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If under paragraph (a) the petition relates to the whole of a principal council’s area, it cannot be wholly outside the area under review because the area under review must include part of the district. That does not make sense and the Government ought to rewrite it so that it does.

I shall be brief on the other amendments. I wish to retain the word “unparished” to refer to those parts of a district that do not have parish councils. That is the

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current usage; it is what people say and what they understand, so there is no reason for changing a word or description when it is entirely understood by anybody and everybody who takes an interest in parish councils. I beg to move.

Baroness Crawley: We have looked at Amendment No.204CB and believe that it is important to make clear in the Bill that local people can petition the principal council to conduct a community governance review for the whole of the local authority area, as set out in Clauses 85 and 86. The Bill, as drafted, allows the principal council to act on petitions for a part or the whole of a local authority area when a community governance review is not being conducted in the area. We believe that this is the correct way to proceed.

Clause 86 deals with petitions received while the community governance review is being undertaken within the local authority area. Given the points raised by the noble Lord, Lord Greaves, we will give further consideration to the wording of Clause 86, and on that basis we ask that he withdraws Amendment No. 204CB. In relation to Amendments Nos. 204CC to 204CE, our assumption is that the noble Lord has proposed the amendments to make the legislation clearer. He has made that clear himself tonight, and we are again very happy to undertake to consider this matter further. If we accepted the amendments, we would need to ensure that all references in the Bill to “available area” are changed.

Lord Greaves: On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 86 agreed to.

Clauses 87 and 88 agreed to.

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: I beg to move that the House do now resume.

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

House resumed.


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