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Lord Whitty: My Lords, I understand the noble Baroness's concern, but her amendment would render the situation worse for individuals as well as excluding organisations and providers.

The term "particular person" is used elsewhere, such as in the Section 123 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, which makes it an offence to disclose any information about any particular person obtained in connection with a claim to benefit. Hence the structure of confidentiality is based on the use of that phrase. Changing the wording to "identifiable individual" would allow the identity of providers of grant in respect of tenants on housing benefit to be disclosed. In the case of small housing associations, as the identity and premises would be disclosable it would be an easy read across to identify particular individuals in receipt of benefit.

Benefits staff have a general duty of confidentiality in respect of any information acquired in the course of their employment. If they are to share that information with other departments in the local authority during the transition and after and disclose information to the grant-making team, it is only right that the duty of confidentiality and the offence that applies to them should be extended in the same terms to the other departments. I emphasise that the offence as drafted applies only to social security information disclosed under Amendment No. 351. General information about providers will not be affected and will be shared publicly. If the offence were amended, it could make the sharing of information difficult--which, I am sure, is not the aim. Therefore, I ask the noble Baroness not to press the amendment.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I am grateful for that explanation, which confirms that we have some way to

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go with making legislation more cohesive and comprehensible. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment No. 352A, as an amendment to Commons Amendment No. 352, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 352B, as an amendment to Commons Amendment No. 352, not moved.]

On Question, Commons Amendment No. 352 agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

353After Clause 87, insert the following new clause--
ACCESS TO INFORMATION; BACKGROUND PAPERS

(" .--(1) In section 100D of the Local Government Act 1972 (inspection of background papers) for subsection (1) there is substituted--
"(1) Subject, in the case of section 100C(1), to subsection (2) below, if and so long as copies of the whole or part of a report for a meeting of a principal council are required by section 100B(1) or 100C(1) above to be open to inspection by members of the public--
(a) those copies shall each include a copy of a list, compiled by the proper officer, of the background papers for the report or the part of the report, and
(b) at least one copy of each of the documents included in that list shall also be open to inspection at the offices of the council."
(2) In subsection (2) the words "of the list, or" are omitted.")
354After Clause 87, insert the following new clause--
MEETINGS AND DOCUMENTS: NOTICE ETC

(" .--(1) In section 100K of the Local Government Act 1972 (interpretation and application of Part VA), after subsection (2) there is inserted--
"(3) The Secretary of State may by order amend sections 100A(6)(a) and 100B(3) and (4)(a) above so as to substitute for each reference to three clear days such greater number of days as may be specified in the order.
(4) Any statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (3) above shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."
(2) In Schedule 12 to that Act (meetings and proceedings of local authorities), after paragraph 4 there is inserted--
"4A.--(1) The Secretary of State may by order amend paragraph 4(2) above so as to substitute for the reference to three clear days such greater number of days as may be specified in the order.
(2) Any statutory instrument containing an order under sub-paragraph (1) above shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."").

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 353 and 354.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 353 and 354.--(Lord Whitty.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

355Clause 88, page 61, line 16, leave out ("of an executive")
356Page 61, line 18, leave out (""executive" and "local authority" have") and insert (""local authority" has")
357Page 61, line 40, leave out ("which are operating executive arrangements")

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358Page 61, line 42, leave out ("executive") and insert ("council")
359Page 61, line 44, leave out ("and") and insert ("or")
360Page 62, line 2, leave out ("every") and insert ("a")
361Page 62, line 3, leave out first ("and") and insert ("or")
362Page 62, line 4, after ("functions") insert ("as may be specified in the regulations")
363Page 62, leave out line 6 and insert--
("(3BA) Regulations under this section may make provision for or in connection with enabling a panel established by a body specified in the regulations to exercise such functions as may be specified in the regulations in relation to allowances, or pensions, allowances or gratuities, payable to members of such district councils, county councils or London borough councils in England as may be specified in the regulations.
(3BB) Regulations under this section may make provision for or in connection with the establishment by the National Assembly for Wales on a permanent or temporary basis of a panel which is to have such functions as may be specified in the regulations in relation to allowances, or pensions, allowances or gratuities, payable to members of county councils and county borough councils in Wales.")
364Page 62, line 14, at end insert--
("( ) Regulations under subsection (3BA) may include provision--
(a) with respect to the number of persons who may or must be appointed to a panel mentioned in that subsection,
(b) with respect to the persons who may or must be appointed to such a panel.
( ) Regulations under subsection (3B), (3BA) or (3BB) may include provision--")
365Page 62, line 15, leave out ("the panel of a council to consider and") and insert ("a panel mentioned in that subsection")
366Page 62, line 16, leave out first ("the") and insert ("a")
367Page 62, line 18, leave out from ("enabling") to ("which") in line 20 and insert ("such a panel to make recommendations to a council as to")
368Page 62, line 21, leave out ("executive") and insert ("council")
369Page 62, line 22, at end insert--
("( ) which permits different recommendations to be made in relation to different councils or descriptions of council."")
370Page 62, leave out lines 33 and 34

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 355 to 370.

These amendments respond to debates in this House and the other place in relation to the remuneration of councillors--in particular, the concerns raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Miller, and by the honourable Member for Bath. The amendments cover the issues of giving councillors access to pensionable remuneration and allowing for the regulations to provide for an independent remuneration panel to be established for more than one council--in particular, so that the National Assembly for Wales can maintain a panel for all councils.

Moved, that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 355 to 370.--(Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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COMMONS AMENDMENT

371After Clause 89, insert the following new clause--
INDEMNIFICATION OF MEMBERS AND OFFICERS OF RELEVANT AUTHORITIES

(" .--(1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision for or in connection with conferring power on relevant authorities in England and police authorities in Wales to provide indemnities to some or all of their members and officers.
(2) The National Assembly for Wales may by order make provision for or in connection with conferring power on relevant authorities in Wales (other than police authorities) to provide indemnities to some or all of their members and officers.
(3) An order under this section may apply--
(a) to all relevant authorities, or
(b) to any particular description of relevant authority.
(4) Before making an order under this section, the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) the National Assembly for Wales must consult--
(a) such representatives of relevant authorities,
(b) such representatives of employees of relevant authorities, and
(c) such other persons,
as he or it considers appropriate.
(5) In this section--
"member", in relation to a relevant authority, includes--
(i) a member of any committee or sub-committee of the authority, or
(ii) a person who is a member of, and represents the authority on, any joint committee or sub-committee,
"police authority" and "relevant authority" have the same meaning as in Part III of this Act.")

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 371.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 371.--(Lord Whitty.)


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