My Lords, I sense that the House wishes my reply to be brief. I can be brief, in the sense that a great deal of the meat of this important question has been dealt with by the members of the committee. Every member of the committee made the point that I made at the outset: that it is due to the able chairmanship of the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, and the integrity and wisdom of the committee in bringing forward the points and amendments that it made, that a fine and fair balance has been struck between the needs of pedlars and those of legitimate market traders and local authorities. I entirely accept the stricture of the noble Lord, Lord Blair, that there is a long way to go. However, it is not for the want of people like myself urging previous Governments to take hold of this issue and deal with it, as we did at Second Reading. We now understand consultation will take place in order to have a national solution which will be dealt with in a national way, rather than with these private Bills.
As we have heard, anomalies will now arise, because Bills have been passed giving greater powers to local authorities in this matter than are being given in the four Bills we are debating today. The way that these Bills have been dealt with creates anomalies and that is why we always wanted a proper national solution from the Government of the day. I hope this will be forthcoming. I again thank the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, and all the members of the committee for working in B-flat harmony to bring about this happy conclusion for the four local authorities for whom we are moving these Bills and for the pedlars who will have a sense of fairness and justice awarded to them. I commend the Bill to the House and thank all noble Lords for their participation.
Amendments 1 to 3
Moved by Lord Bilston
1:Page 1, leave out "and touting"
2:Clause 2, page 2, line 13, leave out "Valley"
Amendments 1 to 3 agreed.
Bill passed and returned to the Commons with amendments.