§ Mr. Corfield
I beg to move, Amendment No. 141 in page 81, line 5, to leave out "Within fourteen" and to insert:At any time after the making of a control order, but not later than the expiration of a period of six".This Amendment and the following four are concerned with the same matter, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and can conveniently go together.
§ Mr. Corfield
This series of Amendments alters the time limit within which an interested party may appeal against a control order or a local authority's scheme. As drafted, the Bill allowed a period of six weeks to the local authority for the preparation and service of a copy of the scheme and a further six weeks to an interested party in which to appeal, making a total of twelve weeks in all.
In Committee, the Government moved an Amendment to extend the initial period—the period for the local authority to produce its scheme—to eight weeks at the instigation of the local authority associations. A number of hon. Members, notably the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington), said that those periods were too long and that certainly the total of 14 weeks was too long. The present Amendments are by way of compromise. We preserve the eight weeks to the local authority but, under the Amendments, the six weeks for the time of appeal will run from the date of service of the copy of the scheme, whatever date that is, so that it will not necessarily be the full fourteen weeks before an appeal can be taken. It will be up to the local authority
128 inasmuch as the sooner that it produces its scheme, the sooner the six weeks period for appeal will run out and the sooner the time will arrive when the local authority can be certain where it stands.
§ Mr. Cole
I do not disagree with the intention of the Amendment, but I am not sure that the position is exactly as my hon. Friend has described. As amended in Committee, Clause 78 states:Within fourteen weeks from the date on which a control order comes into force"—which, I presume, is simultaneous more or less with the service of it on the interested parties, to which my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary has referred. The Amendment uses the words:At any time after the making of a control orderwhich, as far as I can see, is approximately the same time—but not later than the expiration of a period of six weeks".Clearly, we are cutting down a period of fourteen weeks, which I agree is too long, to six weeks, which is probably just about right. Do both periods date from the same datum line? There may be a subtle difference which I do not appreciate, but it seems that what we have done is, quite properly, to cut down the period by eight weeks.
§ Mr. Corfield
If my hon. Friend reads the first two Amendments together and inserts them in the right place in the Bill, he will see that subsection (1) of Clause 78 starts as follows:At any time after the making of a control order, but not later than the expiration of a period of six weeks from the date on which a copy of the relevant scheme is served in accordance with section 74(1) of this Act".
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In page 81, line 5, leave out from "which" to "any" in line 6 and insert:
a copy of the relevant scheme is served in accordance with section 74(1) of this Act".—[Mr. Corfield.]