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Baroness Anelay of St. Johns: I am grateful for that explanation. I look forward to seeing how a tourism council differs so radically from a tourist board. But I do of course accept the Minister's technical explanation and the good will with which it was given. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 455XAA and 455YA not moved.]

Clause 303 agreed to.

Clause 304 [Authority's duty to provide advice on tourism]:

[Amendments Nos. 455ZA and 455AYA not moved.]

Clause 304 agreed to.

Clause 305 agreed to.

7.30 p.m.

Viscount Falkland moved Amendment No. 455ZAZA:

After Clause 305, insert the following new clause--


(" . With the approval of the Assembly, the Mayor may nominate a member to the board of each of the following bodies--
(a) the London Arts Board;
(b) the South Eastern Museums Service, or its successor bodies;
(c) the London region of the Sports Council; and
(d) the London region of English Heritage.")

The noble Viscount said: The amendment seeks to formalise on the face of the Bill the ability of the mayor, if he wishes, to nominate a member to the board of the London Arts Board, the South Eastern Museums Service or its successor bodies, the London region of the Sports Council and the London region of English Heritage. There may be perfectly good reasons why he may not wish to, but it seems to those of us on these Benches who put our names to the amendment that it is appropriate that this power should be on the face of the

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Bill. The wording is "may" and not "shall", giving the mayor the possibility of considering whether it is appropriate in each case. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The issue raised by the noble Viscount is the mayor's role in appointments to four London cultural bodies--the London region of English Heritage, the London Arts Board, the South Eastern Museums Service and the London region of the Sports Council.

The intention in the White Paper was, and remains, that the mayor should be closely involved with important London bodies and should work fully in partnership with them. Participation in appointments will serve an effective as well as a symbolic role. However, after looking at the proposals in detail we have concluded that legislation is not the right approach to achieving this. We had discussions with the organisations before the Bill was published and we are revisiting the subject now that the Bill is in progress to ensure that our intentions are fulfilled.

What we intend is that the mayor should nominate members to the appropriate boards or committees. This will be achieved either by agreement and partnership or by changes to the organisations' constitutions. Our proposal will accord with the arrangements outlined in the White Paper, which says that the mayor will be consulted by the chairs of English Heritage, the London Arts Board and the South Eastern Museums Service.

As we made clear in the White Paper in paragraph 5.189, we are looking for,

    "a partnership model for the relationship between these bodies and the Mayor".

Given the non-statutory status of the various boards and committees involved and the willingness of the bodies themselves to co-operate, we have decided that it is both impractical and unnecessary to use legislation to achieve this partnership. That is why we are adopting a non-statutory approach.

I hope that the noble Viscount will feel that we are achieving the objective of his amendment, although we are saving statutory time and the time of parliamentary counsel.

Viscount Falkland: I thank the Minister for his very full answer, which I shall study in Hansard. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 306 [Interpretation of this Part and exercise of Authority functions]:

[Amendment No. 455ZAA not moved.]

Clause 306 agreed to.

Baroness Gardner of Parks moved Amendment No. 455A:

After Clause 306 insert the following new Clause--


.--(1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Greater London Regional Health Authority.

29 Jul 1999 : Column 1742

(2) The Greater London Regional Health Authority shall have the functions conferred or imposed on it by this or any other Act, or made exercisable by it under this Act, and any reference in this Act to the functions of the Greater London Regional Health Authority includes a reference to any functions made exercisable by this Act.
(3) The Greater London Regional Health Authority shall exercise its functions--
(a) in accordance with such guidelines as directions may be issued to it by the Mayor under subsection (4) below,
(b) for the purpose of facilitating the discharge by the Authority of the duties under this Act, and
(c) for the purpose of securing and facilitating the implementation of the health strategy.
(4) The Authority may issue to the Greater London Regional Health Authority--
(a) guidance as to the manner in which it exercises its functions,
(b) general instructions as to the manner in which it exercises its functions, or
(c) specific instructions as to the exercise of its functions.")

The noble Baroness said: I move the amendment disappointed that the two noble Baronesses and the noble Lord who put their names to it have decided not to do so, as it is an important amendment. It has been tabled, and it is therefore open to any Member of the Committee to move it. I am aware of time constraints, but I am also aware that had the amendment been formally withdrawn I would not have the right to move it.

Earlier today Amendment No. 454 was moved by the noble Lord, Lord Freyberg, when the wording of his amendment did not agree with his speech. He said that he had been instructed by the Public Bill Office that he should describe it as a probing amendment, and under those circumstances any amendment could be put, whether or not one supported what it said.

In particular, I do not support the idea of a health authority for London. Such an important issue having been tabled, an answer should be received from the Minister on this point, which is why I am moving this probing amendment. I understand that it is over 30 years since London regional government had a health responsibility. To reverse that situation now would be a very retrograde step. I beg to move.

Baroness Hamwee: Before the Minister responds I should like to explain that, as I know the Minister is aware, our health spokesman, my noble friend Lord Clement-Jones, had hoped to be here. We had originally expected to come to the amendment at an unearthly hour on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. My noble friend cannot be here this evening. It is not a matter of our not choosing to move the amendment. I am sure that the noble Baroness did not intend to suggest that we do not have faith in our own amendment. That is not the reason for our not moving it.

It is an important issue. Other health issues have already been raised in the course of the debate on the Bill, issues to which we shall return at a later stage. We too look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I was aware of the difficulty that was created for the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, this evening.

29 Jul 1999 : Column 1743

We have made it clear in our previous responses on health issues raised by the noble Lord that, while health considerations would be taken into account in the preparation of the mayor's strategies and the exercise of the general power, we believe that there is no case for a formal health strategy as the mayor would not have control of health services in London. Therefore, I hope that the noble Baroness, Lady Gardner of Parkes, will withdraw the amendment.

Baroness Gardner of Parkes: I thank the noble Baroness for that very clear reply.

I know that the content of the Liberal Democrats' amendment has been their policy for many years. When I said that no one was moving the amendment from the Liberal Democrat Benches, the point I was making was that I understood that there was a procedure by which the amendment could have been withdrawn from the Marshalled List. If that had been done, I would not have wasted all this time speaking and having the answer. But I am grateful for it. Of course, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 307 agreed to.

Clauses 308 to 314 agreed to.

Clause 315 [Research and collection of information: London Research Centre etc.]:

[Amendments Nos. 455AWA and 455AXA not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 455AXB:

Page 164, line 44, at end insert--
("( ) The Mayor shall from time to time, and at least once in every year, consult each London borough council and the Common council about the exercise of the Authority's functions under subsection (1) above.")

The noble Lord said: The amendments grouped with Amendment No. 455AXB are Amendments Nos. 455AXC, 455AXDA and 455AXE and they set the framework within which the mayor can work with the London boroughs and the common council to promote research and monitoring work. They provide for a continuing involvement of London local authorities in pan-London research, and they ensure that the mayor has all the tools necessary to inform the development and monitor the implementation of strategies for using the resources of the London Research Centre. They supersede the provisions recently discussed in relation to Clause 276, reflecting points raised in consideration of those provisions in another place and the undertaking given there by my honourable friend the Minister for London to bring forward amendments to meet those concerns.

In their development, the amendments have been the subject of close consultation between the Government and representatives of London government. I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Harris of Haringey, in his Association of London Government capacity, for his considerable help in reaching what I think is now a satisfactory conclusion. I beg to move.

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