Clause 76

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

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Authorities’ review of arrangements

Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Labour, Manchester, Blackley 10:00 am, 8th May 2008

I beg to move amendment No. 131, in clause 76, page 66, line 31, leave out ‘one’ and insert ‘two’.

Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 132, in clause 76, page 66, line 31, after ‘may’, insert

‘in conjunction with the relevant ITA,’.

No. 133, in clause 76, page 66, leave out line 34.

No. 134, in clause 76, page 67, line 3, leave out ‘one’ and insert ‘two’.

No. 135, in clause 77, page 67, line 14, after ‘direct’, insert ‘an ITA, or’.

No. 136, in clause 77, page 67, line 14, leave out ‘one’ and insert ‘two’.

No. 137, in clause 77, page 67, line 15, after ‘description)’, insert

‘, in conjunction with the relevant ITA,’.

No. 138, in clause 77, page 67, leave out line 18.

No. 88, in clause 77, page 67, line 36, at end insert

‘and must be addressed to every authority falling within subsection (2) whose area or part of whose area lies within each integrated transport area or proposed integrated transport area to which the direction relates.’.

Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Labour, Manchester, Blackley

The purpose of the amendment is to probe the Government’s thinking on reviews and how vexatious reviews are stopped. In an ideal world, one council calling for a review might be completely sensible, but as we have discussed previously, occasionally—more than occasionally sometimes—relationships between councils and bodies can become very bad. There could be a vexatious review with a lot of associated costs.

The amendment provides that two councils need to co-operate and agree before a review can take place, and that the review must include the ITA. If relationships were very poor there could be a situation where a local authority employed a group of consultants at large cost, held a review and did not consult and involve the integrated transport authority. I want the Minister to reassure the Committee that such a situation could not happen, but the amendments are to probe the Minister’s thinking on how vexatious reviews would be stopped.

Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton

As I have said before, the approach we have taken in the Bill is that there should be flexibility in undertaking a review. For a new ITA area the Bill says that any review would need to be undertaken by two or more authorities; obviously it would be a bit silly for an authority to carry out a review of itself.

In existing ITA areas, however, the Bill says that any review would need to be undertaken by one or more authorities. That is because authorities in an existing ITA area might wish the ITA itself to carry out the review, so it would be possible for that to be the one body that was undertaking the review. Where a review is vexatious and does not have the support of other authorities in the area, it is unlikely that a Secretary of State would bring forward a governance order.

There is a provision for one authority to carry out a review because authorities within an existing ITA area might wish the ITA itself to carry out the review.

Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Labour, Manchester, Blackley

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 76 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 77 ordered to stand part of the Bill.