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House of Commons
Session 2001- 02
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 22nd January 2002

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

1    The Speaker's Absence,-The House being met, the Clerk at the Table informed the House of the Speaker's absence from this day's sitting, pursuant to leave given [18th January].

    Whereupon Sir Alan Haselhurst, Chairman of Ways and Means, proceeded to the Table.

PRAYERS.

2    The Chairman of Ways and Means took the Chair as Deputy Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3 (Deputy Speaker).

3    Land at Palace Avenue, Kensington (Acquisition of Freehold) Bill,-A Bill to authorise the trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund to acquire the freehold of land forming part of the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington; and for connected purposes, was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time.

4    London Development Agency Bill,-A Bill to confer powers upon the London Development Agency was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time.

5    Mersey Tunnels Bill,-A Bill to amend provisions of the County of Merseyside Act 1980 relating to the levying, revision and application of tools for use of the Mersey Tunnels and to amend that Act for other purposes was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time.

6    Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Miss Ann Widdecombe reported from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Postal Services Act 2000 (Determination of Turnover for Penalties) (Amendment) Order 2001 and the draft Postal Services Act 2000 (Modification of Section 7) Order 2002.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

7    Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mr David Amess reported from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Dissolution) Order 2002.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

8    Endangered Species (Illegal Trade),-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to increase penalties for offences under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1976: And that Mr David Amess, Norman Baker, Mr Ian Cawsey, Mrs Helen Clark, Jane Griffiths, Mr Mike Hancock, John Mann, Linda Perham, Mr John Randall, Angela Watkinson, Miss Ann Widdecombe and Mr Bill Wiggin do prepare and bring it in.

9    Endangered Species (Illegal Trade) Bill,-Mr David Amess accordingly presented a Bill to increase penalties for offences under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1976: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 12th April and to be printed [Bill 84].

10    Opposition Day [8th 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.

    State of the Public Services,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House regrets the confusion over Government policy on the public services, which has contributed to a lack of morale and direction for those working within them and dependent upon them; urges Ministers to explain why they believe that greater private sector involvement and leadership will be good for the NHS but in their view was bad for Railtrack; requests the Secretary of State for Health to clarify whether it is his aim that there should be 'one monopoly provider' of health care or whether he believes that the NHS should 'no longer be a monopoly provider of care'; condemns the appointment of the unelected Lord Birt to preside over transport strategy; agrees with the Minister for Europe that Britain now has the worst rail network in Europe; deplores the fact that Labour Ministers failed to give priority to transport in their first term; further condemns the multiple failures of the Government's Education and Skills policy, including the collapse of the ILA scheme, the closure of Education Action Zones, and the reversal of the policy of exclusions, as well as the high numbers of teachers leaving the profession, the confusion over exam grades and the failure to consult over the future of student funding; calls for an end to the flow of paperwork and circulars from Whitehall which burden and undermine the professionalism of teachers; and, while paying tribute to the immense skill and dedication of many public servants, shares the public's disappointment that the standards of many public services are well below those prevailing in the rest of Europe-(Dr Liam Fox);

    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 Government's commitment to investment and reform in the public services and notes the contrast with 18 years of Conservative government, typified by under-investment and botched privatisations; recognises the progress being made on raising school standards, improving safety on the railways, cutting waiting times for NHS treatment and reducing levels of crime; wishes to see the ethos of public service strengthened in the country and recognises the importance of high quality public services to the creation of a fairer society; acknowledges the important role of public servants in achieving a fairer society and the contribution made to staff morale of growing staff numbers and rising staff pay; welcomes sustained investment in health, education, police, transport and local government and other areas of public service; believes that the Prime Minister's Principles of Public Service Reform are important to maximise the benefit gained from higher levels of public service investment; further believes that where public services do well they should benefit from greater decentralisation of power and resources, lighter inspection and greater local control; further believes that where public services fail to reach acceptable standards the Government has a responsibility to provide additional support and intervention whether that provider is in the public sector or, as with Railtrack, in the private sector; and contrasts this approach with that of the Opposition which tolerates failure in the railways, has no coherent plans to raise school standards, supports charging for NHS patients and wishes to cap government spending at 35 per cent. of GDP resulting in cuts to public services of at least 50 billion', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Milburn.)

