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Lord Prior: My Lords, having listened to the proceedings for the past half-hour, the Minister now tells the House that the Bill just requires a little tidying up. I believe that the Bill requires a good deal of tidying up and is an example of bad legislation to be passed by this House. I hope that in future the Government will take more notice of this.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

6 p.m.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

127Page 27, line 18, at end insert--
("( ) Before making an order under this section so far as it relates to police authorities in Wales, the Secretary of State must consult--
(a) such representatives of police authorities in Wales as he considers appropriate,
(b) the Commission for Local Administration in Wales, and
(c) the National Assembly for Wales.")
128Page 27, line 21, leave out ("local government") and insert ("relevant authorities")
129Page 27, line 33, at end insert--
("( ) the Metropolitan Police Authority,
( ) the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority,")
130Page 27, line 39, leave out ("established under section 3 of the Police Act 1996")
131Clause 46, page 28, line 10, after ("England") insert ("and police authorities in Wales")
132Page 28, line 10, at end insert ("of conduct)")
133Page 28, line 13, after ("Wales") insert ("other than police authorities")
134Page 28, line 13, at end insert ("of conduct).
( ) The power under subsection (1) or (2) to issue a model code of conduct includes power to revise any such model code which has been issued.")
135Page 28, line 14, at end insert ("of conduct")
136Page 28, line 21, leave out from ("section") to end of line 22 and insert (" 45, before an order is made under that section")

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 127 to 136.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 127 to 136.--(Lord Whitty.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

137Page 28, line 24, leave out ("representative of local government in England") and insert ("body")

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 137. The amendments in this and the next group starting with Amendment No. 137 respond to various points raised by noble Lords and make a number of important changes. The

24 Jul 2000 : Column 72

amendments grouped here relate to the codes of conduct, standards committees and the duties of both the monitoring officer and relevant authorities. Amendments Nos. 137, 139 and 142 make it clear that, should the Secretary of State wish to do so, he may invite more than one body to submit proposals to form a code of conduct or revise an existing code.

Amendment No. 155 responds to points made by the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, and will ensure that if a relevant authority publishes its own newspaper it should include publicity about the adoption of a code within that paper as well as in a local newspaper circulating in the area.

Amendments Nos. 159 to 161, 163 to 165 and 167 to 169 relate to circumstances--which, we hope, will be few--in which a relevant authority fails to adopt a code of conduct within the timescale set out in the Bill, and ensures that the mandatory provisions of the model code governing councillors' behaviour will apply anyway, in spite of that authority's failure.

Amendments Nos. 162, 166 and 310 are essentially technical amendments but have the important effect of clarifying the provisions in Clause 48 to ensure that the code of conduct applies to any member of a relevant authority.

Amendments Nos. 174, 183, 186 and 195 deal with the ability of the Secretary of State to regulate effectively the size, composition and appointments to standards committees. They also allow the Government to regulate the proceedings of such committees, including access, agendas and publicity.

Amendment No. 196 clarifies the ability of the standards committee of a district council to delegate its functions in relation to parishes to a sub-committee of the standards committee, should the authority choose to appoint one. Amendment No. 197 duplicates that provision for Wales.

Amendments Nos. 43 and 268 will ensure that, where it is warranted, the Secretary of State (or the National Assembly) can require a monitoring officer report, or recommendations or action resulting from such a report, to be made public. This is important for the credibility of the authority's standards committee and will ensure that the public can have confidence in the integrity of local government.

Amendment No. 314, together with Amendments Nos. 312 and 313, prevents the consideration of reports from a case tribunal being delegated, thus requiring it to be considered by the whole council, or a standards committee of that council.

Amendments Nos. 315 and 316 address concerns raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, when this Bill was last before the House. They clarify that the monitoring officer has responsibility for maintaining the register of members' interests and remove the requirement that members have to register the interests of their partners and other members of their household.

Amendment No. 321 makes provision within Clause 76 to allow for a separate code of conduct for the council manager. Amendment No. 326 further amends

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the clause so that the definition of "qualifying employee" refers to all relevant authority employees except those excluded by regulations.

I thank all Members of the House with a wide range of experience in local government who have contributed. We have listened carefully and considered their points. The amendments pick up many of the points that flow from that knowledge. I commend Amendment No. 137 to the House and hope that the other amendments in this group will be accepted.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 137.--(Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

138Page 28, line 26, at end insert ("of conduct or proposed revisions to such a model code")
139Page 28, line 28, at end insert--
("( ) may be made to more than one body,
( ) may be limited to particular descriptions of authority,")
140Page 28, line 29, leave out ("code is") and insert ("proposals are")
141Page 28, line 31, leave out ("codes, or different provisions of a code,") and insert ("proposals")
142Page 28, line 33, leave out ("the representative concerned") and insert ("any body to which the invitation is made")
143Clause 47, page 28, line 35, leave out ("each") and insert ("a")
144Page 28, line 36, leave out ("an") and insert ("the first")
145Page 28, line 40, leave out from ("conduct)") to end of line 41 and insert--
("(1A) It is the duty of a relevant authority, before the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which any subsequent order under section 46 which applies to them is made, to pass a resolution--
(a) adopting a code of conduct in place of their existing code of conduct under this section, or
(b) revising their existing code of conduct under this section.")
146Page 28, line 42, after ("resolution") insert--
("(a) adopt a code of conduct in place of their existing code of conduct under this section, or
(b)")
147Page 29, line 2, after ("code") insert ("of conduct")
148Page 29, line 7, leave out ("in subsection (1)") and insert ("under subsection (1) or (1A)")
149Page 29, line 11, after ("code") insert ("of conduct")
150Page 29, line 17, leave out ("their principal office") and insert ("an office of the authority")
151Page 29, line 24, leave out ("their principal office") and insert ("an office of the authority")
152Page 29, line 26, leave out ("their principal office") and insert ("that office")
153Page 29, line 28, after ("England") insert ("or a police authority in Wales")
154Page 29, line 29, leave out ("or")
155Page 29, line 31, at end insert--
("( ) Where a relevant authority themselves publish a newspaper, the duty to publish a notice under subsection (5)(b) is to be construed as a duty to publish that notice in their newspaper and at least one other newspaper circulating in their area.")
156Page 29, line 35, leave out subsection (7)

