HC Deb 14 April 1967 vol 744 cc1540-3

12.15 p.m.

Mr. John Cordle (Bournemouth East and Christchurch)

I beg to move Amendment No. 29, in page 10, line 32, to leave out 'accumulated' and to insert 'falling to be disposed of'. The majority of the Amendments in my name are drafting, but there are two which have an element of principle behind them.

The purpose of this Amendment is to ensure that all business refuse is excluded from the scope of the duty laid down in the Clause. The present wording refuse accumulated in the course of a business might be held not to apply to business refuse which did not accumulate—that is, rubble—from a building which had fallen down.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cordle

I beg to move Amendment No. 30, in page 11, line 1, after 'may', to insert: (a) permit, on such terms as they think fit, the deposit at a place provided by them in pursuance of this section of refuse falling to be disposed of in the course of a business.

Mr. Speaker

With this Amendment we can discuss Amendment No. 5, in page 10, line 36, at end insert: Provided that refuse accumulated in the course of a business may be deposited where the authority so agrees and on such conditions as the authority thinks fit. Amendment No. 31, in page 11, line 2. leave out from 'at' to 'sell' in line 3 and insert 'such a place and'.

Amendment No. 32, in page 11, line 6, after 'to', insert 'accept and'.

Mr. Cordle

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Those Amendments are consequential on Amendment No. 30.

This Amendment was drafted to take care of the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, South (Mr. Evelyn King) in Amendment No. 5. Although local authorities have no duty under the Clause to provide places for the deposit of business refuse, they may have no wish to exclude it under conditions determined by them, that is, as to the nature of the refuse and the payment to be made.

The Amendment makes it clear that business refuse may be accepted on terms laid down by local authorities, and it enables authorities to take advantage of the incidental provisions of the Clause in relation to that refuse, such as the provision in subsection (4) relating to agreements with other people for receiving refuse.

Mr. J. E. B. Hill

I support the Amendment. It covers the purpose of Amendment No. 5 to which I and my hon. Friends the Members for Dorset, South (Mr. Evelyn King) and Ludlow (Mr. More) have put our names.

As I understand this Amendment, it enables a local authority to have separate rubbish dumps and not necessarily to allow business rubbish to be added to a rubbish dump which is to take, as it were, personal rubbish. This is very important for the countryside, because a great deal of rubbish is brought to the countryside and dumped, partly because there may be no satisfactory place for it in the immediate locality.

It is only too common for farmers and landowners suddenly to see a load of rubbish which has obviously been tipped during the night—often builders' waste—and which, if only there were facilities available in the district, might on payment have been much more cleanly and satisfactorily disposed of. I appreciate that this does not apply only in the country. Quite recently, I was shown some of the Save the Children Fund projects in London, and I saw a street in which there was a succession of heaps of builders' waste which had been dumped overnight. I did not realise that it could happen like that, almost in the heart of London.

Therefore, anything which enables a local authority to provide facilities for commercial waste has the strong support of myself and my hon. Friends and, of course, of outside bodies such as the National Farmers' Union and the Country Landowners' Association.

I am not quite clear about what constitutes commercial rubbish accumulated in the course of a business". However, I would suppose that much of the rubbish from the business of farming would be comprised in that definition, and this is becoming an increasing problem. The number of non-returnable plastic containers for sprays and fertilisers which are durable and unsightly is increasing. Therefore, unless in the rural areas local authorities have a permissive power to make it easy for farmers to dispose of rubbish which they cannot get rid of on their farms without creating an eyesore, not merely farmers, but visitors to the countryside will suffer.

I hope that the sponsors of the Bill accept the Amendment.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

The Government join the hon. Member for Bournemouth, East and Christchurch (Mr. Cordle) in expressing thanks to the hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. J. E. B. Hill) and his colleagues for Amendment No. 5. However, it is technically defective, although the principle is very sound. The hon. Member for Bournemouth, East and Christchurch is perfectly right in saying that Amendments Nos. 30, 31 and 32 meet the point which the hon. Member for Norfolk, South seeks to achieve.

We believe that comparable powers exist in Scotland, but, having looked them up, we think that they are rather obscure. We should, therefore, like the Amendment to apply to Scotland and England to make it absolutely clear what the hon. Member for Norfolk, South and his colleagues have in mind. That is the purposes of Amendments Nos. 30, 31 and 32. Therefore, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will accept the Government's view that those three Amendments are preferable technically to his Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: No. 31, in page 11, line 2, leave out from 'at' to 'sell ' in line 3 and insert such a place and'.

No. 32, in page 11, line 6, after 'to', insert 'accept and'.

No. 33, in page 11, line 41, leave out from 'area' to end of line 2 in page 12.

No. 34, in page 12, line 4, after 'area', insert 'of a local authority '.

No. 35, in page 12, line 15, at end insert: (9) Nothing in subsection (7) or subsection (8) of this section shall prevent the exercise by a local authority of any powers which, apart from those subsections, are exercisable by them by virtue of subsection (1) of this section.—[Mr. Cordle.]