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Clause 265

The Mayor's environmental report

Mr. Simon Hughes: I beg to move amendment No. 4, in page 141, line 30, leave out 'global warming' and insert 'climate change'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin): With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 5, in page 141, line 32, after 'production', insert ', minimisation'.

No. 6, in clause 267, page 143, line 24, after 'the', insert 'minimisation,'.

Mr. Hughes: In Committee, I was given some cause for encouragement when I moved a similar amendment. The first proposal would simply replace in the list of environmental functions the phrase "global warming" with the phrase in the amendment, which is now more generally regarded as scientifically accurate. We moved the amendment not just because we thought that it was better to use the phrase "climate change", but because all the Government documents that we could find used the phrase. The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions used that phrase, and it appeared to be the acceptable phrase generally. I hope that the Government, who were positive towards the proposal in Committee, will be even more positive tonight and tell me that without more ado the amendment can be made.

Amendments Nos. 5 and 6 are similarly small in terms of the space that they take up on the amendment paper, but they relate to the same part of the Bill. Part IX describes the report on the state of the environment to be produced and published by the mayor. The Bill states that it shall contain information about a list of matters. Here is another list. It comes from the Government, but it is a list that they are willing to have, so I shall not cavil at it. The seventh item in the list is that the report shall deal with:

The other way in which waste is dealt with, which ought to be expressed explicitly rather than implied in the Bill, is to make sure that waste is minimised. We propose to include that. We hope that the Government accept our proposal. One of the big environmental challenges is to produce less waste and reduce what is produced. That is different from production, recycling and disposal.

I hope that these three little amendments will be acceptable to the Government. I have reason to believe that they might be, and, if so, we will rejoice in the prospect that Oppositions, large and not quite so large, can always be useful, even to the Government.

Mr. Randall: I well remember the Minister's words of--almost--acceptance of what I consider to be a sensible change. I also remember an amendment that I tabled at the same time, proposing the addition of biodiversity to the list. I believed, with what I now consider to have been misplaced optimism, that it would be incorporated in the Bill. Unfortunately, as a new and rather naive Member of Parliament, I thought that what the Minister said would actually happen. I will learn my lesson from that, and perhaps the other place will now manage to put in what is missing.

Mr. Raynsford: I appreciate that the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) felt

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encouraged in Committee. I hope that I can encourage him even more. The first amendment would replace "global warming" with "climate change", the second would add the word "minimisation" to the list of practices relating to waste on which the mayor must comment in the state of the environment report, and the third would add persons concerned with the minimisation of waste to the list of those whom the mayor may consult when preparing or revising the municipal waste management strategy. When we discussed the amendments in Committee, I acknowledged their purpose and good sense, and undertook to consider them further. I have now had time to give them that consideration, and I am happy to tell the hon. Gentleman that I am prepared to accept all three in their entirety.

The hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Randall) should not despair because it has not been possible for us to incorporate all the amendments at this stage: there is another place in which further amendments may be made. He should not assume that we have overlooked his advocacy of biodiversity. I encourage him to live in hope; I also feel that, in the interests of minimisation of waste, we should bring the debate to an early conclusion.

Mr. Hughes: The Minister has accepted the amendments, and we are very grateful for that. To say that he accepts them "in their entirety" is probably overstating the case, given that they consist of two words, one word and one word respectively; but for that little acceptance we are grateful. The hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Randall) had better go and find a Lord to do his work for him in what the Minister described as the other place. There is always work to be done in the other place.

I must not neglect to pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Mr. Brake), who has just gone to catch his train. He prompted me to table the amendments. He is sorry that he cannot be here now, but he wants to share in the glory of the moment. [Interruption.] Of course I thank the Minister. I repeat that willingly, even after being prompted by the Minister for Transport in London.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 5, in page 141, line 32,after 'production', insert ', minimisation'.--[Mr. Simon Hughes.]

Clause 267

The Mayor's municipal waste management strategy

Amendment made: No. 6, in page 143, line 24, after 'the', insert 'minimisation,'.--[Mr. Simon Hughes.]

Clause 299

Power to amend Acts and subordinate legislation

Mr. Raynsford: I beg to move amendment No. 103, in page 156, line 22, after 'legislation' insert

'(including subordinate legislation made under or by virtue of this Act)'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government amendments Nos. 104 to 107 and 114.

Mr. Raynsford: These are purely technical amendments. Amendments Nos. 103 to 107 would enable

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an order to be made to amend the provisions of the Bill--for example, to allow the Secretary of State temporarily to assume the powers and duties that, under the Bill, are ultimately to be exercised by the GLA. Amendment No. 114 makes clear the powers in the Bill enabling amendments to enactments to be made by subordinate legislation to be used to amend legislation in relation to part III, relating to local government finance and related similar provisions, and to criminal offences.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 104, in page 156, line 24, leave out subsection (2).

No. 105, in page 156, line 36, leave out

'enactment, any instrument made under any enactment'

and insert

'such enactment, or any instrument made under any such enactment, as is mentioned in subsection (1) above'.

No. 106, in page 156, line 37, at end insert--

'(4) The amendment by this Act of any provision is without prejudice to the exercise in relation to that provision of the powers conferred by this section.'.

No. 107, in page 156, line 37, at end insert--

'(5) For the purposes of this section "the relevant day" means the earliest day on which--
(a) the Authority and the functional bodies are all in being, and
(b) London Regional Transport and the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District have ceased to exist,
and any reference to an Act passed before that day includes a reference to this Act.'.--[Mr. Dowd.]

Clause 300

Transfers of property, rights, liabilities, staff and pension obligations

11.45 pm

Mr. Raynsford: I beg to move amendment No. 108, in page 156, line 38, leave out from beginning to end of line 10 on page 157.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government new clause 23--The Superannuation Act 1972.

Government new clause 24--Transitional and consequential provision.

Government new clause 25--Transfers of property, rights or liabilities.

Government new clause 26--Transfer schemes.

Government new clause 27--Contracts of employment etc.

Government new clause 28--Pensions.

Government new clause 29--Transfer and pension instruments: common provisions.

Government new clause 30--Continuity.

Government amendments Nos. 109 to 113.

Mr. Raynsford: I turn to slightly more detailed matters. The measures cover a range of issues in part XII, notably in relation to transfers from predecessor bodies, such as the London Research Centre and the Highways

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Agency, to successor bodies, such as TfL: Transport for London. Staffing, pensions matters and other transitional and consequential provisions are also covered.

New clause 24 gives Ministers the power to make orders concerning incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary matters. It is a wide-ranging power, including, for example, the power to require bodies not to exercise powers granted under other legislation, but I make no apology for its scope.

Establishing a major organisation is not a simple task. The transition from predecessor bodies to the new GLA and functional bodies will be complex. As ever, to use a phrase that appeared frequently in the earlier stages of our deliberations, the devil will be in the detail. Hon. Members who have had any experience of the local government finance system will not be surprised when I say that the proper vehicle for the detailed transitional measures is by order, rather than the Bill.

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