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Session 2003 - 04
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 11th February 2004

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

PRAYERS.

1    London Local Authorities Bill [Lords],-The Order of the day being read, for resuming the adjourned debate on the Question proposed on 7th January, That the promoters of the London Local Authorities Bill [Lords] may, notwithstanding anything in the Standing Orders or practice of this House, proceed with the Bill in the present Session; and the Petition for the Bill shall be deemed to have been deposited and all Standing Orders applicable to it shall be deemed to have been complied with;

    That, if the Bill is brought from the Lords in the present Session, a declaration signed by the agent shall be deposited in the Private Bill Office, stating that the Bill is the same in every respect as the Bill brought from the Lords in the last Session;

    That the Clerk in the Private Bill Office shall lay upon the Table of the House a certificate, that such a declaration has been deposited;

    That in the present session the Bill shall be deemed to have passed through every stage through which it passed in the last Session, and shall be recorded in the Journal of the House as having passed those stages;

    That no further fees shall be charged to such stages;

    And the Question being again proposed;

    And objection being taken to further proceeding, the Debate stood adjourned.

    Ordered, That the Debate be resumed on Wednesday 25th February.

2    Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mrs Irene Adams reported from the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Industrial Training Levy (Construction Board) Order 2004 and the draft Industrial Training Levy (Engineering Construction Board) Order 2004.

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

3    European Standing Committee C,-Mr Mike Hancock reported from European Standing Committee C the following Resolution:

    That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 14886/03 + ADD1, the Commission White Paper on European Space Policy; and supports the Government's aim of engaging with European partners and the Commission to encourage the formulation of policies that offer clear commercial and scientific benefits targeted at the Union's wider aims.

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

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

    Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords],-The Lords have passed a Bill to amend Part 1 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002; to make further provision concerning the public prosecution service established by that Act; to impose a new duty on certain criminal justice organisations in Northern Ireland in relation to human rights standards; to make provision consequential on the dissolution of the Juvenile Justice Board; to amend the law relating to bail in Northern Ireland; to provide for the transfer of certain prisoners from Northern Ireland to England and Wales; to amend section 103 of the Terrorism Act 2000; to provide for driving while disqualified to be an arrestable offence in Northern Ireland; to re-enact with amendments sections 79 to 81 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 and make further provision about court security officers in Northern Ireland; to enable barristers in Northern Ireland to enter into contracts for the provision of their services; and for connected purposes; to which the Lords desire the concurrence of this House.

    Gender Recognition Bill [Lords],-The Lords have passed a Bill to make provision for and in connection with change of gender; to which the Lords desire the concurrence of this House.

5    Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords],-The Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow and to be printed [Bill 55].

    Ordered, That the Explanatory Notes relating to the Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] be printed [Bill 55-EN].

6    Gender Recognition Bill [Lords],-The Gender Recognition Bill [Lords] was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow and to be printed [Bill 56].

    Ordered, That the Explanatory Notes relating to the Gender Recognition Bill [Lords] be printed [Bill 56-EN].

7    Pensions Bill,-Mr Secretary Smith, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr Secretary Prescott, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Secretary Blunkett, Mr Secretary Darling, Mr Secretary Murphy, Ms Secretary Hewitt, Malcolm Wicks and Mr Chris Pond, presented a Bill to make provision relating to pensions and financial planning for retirement and provision relating to entitlement to bereavement payments, and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow and to be printed [Bill 57].

    Ordered, That the Explanatory Notes relating to the Pensions Bill be printed [Bill 57-EN].

8    Regulatory Impact Assessments (Audits),-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision in respect of the audits of regulatory impact assessments: And that Mr Archie Norman, Mr John Maples, Mr Andrew Tyrie, Mr Francis Maude, Sir George Young, Mr Stephen Dorrell, Mr Oliver Letwin, Mr Stephen O'Brien, Mr Edward Garnier, Mr William Hague, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory and Mr James Arbuthnot do prepare and bring it in.

9    Regulatory Impact Assessments (Audits) Bill,-Mr Archie Norman accordingly presented a Bill to make provision in respect of the audits of regulatory impact assessments: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 18th June and to be printed [Bill 54].

