Session 2013 - 14
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 12 December 2013                  

246

 

Water Bill, continued

 
 

Regulations and orders

 

Dan Rogerson

 

NC21

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

A power to make regulations or an order under this Part is exercisable by statutory

 

instrument.

 

(2)    

A power to make regulations or an order under this Part includes power to make

 

different provision for different purposes and different areas.

 

(3)    

A power to make regulations or an order under this Part includes power to make

 

incidental, supplementary, consequential, transitional or transitory provision or

 

savings.

 

(4)    

Subject to subsection (5), a statutory instrument containing regulations or an

 

order made under this Part is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of

 

either House of Parliament.

 

(5)    

A statutory instrument containing—

 

(a)    

regulations under section (Scheme funding)(1) (FR Scheme funding),

 

(b)    

regulations under section (The register: expenses of relevant bodies)

 

(expenses of relevant bodies in connection with the register),

 

(c)    

regulations under section (Functions of the FCA) (functions of FCA),

 

(d)    

regulations under section (Intervention by the FCA or the PRA)

 

(intervention by FCA or PRA), or

 

(e)    

an order under section (Period of operation) (period of operation),

 

    

may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and

 

approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.’.

 


 

Disputes about the provision of public sewers: premises in Wales

 

Dan Rogerson

 

NC22

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Section 101A of the Water Industry Act 1991 (further duty to provide sewers) is

 

amended as follows.

 

(2)    

In subsection (7)—

 

(a)    

for “Any dispute” there is substituted “Subsections (7A) and (7B) apply

 

where there is a dispute”;

 

(b)    

the words following paragraph (c) are repealed.

 

(3)    

After subsection (7) there is inserted—

 

“(7A)    

The dispute is to be determined by the appropriate person and may be

 

referred to the appropriate person for determination by either of the

 

parties to the dispute.

 

(7B)    

If the dispute is between a sewerage undertaker and an owner or occupier

 

of premises in Wales, the NRBW must provide advice in relation to any

 

of the matters mentioned in subsection (7)(a) to (c) if so requested by—

 

(a)    

either of the parties to the dispute, or

 

(b)    

the appropriate person.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 12 December 2013                  

247

 

Water Bill, continued

 
 

(7C)    

Any advice provided by the NRBW under subsection (7B) must be

 

provided to both parties to the dispute and to the appropriate person.”

 

(4)    

In subsections (8)(a) and (9), for “subsection (7)” there is substituted “subsection

 

(7A)”.

 

(5)    

In subsections (8), (9), (10) and (11), for “appropriate agency”, in each place

 

those words occur, there is substituted “appropriate person”.

 

(6)    

In subsection (11), in paragraph (b)—

 

(a)    

for “the NRBW” there is substituted “the Welsh Ministers”;

 

(b)    

at the end there is inserted “, or such person as the Welsh Ministers may

 

from time to time appoint as the appropriate person in relation to such

 

disputes.”

 

(7)    

After subsection (11) there is inserted—

 

“(12)    

A person may be appointed as the appropriate person under subsection

 

(11)(b) only if the person is independent of the NRBW.

 

(13)    

A person is independent of the NRBW for the purposes of subsection

 

(12) if the person is—

 

(a)    

an individual who is not a member of the NRBW or the NRBW’s

 

staff, or

 

(b)    

a body none of whose members is a member of the NRBW or the

 

NRBW’s staff.’.

 


 

Primary duty of sustainable development

 

Roger Williams

 

nc23

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Section 2(3)(e) of the Water Industry Act 1991 is omitted.

 

(2)    

In section 2(2A) of the Water Industry Act 1991, there is inserted—

 

“(e)    

to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development”.’.

 


 

Consumer redress

 

Dan Rogerson

 

NC24

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Water Services Regulation Authority may modify the conditions of—

 

(a)    

a pre-commencement appointment of a water or sewerage undertaker, or

 

(b)    

a pre-commencement water supply licence,

 

    

so as to include conditions relating to the provision of a consumer redress scheme.

