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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendments Nos. 558 to 563:


Page 186, line 24, leave out ("require") and insert ("request").
Page 186, line 24, at end insert--
("( ) The information, advice or assistance that may be requested under subsection (1) above is such information, advice or assistance as the Mayor may reasonably require for the purpose of discharging functions of the Authority which are exercisable by him.").
Page 186, line 26, leave out ("confidential").
Page 186, line 29, leave out paragraph (b).
Page 186, line 31, leave out paragraph (c) and insert--
("(c) impose further limitations on the exercise of the powers conferred on the Mayor by subsection (1) above.").
Page 186, line 34, leave out subsection (3).

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 343 [Research and collection of information: London Research Centre etc.]:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 563A:


Page 187, line 15, at end insert--
("(3A) The Secretary of State may make regulations requiring the Authority to make, or assist in making, arrangements whereby information falling within subsection (3B) below which is in the possession of the Authority is made available to any of the bodies and persons mentioned in subsection (3)(a) to (c) above.
(3B) The information which falls within this subsection is--
(a) information collected, or the result of any investigation carried out, by the Authority under subsection (1)(a) above, and
(b) information collected, or the result of any investigation carried out, other than by the Authority which has been transferred to the Authority by virtue of an order under section 351 below or a scheme under section 352 below.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment corrects a loophole that we have noticed in the provisions at Clause 343 of the Bill. The clause provides the Secretary of State with a fall-back power enabling him to instruct the GLA to make research data that it has collected available to others, in recognition of the

25 Oct 1999 : Column 138

important role it is inheriting from the LRC. However, the current provisions do not extend to research work carried out by predecessor bodies but inherited by the GLA. The amendment makes clear that the Secretary of State's power should extend to enabling him to instruct the GLA to make available information transferred to it under the transfer provisions at Clauses 351 and 352 of the Bill. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 563B:


After Clause 346, insert the following new clause--

("Overseas assistance
OVERSEAS ASSISTANCE

.--(1) Section 1 of the Local Government (Overseas Assistance) Act 1993 (power of local authorities to provide advice and assistance overseas) shall be amended as follows.
(2) After subsection (6) there shall be inserted--
"(6A) For the purposes of subsection (1) above the Greater London Authority shall be treated as having skill and experience as respects a particular matter if--
(a) the Authority does not have skill and experience as respects that matter,
(b) the London Development Agency does have such skill and experience, and
(c) the Agency provides advice and assistance as respects that matter to the Authority.".
(3) In subsection (9)(a) (authorities given power to provide assistance) after "Wales," there shall be inserted "the Greater London Authority,".").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment provides for the GLA and the LDA to be able to provide assistance under the Local Government (Overseas Assistance) Act, meeting assurances given by Ministers earlier in the passage of the Bill.

Similar provision is not needed for TfL, which already has the power to offer such assistance under paragraph 9 of Schedule 9 to the Bill, or for the police or fire authorities, which are already covered by existing legislation. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 563C:


After Clause 347, insert the following new clause--

THE LONDON PENSIONS FUND AUTHORITY: FINANCE

(" .--(1) For each financial year the London Pensions Fund Authority ("the LPFA") shall prepare--
(a) a statement containing a draft budget for the LPFA for that financial year and specifying the amount of any levy which the LPFA proposes to make on any class of authority in respect of that year by virtue of any levying bodies regulations; and
(b) a statement of the LPFA's strategic plans and objectives for that financial year and the two following financial years;
and shall submit those statements to the Mayor on or before 31st December in the preceding financial year.

25 Oct 1999 : Column 139


(2) If--
(a) the Mayor gives the LPFA any comments on a statement submitted in accordance with subsection (1)(a) above, and
(b) those comments are given on or before 31st January immediately following the submission of the statement,
the LPFA shall have regard to the comments in setting its budget for the financial year to which the statement relates.
(3) In this section--
"levying bodies regulations" means regulations (at the passing of this Act, the Levying Bodies (General) Regulations 1992)--
(a) made under section 74(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988; and
(b) having effect in relation to the LPFA by reason of a levying power which the LPFA would have, apart from section 117 of that Act;
"levying power" means a power to make a levy conferred by or under any Act other than the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (at the passing of this Act, the power conferred by article 4 of the London Government Reorganisation (Pensions etc.) Order 1989);
"net expenditure", in relation to the LPFA, means all expenditure and costs incurred by the LPFA less receipts (if any), but excluding--
(a) any expenditure or costs payable out of, or
(b) any receipts which fall to be credited to,
the superannuation fund maintained by the LPFA under regulations under section 7 of the Superannuation Act 1972.
(4) This section has effect in relation to financial years beginning on or after 1st April 2001.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment seeks to insert a new clause to complete the framework for fulfilling the commitment in the White Paper to bring the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) under the control of a democratic London-wide authority. Clause 348 already transfers to the mayor the Secretary of State's functions in relation to appointments to the board of the LPFA, remuneration of board members and the provision of annual reports and other information. This new clause gives the mayor a role in commenting each year on the budget and strategic plans drawn up by that body. I regret that some further minor and consequential amendments to Part III of the Bill will need to be introduced at Third Reading in relation to the auditing and accounts of the LPFA. I apologise for the fact that those amendments are not ready today. I ask noble Lords to accept the principal clause set out in this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 351 [Transfers of property, rights or liabilities]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 564 to 565:


Page 192, line 26, leave out ("Corporation of London") and insert ("Common Council").
Page 192, line 29, at end insert--
("( ) any Minister of the Crown or government department;").
Page 192, line 35, leave out ("Corporation of London") and insert ("Common Council").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

25 Oct 1999 : Column 140

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 565A:


Page 193, line 12, at end insert--
("( ) To the extent that an order under subsection (1) above makes provision for or in connection with the transfer of property, rights or liabilities to the London Development Agency from--
(a) the Urban Regeneration Agency, or
(b) the Commission for the New Towns,
section 38 of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 (relief from Corporation Tax) shall apply in relation to the order as if it were a transfer scheme within the meaning of that section.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 565A I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 565B, 570VA, 570WA, 570XA, 575ZA and 577AA. This group of amendments deal with the tax status of the functional bodies and are aimed at ensuring that transfers made under the Bill are tax neutral.

Amendment No. 570XA exempts TfL, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority from paying income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax. Amendments Nos. 565A and 565B make transfers from English Partnerships or the Commission for New Towns to the London Development Agency subject to appropriate relief from corporation tax under Section 38 of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. Amendment No. 575ZA provides for tax-neutral transfers between London Transport and TfL, and during any preceding reorganisation of LT, as well as the tax-neutral establishment of arrangements under the PPP. Amendments Nos. 570VA and 570WA exempt transfers undertaken by or under the Bill from stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax.

This group of amendments will ensure that TfL, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority have the same tax regime as local authorities and retain the existing tax status of their predecessor bodies. In the case of TfL, all of the activities that it inherits from its various predecessor bodies will be put in the same tax position as prior to those changes. The changes will also ensure that transfers made as a result of the Bill will not give rise to any tax charge. Any liability to tax arising from transfers made under the Bill will reduce the resources available to the GLA and the functional bodies to provide services. The approach I have set out avoids unnecessary cost to the public purse and tax demands that would be of benefit to no one. I beg to move.


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