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Baroness Carnegy of Lour: Before the noble Baroness sit down, in relation to Amendment No. 76, she said a good deal about how times have changed and that the matter is up to the Assembly. We know that, but we must consider what Westminster has to do

21 Mar 2002 : Column 1495

by way of constructing a framework within which the Assembly will work. Proposed new subsection (4) states:

    "If any consultation requirements apply, they must be complied with before an LHB order is varied or revoked",

Why should that not apply when an order is issued, as my noble friend Lord Roberts suggested? The Minister made a somewhat specious argument.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I am sorry if the noble Baroness feels that the argument is specious. These matters are rightly for the Assembly to determine. Unlike that which established the Scottish Parliament, the settlement gives the National Assembly for Wales the power to develop its own instruments and orders in secondary legislation.

The noble Lord, Lord Roberts of Conwy, presses us to accept that, as it were, a member of our family has reached the age of majority, but that we should still control the way in which he exercises his adult rights. The primary contractor contracts will be held by LHBs. I hope that that is an additional piece of information for the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay.

I assure the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour, that we are being extremely careful to ensure that during the passage of this legislation Members are kept informed about the degree to which consultation forms the ethos of the exercise of the Assembly's devolved powers.

Lord Roberts of Conwy: We are all grateful to the Minister for her comments. I am grateful to my noble friend Lady Carnegy of Lour and to the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay of Llandaff, for illuminating us on the feelings of GPs, particularly in Wales. I listened to her with great care. She talked about their concern, not only on this occasion but also last Thursday, as a result of their meetings. I know that such concerns about the formation of these boards are real in Wales.

It is all very well for the Minister to say that the Assembly must consult if an order is varied or revoked, because that is required here in primary legislation. But the Assembly does not have to consult when an order is issued, which is what the amendment seeks. There is a contradiction in the Minister's approach, which states that we ordain in primary legislation that when a local health board is varied or revoked, the order must be consulted on, but that there is no need for consultation before the first order is issued. The Minister says that consultation has taken place. I am sure that there has been endless talk within the NHS in Wales, but there is still a considerable degree of dissatisfaction among professionals there.

My experience of local health reorganisation and also local government reorganisation in Wales on more than one occasion is that public consultation is essential, otherwise discontent prevails and the system fails to work.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: It may help the noble Lord, Lord Roberts of Conwy, to recall, as I believe he knows, that I was involved as the leader of

21 Mar 2002 : Column 1496

the Association of County Councils during the period of local government reorganisation in Wales. I was assured by the noble Lord's government when in office that everyone had been fully consulted. I fear that occasionally, irrespective of who carries out the consultation process, some of those consulted will never accept that it took place unless they obtain the results that they want. Sometimes there are conflicting demands and it becomes impossible for everyone's views to be met.

Lord Roberts of Conwy: I accept that one cannot please everybody; one cannot please all the people all of the time, but we hope to please some people some of the time. That does not dispel the need for consultation. In such an area, where we are establishing totally new local health boards—22 in place of the existing five—there is a duty on the Assembly to ensure that the orders establishing the boards have been well and truly consulted on.

If there is no such consultation and ensuing satisfaction, the worst fears expressed within the NHS in Wales—that the system is impracticable—may be realised. We are not fettering the Assembly in any way as it is already obliged to consult if the order establishing an LHB is varied or revoked, as I pointed out. We will not fetter it additionally by inserting the word "issued". Perhaps the principle should have been established earlier, in new subsection (2), but it is here. It fits into that subsection.

We are still unclear about the top end of the NHS in Wales and how it will be constructed. We know a great deal about the lower end of the spectrum—the local health boards, and so on—but little about what is meant by the Assembly and the Minister and the form of organisation within the Assembly. I am not altogether happy with the Minister's answer and I shall test the Committee's opinion.

4.48 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 76) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 86; Not-Contents, 109.

Division No. 1


Alexander of Weedon, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Arran, E.
Ashcroft, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Biffen, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Brightman, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Crickhowell, L.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Emerton, B.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Hanham, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Holderness, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lyell, L.
McFarlane of Llandaff, B.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selsdon, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tenby, V.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wilcox, B.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goudie, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Grocott, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jordan, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
McCarthy, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Marsh, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strange, B.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

21 Mar 2002 : Column 1498

5.8 p.m.

Clause 6 agreed to.

Schedules 4 and 5 agreed to.

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