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House of Commons
Session 2001- 02
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 19th March 2002

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

PRAYERS.

1    Royal Assent,-The Speaker notified the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, That Her Majesty had signified her Royal Assent to the following Acts, agreed upon by both Houses:

      Consolidated Fund Act 2002

      Office of Communications Act 2002.

2    Mersey Tunnels Bill,-The Order of the day being read, for the Second Reading of the Mersey Tunnels Bill;

    Ordered, That the Bill be read a second time on Tuesday 26th March.

3    Deregulation and Regulatory Reform,-Mr Peter Pike reported from the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee the following Resolutions:

    That the draft Deregulation (Correction of Birth and Death Entries in Registers or Other Records) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 11th March, should be approved.

    The Committee came to this Resolution without a Division.

    That the proposal for the draft Regulatory Reform (Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 14th January, should be amended before a draft Order is laid before this House.

4    Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mr Win Griffiths reported from the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Parish Councils (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001 (S.I., 2001, No. 3576).

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

5    Adjournment (The war in Afghanistan),-Mr Bernard Jenkin, Member for North Essex, rose in his place and asked leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely the war in Afghanistan; and the pleasure of the House having been signified, the Motion stood over under Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) until the commencement of public business to-morrow.

6    Age Discrimination,-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make it unlawful to discriminate against persons on grounds of age in connection with employment or the provision of goods; to establish an Age Equality Commission with the function of working towards the elimination of such discrimination and promoting age equality generally; and for connected purposes: And that Mr Paul Burstow, Ms Candy Atherton, Mr Quentin Davies, Mr Roger Berry, Andrew Selous, Hywel Williams, Mr A. J. Beith, Dr Vincent Cable, Steve Webb and Dr Evan Harris do prepare and bring it in.

7    Age Discrimination Bill,-Mr Paul Burstow accordingly presented a Bill to make it unlawful to discriminate against persons on grounds of age in connection with employment or the provision of goods; to establish an Age Equality Commission with the function of working towards the elimination of such discrimination and promoting age equality generally; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 10th May and to be printed [Bill 113].

8    Opposition Day [12th 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 and Skills Training,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes the mounting crisis in education; regrets that unauthorised absences from secondary schools are rising, and that examination standards in mathematics fell last year among 11-year-olds; further notes that morale among teachers has fallen so low that three teaching unions are currently engaged in industrial action, including an unprecedented ballot on industrial action among head teachers; regrets the early departure from the teaching profession of so many qualified teachers; notes that teachers themselves blame the excessive workload caused by Government interference for many of these early departures; condemns the Government for its lack of support for teachers seeking to cope with disciplinary problems in schools; asks the Government to explain fully the precipitate ending of Education Action Zones; calls on the Government to restore confidence in the examination board system after the various fiascos faced by Edexcel; notes that morale among university teachers and students is also low because of funding problems; further condemns the way decent training providers, including FE colleges, were let down by the failure of Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs); and calls on the Government to make an immediate announcement about how it intends to help those affected by the ILA collapse, and what scheme it proposes to replace ILAs-(Mr Damian Green);

    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 'recognises an education system which is benefiting from an unprecedented period of sustained investment on an unprecedented scale, in parallel with the Government's strategy to raise standards through an ambitious series of reforms of the curriculum, the teaching profession and the organisation of schools; welcomes Ofsted's latest annual report showing the highest ever proportion of good and excellent lessons in schools, and the OECD's PISA Report that the UK performance was above the OECD average across all three domains of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy; notes the other tangible signs of increased investment and reform such as higher academic standards at primary and secondary level, the dramatic reduction in the numbers of infants in large classes, more teachers in schools than at any time in the last decade, extra resources and more people than ever going into Higher Education, with 45,000 new places since 1997; notes further the huge increase in the number of adults who are now acquiring basic skills and learning for their futures; recognises the clear commitment of the Government to address teacher workload in partnership with the unions and other agencies; welcomes the positive proposals the Government has given to headteachers on school exclusions, reinforcing their right to manage their schools and enforce discipline as they see fit; recognises that working closely with parents, police and health professionals is key to tackling unacceptable levels of absence and supports the Government's work in this area; and supports the measures being taken by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to ensure that examination results are delivered successfully', instead thereof.-(Secretary Estelle Morris.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Wilshire, Dr Julian Lewis: 180.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Fraser Kemp, Mr Ian Pearson, 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, Mr Fraser Kemp, Mr Ian Pearson: 307.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Dr Julian Lewis: 178.

