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Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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'In this Act garden waste shall not be included within "household waste".'.— [Sir Paul Beresford.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:

No. 7, in clause 1 page 1, line 13, leave out paragraph (a).

No. 10, in clause 1 page 1, line 15, leave out 'two types' and insert 'one type'.

No. 6, in clause 1 page 1, line 17, at end insert—
'() For the purposes of subsection (3) above the types shall be—
  • paper waste;
  • metal food or drinks containers;
  • glass food or drinks containers;
  • plastic;
  • textile fabrics or clothes.'.
  • No. 4, in clause 1, page 1, line 19 leave out '2010' and insert '2007'.

    No. 11, in clause 1, page 1, line 19 leave out '2010' and insert '2015'.

    No. 5, in clause 1, page 2, line 5 leave out '2015' and insert '2010'.

    No. 12, in clause 1 page 2, line 5 leave out '2015' and insert '2020'.

    No. 8, in clause 1, page 2, line 7 leave out 'or composted'.

    The hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Joan Ruddock) knows me well from when we did battle, in reverse position, on these matters. She knows that I am a supporter of recycling. I come from a county that is a leading light on zero waste and the techniques and methods of recycling. I do not know whether there are any incinerators there, though it looks as though there is an attempt to place one in my constituency, which is a great bother to me and the residents nearby. However, I have tabled the new clause as a probing one to give the Minister an opportunity to assist us and to recognise—as one would expect from someone in his Department—that there are both urban and rural areas, and urban and rural reactions to Bills such as this.

    When I examined a research paper from the Library, I was particularly disturbed to find that household waste included garden waste. If one has a couple of window boxes and a handkerchief garden out the back, probably mostly paved, the garden waste proportion put out for recycling is pretty small and the opportunity to recycle there on the patch is also pretty small. I have watched what has happened in one of the two local authorities with which I am associated, and Friends of the Earth got rather upset about the problem that I deal with in the new clause. The organisation obviously did not talk to the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford, who would have explained that these were probing provisions with no real intention to stop the Bill. The reaction was, as my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) has already mentioned, a flurry of e-mails. People were calmed when I responded to them.

    One e-mail made an important point. The author was disappointed because she originally anticipated that I was attempting to stop the Bill. She said:
    "Here in your constituency we are trying and trying to increase our recycling percentage as we should be. The holes on the ground are full up and Surrey has more waste than any other counties in England"—
    though I am not sure that she is right about that.
    "On the doorsteps in our wards we meet residents who have waste from the gardens that need to go to Randalls Road"—
    or the dump, as we used to call it when I was a child—
    "for composting. All those cars queuing up along Randalls Road at the weekends, polluting Mole Valley's atmosphere while they take their sacks to the tip. We are working to increase the percentage we recycle, through doorstep collections. At the moment our residents have to pay for their green sacks (which is ridiculous) for it to go to composting. To have it collected from home makes sense, as does recycling plastics."
    As I see it—and I believe that the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford would confirm this—the drive of the Bill is to hit the things that are really difficult to recycle, and to emphasise to those doing the recycling and those providing the opportunity for materials to be recycled, that it is the plastics, the metals, rubber and other such materials, some of which are covered by further amendments, that need to be targeted.

    In a constituency such as mine, if one wanted to lift the recycling level—and could put expenses completely to one side—one would concentrate on collecting garden waste. Before the local elections, Guildford council, then under Liberal control, did exactly that. It had a doorstep collection of garden waste as a pilot for an area in Guildford, which dramatically lifted the percentage of recycling.

    In my constituency, my own neck of the woods, is an area where there used to be an oak plantation. It is easy to tell that it is ancient by looking at the trees, some of which are bent in such a way as to form the wood for ships—obviously no longer needed. Many but not all of the oaks have gone. In respect of my own garden—here I declare an interest—I would be delighted if the Liberal idea from the Liberal councillor, to collect all our garden waste, were implemented. In the autumn or fall, the oak trees—I have three in my garden: two about 150 years old and one 450 years old—deposit vast quantities of oak leaves on the ground. I really mean vast quantities. I estimate that one tree produces about 31 cubic yards of leaves.

    I should be delighted if the council would take them, and I would be even more than delighted if it would take them for free. It takes me a good day to sweep them up, put them into bags and compost them. If I could stick them out the front, I could fill one or two trucks without any difficulty. That does not apply only to my house, but to every single house in the street. We need to recognise how the figures can be distorted and that many local authorities take composting exceptionally seriously by approaching it in a different way. Mole Valley district council is taking an approach to garden waste that is different from the approach of the Liberals in control of Guildford. It is trying to make people aware of the opportunities for composting on their own properties. The council provides, at low cost, special bins and know-how—it practically holds composting parties at the weekends. The roads are covered with signs protesting expansion at Gatwick airport, but under those signs are ones saying "Compost teach-in". That approach is starting to work.

    As a result, the local authority's percentage figures for composting will go down. I raised that issue under the best value indicators, and the Minister was a bit nonplussed. I got an answer, but it was inadequate.

    I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not be surprised to learn that I agree entirely with what he says. What he describes is clearly the best environmental option and should be encouraged, but there is nothing in the Bill that would stop a council adopting the approach that he describes. We would all favour doing much more of what he proposes.

    I thank the hon. Lady for that intervention, and I would have been surprised if she had not said that. However, the Bill might be used by some local authorities and councillors to turn the system. It would be useful if we could get a sensible answer from the Minister, explaining his approach. The disposal of garden waste and composting are important, but they can be achieved in other ways. However, the drive of the Bill must be to recycle glass, paper, rubber, metals and, especially, plastics. That is the point of my amendment.

    I am glad that my hon. Friend has mentioned plastics. The arrangements made by local authorities for the collection of plastics vary greatly. One of the excuses that many local authorities use is that the markets do not exist for the recycling of plastic materials. My understanding is that that is a misinterpretation of the case and that local authorities are not aware of the markets that are available. Plastics are bulky, especially the bottles containing soft drinks and the like, even when disposed of in normal domestic waste. At home, I try to put out our plastic bottles separately and it is surprising how much room is left in the bin for other items. It makes a tremendous difference. If my hon. Friend cannot address that issue, perhaps the Minister can do so when he responds to the debate.

