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Water Bill [HL]


Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    46

 

                               (iii)                                 to any person or body on whom a copy of the

Authority’s application was served under

subsection (1)(b) above.”

     (6)    After subsection (3) there is added—

           “(4)              Where no such application as is mentioned in subsection (1) above has

5

been made, the Secretary of State may make regulations under section

38 above only if he considers—

                  (a)                 that the regulations will contribute towards the attainment of

policies relating to public health or the environment; or

                  (b)                 (if he does not consider that they will so contribute) that there

10

are exceptional reasons why it is otherwise in the public interest

that the regulations should be made.

           (5)              Before making regulations under section 38 above by virtue of

subsection (4) above, the Secretary of State shall—

                  (a)                 give notice of his proposals;

15

                  (b)                 consider the results of the research carried out in accordance

with subsection (7) below; and

                  (c)                 consider every representation or objection with respect to the

proposals which has been duly made and not withdrawn.

           (6)              A notice under subsection (5)(a) above must—

20

                  (a)                 summarise the Secretary of State’s reasons for his proposals;

                  (b)                 specify the water undertaker or undertakers in relation to which

it is proposed the regulations should apply; and

                  (c)                 specify the period within which objections or representations

with respect to the proposals may be made.

25

           (7)              Before giving notice under subsection (5)(a) above the Secretary of State

shall arrange for such research as he considers appropriate with a view

to discovering the views of a representative sample of persons likely to

be affected.

           (8)              A notice under subsection (5)(a) above shall be given by serving a copy

30

on—

                  (a)                 the Authority;

                  (b)                 the Council;

                  (c)                 every water undertaker to which the regulations will apply;

                  (d)                 persons or bodies appearing to the Secretary of State to be

35

representative of persons likely to be affected by the

regulations; and

                  (e)                 such other persons or bodies as the Secretary of State may

consider appropriate.”

 41    Standards of performance in relation to sewerage services

40

     (1)    Section 96 of the WIA (procedure for making regulations relating to

performance standards in connection with sewerage services) is amended as

follows.

     (2)    Before subsection (1) there is inserted—

           “(A1)              The Secretary of State may make regulations under section 95 above—

45

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    47

 

                  (a)                 on an application by the Authority, in accordance with

subsections (1) to (3) below; or

                  (b)                 otherwise than on such an application, in accordance with

subsections (4) to (8) below.”

     (3)    In subsection (1)—

5

           (a)           for the words preceding paragraph (a), and paragraph (a), there is

substituted “Where the Authority has made to the Secretary of State a

written application complying with subsection (2) below, the Secretary

of State may make regulations under section 95 above if—”,

           (b)           in paragraph (b), the “and” at the end of sub-paragraph (i) is omitted,

10

and after sub-paragraph (ii) there is inserted—

                               “(iii)                                 on the Council; and

                               (iv)                                 on such other persons or bodies as the Secretary

of State may consider appropriate;”,

           (c)           in paragraph (c)(ii), for “(b)(ii)” there is substituted “(b)”.

15

     (4)    In subsection (2)—

           (a)           in paragraph (a), for “draft provisions proposed by the Director for

inclusion in” there is substituted “the Authority’s proposals for the

making of”,

           (b)           in paragraph (b), for “those provisions” there is substituted “the

20

regulations”.

     (5)    In subsection (3)—

           (a)           for “under section 95 above” there is substituted “on an application by

the Authority under this section”,

           (b)           in paragraph (a), for “the provisions proposed by the Director in his

25

application or those provisions” there is substituted “those which in the

opinion of the Secretary of State give effect to the proposals set out in

the Authority’s application or to those proposals”,

           (c)           in paragraph (b), the “and” at the end of sub-paragraph (i) is omitted,

and after sub-paragraph (ii) there is inserted “and

30

                               (iii)                                 to any person or body on whom a copy of the

Authority’s application was served under

subsection (1)(b) above.”

     (6)    After subsection (3) there is added—

           “(4)              Where no such application as is mentioned in subsection (1) above has

35

been made, the Secretary of State may make regulations under section

95 above only if he considers—

                  (a)                 that the regulations will contribute towards the attainment of

policies relating to public health or the environment; or

                  (b)                 (if he does not consider that they will so contribute) that there

40

are exceptional reasons why it is otherwise in the public interest

that the regulations should be made.

           (5)              Before making regulations under section 95 above by virtue of

subsection (4) above, the Secretary of State shall—

                  (a)                 give notice of his proposals;

45

                  (b)                 consider the results of the research carried out in accordance

with subsection (7) below; and

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    48

 

                  (c)                 consider every representation or objection with respect to the

proposals which has been duly made and not withdrawn.

