City of London (Various Powers) Bill
HOUSE OF COMMONS
taken before the
UNOPPOSED BILL COMMITTEE
CITY OF LONDON (VARIOUS POWERS) BILL [LORDS]
Tuesday 16 July 2013
Mr Lindsay Hoyle (Chair)
Mr Adrian Bailey
Sir Peter Bottomley
MRS ALISON GORLOV appeared as Parliamentary Agent for the Promoters.
MR PAUL DOUBLE, City Remembrancer and Parliamentary Agent, appeared on behalf of the Promoters.
MR PETER DAVIES, Counsel for Domestic Legislation, was also in attendance.
Ordered at 2.00 pm: that Counsel and Parties be called in.
1. CHAIR: Order, order. Could I first of all welcome everybody? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to today. I am Lindsay Hoyle; I will be chairing the event. To my right: Sir Peter Bottomley, Teresa Pearce, Craig Whittaker; and to my left: Adrian Bailey. So at least we are all here and all raring to go. Who’s going to kick off? Mrs Gorlov, perhaps you could get us underway.
2. MRS GORLOV: My name is Alison Gorlov and I appear as the Agent of the Bill, which is promoted by the City of London Corporation. The Corporation is represented here today by Mr Paul Double, who is the City Remembrancer, one of the law officers of the Corporation, and he is a Parliamentary Agent, responsible for the City’s private legislation. Mr Double will be speaking to the amendments in the filled Bill that were prompted by what was said at the second reading debate.
3. Sir, you will see from the filled Bill that the City is seeking a number of amendments when the Bill is brought before the first House and I will explain those as we go through. All the substantive amendments-and I may say there are some printed amendments as well-all of them have been discussed with Counsel and we understand that he is content with them.
4. Just a few other things to say about the Bill before I take you through it. It was deposited in November 2010. It had its second reading in this House, as you will know, on 26 February 2012. It is not an especially complex Bill, but the Bill has been held up largely pending discussions with BIS-which I apprehend this Committee will know about-and happily those have now been successfully concluded. I will mention them when we get there, which is towards the end. But one thing I should just mention is that there are no amendments concerning the BIS issue and none is required.
5. If I could just take you to the Bill please, it deals with some quite separate issues concerning street trading and a couple of issues relating to City walkways. First of all, street trading. Since the early part of the 20th Century, street trading has been prohibited in the City of London, unlike the rest of London, with the exception of the part of Middlesex Street that is in the City. That is part of the Petticoat Lane market. The street trading code has differed over the years, but the current one is in Part 3 of the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1987 and the new street trading provisions in the Bill are-possibly slightly unpalatable, but the lawyers like it-inserted as new sections of that 1987 Act.
6. The other thing I might just mention is that you will see throughout those sections that the City is referred to as "the Corporation". That is because in 1987 that was the way it was described. These days we say "the City" as the preferred description, but for the purposes of these new sections it is "the Corporation". I don’t think there is any great significance in that.
7. First of all, I can take you to the block of amendments in clauses 3, 4 and 5. These make provisions for temporary street traders. The way the legislation works at the moment, a street trader has a street trading licence and comes along with his licence, which will operate for a period and is a semi-permanent licence. There isn’t any means of issuing licences on a very short-term basis. Well, there are occasions when the City would like to have activities which would call for things that constitute street trading for specific events. For example, an occasion when, if the powers had been available, they might have been used was for the 800th anniversary of the opening of London Bridge, when one might have had people with pretty stalls or whatever. That would have been street trading and so it couldn’t be permitted.
8. Clause 3 amends the 1987 Act to allow for street trading licences to be issued for limited periods and that is in the new section 11A of the 1987 Act. Three things about that: these licences are restricted to an area which will be specified in the temporary licence, so the trader is limited as to where they can go; they cannot last for longer than 21 days; and they may be subject to conditions. The procedure for making applications is in the new subsections (3) and (4), that is of the new sections.
9. I might just draw your attention to (4)(f) and (5). One is familiar with the notion of street traders; each individual has his own street trading licence. What the City envisages is that there might be celebrations, pageants or events of one sort or another where it would be appropriate to have a sole provider who organises the individual stalls. And the way in which (4)(f) and (5) are expressed would allow for that.
