House of Commons
|Session 2001- 02|
Other Private Bills before Parliament
Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)
|City of London (Ward Elections) Bill
This Bill is promoted by the Corporation of London to extend the categories of persons entitled to vote at ward elections in the City of London.
Clause 3 sets out the qualifications for the additional persons who would be entitled to vote at ward elections.
Under Part II of the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1957, in addition to residents, individual owners and occupiers of property, such as sole traders and partners, qualify to vote at any ward election. Clause 3 amends the 1957 Act by adding, as a further category of voter, persons appointed by qualifying bodies which as owners or tenants ordinarily occupy premises in the ward in question. The extent of the entitlement to appoint is determined by the size of the workforce at the relevant premises, as detailed in subsections (2) and (3) of the clause. The basis of entitlement is one voter for every five members of the workforce up to 50, with an additional voter for every 50 of any excess. The nationality and age qualifications generally applicable to voters in local elections will continue to apply to all voters appointed in accordance with this clause.
Voting in more than one ward or more than once in any ward is prevented by subsection (6). Subsection (7) treats premises situated within more than one ward as being in the ward in which the greater part of the premises is situated.
Qualifying body is defined in clause 2 as a body corporate or an unincorporated body other than a partnership. By virtue of the definition of occupying in clause 2, occupation requires physical presence through an individual for relevant purposes, defined as the carrying on of any trade, business, profession or other occupation, or the performance of the functions of an office. Workforce means all persons who work for the qualifying body and whose principal or only place of work on the qualifying date (for any year, as provided in clause 3(4) and (5)) is the premises in respect of which that body's right to appoint voters arises.
Clause 4 requires qualifying bodies to reflect the composition of their workforces in the appointments which they make.
Clause 5 sets out the requirements for association with the city, related to specified periods of work there, which are to be satisfied before individuals may be appointed as voters.
On the qualifying date either a voter's only or principal place of work must be (and have been throughout the previous 12 months) in the city, and he must work (and have worked throughout the previous 12 months) for the appointing qualifying body; or the voter's principal or only place of work has been in the city for an aggregate period of at least five years during which the person has worked for the appointing qualifying body, or for an aggregate period of 10 years. Subsection (5) allows members of governing bodies not based at the premises generating an entitlement to be appointed if their length of service in that capacity satisfies the above requirements.
Clause 6 excludes Crown bodies from the Bill's provisions.
Clause 7 requires the Corporation to submit a report to the Secretary of State on the working of the provisions in the Bill and enables the Secretary of State to call for further such reports.
Clause 8 provides for consequential modification of the registration and related duties of the Town Clerk. These include inquiries to identify qualifying bodies and notification to them of the extent of their entitlement to appoint. The Town Clerk is to include in provisional ward lists names notified to him.
Clause 9 and Schedules 1 and 2 make minor and consequential amendments and repeals.
Clause 10 makes interim provision for ward elections during the transition to the new system. The present system, which provides for elections in December, will remain until 16th February in the appointed year as defined by clause 3(5).
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Mr. P. R. E. Double, Director, City Remembrancer's Office, for the Corporation of London as the promoters of the Bill, has made the following statement on behalf of the promoters:
In my view the provisions of the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2002||Prepared 29 April 2002|