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Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 264:


ALLOWANCES AND PENSIONS FOR CERTAIN LOCAL AUTHORITY MEMBERS

(".--(1) The provision which may be made by regulations under section 7 of the Superannuation Act 1972 (superannuation of persons employed in local government service etc) includes provision for or in connection with the provision of pensions, allowances or gratuities to or in respect of such members of an executive of a local authority as may be prescribed by the regulations.
(2) In subsection (1) "executive" and "local authority" have the same meaning as in Part II of this Act.
(3) Section 18 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (schemes for basic, attendance and special responsibility allowances for local authority members) is amended as follows.
(4) At the beginning of subsection (1) there is inserted "Subject to subsection (1A)," and after that subsection there is inserted--
"(1A) In relation to a district council, county council, county borough council or London borough council, subsection (1) above shall have effect with the omission of paragraph (b)."
(5) After subsection (2) there is inserted--
"(2A) Regulations under this section may authorise or require a scheme made by a district council, county council, county borough council or London borough council to include provision for the payment to members of the council of allowances in respect of such expenses of arranging for the care of children or dependants as are necessarily incurred in the carrying out of their duties as members."
(6) In subsection (3), for "and (2)" there is substituted "to (2A)".
(7) After subsection (3) there is inserted--
"(3A) Regulations under this section may make provision for or in connection with--
(a) enabling district councils, county councils, county borough councils or London borough councils which are operating executive arrangements to determine which members of the executive are to be entitled to pensions, allowances or gratuities,
(b) treating the basic allowance and the special responsibility allowance as amounts in respect of which such pensions, allowances or gratuities are payable.
(3B) Regulations under this section may make provision for or in connection with requiring every district council, county council, county borough council and London borough council to establish and maintain a panel which is to have such functions in relation to allowances, or pensions, allowances or gratuities, payable to members of the council as may be prescribed by the regulations.
(3C) Regulations under subsection (3B) above may include provision--
(a) with respect to the number of persons who may or must be appointed to the panel of a council,
(b) with respect to the persons who may or must be appointed to the panel of a council,
(c) for or in connection with the appointment by councils of joint panels,
(d) for or in connection with enabling the panel of a council to consider and make recommendations to the council on the level of allowances payable to members of the council,
(e) for or in connection with enabling the panel of a council which is operating executive arrangements to consider, and make recommendations to the council on, which members of the executive are to be entitled to pensions, allowances or gratuities."

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(8) In subsection (4), for the word "and" at the end of paragraph (b) there is substituted--
"(ba) make provision with respect to the amendment, revocation or replacement of a scheme made by a relevant authority under the regulations; and".
(9) After subsection (5) there is inserted--
"(5A) In making or operating any scheme authorised or required by regulations under this section, a district council, county council, county borough council or London borough council shall have regard to any guidance for the time being issued by the Secretary of State.
(5B) In this section "executive" and "executive arrangements" have the same meaning as in Part II of the Local Government Act 2000."").

[Amendment No. 264A, as an amendment to Amendment No. 264, not moved.]

On Question, Amendment No. 264 agreed to.

Clause 66, as amended, agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 265 and 265A not moved.]

Clause 67 agreed to.

Clause 34 [Principles governing conduct of members of relevant authorities]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 266 to 268:


    Page 17, line 14, after ("members") insert ("and co-opted members").


    Page 17, line 16, after ("members") insert ("and co-opted members").


    Page 18, line 6, at end insert--


("(6) In this Part "co-opted member", in relation to a relevant authority, means a person who is not a member of the authority but who--
(a) is a member of any committee or sub-committee of the authority, or
(b) is a member of, and represents the authority on, any joint committee or joint sub-committee of the authority,
and who is entitled to vote on any question which falls to be decided at any meeting of that committee or sub-committee.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 34, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 35 [Model code of conduct]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 269 to 271:


    Page 18, line 8, after ("members") insert ("and co-opted members").


    Page 18, line 11, after ("members") insert ("and co-opted members").


    Page 18, line 36, after ("concerned") insert ("or the Partnership Council (as the case may be)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 35, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 36 [Duty of relevant authorities to adopt codes of conduct]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 272 and 273:


    Page 18, line 44, after ("members") insert ("and co-opted members").


    Page 19, line 16, after ("members") insert ("and co-opted members").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

1 Feb 2000 : Column 203

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 273A:


    Page 19, line 23, after ("newspapers") insert (", which may be or include a newspaper published by the authority,").

The noble Baroness said: Amendment No. 273A seeks clarification of what is a "newspaper" for the purposes of Clause 36(5). The provision requires a local authority, after adopting or revising a code of conduct, to publish certain matters in a newspaper circulating in its area. My amendment proposes that such a newspaper may include or may be a newspaper published by the authority. In raising this point I am aware of the issues concerning what is proper publication of indicators and reaching performance indicators where local authorities are required to publish details of how they have met certain targets.

It may well be that a local authority newspaper which is delivered free to every household will have a better circulation than a commercial newspaper. In moving the amendment I seek to learn the Government's intention in this matter. I hope that they will feel able, if not to accept the wording, at least to accept the spirit of this amendment. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: As the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, said, adoption of the amendment would mean the Bill being amended in order that information regarding the adoption of a code of conduct would be published in a newspaper published by the authority alone. While we would certainly encourage local authorities to circulate their code of conduct through their own publications--the Bill as drafted would not prevent that--we are wary of including an amendment that could reduce the requirement for publication of information on the adoption of a code of conduct solely to a newspaper published by the authority. I can see a position arising where an authority may be tempted to publish even though the circulation of the newspaper is based on membership of the electoral roll. That can exclude people who are new to the area and people working in the area and can be limiting.

I should remind the noble Baroness that we are not asking for a large item to be published in a newspaper. We are asking only that information about the code being adopted and where it can be seen is published. In the light of that and the reassurance that there is no need for a specific amendment which requires a local authority to publish information about the availability of the code in one of its own newspapers as well, I hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Hamwee: I take the point that one has to be careful about using an authority's own publication, but it seems to me that it is doing no more than meeting a bit of fine print to have a small advertisement in a commercial newspaper which is unlikely to be read by anyone other than its most devoted reader. It might be more effective to have the information published in an authority's own newspaper.

As I was speaking, it occurred to me that there might be a mechanism allowing the standards board to assess the means of publication proposed by an authority. It

1 Feb 2000 : Column 204

is not a major issue but one which is worth considering. Perhaps I may leave that thought with the Minister and with myself because it has only just occurred to me. It may be that we can discuss the matter after this stage of the Bill. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

10.45 p.m.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 274:


    Page 19, line 29, at end insert--


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