10. There is one filled Bill amendment in the new 11A(2) at the bottom of page two of the Bill. It is a specific statement that conditions for a temporary licence could allow for the recovery of certain charges. The Committee will find out later that there is provision elsewhere for the City to recover street cleaning and similar sorts of expenses related to street trading. The procedure for that is going to alter. I will explain that in a moment. This new procedure, which is what the traders want, is just fine for the permanent people, but it won’t work for the temporary licence. And so the way to have these charges recovered, as they clearly need to be, is to make their recovery a condition of a temporary licence.
11. Clause 4 is a lawyer’s technical amendment. The prohibition on street trading-confusingly it is not in the 1987 Act; it is in the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1965. And the prohibition lists a number of cases when street trading is not prohibited, places that are exempt from the ban on street trading. Clearly temporary licence holders need to be brought within that exemption. That is what Clause 4 does.
12. Clause 5 similarly applies the legislation in relation to offences. The 1987 Act makes it a criminal offence to trade without a street trading licence, and this clause applies those penalty provisions to temporary licence holders. Just one thing there that I should draw attention to is subsection (3). Subsection (3) adds a new provision allowing for prosecution of a corporate trader. That is not in the 1987 Act because it was never envisaged there would be such, but as I have just said, it is now thought that there may well be.
13. Clause 6 deals with the separate issue of penalty levels. At the moment, the maximum fine that can be imposed on a street trading offence under the 1987 Act is level 2, which is currently £500. This doesn’t allow for fines really to be adequate. The clause would increase the penalty level to level 3, which is £1,000 maximum, and this is in line with the current street trading fines for the rest of London.
14. Clause 7 is the longest bit of the Bill and I think it is quite possibly the least palatable. It is a raft of additional enforcement powers. At the moment the code in the 1987 Act has nothing comparable, but the rest of London has got a code which is almost the same as this, which was introduced into the London Local Authorities legislation in 2007. It has proved useful and, with increased street trading in the City, it is thought that such provision needs to be introduced there as well.
15. Not just because this is rather less palatable stuff than the rest of the Bill, but also because Mr Double has been responsible for amendments that arise from what was said at second reading, I’m going to ask him to take you through some of these amendments. Can I just first mention a tiny point in case it is confusing people? In the first two amendments on the papers for this part of the filled Bill, Members might have wondered where it is these insertions go in. I am afraid some words dropped off the headings. The first of them is a new subsection (6) that doesn’t go into clause (7) itself. It is the new section 16A.
16. So if we could start off with that, 16A is a provision allowing for the seizure of articles or things that have been offered for sale and the circumstances in which that may happen is that illegal state trading is apprehended. Now, there is an amendment here and perhaps Mr Double could explain it to us.
17. MR DOUBLE: Yes, of course. As Mrs Gorlov has said, these are in response to points which were raised on Second Reading. And if you look first at the provisions on page four you will see at line 26 it refers to-25 to 26-"if an authorised officer or a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed an offence". It was pointed out that that sets in relative terms a low level to satisfy that requirement on the part of the enforcing officer and the proposal is that we change-we substitute for "suspecting", "believing", so that the authorised officer has to believe that a person has committed an offence under section 16. And that, as it were, highers the bar-
18. SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: Raises.
19. MR DOUBLE: Raises the bar for enforcing it. The second one, if I can go to page five, you will see on line 15 under (4)(a)-an "article or thing"-this is to do with the return of seized articles or things, so people getting their property back. That provision can be avoided if the costs awarded to the Corporation in a case are not met, as it says in (4) there, but it goes on to say in (a), "the article or thing may be disposed of in any way the Corporation thinks fit." And the point was made that that sort of leaves a rather large element of discretion on the part of the Corporation. Now, that was not intended, actually, and if you look at line 20 of page five in (c) it says, "When any article or thing is disposed of by the Corporation under this subsection the Corporation shall have a duty to secure the best possible price which can reasonably be obtained for that article or thing." And so, by taking out those words it makes clear that that is the obligation on the Corporation.
20. If I can turn to the next one, the text of which is on the front paper of the Bill headed "New subsection (6) of clause 7, page five". That is a substitution. You’ll see on the front there it says "Subsection (5) shall not apply where the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle has been convicted of an offence under this Act; and the offence was committed no more than three years before the seizure." That takes the place of what is currently on page five, subsection (6), which is lines 29 down to 41. The effect of that is that originally this seizure provision could be resisted. In other words, the person could be prevented from getting the ice cream vehicle back in a range of circumstances where he had been prosecuted before, where he was subject to a prosecution or where the vehicle had been subject to an offence previously. Now, that was pointed out to be a rather wide-ranging provision. I have to say, it is reflected in other legislation governing street-trading, but the point was nevertheless made in the debate that this was a wide-ranging provision. And the effect of this amendment is to narrow it down so that this ability to avoid the return of the ice cream van-to use the vernacular-is restricted to what I could perhaps describe as serial offenders, so not the sort of ordinary run of ice cream criminal, if I can put it like that. And that’s those three amendments.
21. SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: Serial or at least a double offence.
22. MR DOUBLE: Yes, or at least a double offence, yes. So someone-and of course you will appreciate that it isn’t always the case over the history of these things-it does tend to run in a serial way.
23. CHAIR: Is it for the vehicle or for the person?
24. MR DOUBLE: The person.
25. CHAIR: Just the person: somebody could ask somebody, "Do we get rid of it?".
26. MR DOUBLE: Yes. A lot could be said about the sale of ice creams around St Paul’s Cathedral, to which this is a particular response.
27. MRS GORLOV: The next one we come to is 16C. Just to explain what it is about, where somebody is convicted of a street trading offence, the court may order that seized articles-they have been seized to be used in evidence-the court may order that they should be forfeit.
28. The next provision, 16D, relates to compensation. There are occasions when compensation is payable and, Mr Double, perhaps you could be good enough to explain what the amendment here is about. No, sorry, I beg your pardon, this is one of mine. I do beg your pardon. This is nothing to do with Second Reading; this is a purely technical amendment. One of the purposes of paying compensation is where the goods or lot have been seized in the first place and one of the occasions is where no prosecution has taken place. Well, the technical term for that-I think at present still is-laying of information, but that laying of information, which is a particular procedure, is going to be changed by virtue of section 29 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which is yet to come into force but shortly will, we believe. And so the words we have used, "proceedings have been instituted", works for now and works with the new procedure.
29. 16E is dealing with the seizure of perishable things, which clearly need to be treated with greater care and differently from those things which are not perishable. I can take the Committee through it if you would like, but perhaps it would be more sensible if we go straight to the amendment, which is the new subsection (2)(a).
30. MR DOUBLE: Very simply, Chairman, this inserts an obligation on the City to make sure any perishable goods which are seized are kept at an appropriate temperature and, in other words, they are fit to be recovered if the trader wishes to recover them. It’s a narrow window of 48 hours and a notice has to be served, but obviously it is something which the City wouldn’t want to deprive the trader of that possibility were it to be wanted.
31. SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: I think it is more than served. I think it needs to be collected in 48 hours.
32. MR DOUBLE: Yes, and collected-sorry. So the notice is served, but the goods have to be collected in 48 hours.
33. MRS GORLOV: The next one is mine: 16(8) there is a cross-reference that’s wrong and that has been corrected by the omission on page eight, lines five and six.
34. Next we have the unamended provision, 16F. 16F is extending the time within which street trading offences may be prosecuted if the offence relates to a motor vehicle.
35. 16G enables the court to make disposal orders. If the City asks, the court may in certain circumstances, if it is satisfied that the City has tried to find out where there’s the owner of the goods and hasn’t been able to do so, the court may order that the goods should be disposed of.
36. Sorry, I am just reminding myself of what we have got here. Yes, sorry, this is two new sections to go into the 1987 Act. They are on the front of the Bill and they are numbered 16H and 16I, which again I will leave Mr Double to explain.
37. MR DOUBLE: Yes, thank you. Chairman, these deal with, as stated on the front sheet there, the provision of information and training. Both are precedented in recent local Bills and the object of the first one, as will be apparent, is to ensure that those affected by the provisions have access to information about them on the website, the provisions of the legislation. And perhaps as importantly-more importantly from the vendor’s viewpoint-the policies as to the enforcement of the provisions, so the local environmental health office’s policies.
38. And the other one, 16L-training. Again, to ensure-this is done anyway, but it makes it legislatively explicit-that those who are enforcing these provisions are properly trained and understand what they’re doing, because obviously they are affecting people’s lives and their working environment and what they do. So we want to be totally sure that those people are competent and proper in the way in which they carry out their duties. This again makes it statutory. It is done at the moment, but it’s nevertheless put in the Bill to make that explicit.
39. MRS GORLOV: We move on, Sir, to clause 7(2) of the Bill. This is an amendment of the London Local Authorities Act 2004. The 2004 Act provides for certain stated offences to be treated as fixed penalty offences, cases where the enforcing authorities have the option of-not instead of bringing proceedings-they are able to issue fixed penalty notices and the accused person, the person complained of, has the option of paying a fixed penalty rather than facing prosecution. The offences to which that applies are listed in Schedule 2 to the London Local Authorities Act 2004. The purpose of subsection (2) of the Bill is to add the street trading penalty to that list so that the offence of trading without a street trading licence will become a fixed penalty offence under the 2004 Act.
