Clause 4 - Inquiries initiated by the Commissioner

Part of Children Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 14th October 2004.

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Photo of Mrs Marion Roe Mrs Marion Roe Conservative, Broxbourne 2:30 pm, 14th October 2004

I remind the Committee that with this we are discussing the following:

Government amendment No. 178.

Amendment No. 12, in

clause 4, page 3, line 41, leave out 'and Wales'.

Government amendments No. 13, 17 and 182.

Amendment No. 18, in

clause 5, page 4, line 34, leave out 'and Wales'.

Amendment No. 19, in

clause 5, page 4, line 36, leave out subsections (8) and (9).

Amendment No. 195, in

clause 6, page 5, line 4, leave out paragraphs (a) to (c) and insert—

'(a) any matter regarding children in Wales;

(b) any matter relating to children in Scotland; or

(c) any matter relating to children in Northern Ireland.'.

Amendment No. 198, in

clause 6, page 5, line 4, leave out paragraph (a) and insert—

'(a) any matter relating to children in Wales'.

Amendment No. 21, in

clause 6, page 5, line 11, at end insert—

'( ) The Secretary of State, in regulations, must specify procedures for applying this legislation to children normally resident in England engaged in education, treatment and other activities in another part of the United Kingdom, and specifying which body is to be the responsible authority.'.

Amendment No. 196, in

clause 6, page 5, line 14, at end insert—

'(3) It shall be the sole responsibility of the Children's Commissioner for Wales to—

(a) hold an inquiry under sections 4 and 5 as regards to children in Wales; and

(b) consider, and make appropriate representations about, any matter affecting children ordinarily resident in Wales.

(4) It shall be the sole responsibility of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland to—

(a) hold an inquiry under sections 4 and 5 as regards children in Scotland; and

(b) consider, and make appropriate representations about, any matter affecting children ordinarily resident in Scotland.

(5) It shall be the sole responsibility of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland to—

(a) hold an inquiry under sections 4 and 5 as regards children in Northern Ireland; and

(b) consider, and make appropriate representations about, any matter affecting children ordinarily resident in Wales.'.

Clause 6 stand part.

Government new clause 27—Functions of Commissioner in Wales.

Government new clause 28—Functions of Commissioner in Scotland.

Government new clause 29—Functions of Commissioner in Northern Ireland.

New clause 6—Relationship between Commissioners—

'( ) The Children's Commissioner shall consult and work together with—

(a) the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland and the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland on matters concerning children's rights and interests throughout the United Kingdom; and

(b) the appropriate Commissioner or Commissioners on matters concerning children's rights and interests which appear to affect children in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland in addition to England, unless the matter relates principally to events or circumstances in England.'.

New clause 7—Relationship between Commissioners (No. 2)—

'The Children's Commissioner shall consult and work together with—

(a) the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland and the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland on matters concerning children's rights and interests throughout the United Kingdom; and

(b) the appropriate Commissioner or Commissioners on matters concerning children's rights and interests which appear to affect children in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland in addition to England.'.

New clause 18—Extension of the powers of the Children's Commissioner for Wales—

'(1) Section 75A of the Care Standards Act 2000 (additional power of consideration and representation) is amended as follows.

Leave out subsections (1) and (2) and insert—

''( ) The Commissioner may consider, and make representations about, any matter affecting the rights and welfare of children in Wales to—

(a) the Assembly, and

(b) where the matter is not devolved and the Commissioner considers it appropriate, the responsible United Kingdom Minister of the Crown or government department.''.'.

New clause 33—Requirement to review the working of the effect of the creation of a UK children's commissioner on the function of the existing commissioners in the nations of the UK—

'(1) Each of the Children's Commissioners in the UK shall monitor the effect of having more than one Children's Commissioner operating in their nation simultaneously.

(2) Each of the Children's Commissioners shall make reports to the Secretary of State, the National Assembly, Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly on the findings of the provisions specified in section 1(a) and (b) above and in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(3) The report shall, in particular, consider the impact of having more than one Children's Commissioner representing children in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, including—

(a) the overall level of understanding of children in the UK nations as to the division of responsibility between the different Commissioners representing them;

(b) the effectiveness and role of the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland and the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland; and

(c) any evidence of duplication in work undertaken by the commissioners.

(4) The reports under this section shall be made as soon as practicable after the second anniversary of the coming into force of Part 1 of this Act.

(5) In producing a report under this section the Children's Commissioners shall consult—

(a) children;

(b) representatives of organisations concerned with children's rights and interests; and

(c) the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(6) A Report under this section—

(a) shall include the views of the Children's Commissioner on the adequacy and effectiveness of this part; and

(b) may contain recommendations to amend this Act.

(7) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of every report sent to him under this section before each House of Parliament.'.

New clause 35—Review of exercise of functions of Assembly and other persons—

'( ) Section 72B of the Care Standards Act 2000 (c.14) (review of exercise of functions of Assembly and other persons) is amended as follows.

( ) In subsection (3), omit paragraphs (a) and (c)

( ) Omit subsections (4) and (6).'.