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Division No. 2


Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bledisloe, V. [Teller]
Boardman, L.
Bridges, L.
Brightman, L.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L. [Teller]
Brookeborough, V.
Burnham, L.
Buxton of Alsa, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnarvon, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coe, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elton, L.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Hanham, B.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hogg, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Listowel, E.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mancroft, L.
Mar, C.
Marlesford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Parkinson, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tebbit, L.
Tugendhat, L.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Walker of Worcester, L.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Young, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fitt, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greaves, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
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.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mitchell, L.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Orme, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
Sandberg, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

7 Nov 2000 : Column 1416

6.24 p.m.

Clause 14 [Offence of displaying on access land notices deterring public use]:

[Amendment No. 81 not moved.]

Clause 16 [Dedication of land as access land]:

[Amendment No. 82 not moved.]

Baroness Fookes moved Amendment No. 83:

    After Clause 16, insert the following new clause--


(" .--(1) Where any land which is open country is overgrown to the extent that its condition is likely to deter the use of that land by any person for the purposes of open air recreation, a competent authority may carry out such remedial work on that land as it considers necessary or expedient to restore that land to a condition suitable for such use.
(2) In the exercise of the power conferred by subsection (1), a duly authorised officer of a competent authority may enter on the land and may take with him such vehicles, machinery and other equipment as may be requisite.
(3) Before entering on any land, a competent authority shall give the owner of the land not less than twenty-four hours notice of their intention to do so or, where it is not practicable to ascertain the name and address of the owner, shall affix a notice at a conspicuous position at the boundary of that land.
(4) A notice under subsection (3) shall specify--
(a) the land to which it relates;
(b) the work to be carried out; and
(c) the date and time when the power to enter on the land will be exercised.
(5) A competent authority may recover from the owner of any land the amount of any expenses reasonably incurred by the authority in carrying out works on that land to the extent that the owner has received or is entitled to receive any grant or other money from public funds for such works.

7 Nov 2000 : Column 1417

(6) The power under subsection (1) shall not be exercised in respect of the same land by any competent authority more than once in any period of five years.
(7) In this section "competent authority" means a local authority or--
(a) in respect of land in England, the Countryside Agency; and
(b) in respect of land in Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Amendment No. 83 is tabled in my name. The new clause seeks to deal with a problem that I hope would not be a common one, but nevertheless is difficult and not easily resolved. I refer to the position where access land becomes overgrown to the point where those who have the right of access cannot, in practice, use it. In other words, the land would have to be in a very bad state indeed.

If that point was reached, as far as I can see in the Bill as it stands, no redress is possible. If that is not the case, I should be glad to be advised. I am not imputing to any landowner any malicious or evil intent in that regard. There may well be perfectly understandable reasons why the land goes to pot. However, if that does arise, there is the practical difficulty of resolving it.

The suggestion is that, having given proper notice, competent authorities--that is, local authorities, the Countryside Agency or the equivalent body in Wales--would be allowed to move in and deal with the land in the appropriate fashion, whatever that might be. It has been suggested to me that this is a draconian type of power. However, I suggest that it would not need to be used often. In any case, there are certain brakes on the procedure: first, through the competent authorities which are not likely to move in an unreasonable way; secondly, notice has to be given; and, thirdly, one cannot go onto the same land over and over again. There is a five-year limit on the time when one might enter the land for the purpose of clearing it.

After listening to the debates on the local access fora--or, as I believe we now must call them, forums--it occurred to me that if people are still concerned, that might be an additional filter. It might be useful to place before them for consideration the problem of neglected land before the procedure which I outline kicks in. Obviously, that cannot be done now. However, if the Government were minded to accept the purpose of the clause in principle, I have no doubt that that could be amended at a later stage.

The amendment attempts to deal with the problem of neglected land where it prevents those who have the right of access from so doing. In that spirit, I beg to move.

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