OPPOSED BILL COMMITTEE London Local Authorities Bill


London Local Authorities Bill

Wednesday 30th March 2011


Brandon Lewis MP (Chair)

Tracy Crouch MP

Nic Dakin MP

Ian Mearns MP

Annette Toft (Clerk of the Committee)


Promoters of the Bill

Nathalie Lieven QC (Counsel)

Alastair Lewis (Agent for the Bill)

Craig Wilson (Former Director of Transportation & Highways, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea)

Patrick Rigabe (Operations Manager, Westminster City Council)

Gary Blackwell (Head of Litigation, Westminster City Council)


Transcribed from the Official Tape Recording


Clifford’s Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1LD

Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 0370




CHAIR: Order, order. Good morning. We will start where we left off, which puts us onto the unopposed clauses.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Yes, there are three points from yesterday, if I can just pick them up now.

CHAIR: Certainly.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: First of all, to clarify a piece of Mr Thompson’s evidence, which was around the figure of 37%, there was a slight lack of clarity over what the 37% referred to. The correct position is that 37% of HMOs in the UK are in London. It isn’t that 37% of all residential properties in London are HMOs. I thought that couldn’t be right, but we’ve just got it completely clear overnight. So 37% of HMOs in the UK are in London.

Secondly, Ms Crouch asked about smoking, the fines for breaching the smoking ban and how they related to our fine in relation to food hygiene rating systems. They are the same; they are both fines on level three of the scale.

Thirdly, the point at the end of the day yesterday where it was obvious that I hadn’t got the answer I expected. The housing rating scheme does indeed cover, in legal theory, in jurisdiction, all dwellings. But as Mr Princep explained, in practice it would virtually never be used in owner occupied premises. But we checked the Act and it does indeed cover all dwellings.

So that moves me on to the unopposed clauses and, as we understand it, the Committee would like to hear evidence on clause 8 which is charging for permitting the use of objects etc on the highway, and I have Mr Wilson here to deal with that. So if we deal with that clause first and then we can turn to the other clauses and I will ask the Committee how you want me to deal with it.

In respect of clause 8, if I just make an exceptionally brief opening: all this clause is doing is allowing London local authorities to recover the costs of street cleansing and enforcement in situations where the local authority has permitted tables and chairs to be put on the highway. It is not, I emphasise, the cost of collecting the rubbish, because that is covered entirely separately. It is not the costs of the basic street cleaning. It is the additional costs that follow from the fact that permission has been granted; as the Committee will be well aware it has become a very common phenomenon in London for tables and chairs to be permitted on the highway. As Mr Wilson will explain that results in extra costs to the local authority and it also results in the need to ensure that the permission is strictly obeyed; because the Committee will be conscious, it varies in different bits of London, that if the tables and chairs stray outside their permitted area they can cause a really serious obstruction to the highway, particularly for people who are disabled or have buggies. So there is quite a material enforcement cost in checking that the permissions are being completely complied with. So that is the limit of what it covers. If I can ask Mr Wilson to go into the witness box, if you would.

If I can start by introducing you. Your name is Craig Wilson.

CRAIG WILSON: That’s correct.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: You have a degree in civil engineering and a masters in transportation and traffic planning. You are a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers and you were employed by Kensington and Chelsea for many years as Director of Transportation and Highways.

CRAIG WILSON: That is correct, yes.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: And I think you have something like 37 years’ experience of engineering and transportation positions in London local government. Is that right?

CRAIG WILSON: That’s correct, yes.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Now can you just tell us in a nutshell what the problem is that clause 8 is addressing?

CRAIG WILSON: Basically there has been a very great increase in the sort of café culture in London particularly. That has led to placing tables and chairs on the highways to allow people to sit outside. That has also been reinforced by the no smoking ban in premises; so people like to go outside. That has really led to a quite significant increase in the applications for tables and chairs on the highway.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: If I just stop you there, if we just look at the exhibits. I am not totally sure how the Committee’s are paginated, but it is page 39 in my exhibit bundle. You can see there a graph; that is just in respect of Kensington and Chelsea, is that right?

CRAIG WILSON: That is correct, yes.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: And one can see that since December 2008 there has been an over 100% increase in the number of tables and chairs. Is that right?

CRAIG WILSON: That is correct. In actual fact the numbers have gone up significantly, particularly in terms of the number of tables. The number of sites has actually increased by 47%, but the number of tables has increased by 218%.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: And is that an issue which isn’t exclusive to Kensington and Chelsea but applies to other areas, particularly of central London?

