Many noble Lords support this proposal: I ask them to consult on it with experts in child development. So far, only the Government have referred to the evidence about adolescence. They have referred to neurobiological research into adolescence terminating in the early 20s but, so far, I am not aware of that evidence being referred to by those proposing the amendment.

Lord Storey (LD): The noble Earl mentioned child development experts. Could he name the experts who are saying that it would put a target on the back of 16 year-olds if they were allowed to vote?

The Earl of Listowel: Certainly. In her final paper on adolescence as a development disturbance, Anna Freud, a pioneer of child development, highlighted the challenges which children face as they go through adolescence. In particular, she highlights the burdens which society puts on them in terms of exams and decisions about careers, which may affect their whole life course, at a time when they are trying to move from childhood into adulthood. I refer the noble Lord to that paper. There are child development experts—I know of at least one—who are very much in favour of this and others who are very much opposed to it. I ask those proposing this amendment to find some consensus among these individuals.

There would be one further benefit. If those proposing this would consult child development experts on this matter, when people such as myself and others wish to raise the age of criminal responsibility it would make the case for us to say, “We have talked to the child development experts and they all say that 10 is far too low for the age of criminal responsibility. We should raise it”. Noble Lords can set a good example in this matter so I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, might consider withdrawing his amendment.

4.45 pm

Lord Cormack (Con): My Lords, briefly, I support what the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, has said. He made some extremely telling points, which should certainly be taken into account, but I want to confine my own brief remarks to another point. The elected House has spoken. It has spoken not just once but twice. It has not whispered or murmured but spoken very clearly, with an emphatic majority. At this late stage in the Bill, it is not for us to go into what has so often been called piecemeal constitutional change. It is for us to accept the limitations on our role and power: to concede, above all things, on the franchise to the elected House; to accept that we perfectly properly used the right that this House has to ask Members in the other place to think again. They thought, and they spoke emphatically. We now need to listen.

Lord Tyler: My Lords, I want to speak briefly—

Lord Kennedy of Southwark: My Lords—

12 Jan 2016 : Column 172

Lord Tyler: I think that my friend here, the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, would like to follow me. He might like to react to what I have to say.

This afternoon the Minister, and indeed others, seem to be again saying, “Yes, one day this will happen but not now”. That is a position which I understand—it is a perfectly reasonable position—but it cannot be repeated and repeated without the Government coming forward and saying when and how. On 18 November, I thought that the noble Lord, Lord Faulks, put it very succinctly when he said:

“There may come a time for change, when we lower the age to 16. There may be a debate to be had. This is not the moment for that debate”.—[Official Report, 18/11/15; col. 179.]

When is it going to be the time for that debate? This is the doctrine of unripe time, which I think I am right in saying that Sir Humphrey was always quoting to Jim Hacker in “Yes Minister”. Whenever they wanted to avoid taking a decision they would say, “We’ll get to it one day. Yes, of course it’ll be important”. But it is not going to be sufficient simply to put this off for ever.

The Prime Minister himself has said, as we understand it, to the leader of the Conservatives in the Holyrood Parliament that, yes, there will be an opportunity for the full debate which I think the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, and I will both want to contribute to. When are we going to have that debate? We cannot go on for ever leaving this on the side, as if it somehow does not matter that one part of the United Kingdom adjoining another has a completely different franchise, as my noble friend Lord Purvis said. If this is the United Kingdom, the franchise should be consistent across the United Kingdom.

There is also an important issue here about the way in which we discuss these issues in this House. The noble Lord, Lord Cormack, seems to think that it is inappropriate for this House to have any views whatever about elections. I dispute that. During my whole period in this House, we have been able to improve the law in relation to elections in a more dispassionate way than when I was a Member of the other place. It has a special interest in the electoral arrangements, in the Representation of the People Acts and so on. This House has a proper responsibility, a disinterest, which is extremely relevant to important questions about the franchise and the way in which our democracy works. If we give that up it will be an important loss of responsibility and role for this House, and I hope that we will not go down that track. In response, I trust that the Minister will be able to tell us, as the Prime Minister has hinted to his colleagues in the Holyrood Parliament, that there will be an opportunity for the wider debate that Ministers keep telling us is timely and should be happening. If she cannot tell us that, then we are right to make progress in this Bill and move in this direction.

Lord Kennedy of Southwark: My Lords, while I have every sympathy with the amendment proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, and with the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Tyler, I should say right at the outset that if the amendment is pressed to a vote, noble Lords on these Benches will abstain.

My party fought the general election last year on a commitment to bring forward legislation to enable 16 and 17 year-olds to vote. We have, on numerous

12 Jan 2016 : Column 173

occasions, had debates, asked questions, moved Motions and won votes to advance the cause, but it has fallen on deaf ears on the government Benches. They have shown not the slightest interest in considering this change and I have come to the conclusion that it will probably take a Government of a different political persuasion to bring it about.

Not even the enthusiastic support of Ruth Davidson MSP, the leader of the Tory party in Scotland, or of the noble Baroness, Lady Goldie, the former leader, has made any difference at all to the government Benches. We will continue to press the case at the appropriate time—the worst thing that the Government have done of course is to deny 16 and 17 year-olds a vote in the referendum on the European Union. The Government and the House of Commons have rejected this proposal repeatedly.

We are a revising Chamber. The elected Commons has made a decision, as the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, said, and I do not intend to challenge it further on this occasion. In taking this decision, I am also mindful of the advice from the Electoral Commission about making decisions in a timely manner and the extra work that would be involved in the short space of time before the elections.

Lord Purvis of Tweed: Before the noble Lord sits on his hands, is his position on this for the Official Opposition purely tactical? Is it their principled position that 16 and 17 year-olds should have the opportunity to elect local government representatives whenever this Parliament—both Houses, including this House—has an opportunity to give it to them, or is it purely tactical given the weakness of the Official Opposition?

Lord Kennedy of Southwark: We have repeatedly supported the idea of votes for 16 and 17 year-olds. I think noble Lords will find that the position of the noble Lord today is a tactical one.

Lord Beecham: When it comes to sitting on their hands, few better exponents of that philosophy could be found than those on the Liberal Democrat Benches. They sat on their hands and colluded with the enormous damage inflicted on local government and elsewhere for five years. They are not in any position to lecture us about anything around consistency. Furthermore, it is quite clear that the Government’s unfortunate position on this has been confirmed on three or four occasions in votes at the other end. We are not in a position to change that. Noble Lords on the Liberal Democrat Benches know that it will not change. This is gesture politics of a typical kind and we ought to have nothing whatever to do with it. When we get a change of Government, we will see a change in the voting age, not only for local authority elections but for parliamentary elections, European elections and any future referendums.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, I think I had better quickly break up the fight. When is the right time to have the debate on the franchise? It is most certainly not in a devolution Bill, in the House of Lords, when the House of Commons has voted decisively, on two occasions, to overturn this amendment. As for any arguments in addition to those I have already made, I have nothing much to add other than to back up the points that the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, made at the

12 Jan 2016 : Column 174

previous stage of the Bill. The Electoral Commission has also voiced concern about this amendment. Other than that, I have nothing further to add. It is not the time, it is not the Bill and we are not the House to be deciding this.

Lord Shipley: My Lords, I am very grateful for the contributions that we have had from a number of Members of the House. They have at least helped to inform our thinking. I listened very carefully to the Minister’s reply, which has not added much at all. I conclude two things. First, there was no indication in that reply that the confirmation by the Minister in the other place, James Wharton, in November, that it was undeniable that there is a debate to be had on the issue, will be acted on by the Government. I think that it should be.

Secondly, this House supported the lowering of the voting age when it last considered the matter as part of this Bill. I think it is for the House to decide whether it wishes to press the matter further. I hope that it will. It is very important that we should engage young people with the democratic process at an earlier age than 18, and I therefore beg leave to test the opinion of the House.

4.55 pm

Division on Amendment 52A (to Amendment 52)

Contents 99; Not-Contents 250.

Amendment 52A disagreed.

Division No.  1

CONTENTS

Addington, L.

Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.

Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, B.

Barker, B.

Beith, L.

Benjamin, B.

Bhattacharyya, L.

Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.

Bowles of Berkhamsted, B.

Bradshaw, L.

Brinton, B.

Bruce of Bennachie, L.

Burt of Solihull, B.

Chidgey, L.

Clancarty, E.

Clement-Jones, L.

Cotter, L.

Doocey, B.

Eames, L.

Fearn, L.

Featherstone, B.

Fox, L.

Freyberg, L.

Garden of Frognal, B.

German, L.

Glasgow, E.

Goddard of Stockport, L.

Greaves, L.

Grender, B.

Hamwee, B.

Harris of Richmond, B.

Howarth of Breckland, B.

Humphreys, B.

Hussain, L.

Hussein-Ece, B.

Janke, B.

Jolly, B.

Jones of Cheltenham, L.

Kidron, B.

Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.

Kramer, B.

Lester of Herne Hill, L.

Linklater of Butterstone, B.

Loomba, L.

Ludford, B.

Maclennan of Rogart, L.

McNally, L.

Maddock, B.

Manzoor, B.

Marks of Henley-on-Thames, L.

Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.

Newby, L. [Teller]

Northover, B.

Oates, L.

Paddick, L.

Palmer of Childs Hill, L.

Parminter, B.

Paul, L.

Pinnock, B.

Purvis of Tweed, L.

Randerson, B.

Rees of Ludlow, L.

Rennard, L.

Roberts of Llandudno, L.

Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.

Scriven, L.

Sharkey, L.

Sharp of Guildford, B.

Sheehan, B.

Shipley, L. [Teller]

Shutt of Greetland, L.

Smith of Newnham, B.

Steel of Aikwood, L.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 175

Stephen, L.

Stoneham of Droxford, L.

Storey, L.

Strasburger, L.

Stunell, L.

Suttie, B.

Taverne, L.

Taylor of Goss Moor, L.

Teverson, L.

Thomas of Gresford, L.

Thomas of Winchester, B.

Thornhill, B.

Tonge, B.

Tope, L.

Tordoff, L.

Tyler, L.

Tyler of Enfield, B.

Verjee, L.

Wallace of Saltaire, L.

Wallace of Tankerness, L.

Walmsley, B.

Walpole, L.

Wigley, L.

Williams of Crosby, B.

Willis of Knaresborough, L.

Wrigglesworth, L.

NOT CONTENTS

Aberdare, L.

Ahmad of Wimbledon, L.

Altmann, B.

Anelay of St Johns, B.

Arbuthnot of Edrom, L.

Armstrong of Ilminster, L.

Arran, E.

Ashton of Hyde, L.

Astor, V.

Astor of Hever, L.

Attlee, E.

Baker of Dorking, L.

Balfe, L.

Barker of Battle, L.

Bates, L.

Bell, L.

Blackwell, L.

Blencathra, L.

Borwick, L.

Bottomley of Nettlestone, B.

Bourne of Aberystwyth, L.

Bowness, L.

Boyce, L.

Brabazon of Tara, L.

Brady, B.

Bridgeman, V.

Bridges of Headley, L.

Brougham and Vaux, L.

Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, L.

Browne of Belmont, L.

Browning, B.

Butler of Brockwell, L.

Butler-Sloss, B.

Byford, B.

Caithness, E.

Callanan, L.

Carrington of Fulham, L.

Cathcart, E.

Cavendish of Furness, L.

Chalker of Wallasey, B.

Coe, L.

Colwyn, L.

