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(5) The proposals must provide for the local authority to cease operating the mayor and council manager executive and start operating the leader and cabinet executive (England) on the day which is expected to be the last day of the relevant mayoral term.
(9) If the local authority has held its annual meeting in 2009 before changing to the leader and cabinet executive (England), the authority must hold a meeting within the 21 days following the day on which it changes to that form of executive.
(3) But if it appears to the Secretary of State that the authority will fail to comply with sub-paragraph (2), the Secretary of State may by order specify executive arrangements which provide for a mayor and cabinet executive.
(6) Arrangements which come into operation in accordance with sub-paragraph (4) are to be treated as being operated after the passing of a resolution of the authority under section 33F of the LGA 2000.
(7) As soon as practicable after executive arrangements are adopted under sub-paragraph (2), or specified under sub-paragraph (3), the local authority must comply with the duties set out in the following provisions of the LGA 2000
The Lord Bishop of Exeter rose to move, That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure be presented to Her Majesty for Royal Assent.
The right reverend Prelate said: My Lords, your Lordships will have seen from the measure itself and from the report of the Ecclesiastical Committee that, following on from our previous discussions today, this is also a substantial piece of legislation. Indeed, we believe that it is the longest Church of England measure to come before your Lordships' House since the early 1980s. It covers a wide range of subjects, and deals with much that is central to the church's life and workits parishes and places of worship, and the dioceses to which they belong. Because of the very breadth of the measure, I can do little more than give a very brief overview, but I hope to be able to explain to your Lordships, in broad terms, the measure's intentions, its main provisions and its importance.
The measure is the outcome of a seven-year process, set in train in 2000, to review some of the church's basic legal procedures and to ensure that they are as flexible, effective and cost-effective as
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This process of review and subsequent drafting has been very careful and thorough, with extensive consultation, and with very detailed scrutiny as the legislation progressed through the General Synod. It has resulted in amendments to some parts of the church's existing legislation, replacement of others and some completely new provisions as well. However, I should stress, as I did to the Ecclesiastical Committee, that what lies at the heart of the measure is evolution rather than revolution. It takes great care to safeguard and support the parochial structure, with its parish clergy and lay people, and the dioceses and their bishops, as intrinsic to the nature of the Church of England. Nevertheless, it had become clear that existing church lawand we are talking here mainly of legislation dating from the 1970s and 1980s if not earlierneeded some changes, and its operation needed some amendment and increased flexibility, in order to enable the church to further its mission, and the cure of souls, as effectively as possible in the 21st century.
Because this concept of the mission of the church lies at the heart of the measure, it is important that I explain to your Lordships that this is a term to which the measure expressly gives a very broad definition, covering the totality of the churchs missionpastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenicaland, as such, continues the meaning of mission as the term has been used in previous legislation of this nature.
Further, Section 1, which requires all those who are discharging functions under the measure to have due regard to the furtherance of the churchs mission, has been carefully drafted to ensure that the requirements of the churchs mission are held in proper balance with all the other factors which are relevant to the objectives of particular sections and that it is given its proper weight in that context. Thus, for example, architectural and historical considerations must continue to be properly weighed in matters relating to the care, use and disposal of church buildings which form such a unique and treasured part of our heritage.
Part II deals with the churchs provincial and diocesan structures. It replaces legislation from the 1970s with provisions for a new dioceses commission, now with an elected element in its membership, and a new set of, and more proactive, processes for reviewing and, where appropriate, reorganising diocesan arrangements. It is not that there is some existing blueprint behind all this. Rather, this is about appropriate adaptability for the future with this part of the measure requiring the commission to keep existing structures under regular review and then prescribing a process whereby any proposals for future reorganisation may be brought forward either by the bishop, or bishops, of the diocese or dioceses
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Part II also makes some other very welcome changes, including giving individual dioceses autonomy from central bodies in deciding how best to use their suffragan and assistant bishops in their own particular circumstances. There are also sections making it easier for dioceses which wish to do so to set up joint administrative arrangements without compromising the essential independence of each dioceses own diocesan synod and its bishop's council.
