Localism Bill - second reading - Printable Version
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RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Matthew Garrard - 19-01-2011 02:10 PM
Don't forget to include the implications of other bills that amend acts that provisions within the bill amend when the bill becomes an act and the bill amending the act that amends the act also becomes an act, eg S 175 (8) The Health and Social Care Bill:
"In section 9F of the Local Government Act 2000 (overview and scrutiny committees) (as inserted by Schedule 2 to the Localism Act 2011) -
(a) omit subsection (2)(f),
(b) omit subsection (3)(a) and (b), and
© in subsection (5) omit the word "or" following paragraph (b) and after
paragraph © insert "or
(d) any functions which may be conferred on it by virtue of regulations under section 244(2ZD) of the National Health Service Act 2006 (local authority scrutiny of health matters)."
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Ed Hammond - 19-01-2011 02:44 PM
Presumably s175(8) of the Health Bill amends the Localism Bill even before it has been enacted, although should that bill be amended then this one will need to be amended too, to account for the fact that there is no need for the amendment.
Or maybe it would just be easier for them to amend the other bill with this bill, wait until that bill becomes an act so that this bill (when it becomes an act) would impliedly repeal the relevant section of the other act, without needing to amend it while it is still a bill. Or perhaps I have misunderstood.
I need a lie down.
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Ed Hammond - 19-01-2011 03:17 PM
Two other popular favourites include:
"In these Regulations, a reference to a Regulation is a reference to a Regulation contained therein, a reference in a Regulation or a Schedule to a paragraph is a reference to a paragraph of that Regulation or the Schedule and a reference in a paragraph to a sub-paragraph is a reference to a sub-paragraph of that paragraph" (The Teachers (Compensation) (Advanced Further Education) Regulations 1983)
and the timeless
"In the Nuts (Unground) (Other than Ground Nuts) Order, the expression "nuts" shall have reference to such nuts, other than groundnuts, as would, apart from this Amending Order, fail to qualify as nuts (unground) (other than groundnuts) by reason of their not being nuts (unground)"
Sadly the second one appears to be apocryphal.
Presumably we can add s175(8) to this pantheon.
Sorry for that rather arch diversion, you can carry on talking about serious things now.
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Steve Sienkiewicz - 20-01-2011 11:21 AM
Ed, thanks for the good work CFPS are doing on this. One of the things I'd like to see clarified sooner rather than later is the anomaly we are now faced with relating to the scrutiny of partner organisations, or more accurately 'partner authorities'.
Large sections of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 relating to the scrutiny of those organisations have been transferred directly into the Localism Bill. However, the powers are dependant upon partner organisations contributing to the delivery of Local Improvement Targets within Local Area Agreements. Given the fact that these have now been abolished (unilaterly by Eric Pickles last October) this effectively means that the power to scrutinise partner organisations (except NHS Trusts) has all but been removed.
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Ed Hammond - 21-01-2011 10:04 AM
Completely agree with you Steve - my thought was to introduce into the Bill the idea of "designated persons" who should engage with scrutiny. This is a principles that derives from the Welsh legislation, which includes all organisations that provide services, goods or facilities to the public within their local authority area. It's a wide classification but it's about giving scrutiny the clout to influence a wide range of partners, and trusting practitioners that they won't go mad and start dragging in every Tom, Dick and Harry.
Because the first date of committee is next Tuesday - much, much earlier than I had expected - putting these suggested amendments together is going to have to take priority for me at the moment. As such I would strongly encourage and urge you to post below any ideas of how inconsistencies and shortcomings in the Bill (and, by extension, in existing scrutiny powers) can be sorted out.
At the moment I already have:
Above all I do want changes to be realistic and I want to be able to demonstrate that they are cost neutral, insofar as is possible. The proposed amendments will be submitted to the MPs on the committee on Monday (I hope) and to officials at CLG at the same time - I will be speaking to civil servants about this in due course in the hope that the Government will bring in some of these amendments itself.
So, post them below and I will make sure I put them in. Sorry for the short timescale (I am basically looking for input by the end of today) but we have rather been caught on the hop with this one.
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Sunita Sharma - 21-01-2011 10:27 AM
Ehammond Wrote:As you would expect, discussion of scrutiny functions did not capture the feverish interest of MPs but a couple of interesting comments were made. The first is from Martin Vickers (a Conservative):
Ed, agree with what's on your list.
Also just to add support to the statement by Martin Vickers in respect of "...The biggest problem is to do with officer resources. Scrutiny officers, however hard-working and dedicated, are answerable to senior officers who are rightly charged with implementing the policies of the ruling group. Where is the incentive to create a powerful group to scrutinise and criticise the work of the controlling group? Senior scrutiny officers need to be more independent..."
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Ed Hammond - 21-01-2011 11:08 AM
I should also say that my proposed amendments will eliminate those sections which refer to the Secretary of State issuing regulations and guidance.
I thought that was rather more in the spirit of localism than the Bill "as is"
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Robert Jakeman - 21-01-2011 12:43 PM
Apologies if this is already covered - however, as it stands I believe there is a requirement to convene crime and disorder scrutiny meetings once a year and to scrutinise flood assessments. I think it would be in the spirit of the legislation to remove this requirement, as it should be for the Scrutiny Committee to determine their agenda (albeit I appreciate these are important topics).
Also, does existing legislation regarding the possibility to form joint scrutiny committees get superceded by the new legislation?
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Ed Hammond - 21-01-2011 03:55 PM
Hi Rob - all that goes in the exciting new CfPS amendments. I have tried, insofar as I can, to equalise the various powers that scrutiny has over different people. The only differences lie in the approach to health scrutiny, where I have had to put in place a different process for substantial variation to take account of the Secretary of State's reference.
I've also clarified the position relating to joint committees.
I am nearly finished now, so should be able to post up shortly.
UPDATE - Here is the file. Have a look at it and let me know if you have any thoughts. I'm going to ask for any comments by Monday lunchtime - sorry
RE: Localism Bill - second reading - Ed Hammond - 26-01-2011 11:44 AM
Bit of an update for you.
We have sent the amendments (themselves slightly amended from the version above - I will upload the revisions shortly) to MPs sitting on the committee, to CLG, to Ministers and to anyone else we thought might be interested. It looks likely that they will be tabled in their entirety when the committee comes to consider Schedule 2 / section 10 next Tuesday, which is positive. I will be going to committee next Tuesday to try to nobble some MPs beforehand!
Of course, we are going to approach CLG about this to try to build some cross-party consensus, but in the event that the amendments are not agreed to, I at least hope that the debate and discussion they will provoke at committee will encourage CLG to think again and produce some Government amendments which, while they might not go as far as we would like, will at least serve to tidy up what at the moment looks like a proper dog's breakfast.
We are discussing this, the Health Bill and the Policing Bill this afternoon at the National O&S Forum. I'll provide some feedback next week.