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

    The Speaker resumed the Chair.

    And the Question being put;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Dr Julian Lewis: 184.

      Tellers for the Noes, Angela Smith, Mr Nick Ainger: 322.

    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, Angela Smith, Mr Nick Ainger: 315.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Dr Julian Lewis: 189.

    So the Question was agreed to.

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

    Resolved, That this House welcomes the Government's commitment to investment and reform in the public services and notes the contrast with 18 years of Conservative government, typified by under-investment and botched privatisations; recognises the progress being made on raising school standards, improving safety on the railways, cutting waiting times for NHS treatment and reducing levels of crime; wishes to see the ethos of public service strengthened in the country and recognises the importance of high quality public services to the creation of a fairer society; acknowledges the important role of public servants in achieving a fairer society and the contribution made to staff morale of growing staff numbers and rising staff pay; welcomes sustained investment in health, education, police, transport and local government and other areas of public service; believes that the Prime Minister's Principles of Public Service Reform are important to maximise the benefit gained from higher levels of public service investment; further believes that where public services do well they should benefit from greater decentralisation of power and resources, lighter inspection and greater local control; further believes that where public services fail to reach acceptable standards the Government has a responsibility to provide additional support and intervention whether that provider is in the public sector or, as with Railtrack, in the private sector; and contrasts this approach with that of the Opposition which tolerates failure in the railways, has no coherent plans to raise school standards, supports charging for NHS patients and wishes to cap government spending at 35 per cent. of GDP resulting in cuts to public services of at least 50 billion.

11    Industrial Development,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Financial Assistance For Industry (Increase of Limit) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 8th January, be approved-(Mr Phil Woolas):-It was agreed to.

12    Police,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Police Emblems and Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002, which were laid before this House on 9th January, be approved-(Mr Phil Woolas):-It was agreed to.

13    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from residents of Raymonds Hill, Axminster, Devon, and others for the construction of a roundabout at the junction of the A35 and the B3165 at Raymonds Hill was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

14    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from the Parkwood Landfill Action Group for the closure of the Parkwood Landfill Site, Sheffield, was presented; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

15    Adjournment,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn-(Mr Phil Woolas);

    And the Motion having been made after Ten o'clock, and the Debate having continued for half an hour, the Speaker adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order, it being then three minutes past Eleven o'clock, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 11.03 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


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


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Other Papers:

1    Civil Registration,-Paper, entitled Civil Registration: Vital Change-Birth, Marriage and Death Registration in the 21st Century [by Command] [Cm. 5355] [Ruth Kelly].

2    Public Petitions,-Observations by the Secretary of State for the Department of Trade and Industry on the Petitions [18th December] from rural residents of the United Kingdom for an investigation into the practices of large oil companies in closing rural filling stations and for minimum requirements for services available there; and from petrol retailers and motorists of the United Kingdom for legislation to prevent the predatory pricing of petrol [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    Fur Farming (Compensation Scheme) (England) Order 2001 (S.I., 2001, No. 3853),-The Committee of Selection has discharged Geraint Davies from the Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Order); and nominated in substitution Eric Joyce.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Culture, Media and Sport,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee [Communications]; to be printed [No. 539-i] [Mr Gerald Kaufman].

    2    Foreign Affairs,-(1) Third Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee [Laeken European Council], together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 435]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Foreign Policy Aspects of War against Terrorism]; to be printed [No. 384-iii];

    [Donald Anderson].

    3    Home Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee [The Government's Drugs Policy: Is it Working?]; to be printed [No. 318-viii] [Mr Chris Mullin].

    4    Statutory Instruments,-Sixteenth Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 135-xvi] [Mr David Tredinnick].

    5    Transport, Local Government and the Regions,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Urban Affairs Sub-Committee of the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee [Tall Buildings]; to be printed [No. 482-i] [Andrew Bennett].

    6    Treasury,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Treasury Committee [LIFFE: Takeover by Euronext]; to be printed [No. 547-i] [Mr John McFall].


[W.H., No. 46]

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

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

    Adjournment,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned-(Mr Michael Wills);

       And it being Two o'clock, the sitting was adjourned without Question put, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 2 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst   
Deputy Speaker     



 
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