Clause 24 - Other definitions

Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 29th April 2003.

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Photo of Ms Sue Doughty Ms Sue Doughty Liberal Democrat, Guildford 10:30 am, 29th April 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 93, in

clause 24, page 16, line 11, before 'area', insert 'geographical'.

Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths Labour, Bridgend

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment No. 94, in

clause 24, page 16, line 16, before 'area', insert 'geographical'.

Photo of Ms Sue Doughty Ms Sue Doughty Liberal Democrat, Guildford

This debate will enable us to clarify the relationship of the boundaries within the allocating authorities. The amendment suggests the inclusion of the word ''geographical''.

We also wish to establish whether the Government anticipate any trading of waste emissions across state lines, and what effect that would have. We had a lengthy debate about defining disposal and collection authorities, and the sort of anomalies that occur. For example, in Hampshire, Project Integra involves a mixture of unitary, county and borough authorities. We would therefore like to know whether trading across state lines is expected. If there were no suitable facilities in Berwick, for example, could the authorities look north into Scotland? What would be the effect of that, particularly for the purposes of reporting?

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

I shall try to be equally brief. When I saw the amendments, I was uncertain as to their thrust. They would amend subsections (2) and (4), which define what is meant by an allocating authority or a monitoring authority area, and make each definition refer to a ''geographical area''.

Clarity in legislation is important. However, I also favour the use of as few words as possible, so long as that does not result in legal uncertainty. I do not believe that adding the word ''geographical'' to the Bill would contribute to its clarity, and I hope that the amendment will not be pressed.

The hon. Lady made a point about trading across state borders, and she gave the example of Berwick and the possibility of it dealing with the authority immediately on the other side of the border. That would certainly be permitted, and I do not think the inclusion of the word ''geographical'' is required to achieve that. If that was the purpose of the amendment, I hope that the hon. Lady is now satisfied that it is not necessary.

Photo of Ms Sue Doughty Ms Sue Doughty Liberal Democrat, Guildford

I thank the Minister for his answer. That was the clarification that we sought. We are not hugely exercised about the use of the word ''geographical'', so I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 24 ordered to stand part of the Bill.