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Session 2002 - 03
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 27th October 2003

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

PRAYERS.

1    Planning and Compulsory Purchase (Re-committed) Bill,-Mr Alan Hurst reported from Standing Committee A, That it had gone through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase (Re-committed) Bill, and made Amendments thereunto, and had amended the Title as follows:

    A Bill to make provision relating to spatial development and town and country planning; and the compulsory acquisition of land.

    Bill, as amended in the Standing Committee, to be considered to-morrow; and to be printed [Bill 168].

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 1226].

2    Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mr Joe Benton reported from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Commission for Health Improvement (Functions) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 1587).

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

3    European Standing Committee B,-Mr Jonathan Sayeed reported from European Standing Committee B the following Resolution:

    That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 11817/03, draft Council Directive amending Directive 77/388/EEC as regards reduced rates of Value Added Tax; and supports the Government's position both that the proposals as they relate to zero rates are unacceptable in their current form and that it will not accept any proposals that would harm its social objectives or undermine the fairness of the United Kingdom's VAT system and the competitiveness of the UK economy.

    Report, together with Resolution, to lie upon the Table.

4    Opposition Day [20th 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.

    NATO and EU Defence Policy,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes in the importance of European nations' building up their military capabilities to contribute more to European and global defence and security through NATO; notes that the 'Berlin Plus' agreement provides the EU with assured access to NATO assets to plan and conduct military operations under NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, who is always a European military officer; condemns proposals for the European Union to conduct the planning and leadership of operations independent of NATO means and capabilities; further notes that this represents a threat to NATO, which was developed in the 1998 St. Malo Declaration and would be given superiority under the draft EU constitution; and further believes that such proposals discriminate against non-EU members of NATO, decouple EU security policies from NATO and duplicate existing NATO structures and assets without increasing real military capability in any way whatsoever-(Mr Bernard Jenkin);

    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 'believes that NATO is, and should remain, the cornerstone of Europe's collective defence; believes in the importance of European nations building up their military capabilities to contribute more to their defence and security through NATO and the EU; welcomes the development of the European Security and Defence Policy as a part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including its role in undertaking operations where NATO as a whole is not engaged; welcomes the "Berlin Plus" agreement which provides the EU with assured access to NATO planning and presumed access to NATO assets and capabilities for military operations; and welcomes the success of the ESDP operation undertaken in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the continuing military operation in Macedonia and police operation in Bosnia', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Hoon.)

    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 Mark Francois: 134.

      Tellers for the Noes, Jim Fitzpatrick, Mr Jim Murphy: 336.

    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 believes that NATO is, and should remain, the cornerstone of Europe's collective defence; believes in the importance of European nations building up their military capabilities to contribute more to their defence and security through NATO and the EU; welcomes the development of the European Security and Defence Policy as a part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including its role in undertaking operations where NATO as a whole is not engaged; welcomes the 'Berlin Plus' agreement which provides the EU with assured access to NATO planning and presumed access to NATO assets and capabilities for military operations; and welcomes the success of the ESDP operation undertaken in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the continuing military operation in Macedonia and police operation in Bosnia.

    Effect of Government Targets on the Provision of Health Care,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes that the Government's obsession with target-setting now pervades almost every aspect of healthcare; believes that the volume of centrally set targets and the way in which these have been imposed is having a detrimental effect on clinical outcomes, since the welfare of the patient becomes a secondary consideration to the achievement of the target; further believes that the imposition of these targets is seriously demoralising the professional staff within the NHS, diverting them from spending time with patients to additional paperwork and bureaucracy; is appalled that pressure on managers to achieve targets has led to distortions in reporting on performance, so that the public has no confidence in claims that are made about achievements in the NHS; and calls on the Government to do away with their reliance on the target-setting culture, to re-invest the money saved on bureaucracy into front line medical care and to trust doctors, nurses and other professional staff to get on with their jobs with minimal interference, in the interests of all of their patients-(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 record extra investment in the National Health Service; supports the Government's policy of linking investment to reform; notes that setting targets and monitoring performance against them are a vital part of the accountability process; welcomes the Government's determination to devolve power in the health service to the front line backed by three-year allocations of money to NHS organisations and clear delivery targets for the next three years; welcomes the positive effect of the right targets on staff morale, motivation and standards; welcomes the increases in capacity and workforce numbers, the greater availability of new and better drugs, the shorter waiting times and the greater choice available to all patients; notes that expenditure on NHS management as a proportion of the total NHS budget is falling; and supports the Government's commitment to a high quality NHS, responsive to the needs of patients, available to all free at the point of need', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Reid.)

    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 Mark Francois: 132.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Nick Ainger, Paul Clark: 333.

    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 Nick Ainger, Paul Clark: 290.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr John Randall, Mr Mark Francois: 167.

