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(a) any information collected by it for the purposes of subsection (1) above; or
(b) summaries of that information. (3) The relevant authority shall publish a report under subsection (1)(b) above within the period of four years beginning with the date on which the arrangements come into force (unless section 91(1) below applies in relation to the arrangements).

    (5) The relevant authority shall publish a further report under subsection (1)(b) above within each period of four years beginning with the date on which their last such report was published.

    (6) This section ceases to apply in relation to any arrangements under section 87(1) above if those arrangements are terminated.""

77Page 80, line 16, leave out subsection (7) and insert— "(7) For section 91 (pre-1985 fluoridation schemes) there is substituted—

"91 Pre-1985 fluoridation schemes

(1) With effect from the appointed day, relevant pre-1985 arrangements shall be treated for the purposes of this Chapter as if they were arrangements entered into by the water undertaker in question with the relevant authority under section 87(1) above.

    (2) The relevant authority may request such modifications to the arrangements as it considers necessary in order to give effect to subsection (1) above, for example to insert the terms mentioned in section 87(7) above.

    (3) If the relevant authority and the water undertaker fail to agree the modifications requested by the authority—

    (a) subsection (2), (3) or, as the case may be, (3A) of section 87A above shall apply as if the parties had failed to agree the terms of arrangements requested under section 87(1) above; and

    (b) following determination of the modifications—

    (i) the relevant authority shall give notice of the determination to the water undertaker; and

    (ii) the arrangements shall be deemed to have been modified as so determined with effect from the day after the date of the notice.

    (4) Sections 87(8D) and 89(1) above (which relate to consultation) shall not apply to the deemed entry into, and modification of, arrangements by virtue of this section.

    (5) References in this Chapter to arrangements entered into under section 87(1) above shall include arrangements treated as entered into by a water undertaker by virtue of subsection (1) above.

    (6) In this section—

    "the appointed day" means the day on which section 61 of the Water Act 2003 comes into force; and

    "relevant pre-1985 arrangements" means arrangements in pursuance of which a scheme for increasing the fluoride content of water was being operated by a water undertaker by virtue of paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to this Act immediately before the appointed day.""

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78Page 80, line 16, at end insert— "( ) In section 213 (powers to make regulations), after subsection (1) there is inserted—

    "(1A) But on the occasion of the first exercise by the Secretary of State of the power to make regulations under each of sections 89 and 90 above, the instrument containing the regulations shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

    (1B) The power of the Assembly to make regulations under section 89 above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.""

79Page 80, line 18, at end insert— "(9) In section 1(7) of the Water (Fluoridation) Act 1985 (c. 63) (water fluoridated outwith Scotland), for the words from "by a water undertaker" to the end there is substituted "pursuant to arrangements—

    (a) entered into under section 87(1) of the Water Industry Act 1991; or

    (b) treated, for the purposes of Chapter 4 of Part 3 of that Act, as if entered into under that section."

    (10) With effect from the commencement day, any relevant application shall have effect for the purposes of subsection (1) of section 87 of the WIA as a request made by a relevant authority under that subsection.

    (11) Any other application made before the commencement day ceases to have effect on that day.

    (12) In subsections (10) and (11)—

    "commencement day" means the day when this section comes into force, and

    "relevant application" means an application which—

    (a) was made before the passing of this Act,

    (b) has not been withdrawn, and

    (c) has not been rejected in writing by the water undertaker to which it was made.

    (13) In subsections (11) and (12) "application" means an application made under section 87 of the WIA as it was in force at the time when the application was made (and includes an application made under section 1 of the Water (Fluoridation) Act 1985 (c. 63) and having effect as if made under section 87 of the WIA)."

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 51 to 79. I spoke to these amendments in relation to Amendment No. 50.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 51 to 79.—(Lord Whitty.)

On Question Motion agreed to.


80Clause 65, page 81, line 23, leave out "and in accordance with"

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 80. I shall speak also to Amendment No. 81 and Amendments Nos. 83 to 155. Most of these amendments are technical or drafting amendments, which do not have an effect on policy or any wider implications.

However, Amendment No. 90 presents a change of policy in response to a Back-Bench amendment in another place, which was widely supported. The government amendment also gained support from all parties in the other place. Noble Lords will recall that the issue of private sewers was also raised by the noble Lord, Lord Livsey, and the noble Baroness, Lady

13 Nov 2003 : Column 1701

Miller, at earlier stages and their amendments were intended to address the problems caused by private sewers. It may be of reassurance to note that the new clause provides for regulations to be subject to affirmative procedure. While this is necessarily a broad enabling power, it will be subject to that procedure.

The reason that this power is necessary is that there is a growing concern about the very serious problems faced by householders whose properties are connected to a private sewer. It is estimated that about 50 per cent of domestic properties are connected to private sewers in one form or another. Many householders are often unaware that their property is connected to a private sewer or that they are responsible for its maintenance and repair—sometimes directly and sometimes jointly with others—and remain unaware until a problem occurs.

The difficulties include how to establish the ownership of and responsibility for the maintenance of private sewers; the unwillingness of some owners to accept their responsibilities and the costs involved; owners and occupiers being unable to afford the high cost of repairs; and sewer flooding in emergency situations from private sewers.

A consultation paper on private sewers was published on 1st July and set out these problems. As noble Lords will recall, the consultation process had not come to an end when the issue was last discussed in this House. It did come to an end, however, during Committee stage in another place. Although the responses are still being considered in detail, the initial indications are that around 85 per cent of respondents are in favour of a change of ownership of private sewers. Of that number, a vast majority feel that sewerage undertakers are best placed to take on that responsibility.

Therefore, although the Government have not come to any detailed conclusions on the best way forward, it would be a wasted opportunity if this Bill were not used to enable us to take action in regulations to tackle the misery caused by this problem. The Government are committed to finding the best solution to this problem. We will be producing regulations under Amendment No. 90 in order to do so. The clause gives the Secretary of State power to make regulations allowing for schemes for the adoption of private sewers. I emphasise that the amendment introduces an enabling power and does not imply the automatic transfer of all private sewers to sewerage undertakers. I hope that the House will recognise that that amendment is an important change which I think can be widely supported. As I said, the rest of the amendments in this group are technical.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 80.—(Lord Whitty.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


81Clause 81, page 96, line 40, leave out "in pursuance of" and insert "pursuant to"

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82Before Clause 84, Insert the following new Clause—
"Duty to encourage water conservation

(1) The relevant authority must, where appropriate, take steps to encourage the conservation of water.

    (2) The relevant authority is—

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