Further Education and Training Bill [HL]
Baroness Morris of Bolton (Deputy Chief Whip, Whips; Conservative)
My Lords, although I have great sympathy with the concerns of the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, over the undefined—I nearly read that as unedified—duties of the LSC, I disagree with the need for such wide duties to be put into primary legislation. Our concern is that such an amendment would lead to even more responsibility being taken away from the colleges and invested instead in an unelected body. We would far rather the LSC's duties were restricted to light-touch and arm's-length oversight rather than the heavily involved and wide-ranging role that the amendment suggests.
On the amendment tabled by my noble friend Lord Eccles, as I said in response to Amendment No. 5, the efficiency-saving that the change from local to regional councils will, one hopes, bring about is our primary reason for supporting the move. However, my noble friend raises some interesting questions, and I hope that the Minister can answer them satisfactorily. As I said in response to the first amendment proposed by the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, the worst-case scenario that we can envisage would be a LSC that spans national, regional and local levels. That would involve overwhelming bureaucracy and wasteful government at its worst; as such, we cannot fully support the amendments.