40. Now, the Committee will see that there’s a filled Bill amendment here. It is not right, I am afraid. We’ve discussed this with Counsel and actually it should say something slightly different. The prohibition on street trading is in section 15, but the actual penalty is in section 16(1) of the 1987 Act. It is in fact maybe even more confusing: it is in only part of section 16(1) and the offence itself is described in the 1987 Act as "Unauthorised street trading". And so the amendment which we would like made is that instead of referring to 15, "Unlicensed street trading"-instead of referring to what is in the filled Bill-it should refer to 16(1) (part) "Unauthorised street trading". The effect, however, will be exactly the same, or rather it will be correct that it will pick up the offence of trading without a street trading licence as a potential fixed penalty offence under the 2004 Act. I hope the Committee will be happy with that amendment.
41. The next clause is clause 8 of the Bill. I mentioned earlier that there is provision enabling the City to recover certain expenses from street traders. The Committee will appreciate the street trading activities in Middlesex Street as they are at the moment give rise to the need for street cleansing and administrative expenses. It is only right that the people who carry on that trade should reimburse those expenses and that isn’t proposed to be altered.
42. As section 12 stands at the moment, however, the level of these charges is regulated by by-law, which is a pretty cumbersome instrument. Following discussion with the street traders, they are happy with the proposal that there should be consultation, following which the City will fix its tariff. That is what is provided for in the new subsections introduced by subsection (4) of clause 8. And as I explained earlier, that will apply to the regular street traders in Middlesex Street. It will not apply to the temporary street traders for the reason that clearly you don’t know who you’re going to be consulting and you don’t know if you did consult him if he’d be there on the day. So it wouldn’t work, and that is why temporary street traders will be brought outside that procedure.
43. The unfilled Bill amendment in this clause is on page 11, where there is a new subsection providing specifically that licensed street trader doesn’t include the temporary licence holders, so that balances with the amendment made earlier in the Bill.
44. Clause 9 of the Bill is the clause that overcomes what is essentially technicality. We’re all familiar these days with restaurants and cafes with their tables out on the street and many of them have ice cream cabinets and so on, and they serve one sitting at the tables. There are more people in the street; it seems very strange that they cannot actually turn the cabinet round and serve somebody walking by. They could if they had a window and they could serve them out of the window. This clause overcomes the technicality that that is, strictly speaking, street trading. This is the provision that exercised BIS because they were concerned that there might be an element of discrimination in the way the clause operated as between UK service providers and other EU nationals, which if that had been the case would have infringed the EU Services Directive. Happily, BIS is now satisfied that it doesn’t, so we have the clause in what we would like to think is its final form and with no amendments inspired by BIS or anyone else.
45. The next clause is clause 10, which deals with two separate issues relating to City walkways. The City is one of very few places in the UK with a network of walkways-walkways are public rights of way, but they’re constructed as integral parts of private buildings. Of course, the main example with which the Committee would be familiar is the Barbican. They are governed by a statutory code which, as with so many things in the City of London, is unique. It’s Part 2 of the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1967, so this legal creature has been around for quite a while, as has the concrete subject of the legislation.
46. Walkways are created by a declaration made by the City by way of a formal resolution and where the walkway belongs to someone other than the City there is a separate agreement between the City and the building owner regarding how it’s going to be cared for and maintained. This is all part, as you can imagine-it is an essential part of development schemes. Well, it is a fairly major administrative development process and it gives rise to expense in processing requests from building owners for the passing of walkways resolutions. In similar circumstances, for example under the Planning Acts, the applicant pays costs. But life being what it was in 1967, under the 1967 Act there is no charging provision and the new section 6A remedies that deficiency.
47. And finally there is a new section 13A which is inserted by clause 10(3) of the Bill. At the moment parking on the City walkways, because of their peculiar status is something that the police have to deal with. The object of this provision is to enable parking on City walkways to be a fixed penalty offence which can be the subject of civil enforcement by a parking attendant.
48. And that, Sir, concludes the explanation of the Bill.
49. CHAIR: Marvellous. Are there any other additional comments to be made by your colleagues? All done? Okay. Can I just take you on to some questions?
