9th Report, 2013 (Session 4): Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Water Bill (LCM No.(S4) 25.1)

SP Paper 403 (Web Only)

ICI/S4/13/R9

9th Report, 2013 (Session 4)

Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Water Bill (LCM No.(S4) 25.1)

Remit and membership

Remit:

To consider and report on infrastructure, capital investment, transport, housing, and other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Investment and Cities apart from those covered by the remit of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee.

Membership:

Jim Eadie
Mary Fee
Mark Griffin
Adam Ingram (Deputy Convener)
Alex Johnstone
Gordon MacDonald
Maureen Watt (Convener)

Committee Clerking Team: 

 

Clerk to the Committee
Steve Farrell

Senior Assistant Clerk
Ruth McGill

Assistant Clerk
Kelly Forbes

Committee Assistant
Myra Leckie

Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Water Bill (LCM No.(S4) 25.1)

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

Background

1. The Water Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 27 June 2013. 1

2. The purpose of the Bill is to make provision:

  • about the water industry;
  • about compensation for modification of licences to abstract water;
  • about main river maps;
  • about records of waterworks;
  • for the regulation of the water environment;
  • about the provision of flood insurance for household premises;
  • about internal drainage boards;
  • about Regional Flood and Coastal Committees; and
  • for connected purposes.

3. A Legislative Consent Memorandum (LCM) is required because the following clauses of the Bill make provision which falls within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or alters the executive competence of Scottish Ministers and therefore requires the legislative consent of the Parliament:

  • the conferral of a power on the Scottish Ministers to make provision about treating an application for a water supply or sewerage licence in England and Wales as also being an application for a corresponding licence in Scotland;
  • the conferral of a power on the Secretary of State in so far as it enables provision to be made, subject to the consent of the Scottish Ministers, about safeguarding the movement of fish through the Scottish part of the border River Esk;
  • the conferral of a power on the Scottish Ministers to consent to the making of regulations under clause 44 so far as the regulations contain provision about safeguarding the movement of fish through the Scottish part of the border River Esk, and;
  • the conferral of a power on the Scottish Ministers to commence, by order, clause 7.

Legislative consent memorandum

4. The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, lodged the memorandum. 2

5. The Scottish Government notes in the LCM that it is of the view that it is in the interests of Scottish businesses, Scotland’s water environment and resources, and general good governance that the relevant provisions of the Bill as outlined above which fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

6. The LCM includes a draft legislative consent motion, to be lodged by the Deputy First Minister, as follows-

“That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions of the Water Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 27 June 2013, relating to the treatment of applications for a water supply or sewerage services licence or in connection with safeguarding the movement of fish through the border River Esk, so far as these matters fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or alter the executive competence of Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.”

Committee consideration

7. The Parliamentary Bureau referred the LCM to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment (ICI) Committee for consideration. The Committee considered the LCM at its meeting on 2 October 2013 and agreed that it is content with the LCM and with the Scottish Government’s view that the Scottish Parliament should consent to the UK Parliament legislating in this area. The Official Report of the ICI Committee consideration can be found at the following link:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8549&mode=pdf

Delegated Powers and law Reform Committee

8. The Delegated Powers and Law Reform (DPLR) Committee is required to consider a LCM where it confers delegated legislation powers. The Water Bill confers delegated legislation powers and has, therefore, been considered by the DPLR Committee.

9. At its meeting on 24 September 2013, the DPLR Committee reported that that it is content with the delegated powers in the Bill.

10. The DPLR Committee’s report on the Water Bill LCM can be found at the following link:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/67937.aspx

Recommendations

11. The Committee recommends that the Parliament approves the forthcoming legislative consent motion on the Water Bill to be lodged by the Scottish Government.


Footnotes:

1 The Latest version of the Bill can be found at: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/water.html

2 Legislative Consent Memorandum (LCM (S4) 25.1), which is available on the Parliament website at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/LegislativeConsentMemoranda/WaterBillLCM.pdf

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