Unopposed Bill Committee Minutes of Evidence

Sections 1-19

London Local Authorities Bill [HL]

Tuesday 18 February 2003

1. CHAIRMAN: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Lord Brabazon, I am the Chairman of Committees taking this Bill. On my right is Lord Tordoff, Deputy Chairman, and on my left, Lord Elton, who is also Deputy Chairman.

2. I think before we begin we should - whether it is relevant or not, I do not know but just to be on the safe side - put on the record that we are all, three of us, council taxpayers in one or other of the boroughs promoting this Bill.

3. Right, Mr Lewis, we have met on several occasions now.

4. MR LEWIS: Good morning. I do not think I am going to introduce absolutely everybody sitting behind me this morning because there are so many but I will introduce the main protagonists. Starting this time with Robert Khan, who is the Parliamentary Officer at the Association of London Government, on my far left. On my immediate left is Gary Blackwell, who is the Head of Litigation at Westminster City Council. Sitting two rows behind me is Donald Kerrigan who is the Deputy Director of Legal Services at Westminster City Council and Mr Kerrigan will be proving the Preamble at the close of proceedings. Then I have various other witnesses who may or may not be asked to answer questions from me and from yourselves.

5. My Lord, I hope you have in front of you, obviously, the Filled-Up Bill but also a black ring binder containing a number of documents, some of which we will be using this morning and tomorrow to support the case. You will have before you, also, I am sure, the various Government reports which have been submitted in respect of this Bill.


7. MR LEWIS: My Lords, because of unavailability of witnesses from Wandsworth Borough Council - and I have given Mr Saunders notice of this - we would like, if possible, to take two clauses out of order, namely the clause relating to parks constables and the clause relating to dog walking because those are the two clauses which are to be dealt with by Mr Stratton and Mr Ausling who cannot be here this morning. With your leave, my Lord, if we could leave those until tomorrow morning I will progress through the rest of the Bill in the order in which the clauses appear.

8. CHAIRMAN: That is okay, I think.

9. MR LEWIS: Thank you very much. It may mean that we finish a little earlier today and perhaps come back first thing in the morning but I hope you will not mind that too much.

10. CHAIRMAN: We are planning to come back tomorrow morning but we are hoping to be through at a reasonably hour tomorrow, like lunchtime.

11. MR LEWIS: Certainly I think we should be able to manage that.

12. My Lord, this is the eighth London Local Authorities Bill to be promoted by the London Borough Councils since the demise of the Greater London Council. Technically the Promoters of the Bill are Westminster City Council. The authority for that Council to promote a Bill in Parliament derives from section 239 of the Local Government Act 1972, and for the other borough councils, authority to request Westminster City Council to promote the Bill on their behalf derives from section 87 of the Local Government Act 1985.

13. The promotion of the Bill has been co-ordinated throughout by the Association of Local Governments which is a joint committee made up of members of each of the 33 London Borough Councils and which as well as providing an overall co-ordinating role for the borough councils also carries out a number of statutory functions.

14. When this Bill was deposited in November 2001 only 32 of the 33 borough councils were participating. The missing borough was the London Borough of Hillingdon. Your Lordship is familiar with this story because I have explained it to you already in the context of another Bill. They had always intended to participate in the promotion but due to an unfortunate clerical error the Council failed to pass the necessary resolution approving the promotion of the Bill. Hillingdon immediately sought to rectify this by organising another full council meeting and by seeking leave to introduce an additional provision which is now also before your Lordships. The effect of the additional provision, which has been sanctioned by the Standing Orders Committee of both Houses, would be to add Hillingdon to the scope of the Bill.

15. Throughout the Bill you will see that amendments have been made which will have that effect.

16. The Bill originally attracted seven petitions. All but two of those petitions were withdrawn after negotiations. The Road Haulage Association Limited and the British Hospitality Association did not withdraw their petitions so a Select Committee considered them on 21 and 22 October last year.

17. The Clauses which fell under consideration of the Select Committee were Clauses 10, vehicle emissions testing, stopping of vehicles, and 31, Hotel Proprietors Act 1956. The latter of those was also the subject of an adverse report from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport who appeared before the Committee.

18. The Select Committee allowed both clauses with the amendments proposed by the Promoters and those clauses do not fall now to be considered by this Committee.

19. There are a number of reports from Government Departments against certain clauses of this Bill. Generally speaking, where a report has been made and remains outstanding it is my intention to call evidence in support of the clause.

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003