10    Northern Ireland,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put, That the draft Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997 (Amnesty Period) Order 2004, which was laid before this House on 14th January, be approved-(Jane Kennedy);

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Charlotte Atkins, Mr Vernon Coaker: 446.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Nigel Dodds, Mrs Iris Robinson: 16.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    Resolved, That the draft Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997 (Amnesty Period) Order 2004, which was laid before this House on 14th January, be approved.

11    Opposition Day [5th 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.

    Powers of the Proposed Elected Regional Assemblies,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes that the Government's proposals for elected regional assemblies as set out in their White Paper, Your Region, Your Choice, grant the proposed assemblies limited powers, many of which are taken from local government; further notes that the Deputy Prime Minister has made statements suggesting that elected regional assemblies may acquire additional powers not reflected in the White Paper and that he intends that elected regional assemblies should open up the debate about the Barnett formula and public spending in the regions; and urges the Government to publish a draft Bill and to clear up this confusion by the end of June so that Parliament can debate the proposals in good time before the summer adjournment-(Mr David Curry);

    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 Government's proposals for elected regional assemblies set out in their White Paper, Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions, based on the principles of increasing prosperity, pride and democracy in the regions; further notes that the White Paper also set out the way in which the Government intends to build into its policy development the opportunities offered by the creation of elected regional assemblies to further decentralise responsibility for policy and delivery where this will improve regional outcomes; applauds the opportunity afforded to people in the three northern regions of England to have their say about whether they want an elected assembly for their region; commends the Government's endeavours to ensure that people voting in the referendums have information on which to base their choice; notes that the principal confusion about the proposed powers and role of elected regional assemblies appears to be on the Opposition benches; and condemns the continuing attempts by the party opposite both to deny people a say in how they want to be governed and to denigrate the value of that choice', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Prescott.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Gregory Barker, Mr Peter Atkinson: 179.

      Tellers for the Noes, Bridget Prentice, Mr Jim Murphy: 281.

    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, Bridget Prentice, Mr Jim Murphy: 315.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Hugo Swire, Mr Mark Field: 133.

    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 the Government's proposals for elected regional assemblies set out in their White Paper, Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions, based on the principles of increasing prosperity, pride and democracy in the regions; further notes that the White Paper also set out the way in which the Government intends to build into its policy development the opportunities offered by the creation of elected regional assemblies to further decentralise responsibility for policy and delivery where this will improve regional outcomes; applauds the opportunity afforded to people in the three northern regions of England to have their say about whether they want an elected assembly for their region; commends the Government's endeavours to ensure that people voting in the referendums have information on which to base their choice; notes that the principal confusion about the proposed powers and role of elected regional assemblies appears to be on the Opposition benches; and condemns the continuing attempts by the party opposite both to deny people a say in how they want to be governed and to denigrate the value of that choice.

12    Immigration,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Immigration (Provision of Physical Data) (Amendment) Regulations 2004, which were laid before this House on 15th January, be approved-(Margaret Moran):-It was agreed to.

13    Immigration,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) (Amendment) Order 2004, which was laid before this House on 15th January, be approved-(Margaret Moran):-It was agreed to.

14    Business of the House,-Ordered, That, at the sitting on Tuesday 24th February,-

    (1) notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents), the Speaker shall put the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the Motions in the name of Mr Secretary Smith relating to Social Security and Pensions not later than three hours after the commencement of proceedings on the first Motion; proceedings may continue after the moment of interruption; and the Orders of the House of 28th June 2001 and 6th November 2003 relating to deferred Divisions shall not apply; and

    (2) notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2)(c)(i) of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), proceedings on the Motion in the name of Mr Michael Howard may continue, though opposed, for three hours, and shall then lapse if not previously disposed of; and the Orders of the House of 28th June 2001 and 6th November 2003 relating to deferred Divisions shall not apply.-(Margaret Moran.)

