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Lord Berkeley: I wish to speak to this amendment and that of the noble Lord, Lord Graham of Edmonton, which was not moved. I give an example of a similar situation on the railways with Railtrack. I should declare an interest as chairman of the Rail Freight Group. Railtrack is required to produce a network management statement every year which is similar to a strategy for the railways. One problem which many of us have found is to check in succeeding years whether the company has achieved what last year it said that it would achieve. One tends to find that the structure of the report has changed; the targets and the information may have changed. It is important to have a consistent measure of what has been achieved this year against what the company said last year that it would do. That could apply to many strategies shown in the document.

I have no comment on which of the two amendments is right, but I should be grateful if my noble friend could bear the matter in mind.

Baroness Hamwee: We have no quarrel--indeed, the opposite--with the notion that the authority should be careful in monitoring its progress. However, we are not enthusiastic about the Bill prescribing how it should do

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so. It is a matter for the authority to decide how and what indicators and targets it sets to find its own mechanisms. The noble Lord, Lord Bowness, said earlier that there must be something left for the authority to do.

Baroness Young of Old Scone: I wish to comment on the powerfulness of the issue of targets and indicators for the new authority. There is quite a lot of evidence from other spheres of activity, particularly in the environmental area, of the power of setting objectives and developing targets in order to assess performance over a period of time.

Alas, the politics of mayoraldom are such that we could see a wide variety of personal imprints being placed on the office of mayor over time. The issue that underlies the setting of objectives, targets and indicators, is that they can be tracked over a number of years and provide continuity of policy. That does not mean that we are "strait-jacketing" the political decisions that lie behind policy. It means that, in terms of the outcomes we seek to achieve by the implementation of policy, we can judge over time exactly how well we are doing.

The Minister should bear in mind that this is a mechanism that has been used successfully in a variety of places across government in the past few years. The biodiversity action plan, which is a unique institution in public life shared by the statutory and voluntary sector, is a prime example. It is also an example of how we can make government more businesslike. It is a technique that has been generally used by businesses in an effective way over a number of years. Perhaps we could press the Minister to think more clearly about how we might direct the authority and the mayor more clearly through requiring them, not necessarily to set objectives and targets, but to adopt a system of objectives and targets for the regulation of their business.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: I am grateful for the support from Members of the Committee on the other side. Perhaps the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, misunderstood. In general terms, I believe that she agreed with targets and so on, but Clause 33(2) provides that the mayor should keep under review each of the strategies mentioned and revise the strategies as he considers necessary. All we are saying is that each of the strategies should contain the specific performance targets. I hope that the noble Baroness may feel that she can support the amendments.

Baroness Hamwee: I am sorry if I used the wrong terminology. I believe that "authority" is defined somewhere as meaning "mayor and assembly" or "mayor or assembly". My point remains the same. I very much support the suggestion that any body which, as the noble Baroness mentioned, needs to look at its outcomes over a period, should have mechanisms for doing so. Those are likely to be performance indicators and targets; the terminology may be interchangeable. I simply use the term "mechanisms for monitoring and

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testing itself". I believe that to be absolutely right. Throughout the Bill we have resisted the prescription applied by the Government, and we would be inconsistent if we did not make the same point in connection with Opposition amendments. That is the extent of my concern about the amendment.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: These amendments would require mayoral strategies to include specific performance indicators and targets against which the success of each strategy might be measured. Details of progress would be included in the mayor's annual report. We agree with the intention underpinning these amendments. Our White Paper said that,

    "the Mayor would set a small number of clear benchmarks as part of each strategy, against which progress could be measured".

As my honourable friend the Minister for Transport in London made clear in another place, we would anyway expect the mayor to set out a series of targets against which his or her performance might be measured, as is now common practice in local authorities and many other organisations. But, as the noble Baroness has already indicated, there may be scope for an additional requirement to establish targets to be included in the Bill. In that context we shall consider most carefully the points raised and the experience referred to by my noble friend Lord Berkeley. As my honourable friend made clear, we need to consider exactly what such a requirement would mean in practical terms for each strategy, and what would be the most appropriate mechanism for reporting on progress. That consideration is now taking place.

I note the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. Viewed from this side of the Chamber, we have been presented with a moving target. Noble Lords have referred to those matters that should be left to the authority, in some cases the Civic Forum, and those matters where, as the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, said, the authority determines whether targets should be required, as in this case.

We agree with what these amendments seek to achieve and hope to be able to return to the matter at Report stage with appropriate amendments. On that basis, I hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw the amendment.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: I am very glad to hear the Minister's response, and I shall certainly seek leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Miller of Hendon moved Amendment No. 110A:

Page 19, line 39, at end insert--
("(2B) As soon as practicable after being elected or re-elected as Mayor, the Mayor shall prepare and publish a document to be known as "the Mayor's general statement" for the purpose of indicating how the consistency required in subsection (5)(b) below is to be achieved.
(2C) The Mayor's general statement prepared under subsection (2B) above shall contain a broad indication of the Mayor's proposals and policies for each of the strategies mentioned in subsection (1) above.")

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The noble Baroness said: This amendment can be described very briefly. It simply adds to the requirements for transparency and open government in Greater London. The effect is that after each election the new mayor must publish what we have called a general statement indicating two objectives of his period in office. First, he must indicate how he hopes to achieve the consistency between his various strategies that Clause 33(5) requires of him. Secondly, the indication just referred to must also show what the mayor's policies are for each of the strategies mentioned in Clause 33 which he has a statutory obligation to formulate and perform.

It will be noted that these indications are not the formal strategies themselves which the mayor is required to devise and publish. This requirement is to give general advance notice of those strategies. It is a kind of trailer, such as one gets at the cinema of forthcoming attractions. The advance notice will serve two purposes. First, on the commencement of the new mayoral term he shall (to use a tried and tested cliche) hit the ground running. Secondly, the mayor will have to acquire or retain office on the basis of policies which he will have thought out in advance and, presumably, will have included in his personal manifesto. There will be none of those comments beloved of politicians as an excuse for lack of clarity in their campaign promises, for example that they cannot give any details of what is to be done until they have had a chance to examine the books. The mayor will campaign on the basis of the manifesto. He will have no problem in producing a general statement of his proposals and intended strategies without delay after his election.

If the mayor's strategies and performance indicators are designed to make the mayor's successes and failures clear to the electors, the general statement will be an indication of how close his strategies are when he is in office to those promised while seeking election. I beg to move.

11.15 p.m.

Baroness Hamwee: As the noble Baroness describes, the document would be so close to the mayor's manifesto as to be pretty much the same. As regards the assembly's scrutiny role, or members of the public in their relationship with the mayor--we shall come later in Committee to the proposals for question time, annual reports, and so on--there is nothing to stop questioning of the mayor about the consistency of his action in office compared with the manifesto. Given the noble Baroness's ability to produce extracts from her party's manifesto speedily and authoritatively, I am sure that she will set a good example to her colleagues in the assembly.

Amendment No. 117 stands in my name and that of my noble friends, not because we object to the underlying notion in Clause 33(5)(b), which refers to,

    "the need to ensure that the strategy is consistent with each other strategy", but simply because we regard it as unnecessarily and over-prescriptive. Given all the other provisions in the Bill, I do not believe that the mayor could sensibly produce strategies which were inconsistent one with

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    another. If the mayor produces inconsistent strategies, and may be making a mess of the job, it is a matter for the assembly to scrutinise and criticise, and in the final event for the electorate.

The provision seems an example of the Government not trusting the ability of the mayor--whoever he or she may be--to carry out the job with a modicum of common sense and prospect of success.

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