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House of Commons
Session 2000-01
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Thursday 18th January 2001

The House met at half-past Eleven o'clock.

PRAYERS.

1    City of London (Ward Elections) Bill,-The Order of the day being read, for further consideration of the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill, as amended by the Chairman of Ways and Means;

    Ordered, That the Bill be further considered on Thursday 25th January.

2     Spoliation Advisory Panel,-Resolved, That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, That she will be graciously pleased to give directions that there will be laid before this House a Return of a report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of a painting now in the possession of the Tate Gallery by the Right honourable Sir David Hirst.-(Mr Alan Howarth.)

3    Message from the Lords,-A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:

    Kent County Council Bill [Lords] and Medway Council Bill [Lords],-The Lords communicate that they have come to the following Resolutions in respect of the Kent County Council Bill [Lords] and the Medway Council Bill [Lords], viz.:

    That, notwithstanding anything in the Private Business Standing Orders or practice of the House of Lords, the promoters of the Bill, which originated in the House of Lords in Session 1998-99 and which has passed all its stages in the Lords but not in the Commons, may proceed with the Bill in the present Session;

    That the Petition for the Bill be deemed to have been deposited;

    That all Standing Orders applicable be deemed to have been complied with;

    That the Bill be deposited in the Office of the Clerk of the Parliaments not later than 3 p.m. on Monday 22nd January with a declaration annexed, signed by the agent, stating that it is the same in every respect as the Bill passed by the Lords;

    That the proceedings on the Bill in the present Session be pro forma in regard to every stage through which the Bill had passed in the last Session and that no new fees be charged.

4    Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill,-The Order for reading the Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill a second time on Friday 2nd February was read and discharged.

    Bill to be read a second time on Friday 16th March.

5    Criminal Justice and Police Bill,-Mr Secretary Straw, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr Secretary Prescott, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Secretary Cook, Mr Secretary Byers, Mr Charles Clarke and Jane Kennedy, presented a Bill to make provision for combatting crime and disorder; to make provision about the disclosure of information relating to criminal matters and about powers of search and seizure; to amend the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and the Terrorism Act 2000; to make provision about the police, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Crime Squad; to make provision about the powers of the courts in relation to criminal matters; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Monday next and to be printed [Bill 31].

    Ordered, That the Explanatory Notes relating to the Criminal Justice and Police Bill be printed [Bill 31-EN].

6    Opposition Day [1st 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.

    Teacher Supply and Standards in Education,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House views with deep concern the crisis of teacher shortages which is hitting schools across the country and which has led to some schools operating a four day week, children being sent home early, increased class sizes and the use of non-specialist and unqualified staff; deplores the Government's complacency in the face of this crisis; notes that many teachers are leaving the profession because of the increased red tape and bureaucratic burdens imposed by this Government; recognises that the teacher shortages are damaging standards in schools; and calls on the Government to revive the teaching profession by getting rid of the excessive bureaucratic burdens faced by teachers, setting schools free and letting teachers teach-(Mrs Theresa May);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'welcomes the enormous strides taken over the last three years to make teaching a more attractive profession; particularly welcomes the introduction of a new career structure and performance-related pay to assist retention, a greater emphasis on continuing professional development and the development of golden hellos in shortage subjects and teacher training salaries, which mean that there are more people training to be teachers now than at any time in the last eight years; further welcomes the practical steps taken by the Government to assist headteachers facing recruitment problems in some areas and the measures which have been taken to reduce needless bureaucracy in schools; applauds the improved achievement levels by both primary and secondary pupils, the big reduction in infant class sizes since 1997 and the substantial increase in teaching assistants and learning mentors to offer practical support to pupils and teachers; and notes that the number of teachers in post is higher than at any time in the last decade as a direct result of greater investment in education by the Government, and that the School Teachers' Review Body will report soon', 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 John Randall, Mr Peter Atkinson: 128.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Clive Betts, Mr Don Touhig: 309.

