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Baroness Miller of Hendon: My Lords, I accept what the Minister has said about Amendment No.72, that it is not necessary to delete it; neither is it unnecessary. Nevertheless, I shall accept what he says because it is late.

I have no intention of pressing Amendment No. 71 at this late hour, and I do not think that I shall bring it back at Third Reading, but I should like it to be on the record that I think it is a confusing provision. It

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certainly confused me. It may very well lead to problems later on, and I think it would have been much simpler to have removed it. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 72 not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 73:


After Clause 29, insert the following new clause--

STANDING ORDERS OF THE AUTHORITY

(“ .--(1) The Assembly, in consultation with the Mayor, may make standing orders of the Authority.
(2) The procedure of the Assembly, and of any committees or sub-committees of the Assembly, shall be regulated by the standing orders of the Authority.
(3) Standing orders of the Authority may make provision regulating the procedure to be followed--
(a) by any member of the Assembly, or
(b) by any member of staff of the Authority,
by whom functions of the Authority are exercisable pursuant to arrangements under section 46 below.
(4) Standing orders of the Authority may make provision regulating the procedure to be followed by the Mayor or by the Assembly in discharging any functions of the Mayor or the Assembly, to the extent that the functions--
(a) consist of consultation or any other interaction or relationship between the Mayor and the Assembly; or
(b) are exercisable by the Mayor in relation to the Assembly or by the Assembly in relation to the Mayor.
(5) Standing orders of the Authority may make provision for any other matter for which provision by standing orders of the Authority is authorised or required by or under any other provision of this Act or any other enactment.
(6) Subsections (2) to (5) above are subject to any other provision of this Act or any other enactment which regulates, or provides for the regulation of, the procedure of the Assembly or any procedure to be followed by the Mayor.
(7) Standing orders of the Authority may make different provision for different circumstances.
(8) The Assembly, after consultation with the Mayor, may at any time vary or revoke any standing orders of the Authority.
(9) Neither section 31 below nor section 46 below shall apply in relation to the functions of the Mayor or the Assembly under this section.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the purpose of this clause is to provide for the assembly to make standing orders of the authority, following consultation with the mayor, and in so doing to limit the extent to which the assembly can make standing orders in relation to the mayor. Subsection (4) relates in particular to procedures for consultation or any other interaction or relationship between the mayor and the assembly; for example, statutory meetings.

This provision is intended to ensure that the assembly's standing orders do not prescribe the actions of the mayor more generally outside the interface between the mayor and the assembly. It is a useful clarification. I beg to move.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, both this new clause and Clause 45 provide that they are subject to other provisions of the Act. On first reading, it seems that neither is paramount. Can the Minister confirm that Clause 29(2), which states that the procedure of the assembly and committees shall be regulated by

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standing orders of the authority, means that the standing orders take preference over procedure, notwithstanding what is provided later in the clause?

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I am particularly interested in subsection (4) which states that the authority may make provision regulating the procedure to be followed by the mayor. Presumably, this function will be exercised by the assembly.

Let us suppose that the mayor and the assembly were from different parties, which is not unlikely. The mayor could be required to approach the assembly on his knees, or wearing a gold lame jockstrap or whatever else might amuse, or there could be other procedures more subtly intended to humiliate the mayor in the presence of the assembly. That would seem to be an odd arrangement of powers. I am sure that the mayor should have an interest in the procedures to be followed by the assembly concerning its relationship with him.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, as regards the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, the mayor does have such an interest. It is built into subsection (1) of the new clause, which reads:


    “The Assembly, in consultation with the Mayor, may make standing orders of the Authority".

I suspect that any such consultation would make it clear that the mayor was not likely to be well disposed towards the kind of situation described by the noble Lord. That point is, therefore, covered.

The noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, referred to other procedures and precedents. The procedure to be adopted will clearly be subject to what is required under the Act. In other words, the standing orders relate to the responsibilities and functions of the various parts of the authority in other parts of the Act. They are therefore procedural and not substantive in that sense.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 4 [Exercise of functions during vacancy or temporary incapacity of Mayor]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 74:


Page 219, line 5, leave out (“to the Deputy Mayor") and insert--
(“(a) to the Deputy Mayor, if there is a holder of that office; or
(b) in any other case, to the Chair of the Assembly.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to the other amendments in this group, all of which relate to the question of a vacancy in the office of the mayor and, in particular, to where it may not be the case that the deputy mayor will, in all circumstances, take on the role of the mayor until that vacancy is filled.

The deputy mayor may be either unable or unwilling to take on those responsibilities. In those circumstances, the chair of the assembly would be invited to take on the duties of the mayor and to act as mayor. We believe, therefore, that there should be a formal office of acting mayor to which either the

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deputy mayor, in normal circumstances, or, in other circumstances, the chair of the assembly, may be appointed where necessary. Amendment No. 74 creates that office.

Amendment No. 76 provides the procedures for filling the office of acting mayor. Under those provisions, the deputy mayor becomes acting mayor unless he or she is unwilling to accept office. If the deputy mayor does not become acting mayor, the appropriate office notifies the chair of the assembly that he or she will become acting mayor.

The amendment also provides that if the deputy mayor or the chair of the assembly becomes acting mayor, he or she cannot be deputy mayor, chair, or deputy chair of the assembly.

The acting mayor will be subject to the provisions of Schedule 4, Part II(4), which sets out the functions not exercisable by the deputy mayor. Amendment No. 81 provides that the acting mayor may not act as an assembly member other than in relation to the budget.

Amendment No. 92 provides for similar procedures where a vacancy occurs in the office of acting mayor. Amendments Nos. 93 to 95 which are virtually at the end of this group, provide for the chair to be treated as mayor when the mayor is temporarily unable to act. The other later amendments in the group are consequential on the principal amendments. I beg to move.

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Elton): My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord would put on the record the amendments in the group to which he spoke, not all of which he has mentioned.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 74, I spoke also to Amendments Nos. 75 to 95. Then there are Amendments Nos. 172, 177, 179 and 182.

10.45 p.m.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, as I have told the noble Lord, I intend to speak to Amendments Nos. 93, 94 and 95 separately. On consideration, I shall add No. 92 to those, in order to keep the subjects separate. On Amendments Nos. 74 to 91, I have no point of major importance to make, but I should like to ask the noble Lord about one subtlety of drafting.

Amendment No. 83 inserts the words “unless and", followed by “until". Amendment No. 90 makes it “unless or until". Can the noble Lord explain to me the difference between those two phrases and why they should be different in those two positions? Perhaps he can also explain the necessity for reinforcing the word “until" with “unless" in the first place.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: My Lords, if I may, I should like to speak to Amendment No. 76 and ask the noble Lord for his help. I find it difficult to reconcile the proposed paragraph 2B(1) in the amendment with paragraph 5(1). There it says that the deputy mayor may not exercise the functions of

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the acting mayor until he has delivered a declaration of acceptance. Yet by paragraph 2B(1) the deputy mayor is the acting mayor immediately, though the status is lost if he does not deliver a declaration of acceptance within seven days. I refer to paragraph 2B(1)(b) and 2B(6). But as soon as the deputy mayor becomes the acting mayor he ceases to become the deputy mayor under paragraph 2B(2). Therefore how can paragraph 5(1) in the Bill actually apply? I have to say that I find that a complete and utter muddle. I should be most grateful if the noble Lord could help me on that. To me, paragraph 2B(1)(b) is barely comprehensible. It says that if the deputy mayor does not give a notice under paragraph (a) above "and". I think that is quite unnecessary and ought to go, because as soon as a notice is given under (a) the whole thing is triggered. I find that inelegant drafting and I cannot understand it.


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