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Column 844schemes to continue concessionary travel and, under new clause 9(2), for the Secretary of State to ensure the setting up of joint passenger transport authorities.
Mr. Home Robertson : I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Falkirk, West (Mr. Canavan) for what he said about the meeting in Edinburgh on 11 April, which I helped to organise, between Lothian regional council and the other east coast regional councils, with the aim of highlighting the likely impact of the Bill on the concessionary travel schemes in Scotland's east coast regions. As I was responsible for drafting new clauses 9 and 12, I had better speak to them. New clause 9 would enable groups of Scottish local authorities to establish passenger transport authorities to serve their areas. It gives the House and the Government an opportunity to consider the important issues that we raised in Committee on 17 March and, I hope, to reach a positive conclusion. If the Government are genuinely interested in letting elected local authorities take the lead in local decision making, they should accept the new clause. If they do not, people will draw the conclusion that the Scottish Office is determined to keep control of local transport initiatives in Whitehall and out of the hands of elected Scottish local authorities.
New clause 12 provides for the protection of concessionary travel schemes for pensioners and disabled people in the regions of Lothian, Grampian, Tayside and Central. They are valuable, vital schemes which could be destroyed by the Government's decision to dismantle those four east coast regions.
I have very strong feelings about transport. First, I represent a semi- rural constituency where people need good public transport to get to and from work and for access to shops, doctors, friends and most other things in life. Secondly, I am sponsored by the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents the interests of staff in the transport industry.
The Bill is full of discrepancies and contradictions. We dealt with boundaries yesterday and we now have 29 supposedly all-purpose authorities on the Scottish mainland, ranging from the City of Glasgow with 620,000 people to the district of Clackmannan with 48, 000 people, all with identical sets of comprehensive functions. To put it mildly, the picture is confusing.
Clause 40 relates to transport, but appears to be rather discriminatory. It re-invents Strathclyde region for the purpose of transport arrangements. I welcome that, but it is somewhat odd in a Bill which the Prime Minister, no less, said was intended to destroy the so-called monstrosity of Strathclyde. The clause makes statutory provision for continuing co- operation between the new authorities on Strathclyde that are in the Strathclyde passenger transport authority, with its commuter rail and bus services, investment programme, region-wide concessionary travel scheme and everything else. However, there is absolutely no provision for such co- ordination of services in other parts of Scotland.
I am delighted that the Strathclyde PTA is being retained, but we are entitled to demand equal opportunities and rights for people in other parts of Scotland. That is our key point this evening. Strathclyde PTA has valuable opportunities, rights and finances. Since it was established in 1975, it has opened 42 new railway stations, its subsidies have halved rail fares for people in the region, it provides
Column 8453,400 park-and-ride spaces at stations in the region and, as a passenger transport executive, it has access to substantial funding for the development of passenger transport services under section 56 of the 1968 Transport Act. It can buy its own trains, in co-operation with ScotRail, to run on local lines. It also helps to develop bus services.
All those measures have contributed to an increase in the use of public transport in Strathclyde--there is a similar story in a number of other regions in Scotland--while in other parts of the country the use of public transport has contracted since deregulation in 1986. New clause 12 would enable authorities outside Strathclyde to get together to establish PTAs that could take advantage of the same opportunities. It would not force them to do so--as the Government are quite rightly doing with Strathclyde-- but it would make it possible for them to do so if they wished. For example, the conurbation around Edinburgh is the largest in the United Kingdom that does not have a passenger transport executive.
There are significant traffic and transport problems in the Lothian area, including congestion on the Forth road bridge. The Government, for reasons that are not entirely clear--but we have our suspicions--are encouraging private developers to construct a second road bridge, with all the extra roads, traffic and environmental disruption that that would generate. Instead, the Lothian and Fife passenger transport authority might well be able to develop rail services and take other initiatives that would avoid the need for a second road bridge.
