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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 13th December 2004

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

PRAYERS.

1    First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Miss Anne Begg reported from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation (Legal Capacities) Order 2004.

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

2    Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Derek Conway reported from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Non-Domestic Rating (Chargeable Amounts) (England) Regulations 2004.

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

3    Fifteenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Kevin Hughes reported from the Fifteenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys Order 2004.

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

4    European Standing Committee B,—Mr Bill O'Brien reported from European Standing Committee B the following Resolution:

    That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 15130/04 and Corrigendum 1; notes that the draft Council Decision is one of the final steps in the arrangements to move asylum and immigration measures to QMV and co-decision, as agreed at Amsterdam and Nice; and supports the Government's position that the procedure will provide for more efficient decision-making in the Council.

    Resolution to lie upon the Table.

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

5    Child Benefit Bill,—Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, supported by Mr Secretary Clarke, Mr Paul Boateng, Mr Secretary Johnson, Dawn Primarolo, Mr Stephen Timms and John Healey, presented (under Standing Order No. 50 (Procedure upon bills whose main object is to create a charge upon the public revenue)) a Bill to make provision for and in connection with altering the descriptions of persons in respect of whom a person may be entitled to child benefit: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow and to be printed [Bill 13].

    Ordered, That the Explanatory Notes relating to the Child Benefit Bill be printed [Bill 13-EN].

6    Opposition Day [1st 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.

    School Discipline,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes that the vast majority of pupils are well-behaved and eager to learn but is concerned that their ability to do so is increasingly undermined by a disruptive minority; regrets the fact that an assault takes place on a teacher every seven minutes, as reported by teaching unions; further notes that incidents involving poor behaviour, intimidation, violence, guns and drugs in schools are all increasing; deplores the announcement by the Government that it will force every state school, irrespective of the wishes of its head teacher, to take a share of pupils with disruptive or even violent backgrounds; believes that head teachers should be given, unequivocally, the final say on expulsions by abolishing independent appeals panels; calls for a six-fold increase in the number of places to be provided for high-quality, intensive but separate education of those whose behavioural difficulties make them unsuitable for inclusion in mainstream schools; is confident that the ability of teachers to exercise discipline would be greatly enhanced by protecting them from the fear of false allegations of abuse, and urges swift legislation to guarantee anonymity for teachers facing accusations at least up to the point where a formal criminal charge is brought; recognises that teachers, parents and pupils all, overwhelmingly, want to see stronger action on discipline and have the right to expect it; and consequently, further believes that it is time for the rights of the majority of pupils, parents and teachers to be given greater weight—(Mr Tim Collins);

    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 high priority the Government gives to improving behaviour and discipline in schools; supports Government measures to promote positive behaviour by empowering headteachers to deal with badly behaved pupils; celebrates the success that is evident, including attendance being at its highest ever level and Ofsted reporting behaviour satisfactory or better in 99 per cent. of primary schools and 95 per cent. of secondary schools; affirms the Government's commitment to tackle problems that remain; further supports the Government's reform of exclusions to strengthen the power of headteachers; deplores attempts to destroy that system, which would expose headteachers to litigation; welcomes the fact that headteachers, local education authorities and staff are endorsing Government plans for Foundation Partnerships which help schools co operate to put pupils back on the right track; notes that capacity of pupil referral units has almost doubled under this Government to 13,000 places; considers that to multiply this capacity by six would not represent cost effective spending on behaviour; deplores the suggestion that privatised borstals are the answer to every problem; endorses the action that the Government is taking to keep drugs and knives out of schools; further endorses the Government's drive to ensure that parents play their part in ensuring that children attend school regularly and behave well; further supports the Government's reforms for dealing with allegations against teachers swiftly and fairly; and agrees with the Government that no pupil has the right to disrupt the education of others and that every pupil, not just the few, should have the opportunity to succeed in life and to contribute', instead thereof.—(Mr Stephen Twigg.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Ruffley, Mr Crispin Blunt: 134.

