HC Deb 24 April 1998 vol 310 cc1145-6 2.27 pm
Mr. David Maclean (Penrith and The Border)

I beg to move amendment No. 3, in page 1, line 18, at end insert `and shall also consult those whom the authority believes are the principal generators of controlled waste.'.

The promoter of the Bill, the hon. Member for Basildon (Angela Smith), was kind enough to tell me that, although she was tempted to accept the amendment, she was unable to do so. Without embarrassing anybody, I assume that the Government had concluded that they could not accept my amendment. I regret that.

The amendment merely invites the Government—although it would put an obligation on the Government—to consult those whom the local waste authority perceives to be the main causers of waste. I am at a loss to understand why anyone should object to such consultation. My amendment does not suggest that the waste authority must be bound by what the generators of the waste say, or that the legislation must be amended accordingly. It merely adds to the list of those consulted a requirement to consult those perceived to be the generators of the waste. I hope that the Minister will explain briefly why she could not accept that simple amendment.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Angela Eagle)

I shall try to reassure the right hon. Gentleman. We expect local authorities to consult, but we do not want a strong statutory provision for particular people to be consulted, when the parent legislation that the Bill would amend contains no such consultation measures. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will accept my assurances that we envisage that there will be such consultation, but we do not want it included statutorily in the Bill. It would unbalance the legislation that the Bill would amend.

This enabling Bill is welcome and has support throughout the House. We fully expect local authorities that take it up to consult, but we want that to come about through guidelines rather than legislation.

Mr. Maclean

Although I am not reassured by the hon. Lady and I may wish to return to the matter on another occasion, I shall not pursue the issue today. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.—(Angela Smith.]

2.29 pm
Mr. Maclean

As I am not satisfied by the answer that I have received from the Minister, I wish to say a few words on Third Reading. While the Bill is reasonably innocuous, some of my concerns about it have not been addressed today. I shall not seek to talk about an amendment that, unfortunately, was not selected. It suggested that the word "anything" in line 11 of the Bill was rather wide and carte blanche.

It being half-past Two o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed on Friday 3 July.

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