New clause 9 would leave the door open for PTAs in other parts of Scotland besides Strathclyde. It would not commit the Government to anything and I urge the Minister to consider it positively. New clause 12 deals with concessionary travel, pensioners and disabled people.
Again, we must charge the Government with outrageous discrimination against people in certain parts of Scotland. Happily, Fife, Highland, Borders and Dumfries and Galloway will be able to maintain their regional schemes because their boundaries remain intact. Strathclyde is okay, because the Government provided for the Strathclyde passenger transport executive to carry on its excellent work. We must thank my hon. Friend the Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) for an amendment in Committee, following representations from the Strathclyde Elderly Forum, to provide specifically that Strathclyde PTE is required to operate a travel concession scheme across the region. There is an excellent scheme just now, with a flat-rate fare of 25p per journey and we hope that that can be continued.
The elderly and disabled in my constituency and throughout Lothian, Grampian, Tayside and Central regions are being left in the lurch by the legislation. Those four regions are to be broken up into small authorities, and the main cities and towns will be separated from their landward areas. There is considerable doubt about whether it will be possible to establish new concessionary schemes to let pensioners and disabled people travel across those new boundaries to and from cities at reduced fares.
I want to concentrate on the area that I know best--Lothian region, and my constituency of East Lothian. Lothian regional council has issued 135,000 concessionary travel passes to pensioners and disabled people throughout the region. Those people can make any journey by bus or train right across the region for a maximum fare of 30p,
Column 846whether it is a short hop within the city of Edinburgh or a long haul from one of the small outlying villages in East Lothian into the city.
The scheme is extremely popular and successful, and 33 million trips in total are made each year by card holders. The scheme is greatly appreciated, as I have been told again and again by organisations such as Age Concern Scotland, the Scottish Old Age Pensioners Association and Disability Scotland, and by hundreds of people in my constituency.
The legislation is putting those vital travel concessions in the east coast regions in jeopardy for two reasons ; the first is administrative and the second is financial. The administrative problem, as my hon. Friend the Member for Falkirk, West said, is genuine and it has been put to me by bus operators.
Lothian is to have four new authorities. If each of those authorities ends up with a distinct concession scheme which has separate cards, is subject to separate financial arrangements with operators and often involves journeys crossing two or more authority areas, life will be very complicated for the authorities, the bus and train conductors and--above all--for pensioners and disabled people. That is the administrative problem.
The financial problems pose the biggest threat of all. The Minister keeps telling us that there is nothing to stop the new local authorities getting together to run joint schemes. He is wrong--there is an impossible financial hurdle. It is quite straightforward and relatively cheap to carry large numbers of people over short distances within cities, but it is far more expensive to carry small numbers of passengers over long distances in rural and semi-rural areas.
I have been advised that the average cost of a concessionary trip within Edinburgh is 56p. After the concessionary fare of 30p has been paid, the cost of the subsidy is 26p per journey for a trip within the city. In the outlying areas of East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian the average cost is 80p a trip, so the subsidy is 50p per journey--almost double the subsidy which applies in cities. If the scheme is to be continued with the same flat-rate fare across Lothian region, either the three outer-Lothian authorities will have to budget for a far heavier share of the cost of the scheme--and so set a significantly higher council tax--or the new City of Edinburgh council will have to hand over a chunk of its budget to subsidise people from outside its boundaries. Bluntly, that is not realistic and is most unlikely to happen.
In Committee and in meetings, the Minister insisted that the new councils will have powers under section 93 of the Transport Act 1985 to run joint concessionary travel schemes. I put it to him now, as I did then, that the administrative and financial constraints which I have just described make that very unlikely.
I asked the Minister for examples of such joint schemes in a parliamentary question on 27 April. He replied :
"From the information we have available, there are no joint concessionary travel schemes currently operating in Scotland."--[ Official Report , 27 April 1994 ; Vol. 242, c. 219 .]
I asked identical questions to the Secretaries of State for Transport and for Wales, and those questions revealed a short list of co-operative schemes, mostly involving co-operation between counties and districts or boroughs
Column 847within those counties. There is very little evidence of cross-boundary schemes of the type that we need to preserve in Lothian, Grampian, Tayside and Central.
