§ Lords Amendment: No. 107, in page 43, line 22, after "consult" insert "(i)".
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
I suggest that with this Amendment we should also take Lords Amendment No. 108.
§ Mr. Speed
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
These Amendments were introduced to meet a point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Garnsworthy, during the Committee stage in another place. They are designed 1010 to ensure that the Boundary Commissions should consult staff interests about possible boundary changes to local government areas. An Amendment simply to require consultation with staff bodies would in practice require the Commission to seek the views of relevant local branches of well over 100 staff organisations, many of whom might well have no particular interest, and this would be unworkable.
The Amendment leaves it to the staff organisation themselves to decide whether they wish to be consulted and to notify the relevant commission accordingly. The commission would be legally required to consult the organisation. The Government consider that these arrangements should ensure that consultation should take place when it is wanted. At the same time, the Amendment would avoid giving the commissions an unrealistic task in identifying those local staff interests which need to be consulted.
§ Mr. Michael Cocks (Bristol, South)
On a point of clarification, since the words "staff organisation" might be taken to have unfortunate connotations in certain circumstances, would the Minister confirm that this expression includes trade unions?
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.