Clause 10 - Monitoring authorities

Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 8th April 2003.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 11:15 am, 8th April 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 52, in

clause 10, page 7, line 39, leave out from 'must' to 'be'.

I shall not detain the Committee long. I seek to ensure that responsibility is retained by the authority, rather than passed to an individual. When we pressed the Minister earlier about who would take responsibility for misdemeanours, his answer was far from clear. I hope that he will take this opportunity to clarify that the allocating authority must be the monitoring authority in its own area. That is the intention behind the amendment, which is very short and very sweet. Given the time on the clock, that is quite appropriate.

Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment)

I shall also attempt to be extremely quick. I am interested to hear the reasoning behind the amendment. The issue, quite simply, is who is best placed to take on this role, given the need for expertise in regulating waste operations, as well as contacts and access to data, to reduce the burdens on local authorities and the waste industry.

For England, the answer is straightforward. The Environment Agency is the designated authority in respect of the landfill directive. It is best placed to take on the role of monitoring authority for the allowance scheme in England. The Department, on behalf of the Secretary of State, has neither the technical expertise nor the access to data to make it viable as a monitoring authority. As the skills and other attributes required already reside in the agency, I see no reason to reinvent them elsewhere. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will accept that and withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned till this day at half-past Two o'clock.