Water Bill [HL]—
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lordscontinued

House of Lords

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Clause 39

 

THE LORD WHITTY

56Page 44, line 35, at end insert—
    "(   )  In formulating guidance, the Secretary of State and the Assembly shall, where practicable, have regard to the costs and benefits which may be expected to result from the guidance."
 

THE BARONESS MILLER OF CHILTHORNE DOMER
THE LORD LIVSEY OF TALGARTH

57Page 44, line 35, at end insert—
    "(1A)  In particular, before any alteration to the water pricing or consumer charging regimes, the Authority shall receive guidance to—
    (a)  define a household income to water charge ratio below which consumers will be regarded as likely to have difficulty in paying such charges; and
    (b)  set out such new measures to be undertaken by the Secretary of State or the Assembly as will address such difficulties."
 

THE BARONESS BYFORD
THE LORD DIXON-SMITH
THE DUKE OF MONTROSE

58Page 45, line 2, at end insert—
    "(   )  Before issuing guidance under this section, the Secretary of State and the Assembly shall prepare a regulatory impact assessment which shall then accompany the draft of the guidance through to publication."
 

After Clause 39

 

THE BARONESS BYFORD
THE LORD DIXON-SMITH
THE DUKE OF MONTROSE

59Insert the following new Clause—
  "Coordinated regulation
  After section 5 of the WIA there is inserted—
     "Part 1ACoordinated regulation
      Coordinated regulation
    (1)  In this section the Agency, the Authority, the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water and (if separately appointed) the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water for Wales and the Consumer Council for Water shall together be referred to as "the regulators".
    (2)  The Secretary of State, the Assembly and the regulators shall exercise all their statutory powers and duties, which relate to or may affect the water industry, in a coordinated manner.
    (3)  To that end, the Secretary of State, the Assembly and the regulators shall consult and cooperate with one another.""
 

THE BARONESS O'CATHAIN
THE BARONESS BYFORD
THE LORD DIXON-SMITH

60Insert the following new Clause—
  "Regulatory methodology
  After section 2 of the WIA there is inserted—
    "2CRegulatory methodology
    (1)  The Authority shall prepare and publish a statement of policy with respect to its determination of charges in periodic reviews and interim determinations under all or any of the instruments of appointment of companies as relevant undertakers made by virtue of Part II of this Act.
    (2)  The Authority's statement of policy under this section shall include a statement of its policy with regard to the following matters—
    (a)  the carrying out of its duties under this Act insofar as they relate to its determination of charges;
    (b)  the matters to be taken into account and the methodologies to be applied in its determination of charges; and
    (c)  the extent to which the performance of functions by persons with powers and duties conferred or imposed by or under this Act or any other enactment are relevant to its determination of charges.
    (3)  The Authority shall determine charges in periodic reviews and interim determinations under a company's instrument of appointment as a relevant undertaker on the basis of the most recently published statement of policy.
    (4)  The Authority may revise its statement of policy and where it does so shall publish the revised statement.
    (5)  Publication under this section shall be in such manner as the Authority considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the matters contained in the statement of policy to the attention of persons likely to be affected by them and shall not be made less than twelve months before a periodic review.
    (6)  When preparing or revising its statement of policy under this section, the Authority shall consult relevant undertakers and such other persons as it considers appropriate, subject to the requirements of subsection (7) below.
    (7)  For the purposes of subsection (6) above—
    (a)  consultation shall be by way of written notice given by the Authority not less than six months prior to the publication of the statement of policy which it is preparing or revising;
    (b)  such notice shall state—
    (i)  the matters which the Authority proposes to publish in its statement of policy and its reasons for including them in the statement; and
    (ii)  a period of not less than three months within which that person may give written notice of objection with respect to the matters referred to in the notice; and
    (c)  the Authority shall give each person a reasonable opportunity to make oral representations to it on the matters referred to in the notice.
    (8)  The Authority shall not issue or publish a statement of policy unless—
    (a)  no notice of objection to the policy is given to the Authority within the time period specified in its notice under subsection (7); or
    (b)  one or more relevant undertakers gives notice of an objection to the Authority within that time and—
    (i)  the proportion (expressed as a percentage) of the relevant undertakers who have given notice of an objection is less than such percentage as may be prescribed; and
    (ii)  the percentage given by subsection (9) is less than such percentage as may be prescribed.
    (9)  The percentage given by this subsection is the proportion (expressed as a percentage) of the relevant undertakers who have given notice of objection, weighted according to their market share in such manner as may be prescribed.
    (10)  If the conditions referred to in subsection (8) are not met, the Authority shall (within three months of its receipt of the first or only notice of objection) refer the policy to the Competition Commission for review.
    (11)  Where a reference is made to the Competition Commission under this section, it shall be the duty of the Competition Commission to determine whether the policy which is the subject of the reference operates in a manner best calculated to fulfil the duties of the Authority arising under this Act.
    (12)  Where a reference is made to the Competition Commission under this section, the Authority shall not prepare or revise its statement of policy other than on the basis of the determinations of the Competition Commission.
    (13)  The Secretary of State may by regulations make such provision as he considers appropriate for regulating the procedure to be followed with respect to any reference to the Competition Commission under this section.
    (14)  Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by subsection (13) above, regulations under that subsection may, in relation to any such reference, apply (with or without modifications) the provisions of any enactment relating to the references to the Competition Commission under the provisions of this Act, the Fair Trading Act 1973 (c. 41) or the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41).""
61Insert the following new Clause—
  "Licence modifications
  In section 14 of the WIA, after subsection (1) there is inserted—
    "(1A)  Where a company has requested the Authority to modify the conditions of its appointment and the Authority has not consented to making the modifications, the Authority shall make to the Competition Commission a reference which is so framed as to require the Competition Commission to investigate and report on the questions in subsection (1).
    (1B)  Before making a reference under subsection (1) or (1A), the Authority shall give notice of the matters specified in the reference to the company to whose conditions of appointment the modification relates and shall take into account any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.
    (1C)  Notice under subsection (1B) shall be in writing and shall specify a period of not less than 28 days from the date of receipt of the notice within which representations or objections with respect to the matters proposed to be specified in the reference may be made.""
 