    11.45 am

    The other point that my hon. Friend did not touch on is the expense to the local authority of dealing with plastics, quite apart from the difficulty of disposing of them. Many of the plastic bottles have a different type of plastic in the top, so I hope that my hon. Friend takes the tops off the bottles he puts out, to make separation easier. That is an example of the real difficulties that recycling can present. Mole Valley has gone into the issue in detail and has set up special arrangements to tackle it—the composting of garden waste aside—and I applaud it for that. It takes courage to do that, although the council also provides the collection that the Liberal Democrat council is promoting.

    Because of the cost, Mole Valley charges £l for a green bag, although the bags are free for the elderly, people who have not got cars and those who live in rural villages. The other difficulty that I hope the Minister recognises is that in charging £1 the local authority is also subsidised by an environmental trust grant and has had to work in conjunction with Longbridge council next door to meet the demands and costs of the scheme. The council is unlikely to receive back the costs of the scheme, so the blithe reaction by local Liberal Democrats in rural areas—the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford will understand that emphatically—is the wrong approach. Those individuals need to recognise that what they intend to do would severely damage the pockets of people in rural areas, to no good advantage.

    The opportunity to promote composting at home must be the right approach. I accept that if I lived in Deptford, and had a large window box and a small garden, composting might be difficult, but individuals in that situation can try an internet site called Wiggly Wigglers, which breeds worms for composting and supplies the necessary equipment to compost almost everything that is organic in the back garden, even if it is tiny. In theory, therefore, all peelings and other kitchen waste can be shoved into a Wiggly Wigglers bin. Perhaps I should not promote Wiggly Wigglers, because I do not know the company personally, but many other groups and local authorities provide the same service.

    If we took the approach suggested by the Liberal Democrats—for their own propaganda reasons—we should recognise that it would affect the council tax. The council tax in my area has just gone up exorbitantly, for a variety of reasons that I shall not go into because I would be ruled out of order. If Mole Valley district council were to include garden waste in its recycling service without charge, to follow the trend promoted by the local Liberal Democrat councils, the council tax would be unbelievably high. One of the biggest factors in the increase in the local council tax in Mole Valley was that it had to resubmit the contract for waste collection, and costs went up dramatically.

    As I have said, I would love to have my oak leaves collected, but we will discuss shortly the High Hedges (No. 2) Bill, and that would mean an enormous increase in the amount of hedge trimmings. Grass cuttings would be another problem. In my street, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, everybody cuts the grass and the cuttings would probably fill one collection truck. I hate to think how much that would cost. In fact, what happens in reality is that people compost grass cuttings, because they have been to the local authority's teach-ins and have set up a composting area in their back garden. Some people may even have some live worms from Wiggly Wigglers to put in the compost to speed up the whole process. That must be the positive way forward.

    My hon. Friend makes a good point. Surely it is absurd that we should even be considering creating much more waste by ludicrously cutting down loads of hedges that are good for the environment, and then place duties on local government to get rid of the material.

    I entirely agree. However, I recognise that if I move into that area, I will get my wrists slapped.

    I am concerned that with recycling targets and so forth there seems to be an indication—the Minister can confirm or deny this—that the Government will take into account the proportions of the waste that are incinerated in such a way as to provide energy. To my mind, that is exceptionally difficult. I recognise that there is probably a percentage of household waste that may have to be incinerated. Huge efforts are being made by individuals, groups of people and Governments throughout the world to try to ensure that that does not happen. There is zero waste from the antipodes.

    It will not help if the Government continue as they are, as I understand it, and take energy from waste and insinuate that that is part of recycling. Given my personal situation, matters are made worse in that the Government have agreed to allow an incinerator in the countryside, or have given a nod to the local authority. However, that is another issue.

    I have already referred to amendment No. 8, which relates to composting.

    I hope that my hon. Friend will refer to amendment No. 7, which stands in his name. I am anxious to hear an argument in favour of removing the provision that makes the authority consider whether the cost is "unreasonably high".

    I am almost going to thank my hon. Friend. However, in the past, in various Committees, for example, the boot has been on the other foot. My hon. Friend has introduced amendments and new clauses that have not always won support from me. If he supported amendment No. 7, that would lead to some difficulty. I will not be pushing the amendment.

    I thought for a moment that my hon. Friend was suggesting that I had tabled amendment No. 7. I was wanting to disagree with it.

    It may be that I shall end up disagreeing with myself on that amendment. I will not be pushing it. Unfortunately, in putting the amendments together, and in my discussions with my researcher, my understanding of the English language was not sufficient. As a result, amendment No. 7 was included. I suspect that the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford was smiling all over her face the moment she saw the amendment. It would be just about the last one that I would move in this place.

    As my hon. Friend has explained, these are probing amendments. Amendment No. 7 allows us to discuss the cost of the Bill to councils. It is a useful probing device.

    I thank my hon. Friend for his attempt to rescue me. I fear that I am being rescued from a boat that looks more like a sieve.

    My hon. Friend should not be so concerned about what he has done. If he had not tabled the amendment, it would not have been possible for us to refer to the marvellous and sterling work on value for money that he did in local government. I am sure that that is why he tabled the amendment. I am delighted to commend him.

    I think that we have reached the point of desperation. I shall move on to amendment No. 5, which, again, is a probing amendment. I would like to know why the year 2020 has been chosen. One of the things that I know about is value for money, and one of the ways of obtaining it, especially for local authorities, is using contractors. I have chosen 2010 rather than 2015 because it is a point at which most of the contracts would have come up for reconsideration at least once. The issue on which local authorities will be reflecting can be installed, as it were, in the new contracts as they go out. The House will be aware that contracts, especially for collection, although not necessarily for waste, mostly run for five or seven years. I recognise that some contracts for disposal run for 25 years or more.

