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House of Commons
Session 2002 - 03
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Thursday 15th May 2003

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

PRAYERS.

1    London Local Authorities Bill [Lords],-The London Local Authorities Bill [Lords] was, according to Order, read a second time and committed.

2    Equine Welfare (Ragwort Control Bill) (changed to Ragwort Control Bill),-Mr Eric Illsley reported from Standing Committee F, That it had gone through the Equine Welfare (Ragwort Control) Bill, and made Amendments thereunto, and had amended the Title as follows:

    A Bill to amend the Weeds Act 1959 in relation to ragwort.

    Bill, as amended in the Standing Committee, to be considered on Friday 11th July; and to be printed [Bill 110].

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 710].

3    Opposition Day [6th allotted day: first part],-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.

    School Funding,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House condemns the Government's handling of the school funding crisis; regrets that the jobs of teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff have been put at risk; further regrets that these teacher redundancies, together with other cut backs imposed by the funding crisis, will have a negative impact on the education of school children; notes that Labour councils have been as badly affected as Conservative councils by the funding crisis; condemns the Government for seeking to blame local authorities for this crisis; further notes the statements of head teachers and governors across England who no longer trust the Government's ability to administer school funding; recognises the impact of the funding crisis on the Government's teacher workload agreement; believes that the Government's flawed reforms of school funding are to blame for the crisis; and calls on the Government to simplify the school funding system, giving more money direct to schools and giving head teachers more control over how to spend that money-(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 'applauds the increased funding that the Government has made available to LEAs since 1997, which is up in real terms from 2,800 per pupil to 3,600 for 2003-04, with further planned increases to almost 3,800 by 2005-06; notes that the increase in funding for 2003-04, at 2.7 billion, more than covers the additional cost pressures from pay, pension and price increases; recognises that the new LEA funding formula constitutes a welcome move towards a fairer distribution between LEAs, but coupled with the changes to the Standards Fund has resulted in some turbulence in the system; endorses the action the Government has taken in response, namely to provide a further 11 million to London authorities and 28 million to authorities with the lowest overall increases; further notes that the performance pay grant for 2003-04 has been increased to meet all of schools' commitments arising from the grant provided in 2002-03, and to cover the costs of similar progress for teachers becoming eligible for performance pay in September; welcomes the decision by the great majority of LEAs to pass on in full the increase in schools funding to their schools budgets; supports the work the Government is doing with LEAs to understand the decisions they have taken in distributing their funding between central services and the individual budgets of schools; welcomes the further measures the Secretary of State is taking to provide LEAs and schools with flexibilities to avoid excessive instability within schools; and calls on the Government to consider what changes are needed for next year', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Clarke.)

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

4    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 Act, agreed upon by both Houses:

      Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections and Periods of Suspension) Act 2003.

5    Opposition Day [6th allotted day: first part],-School Funding,-The Question being again proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    David Maclean 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 Laurence Robertson, Angela Watkinson: 128.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Ivor Caplin, Joan Ryan: 296.

    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 Ivor Caplin, Joan Ryan: 263.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Laurence Robertson, Angela Watkinson: 144.

    So the Question was agreed to.

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

    Resolved, That this House applauds the increased funding that the Government has made available to LEAs since 1997, which is up in real terms from 2,800 per pupil to 3,600 for 2003-04, with further planned increases to almost 3,800 by 2005-06; notes that the increase in funding for 2003-04, at 2.7 billion, more than covers the additional cost pressures from pay, pension and price increases; recognises that the new LEA funding formula constitutes a welcome move towards a fairer distribution between LEAs, but coupled with the changes to the Standards Fund has resulted in some turbulence in the system; endorses the action the Government has taken in response, namely to provide a further 11 million to London authorities and 28 million to authorities with the lowest overall increases; further notes that the performance pay grant for 2003-04 has been increased to meet all of schools' commitments arising from the grant provided in 2002-03, and to cover the costs of similar progress for teachers becoming eligible for performance pay in September; welcomes the decision by the great majority of LEAs to pass on in full the increase in schools funding to their schools budgets; supports the work the Government is doing with LEAs to understand the decisions they have taken in distributing their funding between central services and the individual budgets of schools; welcomes the further measures the Secretary of State is taking to provide LEAs and schools with flexibilities to avoid excessive instability within schools; and calls on the Government to consider what changes are needed for next year.