Condon, L.

Cooper of Windrush, L.

Cope of Berkeley, L.

Cormack, L.

Courtown, E.

Craigavon, V.

Crickhowell, L.

Cumberlege, B.

De Mauley, L.

Deben, L.

Deech, B.

Denham, L.

Dixon-Smith, L.

Dobbs, L.

Dundee, E.

Dunlop, L.

Dykes, L.

Eaton, B.

Eccles, V.

Eccles of Moulton, B.

Elton, L.

Evans of Bowes Park, B.

Fairfax of Cameron, L.

Falkland, V.

Fall, B.

Farmer, L.

Faulks, L.

Fellowes, L.

Fellowes of West Stafford, L.

Fink, L.

Finkelstein, L.

Finlay of Llandaff, B.

Finn, B.

Flight, L.

Fookes, B.

Fowler, L.

Framlingham, L.

Freeman, L.

Freud, L.

Gardiner of Kimble, L. [Teller]

Gardner of Parkes, B.

Garel-Jones, L.

Geddes, L.

Gilbert of Panteg, L.

Glenarthur, L.

Glentoran, L.

Gold, L.

Goodlad, L.

Goschen, V.

Grade of Yarmouth, L.

Greengross, B.

Greenway, L.

Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.

Hague of Richmond, L.

Hamilton of Epsom, L.

Harding of Winscombe, B.

Haskins, L.

Hay of Ballyore, L.

Hayman, B.

Hayward, L.

Helic, B.

Henley, L.

Heyhoe Flint, B.

Higgins, L.

Hodgson of Abinger, B.

Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.

Hogg, B.

Holmes of Richmond, L.

Hooper, B.

Hope of Craighead, L.

Horam, L.

Howard of Lympne, L.

Howard of Rising, L.

Howe, E.

Howe of Idlicote, B.

Howell of Guildford, L.

Hunt of Wirral, L.

Inglewood, L.

James of Blackheath, L.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 176

Janvrin, L.

Jenkin of Kennington, B.

Jopling, L.

Keen of Elie, L.

Kilclooney, L.

King of Bridgwater, L.

Kinnoull, E.

Kirkham, L.

Knight of Collingtree, B.

Laird, L.

Lamont of Lerwick, L.

Lansley, L.

Lawson of Blaby, L.

Leach of Fairford, L.

Lee of Trafford, L.

Leigh of Hurley, L.

Lexden, L.

Lindsay, E.

Lingfield, L.

Listowel, E.

Liverpool, E.

Livingston of Parkhead, L.

Lucas, L.

Luce, L.

Lupton, L.

Lyell, L.

McColl of Dulwich, L.

MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.

McGregor-Smith, B.

McIntosh of Pickering, B.

Mackay of Clashfern, L.

Magan of Castletown, L.

Maginnis of Drumglass, L.

Mancroft, L.

Marland, L.

Marlesford, L.

Masham of Ilton, B.

Maude of Horsham, L.

Mawhinney, L.

Mobarik, B.

Mone, B.

Morris of Bolton, B.

Naseby, L.

Nash, L.

Neville-Jones, B.

Neville-Rolfe, B.

Newlove, B.

Noakes, B.

Northbrook, L.

Norton of Louth, L.

O'Cathain, B.

O'Neill of Bengarve, B.

O'Neill of Gatley, L.

Oppenheim-Barnes, B.

O'Shaughnessy, L.

Palmer, L.

Palumbo, L.

Patten, L.

Perry of Southwark, B.

Phillips of Worth Matravers, L.

Polak, L.

Popat, L.

Porter of Spalding, L.

Powell of Bayswater, L.

Prior of Brampton, L.

Ramsbotham, L.

Rawlings, B.

Redfern, B.

Renwick of Clifton, L.

Ribeiro, L.

Rock, B.

Rowe-Beddoe, L.

Saatchi, L.

Sanderson of Bowden, L.

Sandwich, E.

Sassoon, L.

Scott of Bybrook, B.

Seccombe, B.

Selkirk of Douglas, L.

Selsdon, L.

Shackleton of Belgravia, B.

Sharples, B.

Sheikh, L.

Shephard of Northwold, B.

Sherbourne of Didsbury, L.

Shields, B.

Shinkwin, L.

Singh of Wimbledon, L.

Skelmersdale, L.

Slim, V.

Smith of Hindhead, L.

Somerset, D.

Spicer, L.

Stedman-Scott, B.

Sterling of Plaistow, L.

Stevens of Ludgate, L.

Stirrup, L.

Stoddart of Swindon, L.

Stowell of Beeston, B.

Strathclyde, L.

Stroud, B.

Suri, L.

Sutherland of Houndwood, L.

Taylor of Holbeach, L. [Teller]

Tebbit, L.

Trefgarne, L.

Trenchard, V.

Trimble, L.

True, L.

Truscott, L.

Tugendhat, L.

Turnbull, L.

Ullswater, V.

Verma, B.

Wakeham, L.

Waldegrave of North Hill, L.

Walker of Aldringham, L.

Warner, L.

Warsi, B.

Wasserman, L.

Wellington, D.

Wheatcroft, B.

Whitby, L.

Wilcox, B.

Williams of Trafford, B.

Wilson of Tillyorn, L.

Wright of Richmond, L.

Young of Cookham, L.

Younger of Leckie, V.

5.10 pm

Motion on Amendment 53

Moved by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 53.

53: After Clause 21, insert the following new Clause—

12 Jan 2016 : Column 177

Sub-national transport bodies

After Part 5 of the Local Transport Act 2008 insert—

“PART 5A

SUB-NATIONAL TRANSPORT BODIES

Establishment and constitution of STBs

102E Power to establish STBs

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations establish a sub-national transport body for any area in England outside Greater London.

(2) In this Part—

(a) “STB” means a sub-national transport body established under this section, and

(b) references to the area of an STB are to the area in England for which the STB is established.

(3) Regulations under this section must specify—

(a) the name by which the STB is to be known, and

(b) the area of the STB.

(4) The area of an STB must consist of the whole of the area of two or more relevant authorities (whether or not of the same kind).

(5) Each of the following is a “relevant authority” for the purposes of this Part—

(a) a combined authority;

(b) an ITA;

(c) a county council that comes within subsection (6);

(d) a unitary district council that comes within that subsection;

(e) the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

(6) A council comes within this subsection if no part of its area forms part of—

(a) the area of a combined authority, or

(b) an integrated transport area.

(7) An STB is to be established as a body corporate.

102F Requirements in connection with regulations under section 102E

(1) Regulations under section 102E may be made establishing an STB for an area only if the Secretary of State considers that—

(a) its establishment would facilitate the development and implementation of transport strategies for the area, and

(b) the objective of economic growth in the area would be furthered by the development and implementation of such strategies.

(2) The reference in subsection (1)(a) to “transport strategies”, in relation to the area of an STB, is a reference to strategies for improving—

(a) the exercise of transport functions in the area (whether or not exercisable by the STB), and

(b) the effectiveness and efficiency of transport to, from or within the area.

(3) Regulations under section 102E establishing an STB for an area may be made only if—

(a) the constituent authorities have together made a proposal to the Secretary of State for there to be an STB for the area, and

(b) those authorities consent to the making of the regulations.

(4) For the purposes of this Part, the constituent authorities of an STB are every relevant authority whose area is within the area, or proposed area, of the STB.

(5) Before making a proposal under this section the constituent authorities must consult—

(a) each appropriate authority (if it is not a constituent authority), and

(b) any other persons whom the constituent authorities consider it is appropriate to consult.

(6) The Secretary of State may require the constituent authorities to consult any other persons (not already consulted under subsection

(5)(b)) whom the Secretary of State considers should be consulted in connection with a proposal under this section.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 178

(7) For the purposes of subsection (5), each of the following is an “appropriate authority” if any part of the authority’s area adjoins the area of the proposed STB—

(a) a combined authority;

(b) an ITA;

(c) Transport for London;

(d) a county council;

(e) a unitary district council;

(f) a London borough council.

102G Constitution of STBs

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about the constitutional arrangements in relation to an STB.

(2) “Constitutional arrangements”, in relation to an STB, include arrangements in respect of—

(a) the membership of the STB (including the number and appointment of members of the STB),

(b) the voting powers of members of the STB (including provision for different weight to be given to the vote of different descriptions of member),

(c) the executive arrangements of the STB, and

(d) the functions of any executive body of the STB.

(3) Regulations made by virtue of subsection (2)(a) which include provision about the number and appointment of members of the STB must provide—

(a) for the members of the STB to be appointed by the STB’s constituent authorities, and

(b) for those members to be appointed from among the elected members of the constituent authorities.

(4) Regulations made by virtue of subsection (2)(a) may provide for persons, who are not elected members of the constituent authorities, to be appointed as co-opted members of an STB; but such regulations must provide (by virtue of subsection (2)(b)) for those co-opted members to be non-voting members of the STB.

(5) The voting members of an STB may resolve that provision made in accordance with subsection (4) is not to apply (generally or in relation to particular matters) in the case of the STB.

(6) In subsection (2)(c) “executive arrangements” means—

(a) the appointment of an executive;

(b) the functions of the STB which are the responsibility of an executive;

(c) the functions of the STB which are the responsibility of an executive and which may be discharged by a committee of the STB, by an officer of the STB or by a body other than the STB;

(d) arrangements relating to the review and scrutiny of the discharge of functions;

(e) access to information on the proceedings of an executive of the STB;

(f) the keeping of a record of any arrangements relating to the STB and falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (e).

(7) The provision which may be made by regulations by virtue of subsection (2)(d) includes—

(a) provision setting up or dissolving an executive body of an STB, or merging two or more executive bodies of an STB;

(b) provision conferring functions on, or removing functions from, an executive body of an STB;

(c) provision transferring functions of an STB to an executive body of the STB, and transferring functions of an executive body of an STB to the STB.

(8) Regulations under this section may authorise an STB to delegate any of its functions to one or more of its constituent authorities (and any such delegation may be made subject to conditions or limitations).

(9) Regulations under this section may not provide for the budget of an STB to be agreed otherwise than by the STB.

(10) For the purposes of subsections (3) and (4), the “elected members” of a constituent authority—

12 Jan 2016 : Column 179

(a) in the case of a combined authority, are the mayor for the area of the combined authority (if there is one) and those members of the authority who are appointed from among the elected members of the authority’s constituent councils (see section 85(1)(b) above as applied by section 104(2) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009);

(b) in the case of an ITA, are those members of the ITA who are appointed from among the elected members of the ITA’s constituent councils (see section 85(1)(b) above);

(c) in the case of a county council, a unitary district council or the Council of the Isles of Scilly, are the elected members of the council.

Functions

102H General functions

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for an STB to have any of the following functions in relation to its area—

(a) to prepare a transport strategy for the area (see section 102I);

(b) to provide advice to the Secretary of State about the exercise of transport functions in relation to the area (whether exercisable by the Secretary of State or others);

(c) to co-ordinate the carrying out of transport functions in relation to the area that are exercisable by different constituent authorities, with a view to improving the effectiveness and efficiency in the carrying out of those functions;

(d) if the STB considers that a transport function in relation to the area would more effectively and efficiently be carried out by the STB, to make proposals to the Secretary of State for the transfer of that function to the STB;

(e) to make other proposals to the Secretary of State about the role and functions of the STB.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for an STB to have other functions of a description set out in the regulations.