    One would hope that the intellect of those drawing up those contracts would have provided for sufficient flexibility to allow a reaction to Bills such as this. I suspect that there is a possibility that that is not so, having examined Surrey county council's movements and actions with the county council contractor who will be disposing of waste. If we followed the lead of Surrey county council, we could be looking desperately to fill an incinerator. Demand could be put upon us as local council tax payers to fill these blessed incinerators when what we should be doing, and are doing, as can be seen today, is moving towards recycling. Possibly the judicial review that hit the incinerator plans in Mole Valley and therefore in Surrey, has brought the county council up short. It will be able to reflect on what we are saying today, and on what many of us have being saying for a considerable time, which is that recycling is appropriate and can provide much of the disposal that we seek along with a positive approach, bearing in mind that some of the materials that we want to recycle are finite. Both technically and in reality, we are going to run out of many materials that enable us to make plastic from oil.

    Bearing that in mind, as well as the fact that these are probing amendments, I hope that the Minister will respond positively to some of the points that I am trying to get across. The hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford may think that I am being tongue-in-cheek, but my amendments, as she will know from experience, are not. They are probing and thoughtful, tabled in the hope that we can get a more sensible, thoughtful and forward-looking reaction from the Minister that deals with rural areas, rather than just urban ones.

    I shall deal with some of the points made by the hon. Member for Mole Valley (Sir Paul Beresford) from the Government's perspective, but I appreciate that my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Joan Ruddock) may have her own views.

    The hon. Member for Mole Valley asked what is being done to find markets for plastics. If we are to encourage recycling and re-use, we have to promote markets, and the Government take that very seriously. The economics of recycling plastics is much more problematic than that of other parts of the waste stream, but that does not mean that we cannot tackle the issue. The Government and devolved Administrations have set up the Waste and Resources Action Programme—WRAP—which is designed to tackle market barriers to increased recycling. WRAP has identified plastics as a priority area in its business plan to 2003–04. One of its priorities is marketing existing recycled plastic products and removing discriminatory standards, and that is linked to the development of policies on bio-recycled materials and a research and development programme to develop plastics recycling technology and support composite product development—I have seen one or two examples of that.

    One of WRAP's targets is achieving a 20,000 tonne increase in mixed plastics processing for industrial products by 2003–04, and it intends to award a grant to address the lack of infrastructure for sorting and processing plastics in the UK. Finance is therefore available to set up infrastructure to deal with the problem.

    Do the Government believe that recycling should be undertaken even if it costs extra, particularly for materials such as plastics, or do they believe that recycling should not be more costly for local authorities than disposing of, for example, plastics through landfill or incineration?

    The Government have established a waste disposal hierarchy, at the top of which is waste minimisation. If we can minimise waste, that takes a lot of pressure off the problem of disposal. The next level in the hierarchy is recycling and re-use. Incineration is next to bottom on the hierarchy, and at the very bottom is landfill, which itself involves costs. I accept the hon. Gentleman's point—of course, recycling involves costs that may be higher than those for landfill. However, the increased amount of waste that we are producing is simply not sustainable, so we have to tackle it by introducing a range of measures, including support, regulation and targets, to reduce the waste going to landfill. We are committed to doing so, because there is a great deal more to do about this serious problem. The Government strongly welcome the measures in the Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, Deptford, which help us to try to address that problem.

    My hon. Friend is right that it is not just a question of the costs of recycling: there may be energy and transport costs as well. We must also remember the depletion of raw materials and their replacement. That is an important issue—we must reuse things whenever we can. Plastics are one problem, and aluminium is another particularly acute one, given the costs of aluminium mining.

    12 noon

    My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Energy costs and materials used need to be taken into account. There is real potential here for a re-use and recycling industry. There is enormous potential in terms of new technologies, new industries and new companies. They are being developed now, and to give such industries a boost, complementary measures, such as landfill tax and others relating to targeting, are needed. There is no denying that there is a cost to recycling, but given the range of benefits, environmentally and in the re-use of materials, and in the development of new technologies, industries and materials for the future, it is more than justified.

    I am sure that it was an oversight, but the Minister failed to touch on the prospect of using alternatives as a form of prevention. Plastic is used extensively and we could use alternatives. The plastic disposable equipment used by the medical and dental professions, in the NHS or privately, is outrageously expensive. It is used once and then thrown away. For some equipment, such as needles, there is a health reason for that, but frequently other items, such as capules, can be made out of glass, used to be made out of glass and in some cases are still made out of glass. We need to make the effort to use alternatives and I hope that the Government will lead on that.

    I accept that there is a case for alternatives to the use of plastics and for the development of non-oil-based alternatives. The hon. Gentleman may be interested to know that the Government are sponsoring work on alternative crops at the Central Science Laboratory in York. One area of research is into using sugars to develop biodegradable plastics, along with a range of other crops. At the royal show, I was struck by a jacket that appeared to be denim but was made out of nettle stems. Such industry crops and alternatives have tremendous potential in terms of biodegradability. We take seriously the replacement of finite oil-based products with renewable resources and we support research into that.

    Unfortunately, we are not there yet. I understand that reprocessing firms can take only one form of plastic and many other forms are thrown away. I imagine that the local councils will have to do the sorting themselves, and I am concerned about the extra costs that will be placed on rural authorities. What extra burdens will be placed on local authorities, such as those in our part of Lincolnshire, which has a sparse population, in collecting all that plastic?

    I accept that point, which the Bill recognises by giving local authorities flexibility in applying kerbside recycling measures. In the hon. Gentleman's area and parts of my own on the boundary with his constituency there are tiny isolated communities where the cost of such measures would be disproportionate. There are other ways of addressing this. My local authority of North Lincolnshire has set up excellent recycling sites. It is true that people have to travel to them, but at one, adjacent to my village, there are facilities for the separation of a range of waste streams, including textiles, metal, former electrical equipment, rubble and green waste. I use that site myself and it is much appreciated. Such sites do not exist in the hon. Gentleman's constituency, which is why we have had some problems with his constituents using our sites, although the problem of people travelling across borders to use facilities is not unique to our area. I urge him to encourage the Conservative-controlled Lincolnshire county council to provide similar facilities. I suggested to North Lincolnshire that it should speak to Lincolnshire county council about cost sharing, as the facility is important for the whole area.

    While the Minister is urging Conservative-controlled Lincolnshire county council to provide more facilities in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh), will he also urge Labour-controlled Derbyshire county council to provide some facilities in the Derbyshire Dales area, where they would be very welcome?

