Clause 66 - ''Appropriate person''

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 25th January 2005.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

Once again, I want to deal with the matter of cross-border areas between England and Wales, and where the delineation lies. Will the Minister clarify how the measure would pertain where there is land between England and Wales? Is it accepted that there would be sufficient negotiation between the two relevant people, and that were the authorities to bring in any byelaws they would do so together so that there would be no dysfunctional operation of the law as it stands?

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

I know that the hon. Gentleman has raised this point under various legislation, such as the Water Act 2003, so he will be aware that the problem of overlap of responsibility on border areas can be resolved through concordats and direct negotiation with the Welsh Assembly. Over the years, we have established a good, effective working relationship with the Welsh Assembly; we are always careful to involve them and to ensure that they are heard in the development of policy strategies and legislation. Together, we have been successful in clarifying the   most appropriate way of dealing with those occasional areas about which there has been an element of doubt.

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

I am extremely grateful to the Minister, and fully appreciate what he has just said. That is the only sensible way of dealing with such matters. Since devolution, there has been a problem in that people do not know where the authority lies. For example, the authority to lift the ban on beef on the bone was held by the Welsh Assembly in Wales and by Ministers here: it was done at virtually the same time, which was a common-sense approach to the problem.  

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

I am happy to agree with the hon. Gentleman's comments.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 66 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 67 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Further consideration adjourned.—[Mr. Ainger.]

Adjourned accordingly at two minutes to Five o'clock till Thursday 27 January at twenty-five minutes past Nine o'clock.