3.This draft Order was laid on 13 March 2019 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), with an Explanatory Document (ED). It is proposed to be made under section 5 of the Localism Act 2011 (“the 2011 Act”) which allows the Secretary of State to amend, repeal, revoke or disapply a statutory provision which he or she thinks prevents or restricts a local authority from exercising the general power of competence provided for under section 1 of the 2011 Act. MHCLG has proposed that the negative resolution procedure should apply.
4.The purpose of the draft Order is to disapply provisions of the Harrogate Stray Act 1985 (“the 1985 Act”), a private Act, and related byelaws. It will be the third Localism Order to be made under the 2011 Act. The two previous Localism Orders also related to the 1985 Act: the Draft Harrogate Stray Act 1985 (Tour de France) Order 2014 and the Draft Harrogate Stray Act 1985 (Tour de Yorkshire) Order 2016. Both were subject to the negative resolution procedure.
5.We note in passing that, according to the ED, the Council “has resolved unanimously not to request any further temporary Orders to disapply provisions in the 1985 Act” but will, in future, manage events within the provisions of the 1985 Act, and that the Duchy of Lancaster, which owns the Harrogate Stray, has stated that this will be the last time it will support an application for the temporary suspension of 1985 Act.
6.Section 7 of the 2011 Act sets out the parliamentary procedure for a draft Order under the Act. In particular, the provision requires the Secretary of State to provide an ED setting out the way in which he or she considers the Order meets conditions set out in section 6(2), namely that:
(a)the effect of the provision is proportionate to the policy objective intended to be secured by the provision;
(b)the provision, taken as a whole, strikes a fair balance between the public interest and the interests of any person adversely affected by it;
(c)the provision does not remove any necessary protection;
(d)the provision does not prevent any person from continuing to exercise any right or freedom which that person might reasonably expect to continue to exercise;
(e)the provision is not of constitutional significance.
7.Before making an Order, the Secretary of State must undertake a consultation exercise in accordance with section 5(7) of the 2011 Act.
8.When scrutinising draft Orders, the Committee must satisfy itself that a consultation exercise has been undertaken in accordance with the Act and that the section 6(2) conditions have been met. If satisfied, the Committee must further consider whether the parliamentary procedure recommended by the Secretary of State is appropriate.
9.The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road World Championships (“the Championships”) are, according to the ED, “an annual multiple day event, described as the pinnacle event in the international road cycling calendar”. A formal bid to host the Championships was submitted in August 2016 and the UCI formally awarded the Championships to Yorkshire in October 2016. The Championships are proposed to take place during a nine-day period from 21 to 29 September 2019.
10.Harrogate Borough Council (“the Council”) intends to use part of the Harrogate Stray to host the Championships and anticipates that up to 17.05 hectares of the (80 hectares) Stray will need to be sectioned off for a period of 26 days from 9 September to 4 October 2019.
11.The Council considers that parts of the 1985 Act and related byelaws would prevent or restrict it from exercising the general power of competence in hosting the Championships. The Council has, therefore, applied to the Secretary of State to use powers conferred by section 5 of the 2011 Act to make an order temporarily to disapply restrictive provisions of the 1985 Act and related byelaws. That is the purpose of the draft Order.
12.A consultation exercise was held during an eight-week period from 22 November 2018 to 17 January 2019. 1259 representations were received. The ED states that, overall, the majority of representations supported the proposal: 74% strongly agreed or agreed that Harrogate should be enabled to host the Championships and 25% were against. Some respondents, including the Stray Defence Association, expressed concern about the timing of the consultation, arguing that it should have been part of the Council’s bidding process for the Championships. Whilst we agree that the requirements under the 2011 Act in relation to the consultation exercise have been met, it would, in our view, have been preferable for the consultation to have been carried out earlier in the process.
13.We consider that the Department has justified its statement that the draft Order meets the section 6(2) conditions, and that the draft Order is therefore appropriate for the Localism Act 2011 procedure.
14.The Committee’s report on “Post-Legislative Assessment of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006” stated that “a principal consideration for the DPRRC is whether the overall character and significance of the provision to be made is such that the House might, in the Committee’s view, expect to debate it as a matter of course, as opposed merely to have the opportunity to resolve that it should not be made”. These comments were directed at Orders under the 2006 Act but they apply equally to Orders made under the 2011 Act. Applying this test and bearing in mind the Secretary of State’s reasons for his recommendation as set out in the ED, we are content that the negative resolution procedure is appropriate in this case.
3 See Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, (23rd Report, Session 2013–14, HL Paper 156) and Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, , (9th Report, Session 2016–17, HL Paper 79).
4 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, , March 2019, paras 4.10–4.11
5 Ibid., para 2.1
6 Ibid., para 3.13
7 Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, (20th Report, Session 2014–15, HL Paper 132)
8 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, , March 2019, paras 4.43–4.46