    That shows why it is sometimes dangerous for Ministers to go down such paths. We are keen to encourage all local authorities to improve waste collection and recycling facilities. Of course, the Bill is a great help in getting local authorities to focus on those matters. A lot more needs to be done and it is true that different local authorities have different records. We want the records of the worst to be brought up to the same standard as those of the best, and we want to work with the Local Government Association in seeking to promote the issue.

    To return to the amendments, I was saying that WRAP's target is to achieve a 20,000 tonne increase in mixed-plastics processing for industrial products by 2003–04. As I mentioned, it intends to award grants that should result in diversion from the waste stream of an additional 20,000 tonnes per annum of post-consumer plastic bottles. Plastics recycling is popular and the message is increasingly being received and acted on by local authorities as an appropriate response to local pressure.

    One significant company to which I spoke when it came to exhibit at my exhibition of companies dealing in recyclates told me an extraordinary story. It said that it was importing plastic bottles in bulk from the continent to keep its processes going. Let me underline to my hon. Friend the fact that there is real scope for greater collection.

    I am amazed and quite disturbed to hear that that is happening, but it demonstrates the point that my hon. Friend is making. While I would not pretend that there are no costs to recycling—nor would I pretend at the moment that the landfill option is cheaper—I acknowledge that we need to change the whole economics and dynamics of the situation. It is outrageous that a company should be importing plastic bottles for processing when we should be separating them from the waste stream and dealing with them ourselves.

    I am not sure that that is outrageous. After all, waste disposal is a global problem. If recycling technology and recycling companies in Britain are ahead of the game and are importing waste from other countries, surely it benefits the planet on which we live.

    That is an interesting point, but I shall stick with my assertion: it is outrageous that we should let other countries apply such principles while not applying them ourselves. Incidentally, we want to develop a home-based industry in recycling and alternative use. There is potential for establishing one, and the measures before us are part of that approach.

    Amendments Nos. 7 and 8 seek to change the limited exemptions for which the Bill provides to a requirement that all waste collection authorities collect at least two types of recyclate. The exemptions currently in the Bill amount to a test of reasonable access—a point that I made to the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh)—so the requirement applies except where the cost is unreasonably high or where comparable arrangements are available. I touched on examples in that regard that I think are reasonable and pragmatic.

    I should like to put a point on the record for the sake of local authorities in rural areas. Assuming that the Bill completes its passage and becomes an Act of Parliament, will a very rural authority such as West Lindsey, which currently does not have enough resources even to collect bin liners from people's homes—residents have to put them at the bottom of their drives—be able to point to the clause and say "This is all very well and we'd like to do it, but we simply cannot afford to do so" in the knowledge that that will be the end of the story?

    I would not wish to present the matter in that light, which I might say was rather negative. The provisions will encourage local authorities to have the flexibility to apply the waste and recycling measures that are most appropriate in their areas. Indeed, an example from Wales was also cited. It is certainly true that rural areas have particular problems—for example, small communities and houses with long drives. I have such areas in my constituency, and I know all about the time that it takes to walk up drives to knock on doors and the difficulty of finding people on the electoral roll. However, there can be alternatives. I gave the example of recycling centres that people can travel to; that is more cost-effective. Local authorities should address the issues in the most cost-effective and reasonable way, and they are being given the flexibility to do that.

    I am grateful to both hon. Gentlemen. In the case that my hon. Friend mentions, refuse collection already takes place. There is a danger that it may then be argued that it is unreasonable to collect separated rubbish from the same point.

    My hon. Friend makes a fair point. I do not know whether my example would apply in the constituency of the hon. Member for Mole Valley. It might be possible to have a larger vehicle for the weekly waste collection round—unless the current size is the maximum currently possible—with separate compartments to allow the normal rubbish collection to go in one compartment and recyclates for separated waste streams in another. That will not work in all areas, but the system can be adapted by local councillors, who are the best people to know about their own particular circumstances and needs. We want to encourage local councils actively to think about solutions, not to say that they are too difficult or expensive.

    The Minister is responding to my new clause as I hoped that he would. I am sick and tired in my area of listening to Liberal councillors whose knee-jerk reaction is to expect the local council to do it—"To hell with the cost" to use the phrase of one in particular—and to land the cost on the council taxpayer. Then, when it comes to setting the council tax, they blame independent and Conservative councillors for setting a high council tax. Alternative approaches—I particularly mentioned my oak trees—are vital. It will be helpful if I can take the Minister's words back with me to quieten the knee-jerk reaction of these local councillors in trying to further their own cause without thinking of the consequences.

    As the hon. Gentleman will know, I cannot comment on any individual councils or their circumstances. [Interruption.] I can comment on the circumstances of my own local council, as I know it pretty well—I would be a poor MP if I did not.

    In general terms, the Bill provides flexibility of approach. We as a Government are keen to encourage local councils to address seriously waste minimisation and recycling. Indeed, we are introducing measures such as the Waste and Emissions Trading Bill, which sets targets and caps on landfill. Local councils will have to take that seriously, and they know it. We want good examples to be applied across the country to all councils on the basis of the needs and requirements of their own areas.

    The Minister mentioned the Waste and Emissions Trading Bill, which deals with matters such as biodegradable municipal waste, including composting. We do not yet have a date for its return to this House from Committee. Yesterday, the Leader of the House said that it is in the Lords, which suggests that he is not quite certain of the facts. Can the Minister give us some guidance?

    I cannot give exact dates, as that is a matter for the business managers and the Leader of the House, but it is a Government Bill, we are committed to it, and it will proceed in due course.

    Amendment No. 7—[Interruption.] I am not surprised that the hon. Member for Mole Valley is not keen on that. Let us move on to amendment No. 10, which would change the requirement to collect at least two sorts of recyclates separately to only one sort. That is not ambitious in view of the need to reduce waste and encourage recycling, about which I hope all hon. Members agree.

    12.15 pm

    Hon. Members will recall the need to fulfil the landfill diversion directive requirements. We landfill more waste and recycle far less than most of the rest of Europe and we must increase doorstep collection to meet our recycling targets. That is a serious matter. Fifty-eight per cent. of households already have separate collections of at least one sort of recyclate and we must ensure that the Bill helps us to progress.

