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Lord Greaves: I support what has just been said. About four hours ago I think the noble Lord, Lord Dixon-Smith, referred to easy processes of setting up separation and kerbside collection schemes. I thought these were not easy processes at all. Although they may not be as capital-intensive as some of the work that has to be done by disposal authorities, they still require substantial investment and substantial input of skill and resources to be carried out effectively.

There seem to be two instances in which this scheme might break down because in two-tier areas, district councils, as collection authorities, are not delivering the goods. The first is where they do not get on with the county council, or are not co-operating or cannot agree or whatever—the sort of situation referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Hanningfield. The second is where the collection authorities are only too willing to do what is required but simply have not got the resources to do it. The Minister says they can bid for things but that is no good if you do not win your bid, if you are competing against other people. There seems to be a potential source of great friction here between the two levels, as the noble Lord, Lord Hanningfield, rightly said.

The Government have to tell us, as part of the Bill, how they see such difficulties and conflicts being resolved. It is not a question of resolution where the two sides are working together and where the resources are there. It is a question of resolution where, for whatever reason, they cannot agree on what needs to be done and will not do it for that reason or where they agree on what is to be done but the resources simply are not there. To penalise the waste disposal authorities under those circumstances seems quite wrong. As the noble Lord, Lord Hanningfield, said, it is a recipe for judicial review and goodness knows what else, unless some other mechanisms are put in place, unless perhaps the allocation authority is given a direct

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role in relation to the collection authorities as well as the disposal authorities. There is a serious potential problem here even if it happens in only a few places. The Government have to think about that and tell us how they intend to do it.

Lord Whitty: I have recognised that there is an issue here that I would prefer to see resolved in a rather wider context of establishing effective duties and responsibilities through partnership between the two tiers of authority. Indeed, the overall waste management strategy implies that there is a responsibility on the collection authorities as well as the disposal authorities to act in partnership to meet the objectives of the strategy. That will be reinforced with the work done by the Strategy Unit, which was published the other week. I have no doubt we will return to this. I am not sure that it is appropriate for a mechanism within the Bill but the issue clearly has to be resolved in the real world to deliver these targets. We will no doubt discuss it at a later stage and will see whether there are other ways to achieve what all noble Lords wish to see happen.

Lord Hanningfield: I am grateful to the Minister for saying that. It is the biggest potential flaw in the Bill. All of us at county or strategic level work as well as we can in forming partnerships but there are real problems, often in the size of district councils and the way that they can deliver, even if they want to. We will have to return to this one later. I thank the Minister for what he has said and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 45 to 47 not moved.]

Lord Whitty: This may be a convenient point at which to adjourn until 3.30 p.m. tomorrow.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Lyell): The Committee stands adjourned until tomorrow at 3.30 p.m.

        The Committee adjourned at fourteen minutes before eight o'clock.

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