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Lord Jopling: My Lords, perhaps I may ask the noble Lord a question on a point that puzzles me. Under Clause 32(2), associations can acquire land. But with the sort of fees that the noble Lord was talking about—whether it is £10 in the case of the Cumbrian Commoners or £5,000 a year—they are probably not going to get very much land. If the association wished to acquire land under subsection (2)(d), would that be done through fees? In that case, it would amount to rather a lot of money and the fees would hardly be "modest". Can the Minister explain that?

Lord Bach: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for that question. Indeed, they will have the right to acquire or dispose of land, but I point out that they are potentially able to raise money from sources other than fees. Large sums of money for capital expenditure or more significant improvements could be raised through other means—for example, entering into agri-environment schemes, wayleaves for easements or car parking charges, if that was appropriate.

Perhaps I may give some examples. On Danby Common—I do not know whether that North Yorkshire common is known to noble Lords—bracken control and cattle gridding were achieved through a combination of local and European Union sources of funding, including Objective 5b money. The Gower Commons initiative has undertaken cattle gridding, agricultural management and access work on commons with the assistance of money from the Heritage Lottery Fund. More than £200,000 in match funding has been provided by labour from commoners themselves on that common. And statutory bodies, such as boards of conservators, are often funded through precepts on local residents collected by the local authority through the council tax. My example there is the Malvern Board of Conservators. I am afraid that I have taken some time to answer the noble Lord's excellent question, but the answer is that there are other ways of raising money—not just in theory but in practice, too.

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, before my noble friend sits down, can he confirm that commons
30 Nov 2005 : Column 242
associations will have no ability to borrow money from banks on no security whatever or on any security in order to acquire land or whatever it might be?

Lord Bach: My Lords, I am looking at Clause 32(2) as I answer my noble friend. There seems to be no reason why commons associations should not be able to borrow money from a bank, provided that the bank is prepared to lend it to them.

Baroness Byford: My Lords, I am grateful to noble Lords for their contributions. In Committee, we had a rather lengthy debate on this subject and I am sorry that my noble friend Lord Jopling was not able to be present then. Many questions were raised on how associations can and may raise money and for what the money will be used. Some people have great fears about the ability of commons associations to acquire land, which would be open to them, if they had that amount of money.

I thank the Minister for giving those examples, but I have to draw his attention to the cross-over between where we are with this Bill and with the CROW Act. The CROW Act is enacted over the whole of the UK and says that people can park anywhere, walk anywhere and go anywhere; people do not have to go through car parks or use car parks, which could be a bonus. The fact that in towns we pay to park our cars and think nothing of it causes me to smile, as people in the country have a very strange view and a great reluctance to put £1 in a box to park their cars. If people do not have to park their cars in a car park, I suspect that they will park them wherever they possibly can. I do not follow the Minister's logic and I do not believe that some of the examples that he gave will necessarily raise the amount of money that he believes will be raised.

I am faced with a very difficult situation. I am not happy with the Minister's response. I know that I cannot go away, asking him to think about it again, as that is not within the rules of Report stage. That is one of the disadvantages of having the Committee stage in Grand Committee. Ministers may shake their heads, but it makes it very difficult. I do not want to lose on this issue, as I probably shall, but I intend to seek the opinion of House.

4.36 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 40) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 123; Not-Contents, 140

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Bagri, L.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Cameron of Dillington, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cobbold, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Craigavon, V.
De Mauley, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elton, L.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Fowler, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Goodhart, L.
Greaves, L.
Greenway, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hannay of Chiswick, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hylton, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lucas, L.
Lyell of Markyate, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
Maddock, B.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Michie of Gallanach, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Neuberger, B.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Rawlings, B.
Redesdale, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rogan, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shephard of Northwold, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Steinberg, L.
Stewartby, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tonge, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Tyler, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walpole, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Windlesham, L.


Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Ahmed, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President of the Council.]
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Bilston, L.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Calton, B.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Corston, B.
Crawley, B.
Cunningham of Felling, L.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dearing, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Falkender, B.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Foster of Bishop Auckland, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Golding, B.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Griffiths of Burry Port, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mitchell, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan, L.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Finsbury, L.
Soley, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Stratford, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

30 Nov 2005 : Column 244
4.48 pm

Clause 35 [Rules: supplementary]:

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