50. MRS GORLOV: Please do, Sir.
51. CHAIR: The one I found interesting was the seizure of goods. In the case of ice cream, in order to get the best compensation possible, does that mean that Mr Double has to go out selling it in order to achieve the highest price? I just wonder how you would actually-how do you deal with ice cream? One, you’ve got to keep it frozen, but how do you move it on to try and get the best price for it? Has that been thought through or not?
52. MRS GORLOV: I am looking to Mr Double as to whether it’s been thought through. I could offer suggestions as to how one might deal with it, but perhaps-
53. MR DOUBLE: I can’t confess to knowing the environmental health detailed practices, but the direct answer to your question is I don’t know. I don’t know exactly how that works in practice. I imagine that if you are talking about, as Sir Peter said earlier, it is a 48 hour window for return of perishable material such as ice cream if it is seized-if it’s in the provisions that we’ve included now, of course it would have to be kept at an appropriate temperature so it could be disposed of outside that time. The answer is I can’t answer. There’s no point in my saying I can answer because I can’t.
54. CHAIR: The supplementary to that is presumably that the biggest culprit, as you see it, are the ice cream vehicles.
55. MR DOUBLE: Oh yes, there is no question of that.
56. CHAIR: So therefore presumably you already would have provision of freezing facilities or fridges, or whatever you want to call them.
57. MR DOUBLE: Yes.
58. CHAIR: So that is all in place. Then the next one that just intrigued me is if a different person continues to commit the offence then you have powers to seize the vehicle. Am I right in thinking that the vehicle could-each day you could have somebody different driving the vehicle and the vehicle is actually the problem to the area.
59. MR DOUBLE: Yes, that is certainly possible.
60. CHAIR: So it could be self-defeating even if we passed this.
61. MR DOUBLE: Well, of course if you have-perhaps I misused "serial offender", but if you have someone who has been convicted before, there is the possibility of forfeiture of the vehicle, which is of course something for the court to consider.
62. CHAIR: Let me just pursue it slightly more; I am just going to bring colour to it. Presumably, a job agency-the guy who owns this van knows that he can earn so much money, so he gets a different person every day from the job agency to drive and park it up, and illegally sell ice cream. What powers have you got over that to seize the vehicle?
63. MR DOUBLE: Were that to happen-there’s obviously a reservoir of people who will operate the vehicles, I guess. I’m not sure how far that could be replicated endlessly. I think there would come a time when it couldn’t be, I would have thought.
64. SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: I think what Mr Double is trying to tell you is that the power is to return to the owner of the vehicle. That is a pretty clear thing. So if a registered owner has got form, life becomes slightly easier. There may be an offence of unlawful trading, but for a vehicle that needs to be returned, I suspect the word "owner" comes in rather more often.
65. CHAIR: I recognise that, but my worry is that we do all this, and if somebody just looks at this and says, "I am going to do my vehicle", but in the end, the owner of the vehicle isn’t the person you take to court, it is the person who’s operating the vehicle on the day. If that person changes you would then never have a serial culprit even though the vehicle is the serial-it is the vehicle that allows the crime to be committed.
66. MR DOUBLE: In the provisions as they originally stood-maybe if we look at that-there was a reference to the actual vans to which objections were taken on Second Reading. It has been narrowed, so in narrowing it you have got-
67. CHAIR: If you’re comfortable, that is what you’re telling me. Okay.
68. MR DOUBLE: Essentially it is a response to what was said on Second Reading. The original provision would have caught the situation you’re talking about.
69. CHAIR: Okay. Questions, colleagues. Craig.
70. MR WHITTAKER: Thank you, Chair. I just wanted to ask whether there has been any analysis of the cost to the Corporation or the City of this new legislation and, similarly, how much further income that the City expects to receive to offset those additional costs, if indeed there are any.
71. MR DOUBLE: I think in terms of what the City will have as opposed to what it has got now, I guess the improvement in the financial situation, if I can put it like that, comes from the fact that, because of the ineffectiveness of the current legislation, enforcement has been attempted by injunction, which is a massively expensive exercise. So if you seek to enforce a serial offender, to use that word, around, say, St Paul’s, which has been attempted by injunction, it costs something like £25,000 to do the legal work on it. So the amelioration in terms of the base cost to the City, if you like, is substantial.
72. MR WHITTAKER: Have you done any analysis though on what that cost base will be-additional cost base versus additional income-or are you just presuming?
