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That the following repeals of Standing Orders, new Standing Orders, amendments to Standing Orders, and related provisions be made
(A) Standing Order No. 18 (Consideration of draft regulatory reform orders) shall be repealed and the following Standing Order made
Consideration of draft legislative reform orders
18.(1) If the Regulatory Reform Committee has recommended under paragraphs (4) or (6) of Standing Order No. 141 (Regulatory Reform Committee) that a draft Order subject to the affirmative or super-affirmative procedure, laid before the House under Part 1 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, should be approved, and a motion is made by a Minister of the Crown to that effect, the question thereon shall
(a) if the committees recommendation was agreed without a division, be put forthwith; and
(b) if the committees recommendation was agreed after a division, be put not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion.
(2) If the committee has recommended under paragraphs (4) or (6) of Standing Order No. 141 that a draft Order subject to the affirmative or super-affirmative procedure be not approved, no motion to approve the draft Order shall be made unless the House has previously resolved to disagree with the committees report; the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion for such a resolution shall be put not later than three hours after their commencement; and the question on any motion thereafter made by a Minister of the Crown that the draft Order be approved shall be put forthwith.
(3) If the committee has recommended under paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 141 that a draft Order subject to the negative resolution procedure should not be made (and that the recommendation is not intended to operate section 16(4) of the Act), that recommendation shall be deemed to constitute notice of a motion under sub-paragraph (4)(a) of Standing Order No. 118 (Delegated Legislation Committees).
(4) Motions under paragraphs (1) or (2) of this order may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.
(B) Standing Order No. 141 (Regulatory Reform Committee) shall be repealed and the following Standing Order made
Regulatory Reform Committee
141.(1) There shall be a select committee, called the Regulatory Reform Committee, to examine and report on
(i) every draft Order laid before the House under sections 14 or 18 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (the Act);
(ii) any Subordinate Provisions Order or draft of such an Order made or proposed to be made under sections 1 and 4 of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 (except those not made by a Minister of the Crown);
(iii) any matter arising from its consideration of such Orders or draft Orders; and
(iv) matters relating to regulatory reform.
(2) In the case of every draft Order referred to in paragraph (1)(i) above the committee shall consider the Ministers recommendation under section 15(1) of the Act as to the procedure which should apply to it and shall report to the House any recommendation under the Act that a different procedure should apply.
(3) In its consideration of draft Orders under Part 1 of the Act the committee shall include in each case, in addition to such other matters as it deems appropriate, whether provision in the draft Order
(a) appears to make an inappropriate use of delegated legislation;
(b) serves the purpose of removing or reducing a burden, or the overall burdens, resulting directly or indirectly for any person from any legislation (in respect of a draft Order under section 1 of the Act);
(c) serves the purpose of securing that regulatory functions are exercised so as to comply with the regulatory principles, as set out in section 2(3) of the Act (in respect of a draft Order under section 2 of the Act);
(d) secures a policy objective which could not be satisfactorily secured by non-legislative means;
(e) has an effect which is proportionate to the policy objective;
(f) strikes a fair balance between the public interest and the interests of any person adversely affected by it;
(g) does not remove any necessary protection;
(h) does not prevent any person from continuing to exercise any right or freedom which that person might reasonably expect to continue to exercise;
(i) is not of constitutional significance;
(j) makes the law more accessible or more easily understood (in the case of provisions restating enactments);
(k) has been the subject of, and takes appropriate account of, adequate consultation;
(l) gives rise to an issue under such criteria for consideration of statutory instruments laid down in paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)) as are relevant;
(m) appears to be incompatible with any obligation resulting from membership of the European Union:
Provided that in the case of draft Orders under section 20 of the Act, those criteria which are not relevant to provisions made pursuant to section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 need not be taken into consideration in relation to those provisions.
(4) In relation to every draft Order laid under section 14 of the Act subject to the negative or affirmative procedure under sections 16 or 17 of the Act, the committee shall report its recommendation whether the draft Order should be made (in the case of the negative procedure) or approved (in the case of the affirmative procedure), indicating in the case of the latter whether the recommendation was agreed without a division.
(5) In relation to every draft Order laid under section 14 of the Act subject to the super-affirmative procedure under section 18 of the Act, the committee shall report its recommendation as to whether
(a) the draft Order should be proceeded with unamended under section 18(3) of the Act; or
(b) a revised draft Order should be laid under section 18(7) of the Act; or
(c) no statement under section 18(3) or revised draft Order under section 18(7) should be laid.
