intent of this amendment. If it is merely to obtain some lexicographical clarification, I think that I can give it. Normally, one "performs" duties and "exercises" powers. That is the distinction in these clauses. It is the normal terminology.

Baroness Hamwee: I thought we might deal with this matter before the clock indicated one minute! I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 254AB:

Page 72, line 28, at end insert ("and if none is nominated then to the chairman, or if the Mayor is chairman then to the deputy chairman.")

The noble Baroness said: Clause 134(4) provides for notification of guidance and issues to an officer who is nominated by Transport for London. I do not believe that it could, or should, be possible for Transport for London to avoid taking notice of guidance and directions by failing to nominate a person to receive them. My amendment, proposing a nominee if none is nominated by the chairman, is designed to add to this "hugely prescriptive" Bill--I have not used that description yet today--a further piece of prescription. I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: This additional piece of prescription is unnecessary. As a statutory body corporate, TfL will be under a duty to act reasonably under the law. It could hardly be construed as reasonable for TfL to avoid nominating a person so as to evade formal receipt of a notification. The point is covered.

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