Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 4:45 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, I understand loud and clear the premise of the amendment of my noble friend Lady Gardner of Parkes, which proposes that the scheme for making the banning orders would not come into force until a year after the draft regulations setting out the nature and characteristics of banning order offences have been published. I understand the point about the laying of regulations and responding fully to the comments of the DPRR committee, which noble Lords have made loud and clear. However, I make it clear that people who have been convicted of offences that are in the nature of a banning order offence before the legislation comes into force cannot be subject to banning orders. That is quite important in the context of the discussion we are having. The legislation will therefore not apply retrospectively.

As I have said before, we have not included the specific offences in the Bill because we want the flexibility to add further. However, I can confirm that we will consult fully with interested partners on the matters that will constitute banning order offences before the regulations are laid in this House. I have set out the timetable for the consultation and for responding to the DPRRC. I hope to do that during Committee stage, but in any event we will definitely do it by Report.

I cannot remember which noble Lord—it may have been the noble Lord, Lord Foster—asked if we could have sight of what regulations they might be, when we might expect them and why we might not have them in a timely manner. I am more than keen to get what information I can to noble Lords to prevent some of the obvious concern that arises out of the Bill coming forward time and again, which it will—I cannot blame the House for doing that. The noble Lord, Lord Kerslake, is not in his place, but I point out that we are attempting to do that as fully as we can throughout the course of the Bill.

I hope that reassures my noble friend and other noble Lords that we do not intend to implement the banning order provisions in the Bill without fully considering the views of the interested parties on the nature and characteristics of such offences. We began that process last summer when we published our discussion paper on tackling rogue landlords, which noble Lords may or may not have seen, and we will develop them in further detail through further consultation later in the year. I therefore ask my noble friend to withdraw her amendment.