(3) Regulations under subsection (2) may be made only for functions to be exercisable in relation to the area of the STB that—

(a) relate to transport,

(b) the Secretary of State considers can appropriately be exercised by the STB, and

(c) are not already exercisable in relation to that area by a local authority or a public authority (see instead sections 102J and 102K respectively for a power to transfer such functions to an STB).

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations make further provision about how an STB is to carry out functions that it has under or by virtue of this Part.

(5) Regulations under this section in relation to an existing STB may be made only with the consent of the STB.

(6) Nothing in this section limits the power of the Secretary of State to confer other functions on an STB under this Part.

102I Transport strategy of an STB

(1) The transport strategy of an STB is a document containing the STB’s proposals for the promotion and encouragement of sustainable, safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport facilities and services to, from and within the area of the STB.

(2) The transport facilities and services mentioned in subsection (1) are—

(a) those required to meet the needs of persons (including pedestrians) living or working in, or visiting, the area of the STB, and

(b) those required for the transportation of freight.

(3) An STB may include in its transport strategy any other proposals it considers appropriate that relate to transport to, from or within its area.

(4) An STB must publish its transport strategy.

(5) If an STB revises its transport strategy, the STB must publish the strategy as revised.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 180

(6) In preparing or revising its transport strategy an STB must carry out a public consultation.

(7) In carrying out a public consultation under subsection (6), the STB must ensure that such of the following persons as the STB considers appropriate (taking into account the proposals to be contained in the strategy) have a reasonable opportunity to respond to the consultation—

(a) the Secretary of State;

(b) a combined authority;

(c) another STB;

(d) an ITA;

(e) a Passenger Transport Executive;

(f) Transport for London;

(g) a person to whom a licence is granted under section 8 of the Railways Act 1993 (licences authorising persons to be operator of railway assets);

(h) Highways England Company Limited;

(i) a local highway authority (within the meaning of the

Highways Act 1980);

(j) a county council in England;

(k) a unitary district council;

(l) a London borough council.

(8) In preparing or revising its transport strategy an STB must (among other matters) have regard to—

(a) the promotion of economic growth in its area,

(b) the social and environmental impacts in connection with the implementation of the proposals contained in the strategy,

(c) any current national policy relating to transport that has been published by or on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, and

(d) the results of the public consultation mentioned in subsection (6).

(9) The Secretary of State must have regard to proposals contained in the transport strategy of an STB that appear to the Secretary of State to further the objective of economic growth in the area of the STB in determining—

(a) national policies relating to transport (so far as relevant in relation to such proposals), and

(b) how such policies are to be implemented in relation to the area of the STB.

(10) The constituent authorities of an STB must exercise transport functions with a view to securing the implementation of the proposals contained in the STB’s transport strategy.

(11) In this Part “transport strategy”, in relation to an STB, means the transport strategy prepared or revised by an STB under this section by virtue of the function in section 102H(1)(a).

102J Exercise of local transport functions

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for functions that are exercisable by a local authority in an area that is, or is to become, the area of an STB to be exercisable by the STB.

(2) Regulations under this section may be made—

(a) only in relation to functions that relate to transport, and

(b) only if the Secretary of State considers that the function can appropriately be exercised by the STB.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(a), regulations under this section may be made in respect of a function that relates both to transport and to other matters only so far as the function is exercisable in relation to transport.

(4) Regulations under this section may make provision for a function to be exercisable by the STB either generally or subject to such conditions or limitations as may be specified in the regulations.

(5) Regulations under this section may make provision—

(a) for a function to be exercisable by the STB instead of by the local authority, or

12 Jan 2016 : Column 181

(b) for a function to be exercisable by the STB concurrently with the local authority.

(6) Regulations under this section may be made only with the consent of—

(a) the local authority concerned, and

(b) in the case of regulations made in relation to an existing STB, the STB.

(7) In this section “local authority” means—

(a) a combined authority;

(b) an ITA;

(c) a Passenger Transport Executive;

(d) a county council in England;

(e) a unitary district council;

(f) the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

102K Other public authority functions

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for functions that are exercisable by a public authority in relation to an area that is, or is to become, the area of an STB to be exercisable by the STB.

(2) Regulations under this section may be made—

(a) only in relation to functions that relate to transport, and

(b) only if the Secretary of State considers that the function can appropriately be exercised by the STB.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(a), regulations under this section may be made in respect of a function that relates both to transport and to other matters only so far as the function is exercisable in relation to transport.

(4) Regulations under this section may make provision for a function to be exercisable by the STB either generally or subject to such conditions or limitations as may be specified in the regulations.

(5) Regulations under this section may make provision—

(a) for a function to be exercisable by the STB instead of by the public authority, or

(b) for a function to be exercisable by the STB jointly with the public authority.

(6) Regulations under this section in relation to an existing STB may be made only with the consent of the STB.

(7) In this section—

“function” does not include a power to make regulations or other instruments of a legislative character;

“Minister of the Crown” has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975;

“public authority”—

(a) includes a Minister of the Crown or a government department;

(b) does not include a local authority as defined by section 102J.

102L Funding

(1) The Secretary of State may pay grants to STBs to cover expenditure incurred in the carrying out of their functions.

(2) Grants may be paid under this section subject to any conditions the Secretary of State thinks appropriate (including conditions as to repayment).

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision—

(a) for the constituent authorities of an STB to contribute to its costs, and

(b) about the basis on which the amount payable by each constituent authority is to be determined.

General powers etc

102M General powers

(1) An STB may do—

(a) anything it considers appropriate for the purposes of the carrying out of any of its functions (its “functional purposes”),

(b) anything it considers appropriate for purposes incidental (whether directly or indirectly) to its functional purposes,

(c) anything it considers to be connected with—

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(i) any of its functions, or

(ii) anything it may do under paragraph (a) or (b), and

(d) for a commercial purpose, anything which it may do under any of paragraphs (a) to (c) otherwise than for a commercial purpose.

(2) Where subsection (1) confers power on an STB to do something, it confers power (subject to section 102N) to do it anywhere in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

(3) Power conferred on an STB by subsection (1) is in addition to, and is not limited by, the other powers of the STB.

(4) Where an STB has an executive body established by virtue of section 102G, the STB may delegate to that body its function of taking action under subsection (1) (but not the function of determining what action to take).

102N Boundaries of power under section 102M

(1) Section 102M(1) does not enable an STB to do anything which it is unable to do by virtue of a post-commencement limitation which is expressed to apply—

(a) to its power under section 102M(1),

(b) to all of its powers, or

(c) to all of its powers but with exceptions that do not include its power under section 102M(1).

(2) Section 102M(1) does not authorise an STB to borrow money.

(3) Section 102M(1)(a) to (c) do not authorise an STB to charge a person for anything it does otherwise than for a commercial purpose (but see section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003 (power of STBs and other best value authorities to charge for discretionary services)).

(4) Section 102M(1)(d) does not authorise an STB to do things for a commercial purpose in relation to a person if a statutory provision requires the STB to do those things in relation to the person.

(5) Where under section 102M(1)(d) an STB does things for a commercial purpose, it must do them through—

(a) a company within the meaning given by section 1(1) of the Companies Act 2006, or

(b) a registered society within the meaning of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.

(6) In this section—

“post-commencement limitation” means a prohibition, restriction or other limitation imposed by a statutory provision that—

(a) is contained in an Act passed after the end of the Session in which the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2015 is passed, or

(b) is contained in an instrument made under an Act and comes into force on or after the commencement of section (Sub-national transport bodies) of that Act;

“statutory provision” means a provision of an Act or of an instrument made under an Act.

102O Power to make provision supplemental to section 102M

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision preventing an STB from doing under section 102M(1) anything which is specified, or is of a description specified, in the regulations.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for the exercise by STBs of the power conferred by section 102M(1) to be subject to conditions, whether generally or in relation to doing anything specified, or of a description specified, in the regulations.

(3) Before making regulations under subsection (1) or (2) the Secretary of State must consult—

(a) such representatives of STBs,

(b) such representatives of local government, and

(c) such other persons (if any), as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(4) Subsection (3) does not apply to regulations under subsection (1) or

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(2) which are made only for the purpose of amending earlier such regulations—

(a) so as to extend the earlier regulations, or any provision of the earlier regulations, to a particular STB or to STBs of a particular description, or

(b) so that the earlier regulations, or any provision of the earlier regulations, cease to apply to a particular STB or to STBs of a particular description.

102P Power of direction

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations confer on an STB a power to give directions to a constituent authority about the exercise of transport functions by the authority in the area of the STB.

(2) The power to give a direction by virtue of subsection (1) about the exercise of a function extends only so far as the exercise of the function is relevant to the implementation of the STB’s transport strategy.

(3) Regulations under this section conferring a power to direct may include provision—

(a) for the power to be given generally or subject to conditions or limitations;

(b) for the power to apply to all transport functions or only to those functions specified or described in the regulations;

(c) about the manner in which directions are to be given;

(d) about the consequences arising if there is a contravention of a direction.

(4) Provision under subsection (3)(d) may include provision enabling the STB—

(a) to take any steps it considers appropriate to reverse or modify the effect of a constituent authority exercising a transport function in contravention of the direction, and

(b) to recover any reasonable expenses incurred in taking those steps as a civil debt from the constituent authority.

Boundary and name changes

102Q Change to boundaries of an STB’s area

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations change the boundaries of the area of an STB by—

(a) adding the area of a relevant authority to an existing area of an STB, or

(b) removing the area of a constituent authority from an existing area of an STB.

(2) Regulations under this section may be made—

(a) only if the constituent authorities have together made a proposal to the Secretary of State for the boundaries to be changed in the manner that would be provided for in the regulations;

(b) in the case of regulations under subsection (1)(a), only if the relevant authority whose area would be added to the area of the STB joins in the making of the proposal;

(c) in the case of regulations under subsection (1)(b), only if the resulting area of the STB meets the condition in section 102E(4).

(3) Regulations under this section changing the boundaries of the area of an STB may be made only if the Secretary of State considers that paragraphs (a) and (b) of section 102F(1) would apply in relation to the area as varied by the regulations.

(4) Regulations under this section may be made only with the consent of—

(a) the STB, and

(b) in the case of regulations under subsection (1)(a), the relevant authority whose area would be added to the area of the STB.

102R Change of name

(1) An STB may change its name by a resolution in accordance with this section.

(2) The resolution must be considered at a meeting of the STB that is specially convened for the purpose.

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(3) Particulars of the resolution must be included in the notice of the meeting.

(4) The resolution must be passed at the meeting by not less than twothirds of the members of the STB who vote on it.

(5) An STB which changes it name under this section must—

(a) send notice of the change to the Secretary of State, and

(b) publish the notice in such manner as the Secretary of State may direct.

(6) A change of name under this section does not affect the rights or obligations of the STB or any other person, or render defective any legal proceedings.

(7) Any legal proceedings may be commenced or continued as if there had been no change of name.

Supplementary

102S Incidental etc provision

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provision for the purposes of, or in consequence of, regulations under this Part or for giving full effect to such regulations.

(2) Regulations under this Part may make different provision for different STBs or otherwise for different purposes.

(3) The provision which may be included by virtue of this section in regulations includes provision for the transfer under the regulations of property, rights and liabilities.

