|Greater London Authority Bill - continued||House of Commons|
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Reduction of health inequalities
54. Clause 22 inserts into the Act a new section 309E that requires the Mayor to prepare and publish a health inequalities strategy containing proposals and policies for promoting the reduction of health inequalities between persons living in London. Those proposals and policies are to be addressed to mitigating differences in general health determinants (as defined). The strategy must identify issues that appear to the Mayor to be major health issues where there are health inequalities, identify those health inequalities, specify priorities for reducing them and describe the role of any relevant person or body in implementing the strategy. Relevant persons and bodies include the Authority, any functional body, the Health Adviser, any Strategic Health Authority for London, Primary Care Trusts, NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts.
55. This clause also inserts into the Act section 309F which defines "health inequalities between persons living in Greater London" as health inequalities between persons living in different parts of London or between persons of different descriptions living in or in different parts of London. "Health inequalities" is defined as inequalities in life expectancy or general state of health resulting from differences in general health determinants. General health determinants are matters such as standards of housing, transport services, public safety, employment prospects, earning capacity and other matters affecting levels of prosperity, ease or difficulty of access to public services, the use of harmful substances such as tobacco, other aspects of lifestyle or behaviour and other determinants except genetic or biological factors.
56. New section 309G specifies that in preparing or revising the strategy the Mayor must have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State as to matters to be taken into account. The Mayor and Health Adviser must collaborate and co-operate in the preparation or revision of the strategy and in ascertaining the issues to be identified in it. The Mayor must also consult those relevant bodies that appear to him to be likely to be affected by the strategy. Before publishing the strategy the Mayor must publish a final draft for consultation.
57. New section 309H empowers the Secretary of State to direct the Mayor to revise the health inequalities strategy where it is inconsistent with national policies and where that inconsistency would be detrimental to achieving the objectives of those policies. Where such a direction is issued the Mayor must revise the strategy accordingly.
Clause 23: The general power of the Authority: duty to have regard
58. Section 30 of the Act specifies that the Authority should have regard to the effect which any proposed exercise of its powers will have on the health of persons in Greater London and that it should exercise its powers in a way best calculated to promote improvements in health. Clause 23 amends section 30 to require that the Authority additionally has regard to the effect of any proposed exercise of its powers on health inequalities and that it exercises its powers in a way that is also best calculated to promote a reduction in health inequalities.
Clause 24: General duties of the Mayor with respect to his strategies
59. Section 41 of the Act specifies that the Mayor must have regard to the effect on health of his strategies or revisions to his strategies. It provides that when the Mayor prepares or revises his strategies he must include policies and proposals best calculated to promote improvements in the health of persons in Greater London. In line with the general duty under section 30, clause 24 amends section 41 of the Act to require the Mayor additionally to consider the effects of his strategies on health inequalities. It requires that when preparing or revising his strategies the Mayor includes policies and proposals that are also best calculated to promote the reduction of health inequalities.
Clause 25: Membership
60. Subsections (1) and (2) amend paragraph 1 of Schedule 28 to the Act. These changes reduce by one in each case the number of Assembly and London borough council members on the LFEPA and enable the Mayor to appoint on his own nomination two members (Mayoral representatives) to that authority. The total number of members of LFEPA remains at 17.
61. Subsection (4) inserts a new provision in paragraph 8 of Schedule 28 to require the Mayor to fill any vacancy caused by a Mayoral representative ceasing to be a member of LFEPA.
Clause 26: Allowances
62. Clause 26 amends paragraph 4 of Schedule 28 by giving LFEPA the discretion, notwithstanding the constraints of sub-paragraph (1) of that paragraph, to pay the allowances set out in sub-paragraph (2) to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman.
Clause 27: Directions etc by the Mayor
63. Clause 27 adds two new sections to the Act (section 328A and section 328B). Section 328A enables the Mayor to issue directions and guidance to LFEPA (similar to section 155 of the Act in relation to TfL), but imposes certain constraints on the
exercise of those powers. Section 328B gives the Secretary of State power to remove any inconsistent directions or guidance which conflict with national policy and enforcement guidance.
64. Section 328A(1) to (3) enables the Mayor to issue guidance or directions to LFEPA on how it is to exercise its functions, perform its duties and conduct any legal proceedings.
65. Section 328A(4) provides that any guidance or direction given by the Mayor should be notified to the Chief Fire Officer, who has day to day operational command of LFEPA.
