THE BILL

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csc
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THE BILL

Postby csc » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:52 am

A BILL TO

Make provision about the constitution of the Farriers Registration Council and
its committees.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Constitution of Farriers Registration Council and its committees
.
The Schedule amends the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 to make changes to
the constitution of the Farriers Registration Council and its committees.

2 Power to make further changes to constitution of Council and its committees
.
5In the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975, after section 17 insert—

“17A

Power to change constitution of Council and its committees
.
(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend or replace—
.
(a)

Part 1 of Schedule 1 (constitution of the Council);
.
(b)

Schedule 2 (constitution of the Investigating Committee);
.
(c)

10Part 1 of Schedule 3 (constitution of the Disciplinary
Committee).
.
(2)

Before making regulations under this section, the Secretary of State
must obtain the consent of—
.
(a)

the Scottish Ministers, and
.
(b)

15the Welsh Ministers.
.
(3)

Before making regulations under this section, the Secretary of State
must consult—
.
(a)

the Council, and
.
(b)

any other persons the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
.
(4)

20Regulations under this section—
.
(a)

are to be made by statutory instrument;
.
Farriers (Registration) BillPage 2

(b)

may include incidental, supplementary, consequential,
transitional, transitory or saving provision.
.
(5)

A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
5Parliament.””
.
3

Extent, commencement and short title
.
(1)

This Act extends to England and Wales and Scotland.
.
(2)

Sections 1 and 2 and the Schedule come into force on such day as the Secretary
of State may by regulations appoint.
.
(3)

10This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.
.
(4)

Regulations under subsection (2)—
.
(a)

may appoint different days for different purposes;
.
(b)

may make transitional, transitory or saving provision.
.
(5)

Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.
.
(6)

15This Act may be cited as the Farriers (Registration) Act 2017.
.
Farriers (Registration) BillPage 3

Section 1

Schedule

Constitution of Farriers Registration Council etc

Part 1

Constitution of Farriers Registration Council

1

5For Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 substitute—
.
““Part 1

Constitution

1

Membership
.
(1)

The Council is to consist of the following members—
.
(a)

10three persons appointed by the Company, at least one of
whom must be a practising farrier,
.
(b)

four practising farriers appointed in accordance with a
scheme made by the Council,
.
(c)

two registered persons appointed by the National
15Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural
Engineers,
.
(d)

two veterinary surgeons appointed by the Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons, and
.
(e)

one lay person appointed by each of the persons
20mentioned in sub-paragraph (2).
.
(2)

Those persons are—
.
(a)

the British Horseracing Authority Limited,
.
(b)

the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
.
(c)

Lantra (the company registered in England and Wales
25with the company registration number 2823181),
.
(d)

Scottish Enterprise, and
.
(e)

the British Equestrian Federation.
.
(3)

A scheme made by the Council under sub-paragraph (1)(b)—
.
(a)

may, in particular, provide for elections to be held for the
30purpose of determining the persons to be appointed;
.
(b)

may be amended or replaced by the Council.
.
(4)

In making a scheme under sub-paragraph (1)(b), the Council must
have due regard to the desirability of securing that the Council
includes persons representative of all parts of Great Britain.
.
(5)

35In this paragraph—
.
“lay person” means a person other than—

(a)

a registered person,

Farriers (Registration) BillPage 4

(b)

a person who, in the opinion of the person making the
appointment, is qualified to be a registered person,

(c)

a veterinary surgeon, or

(d)

a veterinary practitioner;

5“practising farrier” means a registered person who carries
out farriery.

2

Term of office
.
(1)

Appointment as a member of the Council is for a term of 4 years.
.
(2)

A person may not be appointed as a member more than twice.
.
(3)

10A member may resign at any time by notice given to the registrar.
.
(4)

A member may be removed from office if the member fails to
satisfy any conditions about fitness to be a member that are
determined by the Council.
.
(5)

The procedure for removal of a member from office is to be
15determined by the Council.
.
3

Casual vacancies
.
(1)

Where a vacancy occurs among the members of the Council
otherwise than by the expiry of a member’s term of office, a person
must be appointed to fill the vacancy.
.
(2)

20So far as practicable, the appointment must be made so as to
enable the person appointed to assume office at the time the
vacancy arises.
.
(3)

The appointment is for a term expiring on the date on which the
term of office of the member whose vacancy the person fills would
25have expired.
.
(4)

The appointment does not count as an appointment for the
purposes of paragraph 2(2) (limit on number of times a person
may be appointed as a member of the Council).
.
4

Procedure
.
(1)

30The quorum for a meeting of the Council is—
.
(a)

seven, or
.
(b)

another number determined by the Council.
.
(2)

The Council must elect one of its members to act as chair of the
Council.
.
(3)

35The Council may make rules governing its meetings and
procedure.
.
(4)

The rules may in particular provide—
.
(a)

for a member of the Council to act as its chair in the absence
of the member mentioned in sub-paragraph (2);
.
(b)

40for a member acting as chair to have an additional casting
vote.

