|Greater London Authority Bill - continued||House of Lords|
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CHAPTER VII: TRAVEL CONCESSIONS
Clauses 193-196: Travel Concessions
294. The Clauses provide for the London local authorities to agree, annually, travel concessions for their eligible residents for the following financial year. They would fund the scheme by reimbursing TfL, and any other transport operators with which they make agreements, for the cost of providing the concessions. In the event that a uniform scheme covering services provided by or under agreement with TfL is not agreed, then TfL would be required to implement a "reserve free travel scheme" (covering only those services for which they are responsible) which is specified in detail in Schedule 12. TfL would be able to charge the local authorities for the cost of providing the reserve free travel scheme.
CHAPTER VIII: PENALTY FARES
295. Clause 197 introduces Schedule 13 setting out the provisions relating to the penalty fares regime on TfL bus and train services. Generally, a person is liable to pay a penalty fare where he or she has not obtained a valid ticket before travelling. The Mayor will be able to change the level of penalty fare, but only after consultation with the Secretary of State, local authorities, user representatives and any others that he or she considers appropriate.
CHAPTER IX: LONDON TRANSPORT USERS' COMMITTEE
Clauses 198 to 202 and Schedule 14: London Transport Users' Committee
296. Clauses 198 to 202 and Schedule 14 abolish the London Regional Passengers Committee and replace them with the London Transport Users' Committee (LTUC). LTUC will have power to assist with any complaint about transport in London, including roads. The Committee will act as the Rail Users' Consultative Committee for Greater London, and consider and report to the Assembly on complaints relating to any of the transport functions of the GLA (including services secured by TfL directly or indirectly). The Committee may refer a matter in which TfL has no responsibility to the person that the Committee feels is most appropriate to consider the complaint.
297. The Committee will be able to make recommendations to the Assembly, Mayor and TfL about complaints it considers. For recommendations concerning complaints about highways where TfL is the highway and traffic authority the Committee will take into account the interests of all those who use the highway, including cyclists and pedestrians.
298. The Assembly, in consultation with the Rail Regulator, will appoint LTUC's Chairman and members, ensuring that the membership adequately reflects the users of all transport modes that will be considered by LTUC. Assembly members will not be allowed to be the Chairman or members of LTUC.
299. Paragraph 9 of Schedule 14, which is introduced by Clause 199(7), provides that the Committee must meet at least twice a year. Paragraph 13 provides that meetings will be open to the public apart from those occasions where matters of a confidential nature (e.g. commercially sensitive or personnel matters) are discussed.
CHAPTER X: HACKNEY CARRIAGES AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES
300. London has its own system for the licensing of hackney carriages ("taxis"). The legislation (mostly enacted in the last century) which applies in the Metropolitan Police District (MPD) and City of London is entirely separate from the legislation which governs taxis outside the MPD. The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 prospectively introduces a system for the licensing in the MPD and the City of London of private hire vehicles ("minicabs") and their drivers and operators. This is similar to that applying elsewhere in England and Wales under Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The Bill will transfer to TfL functions currently with the Secretary of State and the Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis ("the Police Commissioners").
301. The Public Carriage Office, a civilian branch of the Metropolitan Police which currently licenses taxis (and will in due course license minicabs), will transfer, in its entirety, to TfL.
Clause 203 and Schedule 17
302. Schedule 16, which is introduced by Clause 203, transfers to TfL, in relation to taxis and taxi drivers, the licensing functions of the Secretary of State and the Police Commissioners.
303. Paragraph 1 transfers the Police Commissioners' regulatory powers and substitutes TfL for the "registrar of metropolitan public carriages". Paragraph 2 transfers powers relating to the appointment and regulation of taxi stands. Paragraph 3 transfers powers concerning the inspection of taxis and makes consequential amendments. Paragraph 4 transfers powers relating to taxis which are temporarily withdrawn from hire. Paragraph 5 amends the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 - the main taxi-licensing legislation - by transferring the Secretary of State's regulatory powers to TfL. Paragraph 5(2) provides for TfL to make orders by way of a "London Cab Order", thereby replacing the Secretary of State's powers to make such orders by way of a statutory instrument. Paragraph 5(3) transfers the taxi vehicle licensing function and other provisions. (In practice, licences (including drivers' licences issued under section 8 of the 1869 Act - see below) are currently granted by an Assistant Commissioner of Police via the Public Carriage Office.) Paragraph 5(5) transfers the taxi drivers' licensing functions and other existing provisions. Paragraph 5(6) enables TfL to make regulations by London cab order and gives the Mayor a power of direction as to the basis on which rates or fares are to be calculated. Paragraph 6 transfers powers to fix fares for taxis fitted with taximeters, and to charge for admitting taxis to railway stations. Paragraph 7 transfers powers to regulate taxi fares for non-obligatory journeys, to increase the 'compellable distance' of six miles and to prohibit certain signs on private hire cars. Paragraph 8 transfers powers to provide for taxis to carry passengers at separate fares without becoming public service vehicles, and to prescribe certain periods for London taxi and taxi-driver licensing appeals. Paragraphs 10 to 17 make transitional provisions to ensure, amongst other things, that licences issued by or on behalf of the Police Commissioners or the Secretary of State continue in force as if issued by TfL, and that existing regulations, orders and notices continue to have effect.
Clause 204 and Schedule 17
304. Clause 204 and Schedule 17 have the effect of transferring the Secretary of State's minicab-licensing functions to TfL.
305. Clause 205 concerns the effect on taxis and minicabs of the change in the MPD, which is to become aligned with Greater London. Subsections (2) and (3) provide that, when London 'fringe' district councils' areas currently within the MPD move outside it, the district councils will have the power to licence taxis in those areas and each district will form a single taxi-licensing area. Subsection (4) has the effect of imposing the taxi and minicab licensing functions, under Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, on the 'fringe' district councils.
CHAPTER XI: HIGHWAYS
306. There is no comprehensive statutory legal definition of a highway (but see the limited definition in section 328 of the Highways Act 1980), because the concept of a highway long pre-dates highways legislation. Under common law, a highway may be broadly defined as a way over which all members of the public have the right to pass and repass. The highway authority is the body responsible for maintaining the highway where it is a highway maintainable at public expense.
307. The London Government Act 1963 largely brought the highway law affecting London into line with that applying elsewhere. This is now consolidated in the Highways Act 1980. One difference was that in Greater London there was a 3-tier hierarchy of highway authorities. The Secretary of State was highway authority for trunk roads, the Greater London Council (GLC) for "metropolitan roads" and the London borough councils for all other roads. "Metropolitan roads" were abolished along with the GLC by the Local Government Act 1985, and some of them became trunk roads and the rest borough roads. One purpose of the Bill is to reduce the number of roads designated as trunk roads in London and to create a network of key roads for which the GLA will be highway authority.
Clauses 206 to 210: GLA Roads
308. Clause 206 provides that TfL will be the highway authority for GLA roads. The initial GLA roads will be designated by order of the Secretary of State under a new section, 14A, inserted by Clause 207 into the Highway Act 1980 ('The 1980 Act'). Clause 206 provides that when a trunk road in Greater London ceases to be a trunk road it becomes a GLA road. (A trunk road is a highway for which the Secretary of State, rather than a local authority, is the highway and traffic authority (see the highway and traffic Clauses for, respectively, a definition of highway authority and traffic authority). A trunk road may also be a special road (more commonly called a motorway). Examples of trunk roads in London are the A406 North Circular Road and the M4 Motorway.)
309. Clause 208 provides that any road in Greater London except a trunk road can become a GLA road by order of the GLA and that any road can cease to be a GLA road by order of the GLA. Such orders must be made with the consent of the highway authority from whom the road is transferred or to whom the road is transferring, as the case may be. If this consent is not given, then the order is not effective unless confirmed by the Secretary of State.
310. Clause 209 includes provision for TfL to required to produce an up-to-date list and map of GLA roads and that this list and map is to be distributed to the GLA and London Borough Councils and made available for public inspection. A certificate by TfL that a highway or proposed highway is a GLA road is evidence of the facts stated in it.
311. Clause 210 includes provision for orders making or changing designations of the initial GLA roads are to be made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument, subject to negative resolution procedure.
Clause 211: London borough councils
312. Clause 211 provides that a borough council carrying out highway work on its own roads must notify TfL, and where the work affects a GLA road or a road in another borough, that borough council as well. TfL is given a power to direct the borough not to undertake the work so long as TfL or another borough objects. Where TfL or another borough objects, the GLA can give consent to the work after consideration of the objection.
CHAPTER XII: ROAD TRAFFIC
313. The general law on road traffic regulation, consolidated in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 ("RTRA 1984"), is varied considerably in its application to London. The Local Government Act 1985 (which abolished the Greater London Council and the metropolitan county councils) transferred most of the traffic authority functions of the GLC (many of which extended to all roads in Greater London except trunk roads) to the London borough councils.
314. Part II of the Road Traffic Act 1991 made further provision about traffic in London, by creating a network of priority ("red") routes and a new statutory office of Traffic Director for London to carry out the red route programme. The Act also provided for a separate system of enforcing parking restrictions in London without the sanction of the criminal law.
315. Clause 212 makes insertions into section 121A of RTRA 84, Clause 213 amends and makes an insertion into section 73, Clause 214 amends section 74 and Clauses 216 to 218 make insertions after section 74. Clause 219 amends section 74 of the Road Traffic Act 1991 (RTA 91), Clause 220 makes an insertion into section 76(1), Clause 215 redefines "London authority" to include TfL or a London borough, Clauses 216 and 217 amend section 26(2) and 63A of RTRA 84 and Clause 218 makes an insertion after section 121A of RTRA 84.
Clauses 212 to 214: Transport for London as a traffic authority
316. Clause 212 makes TfL the traffic authority for GLA roads. TfL will also be a local traffic authority in the application of the provision of road signs. For roads in Greater London that are not GLA roads or trunk roads, the traffic authority is the relevant London borough. (Traffic regulation law, unlike highways law, is entirely a creature of statute. It enables traffic authorities - in this case TfL - to regulate the way in which the public use highways and other roads to which the public has access. It is principally concerned with the regulation of vehicles, whether moving or stationary, but also extends to all other types of traffic.)