(4) The provision which may be included by virtue of subsection (3) in regulations includes provision—

(a) for the creation or imposition by the Secretary of State of new rights or liabilities in respect of anything transferred under the regulations;

(b) for the management or custody of transferred property;

(c) for bodies to make agreements with respect to any property, income, rights, liabilities and expenses of, and any financial relations between, the parties to the agreement.

(5) The provision which may be included by virtue of this section in regulations includes provision amending, modifying, repealing or revoking any enactment, whenever passed or made.

(6) In this section “enactment” includes an enactment comprised in subordinate legislation (within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978).

102T Procedure for regulations under this Part

(1) Regulations under this Part must be made by statutory instrument.

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this Part may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(3) At the same time as laying a draft of a statutory instrument containing regulations under this Part before Parliament, the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a report explaining the effect of the regulations and why the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to make the regulations.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to a statutory instrument that contains regulations only of the following kinds—

(a) regulations under section 102J that make provision under subsection (4) of that section for a function to be exercisable by an STB for a limited period of time;

(b) regulations under section 102J that make provision under subsection (5)(b) of that section;

(c) regulations under section 102K that make provision under subsection (4) of that section for a function to be exercisable by an STB for a limited period of time;

(d) regulations under section 102K that make provision under subsection (5)(b) of that section;

(e) regulations under section 102O(1) that make provision for the purpose mentioned in section 102O(4)(b);

(f) regulations under section 102O(2) that make provision for that purpose or for imposing conditions on the doing of things for a commercial purpose.

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(5) A statutory instrument to which subsections (2) and (3) do not apply is subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6) If a draft of regulations under this Part would, apart from this subsection, be treated for the purposes of the standing orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, it is to proceed in that House as if it were not a hybrid instrument.

102U Interpretation

In this Part—

“combined authority” means a body established as a combined authority under section 103 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009;

“constituent authority”, in relation to an STB, has the meaning given by section 102F(4);

“ITA” means an Integrated Transport Authority for an integrated transport area in England;

“Passenger Transport Executive” means a body which is such an Executive for the purposes of Part 2 of the Transport Act 1968;

“relevant authority” has the meaning given by section 102E(5);

“STB” has the meaning given by section 102E(2);

“transport functions” means any statutory functions relating to transport;

“transport strategy” has the meaning given by section 102I(11);

“unitary district council” means a district council whose area is not part of the area of a county council.””

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport and Home Office (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): My Lords, in speaking to Commons Amendment 53 I shall also speak to Amendments 77, 85, 86 and 87. In the summer 2015 Budget, my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the northern powerhouse, a fundamental part of our plan to deliver a healthy and balanced economy for working people across this United Kingdom. The provisions on sub-national transport bodies—STBs—we are debating today were introduced in the last Session and passed through the other place without amendment. I thank all Members and in particular my honourable friend Andrew Jones for that.

These provisions on STBs are a continuation of the revolution going on in the way we govern England. The Government are committed to devolve powers and budgets to boost local growth, which can be seen throughout this Bill. While we are investing record sums in transport across the country—in the north this amounts to £13 billion on transport in this Parliament —we have for far too long accepted that decision-making on that funding has to be made in Whitehall. We need greater local input from those who know their economies best if we want to transform growth in the north and throughout the country. Transport will make a significant difference to that transformation by reducing journey time between the great cities of the north, pooling their strengths and making them greater than the sum of their parts—in short, a northern powerhouse.

Transport for the North is already established and is the unified voice of transport in the north of England. We are working with TfN and other transport bodies on road and rail links in the north and on an integrated smart ticketing system akin to the Oyster card we have in London. I also welcome the recent appointments of John Cridland as chair and David Brown as CEO to drive forward progress.

My right honourable friend the Chancellor also announced extra funding for TfN in the summer but if we want to see long-term permanence and stability,

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TfN—and all other STBs—need to be put on a statutory footing. This new clause on sub-national transport bodies will do just that. It creates the legislative framework to allow the Government to set up the first STB, which will be Transport for the North. This will be done by secondary legislation, but other areas could come forward to propose that they are also created as an STB.

STBs will initially advise the Secretary of State for Transport on strategic transport schemes and investment priorities in their own area. The Secretary of State may grant individual STBs additional responsibilities around the decision-making and delivery of strategic transport schemes and significant cross-regional schemes such as the work TfN is already undertaking on smart ticketing. There is also the potential to assume more strategic transport responsibilities over time.

However, as I have already said, this clause goes further than TfN alone. It provides a way to create STBs across the whole of England, outside London, at the request of local areas. For example, noble Lords will know of the newly strengthened Midlands Connect Partnership, which brings together 26 local authorities and 11 local enterprise partnerships, working with national agencies and government to drive forward improved transport links across the Midlands to power the Midlands engine. Accordingly, it is necessary for TfN, Midlands Connect and all future STBs to be enshrined as statutory bodies with appropriate statutory powers, and I commend the amendment to the House.

5.15 pm

Lord Beecham: My Lords, I cannot really account for it but somehow Part 5A of the Local Transport Act 2008 has managed to escape my notice hitherto. I am interested to see that the Government have decided to incorporate reference to transport infrastructure in the devolution Bill, and that is very welcome, but I am not entirely clear about the scope of the proposals before us. Clearly, I welcome the Commons amendments here but, on the face of it, they appear to relate to Highways England and to rail matters, which of course are very important, but I could not see any reference to such issues as ports and airports as part of the functioning of these transport bodies. Perhaps the noble Lord could advise whether they are included and, if not, say why not.

Of course, those of us in the north—the noble Lord has referred to Transport for the North—are very conscious of the huge disparity in the expenditure on transport infrastructure in our part of the country and the vast amounts that have been poured into Crossrail, which we have heard recently is to be further extended. Rather worryingly, it is to go under the block of flats in Balham in which I have a flat. That will no doubt take some time but the disproportion in expenditure is quite remarkable. It is a huge factor and one hopes that it will be redressed.

I am not entirely clear about the likely size of these sub-national transport bodies. A lot of the work will serve to connect different parts of the country but in the part of the country that I come from, in particular, we will be looking at cross-country routes to the north-west—to Cumbria and Carlisle from Newcastle and Sunderland and places on the east coast. For the

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purposes of these bodies, will we not be looking at, for example, simply the combined authority area, because that does not extend beyond the borders of Northumberland and Cumbria? If the area is to go beyond that, what sorts of boundaries will we be looking at? If it does not go beyond that, what mechanism will exist to bring together areas which are not part of the same combined authority?

Lord Shipley: My Lords, first, I thank the Minister for his briefing note, which I received last week, on the proposals in this amendment for sub-national transport bodies. I welcome the switch in emphasis that he has referred to. The noble Lord, Lord Beecham, talked about levels of expenditure and, in particular, the enormous amount that is spent on London and the south-east in comparison with the north of England. Having a sub-national transport body of this kind will be extremely helpful in refocusing the attention of Whitehall on the need to fund the north better than it currently does. Therefore, I thank the Minister for that and I think that the proposals are absolutely right but I want to say two things.

The first concerns the question of to whom the sub-national transport bodies will be accountable—in other words, the extent to which the constituent councils of those sub-national bodies will have a regular reporting mechanism. It seems to me very important that there should be a regular means of providing feedback from those councils to the sub-national transport body. Secondly, I hope that the Minister will agree to a system of annual reporting, which occurs elsewhere in the Bill in relation to combined authorities, elected mayors and other matters. Can he confirm that there will also be annual reporting by the sub-national transport bodies? I would find that extremely helpful.

My last point relates to the use of the negative procedure as opposed to the affirmative procedure. The Minister will have seen the report of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, which challenges the use of the negative procedure. The grounds are that the powers will exist for a limited period of time. The definition of a “limited period of time” does not appear anywhere. Is it a matter of a few months or of two or three years, or is it a matter of something more significant?

I hope that the Government might be persuaded of the importance of using the affirmative procedure. Given the scale and magnitude that this proposal represents in reality, I think that using the affirmative procedure would be better than using the negative procedure. Does the Minister have any comments on that?

Lord Smith of Leigh: My Lords, I also welcome these amendments, and I thank the Minister for the way that he has introduced them. Obviously, this is very important activity, and without statutory backing Transport for the North has already had a major in-fight over agreeing the northern franchises for the rail networks that affect all our northern counties.

In terms of reporting back, I assure the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, that in the process of franchising we in Greater Manchester have had regular reports from our delegates at Transport for the North. There is accountability for what goes on.

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I will probably upset the Minister but, while I am on my feet, I will say that one of the great aspects of the deal for devolution in Greater Manchester was the prospect of franchising the buses, which of course account for the vast majority of transport movements in those areas that are involved. I recognise that that will come under separate legislation, a buses Bill, but we still await sight of that Bill and hope that it is not going to be too long.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their contributions.

I want to pick up on the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Smith, in response to the noble Lord, Lord Shipley. There is accountability, and that accountability is very much to the stakeholders that make up the particular STB. As for the limits or extension of these areas, that will very much be dependent on the local authorities themselves and the collaboration that takes place. The key point I emphasise is one of strategic decision-making, which is the intention behind the creation of such bodies, as we are already seeing with the creation of TfN. Indeed, the reason behind putting TfN on a statutory footing is that the very bodies that make it up have also requested this.

I will now pick up some of the questions raised by noble Lords. The noble Lord, Lord Shipley, also asked about annual reporting. The legislation makes it clear that STBs shall produce and publish their strategy and updates to that strategy. That can be seen with TfN, which produced its additional reports in March 2015 and has plans for annual updates, the next being in March 2016.

The noble Lord, Lord Beecham, asked about the extent to which different modes of transport are covered by STBs. The whole essence of sub-national transport bodies will be to cater for all modes of transport within a defined geography, including ports and airports. This can already be seen in the work of TfN, which has set out quite clearly its plans for all modes of transport, including ports and airports. I take on board totally the point the noble Lord made that this is not just about linking up rail and roads; it is about ensuring that, where there are ports and airports, these also form part of the strategic transport strategy for a given geographical region.

The noble Lord, Lord Beecham, also asked about the size of STBs. As I have already said, it is really up to the local areas to come forward with proposals; it is about bringing together local authorities. There may be some traditionally defined areas, but it is about how local authorities can come together and collaborate across traditional borders to ensure the best result for a particular region. In terms of the requirements, there must be two appropriate authorities to form an STB.

Lord Beecham: A particular authority or area might want to belong to two such networks. For example, one can see clearly that there is a case for the north-east and Cumbria coming together on the horizontal routes. Equally, Cumbria might want to go south towards my noble friend Lord Smith and vice versa. Is it possible to belong to two such networks?

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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: It is dependent on how the STB proposals come back. However, in practice, I cannot see a deterrent to that because this is about providing strategic links. I am sure all noble Lords will welcome a linking up between the noble Lords, Lord Beecham and Lord Smith, on strategic transport arrangements. The idea behind this is to empower local authorities to make the right decisions for their particular area.

As to specific local authorities belonging to two networks through legislation, what would happen in the scenario painted by the noble Lord is that if a local authority is already part of an STB, there is nothing stopping that local authority, after the creation of a new STB, being co-opted on to the other to ensure that that strategic link is operational.

The noble Lord, Lord Shipley, referred to placing a limit on the period for regulations. The very nature of the temporary transfer of functions is that there will be a clearly limited interim time for this. If a temporary transfer of functions works well and there is evidence to show that there would be value in effecting a permanent transfer, there would be further regulations to ensure that that could take place.

I hope I have answered the questions that have been raised.

