Clause 47

Energy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 4 March 2008.

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Time when modification takes effect

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

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister of State (Energy), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform

This clause sets out the time when a modification to a programme takes effect. In the clause, the time when the modification will take effect is defined as the “relevant time”—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Wealden can tell that I write all my own speeches. It is important, technically, that I spell this out at this relevant time.

This is the date that is specified in the notice issued by the Secretary of State that confirms his decision to make the modification. Once the “relevant time” specified in the notice has passed, the modification takes effect as if it had been part of the programme that had originally been submitted for approval under clause 42. This means that from the “relevant time” onwards the clauses in this chapter apply to the programme as modified.

The clause will also ensure that an operator does not fall foul of the requirement to comply with an approved decommissioning programme as set out in clause 53. Clause 47(4) ensures that the Secretary of State cannot stipulate a date which is earlier than the  date on which the notice is given. This means that he cannot set a date for the modification to be required to take effect before the operator had notice of it. However, this does not prevent the Secretary of State from imposing a modification in a very short time scale. This mirrors the process used, for example, by the HSE where, in extremis, it can issue a direction to make a modification to the station on the grounds of health and safety.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 47 ordered to stand part of the Bill.