RRC PN (2005-06) 07

Session 2005-06        6 February 2006

PUBLICATION OF REPORTS:


1.  Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Public Service Vehicles) Order 2006

The proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Public Service Vehicles) Order 2006 was laid before the House on 21 November 2005. In its report on the Order the Regulatory Reform Committee has concluded that the proposal should be amended to provide that any authority that lets a bus subsidy contract for a period longer than five years must notify the Office of Fair Trading of the fact with its reasons for letting a contract of that length. The Committee recommends that a draft Order thus amended should be laid before the House.

The Committee will be publishing its report on the Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Public Service Vehicles) Order 2006 at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 7 February.

The Report will be published as its Second Report of the current Session.

It will be available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 879).

2.  Draft Regulatory Reform (Forestry) Order 2006

The Regulatory Reform Committee has recommended unanimously that the Draft Regulatory Reform (Forestry) Order 2006 should be approved.

The Committee will be publishing its report on the Draft Regulatory Reform (Forestry) Order 2006 at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 7 February.

The Report will be published as its Third Report of the current Session.

It will be available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 880).

The texts of both reports will also be available on the Committee's website from 3.30 pm on the day of publication. (www.parliament.uk/regrefcom)

Notes for Editors

1. The proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Public Service Vehicles) Order 2006 was laid on 21 November 2005.  The Order would amend the Transport Acts 1968 and 1985 to remove four distinct regulatory burdens affecting the provision of bus services in England and Wales.  These are: i) to remove the requirement for school transport services carrying pupils or students (but not the general public) as fare-paying passengers to be registered with the traffic commissioners; ii) to extend the permitted length of bus subsidy contracts entered into by local authorities in England and Wales from five years to eight years where those contracts have been made subject to competitive tender; iii) to allow Passenger Transport Executives to lease buses to operators for the provision of services under bus subsidy contracts; iv) to remove the restrictions placed by the Transport Act 1985 on councillor directors of Public Transport Companies which require them to apply for dispensations from either the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales (as the case may be)  in order to speak and vote in council on, and participate in executive functions relating to, matters concerning the relevant company.

2. The draft Regulatory Reform (Forestry) Order 2006 was laid on 23 January 2006.  The Order will provide the Forestry Commissioners with powers to form and participate in companies or charitable trusts.  They would be empowered to delegate their power to make charges for tourist facilities provided in publicly-managed forests to other persons.  They would acquire new power to exploit commercially any intellectual property rights which may arise from their research activities.  They would also gain enhanced powers to require remedial action in respect of the unlawful felling of trees. 

3. The Regulatory Reform Committee has the task of examining and reporting to the House on every document containing proposals laid before the House under section 6 of the Regulatory Reform Act and every draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of that Act. The Committee also oversees the operation of the regulatory reform procedure.

4. Since the passage of the Regulatory Reform Act, 27 regulatory reform orders have been made. Copies of all proposals and draft Orders are available on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/rra/rro/proposals.asp

5. The Members of the Committee are:

Andrew Miller, Labour, Ellesmere Port & Neston (Chairman)
Gordon Banks, Labour, Ochil and South Perthshire
Mr James Gray, Conservative, North Wiltshire
Stephen Hammond, Conservative, Wimbledon
John Hemming, Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley
Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Labour, Gateshead East & Washington West
Mr Stewart Jackson, Conservative, Peterborough
Dr Doug Naysmith, Labour Co/op, Bristol North West
Mr Jamie Reed, Labour, Copeland
Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat, Colchester
Alison Seabeck, Labour, Plymouth, Devonport
Mr Andrew Slaughter, Labour, Ealing, Acton & Shepherd's Bush
Ms Angela C Smith, Labour, Sheffield, Hillsborough
Mr Anthony Steen, Conservative, Totnes

For further information on the work of the Committee, contact Mick Hillyard, Clerk of the Committee (020 7219 2830);  or see the Committee's website www.parliament.uk/regrefcom