Farriers (Registration) BillPage 5

5

Validity of acts
.
The validity of anything done by the Council is not affected by—

(a)

a vacancy among its members, or
.
(b)

a defect in the appointment (or election) of a member.””
.
2

(1)

5Part 2 of Schedule 1 to that Act is amended as follows.
.
(2)

Omit paragraphs 7 and 8.
.
(3)

In paragraph 9—
.
(a)

the existing text becomes sub-paragraph (1);
.
(b)

after that sub-paragraph insert—
.
“(2)

10The Council may make rules governing the meetings and
procedure of an additional committee or area council.
.
(3)

The rules may in particular provide—
.
(a)

for a member of the additional committee or area
council to act as its chair;
.
(b)

15for a member acting as chair to have an additional
casting vote.””
.
3

In section 18 of that Act (interpretation), insert at the appropriate places—
.
“““registered person” means a person who is registered in the
register;”;

20““veterinary practitioner” means a person registered in the
supplementary veterinary register kept under the Veterinary
Surgeons Act 1966;”;

““veterinary surgeon” means a person registered in the register
of veterinary surgeons kept under that Act.””

25Part 2

Constitution of Investigating Committee

4

In section 13(1) of the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 (the Investigating
Committee), omit “from among its members”.
.
5

For Schedule 2 to that Act substitute—
.
Section 13

““Schedule 2

30Constitution of the Investigating Committee

Membership

1

(1)

The Investigating Committee is to consist of six members
appointed by the Council.
.
(2)

At least two of the members must be registered persons.
.
(3)

35None of the members may be—
.
(a)

a member of the Council,
.
(b)

an officer or servant of the Council, or
.
(c)

a member of the Disciplinary Committee.
.
Farriers (Registration) BillPage 6

(4)

The Council must designate a member of the Investigating
Committee to act as its chair.
.
(5)

The Council may delegate its function under sub-paragraph (1) to
any extent.
.
5Term of office

2

(1)

Appointment as a member of the Investigating Committee is for a
term determined by the Council.
.
2)

A member may resign at any time by notice given to the registrar.
.
(3)

A member may be removed from office if the member fails to
10satisfy any conditions about fitness to be a member that are
determined by the Council.
.
(4)

The procedure for removal of a member from office is to be
determined by the Council.
.
Procedure

3

(1)

15The quorum for a meeting of the Investigating Committee is three,
of whom one must be a registered person.
.
(2)

The Council may make rules governing the Committee’s meetings
and procedure.
.
(3)

The rules may in particular provide—
.
(a)

20for a member of the Committee to act as its chair in the
absence of the member designated under paragraph 1(4);
.
(b)

for a member acting as chair to have an additional casting
vote.
.
Validity of acts

4

25The validity of anything done by the Investigating Committee is
not affected by—
.
(a)

a vacancy among its members, or
.
(b)

a defect in the appointment of a member.””
.
Part 3

30Constitution of Disciplinary Committee

6

In section 14 of the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 (the Disciplinary
Committee)—
.
(a)

in subsection (1), omit “from among its members”;
.
(b)

in subsection (2), for “and procedure of” substitute “of, and
35proceedings before,”.
.
Farriers (Registration) BillPage 7

7

For Part 1 of Schedule 3 to that Act substitute—
.
““Part 1

Constitution of Disciplinary Committee

1

Membership
.
(1)

5The Disciplinary Committee is to consist of nine members
appointed by the Council.
.
(2)

At least three of the members must be registered persons.
.
(3)

None of the members may be—
.
(a)

a member of the Council,
.
(b)

10an officer or servant of the Council, or
.
(c)

a member of the Investigating Committee.
.
(4)

The Council must designate a member of the Disciplinary
Committee to act as its chair.
.
(5)

The Council may delegate its function under sub-paragraph (1) to
15any extent.
.
2

Term of office
.
(1)

Appointment as a member of the Disciplinary Committee is for a
term determined by the Council.
.
2)

A member may resign at any time by notice given to the registrar.
.
(3)

20A member may be removed from office if the member fails to
satisfy any conditions about fitness to be a member that are
determined by the Council.
.
(4)

The procedure for removal of a member from office is to be
determined by the Council.
.
3

25Procedure
.
(1)

The quorum for a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee is five,
of whom one must be a registered person.
.
(2)

A person who has acted in relation to a case as a member of the
Investigating Committee may not act in relation to the case as a
30member of the Disciplinary Committee.
.
(3)

The Council may make rules governing the Disciplinary
Committee’s meetings and procedure.
.
(4)

The rules may in particular provide for a member of the
Committee to act as its chair in the absence of the member
35designated under paragraph 1(4).
.
(5)

But the power to make rules under this paragraph may not be
used to make provision that could be made by rules under
paragraph 4.
.
Farriers (Registration) BillPage 8

3A

Validity of acts
.
The validity of anything done by the Disciplinary Committee is
not affected by—

(a)

a vacancy among its members, or
.
(b)

5a defect in the appointment of a member.””
.
8

In Part 2 of Schedule 3 to that Act, in the heading, for “Procedure of”
substitute “Proceedings before”.

csc
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:01 am

i find the term of office quite disturbing as tecnically if council decide that the elected person is not playing ball they can get rid of him, what it does not say is what already exists in the act that anyone who resignes or gets slung off will be replaced by the WCF

john ford
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Location: Pucklechurch, Bristol.