      Tellers for the Noes, Margaret Moran, Derek Twigg: 290.

    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 welcomes the high priority the Government gives to improving behaviour and discipline in schools; supports Government measures to promote positive behaviour by empowering headteachers to deal with badly behaved pupils; celebrates the success that is evident, including attendance being at its highest ever level and Ofsted reporting behaviour satisfactory or better in 99 per cent. of primary schools and 95 per cent. of secondary schools; affirms the Government's commitment to tackle problems that remain; further supports the Government's reform of exclusions to strengthen the power of headteachers; deplores attempts to destroy that system, which would expose headteachers to litigation; welcomes the fact that headteachers, local education authorities and staff are endorsing Government plans for Foundation Partnerships which help schools co operate to put pupils back on the right track; notes that capacity of pupil referral units has almost doubled under this Government to 13,000 places; considers that to multiply this capacity by six would not represent cost effective spending on behaviour; deplores the suggestion that privatised borstals are the answer to every problem; endorses the action that the Government is taking to keep drugs and knives out of schools; further endorses the Government's drive to ensure that parents play their part in ensuring that children attend school regularly and behave well; further supports the Government's reforms for dealing with allegations against teachers swiftly and fairly; and agrees with the Government that no pupil has the right to disrupt the education of others and that every pupil, not just the few, should have the opportunity to succeed in life and to contribute.

    Family Justice,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House agrees that on the separation of parents, priority should be given to the interests of the children; believes that it is in the best interests of all children for both parents to be fully involved in their upbringing and hence that separated parents should each have a legal presumption of reasonable contact with their children, except where a child's safety would be at risk, so that children are able to benefit from being parented by both their parents, as well as from contact with any grandparents and extended family members able and willing to play a role in their upbringing; regrets the Government's opposition to such a legal presumption, which will lead to yet more children being denied access to both their parents and their extended families; views with concern the Government's failure to implement the Early Intervention Project; and calls on the Government to replace the legal term 'contact' with 'parenting time', to introduce a legal presumption of co-parenting and to introduce early intervention in parental separation, with court-backed mediation and guidelines on parenting-time—(Mrs Theresa May);

    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, on the separation of parents, the welfare of the children should be the paramount consideration in any family court proceedings concerning the upbringing of a child, and recognises that children benefit from a meaningful relationship with both parents after separation, so long as it is safe; congratulates the Government on the proposals in its consultation document Parental Separation: Children's Needs and Parents' Responsibilities, which addresses the realities of the reform that is needed in family justice, including its commitment to legislate to improve facilitation of contact and enforcement of contact orders; notes that the use of the term 'parenting time' in place of 'contact' fails to recognise the important role of the extended family, including children's siblings, in children's upbringing and that contact orders are not only made in relation to parents; and deeply regrets the official Opposition's view that any presumption is needed in law beyond the principle that the welfare of the child is paramount', instead thereof.—(Margaret Hodge.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Ruffley, Mr Crispin Blunt: 168.

      Tellers for the Noes, Paul Clark, Margaret Moran: 283.

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

    Resolved, That this House believes that, on the separation of parents, the welfare of the children should be the paramount consideration in any family court proceedings concerning the upbringing of a child, and recognises that children benefit from a meaningful relationship with both parents after separation, so long as it is safe; congratulates the Government on the proposals in its consultation document Parental Separation: Children's Needs and Parents' Responsibilities, which addresses the realities of the reform that is needed in family justice, including its commitment to legislate to improve facilitation of contact and enforcement of contact orders; notes that the use of the term 'parenting time' in place of 'contact' fails to recognise the important role of the extended family, including children's siblings, in children's upbringing and that contact orders are not only made in relation to parents; and deeply regrets the official Opposition's view that any presumption is needed in law beyond the principle that the welfare of the child is paramount.

