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Planning and Energy Bill

Volume 703: debated on Friday 4 July 2008

My Lords, my noble friend Lord Hanningfield apologises that he cannot be here today, so it falls to me to beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Lord Brougham and Vaux) in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Energy policies]:

Clause 1, page 1, line 15, after “authority” insert “under or by virtue of any other enactment (including an enactment passed after the day on which this Act is passed)”

The noble Lord said: At Second Reading, I referred to the need to make a very minor technical amendment to this important and valuable Bill. The amendment is required to improve the clarity of the Bill and has been brought to our attention by the House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee. As ever, I am grateful to it for its diligence on matters such as this, and I am confident that the Committee will agree that it is better to amend the Bill now so that it is watertight. It is unfortunate that such a minor amendment is required at this stage, especially when the Bill has cross-party support and no other amendments have been laid, but as ever we are where we are.

We need to amend the Bill for the straightforward reason that the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee considers that Clause 1(2)(a) could be said to create a new power to make regulations to set energy efficiency standards. There was no intention to create such a power in the Bill. The intention was to rely on regulation-making powers in other legislation. The government amendment therefore inserts,

“under or by virtue of any other enactment (including an enactment passed after the day on which this Act is passed)”.

That clarifies the intention to refer to regulation-making powers in other legislation. It is the sole purpose of the amendment, which I am grateful for the opportunity to move. I beg to move.

That is probably the shortest speech that the Minister has made in this House for a very long time. I shall be even briefer and say that we have no objection to the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 2 and 3 agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with an amendment.

House adjourned at 12.25 pm.