Re: THE BILL

Postby john ford » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:28 am

Looking through all that, tells me that this has been drawn up by all and only persons who want full control of everything, with complete disregard of what the FRC Act is for. I can see a much more power crazy authority created, which will have no benefits what-so-ever to the equine or farriers. I thought this update of the FRC 1975 Act was to change certain text within the act, to stop such loopholes which will stop the Barefoot Trimmers from operating?

PNB
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Re: THE BILL

Postby PNB » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:38 pm

Stuart,

It seems at first glance that BFBA have had their authority to propose two members onto FRC taken away.

However I may be reading it wrongly. COMMENTS PLEASE?

PNB?

john ford
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Re: THE BILL

Postby john ford » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:07 pm

Surely you FRC representatives know what is written in this new bill. If not what the fuck have you been playing at? If you don’t know, then it seems that the FRC and WCF are in a position to make all the rules for their own benefit and meeting agenda’s, without interfering or adjusting the 1975 Farriers Registration Act as it was written to protect the equine? With less representation from the trade, the Act becomes more of a farce.

csc
Posts: 950
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:44 am

spot on John that's why we need everyone to urgently write to the re MPs and burry this as it looks like it will strengthen the WCF control on the grounds as we need 50% elected persons and the bill seemingly gives them the right to get rid of anyone they think unsuitable and replace with a WCF person lay or farriers

csc
Posts: 950
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:10 pm

I am advised that while the draft Farriers Registration Bill was not debated on the floor of the House last Friday, it did complete its Second Reading by way of “Business without Debate” – the relevant extract of Hansard is reproduced below following publication on the Parliamentary website earlier this morning. The draft Bill now advances to the committee stage; as previously you may follow the progress of the draft Bill at http://services.parliament.uk

john ford
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Re: THE BILL

Postby john ford » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:37 am

Seems one is denied access to this site http://services.parliament.uk

john ford
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Re: THE BILL

Postby john ford » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:54 am

Update on previous post. As I signed up to receive information of the on-going procedures of the latest FRC Bill. I received an email which led me straight into the appropriate website. Those persons who have not registered their details to get this information will not be allowed access to this site. Therefore Stuart even I can't access this site by clicking your link address on this message board.

csc
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:53 am

funny that. I copied and posted this from a email to council members from D Greenwood

csc
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:06 am

50/50 representation, the vote and its importance. So after some thought on the matter I feel I need to write and point out to fellow a farriers a topic that was raised in the latest bulletin issue 127. The topic that was raised was of equal representation of farriers on the FRC, to my mind a matter of great importance. In the Defra consultation farriers document it states that farriers are represented equally 50/50 .. This is misleading as we are not equally represented. Of the 16 members of the council only 6 are farriers 37.5% not 50% as stated. The other 62.5% are lay people, vets, jockey club, Scotland, RSPCA...
So why is this important to us farriers, it states in the bulletin that other regulatory bodies have similar make ups of the councils where lay people outnumber the professionals, but I will point out that the Vet council to whom the FRC continually align themselves with, have a higher proportion of vets to lay people on their council.
So what are the merits of having equal representation on the council, I have spoken to many farriers on the subject and all agree that no one knows farriery better than farriers, our overwhelming desire is to improve the welfare of the horse in a highly specific way using skills that to the lay person are impossible to explain. We as farriers know when we fall short and the close community always rally to help with others shortcomings and needs.
We are also blessed with highly intelligent farriers whose drive to put things back into the trade deserve a front seat in the decisions that effect the regulation of farriery.
The lay people's imput cannot be dismissed as they bring valuable and different views to our own, that prevent us from being to insular, but I question that their value needs to exceed that of farriers themselves.
So to the vote on the 30 November 2016 at council meeting, now I'm not often left speechless as most who know me will testify, but this left me speachless. I will quickly outline the vote.
The Chairman offered a vote "do council members consider that their should be 50/50 representation on the council?" ( ie.50% lay members 50% farriers). The council voted 6 votes in favour, 9 abstentions one absent. Could these numbers be reflective of the make up of the council?
So this is the bit that I can't understand and had to re read several times. A new vote was proposed and voted on "should the council continue with a majority of lay members?" 7 votes in favour 6 votes against and 2 abstentions... 1 absent..
Now if ever there was a justification for equal representation it is above... Someone suggested to me that " turkeys don't vote for Christmas" I can't comment on that but when I look at the distribution of votes there appears to be a pattern.
The vote was considered to be important as the council decided to take the vote, but I question the timing of the vote, this was so constitutionally important that it should of been a vote put to all farriers... Something I'm sure people in a position of power will disagree with, but I can assure those people that " not only must justice be done but it must be seen to be done" for justice read procedure, democracy, transparency and all done in an egalitarian way with proper representation.. D HALLs facebook article