The excellent concessionary travel schemes work well at present and are greatly appreciated by pensioners and disabled people who are able to travel to and from cities for shopping, to go to hospital or to visit friends. As it stands, the legislation could put all that in jeopardy in the four east coast regions of Lothian, Central, Grampian and Tayside. That is discriminatory, unjustifiable and unnecessary. I commend the new clauses to the House.
Mr. Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh, Leith) : I shall speak briefly in support of new clause 9, which aims to safeguard the excellent concessionary travel scheme in Lothian region and, of course, there are similar schemes which need to be safeguarded throughout Scotland.
We have heard that 135,000 passes have been issued by Lothian and that 33 million trips have been made a year, costing the regional council more than £6 million a year. The service is highly valued by pensioners and by disabled people in Lothian.
I want to speak because many people have approached me and have come down to London to lobby Committee Members on the vital issue. They feel particularly aggrieved that protection has been given to other parts of Scotland. We all welcome the protection that has been given to Strathclyde, and one or two people may even have realised that protection was given to the whole of London by the Transport Act 1985 when the Bill that deregulated the buses in London was introduced to the House ; a specific guarantee was given about concessionary travel. The people of Lothian, and other parts of Scotland, feel that they should have the same protection as people in London, Glasgow and elsewhere.
Threats will arise if the Bill goes through as it stands. One unlikely threat would be if we were to have a Tory council out of the four in Lothian. That seems highly unlikely after 5 May, but we must remember that, until 10 years ago, there had never been a majority Labour council in Edinburgh. It is unlikely to go back to a similar situation, but there would be a threat if a Tory council were elected.
That may be why the Government do not want to do anything. The Bill is creating flagship Tory enclaves and they want those small councils to have the freedom not to have concessionary travel schemes. The second threat is financial. How can small councils support those schemes ? The third, and most immediate, threat is administrative and practical. The danger is that, with four councils in Lothian, the whole scheme could fragment and it will be impossible in practical terms to administer it. That point was made forcefully and in detail to me by senior officials from Lothian region. At present, the scheme works on the basis of an average bus journey and there is a refund by the council of the difference between the average cost of a journey on a particular route and the flat rate of 30p. It will become practically impossible to administer that scheme if journeys have to go across two or three authorities and the different authorities decide to subsidise at varying levels. One may imagine the scene when a bus gets to a border between East Lothian and Edinburgh, and the driver has to
Column 848stop to say that all the pensioners and disabled people must have their tickets clocked in again. It is not practically possible to administer the scheme, and that is genuinely believed by senior officials of Lothian region.
The new clause suggests joint boards. In the long run, the setting up of a passenger transport executive would perhaps be best, but joint boards could do something to ensure that a unified scheme was installed. I know that it would be highly embarrassing for the Government to do that, but they have done it in other areas such as fire and police. The Government would, in a sense, be recognising that we need larger authorities. Of course, I believe that we do need Lothian region and, as my hon. Friend the Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson) said, aspects of the legislation almost do re- invent the region. It would be politically embarrassing, but it is necessary and I hope that the Government do it.
Some 1.2 million pensioners and disabled people in Scotland rely on the scheme, and they want a guarantee from the Government which has not been given so far. If they do not get that guarantee, they will be in an impossible position. It will be too expensive for them to stay in their homes, because of VAT on fuel, and too expensive for them to go out of their homes, because of the disintegration of the concessionary travel scheme.
Mr. George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) : I want to deal with the area of the new Strathclyde passenger transport executive after reorganisation and, in particular, with amendments Nos. 167 and 168. I hope that my hon. Friend the Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson) is not about to leave because, unfortunately, I am sure with the best will in the world, he perpetuated a misunderstanding about the area of the new Strathclyde passenger transport authority.