Lord Smith of Leigh: Could the Minister comment on the buses Bill and when we are likely to see it?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: I raised the issue of the buses Bill when I was being briefed for this Bill. I know that it is being drafted and we are looking for appropriate parliamentary time to ensure that we can introduce it at the earliest opportunity.

I again thank all noble Lords for their support for the amendment.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern: I think new Section 102T deals with the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, about requiring affirmative resolution for the generality of regulations under this provision.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: As ever, my noble friend is correct.

Motion agreed.

Motion on Amendment 54

Moved by Baroness Williams of Trafford

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 54.

54: Insert the following new Clause—

English National Park authorities: general powers

After section 65 of the Environment Act 1995 insert—

65A English National Park authorities: general powers

(1) An English National Park authority may do—

(a) anything it considers appropriate for the purposes of the carrying out of any of its functions (its “functional purposes”),

(b) anything it considers appropriate for purposes incidental (whether directly or indirectly) to its functional purposes,

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(c) anything it considers to be connected with—

(i) any of its functions, or

(ii) anything it may do under paragraph (a) or (b), and

(d) for a commercial purpose, anything which it may do under any of paragraphs (a) to (c) otherwise than for a commercial purpose.

(2) Where subsection (1) confers power on an English National Park authority to do something, it confers power (subject to section 65B) to do it anywhere in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

(3) Power conferred on an English National Park authority by subsection (1) is in addition to, and is not limited by, the other powers of the authority.

(4) In this section, and in sections 65B and 65C, “English National Park authority” means a National Park authority for a National Park in England.

65B Boundaries of powers under section 65A

(1) Section 65A(1) does not enable an English National Park authority to do anything which it is unable to do by virtue of a pre-commencement limitation.

(2) Section 65A(1) does not enable an English National Park authority to do anything which it is unable to do by virtue of a post-commencement limitation which is expressed to apply—

(a) to its power under section 65A(1),

(b) to all of its powers, or

(c) to all of its powers but with exceptions that do not include its power under section 65A(1).

(3) If exercise of a pre-commencement power of an English National Park authority is subject to restrictions, those restrictions apply also to exercise of the power conferred on it by section 65A(1) so far as that power is overlapped by the pre-commencement power.

(4) Section 65A(1) does not authorise an English National Park authority to borrow money.

(5) Section 65A(1)(a) to (c) do not authorise an English National Park authority to charge a person for anything it does otherwise than for a commercial purpose.

(6) Section 65A(1)(d) does not authorise an English National Park authority to do things for a commercial purpose in relation to a person if a statutory provision requires the authority to do those things in relation to the person.

(7) Where under section 65A(1)(d) an English National Park authority does things for a commercial purpose, it must do them through—

(a) a company within the meaning given by section 1(1) of the Companies Act 2006, or

(b) a registered society within the meaning of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.

(8) In this section—

“post-commencement limitation” means a prohibition, restriction or other limitation imposed by a statutory provision that—

(a) is contained in an Act passed after the end of the Session in which the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2015 is passed, or

(b) is contained in an instrument made under an Act and comes into force on or after the commencement of section (English National Park authorities: general powers) of that Act;

“pre-commencement limitation” means a prohibition, restriction or other limitation imposed by a statutory provision that—

(a) is contained in an Act passed no later than the end of the Session in which the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2015 is passed, or

(b) is contained in an instrument made under an Act and comes into force before the commencement of section (English National Park authorities: general powers) of that Act;

“pre-commencement power” means power conferred by a statutory provision that—

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(a) is contained in an Act passed no later than the end of the Session in which the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2015 is passed, or (b) is contained in an instrument made under an Act and comes into force before the commencement of section (English National Park authorities: general powers) of that Act;

“statutory provision” means a provision of an Act or of an instrument made under an Act.

65C Power to make provision supplemental to section 65A

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision preventing an English National Park authority from doing under section 65A(1) anything which is specified, or is of a description specified, in the regulations.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for the exercise by English National Park authorities of the power conferred by section 65A(1) to be subject to conditions, whether generally or in relation to doing anything specified, or of a description specified, in the regulations.

(3) Before making regulations under subsection (1) or (2) the Secretary of State must consult—

(a) such representatives of English National Park authorities,

and

(b) such other persons (if any), as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(4) Subsection (3) does not apply to regulations under subsection (1) or

(2) which are made only for the purpose of amending earlier such regulations—

(a) so as to extend the earlier regulations, or any provision of the earlier regulations, to English National Park authorities,

or

(b) so that the earlier regulations, or any provision of the earlier regulations, cease to apply English National Park authorities.

65D Procedure etc. for regulations under section 65C

(1) The power to make regulations under section 65C—

(a) is exercisable by statutory instrument;

(b) includes power to make different provision for different purposes;

(c) includes power to make incidental, supplementary, consequential, transitional, transitory or saving provision;

(d) may, in particular, be exercised by amending, repealing, revoking or otherwise modifying any provision made by or under an Act passed before the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2015 or in the same Session as that Act.

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 65C may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a statutory instrument that contains regulations only of the following kind—

(a) regulations under section 65C(1) that make provision for the purpose mentioned in section 65C(4)(b);

(b) regulations under section 65C(2) that make provision for that purpose or for imposing conditions on the doing of things for a commercial purpose;

(c) regulations made by virtue of subsection (1)(c) that do not contain provision amending or repealing a provision of an Act.

(4) A statutory instrument to which subsection (2) does not apply is subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5) If a draft of regulations under section 65C would, apart from this subsection, be treated for the purposes of the standing orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, it is to proceed in that House as if it were not a hybrid instrument.””

12 Jan 2016 : Column 192

Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, this will be my last opportunity to thank all noble Lords who have been involved with this devolution Bill. From my point of view it has been a very constructive process. It is my first Bill and I have rather enjoyed it, given the debates that we have had.

I now beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 54. I shall speak also to Amendment 77 in relation to the general power of competence for national parks.

I am grateful to my noble friend Lord De Mauley for bringing this issue to my attention. He and I met the national park authorities on 23 July to discuss the matter. Alas, this was after the Bill had left this House, so we sought to resolve the issue by amending the Bill in another place.

Amendment 54 confers new general powers on national park authorities in England similar to those conferred on, among others, fire and rescue authorities and integrated transport authorities in Chapters 2 and 3 of Part 1 of the Localism Act 2011. These new powers for national park authorities can be described as a functional power of competence. The new powers allow an authority to act as an individual could, with certain limitations, in relation to the functions that an authority has. For example, the powers will allow a national park authority to act through a company and to trade in a broader way than it currently can.

National park authorities have asked for this power as they consider it will enable them to act in a more entrepreneurial and innovative way. They believe they will be in a better position to enter into partnerships that will support growth across our rural economy. For example, it will enable them to work in partnership with other bodies more proactively on the rollout of broadband, and to make a contribution towards the implementation of broadband infrastructure. Jim Bailey, the chair of National Parks England, has said:

“We are pleased to see the Government introduce this amendment. This will help National Park authorities to maximise opportunities to fulfil our statutory purposes”.

It is important, though, to understand that a power of competence does not override existing legislation, so national park authorities will continue to be bound by their statutory purposes of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of an area and promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities.

The statutory framework of protection and consent will remain unchanged, and in using their new powers, the park authorities cannot promote or permit activities that are incompatible with these statutory purposes. The power will not be used to encourage or permit too much or inappropriate development in national parks. It is also important to be clear that this power will not be used by national park authorities as an opportunity for them to start charging entry to national parks. All but a very small percentage of land in national parks is owned privately—this is an important point—not by the national park authorities, and therefore they have no legal basis for doing so.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 193

5.30 pm

Lord Deben (Con): My Lords, can my noble friend give an assurance that these new powers, which are no doubt welcome, will not be used by park authorities to enable them unfairly to compete with people within the parks? Unfortunately, some national parks have behaved in a pretty high-handed way. I think that happens less now than when I was Secretary of State, when I had to deal with such cases. I just want to make sure that the new powers cannot be used in a non-competitive way.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, there has been much speculation about what these powers might mean in respect of fracking and so on. The whole purpose of the amendment is to give park authorities the scope to be more innovative, rather than to act in an unduly competitive way with each other.

The part of government Amendment 77 that amends Section 65 of the Environment Act 1995 is minor and technical and contains the amendments consequential on government Amendment 54. I hope that noble Lords will feel able to accept the amendment.

Lord Beecham: My Lords, this amendment is welcome and has been warmly supported by the national parks authorities, although I understand that there was some slight misunderstanding about that on the part of the Opposition in the House of Commons. Certainly, we want to endorse the sentiments of the noble Baroness about the potential for each national park authority. Of course, I come from a part of the world where there is a remarkable national park, and it occurs to me that the Government might want to facilitate a close relationship between combined authorities such as the one in the north-east and, I suspect, the one in the Sheffield area with the Peak District National Park, so they can collaborate in a way that perhaps was not possible before. It would of course be a matter for the authorities, rather than for legislation, but it is something the Government might encourage.

One matter that was raised in the House of Commons was clarified at the time by the Minister, but I invite the noble Baroness to repeat the assurance that nothing in this proposal would facilitate the adoption of fracking in any national park area—that is, that it would not be open to a national park authority to allow such a development. It would be good to have it on the record in your Lordships’ House as well as in the Commons.

Lord Shipley: My Lords, I welcome the proposal for the national parks. As with the rest of the Bill, a regular review of how this power is being used would be welcome, and I am sure we will have that.

We thank the Minister for her leadership on the Bill. It has been seven months since we began the process, which we have found rewarding. Although from time to time there have been differences—some still remain—the truth is that the outcome is in the interests of stronger government at the sub-regional and local level in England, and I welcome that. We will see how it goes over the next few years, but I am very optimistic that the groundwork put in by the Minister and her colleagues during this Parliament and the last one is going to bear fruit.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 194

Lord Judd (Lab): My Lords, National Parks England, which is the umbrella body for the park authorities, is making no secret of the fact that it positively welcomes this amendment and sees great opportunities in it. I have one anxiety on which I would like an assurance, but I suspect that it comes at a slightly different angle from that of the noble Lord, Lord Deben. There is sometimes a subjective dividing line between commercialisation of the parks and using commercial opportunities to strengthen their purposes. Elsewhere in legislation the Government have, to their credit, stood firmly by the definition of what national parks are. They are not areas which are ripe for commercial exploitation, rather they are areas in which sensible co-operation between the park and other authorities could do a great deal to strengthen the authority and enhance the well-being of the people in the community. But the purpose of the park is to enable more people from all ethnic groups in Britain to appreciate the contrast of beauty, landscape and all the rest. I suspect that the Minister is 100% on my side on this, but I would like an assurance that this undoubtedly important amendment, containing as it does such great advances, will not be allowed to become an excuse for commercialisation, in the wrong sense, of the parks at the expense of their real purpose.

Lord Beecham: My Lords, I appear to have failed to notice that we are dealing with the last group of amendments. Obviously I want to join the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, in thanking the Minister for her charming and helpful approach to legislation—this will do her reputation as a Minister no good at all—and to thank the members of the Bill team, who have always been helpful and approachable. That has been the case right from the start, I believe, some nine months ago when the Bill was conceived and has now been delivered in its final shape. It bears a great deal to the way in which the noble Baroness and her colleagues have assisted Members from all sides of the House.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: I thank the noble Lords, Lord Beecham and Lord Shipley, for their kind words. All three noble Lords have talked about the power of collaboration between authorities while not under- mining what the original intent of the national park functions is. I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Judd, that the new power of functional competence does not change the statutory duty and purpose of the park authority; I can give him an absolute assurance on that. I can also assure the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, that nothing in the proposal facilitates fracking. I think I gave that assurance to my noble friend Lord Deben. It might help him if I read the provisions of new Clause 65C to be inserted under Amendment 54. It states:

“The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision preventing an English National Park authority from doing under section 65A(1) anything which is specified, or is of a description specified, in the regulations”.