csc
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:08 am

David Hall‎
to
British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association
4 mins ·
50/50 representation, the vote and its importance. So after some thought on the matter I feel I need to write and point out to fellow a farriers a topic that was raised in the latest bulletin issue 127. The topic that was raised was of equal representation of farriers on the FRC, to my mind a matter of great importance. In the Defra consultation farriers document it states that farriers are represented equally 50/50 .. This is misleading as we are not equally represented. Of the 16 members of the council only 6 are farriers 37.5% not 50% as stated. The other 62.5% are lay people, vets, jockey club, Scotland, RSPCA...
So why is this important to us farriers, it states in the bulletin that other regulatory bodies have similar make ups of the councils where lay people outnumber the professionals, but I will point out that the Vet council to whom the FRC continually align themselves with, have a higher proportion of vets to lay people on their council.
So what are the merits of having equal representation on the council, I have spoken to many farriers on the subject and all agree that no one knows farriery better than farriers, our overwhelming desire is to improve the welfare of the horse in a highly specific way using skills that to the lay person are impossible to explain. We as farriers know when we fall short and the close community always rally to help with others shortcomings and needs.
We are also blessed with highly intelligent farriers whose drive to put things back into the trade deserve a front seat in the decisions that effect the regulation of farriery.
The lay people's imput cannot be dismissed as they bring valuable and different views to our own, that prevent us from being to insular, but I question that their value needs to exceed that of farriers themselves.
So to the vote on the 30 November 2016 at council meeting, now I'm not often left speechless as most who know me will testify, but this left me speachless. I will quickly outline the vote.
The Chairman offered a vote "do council members consider that their should be 50/50 representation on the council?" ( ie.50% lay members 50% farriers). The council voted 6 votes in favour, 9 abstentions one absent. Could these numbers be reflective of the make up of the council?
So this is the bit that I can't understand and had to re read several times. A new vote was proposed and voted on "should the council continue with a majority of lay members?" 7 votes in favour 6 votes against and 2 abstentions... 1 absent..
Now if ever there was a justification for equal representation it is above... Someone suggested to me that " turkeys don't vote for Christmas" I can't comment on that but when I look at the distribution of votes there appears to be a pattern.
The vote was considered to be important as the council decided to take the vote, but I question the timing of the vote, this was so constitutionally important that it should of been a vote put to all farriers... Something I'm sure people in a position of power will disagree with, but I can assure those people that " not only must justice be done but it must be seen to be done" for justice read procedure, democracy, transparency and all done in an egalitarian way with proper representation..

csc
Posts: 950
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:41 pm

This is very much “as I see it” take on the current Proposed Bill ….if you agree then please copy/paste/share etc . As I say , this is my take on it but I will not comment on this post..but feel free to PM me and , of course, comment in the way only free minded farriers can..but please keep it clean and respect others who may not share your views.

The proposed Farrier Bill has some good points. Some of them give the FRC/Committee far greater power to make changes without having to go through laborious Parliamentary procedure and as such provides greater flexibility to respond to the changing landscape of our industry.

However, to ensure that any actions taken because of these proposed changes, it is imperative that our industry is well represented on the FRC Committee and does not fall victim to brutal (voting) arithmetic.

The current committee comprises:

3X appointed by WCF (one of which is the Chair but this is subject to a Proposed Change), 2X RCVS, 2X BFBA,1X RSPCA,1X LANTRA, 1X JOCKEY CLUB, 1X BRITISH EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION, 4X ELECTED FARRIERS.

In the Consultation Paper November 2013, the Government indicated no increase to the number sitting on Committee. Given this and given that Farriers need at least a 50:50 split (also in the Consultation Paper and like the RCVS) to ensure that any changes made are in both the Farriers’ and the Horses’ interest.
Some of the changes are to the Disciplinary and Investigating Committees where it is proposed that no one can sit on more than one Committee. Following this line of thought perhaps it should also extend to the FRC Committee Members where they should only represent one organisation; they cannot for example, be a member of WCF and sit as an appointed RVCS member. This would negate any conflict of interest situations.

The burning question is: How do we achieve at least 8 elected farriers? Reducing the Current appointees to one per organisation would “free up” 4 places (2 from WCF, 1 from BFBA and 1 from RCVS) this, rather neatly leaves all current organizations represented whilst providing 4 “extra” elected positions for farriers.
JEFF NEWMANS RESPONSE

john ford
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Re: THE BILL

Postby john ford » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:51 pm

Latest news on the Farriers (Registration) Bill 2016-17

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee. The Public Bill Committee will meet next on Tuesday 7 March 2017.

The Public Bill Committee will scrutinise the Bill line by line.

