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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The amendment would require the mayor, so far as is practicable in preparing or revising any strategy, to include in it proposals to promote the prevention of crime and the promotion of community safety in Greater London.

We are already doing a great deal to reduce crime and promote community safety in Greater London. Clearly, the mayor will have a role to play in achieving the objectives we have set. He or she will do this through the influence he will have over the Metropolitan Police Authority in setting its budget; through the appointment of assembly members to the police authority; and through the prestige and consequent influence of his or her office, which offers a valuable opportunity to raise the profile of the fight against crime.

However, we have made it clear that the mayor's role must be distinct from that of the police authority and that of the police themselves. The mayor will not be involved in operational matters or "second guess" the police. Instead, the mayor will have influence over the policies and policy priorities in relation to policing the capital. The structure we have devised will provide democratic input to, but avoid the politicisation of, policing in London.

The mayor's strategies and his or her activities will clearly be directed at crime reduction and community safety. What other logical role could there be for the

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mayor? Under the Crime and Disorder Act, local authorities and the local police force--known as the "responsible authorities"--are required to prepare crime reduction strategies for their area. In London, this is taking place at the London borough level, as many Members of the Committee know because of their distinguished involvement.

The Metropolitan Police Authority, once established, will of course have an important role to play in relation to these strategies as one of the key bodies with which the responsible authorities must co-operate. As I have made clear, the mayor will have an important role to play in the fight against crime in London. But he or she should not duplicate what are, in essence, matters for the police and the London boroughs.

I hope that that explanation is satisfactory to the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, and that he will feel able to withdraw his amendment.

4.15 p.m.

Lord Tope: I listened with care to what the Minister said. I hope that when she referred to some noble Lords having some involvement at borough level she meant involvement in crime prevention and not in crime itself! In my borough we made it a strategic priority some nine years ago, long before the Crime and Disorder Act, which we too welcome.

There were times when I thought that the Minister was speaking in favour of the amendment. Of course the promotion of community safety is an important matter for the police and the police authority, but not solely for them. It is certainly an important matter for London borough councils and will remain so. Indeed, they now have a duty in that respect.

Similarly, there is a need at regional level--city-wide level, if that phrase plays better with the Government Front Bench--for the proposal to be reflected. In London as a whole, we must have a holistic approach to crime prevention and community safety. The police and the police authority will of course be important players in it, just as they are at London borough level. However, many other agencies are involved, including the Greater London Authority, the Probation Service, the voluntary sector and so forth.

Just as the Government have rightly recognised a strong case at borough level for the promotion of community safety, the case is the same at city-wide level and is a proper responsibility for the Greater London Authority. The Minister is right to say that this will be an important matter for the mayor. It is inconceivable that any high profile mayor will say, "Matters of community safety, crime, crime prevention and so on are nothing to do with me"--quite the opposite, I suspect. Therefore, I had hoped for a slightly more understanding and sympathetic response to an important amendment.

It will be for my noble friend Lord Clement-Jones to say what he wants to do at this stage, but if he chooses to withdraw the amendment I am sure that it is a subject to which we shall wish to return. I hope that during the intervening period the Government will give more

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thought to how in this prescriptive Bill they can better address the important role in terms of the promotion of community safety.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: For the record, I did not intend to imply that the noble Lord was involved in the pursuit of crime, but rather in the pursuit of combating crime. My experience of his abilities in local government here and in European forums leads me to know that, were he to choose at some distant time in the future to pursue a life of crime, he would be so effective that he would never be found!

Lord Clement-Jones: I thank the Minister for that tribute to my noble friend's versatility. I am very disappointed by her reply because there a philosophical misunderstanding about the nature of crime prevention and community safety strategies. We are not talking about influence over operational police matters. This issue goes far wider than any responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Authority. I took pains to mention the Social Exclusion Unit because I feel that its creation, which was supported by people in all parties, by chief police officers, local authorities and government departments, is about "joined-up government", to use a phrase coined by the Government. Its creation would link the strategies together and ensure that there is a strand of crime prevention throughout. The amendment is designed to place an explicit duty on the authority and the mayor to make sure that those strategies are as effective as possible in order to ensure crime prevention and community safety.

I believe that it is important that I mention the surveys showing that crime is top of Londoners' list of concerns, particularly in inner city areas. We already have a duty to promote health and sustainable development in Clause 33--we welcome those two important elements--but the third element surely is crime prevention.

Many of the tools are at our disposal. I mention merely Youth Works, which combines different strategies from many areas which hitherto have been kept in little boxes. They have not been treated as a coherent, holistic strategy--to use my noble friend's expression. This is an important matter about which I am very disappointed. I am sure that we shall raise this matter on Report. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Tope moved Amendment No. 122B:

Page 20, line 34, leave out subsection (8).

The noble Lord said: Perhaps I may formally move Amendment No. 122B, while the noble Lord, Lord Dixon-Smith finds his papers. Some of my colleagues may have something to say and I can see that the Minister certainly has something to say about it. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I am disappointed with the noble Lord, Lord Tope. The noble

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Lord should have continued. I can reassure the noble Lord that this amendment is unnecessary. Should noble Lords want me to go into detail I shall do so.

