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Results 141–160 of 1000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Paul Clark

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention. The power is time-limited; the proposal is that the time should be limited to nine months, with the option of having a further three months thereafter. It is, in our opinion, highly unlikely that a transport operator would not be found, because if things got to that stage, I suspect that the proposed scheme would not have met other criteria. Our...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: Obviously, in the situation that we are describing, the traffic commissioner would watch things closely in the interim period in which a local authority was acting as an operator of last resort. As I have indicated, we are consulting on how provisions in the Bill will operate, and that is another way in which consideration will be given to the matter. Now that my hon. Friends have heard what...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: The provision of the boards and the inclusion of due process and the five public interest criteria is about recognising the balance needed between the legitimate requirements of operators currently running those services and—quite rightly—the decision-making process of democratically elected authorities. The due process and the five public criteria tests are intended exactly to ensure...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: An interesting range of contributions has been made to our discussions about one of the major elements of the Bill. It was interesting that the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond) started with an attack on my ministerial colleague, my right hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, Central (Ms Winterton), who undertook a great range of work in listening carefully to the comments of not...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, but let me quote my right hon. Friend: "I have, of course, listened very carefully to a lot of the points that have been made today and I would not in any sense wish to indicate that I would not take them away and consider them; that is the point of the Committee stage." ——[ Official Report, Local Transport Public Bill Committee, 29 April...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Those who have worked and been elected locally are the best people to deal with such matters and to make those judgments on behalf of the people whom they represent. The hon. Member for Wimbledon also asked about TUPE and the extra costs. The costs would be reflected in the price that the operators bid. The local authorities clearly need to factor any such...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: My hon. Friend is right that those provisions are some of the many good aspects of the Bill. He is also right about the purpose of TUPE. Let me respond specifically to some of the amendments. Proposed amendment (a) to new clause 14 deals with the detailed workings of the QCS boards. It appears that it would do two things. First, it would place a further obligation on local transport...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention. There is a clear duty to consult all interested parties on the proposals and schemes being considered. It would be most bizarre if an authority did not use the option to consult, for example, bus operators, bus users and businesses in its local area and to follow that through. Again, however, we believe in allowing local bodies to decide how best...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. I have said clearly that those who propose the scheme should use every option to ensure that they consult. As I said in response to an earlier intervention about the time process, local transport authorities will take time to develop a scheme. Depending on a scheme's complexity—for instance, it could be a city-wide scheme or a more localised...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: No, that would not be possible where the QCS agreed with the local authority. If the scheme had failed on the five public criteria test, it is likely that issues would arise that cut across a number of those criteria, which would therefore be open to a review through the appeals process. There would be knock-on effects where there was a problem with those public criteria.

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: No. My thought was that a cutting across over a number of those criteria would be likely, but if the disagreement was confined to just one, that would be the issue for an appeal. The hon. Gentleman is right in that sense. Amendments (c) and (d) to new clause 15 would amend the powers of the Transport Tribunal to deal with an appeal. New clause 15 includes a power under which, in certain...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: There would, of course, be an incentive for the local transport authority, as it would have been charged with providing those services for the bus passengers to whom it was responsible. I have genuinely tried to find out whether there is any belief that this process would be likely to succeed if it went beyond the 12-month period. My conclusion, following the discussions that I have had over...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: The hon. Gentleman will be aware that we have already given the traffic commissioner the power relating to the three-month extension, but his suggestion would almost take us into the game of finding a further extension. It is a question of where we draw the line. All the advice that we have received is that the process should be well on the way, if not complete, after nine months. That is why...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: I understand what my hon. Friend is trying to achieve. However, if I am to revisit the matter before the end of Report, I shall have to move extremely quickly to do it before 9 o'clock. I ask hon. Members to accept that we have recognised the issue of the operator of last resort, because we think that that was a powerful argument. That is another instance of our listening to the arguments...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: This provision is for a time-limited period of nine months, plus three months as a further option, to get the contracts in place. Under the scheme, there is a period of time for the contract that was running, so it would be for the remainder of that period that this would run. That is why I believe that if there were a problem with the tendering, there would also be a wider issue that needed...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: I think that my hon. Friend may well have put his finger directly on the intention behind some of these amendments— [Interruption.] I am sure that the hon. Member for Wimbledon has been closely following our deliberations and he will have read the amendments tabled by others.

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: No; let me make some progress. In common, however, with my right hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, Central, I want to respond to the amendments and to comments made by right hon. and hon. Members in the debate. Indeed, it would be discourteous not to do so. My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Graham Stringer) raised a number of points, particularly about how QCS boards...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: This covers all employees who have been working under quality contract schemes. Let me turn finally to issues of unfair dismissal, particularly whether it is automatically unfair if an employee is dismissed by an operator who fails to win a quality contract. We do not believe that that constitutes unfair dismissal. Because of the changes that we introduced in the mid-1980s, buses operate...

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: I am sure that my hon. Friend will be one of those who scrutinises how well the legislation works. He will be well aware that there are mechanisms to check how it operates, and that can be done in conjunction with all those who have an interest, including the trade unions.

Orders of the Day: New Clause 9 — Power of authorities to provide services in exceptional circumstances (27 Oct 2008)

Paul Clark: We have made it clear in the Bill that we have moved a long way on TUPE provisions and extended them to include those on pensions. Before I conclude, may I make one point clear? I gave an answer on the 112-day consultation period: all that is out to consultation with the very people whom some of my colleagues want to see involved—the trade unions—as well as all concerned. We have had an...


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