6    Adjournment (Developing a national skills strategy),-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn-(Mr Phil Woolas);

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

7    Business of the House,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business), That, at this day's sitting, the Motion in the name of the Prime Minister may be proceeded with, though opposed, until Seven o'clock-(Mr Phil Woolas):-It was agreed to.

8    Adjournment (Developing a national skills strategy),-The Question being again proposed, That this House do now adjourn;

    And it being Seven o'clock, the Motion for the adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put.

9    Standards and Privileges,-Ordered, That Mr Derek Foster be added to the Committee on Standards and Privileges.-(Jim Fitzpatrick.)

10    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from citizens of the United Kingdom against the unrestricted opening of pharmacies able to dispense NHS prescriptions was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table, and to be printed.

11    Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Jim Fitzpatrick.)

    And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till half-past Seven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 7.30 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


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


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Other Papers:

    1    Financial Reporting to Parliament,-Departmental Report 2003: The Government's Expenditure Plans for 2003-04 to 2004-2005 for:-

    (1) HM Customs and Excise [by Command] [Cm. 5924] [John Healey];

    (2) Department for Culture, Media and Sport [by Command] [Cm. 5920] [Secretary Tessa Jowell];

    (3) Department of Trade and Industry, and

    (4) Export Credits Guarantee Department

    [by Command] [Cm. 5917 and 5916 ] [Ms Secretary Hewitt];

    (5) Department for Transport [by Command] [Cm. 5907] [Mr Secretary Darling];

    (6) Department for Work and Pensions [by Command] [Cm. 5921] [Mr Secretary Smith]; and

    (7) Northern Ireland Office [by Command] [Cm. 5929] [Mr Secretary Murphy].

    2    Public Petitions,-Observations by the Secretary of State for Transport on the Petition [14th April] from the residents of Thanet requesting a fast train service between Thanet and London [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    1    Draft Broadcasting (Independent Productions) (Amendment) Order 2003:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed Miss Ann Widdecombe Chairman of the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Order; and

    (2) The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Mark Francois from the Committee (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Dr Hywel Francis.

    2    Draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States and the Arab Republic of Egypt) Order 2003 and the draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States and the Republic of Chile) Order 2003:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed Mr Alan Hurst Chairman of the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Orders, in place of David Taylor; and

    (2) The Committee of Selection has discharged Ann Keen from the Committee (nominated in respect of the draft Orders); and nominated in substitution Alan Keen.

    3    Draft Contracting Out (Administration of the Teachers' Pensions Scheme) Order 2003,-The Speaker has appointed Mr Peter Atkinson Chairman of the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Order.

    4    Draft Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations 2003,-The Speaker has appointed Mr Alan Hurst Chairman of the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Regulations.

    5    Draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Supply of Services) Order 2003 and the draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Part 8 Domestic Infringements) Order 2003,-The Speaker has appointed Mr Joe Benton Chairman of the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Orders.

European Standing Committees

    6    The Speaker has appointed Mr David Amess Chairman of European Standing Committee A in respect of European Union Document No. 15831/02 on Control of Foot & Mouth Disease.

    7    The Speaker has appointed Derek Conway Chairman of European Standing Committee A in respect of European Union Document No. 13789/02 on Quality of Bathing Water, in place of Mr John Cummings.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Environmental Audit,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Education for Sustainable Development Sub-Committee of the Environmental Audit Committee [Learning the Sustainability Lesson]; to be printed [No. 472-vii] [Mr John Horam].

    2    Health,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Health Committee [Responsibilities of David Lammy MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Health]; to be printed [No. 697] [Mr David Hinchliffe].

[W.H., No. 60]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

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

    Adjournment (The case for a Human Rights Commission-Sixth Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Session 2002-03),-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned.-(Joan Ryan.)

    And the sitting having continued for three hours, it was adjourned without Question put, till Tuesday 20th May.

[Adjourned at 5.55 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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