Lord Tope: I am happy to accept the Minister's assurance that this amendment is unnecessary and I am therefore more willing than ever to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 33 agreed to.

[Amendment No. 123 not moved.]

Lord Tope moved Amendment No. 124.

After Clause 33, insert the following new clause--


(" .--(1) There shall be a Further Education Strategy Group for London.
(2) The Further Education Strategy Group for London shall have--
(a) the function of providing advice to the Mayor on the contents and implementation of the further education strategy; and
(b) such other functions as may be conferred or imposed on, or made exercisable by them by or under any other enactment, whenever passed or made.
(3) The Further Education Strategy Group for London shall formulate and submit to the Mayor and Assembly a draft strategy containing proposed policies with respect to further education in Greater London.
(4) As soon as reasonably practicable after the draft strategy has been submitted, the Mayor and Assembly shall prepare and publish a document to be known as the "further education strategy".
(5) The Further Education Strategy Group for London shall keep the further education strategy under review and may submit proposed revisions of it to the Mayor.").

The noble Lord said: I rise to move Amendment No. 124. The amendment bears a close resemblance to Amendment No. 123, to which my noble friend Lord Clement-Jones spoke on Monday evening. It reflects our view on these Benches that the Greater London Authority should have a strategic role in the planning of further education provision.

I shall begin by asking the Minister who currently has the responsibility for the strategic planning of further education in Greater London. I know that the Education and Employment Select Committee in another place asked that question of all the further education witnesses who came before the committee. They all denied having any responsibility for the strategic planning of further education until, finally, the Secretary of State said that he supposed that he must have that strategic responsibility. That may be so, and I look forward to some clarification. Certainly, it is no longer the responsibility of local education authorities. Since the incorporation of further education colleges, that has not been the responsibility of LEAs, so we are not in any way suggesting that we should impinge on what is currently carried out by LEAs--quite the contrary.

However, there is a need for better--indeed some--strategic planning of further education provision in our capital city and in other regions, although we are presently dealing with Greater London. If responsibility rests with the Secretary of State, I suggest that that

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power should be one that is devolved. If it is still to be implemented through the Government Office for London, as to some extent I know that it is, I suggest that it would be better exercised and certainly more democratically accountable if it were part of the role of the mayor and the Greater London Authority.

We believe that life-long learning partnerships should have a strategic regional basis. That is something that we shall propose for the rest of the country as and when we move to regional assemblies, but we have an opportunity, which we should take, to deal with that first in London.

Following incorporation, further education provision in the capital, and indeed in the country, has become enormously competitive and, to some extent, wasteful in that provision. Therefore, there is a need for that strategic role, not in providing the services--that is not the role of the authority--but in planning their provision. I say that not only to try to reduce waste and duplication of provision but, more importantly, to ensure that proper provision is made. There is a greater danger--it happens in some parts of the country--that appropriate courses are not provided because it is not economic for a college to do so as they are too expensive and/or not profitable enough. So in some areas such courses are not provided at all. I suspect that may be the case on a sub-regional basis within London.

Therefore, it seems to be extremely important that the mayor and the authority need to have an overview of the provision of further education in the capital. I wonder how the mayor and the authority are to meet their responsibilities for economic development if they are unable to have a further education strategy that covers such important matters as the provision of training.

Funding is another issue. Currently, there are nine different funding streams in a further education college, for which I believe there is a need for a London view. I am aware that a White Paper is to be published imminently--perhaps the Minister can tell us when--on post-16 funding. I believe it is to be published before the end of the month. We are aware, as we keep reading, that there is a review under way on the role and purpose of training and enterprise councils, and so on.

Clearly, the role of the GLA will need to be considered in the light of that White Paper and the TEC review. I believe that the principle remains that it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the mayor to discharge his responsibilities in relation to economic development and the general well-being of Londoners without also being able to develop a further education strategy. As we believe that that is an important gap in the provisions of the Bill, we take this opportunity to raise the issue. I beg to move.

4.30 p.m.

Lord Dixon-Smith: The noble Lord, Lord Tope, has moved an amendment which is more than superficially attractive. Insofar as there is a lacuna in this area, it would appear to be a subject in which one might have expected the mayor to interest himself. But the Greater London Authority, as it is being established, has no

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locus in the educational service directly at all, and when one is dealing with further education, while it is relevant to the mayor, it is properly the responsibility of the Secretary of State.

The nine funding streams which relate to further education, more or less have one source; that is, the DfEE. The way out of this dilemma from the point of view of the mayor is to ensure that he is consulted by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment.

It has always been a problem in any institution when we are dealing with a body that does not have direct responsibility, to give it some part to play in a specific service. However superficially attractive this amendment might be, because the GLA will not be in the business of education, it is perhaps a question that needs to be addressed to the DfEE rather than to the face of the Bill. Therefore, without a great deal more convincing, I cannot support the amendment from these Benches.

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