24 Jul 2000 : Column 74


157Page 29, line 39, at end insert ("(and accordingly, in the case of a relevant authority to which section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 applies, is not to be a function to which that section applies)")
158Page 29, line 40, leave out subsection (9)
159Clause 48, page 29, line 43, at beginning insert ("A person who is a member or co-opted member of a relevant authority at a time when the authority adopts a code of conduct under section 47 for the first time--
(a) must, before the end of the period of two months beginning with the date on which the code of conduct is adopted, give to the authority a written undertaking that in performing his functions he will observe the authority's code of conduct for the time being under section 47, and
(b) if he fails to do so, is to cease to be a member or co-opted member at the end of that period.
(1A)")
160Page 29, line 46, leave out ("existing code of conduct") and insert ("code of conduct for the time being")
161Page 30, line 1, leave out subsection (2)
162Page 30, line 10, leave out ("elected as") and insert ("who becomes")
163Page 30, line 11, after ("apply") insert ("at any time after the authority has adopted a code of conduct under section 47 for the first time")
164Page 30, line 13, leave out ("existing code of conduct") and insert ("code of conduct for the time being")
165Page 30, line 14, leave out subsection (4)
166Page 30, line 23, leave out ("Any person appointed as") and insert ("A person who becomes")
167Page 30, line 23, at end insert ("at any time after the authority has adopted a code of conduct under section 47 for the first time")
168Page 30, line 25, leave out ("existing code of conduct") and insert ("code of conduct for the time being")
169Page 30, line 27, leave out subsections (6) to (8)
170Clause 49, page 31, line 10, after ("England") insert ("or a police authority in Wales")
171Page 31, line 10, leave out ("terms") and insert ("term")
172Page 31, line 12, after ("England") insert ("or a police authority in Wales")
173Page 31, line 23, at end insert ("and police authorities in Wales")
174Page 31, line 25, leave out ("and") and insert--
("(ba) with respect to the access of the public to meetings of such committees,
(bb) with respect to the publicity to be given to meetings of such committees,
(bc) with respect to the production of agendas for, or records of, meetings of such committees,
(bd) with respect to the availability to the public or members of relevant authorities of agendas for, records of or information connected with meetings of such committees,")
175Page 31, line 30, leave out ("local") and insert ("relevant")
176Page 31, line 30, after ("England") insert ("and police authorities in Wales")
177Page 31, line 32, at end insert ("or a police authority in Wales")
178Page 31, line 35, after ("England") insert ("and a police authority in Wales")
179Page 31, line 38, after ("England") insert ("or a police authority in Wales")
180Page 31, line 44, after ("Wales") insert ("other than police authorities")

24 Jul 2000 : Column 75

181Page 32, line 2, at end insert--
("( ) as to the term of office of members of any such committees,")
182Page 32, line 7, leave out ("standards")
183Page 32, line 9, at end insert--
("(da) with respect to the access of the public to meetings of such committees,
(db) with respect to the publicity to be given to meetings of such committees,
(dc) with respect to the production of agendas for, or records of, meetings of such committees,
(dd) with respect to the availability to the public or members of relevant authorities of agendas for, records of or information connected with meetings of such committees,")
184Page 32, line 10, after second ("of") insert ("any")
185Page 32, line 12, after ("Wales") insert ("(other than police authorities)")
186Page 32, line 15, at end insert--
("( ) The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (6)(ba) to (bd) or (11)(da) to (dd) includes provision which applies or reproduces (with or without modifications) any provisions of Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972.")
187Clause 50, page 32, line 34, at end insert ("and police authorities in Wales")
188Page 32, line 37, at end insert ("(other than police authorities)")
189Page 32, line 39, leave out ("local") and insert ("relevant")
190Page 32, line 40, at end insert ("and police authorities in Wales")
191Page 32, line 42, leave out ("local") and insert ("relevant")
192Page 32, line 43, at end insert ("(other than police authorities)")
193Page 32, line 44, leave out subsection (8)
194Clause 51, page 33, line 23, leave out ("terms") and insert ("term")
195Page 33, line 45, after ("and") insert ("(ba) to")
196Page 34, line 7, leave out subsection (11) and insert--
("(11) Any function which by virtue of the following provisions of this Part is exercisable by or in relation to the standards committee of a relevant authority which is a parish council is to be exercisable by or in relation to--
(a) the standards committee of the district council or unitary county council which is the responsible authority in relation to the parish council, or
(b) where that standards committee has appointed a sub-committee under this section, that sub-committee;
and any reference in the following provision of this Part to the standards committee of a relevant authority which is a parish council is to be construed accordingly.")
197Page 35, line 10, leave out subsection (7) and insert--
("(7) Any function which by virtue of the following provisions of this Part is exercisable by or in relation to the standards committee of a relevant authority which is a community council is to be exercisable by or in relation to--
(a) the standards committee of the county council or county borough council in whose area the community council is situated, or
(b) where that standards committee has appointed a sub-committee under this section, that sub-committee;
and any reference in the following provision of this Part to the standards committee of a relevant authority which is a community council is to be construed accordingly.")
198Clause 53, page 35, line 25, leave out ("under") and insert ("by")

24 Jul 2000 : Column 76

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 138 to 198.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 138 to 198.--(Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


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