Clause 22 - Appointment of traffic director: supplementary

Traffic Management Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 29th January 2004.

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Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland) 4:00 pm, 29th January 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 107, in

page 10, line 25, after 'appropriate', insert—

'(ba) the appointment shall be revoked no later than six months after commencement unless a new order is made in accordance with the provisions set out in sections 20 and 21'.

Photo of Anne Begg Anne Begg Labour, Aberdeen South

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment No. 183, in

page 10, line 25, after 'appropriate', insert

'provided that it does not allow for a term exceeding five years'.

Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

This is a relatively small point, which need not detain the Committee long. The amendment

would make this a sunset clause. Put simply, once an order had been made, it would have to be revisited no later than every six months to ensure that it was still required. The Minister partly answered the point in his comments about guidance, and I suspect that he will reply in broadly the same terms now. However, I would be interested to know why it would be inappropriate for the order to be reconsidered in a positive way every six months, rather than simply being left to lie.

Photo of David Wilshire David Wilshire Conservative, Spelthorne

This is a complete rerun of an earlier debate, so perhaps the Committee can take it as read that I repeat everything that I said then.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

As regards amendment No. 183, perhaps the Committee could also take it as read that I repeat what I said earlier. Let me add, however, that I would be horrified if any traffic director was in place for a year, let alone five years.

That touches on amendment No. 107. As I said earlier, we envisage intervention orders outlining the particulars, objectives, general powers and exit strategy for the intervention. The process might take a month, but if it took six months and two weeks, the amendment would require the entire rigmarole set out in clauses 20 and 21 to be gone through again.

Intervention is meant to be sharply focused, with clear time limits and exit strategies, so that local authorities can, as we all want them to, carry out their network management duty by themselves, on their own terms and in their own fashion, with no intervention from central Government. I do not see what would be achieved by going through the whole process set out in clauses 20 and 21 every six months. That would go against the grain of quick, light-touch intervention.

Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

Perhaps I can help the Minister. I think that he said that each order would specify the duration of the intervention. If so, I happily agree that the amendment is otiose, and we need discuss it no further. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 5, Noes 4.

Division number 17 Adults Abused in Childhood — Clause 22 - Appointment of traffic director: supplementary

Aye: 5 MPs

No: 4 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause 22 ordered to stand part of the Bill.