7    Consolidated Fund Bill,—The Order of the day being read, for the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill;

    And a Motion being made, and the Question being put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 56 (Consolidated Fund Bills), That the Bill be now read a second time:—It was agreed to.

    The Bill was accordingly read a second time.

    And the Question being put forthwith, That the Bill be now read the third time:—It was agreed to.

    The Bill was accordingly read the third time, and passed.

8    Criminal Law,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Categories of Offences) Order 2004, which was laid before this House on 15th November, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved—(Mr Jim Murphy):—It was agreed to.

9    Social Security,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Social Security, Child Support and Tax Credits (Decisions and Appeals) Amendment Regulations 2004, which were laid before this House on 11th November, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved—(Mr Jim Murphy):—It was agreed to.

10    Social Security,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Child Benefit and Guardian's Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 2004, which were laid before this House on 16th November, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved—(Mr Jim Murphy):—It was agreed to.

11    Building Societies,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Building Societies Act 1986 (International Accounting Standards and Other Accounting Amendments) Order 2004, which was laid before this House on 11th October, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved—(Mr Jim Murphy):—It was agreed to.

12    Flood Risk Management—Flood Prevention, Protection and Mitigation,—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. 11422/04, Commission Communication on Flood risk management—Flood prevention, protection and mitigation; and supports the Government's view that cooperation and sharing of good practice with other EU Member States on the issue of flood risk management will be of benefit to the United Kingdom—(Mr Jim Murphy):—It was agreed to.

13    Information,—Ordered, That Jim Sheridan be discharged from the Information Committee and Chris Mole be added.—(Mr John McWilliam, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)

14    Public Petitions,—Public Petitions from—

    (1) supporters of Stop Gateway College Expansion against the expansion of Gateway College in Leicester, and

    (2) supporters of the campaign to restrict fireworks to licensed displays for changes to legislation that would restrict the use of fireworks

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

15    Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Jim Murphy.)

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

[Adjourned at 10.47 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 10th December 2004 pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

1    Agriculture,—Feeding Stuffs (Safety Requirements for Feed for Food-Producing Animals) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3254), dated 9th December 2004 [Mr Secretary Reid].

2    Building and Buildings,—Building (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3210), dated 6th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Secretary Prescott].

3    Companies,—Companies (1986 Order) (International Accounting Standards and Other Accounting Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 (S.R. (N.I.), 2004, No. 496), dated 2nd December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Secretary Murphy].

4    Environmental Protection,—(1) Controls on Pentabromodiphenyl Ether and Octabromodiphenyl Ether (No. 2) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3278), dated 9th December 2004;

    (2) Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategies (Disapplication of Duties) (England) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3242), dated 8th December 2004; and

    (3) Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) (Amendment) and Connected Provisions Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3276), dated 9th December 2004,

    with Explanatory Memoranda thereon [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

5    Fireworks,—Fireworks (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3262), dated 8th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

6    Food,—General Food Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3279), dated 9th December 2004 [Mr Secretary Reid].

7    Government Trading Funds,—OGCbuying.solutions Trading Fund (Appropriation of Additional Assets and Liabilities) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3277), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Paul Boateng].

8    Immigration,—Immigration (Claimant's Credibility) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3263), dated 8th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

9    Income Tax,—(1) Exchange Gains and Losses (Bringing into Account Gains or Losses) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3259), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Dawn Primarolo];

    (2) Finance Act 2000, Schedule 20 (Definition of Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3267), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [John Healey];

    (3) Finance Act 2002, Schedule 26, Parts 2 and 9 (Amendment No. 2) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3270), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Dawn Primarolo];

    (4) Finance Act 2004, Sections 38 to 45 and Schedule 6 (Consequential Amendment of Enactments No. 2) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3269), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Dawn Primarolo];

    (5) Insurance Companies (Corporation Tax Acts) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3266), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Stephen Timms];

    (6) Insurance Companies (Overseas Life Assurance Business) (Excluded Business) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3274), dated 10th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Stephen Timms];

