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Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 543A to 543C:

("(1A) In that Schedule, at the end of the list of Public General Acts there is inserted--
"Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (c. ) Schedule (Transitional provisions and savings relating to sites of special scientific interest).".").

    Page 46, line 21, leave out ("does") and insert (", and the amendment made by subsection (1A), do").

    Page 46, line 22, leave out ("concerned") and insert ("mentioned in subsection (1) or the provision inserted by subsection (1A)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 73, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 74 [Isles of Scilly]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 544 and 545:

    Page 46, line 28, leave out (", after consultation with the Council of the Isles of Scilly,").

    Page 46, line 32, at end insert--

("(2A) Part IIIA applies in relation to the Isles of Scilly subject to such modifications as may be specified in an order made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument.
(2B) Before making an order under subsection (2) or (2A), the Secretary of State shall consult the Council of the Isles of Scilly.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 74, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 75 [Expenses]:

[Amendment No. 545A not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 546:

    Page 46, line 38, leave out ("the Nature Conservancy Council for England") and insert ("English Nature").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 546A to 546D not moved.]

Clause 75, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 76 agreed to.

Schedule 11 [Repeals]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 547 to 552:

    Page 112, column 3, leave out line 9.

    Page 112, line 28, column 3, at end insert--

    ("In Schedule 15, paragraph 9.")

    Page 113, line 3, at end insert--

("1958 c. 51.The Public Records Act 1958. In Schedule 1, in Part II of the Table inparagraph 3, the entry relating to the Nature Conservancy Council for England.
1964 c. 40.The Harbours Act 1964. In Schedule 3, in the definition of "sensitive area", paragraph (b).
1965 c. 74. The Superannuation Act 1965. In section 39(1), in paragraph 7, the words "The Nature Conservancy Council for England.".
1967 c. 13. The Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967. In Schedule 2, the entry "Nature Conservancy Council for England.".")

16 Oct 2000 : Column 868

    Page 113, line 5, at end insert--

("1975 c. 24. The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975. In Schedule 1, in Part III, the entry "Any member of the Nature Conservancy Council for England or the Countryside Council for Wales in receipt of remuneration.".")

    Page 113, line 7, column 3, at end insert--

("In section 32(1), the words "or land to which section 29(3) applies".")

    Page 113, line 22, at end insert--

("1996 c. 47. The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. In Schedule 3, paragraph 20 and the heading preceding it.")

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer moved Amendment No. 552A:

    Page 114, line 5, column 3, at end insert--

("In section 39(1) the words "which is both in the countryside and".")

The noble Baroness said: This amendment seeks to make equal the treatment between urban and rural areas where there are amenity spaces. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 currently prevents local and national park authorities from making management agreements that would be beneficial in urban areas. These are voluntary agreements made between landowners to conserve or enhance the natural beauty of amenity land and promote its enjoyment by the public, but only in the countryside. We have referred several times during the passage of the Bill to the importance to urban areas of their open spaces. It seems strange that the Wildlife and Countryside Act should continue to contain a provision whereby management agreements can happen only in rural

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areas. The amendment would remove that unnecessary bar and allow the power to be used wherever it made sense to do so. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The noble Baroness, Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer, has outlined the provisions of the amendment. The Bill already provides in Clause 72 that these powers to enter into such agreements should also be made available to the countryside bodies. Amendment No. 552A would enable local planning authorities and the countryside bodies to enter into Section 39 management agreements in respect of any land and not just in respect of land in the countryside. For example, it would allow the Countryside Agency effectively to provide for the long-term protection of millennium greens wherever they are located.

I believe that there may therefore be merit in considering this amendment, although we need to be confident that it is appropriate for Section 39 powers to be used to protect land in built-up areas. We also need to consider whether such wider powers should be made available both to the countryside body and to the local planning authorities.

We should like to consider this amendment further, without commitment. I hope that, in the light of this, the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: Because I am an optimist, I shall take that to be an encouraging response. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 553:

    Page 114, line 7, at end insert--


ChapterShort title Extent of repeal
1949 c. 97. The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Sections 87 and 88.
1990 c. 43. The Environmental Protection Act 1990. In Schedule 8, paragraph 1(12).
1995 c. 25. The Environment Act 1995. In Schedule 10, paragraph 2(7).")

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 11, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 77 [Commencement]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 554:

    Page 47, line 19, after (" 41,") insert--

("section 48,
sections 54 and 55,
sections 60 to 63 and Schedule 7,").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

16 Oct 2000 : Column 870

[Amendment No. 555 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 556 and 557:

    Page 47, line 20, after ("Schedules") insert ("(Amendments consequential on change of name of Nature Conservancy Council for England),").

    Page 47, line 22, leave out subsection (3).

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 558 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Baroness Byford moved Amendment No. 559:

    Page 47, line 27, at end insert (", provided that the remaining provisions of Part I of this Act shall not come into force until the Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) has brought into force regulations making effective provision for notification to all members of the public proposing to enter onto access land of what exclusions or restrictions of access to that land are in force at the time").

The noble Baroness said: This amendment takes us back to where we began. Clearly it is necessary to ensure that before the right of access comes into force, all occupiers affected by that right should have been contacted as regards when closures or restrictions are required on their land. Where closures or restrictions are required from day one, it is also necessary to ensure that information is made readily available to the users of the countryside--in this the Minister will see that we have in fact come full circle. The noble Lord will recall that at the beginning of our deliberations, I moved a purpose clause. The Minister said that he could not accept that clause, but that he understood the point of the argument.

The key to the right of access provisions working successfully lies in effective management provisions. They must be in place from day one. Indeed, that applies also to mapping. I do not believe that this issue has yet been directly addressed. The Government must ensure that all the relevant provisions will be in place prior to the right becoming a reality on the ground. I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: We take seriously the concerns that have been expressed as regards confusion about rights of access and the need to ensure that it is properly managed and publicised. I appreciate that, were the new rights to come into force before the provisions managing such access come into effect, significant difficulties could arise both for landowners and for users. However, I do not believe that such a situation should arise.

Clause 77 already provides that the new right of access cannot come into force unless the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales makes an order. I can assure the noble Baroness that, before such an order is made, effective public information will have been made available as regards any exclusions and restrictions which are to apply. We have referred previously to the steps that will be taken by the Countryside Agency to ensure that information as regards restrictions is made widely available to the

16 Oct 2000 : Column 871

public. In addition, amendments have been made in another place enabling directions under Chapter II to be made in advance of land becoming access land; that is, closures and restrictions can apply to land--which will include fast-track land if we choose to pursue that aim--from the moment that the right comes into effect.

We fully accept the point that lies behind this amendment; namely, that the regulations will need to be in place in advance of the right of access. I hope that this response indicates that we fully intend to meet the concerns expressed by the noble Baroness, and I hope that she will not wish to pursue it in this form.

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