As was revealed in detail in a parliamentary answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington), it is proposed that after reorganisation the Strathclyde PTA will cover only Glasgow and the Lanarkshire conurbation and not the whole of Strathclyde.
Mr. Foulkes : No. To be fair, I understand from other sources that the Minister is aware of the matter. When I went with members of the Strathclyde Elderly Forum to see the Minister, we received a polite, courteous and fruitful reception. Elderly people in the delegation argued that old people needed to get out and about and to stay fit and healthy, that that would ultimately result in savings for the Government, and that it was a false economy to cut concessionary fair schemes because old people would end up prematurely requiring hospital treatment and old folks' homes.
There and then, the Minister agreed to table an amendment to ensure that, as well as individual councils in the Strathclyde area, the Strathclyde PTA would be given the power to organise a concessionary fair scheme. That was welcome.
As soon as we realised, however, that the Strathclyde PTA area would cover only the Glasgow-Lanarkshire
Column 849conurbation, a number of us from Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire and Ayrshire expressed concern that elderly people in those areas would not be able to continue to take advantage of the Strathclyde scheme if the PTA did not cover their areas.
The issue involves not only concessionary fares but co-ordination of public transport services. The Strathclyde passenger transport executive co- ordinates public transport services extremely well. I understand that Steven Lockley, the chief executive of that organisation, has made representations to the Government and is strongly in favour of the extension, or at least the continuation, of the proposed Strathclyde PTA area so that it will cover the present Strathclyde area.
As my hon. Friend the Member for East Lothian said, the Strathclyde name and area will continue for the fire and police services. Although Strathclyde council will not exist, there will be a Strathclyde fire authority and a Strathclyde police authority. There is no reason why there should not be a Strathclyde PTA covering the whole of Strathclyde. That is why we have tabled the new clause. I cannot confess that I have had total success in persuading Ministers to accept our suggestions. I achieved one or two positive things in Committee. The word "chairman" will no longer be used for the head of the authority--"convener" will be used instead. The Government have tabled amendments to that effect. Those changes are welcome. Occasionally, however, it would be helpful if one or two Conservative Members supported one of my amendments.
I understand that the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) supports the extension of the Strathclyde PTA area to cover the whole of Ayrshire, whether it be a unitary authority or three authorities covering north, south and east Ayrshire. I hope that the Minister will find that to be a compelling argument.
Mr. Worthington : I support my hon. Friend on this point. As a result of the use of the word "Strathclyde", there is a misunderstanding that the concessionary fare scheme will extend to the whole of Strathclyde, but it will not. It is important that the boundaries of the PTA are extended. In the Clydebank and Dumbarton authority, we shall have the absurd situation whereby Clydebank people will be able to take advantage of the concessionary fare scheme, but those in Dumbarton will not. That is a recipe for dissent. I hope that we shall not have part of a district in the PTA area and part of it outside.
Mr. Foulkes : I am grateful to my hon. Friend not only for his support but for giving an excellent illustration of the anomalies that will arise. The spokesman for the Opposition, my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, Central (Mr. McLeish) will be pleased to hear that that has saved me from giving a number of other illustrations. I am sure that the Minister is aware of the anomalies and that he would not want pensioners in the Ayrshire part of Strathclyde to be discriminated against compared with pensioners in Glasgow or Lanarkshire. Even if he cannot accept--[ Interruption .] As the Under-Secretary, the hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart), realises, I am trying hard. Even if the Minister cannot accept the specific terms of amendment Nos. 167 and 168, I hope that he will accept the principle of them and consider favourably the proposal to extend the Strathclyde PTA to cover the whole of the present Strathclyde area.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The hon. Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson) suggested that the Strathclyde PTA would be required to set up a travel concession scheme. That is not the case. Strathclyde PTA is not required to set up such a scheme, although it may do so. The powers given to the PTA are fully in accordance with the powers given to local authorities in Scotland, and travel concessions, particularly the detail of concessions, are a matter for local democracy.