The Bill had its second reading debate on Friday 27 January 2017. This Bill was presented to Parliament on 29 June 2016 through the Ballot procedure.

csc
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Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:26 am

PLEASE COULD YOU ALL FORWARD THIS TO YOUR MPs,

My name is Paul Gordon, I am a very concerned farrier, and an elected member of the farriers registration council.
As an elected member I am fully aware of the out dated and not fit for purpose makeup of the farriers registration council, and the monopoly that the worshipful company hold on it, for example at the last council meeting of the FRC. There were 8 members of the worshipful company sitting, making it 50% of the council make up.
I and the other elected farrier members and the individual farriers of the united kingdom that elected us to sit as there representatives feel we need a balanced representation from the industry/craft with a 50% elected farrier membership. As it is in other professions, and council governed industry’s,
I am aware the committee is to sit on the 7th of March 2017 and I would be grateful if you could support the 50/50 balance of elected farrier membership on council, in which the implemented by the committee would bring the farriery industry into the present day of administration and governance of the industry.

My MP is Edward Timpson and has kindly offered his support , attached is the letter I sent to him highlighting the makeup and elected ratio of professional bodies we should based on, because as professions in there own right, there council make up works . with a minimum of 50 to 60% balance of elected members Historically work.
Also attached is a list showing that out of the 6 committees on the FRC council 5 of the chairman and there positions, who are all worshipful company members,


I would be great if you could find the time to contact me if you would like to discuss these issues, and if I can be of any further help,

