Scrutiny by the Committee
14. To inform their scrutiny of the proposals, SubCommittee
D (Environment, Agriculture, Public Health and Consumer Protection),
whose members are listed in Appendix 1, invited the Environment
Agency to submit a memorandum. This is reproduced below as written
evidence. The Minister for Environment and Agri-Environment, Department
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr Elliot Morley MP),
was also invited to give oral evidence. The transcript is reproduced
with this Report.
15. The Committee commented on the proposals in two
letters to Ministers. These are reproduced in Appendix 2, together
with Mr Morley's reply of 12 November 2003.
16. Having considered the Minister's latest letter,
we remain of the view that the existing cost estimates are very
uncertain and that little confidence can be placed in their accuracy.
There is a real possibility that the costs falling on the water
industry could be much higher than present estimates. We reiterate
our view that far more stringent financial appraisal and cost
benefit analysis are required before the Government can safely
sign up to the proposals in anything like their present form.
17. Scrutiny of the proposals, as they currently
stand, has now been completed. This Report is submitted to the
House for information.
1 Directive 76/160/EEC, OJ L31 (5 February 1976). Back
6177/94-Proposal for a Council Directive concerning the quality
of bathing water. Back
European Communities Committee, 1st Report (1994-95): Bathing
Water, (HL Paper 6);
European Communities Committee, 7th
Report (1994-95): Bathing Water Revisited, (HL Paper 41).
The Reports were debated on 18 May
1995 (HL Deb cols 684-708). Back