317. Clauses 213 and 214 provide for TfL to place traffic signs on nearby roads (for which the relevant London borough council is the traffic authority) as long as the sign relates to a GLA road. The signs may be placed on any structure on that road, whether or not the structure belongs to TfL. TfL may carry this out in connection with traffic regulation and experimental traffic orders and in other circumstances (e.g. temporary traffic orders under section 14 of RTRA 84), provided they consult the London borough council which is the traffic authority for the road. (Experimental traffic orders are used where the effects of the order cannot be confidently predicted. They also provide for the fine-tuning of the measures without the need to amend the order and for its effect to be monitored before decisions are taken on whether or not to make it permanent.)
318. These Clauses also provide that responsibility for maintaining, altering or removing traffic signs rests with the traffic authority responsible for the order which enabled the placing of those signs. They further provide that where the sign is on or near a GLA road, or is erected as described above, TfL will be the traffic authority for that sign.
319. Where TfL exercises its powers in relation to traffic signs otherwise than by traffic regulation orders or experimental traffic orders, it can remove or reposition those signs whether or not it was placed by TfL. Where TfL removes or repositions a sign placed by another authority, TfL will own that sign. The traffic authority for the road where the sign has been placed or repositioned by TfL cannot alter or remove the sign except with the consent of TfL or by direction of the Secretary of State.
Clauses 215 to 218: Traffic control systems in Greater London
320. Clauses 215 to 218 transfer Secretary of State statutory functions for traffic control systems in Greater London to TfL for all roads other than trunk roads. The Bill transfers any property that the Secretary of State holds in connection with these statutory functions to TfL. (Traffic control systems can be defined as electronic systems which provide either regulation, instruction, information or guidance to road users and to authorities from installations on or adjacent to the highway. They include traffic signals and signalled pedestrian crossings together with their associated control and monitoring computer systems, vehicle and pedestrian detectors, variable message signs, closed circuit television cameras, speed cameras and emergency telephones.) The Clauses provide for existing traffic signals, and their maintenance and operation, to be devolved to London borough councils. Such councils can also set up and operate new traffic signals, with TfL's consent.
321. The Clauses also provide for the transfer to TfL, from the Secretary of State (and vice versa) of traffic control systems in Greater London. Where the Secretary of State decides that he wants to pass to TfL the traffic control systems for a trunk road (or trunk roads) in Greater London, he can transfer (i) all the systems relating to that road, and (ii) the maintenance and operation of those systems. The Bill also provides for the transfer from TfL to the Secretary of State of the entire traffic control system for all the roads in Greater London and that this can be reversed providing the Secretary of State and TfL agree. On all roads in Greater London other than trunk roads, wherever a traffic sign is also a light signal, TfL shall be deemed to be the traffic authority for those roads in the application of provision of such traffic signs.
Clause 219 to 221: Parking
322. Clauses 219 to 221 provide that TfL or the London borough councils may set additional parking charges on those roads for which they are the traffic authority. (Additional parking charges means: penalty charges, charges for removal, storage and disposal of vehicles, and charges for removing wheel clamps.) The charges may vary between different areas. The Secretary of State will have the final say on the levels of additional parking charges proposed by TfL or the London borough councils.
323. TfL and the boroughs must publish their parking charges, in a form determined by the Mayor. The Bill provides that the "Transport Committee for London" (referred to as "the Joint Committee" in the legislation) will set borough parking charges on behalf of London borough councils. (Section 73 of RTA 91 obliged London borough councils to establish a single joint committee ("the joint committee") under section 101(5) of the Local Government Act 1972.) Any TfL member of that committee will be disqualified from setting borough parking charges.
324. Clause 220 provides that Special Parking Area (SPA) orders can only be made by TfL in relation to GLA roads or trunk roads, or by a borough council to the extent that the areas are to consist of other roads. (SPAs provide that offences involving the contravention of waiting restrictions indicated by yellow lines, and other offences, become "decriminalised" and replaced by a system of penalty charges similar to that used for designated parking places. To date, SPAs have been made for London boroughs, with limited exclusions.)
Clause 222 and 223: School crossing patrols and parking attendants
325. Outside the Metropolitan Police District (MPD), school crossing patrols are the statutory responsibility of local authorities. In the MPD (which includes either wholly or partly within it eight London 'fringe' districts), the Metropolitan Police have that responsibility. Clause 222 transfers this from the Metropolitan Police to the London borough councils and the eight fringe districts.
326. Clauses 223 transfer from the Secretary of State to the GLA the power to prescribe what uniforms parking attendants will wear, and widen the definition of local authorities for this purpose to include the GLA.
Clauses 224 to 227: Miscellaneous and supplementary provisions
327. Clause 224 provides that a London borough council exercising any road traffic powers that affect a GLA road or a road in another borough must notify TfL and the council of that other borough. When TfL or the other London borough council object, the GLA can give consent to the work after consideration of the objection.
CHAPTER XIII: NEW CHARGES AND LEVIES
Clause 228: Road user charging
328. Clause 228 enables the GLA, any London borough council or the Common Council to introduce road user charging schemes. TfL, acting for the GLA, will be able to introduce a charging scheme across all or some parts of London. Individual boroughs will be able to bring forward charging schemes in their areas, subject to the agreement of the Mayor.
329. Schedule 18, introduced by Clause 228(2), makes further provision for road user charging.
330. Paragraphs 3 to 5, 8 to 11 and 35 to 38 of Schedule 18 contain provisions for implementing road user charging schemes. They deal with the way in which any road user charging scheme brought forward in London will be designed, implemented and operated. Charging might work, for example, by the application of charges to enter a designated area or cross zonal boundaries within it, or to pass points on a designated road. In all cases, schemes must support and conform to the Mayor's transport strategy. The same road may not be subject to charges imposed by more than one charging authority at the same time. Paragraph 35 provides that Crown roads will be able to be included within a road user charging scheme.
331. Decisions about exemptions and privileges, when and where charges apply, the duration of a scheme - if not indefinite - and the level of the charge will ultimately rest with the Mayor. The role of the Secretary of State in approving any schemes will be kept to a minimum. Orders to give effect to a road user charging scheme will be made by TfL or individual boroughs.
332. Paragraphs 6, 7, 33 and 34 contain provisions that will make the Mayor responsible for approving, modifying or rejecting a road user charging scheme proposed by a borough, and will give the Mayor powers to direct a borough to introduce any complementary traffic management measures which might be necessary for the smooth and efficient operation of a charging scheme. Boroughs will be able to work together to develop schemes, again subject to the Mayor's agreement. The Mayor will be able to require a borough to participate in a road user charging scheme. The Mayor will be able to issue guidance to boroughs on the form which their schemes should take, and may specify certain aspects of schemes which will require his or her prior approval.
333. Paragraphs 12, 13, 25 to 28 and 30 and 31 deal with enforcement of road user charging schemes. This includes arrangements for appeals and adjudication. The Bill provides that non-payment of a road user charge will be a civil issue rather than a criminal offence, and outstanding charges will be recoverable as a civil debt. Charges will not apply to vehicles which are not on the road. It is expected that the registered keeper of a vehicle will be liable to pay any road user charge and any penalty charge notices, although there will be a defence where the vehicle has been stolen. The Government proposes to make these regulations once the findings from further research are available and the responses to its consultation paper Breaking the Logjam have been analysed. Deliberate tampering with any in-vehicle or roadside equipment in an attempt to avoid payment, or attempting to prevent identification of a vehicle if a charge has not been paid, are more serious offences and will therefore be subject to criminal rather than civil law.
334. Paragraphs 14 and 27 allow charging authorities to install any equipment necessary for the smooth operation of a charging scheme. The Mayor will have the power to type approve any equipment used within the Greater London area. The Secretary of State will be able to prevent the use of any charging equipment where such equipment is incompatible with any national standard, and where that incompatibility is detrimental to those who live outside London.
335. Paragraphs 15 and 32 allow charging authorities to incur expenditure to set up and operate a road user charging scheme, or to enter into arrangements with the private sector to install and operate schemes. The Mayor and boroughs will be required to keep separate income and expenditure accounts for schemes for which they are the charging authority. They will also keep a separate income and expenditure account for any revenues which they receive for which they are not the charging authority. Accounts will be published annually. Any deficits in the early years of a scheme will be made up from the authority's general fund, and repaid from future surpluses. Surpluses remaining in an account at the end of a financial year may be carried forward to the next year.
336. Paragraphs 16 to 18 set out the arrangements for the retention and use of the net proceeds from road user charging schemes. Every penny of the net revenues from schemes introduced within ten years of the inception of the GLA will be ring-fenced for transport spending on measures which support any policies or proposals contained in the Mayor's transport strategy for the scheme's initial period. The initial period will be 10 years from the implementation of the scheme, or any longer period which the Secretary of State may agree for individual schemes. The Secretary of State will table regulations dealing with the application of charging revenues for schemes once the initial period has expired, and for schemes brought forward after the tenth anniversary of the inception of the GLA. The Secretary of State is required to consult the Authority and to assess the likely revenues from charges and the potential for spending these monies on value for money transport measures before tabling regulations.
337. For any road user charging scheme which is changed during the first 10 years of the GLA, the Secretary of State will be able to determine whether the scheme is a new scheme or an amended scheme. The revenues from a new scheme will be ring-fenced in their entirety for transport expenditure for at least a further 10 years. The revenues from an amended scheme will only be ring fenced in their entirety until the end of the initial period agreed when the scheme was originally introduced. The Authority may also require a charging authority to pay a proportion of the net proceeds from any road user charging scheme to the Authority, TfL, or one or more borough councils.
338. Paragraphs 19 to 24 set out provisions for the Secretary of State's general approval of the use of the net revenues from road user charging schemes. Approval will be required for a ten year plan of expenditure before a scheme starts operating. Once a scheme is operating, approval will be required at four-yearly intervals for a programme of expenditure covering the next four years. This approval process covers revenues retained by a charging authority, and monies redistributed by the Authority to bodies which are not the charging authority. The revenues will be spent on value for money transport measures which support integrated transport objectives and the Mayor's transport strategy. The Secretary of State will be able to issue guidance on an appraisal framework for determining value for money.
Clause 229: Workplace parking levy
339. Clause 229 enables the GLA, any London borough council or the Common Council to levy a charge on non-residential workplace parking across all or some parts of London. Individual boroughs will be able to bring forward workplace parking levy schemes in their areas, subject to the agreement of the Mayor.
340. Schedule 19, introduced by Clause 229(2), makes further provision for workplace parking charges.
341. Paragraphs 3 to 5 of Schedule 19 set out how the workplace parking levy will work. The provisions allow the levy to cover different types of individuals who are at their place of work or on work-related business. The Secretary of State will be able to table regulations to amend the definition of workplace parking. The levy will take the form of a licence fee. The owner or occupier of a building will be responsible for obtaining a licence for workplace parking at those premises. The licence will state the maximum number of business vehicles which may be parked on the premises at any one time. The levy will be applied pro rata.
