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Amendments to the Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Bill

Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Bill


MARSHALLED
LIST OF AMENDMENTS
TO BE MOVED
ON REPORT


[Amendments marked * are new or have been altered]

Amendment
No.

 

Before Clause 1

 

THE BARONESS HAMWEE

1*Insert the following new Clause—
  "Purpose of the Bill
  The purpose of this Bill is to provide voters with a choice as to the establishment of regional assemblies in their region and as to options for change in the organisation of local government."
 

Clause 1

 

THE LORD PEYTON OF YEOVIL

2Page 1, line 7, at end insert "provided that in any order made under this subsection, it shall be made clear what will be the powers and functions of the assembly proposed, and how it will be funded"
 

THE BARONESS HANHAM
THE BARONESS BLATCH
THE LORD HANNINGFIELD

3*Page 1, line 7, at end insert—
"(   )  Before making an order under subsection (1), the Secretary of State must exercise his powers as defined in section 25 of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 (c. 45) (power to alter regions) to review the boundaries of the regions as specified in Schedule 1 of that Act."
4*Page 1, line 7, at end insert—
"(   )  No order under subsection (1) shall be made until a draft Bill setting out the powers, responsibilities and constitutional arrangements of elected regional assemblies has been published by the Secretary of State and laid before both Houses of Parliament for scrutiny."
5*Page 1, line 10, leave out "two"and insert "three"
6*Page 1, line 11, leave out from "State" to end of line 12 and insert "concludes on the basis of the evidence before him that it is more probable than not that in any referendum held within a region there will be a majority in favour of a directly elected assembly"
7*Page 1, line 12, at end insert—
"(   )  The second condition is that the Secretary of State has concluded on the basis of evidence available to him that there is substantial support from the business community, regional chambers, local authorities, cultural and voluntary sector and local electors within the region for the holding of such a referendum and such evidence has been laid before both Houses of Parliament."
8*Page 2, line 1, leave out "second" and insert "third"
 

THE LORD ROOKER

9Page 2, line 6, leave out second "that" and insert "the"
10Page 2, leave out lines 10 and 11 and insert "If the Secretary of State has cause to think that the level of interest has changed materially as mentioned in subsection (6), that subsection does not apply but he must not make an order under subsection (1) unless for the purposes of subsection (4) he considers—"
 

THE BARONESS HANHAM
THE BARONESS BLATCH
THE LORD HANNINGFIELD

11*Page 2, line 11, at end insert "and publish"
 

After Clause 1

 

THE BARONESS HAMWEE

12*Insert the following new Clause—
  "Local government referendums
(1)  This section applies if the Secretary of State makes an order under section 1 to cause a referendum to be held in a region about the establishment of an elected assembly for that region.
(2)  The Secretary of State must by order cause a referendum to be held in each county area in the region about the government's proposals for the structure of local government in that area.
(3)  A county area is an area in the region in relation to which both a county council and one or more district councils have functions.
(4)  But if the government's proposals for a county area include an option providing for a local authority whose area includes any part of the area of more than one county area, the county area for the purposes of this section is the combined area of each of those county areas.
(5)  The government's proposals for the structure of local government—
(a)  are such of the recommendations of the Boundary Committee for England made in pursuance of a direction under Part 2 of this Act as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate subject to such modifications (if any) as he proposes to make in pursuance of section 15(3);
(b)  must include at least two options for structural change (within the meaning of Part 2 of the Local Government Act 1992) in relation to each county area in the region.
(6)  The date of a referendum held in pursuance of an order under subsection (2) must be—
(a)  specified in the order;
(b)  the same date as the date specified in the order under section 1.
(7)  An order under subsection (2) must not be made before the end of the period of 6 weeks starting with the day on which the Secretary of State receives the recommendations of the Boundary Committee in pursuance of a direction under Part 2 of this Act.
(8)  The Secretary of State by order—
(a)  may vary an order under subsection (2);
(b)  must revoke such an order if he revokes the order under section 1.
(9)  A Minister of the Crown may by order make such provision as he thinks appropriate in connection with a referendum held in pursuance of an order under subsection (2).
(10)  An order under subsection (9) may—
(a)  make provision for the creation of offences;
(b)  apply or incorporate with or without modifications or exceptions any provision of any enactment (whenever passed or made and including this Act) relating to elections or referendums;
(c)  modify any provision of Chapter 2 of Part 7 of the 2000 Act as it applies to a referendum held in pursuance of an order under section 1."
 

