Clause 24
Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill
5:00 pm

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Nick Herbert (The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice; Arundel and South Downs, Conservative)

I beg to move amendment 56, in clause 24, page 18, line 2, leave out ‘and”;’ and insert ‘;

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Christopher Chope (Christchurch, Conservative)

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments 57 to 64.

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Nick Herbert (The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice; Arundel and South Downs, Conservative)

In introducing this group of amendments to clause 24, I am correcting an error in the way in which the Bill amends section 46 of the Police Act 1996. At the moment, section 46 allows the Home Secretary to pay police grant to all the police authorities in England and Wales. In the case of the Metropolitan police, the grant is paid to the Greater London authority on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Authority. The intention of clause 24 is to ensure that grants can be paid in exactly the same way to police and crime commissioners and to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime—via the GLA in the latter case.

As far as the Bill as a whole is concerned, the intention is to leave the policing arrangements in respect of the City of London unchanged. The common council of the City of London is currently charged with the governance of the City of London police and the Bill does not change that. It follows that section 46 of the 1996 Act must continue to apply to the common council so that the Home Secretary can continue to pay it police grants.

Unfortunately, the drafting of clause 24 has the unintended effect of removing the common council from the reach of section 46 of the 1996 Act. The amendments simply correct that error by including in clause 24 references to “grant recipients” and by defining that term so as to include the common council, police and crime commissioners and the GLA acting on behalf of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. For those reasons, I hope that the Committee will be able to accept these drafting arrangements.

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Vernon Coaker (Shadow Minister (Home Affairs); Gedling, Labour)

That is helpful. The Minister mentioned the common council with respect to the City of London police and explained that the amendments clarify what happens, as I understand it, with respect to the grant paid to the Mayor and then through to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Will he clarify how the payment of the grant will work for police forces outside London? Is the situation exactly the same as it is now? Obviously it will not be, with the police and crime commissioners, but one assumes that the route will be the same. The Minister talked about the City of London police and the Metropolitan police, but it would be helpful if he clarified that the situation is the same for forces outside London.

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Nick Herbert (The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice; Arundel and South Downs, Conservative)

As the hon. Gentleman knows, because he was Police Minister, the grant is paid to authorities and it will now be paid to PCCs, so there is no change there. It was never our intention to interfere with the governance of the City of London police, and I do not believe that there is a desire to do so in any part of the House, which was why I wanted to correct this drafting error.

Amendment 56 agreed to.

Amendments made: 57, in clause 24, page 18, leave out lines 3 and 4 insert—

Amendment 58, in clause 24, page 18, line 5, leave out ‘commissioner’ and insert ‘grant recipient’.

Amendment 59, in clause 24, page 18, line 6, leave out ‘commissioners’ and insert ‘grant recipients’.

Amendment 60, in clause 24, page 18, line 8, leave out

‘commissioners or different classes of commissioner’

and insert

‘grant recipients or different classes of grant recipient’.

Amendment 61, in clause 24, page 18, line 9, leave out ‘police and crime commissioner’ and insert ‘grant recipient’.

Amendment 62, in clause 24, page 18, line 15, leave out ‘commissioner’s’ and insert ‘grant recipient’s’.

Amendment 63, in clause 24, page 18, line 16, leave out ‘commissioner’ and insert ‘grant recipient’.

Amendment 64, in clause 24, page 18, line 17, leave out ‘commissioner’ and insert ‘grant recipient’.—(Nick Herbert.)

Clause 24, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.