CRAIG WILSON: Yes, I think it is generally accepted that this is a very good way for premises to extend their areas of trading.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Can you just explain to the Committee what the increased costs to the local authority are; first of all, in terms of cleaning costs, what are the consequences of permitting these tables and chairs on the highway?

CRAIG WILSON: Cleaning costs have risen because of the difficulty in actually accessing litter, leaves and things like that under the tables. It is known in the trade as obstructive sweeping and it does actually pose an additional time penalty on somebody who is actually trying to sweep the street. Normally it would be done by a street vacuum and there is an example of that shown in the appendix, if you would like to refer to it, on page 19 of that particular section.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Page 42, I think it may be, of the Committee’s bundle.

CRAIG WILSON: That would be a typical way of actually dealing with a major street. The point to notice of course is that there is actually a broom strapped to the side of this machine. It is the need to use that broom, if you back up one page, to actually remove the leaves, materials, and things like that from around the legs of the tables and chairs that causes a time penalty in the cleaning and sweeping of the street.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: The other aspects of costs that we are seeking to be able to recover are the enforcement costs. Can you just explain how those arise please?

CRAIG WILSON: Right, each of the licenses is issued with a list of standard conditions plus any specific conditions which may be applied to that particular site. There is an example in the exhibit of various conditions that can be applied. It is necessary actually, to just ensure that the licence is complied with and the conditions are complied with, for the members of the council enforcement staff to visit the sites on occasion to ensure that the tables and chairs are actually in the correct position, not obstructing the footway as was previously mentioned, that they have the actual correct number of tables and chairs on the highway, and in many cases that they are observing the hours of trading because there are restrictions on many of the sites simply because they are located in mixed residential areas. Those are the major areas of enforcement that are checked on. Obstruction is probably something which can be a bit difficult for a restaurateur to actually enforce himself because people don’t like to upset their customers if they move the tables and chairs around. But as long as an enforcement officer is prepared to actually take some sort of action, a legal warning, then the restaurateurs will find themselves more able to have an element of self enforcement.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Now two points about the charges. First of all can we just go to the clause itself, clause 8.1? The amount that could be charged under that clause is restricted to such amount as may be sufficient in the aggregate, taking one year with another, to cover the reasonable costs of the council – it should say a borough council. In your view, is the cost therefore restricted to a – would it be possible for boroughs to use this as effectively a money raising exercise?

CRAIG WILSON: No. The accounts of the council are open to scrutiny and audit. It is regularly done by people outside, particularly in street trading and other accounts that are itemised in council’s overall accounts, to have people examine those accounts to make sure that the council is actually playing by the rules. There is no interest in the council in not playing by the rules because they will then have to make further adjustments to pay back that money if they have overcharged. So that imposes an overhead on the council which they don’t wish to incur.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Thank you. And the last thing I just want to ask you about is, if it was put to you, well, this is yet another charge, potentially, on small individual cafés, small businesses, surely these are costs that the local authority should bear rather than the small business having to bear.

CRAIG WILSON: This is really an attempt to recover costs where the cost is actually occurring. The other premises, other businesses, which do not have tables and chairs are in effect subsidising those people who are imposing this additional cost. Because this is a revenue generating situation where the tables and chairs are producing revenue, at a cost which is far less than the equivalent rental cost for a similar square footage of space, we feel it is only fair that the people who are creating these costs actually bear these costs.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Thank you; that is all my questions. Sir.

CHAIR: Nic Dakin.

NIC DAKIN MP: I have a few questions. There was originally some objection to this which has been withdrawn. Is that right?

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Yes, that’s right.

NIC DAKIN MP: What was the objection and why was it withdrawn?

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: My recollection is that the objection was largely on the grounds that small businesses should not be charged but it is right to say that one of the points made by the petitioners was that it was possible for local authorities to recover these costs by using an alternative statutory regime. That is the street trading legislation. Now, if I give a brief encapsulation of the answer to that and then Mr Wilson can say more. It is possible to use that regime, but it is far less well suited to these licenses for tables and chairs than the Highways Act regime that we are attaching this power to. That is for two reasons. Street trading legislation grants temporary licenses, so it would be necessary to renew the licenses every six months, or every 12 months. So it is a far more cumbersome process.

