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Earl Attlee: My Lords, I am grateful for two things. First, I am grateful to the Minister for agreeing to take away the amendment on Report. Secondly, and perhaps more important, I am grateful to him for recognising that the drafting may have been defective because I should not wish to develop a reputation for falsely making such claims. I have residual concerns but I think we need to move on and I am content.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 22 [Road user charging]:

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 162:

Page 349, line 21, at end insert--
("(5) In applying the net proceeds of charging schemes, the Authority, Transport for London or London borough councils, as the case may be, shall have regard to the provisions of the Local Government Act 1999.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 163, 164 and 165. They are two pairs of amendments to Schedules 22 and 23, the schedules which deal with the congestion charging and workplace parking charges.

I have given the Minister notice of my concerns which have led to the tabling of the amendments. The amendments seek to delete from the paragraphs in the schedules dealing with the applications of the proceeds of the schemes that they may be applied only for purposes which provide value for money. That is not because we on these Benches are against value for money; far from it. But we are concerned that as there is no definition of "value for money", to provide such a requirement seems to open up the possibilities of challenges to the schemes on a fairly subjective basis. We should not wish to see schemes which should be supported threatened in, perhaps, a rather mischievous fashion.

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I have tabled amendments to provide alternatives; namely, that the bodies concerned should have regard to the provisions of the Local Government Act 1999. As your Lordships will recall, that is the Act which requires local authorities to achieve best value. "Best value" is, of course, defined and dealt with at some length within that legislation. It seemed to me that that is perhaps a better way in which to approach the matter rather than having an unspecific requirement in relation to value for money.

Perhaps the Minister will explain to the House how value for money will be assessed in the context of the Bill; what discretion the authority, Transport for London and the boroughs will have, given that they must achieve value for money, as undefined; and also, and importantly, what steps are open to a member of the public who does not believe that value for money is being achieved by the scheme in question; and if there is such a challenge, what effect that may have on a scheme generating income.

As I said, we are not at all against value for money. But we believe that the matter needs to be dealt with in a way which is certain. I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I understand the point which the noble Baroness makes but I do not consider that her amendments advance that argument. On the one hand, the deletion of references to "value for money" would mean that there were no criteria, even in the broad brush terms which "value for money" suggests, against which those schemes could be judged. Clearly, the setting of financial performance targets and recording achievement against those targets through an independent audit process ensures that local residents receive information and quality services as a result. Therefore, we need to keep some reference to that.

The duty of best value already applies to all the authorities under the Local Government Act 1999. The wording in that Act is more stringent than that proposed by the amendments tabled by the noble Baroness. The GLA, Transport for London, the borough councils and so forth are already subject to the best value regime and do not simply have to have regard to that regime.

The present position, with reference to the Local Government Act, is a clearer and a more consistent position than the combination of amendments tabled by the noble Baroness.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, the Minister has not answered my question about what steps are open to a member of the public who challenges a scheme on best value for money. Perhaps the Minister can help me further.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, in terms of making challenges, it is a question of what information is available to a member of the public or anybody else to check whether the local authority is performing against the criteria which may well be set by an independent audit process. The remedies to that are, by and large, through the ballot box, unless we are talking about an actual breach of fiduciary duty, or something of that nature. That is covered by existing legislation.

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Of course, there are powers available to the Secretary of State, of which the noble Baroness is well aware, to give a member of the public such information and, therefore, the ability to judge objectively the performance of the council in the light of that information. That is important.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, of course I accept that targets, performance indicators, proper auditing and so on are important matters. I do not challenge any of those. I suspect that the best value duty would apply whether we said this or not. I am still left with the fact that I do not understand what "value for money" means if there is a best value duty. I fear there may be an inconsistency as a result of including the provision. I hope that I am not proved right. I fear a problem. However, I have heard the assurances of the Minister, so I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 163 not moved.]

10.15 p.m.

Schedule 23 [Workplace parking levy]:

[Amendments Nos. 164 and 165 not moved.]

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Lyell): My Lords, before I call Amendment No. 166, I have to inform the House that on Division No. 4, on Amendment No. 72, the numbers who voted Not Content were 133 and not 134 as previously announced.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I am grateful for that correction.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 166:

Page 368, line 7, at end insert--


. Regulations may make provision for or in connection with permitting evidence of a fact relevant to proceedings for an offence under this Schedule, or proceedings in respect of a failure to comply with the provisions of a licensing scheme, to be given by the production of--
(a) a record produced by a prescribed device; and
(b) a certificate (whether in the same or another document) as to the circumstances in which the record was produced signed by a prescribed person.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 166 enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to determine what will be admissible as evidence in civil and criminal proceedings where workplace parking charges have not been complied with, on the assumption that the mayor would proceed with such a scheme.

An identical provision is already included in relation to road-user charging and this amendment continues the provision across to workplace parking levies. It will ensure that the evidence that can be presented in a court of law is well-founded. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Schedule 24 [Further amendments of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 167:

Page 374, line 29, at end insert--
("(7) In paragraph 5(1) (section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 to apply to employees of regional development agencies) at the end there shall be added "other than the London Development Agency (for whose employees corresponding provision is made by section 382(1) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999)".").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton) moved Amendments Nos.168-171:

Page 375, line 40, after ("the") insert ("exercise of").
Page 375, line 40, leave out ("are") and insert ("is").
Page 375, line 43, after ("the") insert ("exercise of").
Page 375, line 44, leave out ("are") and insert ("is").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 25 [The Metropolitan Police Authority: Schedule 2A to the Police Act 1996]:

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 172.

Page 377, line 24, leave out ("3(1)") and insert ("3(1A)").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I hesitate to say so, following our earlier debates on transition, but this and Amendment No. 177 are two very minor amendments.

Amendment No. 172 corrects a cross-reference in Schedule 25 to the Bill that needs updating following the consequential amendment passed at Report. The consequential amendment in question, Amendment No.538D, added a new sub-paragraph (1A) to paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the 1996 Police Act, which made specific provision for the MPA independent member selection panel. In particular, it removed the age limit of 70 for membership of that panel, following our removal of age limits for membership of the MPA itself. This new subparagraph (1A) is referred to in what is now paragraph 106(6) of Schedule 26.

Paragraph 3 of Schedule 25 makes provision for the appointment of independent members of the MPA. In sub-paragraph (6) there is a cross-reference to the independent member selection panel provisions in paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the 1996 Act. At present the reference is to paragraph 3(1), but, following the amendment that has been made to that paragraph, the cross-reference should now be to paragraph 3(1A) rather than to paragraph 3(1). Amendment No. 172 rectifies that mistake.

Amendment No.177 is a very tiny drafting change to paragraph 104 of Schedule 26 to the Bill, which covers the national and international functions of the Met. In new Section 96B(1), inserted into the Police Act 1996 by that paragraph, there is a repetitious reference to Section 6(1) of the 1996 Act. Amendment No.177 removes that extra reference, which is unnecessary. I beg to move.

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

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