    We considered balance and recognised the need to encourage better performance without allowing collection systems to outstrip markets. We therefore believe that a minimum of two sorts of materials was a fair balance. We hope that many local authorities will collect more than two sorts. It is not compulsory to collect only two; we want as many sorts as possible to be collected.

    The Bill deals with the end of the problem. What pressure are the Government putting on companies to use less packaging? That is one of the biggest challenges. Waste collection is the responsibility of local authorities but some people put what appears to be a huge amount of packaging around small items and that is a large part of the problem.

    I freely acknowledge that. Companies come within the ambit of the packaging directive and there are increasing incentives for them to reduce packaging. They also have to pay landfill tax through commercial waste collections. This week, I saw a waste collection centre in Bristol for trade waste. It charges a slightly lower rate when traders separate the cardboard and packaging, thus enabling recycling to happen. I re-emphasise that waste minimisation is first in the waste hierarchy. That applies to packaging.

    We are keen to encourage as many different recyclates as possible. One sort does not go far enough. Amendment No. 6 covers the possibility of listing in the Bill the materials that a local authority should collect separately. We do not believe that it is helpful to be so prescriptive. The market that a local authority can find for the material is what matters. We are giving support to encourage that. The materials that local authorities collect need to adapt to those markets; they will change as technology changes, A list that is appropriate now may not be in future.

    We need to ensure that the material is properly recyclable. The Bill states that the material must be capable of being recycled or composted. Whether a material is considered to be of the same type or recyclate as another depends on the way in which it is recycled and used later. For example, we are clear that it is not sufficient for a local authority to collect two colours of glass and count them as two types. However, paper or wood count as two distinct types.

    Amendments Nos. 4, 5, 11 and 12 give a range of options for dates. That suggests that the dates for which the Bill provides are about right. The Government would be delighted if authorities could implement the provisions by 2007. There is nothing to stop them doing so if they choose. The fact that 58 per cent. of households already have a doorstep collection of at least one type of recyclate shows that people take the matter seriously. However, it takes time to establish the infrastructure and plans for efficient, successful doorstep collection schemes. Some local authorities may have other means of fulfilling statutory recycling targets. They therefore need time to change them.

    Amendment No. 8 would provide that compostable waste was not considered as a type of waste to be collected for recycling I understood the point about leaves and hedge clippings. There is nothing to stop people composting in their garden. Many people do that, including me. We need to encourage composting, and biodegradable waste—all compostable waste is biodegradable—is a vital part of the waste stream to tackle. That is the subject of the landfill directed diversion targets, because biodegradable waste forms methane in landfill sites.

    About 65 per cent. of the waste stream is biodegradable, and a large proportion of that is compostable. Compost, when processed, can be beneficial for conditioning the soil. I agree that home composting is important, and this provision should not discourage it. I reassure hon. Members that home composting will not be an alternative to the collection of a recyclate, and we would expect local authorities to promote it as a form of waste minimisation.

    New clause 3 would exclude garden waste from the description of household waste in the Bill. This occurs only in the context of its usage in the Environmental Protection Act 1990, where household waste is defined in section 75(5) and (8). The purpose is to ensure that one of the recyclates collected is not garden waste, and I can give some reassurance to the hon. Member for Mole Valley on that point. I understand his concern about this. It is true that, when local authorities provide a separate collection of garden waste, it tends to increase waste arisings, which runs counter to the need to minimise them. However, I am not convinced that we should deal with the issue prescriptively in the Bill.

    There are occasions on which the separate collection of garden waste is sustainable. The first choice of method for dealing with such waste would be home composting, but if householders were unable or unwilling to home compost, or if they had reached their capacity, it would be better for this stream to be collected separately. That is because it can then be composted and returned to beneficial use, rather than contributing to the formation of methane in landfill sites. I agree that there always seems to be more waste in separate collections than there would have been in a mixed collection, even when the same amount of home composting is going on.

    There is a balance to be struck between increasing waste arising, which is unsustainable, and dealing appropriately with waste. We think that the Bill has struck the right balance. I hope that I have dealt with the amendments in sufficient detail for hon. Members and I encourage the movers of the amendments to withdraw them.

    I would also like to comment on the amendments, all of which I oppose. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Mole Valley (Sir Paul Beresford) for saying that they are only probing amendments, and it is valuable to have them. I became slightly anxious about the way in which he kept telling the House how well we knew each other. For the sake of clarity, I should say that he was once a Minister and I was his opposition.

    We have had a useful debate on these issues. In relation to new clause 3 and amendment No. 8—in which the hon. Gentleman seeks to remove garden waste from the provisions—I want to make it clear that the Bill deals with compostable waste, which covers more than just garden waste. We have some difficulty at the moment because there are issues relating to regulations on food safety and composting that have still to be debated and resolved. Compostable waste would include kitchen waste.

    The hon. Gentleman put forward a strong argument about the best environmental options available to be adopted by councils, and I entirely concur with that. I confess to having some difficulties with my home composter in the inner city area of Lewisham, Deptford, and I might take advice from the hon. Gentleman afterwards on how to improve my performance. I am with him on the argument that home composting is the most appropriate method. Perhaps in the kind of area that he represents, where people have very large gardens, and very large green waste arisings, it is most appropriate that they should compost them in their own home and on their own ground.

    Councils would do well to publicise how that could be done, and to help people to do it. Although I grew up with market gardening grandparents, I, like most people, have forgotten everything that I knew about dealing with the land, and with waste, in a natural way. We need education on these issues, and it is appropriate for councils to invest in such education to help us all to do better. As the Minister has suggested, there are circumstances in which the collection of green waste can be sustainable. For that reason, it would be wrong to exclude garden waste.

    The Bill has been designed to try to give local authorities real options on how they conduct their business and how to make the collection of recyclable materials most sustainable in their own communities. I want them to have flexibility and choice. I assure the hon. Member for Mole Valley that his amendment No. 7 is unnecessary—he was embarrassed to find that he had tabled it—as the Bill would build on the 1990 Act, which requires the collection of waste. However, that legislation allows for authorities not to collect waste if that is too difficult and unreasonably costly, although most Members will have little experience of households that do not have their waste collected.