Secondly, street trading licences are personal, so a lot of these premises are multiples: Costa Coffee, Prêt A Manager, whatever, things like that, where personal licences are completely inappropriate. Mr Wilson can explain that more. And the third point Mr Wilson can explain in detail, if the Committee want it, is that actually to use the Street Trading statutory regime is far more expensive for the individual business than to use this method. Street trading licences have far higher costs than to use the Highway Act powers. So we couldn’t see any benefit in using that method, that statutory method, at all.

NIC DAKIN MP: And in the end through discussion, the Petitioners withdrew, so they, in the end, agreed with you.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: That’s right, yes.

CHAIR: Tracy Crouch.

TRACY CROUCH MP: Could I please ask about the use, in your borough in particular, of various different types of street cleaning machines. We have got a picture here of the mechanical broom pavement vacuum. They tend to be used early morning/late night don’t they; and particularly your photograph doesn’t look like –

CRAIG WILSON: Those sorts of machine are used throughout the day in places like Kensington High Street. Kensington High Street is on what is known as a continuous sweep, so it is actually swept about seven or eight times a day. The operator will have the machine with him, but in some cases he will actually just pick up litter rather than sweep the whole street. But the majority of the time he will just operate the machine down the street trying to keep a fairly straight line, not weaving around too much at all if he can.

TRACY CROUCH MP: Okay. Just a question about the standard amount which I think was referenced: what precisely would a standard amount be?

CRAIG WILSON: Do you want to…?

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Madam, the standard amount: if you look at clause 8.1 in the Filled Bill, it’s such amount as may be sufficient in the aggregate, taking one year with another, to cover the reasonable costs of a council – a borough council – not otherwise recovered of: a) the cleansing of the streets in which permitted activities take place so far as that cleansing is attributable to permitted activities. So to put that in non-legal terms, what that means is the cleaning of the streets around the tables and chairs which isn’t attributable to what would be the normal cleaning. So it involves the council taking a view as to what the additional costs would be of that cleaning. And I look to Mr Wilson for the evidence, but my understanding is that effectively that would be done on a time basis.

TRACY CROUCH MP: So can you give any kind of actual figure?


CRAIG WILSON: Yes, we have done a bit of a breakdown using the best estimates, we can get from the cleansing department and based on the number of tables which we feel is an appropriate way actually of distributing the costs, because some of them have up to 18 tables and some have one. So in order to do a sort of pro rata, we have actually worked it out, it would be approximately £42.36 per annum per table.

TRACY CROUCH MP: Are we in danger of seeing the small micro-business restaurants being penalised for the litter of big businesses that don’t have outside tables and chairs but do contribute a vast amount to litter? I am thinking of coffee shops and fast food restaurants where you see a lot of their litter going around the streets and accumulating in areas, perhaps against shop windows or underneath tables and chairs, which is actually completely unrelated to the restaurant itself that owns those tables.

CRAIG WILSON: It is an interesting proposition. I mean, without wishing to label them more strongly than that, McDonalds is one of the places which is noted for the amount of litter it produces. There was, I think, a report in the newspaper suggesting, I think, that McDonalds labelled items were the most common ones in a city’s streets. They do, as you know, try to operate their own sort of litterpicking within a sort of radius of their own premises. How one could actually attribute costs associated with general litter with that emanating from one particular premises – I am not sure that that is an exercise that anybody could actually deal with on an equitable basis. There is always going to be some types of premises that produce more litter than others. But on the other hand, all theses shops, dress shops, other types of shops which don’t produce any litter, are paying a similar business rate to those people who are producing litter. Therefore I think the general sweeping of the street is appropriate to come out of the, sort of, overall funding of the council which is paid for both by the Council Tax and by the business rate.

TRACY CROUCH MP: Forgive me for interrupting, isn’t –

CRAIG WILSON: But here we have a specific case where extra cost is actually being incurred by a time penalty.

TRACY CROUCH MP: Forgive me, isn’t the business rate also assessed according to how much outside space they use anyway?


TRACY CROUCH MP: So it is only for internal…

CRAIG WILSON: No, it is only based on an internal rating.

TRACY CROUCH MP: Right, okay. I don’t have any more questions.

CHAIR: Ian Mearns.

IAN MEARNS MP: I mean, I think as part of your evidence, Mr Wilson, you said that the additional cost is incurred because it is not possible to mechanically sweep where tables and chairs occur.

CRAIG WILSON: That’s right.

