Clause 74

Local Transport Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 8th May 2008.

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Authorities’ review: new ITA

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I beg to move amendment No. 277, in clause 74, page 65, line 25, leave out ‘and’.

Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 278, in clause 74, page 65, line 26, at end insert ‘and

(c) the cost effectiveness of providing transport within the area,’.

No. 279, in clause 75, page 66, line 10, at end insert ‘and

(c) the cost effectiveness of providing transport within the area.’.

No. 280, in clause 75, page 66, line 28, at end insert ‘and

(c) the cost effectiveness of providing transport within the area.’.

No. 281, in clause 76, page 67, line 7, leave out ‘or’.

No. 282, in clause 76, page 67, line 8, at end insert ‘and

(c) the cost effectiveness of providing transport within the area,’.

No. 283, in clause 77, page 67, line 33, leave out ‘or’.

No. 284, in clause 77, page 67, line 34, at end insert ‘and

(c) the cost effectiveness of providing transport within the area,’.

No. 285, in clause 77, page 68, line 7, at end insert ‘and

(c) the cost effectiveness of providing transport within the area.’.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

This large group of amendments deals with the reason why an integrated transport authority might be created, why the boundaries of an existing one may be changed, changed, and why review of existing arrangements might be carried out. Currently, such a move must satisfy two criteria: first, it would improve the exercise of statutory functions relating to transport in the area; and, secondly, it would improve its effectiveness and efficiency. There is no dispute about that; they are important criteria and I support them. However, one criterion is missing.

Local authorities have a responsibility to provide transport and other services to local people cost-effectively. Local people will be paying for those local services and the idea behind the amendments is a variation on a theme, perhaps not surprisingly. The amendments provide that when deciding whether to change the structure of local transport governance, due consideration must be given to the ability to provide local transport in a cost-effective manner. My plea is simple. Can the Minister reassure us that the cost implications of provision will be part of the decision-making process of the establishment of the ITA? When creating an integrated transport authority, the burden of cost should be a factor of consideration.

Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton

I am quite clear that reviews will need to consider cost-effectiveness but it will come under the headings of effectiveness and efficiency. Under clause 89, the Secretary of State is able to issue statutory guidance which will set out the matters which could and should be the subjects of a review and which authorities will need to take into account. I reassure the hon. Gentleman that cost-effectiveness will also be one of the series of considerations that the Secretary of State will take into account in deciding whether to direct authorities to carry out a review. I hope that with that reassurance the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his amendments.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

The reassurance was short, but definitive. On that basis I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 74 ordered to stand part of the Bill.