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Viscount Ullswater: My Lords, the Government did not believe it sensible to come to a decision on the boundary of the agency's Welsh region in isolation from the agency's proposals for its organisational and management structure, in just the way my noble friend Lord Crickhowell indicated. It is intended therefore that the boundary of the agency's Welsh region will be determined by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales in consultation with my right honourable friends the Secretary of State for the Environment and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on the basis of proposals from the agency. Those are the words I used in Committee and have now repeated to the noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas.

It is important that the agency's Welsh region has a strong identity, and it is for that reason that the Bill as drafted requires the Welsh region to consist wholly of, or mainly of, or of most of, Wales. The boundary will, however, need to be consistent with the structure chosen by the agency.

The Environment Protection Advisory Committee will be set up by the agency to advise the agency on how it can best carry out its functions in its Welsh region, whatever the boundary of that region. It makes sense therefore that the Environment Protection Advisory Committee for the Welsh region should not have a remit extending beyond the Welsh region, even if it transpires that not every part of Wales is included in the Welsh region. That is different from the position in relation to the advisory committee for Wales, which will be set up to advise my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales on the carrying out of the agency's functions in relation to the whole of Wales, whatever the boundary of the Welsh region.

That is the position the Government have taken. I understand the noble Lord's concerns. However, having listened to what I have had to say, I hope he will be in a position to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Elis-Thomas: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Viscount for stating the Government's position. It does not seem to have moved from what was stated in Committee. I was pleased to hear the analysis of the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, that it might be possible to take different boundaries for different functions of the agency. Functions should lead in this matter rather than there being any question of trying to maintain an over-unified structure for what are, after all, diverse functions but functions which in the broad environmental remit of the agency complement one another. It is important that the integrity of the function and activity of HMIP in its relationship with local

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government in its Wales region should not be diminished in the transitional arrangements or indeed in the final arrangements that emerge from the Bill. With that caveat, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 13 [Regional and local fisheries advisory committees]:

[Amendments Nos. 58 and 59 not moved.]

Lord Greenway moved Amendment No. 60:


Leave out Clause 13 and insert the following new clause:

("Regional and local fisheries, recreation and navigation committees

13.—(1) It shall be the duty of the Agency—
(a) to establish and maintain fisheries, recreation and navigation advisory committees;
(b) to consult those committees as to the manner in which the Agency is to carry out its functions relating to fisheries, recreation and navigation; and
(c) to consider any representations made to it by those committees (whether in response to consultation under paragraph (b) above or otherwise) as to the manner in which the Agency carries out those functions.
(2) (a) Each fisheries, recreation and navigation committee shall consist of—
(i) persons who appear to the Agency to be interested in salmon fisheries, trout fisheries, freshwater fisheries or eel fisheries;
(ii) persons who appear to the Agency to have knowledge of recreation interests; and
(iii) persons who appear to the Agency to have knowledge of navigation interests.
(b) The members of fisheries, recreation and navigation advisory committees shall not be members of the Agency.
(3) The duty to establish and maintain fisheries, recreation and navigation advisory committees imposed by subsection (1) above is a duty to establish and maintain—
(a) a regional fisheries, recreation and navigation advisory committee for each region of England and Wales; and
(b) such local fisheries, recreation and navigation advisory committees as the Agency considers necessary to represent fisheries, recreation and navigation interests in the different parts of each region;
and it shall be the duty of the Agency in determining the regions for which regional committees are established and maintained under this section to ensure that one of those regions consists (apart from territorial waters) wholly or mainly of, or of most of, Wales.
(4) If the Agency, with the consent of the Ministers, so determines, it shall also be under a duty to consult the fisheries, recreation and navigation committees, or such of them as may be specified or described in the determination, as to—
(a) the manner in which it is to perform its duties under or by virtue of such of the enactments relating to conservation as may be the subject of the determination, or
(b) such matters relating to conservation as may be the subject of the determination.
(5) Where, by virtue of subsection (4) above, the Agency is under a duty to consult those committees or any of them, there may be included among the members of the committees in question persons who are not members of the Agency but who appear to it to be interested in matters—
(a) like to be affected by the manner in which it performs the duties to which the determination in question relates, or
(b) which are the subject of the determination,
if the Ministers consent to the inclusion of persons of that description.

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(6) There shall be paid by the Agency—
(a) to the chairman of any regional or local fisheries, recreation and navigation advisory committee established and maintained under this section such remuneration and such travelling and other allowances; and
(b) to any other members of that committee such sums by way of reimbursement (whether in whole or in part) for loss of remuneration, for travelling expenses or for any other out-of-pocket expenses,
as may, with the consent of the Treasury, be determined by one of the Ministers.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I seem to be somewhat fated with this amendment. I did not move it in Committee. I withdrew it without speaking to it because it was part of a grouping and came up at the magic hour of 10 o'clock when the Committee wanted to go home. I have brought it back in the same form and I say at the outset that it is by way of a probing amendment. However, I am slightly thrown again by the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, not speaking to her two amendments which are also down in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley. I am sorry in a way because I rather favour those two amendments as opposed to mine. They go slightly broader and include conservation as well. I had not presumed to enter into the realms of conservation.

The reason for tabling this amendment is as a result of the Touche Ross study on the potential management structure for the new environment agency. All the navigation organisations and many other respondents favoured a management structure based somewhat on that of the National Rivers Authority. They also favoured the concept of a line of management which was based on fisheries, recreation, conservation and navigation. That line would flow through head office, down through regional offices and into an area structure.

With that in mind, I propose to amend Clause 13 to include regional committees for recreation and navigation in each of the areas, as I believe it is important that these activities should be defined as part of the consultation process for the environment agency, the regions and areas.

I assumed that perhaps navigation was rather too small a part of the whole new agency to warrant representation on the main environment committee. That may have been a somewhat naive assessment. I shall be delighted if the Minister can reassure me on that point and say that there might be a way of including a navigational interest on the main committee. That original assumption made me bring forward this amendment to see whether navigation and recreation can be represented on some of the lesser committees if they have no chance of being represented on the main committee. I beg to move.

Viscount Mills: My Lords, I have some direct experience of the existing NRA advisory committees and in particular the regional fisheries advisory committees. I too had prepared an answer to the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, but I believe that the principle remains the same. The regional fisheries advisory committees already deal with matters concerning recreation and navigation where they

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directly impinge on fisheries activities. That is very necessary. But for these committees to try to deal with all matters concerning these various other functions would be counter productive for the very simple reason that it could easily result in a committee, which would fail to deal with all or some of the constituent functions in an adequate manner. For that simple reason alone I cannot support this amendment.


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