 

(2)    

In subsection (1)—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 12 December 2013                  

248

 

Water Bill, continued

 
 

(a)    

“pre-commencement appointment of a water or sewerage undertaker”

 

means an appointment of a company under Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the

 

Water Industry Act 1991 to be a water or sewerage undertaker which is

 

made before the day on which this section comes into force, and

 

(b)    

“pre-commencement water supply licence” means a licence under

 

Chapter 1A of Part 2 of the Water Industry Act 1991 granted before that

 

day.

 

(3)    

In this section, “consumer redress scheme” means a scheme or other

 

arrangements for unresolved complaints to be investigated and determined by an

 

independent person.

 

(4)    

The conditions that may under subsection (1) be included in an appointment or

 

licence include in particular conditions requiring the company holding the

 

appointment or the person holding the licence—

 

(a)    

to secure the provision of a consumer redress scheme, or

 

(b)    

to secure the provision of a consumer redress scheme which is of a

 

description specified in the conditions or which meets requirements so

 

specified.

 

(5)    

Where under subsection (1) the Authority modifies conditions of an appointment

 

or licence, it may make such incidental or consequential modifications of other

 

conditions of the appointment or, as the case may be, other conditions of the

 

licence as it considers necessary or expedient.

 

(6)    

The power of the Authority under subsection (1) to modify the conditions of an

 

appointment or licence may not be exercised after the end of the period of two

 

years beginning with the day on which this section comes into force.

 

(7)    

Before making a modification under this section the Authority must consult—

 

(a)    

the company holding the appointment or the person holding the licence;

 

(b)    

the Secretary of State;

 

(c)    

the Welsh Ministers;

 

(d)    

the Consumer Council for Water;

 

(e)    

such other persons as the Authority thinks it appropriate to consult.

 

(8)    

The Minister may direct the Authority not to make a modification that it proposes

 

to make under this section; and the Authority must comply with such a direction.

 

(9)    

In subsection (8) “the Minister” means—

 

(a)    

the Secretary of State, in relation to—

 

(i)    

a water or sewerage undertaker whose area is wholly or mainly

 

in England;

 

(ii)    

a person who holds a licence under Chapter 1A of Part 2 of the

 

Water Industry Act 1991;

 

(b)    

the Welsh Ministers, in relation to a water or sewerage undertaker whose

 

area is wholly or mainly in Wales.’.

 


 

Exit from the non-household retail market

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC25

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘A company granted a water supply licence under section 17A of the Water

 

Industry Act 1991, prior to Royal Assent of this Act, may choose to provide to—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 12 December 2013                  

249

 

Water Bill, continued

 
 

(a)    

the retail market, or

 

(b)    

the wholesale market

 

only.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Enables water companies to exit the retail market.

 


 

Separation of retail and wholesale activities

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC26

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘A company granted a water supply licence under section 17A of the Water

 

Industry Act 1991, prior to Royal Assent of this Act, must establish separate legal

 

identities for its—

 

(a)    

retail activities, and

 

(b)    

wholesale activities

 

within one year of Royal Assent of this Act.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Requires the wholesale and retail arms of the water companies to be separate legal entities, within

 

a year of Royal Assent.

 


 

Abstraction reform

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC27

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Secretary of State may by order (the “commencement order”) appoint a day

 

on which section 1 is to come into force.

 

(2)    

The Secretary of State may only make an order under subsection (1) if—

 

(a)    

new primary legislation on the licensing of abstraction has been passed;

 

and

 

(b)    

five years has expired since the passage of any legislation under

 

paragraph (a).’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

The Secretary of State may not implement upstream reform as set out in the Water Bill, until new

 

primary legislation on the licensing of abstraction has been passed, and five years has expired to

 

allow for its implementation.

 



 
 

Public Bill Committee: 12 December 2013                  

250

 

Water Bill, continued

 
 

Standardised terms and conditions for new entrants

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC28

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘Any company granted a water supply licence under section 17A of the Water

 

Industry Act 1991, following Royal Assent of this Act, must be—

 

(a)    

offered comparable terms and conditions as any company granted a water

 

supply licence prior to Royal Assent of this Act; and

 

(b)    

all terms and conditions must be subject to scrutiny by the regulator.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Ofwat would require each wholesaler to produce standardised terms and conditions for new

 

entrants.

