Clause 75

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

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Secretary of State’s power to direct a review: new ITA

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

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

I shall be brief. The clause appears innocuous, but the power it confers could be far reaching. Will the Minister say something about how often and in what circumstances she anticipates the power will be used?

Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton

As I said earlier, the situation in which the Secretary of State directs two or more local authorities in an area that does not have an ITA to carry out a review of transport in their areas and issues a direction to publish a scheme containing proposals for establishing an integrated authority would be quite rare. It would happen if there were, for example, indications that the delivery of transport in an area was failing and that governance issues meant that what the local authority might be trying to achieve through its local transport plans was not happening. I am thinking of when there might be strong concern that authorities in an area were not delivering good transport systems.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

Does the power require constituent local authorities to carry out a review, or does it imply that in due course an ITA can be imposed by the Secretary of State as a consequence of such a review?

Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton

Again, if the Secretary of State directed authorities to come up with a scheme, any governance order would still have to come back to Parliament for decision under the affirmative procedure.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 75 ordered to stand part of the Bill.