Select Committee on Unopposed Bill Committee Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 80-99)

Wednesday 12 May 2004


80. SIR JOHN BUTTERFILL: But the majority of them would be?

81. MR TURNER: It is likely that the majority would.

82. SIR JOHN BUTTERFILL: It is likely that the leasehold interests would be registered, for example.

83. MR TURNER: If they have been granted since compulsory registration.

84. SIR JOHN BUTTERFILL: It would not have been a huge task for you to identify as best you could the freeholders and to write to all of them.

85. MR TURNER: The only thing, I suppose, we did not do was to do the Land Registry search, which you are correct about. I am not sure what the cost would have been - it probably would have been a few hundred pounds.

86. SIR JOHN BUTTERFILL: Yes. In the on-going consultation process, if we pass this Bill, how will you conduct that? Will you then be going to them? What do you do if one of them says: "This is going to cause a huge reduction in the value of my property"?

87. MR TURNER: That is something that we would need to take into account when making the decision, but I suppose the Council would be able to grant street trading consents in some of these places, in any event. As for the proposed method of consultation, that has not been settled. The Bill provides a limited amount of statutory consultation, but I do not see any reason why we could ----

88. MR THOMPSON: We provide in the Bill for advertisement of the prospective designation of particular streets. In that respect I think the degree of notification, as indeed the degree of consultation in the development of these proposals that you have heard about, accorded with the standard practice for local consultation and with statutory procedures in relation to highways. You will know, I think, Sir John, that under the various highway procedures, such as putting kiosks in the street, or whatever - closing streets - they do not involve or require - maybe they should but they do not - the creation of a Land Registry database, or whatever. The standard practice is to speak to those on the ground, to advertise, to mail-shot, and I think that is what the Council did in this instance. I believe, and perhaps I can ask Mr Turner just to confirm this, that the response was good. Sometimes there are consultations, you know you have done it but you do not hear from anybody and you do wonder whether the envelopes went somewhere, or whatever. However, in this instance what was the degree of response and, indeed, the amount of notice in the centre of Ipswich about this? I think it is known in the community, is it not?

89. MR TURNER: It is widely known in the community. Certainly it would be impossible to live in Ipswich and not know about it. There were notices up on the streets throughout the area, press advertisements and the Council's newspaper which goes to every house in the borough and is actually read - unlike some local authority newspapers. That did have a coupon for people to express a view on where they thought the market should be, giving a number of options, and remaining on the Cornhill was overwhelmingly supported. I think we had over 100 of those back and then there were probably - I do not have them all in front of me but I would estimate - around 50 other responses, the overwhelming majority being in favour.

90. SIR JOHN BUTTERFILL: There are provisions for compensation to be paid, under certain circumstances, in the Bill. Is that correct?

91. MR THOMPSON: I do not think we have provided for compensation.

92. SIR JOHN BUTTERFILL: There are no circumstances under which this Bill would empower you to pay compensation for anybody who was injuriously affected?

93. MR TURNER: We would have a general power under Section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 to pay compensation - the power of well-being. That would be broad enough for us to pay compensation if we wished to.


95. MR TURNER: That is my view.

96. CHAIRMAN: We have heard of the support of the market traders and the Council, as a body. I just wonder, across the political spectrum, as a local authority, what kind of support do you have?

97. MR TURNER: When the first section - is it 239?

98. MR THOMPSON: May I just introduce Mr Turner's comments? We have to pass Special Resolutions to promote a Private Bill; one before it goes in and then a confirmatory one afterwards. So there are two resolutions under Section 239 of the Local Government Act. You were about to say?

99. MR TURNER: On the first one, before the Bill was deposited at Parliament, one councillor voted against and 47 voted in favour. On the second one, everybody voted in favour - it was unanimously supported - and there were the three main political parties represented on the Council.

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