 


 

Billing information: affordability

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC29

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘Any company providing water services to a residential household must include

 

on its bills—

 

(a)    

details of any tariffs provided by that company;

 

(b)    

a recommendation of the lowest possible tariff for each residential

 

household; and

 

(c)    

information regarding eligibility criteria and how to make an application

 

for assistance under Water Sure.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Water companies are required to provide information regarding all tariffs and all affordability

 

schemes alongside customer water bills.

 


 

National Affordability Scheme

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC30

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Secretary of State must, by order, introduce a National Affordability Scheme

 

for water.

 

(2)    

The National Affordability Scheme must include an eligibility criteria,

 

determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with—

 

(a)    

the Water Services Regulation Authority; and

 

(b)    

the Consumer Council for Water.

 

(3)    

An order under this section—

 

(a)    

shall be made by statutory instrument, and


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 12 December 2013                  

251

 

Water Bill, continued

 
 

(b)    

may not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before and

 

approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

The Secretary of State is required to bring forward a National Affordability Scheme, with an

 

eligibility criteria prescribed by the Secretary of State in the form of a statutory instrument, subject

 

to the approval of both Houses.

 


 

Oversight of charges

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC31

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘In section 2 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (general duties with respect of the

 

water industry), after subsection (2C) there is inserted—

 

“(2CA)    

For the purposes of subsection (2A)(a) above the Secretary of State or, as

 

the case may be, the Authority shall have regard to the rates of charges

 

to—

 

(a)    

household premises; and

 

(b)    

non-household premises.”.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Ofwat are required to consider the rates of charges to household and non-household premises.

 


 

Primary duty of sustainable development

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC32

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Section 2 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (General duties with respect to water

 

industry) is amended as follows.

 

(2)    

In subsection (2A)—

 

(a)    

omit the “and” at the end of paragraph (c);

 

(b)    

after paragraph (d) insert “; and

 

(e)    

to contribute to the achievement of sustainable

 

development.”.

 

(3)    

In subsection (3) omit paragraph (e).’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Elevate Ofwat’s sustainable development duty from a secondary duty to a primary duty.

 



 
 

Public Bill Committee: 12 December 2013                  

252

 

Water Bill, continued

 
 

Duties of undertakers to furnish the Secretary of State with information: annual review

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC33

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Section 202 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (duties of undertakers to furnish the

 

Secretary of State with information) is amended as follows.

 

(2)    

After subsection (1A) there is inserted—

 

“(1B)    

Any company with a duty under subsections (1) and (1A) must furnish

 

the Secretary of State and the Authority with an annual review which

 

provides information about—

 

(a)    

their performance;

 

(b)    

the total amount of investment;

 

(c)    

their taxation structure;

 

(d)    

their corporate structure; and

 

(e)    

the total amount of dividends paid to shareholders.

 

(1C)    

Information under subsection (1B) must be provided prior to the

 

publication of the annual statement of the Secretary of State under section

 

2A.”.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Water companies are required to provide information annually to the Secretary of State regarding

 

their performance, investment, taxation structure, corporate structure and total amount of

 

dividends paid to shareholders.

 


 

Consumer redress

 

Thomas Docherty

 

NC34

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Section 29 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (Consumer complaints) is amended as

 

follows.

 

(2)    

After subsection (11) there is inserted—

 

“(11A)    

Following the production of a report under subsection (10), the Council

 

will have the right to—

 

(a)    

be consulted on a water company’s charging scheme, and any

 

changes to it, and

 

(b)    

investigate and resolve matters as it sees fit.”.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

Enables the Consumer Council for Water to be consulted on the charging schemes of water

 

companies and, if necessary, to investigate and resolve customer complaints.

 



 
previous section contents continue
 

© Parliamentary copyright
Revised 12 December 2013