66. Section 328A(5) and (6) provides that the Mayor in exercising his power to issue guidance or direction to LFEPA has to have regard to the Fire and Rescue National Framework and any fire safety enforcement guidance issued under article 26 (enforcement) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 by the Secretary of State. The purpose is to ensure that any guidance or directions issued by the Mayor does not conflict with policy requirements and guidance at a national level.
67. Where the Secretary of State considers that any guidance or directions issued under section 328A is inconsistent with the Fire and Rescue National Framework or fire safety enforcement guidance then section 328B enables her to direct the Mayor to remove that inconsistency. The Mayor must comply with such a direction.
68. This clause requires the Mayor to prepare a London housing strategy. The clause sets out what the strategy should contain, which includes recommendations affecting housing funding decisions for London. It specifies the circumstances under which the Secretary of State may intervene in the production of the strategy.
69. Subsections (1) and (2) apply to the London housing strategy the provisions (as amended) of section 41 of the Act (except subsection (9) - see below). Section 41 of the Act makes provision which applies to all of the Mayor's strategies, and which requires the Mayor to follow certain procedural steps in relation to these strategies. It sets out matters to which the Mayor is required to have regard, and persons he is required to consult.
70. Subsection (3) of the clause exempts the Mayor from the requirement, set out in section 41(9) the 1999 Act, to set targets within the London housing strategy which are not less demanding than targets and objectives set nationally. This exception has been put in place in acknowledgement that, for housing, local circumstances might mean that national targets have different effects in different regions.
71. Subsection (4) of the clause inserts 4 new sections after section 333 of the 1999 Act - sections 333A to 333D.
72. The new section 333A places a requirement on the Mayor to prepare and publish a London housing strategy and sets out in broad terms what the strategy should contain. In particular, it requires the Mayor to:
73. The "spending recommendations" are to relate to funding for housing from central government for a period specified by the Secretary of State. The new section sets out what the recommendations are to contain and, in particular, crossrefers to new section 333D(1) (duty of the Housing Corporation to have regard to recommendations). The section also requires the Mayor, when preparing the strategy, to have regard to guidance from the Secretary of State and the effect of the strategy on regions adjoining Greater London.
74. New section 333B requires the Mayor to provide the Secretary of State with a copy of the London housing strategy prior to publication. It gives the Secretary of State the period of six weeks in which to direct changes to the strategy where it conflicts with national policy on housing or where it will have an adverse effect on regions adjoining Greater London. In the event of such a direction, the Mayor must comply with it before the London housing strategy can be published. The Secretary of State can only issue a direction under this section after consulting the Mayor.
75. New section 333C sets out arrangements for the Secretary of State to require a revision to all or part of the London housing strategy once it is published. This is to allow for changes in national policy or levels of funding - for instance as a result of a more recent Spending Review. Again the Secretary of State can only require a revision after consulting the Mayor.
76. New section 333D places a requirement on the Housing Corporation, when exercising its functions of giving grants under sections 18 and 27A of the Housing Act 1996, to have regard to the London housing strategy. The section also requires local housing strategies (defined in the section) of local housing authorities in Greater London to be in general conformity with the London housing strategy. This will enable the Mayor, on an exceptional basis, to challenge boroughs whose local housing strategies are significantly out of alignment with the policies and aspirations set out in the London housing strategy.
77. Subsection (5) of clause 28 provides a power under which the Secretary of State may direct the Mayor to submit a draft London housing strategy by a specified date. This will allow the Secretary of State to ensure that the funding recommendations which form part of the London housing strategy are agreed in line with the timetables for the funding decisions to which the recommendations relate. Subsection (6) provides that the Secretary of State can only set such a date after consultation with the Mayor.
The Mayor's spatial development strategy
78. Clause 29 amends section 335 of the Act to require the Mayor to have regard to comments by the Assembly or functional bodies in response to consultation on proposed revisions to his spatial development strategy. The Mayor must also respond in writing to the Chair of the Assembly, setting out which of the Assembly's comments he accepts for implementation in the strategy and, where he does not accept a comment, giving the reasons why.
Local development schemes
79. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 ("the 2004 Act") provides for local development schemes (LDS). The LDS is the local planning authority's workplan for the production of local development documents (LDDs). This clause amends the 2004 Act to require local planning authorities in Greater London to send a copy of their draft LDS to the Mayor who may direct that changes be made to it. It also allows the Mayor to direct the borough to prepare a revision to their LDS. The purpose is to ensure that key policies of the regional plan (the London Plan) are reflected in LDDs in a timely manner.