    (7) Insurance Companies (Reserves) (Tax) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3260), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Stephen Timms];

    (8) Loan Relationships and Derivative Contracts (Change of Accounting Practice) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3271), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Dawn Primarolo];

    (9) Loan Relationships and Derivative Contracts (Disregard and Bringing into Account of Profits and Losses) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3256), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Dawn Primarolo];

    (10) Overseas Insurers (Tax Representatives) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3272), dated 10th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Stephen Timms]; and

    (11) Overseas Life Assurance Fund (Amendment) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3275), dated 9th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Stephen Timms].

10    Legal Aid and Advice,—Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings (Costs) (Amendment No. 2) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2004 (S.R. (N.I.), 2004, No. 510), dated 3rd December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr David Lammy].

11    Local Government,—Local Authorities (Categorisation) (England) (No. 2) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3211), dated 6th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Secretary Prescott].

12    Medicines,—(1) Medicines (Marketing Authorisations and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3224), dated 7th December 2004; and

    (2) Medicines (Pharmacies) (Applications for Registration and Fees) Amendment Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3197), dated 3rd December 2004

    [Mr Secretary Reid].

13    Police,—Police (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3216), dated 7th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

14    Rating and Valuation,—Non-Domestic Rating Contributions (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3234), dated 8th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Secretary Prescott].

15    Road Traffic,—(1) Motor Cars (Driving Instruction) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3159), dated 29th November 2004;

    (2) Motorways Traffic (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3258), dated 9th December 2004; and

    (3) Motorways Traffic (Scotland) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3261), dated 9th December 2004,

    with Explanatory Memoranda thereon [Mr Secretary Darling].

16    Statistics of Trade,—Statistics of Trade (Customs and Excise) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3284), dated 10th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Ruth Kelly].

17    Taxes,—Insurance Companies (Overseas Life Assurance Business) (Compliance) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3273), dated 10th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Stephen Timms].

18    Terms and Conditions of Employment,—Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3265), dated 7th December 2004, with an Explanatory Memorandum [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Monday 13th December 2004:

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

19    Countryside,—Access to the Countryside (Means of Access, Appeals) (England) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3305), dated 9th December 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

20    National Health Service,—National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3215), dated 7th December 2004 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Reid].

Other Papers:

21    Cabinet Office,—Cabinet Office: Autumn Performance Report 2004 [by Command] [Cm. 6414] [Ruth Kelly].

22    National Audit,—Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on Skills for Life: Improving adult literacy and numeracy [by Act]; to be printed [No. 20] [Clerk of the House].

23    National Lottery,—Account of the Sports Council for Northern Ireland Lottery Distribution for 2003-04, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 143] [Clerk of the House].

24    School Standards and Framework,—Account of Gloucester Education Action Zone for 2003-04, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 127] [Clerk of the House].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

1    Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Bill,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Ms Debra Shipley from the Second Reading Committee (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Lorna Fitzsimons.

European Standing Committees

2    The Speaker has appointed Mr Eric Forth Chairman of European Standing Committee A in respect of European Union Document No. 11491/04 on Common Agricultural Policy - reform of the Sugar Sector in place of Mrs Irene Adams.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

1    Education and Skills,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Education and Skills Committee [Every Child Matters]; to be printed [HC 40-ii] [Mr Barry Sheerman].

2    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 Urban Affairs Sub-committee [The Role and Effectiveness of CABE]; to be printed [No. 59-i] [Clive Betts].

3    Public Accounts,—(1) First Report from the Public Accounts Committee [The management of sickness absence in the Prison Service]; to be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 146]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Reducing Crime: the Home Office working with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships]; to be printed [No. 147-i]

    [Mr Edward Leigh].

THE SPEAKER'S CERTIFICATE

The Speaker certified that the Consolidated Fund Bill is a Money Bill within the meaning of the Parliament Act 1911.



 
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