The hon. Member for Falkirk, West (Mr. Canavan) raised the important matter of the expenditure and costings involved. Other hon. Members will be concerned that travel concessions for journeys from the rural hinterland into cities and other places in Scotland, including his constituency, may be at risk if joint arrangements are not mandatory or if a joint board is not set up.
The worry is that city authorities might not be willing to co-operate with neighbouring rural authorities in the provision of travel concessions, but there is no reason why voluntary co-operation should not work and no reason why the councils in Lothian, Tayside, Grampian and Central should not be supported at similar levels as the present combined regional and district councils.
I confirm, and assure the House, that current expenditure will continue to be supported on an assessed needs basis. Grant-aided expenditure will include a separate GAE for concessionary travel, which will reflect the assessed needs of individual authorities. That GAE will be the subject of detailed consideration in the distribution committee of the working party on local government finance and should result in a treatment that takes account of travel patterns of different types of authorities.
There is, therefore, no reason why the new authorities should not be in a position to enter into agreements with neighbouring authorities to establish the travel concession arrangements that they think are required for their residents. Furthermore, because local authorities will still receive central Government support for concessionary travel, there should be no question of their having to cut expenditure elsewhere to continue to provide the service for senior citizens.
Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) : May I give the Minister a quick illustration of why concern exists on this issue ? As he probably knows, last year a 10p concessionary fare was introduced for pensioners in Grampian. That scheme was hugely popular. Pensioners can go as far as Dundee and Inverness on that 10p fare.
Under the Government's proposals, at least seven local authorities will cover the area currently covered by the 10p fare scheme. That is a matter of controversy in Grampian regional council. The Labour and Scottish National parties introduced the 10p fare. Both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have tried to increase the charge to at least 20p and perhaps even to wreck the scheme. The seven new authorities may have different political complexions. How can the Minister expect the matter to be as simple under his arrangements as it has been under Grampian regional council ?
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Such matters are best left to local democracy. Voluntary co-operation will save the day. We may play the role of the devil's advocate and assume the worst possible scenario, but the Bill provides power for the Secretary of State to create joint boards for the purpose of jointly discharging functions.
Column 851Local authorities can make representations about their creations. Any request by a group of authorities to establish a joint board would be carefully considered, but, given the powers already available to local authorities to work together if they wish, we doubt whether that will be necessary for the purpose of establishing travel concession schemes.
The hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) raised a question about the boundaries which, obviously, is material to the passenger transport authority in or bordering on his area. In Committee, I made it clear that we intended to consult widely on these matters. We recognise the many legitimate interests in the boundaries concerned. It is the Government's intention to move to consultation on these matters as soon as possible.
When the matter was considered in Committee, I suggested that we might consult after 1 April. We have given the matter further thought. We consider that, in view of the urgency, it is probably desirable that we consult widely as soon as possible after the Bill is enacted. I simply mention to the hon. Gentleman that change in our thinking since the Bill was discussed in Committee, arising out of the concern which has been expressed.
Mr. Foulkes : Can the Minister confirm that the Strathclyde Elderly Forum branches, Age Concern branches and others will be consulted, because there is strong feeling about the matter among organisations representing the elderly ? They have a particular concern. Can the Minister also confirm that councillors in the existing local authorities covering the Strathclyde area will be consulted directly on the matter ? Can he give an assurance that the consultation will be done fairly rapidly and a conclusion will be reached fairly rapidly, because a prolonged period of uncertainty would not be helpful ?
The Minister has been very helpful on the matter. We are moving together in the right direction, so I am not criticising the Minister in any way. But if we had an assurance on those points, it would be helpful.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I can give an assurance that all the special needs groups, Age Concern, the bodies mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, the Strathclyde passenger transport executive, the user groups and all the users of travel concessions will be consulted. I turn to new clause 9, to which the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. McLeish) referred --perhaps he might like to come back in a moment. As hon. Members will be aware, clause 40 provides for the inheritance of the functions, staff, property, rights, liabilities and obligations of the regional council by a new Strathclyde passenger transport authority. The arrangement whereby a PTA and the Strathclyde passenger transport executive are responsible for public transport matters centred on Glasgow will be continued. We believe that that successful arrangement is appropriate for that area, given the scale of its public transport infrastructure and the concentration of population.
