Examination of Witnesses (Questions 8800
8800. LORD JONES OF CHELTENHAM: Chairman,
this may be a question for you, but it is certainly a question
for Mr Elvin. Are we not in the sphere of additional provisions
here? Is not what we are being asked to do in our report to make
recommendations for what the Committee understand to be additional
provisions which the Chairman made a very clear statement on earlier
in our deliberations?
8801. MR ELVIN: My Lord, grateful as
I always am for an extra point, I think it would technically be
possible to achieve this in some way short of additional provisions,
subject to the question of the degree to which the Committee thought
you were overriding the ORR's decision. If the Committee were
to come to the conclusion that you were being asked to override
the ORR's decision, then your Lordship is absolutely right, that
you would need an additional provision to have power to amend
the ORR's decision, which is something where we have been asked
to remove the overriding rail power rights, and you have the Minister's
statement, so it would either require an additional provision
to do that or the retention of some of the powers which everyone
thinks we should delete.
8802. CHAIRMAN: On the other hand, Mr
Elvin, if it is simply a matter of the six infrastructure works
that I have on my list, they are in the Bill already.
8803. MR ELVIN: Which is why I cannot
wholeheartedly adopt the helpful suggestion from his Lordship.
It may well be possible, depending on the view that your Lordships
took, that the mechanism could be dealt with by undertaking rather
than any other way.
8804. CHAIRMAN: Exactly because, if you
have given an undertaking on Acton West already, the issue is
going to be whether you give undertakings on the other ones.
8805. MR ELVIN: Indeed, and we await
to hear how other Petitioners put the matter, but that is perfectly
possible, so we may well not be in additional provisions territory.
8806. CHAIRMAN: Well, we cannot do additional
provisions anyway, but I think probably the matter can be resolved
without getting into that realm.
8807. MR ELVIN: I suspect your Lordship
is right. That will not alter my point, my Lord, that what is
being sought here is effectively, "We want industry processes
to operate to protect us, but, by the way, when it suits us to
have security, we would like something else as well", but
that is a different point though.
8808. LORD BERKELEY: My Lord Chairman,
just to clarify, we are not looking for additional provisions
8809. CHAIRMAN: Well, you would not get
8810. LORD BERKELEY: Exactly, and that
is why I have said we are not looking for them. All that we would
look for is some assurance on those four extra, or five, however
one likes to talk about the Airport Junction, assurances that
those would get built, and there will be more evidence on that
which I shall present this afternoon.
8811. CHAIRMAN: Well, I expect there
will, but I am glad that we have now tied it down to that point
because, otherwise, we are going very wide. Is there anything
you wanted to ask Mr Bennett?
8812. LORD BERKELEY: That is all I have
to ask Mr Bennett.
8813. CHAIRMAN: Is Mr Bennett the one
needing to get away now?
8814. LORD BERKELEY: He is the one who
has to catch a train, and I think he will catch it. Would you
like me to call my next witness, my Lord Chairman?
8815. CHAIRMAN: No. I think that Mr Bennett
can go now and it will probably be beneficial if we break, and
I do not know whether we could come back a little bit early, but
I think we now need to hear Mr Elvin's introduction, which he
would normally have given in the first place, so that we can place
some of this in context, and then we will go on with your next
witness, if you do not mind. I think that is going to help us
more than anything else.
8816. LORD BERKELEY: I am very happy
with that, my Lord Chairman.
8817. MR ELVIN: Can I just check that
your Lordships have a copyI thought I would give your Lordships
my notes because they were longer than usual and they contain
excerpts from some of the transcripts I have already read out?
8818. CHAIRMAN: Yes, we have.
8819. MR ELVIN: I apologise that there
is some gobbledegook which I will point out due to my inability
to type at two o'clock in the morning which is a severe handicap,