Clause 114

Company Law Reform Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 22nd June 2006.

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Index of members

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Justice)

I beg to move amendment No. 25, in clause 114, page 51, line 34, leave out ‘50' and insert ‘100'.

The clause relates to section 354 of the Companies Act 1985, which deals with the index of members. It was debated in the Lords, where Lord Hodgson proposed an amendment that only companies with more than 100 members, as opposed to the 50 currently specified in clause 114, need keep an index. He pointed out that

“Fifty is not such a large number that it requires an index. Up to 100 members...could easily be examined by an ordinary shareholder without needing an index.”

Lord Sainsbury responded that he doubted that

“many companies with more than 50 members do not currently keep their register of members electronically”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 1 February 2006; Vol. 678, c.GC148]

and that the amendment would therefore have little practical impact. To move the matter forward, I would add that Lord Sainsbury may well be right, but we still believe that the amendment would be a worthy deregulatory move, and we ask the Minister to reconsider.

Photo of Margaret Hodge Margaret Hodge Minister of State (Industry and the Regions) 3:45 pm, 22nd June 2006

For the sake of speed and trying to move us on this afternoon, I have to say that our view  has not changed from the one expressed by Lord Sainsbury in the House of Lords. We think that the impact of the amendment will be minimal, and that the change is not a particularly sensible one that we ought to pursue.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Justice)

In the same spirit of wanting to move on, I hear what the Minister has to say and on that basis I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 114 ordered to stand part of the Bill.