Clause 40

 

THE BARONESS O'CATHAIN
THE BARONESS BYFORD
THE LORD DIXON-SMITH

62Page 46, line 30, after "research" insert "and regulatory impact assessment"
63Page 46, leave out lines 40 to 43 and insert—
    "(7)  Before giving notice under subsection (5)(a) above, the Secretary of State shall arrange for—
    (a)  such research as he considers appropriate with a view to discovering the views of a representative sample of persons likely to be affected; and
    (b)  a regulatory impact assessment of his proposals to be carried out for the purpose of assessing the likely quantitative and qualitative environmental, public health, economic and social impacts of his proposals."
64Page 46, line 43, at end insert—
    "(7A)  The Secretary of State shall not proceed with any proposal for the making of regulations under subsection (4) above where it is apparent from the regulatory impact assessment carried out under subsection (7)(b) above that the adverse effects of the regulations would outweigh their benefit."
 

Clause 41

 

THE BARONESS O'CATHAIN
THE BARONESS BYFORD
THE LORD DIXON-SMITH

65Page 48, line 13, after "research" insert "and regulatory impact assessment"
66Page 48, leave out lines 23 to 26 and insert—
    "(7)  Before giving notice under subsection (5)(a) above, the Secretary of State shall arrange for—
    (a)  such research as he considers appropriate with a view to discovering the views of a representative sample of persons likely to be affected; and
    (b)  a regulatory impact assessment of his proposals to be carried out for the purpose of assessing the likely quantitative and qualitative environmental, public health, economic and social impacts of his proposals."
67Page 48, line 26, at end insert—
    "(7A)  The Secretary of State shall not proceed with any proposal for the making of regulations under subsection (4) above where it is apparent from the regulatory impact assessment carried out under subsection (7)(b) above that the adverse effects of the regulations would outweigh their benefit."
 

Clause 42

 

THE LORD WHITTY

68Page 49, line 8, leave out "and"
69Page 49, line 9, at end insert "; and
(e)  customers, of companies holding an appointment under Chapter 1 of Part 2 of this Act, whose premises are not eligible to be supplied by a licensed water supplier,"
70Page 49, line 11, at end insert—
    "(   )  For the purposes of subsection (1) above, premises are not eligible to be supplied by a licensed water supplier if—
    (a)  they are household premises (as defined in section 17C above); or
    (b)  the total quantity of water estimated to be supplied to the premises annually for the purposes of subsection (2) of section 17D above is less than the quantity specified in that subsection."
 

THE BARONESS MILLER OF CHILTHORNE DOMER
THE LORD LIVSEY OF TALGARTH

71Page 49, line 29, leave out from beginning to end of line 6 on page 50 and insert—
    "(   )  Subject to subsection (7) below, in the exercise of its function under this section, the Council shall have regard to the need for excluding from such proposals, advice, information and views, so far as practicable—
    (a)  any matter which relates to the affairs of an individual, where the publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual; and
    (b)  any matter which relates specifically to the affairs of a particular body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporated, where publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that body."
72Page 50, line 43, leave out from beginning to end of line 18 on page 51 and insert—
    "(   )  In publishing such advice or information, the Council shall have regard to the need for excluding from it, so far as that is practicable—
    (a)  any matter which relates to the affairs of an individual, where the publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual; and
    (b)  any matter which relates specifically to the affairs of a particular body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporated, where publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that body."
 

Clause 43

 

THE LORD WHITTY

73Page 51, line 40, leave out "or"
74Page 51, line 42, at end insert "; or
(c)  a licensed water supplier,"
 

THE BARONESS BYFORD
THE LORD DIXON-SMITH
THE DUKE OF MONTROSE

75Page 51, line 42, at end insert "; or
(c)  a company holding a licence under Chapter 1A of this Part,"
 

THE BARONESS MILLER OF CHILTHORNE DOMER
THE LORD LIVSEY OF TALGARTH

76Page 52, line 2, after "may" insert "reasonably"
 

THE BARONESS BYFORD
THE LORD DIXON-SMITH
THE DUKE OF MONTROSE
THE LORD WHITTY

77Page 52, leave out lines 4 and 5
 

THE BARONESS MILLER OF CHILTHORNE DOMER
THE LORD LIVSEY OF TALGARTH

78Page 52, line 8, at end insert—
    "(   )  Subject to subsection (3) above, the Council may enforce any direction made under subsection (1) above."
79Page 52, line 19, leave out from beginning to end of line 40 and insert—
    "(   )  In publishing a notice under subsection (1) above, the Council shall have regard to the need for excluding from such notice, so far as that is practicable—
    (a)  any matter which relates to the affairs of an individual, where the publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual; and
    (b)  any matter which relates specifically to the affairs of a particular body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporated, where publication of the matter would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that body."
80Page 53, line 34, leave out from beginning to end of line 12 on page 54
 

THE LORD WHITTY

81Page 53, line 35, after "company" insert "holding an appointment or a licensed water supplier"
82Page 54, line 6, after "company" insert "holding an appointment and a licensed water supplier"

 
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23 June 2003