HL Deb 25 February 1986 vol 471 cc941-2

2.56 p.m.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Aberdare)

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time.—(Lord Aberdare.)

Lord Graham of Edmonton

My Lords, before the Bill is read a second time—and I certainly would support that—may I ask the Chairman of Committees to ask the Select Committee which will receive this Bill to pay particular attention to Clauses 26 and 27? Clause 26 is entitled, "Control of noisy unloading". All sensible people would agree with any council that seeks to diminish the nuisance from noise during the hours which are sought: that is, 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. In the instance of Exeter, I am advised by the Co-operative Society which serves Exeter—that is, Co-operative Retail Services—and also, I understand, other traders that they are very gravely concerned at finding themselves at fault under this Bill if they are unable to transact their business from 6 a.m. The House may well be aware that modern retailing very often demands that supplies of fresh foods are brought to large stores early in the day. Consequently there is a danger that not only this business but others will be disadvantaged.

I also hope the committee will look at the difficulties which will result if the powers sought in Clause 26 are fully carried out. I believe the powers are extremely wide, and I should be grateful if the Chairman of Committees could give an undertaking that the powers as well as the substance of the clause will be looked at.

Clause 27 relates to shopping trolleys found in the open air. Again, it is a sensible clause in that it seeks to avoid the nuisance, as many people find it, of shopping trolleys being brought from stores and then abandoned in car parks and on the highway. Some traders have a very good record of making sure that their trolleys are not taken away, but others have a very bad record. It would appear from the drafting of the clause that there is some uncertainty as to the equity of the charges to be made. I should be most grateful if the Chairman of Committees could give an undertaking that Clauses 26 and 27 in particular will receive the attention of the Select Committee.

Lord Aberdare

My Lords, I certainly can. In fact, there is a petition by Marks and Spencer regarding these two clauses, Clauses 26 and 27, for the very same reasons as those expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Graham of Edmonton. Unless that petition is withdrawn, it will go to a Select Committee and will be given the usual very careful consideration. I will also ensure that the words that the noble Lord has uttered in the House this afternoon are brought to the attention of that Select Committee.

On Question, Bill read a second time, and committed to a Select Committee.