Clause 143

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 27th March 2007.

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Commencement

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

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

Given that the clause is about when different parts of the Bill will come into force, I want to reiterate our concern about the proposal that there should be an interim regime in which bailiffs have extra   powers before the registration system has been brought in to regulate them. We are concerned about the timing of the introduction of that part of the Bill, before the registration scheme is introduced. Throughout our proceedings, the Minister has commented on the timing of the introduction of various parts, but I wanted to say that we are not satisfied that the interim measures are appropriate. We feel that the introduction of the additional powers for bailiffs should be delayed until a registration scheme such as the one that was discussed can be introduced.

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

I thought that the hon. Lady was here when I announced last week that the only new power for bailiffs, namely to make an application to the court for consent to use, as a last resort, reasonable force to enter private premises, will not come into force until the regulatory system is in place. The system in the Bill, which will—I have put it this way before—beef up the current certification process, will not be the system that applies to the use of that power. Again, the use of that power will be made available only when the full regulation system is in place. I hope that she is now twice assured.

Photo of Brooks Newmark Brooks Newmark Conservative, Braintree

Again, I would like to ask the Minister for clarification. The explanatory notes state:

Clause 143 provides for the Lord Chancellor”— again, the next phrase appears in brackets—

“or the Secretary of State in relation to Chapter 3 of Part 5” and so on. Can the Minister again clarify whether the provision refers to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs or the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry?

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

In references to chapter 3 of part 5, the responsibility will lie either with the Lord Chancellor or the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

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

I accept the point that the Minister made previously. However, we still have concerns that changes are being made to the bailiff system before the introduction of the registration scheme. Over the past few years, a lot of concern has been raised about the need for a proper registration scheme for bailiffs. We remain unhappy that that part of the proposals has been delayed significantly and that there is a need for an interim measure, which we do not agree with.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 143 ordered to stand part of the Bill.