Outside the Glasgow conurbation, our view remains that the new councils will be fully capable of co-ordinating transport requirements. I remind hon. Members that local
Column 852authorities outside the PTA exercise similar powers to those exercised by PTAs. Of course, I will not read out the terms again. The hon. Member for Falkirk, West correctly mentioned that I would be referring to section 93 of the Transport Act 1985. As he suggested, that section empowered any local authority, or any two or more local authorities acting jointly, to provide concessionary travel for certain eligible categories of persons. Those powers are discretionary. From 1 April, the new councils will retain those powers. It is important that the new Strathclyde passenger transport authority should have those powers, which we confirmed in Committee. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley for his remarks. I have covered the points about the consultation exercise.
Mr. Home Robertson : I welcome the assurance given to my hon. Friend the Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley that there will be consultation about what action should be taken to safeguard concessionary travel in Strathclyde and the boundaries relating to that. May we have equal rights for, equal consultation with and equal consideration of, the interests of my constituents and those of my hon. Friends in the Lothian region, and other people in the east coast regions ?
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : There will not be the same doubt about boundaries with regard to local authorities as there is with regard to the PTA. We believe that local authorities have the powers to co-operate and bring in the necessary concessionary schemes, and that they will bear in mind the points raised in the debate. In view of what I have said, I ask hon. Members not to press amendments Nos. 167 and 168. I have already talked about the Government amendments, and I commend them to the House.
Mr. McLeish : I feel that on the two points that we have raised on concessionary fares and the PTA, the Government are hesitatingly moving in some direction. We are not quite sure of the direction and we are certainly not sure of the pace of the movement. I sincerely hope that these matters will be considered further in another place. Obviously, the common-sense reasoning behind both of the new clauses is evident to the Government. We are simply astonished that they are reluctant to accept them. As we do not wish to divide the House, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.
Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.
.--(1) Every local authority shall establish a social work committee for the purposes of their functions under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.
(2) Except as otherwise expressly provided, all matters relating to the performance of their functions under the following enactments (a) this Act as read with sections 1 and 2(1) of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 and the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986,
(b) part IV of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937, (c) the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1958
(d) sections 10 to 12 of the Matrimonial Proceedings (Children) Act 1958, [and sections 11 and 12 of the Guardianship Act 1973] (e) the Foster Children (Scotland) Act 1984,
Column 853(f) the Adoption Act 1958,
(g) section 101(1) of the Housing Act 1964, and
(h) section 9(1)(b) of the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977 (i) the enactments mentioned in subsection (4) of the foregoing section,
(j) the Children Act 1975,
(k) the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978,
(l) section 19 and Part X of the Children Act 1989,
(m) sections 21 to 23 of the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 ;
(n) the Access to Personal Files Act 1987,
shall stand referred to the social work committee, and before exercising any of the said functions the authority shall, unless the matter is urgent, consider a report of the social work committee with respect thereto.'.-- [Mr. McLeish.]
Brought up, and read the First time.
New clause 11-- The director of social work--
.--(1) For the purposes of their functions under the enactments referred to in section 2 (2) the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, a local authority shall, in accordance with the provisions of this section, appoint an officer, to be known as the director of social work.
(2) The qualifications of the director of social work shall be such as the Secretary of State may prescribe.
The director of social work shall hold his office during the tenure of the local authority, but he shall not be removed therefrom, or be required to resign as an alternative thereto, except by a resolution of that authority passed by not less than two-thirds of the members present at a meeting of the authority, notice of which specifies as an item of business the consideration of the removal from office of the director of social work or his being required to resign. The director of social work of a local authority shall not, except with the consent of the Secretary of State, be employed by that authority in any other capacity.
A local authority shall secure the provision of adequate staff for assisting the director of social work in the performance of his functions.
