Clause 176

Part of Equality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 2 July 2009.

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Photo of Tim Boswell Tim Boswell Conservative, Daventry 9:30, 2 July 2009

My hon. Friend’s comments on the clause have helped to satisfy me in relation to my previous point. It is terribly clear that we should not simply stamp that provision on the physical spec of the rolling stock; we should look at how the process will work in practice. We are establishing some understanding about that and, I hope, encouraging the Minister’s departmental colleagues.

I should like to return to a point that was in my mind when we were talking earlier about Hackney carriages: the basis on which orders can be made on exemptions or derogations from regulations. I remember, as a Minister, facing the dilemma of the extent to which a Secretary of State would specify the grounds for their decision to confirm, modify or refuse an exemption order. I suspect that disabled people and their organisations would want to build up a corpus of views about whether that was done reasonably and not simply as an economic cop-out. It would be interesting to know whether there will be something beyond the bald rubric that the Minister has decided on, so that people could begin to understand the rationale for a growing—one hopes it is not too fast growing—corpus of decisions for exemptions.