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LORDS AMENDMENTS TO THE

Regional assemblies (preparations) BILL

[The page and line refer to HL Bill 25 as first printed for the Lords.]

Clause 1

1

Page 2, line 1, leave out subsection (6) and insert—

 

     “( )       The Secretary of State may make the order at any time during the period of

 

two years starting with the date on which he gives a direction under section

 

12 in relation to the region so long as before he makes the order he has no

 

cause to think that the level of interest has changed materially.”

2

Page 2, leave out lines 12 and 13 and insert “If the Secretary of State has cause to

 

think that the level of interest has changed materially as mentioned in subsection

 

(6), that subsection does not apply but he must not make an order under subsection

 

(1) unless for the purposes of subsection (4) he considers—”

After Clause 1

3

Insert the following new Clause—

 

“Local government referendums

 

     (1)    This section applies if the Secretary of State makes an order under section

 

1 to cause a referendum to be held in a region about the establishment of an

 

elected assembly for that region.

 

     (2)    The Secretary of State must by order cause a referendum to be held in each

 

county area in the region about the government’s proposals for the

 

structure of local government in that area.

 

     (3)    A county area is an area in the region in relation to which both a county

 

council and one or more district councils have functions.

 

     (4)    But if the government’s proposals for a county area include an option

 

providing for a local authority whose area includes any part of the area of

 
 

 
 

    (  2  )

 
 

more than one county area, the county area for the purposes of this section

 

is the combined area of each of those county areas.

 

     (5)    The government’s proposals for the structure of local government—

 

           (a)           are such of the recommendations of the Boundary Committee for

 

England made in pursuance of a direction under section 12(1) or

 

(Boundary Committee recommendations)(4) as the Secretary of State

 

thinks appropriate subject to such modifications (if any) as he

 

proposes to make in pursuance of section 15(3);

 

           (b)           must include at least two options for structural change (within the

 

meaning of Part 2 of the Local Government Act 1992) in relation to

 

each county area in the region.

 

     (6)    The date of a referendum held in pursuance of an order under subsection

 

(2) must be—

 

           (a)           specified in the order;

 

           (b)           the same date as the date specified in the order under section 1.

 

     (7)    An order under subsection (2) must not be made before the end of the

 

period of 6 weeks starting with the day on which the Secretary of State

 

receives the recommendations of the Boundary Committee in pursuance of

 

a direction under section 12(1) or (Boundary Committee recommendations)(4) .

 

     (8)    The Secretary of State by order—

 

           (a)           may vary an order under subsection (2);

 

           (b)           must revoke such an order if he revokes the order under section 1.

 

     (9)    A Minister of the Crown may by order make such provision as he thinks

 

appropriate in connection with a referendum held in pursuance of an order

 

under subsection (2).

 

     (10)   An order under subsection (9) may—

 

           (a)           make provision for the creation of offences;

 

           (b)           apply or incorporate with or without modifications or exceptions

 

any provision of any enactment (whenever passed or made and

 

including this Act) relating to elections or referendums;

 

           (c)           modify any provision of Chapter 2 of Part 7 of the 2000 Act as it

 

applies to a referendum held in pursuance of an order under section

 

1.”

Clause 2

4

Page 2, leave out lines 35 and 36

5

Page 2, line 36, at end insert—

 

     “(2A)       The question to be asked in a referendum in pursuance of an order under

 

section (Local government referendums)(2) is:

 

            

 

            “Which of the following options for single tier local government do you

 

prefer?

 

                  •                    insert text of options set out in the order requiring the referendum

 

to be held.”

 

     (2B)       If the same ballot paper is used for both a referendum held in pursuance of

 

an order under section 1 and a referendum held in pursuance of an order

 

under section (Local government referendums)(2), the following statement (in


 
 

    (  3  )

 
 

as nearly as may be the following form) must precede the question on the

 

ballot paper used in any part of the region where a referendum is held in

 

pursuance of an order under section (Local government referendums)(2):

 

            

 

            “Your part of the region currently has both county and district councils.

 

You can help to decide how local authorities in your part of the region will

 

be reorganised into a single tier. There will be no such reorganisation if an

 

elected assembly is not established.”

 

     (2C)       If the same ballot paper is not used for both referendums as mentioned in

 

subsection (2B) the following statement (in as nearly as may be the

 

following form) must precede the question on the ballot paper used for a

 

referendum held in pursuance of an order under section (Local government

 

referendums)(2):

 

            

 

            “If an elected assembly is established for the (insert name of region) region, it

 

is intended that local government will be reorganised into a single tier in

 

those parts of the region that currently have both county and district

 

councils.

