HC Deb 27 March 1985 vol 76 cc529-30

  1. '(1) Any disposal made after 21st March 1985 in contravention of section 8 of the Local Government (Interim Provisions) Act 1984 shall be void; and section 128(2) of the principal Act (protection of purchases etc.) shall not have effect in relation to the consent required by the said section 8 for any disposal made after that date.
  2. (2) As respects any contract entered into after that date subsection (1) of section 9 of the said Act of 1984 shall have effect with the substitution for the reference to £250,000 and for each reference to £100,000 of a reference to £15,000.
  3. (3) No contract entered into after the said 21st March in contravention of the said section 9 shall be enforceable against a successor authority; and accordingly subsection (5) of that section shall not apply to any contract entered into after that date.
  4. (4) An application under section 10 of the said Act of 1984 (disqualification for membership of local authority) may be made by a successor authority and in that section "local authority" shall include the Common Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.
  5. (5) Where by reason of a disposal or contract made after the said 21st March in contravention of section 8 or 9 of the said Act of 1984 the High Court has power to make an order under section 10 of that Act in respect of any person it shall also have power to order him to pay to the Greater London Council or, as the case may be, to the metropolitan county council (or, in the case of an order made on or after the abolition date, to the appropriate residuary body) a sum not exceeding—
    1. 530
    2. (a) in the case of a disposal in contravention of section 8, an amount equal to the amount or value of the consideration for the disposal or, if there is no consideration or it is less than the market value of what is disposed of, an amount equal to that market value;
    3. (b) in the case of a contract in contravention of section 9, an amount equal to the amount or value of the consideration in respect of the matters by virtue of which the contract is subject to that section.
  6. (6) No order shall be made in respect of any person under the said section 10 or subsection (5) above if the court is satisfied that he acted in the belief that the disposal or contract had the consent of the Secretary of State and that any conditions attached to the consent had been compiled with.
  7. (7) In this section "successor authority" has the same meaning as in section (Control of liabilities affecting successor authorities) above.'.—[Mr. Kenneth Baker.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Mr. Tony Banks

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I believe that the right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) may inadvertently have misled the House when he said during the discussion on new clauses 9 and 10 that the Greater London council was advised on Thursday afternoon. This particular clause came into effect at midnight on Thursday, and my information is that the director general of the GLC did not receive a letter until 9.20 on Friday morning. It was time-stamped when it came into his office. Since the Minister said that the letter was delivered directly to the director general's office, I cannot believe that it would have been sitting around in county hall during the course of the afternoon. Will the Minister double check with his civil servants about when the letter was delivered, because this is a serious matter?

Mr Kenneth Baker

Of course, I shall assist the House and the hon. Gentleman. The advice that I have received—I have already double-checked it, but I shall check it again—is that letters were taken by hand to each of the county councils and to the offices of the director general and of the chief executive. I shall find out what happened. We certainly did our part in delivering the letter to the various authorities.

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