IAN MEARNS MP: Therefore it is the fact that the tables and chairs are there means that wind blown litter will collect there anyway and that is what incurs the cost. Is that what your contention is, part of it?

CRAIG WILSON: There are two sides of it. Basically litter is derived from the presence of the tables and chairs such as coffee lid cups, sugar wrappers, napkins and things like that which tend to blow off the tables and things like that. The other problem is that the presence of the tables and chairs in a sort of street environment causes a wind eddy, which will actually then cause other litter and leaves, particularly, to actually accumulate in area around the tables and chairs. So it becomes both a generator and an attractor of litter. That difficulty in actually sweeping that, the obstructive sweeping as it is termed, to remove that is what is actually costing the council more than it would otherwise.

IAN MEARNS MP: I think the last thing from this perspective is: in every case is the area that the tables and chairs are put on in front of a property actually part of the highway? In some cases is it not within the curtilage of the property?

CRAIG WILSON: If it is within the peripheries of a property they don’t require a licence.


CRAIG WILSON: These are areas which are public highways, or which the public have the right to pass and re-pass in the normal way.

IAN MEARNS MP: So it is literally only those public highway areas. If it is just a flat area which adjoins the highway, but which is within the curtilage of a property, there is no charge on that.

CRAIG WILSON: If it is a private forecourt it doesn’t apply

IAN MEARNS MP: Okay, thank you very much.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: I think I should just make absolutely clear the answer to one of Ms Crouch’s questions, and it ties in to Mr Mearns’ question as well. If the land outside the front of a café, say, is owned by the café, it is not part of the highway and that will count towards its business rates assessment. But what we are talking about is tables and chairs on public land, on the highway, and that land is not counted towards its business rates assessment. As I understand it, if it is a café that has a courtyard in front of it, then that land is their own private land, it is their responsibility to clean it, and no charge would fall. They don’t need permission from the council under the Highways Act and no charge would fall under this provision. So that land is, as it were, irrelevant for these purposes but I wouldn’t want the Committee to think that that private land couldn’t be relevant for business rates because my understanding is that it could.

Now I don’t know whether that is sufficient for the Committee on clause 8.

CHAIR: There are no other questions on that? That’s fine, thank you.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: I don’t think there is any point me making a closing statement on clause 8, I think that would be overkill.

CHAIR: If you wish to that’s fine, but I think we’re probably –


CHAIR: Fine. Thank you Mr Wilson.

CRAIG WILSON: Thank you.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Now we then turn to the other unopposed clauses. I could take the Committee through each one of them. I have Mr Rigabe here who could talk about hotdog trolleys if the Committee is interested in those. I could say nothing about them. I am entirely in the Committee’s hands. They are all completely unopposed.

CHAIR: As they are unopposed I would suggest we are probably fine with a neat summing up as you see fit, rather than a detailed progression through it.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Yes, okay. Can I say that I may look to Mr Lewis at moments of difficulty in respect of these because some of them are complicated, but I will do my best. Please, if I can say to the Committee, do ask questions as I am going through because some of them are exceedingly legalistic.

Can we start with clause 4: powers exercisable by police civilians and accredited persons. What this does is extend the powers of police community support officers and accredited persons under schedules 4 and 5 of the Police Reform Act 2002. Police community support officers, I suspect the Committee knows, are the civilian – if I can put it like that – police officers that one sees on the streets. To understand this clause it is quite important to understand the difference between fixed penalty notices, FPNs, and penalty charge notices, PCNs. FPNs are criminal. PCNs are civil. The easiest way, I find, to understand the difference is in relation to driving offences. If you speed, if you are caught speeding, you get an FPN – it is a criminal offence – but if you pay your fine straight up, you may get points on your licence, you don’t have to appear in front of a magistrates court but it is technically a criminal offence. A PCN is a civil matter and the most common area we all come across that, or some of us do, is parking offenses. That is now, we think, certainly entirely in London but probably across the county, dealt with as a civil offence – sorry, not a civil offence, a civil matter. What clause 4.1 does is it allows police community support officers the power of a borough council to serve a penalty charge notice, that is a civil notice, where they have reason to believe that the penalty charge is payable to a London borough by virtue of a penalty charge provision within the meaning of the London Local Authority Act 2007. So effectively it is extending the police community support officers’ powers in London in respect of civil matters.

