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(c) if that area includes one or more districts in a county but does not include the whole county, either the county council or the council for each of those districts (as determined by or in accordance with the order in question).
(5) If an order made by virtue of subsection (1)(a) provides for members of an ITA to be appointed otherwise than from among the elected members of its constituent councils (see subsection (2)(a) of section 78), it must provide for those members to be non-voting members (see subsection (2)(b) of that section).
(c) for those members to be appointed from among the members of the different political parties represented in the constituent councils, in such numbers as to be proportionate to the representation of political parties on those councils.
but which arrangements must provide that members of the ITA who are not elected members of the ITAs constituent councils may not vote unless this is unanimously agreed by the ITAs elected members..
(c) for the ITA to determine what matters members of the ITA who are not elected members of the constituent councils may not vote on (which may include any matters relating to the funding or expenditure of the ITA, whether of a capital or revenue nature)..
(2) The Secretary of State may not make an order under this Chapter unless the Secretary of State has laid a draft of the order before each House of Parliament and the remaining provisions of this section have been complied with.
(6) However, a committee of either House may, at any time after the laying of a statement under subsection (4) and before the draft order is approved by that House under subsection (5), recommend under this subsection that no further proceedings be taken in relation to the draft order.
(7) Where a recommendation is made by a committee of either House under subsection (6) in relation to a draft order, no proceedings may be taken in relation to the draft order in that House under subsection (5) unless the recommendation is, in the same Session, rejected by resolution of that House.
(9) The Secretary of State may after laying a revised draft order and statement under subsection (8) make an order in the terms of the revised draft if it is first approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
(10) However, a committee of either House may, at any time after the revised draft order is laid under subsection (8) and before it is approved by that House under subsection (9), recommend under this subsection that no further proceedings be taken in relation to the revised draft order.
(11) Where a recommendation is made by a committee of either House under subsection (10) in relation to a revised draft order, no proceedings may be taken in relation to the revised draft order in that House under subsection (9) unless the recommendation is, in the same Session, rejected by resolution of that House.
(12) Where a person making representations under subsection (3)(a) has requested the Secretary of State not to disclose them, the Secretary of State must not disclose them under subsections (4)(b) or (8)(b)(i) if or to the extent that to do so would (disregarding any connection with proceedings in Parliament) constitute a breach of confidence actionable by any person.
(13) If information in representations made by a person in response to consultation under subsection (3)(a) relates to another person, the Secretary of State need not disclose the information under subsection (4)(b) or (8)(b)(i) if or to the extent that
Paul Clark: I shall also discuss new clause 11 and amendments Nos. 151, 152, 153, 156 and 157, in the name of the Government. All these amendments deal with the membership of integrated transport authorities.
The strengthened powers for local authorities to improve bus services in their areaswhich we discussed under the previous group of amendmentswill be most effective if they are supported by the right arrangements for taking decisions at a local level. There is a clear consensus that in our larger urban areas outside London the current leadership and delivery arrangements for transport do not work as well as they might and that they need to be updated to reflect changing patterns of transport. The current governance arrangements in our major cities date from 1968. The Transport Act 1968 allowed
for the establishment of passenger transport authorities with overall responsibility for public transport services across each of those cities. By the time of the establishment of the metropolitan county councils in 1974, there were six of these PTAs, covering the west midlands, south and west Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear and Merseyside. One was also set up north of the border in Strathclyde. Although the PTAs survived the abolition of the metropolitan county councils in the mid-1980s, the power to create further PTAs was removed from the statute book, even in circumstances where local authorities themselves were keen to see new ones set up. So, the broad arrangements for local transport decision making have, almost unbelievably, effectively been frozen since then.
Over the last quarter of a century, there have, inevitably, been many changes in the transport needs and patterns of different areasfor example, in the distance that commuters are prepared to travel to their workplacesyet the existing legislation offers very little flexibility to update local arrangements for the planning and delivery of transport, or for one PTA area to do things differently from another, where local needs differ; hence our provision in this part of the Bill.
I come now to the Governments amendments. At present, membership of each of the six English PTAs consists entirely of local councillors representing each of the local authorities that make up the passenger transport area. The Bill offers greater flexibility, both to areas that are considering setting up a new integrated transport area and authority and to those where the existing PTA has become an ITA, as to whether they would prefer to broaden the membership of their ITA to allow a wider range of bodies or persons to be represented on it. At the same time, a majority of members of each ITA would still have to be elected members of the local authorities that make up the integrated transport area.
Paul Clark: I shall come on to those points shortly, but let me say that the ITAs will be able to draw together responsibilities for integrated transport. The title of integrated transport authority itself highlights that this is not just a simple change from passenger transport authorities to ITAs, but that it is very much about bringing together all the transport requirementsa point that covers exactly the issue that my hon. Friend raised.
