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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Greaves, for moving the amendment. I wanted to place on record that at this stage, without prejudice, that particular mechanism could worsen relationships between the two tiers of authorities if one were able to impose the penalty on the other. We have noted the problem and we shall give it further consideration.

Lord Greaves: I am grateful for that response. The amendment does not allow the waste disposal authority to impose a penalty on the collecting authority. It would allow the allocating authority to do that in extremis. That may not be the right mechanism, but mechanisms are clearly needed. We look forward to discussing those matters as the Bill progresses. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 25 agreed to.

Clause 26 [Regulations under Chapter 1: procedural provisions]:

[Amendments Nos. 148 to 151 not moved.]

Clause 26 agreed to.

Clauses 27 and 28 agreed to.

Lord Dixon-Smith moved Amendment No. 151A:


(1) A local authority may designate any part of the following land in the area of the local authority as land to which this section applies—
(a) a public off-street car park;
(b) a recreation ground, garden, park or open space under the management or control of a local authority;
(c) a path, pavement or highway which is open to public access, whether or not as of right;
(d) an area of land beside a railway under the ownership or control of a railway undertaking, a station or a station forecourt.
(2) Any land so designated shall include any other area—
(a) which is not within permanently enclosed premises; and
(b) which is within seven metres of such land.
(3) The local authority may, when designating any land under subsection (1), provide that the designation of the land shall have effect in relation to one or more of the following—
(a) commercial waste;
(b) household waste; or
(c) industrial waste.
(4) Any person who, without the written consent of the local authority, or in breach of any condition subject to which the local authority's consent has been given, places, or causes or permits any other person to place, commercial waste, household waste or industrial waste for collection on land which is subject to a

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designation under this section relating to that type of waste, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(5) Where the commission by any person of an offence under subsection (4) is due to the direction, act or default of some other person, that other person may be charged with and convicted of the offence by virtue of this subsection whether or not proceedings for the offence are taken against the first-mentioned person.
(6) The conditions of consent referred to in subsection (4) may include conditions as to—
(a) the times during which the waste may be placed for collection or period for which the consent is valid;
(b) the part of the place designated under subsection (1) where the consent is to apply;
(c) the use of means by which waste can be attributed to any particular occupier of premises;
(d) a requirement for a person to produce on demand to an authorised officer of a local authority or to a constable documentary evidence of the consent; and
(e) any other matter that the local authority has reason to believe will reduce the depositing of waste in public open spaces and on paths, pavements or highways without consent.
(7) A local authority may charge such reasonable fee for a consent under this section as they think fit, and in setting the level of such fees shall take into consideration—
(a) any reasonable costs or expected costs incurred or to be incurred in connection with the administration of the provisions of this section; and
(b) the cost or expected cost of enforcing the provisions of this section.
(8) A consent under this section may be revoked and the conditions of consent may be altered by notice to the person to whom the consent was given.
(9) A person aggrieved by—
(a) the withholding by the council of consent referred to in subsection (4);
(b) the conditions subject to which the council give such consent; or
(c) the revocation of such consent under subsection (8);
may appeal to a magistrates' court by way of complaint for an order and on such appeal the court may dismiss or allow the appeal or may vary any conditions imposed by the council.
(10) In this section "commercial waste", "household waste" and "industrial waste" have the same meanings as in section 75 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (c. 43)."

The noble Lord said: I cannot claim absolute responsibility for the authorship of the amendment, which will not surprise Members of the Committee. The provisions have been extracted, and only marginally adapted, from the London Local Authorities Bill which is currently before Parliament. They are a serious attempt to reduce the problem of all those awkward wastes that all too often result in fly-tipping.

The purpose of the amendments is to allow a local authority to designate an area—it might be a bit of derelict ground or a building site that is currently empty—where for a limited period people could deposit waste of the kind that was defined in the designation, which the local authority would itself make. It could be anything from burned out cars downwards. It could be glass, old furniture, or garden waste. At the end of the designation period, or at intervals during it, if that were necessary, the local authority would clear the site.

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The Bill before Parliament deals only with London, but if those provisions were put into this Bill, all local authorities would have the power to make designations of areas within their boundaries. We might then make a considerable step towards reducing the problem of fly-tipping.

I am sorry that the amendments were tabled quite late and that the Government may not have had as much time as they would have wished to consider them. I ask them to look seriously at the amendments and to consider whether, at the very least, they are adequate to do what we are trying to achieve or whether they could devise a better amendment. Whatever happens, the Bill provides us with an opportunity to do so.

Fly-tipping does not occur only in rural areas; it is just as much a problem for people in urban areas because stuff is dumped on the street or in the garden of an empty house and so on. We are all familiar with the problem. If we could find a way to give authorities the power to give people the opportunity to dispose of such material in defined areas in a limited way for a limited period, we could go a great way towards easing a chronic problem which causes everyone everywhere a great deal of vexation.

I do not intend to say any more in moving the amendment. I look forward with interest to the reply from the Government but I hope that, in this instance, even if they cannot be positive, they will at least not be negative. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: As the noble Lord recognised, these clauses are similar to ones included in the London Local Authorities Bill in the last Session. Those clauses were eventually withdrawn by the sponsors of the Bill. The powers that they contain are very broad. First, they give local authorities the ability to designate land for depositing waste for collection. As that is not defined within the clauses, we take it to mean collection by any party, be it the local authority or a private waste company.

Secondly, the powers would enable the local authority to designate an area as one where a number of persons may deposit their waste for collection. If that were the case, there might be a need for a designated area to be covered in some way by a waste management licence or exemption, regardless of the conditions applied to that area in any designation made by the local authority. Therefore, the Environment Agency might also need to be involved.

An alternative use of the powers would be to place requirements or conditions on the producers of waste as to when, where, how and in what receptacle their waste should be made available for collection. Many of these powers are already available to local authorities in respect of household waste under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and, to a more limited extent, under Section 47 of that Act in respect of commercial and industrial waste. For example, a council can already place conditions upon householders in relation to the receptacles that they use for their waste, where those can be placed, how access to them should be provided, and the steps that

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should be taken by householders to facilitate collection. Local authorities also have the ability to make by-laws as to the times when householders may put out their waste on the highway. There are examples of this power being used in Portsmouth and Great Yarmouth.

I am not sure how anyone could view those powers as deficient. But we are concerned that the powers relating to other waste are potentially very broad, and possibly burdensome in their operation. I have covered that point fully in the hope that it may resolve the issue for the noble Lord.

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