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Derek Conway (Old Bexley and Sidcup) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I apologise for interrupting the Minister, but will you confirm that in
21 Feb 2005 : Column 76
five minutes you will be required to put the Question on this stage of the Bill's consideration without the House having had the opportunity to discuss amendment No. 11 and dogs? We shall be unable to discuss that not because the Chair has forgotten about it, but because the restrictive programming motion leaves us no time to consider it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. Gentleman may be premature in making his point of order. The Chair does not know what will happen in the next few minutes.

Alun Michael: Well, the Standing Committee had a good debate on dogs. When we discussed the programme motion, the hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Derek Conway) took up some time referring to various organisations, which I have met and engaged with in recent weeks. I assure him that his and their concerns have been addressed. We can make progress, even if he is frustrated and prevented from making his contribution on the only issue in the Bill that seems to bother him.

New clause 15 is resisted because a number of means exist by which the same objectives can be pursued, including the new landfill tax escalator, the packaging obligations, and the waste and resources action programme. I shall expand on some of those and other issues in a letter to hon. Members.

New clause 16 is also resisted. We accept that waste disposal contracts must deliver the outcomes in a waste disposal authority's long-term strategy for sustainable waste management and deliver the infrastructure needed to reach those outcomes, as set out in the authority's local development framework. However, local authorities are autonomous bodies and responsible for making their own decisions on procurement within the regulatory framework. Sufficient mechanisms are in place to ensure that existing contracts are reviewed and that future contracts do not cause conflict.

The duty of best value, as the hon. Member for Guildford said, requires local authorities to secure continuous improvement in service delivery through challenge, comparison, consultation and competition. When an existing contract does not meet statutory obligations, the authority must find a way of taking additional action within or separately from the contract to address the problem, or face the consequences. That could involve formal intervention by the Government as a last resort if the authority is failing to deliver best value or a financial penalty under the landfill allowance trading schemes. A number of mechanisms exist—I would be happy to expand on them—that allow us to go in the direction that has led to the drafting of the new clause.

New clause 17 is also resisted. There are two separate issues: increased packaging recovery and persuading more consumers to recycle more. Both are vital, but it is not clear that compulsory provision of take-back facilities for packaging in-store is the best way of achieving both, although that may play a role. We do not believe that such a duty would add value to the mechanisms already in place. We are also concerned that the proposal would disregard the fact that local authorities have a statutory duty to collect and dispose
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of household waste, including household packaging waste. It is not clear how the amendment would fit with that duty. There would be practical problems with identification of material supplied from a particular outlet, lack of support from consumers, and so on. However, I do not deny that the proposal could make a contribution and that it is worth exploring further.

New clause 18 is resisted because waste disposal contracts must be environmentally sustainable, but local authorities are autonomous bodies, responsible for making their own decisions on procurement within the regulatory framework. Sufficient mechanisms are in place to ensure environmental sustainability of contracts, including a duty of best value, statutory performance standards and so on.

Amendment No. 37 is resisted because it would limit the flexibility of the enforcing authorities to take the most appropriate enforcement action at the most appropriate time. It would not allow them to search vehicles that were reasonably believed to be about to be used to commit an offence. Instead, they would have to wait until the offence was committed and only then proceed to carry out the search. It is important to retain the power to search vehicles that are, it is reasonably believed, about to be used to commit an offence.

Amendment No. 29 is resisted because the national and local taxpayer—

It being three hours after the commencement of proceedings, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

The House divided: Ayes 25, Noes 246.

Division No. 88
[6.59 pm


Allan, Richard
Baker, Norman
Barrett, John
Breed, Colin
Burnside, David
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Carmichael, Alistair
Chidgey, David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Foster, Don (Bath)
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Holmes, Paul
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Lamb, Norman
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Pugh, Dr. John
Sanders, Adrian
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Teather, Sarah
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Webb, Steve (Northavon)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Bob Russell and
Sue Doughty


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, rh John
Beard, Nigel
Bell, Sir Stuart
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, rh Jean
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foulkes, rh George
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (MerthyrTydfil & Rhymney)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hughes, rh Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kennedy, rh Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDougall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Jim Murphy and
Gillian Merron

Question accordingly negatived.

21 Feb 2005 : Column 79

Mr. Deputy Speaker then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour.

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