HC Deb 04 April 1989 vol 150 cc35-6
Mr. Moynihan

I beg to move amendment No. 58, in page 171, line 29, leave out 'alongside' and insert 'in the close vicinity of'.

Mr. Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment No. 59.

Mr. Moynihan

The amendments meet a commitment that I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough and Horncastle (Mr. Leigh) in Committee on 7 March. They make it clear that telecommunications apparatus for use solely in connection with the operation of undertakers' pipes may be laid not just alongside but generally in the close vicinity of pipes. Hon. Members who served on the Committee will no doubt recall our important debate there. I promised to look carefully at the point that my hon. Friend raised, not least because, as he pointed out, the water undertakers do not necessarily lay the equipment at the same time as the water main, and it is not necessarily very close. It may be as close as 2 m to the water main, but it may be as far away as five. As my hon. Friend mentioned, the problem with the original drafting of the Bill was that clause 178 made it clear that the equipment had to be placed alongside. We recognise that that is not necessarily in the interests of those who are placing the new telephone apparatus and who might want it to be above or underneath the main.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 59, in page 171, line 30, leave out 'alongside' and insert 'in the close vicinity of—[Mr. Moynihan.]

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