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John Robertson accordingly presented a Bill to reclassify non-prescription contact lenses as medical devices; and to restrict their sale so that they can only be sold by, or under the supervision of, a registered doctor or optician: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 21 November, and to be printed [Bill 170].
'(1) The waste authorities for a two-tier area must, at all times after the end of the period of 18 months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed, have for the area a joint strategy for the management of
(a) waste from households, and
(b) other waste that, because of its nature or composition, is similar to waste from households.
(2) The waste authorities for a two-tier area must keep under review the policies formulated by them for the purposes of subsection (1).
(3) The waste authorities for a two-tier area must, before formulating policy for the purposes of subsection (1), carry out such consultation as they consider appropriate.
(4) The waste authorities for a two-tier area must set out in a statement any policy formulated by them for the purposes of subsection (1).
(5) The waste authorities for a two-tier area must
(a) when formulating policy for the purposes of subsection (1), and
(b) when preparing a statement under subsection (4),
have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State.
(6) The waste authorities for a two-tier area in Greater London must, when formulating policy for the purposes of subsection (1), have regard to the Mayor of London's municipal waste management strategy or, where that strategy has been revised, to that strategy as revised.
(7) Where the waste authorities for a two-tier area prepare a statement under subsection (4)
(a) they must take such steps as in their opinion will give adequate publicity in the area to the statement;
(b) they must send a copy of the statement
(i) to each of the Secretary of State and the Environment Agency, and
(ii) if the area is in Greater London, to the Mayor of London;
(c) each of the authorities must keep a copy of the statement available at all reasonable times at one of its offices for inspection by the public free of charge; and
(d) each of the authorities must supply a copy of the statement to any person who requests one, on payment by the person of such reasonable charge as the authority requires.
(8) Where subsection (1) is satisfied in relation to a two-tier area by policies set out in a statement prepared before the coming into force of that subsection
(a) it does not matter that the policies were not formulated for the purposes of subsection (1), but
(b) subsection (2) shall apply as though the policies were formulated for the purposes of subsection (1).
(9) Subsection (3) may be satisfied by consultation before, as well as by consultation after, the coming into force of that subsection.
(10) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for subsection (1) to apply, in relation to a two-tier area specified or described in the regulations, with the substitution for "18 months" of some longer period.
'taking into account that there can be no separation of responsibilities between district, or county council,'.
'taking into account that there can be no separation of responsibilities between district, or county council'.
The new clauses and amendments deal with joint working between waste collection and disposal authorities in two-tier areas. I know that that issue was discussed in Committee. I did not have the opportunity to serve on the Committee, but I followed its proceedings with interest. There was constructive discussion among all those involved on the important issues before us. For the convenience of the House, I shall set out some of the background.
The White Paper "Waste Strategy 2000" makes it clear that, to tackle waste management effectively, we need to develop constructive working relationships between the different tiers of waste authorities. That is not an unreasonable or controversial point. The strategy unit's 2002 report "Waste not, Want not" made the same point and recommended that the Government consider putting joint municipal waste management strategies on to a statutory footing. In our response to that report, we accepted that recommendation in principle, although in line with our wish to reduce burdens on local authorities, we have also sought to explore other incentives, short of legislation, to encourage joint working.
In speaking to the new clauses and amendments, I am fulfilling the promises made by Lord Whitty in another place and by the previous Minister for the Environment, my right hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West and Royton (Mr. Meacher), that the Government would bring before the House their proposals to effect a statutory requirement for joint municipal waste management strategies. New clause 18 introduces a new requirement for all waste authorities in a two-tier area to consult on and prepare a statement on a joint strategy for the management of household waste and other similar waste within 18 months of the day on which Royal Assent is received. That strategy must be adequately publicised and kept under review. Again, that is not an unreasonable requirement. There are special features for London involving amendments to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 requiring the Mayor of London, in revising his waste management strategy, to have regard to any joint municipal waste strategies produced by authorities in Greater London.
In accordance with the Government's wider approach to performance management, including the provision of freedoms and flexibilities for higher performers, we have tailored the new clause to ensure that it targets the authorities and areas that most need to improve their performance on waste.
Mr. Morley: I am happy to do so. New clause 19 gives the Secretary of State power to exempt through regulations an authority whose performance is satisfactory. In accordance with the Government's wider undertaking to remove planning requirements on excellent authorities, we will exempt all authorities that are categorised as excellent under the comprehensive performance assessment, as well as those whose performance on waste is satisfactory with regard to defined targets.
New clause 19 also enables the Secretary of State to provide for the exemption of two-tier areas. We plainly wish to implement the provisions in a way that avoids placing unnecessary burdens on authorities, while ensuring that, where authorities need to work together more effectively in planning for the exercise of their functions, there is an obligation for them to do so.
Norman Baker (Lewes): Surely, there will be most difficulties in agreeing a strategy where there is a need to work together more closely, perhaps because of division between a county and boroughs and districts. What mechanisms will deal with circumstances in which forward-looking districts such as Lewes and Wealden, and Rother for all I know, want to formulate a good strategy, while an antediluvian county council such as East Sussex does not?