Countryside and Rights of Way Bill — Repeals — 14 Jun 2000
Amendments made: No. 220, in page 97, column 3, leave out lines 8 to 42 and insert--
Order for Third Reading read.--[Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, and Prince of Wales's Consent, on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall, signified.]
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
As we come to the end of our debates on the Bill, may I say again how much I have enjoyed them? Our debates have, on the whole, been positive and constructive, and all parties have improved the Bill in the process. I should like to thank the Clerks, the Hansard staff, and all the other staff of the House on whom we rely so much. I should like to thank parliamentary counsel, who have produced some complex provisions in a short time. I should also like to thank my Department's officials, who have dealt, as I well know, with amendments extremely promptly and efficiently and have provided comprehensive back-up support.
I beg to move,
That this House declines to give a Third Reading to the Countryside and Rights of Way Bill because the Government has rejected proposals which would reduce the impact of the proposals for a right of access to open country upon land management and other users of the land, because the liability placed upon land owners arising from any man-made features of the land contains no exclusions for ancient or historical features, because there are no provisions for compensation for those affected by the Bill in this way, and because, whilst there are welcome improvements to rights of way legislation and wildlife protection, the Bill fails adequately to protect biodiversity, Special Protection Areas and local wildlife sites.
Gilbert & Sullivan would have enjoyed writing a satirical operetta about the absurdities . . . including the charming point that an occupier will not owe a legal liability to a visitor who falls in a natural lake--but would do so if it was a reservoir!
It being Ten o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.
Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business),
That, at this day's sitting, the Countryside and Rights of Way Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.-- [Mr. Jamieson.]
Question agreed to.
Question again proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
I promise to make a statement soon about further measures.--[ Official Report , 20 March 2000; Vol. 346, c. 731.]
Question put, That the amendment be made:--
The House divided: Ayes 130, Noes 323.
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