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Amendment No. 109ZD, tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, would reword the items in the list of standards so that it referred to registered providers rather than to landlords. She is correct that “registered providers” is the legal term used in the Bill; “landlord” is not defined. In this context, however, the terms are interchangeable. I think that that answers her main question.

I am sorry to say that I missed the other questions that she asked. I will be happy to answer any supplementary questions, but I am afraid I did not hear what she said at that point.

Baroness Hamwee: I did not ask any other questions about Amendment No. 109ZD. The other amendment was Amendment No. 110CA on the consultation on setting standards.

Baroness Andrews: That is a major question. The amendment seeks to add to the list of bodies that must be consulted on issuing or changing standards a body

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considered by the regulator to be representative of local authorities. Throughout our discussions on the Bill, I have been as clear as I can about how important we think local authorities are, particularly in their role in housing provision across the community and not only as landlords. They now very much have a strategic function in relation to homelessness, and they are tasked with bringing together the public sector, the voluntary sector and the private sector to secure local well-being and so on. Despite that, I do not believe that it is necessary that a body that is representative of local authorities should also have to be consulted on standards. In practice, not just the main stakeholder body but many local authorities and related bodies are likely to be engaged in standards consultations anyway, because that is how the Housing Corporation has worked. Although there was no formal duty to consult them, there has been such a practice.

We currently have a shortlist of mandatory consultees representing only the principal bodies; obviously representatives of the tenants and providers are vital but we also need the Audit Commission, partly because it will be involved in inspecting against standards. I do not think that local authorities, with the best will in the world, really fall into the same category. I am also concerned that by opening that door we will open it to other stakeholders who might feel they have as powerful and representative a claim. I am sorry to disappoint the noble Baroness but I think that we will have to resist that proposal.

7.30 pm

Baroness Hamwee: What other stakeholders does the noble Baroness have in mind? Or is that an unfair question at 7.30 pm?

Baroness Andrews: I am very happy to deal with unfair questions as well. I was thinking, for example, of organisations representing the voluntary sector that might be partners in various forms of provision and of other partnerships. I am sure that I could come up with a list if it was not 7.30 pm.

Baroness Hamwee: I think that local authorities are in a particular position. It is always difficult to know how to respond to the answer, “It doesn’t say it but we’ll do it”. There is a rather obvious response to that.

Earl Cathcart: I thank the Minister for her response to this group of amendments. My first amendment, Amendment No. 109ZA, is about leaving out,

and inserting,

but I have a feeling that the Minister misunderstood what I was saying. I was much more inferring that it must be a two-way passage there. It is not just the tenant’s complaint against the landlord, but what about the landlord’s complaint against the tenant? The amendment as drafted left open which way it went. I think that the Minister may have misunderstood that.

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My second amendment, Amendment No. 109ZB, proposes removing “or control”. I think it is my fault but I did not understand what the Minister was saying. We are proposing the amendment because we do not think that the tenant ought to control the management. If you have a management in the business, it ought to do it. If it has it wrong then provide the ability to get rid of it or change it. But you cannot have all the tenants trying to control the management. That is the point of the amendment. I think the Minister was going on a slightly different interpretation of the word “control” and that that led to the misunderstanding.

As for our third amendment, Amendment No. 109ZC, I totally take the Minister’s point about the shared environment, referring back to subsection (1). As it is, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

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Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 109ZB and 109ZC not moved.]

[Amendment No. 109ZCA, in substitution for Amendment No. 110ZA, not moved.]

[Amendments Nos. 109ZD to 110ZA not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: This may be an appropriate time to adjourn the Committee until 3.45 pm on Wednesday.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Geddes): The Committee stands adjourned until Wednesday 18 June at 3.45 pm.

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