Clause 36

Local Transport Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 6th May 2008.

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Regulations about schemes

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I beg to move amendment No. 222, in clause 36, page 33, line 28, leave out paragraph (b).

Clause 36 is mainly uncontroversial and makes small amendments to the Transport Act 2000 that are consequential to changes made in the preceding clauses. As I understand them, they relate to regulations that can be made about quality contracts. The changes in the clause merely ensure that the regulations can be made about continuations as well. However, if I understand it correctly, subsection (3)(b) makes a change of somewhat greater substance. It provides that the regulations may be made by the appropriate national authority in addition to matters already listed in the act, namely

“the procedure for determining such applications”, meaning, of course, the applications for approval of quality contracts. Why is subsection (3)(b) necessary? In what circumstances would those regulations be made, and what sort of regulations are they? The amendment is entirely probing.

Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton 12:00 pm, 6th May 2008

The amendment would remove the regulation-making power in clause 36 that enable regulations to be made to set out the procedure for determining applications for the approval of quality contracts schemes or the continuation of such schemes. In a sense, the amendment would mean that an approvals board’s actions would not be defined. The Government believe that it is important that the procedures for an approvals board should be clearly and legally defined, and that is the purpose of the clause. Subsection (3)(b) refers to the

“procedure for determining such applications”, which deals with how the approvals board would receive applications. Removing it would mean that it would not be possible to set that out in legislation.

Subsection (3) is simply about the regulations and how the approvals process might work. Removing paragraph (b) would undermine the whole system of quality contracts and approvals boards, so I invite the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

The purpose of the amendment was to probe and to understand exactly what was meant and exactly what procedures were referred to. Given the Minister’s reassurance and explanation, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 36 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 37 ordered to stand part of the Bill.