My Lords, we are fully committed to openness and transparency in the proceedings of local government and have already moved amendments to that effect. However, as the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, said, we need to be sure that nothing in or arising from the Bill could dilute or disapply existing public rights of access to meetings, records and related documents. The noble Lord has also posed a pertinent question on Schedule 3.
There may be a lack of clarity over the precise circumstances envisaged in subsection (1)(b) of Amendment 42A concerning,
“leaders of a combined authority”.
Presumably, the provision applies when they are meeting as members of that combined authority rather than otherwise. Perhaps that needs clarification. We have generally argued for dealing with matters on the face of the Bill, so we look forward to assurances from the Minister that the issues raised here are already covered. To the extent that they are not, we will work with the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, to fill any gaps on Report.