73. MR DOUBLE: I think we have approached this as essentially an exercise in safeguarding the tourists and other folks who are obviously impaired if we get a serious salmonella or E. coli type of problem with dodgy ice cream. So we haven’t really done-I think I’m right in saying-a cost/benefit analysis because we have seen that the risk is substantial and the cost will have to be borne.
74. SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: I suddenly realise I ought to have declared that 50 years ago I used to drive a Walls Whippy soft ice cream van around East Anglia. I don’t know if that affects my judgment on this-and that soft ice cream was invented by my former party leader, Margaret Thatcher. I’ll just make an observation, if I may, on the substitution in 16L, where you have what is pretty close to a double negative. I’m not suggesting you change it for this one, but in future you might consider saying, "The Corporation shall authorise appropriate or appropriately trained officers" to do the things. Just a way of making life more direct if it becomes suitable, but not that I suggest it for this Bill.
75. MR DOUBLE: Thank you.
76. MRS GORLOV: Can I just say I would be the first to agree that all these new sections are all horribly inelegant. Given a draftsman’s preference one would have re-written the whole lot, but they’re all precedented and people like precedents, and I’m afraid this is probably one of them.
77. MR BAILEY: I was looking at these issues around the ice cream trader, page five. And I suppose really this applies to frozen goods in general. If you seize a trader’s vehicle, effectively you are selling frozen goods, and they have got within 28 days-is that right?-to apply for restitution. Obviously goods could perish then. Would they be sold off in anticipation of this or would there be any compensation paid to the trader or not?
78. MR DOUBLE: First of all I think they would have to be kept at an appropriate temperature so they could be sold, and in the event of there being a wrongful seizure, compensation would be payable. And I can’t remember-Alison, you might-the exact provision which talks about the best price available.
79. MRS GORLOV: The best price available is in 16D? No, not 16D.
80. CHAIR: Compensation, page six. 16D.
81. MRS GORLOV: No, it’s 16-
82. SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: E(5).
83. MRS GORLOV: 16E(5), that’s it. No, so sorry-it’s B(4)(c): "Where any article or thing is disposed of … the Corporation shall have a duty to secure the best possible price".
84. SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: It certainly also appears in 16E(5) on page seven. Would it be helpful we thought of it this way? There are perishable goods which the Corporation, the City, is supposed to keep at an appropriate temperature for 48 hours. Then there’s the question of how those then get disposed of and my expectation is that common law would say, if the cost of selling them is greater than the possible price you get, you aren’t actually expected to put them on eBay. Anyway, you don’t know if they are safe for human consumption, whatever. Then there’s the vehicle, and the vehicle provisions, I think, have not seriously changed and don’t have that 24-hour appropriate temperature-
85. MR DOUBLE: No.
86. MRS GORLOV: I think the fear was that something might be sold only for the Corporation to find it should not have sold it because the court said that they couldn’t, and that wouldn’t happen in the case of a vehicle because it couldn’t, and in the case of a perishable item-and it’s got to be kept at the right temperature-it would be. And, therefore, I don’t think you would expect the Corporation to sell on spec, as it were, simply because in theory the item might perish, so you will keep it in such a way that it won’t.
87. MR BAILEY: Yes, as I see under 16E(4), "A perishable thing seized, proposed collecting-then the Corporation may dispose of it". It would not be covered by that.
88. MRS GORLOV: It would be covered by that. Oh, if it’s unclaimed, yes, the Corporation has only to hold onto it for 48 hours.
89. MR DOUBLE: But the person can claim it within that time.
90. CHAIR: Any other questions? Are we all happy? That seems to be the end of questions. Thank you for all those responses. Is the Committee happy to agree the Bill and amendments? Well, in which case is that a proposition of agreement? No objections? Fine. Before we conclude proceedings today, perhaps Mr Double would like to prove the preamble.
MR PAUL DOUBLE, Sworn previously
Examined by MRS GORLOV
91. MRS GORLOV: Mr Double, is your name Paul Double?
(Mr Double) It is.
92. MRS GORLOV: Are you the Remembrancer of the City of London?
(Mr Double) I am.
93. MRS GORLOV: Have you read the preamble to the Bill?
(Mr Double) I have.
94. MRS GORLOV: And is it true?
(Mr Double) It is.
The witness withdrew
91. CHAIR: Can I thank you all for your attendance today and answering all our questions, and the time that’s been given, and in particular Members of the Committee? And, Sir Peter, may you continue in your knowledge. I’m sure one of these days you will be the Agent. Thank you everybody. Thank you very much. Congratulations.
The Committee adjourned at 2.42 p.m.