john ford
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Re: THE BILL

Postby john ford » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:49 pm

Farriers (Registration) Bill (First sitting)
07 March 7th 2017
Attended List
The Committee consisted of the following Members:
Chair: James Gray
Chapman, Douglas (Dunfermline and West Fife) (SNP)
† Davies, Byron (Gower) (Con)
† Davies, Glyn (Montgomeryshire) (Con)
† Eustice, George (Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
† Glindon, Mary (North Tyneside) (Lab)
† Green, Chris (Bolton West) (Con)
† Harris, Carolyn (Swansea East) (Lab)
† Hoare, Simon (North Dorset) (Con)
† Jones, Gerald (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney) (Lab)
Matheson, Christian (City of Chester) (Lab)
† Merriman, Huw (Bexhill and Battle) (Con)
† Morton, Wendy (Aldridge-Brownhills) (Con)
† Murray, Mrs Sheryll (South East Cornwall) (Con)
Owen, Albert (Ynys Môn) (Lab)
† Paterson, Steven (Stirling) (SNP)
† Tolhurst, Kelly (Rochester and Strood) (Con)
Dr Glenn McKee, Committee Clerk
† attended the Committee
Public Bill Committee
Tuesday 7 March 2017
[James Gray in the Chair]
Farriers (Registration) Bill
9.30 am
• The Chair
I welcome you all to the Committee. Before we begin, I will make a couple of introductory remarks. You know that I take a very old-fashioned view with regard to behaviour in Committee, and anyone caught taking their clothes off or drinking coffee or anything else will be asked not to do so, if that is all right by everyone concerned.
No amendments have been tabled to the Bill. That means that we will have one debate on clause 1 stand part, if that is agreeable, during which it will be perfectly sensible to discuss clauses 2 and 3 stand part, and indeed the schedule to the Bill. At the end of the debate, if it is agreeable to the Committee, we will take clauses 2 and 3 and the schedule formally, having already debated them, rather than taking each separately.
The Chair
I see from nods around the room that that is indeed an acceptable way of proceeding.
Clause 1
Constitution of Farriers Registration Council and its committees
Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.
• The Chair
With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:
Clause 2 stand part.
Clause 3 stand part.
That the schedule be the schedule to the Bill.
• Byron Davies (Gower) (Con)
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gray. I am delighted to be able to present the Bill, to which I have some attachment, as my father started life as a farrier before the second world war. When he came back from the war, things had changed and he followed another career, but I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce the Bill.
The purpose of the Bill is to protect and maintain the public interest and protect the welfare of equines by modernising the governance, structure and operation of the Farriers Registration Council and its statutory committees. That will enable the council to overcome practical difficulties caused by out-of-date legislation, reduce the risk of legal challenge and modernise the council’s structure and operations in line with the Government’s better regulation principles and the practices of other regulators.
Clause 1 introduces the schedule, which amends the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 and makes changes to the constitution of the Farriers Registration Council and its committees: the investigating committee and the disciplinary committee. The schedule has three parts, which replace the respective sections in the original Act dealing with the constitution of the council, the constitution of the investigating committee, and the constitution of the disciplinary committee. I will summarise the key points of those parts and highlight the changes that the Bill makes.
Part 1 of the schedule deals with the constitution of the council. The Bill retains the existing number of members—16—but makes some changes to their make-up. It removes the distinction between employed and self-employed farriers, as virtually all farriers are self-employed these days, so the distinction is out of date and no longer representative or valid. Four practising farriers will be elected, and two farriers will be appointed by the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association. Three members will still be appointed by the Worshipful Company of Farriers, but there will be a new requirement that at least one must be a practising farrier. That means that the minimum number of farriers on the council will be seven, and there may be as many as nine if the worshipful company chooses to appoint more than one farrier. The remainder of the council will be made up of two veterinary surgeons and five lay representatives appointed by various interested bodies, such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Horseracing Authority. The worshipful company will no longer appoint the chairman, who will be elected by the council from its members.
The Bill also tightens some of the provisions for serving on the council. It introduces a fixed four-year term of office for all members and stipulates that a member may serve on the council only twice. It introduces fitness-to-serve conditions. Members may be removed from office if they fail to comply with those conditions.
Turning to the changes in the constitution of the investigating and disciplinary committees set out in parts 2 and 3 of the schedule, part 2 deals with the investigating committee, which carries out preliminary investigations of cases or complaints against farriers that could amount to professional misconduct. If the investigating committee deems that to be so, the case is sent to the disciplinary committee, which determines whether the charges are proven. It can, where appropriate, apply sanctions—in the most serious cases, up to and including the removal of someone from the register of farriers. That would mean that that person would no longer legally be able to practise farriery.
The function of those committees is vital to the regulation of the farriery profession, and the Bill seeks to make changes to modernise the law and ensure that they are fit and proper for regulation in the 21st century. In particular, the Bill seeks to impose a full separation of powers, as I shall now explain. As the law stands, the investigating committee and the disciplinary committee are made up of members of the council. That does not fulfil the principle of separation of powers and the removal of possible bias and impartiality. The body that sets the standards for the profession is also responsible for investigation and adjudication on possible breaches of those standards.
As such, decisions of the investigating committee or the disciplinary committee may be subject to legal challenge by those whose cases are determined on the basis that they did not have the right to a fair trial. Equally, members of the public may view the lack of impartiality as farriers looking after their own. Consequently, it is vital that changes are made to bring the law up to date. The Bill proposes that members of the investigating and disciplinary committees are not members of the council; nor may they be an officer or servant of the council—that is, paid staff of the Farriers Registration Council.
The provision will be retained that a person on the disciplinary committee cannot sit on a case if they served time on the investigation committee in respect of the same case. That will ensure that full separation of powers is met and that the investigation and disciplinary committees meet the requirements of a modern regulator.
To summarise the remainder of the Bill: the investigating committee will consist of six people appointed by the council, of whom at least two must be registered by the council. The chair will be appointed by the council, and the quorum for a meeting will be three, at least one of whom must be a registered person. As with the council itself, the Bill would introduce a fitness-to-serve provision and powers to remove those who do not comply.
The constitution of the disciplinary committee, set out in part 3 of the schedule, follows similar lines. The principal difference from the investigating committee is that the disciplinary committee will consist of nine members appointed by the council, at least three of whom must be registered persons. The quorum for a meeting will be five members, at least one of whom must be registered. Otherwise, the same rules apply as for the investigating committee: the chair will be designated by the council, and a fitness-to-serve provision introduced, with powers to remove those who cannot comply.
Clause 2 inserts new section 17A into the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 and gives powers to the Secretary of State to make regulations to amend or replace those parts of the measure that deal with the constitution of the council, the investigating committee and the disciplinary committee. In short, the clause would allow future amendment of the legislation to be made by secondary legislation, should that become necessary.
The clause also recognises the devolved nature of the legislation and would require that, if any future legislative change is made, the Secretary of State must gain the consent of Scottish and Welsh Ministers. The Secretary of State must also consult the FRC and any other relevant parties. Legislative changes will be by statutory instrument and subject to the negative procedure.
Clause 3 provides for the Bill to extend to England and Wales and Scotland, and states that the main body of the Act will come into force when introduced by statutory instrument at a date determined by the Secretary of State.
Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) (Lab)
It is an honour to speak under your chairmanship, Mr Gray. It is more than three years since the coalition Government carried out the consultation on reforming the governance structure and operation of the Farriers Registration Council. Unfortunately, they were not able to allocate time in the previous Parliament for a draft Bill to reform the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975.
I, therefore, congratulate the hon. Member for Gower on taking up the draft Bill. It was wonderful to hear—and he must be proud to be able to speak on this—about something that his father was involved in during his early life. He spoke in depth about the Bill’s clauses, so I will be brief, the Committee will be pleased to hear. The Bill will modernise the Government’s structure and operation of the FRC and its statutory committees to protect and maintain the public interest.
