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Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I shall read with care in Hansard what the Minister said about Amendment No. 28. We may well return to that matter at Third Reading. With regard to Amendment No. 32,

5 Jul 2000 : Column 1523

I am sorry that the noble Lord feels that what we suggest does not impinge on safety but damages competition. I would say that the contrary is true. At one point I thought that we were talking about different amendments. We are talking about the right of access to meters in cases of emergency. We are talking about the responsibility on the part of the industry to serve the customer in cases of emergency. We strongly believe that the amendment deals with that situation. When we raised the issue in Committee the Government were not willing to respond to our amendments. They still feel unwilling to respond to what we believe is a commonsense, practical amendment. I intend to test the opinion of the House on Amendment No. 32. I beg leave to withdraw Amendment No. 28.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 29:


    Page 127, line 34, leave out ("belonging to") and insert ("provided by").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 29 I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 32, 93, 95, 99, 101, 102, 124, 125 and 128. These amendments are all minor and technical. They make adjustments to the Bill which reflect changes to, or arising from, other parts of the Bill. One could say that about a great many amendments!

Amendments Nos. 29 and 31 provide that provisions which concern distributors' plant and line in new Schedule 6 to the Electricity Act relate only to electrical line and plant actually provided by a distributor, rather than to any line or plant.

Amendment No. 93 makes two changes to the Bill. The first limb of the amendment places the authority under a duty to send a copy of a new licence or an extension to or restriction of an existing licence to any licence holder likely to be affected by its granting. The second limb changes the provisions in Section 15A of the Gas Act which relate to billing disputes so that they apply to all consumers, not just domestic consumers. This is to make them consistent in this respect with the equivalent electricity provisions.

Amendment No. 95 is a purely technical amendment to the drafting and has no substance at all--it says in my brief. It must have some substance! Amendment No. 99, which is a corollary to the second limb of Amendment No. 93 to which I have just referred, and Amendments Nos. 101, 125 and 128 all amend the provisions of Section 44A of the Electricity Act and Section 15A of the Gas Act, which relate to billing disputes, to reflect the abolition of the concepts of public electricity supplier and tariff customer and to make the gas provisions applicable to all customers, not just domestic ones.

Amendment No. 102 amends Section 59 of the Electricity Act, which relates to making of false statements and so on to reflect the changes elsewhere in the Bill to provisions for rights of entry. I beg to move.

5 Jul 2000 : Column 1524

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 30:


    Page 128, line 22, leave out from beginning to ("an") and insert ("Where an electricity supplier is authorised by paragraph 2(1) to install a pre-payment meter on any premises, any officer or other person authorised by the supplier may at all reasonable times enter the premises for the purpose of installing such a meter.


(5) A power of entry for the purpose of removing or installing").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I spoke to this amendment with Amendment No. 28. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 31:


    Page 128, line 44, at end insert ("provided by the distributor").

The noble Lord said: This amendment was spoken to with Amendment No. 29. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Buscombe moved Amendment No. 32:


    Page 129, line 16, at end insert ("; or


(c) in the case of emergency, inspecting, repairing or re-installing any electricity meter").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I beg to move.

5.28 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 32) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 87; Not-Contents, 122.

Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Anelay of St Johns, B.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Biffen, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brigstocke, B.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coe, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cowdrey of Tonbridge, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Flather, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hanham, B. [Teller]
Haslam, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Home, E.
Hooper, B.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jellicoe, E.
Kimball, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lucas, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Marlesford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Montrose, D.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Norfolk, D.
Northbrook, L.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Seccombe, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Young, B.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L. [Teller]
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Healey, L.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Peston, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

5 Jul 2000 : Column 1526

Schedule 5 [Electricity metering]:


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