    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 Don Touhig, Mr Clive Betts: 278.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr John Randall, Mr Peter Atkinson: 151.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House welcomes the enormous strides taken over the last three years to make teaching a more attractive profession; particularly welcomes the introduction of a new career structure and performance-related pay to assist retention, a greater emphasis on continuing professional development and the development of golden hellos in shortage subjects and teacher training salaries, which mean that there are more people training to be teachers now than at any time in the last eight years; further welcomes the practical steps taken by the Government to assist headteachers facing recruitment problems in some areas and the measures which have been taken to reduce needless bureaucracy in schools; applauds the improved achievement levels by both primary and secondary pupils, the big reduction in infant class sizes since 1997 and the substantial increase in teaching assistants and learning mentors to offer practical support to pupils and teachers; and notes that the number of teachers in post is higher than at any time in the last decade as a direct result of greater investment in education by the Government, and that the School Teachers' Review Body will report soon.

    Maintenance of an Adequate Police Force,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House condemns the Government's failure to fulfil its manifesto commitment strongly to support the police; notes that police numbers in England and Wales were rising when the Government came into office; regrets the decline in police numbers of more than 2,500 since the General Election, including the loss of 1,900 constables, contrary to the Government's manifesto pledge to get more officers back on the beat; further regrets the dramatic decline of one third in the number of special constables; notes the comments of senior police figures that policing is in a state of crisis; condemns the Government's decision to release before serving half their prison sentences more than 200 criminals convicted of assaulting police officers; notes with regret the low level of police morale and the 60 per cent. rise in voluntary resignations from the police since the Government came to power; and calls on the Government urgently to take measures to improve morale in the police force, to restore police numbers at least to the levels they inherited, and to increase the visibility of the police in order better to protect the public at a time when violent crime is soaring-(Miss Ann Widdecombe);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'notes that the number of police officers in England and Wales fell by 1,476 between 1993 and 1997-98 under budgets set by the previous administration, whilst the strength of the Metropolitan Police Service was allowed to fall by 1,773 between 1993 and 1997-98; notes too that morale of the service was badly damaged by the 1993 Sheehy Report, and recruitment made difficult especially in London and the South East by the abolition in 1994 of the housing allowance for officers; welcomes the establishment of the crime fighting fund to bring officer numbers to record levels by 2003-04, the recent rise in police numbers, the 74 per cent. increase in the numbers of recruits entering training in the first nine months of this financial year compared to the same period last year, the 1,000 increase in civilian staff since March 1997, and the very substantial rise in police funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Spending Review 2000; and congratulates the police service on securing a 7 per cent. reduction in recorded crime since March 1997', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Straw.)

    And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr John Randall, Mr Peter Atkinson: 154.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Kevin Hughes, Mr Tony McNulty: 265.

    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 Kevin Hughes, Mr Tony McNulty: 266.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr John Randall, Mr Peter Atkinson: 129.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House notes that the number of police officers in England and Wales fell by 1,476 between 1993 and 1997-98 under budgets set by the previous administration, whilst the strength of the Metropolitan Police Service was allowed to fall by 1,773 between 1993 and 1997-98; notes too that morale of the service was badly damaged by the 1993 Sheehy Report, and recruitment made difficult especially in London and the South East by the abolition in 1994 of the housing allowance for officers; welcomes the establishment of the crime fighting fund to bring officer numbers to record levels by 2003-04, the recent rise in police numbers, the 74 per cent. increase in the numbers of recruits entering training in the first nine months of this financial year compared to the same period last year, the 1,000 increase in civilian staff since March 1997, and the very substantial rise in police funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Spending Review 2000; and congratulates the police service on securing a 7 per cent. reduction in recorded crime since March 1997.

