Amendments proposed to the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill - continued House of Commons

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Agreements with local authorities

   

Secretary Margaret Beckett

NC18

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   This section applies where a local authority is authorised under an agreement to perform a function.

    (2)   Subject to subsection (5), the function that the local authority is authorised to perform is to be treated as a function of the local authority for the purposes of—

      (a) any power of a local authority to arrange for the discharge of the function by any person mentioned in subsection (3), and

      (b) any power of a person mentioned in subsection (3) to arrange for the discharge of a function by any other person mentioned there.

    (3)   The persons are any committee, sub-committee, member, officer or employee of the local authority.

    (4)   "Committee" does not include a joint committee of two or more local authorities.

    (5)   If the local authority is operating executive arrangements—

      (a) the function is to be treated as a function of the local authority for the purposes of section 13 of the Local Government Act 2000, and

      (b) if (or to the extent that) the function is the responsibility of the executive of the local authority—

      (i) subsection (2) does not apply, and

      (ii) sections 14 to 16 of the 2000 Act, and any regulations made under sections 17 and 18 of the 2000 Act, apply.

    (6)   "Executive arrangements" and "executive" have the same meaning as in Part 2 of the 2000 Act.

    (7)   An agreement may provide that the provisions of subsection (2) or those mentioned in (5)(b)(ii) do not apply (or do not apply to a specified extent).'.


Supplementary provisions with respect to agreements

   

Secretary Margaret Beckett

NC19

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   An agreement, and any approval given by the Secretary of State under section (Agreements between designated bodies), must be in writing.

    (2)   The Secretary of State must arrange for a copy of an agreement to be published in a way that the Secretary of State thinks is suitable for bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.

    (3)   No power of a Minister of the Crown under any enactment to give directions to a statutory body extends to giving a direction—

      (a) requiring it to enter into an agreement;

      (b) prohibiting it from entering into an agreement;

      (c) requiring it to include, or prohibiting it from including, particular terms;

      (d) requiring it to negotiate, or prohibiting it from negotiating, a variation or termination of an agreement.

    (4)   Schedule 15 to the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 (c.40) (restrictions on disclosure of information) applies in relation to an authorisation by a designated body under this Chapter as it applies in relation to an authorisation under section 69 of that Act by an office-holder.'.


Interpretation

   

Secretary Margaret Beckett

NC20

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   In sections (Reserved functions) to (Supplementary provisions with respect to agreements) "agreement" means an agreement under section (Agreement between Secretary of State and designated body) or (Agreement between designated bodies).

    (2)   In this Chapter "DEFRA function" means a function which at the material time falls to be performed by or through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

    (3)   A certificate issued by the Secretary of State that a function falls to be performed as mentioned in subsection (2) is conclusive evidence of that fact.

    (4)   In this Chapter—

            "designated body" has the meaning given by section (Designated bodies);

            "local authority" means a local authority as defined in section 1(a) of the Local Government Act 2000 and the Greater London Authority;

            "Minister of the Crown" has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975 (c.26);

            "subordinate legislation" has the same meaning as in the Interpretation Act 1978 (c.30).'.


Enforcement powers in connection with pesticides: entry and search by force without a warrant

   

Mr Oliver Letwin
Mr James Paice

NC1

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   If a constable or an inspector reasonably believes—

      (a) that evidence of the commission of a relevant offence is to be found on any premises, or

      (b) that the evidence is likely to be removed, destroyed or lost before a warrant can be obtained and executed, he may at any time enter the premises and search them for evidence of the commission of a relevant offence.

    (2)   Subsection (1) does not authorise entry into any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling.

    (3)   A constable or an inspector exercising the powers under subsection (1) may (if necesssary) use such force as is reasonable in the exercise of those powers.

    (4)   An inspector may not exercise the power of entry conferred by subsection (1) between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a constable.'.


Enforcement powers in connection with pesticides: entry and search with a warrant

   

Mr Oliver Letwin
Mr James Paice

NC2

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   If, on an application by a constable or an inspector, a justice of the peace is satisfied—

      (a) that there are reaonable grounds for believing that—

      (i) a relevant offence is being or has been committed on any premises, or

      (ii) evidence of the commission of a relevant offence is to be found on any premises, and

      (b) that one or more of the conditions in subsection (2) is met, he may issue a warrant authorising a constable or an inspector to enter the premises and seach them for evidence of the commission of a relevant offence.

