Skip to main content

Bedfordshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008

Volume 700: debated on Thursday 20 March 2008

My Lords, I beg to move the four Motions standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That the draft orders and regulations be referred to a Grand Committee. 6th report from the Regulatory Reform Committee, 12th report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, 14th report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, 15th report from the Merits Committee.—(Baroness Ashton of Upholland.)

My Lords, since the noble Baroness the Lord President has moved all four Motions en bloc, perhaps I could talk to the first one. This was agreed through the usual channels to be set down for next Tuesday for discussion in Grand Committee in the Moses Room, but it seems to have taken a phenomenally long time for the Motion to get on to the Order Paper. It is not really for the convenience of the House that such short notice should be given for such an important order, given that we are away for a long weekend. I should be grateful if the noble Baroness could tell me why that is.

My Lords, my understanding is that we try to table Motions as speedily as possible. There are peaks and troughs in terms of the numbers of statutory instruments that are laid before the House, but I shall look at the specifics of what the noble Lord has said and get back to him.

My Lords, before the noble Baroness the Lord President sits down, I wish her a very happy birthday. When she was appointed, I compared her to Cleopatra. I can add:

“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale

Her infinite variety”.

My Lords, before the noble Baroness the Lord President replies to that remark, which of course I heartily endorse, will the fourth Motion be the constitutional renewal order? If that is the case, could she tell the House a bit more about what is intended in the Constitutional Renewal Bill and whether there is a relationship between this order and the joint cross-party group on the future of this House? Could she give us some idea of the timing—

My Lords, I am about to move the Motion to which I think the noble Lord would like to speak. I am sorry, but there seems to be deep confusion on the opposition Benches as to what I am moving, for which I apologise if I am at all responsible—although I fear that I am not. We are debating the four Motions for referral of statutory instruments to the Grand Committee. Once we have agreed that, we shall come on to the next Motion.

On Question, Motions agreed to.