The Secretary of State has the power to make sure that the checks and balances are in place for a national park’s priorities and functions to be protected.

I think that I have answered all points made by noble Lords and I thank them for the enjoyable experience that this Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill has been.

Motion agreed.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 195

Motion on Amendments 55 to 87

Moved by Baroness Williams of Trafford

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments 55 to 87.

55: Clause 22, page 19, line 8, after “of” insert “, or made under,”

56: Clause 25, page 20, line 3, leave out subsection (2)

57: Schedule 1, page 21, line 29, after “State” insert “or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster”

58: Schedule 1, page 25, line 28, after “State” insert “or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster”

59: Schedule 1, page 26, line 12, after “State” insert “or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster”

60: Schedule 1, page 26, line 13, after “State” insert “or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster”

61: Schedule 1, page 26, line 17, after “State” insert “or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster”

62: Schedule 2, page 26, line 33, leave out “police and crime commissioner functions” and insert “functions of a police and crime commissioner”

63: Schedule 2, page 26, line 34, at end insert—

“( ) A duty under this Schedule to make provision by order is a duty to make such provision in an order made at any time before the first election of a mayor who, by virtue of an order under section 107E(1), is to exercise functions of a police and crime commissioner.”

64: Schedule 2, page 27, line 24, leave out “PCC mayor” and insert “mayor for policing and crime”

65: Schedule 2, page 27, line 25, leave out “PCC mayor” and insert “mayor for policing and crime”

66: Schedule 2, page 27, line 31, leave out “PCC mayor” and insert “mayor for policing and crime”

67: Schedule 2, page 27, line 38, leave out “PCC mayor” and insert “mayor for policing and crime”

68: Schedule 2, page 28, line 4, leave out “PCC mayor” and insert “mayor for policing and crime”

69: Schedule 2, page 28, line 6, leave out “PCC mayor” and insert “mayor for policing and crime”

70: Schedule 2, page 28, line 9, leave out “PCC mayor” and insert “mayor for policing and crime”

71: Schedule 2, page 28, line 23, at end insert—

“4A (1) The Secretary of State may by order provide for a police and crime panel to have oversight functions in relation to any general functions of the mayor that are the subject of arrangements under section 107D(3)(c)(i) (power to arrange for general functions to be exercisable by deputy mayor for policing and crime).

(2) If it appears to the Secretary of State expedient for the police and crime panel also to have oversight functions in relation to other general functions of the mayor that are related to general functions in respect of which an order is made under sub-paragraph (1), the Secretary of State may by order provide for the panel to have oversight functions in relation to those other general functions.

(3) An order under this paragraph may disapply, or otherwise modify, the application of paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 5A so far as relating to general functions of the mayor in respect of which a police and crime panel has oversight functions.

(4) In this paragraph—

“oversight functions”, in relation to general functions of the mayor, are functions that are of a corresponding or similar kind to those that a police and crime panel has in relation to PCC functions of the mayor;

“police and crime panel” means a panel established by virtue of an order under paragraph 4.”

12 Jan 2016 : Column 196

72: Schedule 2, page 28, line 41, leave out from “mayor” to end of line 42 and insert “and the deputy mayor for policing and crime”

73: Schedule 2, page 30, line 12, at end insert—

“( ) Subsections (5) and (6) of section 107C, so far as relating to the exercise of PCC functions, are subject to any provision contained in an order under this Schedule.”

74: After Schedule 3, insert the following new Schedule—

“SCHEDULE 3A

AMENDMENTS OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE ACT 2006

1 The National Health Service Act 2006 is amended as follows.

2 (1) Section 7A (exercise of Secretary of State’s public health functions) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2), after paragraph (c) insert—

“(d) a combined authority.”

(3) In subsection (4), after “group” insert “or a combined authority”.

3 In section 13Z (exercise of functions), after subsection (6) insert—

“(7) This section is subject to sections 13ZA and 13ZB in the case of arrangements that are devolved arrangements (within the meaning of section 13ZA).”

4 After section 13Z insert—

13ZA Section 13Z: further provision in relation to devolved arrangements

(1) This section applies to arrangements under section 13Z(2) for one or more functions of the Board to be exercised in relation to a particular area by or jointly with a relevant prescribed body (“devolved arrangements”).

(2) “Relevant prescribed body” means a body prescribed under section 13Z(2)(c) that is either—

(a) a combined authority whose area includes the whole or part of the area to which the arrangements relate, or (b) a local authority (within the meaning of section 2B) whose area includes the whole or part of that area.

(3) The power of the Board under section 13Z(2) to enter into devolved arrangements in relation to any functions includes power to arrange for such functions to be exercised in relation to the area to which the arrangements relate—

(a) by the relevant prescribed body jointly with one or more other eligible bodies;

(b) jointly with the Board, the relevant prescribed body and one or more other eligible bodies.

(4) A body is an “eligible body” if it—

(a) falls within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 13Z(2), and

(b) exercises functions in relation to the area to which the arrangements relate.

(5) Where, by virtue of subsection (3), the Board enters into devolved arrangements with a relevant prescribed body and one or more eligible bodies, at least one of those eligible bodies must be a clinical commissioning group.

(6) Where, by virtue of subsection (3), one or more eligible bodies are a party to devolved arrangements, the power under section 13Z(4) to establish a joint committee includes a power to establish a joint committee of which one or more of the eligible bodies are members.

(7) But the members of a joint committee established under section 13Z(4) by virtue of subsection (6) must include—

(a) the relevant prescribed body;

(b) at least one clinical commissioning group with whom a function is exercised jointly under the devolved arrangements;

(c) if under the devolved arrangements a function is exercisable jointly with the Board, the Board.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 197

(8) The terms and conditions on which devolved arrangements are made may include terms authorising a joint committee established by virtue of subsection (6) to establish and maintain a pooled fund.

(9) A pooled fund is a fund—

(a) which is made up of payments received from the Board under the devolved arrangements in accordance with terms of payment agreed under section 13Z(5), and

(b) out of which payments may be made towards expenditure incurred in the discharge of any of the functions in relation to which the devolved arrangements are made.

13ZB Section 13Z: arrangements in relation to the function under section 3B(1)(d)

(1) This section applies to arrangements under section 13Z(2) that are or include arrangements in relation to the exercise of a relevant commissioning function.

(2) “Relevant commissioning function” means a function of the Board under section 3B(1)(d) of arranging for the provision of services or facilities in respect of a particular area (“the commissioning area”).

(3) The power to enter into the arrangements under section 13Z is subject to the following provisions of this section.

(4) The arrangements must provide for the relevant commissioning function to be exercisable by at least one relevant prescribed body jointly with—

(a) one or more eligible bodies, or

(b) the Board and one or more eligible bodies, (and the arrangements are, accordingly, devolved arrangements to which section 13ZA applies).

(5) At least one of the eligible bodies mentioned in subsection (4) must be a clinical commissioning group.

(6) The Board may enter into the arrangements in relation to the provision of a service or facility in the commissioning area only if it considers it appropriate to do so having regard to—

(a) the impact on the provision of the service or facility in the commissioning area;

(b) the impact on the provision of the service or facility in other areas;

(c) the number of persons in the commissioning area to whom the service or facility is provided;

(d) the number of persons who are able to provide the service or facility;

(e) the cost of providing the service or facility;

(f) the financial implications for the relevant prescribed body, and for other bodies, with whom the arrangements are made.

(7) Regulations may provide for this section not to apply to arrangements so far as relating to a relevant commissioning function of a prescribed description.

(8) In this section, “eligible body” and “relevant prescribed body” have the same meaning as in section 13ZA.”

5 After section 14Z3 insert—

14Z3A Joint exercise of functions with combined authorities

(1) A clinical commissioning group may arrange for—

(a) any commissioning function of the group to be exercised jointly with a combined authority;

(b) any commissioning function that the group exercises on behalf of another clinical commissioning group under section 14Z3(2)(a) to be exercised jointly with a combined authority.

(2) Two or more clinical commissioning groups may arrange for any commissioning functions of those groups that are exercised jointly with each other under section 14Z3(2)(b) to be exercised jointly also with a combined authority.

(3) Regulations may provide that the powers in subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in relation to a commissioning function of a prescribed description.

12 Jan 2016 : Column 198

(4) Where any commissioning functions of a clinical commissioning group (or groups) are exercised jointly with a combined authority under subsection (1) or (2), they may be exercised by a joint committee of the group (or groups) and the authority.

(5) Arrangements under subsection (1) or (2) may be on such terms and conditions (including terms as to payment) as may be agreed between the clinical commissioning group (or groups) and the combined authority.

(6) Where two or more clinical commissioning groups enter into arrangements with the same combined authority under subsection (1) or (2), the terms as to payment mentioned in subsection (5) may include terms authorising a joint committee established under subsection (4) to establish and maintain a pooled fund.

(7) A pooled fund is a fund—

(a) which is made up of payments received under the arrangements from all the groups that are parties to the arrangements, and

(b) out of which payments may be made towards expenditure incurred in the exercise of any of the commissioning functions in respect of which the arrangements are made.

(8) Arrangements under subsection (1) or (2) do not affect the liability of a clinical commissioning group for the exercise of any of its functions.

(9) In this section “commissioning functions” means the functions of clinical commissioning groups in arranging for the provision of services as part of the health service (but does not include the function of making a request to the Board for the purposes of section 14Z9).”

6 In section 75 (arrangements between NHS bodies and local authorities), after subsection (7) insert—

“(7A) For the purposes of this section, a combined authority that exercises a prescribed function within subsection (1)(a) of an NHS body under voluntary arrangements is to be treated as an NHS body.

(7B) “Voluntary arrangements” means arrangements made with the combined authority under—

(a) section 7A (exercise of Secretary of State’s public health functions),

(b) section 13Z (exercise of the Board’s functions), or

(c) section 14Z3A (joint exercise of functions with clinical commissioning groups).

(7C) Regulations under this section, so far as made before or in the same Session as that in which the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2015 is passed, apply to a combined authority that is treated as an NHS body by virtue of subsection (7A) as if it were a prescribed NHS body for the purposes of those regulations.

(7D) But a combined authority to which regulations under this section apply by virtue of subsection (7C) may enter into prescribed arrangements in relation to the exercise only of functions within subsection (1)(a) that are exercisable by the authority under voluntary arrangements.

(7E) Regulations under this section may provide for the regulations to apply in relation to a combined authority subject to any prescribed limitations or conditions.

(7F) Nothing in subsection (7D) prevents a combined authority from being a party to arrangements made by virtue of this section in relation to any prescribed functions of an NHS body that are exercisable by the authority as a result of an order under section 105A of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 (public authority functions exercisable by combined authorities).”

7 (1) Section 251 (control of patient information) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2)(a), after “health service bodies” insert “or relevant social care bodies”.

