Clause 93

Local Transport Bill [ Lords ] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 8th May 2008.

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Limits on power to promote well-being

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

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

We have considered the wide-ranging powers to promote well-being, and that is fair and understood. Clause 93 provides that these wide-ranging powers cannot override the constraints already put in place by the legislation. The powers do not include the power to raise moneys, and the Secretary of State can make orders to prevent the powers to promote well-being from being used by an ITA. Two issues arise from that. First, it has been established in Committee that we all believe the consultation principle to be a good one, but it seems slightly odd that when the Secretary of State wishes to make an order that prevents an ITA from using the power to promote well-being, she has to consult that ITA. Presumably, she already knows what it is going to do; it has already stated that. It therefore seems slightly odd that that is what happens.

Secondly, subsections (7) and (8) say that before exercising a power to promote well-being, the ITA must consult some people specified, but not everybody, and not everybody specified in previous provisions of the Bill. I again bring to the Minister’s attention the inconsistency throughout the Bill in respect of people who are consulted. There seems to be no consistency at all—a point that this clause highlights yet again.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (Yorkshire and the Humber), Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Clause 93 gives more detail on how the new well-being powers for ITAs will work. As the hon. Gentleman says, it allows the Secretary of State to make an order listing certain actions that one or more ITAs would not be able to do under the well-being powers, subject to representatives of ITAs, local authorities and other relevant people being consulted. I emphasise that we certainly do not expect that such an order will have to be made often, if at all. However, in the case of the Transport Act 2000, Parliament decided that it would be sensible to take such a reserve power in case such circumstances arose, and we think that it is wise to make similar provision in this Bill. Any order would be subject to the affirmative procedure in both Houses.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 93 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 94 and 95 ordered to stand part of the Bill.