342. Paragraphs 3, 6 to 8, 11 to 17 and 35 to 38 contain provisions for implementing workplace parking levy schemes. They deal with the way in which any workplace parking levy scheme brought forward in London will be designed, implemented and operated. Crown properties and the Palace of Westminster will be included within the scope of any levy. It will not be possible for any premises to be subject to more than once licensing scheme at the same time.
343. Decisions about exemptions and privileges (either by premises or vehicle type), the boundary of the area where the levy applies, the duration of a licensing scheme - if not indefinite - and the fee per parked vehicle will ultimately rest with the Mayor. The role of the Secretary of State in approving any schemes will be kept to a minimum. Orders to give effect to a workplace parking levy scheme will be made by TfL or individual boroughs.
344. Paragraphs 9, 10, 33 and 34, contain provisions that will make the Mayor responsible for approving, modifying or rejecting a workplace parking charging scheme proposed by a borough, and will give the Mayor powers to direct a borough to introduce any complementary traffic management measures which might be necessary for the smooth and efficient operation of a scheme. Boroughs will be able to work together to develop schemes, again subject to the Mayor's agreement. The Mayor will be able to require a borough to participate in a workplace parking levy scheme. The Mayor will be able to issue guidance to boroughs on the form which their schemes should take, and may specify certain aspects of schemes which will require his or her prior approval.
345. Paragraphs 18 to 20 and 31 deal with effective enforcement of workplace parking charging schemes. This includes arrangements for appeals and adjudication. The Bill provides that non-compliance with the terms of a licence - i.e. parking more vehicles at the premises that the licence permits - will be a civil issue rather than a criminal offence, and penalties will be recoverable as a civil debt. The Government proposes to make these regulations once the findings from further research are available and the responses to its consultation paper Breaking the Logjam have been analysed. Paragraph 31 gives authorised agents of TfL or the boroughs unannounced and immediate rights of entry to premises to ensure that the conditions of a licence are being complied with, and to issue penalty charge notices. It will be a criminal offence to obstruct authorised enforcement agents from carrying out their duties.
346. Paragraphs 21 and 32 allow licensing authorities to incur expenditure to set up and operate a workplace parking charging scheme, or to enter into arrangements with the private sector to set up and operate schemes. The Mayor and boroughs will be required to keep separate income and expenditure accounts for schemes for which they are the licensing authority. They will also keep a separate income and expenditure account for any revenues which they receive for which they are not the licensing authority. Accounts will be published annually. Any deficits in the early years of a scheme will be made up from the authority's general fund, and repaid from future surpluses. Surpluses remaining in an account at the end of a financial year may be carried forward to the next year.
347. Paragraphs 22 to 24 set out the arrangements for the retention and use of the net proceeds from workplace parking levy schemes. Every penny of the net revenues from schemes introduced within ten years of the inception of the GLA will be ring-fenced for transport spending on measures which support any policies or proposals contained in the Mayor's transport strategy for the scheme's initial period. The initial period will be 10 years from the implementation of the scheme, or any longer period which the Secretary of State may agree for individual schemes. The Secretary of State will make regulations dealing with the application of revenues for schemes once the initial period has expired, and for schemes brought forward after the tenth anniversary of the inception of the GLA. The Secretary of State is required to consult the Authority and to assess the likely revenues from levies and the potential for spending these monies on value for money transport measures before making regulations.
348. For any workplace parking charging scheme which is changed during the first 10 years of the GLA, the Secretary of State will be able to determine whether the scheme is a new scheme or an amended scheme. The revenues from a new scheme will be ring-fenced in their entirety for transport expenditure for at least a further 10 years. The revenues from an amended scheme will only be ring fenced in their entirety until the end of the initial period agreed when the scheme was originally introduced. The Authority may also require a licensing scheme to pay a proportion of the net proceeds from any workplace parking levy scheme to the Authority, TfL, or one or more borough councils.
349. Paragraphs 25 to 30 set out provisions for the Secretary of State's general approval of the use of the net revenues from workplace parking charging schemes. Approval will be required for a ten year plan of expenditure before a scheme starts operating. Once a scheme is operating, approval will be required at four-yearly intervals for a programme of expenditure covering the next four years. This approval process covers revenues retained by a licensing authority, and monies redistributed by the Authority to bodies which are not the licensing authority. The revenues will be spent on value for money transport measures which support integrated transport objectives and the Mayor's transport strategy. The Secretary of State will be able to issue guidance on an appraisal framework for determining value for money.
CHAPTER XIV: TRANSITION FROM LONDON REGIONAL TRANSPORT TO TRANSPORT FOR LONDON
350. The Bill provides for the dissolution of London Regional Transport (LRT), the repeal of the London Regional Transport Act 1984 under which it was set up, the transfer of its undertaking to TfL and the conferral on TfL of the necessary powers to enable it to continue to provide the services at present provided by LRT. This will not, however, all happen at once and the Clauses in this Chapter provide for the transition from LRT to TfL and for the period before completion of the PPP agreement, during which TfL and LRT will be operating side by side, with LRT continuing to secure the provision of railway services and TfL dealing with everything else.
351. Clause 230 requires the Secretary of State from time to time to prepare programmes for the transfer to TfL of property, rights and liabilities of LRT. The powers conferred by Part XII (supplementary provisions) will be exercisable for this purpose, so that the actual transfer of property, rights and liabilities will be accomplished under those powers. To the extent that a transfer programme has not been implemented, it may be varied or replaced by another programme.
352. Clause 231 provides for the exercise of functions during the period between TfL becoming operational and the dissolution of LRT. It defines three transitional purposes, namely facilitating the securing and carrying into effect of PPP agreements, facilitating the transfer of property, rights or liabilities of LRT to TfL and securing the continuation of public passengers transport services without disruption. LRT are required, and are to be taken before the coming into force of the Clause to have had power, to do anything appropriate for these purposes. The Mayor, LRT and TfL are required to consult and co-operate with each other for these purposes. To that end they are required to provide each other with information and may enter into arrangements with each other for the provision of services and the discharge of one another's functions.
353. Orders under Part XII will provide for legislation (including the Bill and the London Regional Transport Act 1984) to be adapted during the transitional period so that the two bodies can operate side by side.
354. In accordance with Clause 232, if provision made under the Bill enables the Mayor to give LRT directions or determine its fare structure, he must act in a way which he considers will not prejudice the financial or other interests of LRT, whilst having regard to those of TfL. A similar duty is imposed on TfL, in the event of its being given power to enter into concessionary fare arrangements covering LRT's services as well as its own.
355. Clause 233 provides for continuity in respect of repealed functions of LRT, so that anything done by LRT is to be treated as done and may be continued by TfL and TfL is substituted for LRT in instruments, contracts and legal proceedings.
356. Clause 235 provides for the Secretary of State to make an order dissolving LRT when he is satisfied that all its property, rights and liabilities have been transferred.
PART V: THE LONDON DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
357. The Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 ("the RDA Act") divides England into a number of regions and establishes a development agency for each region. Each regional development agency is a Non-Departmental Public Body accountable to the Secretary of State. This Part of the Bill amends the RDA Act to make the London Development Agency (LDA) accountable to the Greater London Authority. It does not radically alter the powers, purposes and duties of the LDA, but adapts them to take account of its different circumstance within the framework established for the GLA and its functional bodies.
Clause 237: Appointment of members of the Agency by the Mayor
358. Clause 237 and paragraph 19 of Schedule 20 contain provisions on the appointment of members of the agency by the Mayor.
359. Under section 2 of the RDA Act, the Secretary of State appoints the board of RDAs, after carrying out consultations. He also appoints the first Chief Executive of each RDA, approves the appointments of subsequent Chief Executives, may remove members from office under certain conditions and decides the remuneration of members and staff. In London the Mayor, rather than the Secretary of State, will have the powers and duties of appointment, and removal from office, of members of the LDA board. The Mayor must carry out the consultations, laid down in section 2 of the RDA Act (but excluding the obligation to consult rural interests) before making board appointments. He must also consult the Assembly. At least half the board, including the Chair, must appear to the Mayor to have experience in running a business and at least four members must be, or have been at the time of their appointment, elected members of the London Assembly, a London borough council or the Common Council of the City of London. The Mayor will not be able to make it a condition of the appointment of elected members of local authorities to the board that they should resign if they cease to be elected members of local authorities.
360. The Mayor will appoint the first Chief Executive of the LDA and will approve the appointments of subsequent Chief Executives. The Mayor will be able to determine the remuneration of members and staff.
Clause 238: Delegation of functions by Ministers to the Mayor
361. Clause 238 contains provisions on the delegation of functions by Ministers to the Mayor.
362. Section 6 of the RDA Act provides for the delegation of certain functions ('eligible' functions) by Ministers to RDAs and lays down the conditions under which such delegations can be made, varied and revoked. The Bill inserts into the RDA Act a new section 6A, which applies to the LDA an amended version of section 6 of that Act. The new section 6A provides that a Minister will be able to delegate any eligible function to the Mayor or, with the Mayor's consent, to the LDA. The scope of the power to delegate functions to the mayor or the LDA is essentially the same as that for delegating functions to the RDAs outside London, in particular, the Minister has power to make a delegation subject to such conditions as the Minister sees fit.
363. The provisions of Clause 31 of the Bill will also apply to the LDA. They will allow the Mayor to delegate further functions to the LDA. If powers are delegated to the LDA in this way, then the Mayor must attach conditions to the delegation to the LDA, in order to ensure that the conditions attached by the Minister to the original delegation to the Mayor will be satisfied.
364. Schedule 3 of the RDA Act will apply to delegations to the Mayor and LDA by virtue of the new section 6A inserted in the RDA Act. That Schedule provides for transfer schemes covering property, rights and liabilities, including staff contracts, which a Minister might consider it appropriate to transfer as a consequence of a function being delegated.
Clauses 239 and 240: The London Development Agency strategy
365. Clauses 239 and 240 provide for the preparation of the London Development Agency strategy, by inserting new sections 7A and 7B into the RDA Act, which apply an amended version of section 7 of that Act to the LDA. Section 7 of the RDA Act obliges a development agency to formulate and keep under review a strategy in relation to the purposes given to it in section 4 of the RDA Act. The Secretary of State can give an RDA guidance on directions on certain aspects of the strategy, and the RDA must take account of this strategy in carrying out its functions.
