Private Security Industry Bill [Lords]

– in a Public Bill Committee on 26th April 2001.

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[Mr. Nicholas Winterton in the Chair]

Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton Conservative, Macclesfield 9:55 am, 26th April 2001

I welcome members of the Committee to our discussions on a very pleasant morning, at a time that I describe as the calm before the battle.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

On a point of order, Mr. Winterton. You will be aware that, on Tuesday, I referred to the staging of one-off events, often at short notice, and the difficulty that that might create for an organisation that would otherwise want to comply with the procedure for applying for and obtaining a licence. In reply, the Minister said that he would reflect on the matter and come back to us with information about how the Government intended to tackle it. I wonder whether now might be a suitable opportunity to make the Committee aware of the Government's plans.

Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton Conservative, Macclesfield

While the hon. Gentleman's question was strictly not a point of order, I believe that what the Minister has to say might be of great help to the Committee. For that reason, I am happy to ask him to respond.

Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Minister of State, Home Office

The hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) describes accurately what happened on Tuesday. We share the ambition that he set out in that debate and we have considered the matter further. We do not believe that it is necessary to amend the Bill, but it is necessary for the Secretary of State to lay down a set of procedures to enable the authority to deal with the matters of urgency of the type that were discussed. I want to place on record that we accept the hon. Gentleman's point and that that will be an aspect of the operation of the authority that the Government will put into effect if the Bill receives Royal Assent.

Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton Conservative, Macclesfield

I am very happy that the Minister has provided such helpful information. Clause 7 Licensing criteria