HL Deb 02 November 1989 vol 512 cc395-6

16 Clause 5, line 12, at end insert 'and requiring that in Wales any application form for membership of the scheme shall also be available in Welsh'.

Lord Hesketh

My Lords, I beg to move that this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 16. In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 18 and 19. Their purpose is to improve the Bill's drafting in relation to the operation of the scheme.

Amendment No. 16 requires that the national membership scheme must include provision for membership application forms in Wales to be available in the Welsh language. The amendment was introduced on report in another place and fulfils an undertaking to consider a similar amendment tabled by the Opposition in Committee.

Amendment No. 19 clarifies the position on charges for membership to be determined under the scheme. The drafting of the Bill as introduced imposed more of a restriction than we intended on the ability of the Football Membership Authority and the clubs to decide how much membership cards will cost. It may be, for example, that different clubs will wish to make different arrangements including issuing cards free or at a reduced fee to particular categories of spectator. This amendment provides flexibility.

Amendment No. 18 is an enabling amendment. It is designed to increase our ability to take account of any relevant recommendations in Lord Justice Taylor's final report on his inquiry into the Hillsborough stadium disaster. Its effect will be to allow the Secretary of State to oblige the FMA to include in the scheme, in relation to the admission of spectators, further requirements with which the scheme must comply, let us say, as the result of any relevant proposals from Lord Justice Taylor.

It will be for the FMA to determine how the requirement is to be met. It will also be subject, indirectly, to parliamentary approval in the sense that the Secretary of State will be likely to exercise this power, if at all, before the scheme is submitted and approved and before Parliament is asked to confirm the Secretary of State's approval of the scheme.

I said a moment ago that the purpose of these amendments was to improve the drafting of the Bill in relation to the actual operation of the national membership scheme. I hope that it will be clear that they have that effect and I commend them to the House.

Moved, That this House do agree with the Commons in the said amendment —(Lord Hesketh.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

6.45 p.m.