(6) In relation to every draft Order or revised draft Order subject to the super-affirmative procedure being proceeded with under section 18(3) or 18(7) of the Act, the committee shall report its recommendation whether the draft Order or revised draft Order should be approved, indicating in the case of draft Orders which it recommends should be approved whether its recommendation was agreed without a division; and in respect of such draft Orders or revised draft Orders the committee shall consider in each case all such matters set out in paragraph (3) of this Order as are relevant and the extent to which the Minister concerned has had regard to any resolution or report of the committee or to any other representations made during the period for parliamentary consideration.
(7) It shall be an instruction to the committee considering draft Orders being proceeded with under section 18(3) or 18(7) that it report not more than fifteen sitting days (in the case of an order under section 18(3)) or twenty-five sitting days (in the case of an order under section 18(7)) after the relevant statement is laid.
(8) In relation to every draft Order or revised draft Order, the committee shall report any recommendation under section 16(4) of the Act that the draft Order be not made, or under sections 17(3), 18(5) or 18(9) of the Act that no further proceedings be taken in relation to the draft Order.
(9) In its consideration of any Subordinate Provisions Order under paragraph (1)(ii) of this order, the committee shall in each case consider whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the grounds laid down in paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)); and if the committee is of the opinion that any such Order or draft Order should be annulled, or, as the case may be, should not be approved, they shall report that opinion to the House.
(10) The committee shall consist of fourteen members; and, unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
(11) The committee shall have power
(a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time;
(b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committees order of reference; and
(c) to appoint a sub-committee, of which the quorum shall be two, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to adjourn from place to place.
(12) The committee and the sub-committee shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker.
(13) The committee and the sub-committee shall have power to invite Members of the House who are not members of the committee to attend meetings at which witnesses are being examined in relation to matters within paragraphs (1) (i) to (iii) and such Members may, at the discretion of the chairman, ask questions of those witnesses; but no Member not being a member of the committee shall otherwise take
part in the proceedings of the committee or sub-committee, or be counted in the quorum.
(14) It shall be an instruction to the committee that before reporting on a draft Order it shall afford to any government department concerned an opportunity of furnishing orally or in writing to it or to the sub-committee appointed by it such explanations as the department thinks fit, except to the extent that the committee considers that it is not reasonably practicable to do so without risking the opportunity for effective exercise of a function conferred on it under section 15, 16, 17 or 18 of the Act.
(C) Standing Orders No. 98 (Scottish Grand Committee (delegated legislation)), No. 115 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (delegated legislation)), and No. 118 (Delegated Legislation Committees) shall be amended by leaving out the words regulatory reform order and inserting the words legislative reform order; and Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory
Instruments (Joint Committee)) shall be amended by leaving out the words from under in line 21 to and in line 24 and inserting the words Part 1 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, or any subordinate provisions order made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001,.
(D) Any draft regulatory reform orders laid under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 which are currently before the House shall be considered by the Regulatory Reform Committee appointed under this Order and by the House as if they were draft orders, subject to the super-affirmative procedure, laid under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006.
(E) Notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 121 (Nomination of select committees), those Members of this House who were members of the Regulatory Reform Committee before the passing of this Order shall be the members of the Regulatory Reform Committee appointed under paragraph (B) above; and for the purposes of Standing Order No. 122A (Term limits for chairmen of select committees), the Regulatory Reform Committee established under paragraph (B) shall be the same committee as that established before the passing of this Order. [Tony Cunningham.]
Mr. Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con): I wish to present a petition against the proposal to close the Christchurch office of Jobcentre Plus. The petition was signed by between 4,000 and 5,000 local people during the one month consultation period, which ends this week.
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
The humble petition of residents of Christchurch declares its opposition to the proposal by JobCentre Plus to close the office in Christchurch and to relocate the service to Bournemouth. The closure of this much valued locally accessible office which serves the people of Christchurch with dedication is unacceptable and will create unnecessary additional expense and inconvenience for some of the most vulnerable members of the local community.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urge the Government to intervene to prevent the closure.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will every pray, &c.
