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House of Commons
Session 1999-2000
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 21st February 2000

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Road Traffic Bill,—The Order for reading the Road Traffic Bill a second time on Friday 3rd March was read and discharged.
 
        Bill to be read a second time on Friday 10th March.
2Opposition day [5th allotted day],—It being an allotted day at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider Opposition business.
 
        Education,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes the Government's failure to meet its manifesto commitment to spend a higher proportion of national income on education than the previous government, despite the Prime Minister's pledge that education would continue to have "the first call on public resources"; deplores the Government's complacency in the face of the damage being done to excellence in education by increased bureaucracy, interference in schools, abolition of grant maintained status, introduction of grammar school ballots, obsession with targets and diversion of funds to meet political goals rather than the needs of schools; views with concern the Government's disregard for parental choice or student need; and calls on the Government to introduce common sense policies to improve standards by setting schools free, letting parents choose and trusting the professionals—(Mrs Theresa May);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 1, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'welcomes the Government's commitment to raising standards and achieving excellence for all from the early years to life-long learning after 18 years of neglect; recognises that education spending will rise as a share of national income over the course of this Parliament, in contrast to a decline of 0.3 per cent. between 1991-92 and 1996-97; recognises the early success in lowering class sizes in the early years and the achievement of introducing literacy and numeracy strategies which, with the hard work and commitment of teachers, have raised standards; supports the promotion of diversity which will deliver excellence for the many and not the few; recognises the role of specialist schools and the importance of excellence in cities; supports the drive to raise standards in secondary schools through the extension of the literacy and numeracy strategies and an expanded programme of summer schools; recognises the value of teachers and supports the new proposals for performance-related promotion; recognises the role of school leaders; notes the increase of £1.8 billion in funding for schools and Local Education Authorities in England for the coming year and the role of the fair funding framework in tackling excessive bureaucracy and ensuring that increased funding benefits classroom services; notes the increased resources made available to expand access and improve quality in further and higher education; and supports the Government's determination to build a socially inclusive knowledge economy in which learning and skills are the foundation of success and prosperity', instead thereof.—(Mr Secretary Blunkett.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Peter Luff: 123.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Greg Pope, Mr David Clellard: 300.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):—It was agreed to.
 
        The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House welcomes the Government's commitment to raising standards and achieving excellence for all from the early years to life-long learning after 18 years of neglect; recognises that education spending will rise as a share of national income over the course of this Parliament, in contrast to a decline of 0.3 per cent. between 1991-92 and 1996-97; recognises the early success in lowering class sizes in the early years and the achievement of introducing the literacy and numeracy strategies which, with the hard work and commitment of teachers, have raised standards; supports the promotion of diversity which will deliver excellence for the many and not the few; recognises the role of specialist schools and the importance of excellence in cities; supports the drive to raise standards in secondary schools through the extension of the literacy and numeracy strategies and an expanded programme of summer schools; recognises the value of teachers and supports the new proposals for performance-related promotion; recognises the role of school leaders; notes the increase of £1.8 billion in funding for schools and Local Education Authorities in England for the coming year and the role of the fair funding framework in tackling excessive bureaucracy and ensuring that increased funding benefits classroom services; notes the increased resources made available to expand access and improve quality in further and higher education; and supports the Government's determination to build a socially inclusive knowledge economy in which learning and skills are the foundation of success and prosperity.
 
        Millennium Dome,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House deplores the fact that Government interference in the Millennium Dome has rendered it a source of national embarrassment, a wasted opportunity to celebrate Britain and the Millennium and poor value for Lottery players' money—(Mr Peter Ainsworth);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'believes that the Millennium Experience—and the many other Millennium activities—represent both an excellent celebration for the people of this country and a tangible and enduring legacy for future generations; further welcomes the announcement that the New Millennium Experience Company team will be introducing improvements which deliver even greater value for money both to the paying visitor and to the Millennium Commission; and, in particular, notes the record attendances at the Dome in the week commencing 7th February and the recent high satisfaction ratings amongst visitors', instead thereof.—(Mr Secretary Smith.)
 
        And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        Mr James Arbuthnot rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.
 
        And the Question being put, That the Question be now put:—It was agreed to.
 
