Clause 14 - Scotland: consultation

Civil Contingencies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 29th January 2004.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Cabinet Office) and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 4:45 pm, 29th January 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 66, in

clause 14, page 9, line 37, at end insert–

'( ) A Minister of the Crown shall consult the Scottish Ministers before making an order under section 13(1)(a) adding an entry which relates wholly or partly to a person or body exercising functions in relation to Scotland.'.

Photo of John Butterfill John Butterfill Conservative, Bournemouth West

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments Nos. 67 to 70.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Cabinet Office) and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

As the Committee will be aware, the Government, working closely with the devolved Administrations, seek to ensure that civil protection is offered in a coherent fashion throughout the UK. Clear and broad duties to consult will ensure that each regime is compatible with the others, and clauses 14 and 15 will achieve that. The amendments follow further discussions between the Government and the Scottish Executive. We have reconsidered the circumstances in which Scottish and UK Ministers should consult each other before exercising powers under part 1, and have concluded that the range of circumstances in which consultation is required should be extended.

Amendment No. 66 requires a Minister to consult with Scottish Ministers before adding a new responder with functions in Scotland. That reflects the existing obligation on a Minister, before we exercise other powers under part 1 in relation to responders that have functions in Scotland; currently, they are the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the British Transport police and the Health and Safety Executive.

Amendments Nos. 67 to 70 require Scottish Ministers to consult a Minister before exercising any powers under part 1. The current obligation to consult is limited to the exercise of particular powers and excludes certain responders. The combined effect of the amendments is to ensure that, while the UK Government and Scottish Executive have responsibilities in the Bill that reflect the devolution settlement, they will exercise those responsibilities in a consistent way.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 67, in

clause 14, page 9, line 38, at end insert–

'(a) '.

No. 68, in

clause 14, page 9, line 40, after 'Part', insert '2 or'.

No. 69, in

clause 14, page 9, line 40, leave out

'other than paragraph 32 or 38'.

No. 70, in

clause 14, page 9, line 40, at end insert

', or

(b) an order under this Part.'.–[Mr. Alexander.]

Clause 14, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 15 to 17 ordered to stand part of the Bill.