Clause 28 - Trade union membership

Railways and Transport Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 11th February 2003.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

I merely want to gain a better understanding of subsection (2)(b). I ask because the briefing notes, so invaluable in Committee, remain remarkably silent about this clause. I am slightly confused, and I am sure that the Minister will explain it with his customary clarity. The provision suggests that if a member of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, for example, chooses to train and become a member of the British Transport police, it would be possible, subject to

''the consent of the Chief Constable'',

for him to remain a member of ASLEF, contrary to subsection (1). Have I misunderstood the provisions?

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Transport)

I am most grateful for the opportunity to debate the clause, particularly subsection (2)(a). A serving member of the British Transport police force has the right to become a member of the British Transport Police Federation. It is worth exploring, as this is the first reference to that federation, the Minister's view of the relations between the British Transport police authority, the chief constable and the British Transport Police Federation. The Minister referred earlier to the impact and recent reform of the pay review for the police. Will the changes apply across the board—not just to other police forces, but to the British Transport Police Federation?

When we debated clause 27—it applies to later clauses, too—we saw that the British Transport Police Federation has concerns about the drafting and application of the Bill, so it would be helpful to hear, as I said, how the Minister envisages the relationship between the British Transport police authority, the chief constable and the British Transport Police Federation.

I am interested to know why, historically, a British Transport police constable or cadet cannot be a member of a trade union. I should really know the answer to that; I have a hazy recollection of it.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 28 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Jimmy Hood Jimmy Hood Chair, European Scrutiny Committee, Chair, European Scrutiny Committee

May I remind members, in case they are tempted to do so, that they are not allowed to read magazines in Committee?Clause 29 Jurisdiction