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Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her reply. I thank also the noble Lord, Lord Bowness, for his support and for reminding us of some of the important lessons of history. The Minister said that these powers were likely to be called upon only in extreme circumstances, but I do not feel that what we are seeking to delete from the Bill would be likely, in extremis, to help solve anything if things should come to such a pass.

The spirit of including such detail in the Bill cuts across what the Minister has said on the principle of subsidiarity, with which I heartily agree--it is a good principle to hold. I am sad therefore that the provisions are to be left on the face of the Bill. The Government have put in place sufficient powers to address failing boroughs by many other means, not least in the recent local government Bill.

However, I have listened carefully to what the Minister has said and I shall read her comments again. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 353 to 359 not moved.]

19 Oct 1999 : Column 993

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 360:


Before Schedule 8, insert the following new schedule--

(“AMENDMENTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE ACT 1992
Introduction

1. Chapter IVA of Part I of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (which relates to limitation of council tax and precepts and which was inserted by Schedule 1 to the Local Government Act 1999) shall be amended as follows.
Challenge of maximum amount after designation for year under consideration

2.--(1) Section 52F shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (6)(a) for “70 and 71" there shall be substituted “ 71 and 72".
(3) In subsection (6)(b) for “80" there shall be substituted “ 81".
Duty of designated precepting authority

3.--(1) Section 52J shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1)(a) for “70, 71 and 73 to 75 of and Schedule 6" there shall be substituted “ 71, 72 and 74 to 76 of and Schedule 6".
(3) In subsection (3)--
(a) in paragraph (a) for “73(2)" there shall be substituted “ 74(2)", and
(b) in paragraph (b) for “74(3)" there shall be substituted “ 75(3)".
(4) In subsection (6)--
(a) for “73(2)" (in both places where it occurs) there shall be substituted “ 74(2)",
(b) for “74(3)" there shall be substituted “ 75(3)", and
(c) for “74(4)" there shall be substituted “ 75(4)".
(5) In subsection (8)--
(a) in paragraph (a) for “73(2)" there shall be substituted “ 74(2)", and
(b) in paragraph (b) for “74(4)" there shall be substituted “ 75(4)".
(6) In subsection (9)--
(a) for “73 and 74" there shall be substituted “ 74 and 75", and
(b) for “74(2)" there shall be substituted “ 75(2)".
(7) In subsection (10)(b)--
(a) for “73(3)(b)" there shall be substituted “ 74(3)(b)", and
(b) for “74(5)(b)" there shall be substituted “ 75(5)(b)".
Challenge of maximum amount after designation under section 52M or 52P

4.--(1) Section 52Q shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (5)(a) for “70 and 71" there shall be substituted “ 71 and 72".
(3) In subsection (5)(b) for “80" there shall be substituted “ 81".
Duty of designated precepting authority

5.--(1) Section 52U shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsections (2)(a) and (3)(a) for “70 to 75" there shall be substituted “ 71 to 76".
(3) In subsection (3)(b) for “70, 71 and 73 to 75 of and Schedule 6" there shall be substituted “ 71, 72 and 74 to 76 of and Schedule 6".
(4) In subsection (6)--
(a) in paragraph (a) for “73(2)" there shall be substituted “ 74(2)", and
(b) in paragraph (b) for “74(3)" there shall be substituted “ 75(3)".

19 Oct 1999 : Column 994


(5) In subsection (9)--
(a) for “73(2)" (in both places where it occurs) there shall be substituted “ 74(2)",
(b) for “74(3)" there shall be substituted “ 75(3)", and
(c) for “74(4)" there shall be substituted “ 75(4)".
(6) In subsection (11)--
(a) for “73(2)" there shall be substituted “ 74(2)", and
(b) for “74(4)" there shall be substituted “ 75(4)".
(7) In subsection (12)--
(a) for “73 and 74" there shall be substituted “ 74 and 75", and
(b) for “74(2)" there shall be substituted “ 75(2)".
(8) In subsection (13)(b)--
(a) for “73(3)(b)" there shall be substituted “ 74(3)(b)", and
(b) for “74(5)(b)" there shall be substituted “ 75(5)(b)".
Meaning of budget requirement

6. In section 52W(2) for “70(8)" there shall be substituted “ 71(8)".").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 8 [Transport for London]:

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved Amendment No. 361:


Page 231, line 21, at end insert--
(“( ) The Mayor shall not be a member of Transport for London.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 362 and 366. The amendments seek to remove the possibility that the mayor could be a member of Transport for London. Amendment No. 366 completes that process by removing the requirement that the mayor, if he is a member of Transport for London, is to be its chairman. Obviously those two points would not be consistent.

On the fifth day in Committee I moved amendments to bring together the assembly and the mayor in order to appoint the members of TfL, as reported at col. 470 of Hansard. Subsequently I tabled another amendment to remove the requirement that the mayor should be the chair of TfL. Later the Committee discussed the problems which could arise if the appeals system in respect of granting bus contracts involved an appeal to the mayor from the decision of TfL. I acknowledge that this concern at least has attracted a response from the Government, as reflected in their Amendment 410, but I am not sure that it addresses the full measure of our concern. That concern principally relates to the provisions of the Bill which the amendments before the House seek to remove.

On reflection, we concluded that the clarity of the different roles of the mayor and Transport for London would be enhanced if the mayor were not a member of Transport for London at all; hence the amendments. However, we have not again attempted to prevent the mayor from appointing the members of Transport for London, having seen the force of the noble Baroness's argument on the matter. However, in an arrangement where the mayor will take the strategic lead on a range of different issues, and an extremely detailed system of delegation is written into the Bill, it seems undesirable for the mayor to be personally in charge of the

19 Oct 1999 : Column 995

implementation of one of his strategies. It would tend to blur the role of the mayor; it may potentially involve her or him in undesirable personal conflict with the boroughs on matters of detail; and it may make it more difficult for the mayor to maintain a public stance as a strategic leader of a great city. I beg to move.

Earl Attlee: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas, has raised an interesting point, but I am not sure what is the best answer. There are advantages, but there are also disadvantages. It should be noted that if the mayor is a member of TfL, by virtue of Schedule 8 on page 232 of the Bill, he must be its chairman. Interestingly, the schedule refers to “chairman" and “deputy chairman".

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I hope that the noble Earl will not be reopening that argument. I regret that we disagree with the noble Baroness on this point. Transport is such a significant issue in London that we believe that the mayor should have the option of deciding whether to engage directly in TfL himself, and if he does so, then it would be appropriate that he or she should be the chair.

Whichever of the amendments of the noble Baroness one considers, that option would be removed. That would place too great a political constraint on the mayor's decision-making and priorities. For that reason, I hope that the noble Baroness will not press her amendments.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: My Lords, I have to say that we are in dispute with the Government on a matter of principle. The position of the mayor will be weakened if he or she is overly involved in day-to-day implementation of the strategy. However, I do not think that I will get anywhere with this amendment. I beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 362 and 363 not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 364:


Page 232, line 2, after (“London") insert (“(including conditions as to remuneration)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 365 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

[Amendment No. 366 not moved.]


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