My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davis. In his way, he made precisely the point that I was making. I do not want to get into trying to discuss what our relationship might be--that would lead to complete confusion, just as it would between myself and the Minister--but it does make the point.
I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, for her comments. There is a danger that in reading the Bill one could misinterpret the word "efficiency" and leave out "environmental". The Minister did not answer that specific point.
I am well aware--as I should be after serving a long time in local government--of the statutory duties of local government. I am completely in favour of not rewriting legislation that is already written elsewhere. However, I return to my point: one needs to keep all the ideas flowing together. That was the reason why I brought those thoughts together in the amendments. Local authorities do this in their management structure, disregarding the guidance that is provided by government. They recognise the need for this.
I am not convinced that we have got the balance of this legislation completely right. However, I hear what the Minister has said. For now--indeed, as we are finishing the Bill, for ever--I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.