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Lord Livsey of Talgarth: My Lords, as a Member from Wales I welcome the amendment. I am pleased to see that this work is being done.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

9 Jul 2003 : Column 424

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 56:

    Page 118, line 44, at end insert—

"( ) in the paragraph relating to Article 2(c), at the end there is inserted "or any licensed water supplier using the supply system of any such water undertaker.""

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 99 [Specific transitional and transitory provisions]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 57 to 60:

    Page 120, line 15, leave out second "the" and insert "an"

    Page 120, line 18, leave out "is hereby revoked" and insert "shall cease to have effect (so far as it applies to that abstraction)"

    Page 120, line 19, leave out subsection (3) and insert—

"(3) Subject to subsection (4), the person who was the holder of a full licence which ceases (or ceases in part) to have effect by virtue of subsection (2), and who had been taken in consequence of that licence (or that part of the licence) to have a right to abstract water by virtue of section 48(1) of the WRA, shall be taken to continue to have that right for the purposes of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the WRA." Page 120, line 22, leave out subsection (4) and insert—

"(4) A person shall cease to be taken to continue to have the right mentioned in subsection (3), for the purposes mentioned there, if during a period of—
(a) four years, or
(b) if the abstractions authorised under the licence (or relevant part of the licence) were abstractions planned to be carried out at intervals of more than four years, or for emergency purposes only, such longer period as the Agency may determine on the application of the person,
he does not carry out any such abstraction as would have been authorised by the licence (or relevant part of the licence) if it had still been in force."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 100 [Powers to make further supplementary, consequential and transitional provision, etc]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 61:

    Page 121, line 16, at end insert—

"or who is a person who falls within subsection (3A).
(3A) A person falls within this subsection if he satisfies the Environment Agency of the following—
(a) that the nature of his operations, or proposed operations, requires him to make plans about the abstraction of water,
(b) that before the coming into force of any provision of this Act he would not have required a licence under Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the WRA in respect of any such abstraction for which he had reasonably planned (or, if there has already been such an abstraction, he did not require such a licence in respect of it),
(c) that following the coming into force of any such provision he does require such a licence in respect of it, and
(d) that he has suffered loss or damage as a result of his having been—
(i) refused a licence under Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the WRA in respect of that abstraction, or
(ii) granted such a licence, but in respect of an abstraction of more limited extent than he had reasonably applied for,
and he applies for compensation before any deadline provided for in the regulations under subsection (1)."

9 Jul 2003 : Column 425

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 61 is tabled in response to amendments tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Howie and Lord Sutherland, and relates also to Amendment No. 62, tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Byford. In some cases, abstractions brought under licence control by this Bill may not be granted an abstraction licence or may be granted a licence on restricted terms. Clause 103 allows us to make regulations covering the payment of compensation where loss or damages arise in such cases, but only where the abstraction was ongoing when the requirement for licensing came into force. This amendment extends the scope of compensation to encompass abstractions planned at the time when licensing is introduced as well as those which are ongoing.

Our amendment deals with this subject without confining the compensation arrangements to the quarrying and mining industries, as the amendments tabled by the noble Lords did at an earlier stage and as the amendment tabled by the noble Baroness largely does. I therefore hope that she will accept the amendment. I beg to move.

Lord Dixon-Smith: My Lords, the Minister has anticipated me as I anticipated him at an earlier stage. He has largely covered the points that we wish to make. His amendment goes over the same ground. It is very good to see it there and I thank him for it.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 62 not moved.]

Schedule 4 [Licensing of water suppliers]:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 63:

    Page 139, line 2, leave out "to (4)" and insert "and (3)"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Amendments Nos. 63, 65 and 66 are related to the competition provisions of the Bill and are minor technical amendments. Unless noble Lords wish to ask questions about the detail, I shall say no more about the amendments. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Dixon-Smith moved Amendment No. 64:

    Page 139, line 37, at end insert—

"(c) conditions requiring the payment by the licence holder of sums relating to any of the expenses mentioned in section 39(3) of the Water Act 2003."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, under Clause 39(1), (2) and (3), the water undertakers are specifically bound to pay for,

    "the expenses of the Council, and . . . the Authority, the Secretary of State or the Assembly in relation to . . . the Council".

No limit is set to those expenses. A general clause enabling the Secretary of State to require licensed water suppliers to make such a payment as she may direct is really a little inequitable. The costs should be shared between the water undertakers and it should be specified on the face of the Bill.

9 Jul 2003 : Column 426

As this is the final group of amendments, although there are one or two still to be moved formally, I thank the Minister for his help and co-operation on the Bill. I cannot say that we on this side feel that he has conceded as much as he ought to have. If he were to say that he feels he has conceded more than he should have done, we might all feel happier. The Bill has involved a lot of hard work but it will leave this place a far better Bill than when it arrived. I am most grateful to the Minister for that. In the mean time, I beg to move.


Lord Whitty: My Lords, Amendment No. 64 is intended to ensure that licensed water suppliers are required to contribute to the cost of establishing and running the new consumer council for water. I thoroughly agree with that. However, new Section 17G(1)(b) in Schedule 4 to the Bill allows a water supply licence to include conditions that would require such payments to be made. I certainly expect this provision to be used so that licensed water suppliers contribute to the costs not only of the consumer council but also of Ofwat so that there is a level playing field with the undertakers in that respect.

In referring explicitly to the costs of the consumer council, the amendment may cast doubt over what payments are covered by new Section 17G(1)(b), including payments towards the costs of Ofwat. I believe that there is no difference between us on that, as on so many of the Bill's issues. However, I do not believe that the amendment is necessary.

As regards the noble Lord's more general remarks, I thank all noble Lords for their co-operation, particularly on this difficult day. Noble Lords have reached at least some understanding on the content of the Bill. Of course, I conceded far too much; I always do. I was not able to accept all the points that were made but some of them have, either directly or indirectly, certainly helped to improve the Bill.

Lord Dixon-Smith: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 65 and 66:

    Page 144, line 24, after "share" insert "at such time and"

    Page 171, leave out line 43 and insert "first day on which all of the provisions of this Schedule and Schedule 8 are in force."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 7 [Minor and consequential amendments]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 67 and 68:

    Page 177, line 20, at end insert—

"In section 206 (making of false statements etc), in subsection (1), after "Act" there is inserted "or of section 5, 6 or 12 of the Water Act 2003".
In section 217 (criminal liabilities of directors and other third parties), in subsection (1), after "this Act" there is inserted "or under section 6 of the Water Act 2003".

9 Jul 2003 : Column 427

In section 222 (Crown application), as substituted by paragraph 2(4) of Schedule 21 to the Environment Act 1995 (c.25), after subsection (10) there is added—
"(11) This section shall apply in relation to sections 5, 6 and 12 of the Water Act 2003 as it applies in relation to the provisions of this Act."" Page 181, line 3, at end insert—

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