Memorandum submitted by the Director, City Remembrancer's Office (P 12)
I attended the hearing of the Agriculture Committee earlier today when representatives from the Corporation of London gave evidence. The office of City Remembrancer is a Parliamentary Agency and in that capacity I aim to look after the City Corporation's legislative interests in Parliament and the promotion of City private bills.
Reference was made in the course of the hearing to the need for private legislation to relocate the City's markets. I confirm that a private bill would indeed be necessary in respect of each of the three sites. I also agree with the comments made during the hearing that promotions which involve many interests whose views on the merits of change do not (or may not) coincide are particularly difficult and represent a very large procedural hurdle.
It is not, of course, for me to give evidence about the merits or demerits of the geographical location of markets or what they sell. I noted, however, that in a memorandum produced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food reference was made to anticipated legislation dealing with the status of Covent Garden Market. I simply observe that if it were decided to review London's markets more generally (a suggestion made in evidence today) and if that review were to result in agreement over the changes that were needed and the means of implementing them, then it would seem that as a matter of procedure, the legislative slot referred to in the Ministry's memorandum could be earmarked for the promotion of a hybrid bill to deal with the London markets as a whole. The particular difficulties of the private bill procedure referred to today would then be avoided.
14 March 2001