(3) After subsection (12) insert—

“(12A) In this section—

“care” includes local authority social care,

“local authority social care” means—

12 Jan 2016 : Column 199

(a) social care provided or arranged for by a local authority, and

(b) any other social care all or part of the cost of which is paid for with funds provided by a local authority,

“patient” includes an individual who needs or receives local authority social care or whose need for such care is being assessed by a local authority,

“social care” includes all forms of personal care and other practical assistance provided for individuals who are in need of such care or assistance by reason of age, illness, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, dependence on alcohol or drugs or other similar circumstances.”

(4) In subsection (13), at the end insert—

““relevant social care body” means—

(a) a local authority, or

(b) any other body or person engaged in the provision of local authority social care.”

8 In section 275(1) (interpretation), after the definition of “clinical commissioning group” insert—

““combined authority” means a combined authority established under section 103 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009,”.

9 In section 276 (index of defined expressions), at the appropriate place insert—

“combined authority……………………Section 275(1)””

75: Schedule 4, page 34, line 22, at end insert—

Local Government Act 1972

A1 The Local Government Act 1972 is amended as follows.

A2 In section 100E (application of Part 5A to committees and subcommittees), in subsection (3) after paragraph (b) insert—

“(bba) a committee in place by virtue of section 107D(3)(c)(ii) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009;

(bbb) a joint committee in place by virtue of section 107DA of that Act;”.”

A3 In section 100J (application of Part 5A to new authorities etc)—

(a) in subsection (1) after paragraph (be) insert—

“(bf) a sub-national transport body;”;

(b) in subsection (3), after “(be),” insert “(bf),”;

(c) in subsection (4), in paragraph (a) after “joint authority,” insert “a sub-national transport body,”.

A4 In section 101 (arrangements for discharge of functions by local authorities)—

(a) after subsection (1C) insert—

“(1D) A combined authority may not arrange for the discharge of any functions under subsection (1) if, or to the extent that, the function is a mayoral function of a mayor for the area of the authority.

(1E) “Mayoral function” has the meaning given by section 107F(7) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.”;

(b) after subsection (5B) insert—

“(5C) Arrangements under subsection (5) by two or more local authorities with respect to the discharge of any of their functions cease to have effect with respect to that function if, or to the extent that, the function becomes a general function of a mayor for the area of a combined authority.

(5D) Subsection (5C) does not prevent arrangements under subsection (5) being entered into in respect of that function by virtue of section 107DA of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 (joint exercise of general functions).

(5E) In subsection (5C), “general functions” has the meaning given in section 107D(2) of that Act.”;

(c) in subsection (13) after “combined authority,” insert “a subnational transport body,”.

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A5 In section 270 (general provisions as to interpretation), in subsection (1) after the definition of “specified papers” insert—

““sub-national transport body” means a sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008;”.

Local Government Act 1985

A6 The Local Government Act 1985 is amended as follows.

A7 In section 72 (accounts and audit), for subsection (5) substitute—

“(5) Any reference in this section to a new authority includes a reference to—

(a) the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority;

(b) a sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008;

(c) a combined authority established under section 103 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.”

A8 In section 73 (financial administration), in subsection (2) after “reference to” insert “—

(a) a sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008;

(b) ”.”

76: Schedule 4, page 34, line 23, at end insert—

“A9 The Local Government Finance Act 1988 is amended as follows.

A10 In section 74 (levies), omit subsection (9).”

77: Schedule 4, page 34, line 31, at end insert—

Local Government and Housing Act 1989

1A (1) The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 4 (designation and reports of head of paid service), in subsection (6)(a) for “, (ja) and (jb)” substitute “and (ja) to (jc)”.

(3) In section 13 (voting rights of members of certain committees: England and Wales), in the definition of “relevant authority” in subsection (9), for “(jb)” substitute “(jc)”.

(4) In section 20 (duty to adopt certain procedural standing orders), in subsection (4)(a) for “(jb)” substitute “(jc)”.

(5) In section 21 (interpretation of Part 1 of Act), in subsection (1) after paragraph (jb) insert—

“(jc) a sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008;”.

Railways Act 1993

1B (1) Section 24A of the Railways Act 1993 (Secretary of State franchise exemptions: operator agreements) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (4)—

(a) in paragraph (a), after sub-paragraph (i) insert—

“(ia) an STB,”;

(b) in paragraph (b), after “Executive” insert “, an STB”;

(c) in paragraph (c)(i), after “Executive” insert “, STB”;

(d) in paragraph (c)(ii), after “Executive” insert “, STB”.

(3) In subsection (5)—

(a) in paragraph (a) of the definition of “relevant company”, after “Executive” insert “, an STB”;

(b) in paragraph (b) of that definition, after “Executive” insert “, an STB”;

(c) after that definition insert—

““STB” means a sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008.”

Environment Act 1995

1C (1) Section 65 of the Environment Act 1995 (National Park authorities: general purposes and powers) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (5), after paragraph (b) insert—

12 Jan 2016 : Column 201

“Paragraph (b) is subject to subsection (6A).”

(3) After subsection (6) insert—

“(6A) Subsection (5)(b) does not apply in relation to a National Park authority for a National Park in England (see instead section 65A for general powers of such authorities).”

Local Government Act 1999

1D In section 1 of the Local Government Act 1999 (best value authorities), in subsection (1) after paragraph (hb) insert—

“(hc) a sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008;”.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

1E In Schedule 1 to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (public authorities), in Part 2 (local government: England and Wales), after paragraph 28 insert—

“28A A sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008.””

78: Schedule 4, page 34, line 35, leave out “In section 91 (exercise of local authority functions),” and insert “(1) Section 91 (exercise of local authority functions) is amended as follows.

(2) ”

79: Schedule 4, page 34, line 36, at end insert—

“( ) In subsection (4)—

(a) omit “or” at the end of paragraph (a);

(b) after paragraph (b) insert—

“(c) for the function to be exercisable by the EPB and the local authority jointly, or

(d) for the function to be exercisable by the EPB jointly with the local authority but also continue to be exercisable by the local authority alone.”

80: Schedule 4, page 35, line 2, leave out lines 2 to 4 and insert—

“(2A) But section 85 of that Act, in its application to a combined authority by virtue of subsection (2), is subject to subsections (2AA) and (2AB).

(2AA) If the area of the combined authority includes the area of the whole of a county that comprises the areas of one or more district councils, the representative councils for the purposes of section 85(1)(c) of that Act (as applied to a combined authority) are either the county council or the council for each of the districts (as determined by or in accordance with the order).

(2AB) In relation to a mayoral combined authority, section 85(4) of that Act is not to be taken as preventing the mayor from being a voting member of the authority.”

81: Schedule 4, page 35, line 13, leave out paragraph (b)

82: Schedule 4, page 35, line 38, at end insert—

“8A In section 113 (requirements in connection with changes to existing combined arrangements), after subsection (3) insert—

“(4) This section does not apply to an order under section 106(1)(b) that is made as a result of the duty in section 105B(1D) or 107B(4).”

83: Schedule 4, page 35, line 43, at end insert—

“( ) After subsection (1) insert—

“(1A) In relation to an order under Schedule 5B, subsection (1) has effect as if the reference to the Secretary of State were a reference to the Secretary of State or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.”

84: Schedule 4, page 36, line 2, at end insert—

“10A In section 115 (transfer of property, rights and liabilities), in subsection (1) after “liabilities” insert “(including criminal liabilities)”.

10B In section 116 (consequential amendments), after subsection (1) insert—

“(1A) In relation to an order under Schedule 5B, subsection (1) has effect as if the references to the Secretary of State were references to the Secretary of State or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.”

85: Schedule 4, page 36, line 27, at end insert—

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“Equality Act 2010

12A In Schedule 19 to the Equality Act 2010 (public authorities), in Part 1 (general), after the entry “A joint authority established under Part 4 of that Act for an area in England (including, by virtue of section 77(9) of the Local Transport Act 2008, an Integrated Transport Authority established under Part 5 of that Act of 2008)” insert—

“A sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008.””

86: Schedule 4, page 37, line 8, at end insert—

“Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

18 (1) The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 40 (access to local government meetings and documents), in subsection (6) after paragraph (j) insert—

“(ja) a sub-national transport body,”.

(3) In section 44 (interpretation of Act), in subsection (1) after the definition of “special trustees for a hospital” insert—

““sub-national transport body” means a sub-national transport body established under section 102E of the Local Transport Act 2008.”.

(4) In Schedule 2 (relevant authorities), after paragraph 28 insert—

“28A A sub-national transport body.””

87: In the Title, line 5, after “functions;” insert “to confer power to establish, and to make provision about, sub-national transport bodies;”

Motion on Amendments 55 to 87 agreed.

Armed Forces Bill

First Reading

5.41 pm

The Bill was brought from the Commons, read a first time and ordered to be printed.

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Committee (5th Day)

5.41 pm

Relevant document: 13th Report from the Delegated Powers Committee

Clause 21: Reduction in social housing rents

Amendment 104BC

Moved by Baroness Evans of Bowes Park

104BC: Clause 21, page 20, line 23, after “began” insert “at or”

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con): My Lords, I will speak to the government amendments which are largely technical in nature and stem from issues that have been raised with us. The amendments seek to improve the drafting of the Bill and ensure that the policy can be implemented smoothly. We also intend that they will be helpful to social housing providers. I am aware that my noble friend had helpful meetings with your Lordships before Christmas to explain the purpose of these amendments. I will now seek to put that forward to the House.

Amendment 104BC is a minor technical amendment. It closes a small gap in the drafting of the provisions to bring into the scope of Clause 21 any tenancies that began at,

“the beginning of 8 July 2015 but less than 12 months before the beginning of the first relevant year”.

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Under Clause 22, we have set out some exceptions to the policy. The purpose of the exceptions in Clause 22(2) and (3), and the equivalents in Schedule 2, is to protect the value of stock held by social sector landlords, to provide confidence to the financial sector and to ensure that providers can continue to use their stock as security for borrowing.

Amendments 108B to 108D and Amendments 110C to 110E improve the drafting of those exceptions and clarify that they apply to the registered provider’s interest in the property only if the relevant steps are taken for the purpose of enforcing the lender’s rights under the security as intended. They also clarify that for the purpose of these exceptions, where a registered provider appoints an administrator, this is a step to enforce security.

We have brought forward Amendment 110F in response to concerns regarding the potential for practical implementation difficulties in certain circumstances. The new clause, “Implied terms”, is intended to help social housing providers to comply more easily with the requirement for rent reductions for social tenants. The amendment overrides any provision of individual tenancy agreements that may prevent providers varying the tenancy agreement to reduce rents on the most appropriate annual timescales. This is a somewhat technical amendment, so it may help if I provide some background in order that its purpose, which is to assist providers, can be better understood.

The Bill requires social providers to reduce by at least 1% the rents payable by their individual tenants over each of four relevant years. Each provider has a single relevant year, which, as a general rule, will run from April to March. However, a private registered provider with an established practice of co-ordinated rent years for the majority of its tenants may choose instead to use that period as its relevant year. If there is no clear majority the default is that the provider must use 1 April.

5.45 pm

Many providers have in place at least some tenancy agreements that will be out of step with their relevant years because the agreements would not ordinarily allow the necessary reduction at the beginning of the relevant years. This has the potential to create practical implementation difficulties for a provider who would be faced with either taking on the administrative burden of negotiating the variation of the agreement to provide for a new rent review date or waiting to reduce the rent for such tenancies until the review date specified in those tenancy agreements. The latter option would require the provider to implement deeper reductions at that point in order to comply with the requirement to secure a 1% reduction over the course of the year. The purpose of this new clause is to overcome these difficulties by overriding any provision of individual tenancy agreements that may prevent providers varying the tenancy agreement to reduce rents on the most appropriate annual date.