7    Sport,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees), That this House takes note of European Union Document No. COM(99)643, a Commission Communication entitled 'Community Support Plan to Combat Doping in Sport', European Union Document No. COM(99)644, the Helsinki Report on Sport and the unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 23rd November 2000, submitted by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport relating to the Declaration on Sport; considers that the special nature and role of sport should be recognised in applying Community rules to sporting activity; and supports the Government's intention to ensure that Europe is effectively represented in the deliberations of the World Anti-Doping Agency-(Mr Keith Bradley);

    And the Deputy Speaker's opinion as to the decision of the Question being challenged, the Division was deferred till Wednesday next, pursuant to Order [7th November].

8    Draft Deregulation (Sunday Licensing) Order 2000,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 18 (Consideration of draft deregulation orders) the draft Deregulation (Sunday Licensing) Order 2000, which was laid before this House on 8th December, be approved-(Mr Keith Bradley):-It was agreed to.

9    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from residents of Sandhurst, Gloucestershire, and others for closure of the chemical reprocessing plant at Upper Parting was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

10    Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Mr Keith Bradley.)

    And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till seven minutes to Eight o'clock, adjourned till Monday 22nd January.

[Adjourned at 7.53 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Two o'clock on Monday next.


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:

    1    Northern Ireland,-Draft Local Elections (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Order 2001 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Mandelson].

    2    Representation of the People,-Draft Representation of the People (Scotland) Regulations 2001 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Reid].

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

    3    Legal Aid and Advice,-Legal Advice and Assistance (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (S.R. (N.I.), 2001, No. 9), dated 15th January 2001 [by Statutory Instrument] [Mr David Lock].

Other Papers:

    4    Public Petitions,-Observations:-

    (1) by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on the Petition [20th June, in the last Session of Parliament] from residents of the Burscough area in West Lancashire against the proposed BSE incinerator at Burscough;

    (2) by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the Petition [25th July, in the last Session of Parliament] from post office users in the Ravenstone area of North West Leicestershire for post offices to continue to pay benefits and pensions; and

    (3) by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the Petition [16th November, in the last Session of Parliament] from the Bourton-on-the-Water and Lechlade branches of the Women's Institute against the compulsory payment of benefits through banks

    [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].

    5    Spoliation Advisory Panel (Tate Gallery),-Return to an Address to Her Majesty this day for a Return of the Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of a painting now in the possession of the Tate Gallery; to be printed [No. 111] [Mr Secretary Smith].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    1    Children's Commissioner for Wales Bill,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Hilton Dawson from Standing Committee F (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr George Mudie.

    2    Prescription Only Medicines (Human Use) Amendment (No.3) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 3231),-The Committee of Selection has discharged Dr Jenny Tonge from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Nick Harvey.

European Standing Committees

    3    European Union Document No. 10427/00, relating to food hygiene, originally referred to European Standing Committee A on 17th January, has now been referred to European Standing Committee C.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Armed Forces Bill,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill; to be printed [No. 154-i] [Ms Rachel Squire].

    2    Culture, Media and Sport,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee [The Operation of the National Lottery]; to be printed [No. 56-iii] [Mr Gerald Kaufman].

    3    Education and Employment,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Education Sub-Committee of the Education and Employment Committee [Higher Education]; to be printed [No. 124-iii] [Mr Barry Sheerman].

    4    Environmental Audit,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Pre-budget Report 2000: Fuel duties]; to be printed [No. 71-iii] [Mr John Horam].

    5    Health,-(1) First Special Report from the Health Committee [The Committee's Work, Sessions 1997-1998 to 1999-2000]; to be printed [No. 152]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Public Health]; to be printed [No. 30-iv]

    [Mr David Hinchliffe].


[W.H., No. 10]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall
[pursuant to the Order of 20th November 2000]

The sitting commenced at half-past Two o'clock.

    Adjournment (The Greening Government Initiative),-Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned.-(Jim Dowd.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till Tuesday 23rd January.

[Adjourned at 5.54 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst
Deputy Speaker



 
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