15    Public Petitions,-Public Petitions from-

    (1) residents of the Parliamentary constituency of Brentwood and Ongar and areas served by the Ongar Fire Station against the proposal to change the Fire Station to part-time operation; and

    (2) residents of South West Bedfordshire for a review of the council tax system and the effect of the tax on those on fixed incomes and pensions

    were presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

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

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

[Adjourned at 7.57 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 subject to Negative Resolution:

    1    Customs and Excise,-Trade in Controlled Goods (Embargoed Destinations) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 318), dated 10th February 2004 [by Act] [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

    2    Food,-Dairy Produce Quotas (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 312), dated 10th February 2004 [by Act] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

    3    London Government,-Greater London Authority (Allocation of Grants for Precept Calculations) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 300), dated 10th February 2004 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].

    4    Open Spaces,-Draft Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces (Amendment) Regulations 2004 [by Act] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

    5    Social Security,-(1) Social Security Pensions (Low Earnings Threshold) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 263), and

    (2) Social Security Revaluation of Earnings Factors Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 262),

    dated 4th February 2004 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Smith].

Other Papers:

    6    Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security,-Paper, entitled Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001: Part IV Section 28 Review 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

    7    Development of Tourism,-Statement of appointment and salary of Sir William Lawrence as a member of the English Marketing Advisory Board [by Act] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

    8    Government Resources and Accounts,-Report and Accounts of the Criminal Records Bureau for 2002-03, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 343] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

    9    National Audit (Northern Ireland),-Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland on De Lorean: The Recovery of Public Funds [by Statutory Instrument]; to be printed [No. 287] [Mr Secretary Murphy].

    10    School Standards and Framework,-Accounts of-

    (1) Derby North East Education Action Zone,

    (2) Hackney Education Action Zone,

    (3) Westminster Education Action Zone,

    for 2002-03, with the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 340, 341 and 342] [Clerk of the House].

    11    Treaty Series (No. 6, 2004),-Agreement, done at Brussels on 14th September 1994, on the Status of Missions and Representatives of Third States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [by Command] [Cm. 6124] [Mr Secretary Straw].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    1    Sustainable and Secure Buildings Bill,-The Committee of Selection has nominated twenty-one Members to serve on Standing Committee C in respect of the Bill: Mr David Amess, Gregory Barker, Mr Colin Challen, Sir Sydney Chapman, Mr David Chaytor, Mrs Helen Clark, Paul Clark, Sue Doughty, Dr Ian Gibson, Linda Gilroy, Mr David Heyes, Phil Hope, Dr Brian Iddon, Mr David Kidney, Mr George Osborne, Alan Simpson, Mr Andrew Stunell, Mr Simon Thomas, Dr Desmond Turner, Joan Walley and Brian White.

    2    Draft Independent Police Complaints Commission (Investigatory Powers) Order 2004:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Harry Barnes, Ms Hazel Blears, Mr Ian Davidson, Mr Neil Gerrard, Mr Nick Gibb, Mr David Heath, Mr John Heppell, Judy Mallaber, Mr Mark Oaten, Mr James Paice, Mr Andrew Rosindell, Rachel Squire, Ms Dari Taylor, Dr Rudi Vis, Angela Watkinson and Brian White.

    3    Draft Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (Continuance in force of Sections 21 to 23) Order 2004:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Nicholas Brown, Harry Cohen, Mr Jim Cousins, Ross Cranston, Mr Stephen Dorrell, Mr Barry Gardiner, Mr David Heath, Mr John Heppell, Beverley Hughes, Patrick Mercer, Mr Mark Oaten, Sandra Osborne, Mr Richard Page, Mr Greg Pope, Angela Watkinson and Mr Anthony D. Wright.

    4    Draft Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) (Payment of Claims) (Amendment) Regulations 2004:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Regulations to the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Peter Atkinson, Peter Bottomley, Mr Desmond Browne, Mr Brian H. Donohoe, Mr Bill Etherington, Paul Holmes, Mr Kevan Jones, Mr Khalid Mahmood, John Mann, Margaret Moran, Kali Mountford, Mr George Osborne, Mr Ken Purchase, Mr Geoffrey Robinson, Mr Simon Thomas and Mr Andrew Turner.