366. The new section 7A provides for both the Mayor and the LDA to be involved in preparing and revising the strategy. The LDA's role is to draft the strategy and keep it under review, following any directions and guidance given it by the Mayor. The Mayor, on receiving a draft strategy from the LDA, must publish the strategy, with or without modifications, as soon as is practicable. The LDA must keep the strategy under review and may propose revisions to the Mayor, who must publish it as revised.
367. Before publishing the strategy, the Mayor must carry out the consultations required by Clause 34 and also consult representatives of employers and employees in London.
368. The LDA and the other three functional bodies must take account of the current strategy in carrying out their functions.
369. The new section 7B to the RDA Act empowers the Secretary of State to give guidance and directions to the Mayor on certain aspects of the strategy. The Secretary of State can give guidance to the Mayor concerning matters to be covered by, and issues to be taken into account, in preparing or revising the strategy. The issues can be any on which guidance can be given to Regional Development Agencies outside London. The Mayor must have regard to any such guidance.
370. If the Secretary of State considers that the strategy (or any part of it) is inconsistent with national policies, or that its implementation is having, or is likely to have, a detrimental effect on any area outside London, then he can direct the Mayor to revise the strategy in order to remove that inconsistency or detrimental effect. For this purpose, national policies are any government policies which are available in written form and have been presented to either House of Parliament or published by a Minister. The Mayor must revise the strategy in accordance with any such direction. The Mayor will not be obliged to carry out the consultation required by Clause 34 or the new section 7A of the RDA Act on such a revised strategy.
371. The notes on Clauses 33 to 36 describe the Mayor's general duties regarding his strategies and the Secretary of State's power of direction, and apply to the LDA strategy as they do to other strategies.
Clause 241: Audit
372. Clause 241 makes provision for the audit of the LDA. Section 15 of the RDA Act requires that regional development agencies' accounts should be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General, as is normal for Non-Departmental Public Bodies. Clause 241 amends section 15 to provide that the London Development Agency, like the Authority and its other functional bodies, will have its accounts audited by the Audit Commission.
Clause 242: Further amendments to the RDA Act
373. Clause 242 introduces Schedule 20 to the Bill.
374. Paragraphs 4 to 9 of Schedule 20 provide that the financial provisions in sections 9 to 14 of the RDA Act are not to apply to the LDA. The finances of the LDA will instead be governed by the provisions of Part III of this Bill.
375. Paragraphs 3 and 10 to 12 of Schedule 20 contain provisions on the accountability of the LDA. There will be no Regional Chamber for the LDA, as provided for in sections 8 and 18 of the RDA Act in relation to other RDAs.
376. The Mayor may specify the form and contents of the LDA's annual report, required by section 17 of the RDA Act. The report is to be sent to the Mayor and Assembly (rather than be sent to the Secretary of State and laid before Parliament). The Mayor must arrange for it to be published.
377. The Mayor may give such directions and guidance to the LDA on the exercise of its functions as he sees fit.
378. Other provisions in Schedule 20 concerning the accountability of the LDA are contained in the provisions of the Bill on the provision of information, advice and assistance by functional bodies, power to require attendance at Assembly meetings and investigation of functional bodies by Commission for Local Administration.
379. Paragraphs 2 and 13 to 15 of Schedule 20 contain further amendments to the RDA Act. Section 5 of the RDA Act requires the Secretary of State's consent before a RDA forms or acquires an interest in a company. The LDA must seek the Mayor's consent for such actions.
380. Orders made by the LDA as respects the compulsory purchase of land and changes in the name of the LDA may only be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval with the consent of the Mayor.
381. The provision in section 25 of the RDA Act for altering the regions of the Regional Development Agencies will not apply to the London region, so that the region of the LDA will remain identical to that of Greater London.
PART VI: THE METROPOLITAN POLICE
382. England and Wales is divided into 43 policing areas, two in London (the metropolitan police district (MPD) and the City of London police area) and 41 elsewhere. Policing in each of these areas is the responsibility of three parties ("the tripartite relationship"). These are the chief officer of police for that area, the Home Secretary and the police authority for that area. Uniquely, with regard to the MPD the Home Secretary acts as police authority as well as in his national role.
383. The main legislation governing the roles, duties and powers of these three parties in the non-London police areas is the Police Act 1996 ("the 1996 Act"). Although some of the provisions of that Act apply to the policing of London, many do not. There is a significant number of other statutes governing the policing of the MPD, dating back to the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 ("the 1829 Act"), which established the metropolitan police force.
384. The purpose of Part VI of the Bill and the related Schedules 21 and 22 is, so far as possible, to bring the arrangements for the policing of the MPD into line with arrangements elsewhere in England and Wales. The Bill achieves these changes in two main ways. First, by inserting new sections into the 1996 Act concerned specifically with the new police authority for London, the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), and the metropolitan police force. Second, through amendments to the 1996 Act which have the effect of applying provisions of that Act to the policing of the MPD. There are also a number of consequential amendments to other legislation.
385. The policing of the City of London is not affected by the policing provisions contained in this Bill.
Clause 243: Establishment, membership and duty to maintain police force
386. Clause 243 deals with the establishment and duties of the MPA. It provides that a police force is to be maintained for the metropolitan police district (MPD) and for the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) for the MPD. Other provisions on this are contained in Schedule 22. Clause 245 substitutes the MPA for the Home Secretary as the police authority for the MPD.
387. Provisions on the membership of the MPA are contained in Schedule 21. As with other police authorities, the MPA will have a majority of elected members, with the balance made up of magistrates and independent members. However, there will be a number of important differences between the MPA and the other authorities:
388. Schedule 22 to the Bill also makes various amendments to the part of the 1996 Act which sets out the selection procedure for independent members of police authorities.
Clause 244: Assimilation of general functions to those of other police authorities
389. Clause 244 assimilates the MPA's general functions to those of other police authorities. The MPA will be under a duty to maintain an efficient and effective police force for the MPD. In discharging this function, the MPA will have to take account of a number of factors:
390. The MPA will also have to comply with any directions given to it by the Secretary of State relating to performance targets, or following an adverse report from Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary.
391. Schedule 22 amends the 1996 Act so as to require the MPA to determine objectives for the policing of the MPD, issue a policing plan, and produce an annual report at the end of each financial year.
Clause 256: Abolition of office of Receiver
392. Clause 256 provides for the abolition of the office of Receiver. Related provisions are also contained in Clause 245 and in paragraphs 67, 74 to 76, 86 to 88 and 94 to 96 of Schedule 22. The office of Receiver was created (by the 1829 Act) to handle financial, contractual and similar matters of the metropolitan police force (and, subsequently, various such matters in respect of magistrates' courts and probation in inner London). The office is unique to the MPD - in other police forces, the police authority performs these functions. The MPA will take on the majority of the police-related functions of the Receiver, although the existence of a single financial structure for the Greater London Authority means the financial roles of the MPA will be a modified version of those of other police authorities (see Part III of the Bill: Financial Provisions).
393. Schedule 22 makes further provisions relating to MPA funding issues. It extends to the MPA the requirement already incumbent on other police authorities to keep a police fund (i.e. a fund out of which money is paid for police purposes). It provides that the MPA rather than the Receiver will be treated as the employer of police cadets in London and it removes special provisions for payments for special constables and police cadets which will no longer be required. It provides that various grants made by the Secretary of State for police purposes will go either to the MPA or to the Greater London Authority rather than to the Receiver. The Bill also provides that grants by local authorities, and gifts of money and loans, will go to the MPA rather than to the Receiver.
Clause 246: Openness
394. Clause 246 and Schedule 22 contain other provisions amending pieces of legislation other than the 1996 Act. Many of these amendments simply delete references to the Receiver, which will be obsolete following the abolition of that office. Many more add a reference to the MPA to legislation, which currently applies to police authorities established under section 3 of the 1996 Act.
395. A few amendments merit specific mention. The provisions contained in the sections of the Metropolitan Police Acts 1829 and 1856, which are repealed by Schedule 22, are reproduced in modified form by this Bill. Provisions on the remuneration of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis contained in section 1 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1899, which is also repealed by this Bill, will in future be covered by regulations made under section 50 of the 1996 Act (the most recent regulations were made in 1995).
Clauses 247 to 254: Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioners, Commanders and other members of the metropolitan police force
396. Clause 247, Clause 249 and Schedule 22 set out the functions of the two most senior ranks of the metropolitan police force. They provide for the metropolitan police force to be under the direction and control of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis ("the Commissioner"), and that in discharging this function the Commissioner is to have regard to the MPA's policing plan. An amendment in Schedule 22 provides that the Commissioner, like chief constables and the Commissioner of Police for the City of London, can be required by the Secretary of State to submit a report on matters connected with policing.
397. The Bill provides that the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis ("the Deputy Commissioner") will exercise the powers and duties of the Commissioner in the latter's absence or with the latter's consent, and will have all the powers and duties of an Assistant Commissioner. At present there is no statutory rank of Deputy Commissioner, so when the Commissioner has been unable to perform his duties the legal position is that one of the Assistant Commissioners designated for that purpose (in practice normally the Deputy Commissioner) has exercised them. The Bill will repeal sections of the Metropolitan Police Act 1856 which cover the powers of Assistant Commissioners, and make equivalent provision by amending the 1996 Act. An Assistant Commissioner will be able to exercise the powers and duties of the Commissioner with the consent of the latter.
398. Clause 248 and Clauses 250-253 make provisions for the appointment and removal of the most senior ranks of the metropolitan police force, the three Commissioner ranks plus Commanders. In addition Clause 253 provides a statutory basis for the rank of Commander. This rank is the highest Metropolitan Police rank below the three Commissioner ranks, and is considered roughly equivalent to Assistant Chief Constable outside London. Clause 254 lists the other ranks which the Metropolitan Police may contain.
399. The appointment and dismissal provisions for the four senior ranks will be similar to the procedures that are already applied to Chief Constables and Assistant Chief Constables outside London. In particular, regulations made under section 50 of the 1996 Act, which are concerned with the appointment and dismissal of police officers, will be applied to the three Commissioner ranks and Commanders. One effect of this will be that the Commissioner ranks will in future be police officer appointments - at present they are civilian posts, albeit that all recent incumbents have been police officers.
