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Results 21–40 of 400 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Baroness Harris of Richmond

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: First, I thank those noble Lords who have supported my amendment, in particular the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, and my noble friends Lady Walmsley and Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer. My noble friend Lady Walmsley talked about the benefits to the whole community when young people are consulted about how they can see crime improving in their area. In answer to the noble Lord, Lord Borrie, I...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: This is a probing amendment. If the Committee were to accept the argument that I propose, a number of consequential amendments would in practice be required to give effect to this amendment. At present, chief executives of police authorities do not enjoy the same statutory protection as chief executives of local authorities. For that matter neither do the other statutory officers, the...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I am most grateful to the Minister for giving me a hint of help in the future. I know that the chief executives will, certainly, be looking carefully at what he had to say, while knowing that the Home Office might be in consultation with them to look at the legal vagaries here. I think that their main concern is that they may be first in the firing line if a critical report is the outcome of...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: Leaping up and down quickly, I shall speak to the amendment, which I mentioned at Second Reading. It examines the best-value case once again. Those of you who have heard me speak on policing legislation in the past will be familiar with the theme, but I return to it in the hope that some progress may be made. Best value was of course originally introduced through the Local Government Act 1999...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I sense a germ of hope, finally, in what the Minister has said. For years I have been bashing on about this, never getting anywhere and always being thrown back by whoever happened to be dealing with me at the Dispatch Box. There is hope, and I am most grateful to him for indicating that. I never intimated that it would not be a complex exercise to try and get it sorted out; but it needs...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I would like to ask the Minister how an organisation that is not subject to public scrutiny can set up a unit to monitor political and environmental groups. That question was raised by Henry Porter on Tuesday, 10 February, in the Guardian online. He referred to it as a "sinister unit"; I certainly do not do that. But it does encapsulate some of our concerns, which have been so well expressed...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I added my name to the amendments because I completely agree with them. I have been interested to hear what the noble Baroness, Lady Henig, had to say. My question was why the senior appointments panel needs to be a statutory body. Once again, the Secretary of State will be granted new powers to make arrangements or orders about the make-up, functions and proceedings of this new body. It is...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I support the noble Viscount, Lord Bridgeman. We too are concerned at the powers of the Secretary of State under this section to confer an additional function on the senior appointments panel, and he can do this by a negative Statutory Instrument. We do not feel that this is appropriate either.

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: The noble Lord, Lord Harris, makes an interesting point. I, too, would be interested to hear what the Minister has to say about that. I support the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham. How do the Government envisage this being used? Would there be different levels of payment for each different reason that a person would leave, dependent on how long they had been in post and that sort of thing? Those...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: That almost gave me a heart attack. I will now raise yet again the issue of the large number of regulation-making powers in the Bill for the Secretary of State. I am afraid that you will hear a great deal more from me on the subject as the Bill progresses. It is fundamentally an unsatisfactory way to make laws. The powers tend to be wide-ranging and non-specific to make sure that every future...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: Amendments 14, 15 and 16 leave out the words, "obtain the approval of the Secretary of State". We have been over this ground, so I shall not detain the Committee overlong. Amendment 17, which concerns the appointment of chief constables and assistant chief constables, touches on what we have just been talking about. Again, it is the question of the Secretary of State overseeing the...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I am grateful to the noble Lord for clarifying what is without doubt a very blurred area. I am also grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Haringey, for supporting my amendments. That was an unusual but very welcome addition to our debate. I am grateful also to my noble friend Lord Bradshaw, who will be speaking at greater length as we debate the Bill. I do not agree with the...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: The amendment was discussed in Committee in the other place. The proposed new clause sets out the responsibilities of police authorities. It gives them the power to determine their own council tax precepts and removes the powers of the Home Secretary to override it. It also gives police authorities the power to determine their own local policing priorities. Amendment 18 would give a directly...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: The Minister and I will never agree on this point. The effect of what he is saying is a great tightening band around police authorities' freedoms to manage their affairs sensibly. Police authorities do not go spending willy-nilly money that they do not have or cannot raise properly. I advise the Minister that in north Yorkshire a number of years ago—not under my watch; it was as soon as I...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: Amendment 21 is grouped with Amendment 19. As the noble Baroness, Lady Henig, has just pointed out, the two amendments are related. The noble Baroness has already spoken about the background to the amendments, so I will not repeat it. I agree with her that the Bill needs to be clear about where the ultimate accountability rests in order to ensure collaboration. I also agree with her that this...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I have a great deal of sympathy with the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, but in effect police authorities would most certainly want to talk to their employees because, although they may be under the direction and control of the chief constable, it would be a poor authority that did not look to the interests of its staff and staff associations. I am at a bit of a loss to understand how...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: The amendment is connected to the debate that we have just had about ultimate accountability for ensuring that collaboration happens. This clause did not appear when the Bill was first published; an even more draconian variant was included at the Committee stage in the other place. This was subsequently replaced at the Report stage and Third Reading with the current wording, for which much...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: Amendments 23 and 24 are interdependent, and I shall outline briefly why I think they are desirable. Collaboration in a policing context is a complex business, as many of your Lordships have gathered from our preceding debates about responsibility and governance. At the heart of this lies a tension between lines of control and lines of accountability under what are, essentially, joint...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: I am most grateful to the Minister. Including this information in guidance is the appropriate way forward. As he said, it will be placed in Hansard so that everyone will be able to see what the intention is. I am most grateful to him and I beg leave to withdraw the amendment. Amendment 23 withdrawn. Amendment 24 not moved. Amendment 25 Moved by Baroness Harris of Richmond 25: Clause 5, page...

Policing and Crime Bill: Committee (1st Day) (22 Jun 2009)

Baroness Harris of Richmond: Once again, I am afraid that we return to the wide-ranging powers of the Secretary of State in the Bill. This provision is unnecessary and is more likely to kill collaboration than encourage it. First, police authorities must already report collaboration agreements to the Secretary of State as efficiencies in one form or another, largely through their policing plans, which must still be...


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