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Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 366B:

Page 233, line 29, at end insert--

(“Joint committees with local authorities

8A.--(1) Transport for London shall be treated as a local authority for the purposes of the following provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 (arrangements for discharge of functions of a local authority by joint committees with other local authorities)--
(a) section 101(5),
(b) section 102 apart from subsection (1)(a) and subsection (4) to the extent that it would permit Transport for London to appoint a committee which is not a joint committee, and
(c) section 103.
(2) Nothing in section 13 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 shall require a person to be treated as a non-voting member of a committee appointed by Transport for London and one or more other local authorities by virtue of section 101(5) of the Local Government Act 1972 if that person is--
(a) appointed to the committee by Transport for London, and
(b) is not a member of Transport for London.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Deputy Speaker (Viscount Allenby of Megiddo): My Lords, before calling Amendment No. 367, I should inform the House that, if it is agreed to, I cannot call Amendments Nos. 368 to 370A.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 367:

Page 234, line 17, leave out from (“any") to end of line 26 and insert (“matter that is brought up for consideration at a meeting of Transport for London he shall disclose the nature of the interest to the meeting; and, where such a disclosure is made--
(a) the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting; and
(b) the member shall not take any part in any deliberation or decision of Transport for London, or any of its committees or sub-committees, with respect to that matter.

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(2) A member need not attend in person at a meeting of Transport for London in order to make a disclosure which he is required to make under this paragraph if he takes reasonable steps to secure that the disclosure is made by a notice which is read and considered at the meeting.
(2A) The Mayor may, subject to such conditions as he considers appropriate, remove any disability imposed by virtue of this paragraph in any case where the number of members of Transport for London disabled by virtue of this paragraph at any one time would be so great a proportion of the whole as to impede the transaction of business.
(2B) The power of the Mayor under sub-paragraph (2A) above includes power to remove, either indefinitely or for any period, a disability which would otherwise attach to any member, or members of any description, by reason of such interests, and in respect of such matters, as may be specified or described by the Mayor.
(2C) Where the Mayor exercises the power under sub-paragraph (2A) above to remove a disability--
(a) he shall notify Transport for London that he has done so, and of his reasons for doing so, and
(b) the removal of the disability and the Mayor's reasons shall be recorded in the minutes of Transport for London.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall speak to the remaining amendments in this group. Amendments Nos. 367A to 367E stand in my name.

When we discussed the question of members' interests in Committee, the noble Lord, Lord Brabazon, expressed concerns about the scope for members of TfL to take part in discussions on matters in which they had a direct interest. The noble Baronesses, Lady Thomas and Lady Carnegy of Lour, also expressed concerns in the light of that debate. We explained that the Government agreed that the current provisions were probably too widely drawn and that we should be considering our own amendments.

Amendment No. 367 fulfils that undertaking by altering the requirements for TfL members to disclose interests and take part in discussions of such interests. The new arrangements are basely largely on those that already prevail in the Environment Agency.

Amendment No. 371 is a technical amendment to remove an unnecessary reference to allowances--members of TfL will in fact be paid rather than receive allowances.

The noble Baroness, Lady Thomas, has tabled some amendments to which I shall reply in the course of this debate. I beg to move.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved, as an amendment to Amendment No. 367, Amendment No. 367A:

Line 14, leave out (“Mayor") and insert (“Chair").

The noble Baroness said: I gave the Minister notice of these amendments. One can get into rather a muddle explaining these kinds of proposals, and I thought it would be useful for the Minister to know in advance the points that I was trying to make. First, I should reassure the House that the amendments do not re-open the role of the mayor vis-a-vis Transport for London, which I dealt with in a previous group of amendments.

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My concern is with the wording of the amendment moved by the Minister. It could be deceptive. I assume that the amendment is designed to allow the chair of TfL, whoever that may be, to remove the inability of a member of TfL to take part in discussions or decisions because of a declared interest. That is a power that very often resides in the hands of the chair of a committee, usually with the advice of a legal officer. In my view, it is important to attach that power to the office of chair of TfL, rather than to the office of mayor. The current wording suggests that the mayor will waive the limitation placed on the member of TfL, whether or not the mayor is chair of Transport for London. I beg to move.

Earl Attlee: My Lords, I welcome the Minister's helpful amendment, which is similar in content to what the noble Baroness, Lady Farrington, suggested at Committee stage. The new sub-paragraph (2B) appears to allow the mayor to remove the disability for an individual member. I assume I am correct on that point. That is an improvement on the original sub-paragraph (2) because the mayor now has to remove the disability rather than apply it, if he sees the need. Our amendments are a little tougher than the Minister's amendment, but I shall not move them. I am grateful to the Minister for going a long way to meet our concerns.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I am grateful for that support and can confirm that the noble Earl's interpretation of sub-paragraph (2B) is correct.

When the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas, first raised the issue with me, I thought that that was what I intended. I am now informed that that was not my intention at all. The intention behind the clause and putting the power in the hands of the mayor is to put the mayor in the same situation as the Secretary of State, as to whether or not he or she exercises the option of being chair of TfL. It is the same position as with the Secretary of State in relation to the Environment Agency. In other words, we are dealing with a priori disqualifications or otherwise, not problems which arise in the course of a meeting. Those would have to be dealt with by the chair on an ad hoc basis, whoever the chair may be.

It is the mayor's statutory right, as it is the right of the Secretary of State in the case of the Environment Agency, to decide on the issue of disclosure of interest. That was what was intended in the clause. Therefore, the arrangement does not mean that the person who can lift the disablement--that is, the mayor--can be present at the meeting. As with the Environment Agency, the Secretary of State is not normally present at such a meeting. The intention behind the clause is slightly different from what I previously assumed it to be, as did the noble Baroness. However, I hope that in the light of that she can withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: My Lords, that was an interesting and straightforward explanation of what the clause means. However, it raises the question why one would appoint anyone to be a member of TfL

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whose conflicting interests are so great that they require the mayor, acting as the Secretary of State might do in other circumstances with other bodies, to give that person some permanent exemption from the disadvantage or limitations on his activities as a member which would otherwise arise from his interests.

It would be better to take the noble Lord's new amendment away and examine it in the light of what he said and return, either informally with the Minister or more formally at Third Reading. We shall then have thoroughly taken on board exactly what the new clause means. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw our amendment to the noble Lord's amendment.

Amendment No. 367A, as an amendment to Amendment No. 367, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 367B to 367E, as amendments to Amendment No. 367, not moved.]

On Question, Amendment No. 367 agreed to.

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Skelmersdale): My Lords, by virtue of that agreement, Amendments Nos. 368 to 370A fall.

7 p.m.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 371:

Page 234, line 38, leave out sub-paragraph (6).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 141 [General powers]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 372 and 373:

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