The following parts of the measure make a number of amendments to the processes in the 1983 pastoral measure for making changes, in particular, to parochial structures within a diocese and also for, where appropriate, a,
a term now preferred to the rather unhelpful description declaration of redundancy used in the 1983 legislation. The aim is very much to simplify and streamline the procedures, and make them, and the diocesan committee structures which support them, more flexible, but without removing the essential safeguards provided in the existing legislation.
I have already referred to the importance of caring for our church buildings and the opening sections of Part VII concentrate on this. At present there are two expert central church advisory bodies involved in this work. One is the Council for the Care of Churches, which deals with those church buildings which the church continues to use for regular public worship, but which also has a role to play in the early stages of considering the closure of a church. The other is the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches, whose remit applies later in that process. This measure replaces those bodies with a unified church buildings council in order to provide one cohensive, statutory central church source of expert information and advice on church buildings. Among other things this permits a single, seamless procedure for giving expert and independent advice on heritage issues involved in the closure of churches, offering a more effective process than at present. The independent nature of the advice is of real heritage significance. The measure takes great care to preserve it, in particular by giving a key role to an entrenched independent element of four members nominated by the Secretary of State.
Finally, Part V gives a bishop new powers to authorise mission initiatives in his diocese, beyond those that may already be encouraged and successfully operate under the existing law. These new powers meet the need of the church for a new type of model which a bishop can use to authorise those initiatives which do not fit within the present legal structures, either during their start-up phase or in the longer term. In carefully drafted provisions that allow
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I hope that this gives at least a general picture of the measures objectives and how it sets about achieving them. The General Synod showed its strong support for the measure throughout its various stages and on final approval Synod members gave it an overwhelming endorsement. The Ecclesiastical Committee has also been able to report unequivocally that it finds the legislation expedient. I hope that it will likewise commend itself to your Lordships.
Moved, That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure be presented to Her Majesty for Royal Assent.(The Lord Bishop of Exeter.)
Baroness Wilcox: My Lords, I am a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament and, as such, have already had the advantage of having this measure presented to us under the chairmanship of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, who will speak later. It was presented by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Exeter, who presented it so well again today, accompanied by the Dean of the Arches, the right worshipful Sheila Cameron, Dr Edmund Marshall, the venerable Christine Hardman, Miss Ingrid Slaughter and Mr William Fittell. I have been privileged to have heard all the stages of the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure. As we have already heard, that committee found the measure to be expedient; so here it is through to its final stages.
The measure, as we have heard, is wide-ranging. The Church of England believes that the measure will give it the flexibility it needs, given the changing circumstances and needs of its people, to enable its ministry better to serve English society at all levels. I should like to take two examples from the document; I have had some involvement with both in one way or another.
The first is the mission initiative in Part V. I am a member of the Lambeth Partnership and have been involved with Fresh Expressions. This is an interesting development: the idea is to develop alongside and complement the parochial structures, yet the nuances include the whole of the church mission, to be weighed up with all the other relevant factors. Nowadays so many people have their most significant connections where they work and in their social and family life. They are not as tied geographically as they used to be, so new ways of being the living body of the church are to be welcomed and nourished alongside that bedrock of parochial structures.
Secondly, Parts IV and VII of the measure deal with church buildings. I am experienced in that I have chaired the Redundant Church Uses Committee for
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I understand that the new body will contain four independent members. Long and hard work has gone into this measurethis evolution rather than revolutionand we hope and believe that it is the right thing to do. We on these Benches are content for the measure to be presented to Her Majesty for Royal Assent, and we wish it well.
Lord Lloyd of Berwick: My Lords, as the right reverend Prelate has said, this is an important measure, perhaps the most important to come before the House for some years. I suspect that the most important part of the measurecertainly the most innovativeis Part V, which enables diocesan bishops to make what are called mission orders. Happily, that part is entirely uncontroversial, so I can pass quickly to the only two controversial matters raised in the course of the hearing before the Ecclesiastical Committee. The first arises under Part II of the measure, which enables the dioceses commission to make proposals for the reorganisation of dioceses, including dissolution. Certain people in the diocese of Truro took the view that this provision was directed towards them, perhaps thinking that their diocese might be swallowed up by the diocese of Exeter. Happily, the right reverend Prelate was able to assure the committee that the diocese of Exeter has no territorial ambitions.
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