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Lord Avebury: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, will he clarify that the consultation will take place prior to the authorisation being issued? Will the provision require notice to be given in the locality so that other users of the open space concerned will know what is being planned? I think, for example, of a small open space or a park used by members of the local community who may wish to know that this authorisation is contemplated. My own local park in Lambeth is used by a wide variety of people. An authorisation contemplated in respect of the whole park might have serious implications for other users and they would want to be consulted about it before the authorisation was issued.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I would expect there to be consultation generally about the use of these powers. I think the words I used initially were that we would expect that the crime and disorder reduction partnerships, which as I explained include the police and councils, would engage with the local community to determine whether there are areas in their locality where the use of these powers would be beneficial. Of course there will be consultation in the local communities. There may not necessarily be specific consultation in advance of an authorisation being granted, but there will be extensive consultation about the way and the localities in which these authorisations will take place.
On the question of publicity, Clause 31(3) gives publicity to the authorisation, but after it is issued. I think that there is a benefit to there being extensive publicity. Clearly, it would depend on the strategy being adopted in the area about whether there may be some publicity prior to the event. Certainly, it is our hope that there will be extensive publicity given to the effect of the powers because we want people to understand the import of what is being done and we want communities to understand why these actions are being taken. We want to discourage the form of anti-social behaviour that these activities embody. Therefore, it makes perfect good sense to ensure that there is extensive publicity and that that extensive publicity relates to the behaviour we are trying to prevent.
Baroness Walmsley: Before the Minister sits down, perhaps I may briefly comment on his response on Amendment No. 56, which I shall not move. He was not in his place when I moved Amendment No. 49, but if he reads Hansard I hope that he will be reassured that there is no misunderstanding: I have accepted the many reassurances made by the noble Baroness, Lady Scotland, that the Bill does not just refer to young people.
However, we are reassured and thank the Minister for his explicit assurance that communities, including young people, will be consulted. We hope that that will be done in a timely way. We shall obviously carefully consider the details of the guidance when it is issued, but his reassurances from the Dispatch Box are welcome and I thank him for them.
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