Under the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975, the FRC not only has a responsibility to maintain, regulate and approve membership of the register, but it has a responsibility for the preliminary investigation of disciplinary cases through its investigating committee, and it determines cases through its disciplinary committee. The arrangements are out of date and are not in line with the regulation of other professions. In the Bill, members of both the investigating committee and the disciplinary committee will not be members of the FRC, which will result in an acceptable separation of powers. There will also be a fitness-to-serve requirement for all members, similar to that in other regulatory bodies. There are also defined terms of office, and the chair will no longer be appointed but will be elected by members of the council.
The Bill will reduce the risk of legal challenge, and bring the regulation of the farrier profession into line with the regulation of other professions. It will introduce a new flexibility, and will allow future changes to the FRC to be made by the Secretary of State under secondary legislation, thus allowing the FRC and its committees to be kept up to date and fit for purpose. We support the Bill, as it introduces a greater level of fairness and transparency to the FRC and its committees that will underpin its progress as a modern and professional regulator for its members, and for those who rely on the industry well into the future.
Huw Merriman (Bexhill and Battle) (Con)
I, too, shall be brief. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Gower on bringing forward this private Member’s Bill. As a result of an interaction I had with a constituent of mine who is a farrier, I seem to have got to know more farriers in the country along the way. Perhaps this is a good example of how democracy works: we are here to serve our constituents, and I promised that if I could not get him the answer he needed, I would apply to get on the Bill Committee. Here I am today as a result.
My constituent, Mr Jeffrey Newnham, has concerns about the composition of the Farriers Registration Council, particularly the requirement that the worshipful company provide three members. It appears that the Government have also looked at this issue. The changes are welcome, and should be welcomed by my constituent. By ensuring that one of the three members from the worshipful company must be a farrier, the number of farriers on the council is increased. The Government seem to recognise that there should be greater representation of farriers within the worshipful company.
It may seem strange to some hon. Members, but it is not a requirement for the Worshipful Company of Farriers to actually provide farriers to the council. As a result, farriers feel that they are under-represented among the 16 members. They want 50% of the council to be farriers, rather than the seven out of 16 that will be the case under the Government’s change, which at least raises it from six. Farriers themselves feel that they are under-represented.
The point I would make to my hon. Friend the Member for Gower, and perhaps to the Minister, is that there seems to be a lack of harmony between the farrier industry and its own worshipful company. Knowing some of these companies, I would say that its rules can at times be outmoded and its constitution might not necessarily reflect the industry that it was originally set up to serve. There may need to be a bringing together of farriers and their own worshipful company. I recognise that it is not the Government’s job to intervene so closely, but where farriers have real concerns about a lack of representation on their own council, I would like the Government to take steps to bring the sides together in the event that the Government are unwilling to put the make-up up to 50%.
9.45 am
The regulation of this industry is important and has legal consequences, so I can understand why the Government would not do so. Any industry that effectively regulates itself does not necessarily provide the independent regulation that is required. I recognise the concerns that the Government may have, but I ask whether there are measures they can take to try to bring the industry together.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (George Eustice)
May I begin by congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for Gower on bringing forward this Bill, which enjoys full Government support? As the shadow Minister pointed out, we held a consultation on this issue in 2013. The intention is, at the request of the Farriers Registration Council, to revisit the legislation to enable the council to modernise its procedures. The Farriers Registration Council is an important organisation. It was established by the 1975 Act to maintain a register of farriers, to determine who is eligible to practise and to approve farrier training. The Farriers Registration Council is a light-touch regulatory body that focuses on regulating the individual and leaves the farrier free to adopt the business model of their choice.
I will not rehearse the detailed intention behind each clause because my hon. Friend the Member for Gower has outlined that. In summary, first, the Bill establishes a new schedule that enables us to revisit the constitution of the Farriers Registration Council. I will return to that in a moment, given the points made my hon. Friend the Member for Bexhill and Battle. Secondly, in order to establish a degree of independence that it was felt was wanted, the Bill makes changes to the constitution of the disciplinary committee and the investigating committee to ensure that members of those committees cannot also be members of the council. Thirdly and importantly, clause 2 establishes a power for us to revisit issues such as the constitution of the Farriers Registration Council and its committees through secondary legislation. Most of us here today would probably think it unnecessary to have primary legislation to make decisions about the constitution of a particular committee of the Farriers Registration Council.
The original 1975 Act sought to maintain some continuity with the very good work done by the Worshipful Company of Farriers, which can trace its origins right back to 1356. In fact, the company is No. 55 on the register of the City of London livery companies. The 1975 Act always intended to maintain a link between the Worshipful Company of Farriers and the Farriers Registration Council. That is why it charged the Worshipful Company of Farriers with the function of
“securing adequate standards of competence and conduct”
among farriers, and the duty of promoting, encouraging and advancing the
“art and science of farriery”.
As my hon. Friend the Member for Bexhill and Battle pointed out, under the legislation, it is the role of the Worshipful Company of Farriers to provide three appointees to the Farriers Registration Council, but we are making a number of important changes.
I reassure my hon. Friend that I, too, have had meetings with farriers on both sides of the debate. I have met those who felt that the Worshipful Company of Farriers had too great a role. They raised two particular issues. First, they felt there should be 50% representation of working farriers. Secondly, they had concerns about the ability of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, under the original Act, to directly appoint a chairman of the Farriers Registration Council. I listened to those concerns, but I reassure him that they are not felt universally by all farriers. I have also had farriers contact me to say that they are perfectly happy with the current arrangements, that they have great confidence in the Worshipful Company of Farriers, and that they would not want to break that link.
We have therefore sought to build a compromise that addresses all of those concerns. First, we have made it clear that the Worshipful Company of Farriers will no longer directly appoint a chairman of its choosing. In future, the members of the council will decide who is their chairman. That does not prevent there being a convention, if it is the will of the members of the council, for the Worshipful Company of Farriers to advance options or nominations to be considered alongside others. However, it means that the worshipful company will no longer have the power to directly appoint a chairman.
The second change is that, of the three appointees the worshipful company must make, at least one must be a working farrier. It is possible for all three to be working farriers, meaning that, of the 16 members, a minimum of seven and a maximum of nine will be working farriers. It is likely that, more often than not, the majority of council members will be working farriers, which I think strikes the right balance. If the council were predominantly constituted of farriers and did not, as currently, have veterinary experts, representatives of the horse industry and other experts in the field, there would be the danger of regulatory capture. That is the counter-argument that has been made by others in the worshipful company. I hope that the compromises we have made strike the right balance in that regard and mean that hon. Members feel able to support the Bill.
Finally, I simply say that it is important that councils such as this have a collegiate manner and work together, based on the evidence of individual cases and particular problems. We do not want a system in which there is a bloc vote of working farriers versus the rest; that would clearly not be a healthy state of affairs. I hope I have reassured hon. Members about the changes we are making and the reasons for them. In doing so, we make no comment at all about the Worshipful Company of Farriers. It is an organisation with a proud history. I have met its representatives and have a huge amount of respect for them. The Bill will maintain the close link with the Worshipful Company of Farriers while, I hope, striking the right balance in other areas. I am happy to say that I support the Bill and hope it is passed quickly.
Byron Davies
I am grateful for the shadow Minister’s kind words, her support for the Bill and her assistance in allowing for its smooth transition. I am grateful to the Minister for addressing the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Bexhill and Battle, and I hope that that matter has been put to rest for him and his constituent, Mr Jeffrey Newnham. That is about all I have to say.
Question put and agreed to.
Clause 1 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clauses 2 and 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Schedule agreed to.
Bill to be reported, without amendment

