HC Deb 08 July 1977 vol 934 cc1721-2

Amendment made: No. 46, in page 7, line 18, leave out 'A' and insert 'Subject to section 1(4C) above, a'.—[Mr. Stephen Ross.]

Mr. Wyn Roberts

I beg to move Amendment No. 47, in line 19, leave out 'other than section 13 below'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this amendment, we may take Amendment No. 51, in page 8, line 38 leave out from 'force' to end of line 5 in page 9 and insert—

  1. '(a) in England and Wales, on 1st December 1977, and
  2. (b) in Scotland, on 1st April 1978'.

Mr. Roberts

The purpose of these amendments is to tighten up the Bill in terms of the date of its coming into force. Amendment No. 51 specifies the date in England and Wales as 1st December of this year and in Scotland as 1st April 1978.

The reason for the difference is that none of the Scottish housing authorities has borne the responsibility for housing the homeless in the past. They were not subject to Circular 18/74, or anything similar. In Committee the Scottish Under-Secretary told us, in effect, that the Scottish local authorities would require until April to prepare themselves for their new responsibilities. We argued then that 1st April 1978 was a sensible date for England and Wales as well, being the start of the financial year, But, regretfully, other counsels have prevailed, and we now suggest that the Act comes into operation on 1st December.

As a result of other changes in the Bill, it is unlikely that the difference in the dates of operation will result in an influx of Scottish homeless people into England or Wales.

Amendment No. 47 is consequential on Amendment No. 51.

Amendment agreed to.

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