Now, it is very important to understand that the reason the Home Office are content with this clause is because it leaves the question of whether a particular police community support officer should have the power to serve a PCN to the discretion of the Chief of Police. The Committee do not need to be worried that this provision is about local authorities running mad and allowing PCSOs to serve notices on people willy-nilly; the ultimate decision is left to the Chief of Police.

Clause 4.2 does something similar in respect of accredited persons. An accredited person under section 41 of the Police Reform Act – the Chief Officer of Police has the power, for the purposes of a community safety accreditation scheme, to enter into an arrangement with an employer with a view to that person’s employees being accredited by the Chief Officer so they can exercise certain community safety functions. So again, the Chief of Police has the duty under this provision to ensure that the accredited persons are appropriate. I think the examples where there are accredited persons – the examples I have been given – are security officers at Brunel University, and, more recently, people employed to patrol the South Bank.

CHAIR: Sorry.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: It’s alright. No, I’ll stop. Do you want us to go out?

CHAIR: No, that’s fine. Can I just pause you there?


CHAIR: Because it just occurred to me while you were speaking that there are quite a lot of clauses that are completely unopposed by petitioners and the Government to go through. It might make life certainly easier for you if I just run through the clauses and if you speak to any clauses where any member of the Committee has got a query rather than going through them clause for clause when there may not be a need to. Does that make sense?

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: That makes perfect sense to me Sir. I don’t enjoy explaining this kind of thing any better than I expect you enjoy listening to it.

CHAIR: Alright, well then, if you don’t mind pausing for a moment, if I just go through. Obviously the clauses we have covered are a separate issue, but I will just go through and read out the clauses and if any member of the Committee has got a query or would like anything then we will pause at that point and do it that way round if that makes sense. Has anybody got anything on clause 4 or are we quite…?

IAN MEARNS MP: Well on clause 4, just a question has come to my mind. You are making the point there about the fact that the PCSOs are ultimately under the responsibility of the Police Commissioner. If they are going to potentially have the power to issue a PCN, which is what we are talking about, the PCN refers to a particular borough within London, but the management areas under which the PCSOs work are not necessarily coterminous with the London boroughs, or are they?

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: I suspect they are not. I would have thought it was up to the Chief Police Officer as to the terms in which he allowed the PCSO to operate.

TRACY CROUCH MP: I think they tend to be right? I think tend to try and be coterminous.

ALASTAIR LEWIS: If I could intervene. I do know there is a system of borough commanders in London, and the borough commanders have the responsibility for the policing in each borough. And I think each borough, I am looking towards people at Westminster City Council, has their own Borough Commander. So there might be a certain amount of…

IAN MEARNS MP: So your PCSO wouldn’t stray from Kensington and Chelsea into Hammersmith and Fulham?

ALASTAIR LEWIS: I am not saying that couldn’t happen. It could happen.

GARY BLACKWELL: Theoretically it could.

ALASTAIR LEWIS: Sorry, this is Mr Blackwell from Westminster City Council.

GARY BLACKWELL: I am sworn. They could stray into another borough, but they would be under proper guidance in terms of which borough they were authorised within which to issue their notices.

IAN MEARNS MP: So they would not be carrying around four different pads from different local authorities.

GARY BLACKWELL: Well they could be theoretically, but in practice it probably wouldn’t happen that way.

IAN MEARNS MP: Okay, thank you. Just wanted to clarify that point. Thank you very much indeed.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Yes, fine. Sorry I couldn’t answer the question

CHAIR: Clause 5. Part 3, clause 6. Clause 7. Clauses 8, 9 and 10 we have dealt with. Parts 4 and 5 we have dealt with unless we have any other questions. I do have one query actually on clause 8, the conversation we were just having around street cleansing. Some local authorities outside of London are issuing, from this year, licenses based on price per table that last for three years, which is slightly different to what Mr Wilson was saying. Is there any comment on how they could be doing that bearing in mind the comment we had about every six or 12 months having to review it.

CRAIG WILSON: There is actually no time limit as I understand it, under the Highways Act, for licence if one is issued. The question is an opportunity to review the licence, particularly in London where things are changing a lot quicker than other areas.

CHAIR: Just for the benefit of Hansard, that is Mr Wilson. Okay, part 4 and 5 we, as I said, have dealt with. Part 6, clause 23, is down for deletion. We have to formally agree the deletion. Could you just explain the reasoning for the deletion?

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: The reason for the deletion, in a nutshell, is that the problem which that clause was enacted to deal with has now been overtaken by national legislation. It was a small but quite important anomaly in the licensing regime for entertainment establishments involving nudity. The borough that was concerned about this, which was primarily Tower Hamlets, can now deal with the problem under national legislation.