80. In considering whether to issue a direction and what its content should be, the Mayor must have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State. Local planning authorities must comply with the direction unless the Secretary of State directs otherwise.
81. This clause amends the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 ("the 1990 Act") to give the Mayor power to direct that planning applications which are of potential strategic importance in Greater London should be determined by him in place of the local planning authority. It also provides for the application of enactments in relation to cases where the Mayor determines an application, including provision enabling the Mayor to enforce the terms of any planning permission he has granted. The term "application of potential strategic importance" will be defined in secondary legislation. The secondary legislation will also set out the procedure for giving directions.
82. In deciding whether to give a direction, the Mayor must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. Where a direction is given, the Mayor will also determine any connected applications for listed building consent, conservation area consent and hazardous substances consent.
83. Secondary legislation will set out the procedures the Mayor must follow in determining applications.
84. The Mayor's existing power to direct that a planning application be refused is unaffected by this clause (see section 74(1B) of the 1990 Act and the secondary legislation made under it).
85. These clauses amend the 1990 Act so as to give the Mayor power to agree planning obligations related to applications which he is to determine by virtue of clause 31. They provide for the Mayor to enforce and discharge obligations and for monies to be payable to the Authority.
Clause 35: Planning Contribution under section 46 of PCPA 2004
86. This clause amends section 46 of the 2004 Act to allow regulations made under that section to provide for the circumstances in which a planning contribution is made where the Mayor is acting as the local planning authority (that is, where he is determining an application of potential strategic importance).
Clause 36: Duties of waste collection authorities etc
87. Section 353 of the Act requires the Mayor to prepare and publish a document known as the municipal waste management strategy. This sets the strategic direction for London's waste activities. Section 355 of the Act requires waste collection authorities and waste disposal authorities in Greater London to "have regard to" the strategy in carrying out their waste functions.
88. Subsection (3) amends section 355 of the Act so as to require waste collection and waste disposal authorities in Greater London to "act in general conformity with" the Mayor's strategy. The duty will apply whenever those authorities exercise any of
their waste functions under Part 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This will allow the Mayor to have a stronger strategic role in the management of London's waste.
89. Subsection (4) inserts a new subsection (2) into section 355 of the Act to limit the duty on London waste authorities to "act in general conformity" with the strategy, so that it does not apply where to do so would impose "excessive additional costs" on the authority.
90. Subsection (5) inserts a series of new subsections into section 355 of the Act. New subsection (3) gives the Secretary of State the power to issue guidance setting out a definition of "general conformity" and "imposing excessive additional costs on an authority". Subsection (4) requires waste collection authorities or waste disposal authorities in Greater London to act in accordance with the guidance.
91. Subsections (6) and (7) set out the limitations on the duty for waste authorities in Greater London to act in general conformity insofar as waste contracts are concerned. Subsection (6) provides that neither the duty nor any related guidance requires an authority to terminate a waste contract before the expiry of the term of the contract or to do anything which would result in a breach of any term of a waste contract. Subsection (7) provides that the duty and guidance do not apply in relation to the awarding of a waste contract if the authority had sent the second information notice relating to the awarding of the contract to the Official Journal of the European Union.
Clause 37: Information about waste contracts
92. This clause amends section 358 of the Act on information about new waste contracts, and updates the Act following changes to public procurement legislation. It makes new provision that where an authority is not obliged either to send the European Commission a first information notice of its intention to tender a waste contract or to publish such a notice on the authority's buyer profile, but it is obliged to send a second information notice, the authority must inform the Mayor of its intention to tender. An authority is required to notify the Mayor 108 days before issuing the second information notice. Waste authorities that publish their intention to tender on the authority's buyer profile as an alternative to issuing a first information notice will be required to give the Mayor 56 days prior notification. Where waste authorities are not required to comply with public procurement regulations, existing notification requirements under section 358(2) will continue to apply. The amendments will ensure that the Mayor is informed of all waste tenders in advance.
Climate change and energy
Clause 38: Duty of Mayor and Assembly to address climate change
93. Action is required both globally and domestically to prevent climate change, primarily by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition to its commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 12.5 per cent below base year levels by 2008-12, the Government has set national goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010 and by 60% by 2050, with significant progress by 2020. Action is also required to adapt to the actual and expected consequences of climate change. The Government believes that regional and local government have an important role to play in tackling climate change.