 

            Your part of the region currently has both county and district councils. You

 

can help to decide how local authorities in your part of the region will be

 

reorganised into a single tier. There will be no such reorganisation if an

 

elected assembly is not established.”

 

     (2D)       An order under section (Local government referendums)(2) must set out—

 

           (a)           the text of the options to be inserted in the question specified in

 

subsection (2A);

 

           (b)           such explanatory material relating to the options as will be made

 

available for voters at the time they vote.

 

     (2E)       Before an order under section (Local government referendums)(2) is laid

 

before Parliament in pursuance of section 27(2) the Secretary of State must

 

consult the Electoral Commission—

 

           (a)           on the wording of the text required to be inserted in pursuance of

 

subsection (2A);

 

           (b)           on the explanatory material.

 

     (2F)       At the time when the order is so laid the Secretary of State must lay before

 

each House a report stating any views which the Commission have

 

expressed in response to the consultation as to—

 

           (a)           the intelligibility of the text mentioned in subsection (2E);

 

           (b)           the explanatory material.

 

     (2G)       Explanatory material does not include instructions to voters as to the

 

conduct of the referendum.”

Clause 3

6

Page 2, line 40, at end insert—

 

     “(1A)       A person is entitled to vote in a referendum held in a county area of a

 

region in pursuance of an order under section (Local government

 

referendums)(2) if on the date of the referendum he is entitled to vote at the

 

election of councillors for any electoral area in the county area.”

7

Page 2, line 41, leave out “subsection (1) is” and insert “subsections (1) and (1A)


 
 

    (  4  )

 
 

are”

8

Page 3, line 6, at end insert—

 

     “( )       County area must be construed in accordance with section (Local

 

government referendums).”

Clause 5

9

Page 3, line 12, leave out “This section” and insert “Subsection (2)”

10

Page 3, line 18, leave out “five” and insert “seven”

11

Page 3, line 23, at end insert—

 

     “(3A)       Subsection (3B) applies if in any proceedings any certificate given by a

 

person appointed for the purpose as to the number of votes cast in favour

 

of any option in a referendum held in a county area in pursuance of an

 

order under section (Local government referendums)(2) is declared or held to

 

be invalid.

 

     (3B)       The Secretary of State may by order cause a further referendum to be held

 

in that county area as mentioned in that section and for that purpose the

 

following provisions of section (Local government referendums) apply as they

 

apply for the purpose of an order made under section (Local government

 

referendums)(2)—

 

           (a)           subsections (3) to (5);

 

           (b)           subsection (6)(a);

 

           (c)           subsections (9) and (10).

 

     (3C)       If an order is made under subsection (3B) any reference in this Act to a

 

referendum held in pursuance of an order under section (Local government

 

referendums)(2) or to the order must be construed as a reference to a

 

referendum held in pursuance of an order under subsection (3B) or to the

 

order under that subsection (as the case may be).

 

     (3D)       But subsection (3C) applies to such a reference in section 2(2E) and (2F)

 

only to the extent that the wording of the text mentioned in section 2(2E)(a)

 

or the explanatory material differs from that considered by the Electoral

 

Commission for the purposes of the referendum held in pursuance of the

 

order under section (Local government referendums)(2).

 

     (3E)       For the purposes of a referendum held in pursuance of an order under

 

subsection (3B) the Secretary of State may by order vary the terms of the

 

statement set out in section 2(2C).

 

     (3F)       Before an order under subsection (3E) is laid before Parliament in

 

pursuance of section 27(2) the Secretary of State must consult the Electoral

 

Commission as to the wording of the statement as so varied.

 

     (3G)       At the time when the order is so laid the Secretary of State must lay before

 

each House a report stating any views which the Commission have


 
 

    (  5  )

 
 

expressed in response to the consultation as to the intelligibility of the

 

statement as so varied.

 

     (3H)       The Secretary of State may by order vary or revoke an order made under

 

subsection (3B) if he thinks that it is not appropriate for the referendum to

 

be held on the date specified in the order.

 

     (3I)       Explanatory material must be construed in accordance with section 2.”

Clause 6

12

Page 3, line 27, after “section 1” insert “or (Local government referendums)(2) with

 

one another or”

13

Page 3, line 38, leave out subsection (3)

Clause 7

14

Page 4, line 5, leave out “section 1” and insert “this Part”

Clause 8

15

Page 4, line 7, leave out “This section” and insert “Subsection (2)”

16

Page 4, line 27, at end insert—

 

     “(4A)       Subsection (4B) applies if the Secretary of State makes an order under

 

section (Local government referendums)(2) to cause a referendum to be held

 

about the government’s proposals for the structure of local government.

