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Clause 88

Advisory notices

Amendments made: No. 169, in page 65, line 1, after "take" insert--
'or has begun to take'.
No. 170, in page 65, line 6, after "section" insert "and section 19B".
No. 171, in page 65, line 21, after "taking" insert "or continuing to take".
No. 172, in page 65, line 23, leave out--
'specified in the notice under paragraph (b)'
and insert--
'(as the case may be)'.
No. 173, in page 66, line 7, leave out--
'a copy of a notice or statement'
and insert "any document".
No. 174, in page 66, line 10, after "at" insert--
'or sending it by post to'.
No. 175, in page 66, line 11, leave out "revoked" and insert "withdrawn".
No. 176, in page 66, line 14, leave out "order" and insert "notice".

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No. 177, in page 66, line 15, leave out "revocation" and insert "withdrawal".
No. 178, in page 66, line 19, leave out from beginning to second "the" in line 23 and insert--
'( ) where the notice relates to a decision, to make or implement the decision,
( ) where the notice relates to a course of action, to take or continue to take the course of action, or
( ) where the notice relates to an item of account, to enter the item of account,
unless and until'.
No. 179, in page 66, line 27, leave out "reasons" and insert "statement".
No. 180, in page 66, line 28, leave out from "19A(6)" to end of line 30 and insert--
'the consequences of doing the thing mentioned in the paragraph of subsection (1) which is relevant,'.
No. 181, in page 66, line 31, after "body" insert "or officer".
No. 182, in page 66, line 32, after "auditor" insert--
'of the accounts of the body'.
No. 183, in page 66, line 43 leave out "revoked" and insert "withdrawn".--[Mr. Robert Ainsworth.]

Clause 89

Payments in cases of maladministration etc.

Amendment made: No. 184, in page 67, line 25, at end insert--
'( ) Any function which is conferred on the Greater London Authority under this section is to be exercisable by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly acting jointly on behalf of the Authority.'.--[Mr. Robert Ainsworth.]

Clause 90

Grants for welfare services

Amendment made: No. 210, in page 68, line 23, at end insert--
'( ) Before making any determination, issuing any guidance or giving any directions under this section relating to all local authorities in England or Wales or any description of such authorities, the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) the National Assembly for Wales must consult--
(a) such local authorities or representatives of local authorities as appear to him or it to be appropriate,
(b) such recipients, or representatives of recipients, of welfare services as appear to him or it to be appropriate, and
(c) such providers, or representatives of providers, of welfare services as appear to him or it to be appropriate.'.--[Mr. Robert Ainsworth.]

New Clause 12

Indemnification of members and officers of relevant authorities

'.--(1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision for or in connection with conferring power on relevant authorities in England and police authorities in Wales to provide indemnities to some or all of their members and officers.
(2) The National Assembly for Wales may by order make provision for or in connection with conferring power on relevant authorities in Wales (other than police authorities) to provide indemnities to some or all of their members and officers.

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(3) An order under this section may apply--
(a) to all relevant authorities, or
(b) to any particular description of relevant authority.
(4) Before making an order under this section, the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) the National Assembly for Wales must consult--
(a) such representatives of relevant authorities,
(b) such representatives of employees of relevant authorities, and
(c) such other persons,
as he or it considers appropriate.
(5) In this section--
"member", in relation to a relevant authority, includes--
(i) a member of any committee or sub-committee of the authority, or
(ii) a person who is a member of, and represents the authority on, any joint committee or sub-committee,
"police authority" and "relevant authority" have the same meaning as in Part III of this Act.'.--[Ms Beverley Hughes.]
Brought up, and read the First time.

Ms Beverley Hughes: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

New clause 12 addresses the issue of indemnification which the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Mr. Loughton) mentioned earlier, but obviously had not spotted on the amendment paper. The new clause will allow the Secretary of State by order to confer a power on local authorities in England and police authorities in Wales to provide indemnities to their members and officers. It will give an equivalent power to the National Assembly for Wales in relation to Welsh local authorities.

The new clause responds to an amendment tabled in Committee by the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) that attempted to confer a power of indemnity on local authorities. In response, I pointed out to him that such a power raised many complex issues, but I also offered to see whether a suitable enabling provision could be introduced to enable the Secretary of State to confer an indemnification power on those local authorities once those issues had been discussed with local government.

The enabling power in new clause 12 covers all local authorities to which part III applies, including principal authorities, town and parish councils and single-purpose authorities. Before making an order under the power, the Secretary of State is required to consult representatives of local government and their employees.

The introduction of the power will enable the removal of an unhelpful ambiguity in the current powers of local authorities, and I am sure that hon. Members will welcome it.

11.15 pm

Mr. Don Foster: I shall be very brief. I am delighted that the Under-Secretary has been able to introduce new clause 12 in response to a request that we made in Committee. She was not convinced that it would be possible to hold the consultation process in the short period between the end of the Committee's deliberations and now. I advised her that members of local government were ready and waiting for her telephone call, and she may wish to know that I called

4 Jul 2000 : Column 296

the Local Government Association immediately after our Committee deliberations were complete and said that it should expect a telephone call from her.

I am delighted to hear that that call was made within less than 24 hours, and that agreement was sought with such speed. I wish that that was always the case, but I am delighted with the new clause.

Mr. Loughton: Conservative Members are delighted with the new clause too, of course, although I am a little surprised that the Under-Secretary did not refer to it when I raised the question of indemnification in connection with the previous group of amendments.

The Under-Secretary has already confirmed that any councillor or council appointee who sits as a councillor, a school governor, as a member of a community health council or of an economic partnership, for example, is covered by the model code of conduct. Will she further confirm that the new clause means that such an individual will be fully indemnified by the council if they take on any activities such as I have set out?

Ms Hughes: The hon. Gentleman does not seem to have read the new clause very clearly. He is confusing two matters. We are no longer dealing with the code of conduct, but have moved on to indemnification.

The hon. Gentleman asked about the extent of indemnification. That will be the subject of the consultation to which I referred earlier.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time and added to the Bill.

Clause 94

Allowances and pensions

Mr. Peter Atkinson: I beg to move amendment No. 30, in page 70, line 31, leave out "pensions,".

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government amendments Nos. 46 and 47.

Amendment No. 217, in page 71, line 9, leave out subsection (7).

Amendment No. 48, in page 71, line 13, leave out--

'which are operating executive arrangements'.

Amendment No. 49, in page 71, line 14, leave out "of the executive".

Government amendments Nos. 187 and 188.

Amendment No. 31, in page 71, line 18, leave out "pensions,".

Amendment No. 32, in page 71, line 24, leave out "pensions,".

Amendment No. 50, in page 72, line 9, leave out--

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