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Clause 91 - Abolition of certain agricultural etc. committees

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 5th July 2005.

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

Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst

With this we may take Government amendments Nos. 160 to 164.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity)

If I may, I shall speak to the Government amendments at the end of my remarks.

The clause dissolves defunct DEFRA-sponsored committees—the Hill Farming Advisory Committees for England, Scotland and Wales and the statutory Consumer Committee of Great Britain and the Committee of Investigation, both of which operate on a UK basis. The Hill Farming Advisory Committees were established to advise Ministers on the exercise of their powers under the Hill Farming Act 1946. However, few of those powers are still relevant today. The main provisions relate to post-war land improvement grants or hill livestock subsidy schemes prior to the common agricultural policy. Times have changed. Those committees have not stood the test of time and it is appropriate that they should be abolished.

The amendments collectively ensure that further redundant articles from two relevant Northern Ireland orders are removed, because they would no longer be relevant once the committees in question were abolished. It is always good practice to remove such redundant legislation once it becomes clear that it will never be required again for other similar committees.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 91 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 92 to 95 ordered to stand part of the Bill.