    Where households have such a collection, the imperative, if the Bill is passed, will be for local authorities to examine how to make collections of recyclables in addition to the collection of regular waste, which they now undertake. The Bill makes no prescription for the doorstep, although we had a long debate about that. It expects that there will be a collection of the recyclates from the point at which the householder currently has his or her waste collected. That clarifies our expectations for the record.

    Some householders, particularly in my experience in the inner city, have to bring the rubbish from their flats down to the collecting point at the base of the tower block. They will continue to do that under these new provisions, but they will also important.

    The hon. Member for Mole Valley introduced amendment No. 5 to ask why 2020 has been chosen, but 2020 does not figure in the Bill. The major proposal provides for local authorities to undertake the new duties by 31 December 2010 at the latest. All that is permitted is the possibility of their being a circumstance in which the local authority could go to the Secretary of State and of there being a dispensation, which would have to be agreed. We think that that is extremely unlikely to happen, but the provision is there to reassure local authorities that they would at least be permitted to make their case if achieving that target were utterly impossible, although I cannot foresee circumstances in which that would occur. That is all the Bill says about such circumstances, and the relevant date is 2015.

    I believe, and I think that my hon. Friend the Minister agrees, that the powers that we want local authorities to exercise over collecting two separated recyclates by 2010 are entirely reasonable and practicable. I expect, further, that a local authority that sees its way to collecting two recyclates will probably go for three or four. That is how things work once local authorities have decided to put the infrastructure in place. They respond to the demand that comes, such as that from my constituents. We have had but a partial collection service in our borough, although it is improving and getting a roll-out to all parts of Lewisham. It was but a paper collection, and not from every household. Of course, once local authorities get into this business, they increase their uptake, which is crucial.

    As to the amendment that stands in the name of the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire), which suggests that only one waste stream should be collected, I find that difficult to understand. All our experience is that once a local authority begins the process, it sees that the economics dictate that it should move to two, three or four streams. That is extremely important if we are to deal with the huge and constant increase in waste arisings that we are suffering from in this country.

    12.30 pm

    During the preparation of the Bill, on Second Reading and in Committee, we discussed at length what we should prescribe for collection. Those of us who worked on the Bill—including local authorities, some 200 of which support it—reached a consensus that we in the House should not prescribe the types of rubbish and recyclates that authorities should collect. They should be able to decide what is right and economic for them, and identify the best environmental option in the waste hierarchy.

    We made clear in Committee that we did not want loopholes in the Bill. It specifies a minimum of two waste streams. Councils must not be allowed to define green and brown bottles, for instance, as two separate streams; it must be made clear that we are talking about different types of material, and the Minister emphasised in Committee that green and brown bottles, both being made of glass, constitute a single form of collectable waste.

    There are some minor amendments suggesting changes in dates. Two Opposition Members have diametrically opposed views: the hon. Member for Mole Valley wants to bring the dates forward, while the hon. Member for Spelthorne wants to put them back. This is, of course, an example of the disagreements on the Opposition Benches about which we are now used to hearing. As I have said, I want to secure a consensus.

    I imagined that some mirth might be generated by our differences of opinion. At least ours is a free-thinking party—and I doubt that this particular exchange of views between my hon. Friend and myself is likely to hit the Sunday papers in anything like the same way as news of Labour Members tearing each others' eyes out over Europe and so forth.

    I could not be more delighted if this spat got into the Sunday papers. I want the maximum publicity for this very sound measure, on which there is considerable agreement in the House.

    Early-day motion 46 begins

    "That this House believes that every house should have doorstep recycling by 2010".
    It was tabled by the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Sayeed), and supported by the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire).

    Indeed. I suppose I ought to jump to the hon. Gentleman's defence and say that I understand he supports the Bill as well, or at least the principle.

    I am happy to place on record that I support the Bill and wish it well. The intervention from the hon. Member for Guildford (Sue Doughty) just goes to show that Liberal Democrats have not the slightest idea of what actually happens in Parliament, and why Members table amendments.

    I assume that the hon. Gentleman will not press his amendments, and will let us proceed to Third Reading.

    While I have some sympathy with the hon. Member for Mole Valley's wish to bring forward the date on which we could implement local authorities' duties in regard to separate collection, I specified 2010 because, following extensive consultation with local authorities and other interested bodies, with industry and indeed with Government, I concluded that it was the most realistic date. There is consensus on that, and despite my enthusiasm for the cause I do not think that the arrangements could be completed any more quickly.

    As I made clear when we discussed the Government new clause, the Opposition wholly support the Bill but I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Sir Paul Beresford), who is renowned for his green credentials, on at least allowing us to probe some of the issues to which the Bill gives rise. It is right to do so. It is quite brave to do so, too, I understand, because both he and my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) have been deluged with e-mails and letters from people around the country. Obviously, the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Joan Ruddock) has mobilised her army to put pressure—

    I would not like it to be thought that the deluge was from all over the country. Quite a few who have contacted me are my constituents. I am quite pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate what a caring and efficient MP I am and I am glad to be in touch with them.

    My hon. Friend demonstrates that all the time and has used the opportunity to do so again.

    As I understand it, amendment No. 8 would have a similar effect to new clause 3. The amendment prevents compostable waste from being included under recyclable waste. New clause 3 specifically excludes garden waste. I have listened to the good arguments advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley. My constituency is pretty similar to his constituency in character. I know that because one of my good friends lives in his constituency and I have spent many happy weekends there at a house called Goodman Furze. I think that the Bridges family are known to my hon. Friend. The collection of garden waste is a real issue both in my constituency and in that of my hon. Friend.

    Of course, it is far better, as my hon. Friend says, to encourage home composting than to collect garden waste. Indeed, one could argue that a garden waste collection service discourages people struggling with the home composting kit, because they know that they can just put the garden waste in a bag and leave it outside the front door. However, it is worth pointing out, as the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford said, that not everyone is either technically capable of operating the composting kit, or prepared to go to the effort. In an ideal world, they would but that is not the case. Therefore, it may be appropriate in some areas, including areas with small city gardens, to have a collection of garden waste.