    5    Draft Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Regulations to the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated Sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Charlotte Atkins, Mr Peter Atkinson, Mr Richard Bacon, Mr John Battle, Mr Henry Bellingham, Virginia Bottomley, Brian Cotter, Tom Cox, Mr Mark Lazarowicz, Alice Mahon, Mr Dennis Skinner, Ian Stewart, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe, Steve Webb, Mrs Betty Williams and David Wright.

    6    Draft Industrial Training Levy (Construction Board) Order 2004 and the draft Industrial Training Levy (Engineering Construction Board) Order 2004,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Harold Best, Clive Efford, Mr Michael Meacher and Jon Trickett from the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Orders) and nominated in substitution Kevin Brennan, Mr Russell Brown, Dr Nick Palmer and Mr David Stewart.

    7    Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3311):

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Regulations to the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Nick Ainger, Norman Baker, Ann Clwyd, Tony Cunningham, Sue Doughty, Jim Dowd, Mr Doug Henderson, Andy King, Miss Anne McIntosh, Mr Michael Meacher, Julie Morgan, Mr Elliot Morley, Mr Stephen Pound, Sir Teddy Taylor, Mr Robert Walter and Mr David Wilshire.

    8    Draft Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Roger Berry, Mr Crispin Blunt, Mr Stephen Byers, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Vernon Coaker, Mr Mark Field, Mike Gapes, Lady Hermon, Mr George Howarth, Huw Irranca-Davies, Jane Kennedy, Mr Alan Meale, Lembit Ípik, Mr Marsha Singh, Mr Ian Taylor and Mr Paul Truswell.

    9    Draft Prison (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: John Austin, Mr Tony Banks, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Iain Coleman, Mr Jim Cunningham, Mrs Janet Dean, Mr Mark Field, Mr Adrian Flook, Lady Hermon, Huw Irranca-Davies, Jane Kennedy, Mr Peter Lilley, Lembit Ípik, Mr Gwyn Prosser, Joan Ryan and Dr Gavin Strang.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Draft Disability Discrimination Bill,-(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill; to be printed [No. 352-i]; and

    (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 352-ii]

[Mr Tom Clarke].

    2    Environmental Audit,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Pre-Budget Report 2003]; to be printed [No. 233-iii] [Mr Peter Ainsworth].

    3    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,-(1) Fourth Report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee [End of Life Vehicles and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives], together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Directives Sub-committee of the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 103];

    (2) Fifth Report from the Committee [The Food Standards Agency and Shellfish], together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Toxins in Shellfish Sub-committee of the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 248];

    (3) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Badgers and Bovine TB];

    (4) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Rural Delivery Review]; and

    (5) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Implementation of CAP Reform in the UK]; to be printed [No. 226-iii]

[Mr Michael Jack].

    4    European Scrutiny,-Tenth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 42-x] [Mr Jimmy Hood].

    5    International Development,-Memorandum laid before the International Development Committee [Government Response to the First Report from the Committee, Trade and Development at the WTO: Learning the Lessons of Canc˙n to revive a genuine development round]; to be printed [No. 353] [Tony Baldry].

    6    Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee [Social Cohesion]; to be printed [No. 45-iii] [Andrew Bennett].

    7    Public Accounts,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Risk Management: The Nuclear Liabilities of British Energy plc]; to be printed [No. 354-i] [Mr Alan Williams].

    8    Procedure,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Procedure Committee [Programming of Legislation]; to be printed [No. 325-i] [Sir Nicholas Winterton].

    9    Transport,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Transport Committee [Cars of the Future]; to be printed [No. 319-i] [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].

    10    Welsh Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Welsh Affairs Committee [Manufacturing and Trade in Wales]; to be printed [No. 323-ii] [Mr Martyn Jones].

    11    Work and Pensions,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Work and Pensions Committee [Child Poverty in the UK]; to be printed [No. 85-vi] [Sir Archy Kirkwood].


[W.H., No. 22]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

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

    Adjournment,-Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned.-(Mr Jim Murphy.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 4.42 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst
Deputy Speaker



 
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