CHAIR: Okay. Clauses 24 through 32 in part 6, is there any other…? Okay. Part 7, clauses 33 through to 36. No…

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Much better way to do deal with this Sir.

CHAIR: Done, all unopposed clauses. Would you like to do a final closing submission to wrap everything up? You are free to do so.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Two formalities I need to cover. I am not sure there is any point me going back over the opposed clauses. This isn’t a bill that lends itself to wrapping itself up because it hasn’t got one principle. I think the only principle I would urge on the Committee is the one that London is in practice, in local authority management terms, rather different from the rest of the country. There are just so many people in London, there is such competition for different uses that local authorities such as Westminster and the City, who are by no means prone to wanting to regulate everything, are very concerned about being able to manage their areas in an appropriate manner; so I would urge on the Committee the ‘London is different’ point.

I think the only other thing I need to do at this stage is, as I have said, two formalities. I need to hand in two papers of amendments. There is a shorter paper which is a list of minor drafting amendments, which is additional to the ones that are shown in the Filled Bill but make no substantive changes at all. And there is a longer list which is simply a longer list of all the amendments shown in the Filled Bill. So formally I need to be on the transcript to hand those in. And I am instructed that I formally need to say what we are asking the Committee to do, which is allow the Bill to pass with the amendments shown in the Filled Bill together with the amendments in the shorter paper just handed in. I understand that there is a very, very minor drafting amendment that needs to be made to clause 9: display of food hygiene documents – you have written down clause 9, was it clause 3? You said 9…?

ALASTAIR LEWIS: If the Committee allows clause 9.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Yes. If the Committee allows clause 9, minor amendment to clause 3, page 3, line 23, leave out inverted commas a and b. I understand that we can do that after the end of the proceedings. And then the only other thing to tell the Committee is that once the Committee has announced its decision I have to ask Mr Blackwell to swear the preamble. I only say that so that I don’t forget. If I did, a long and tortuous process would have been rendered nugatory.

CHAIR: That's fine.

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: I don’t think there is any benefit, unless the Committee want me to, on giving some general summing up. The Committee has all the issues.

CHAIR: Everybody is nodding, so I think that is fine by the Committee. Thank you. Well I think the next stage is we will close the proceedings as is, and then we will go into a private meeting to deliberate. As we are due to break at 10.30 anyway, I think we will have a short conversation now, but we will suspend now to privately deliberate and we will do that until 10.30 and then we will reconvene at 11.15 as we agreed yesterday.


CHAIR: Thank you.


CHAIR: Order, order.

(End of Session)



London Local Authorities Bill

Wednesday 30th March 2011


Brandon Lewis MP (Chair)

Tracy Crouch MP

Nic Dakin MP

Ian Mearns MP

Annette Toft (Clerk of the Committee)


Promoters of the Bill

Nathalie Lieven QC (Counsel)

Gary Blackwell (Head of Litigation, Westminster City Council)


Transcribed from the Official Tape Recording


Clifford’s Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1LD

Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 0370




CHAIR: Order, order. Thank you. I think procedurally, I’ll just run through the clauses first and then, obviously, come back for the preamble, because that’s when we –

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Certainly, sir. Yes.

CHAIR: The unopposed clauses are accepted and fine, including clause 8. Also the deletion of clause 23, the Committee accepts. Clause 9 and 10 we do not believe the evidence backs up enough for us to approve those. We do not accept clauses 9 and 10, or part 4 or part 5. That has a knockon effect to the preamble in the sense that it leads to the deletion in the preamble of points 6, 7, 8 and 9. And then can we – shall we deal with the preamble?

NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Yes. Certainly. Mr Blackwell? I suspect I should sign as well – stand as well. Is your name Gary Blackwell?


NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Are you Head of Litigation at Westminster City Council, the promoters of the Bill?


NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: Have you read the preamble to the Bill, as proposed to be amended?


NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: And is it true?


NATHALIE LIEVEN QC: I think those are the formalities, sir.

CHAIR: Thank you. Thank you. I think we are at a conclusion of business. Thank you very much. Thank you for working with us through the documents in good time and thank you to Hansard and our Clerk, who’s looked after us admirably and the entire Committee, thank you for serving. Order. Order.

NATHALIE LIEVEN: Thank you, sir.

(End of Session)