The provisions as to remuneration and tenure of office contained in [section 64 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973], so far as these provisions are not inconsistent with any of the foregoing provisions of this section, shall apply to directors of social work and their staffs.'.
New clause 18-- Transitional Protection for Social Work Services . After section 86 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 there shall be inserted :
"Local Government Reorganisation--Transitional Protection. 86A.--(1) Where a person has during the period from 1st April 1995 to 31st March 1996 received an out of area service, the local authority to whom that service is transferred shall have a duty to co-operate with the local authority for the area to which the person belongs in providing social work services to that person. (2) The Secretary of State may direct that local authorities enter into agreements under section 57 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 in relation to social work services where such agreements appear to him to be necessary to protect the interests of users of those services.
(3) In the event that a direction under subsection (2) is made, and it appears to any authority affected thereby that an agreement will not be entered into within a reasonable period, that authority may refer the matter to the Secretary of State.
(4) If a referral is made under subsection (3) above, the Secretary of State may, after consultation with the respective local authorities, specify terms to be included in the agreement and direct that it be proceeded with, and the prospective parties to the proposed agreement shall comply with any such directions. (5) In this section :
"social work services" means services which a local authority are under a duty or have a power to provide, or to secure the provision of under this Act, or any of the enactments mentioned
Column 854in section 5(1B) of this Act ; and "out of area service" means a social work service which is transferred by the operation of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 to a local authority outwith the local authority area to which the user of the service belongs.'.
New clause 19-- Child care plans
(1) Within such period after the day appointed for the coming into force of this section as the Secretary of State may direct, and in accordance with the provisions of this section, each local authority shall prepare and publish a plan for the provision of children's services in their area.
(2) Each local authority shall from time to time review any plan prepared by them under subsection (1) above and shall, in the light of any such review, prepare and publish :
(a) any modifications to the plan under review ; or
(b) if the case requires, a new plan
(3) In preparing any plan or carrying out any review under subsection (1) or, as the case may be, subsection (2) above, the authority shall consult :
(a) any local authority with whom the authority has entered into an agreement under section 57 of this Act in relation to children's services ;
(b) any health board providing services under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 in the area of that authority ; (c) the police force for the area of the local authority ; (d) such voluntary organisations as appear to the authority to represent the interests of children, their families and carers within the area of the authority ;
(e) such bodies as appear to the authority to provide children's services in their area ;
(f) the children's panel for the area of the local authority ; and (g) such other persons as the Secretary of State may prescribe by order.
(4) Plans prepared by the local authority under subsection (1) shall include details of :
(a) the services available to children and families who live in the area of the authority ;
(b) the proposals of the authority to develop and improve children's services ;
(c) an assessment of future needs for children's services in the area of the local authority ;
(d) the arrangements for co-operation between the authority and bodies listed in subsection (3) above ; and
(e) such other matters as the Secretary of State may prescribe by order.
(5) In this section :
"children's services" means services for children which a local authority are under a duty or have a power to provide under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 or any of the enactments referred to in section 5(1B) of that Act.'.
Amendment No. 32, in clause 3l, page 26, line 6, leave out from beginning to end of line 15 and insert
124.--(1) Every education authority shall appoint a committee, which shall be known as the education committee to which (subject to any arrangement under section 127 of this Act, as read with section 56 of this Act, for the discharge by the education committee of any function) all their functions as such authority shall stand referred.
(1A) In this subsection, referred' means remitted to the committee for consideration and report to the authority but without power to the committee to discharge any function on behalf of the authority.".'.
Amendment No. 33, in page 27, line 10, at end insert
"(6) The number of members of an education committee and their term of office shall be fixed by the appointing authority. (7) Every member of an education committee who at the time of his appointment was a member of the appointing authority shall, upon ceasing to be a member of that authority, also cease to be a member of the committee and of any subcommittee thereof ; but for the purposes of this subsection a member of an education authority shall not be deemed to have ceased to be a