Clause 17 - Strategy for England

Part of Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 8th April 2003.

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Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment) 4:45 pm, 8th April 2003

The hon. Gentleman is right to say that there should be interlocking measures and engagement between the various levers and mechanisms to ensure that the whole machine works in a compatible and effective manner. The only difference between us is that I do not believe that one has to do that all in one Bill. Indeed, it is inappropriate to do so if those measures are set down in other legislative mechanisms, such as EU directives.

The hon. Member for Lewes thought that he had scored the winning point when he said that clause 17(1) begins:

''The Secretary of State must have a strategy''.

However, he did not go on to quote the rest of the sentence, which adds

''for reducing—

(a) the amount of biodegradable waste . . . and

(b) the amount of biodegradable waste from outside England that goes to landfills in England.''

It is not the Bill's purpose to have a strategy that is composite and comprehensive over all waste matters; it has one specific purpose. That is what it says, and that is what it delivers. As one advances a strategy, one does not extract all its ingredients from previous legislation and put it all in one Bill, unless one has a consolidating measure, as the Treasury occasionally does, but which we do not have here.

It is 5 o'clock, so I will turn to the amendment. [Hon. Members: ''Carry on.''] I should carry on.