Clause 2

 

THE BARONESS HANHAM
THE BARONESS BLATCH
THE LORD HANNINGFIELD

13*Page 2, line 20, after "region" insert "with the reorganisation of local government into a single tier in those areas which currently have county and district councils"
14*Page 2, line 28, insert—
"  any regional assembly established will have no new powers and no new money, except for that which they raise by a precept from council tax payers in the region."
15*Page 2, leave out lines 29 to 32
 

THE LORD ROOKER

16*Page 2, leave out lines 31 and 32 and insert "Voters in those parts of the region are being asked a separate question about their preferred option for a single tier in their area."
17*Page 2, line 32, at end insert—
"(2A)  The question to be asked in a referendum in pursuance of section (Local government referendums)(2) is:
  "Which of the following options for single tier local government do you prefer?
"(2B)  The following statement (in as nearly as may be the following form) must precede the question on the ballot paper used in any part of the region where a referendum is held in pursuance of an order under section (Local government referendums) (2):
  "If an elected assembly is established for the (insert name of region) region, it is intended that local government will be reorganised into a single tier in those parts of the region that currently have both county and district councils.
  There will be no reorganisation if an elected assembly is not established. Your part of the region currently has both county and district councils. You can help to decide how local authorities in your part of the region will be reorganised into a single tier."
(2C)  An order under section (Local government referendums)(2) must set out—
(a)  the text of the options to be inserted in the question specified in subsection (2A);
(b)  such explanatory material relating to the options as will be made available for voters at the time they vote.
(2D)  Before an order under section (Local government referendums) (2) is laid before Parliament in pursuance of section 27(2) the Secretary of State must consult the Electoral Commission—
(a)  on the wording of the text required to be inserted in pursuance of subsection (2A);
(b)  on the explanatory material.
(2E)  At the time when the order is so laid the Secretary of State must lay before each House a report stating any views which the Commission have expressed in response to the consultation as to—
(a)  the intelligibility of the text mentioned in subsection (2D);
(b)  the explanatory material.
(2F)  Explanatory material does not include instructions to voters as to the conduct of the referendum."
 

Clause 3

 

THE LORD ROOKER

18*Page 2, line 36, at end insert—
"(1A)  A person is entitled to vote in a referendum held in a county area of a region in pursuance of an order under section (Local government referendums) (2) if on the date of the referendum he is entitled to vote at the election of councillors for any electoral area in the county area."
19*Page 2, line 37, leave out "subsection (1) is" and insert "subsections (1) and (1A) are"
20*Page 3, line 3, at end insert—
"(   )  County area must be construed in accordance with section (Local government referendums)."
 

Clause 5

 

THE LORD ROOKER

21*Page 3, line 9, leave out "This section" and insert "Subsection (2)"
 

THE BARONESS HANHAM
THE BARONESS BLATCH
THE LORD HANNINGFIELD

22*Page 3, line 15, leave out "five" and insert "ten"
 

THE LORD ROOKER

23*Page 3, line 20, at end insert—
"(3A)  Subsection (3B) applies if in any proceedings any certificate given by a person appointed for the purpose as to the number of votes cast in favour of any option in a referendum held in pursuance of an order under section (Local government referendums) (2) is declared or held to be invalid.
(3B)  The Secretary of State may by order cause a further referendum to be held as mentioned in that section and for that purpose the following provisions of section (Local government referendums) apply as they apply for the purpose of an order made under section (Local government referendums) (2)—
(a)  subsections (3) to (5);
(b)  subsection (6)(a);
(c)  subsections (9) and (10).
(3C)  If an order is made under subsection (3B) any reference in this Act to a referendum held in pursuance of an order under section (Local government referendums) (2) or to the order must be construed as a reference to a referendum held in pursuance of an order under subsection (3B) or to the order under that subsection (as the case may be).
(3D)  But subsection (3C) applies to such a reference in section 2(2D) and (2E) only to the extent that the wording of the text mentioned in section 2(2D)(a) or the explanatory material differs from that considered by the Electoral Commission for the purposes of the referendum held in pursuance of the order under section (Local government referendums) (2).
(3E)  The Secretary of State may by order vary or revoke an order made under subsection (3B) if he thinks that it is not appropriate for the referendum to be held on the date specified in the order.
(3F)  Explanatory material must be construed in accordance with section 2."
 

After Clause 5

 

THE BARONESS HANHAM
THE BARONESS BLATCH
THE LORD HANNINGFIELD

24*Insert the following new Clause—
  "Provision of information to voters
(1)  Information shall be circulated to voters before any order is made for a referendum providing details of—
(a)  the powers, responsibilities and consitutional arrangements of elected regional assemblies;
(b)  the costs incurred by the boundary committee and the forecasted costs of any subsequent local government reorganisation;
(c)  the administrative and initial starting costs for the establishment of regional assemblies;
(d)  the predicted annual costs for the running of regional assemblies."
25*Insert the following new Clause—
  "Referendums Expenditure
  After paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 14 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) there is inserted—
 

Clause 6

 

THE LORD ROOKER

26*Page 3, line 24, after "section 1" insert "or (Local government referendums) (2) with one another or"
27*Page 3, line 35, leave out subsection (3)
 

Clause 7

 

THE LORD ROOKER

28*Page 4, line 5, leave out "section 1" and insert "this Part"
 

THE BARONESS HANHAM
THE BARONESS BLATCH
THE LORD HANNINGFIELD

29*Page 4, line 5, at end insert "provided that anything they undertake to encourage voting does not disproportionately favour one of the possible referendum outcomes to the detriment of the other"

 
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©Parliamentary copyright 2003
4 April 2003