    So the Question was agreed to.

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

    Resolved, That this House recognises an education system which is benefiting from an unprecedented period of sustained investment on an unprecedented scale, in parallel with the Government's strategy to raise standards through an ambitious series of reforms of the curriculum, the teaching profession and the organisation of schools; welcomes Ofsted's latest annual report showing the highest ever proportion of good and excellent lessons in schools, and the OECD's PISA Report that the UK performance was above the OECD average across all three domains of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy; notes the other tangible signs of increased investment and reform such as higher academic standards at primary and secondary level, the dramatic reduction in the numbers of infants in large classes, more teachers in schools than at any time in the last decade, extra resources and more people than ever going into Higher Education, with 45,000 new places since 1997; notes further the huge increase in the number of adults who are now acquiring basic skills and learning for their futures; recognises the clear commitment of the Government to address teacher workload in partnership with the unions and other agencies; welcomes the positive proposals the Government has given to headteachers on school exclusions, reinforcing their right to manage their schools and enforce discipline as they see fit; recognises that working closely with parents, police and health professionals is key to tackling unacceptable levels of absence and supports the Government's work in this area; and supports the measures being taken by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to ensure that examination results are delivered successfully.

    The Chinook Helicopter Crash,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes the House of Lords Select Committee Report on Chinook ZD 576, which concludes that 'the Air Marshals were not justified in finding that negligence on the part of the pilots of ZD 576 caused the crash' in the Mull of Kintyre on 2nd June 1994; and calls on the Government to exonerate the deceased pilots, flight lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook-(David Davis);

    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 the House of Lords Select Committee Report on Chinook ZD 576; further notes that the Government is currently studying the report; and looks forward to the Government's promised full and detailed response to the House of Lords', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Hoon.)

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

    And it being Ten o'clock, the Debate stood adjourned.

9    Aircraft Noise,-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. 15014/01, draft Directive on the introduction of noise-related operating restrictions at Community Airports, and No 5119/02, draft Directive on the establishment of a Community framework for noise classification of civil subsonic aircraft for the purposes of calculating noise charges; and supports the Government position to ensure that the proposed Directives allow the development of a coherent and balanced approach to managing noise nuisances at UK airports consistent with existing ICAO rules and standards-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

10    Enlargement,-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 Documents No. 14117/01, the Commission Strategy paper and Report on the progress towards accession by each of the candidate countries, with Addenda 1 to 13, the 2001 Regular Reports on progress by individual candidate countries, No. 5745/02, the Commission Communication on a Common Financial Framework 2004-2006 for the Accession Negotiations, and No. 5638/02, the Commission Communication on Enlargement and Agriculture: successfully integrating the new Member States into the CAP; welcomes the Government's continuing commitment to EU enlargement, and supports the Government's aim to complete negotiations with those candidates that are ready by the end of this year, so that they can participate in the European Parliament elections in 2004 as Member States-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

11    Local Government Finance,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the Local Government Finance (England) Special Grant Report (No. 95) (House of Commons Paper No. 670), on 2001-02 Special Grant for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children, which was laid before this House on 6th March, be approved-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

12    Companies,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the Companies (Competent Authority) (Fees) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 502), dated 7th March 2002, a copy of which was laid before this House on 7th March, be approved-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

13    Companies,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Companies (Particulars of Usual Residential Address) (Confidentiality Orders) Regulations 2002, which were laid before this House on 7th March, be approved-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

14    Partnership,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the Limited Liability Partnership (Competent Authority) (Fees) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 503), dated 7th March 2002, a copy of which was laid before this House on 7th March, be approved-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

15    Partnership,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Limited Liability Partnerships (No. 2) Regulations 2002, which were laid before this House on 7th March, be approved-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

16    Partnership,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Particulars of Usual Residential Address) (Confidentiality Orders) Regulations 2002, which were laid before this House on 7th March, be approved-(Mr Graham Stringer):-It was agreed to.