    There is a general point. Councils are probably best placed to decide these issues for themselves. They are closer to the ground. They understand their area better than we could ever understand it. The decision as to the kind of recyclable waste that should be collected should probably be left to those councils. I would not personally favour us directing from Parliament exactly what kind of waste is collected.

    Even if we accepted new clause 3, councils would still have to deal with garden waste. We may end up requiring three separate waste collections from local authorities. In an ideal world, that may perhaps be a good thing, but it may be a bridge too far at this stage for councils in their present state.

    I do not want to dwell on amendment No. 7 because my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley has made it clear that it was tabled in error perhaps, but it gives us a chance to discuss the question of what we can expect from councils. As the Minister said, there is a difference in the performance of councils. I understand the argument that, in sparsely populated rural areas, it is expensive to collect waste. Nevertheless, may I blow the trumpet of my own local authority, Macclesfield borough council? My house in Cheshire is in the Peak District national park. It is extremely remote as most houses go. It is at the end of a very long and ill kept path. I am still discussing the matter with my neighbour, who will pay for the upkeep of the road that leads to our houses, but the council sends a rubbish truck down that track every week and collects the bags, so it has not used the unreasonably high get-out clause that is already in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It is worth asking whether that is a good excuse for councils these days. Since a bit of party politics crept into today's otherwise happy and gentle debate, it is worth pointing out that 80 per cent. of Conservative councils—which tend to cover more rural areas—have separate collections for waste to be recycled, whereas only 50 per cent. of Labour authorities do. Most Labour authorities tend to be metropolitan authorities.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne tabled amendment No. 10, which would require authorities to have to collect just one waste. He has not spoken to the amendment and I would not wish it to be passed; he probably would not either if he was being honest. However, it gives us an opportunity to discuss the costs that this Bill and the Waste and Emissions Trading Bill impose on local authorities.

    The Minister will be aware that there is already substantial criticism that the Government do not cover the costs that local authorities incur in meeting the targets and obligations that Parliament imposed on them. There has been an increase in the environmental protective and cultural services block of the standard spending assessment, but the Minister will be aware that that does not cover only waste, but matters such as flood defences, libraries and emergency planning, a subject to which over the last year or two councils have devoted much more energy.

    Councils are struggling to meet the extra responsibilities and costs caused by a range of environmental obligations such as abandoned cars and fridges. We also have the implications for composting of the animal by-products order, which authorities must take into account. We should pause when considering the amendment and the costs that we impose on councils.

    It is unfair that high-performing authorities get a raw deal out of the system. They get much less financial support than low-performing authorities and are set harder and more ambitious targets. They have proved that they can perform well, but the system acts as a curious disincentive to perform well if one gets less support while being urged to go further. We should be focusing our ambitious targets on the poorer-performing authorities.

    I wish to speak to amendments Nos. 4, 11, 5, and 12, the contradictory amendments tabled by some of my hon. Friends. I suspect that the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford would be tempted to accept amendment No. 4 if she had a free hand. Friends of the Earth—which has done a great job in helping her prepare the Bill—would have supported the amendment tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley, but fears that Government support for the Bill would be withdrawn. We would probably find the Minister giving a lengthy speech and, perhaps, the hon. Member for Hendon doing likewise if we accepted the amendment.

    The hon. Gentleman will know that before I adopted this Bill, there was a draft Bill from Friends of the Earth that included the date of 2010. We all have aspirations to do more and faster, but 2010 is realistic.

    I suspect that 2010 is what we will get. I was just pointing out that some of us would be keen to accept amendment No. 4 if we had an assurance that the Government would then support the Bill.

    The amendments draw attention to the question of how ambitious the Government are, and whether they can achieve the relatively ambitious targets that they have set themselves. In the original Bill, there was a 50 per cent. target for the recycling of municipal waste by 2010. The Minister's predecessor, the right hon. Member for Oldham, West and Royton (Mr. Meacher), said on Second Reading:
    "The Government as a whole are not persuaded of the practicality of delivering a 50 per cent. target, given that resource allocations beyond the spending review of 2002 have not yet been determined."—[Official Report, 14 March 2003; Vol. 401, c. 573.]
    I suspect that the purpose of the amendments is to tease out just how confident the Government are of meeting their recycling targets. As the Minister is more than aware, the Government want us to recycle or compost 25 per cent. of household waste by 2005, 30 per cent. by 2010 and 33 per cent. by 2015. However, the DEFRA-commissioned review of the UK landfill tax, which was published last year, found that a quarter of local authorities are likely to miss the statutory recycling targets by 2005–06. And this year's report by the Environmental Audit Committee—I probably speak for everyone in saying that the Committee has done a very good job in examining this entire issue—concludes that the UK will not come close to meeting any of the national targets for recycling, and that the 2010 and 2015 targets set by the Government will be missed by "a wide margin".

    12.45 pm

    In discussing these amendments, it is worth considering whether the Government are capable of meeting their recycling targets. Perhaps they should accept amendment No. 4 if they are to have a realistic prospect of meeting their overall targets.

    I shall not speak at length as I am aware that there is another Bill to debate, and I should like to reassure the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) that I do understand the purpose of amendments. I support what the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Joan Ruddock) has said and I congratulate her on her work so far on the Bill. Although, as we all accept, it is not what we wanted, it is much better than nothing. Even though we are talking about collecting two sorts of waste, rather than four, that still constitutes progress. As she pointed out, because of the economics involved in collecting two types of waste, it will hopefully lead to the collection of three, four, five, six or even seven types. The principle of separate collection that she has so strongly established will make a great difference, and she has done a tremendous job in making so much progress. I look forward to the Bill's becoming law.

    I have some sympathy with certain of the amendments and new clauses, particularly new clause 3, which deals with garden waste. In a perfect world, all of us would say yes to compost bins and the use of green cones every Saturday; we would do things neatly, turn over our composting heaps and everything would be all right. But the reality is that, despite the extent to which councils have promoted such approaches—Guildford council has promoted them, and it, too, has had its composting champions over the years—a lot of garden waste ends up in dustbins, black plastic bags and landfill. That is unacceptable. If a council chooses to dispose of it in that way, we might say that that is not really what we want, and that we could have different, more imaginative schemes. Such issues are for a particular council to determine. A suburban London borough that has lots of trees and small gardens and generates lots of garden waste, but which has little opportunity to dispose of it, must decide what to do. The council concerned could say, "We will sell you a green bag for £1" and recover the cost; that would be a matter for it. The Guildford pilot examined the question of whether such bags should be provided free, or charged for. It considered the different options and how they would impact on councils.

