Clause 52 - Enforcement of certain provisions

Water Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 16 October 2003.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 11:00, 16 October 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 87, in

clause 52, page 66, line 40, leave out subsection (3).

Bearing in mind the Minister's comments about a Bill the size of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, I have to say that the Government did their best with this 232-page special. However, having gone through it with a fine-tooth comb—as we all did, of course—I could not help but be curious about why the Government should want to reduce ''twenty-eight''

to ''twenty-one''. The purpose of this probing amendment is to find out why they chose to do that.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Environment and Agri-Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

There is a fairly simple explanation, although there has been some confusion about the matter. A period of 21 days would bring the Bill in line with the provisions for other utilities and make legislation consistent.

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

I suspected that. That is a shame, because the clause deals with the enforcement of certain provisions, and 28 days seems more reasonable. However, as this Bill by its nature tidies up other legislation, there is a limit to our ability to alter the wording—not that I wish to stand in the way of that. Therefore, I am again grateful to the Minister for his reply and beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 52 ordered to stand part of the Bill.