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Planning and Energy Bill

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

Consideration of a Lords amendment.

Clause 1

Energy policies

Lords Amendment: No. 1.

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

I welcome the Minister to his new position. He is, I think, the fifth Minister to assist the House during consideration of the Bill. If it is any encouragement to him, two of those five now attend the Cabinet, so I can understand his eagerness to help us in our proceedings this morning.

This relatively minor and technical amendment clarifies and improves the Bill. As the Bill was originally drafted and presented to the House, and I take full responsibility for it, it appeared to give a new regulation-making power to the Secretary of State to set energy efficiency standards. That was never the intention of the Bill. No one needed or wanted to create a new power. There are already sufficient powers in the existing legislation. The amendment, which therefore clarifies that the Bill does not itself create a new power, is an improvement to the Bill and I am grateful to their eagle-eyed lordships for proposing it.

It is a pleasure and an honour to speak on this private Member's Bill day with you in the Chair, Mrs Heal. This is the last Friday before the Session ends and I am pleased to have got in, especially as the prospects of career enhancement from speaking on the Bill are so great. I see that my right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe, formerly the Minister for Housing, has joined us this morning to demonstrate the passion with which treat the issues the Bill.

Like the hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. Fallon), I agree with the Lords amendment, but before we discuss the amendment, which it is important for us to do, it is important to spend—

I beg to move, That the House do sit in private.

Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 163 (Motions to sit in private):—

The House proceeded to a Division.