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Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I am grateful to those noble Lords who have taken part in the debate for

2 Mar 2002 : Column 1600

adding their analysis of what is not an easy matter. I continue to distinguish my proposal from what is contained in new Clause 4, under which the agency is to aim,


    "in discharging its functions ... to protect or enhance the environment".

I do not fully go along with the Minister in the example which he gave. I believe that my argument can be applied to examples which the noble Viscount may not have given. He said that the objective should not be part of the exercise of every power, if I understand him correctly. The noble Viscount used the example of charging. I believe that, taken together, the powers must work towards the thrust and the objective of the agency. For instance, as regards charging there would be enormous disappointment if all the agency did was to levy fees. The point of its charging is to enable it to implement the reason that it is being set up. In other words, the powers are separate but minor. They cannot be read as headline objectives of themselves: they are powers and not objectives and they facilitate.

As I said, I found the analysis extremely helpful. I accept that the amendment can stand improvement or even enhancement, if I may dare say that. It is still important and a pity that we have to address this matter before we get to the new Clause 4. We have to establish whether the objective which many noble Lords wish to see is spelt out at the head of the Bill. I propose to seek the opinion of the House. In doing so, I assure your Lordships that should this amendment be successful, I shall seek to improve it in conjunction with other noble Lords who have spoken and bring back another amendment at Third Reading. I hope that the new amendment will reflect the points which have been made. Nevertheless, I wish to see at this point whether we can achieve the inclusion of the objective in the very first clause of the Bill.

4.32 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 95; Not-Contents, 139.

Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Airedale, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Avebury, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Bottomley, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Ennals, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Foot, L.
Gallacher, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gladwyn, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Greene of Harrow Weald, L.
Gregson, L.
Hamwee, B. [Teller.]
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes, L.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mayhew, L.
McGregor of Durris, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McNair, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Moran, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Mulley, L.
Nathan, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Sainsbury, L.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Stallard, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strafford, E.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Walpole, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.

NOT-CONTENTS

Aberdare, L.
Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Annaly, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Astor, V.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Bethell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blyth, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L.
Brentford, V.
Brigstocke, B.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Butterworth, L.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnock, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L.
Chorley, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coleridge, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Cranbrook, E.
Crawshaw, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cross, V.
Cumberlege, B.
Davidson, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Derwent, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Effingham, E.
Ellenborough, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Faithfull, B.
Flather, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gisborough, L.
Goschen, V.
Greenway, L.
Hambro, L.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harrowby, E.
Henley, L.
Hogg, B.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hooper, B.
Hothfield, L.
Howe, E.
Inglewood, L. [Teller.]
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Killearn, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Kintore, E.
Kitchener, E.
Knollys, V.
Lauderdale, E.
Lindsay, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lyell, L.
Lytton, E.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Macleod of Borve, B.
Marlesford, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
May, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Mills, V.
Milverton, L.
Monk Bretton, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mountgarret, V.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newall, L.
Norrie, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Oxfuird, V.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pender, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Quinton, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Rodger of Earlsferry, L.
Rodney, L.
Romney, E.
Saint Albans, D.
Salisbury, M.
Seccombe, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
St. Davids, V.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Stockton, E.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Swansea, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thurlow, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wise, L.
Wynford, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

2 Mar 2002 : Column 1602

4.40 p.m.

Lord Marlesford had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 4:


Page 1, line 13, at end insert:
("(1A) The Agency shall, in exercising any of its powers under any enactment, protect and enhance the environment.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I am still persuaded, particularly by what my noble friend Lord Cranbrook said, that it would be nice to have something at the beginning of the Bill on this point but, as I said earlier, in view of the considerable changes that are to be made to Clause 4 under Amendment No. 28, I am happy not to move this or my later amendment.

[Amendment No. 4 not moved.]

Schedule 1 [The Environment Agency]:

Viscount Ullswater moved Amendment No. 5:


Page 115, line 2, leave out from ("may") to ("appoint") in line 3.

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 5 I should like to speak also to Amendment No. 62. The amendments would remove the requirement for the relevant Secretary of State to approve the terms and conditions of service of staff appointed by the agency or by SEPA.

We have been reviewing the need for this control. It will be important for the Government to exercise a strategic control over pay, terms and conditions in view of the substantial funding the agencies will receive from chargepayers and the public purse. But the Bill as it stands would require approval of every detail, which would not be a worthwhile use of resources. The strategic controls required can be exercised under the general power to impose conditions on award of grant to the agencies and would be implemented through their management statements and financial memoranda. I beg to move.

Lord Crickhowell: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for moving this amendment, which is a real step forward in removing unnecessary bureaucracy. Among the problems which have tended to handicap the

2 Mar 2002 : Column 1603

efficient running of the NRA and similar organisations are interference and the second-guessing of points of detail. My noble friend is absolutely right that there are adequate broad powers for the Government to lay down the general rules, but it must be right that the agency should be able to settle such details without continually having to seek approval. This is a welcome step.


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