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Reports Etc

Volume 116: debated on Wednesday 13 May 1987

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I beg to move amendment No. 34, in page 34, line 21, leave out subsections (3) and (4).

This amendment also arises from a request from the local authorities, which feel that the requirements built into the Bill are cumbersome and costly. They ask whether such a wide-ranging requirement needs to be part of the Bill. This is to give the Minister than opportunity, hopefully, to have second thoughts on this issue.

This clause provides that a report on the functions relating to safety in the Bill should be submitted to Parliament at least once every five years. It would seem right that Parliament should he informed of the extent to which the powers in this Bill are being used and of the extent to which non-complying goods are found on the market. Basically we want to know whether the Bill is effective.

In order for the Secretary of State to prepare such a report, he needs information from the enforcement authorities. This clause therefore requires the enforcement authorities to report to the Secretary of State, as and when he directs, on how they have exercised their functions under this Bill.

These provisions arc not new and are not an unnecessary additional burden on the enforcement authorities. Similar provisions are already contained in section 8(2) of the Consumer Safety Act 1978, which will be consolidated in this Bill. The House may recall that the Secretary of State submitted a report to Parliament in October 1986 on the working of that Act. The report to Parliament was based on the annual reports submitted by the enforcement authorities. This clause provides that the first report on the Bill before us shall be laid not more than five years after the October report to Parliament. I hope that that information will suffice to persuade the right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams) to withdraw his amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 42 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 43 and 44 ordered to stand part of the Bill.