HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc784-5

Lords amendment: No. 451, in page 148, line 9, leave out subsections (2) to (7)

Mr. Hill

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 500 to 511.

Mr. Hill

Amendments Nos. 451 and 508 to 511 set the framework within which the mayor can work with London boroughs and the common council to promote research and monitoring work. They provide for the continuing involvement of London local authorities in pan-London research and ensure that the mayor has all the tools necessary to inform the development and monitor the implementation of strategies.

The amendments supersede the amendments on monitoring in clause 276, reflecting points raised in consideration of those provisions in another place, especially about the need to ensure that excessive burdens are not placed on London local authorities. I gave an undertaking to table amendments to meet those concerns. During their development, the amendments have been the subject of close consultation between the Government and representatives of London government. I am grateful to my noble Friend Lord Harris of Haringey for his considerable help with them.

Amendments Nos. 500 to 506 fulfil the Government's commitment to tidy up the mayor's power to obtain information, advice and assistance from the functional bodies. The effect is to limit the duty to supply information, advice and assistance to that which the mayor may reasonably require for the exercise of his or her functions. The amendments also simplify the Secretary of State's power, by order, to make appropriate arrangements to protect privacy and confidentiality. We anticipate that the arrangements will be based on Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972.

Amendment No. 507 corrects a loophole that we noticed in the provisions of clause 315, which provides the Secretary of State with a fallback power enabling him to instruct the GLA to make research data that it has collected available to others, in recognition of the important role it is to inherit from the London Research Centre. However, the existing provisions do not extend to research work carried out by predecessor bodies but inherited by the GLA. The amendment makes it clear that the Secretary of State's power should extend to enabling him to instruct the GLA to make available information transferred to it under the transfer provisions in clauses 319 and 320.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendment No. 452 agreed to.

Forward to