HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc142-4

Amendments made:

In page 2, line 22, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 24, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 42 leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".—[Sir E. Boyle.]

Mr. Chataway

I beg to move. Amendment No. 15, in page 2, line 42, at the end to insert: (3) At least a majority of the library council for a region shall consist of members of library authorities within the region, and an authority none of whose members is included in the library council shall be represented on the council by such of the persons so included as may be determined in accordance with the scheme establishing the council. This Amendment is designed to allay fears expressed by hon. Members during the Committee stage discussion that the regional councils might not be democratically constituted. The first part of the proposed new subsection secures that at least a majority of members of regional library councils shall be members of library authorities within the region. This is done in accordance with undertakings which I gave during the Committee stage discussions. It is intended to meet the point raised by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Sir B. Stross) who was supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Denzil Freeth).

This Amendment will ensure that the principle of democratic control will be observed in regional councils and that librarians and other officials who might be members of the council shall not be in a position to out-vote the elected representatives. This is of some importance because the councils will have power;to require payments from member authorities which are necessary to meet expenditure. The actual composition of the regional councils will be determined by the schemes establishing them which will be made after consultation with the local authorities concerned. The second part of the new subsection is intended to remove any doubt that one member of a council can represent several library authorities This was fully discussed in the Standing Committee and I think that it was accepted by hon. Members. The Amendment puts beyond doubt that there need not be one representative for each library authority on a council which may be covering a very wide area

Sir B Stross

I propose to make a short speech by declaring that I am well pleased with the Amendment which has been moved by the Under-Secretary.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Denzil Freeth

I echo the words of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Sir B. Stross).

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 3, line 5, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 7, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".—[Mr. Chataway.]