Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Sixteenth Report

Part VI: The Metropolitan Police Authority


Subsection (1) This clause adds new subsection 5C(2) to the Police Act 1996. It enables the Secretary of State to change, by order, the number of members of the Metropolitan Police Authority from 23, as long as the number is an odd number no less than 17.

Purpose To allow the Secretary of State to change the number of MPA members, in order to enable the authority to operate as effectively as possible. A similar power, to increase and subsequently reduce the number of police authority members, exists in relation to police authorities outside London (sections 4 and 5 of the Police Act 1996). Police authorities outside London were established with 17 members. All but five authorities have retained the standard membership of 17. These five have 19 members. The greater size of the MPA reflects the size of the Metropolitan Police Service, which is much larger than any other police force. Before making an order which reduces the membership of the MPA, the Home Secretary would have to go through an extensive consultation procedure, as set out in new sub-section 5C(3) of the Police Act 1996.

Reason for proposing delegated powers This power would give the Home Secretary the flexibility to make changes to help the MPA to function effectively. It would bring the MPA into line with other police authorities, except that the Secretary of State will have the power to reduce the number of MPA members (though not below 17) as well as increase the number.

Procedure A statutory instrument containing an order under new subsection 5C(2) shall be laid before Parliament after being made (new subsection 5C(5)). This procedure is the same as applied to equivalent orders made in respect of police authorities outside London (section 4(3) of the 1996 Act).

Schedule 21 - The Metropolitan Police Authority: Schedule 2A to the Police Act 1996

Paragraph 23(2)

This provision enables the Secretary of State to amend, by order, the description of magistrates specified at paras 5(1)(a), 10(1)(d) and 14(2) of new schedule 2A to the Police Act 1996, if he considers it necessary or expedient to do so in consequence of any provision made by or under any enactment relating to the organisation of magistrates.

Purpose To ensure that the references to MPA magistrate members in Schedule 21 remain accurate after any reorganisation of magistrates' courts administration in London.

Reason for proposing delegated powers The references in Schedule 21 to "London commission areas which are wholly or mainly within the metropolitan police district" may need to be changed at a later date if changes are made to commission areas in London after the GLA Bill comes into force. The Access to Justice Bill provides for the establishment of the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority, and will also contain powers for commission areas to be changed by order. Any order made under this power to amend the description of magistrates would essentially be administrative.

Procedure Negative resolution procedure applies. This is set out in para 23(3) of Schedule 21).]


This clause introduces new section 9B(5)(b) to the Police Act 1996. This states that before making his recommendation to the Queen on the appointment of the Commissioner, the Secretary of State shall have regard to any representations made to him by the Mayor. New subsection 9B(6) makes it clear that the functions exercisable by the Mayor under new subsection 9B(5)(b) may only be exercised by him personally.

Purpose To ensure that any views the Mayor may have on the candidates for Commissioner should be fully taken into account during the appointment process.

Reason for proposing delegated powers This provision recognises the importance of a good working relationship between two such high profile figures as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Mayor of London. It also recognises the strategic role of the Mayor, which has no equivalent outside London.

Procedure None.

Schedule 22 - Grants by the Secretary of State: repayment

Paragraph 86(5) of this schedule inserts a new subsection 9 in section 46 of the 1996 Police Act. This supplements the existing subsection 8, which deals with occasions when the Secretary of State decides to reduce the amount of grant to police authorities. Subsection 8 ensures that where more grant has already been paid to an authority than the sum set by the revised determination, the authority should return the additional amount to the Secretary of State. This revised determination has to be approved by the House of Commons. New subsection 9 provides that where the GLA has paid grant to the Secretary of State under section 46(8), the Mayor may direct the MPA to pay an amount not exceeding that sum to the GLA.

Purpose To give the Mayor the power to direct the MPA to pay a specified sum to the GLA, in the particular circumstances where the GLA has been required to return police grant to the Secretary of State. This specified sum should be no larger than the amount paid by the GLA to the S of S.

Reason for proposing delegated power This provision reflects the different arrangements for funding the MPA as opposed to police authorities outside London. Whereas the latter receive police grant direct from the Home Office, the MPA's budget will be set by the Mayor from within the GLA's overall budget. Police grant will be paid to the GLA. In the unlikely event of section 46(8) of the 1996 Act being invoked in respect of grant for the Metropolitan Police Service, therefore, the GLA rather than the MPA will have to return any additional amount to the Home Office. Depending on the circumstances obtaining at the time it would be reasonable for the MPA to pay some or all of that money back to the GLA. The Mayor, with his strategic overview of the finances of the GLA and the functional bodies, is best placed to judge on the size of any payment, depending on the financial position of the bodies concerned at the time.

Procedure None.

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