           (6)              A notice under subsection (5)(a) above must—

                  (a)                 summarise the Secretary of State’s reasons for his proposals;

                  (b)                 specify the sewerage undertaker or undertakers in relation to

5

which it is proposed the regulations should apply; and

                  (c)                 specify the period within which objections or representations

with respect to the proposals may be made.

           (7)              Before giving notice under subsection (5)(a) above the Secretary of State

shall arrange for such research as he considers appropriate with a view

10

to discovering the views of a representative sample of persons likely to

be affected.

           (8)              A notice under subsection (5)(a) above shall be given by serving a copy

on—

                  (a)                 the Authority;

15

                  (b)                 the Council;

                  (c)                 every sewerage undertaker to which the regulations will apply;

                  (d)                 persons or bodies appearing to the Secretary of State to be

representative of persons likely to be affected by the

regulations; and

20

                  (e)                 such other persons or bodies as the Secretary of State may

consider appropriate.”

Functions of the Council

 42    General functions of the Council

     (1)    After section 27B of the WIA (which is inserted by section 34) there is

25

inserted—

“General functions of the Council

       27C            The interests of consumers

In considering the interests of consumers, the Council shall have regard

to the interests of—

30

                  (a)                 individuals who are disabled or chronically sick;

                  (b)                 individuals of pensionable age;

                  (c)                 individuals with low incomes; and

                  (d)                 individuals residing in rural areas,

            but that is not to be taken as implying that regard may not be had to the

35

interests of other descriptions of consumer.

       27D            Acquisition and review of information

The Council shall have the function of obtaining and keeping under

review—

                  (a)                 information about consumer matters (including matters

40

affecting consumers in different areas); and

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    49

 

                  (b)                 information about the views of consumers on such matters

(including the views of consumers in different areas).

       27E            Provision of advice and information to public authorities

           (1)           The Council shall have the function of—

                  (a)                 making proposals, or providing advice and information, about

5

consumer matters (including matters affecting consumers in

different areas); and

                  (b)                 representing the views of consumers on such matters (including

the views of consumers in different areas),

                                       to public authorities, companies holding an appointment under

10

Chapter 1 of this Part, licensed water suppliers and other persons

whose activities may affect the interests of consumers.

           (2)           Subject to subsection (7) below, information which relates to the affairs

of any particular individual or body of persons (corporate or

unincorporate) shall not be disclosed in the exercise of the Council’s

15

function under this section unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c)

of subsection (3) below applies to the information.

           (3)           Information relating to a particular individual or body may be

disclosed if—

                  (a)                 the individual or body has consented to the disclosure;

20

                  (b)                 it is information that is available to the public from some other

source; or

                  (c)                 it is not information the disclosure of which would or might, in

the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the

interests of the individual or body.

25

           (4)           Before deciding to disclose any information relating to a particular

individual or body in pursuance of subsection (3)(c) above, the Council

shall—

                  (a)                 consult that individual or body; and

                  (b)                 have regard to any opinion expressed by the Authority as to the

30

application of subsection (3)(c) above to the information or as to

the desirability or otherwise of its disclosure;

                                       and paragraph (b) applies whether the opinion is given in relation to

the information itself or to information of a description which applies

to that information.

35

           (5)           Subject to subsection (7) below, the Council shall not in the exercise of

its function under this section disclose any information which it

considers relates to any matter which is, or is likely to be, the subject of

criminal proceedings.

           (6)           In considering whether information relates to any matter as mentioned

40

in subsection (5) above, the Council shall have regard to any opinion

expressed (whether in relation to the information itself or to

information of a description which applies to that information) by the

Secretary of State, the Assembly or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

           (7)           Subsections (2) to (5) above do not apply to a disclosure of information

45

which is made to the Authority, the Secretary of State, the Assembly,

the Competition Commission or any other public authority.

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    50

 

           (8)           The disclosure by the Council of information in the exercise of its

function under this section does not contravene section 206 below

(restriction on disclosure of information).

       27F            Provision of information to consumers

           (1)           The Council has the function of providing information to consumers

5

about consumer matters in such form as appears to the Council to be

most useful to the recipients.

           (2)           That function may be exercised by—

                  (a)                 publishing information in any manner the Council thinks

appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of

10

those likely to be interested; or

                  (b)                 furnishing information to any consumer (whether in response

to a request or otherwise).

           (3)           Information may only be disclosed in the exercise of that function if it

is information that is available to members of the public from some

15

other source.

           (4)           The Council shall maintain at least one office in each of England and

Wales at which consumers may apply for information.

