I omitted to welcome you to the Chair, Mr. Griffiths, which was an unforgivable and unpardonable error, so I welcome you now, and hope that you will forgive me none the less.
It seems important to establish what kind of people the brokers might be. It has been suggested—the Minister sensibly referred to the difference between large and small authorities in this respect—that an authority might act as a broker itself or have an in-house service, which it might also offer to others. However, that would seem to be precluded by the idea that anyone who might benefit from the outcome of the negotiations should not be involved in the process. Then again, given that authorities are used to dealing with each other, that would not seem to be unfeasible, especially, as the Minister rightly says, if one takes account of subsection (2)(a).
That provision makes it clear that the private sector cannot acquire landfill allowances, which might act as a disincentive for the private sector to get involved. Some sort of in-house arrangement would help to provide the support for smaller authorities which the Minister rightly identifies as an issue.