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Lord Glentoran moved Amendment No. 141:



("( ) for the purposes of removing litter, or
( ) for the purposes of removing waste dumped therein").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment concerns the removal of litter. One of the problems with the Bill, particularly in Part I, is that it is very difficult to insert anywhere clauses which actually lay duties on anyone other than the owner or occupier. Another is perhaps that the Bill still does not totally recognise a number of the well-known problems inherent in running the countryside.

We have had debates during the passage of the Bill about litter and the dumping of waste. The problem is well understood and accepted on all sides of the House. But we do not seem to have a satisfactory means of managing it. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said in its policy on the implications of enhanced access:


    "There have been litter problems in areas where people walk, such as the long distance routes and paths. Even in remote areas such as the Lyke-wake Walk, litter is dropped along the route. It is often impossible to catch the perpetrator, so the provision in the

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    Bill to give them trespasser status for a day will not be a practical solution. The new arrangements must contain provisions for the collection of litter".

That is the intention behind the amendment. I hope that the Government will see a way of accepting this and helping to solve that inevitable problem. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, perhaps I may take the opportunity to respond to Amendment No. 141 and to speak also to government Amendments Nos. 142 and 143. I shall deal with Amendment No. 141 first, as we all share the concern about litter. The noble Baroness, Lady Farrington, made clear in Committee that we take the matter seriously. We are looking at measures both to help prevent it occurring in the first place, which is clearly the ideal, or, failing that, to deal effectively with it where it does occur.

Leaving litter on access land will be a criminal offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 liable to a fine of up to £2,500 in the magistrates' court.

We envisage that mainly it will require only a light touch. Open land is not a country park. There are large tracts of moor and other open country where only the more adventurous will go. But there will be some areas which have been off limits in the past which will become popular. It is particularly in those areas that litter could become a problem. The Countryside Agency is discussing with us how the right of access can best be implemented and managed. We are considering the need for a specific grant regime to help fund effective management of access on the ground or example through signs, information and other facilities. That kind of grant may also be the appropriate mechanism for funding action to prevent or clear litter which has resulted directly from the new right of access. The grant fund would be in addition to the resources which local authorities will have to meet their responsibilities under the Bill; for example, the provision of wardens or new and improved means of access.

That is how we plan to tackle litter problems which may arise, but we are still open to other suggestions and were interested to hear the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran.

I turn to Amendment No. 141. If there is a problem with litter and the local highway authority wishes to take action, it can enter the land concerned with the agreement of the occupier. I do not see why an occupier should object to someone else clearing litter or rubbish on his land. Alternatively, a warden can be appointed and one of the duties could be the removal of litter. Wardens will have the power of entry under the Bill. Therefore, I do not think that the amendment is necessary and I hope that it will not be pressed.

I turn to government Amendments Nos. 142 and 143, which make consistent what public bodies may do under Part I and Part III of the Bill in carrying out their legal responsibilities and what provision should be made for compensation if they cause damage.

Amendment No. 143 reflects our agreement to consider a similar amendment tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, in Committee. We accept the

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principle that if damage is caused by a public body in carrying out its legal responsibilities, a person suffering such damage should be entitled to compensation. That is why we accepted a similar amendment tabled in another place in relation to Part III of the Bill.

It is possible that a person authorised by a public body might cause damage, for example, in constructing or repairing a means of access or in erecting a notice. Amendment No. 142 clarifies what authorised persons may do in exercising their powers under this part of the Bill. The provision is similar to Clause 74(6). I commend the amendments to the House.

Lord Northbrook moved, as an amendment to Amendment No. 143, Amendment No. 144:


    Line 14, leave out paragraphs (a) and (b) and insert--


    ("by the President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I rise on behalf of my noble friend Lord Caithness to move Amendment No. 144 as an amendment to Amendment No. 143. Amendment No. 144 states that any dispute as to a person's entitlement to compensation under this clause or as to its amount should be referred to an arbiter to be appointed in default by the president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The intention of the amendment is to create an independent arbiter outside the orbit of government. Originally it was thought that a tribunal might be the best process, but the president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has been thought to be appropriate.

As a result, a conflict of interest where a Minister or assembly is arbitrating on the validity of an individual clause in a Government Act is avoided. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, we are debating Amendment No. 141. The noble Lord, Lord Northbrook, spoke to Amendment No. 144 but I need the leave of the House to respond to that amendment, which I now seek.

Of course the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is representative of the surveying profession and has a wealth of experience in dealing with claims in relation to property generally. We do not expect many, if any, of the claims for compensation to arise as a result of the use of the powers of entry under Part I. But we accept that the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales may decide that chartered surveyors are the most appropriate people to act as arbitrators. We would not wish to fetter their discretion to decide on whom to appoint.

Having heard and paid serious attention to the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Northbrook, about the potential for conflict of interest, which we accept, nevertheless we believe that the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales should retain responsibility for appointing arbitrators.

Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I speak once again to Amendment No. 141. The difficulty with littermongers is that one can never catch them.

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Having said that, I welcome the Minister's positive and helpful comments. It is good to know that the Government understand and accept the problem and indeed that they are not only thinking about it, but are clearly thinking of putting some money where it is necessary and I am grateful for that.

I omitted to thank the Minister when I moved Amendment No. 141 for his Amendment No. 143 in response to my original Amendment No. 299. I am extremely grateful and delighted that the Government made that concession and welcome both Amendments Nos. 142 and 143. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 142:


    Clause 38, page 24, line 12, at end insert--


("(4A) A person acting in the exercise of a power conferred by this section may--
(a) use a vehicle to enter the land;
(b) take a constable with him if he reasonably believes he is likely to be obstructed;
(c) take with him equipment and materials needed for the purpose for which he is exercising the power of entry;
(d) take samples of the land and of anything on it.
(4B) If in the exercise of a power conferred by this section a person enters land which is unoccupied or from which the occupier is temporarily absent, he must on his departure leave it as effectively secured against unauthorised entry as he found it.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 143:


    After Clause 38, insert the following new clause--

COMPENSATION RELATING TO POWERS UNDER S. 38

(" .--(1) It is the duty of a body by which an authorisation may be given under section 38 to compensate any person who has sustained damage as a result of--
(a) the exercise of a power conferred by that section by a person authorised by that body to do so, or
(b) the failure of a person so authorised to perform the duty imposed on him by subsection (4B) of that section,
except where the damage is attributable to the fault of the person who sustained it.
(2) Any dispute as to a person's entitlement to compensation under this section or as to its amount shall be referred to an arbitrator to be appointed, in default of agreement--
(a) as respects entry on land in England, by the Secretary of State, and
(b) as respects entry on land in Wales, by the National Assembly for Wales.").

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


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