I could not let the Third Reading be agreed to without a protest on behalf of my constituents. Although the Bill may have some moral basis, its timing is extremely bad. People in the Southern Water Authority's region—especially my constituents—have had to face substantial increases this financial year because of equalisation throughout the region. The additional burden of these charges is too much to bear.
If the Government had done something to stop the Southern Water Authority imposing its own equalisation so quickly—it was supposed to be done over five years and it was done over two—I might have taken a different view. The Southern Water Authority has been a disaster for my constituents. We were perfectly happy under our own Isle of Wight River and Water Authority—[Interruption.] Despite the grumblings of the hon. Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan) who knows nothing about the matter, we have gained little, if anything, from being in that authority's region. If anyone else is game to go into the Lobby against the Third Reading, I shall be pleased to join him. If not, at least I have made my protest.