 

     (4B)       The Electoral Commission may take such steps as they think appropriate to

 

provide for persons entitled to vote in the referendum such information as

 

the Commission think is likely to promote awareness among those persons

 

about the arguments relating to the options in those proposals.”

Clause 9

17

Page 4, line 38, leave out “section 1” and insert “this Part”

18

Page 5, line 6, at end insert—

 

     “( )       Counting officer includes a person appointed in pursuance of an order

 

under section (Local government referendums)(9) for the purpose of certifying

 

the number of ballot papers or votes cast in a referendum held in pursuance

 

of an order under section (Local government referendums)(2).”

19

Page 5, line 7, leave out subsection (3)

Clause 10

20

Page 5, line 11, after “questioning” insert “—

 

           (a)”              

21

Page 5, line 14, at end insert—

 

           “(b)              the number of ballot papers or votes cast in a referendum held in

 

pursuance of an order under subsection (2) of section (Local

 

government referendums) as certified by a person appointed for the


 
 

    (  6  )

 
 

purpose in pursuance of an order under subsection (9) of that

 

section”

22

Page 5, line 14, at end insert—

 

            “unless the proceedings are brought in accordance with this section.

 

     ( )       The proceedings must be brought by a claim for judicial review.

 

     ( )       The court must not give permission for the claim unless the claim form is

 

filed before the end of the period of six weeks starting with the certificate

 

date.

 

     ( )       The certificate date is—

 

           (a)           the date on which a certificate as to the matters mentioned in

 

subsection (1)(a) or (b) is given by the Chief Counting Officer,

 

counting officer or other person mentioned in subsection (1)(b);

 

           (b)           if there is more than one such certificate in a referendum the date on

 

which the last such certificate is given.”

Clause 11

23

Page 5, line 27, at end insert—

 

     “( )       No order may be made under any of the following provisions unless the

 

person making the order first consults the Electoral Commission—

 

           (a)           section (Local government referendums)(9);

 

           (b)           section 6(1);

 

           (c)           section 9(1).”

Clause 13

24

Page 7, line 13, leave out “what structural change is most appropriate” and insert

 

“appropriate structural change”

25

Page 7, line 20, at end insert “unless it has the effect that any part of the area of a

 

relevant local authority becomes part of the area of a local authority which is not a

 

relevant local authority”

Clause 14

26

Page 8, line 21, second column, at beginning insert—

 

           “( )              In subsection (1)(b) omit “under this Part”;”

After Clause 14

27

Insert the following new Clause—


 
 

    (  7  )

 
 

“Boundary Committee recommendations

 

     (1)    This section applies in relation to recommendations made by the Boundary

 

Committee in pursuance of section 12(1)(b).

 

     (2)    The recommendations must include at least two options for structural

 

change in relation to each county area in the region.

 

     (3)    At any time after he receives the recommendations the Secretary of State

 

may—

 

           (a)           direct the Boundary Committee to supply him with additional

 

information or advice;

 

           (b)           reject one or more of the options.

 

     (4)    If the Secretary of State rejects one or more of the options he may direct the

 

Boundary Committee either—

 

           (a)           to make different recommendations, or

 

           (b)           to carry out a further local government review of the region and to

 

make further recommendations.

 

     (5)    If the Secretary of State acts under subsection (4)(b), sections 12(8) to (10),

 

13(3) to (8), 14 and this section apply for the purposes of the further review

 

and recommendations.

 

     (6)    For the purposes of subsection (5) it is immaterial whether the Secretary of

 

State has considered any of the matters in section 12(5).

 

     (7)    County area must be construed in accordance with section (Local

 

government referendums)(3).”

Clause 15

28

Page 9, line 5, at end insert “or (Boundary Committee recommendations)(4)”

29

Page 9, line 8, leave out subsection (4)

Clause 16

30

Page 10, line 8, at end insert “but references to a local authority do not include

 

references to a parish council”

Clause 19

31

Page 11, line 7, after “direction” insert “—

 

           (a)”              

32

Page 11, line 8, at end insert—

 

           “(b)              may require the advice to be given in respect of a specified number

 

of options.”

33

Page 11, line 9, after “varied” insert “(whether or not within the period of two years

 

mentioned in subsection (2))”

Clause 28

34

Page 13, line 35, leave out “section” and insert “Part”

In the Title

35

Line 4, after “consideration” insert “for the holding of referendums about options
for implementing the recommendations of such reviews”


 
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