        And the Question being accordingly put;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Peter Luff: 141.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Robert Ainsworth, Mr David Jamieson: 275.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Jamieson, Mr Robert Ainsworth: 261.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Peter Luff: 138.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        The Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House believes that the Millennium Experience—and the many other Millennium activities—represent both an excellent celebration for the people of this country and a tangible and enduring legacy for future generations; further welcomes the announcement that the New Millennium Experience Company team will be introducing improvements which deliver even greater value for money both to the paying visitor and to the Millennium Commission; and, in particular, notes the record attendances at the Dome in the week commencing 7th February and the recent high satisfaction ratings amongst visitors.
3House of Commons Commission,—Ordered, That Sir Peter Lloyd and Dr Lewis Moonie be discharged from the House of Commons Commission and Mr Eric Forth and Mr Stuart Bell be appointed members of the Commission under the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978.—(Mr Kevin Hughes.)
4Social Security,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Social Security (Contributions) (Re-rating and National Insurance Funds Payments) Order 2000, which was laid before this House on 31st January, be approved—(Mr Kevin Hughes);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Jamieson, Mr Mike Hall: 248.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Peter Luff: 124.
 
        Resolved, That the draft Social Security (Contributions) (Re-rating and National Insurance Funds Payments) Order 2000, which was laid before this House on 31st January, be approved.
5Overseas Development and Co-operation,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the Draft African Development Fund (Eighth Replenishment) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 31st January, be approved—(Mr Kevin Hughes):—It was agreed to.
6Administration,—Ordered, That Mr Oliver Heald be discharged from the Administration Committee and Mr Stephen Day be added to the Committee.—(Mr John McWilliam, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)
7Agriculture,—Ordered, That Mr Peter Luff be discharged from the Agriculture Committee and Mr Owen Paterson be added to the Committee.—(Mr John McWilliam, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)
8Defence,—Ordered, That Mr Crispin Blunt be discharged from the Defence Committee and Mr Peter Viggers be added to the Committee.—(Mr John McWilliam, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)
9Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs,—Ordered, That Mr John Randall be discharged from the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee and Mr Crispin Blunt be added to the Committee.—(Mr John McWilliam, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)
10Treasury,—Ordered, That Dr Lewis Moonie be discharged from the Treasury Committee and Mr Nigel Beard be added to the Committee.—(Mr John McWilliam, on behalf of the Committee of Selection,)
11Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Kevin Hughes.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till twenty-two minutes to Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.38 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

Madam Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Eleven o'clock, pursuant to Order [17th February].

APPENDIX I
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 18th February 2000 (Non-sitting Friday, S.O., No. 12) Pursuant to Standing Order No. 158 (Presentation of command papers):
1Miscellaneous (No. 2, 2000),—Protocol, adopted at Kingston on 27th March 1998, on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Seabed Authority, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Cm. 4592] [Mr Secretary Cook].
Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Monday 21st February 2000:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
2Legal Services Commission,—(1) Draft Community Legal Service (Cost Protection) Regulations 2000, and
 
        (2) draft Community Legal Service (Scope) Regulations 2000
 
    [by Act] [Mr David Lock].
3Legal Services,—Draft Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2000 [by Act] [Mr David Lock].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
4London Government,—Greater London Authority Act 1999 (Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles) (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 412), dated 21st February 2000 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
Other Papers:
5London Regional Transport,—Report and Accounts of the London Regional Passengers Committee for 1998-99, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
6National Audit,—Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on Inpatient Admissions and Bed management in NHS acute hospitals [by Act]; to be printed [No. 254] [Clerk of the House].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Armed Forces Discipline Bill [Lords],—The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee D, and has appointed Mr Joe Benton and Mr Humfrey Malins Chairmen; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated eighteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr Crispin Blunt, Mr David Clelland, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Mike Gapes, Mrs Sylvia Heal, Mr David Heath, Mr Stephen Hepburn, Mr Paul Keetch, Jane Kennedy, Mr Robert Key, Mr Stephen McCabe, Gillian Merron, Laura Moffatt, Dr Lewis Moonie, Dr Doug Naysmith, Mr Mark Todd, Mr Peter Viggers and Mr Dave Watts.
2Postal Services Bill,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr David Chidgey from Standing Committee B (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr Brian Cotter.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
Science and Technology,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Science and Technology Committee [Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham]; to be printed [No. 207] [Dr Michael Clark].



 
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Revised 22 February 2000