My Lords, I am the fourth current or former London borough council leader to speak in complete agreement with my colleagues—indeed, my former colleagues. The essential point has been made: what is wrong with the London legislation passed in 2007, which applies across London and was supported by all the London boroughs—it has to be supported by the London boroughs—that we now need Clause 57, at the end of five pages in the principal legislation, specifically deleting the provisions for London, and a four-page schedule, Schedule 12, implementing them?
There must be a pretty serious problem in London that needs fixing. It is supposed to be such a serious problem, but neither a current London borough council leader nor three former leaders from different parties and different parts of London is aware of any problem at all. The London legislation largely meets the Government’s intentions either specifically in decriminalisation or certainly in intent and purpose. The differences between the schemes are relatively minor, certainly not such as to require nine pages of principal legislation to deal with.
We ask, I think in my case for the third time during the passage of the Bill, what is so wrong with the London legislation that it requires this Bill to change it. What are the problems? What are the issues? There is no record of people being incorrectly or inappropriately prosecuted. Indeed, there is hardly any track record of people being prosecuted at all, so that is not really the object of it. The object is to encourage people to recycle and to comply, not to penalise them. It has a very well tested appeals system, albeit not tested in waste collection, which has not been a problem. It is the same appeals system as is used for parking appeals, which is certainly well tested in London.
We have a good system that has been in legislation for just about eight years. We have a good appeals system and a waste collection system that works. What exactly are the Minister and his colleagues trying to fix with this legislation?