Bill on local devolution returns to the Lords

13 January 2016

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill returned to the House of Lords on Tuesday 12 January for consideration of Commons amendments in 'ping pong'.

Lords members discussed MPs' amendments relating to voting age, transport, district councils and local authority boundaries.

The bill now awaits Royal Assent, when it will become an Act of Parliament (law).

Third Reading: Tuesday 21 July

Peers discussed a proposal to include additional safeguards in the bill where it seeks to allow for the devolution of health service functions away from the National Health Service. Members of the Lords voted 217 in favour and 152 against, so the change was made to the bill.

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill now moves to the House of Commons for its consideration.

Report stage day two: Wednesday 15 July

Peers discussed a number of issues and there were three votes in the chamber. The first vote was on a proposal to extend the franchise for local government elections to 16 and 17 year olds, 221 voted for and 154 against, so the change was made.

Members went on to consider an amendment that would allow people to switch from a mayoral form of government to some other form of governance. This went to a vote with 182 for and 141 against, so the change was made.

Members also discussed the voting system for local government elections in England and Wales, and a change to introduce the ‘single transferrable vote’ system to elect councillors went to a vote with 71 for and 222 against, so the change was not made.

Report stage day one: Monday 13 July

The first vote was on a proposal to require the Secretary of State to present an annual report on devolution to Parliament. Members voted 219 in favour and 162 against so the change was made. 

An amendment to introduce devolution statements to confirm suitability for devolving powers was also added to the bill as members voted 224 in favour and 158 against.

The third vote concerned the question of whether cities in favour of devolution have to seek an elected mayor if they have alternative models of governance and leadership. Members voted 240 in favour and 175 against so the change was made.

Changing requirements in connection with the establishment of a combined authority led to a fourth vote. The change was not made after members voted 85 in favour and 153 against.

Committee stage day three: Monday 29 June

Members of the Lords considered a series of amendments on the funding of combined authorities. They also discussed amendments on sustainable development and a proposal on further devolution for London.

Committee stage day two: Wednesday 24 June

Members of the Lords discussed a number of areas of the bill, including the role of deputy mayors, whether a mayor could assume the role of police and crime commissioner, the role of combined authorities and the duty on these authorities to reduce homelessness in their area.

Committee stage day one: Monday 22 June

Members of the Lords began by discussing a proposal for the Secretary of State to report to Parliament on the government's devolution strategy. The need for devolution opportunities to be made available to all parts of England was also considered. Further amendments covered increasing accountability in local government.

Second reading: Monday 8 June

Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill summary

The bill includes proposals for the reform of combined authorities and local authorities. It would provide the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with a series of order and regulation making powers, allowing for the devolution of functions currently owned by central government and local public bodies. It is intended as the means of delivering local 'devolution deals', agreed between combined authorities and central government, such as the Greater Manchester Agreement.

Further information

Image: PA

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