The Minister said in response to a question about the cost of appeals that normally there were no costs. Subsection (5) states:
''The regulations may include provision authorising an adjudicator to make an order for the payment of costs and expenses by a party to an appeal in such circumstances as may be specified.''
Obviously, that is something that the Committee has no control over because it will be subject to regulations. But this is an opportunity to ask the Minister what he has in mind in relation to regulations, including such provisions.
This clause meets some of the hon. Gentleman's earlier requests. In certain circumstances, the adjudicator could make an order for the payment of costs and expenses where he thought it appropriate.
Is the Minister therefore saying that he will bring forward regulations to that effect? If so, can he assure us that those regulations will be even-handed between the parties to an adjudication? Will they cover the situation in which, as happens frequently in London, the respondent to the appeal, the local authority, does not contest it and does not even put in an appearance? Will the provision cover that situation, perhaps with an automatic award of costs against the local authority?
Indeed, so I shall read them out. Regulation 12 says:
''The adjudicator shall not normally make an order awarding costs and expenses, but may, subject to paragraph (2), make such an order—(a) against a party (including an appellant who has withdrawn his appeal or a local authority that has consented to an appeal being allowed) if he is of the opinion that the party has acted frivolously or vexatiously or that his conduct in making, pursuing or resisting an appeal was wholly unreasonable; or (b) against the local authority, where he considers that the disputed decision was wholly unreasonable.''
I hope that that is helpful. There is no automatic award of costs; the adjudicator will decide.