    (2)   The conditions are—

      (a) in the case of any part of premises which is not used as a private dwelling, that the occupier of the premises has been informed of the decision to apply for the warrant;

      (b) in the case of any part of premises which is not used as a private dwelling, that the occupier of the premises—

      (i) has been informed of the decision to seek entry to the premises and the reasons for that decision.

      (ii) has failed to allow entry to the premises on being requested to do so by a person mentioned in section [Enforcement powers in connection with pesticides: entry and search by force without a warrant] (1), and

      (iii) has been informed of the decision to apply for the warrant;

      (c) in either case—

      (i) that the premises are unoccupied, or the occupier is absent, and notice of intention to apply for the warrant has been left in a conspicuous place on the premises, or

      (ii) an application for admission to the premises or the giving of notice of intention to apply for the warrant is inappropriate because—

            (a)   it would defeat the object of entering the premises, or

            (b)   entry is required as a matter of urgency.

    (3)   References in subsection (2) to the occupier of premises, in relation to any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft, are to the person who appears to be in charge of the vehicle, vessel, aricraft or hovercraft, and "unoccupied" shall be construed accordingly.

    (4)   Sections 15 and 16 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60) shall have effect in relation to a warrant isssued under this section to an inspector as they have effect in relation to a warrant so issued to a constable.

    (5)   A constable or an inspector exercising powers under a warrant issued under this section may (if necessary) use such force as is reasonable in the exercise of those powers.'.


Offences relating to entering and occupying land without consent

   

Mr Oliver Letwin
Mr James Paice

NC3

To move the following Clause:—

    'The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 is amended by inserting the following after section 62E—

          "62F   Offences relating to entering and occupying land without consent

          (1)   In this Part, except where the context otherwise requires—'chief officer of police', in relation to any locality, means the chief officer of police for the police area in which the locality is situated;'consent duly given' means consent given by—

          (a) in the case of lands referred to in subsection (2)(a), the relevant statutory body,

          (b) in the case of lands referred to in subsection (2)(b), the relevant trustees, and

          (c) in any other case, the owner concerned;

              'local authority' means a county council, a city council or town council for the purposes of the Local Government Act 1972;

              'object' includes any temporary dwelling and an animal of any kind or description;

              'owner' means—

          (a) in relation to land, the person lawfully entitled—

          (i) to possession, and

          (ii) to the immediate use and enjoyment,

          of the land as the owner, lessee, or otherwise, or any person acting on behalf of that person;

          (b) in relation to land referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2), the relevant statutory body or trustees, as the case may be;

              'statutory body' means—

          (a) the Secretary of State,

          (b) a local authority,

          (c) any other body established—

          (i) by or under any enactment (other than the Companies Acts 1985 and 1989), or

          (ii) under the Companies Acts 1985 and 1989 in pursuance of powers conferred by or under another enactment,

          and financed wholly or partly by means of moneys provided, or loans made or guaranteed, by the Secretary of State or the issue of shares held by or on behalf of the Secretrary of State, and subsidiary of any such body.

          (2)   In this Part a reference to land includes—

          (a) land provided or maintained by a statutory body primarily for the amenity or recreation of the public or any class of persons (including any park, open space, car park, playing field or other space provided for recreational, community or conservation purposes) or is land within the curtilage of any public building,

          (b) land held by trustees for the benefit of the public or any class of the public, and

          (c) land covered by water.

          (3)   

          (a) A person, without the duly given consent of the owner, shall not—

          (i) enter and occupy any land, or

          (ii) bring onto or place on any land any object

          where such entry or occupation or the bringing onto or placing on the land of such object is likely to—

          (iii) substantially damage the land,

          (iv) substantially and prejudicially affect any amenity in respect of the land,

          (v) prevent persons entitled to use the land or any amenity in respect of the land from making reasonable use of the land or amenity

          (vi) otherwise render the land or any amenity in respect of the land, or the lawful use of the land or any amenity in respect of the land, unsanitary or unsafe, or

          (vii) substantially interfere with the land, any amenity in respect of the land, the lawful use of the land or any amenity in respect of the land.