400. However, there will be a few differences in the appointment procedure to reflect the special status of the metropolitan police, and those who hold senior office in it. Her Majesty, on a recommendation from the Home Secretary, will as now make the appointment of a Commissioner. Clause 248 sets out the Home Secretary's obligation to have regard to the MPA's recommendations in making his recommendation to Her Majesty. In addition the Home Secretary will have regard to any representations the Mayor may make on the appointment. The MPA will have a similar role in the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner, although here it is the Commissioner (rather than the Mayor) whose representations must be considered.
401. The appointment of Assistant Commissioners and Commanders is to be made by the MPA, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.
402. The Bill also sets out the procedure for the removal of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and Commanders. The MPA may, having given the officer an opportunity to make representations and having obtained the Secretary of State's approval, call upon the officer to retire in the interests of efficiency or effectiveness.
403. Section 42 of the 1996 Act, which covers the procedure to be followed by the Secretary of State when requiring a police authority to exercise its powers to remove a Chief Constable (or Assistant Chief Constable), is also amended so as to apply that section to the removal of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and Commanders. The MPA, rather than (as now) the Commissioner, will also decide disciplinary cases involving senior officers of the metropolitan police force. (A "senior officer" is a member of a police force holding a rank above that of superintendent. The three Commissioner ranks (as there will be) and Commanders will come within this definition.)
Clause 255: Alteration of the metropolitan police district
404. Clause 255 and Schedule 22 amend the boundary of the metropolitan police district (MPD) to make it coterminous with Greater London, excluding the City of London, the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple (which will continue to be policed by the City of London police force). At present, the MPD extends beyond Greater London, incorporating parts of Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey. This amendment will remove the present historical anomaly, and be in line with the general policy of aligning criminal justice system boundaries. The Bill also removes various provisions, which will be obsolete once the MPD boundary is brought into line with those of the London boroughs. Other amendments remove references to the previous boundaries of the MPD. The Bill also ensures that the GLA will be consulted should the Secretary of State decide to amend the MPD boundary.
Clause 257: Further amendments relating to metropolitan police etc
405. Schedule 22 provides that the MPA will be the employer of civilian staff of the metropolitan police force (although such staff will remain under the direction and control of the Commissioner). At present, they are employees of the Commissioner. The MPA will also be required to appoint a person to be its clerk. The Bill sets out the discretion the MPA will have when choosing what person to appoint to a particular office or to take on specified duties, as required by other legislation (namely, that such a person may or may not already be employed by the MPA). It provides that provisions in the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970 on the supply of local goods and services by local authorities will apply to the MPA in the same way as to police authorities established under section 3 of the 1996 Act. The Bill also provides for the holding of meetings by the London Assembly to put questions.
406. Schedule 22 to the Bill puts the Commissioner under the same requirement to provide to the MPA an annual general report on policing as other chief officers of police are to provide such a report to their police authority. Police constables appointed for the MPD will give their attestation to a justice of the peace in the same way as other police constables, rather than by giving it to the Commissioner or an Assistant Commissioner as they do at the moment. The same arrangements set out in section 96 of the 1996 Act for obtaining the views of the community on policing and for obtaining their co-operation in preventing crime are also applied to the MPD as to police areas outside London.
407. Schedule 22 to the Bill provides that the MPA is the appropriate authority for complaints against senior officers in its area rather than, as at present, the Commissioner.
408. Where the complaint is against the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner, the Secretary of State rather than the MPA appoints the person to investigate that complaint. The present requirement that the investigating officer must not be of a lower rank than the officer against whom the complaint has been made is disapplied because both the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner are regarded as higher in rank than a chief constable.
409. Schedule 22 provides that the Secretary of State and the MPA may make an agreement on the level of performance that the metropolitan police force will achieve in functions such as the protection of prominent persons, national security and counter-terrorism. Schedule 22 also gives the Secretary of State power to give directions to the MPA if the agreed levels are not being met, in recognition of this fact.
410. The Secretary of State will continue to be responsible for these national and international functions of the metropolitan police force when the rest of his role as police authority is taken on by the MPA.
PART VII - THE LONDON FIRE AND EMERGENCY PLANNING AUTHORITY
411. The present position is that the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority (LFCDA) is the fire authority for London. The LFCDA was established by section 27 of the Local Government Act 1985, which conferred on the LFCDA the functions of a fire authority and certain functions with respect to civil defence. The LFCDA is a "joint authority", and is comprised of one member of each of the constituent councils (the 32 London borough councils plus the Common Council of the City of London).
Clause 258: Reconstitution of the Fire etc. Authority
412. Clause 258 of and Schedule 23 to the Bill will change the name of the LFCDA to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). The Authority will continue in being, although it will have a different constitution. The Bill reflects the fact that the LFEPA is the same body as the LFCDA by referring to it as the "Fire etc Authority". As it is the same body, the Bill will not affect its property, rights and liabilities (including rights and liabilities under contracts of employment).
413. There are numerous provisions of primary and secondary legislation which apply to the LFCDA because it was established by Part IV of the Local Government Act 1985. Some provisions, for example, refer to a "joint authority" as a body established under Part IV of that Act. Others refer directly to bodies established under Part IV of that Act. The Bill provides that any references of this nature must be taken as not referring to the LFEPA.
414. The new constitution of the LFEPA is set out in Schedule 23 to the Bill. The LFEPA is to consist of 17 members, 9 of whom are to be members of the London Assembly appointed by the Mayor (known as the "Assembly representatives"). The other 8 members are to be members of the London borough councils including the Common Council of the City of London (known as the "borough representatives"). These will be nominated by those councils and appointed by the Mayor.
415. In appointing the Assembly representatives, the Bill requires that the Mayor should ensure that, so far as practicable, the political balance of the Assembly is reflected. The borough councils are required to nominate representatives to reflect, so far as practicable, the overall balance of parties on the councils. Members of the LFCDA will cease to hold office on the date of reconstitution.
416. LFEPA members are to hold office for one year, or a shorter period if the Mayor so decides. The Mayor can renew the appointment of a member of the LFEPA except where, in the case of a borough representative, the London borough councils, at least one month before the end of the representative's term of office, give notice that they have nominated a successor. The Mayor will be able to terminate the appointment of a member of the LFEPA where satisfied that the member is unable or unfit to discharge his or her responsibilities. The Bill requires the Mayor to appoint each year one of the members of the LFEPA as its chairman. The LFEPA itself will appoint each year one of its members as vice-chairman.
417. The rules which apply to meetings and proceedings of the LFCDA will in the main apply to the LFEPA. The annual meeting will be held on a date between 1 March and 30 June to be fixed by the LFEPA; and the number of members who can call an extraordinary general meeting will be three. The quorum for meetings of the LFEPA will be five, with at least one Assembly representative and at least one borough representative. The first meeting of the LFEPA will be convened by the chief fire officer of the London Fire Brigade and held as soon as reasonably practicable.
418. Schedule 24 makes miscellaneous amendments to legislation affecting the LFCDA's functions in order to apply them to the LFEPA. Part V of Schedule 26 to the Bill provides details of the legislation being repealed and the extent of the repeal once the Act comes into force.
Clause 259: Fire etc. Authority to continue to be the fire authority for Greater London
419. The functions relating to fire services and fire and civil defence authorities are set out in Schedule 11 to the Local Government Act 1985. That Schedule provides that references to a fire authority in the Fire Services Acts 1947 to 1959 and any other legislation mean, as far as Greater London is concerned, the LFCDA. Clause 259 replaces the reference in that Schedule to the LFCDA being the fire authority for Greater London with a reference to the LFEPA.
Clause 260: Civil Defence
420. Clause 260 provides that the LFEPA will be an authority on which functions may be conferred under civil defence legislation.
Clause 261 to 263: Openness, Discharge of functions and Miscellaneous powers and duties
421. Clause 261 to 263 provide that the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 - on access to meetings and documents; the discharge of functions by a local authority; and miscellaneous powers and duties - which apply to local government generally will apply to the LFEPA in the same way that they apply to the LFCDA.
PART VIII: PLANNING
422. London boroughs are the local planning authorities in London. Under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act they produce unitary development plans (UDPs) for their areas and deal with applications for planning permission for new development. Strategic Guidance for London planning authorities (currently RPG3 ("Regional Planning Guidance 3"), published in May 1996) is issued by the Secretary of State. It sets out planning policies and principles for the guidance of boroughs in exercising these functions.
Clauses 264 to 269: The Mayor's spatial development strategy
423. Clauses 264 to 269 of the Bill contain provisions relating to the preparation of a spatial development strategy. The Bill provides that the Mayor should produce a spatial development strategy setting out strategic planning policies for London. This will provide a framework for the boroughs' Unitary Development Plans, and also set out the spatial context for the Mayor's other policies and strategies. The Strategy will replace the current guidance issued by the Secretary of State. It will be given formal status within the context of the planning system set down in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, but it will not be a development plan within the meaning of that Act. Boroughs will remain the designated planning authorities for their areas.
424. Clauses 264 to 269 set out the procedures for producing the Spatial Development Strategy. These provisions are closely modelled on those for development plans contained in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The Secretary of State will be able to prescribe in regulations the matters to be covered in the Strategy, and the inclusion of, for example, a key diagram. The Strategy must deal only with matters of strategic importance to London. The Secretary of State may prescribe people or bodies to be consulted by the Mayor before publishing his strategy in addition to those included in the Bill.
425. Clause 268 makes provision, as part of the consultation process, for holding a public examination of the Mayor's proposals. This is a procedure which applies at present for county structure plans and is also envisaged for future regional planning guidance. In this case, however, the Chairman or panel appointed by the Secretary of State to conduct the examination are responsible for deciding which matters need to covered, and will report their findings to the Mayor. The Secretary of State will be able to make regulations or publish guidance concerning the conduct of the examination. The intention is that the examination should provide an informal opportunity for the discussion and testing in public of the justification for selected policies and proposals; it will not be a hearing of objections, nor need it cover every aspect of the proposals.
426. Clause 266 provides for the withdrawal of the strategy. Because a draft strategy might well be a "material consideration" to be taken into account in a planning decision, the Bill specifically provides for the formal withdrawal of a draft strategy by the Mayor at any time before it is published.
427. Clause 267 covers conditions to be satisfied before publication. The Mayor will not be able to publish his final strategy until he has considered representations made in response to the consultation exercise, received the report from the examination in public, and complied with any directions given by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is able to give directions requiring the modification of the Mayor's proposals where he may consider this necessary to secure consistency with national policies or to avoid harm to the interests of areas outside Greater London.
