London Local Authorities Bill [HL]
Tuesday 18 February 2003
1. CHAIRMAN: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Lord Brabazon, I am the Chairman of Committees taking
this Bill. On my right is Lord Tordoff, Deputy Chairman, and on
my left, Lord Elton, who is also Deputy Chairman.
2. I think before we begin we should - whether it
is relevant or not, I do not know but just to be on the safe side
- put on the record that we are all, three of us, council taxpayers
in one or other of the boroughs promoting this Bill.
3. Right, Mr Lewis, we have met on several occasions
4. MR LEWIS: Good morning. I do not think I am going
to introduce absolutely everybody sitting behind me this morning
because there are so many but I will introduce the main protagonists.
Starting this time with Robert Khan, who is the Parliamentary
Officer at the Association of London Government, on my far left.
On my immediate left is Gary Blackwell, who is the Head of Litigation
at Westminster City Council. Sitting two rows behind me is Donald
Kerrigan who is the Deputy Director of Legal Services at Westminster
City Council and Mr Kerrigan will be proving the Preamble at the
close of proceedings. Then I have various other witnesses who
may or may not be asked to answer questions from me and from yourselves.
5. My Lord, I hope you have in front of you, obviously,
the Filled-Up Bill but also a black ring binder containing a number
of documents, some of which we will be using this morning and
tomorrow to support the case. You will have before you, also,
I am sure, the various Government reports which have been submitted
in respect of this Bill.
6. CHAIRMAN: Yes.
7. MR LEWIS: My Lords, because of unavailability
of witnesses from Wandsworth Borough Council - and I have given
Mr Saunders notice of this - we would like, if possible, to take
two clauses out of order, namely the clause relating to parks
constables and the clause relating to dog walking because those
are the two clauses which are to be dealt with by Mr Stratton
and Mr Ausling who cannot be here this morning. With your leave,
my Lord, if we could leave those until tomorrow morning I will
progress through the rest of the Bill in the order in which the
8. CHAIRMAN: That is okay, I think.
9. MR LEWIS: Thank you very much. It may mean that
we finish a little earlier today and perhaps come back first thing
in the morning but I hope you will not mind that too much.
10. CHAIRMAN: We are planning to come back tomorrow
morning but we are hoping to be through at a reasonably hour tomorrow,
11. MR LEWIS: Certainly I think we should be able
to manage that.
12. My Lord, this is the eighth London Local Authorities
Bill to be promoted by the London Borough Councils since the demise
of the Greater London Council. Technically the Promoters of the
Bill are Westminster City Council. The authority for that Council
to promote a Bill in Parliament derives from section 239 of the
Local Government Act 1972, and for the other borough councils,
authority to request Westminster City Council to promote the Bill
on their behalf derives from section 87 of the Local Government
13. The promotion of the Bill has been co-ordinated
throughout by the Association of Local Governments which is a
joint committee made up of members of each of the 33 London Borough
Councils and which as well as providing an overall co-ordinating
role for the borough councils also carries out a number of statutory
14. When this Bill was deposited in November 2001
only 32 of the 33 borough councils were participating. The missing
borough was the London Borough of Hillingdon. Your Lordship is
familiar with this story because I have explained it to you already
in the context of another Bill. They had always intended to participate
in the promotion but due to an unfortunate clerical error the
Council failed to pass the necessary resolution approving the
promotion of the Bill. Hillingdon immediately sought to rectify
this by organising another full council meeting and by seeking
leave to introduce an additional provision which is now also before
your Lordships. The effect of the additional provision, which
has been sanctioned by the Standing Orders Committee of both Houses,
would be to add Hillingdon to the scope of the Bill.
15. Throughout the Bill you will see that amendments
have been made which will have that effect.
16. The Bill originally attracted seven petitions.
All but two of those petitions were withdrawn after negotiations.
The Road Haulage Association Limited and the British Hospitality
Association did not withdraw their petitions so a Select Committee
considered them on 21 and 22 October last year.
17. The Clauses which fell under consideration of
the Select Committee were Clauses 10, vehicle emissions testing,
stopping of vehicles, and 31, Hotel Proprietors Act 1956. The
latter of those was also the subject of an adverse report from
the Department for Culture, Media and Sport who appeared before
18. The Select Committee allowed both clauses with
the amendments proposed by the Promoters and those clauses do
not fall now to be considered by this Committee.
19. There are a number of reports from Government
Departments against certain clauses of this Bill. Generally speaking,
where a report has been made and remains outstanding it is my
intention to call evidence in support of the clause.