Amendment 104DA is a related consequential amendment to Clause 21, which is needed because the new clause, “Implied terms”, potentially changes a

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provider’s rent review cycle, which is relevant to whether a provider may operate a relevant year that does not start on 1 April. The relevant provision is Clause 21(6), which provides that a private registered provider may operate a relevant year that does not start on 1 April if its,

“practice as regards the greater number of its tenancies is to change rent payable no more than once a year and with effect from”,

another date. The consequential amendment sets out that the provider’s practice with regard to rent reviews should be determined with regard to the year to 31 March 2016. It also clarifies that a provider’s practice with regard to rent reviews relates to its practice in relation to its social housing.

We have also brought forward a new clause under Amendment 110G which will set out how the rent reduction policy applies if there is a transfer of housing stock from one provider to another: for example, as part of a merger or if one provider sells housing stock to another. Our aim in bringing forward the amendment is to provide for smoother transfers of housing stock which take account of the rent reduction policy, thus reducing administrative burdens on the new provider. The new clause puts in place a clear rule for how the rent reductions should be calculated when property is transferred and provides that the former provider’s relevant years should continue to apply. The four years of rent reductions will apply to a particular tenancy whether or not the providers have corresponding relevant years.

It may be helpful to clarify that any exemption under Clause 23 would be granted in respect of a particular provider and therefore would fall away when stock is transferred. This new clause modifies that basic position. It provides that where housing stock subject to an exemption is transferred to a new provider, the exemption will continue to apply to the housing in question until the end of the relevant year. Amendment 110J is a consequential amendment to Clause 27 which simply ensures that the powers of the social housing regulator to set and revise standards relating to levels of rent also extend to the new clause.

We have brought forward Amendment 110H to address potential concerns that the rent reductions may have an unintended extended impact for some providers. The new clause, “Transitional provision”, seeks to prevent this by making provision allowing providers, if they wish, to review rents immediately after the end of the rent reduction period, rather than waiting to do so until whatever rent review date is provided for in individual tenancy agreements. This could otherwise be some time after the end of the rent reduction period.

The intention of the amendment is to allow providers flexibility in choosing how to transition from the rent reductions. Providers may bring forward their first post-restriction rent review to any date between the end of the rent reduction period and the normal contractual rent review date. Where the agreement provides for rent reviews that are approximately annual, or less frequent, the provider thereafter has the option to shift all its subsequent rent reviews forward to maintain its normal rent review intervals or to revert to its original rent review cycle. This amendment is

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intended to assist the sector to ensure a smooth transition at the end of this measure in a manner that provides a fair degree of flexibility.

Amendments 110K, 110L and 110M are small but important amendments. The Secretary of State has taken a power in the Bill to issue consents to the use, by a provider, of an alternative permitted review date as the reference point when setting rent in the first relevant year. Importantly, these amendments ensure that these powers come into force on Royal Assent. If such a consent is not granted, the reference point for rent reductions under Clause 21 and assumed rent under paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 is the rate of rent applied on 8 July 2015. By commencing these powers on Royal Assent, the Secretary of State will be able to issue such consents before the main provisions come into force, which will enable providers to plan for setting rents at a higher level than they would otherwise have been able to do.

The provisions allow the Secretary of State to grant a consent which covers a particular case or a description of cases. It is our intention to issue a general consent to enable a provider that, on 8 July 2015, had not implemented its 2015-16 rent increase to use a later date as the reference date. Our intention is that the general consent will cover the majority of providers that need consent for an alternative permitted review date. If, exceptionally, any providers need an individual consent, an application will need to be submitted to the Secretary of State which will be considered on its individual merits. Our aim is to issue a general consent as soon as feasible after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

I apologise to the House for the length of these opening remarks, but, as I said, these are technical amendments and I wanted to ensure that the House had our rationale for them. On that basis, I beg to move the amendment standing in my noble friend’s name on the Order Paper.

Lord McKenzie of Luton (Lab): My Lords, we thank the Minister, the noble Baroness, Lady Evans, for her introduction and we are grateful for the separate briefing that we received before Christmas with her colleague, the noble Baroness, Lady Williams. This is a very substantial list of government amendments, but we will not oppose them, as overall they are intended to make the policy work more effectively and securely. We understand that they are, in essence, technical.

However, we might just reflect on the fact that in Committee in another place we saw the introduction of four new clauses and one substantial new schedule, with more government amendments on Report. The amendments in this group include those—for example, 108B—which replace provisions inserted by government amendments in Committee in the House of Commons. This creates the impression that the policy has not been fully worked through. I wonder what else is being worked on which will require amendment before we are finished with this Bill.

We know from the Government’s briefing note of Clauses 21 to 28 and Schedule 2 that work is under way on regulations to come into force on 1 April 2016. These are to cover further exceptions but also alternative provision for accepted categories and alternative conditions for granting directions. Regulations are also to cover

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the enforcement of Schedule 2 by the regulator. Can the Minister say whether we will see at least a draft of these regulations before we get to Report? Clearly, the clock is ticking, and drafting must have reached an advanced stage if the regulations are to come into force on 1 April this year.

So far as Clause 23 is concerned, there is the opportunity for the Secretary of State to direct that the provisions of Clause 21 do not apply to a local authority if it would be unable to avoid serious financial difficulties. Similar considerations arise for private registered providers, where the regulator has to take a view on financial viability. Can the Minister say whether any general guidance will be published covering these matters? We note that the Secretary of State is taking powers to publish measures which individual local authorities can take, so we are back with central government micromanaging the affairs of local authorities—so much for devolving power. But as I say, we do not and will not oppose these amendments.

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope (LD): My Lords, I support what the noble Lord, Lord McKenzie, has just said. He is right to say that the process of this particular measure and its sections through its various parliamentary stages has been less than best practice. Of course, it is not the Minister’s fault; I think that the Committee is grateful to her for her concise explanation of what these amendments seek to do, and it is agreed that they are, by and large, improvements. However, having substantial bits of policy of the kind covered by the sections and amendments that we are dealing with this evening in a summer Budget Statement, with no prospect of any consultation beforehand—an ex cathedra Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and then a long Summer Recess where everybody tries to work out what on earth it all meant—is not a good way of producing legislation.

It does not surprise me that there was a degree of confusion at the Commons Committee stages and that we are now faced at this quite late stage with admittedly helpful amendments. However, they are technical and they need consideration, because they increase the corpus of housing law and make things more complicated. Not only does the primary legislation make it more complicated; it will spawn secondary legislation. This House will no doubt look forward to studying it in great detail, larding and littering the statute book with consequential changes, including protecting mortgagees, implied terms in leases—which is always dangerous; from a legal point of view, implication by statutory legislation is never a good thing—and transitional protection, which may well be necessary. But at this stage I think it is appropriate for the noble Lord, Lord McKenzie, and the Committee to say to the Minister that housing Bills and measures of this kind should be done properly. Consultation and Green Papers are always an advantage. If we had had a Green Paper in relation to these clauses, some of the difficulties that the Minister faced in introducing these amendments could have been avoided and could be avoided in future.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park: I thank both noble Lords for their contributions and take note of the points that they raised. In specific relation to the draft

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regulations, we will be putting out information on our detailed intentions in due course, and I will look at what more information can be provided at Report.

Lord McKenzie of Luton: Can I just press the Minister a bit to say what “in due course” means? Can we narrow that timeline a bit? For example, is it likely to occur before we get to Report?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park: As I said, we will look at what information we can provide for Report; I am afraid that I cannot go further than that.

Amendment 104BC agreed.

Amendment 104C

Moved by Lord Kerslake

104C: Clause 21, page 20, line 36, leave out “, second or third” and insert “or second”.

Lord Kerslake (CB): My Lords, I rise to move Amendment 104C. In doing so, I declare my interest as chair of Peabody and president of the Local Government Association. I will also speak to the other amendments in this group that have been tabled in my name, so I hope that noble Lords will bear with me if this takes a little time. I also support the amendments in this group tabled by other noble Lords.

These amendments are all consequential on the Government’s new policy, announced in the July Budget, that social rents should be reduced by 1% per annum in England for the next four years, starting in April 2016. It is therefore appropriate that I say a few words about this policy as background to and rationale for the amendments I have tabled. The policy represented a complete reversal of the previous coalition Government’s policy, announced as part of the 2013 spending review, that rents would rise by the increase in the consumer prices index—CPI—plus 1% for a period of 10 years.

It is instructive to note that this formed part of the infrastructure report Investing in Britain’s Future, which accompanied the spending settlement report. The joint foreword to that report from the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury began:

“Britain at its best is a country that invests in the future”.

In his speech introducing the report to the other House, the Chief Secretary said:

“Our housing associations have told me that they can do more. To do that, they need certainty on rents, alongside public investment. So today I can provide both those things: I can guarantee that social rents will be set at the consumer prices index plus 1% out to 2025”—

note the word “guarantee”—

“and I can provide £3 billion more capital over three years from 2015 to deliver 165,000 new affordable homes”.—[

Official Report

, Commons, 27/6/13; col. 467.]

6 pm

I have quoted that at length to emphasise that this proposal was part of infrastructure planning and governing for the long term. The clear rationale was to provide long-term certainty on rents in order to boost

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private investment and to enable housing associations to do more on the supply of new affordable housing. There were, of course, some trade-offs: the previous policy of so-called convergence towards common rent levels was ended, and the increase was less than the previous RPI-based formula. Overall, though, housing associations welcomed the certainty that it gave them and the ability to plan ahead.

In the event, that guarantee has lasted just one year. This does not say a lot for government guarantees. Commenting in November, when it published its report on the cuts to social rents, the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ senior research economist, Robert Joyce, said:

“Recent policy on social rents displays a worrying lack of consistency”.

It is hard to disagree with him.

The consequence of the new policy is that rents will be 12% lower at the end of the four years than they would otherwise be, had the previous policy been continued. In financial terms, the IFS calculates that rental income for social landlords will reduce by £2.3 billion per year by 2019-20, with £1.3 billion coming from housing associations and a further £1 billion from local authorities.

When making the announcement, the Government highlighted the benefit of lower rents to tenants. In reality, as the IFS report makes clear, the policy largely represents a transfer from social landlords to the Exchequer. Of the £2.3 billion saving through lower rents, fully £1.7 billion will be offset by lower benefit entitlements. For the two-thirds of tenants who are on benefits, there will be no direct gain.

Another justification put forward for the policy was that housing associations and local authorities need to become more efficient. There is undoubtedly scope to improve efficiency in the management of social housing, including in my own association Peabody. Indeed, the role of the regulator was strengthened under the last Government to help secure the delivery of this. However, the savings made were intended to be reinvested in greater supply, continuing reductions in grant rates and improved services for tenants. They will now go towards meeting the shortfall in rental income.

In reality, the primary, if not sole, purpose of the rent reductions was to deliver a contribution towards the £12 billion in welfare savings. This is ultimately for the Government to determine, but it will come at a price, and it is important to be aware of that. We cannot yet say exactly what the impact of the new rents policy will be on affordable housing supply. We can say that the uncertainty created with lenders by the policy reverse is likely to increase the costs of borrowing.