§ Mr. Steen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the basis for the decision to remove the requirement for local authority licences for pleasure boats on waters owned or managed by British Waterways and the Environment Agency; and what is the expected saving to(a) the private sector and (b) the public sector from the proposed deregulation order. 
§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
Powers available to local authorities under the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907 to license pleasure boats duplicate those available to British Waterways on navigations that it manages. The Government have therefore decided to disapply the local authority powers in those circumstances. Powers available to the Environment Agency are less comprehensive than those of British Waterways. In the light of the recent consultation exercise, the Government are therefore reconsidering the inclusion of the Environment Agency in the proposed deregulation order. It is not possible to estimate the expected savings, but in future hire boat businesses which operate on deregulated waters and which have been subject to local authority licensing will benefit financially by having to pay licence fees to only one licensing authority.