Clauses 270 to 272: Review, alteration and replacement
428. Clauses 270 to 272 deal with the review, alteration and replacement of the Spatial Development Strategy. The Mayor is required to keep under review both the Strategy itself and matters likely to affect it. The Secretary of State may direct the Mayor to undertake a review, and may also direct the alteration or replacement of the Strategy. In developing proposals for altering or replacing the Strategy the same consultation procedures and other provisions apply as for the original strategy.
Clauses 273: Matters to which the Mayor is to have regard
429. Clause 273 provides that in drawing up his Strategy the Mayor is required to have regard to any regional planning guidance issued by the Secretary of State (such as that which currently exists for the South East region (currently RPG9 published in March 1994)) and any other matters that the Secretary of State may prescribe in regulations. He will also be required, by virtue of Clause 33(5), to have regard to current national policies (such as are set out in the Secretary of State's planning policy guidance notes ("PPGs")) and to the availability of resources.
Clause 275: Amendments of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
430. Subsections (1) to (8) of Clause 275 deal with the relationship between the Mayor's strategy and UDPs. The boroughs will continue to produce unitary development plans for their areas under sections 10 to 28 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. But, by amending sections 12 and 15 of that Act, the Bill requires that these plans be "in general conformity with" the Spatial Development Strategy before they can be adopted. (A similar requirement currently exists outside London for districts' local plans in relation to county structure plans).
431. The Bill amends section 13 of the 1990 Act to require boroughs, before publicising their UDP proposals, to obtain from the Mayor a written opinion as to whether these are in general conformity with his Strategy. Where he considers that they are not, the Mayor's opinion will be considered as a formal objection at the public inquiry into the development plan. Through an amendment to section 26 of the 1990 Act the Secretary of State is able to make provisions in regulations about how the Mayor's opinion should be obtained.
432. The Bill inserts a new provision after section 21 of the 1990 Act which has the effect of enabling a borough to apply the conformity test to any published proposals for amending the spatial development strategy as if they were in force, rather than having to comply with the former version. This "permitted assumption" reproduces a similar provision in section 46 of the 1990 Act in relation to the conformity between structure and local plans.
433. Subsection (9) of Clause 275 makes provision for the Mayor's role in relation to planning applications by amending section 74 of the 1990 Act. Section 74 enables the Secretary of State to make development orders specifying how planning applications are to be dealt with by the local planning authority. The Bill allows the Secretary of State to empower the Mayor of London to direct the borough to refuse planning permission for prescribed classes of application and in prescribed circumstances. These classes and circumstances may be prescribed by the Secretary of State in the development order. The Secretary of State's existing order-making powers under this section enable him to specify the Mayor as a statutory consultee in such cases and to set deadlines for commenting on applications.
Clause 276: Monitoring and data collection
434. Clause 276 contains provisions on monitoring and data collection. The Mayor is placed under a duty to monitor the implementation of the Spatial Development Strategy and matters relevant to its preparation and review, as well the boroughs' unitary development plans. To this end he has power to establish a monitoring scheme under which boroughs will be required to contribute information relating to the implementation of the Spatial Development Strategy in their area and any other information that the Mayor may reasonably request to fulfil his duties under this section. The Mayor is only able to establish such a scheme after consultation with the boroughs and with the approval of the Secretary of State.
Clause 278 and 279: Abolition of joint planning committee for Greater London and the Mayor's functions in relation to planning around Greater London.
435. Clause 278 provides for the Mayor to represent to local planning authorities in the vicinity of Greater London, or any representative bodies (eg SERPLAN), his or her views on matters of common interest in relation to the planning and development of Greater London or the adjoining areas. This role is currently carried out by LPAC. The Clause also provides for the Mayor to consult the London boroughs in the exercise of this function.
436. Clause 279 abolishes the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) set up initially under section 5 of the Local Government Act 1985.
PART IX: ENVIRONMENTAL FUNCTIONS
Clause 281: The Mayor's environmental report
437. Clause 281 provides that the Mayor will have a duty to produce and publish a "state of the environment report", which will contain information about the environment in Greater London. This state of the environment report is not a strategy for the purposes of Clauses 33 to 36 of the Bill.
Clause 282: The Mayor's Biodiversity Action Plan
438. In 1992 the UK Government signed the Rio Convention on Biodiversity. In January 1994 the Government published a non-statutory UK Action Plan on Biodiversity (Cm 2428), which sets out broad strategy and national objectives for the promotion and conservation of biodiversity in the UK. In December 1995 the UK Biodiversity Steering Group produced its report, which contains detailed plans for the promotion and conservation of national priority species and habitats and recommended that local biodiversity action plans be developed.
439. The Government response to the UK Biodiversity Steering Group Report (Cm 3260, May 1996) supported the development of local biodiversity action plans to translate the national strategy into action at a local level. Over 100 local biodiversity action plans, drawing on the national plan, are currently being prepared or implemented, including a number of plans which involve local authorities in London.
440. Clause 282 of the Bill provides that the Mayor will be required to produce a "London Biodiversity Action Plan", which will contain information about:
441. In preparing or revising the Action Plan, the Mayor will be required to have regard to biodiversity plans drawn up by London local authorities and any guidance from the Secretary of State.
442. Clause 33 provides that the London Biodiversity Action Plan is a strategy for the purposes of Clauses 33 to 36 of the Bill. As a result, when preparing or revising the strategy, the Mayor is required to consult various bodies: the Assembly, the London borough councils and the Common Council, plus any other body or person which the Mayor considers it appropriate to consult. In preparing the action plan, the Mayor will need to take into account any written statements of national and international policy.
Clauses 283 to 288: Waste management
443. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 ("EPA'90"), as amended by the Environment Act 1995, is the main legislative backdrop for waste management in England and Wales. It provides that responsibility for waste management should lie with waste collection authorities and waste disposal authorities. In London, the London borough councils act both as waste collection authorities and as waste disposal authorities. However, in a number of cases, London borough councils work together to carry out their functions as waste disposal authorities through statutory Waste Authorities created by the Waste Regulation and Disposal (Authorities) order 1985 (SI 1985/1884):
445. EPA '90 places a duty on waste collection authorities to produce Waste Recycling Plans, which have to give details of how they will deal with municipal waste and, in particular, make provision for recycling.
446. Work by a cross-sectoral review group, set up by the Department of the Environment, gave rise to the concept of Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategies. The Review group recommended that waste collection authorities and waste disposal authorities work together to produce more comprehensive plans addressing all waste management options (e.g. waste minimisation, recycling, composting, incineration etc) that may be used in dealing with municipal waste.
447. The Government is currently reviewing the national waste strategy. The 1995 White Paper "Making Waste Work" set out the previous Government's policy on waste. The amendments to EPA '90 made by the Environment Act 1995 require the Secretary of State to prepare a statement containing his policies in relation to the recovery and disposal of waste in England.
448. Clauses 283 to 286 of the Bill place an obligation on the Mayor to produce and publish a Municipal Waste Management Strategy for Greater London. This will include proposals and policies for the recovery, treatment and management of waste originating in Greater London.
449 The Municipal Waste Management Strategy is a strategy for the purposes of Clauses 33 to 36 of the Bill. Those Clauses make provision which applies to all of the Mayor's strategies, and which require the Mayor to follow certain procedural steps in relation to strategies, including matters to which he is required to have regard, and persons he is required to consult. Clauses 283 to 286 of the Bill impose additional requirements specific to the Municipal Waste Management Strategy.
450. The Mayor must have regard to the National Waste Strategy prepared by the Secretary of State and to plans prepared by waste collection authorities in Greater London. The Secretary of State may give directions to the Mayor on the content of the waste strategy for the purposes of implementation of the National Waste Strategy, or where the Mayor's strategy would have a detrimental effect on waste management outside of London. The Mayor may direct waste collection authorities and waste disposal authorities to implement the Municipal Waste Management Strategy.
451. When preparing or revising the strategy, the Mayor will be required to consult:
Clause 288: Functions under the Environmental Protection Act 1990
452. Clause 288 of the Bill transfers from the Secretary of State to the Mayor responsibility for ensuring that the Waste Recycling Plans produced by London borough councils conform with the requirements set out in section 49 of the EPA '90. These require all plans to include information on the following:
Clauses 289 to 294: Air Quality
453. The national air quality strategy sets air quality objectives derived from health based standards for eight pollutants: benzene, 1-3-butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, fine particles (PM10) and sulphur dioxide. These objectives, with the exception of ozone, were given statutory force by the Air Quality Regulations 1997 (SI 1997/3049) and are to be achieved by 2005. Earlier this year, the Government published its report setting out proposals for amending the national air quality strategy, following a review during 1998. It is intended that a revised version of the national air quality strategy will be finalised at the end of 1999.
454. A key tool for delivering the national air quality strategy is the system of Local Air Quality Management, introduced by Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. Under Local Air Quality Management, local authorities have a duty to assess air quality in their areas to determine whether the national Strategy objectives are likely to be met by 2005. Where a local authority considers that one or more of the objectives is not likely to be met as a result of national measures alone, it must declare an air quality management area and draw up an action plan identifying measures to achieve the objective(s).
455. The framework for improving air quality across Europe is set out in Directive 96/62/EC (Cm 3587) of 1997, which provides for limit values to be agreed for twelve pollutants. The first of the air quality daughter directives will set limit values for four pollutants: nitrogen dioxide, particles, lead and sulphur dioxide. This was adopted in April this year. The Commission have now also published their proposal for the second air quality daughter directive, relating to limit values for benzene and carbon monoxide in ambient air. It is expected to be adopted during 2000.
456. Clause 289 of the Bill provides for the Mayor to prepare and publish a London air quality strategy, which will contain his or her policies for implementing in Greater London the national air quality strategy and the standards and objectives in the Air Quality Regulations 1997. The London air quality strategy shall also contain information about current and likely future air quality in Greater London; the measures which are to be taken by the Greater London Authority, TfL and the London Development Agency for the purpose of implementing the London air quality strategy; and information about the measures which other persons or bodies are to be encouraged by the Mayor to take.
457. The Mayor's Strategy may also contain other air quality proposals and policies which the Mayor wishes to include. Although the Mayor may draw upon the work of local authorities, the London air quality strategy will in no way replace local authority functions under the system of Local Air Quality Management.
458. The London air quality strategy is a strategy for the purposes of Clauses 33 to 36 of the Bill. Those Clauses make provision which applies to all of the Mayor's strategies, and which require the Mayor to follow certain procedural steps in relation to strategies, including matters to which he is required to have regard, and persons he is required to consult. In addition to the consultees set out in Clause 34 of the Bill, Clause 289 also requires the Mayor to consult the Environment Agency and local authorities which have a boundary with Greater London.
