Clause 1

Part of Localism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 1st February 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government 11:00 am, 1st February 2011

I welcome the opportunity to put on record some of the assurances for which the hon. Members for Worsley and Eccles South, and for Scunthorpe, have quite reasonably asked. The first point that the hon. Member for Worsley and Eccles South put to the Committee was that we need more clarity on the content of the powers. I refer her to clause 1(4), which says that subsection (1)

“confers power on the authority to do something…in any way whatever, including—

(a) power to do it anywhere in the United Kingdom…,

(b) power to do it for a commercial purpose or otherwise for a charge, or without charge, and

(c) power to do it for, or otherwise than for, the benefit of the authority, its area or persons resident or present in its area.”

Subsections (5) and (6) go on to set out just how broad that power is. The courts will find it difficult—we have been advised that they will find it impossible—to unpick that. Subsequent clauses, as the right hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich has pointed out, include necessary limitations, which, when we come to debate them, may be examined to see whether they might have any inadvertent consequences.