Clause 73

Part of Local Transport Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:15 am on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton 9:15 am, 8th May 2008

It is important that ITAs are properly accountable to local people. Clause 73(8) requires a majority of the members of each new ITA to be elected representatives from the councils that make up the ITA area.

If authorities were carrying out a governance review in their area, they could propose that all members of the ITA should be local authority representatives, if that is what they desire. I know from discussions that I have had around the country that some people in some areas with existing passenger transport executives—which, by the way already work under a system of, in a sense, indirect representation—might want to have a passenger representative sitting on the transport authority. Through the Bill, we are trying to give that flexibility, but also to say that the majority must be elected members.

In terms of political balance, existing PTAs are already subject to section 15 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, which requires that the political balance of the local authority representatives who sit on a PTA reflect the political balance of the constituent councils, which make up the passenger transport area. Any governance order establishing a new ITA could apply section 15 to the ITAs.