UK: Public Bodies Bill Completes Public Bill Committee Stage

Last Updated: 17 October 2011
Article by Nick Maltby and Paul Thompson

This is entry No.45, first published on 14 October 2011, of a blog on public bodies reform. Click here to view the whole blog. If you would like to be notified when the blog is updated, with links sent by email, click here.

After 8 sittings, from 8 September to 11 October, consideration of 70 odd amendments, 10 new clauses and one new Schedule, and seven divisions on particular proposals, the Public Bodies Bill has now emerged from its Public Bill Committee in the Commons (see here).

Apologies to the more ardent readers of this blog for the temporary cessation of coverage during the committee proceedings but this blog is back on air now.

Like Gaul, the Bill is now divided into three parts, that division reflecting in particular the specific new provisions now included for particular bodies. The new provisions are for for the abolition of the RDAs, a substitute for section 61 of the Broadcasting Act in relation to the funding of S4C and amendments to the National Heritage Act 1983 in relation to the V&A, the Science Museum and English Heritage.

Additionally, the Registrar of Public Lending Right and the Youth Justice Board will now be found in Schedule 1 (power to abolish), along with the Sports Ground Safety Authority in place of the Football Licensing Committee, the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council and the Civil Justice Council have been omitted from Schedule 2 (power to merge) and the Civil Justice Council has been omitted from Schedules 3, 4 and 5 (powers to modify constitutional arrangements, to modify funding and to modify or transfer functions), Furthermore the Chief Coroners and Medical Advisers, plus the Dover Harbour Board and Her Majesties Stationery Office now feature in Schedule 5 (power to modify or transfer functions).

The changes made are almost entirely Government amendments but the inclusion of the Dover Harbour Board at the instance of local Conservative MP, Charlie Elphicke (supported by Dominic Raab, Cons Esher and Mark Williams, Lib Dem Ceredigon), is not and was opposed by the Government (as being unnecessary) but won on a division 11 to 8. This all relates to the proposed privatisation of Dover which is being pursued by the Dover Harbour Board under the Ports Act 1991 and which is the subject of proposals for the establishment of a community port. At an earlier stage in the Committee proceedings (2nd sitting, column 33), Nick Hurd for the Government did promise to consider further before the Report Stage the possibility about making specifically some general provision in the Bill for transfers to community benefit societies and other co-operative bodies. It may therefore be that more will be done on this subject at Report.

Of those amendments fought and lost, special mention should go to the amendment seeking to remove the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (EHRC) from the powers of the Bill which was defeated by 9-10 (see 6th sitting columns 199 215). The debate on the future of the EHRC has raged throughout the Bill's passage. Nick Hurd for the Government reiterated (see columns 210-211) that the Government announced on 14 October 2010 that it intended to retain the Commission but substantially reform it, to clarify its remit, to stop "non-core activities" and where appropriate make alternative provision by Government or by voluntary or private sector providers and to clarify its relationship with Government and strengthen further its governance and value for money. In a mastery of political understatement, Mr Hurd asserted that "there may be a difference of opinion here - a different starting point - but our whole intention is to make the EHRC a more valued and respected national institution". Critics of the government see it differently and fear in particular for the independence of the EHRC and that its role will be heavily curtailed. A Government consultation was issued last March, receiving over 1,000 responses and Mr Hurd acknowledged that a response will be made to it this autumn, although as he said autumn can be quite a long season in Government. No doubt the Government's appetite for reforming the EHRC has not been lessened by the recent decision in EHRC v Prime Minister & Ors in relation to guidance on what officers should do if they suspect detainees might be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (see here). No Government enjoys being challenged by public bodies, in the courts or elsewhere.

A date has not yet been set for report stage but the Bill now looks set for enactment before Christmas.

Meanwhile the reform of public bodies continues apace outside the Bill. Of particular note is the consultation on the proposed new waterways charity which is intended to replace BWB and which runs for just a six week period, from 12 September to 24 October (see here). Whilst many might have expected to see a draft of the proposed Order accompanying the consultation, given that the transfer is to be effected by order under the Bill once enacted, only its intended subject matter is actually covered in the consultation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions