Previous Section Index Home Page

22 Mar 2007 : Column 55WS

Two other control order review hearings have taken place pursuant to section 3(10) of the 2005 Act. We await the outcome of both.

Two control orders on British citizens were renewed in accordance with Section 2(4)(b) of the 2005 Act, and served on 22 February 2007.

No control orders have expired since the last report.

In total, therefore, there are 18 control orders currently in force, nine of which are in respect of British citizens. Eight of the individuals live in the Metropolitan police area; the rest fall within other police force areas.

During the period, one modification of control order obligations was made, three modification requests remain outstanding, and 10 requests to modify a control order obligation were refused. A right of appeal exists in section 10(3) of the 2005 Act against a decision by the Secretary of State not to modify an obligation contained in a control order. This has not yet been exercised in respect of these refusals. An appeal has been made in respect of a modification made during the previous quarter. In addition, an appeal has been considered as part of one of the control order review hearings; in the other control order review hearing that took place during the period, there was no formal appeal against modifications refused, but the issues raised by the refusals were considered by the court.

Control order obligations are tailored to the individual concerned, and are based on the risk that individual poses. Each control order is kept under review to ensure their continuance and obligations remain necessary and proportionate. Specifically, as Lord Carlile recommended in his February 2006 report on the operation of the control order system, the Home Office has established a review group, with representation from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to keep the obligations in every control order under regular (quarterly), formal and audited review.

Breaches of control orders could arise from any obligation, and could include arriving home after commencement of a curfew period or breaking geographical boundary restrictions on movement. As reported in the additional statement of 16 January 2007, an individual charged with breach of control order obligations during the period covered by the 11 December 2006 quarterly report was convicted in January of failure to comply with daily reporting requirements and failure to notify the Home Office of a change of residence. He was sentenced to five months' imprisonment. This is the first conviction for an offence under the 2005 Act. Also as reported on 16 January, another individual has been charged with failure to comply with control order obligations and is currently on remand in prison. The charges relate to failure to comply with curfew requirements and failure to comply with restrictions on communications. The individual mentioned in the 11 December report as having been charged with failure to comply with a daily reporting requirement but not failure to notify the Home Office of a change of residence has, since 16 January, been charged with additional offences of failure to comply with a daily reporting requirement, and with failure to notify the Home Office of a change of residence.

As Parliament will be aware, two of the 18 individuals currently subject to a control order absconded while subject to a control order (one in September 2006 and
22 Mar 2007 : Column 56WS
one in January 2007). Details in relation to the January abscond were given in the statement of 16 January. Another individual absconded in August 2006, after a control order was made (i.e. signed) against that individual, but before the order had been served. This order is therefore not in operation. I have been informed that the individual who absconded in August 2006 is currently believed to be abroad; the High Court has been notified of this. The individual in question has been excluded from the UK.

On 29 January, the Appeal Committee of the House of Lords confirmed that the House of Lords will hear two appeals against judgments handed down by the Court of Appeal on 1 August 2006 in respect of control orders. The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Secretary of State in one case (Secretary of State for the Home Department v MB [2006] EWCA Civ 1140, an appeal in relation to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights—right to a fair trial) and against the Secretary of State in the other case (Secretary of State for the Home Department v JL, KK, GG, HH, NN and LL [2006] EWCA Civ 1141, an appeal in relation to Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights—right to liberty).

Sections 1 to 9 of the 2005 Act are subject to annual renewal by Parliament. The draft renewal Order for those sections of the Act was debated and approved by the House of Commons on 22 February and the House of Lords on 5 March. The Secretary of State subsequently signed the renewal Order, so sections 1 to 9 of the Act now continue in force until the end of 10 March 2008.



The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Douglas Alexander): The House will recall the extensive discussion in the Crossrail Instruction debate on 31 October about a station at Woolwich, adding £186 million to the cost of the scheme. This could simply not be afforded given the scale of the overall funding challenge. I said then, however, that I was willing to give Cross London Rail Links Ltd—the Crossrail Company—the time needed to explore with others, including the London Borough of Greenwich, whether there was a way of significantly reducing that cost.

I am pleased today to inform the House of important developments that point a way forward.

The key to this has been Greenwich Council's recent proposal for a major revision to its spatial plan, to allow a significantly higher density of development at Woolwich. This, in turn, has prompted Berkeley Homes to offer a means of enabling a station to be built at Woolwich but, crucially, without adding to the current cost of Crossrail.

In light of this, agreement has been reached in principle with Berkeley Homes under which they will build the basic box structure of a station at Woolwich and then construct their own development overhead. This will all be done at their own risk, using their own money, to the specification laid down by CLRL, with a payment back to Berkeley Homes of the saving CLRL
22 Mar 2007 : Column 57WS
will make through avoiding other works at Woolwich, when it constructs the line there.

In due course, Berkeley Homes would then arrange for the completion of the station box to full operational status. Both they and Greenwich Council recognise that the completion of the station would be conditional on receiving sufficient funding contributions from those developers and businesses that stand to benefit from a Crossrail station at Woolwich. The contributions would be in addition to any London-wide Crossrail funding arrangements that may be agreed and no additional public sector debt capacity would be made available. Fit-out of the station could take place only once sufficient private sector contributions had been received.

More work needs to be done to flesh out this deal but the House can now have sufficient confidence that Berkeley and Greenwich Council have the commitment and the right incentives to do that. This is a very significant change from the position last October as there is now a clear way forward that can deliver a station at Woolwich without adding to the costs of Crossrail already identified.

On this basis I am now able to bring forward an amendment to the Bill to provide powers for the station. In due course, the House will be invited to agree a further instruction to the Committee in respect of Woolwich.


National Assembly for Wales (Standing Orders)

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Peter Hain): I am delighted to inform the House that I have today in my capacity as Secretary of State for Wales undertaken
22 Mar 2007 : Column 58WS
my formal responsibility under the Government of Wales Act 2006 to make the new Standing Orders of the National Assembly for Wales. This gives full effect to the proposals unanimously agreed by the Assembly on 7 February.

The Government of Wales Act 2006 are the most important step forward for devolution since the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999. The Act puts Wales on a new constitutional footing and represents a landmark step in the growing strength, stature and self-confidence of the Assembly.

By granting enhanced legislative powers for Wales, it will enable the Assembly to deliver tailor-made policies for the people of Wales. And by putting the possibility of primary powers on the statute book for the first time ever, subject to the approval of the people of Wales in a referendum, it will settle the constitutional status of the Assembly for a generation.

Since 17 May 2006 the Standing Orders Committee of the Assembly has been working to put in place a set of procedures that will enable the Assembly to take full advantage of the tremendous opportunities that the new powers in the Government of Wales Act provide. Unlike the Assembly’s Standing Orders under the 1998 Act, these new procedures were developed in Wales, for Wales, by the elected representatives of the people of Wales.

I congratulate the work done by all sides of the Assembly to establish the new procedures under which the Assembly will operate from May. It will be for the members of the new National Assembly to make these Standing Orders work and to deliver a brighter future for the people of Wales.

Copies of the Standing Orders have been placed in the Library and the Vote Office. They are also available on the Wales Office website at:

    Index Home Page