94. Clause 38 amends the Act and places a duty on each of the Mayor and the Assembly to address climate change.
95. The Mayor is required to take action in Greater London to help prevent climate change and to help Greater London to adapt to both the actual and expected consequences of climate change. The Mayor and Assembly are each required to take into account Government policies on climate change whenever they exercise their functions and to comply with any guidance issued by the Secretary of State as to how they are each to discharge their duties with respect to climate change.
Clause 39: The London climate change mitigation and energy strategy
96. Clause 39 amends the Act and requires the Mayor to prepare a climate change mitigation and energy strategy, which will contain proposals for assisting the implementation in Greater London of national policies relating to energy and mitigation of climate change. The strategy must contain proposals setting out how the Mayor will promote the reduction of emissions from surface transport and the use of energy more broadly, support technological innovation, and promote the efficient production and use of energy. The strategy is also to contain information about fuel poverty in Greater London. In preparing the strategy, the Mayor will have to have regard both to guidance produced by the Secretary of State and to national policies on climate change mitigation, security of supply, competitive energy markets, and fuel poverty.
97. The clause gives the Secretary of State a limited power to direct the Mayor to change the climate change mitigation and energy strategy. The Secretary of State will only be able to use this power where the strategy would be inconsistent with national policies on energy or climate change, and the inconsistency would have a detrimental effect on achieving any or all of the objectives of those national policies. The Secretary of State will need to consult the Mayor before using this power of direction.
98. The climate change mitigation and energy strategy will be subject to sections 41 to 44 of the Act, which make general provision for the preparation and publication of strategies. These include provisions on timing, the need to have regard to available resources and the persons to be consulted by the Mayor.
99. In addition to the statutory consultees listed in section 42 of the Act, the Mayor must also consult the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority and the Gas and Electricity Markets Consumer Council as well as certain holders of gas and electricity licences.
Clause 40: The Mayor's adaptation to climate change strategy for London
100. Clause 40 requires the Mayor to prepare and publish an adaptation to climate change strategy for London. The strategy must contain the Mayor's policies and proposals for adaptation to the effects, both actual and expected, of climate change in Greater London. The Mayor must have regard to any guidance produced by the Secretary of State about the content of the strategy and in relation to the preparation and revision of the strategy. Such guidance may include guidance about the evidence to which the Mayor must have regard in preparing or revising the strategy.
101. The strategy will be subject to the general provisions for the preparation and publication of Mayoral strategies set out in sections 41 to 44 of the Act. The Secretary of State may specify in guidance the persons the Mayor must consult in addition to the statutory consultees listed at section 42 of the Act. The Secretary of State may direct the Mayor to revise the strategy to remove any inconsistency with Government climate change policies or objectives if he considers the inconsistency would have a detrimental effect on achieving them.
Museum of London
102. The Museum of London is a Non-Departmental Public Body, funded jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the City of London Corporation. It is governed by the Museum of London Acts 1965 (the "1965 Act") and 1986 (the "1986 Act"). The Museum is administered by a Board of 18 Governors, nine of whom are appointed by the Prime Minister and nine by the City. Clauses 41 to 45 deal with the transfer to the Authority of the Government's responsibilities for funding the Museum and appointing members of the Board.
Clause 41: Transfer of power of appointment of members of Board of Governors
103. Subsection (1) amends section 1(2)(a) of the 1965 Act to enable the Authority to take over the Prime Minister's power to appoint half of the members of the Museum of London's Board of Governors.
104. Subsection (2) amends paragraph 4(1) of the Schedule to the 1965 Act. That paragraph sets out the procedure for Governors who wish to resign from their post. It enables them to do so by giving notice in writing to the authority responsible for appointing them which, at present, is either the Prime Minister or the City. This amendment substitutes the Authority for the Prime Minister.
105. Subsection (3) ensures that Governors appointed by the Prime Minister before the Act comes into force will not be affected by the provisions in this section.
Clause 42: Period of appointment of Governors to the Board
106. Subsection (1) amends paragraph 2(1) of the Schedule to the 1965 Act. Currently, Governors may be appointed for a term of three years. The subsection amends this to a term of `not more than four years'.
107. Subsection (2) gives this amendment retrospective force. This ensures that any appointment in the past of a Governor for a period of more than three years but not more than four years will be treated as having complied with the provisions of the 1965 Act.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2006||Prepared: 28 November 2006|