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Provisions Supplementary To Or Consequential On Section 17

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 15 December 1987

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I beg to move amendment No. 12, in page 17, line 10, at end insert—

'(2A) An order under subsection (1) above may include such consequential and transitional provisions as appear to the Secretary of State to he necessary or expedient.'.
The ingenuity of some local authorities in dreaming up ways in which they might circumvent the provisions in part II of the Bill was discussed many times in Committee. As we pointed out, we have tried to cover all the practices that authorities currently adopt to discriminate against certain contractors or to protect their DLOs, but it would be unwise to assume that the provisions cater for all possible abuses of the contractual process which authorities may hit upon in the future.

Clearly, therefore it must be sensible to avoid the need for further legislation every time an authority comes up with a new way to avoid the provisions, and clause 18(1) allows the Secretary of State, by order subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, to add to the noncommercial matters in clause 17(5). However, as at present drafted, the Bill does not allow the Secretary of State to make consequential or transitional provisions in any order under clause 18(1). For example, there is at present no power to require authorities to redraw select lists that have been drawn up by taking account of a matter which is rendered non-commercial by an order under clause 18(1), and the purpose of the amendment is to correct that omission. I commend it to the House.

If ever there were a justification for voting against giving the Bill a Third Reading, it is embodied in the amendment. The Minister has told us all. The Government are trying to run every itemised detail of local government. Frankly, it does not matter how clever the whizz kids in Marsham street are, they will not defeat the 400 legitimate local authorities that are trying to serve their residents. The amendment is unnecessary, but, given the need to make progress, we do not intend to oppose it.

It is not the intention of the Government to defeat any legitimate local authority. Where local authorities are prepared to act in such a way as to circumvent the provisions of the legislation these powers are necessary and will be used.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 14, in page 17, line 43, leave out from beginning to end of line 7 on page 18.

No. 20, in page 18, line 12, leave out 'subsection (10)' and insert 'section (Race relations matters)'.

No. 22, in page 18, line 16, leave out 'subsection (10)' and insert 'section (Race relations matters)'. — [Mr. Howard.]