          (b) A person who contravenes subsection (a) shall be guilty of an offence.

          (c) Where a constable in uniform has reason to believe that a person is committing or has committed an offence under subsection (a) the constable—

          (i) may demand of the person his or her name and address,

          (ii) may direct the person to leave the land concerned and to remove from the land any object that belongs to the person or that is under his or her control, and

          (iii) shall inform the person of the nature of the offence in respect of which it is suspected that person has been involved and the statutory consequences of failing to comply with a demand or direction under this subsection.

          (d) Where a constable in uniform has reason to believe that a person is committing or has committed an offence under subsection (a) the constable—

          (i) may demand of the person his or her name and address,

          (ii) may direct the person to leave the land concerned and to remove from the land any object that belongs to the person or that is under his or her control, and

          (iii) shall inform the person of the nature of the offence in respect of which it is suspected that person has been involved and the statutory consequences of failing to comply with a demand or direction under this subsection.

          (4)   Where a person—

          (a) refuses or fails to give his or her name and address to a constable in uniform when demanded under subsection (3), or gives to the member a name or address that is false or misleading, or

          (b) fails to comply with a direction under that section,

        he or she is guilty of an offence.

          (5)   A constable in uniform may arrest without warrant a person—

          (a) who fails or refuses to give his or her name and address when demanded under subsection (3)(c)(i) or gives a name or address which the constable has reasonable grounds for believing is false or misleading,

          (b) who fails to comply with a direction given under subsection (3)(c)(ii), or

          (c) whom the member finds committing an offence under subsection (3)(a).

          (6)   

          (a) Where a person fails to comply with a direction under subsection (3)(b)(ii), a constable in uniform may remove or cause to be removed any object which the constable has reason to believe was brought onto or placed on the land in contravention of subsection (3)(a)(ii) and may store or cause to be stored such object so removed.

          (b) Any person who obstructs or impedes or assists a person to obstruct or impede a constable in uniform in the execution of his or her duty under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

          (c) Where an object has been removed under this section without the presence or knowledge of any person claiming to own, occupy, control or otherwise retain it, the chief officer of police shall serve or cause to be served upon each such person whose name and address can be ascertained by reasonable enquiry, a notice informing the person where the object may be claimed and recovered, requiring the person to claim and recover it within one month of the date of service of the notice and informing him or her of the statutory consequences of his or her failure to do so.

          (d) An object removed and stored under this section shall be given to a person claiming possession of the object if, but only if, he or she makes a declaration in writing that he or she is the owner of the object, or is authorised by its owner to claim it or is, for a specified reason, otherwise entitled to possession of it and, at the discretion of the chief officer of police, the person pays the amount of any expenditure reasonably incurred in removing and storing the object.

          (e) The chief officer of police may dispose of, or cause to be disposed of, an object removed and stored under this section if—

          (i) the owner of the object fails to claim it and remove it from the place where it is stored within one month of the date on which a notice under subsection (6)(c) was served on him or her, or

          (ii) the name and address of the owner of the object cannot be ascertained by reasonable enquiry.

          (f) Where the chief officer of police becomes entitled to dispose of or cause to be disposed of an object under subsection (e) and the object is, in his or her opinion, capable of being sold, the chief officer of police shall be entitled to sell or cause to be sold the object for the best price reasonably obtainable and upon doing so shall pay or cause to be paid to the person who was the owner of the object at the time of its removal, where the name and address of the owner can be ascertained by reasonable enquiry, a sum equal to the proceeds of such sale after deducting therefrom any expenditure reasonably incurred in its removal, storage and sale.

          (7)   

          (a) A person guilty of an offence under this Part shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one month or both.

          (b) In any proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be presumed until the contrary is shown that the consent under this section was not given.

          (8)   Notwithstanding any statutory provision or rule of law to the contrary, the jurisdiction of a magistrates' court shall not, in summary proceedings in relation to an offence under this Part, be ousted by reason solely of a question of title to land being brought into issue.

          (9)   Where in summary proceedings in relation to an offence under this part a question of title to land is brought into issue, the decision of a magistrates' court in the proceedings or on the question shall not operate as an estoppel in, or a bar to, proceedings in any court in relation to the land".'.



 
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Prepared 7 Oct 2005