Clause 92

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:30 pm on 22nd March 2007.

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Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Shadow Minister (Justice)

I beg to move amendment No. 151, in clause 92, page 59, line 22, at end insert—

‘(da) the driving licence number and vehicle registration of the debtor;’.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment No. 152, in clause 92, page 59,line 28, at end insert—

‘(ca) the driving licence number and vehicle registration of the debtor;’.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Shadow Minister (Justice)

We have referred briefly to these amendments. In fact, the hon. Member for Cardiff, Central alluded to them, although she was out of order in doing so, and we have discussed clause 92 stand part.  

The amendments are very simple. If clauses 91 and 92 are to stand part of the Bill, and if clause 92(3) sets out the sort of harmless, straightforward information that could be made available, putting the driving licence number and vehicle registration of a debtor on that list would add to the information that is easy to access, and it would be perfectly acceptable for that information to be made available to the court incertain circumstances. My suggestion would assist the Government, and I hope that they examine it carefully.

Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Education)

Will the Minister give us some information about the circumstances under which she believes it would be of benefit to the courts to have information about an individual’s driving licence number?

Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs

It is not my amendment, and I have no reason to think why I might want something thatthe hon. Gentleman offers. However, we do not need the amendment because we can already access the information through an electronic link to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. I therefore invite him to withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Shadow Minister (Justice)

Will the Minister elaborate further? She says that there is an electronic link, but between what? Is it between the DVLA and the Courts Service, so that if courts want to get the information they can do so readily? Can they get it without the permission of the individual in question?

Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs

Yes, that is correct. The county courts and the High Court have access to the information through an electronic link with the DVLA.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Shadow Minister (Justice)

I am most grateful to the Minister for that explanation. On that basis, she has satisfied me and explained that the amendments are unnecessary. We want to keep the Bill as tight and as focused as possible, so I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 92 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 93 to 100 ordered to stand part of the Bill.