Clause 81

Part of Local Transport Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport) 10:15 am, 8th May 2008

That might well be my right hon. Friend’s experience. It might be arrogance, but it might just be that they wish to push ahead with their strategy because they believe that it is right. All too often, unless local circumstances are brought into a strategy, it will not bring the benefits that we all seek. I hope that the Minister will confirm how she expects the caveats in subsections (8) to (11) to work. I am concerned about the need to obtain local consent, or if not consent, at least a proper local consultation so that the appropriate examination takes place and local circumstances can be built in to the regional strategy. I am concerned that subsections (8) to (11) do not deal with that.

We had this debate earlier when we were talking about the constituent parts of the integrated transport authorities. If they take account of proper local representation, there is a chance that local circumstances could be built in to the regional strategy. However, if that local representation is not there, it cannot be built in. I want the Minister to reassure us that subsections (8) to (11) will ensure that the degree of power that must be given to the integrated transport authority can, in certain circumstances, be restrained by local consent. I am not convinced that those subsections necessarily do that. Without those constraints, an authority’s good intentions might be entirely negated.