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Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his response, although it is deeply disappointing. Yes, the Minister has repeated what he said in Committee. It seems that it is one matter for local authorities and local government and another for central government.

The Minister talked about having a clear framework. I cannot understand why central government cannot be part of that framework. It might be the case that central government is at the moment taking counter-terrorism seriously, but the Minister said himself that previous governments had not necessarily treated the matter as a priority.

We live in a different climate from the one in which we lived even four or five years ago. What we are looking for is, as the noble Lord, Lord Garden, said, joined-up government. Surely, if we have any legislation at all, if we are to repeal all of the current emergency legislation, why are we not taking the opportunity in primary legislation to have in the Bill a primary duty on the part of our central government departments to do their duty, as local responders, local authorities and others are required to?

I mentioned foot and mouth disease and the fuel crisis. Yes, I hope that the Government have learnt from those experiences, but what if we have a 9/11 experience tonight or tomorrow? We are talking about the possibility of some unprecedented act or acts, the kind of which none of us has perhaps ever considered. I do not believe that anyone beyond those who make extraordinary horror films could have conceived of what took place on 9/11 in America. It is extraordinary. We have an opportunity here to place in the Bill, and to amplify within a framework, the role of central government and its relationship with local government in civil contingency planning.

I shall not divide the House on the amendment, but I am deeply disappointed. The matter illustrates the fact that the Government, on purely practical issues, are being entirely and unnecessarily inflexible. That is deeply disappointing. However, for now, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 44 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 45:


"19 (1) A person holding a licence of a kind specified in sub-paragraph (2) and granted under section 6 of the Electricity Act 1989 (c. 29).
(2) Those licences are—
(a) a transmission licence,
(b) a distribution licence, and
(c) an interconnector licence.
(3) Expressions used in this paragraph and in the Electricity Act 1989 (c. 29) shall have the same meaning in this paragraph as in that Act.
 
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20 (1) A person holding a licence of a kind specified in sub-paragraph (2).
(2) Those licences are—
(a) a licence under section 7 of the Gas Act 1986 (c. 44), and
(b) a licence under section 7ZA of that Act."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 46 to 56 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 57:


"30 (1) A person holding a licence of a kind specified in sub-paragraph (2) and granted under the Electricity Act 1989 (c. 29), in so far as the activity under the licence is undertaken in Scotland.
(2) Those licences are—
(a) a transmission licence,
(b) a distribution licence, and
(c) an interconnector licence.
(3) Expressions used in this paragraph and in the Electricity Act 1989 (c. 29) shall have the same meaning in this paragraph as in that Act.
31 (1) A person holding a licence of a kind specified in sub-paragraph (2), in so far as the activity under the licence is undertaken in Scotland.
(2) Those licences are—
(a) a licence under section 7 of the Gas Act 1986 (c. 44), and
(b) a licence under section 7ZA of that Act."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, given the hour, I beg to move that consideration on Report be now adjourned. In moving the Motion, I suggest that the Report stage begin again not before 8.30 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 (Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection and Commission for Social Care Inspection) (Consequential Provisions) Order 2004

Lord Warner rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 28 October be approved [32nd Report from the Joint Committee].

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this draft order makes changes that are consequential to Part 2 of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. Yesterday afternoon it was debated in another place. There my ministerial colleague, Stephen Ladyman, made a declaration that the draft order is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

A regulation or order-making power providing for consequential changes to legislation is normally a standard power included in primary legislation to recognise that, despite best efforts, it is not always
 
9 Nov 2004 : Column 825
 
possible to identify during the passage of the Bill every consequential change that might be needed to primary legislation.

The House of Lords Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform, which considered the 2003 Bill, recommended in its 24th report, which was published on 10 September 2003, that the affirmative procedure should apply for all orders that amend Acts.

Section 195(5) of the 2003 Act applies that recommendation to Section 201 under which this order is made. That explains why this order is before the House today. The 2003 Act established the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection, known as the Healthcare Commission, and the Commission for Social Care Inspection. On 1 April this year they both began their functions, and the former bodies—the Commission for Health Improvement and the National Care Standards Commission—were abolished.

The order introduces no contentious provisions, but is simply a tidying-up exercise intended to update legislation by replacing redundant references to the Commission for Health Improvement with references to the Healthcare Commission. It also adds references to the Commission for Social Care Inspection, where appropriate, so that both commissions are on an even footing.

Turning to the specific changes made by the draft order, Article 2(1)(a) substitutes a reference to the Healthcare Commission for the existing reference to the Commission for Health Improvement in Section 33(6)(c) of the Audit Commission Act 1998.

Article 2(1)(b) of the draft order adds a reference to the Commission for Social Care Inspection and also replaces the reference to the Commission for Health Improvement with a reference to the Healthcare Commission in the definition of "Crown" bodies for the purposes of Section 48 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Article 2(1)(c) substitutes a reference to the Healthcare Commission for the reference to the Commission for Health Improvement in Section 21(2) of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990.

Article 2(1)(d) concerns Section 20 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002. The draft order replaces the reference in subsection (7) to the Commission for Health Improvement with a reference to the Healthcare Commission as being one of the bodies to whom the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health might report a matter under this section.

Article 2(1)(e) adds the Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection to the list of bodies that are subject to obligations under Section 71 of the Race Relations Act 1976. The current reference to the Commission for Healthcare Improvement is repealed by Article 2(2) of the draft order.

Article 2(1)(f) replaces the reference to the Commission for Health Improvement with a reference to the Healthcare Commission in Section 144(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988. It also adds a reference to the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
 
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Article 2(1)(g) makes similar changes in relation to Schedule 2 to the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994.

Lastly, Article 2(2) of the draft order makes a technical repeal to the Race Relations Act 1976 and a revocation to related subordinate legislation so as to remove from that legislation superfluous references to the Commission for Health Improvement.

The amendments in this order are not expected to have any financial or adverse impact or burden on the commissions, businesses or public bodies.

Under the 2003 Act, we are required to consult the National Assembly for Wales in relation to the Healthcare Commission and the abolition of the former regulatory bodies before the order is made. We have done so and the Minister for Health and Social Services, acting on behalf of the Assembly, has confirmed that she has no comments.

As the draft order makes changes to some UK-wide legislation, the Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety have been made aware and have made no comments on the draft. The Healthcare Commission and the CSCI have also been consulted and did not wish to make any points.

Finally, as I said earlier, the draft order is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. I beg to move.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 28 October be approved [32nd Report from the Joint Committee].—(Lord Warner.)


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