Clause 55 - Co-operation between water regulators

Water Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 16 October 2003.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 11:15, 16 October 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 92, in

clause 55, page 69, line 32, at end insert—

(e) the Drinking Water Inspectorate'.

Why are we not encouraging co-operation between the Secretary of State, the Welsh Assembly, the Environment Agency, the Water Services Regulation Authority and the drinking water inspectorate? Why have they been omitted from this important part of the Bill, which encourages co-operation? It would have been helpful if they had been included, which my amendment would do.

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

I agree with the hon. Gentleman, but those organisations have not been left out. They are covered in clause 55. The drinking water inspectorate is the responsibility of the Secretary of State and acts on her behalf, so the inspectorate will be bound by the same duty that is already imposed on the Secretary of State and will be covered by the memorandum of understanding between the Secretary of State and each of the other water regulators. The hon. Gentleman made a fair point, but it is already covered.

It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Sessional Order C [29 October 2002] and the Order of the Committee [16 September 2003], to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Amendment negatived.

The Chairman then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that time.

Clauses 55 to58 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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