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Clause 6

Part of Local Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 3rd March 2010.

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Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford Labour, Greenwich and Woolwich 10:30 am, 3rd March 2010

I would not normally rise to speak on an interpretation clause, but this is the opportunity to discuss the role of district councils, which we should touch on briefly, as Members have raised the matter.

The one difficulty that will arise in the case of district councils in two-tier areas is the possible risk of duplication if more than one district were to initiate an inquiry on the same subject simultaneously. That would impose an unreasonable burden on local partners, so it is right that there should be a proper co-ordinated framework. On Second Reading, I expressed concern that the Bill appeared to convey the message that district councils in two-tier areas were excluded. That is not the intention; there should be a proper co-ordinated framework to ensure that issues affecting more than one area are the subject of joint scrutiny. There should not be the kind of duplication about which Opposition Members have rightly expressed concern.