       27G            Power to publish information and advice about consumer matters

           (1)           If it appears to the Council that the publication of any advice and

20

information about consumer matters (including information about the

views of consumers on such matters) would promote the interests of

consumers, the Council may publish that advice or information in such

manner as it thinks fit.

           (2)           Information which relates to the affairs of any particular individual or

25

body of persons (corporate or unincorporate) shall not be published in

the exercise of the Council’s function under this section unless one or

more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (3) below applies to the

information.

           (3)           Information relating to a particular individual or body may be

30

published if—

                  (a)                 the individual or body has consented to the publication;

                  (b)                 it is information that is available to the public from some other

source; or

                  (c)                 it is not information the publication of which would or might,

35

in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect

the interests of the individual or body.

           (4)           Before deciding to publish any information relating to a particular

individual or body in pursuance of subsection (3)(c) above, the Council

shall—

40

                  (a)                 consult that individual or body; and

                  (b)                 have regard to any opinion expressed by the Authority as to the

application of subsection (3)(c) above to the information or as to

the desirability or otherwise of its publication,

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    51

 

                                       and paragraph (b) applies whether the opinion is given in relation to

the information itself or to information of a description which applies

to that information.

           (5)           The Council shall not in the exercise of its function under this section

publish any information which it considers relates to any matter which

5

is, or is likely to be, the subject of criminal proceedings.

           (6)           In considering whether information relates to any matter as mentioned

in subsection (5) above, the Council shall have regard to any opinion

expressed (whether in relation to the information itself or to

information of a description which applies to that information) by the

10

Secretary of State, the Assembly or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

           (7)           The publication of information under this section does not contravene

section 206 below (restriction on disclosure of information).”

     (2)    Before section 30A of the WIA there is inserted—

“Further functions of Authority

15

       30ZA            Copies of notices

Where the Authority is required by any provision of this Act to publish

a notice or any other document, it shall send a copy of the document to

the Council.”

 43    Provision of information to the Council

20

After section 27G of the WIA (which is inserted by section 42) there is

inserted—

       “27H            Provision of information to the Council

           (1)           The Council may direct—

                  (a)                 the Authority; or

25

                  (b)                 a company holding an appointment under Chapter 1 of this

Part,

                                       to supply to it, in such form as it may reasonably specify, such

information specified or described in the direction as it may require for

the purpose of exercising its functions.

30

           (2)           The Council may not direct the Authority to supply information

relating to any licensed water supplier or its customers.

           (3)           A body to whom a direction under this section is given shall, if the

information specified or described in the direction is in its possession,

comply with the direction as soon as reasonably practicable.

35

           (4)           Before giving a direction under this section and in specifying the form

in which any information is to be supplied, the Council shall have

regard to the desirability of minimising the costs, or any other

detriment, to the body to whom the direction is given.

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    52

 

           (5)           If a body to whom a direction under this section is given fails to comply

with the direction it shall, if so required by the Council, give notice to

the Council of the reasons for its failure.

       27I            Publication of notice of reasons

           (1)           Subject to the following provisions of this section, the Council may

5

publish a notice given to it under section 27H(5) above.

           (2)           Information which relates to the affairs of any particular individual or

body of persons (corporate or unincorporate) shall not be published

under subsection (1) above unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c)

of subsection (3) below applies to the information.

10

           (3)           Information relating to a particular individual or body may be

published if—

                  (a)                 that individual or body has consented to the publication;

                  (b)                 it is information that is available to the public from some other

source; or

15

                  (c)                 it is not information the publication of which would or might,

in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect

the interests of the individual or body.

           (4)           Before deciding to publish any information relating to a particular

individual or body in pursuance of subsection (3)(c) above, the Council

20

shall—

                  (a)                 consult that individual or body; and

                  (b)                 have regard to any opinion expressed by the Authority as to the

application of subsection (3)(c) above to the information or as to

the desirability or otherwise of its publication;

25

                                       and paragraph (b) applies whether the opinion is given in relation to

the information itself or to information of a description which applies

to that information.

           (5)           The Council shall not in the exercise of its function under this section

publish any information which it considers relates to any matter which

30

is, or is likely to be, the subject of criminal proceedings.

           (6)           In considering whether information relates to any matter as mentioned

in subsection (5) above, the Council shall have regard to any opinion

expressed (whether in relation to the information itself or to

information of a description which applies to that information) by the

35

Secretary of State, the Assembly or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

           (7)           The publication by the Council of information under this section does

not contravene section 206 below (restriction on disclosure of

information).

       27J            Provision of information by the Council

40

           (1)           Any of—

                  (a)                 the Authority;

                  (b)                 the Secretary of State; or

                  (c)                 the Assembly,

 

 

 
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