csc
Posts: 950
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Location: berks

Re: THE BILL

Postby csc » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:57 pm

Prime minister letter
Dear PM
Thank you for your letter dated 20th March 2017 ref: DEFRA MC 422603/GH
The Farriers Registration Act 1975 was set up as: An Act to prevent and avoid suffering by and cruelty to horses arising from the shoeing of horses; to promote the training of farriers and shoeing smiths; to provide for the establishment of a FRC to register persons engaged in farriery and the shoeing of horses; to prohibit the shoeing of horses by unqualified persons; and for purposes connected therewith.
It appears the original intent has now broadened to encompass “maintain the public interest and the welfare of equines, by modernising the governance, structure and operation of the FRC and its statutory committees”. This gives rise to two questions;
a) Where is the evidence that the public interest is not being maintained by the current governance?
b) What evidence is there that equine welfare is under threat?
Comparing to the Veterinary and Architectural governance and make up of Committees this proposed Bill falls short of how these industries (and many more) enjoy balanced governance from their committees made up from 50% practising professionals to lay persons.
“The WCF will still be responsible for appointing three members of the Council “, In light of the Bew Report indicating the need for transparency perhaps there needs to be a disclosure of those Council Members who have links, (past or current positions) with the WCF which may give rise to losing public confidence by appearing to “wear two hats”.
The Consultation carried out in 2015 referred to in second paragraph. (Consultation on a proposal to reform the governance, structure and operation of the Farriers Registration Council, the statutory regulator for the farriery profession 12 November – 23 December 2014 printed March 2015) stated there should be a 50:50 split between lay persons and farriers. Whilst this was only a Consultation paper, this question was covered fully in questions 3-8 and the findings therefore cannot be dismissed.
The Appointed Farrier positions (1 from WCF and 2 from BFBA), the BFBA although the leading “trade” group has less than one third of Registered Farriers as members. The WCF’s main role is to provide examiners for the various examinations that are acknowledged by the FRC. The questions fairly raised is whether these two organisations need 5 seats at Committee. The same could also be asked whether there is a need for the Veterinary Profession to have two seats. It would appear the only reason for their presence in committee is not simply to offer a viewpoint but, along other members who have links with the WCF, to effectively act as a block vote that has actively captured the regulatory body on many occasions leaving the Elected Farrier representatives unable to fully engage in a balanced manner with the Committee.
The spectrum of Horse welfare pertaining to their feet are The Royal College Veterinary Surgeons, a regulatory body who have 50:50 representation, The Farriers Registration Council, a regulatory body that denies farriers a 50:50 representation and “Barefoot Trimmers” who under Section 19(4)(e) of the Veterinary Surgeons Act and reviewed under The Review of Minor Procedures Regime Project can perform their work completely unregulated.
One can only conclude from this that there is a feeling within the FRC that farriers, whilst capable of shoeing horses, are incapable and cannot be trusted in playing an active balanced role in the governance of their own industry.
Yours

PNB
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Re: THE BILL

Postby PNB » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:49 pm

please watch this space


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