Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

– in the Scottish Parliament on 16th March 2011.

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Photo of Alex Fergusson Alex Fergusson None

We come to stage 3 proceedings on the Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill. Members should have before them the bill as amended at stage 2 and the marshalled list. If the division bell sounds, proceedings will be suspended for five minutes, and the period of voting thereafter will be 30 seconds.

Section 10—Reports on elections

Amendment 1 is in the name of the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism.

Photo of Jim Mather Jim Mather Scottish National Party

Amendment 1 is a technical amendment, which will alter the way in which the bill will amend section 5 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, to extend the Electoral Commission’s function in relation to reporting on the administration of ordinary local government elections. That is necessary because of the interaction of section 5 with other sections in the 2000 act. Amendment 1 will substitute section 10 of the bill with a new provision, which will still extend the commission’s functions to ordinary local government elections, but in a way that will avoid the unintended application of other sections of the 2000 act to those elections. The amendment also avoids the duplication and confusion that might have resulted from the interaction of section 5 of the 2000 act with the amendments that the bill makes to other sections of that act.

I move amendment 1.

Photo of Alex Johnstone Alex Johnstone Conservative

I welcome the amendment and the way in which it will simplify the requirement that is placed on the Electoral Commission. It is welcome that the bill contains a requirement for the commission to consider each election for local government and to report on it. I am glad that the amendment uses the phrase

“in such manner as the Commission may determine”, because that will reduce the burden on the commission. It will be able to ensure that it analyses and reports, but without overanalysing or overreporting in circumstances in which that would be unnecessary.

As I have said, I welcome amendment 1.

Amendment 1 agreed to.

Photo of Alex Fergusson Alex Fergusson None

There being only one amendment to the bill, that ends consideration of amendments.