    So, although I have a lot of sympathy for the intention behind new clause 3, I agree with those who have said today that in practice, councils must be able to make up their own minds about how they deal with this problem, which will get worse as the level of building increases across the country, particularly in the south-east. Higher housing densities and smaller gardens will leave less room for this sort of activity. But the most important point is to encourage householders to accept responsibility for the products that they use, to reduce use of products that go for disposal, and to ensure that they are disposed of in the most appropriate way.

    We have heard about plastics recycling, which Guildford has been doing for some while. When I visited Delleve Plastics, which was mentioned earlier, I realised that there were major issues about how that industry has priced the cost of the waste streams. Now that he is aware of the issue, I strongly urge the Minister to take it up and examine the underlying factors that affect the plastics recycling market. He could learn why it is cheaper to import from Belgium. It would be better to balance the books by using our own plastics.

    The Government need to do much more in respect of a Bill on waste management. The Liberal Democrats have called for a comprehensive waste Bill. We accept that, at this stage, we have the Waste and Emissions Trading Bill and the Household Waste Recycling Bill—

    Order. I remind the hon. Lady that we are dealing with a particular group of amendments, but her remarks are more appropriate to a Third Reading debate, which we have not yet reached.

    I thank you for, and respect, your advice, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

    Returning to the group of amendments, I support the objective of achieving recycling by 2010—the Bill's targets. I was surprised to hear that there appears to be some doubt about it. Those who have studied the issue at length and examined the targets placed on local authorities have sought to clarify how we achieve success. We do not want failure; we want success. I do not support the amendments, but the Bill as it stands.

    The whole House owes a debt to my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Sir Paul Beresford) for tabling the new clause and amendments, because it has given us an opportunity to debate the issues in greater depth. It is particularly important for the House to debate how local authorities will meet their obligations under the Bill. My main concern is about garden waste and the date at which the provisions will become operative.

    I am also concerned that what may be easy to carry out in an urban environment such as Lewisham could be very difficult in a rural environment such as West Lindsey. I know that the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Joan Ruddock) will acknowledge that she represents a tightly knit urban borough, perhaps 2 square miles, whereas I represent a constituency of 600 square miles. There are about 72 constituencies in London, but my constituency is about the same size as the whole of Greater London. The potential duties placed by the Bill on local authorities are enormous. As I have already said, my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley has done the House a service by proposing amendments, but I do not want the Bill to become any more prescriptive or descriptive than it already is. We have to allow considerable latitude to local authorities in meeting their obligations under the Bill.

    The issue of garden waste sums up the whole problem. It may be appropriate, as the hon. Member for Guildford (Sue Doughty) said, for local authorities in an urban or suburban environment to collect garden waste, but I do not believe for a moment that it is appropriate for a rural environment in which people have much larger gardens and are far more aware of how to compost. People can put their grass cuttings in a pile in the corner of the garden without much difficulty. In that sort of environment, no rural authority wants to place on itself a duty to collect garden waste. In an area such as West Lindsey in Lincolnshire, that would be absurd. It will not happen there, but, as I said, it may be more appropriate for urban or suburban areas where there are smaller gardens, lots of trees and people stuff bits of branches and leaves into ordinary black bin bags.

    Local authorities have to given the freedom to decide. I am concerned about the Bill, particularly after listening to the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford. When I intervened earlier, I said that West Lindsey was so starved of resources that it could barely afford to collect the black bin bags from people's houses, which are left at the bottom of the drive. The hon. Lady made the point that local authorities have a duty to go round once a week and collect black bin bags, so it would not be difficult for them, even in rural areas, also to collect a couple of other bags, perhaps containing plastic bottles or textiles. The Minister agreed and suggested that the waste disposal vehicle could have different compartments so that it would not have to go around twice to collect everything. However, it would be an enormous cost to a rural area if it had to re-equip its fleet.

    I do not want to throw too much cold water on the Bill, because we all believe in recycling as a worthy aim. It is ludicrous that such a small percentage of people recycle their waste. Many people, even in rural areas, are conscious of the cost to the environment of all our rubbish going up in smoke or being buried in landfill sites, and they would like to be given the choice. People in my area would like West Lindsey council to collect plastic bottles or whatever separately, and we should leave it to the local authorities.

    The Minister teased me about the lack of sites available in Lincolnshire. We do have an absurd situation, because people have to cross the county border and can be turned away. That demonstrates the resources problems that exist in large rural areas when dealing with waste, which are so much greater than in urban areas. It is important that someone from a rural area can describe to the House some of the difficulties that local authorities face.

    If the amendments are not accepted, we have time to think about the issue before 2010. Local authorities such as West Lindsey or Lincolnshire county council can point to clause 1 and the addition of a new section 45A—specifically subsection (2)(a)—and say that much as they would like to collect such materials, the cost would be unreasonably high. That is a get-out clause that could have various consequences. Either it means that the Bill will have very little effect—

    Order. I must say to the hon. Gentleman what I said a moment ago to the hon. Member for Guildford (Sue Doughty). He is referring to a clause that has already been dealt with. We are not on Third Reading yet, and the hon. Gentleman must confine his remarks to this group of amendments.

    I am grateful for your strictures, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I hope that the amendments will be accepted as probing amendments and will not be pushed to a Division. We must respect the right of rural local authorities to rely on the provision that I just mentioned. They should be able to claim that the cost of collecting the materials would be unreasonably high. I know that my hon. Friend does not wish to push his amendments, and that he wants to leave that provision in the Bill. He is wise to do so. I suspect that many local authorities will rely on it, and it is only fair that they should have the ability to do so.

    I shall be brief, because the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford is looking anxiously at the clock. I am pleased to have obtained a reaction to my probing amendments. I received the reaction from the Minister that I wanted—to a degree—and I expected the positive reaction that I received from the hon. Lady. Rural local authorities will feel that the difficulties they face have been recognised, and therefore I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

    Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.