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Baroness Anelay of St. Johns: I thank all members of the Committee who have taken part in this fairly lengthy debate on this group of amendments. I suspect that it may be our longest debate on any group today. Perhaps I will be proved wrong by noble Lords.

I am particularly grateful for the support that I have received from my noble friend Lady Carnegy of Lour. I was interested in the view put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Annan, with regard to the method of choosing the chairman of the group. I found it intriguing. I will certainly consider it before Report.

I am particularly grateful to the Minister for putting on record the Government's views. I believe that they are expressed more clearly than they were in another place. I believe that it has been advanced slightly. The Government talk about "soon", "shortly" and

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"sometime". This is "slightly" and "perhaps you may have more on another occasion". We shall certainly pursue the matter.

I am interested to learn that there will be two technical amendments at Report stage from the Government. I look forward to the opportunity of looking at those. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: Before the noble Baroness withdraws her amendment, I should like to thank the Minister for the way he has expressed his views on the matter. I shall have to accept with good grace the fact that the Government do not agree with the views we hold on these Benches vis-a-vis the balance between the different components.

I should be grateful if the Minister could consider one point, and perhaps write to me on it. Amendment No. 452AA refers to Schedule 25 which talks about the representatives of bodies; that is, the members of the cultural strategy group shall be individuals who are representatives of such bodies concerned with relevant matters, as the mayor considers appropriate. The amendment was tabled in an attempt to de-intensify the relationship between individuals selected by the different members of the key groups within the London art world so that when they came to the cultural strategy group they would not be there as representatives of their different bodies--albeit that they were selected by those bodies. It is to be hoped, therefore, that their prime allegiance would be to the group, even though they came from different sectors of the arts community. That is not an unimportant issue to consider. Perhaps the Minister will comment on that.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I am grateful to the noble Lord for explaining his intentions. However, it is in conflict with the amendment before us. The amendment says that they would have to be members.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: They should be "selected from" rather than "selected by".

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In that case, the noble Lord may need to think about what he wishes to do at a later stage. However, I should not invite that.

The Government's position is that the selection shall be made by the mayor, and not by the bodies, from such persons as he considers to be representative. Having said that, it has been left as open as possible. For example, if someone is representative of dance, one can imagine the number of different bodies who would claim to represent a part of the dance community: classical dance, modern dance and so forth. The mayor must choose someone who is as representative as possible. For that reason, we have tried to make the provision open rather than restrictive.

Baroness Anelay of St. Johns: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 452AA to 452G not moved.]

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Lord Phillips of Sudbury moved Amendment No. 452GA:

Page 317, line 9, leave out ("towards defraying") and insert ("to defray")

The noble Lord said: This is a drafting amendment, but it is not unimportant. It deals with arrangements set out in Schedule 25 for defraying the expenses of the cultural strategy group. Paragraph 7 of the schedule gives discretion to the mayor on the extent to which he may defray the expenses properly incurred by the group. It states:

    "The Mayor may provide the Cultural Strategy Group for London with sums of money towards defraying expenses properly incurred".

The two words "towards defraying" clearly imply that he does not need to defray all of the expenses. Paranoia may be creeping in on these Benches, but we would like to see it stated beyond doubt. The proposed amendment will do just that. I beg to move.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: I do not read this as a simple drafting amendment. I thought the wording in the schedule meant that the group could raise a great deal of money itself. The mayor would have the discretion to allocate as much money as seemed appropriate. Will the Minister clarify the issue?

The Bill states that the group may own property. Would it be able to charge rent on a part of that property and use the proceeds for its own purposes? Would it be able to make charges? I thought those matters were implied in this part of the Bill, but perhaps the Minister will explain the situation more clearly.

4.45 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I do not see this amendment as a drafting amendment. It is a requirement for the mayor to pay the properly incurred expenses of the group in full, without leaving him or her any discretion to determine how far it is right to defray the group's expenses. There is no question of propriety here and I am not casting aspersions on future members of the group. The schedule makes it clear that in both cases the group's expenses must be properly incurred. However, the group will be free in what it can do. It may decide to undertake certain duties that properly incur expenses but are not considered by the mayor as appropriate matters for support. That is for the mayor to decide.

The group will be a body established to advise and support the mayor, and it will be for the mayor to determine how far--in part, in full or if at all--it will be appropriate to fund the cultural strategy group, which is primarily an advisory body. Clearly, a sensible relationship between the mayor and the group will ensure that there is discussion as to what the group will do and that the mayor agrees that what it does is justified. Under those circumstances there is no reason why the mayor should not defray all the expenses. However, we do not wish to put into statute that that must always be the case.

In response to the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy, I did not take it that the alternative would be for the group to raise its own money. It is an advisory body,

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and while it is theoretically conceivable that it might make a profit from owning property, that is not its function. The group should be funded by the mayor to carry out those activities the mayor wants it to undertake.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: Is it not possible for the group to charge rent? When you own property you may use two-thirds or three-quarters of it, and rent out the rest. Could not the group take on the duty of collecting rent, or would the mayor need do that? I believe that the Bill should be clear on the position.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As I said, it is theoretically possible that the group might do so to cover some of its expenses. However, that is not the object of the exercise.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I presume from what the Minister said that in effect the cultural strategy group will need to enter into a contract with the mayor before it incurs any expenditure in order to be sure of being reimbursed.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I think we are being too formal here.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I do not think that this is a formality.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The group and the mayor would be well advised to talk to each other. Subject to that, we shall leave the relationship--including the financial relationship--as open as we can. On that basis, I ask the noble Lord not to press the amendment.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I thank the Minister. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 452H had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

[Amendment No. 452HA not moved.]

Lord Phillips of Sudbury moved Amendment No. 452HB:

Page 317, line 19, at end insert--
("(3) The Cultural Strategy Group for London may establish such committee or committees comprised of such persons for such purposes and on such terms as it may determine.")

The noble Lord said: This amendment gives the cultural strategy group a clear right to establish committees,

    "comprised of such persons for such purposes and on such terms as it may determine".

That is a useful and practical empowerment for which the group will be grateful. I was one of the initial appointees to the National Lottery Charities Board under not dissimilar scheduled powers. I remember that we spent a great deal of time agonising over just what we could and could not do and, on being asked for advice,

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there was a huge amount of humming and hawing, thumb-sucking and reference to lawyers because it was not made clear on the face of the Bill what powers we had. The group should be given this essential practical power. I beg to move.

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