    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 record extra investment in the National Health Service; supports the Government's policy of linking investment to reform; notes that setting targets and monitoring performance against them are a vital part of the accountability process; welcomes the Government's determination to devolve power in the health service to the front line backed by three-year allocations of money to NHS organisations and clear delivery targets for the next three years; welcomes the positive effect of the right targets on staff morale, motivation and standards; welcomes the increases in capacity and workforce numbers, the greater availability of new and better drugs, the shorter waiting times and the greater choice available to all patients; notes that expenditure on NHS management as a proportion of the total NHS budget is falling; and supports the Government's commitment to a high quality NHS, responsive to the needs of patients, available to all free at the point of need.

5    Local Government Finance (England),-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. 127) (House of Commons Paper No. 1049) on special grant for 2003-04 for reducing fire deaths in those areas of England suffering the highest fatality rate, dated 12th August 2003, a copy of which was laid before this House on 8th September, be approved-(Margaret Moran):-It was agreed to.

6    Business of the House,-Ordered, That, at the sitting on Thursday 30th October, the Speaker shall put the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the Motions in the name of Peter Hain relating to pay for chairmen of select committees not later than Six o'clock; such Questions shall include the Questions on any Amendments selected by the Speaker which may then be moved; the Questions may be put after the moment of interruption; and the Orders of the House of 28th June 2001 and 29th October 2002 relating to deferred Divisions shall not apply.-(Margaret Moran.)

7    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,-Ordered, That Mr David Borrow be discharged from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and Joan Ruddock be added.-(Mr John McWilliam, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)

8    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from residents of Holmer Green, Buckinghamshire, and others against a proposed showmen's site on the south side of Holmer Green was presented; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

9    Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Margaret Moran.)

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

[Adjourned at 10.53 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


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


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 24th October 2003 (Non-sitting Friday, S.O. No. 12) pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

    1    Countryside,-Access to the Countryside (Exclusions and Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2713), dated 22nd October 2003 [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

    2    Customs and Excise,-Burma (Sale, Supply and Export of Goods) (Penalties) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2742), dated 18th October 2003 [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

    3    Police,-(1) Police Pensions (Additional Voluntary Contributions) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2717), and

    (2) Police Pensions (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2716),

    dated 22nd October 2003 [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

    4    Social Security,-Income Support (General) (Standard Interest Rate Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2693), dated 20th October 2003 [Mr Secretary Smith].

    5    Terms and Conditions of Employment,-Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Transfer to OFCOM) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2715), dated 22nd October 2003 [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Monday 27th October 2003:

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

    6    Building and Buildings,-Building (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2692), dated 17th October 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].

    7    Education,-School Staffing (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2725), dated 27th October 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Clarke].

    8    Income Tax,-(1) Individual Savings Account (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2747), and

    (2) Personal Equity Plan (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2748),

    dated 27th October 2003 [by Act] [Ruth Kelly].

    9    Road Traffic,-Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2695), dated 20th October 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].

Other Papers:

    10    National Audit,-Reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General on-

    (1) Difficult Forms: How government agencies interact with citizens, and

    (2) Protecting England and Wales from plant pests and diseases

    [by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 1145 and 1186] [Clerk of the House].

    11    National Insurance,-Report by the Government Actuary on the Quinquennial Review of the National Insurance Fund for the period ended 5th April 2000 [by Command] [Cm. 6008] [Dawn Primarolo].

    12    National Lottery,-Report of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts for 2002-03 [by Act] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

Papers withdrawn:

    13    Education,-Draft Education (Amendment of the Curriculum Requirements for Fourth Key Stage) (England) Order 2003 [laid 18th September].

    14    Police,-Draft Police (Complaints) (Informal Resolution) Regulations 2003, with an Explanatory Memorandum [laid 15th October].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    1    Arms Control and Disarmament (Inspections) Bill [Lords],-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Andrew Dismore and Dr Phyllis Starkey from Standing Committee E (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr Eric Joyce and Mr Mark Todd.

    2    Commission for Health Improvement (Functions) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 1587),-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Simon Burns, Clare Short and Dr Desmond Turner from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Regulations); and nominated in substitution Mr Jim Cunningham, Chris Grayling and Jane Griffiths.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Public Accounts,-(1) Forty-fifth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [Protecting Public and Consumer Interests in Relation to Food: the Food Standards Agency]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 708];

    (2) Forty-sixth Report from the Committee [Ministry of Defence: Building and Air Manoeuvre Capability: the Introduction of the Apache Helicopter]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 533]; and

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Community Fund: Review of Grants made to the National Coalition of Anti-deportation Campaigns]; to be printed [No. 1229-i]

    [Mr Edward Leigh].

    2    Science and Technology,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Science and Technology Committee [Government Support for Nanotechnology]; to be printed [No. 1160-ii] [Dr Ian Gibson].



 
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