Clause 19 - Establishment of Police Force

Railways and Transport Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 11th February 2003.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Transport) 3:30 pm, 11th February 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 54, in

clause 19, page 8, line 35, after 'expenses of the', insert 'British Transport'.

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

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:

No. 55, in

clause 19, page 8, leave out line 36.

No. 56, in

clause 20, page 9, line 2, after 'Constable of the', insert 'British Transport'.

No. 57, in

clause 20, page 9, line 30, after 'Constable of the', insert 'British Transport'.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Transport) 3:45 pm, 11th February 2003

The amendment is purely for the purposes of clarification. We have just had a brief, but helpful discussion and the Minister has made some useful comments about the relationship between the British Transport police and the British police force generally. Certain clauses relate to amendments Nos. 54, 56 and 57. Whenever the police force is referred to in the Bill, it would be much better to distinguish it by using its full name and to refer to it as the British Transport police force. That is why the amendments seek to delete line 36. I am sure that it is referred to as ''the Police Force'' purely as a shorthand reference, but I believe that it could be confusing if the force and other forces are referred to in the context of other legislation. We therefore suggest that, throughout, the Bill should refer to the British Transport police force in order clearly to distinguish it from its local counterparts.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Whip

The notes prepared for me on the amendment describe it as grammatical pedantry. That may be a little unfair, although to be consistent the change will have to be reflected throughout the Bill, which would be a considerable undertaking. I suspect that it will not warrant the effort.

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I think that it is accurate to describe the amendment as grammatical pedantry. I urge the Committee reject it, if the hon. Member for Vale of York does not withdraw it.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Transport)

That is all very interesting, but the Minister has not grasped the point that there will be confusion were we minded to withdraw the amendment. It may be appropriate to withdraw it, but Minister may regret his lack of support for it, because we believe that it would lead to greater clarity. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 19 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 20 to 22 ordered to stand part of the Bill.