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Lord Whitty: My Lords, the intention is to avoid the situation where it is part of the political process that someone reaches that conclusion. I suspect that in many political circumstances there have been occasions when your colleagues might decide that you are incapable of acting.

Noble Lords: Never!

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I was not referring to anyone who is in the Chamber at the moment. One can

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think of geographically less distant situations than those referred to by the noble Lord where at least a query about an ability to continue to act might have been raised by one's colleagues. It is therefore important that it should not be the assembly--or, if you like, the politicians--who make that judgment; it should be taken by the senior professional within the authority. It is a judgment he would take in consultation with the mayor, if the mayor is capable of making a rational judgment--it is a chicken and egg situation--and, if necessary, with medical authorities if it concerns a medical condition. The amendment seeks to clarify who takes the decision in such a situation and to remove the decision from the political arena.

I am getting into deep water here. To leave a decision as to the mayor's health or sanity to an assembly or political vote could be very dangerous. Therefore it will be the senior professional in the authority who makes that judgment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 94:

Page 220, line 31, leave out from (“under") to end of line 32 and insert (“Schedule 5 or 6 to this Act;")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 94.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I would be very grateful if the Minister could explain what this amendment achieves and why it is necessary.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, Amendment No. 94 clarifies and further specifies that the deputy mayor, acting in place of the mayor in case of a temporary vacancy, is not allowed to act in relation to the budget. That is the main point of the amendment: it prevents the deputy mayor from determining the authority's budget in accordance with Schedules 5 and 6. It mirrors the provision which restricts the acting mayor from doing the same under Part II of Schedule 4 to the Bill. That is why the reference is to Schedules 5 and 6.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

11 p.m.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 95:

Page 221, line 10, leave out paragraph 13 and insert--
(“13.--(1) This paragraph applies in relation to any period (or, as the case may be, the remainder of any period) when the Mayor is temporarily unable to act, if--
(a) at the beginning of that period there is no Deputy Mayor; or
(b) the person who, at the beginning of that period, is the Deputy Mayor gives notice to the proper officer of the Authority, within the permitted time, that he does not wish to exercise the functions of the Mayor pursuant to paragraph 9 above; or
(c) a casual vacancy occurs in the office of Deputy Mayor during that period;
and in paragraph (b) above “the permitted time" means the period of seven days following the day on which notice under paragraph 8B(1)(b) above is given to the Deputy Mayor.

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(2) Where this paragraph applies--
(a) paragraphs 9 and 10 above shall have effect with the substitution for references to the Deputy Mayor of references to the Chair of the Assembly; and
(b) paragraph 12 above shall be disregarded, but without prejudice to any action taken under paragraph (a) or (b), or required to be taken under paragraph (b), of that paragraph.
(3) If and so long as functions are exercisable by virtue of paragraph 9 above by the Chair of the Assembly, he shall not exercise any of the other functions of Chair of the Assembly.
(4) If and so long as the Chair of the Assembly is precluded by sub-paragraph (3) above from exercising any of his functions, those functions shall be exercisable instead by the Deputy Chair of the Assembly.
(5) If and so long as any functions of the Chair of the Assembly are, by virtue of sub-paragraph (4) above, exercisable by the Deputy Chair of the Assembly, the Deputy Chair of the Assembly shall not exercise any of his other functions.
(6) If and so long as the Deputy Chair of the Assembly is precluded by sub-paragraph (5) above from exercising any of his functions, those functions shall be exercisable instead by a person (“the acting Deputy Chair") elected for the purpose at a meeting of the Assembly from among the Assembly members.
(7) A person must not at the same time hold office as acting Deputy Chair and as Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chair of the Assembly or Deputy Chair of the Assembly.
(8) If the acting Deputy Chair becomes Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chair of the Assembly or Deputy Chair of the Assembly, a vacancy shall occur in the office of acting Deputy Chair.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I have a couple of questions. First, could the noble Lord elucidate the meaning of sub-paragraph (2)(b)? I am afraid that, after a fair amount of study, it still eludes me and I should be grateful for the noble Lord's help. Secondly, I am interested in the contrast between the provision in sub-paragraph (3) and the provision in Amendment No. 81, where budget provisions are excepted. I should be grateful if the noble Lord could tell me why the provisions in this case are different.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, on the first question, the whole point of the amendment is to set out arrangements when the mayor's office is vacant and, perhaps for entirely different reasons, the deputy mayor's office is vacant--that is, the deputy mayor has resigned or, for other reasons, there is no deputy mayor in place. If there is no deputy mayor in place when the mayor becomes temporarily incapacitated or unable to act, the provision in sub-paragraph (2)(a) applies.

I was not entirely clear in regard to the noble Lord's reference to the previous amendment and the cross-reference to the budget provisions in this proposal. Perhaps I may write to him on that aspect.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 31 [Delegation]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 96:

Page 18, line 15, at end insert--
(“( ) the Common Council;")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 97 to 102.

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In these amendments we seek to meet concerns expressed at earlier stages of the Bill about the need for the clarification of the mayor's powers to delegate his or her functions.

Amendment No. 96 is straightforward. It simply adds the Common Council of the City of London to the bodies to which the mayor may delegate functions. I regret to say that its omission was an oversight.

In the light of concerns expressed in Committee, Amendment No. 97 makes explicit on the face of the Bill what we had previously thought was implicit; namely, that the mayor, when delegating functions to a local authority or the Common Council, may do so only with the written consent of that authority. It also makes clear that any authority which makes such an agreement may withdraw from it when it chooses to do so.

Amendment No. 98 provides that the mayor may apply conditions to any delegation he or she makes to an authority, and that those conditions would also apply to any committees, sub-committees or people to whom the authority in turn sub-delegates those functions.

Amendment No. 99 adds the Common Council and any local authority to the list of bodies which can exercise functions on behalf of the authority, whether or not they would already have the power to do so were it not for the provision in this subsection.

Amendment No. 100 extends to Transport for London and the LDA the delegation provisions of Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972. These permit delegation to committees and sub-committees.

Amendment No. 101 deletes the current provisions on joint committees--which adopt the provisions of the Local Government Act. They are replaced by the specific provisions for joint committees between the GLA and one or more local authorities which are set out in Amendment No. 102. This will allow them to form joint committees where their functions are either the same or, where they are different, they have related or connected interests. Again, that reflects some of the concerns expressed earlier in terms of the working between the GLA and the boroughs and other authorities.

The purpose of this group of amendments is practical. They are intended to assist the authority in the conduct of its business and its relationships with other authorities. I beg to move.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: My Lords, I have a simple question to ask the Minister on Amendment No. 102. In subsection (7), what do the words “Subject to that" mean? Should those words be amended to make more sense?

Lord Whitty : My Lords, I shall clarify the matter if that is not the case, but, as I read the provision, it is subject to subsection (6). However, the noble Baroness may have a point. It relates to persons disqualified under subsection (6). Subject to that, the mayors may appoint virtually whomever they like, under subsection (7). Perhaps it could be clearer.

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

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