Clause 290: Directions by the Secretary of State
459. Clause 290 of the Bill provides for the Secretary of State to give the Mayor directions about the content of the London air quality strategy.
Clause 291: Duty of local authorities in Greater London
460. Clause 291 provides that the London local authorities will be required to have regard to the London air quality strategy when undertaking Local Air Quality Management and exercising their functions under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995.
Clause 292: Directions by the Mayor
461. Clause 292 provides for the Mayor to be able to direct London local authorities to provide him with any information, advice and assistance necessary for the drafting of the London air quality strategy.
Clause 294: Directions under the Environment Act 1995
462. Clause 294 amends section 85 of the Environment Act 1995, in connection with reserve powers of the Mayor. The Mayor will consequently be able to make, or cause to be made, reviews and assessments of air quality; be able to direct London local authorities to take action if air quality standards are not being met in their area, or if they are failing to discharge their duties regarding air quality; and be able to direct London local authorities in pursuance of the United Kingdom's international and Community air quality obligations. The Mayor must consult a local authority before giving it a direction under this Clause.
Clauses 295 and 296: Consultation
463. Clauses 295 and 296 provide that the London local authorities will be required to consult the Mayor when undertaking reviews and assessments or preparing action plans under Local Air Quality Management. The Mayor will also contribute to any action plans drawn up by the London local authorities.
Clause 297: Noise in Greater London
464. The Government will be undertaking projects in 1999-2001 to assess the ambient noise climate in England and Wales and to gauge public attitudes to environmental noise. The results will be compared to baselines developed in 1990 and 1991. Over the same period, Government- funded research will investigate links between environmental noise and health.
465. Clause 297 of the Bill provides that the Mayor will be required to produce a London Ambient Noise Strategy. The strategy will contain information about ambient noise levels in Greater London, an assessment of the impact of the Mayor's other strategies on ambient noise levels in Greater London and a summary of the action the Mayor has taken or proposes to take for the purpose of promoting measures to reduce ambient noise levels in Greater London.
466. The strategy will relate to ambient noise in London, including transport-related noise and noise from fixed industrial sources. The Mayor will have no responsibility for localised, neighbourhood noise issues, which could ordinarily be considered to be a statutory nuisance.
467. The London ambient noise strategy is a strategy for the purposes of Clauses 33 to 36 of the Bill. Those Clauses make provision which applies to all of the Mayor's strategies, and which require the Mayor to follow certain procedural steps in relation to strategies, including matters to which he is required to have regard, and persons he is required to consult.
PART X: CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT
Clause 300: The Cultural Strategy Group for London
468. Clause 300 establishes the Cultural Strategy Group for London which will assist the Mayor in the preparation and implementation of a cultural strategy for London, and provide expert advice on the strategy. Subsection (2(b)) makes provision for any possible future additions to the Group's role and functions.
469. Schedule 25, introduced into the Bill by subsection (3) of Clause 300, establishes that the Cultural Strategy Group will not be a Crown body with the privileges entailed by that status, and its members and staff will not be civil servants. It will, however, be able to undertake any actions or transactions which are necessary for the discharge of its functions. It will also be able to acquire and hold land; this includes the provision of any required office space.
470. The Cultural Strategy Group will consist of between 10 and 25 members. The Mayor will determine the exact size of the Group and its composition. He or she will appoint members to the group - including appointing one of the members to chair it - and decide their length of tenure. Appointments will be at the Mayor's discretion.
471. The Mayor can appoint individuals with relevant knowledge, experience or expertise as he or she sees fit. Before making any appointment it will be the duty of the Mayor to consult any persons or bodies he or she considers appropriate. More specifically, in the case of appointments of representatives of particular bodies, the Mayor must consult that body first.
472. Schedule 25 also contains administrative provisions relating to tenure of office (paragraphs 4(1)to(4), members' expenses (paragraph 5), staff (paragraph 6), financial provisions (paragraph 7), the validity of the Group's proceedings (paragraph 8), and the validity of the Group's seal and members signatures on behalf of the Group (paragraphs 9 and 10).
Clause 301: The Mayor's culture strategy
473. Clause 301 provides for the Cultural Strategy Group to draw up a draft strategy with policies for the culture, media and sport sectors in London. The Mayor has the power to give the Cultural Strategy Group directions requiring it to produce the draft strategy by a set date. The draft will be submitted to the Mayor, who can make modifications to it. The draft, whether amended or unamended, will then be published by the Mayor as a document called the "culture strategy". The Mayor and the Cultural Strategy Group together will keep the strategy under review, and it can be revised at any time. The Group can propose revisions to the Mayor, and the Mayor must consult the Group on any revisions which he or she wishes to make.
474. The Mayor's culture strategy is a strategy for the purposes of Clauses 33 to 36 of the Bill. Those Clauses make provision which applies to all of the Mayor's strategies, and require the Mayor to follow certain procedural steps in relation to strategies, including provision on matters to which he is to have regard and persons he is to consult. Clause 34 provides that when preparing or revising the strategy, the Mayor is required to consult various bodies - the Assembly, the London borough councils, the Common Council of the Corporation of the City of London plus any other body or person which the Mayor considers it appropriate to consult. In the case of the culture strategy, this includes the Cultural Strategy Group, and also in accordance with the provisions of Clause 34, the Group must be consulted on revisions to the culture strategy, along with the Assembly, before any other persons or bodies the Mayor proposes to consult. In preparing the cultural strategy, the Mayor will need to take into account any written statements of national policy in the cultural sphere.
475. Subsection (5) of Clause 301 provides that the policies contained in the strategy will cover all the areas in which the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has a role or an interest. These include, but are not confined to:
Clause 302: Grants by the Mayor for museums, galleries, etc.
476. Clause 302 gives the Greater London Authority the power to pay grants to museums, galleries, libraries and other cultural institutions. The grants may be subject to conditions such as, for example, the keeping and inspection of accounts and records or a requirement to repay the grant in full or in part.
Clauses 303 to 304: Tourism
477. Clauses 303 to 304 give the Authority, acting through the Mayor, certain powers and duties with respect to tourism in Greater London.
478. The Mayor will be under a duty to promote Greater London, both at home and abroad, as a tourist destination in its own right and as a first destination or start point for visitors from overseas to the rest of the United Kingdom, and to encourage the provision and improvement of tourist amenities and facilities in Greater London. (Clause 303 (1) and (4))
479. The Mayor will have the power to do anything necessary for the purpose of fulfilling these duties. Specific powers will include undertaking publicity or other promotional activities; providing advisory and information services; and promoting and undertaking research (See Clause 303).
480. The Mayor will be able to offer financial assistance for tourism-related initiatives, and also to charge for services and to receive contributions from others to help with his duties. The Mayor may also receive Government grants to help him carry out his duties and implement tourism schemes and initiatives in Greater London in a manner consistent with the national strategies for tourism. In all cases grants may be subject to conditions such as, for example, the keeping and inspection of accounts and records or a requirement to repay the grant in full or in part. (Clause 303 (6) to (9) and Clause 305)
481. In discharging his tourism functions, the Mayor will need to have regard to the desirability of undertaking appropriate consultation and co-operation with the Secretary of State, Tourist Boards and other relevant persons and organisations. He will also advise Tourist Boards and Ministers if required. (Clause 303(5) and Clause 304)
482. Clause 306 deals with the interpretation of terms used and provides for the Mayor to act on behalf of the Authority in discharging the tourism functions.
PART XI: MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL PROVISIONS
Clause 307: The Trustee Investments Act 1963
483. Clause 307 brings the GLA and its functional bodies within the scope of the Trustee Investments Act 1961. The Act defines the investment powers of trustees where these are not specifically set out in a trust deed. It imposes restrictions on the range of investments that trustees might select, particularly on wider range investments such as equities.
Clause 308 : The Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970
484. Clause 308 provides that the GLA, TfL, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the London Development Agency will be local authorities and public bodies for the purposes of the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970. This means they will be able to supply goods and services to local authorities and other public bodies, or receive goods and services from other local authorities. The Metropolitan Police Authority will, like police authorities generally, be defined only as a public body and not as a local authority under the 1970 Act (see Schedule 17, paragraph 72), and will be able to receive goods and services but not supply them.
Clause 309: The Superannuation Act 1972
485. Clause 309 provides for Schedule 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 to be amended so as to add the Greater London Authority, TfL, the London Development Agency, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the London Transport Users' Committee to the list of bodies whose staff are entitled to be members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). As a result, staff transferring to these bodies who are currently members of PCSPS will be able to retain their membership on transfer.
Clause 310: The Race Relations Act 1976
486. Clause 310 brings the GLA, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority within the scope of the Race Relations Act 1976. It will ensure that the same duties that apply to all local authorities under this Act will also apply to the GLA and the police and fire authorities.
Clause 311: The Stock Transfer Act 1982
487. Clause 311, by amending the Stock Transfer Act 1982, provides that any securities issued by the GLA or the functional bodies may be settled through the Central Gilts Office (CGO) of the Bank of England. That Act gives the Treasury power to make provision permitting the transfer of specified securities through the CGO system established by the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange. Ownership of the CGO will transfer from the Bank of England to CRESTCo (the private sector company responsible for the settlement of equities and corporate bonds) during 1999.
Clause 312: Companies in which local authorities have interests
488. Clause 312 brings the Greater London Authority and the four functional bodies within section 67(3) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. It thereby makes them subject to Part V of the 1989 Act, which enacted certain requirements and controls with respect to companies in which local authorities have interests. The effect of the Clause is that the new London bodies will be subject to these matters in relation to companies controlled or influenced by them. But there is also a financial consequence. The Local Authorities (Companies) order 1995, made under section 39(5) of the LGHA 1989, provided that a local authority would be treated, for the purpose of capital finance controls, as having undertaken certain transactions of companies under their control or subject to a specified level of influence ("regulated companies"). Any regulated company of the GLA or a functional body will be covered by this order, with the result that capital transactions, including borrowing, credit arrangements, and anything that affects the company's net liabilities, will be reflected in the capital finance limits and resources of the relevant authority. Of course, this can work both ways; if a company builds up cash through profitable trading, the relevant authority's capital spending power will be increased.
Clause 313: Local Government Ombudsman
489. Clause 313 adds the London Development Agency, TfL, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the Metropolitan Police Authority to the list of bodies that are subject to investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman.