Mr. Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) (Con): The hon. Gentleman has just explained how responsibilities will be broadened under the ITAs. Will he explain how ITAs might include my mode of transport hither and to across the Solentferries?
First, let me say that it is up to local authorities to make a decision to review their transport arrangements and to come forward with a proposal to establish an ITA. Therefore, it would be within the scope of the authorities in the hon. Gentlemans area of the Isle of Wight to have discussions and look at
whether some form of ITA could be created within those authorities. It is not for the Secretary of State, or central Government in general, to dictate what the local authorities should do; it is up to them to come forward with proposals as to how they might take advantage of the Bill.
A range of issues relating to ITA membership was explored in detail in Committee. In particular, concerns were raised as to whether it was appropriate for those members of an ITA who were not elected representatives of a local authority to be able to vote on matters in the integrated transport authority. As we explained at the time, we are keen not to be too prescriptive in the Bill about the details of the structure of each ITA and how it will operate. As I indicated to the hon. Gentleman, we think that it is far better for us to leave different areas the flexibility to do things differently if they so wish, including deciding whether non-elected members of ITAs should be able to vote.
Mark Hunter: Just a few moments ago, when we were discussing the previous group of amendments, the Minister agreed about the importance of local democratic accountability. He made the point forcefully that the local authority would have the final say on quality contracts, and that it would not be left to advisers. Will he explain to the House why this is a different principle? Why does he feel that the matter that we are discussing now should be at the discretion of local authorities, and why is the principle of democratic accountability not just as important on this matter as on the one that we were talking about just a few moments ago?
Paul Clark: The ITAs will consider all the transport options that exist. We are still giving the final say to local authorities, and in fact it is provided that they will be in the majority on any ITA board. Representatives of the local authorities will make up the larger number, and there will be a minimum of one representative from each authority in the ITA area. Equally, it would be right for them to bring in others, potentially including representatives of usersthat option would be open to the ITA and local membersto be involved in their deliberations and discussions. Whether they had voting rights would be decided by the elected members of the ITA. I hope that that covers the hon. Gentlemans point.
it must provide for those members to be non-voting members
must not may. As I interpret it, he appears to be saying that they may be non-voting members. The wording in the bit that I am reading, which may not be the bit that applies to what he is saying, states that they must.
Paul Clark: I thank my hon. Friend. It is certainly the case that if an ITA decides that it wishes to include other representatives, for example of bus users, operators or a number of other groups depending on local requirements, it will have the ability to do so. It will then be able to decide on which matters those non-elected, non-local authority members will vote. That is exactly the provision.
Perhaps if I turn my attention particularly to new clauses 10 and 11, I may elucidate on what I have just said. Members of all parties recognised that voting arrangements are best decided locally, which was why we were happy to respond with new clause 10, which applies to secondary legislation setting up new ITAs, and new clause 11, which applies to secondary legislation covering ITAs that already exist. They provide that it will be for each ITA to decide for itself whether those of its members who are not elected members of the local authorities but who are appointed by them should be able to vote, and if so, on which issues. That is instead of the issue being determined in the governance order to be made by the Secretary of State.
Graham Stringer: I have been puzzling over new clause 10(5) and (6) since I first read them. Subsection (6) clearly provides for local determination on the voting rights of non-elected members on a committee, but will that be reversible on a meeting-by-meeting basis?
Paul Clark: It will be for the local ITA to decide how that provision will operate. It might decide on voting rights on issues that appear on the agenda for a given meeting, or it might well decide on broad categories of provisions. It could agree that non-elected members cannot vote on finance issues, or another such category. There will clearly be supporting guidance to help ITAs through that process, but it will be for them to deem how they run their own affairs.
Graham Stringer: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for being generous in giving way on a difficult point. My concern is this: if a party in control of an ITA can bring people on to it and give them voting rights on everything from capital and revenue expenditure to the network route, will it be able to say that those people have voting rights for four years, potentially undermining any elections in its constituent authorities? That is not clear from the new clauses.
Paul Clark: My hon. Friend raises an interesting point. If I recall correctly, the authorities themselves will be able to review provisions under the new clauses periodically. I shall return to that issue shortly, but I recall that they will certainly be able to review them as and when required. Of course, there is a requirement for the ITAs to follow the rules and regulations on political balance, to reflect the constituent local authorities that make up the ITA.
Paul Clark: That course of action would be open to individual ITAs. As I have said, it will be up to an ITA to decide locally whether those members have voting rights. That will be entirely its decision to make, and the concern that my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Graham Stringer) has indicated could be taken into account.
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