I understand that the hon. Gentleman will not press the amendment, so I shall not detain the Committee. However, I should like to comment briefly on some of the remarks he made in his second contribution which are additional to what he said at the outset. He believes that the provision could undermine partnerships between waste disposal authorities, although in my view it certainly would not. There is no obligation on authorities; they will engage in the process only if they believe that doing so is additional to the expertise that they have from those partnerships. He is right that there is specialisation among local authorities and WDAs. There is no reason why the provisions should interfere with that specialisation and its availability to another WDA.
The hon. Gentleman says that once the larger authorities start to use brokers there will be a cascade effect throughout all WDAs. I do not believe that that will happen, and there is no reason why it should. It is a matter not of giving a competitive edge, but of providing expertise in trading to an authority that does not yet have it. Once the authority has that expertise it
will stop using a broker. The provisions are for authorities that are starting on a process that they are very unused to.
Lastly, conflicts of interest from brokers will be covered in regulation and subject to consultation. I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman will not press the amendment, but I hope that he will take on board my belief that his fears and apprehensions are not grounded.