Select Committee on Committee on the London Local Authorities Bill Minutes of Evidence


Evidence before the Committee (Questions 840-855)

WEDNESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2003

840.  I missed one particular point on Clause 14 regarding the costs. We feel that there should be inserted into the Bill a maximum cost of £40 which is indeed the figure that has been suggested as an upper limit, and with it an inflation uplift if councils so feel necessary.

841.  The last point is Clause 24. We feel that clause should stand and not be subject to amendment. In putting forward these amendments we obviously would be grateful if the Promoters of the Bill could draft these amendments and then submit them to the Committee in the fullness of time for our consideration.

842.  MR CLARKSON: Can I just raise one concern, and that is 14(8)? I completely understand the way that the Committee is expressing it. I do not believe it is within our power, any of us, to reduce the number of dogs by way of definition. I understand the point about the leash, and that is a different point altogether, but if we said that three dogs was the threshold, for example, we would be criticised for extending the scope of the Bill, which means that those who may have wanted to express a view as to the number of dogs over the months have not been able to do it. I hope we could draft something that picks up the question as to whether or not they are on a lead or not, but we are not sure that we have the power to reduce the threshold. I leave that on that basis. It would be an extension of the scope.

843.  CHAIRMAN: I do not believe, in reading this, we are asking to see it reduced down to three. In fact, it could go the other way, could it not?

844.  MR CLARKSON: As long as there is flexibility for the draftsman to put something before the Committee that is not an extension of the scope. It is now in the Minutes and Mr Lewis has a full picture.

845.  MR MUNDY: Sir, if I may express my agreement with Mr Clarkson in respect of that point and in respect of extending the scope of the Bill. We are constrained to the current limit.

846.  CHAIRMAN: Which is the very reason why we made the suggestion that on the redrafting the organisations you represent are consulted in this matter.

847.  MR MUNDY: Thank you.

848.  MR CLARKSON: Can I just, as a formality, do two things? Can I explain to you that we propose to draft the amendments as instructed, submit them as instructed and then, in due course, put them to Counsel for the Speaker. Thereafter the details can be signed off by the Honourable Chairman , as they should be in the form that we have been instructed.

849.  The second point is I have formally to prove the pre-amble.

MR GARY STUART BLACKWELL, Sworn

Examined by MR CLARKSON

850.  MR CLARKSON: Are you Gary Stuart Blackwell?

(Mr Blackwell) I am.

851.  Are you Head of Litigation at Westminister City Council?

(Mr Blackwell) Yes, I am.

852.  Have you read the Preamble to the Bill?

(Mr Blackwell) I have.

853.  Is it true?

(Mr Blackwell) Yes.

854.  MR CLARKSON: Thank you. I am grateful. Thank you very much.

855.  CHAIRMAN: Order, order.





 
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