Jessica Morden (Newport, East) (Lab): I am grateful for the opportunity to raise in the Chamber a matter of great importance to my constituents. I am pleased that I am giving the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Wright), his first opportunity to respond in his new role. I wish him well in carrying out his ministerial responsibilities. We worked closely together when he stood in the Hartlepool by-election. When we were tramping the streets of Hartlepool many years ago, little did I know that he would one day respond to my Adjournment debate. I am sure that his reply will be an early hallmark of a long and successful ministerial career.
I applied for the debate on behalf of my constituents, businesses and Newport city council. They have contacted me about the consequences of unauthorised encampments set up by Gypsies and Travellers in my constituency. I appreciate that the issue is sensitive and I acknowledge and welcome the steps that the Government and the Welsh Assembly are taking to address some of the difficulties faced by Gypsies and Travellers. The Assembly obviously has some responsibility for such matters, but the law of trespass, which I will mention later, is the UK Governments responsibility.
Newport has a particular problem with unauthorised encampments owing to its locationit is one of the gateways to Wales and it is on the M4 corridor. Over the past few years, the city of Newport has witnessed a wave of unauthorised camps being set up on significant community areas, including parks and school playing fields. There are problems to do with unauthorised encampments, and the cost of enforcement action and of clearing them up is unsustainable and locally very unpopular. It is estimated that about £18 million is spent each year on enforcement action in the UK.
In the past year, there have been 16 encampments on sensitive sites in Newport. Three were on school playing fields, causing damage to the fields and putting them out of bounds to the children for a total of 20 days. Five were on the grounds of a stately home, Tredegar house, and that not only affected visitors but put events in jeopardyweddings, for example, were at risk of cancellation. Three were at Newport international sports village. They put the car park out of commission and thereby prevented the public from accessing the facilities. Three were in Coronation park, which is one of the main venues for community sport in my constituency. That put in jeopardy a major youth soccer tournament, which was attended by about 3,000 people and organised by volunteers from the Newport Corinthians football club. Caravans were parked on football pitches, causing damage and giving rise to major clear-up costs. The remaining two encampments were on other parks in the city.
Costs and the time needed to return facilities to good use were particularly critical in the case of the occupation of the school playing fields and Coronation park. In total, costs of over £10,000 were incurred in
removing the rubbish and making the playing fields safe for schoolchildren to use again. I recognise that Gypsy and Traveller communities have their own legitimate needs and expectations and I support their right to live life as they choose. They have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Although many Gypsies and Travellers act responsibly, sadly, my constituents regularly bring me stories that show that that is often not the case. Neither the Travellers nor the settled community should be able to ignore each others legitimate expectations or prevent their enjoyment of life. The settled community also has the right to access its community facilities. Settled communities have the right to run youth soccer games in city parks, schoolchildren have the right to play safely on their school field and the public have the right to access parks and sports facilities.
Each year, unauthorised encampments continue to spring up. I appreciate that Newport does not have a permanent site. The Welsh Assembly Government have responded positively to the detailed report that they commissioned on the needs of Gypsies and Travellers in Wales and they are now working on a strategy that will have important implications for the provision of services in the long term, but in the meantime Newport works with neighbouring authorities in south Wales to provide alternative arrangements. The Assemblys commissioned report acknowledges that even in areas with existing Gypsy/Traveller sites, unauthorised encampments continue to be problematic. Its findings on the number of unauthorised encampments show that a significant number still occur, including in areas run by authorities that have official designated sites.
The effect of unauthorised encampment is to worsen inter-community relations and cohesion. That in turn makes it difficult for the council to identify a site. The endless round of court notices and eviction enforcements means that everyone, from settled neighbours to Travellers and their families, become exasperated, and council officials and the local police are often caught in the middle of difficult situations. The result is that the publics experience makes them fearful of the consequences of having a site in their area.
For the council and the police, the current legislation on trespass encourages tensions. Some argue that they would like the laws of trespass changed to bring us into line with the Republic of Ireland, where there are stronger powers to enable the police to deal with trespass. Will the Minister look at the experience in Ireland to see whether there are lessons that we could learn, and may we consider how the law works there? Residents who have experienced the after-effects of an unauthorised encampment often ask whether, at the very least, certain sites could be designated as sensitive. By that, they mean school playing fields, parks, school grounds and sports facilities. That way, people in the settled community can continue to live their lives.
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