Clause 10

Part of Business Rate Supplements Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 27th January 2009.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government), Deputy Chair, Conservative Party 5:15 pm, 27th January 2009

I understand what the Minister says and I do not think that we will seek to vote against the clause. I hope that he will reflect, and at an appropriate point, or perhaps now, confirm that he would anticipate that if an authority were to set out its policy on these matters in such bland terms that it amounted to a statement of the obvious—such as, “It is the policy of the authority to avoid cost overruns”—that would not be adequate to meet the requirements of the Bill and there should be something specific in the authority’s review and monitoring arrangements to ensure that such a thing did not occur. Otherwise, one can envisage that no authority will say that it is its policy to incur cost overruns. The danger is that one does just enough to make oneself safe from judicial review, but not enough in practice to carry out the monitoring.