17    Business of the House,-Ordered, That, on Tuesday 26th March,-

    (1) the provisions of the Orders of 20th November 2000 relating to Thursday sittings and meetings of Standing Committees shall apply as if that day were a Thursday; and

    (2) there shall be no sitting in Westminster Hall.-(Mr Graham Stringer.)

18    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from residents of the parishes of Bishampton and Throckmorton, Pinvin, Wyre Piddle and Hill and Moor and other residents of Worcestershire against the siting of an accommodation centre for asylum seekers at Throckmorton was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

19    Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Mr Graham Stringer.)

    And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till twenty-nine minutes to Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 10.31 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:

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

1    Agriculture,-Nitrate Sensitive Areas (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 744), dated 18th March 2002 [by Act] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

2    Food,-(1) Food (Star Anise from Third Countries) (Emergency Control) (England) (Amendment) Order 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 602), dated 19th March 2002, and

    (2) National Care Standards Commission (Director of Private and Voluntary Health Care) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 603), dated 18th March 2002

    [by Act] [Mr Secretary Milburn].

3    Road Traffic,-(1) Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 746), dated 19th March 2002 [by Act] [Secretary Margaret Beckett], and

    (2) Vehicle Excise Duty (Immobilisation, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 745), dated 18th March 2002 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Byers].

Other Papers:

4    Firearms,-Report of the Firearms Consultative Committee for 2000-01 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 501] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

5    Government Trading Funds,-Treasury Minute, dated 19th March 2002, relating to ABRO Trading Fund [by Act] [Mr Andrew Smith].

6    Health Service Commissioner,-Fourth Report of the Health Service Ombudsman, Session 2001-02: Investigations completed-August to November 2001 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 679-I & -II] [Clerk of the House].

7    Miscellaneous (No. 3, 2002),-Exchange of Notes, done at London on 4th and 23rd January 2002, between the Government of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the International Maritime Organisation, further amending the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the Organization signed at London on 28th November 1968, and Explanatory Memorandum [Cm. 5473] [Mr Secretary Straw].

8    Miscellaneous (No. 4, 2002),-Revised Text of Annex XII to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations, approved by the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization on 22nd November 2001, and Explanatory Memorandum [Cm. 5474] [Mr Secretary Straw].

9    Transport, Local Government and the Regions,-Government Response to the First Report from the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee, Session 2001-02, on Passenger Rail Franchising and the Future of Railway Infrastructure [by Command] [Cm. 5472] [Mr Secretary Byers].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    Parish Councils (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001 (S.I., 2001, No. 3576),-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Tam Dalyell from the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Order); and nominated in substitution Brian White.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Culture, Media and Sport,-Third Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee [Arts Development], 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. 489] [Mr Gerald Kaufman].

    2    Deregulation and Regulatory Reform,-Ninth Report from the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee [The draft Deregulation (Correction of Birth and Death Entries in Registers or Other Records) Order 2002; Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979) Order 2002], together with Appendices and Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee on 22nd January; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 708] [Mr Peter Pike].

    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-xi] [Mr Chris Mullin].

    4    Procedure,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Procedure Committee [Parliamentary Questions and Electronic Tabling of Questions and Motions]; to be printed [No. 622-iii] [Mr Nicholas Winterton].

    5    Science and Technology,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Science and Technology Committee [Science Education from 14 to 19]; to be printed [No. 508-ii] [Dr Ian Gibson].

    6    Statutory Instruments,-Twenty-third Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 135-xxiii] [Brian White].

    7    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 [Ordnance Survey]; to be printed [No. 481-ii] [Andrew Bennett].

[W.H., No. 67]

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,-Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned.-(Mr Phil Woolas.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 1.56 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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