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Lord Whitty: Most of what the noble Baroness said indicates that we are not absolutely agreed that a strategic authority is needed. There is a clear commitment in the Bill to produce a transport strategy. I thought we were all agreed that the mayor should be the major instrument for drawing up that strategy, entering into consultation and ensuring that involvement takes place at all levels--with the boroughs as one of the key elements in delivering the strategy.
If we all accept that London has been lacking an overall approach to planning different modes of transport--as I believe we do--we cannot also say that the mayor shall have no powers over the boroughs and the other elements, in terms of the functional bodies and so on, in delivering the strategy. Clearly we want that to be done with an ethos of partnership, understanding and give-and- take between the various planning levels. At the end of the day, the person and institution responsible for the strategy must have the tools to carry it out.
Sometimes it will come down to a particular issue. For example, there may be a conflict about a road that is a strategic road. If there is a conflict where a borough takes a decision which distorts the modalities of the rest of the strategy, then that may appear to be a very
I am sure that the noble Baroness and all concerned will accept on one level that that is the case, but the working through of the strategy means that where there is a problem which cannot be overcome by negotiation or by a joint approach, then one party or the other has to have the decision-making process. In our view, it must be the mayor because, at the end of the day, he or she will be responsible for the delivery of that strategy. I therefore hope that noble Lords' opposition to this clause will be reduced by what I have said and that they will not pursue their amendments.
Baroness Hamwee: As I said when I moved the amendment and spoke to the rest of the group, our concerns relate to the mayor's prospective involvement in the process and not just in the outcome as regards ensuring that his strategy is implemented. Of the examples given of possible difficulties, I have to say that, arguably, one of them is not strategic, while the other suggests that the mayor's views must override those of the borough. That is exactly the self-fulfilling recipe for conflict to which my noble friends so correctly alluded.
We believe that there should be a strategic authority; indeed, we have been quite clear about that. However, we have also been quite clear that the boroughs need to be allowed to work in partnership. Although the Minister used that terminology, we do no see that the clause assists that partnership. With regard to the role of the assembly, we are not confused about it. We acknowledge that we take a different view from the Government. However, that will not deter us from continuing to make points which we believe are apposite.
Page 71, line 26, after ("plan") insert ("or revisions to such a plan").
Page 71, line 28, at end insert ("or revisions to such a plan").
Page 71, line 29, after (" 127(3)(a)") insert (", (Procedure for revision) (2) or (Power of the Mayor to prepare a revised plan) (6)").
Page 71, line 30, after (" 127(3)(b)") insert (", (Procedure for revision) (2) or (Power of the Mayor to prepare a revised plan) (6)").
Page 71, line 35, at end insert--
("( ) The reference in subsection (2)(e) above to the local implementation plan includes a reference to--
(a) a local implementation plan, as proposed by a London borough council to be revised, approved by the Mayor under section 128 above; and
(b) a local implementation plan or revised local implementation plan prepared by the Mayor on behalf of a London borough council.").
House adjourned at eight minutes past one o'clock.
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