Clause 314: Provision of information, advice and assistance by functional bodies
490. Clause 314 provides that the Mayor will be able to require information, advice and assistance to be provided to him by any of the functional bodies. The Secretary of State will have the power to make regulations to establish categories of information which the bodies may refuse to give to the Mayor, and to restrict the purposes for which the Mayor may require information, assistance and advice.
Clause 315: Research and collection of information; London Research Centre etc.
491. Clause 315 provides that the GLA will have powers to carry out research and to collect information relating to the Greater London Area or any part of it, and to make arrangements for making the research or information available to government departments, London Boroughs, other bodies and the public.
492. The London Research Centre will be abolished, but the GLA will continue to have the power to provide information and data services to London borough councils using its powers under the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970 (see Clause 308). Some of the research and data collection work carried out now by the London Research Centre will need to continue. To ensure this, the Secretary of State will have the power to make regulations to make particular research and data-collection exercises mandatory. Before making such regulations, the Secretary of State will consult London borough councils and the Common Council.
493. London borough councils' existing powers to carry out research are unaffected.
PART XII: SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
Clause 316: Accommodation for Authority and functional bodies
494. Clause 316 provides that the Secretary of State is required to provide accommodation for the GLA and the functional bodies in the first instance. This will ensure that the Secretary of State makes the necessary preparations to ensure a smooth and orderly transition to the new arrangements. Where staff who are being absorbed into the new authority and functional bodies are already in appropriate accommodation, they will be able to remain where they are. But new staff, and absorbed staff who cannot remain in their current accommodation, will be provided for.
Clause 317: Power to amend Acts and subordinate legislation
495. Clause 317 provides that Ministers of the Crown may, by order, make consequential amendments, repeals or revocations to primary and subordinate legislation. The Clause enables an order to amend, repeal or revoke any such legislation (including this Act) made before the 'relevant day', which is defined as the earliest day on which the Authority and all of the Functional bodies are in being, and London Regional Transport and the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District have ceased to exist.
New 318: Transitional and consequential provision
496. Clause 318(1) empowers a Minister of the Crown to make by order such incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provision as appears to him to be necessary in connection with the application of this and other Acts. This sort of provision is common in legislation establishing and abolishing bodies exercising public functions. For example, the power would be used to set out the transitional financial arrangements to apply to the GLA and functional bodies in 2000-01, because the GLA will not exist until part way through the year.
497. Clause 318(2) provides that an order under this Clause may include provision to allow preliminary work by a person or body before the date on which powers conferred by the Act become exercisable by that person or body; to permit those powers to be exercised by another person or body (such as the Secretary of State); to require any person or body not to exercise powers under any Act or secondary legislation (such as issuing precepts where the Secretary of State is to do so instead, as for 2000-01); and to authorise work on preparing for the GLA and for spending on such preparatory costs.
Clauses 319 and 320: Transfers of property, rights or liabilities and transfer schemes
498. More than a dozen predecessor bodies (eg London Regional Transport) will be transferring some or all of their responsibilities to successor bodies, (such as the Greater London Authority itself) under the Bill. Clauses 319 and 320 set out the process by which the relevant property, rights and liabilities (which can include, amongst other things, land, buildings and staff contracts) of predecessor bodies can be transferred to successor bodies.
499. These Clauses provide for such transfers to be made in one of two ways. A Minister of the Crown can arrange for such property, rights and liabilities of a given predecessor body as he deems appropriate to be transferred to a particular successor body by order. Such an order would have to be made by Statutory Instrument, and would have to be laid before Parliament, after which it would come into effect unless either House passed a resolution against it. Alternatively, a Minister of the Crown can instruct the predecessor body itself to prepare a transfer scheme. The contents of a transfer scheme do not have to be laid before Parliament. The Minister of the Crown would also be able to make transfer schemes himself in relation to property, rights and liabilities owned by the Crown, such as those relating to the Highways Agency.
Schedule 26: Transfer Schemes
500. Schedule 26 provides more detail on the operation of transfer schemes. Where a predecessor body makes a transfer scheme, it must be submitted to a Minister for approval before it can come into operation. The Schedule provides for the Minister to make a scheme himself in relation to a predecessor body if he decides not to approve the one which the body itself has prepared. It also provides that before approving a transfer scheme Ministers must consult the body from which the transfer is being made and such successor bodies as have been established and which are affected by the scheme. In the case of provisions affecting an existing pension scheme, the trustees, managers or administrators of the scheme must be consulted.
Clause 321: Contracts of employment etc
501. Clause 321 provides that transfers between predecessor and successor bodies which may be made under the powers in Clauses 319 and 320 include the transfer of staff and their contracts. In particular it provides that where a member of staff transfers, he or she will be treated as if his/her length of service is continuous between the predecessor and successor body, eg so that he or she is not disadvantaged when pension benefits are calculated. As the period of service is continuous, then for the purpose of Part XI of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (which covers, amongst other things, redundancy entitlements) the member of staff is not regarded as having being dismissed by the predecessor body and subsequently re-employed by the successor body as a result of the transfer.
Clause 322: Pensions
502. Clause 322 allows a Minister of the Crown to make provision by order in relation to the pension arrangements for staff in predecessor and successor bodies. The broad intention is that staff who transfer to successor bodies should retain their membership of their current pension scheme on transfer. Amongst other things, an order made under this Clause can make provisions relating to the setting up of new pension schemes, the administration of schemes, and allowing participants in a particular pension scheme to become members of another scheme.
Clause 323: Transfer and pension instruments: common provisions
503. Clause 323 provides further detail on the process by which transfers from predecessor and successor bodies will take place. In a number of cases, eg the Highways Agency, only part of a predecessor body's functions are to be transferred and, as such, the body will remain in existence. This Clause allows for only those parts of a predecessor body's property etc as are considered appropriate to be transferred to a successor body in such cases.
504. Where successor bodies take over the functions of predecessor bodies they will need also to be able to take over those things (for instance contracts signed with other parties, or property) which allow these functions to be carried out effectively. Contracts or property leases between a predecessor body and a second party will, on occasion, contain provisions preventing their being assigned to a third party, for instance without the second party having the option to terminate the lease rather than let it be reassigned. In the case of the establishment of the GLA and its associated bodies, contracts or leases will simply be transferring as the result of the transfer of an accompanying function to a successor body. As a result, it is necessary to ensure that such "anti-assignment Clauses" do not simply cut in automatically, thus preventing the successor body from inheriting the arrangements which it would need to inherit a smooth transfer of functions. Thus the Clause provides for such arrangements to continue as if in law no transfer had taken place.
505. Where only part of a predecessor body's functions are to be transferred it might be necessary to divide up its existing property, rights or liabilities between that part of the predecessor body which is continuing in existence and the successor body which is taking over some of its responsibilities. The Clause allows for the property etc to be apportioned or divided between the parties. It also provides that a transfer instrument may provide an arbitration process for resolving any disputes which may occur and, in addition, for certificates to be drawn up and agreed between the transferor and transferee which would be conclusive in resolving disputes.
506. The Clause provides that a Minister of the Crown may by order confer on successor bodies any statutory functions which were exercisable in relation to property, rights or liabilities transferred by a transfer or pension instrument. It also requires predecessor bodies to provide Ministers with such assistance or information as is required to exercise powers relating to statutory instruments. Finally, it allows for an instrument to be modified subsequently by order if a Minister of the Crown (after consulting the bodies involved) considers it appropriate to do so.
Clause 324: Continuity
507. Clause 324 provides for continuity between predecessor bodies and successor bodies. Thus, for instance it allows for anything in the process of being carried out by a predecessor body at the point of transfer of its functions (such as legal proceedings) to be continued by the relevant successor body after its establishment.
FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL
508. It is estimated that the annual costs for the Mayor, Assembly and their new staff (ie the additional costs above existing expenditure) will be about £20m per year. Most of these costs will be met through a government grant, for which public expenditure provision has been made. The remainder will be met by London council tax payers.
509. The Government took powers in the Greater London (Referendum) Act 1998 to spend in preparation for the GLA, and the Bill widens these powers to cover expenditure connected with the Bill including preparations for the four functional bodies. At present, £20m has been identified to meet GLA preparation costs over the four years 1998/99 to 2001/2, primarily for the purposes of procuring new accommodation for the GLA. These costs are being kept under review. They will need to be revised in due course to take account of decisions on accommodation and other developments since the original estimate was made.
510. The Bill is not expected to lead to an overall increase in public expenditure. The GLA will take over responsibility for existing spending regimes on fire, police, transport and economic development and the other services for which it will be responsible. This amounted to about £3.3bn in the financial year 1997/1998.
511. A further £8.5m has been earmarked to provide for the first elections to the GLA. Work is underway to revise this estimate and to assess whether to use electronic voting or counting. All other necessary expenditure, for example on voter education, establishing TfL, the London Development Agency and the Metropolitan Police Authority, and for reconstituting the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, will be met from within existing budgets.
512. The Bill includes enabling powers for the Mayor and London borough councils to introduce road user charging and a levy on workplace parking. It will be for the Mayor to decide whether and how the powers will be used in London. It is therefore not possible to predict what the financial effects will be.
513. The power for the Secretary of State to make provision in connection with the London Underground PPP is not, in itself, expected to lead to increases in public expenditure.
EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER
514. The provisional estimate is that around two hundred and fifty new staff will be needed to serve the Mayor and Assembly. These staff will be local government employees. It will be up to the GLA to decide upon the most appropriate staffing structure.
515. Approximately 65,000 staff will transfer between organisations in the public sector, and as a result of the PPP for London Underground, it is estimated that up to 6,000 LRT staff could transfer from the public to private sector.
SUMMARY OF THE REGULATORY APPRAISAL
516. The Bill establishes new governmental structures for London. These have no direct impact on business, voluntary organisations or charities in London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom. A Regulatory Appraisal of these provisions has not, therefore, been carried out.
517. Provisions addressing road-user charging and a workplace parking levy are enabling in nature. Their impact on business, voluntary organisations or charities will be dependent on the nature of individual schemes brought forward. A draft Regulatory Impact Assessment was issued for consultation in February 1999 following publication of the consultation paper 'Breaking the Logjam' (DETR, December 1998). Responses are being considered.
518. Most provision will come into force on a day or days appointed by commencement order, but powers to make secondary legislation will come into force at Royal Assent.
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
519. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined in section 1 of that Act). The statement has to be made before Second Reading. On 7 May 1999 Lord Whitty, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, for Environment, Transport and the Regions, made the following statement:
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