Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7220 - 7239)

  7220. MR CAMERON: Thank you. I have got no other questions for you.

The witness withdrew

  7221. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Donovan. Now, I am told that there is a fly-past and a number of people want to watch it. I do not want in any way to discourage you from doing that, but there is a penalty, you will have to come back a bit earlier after lunch. I therefore suggest we adjourn until twenty past two and then we will go on with this Petition.

  7222. MS LIEVEN: Thank you, my Lord, and I will call Mr Berryman.

  7223. CHAIRMAN: There are a number of matters I would like to raise with you at some time, Ms Lieven. So far as concerns the Committee in general we will come back at twenty past two.

After a short adjournment

  7224. CHAIRMAN: I hope you enjoyed the fly-past. Ms Lieven, I know it is not for you, I know it is for Mr Elvin, but railways. The situation is this: we have scheduled the railway Petitioners immediately after the recess but there is now a hang-up because the ORR has not made its decision, and it may or may not make its decision according to which method it uses. The Petitioners will have great difficulty in deciding what they wish to say until they know what amendments are proposed by the Department for Transport as a result of the ORR's decision because we all know that the railway clauses are going to be amended. The Petitioners are going to be in difficulty if they do not know that. The two things that are likely to happen are that if we put this off for any length of time at all we are not going to have a quorum on the Committee and if we do not have a quorum on the Committee we cannot hear the Petitioners and then there is going to be trouble about the date for recommittal and consequently Royal Assent. It seems to me that the Department for Transport is going to have to make up its mind fairly soon, and I would ask you to take instructions on this, about what amendments they are going to make to the railway clauses. If they cannot do it we may have to ask the Petitioners to come on a provisional basis, assuming that they have read what the ORR says, and address us on that basis. This is a thoroughly unsatisfactory situation and is one that may be able to be put right with a bit of help from the Government and, indeed, yourselves. I leave it there. It is quite a serious dilemma on timetabling and one that we had not expected.

  7225. This is on a totally different subject and goes back to the Petition of Mr Pritchett. This is Day 17, page five. Mr Pritchett said that the Land Compensation Act 1973, which introduced the home loss payment, included a provision that it was ten per cent of the value of the home up to a maximum of £15,000 and this was based on the value of average houses at that date. One: is that correct factually? Two: it was then changed by statutory instrument, no doubt several of them, the latest one you showed us was 2007, and the figure is now a maximum of £44,000. Is that or is it not ten per cent of the average house value in 2007? I do not expect you to answer that today, but Mr Smith would be able to tell us. In order that we should do justice to that particular Petition we need to know what are the facts.

  7226. MS LIEVEN: Yes.

  7227. CHAIRMAN: Perhaps Mr Smith could come back at some suitable time and tell us. There is no hurry.

  7228. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, what I am going to suggest on the starting point is your Lordship has asked two factual questions which neither Mr Mould nor I, nor I suspect Mr Smith, could just answer here and now. We will go and find out the factual answers and give your Lordships and your Ladyship a note on it.

  7229. CHAIRMAN: That is exactly what we want.

  7230. MS LIEVEN: If you then wish Mr Smith to speak to the note then we will make sure he is available. We will deal with it in that way in the first place. It may take more than overnight because it may not be absolutely straightforward.

  7231. CHAIRMAN: I am not expecting to have it tomorrow. Mr Pritchett had better see it.

  7232. MS LIEVEN: Absolutely, my Lord. When we write to the Committee we will copy Mr Pritchett.

  7233. CHAIRMAN: It is just that we have got no evidence about either of these matters and I think we need it.

  7234. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, on the first issue we have made a careful note, we hear precisely what the Committee says, and we will go away and discuss it with our clients as to how to take this matter forward on the railways.

  7235. CHAIRMAN: We will expect to hear from you in due time.

  7236. MS LIEVEN: Certainly on that one, my Lord, your Lordships will hear from us very shortly as to what steps we intend to take.

  7237. CHAIRMAN: I think due time is pretty soon.

  7238. MS LIEVEN: Absolutely, my Lord. That was what I intended to suggest by the words I just used. We will come back to your Lordships very promptly on the steps we intend to take in the light of your Lordship's comments.

  7239. CHAIRMAN: Because, of course, the Petitioners will have to be told too.



 
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