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Session 2005 - 06
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 19th October 2005

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

PRAYERS.

1    European Standing Committee,—Hugh Bayley reported from a European Standing Committee the following Resolution:

    That the Committee takes note of European Union Documents No. 8635/05, draft Council Decision concerning the placing on the market, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC, of a maize product (Zea mays L. line MON 863) genetically modified for resistance to corn rootworm and No. 10785/05, draft Council Decision concerning the placing on the market, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC, of a maize product (Zea mays L. line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests and for tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium; and supports the Government's view that all the requirements of the Directive have been met in relation to these products and their proposed use should be authorised.

    Resolution to lie upon the Table.

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

2    Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill,—The Order for reading the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill a second time on Friday 28th October was read and discharged.

    Bill withdrawn.

3    Infrastructure Audit (Housing Development),—Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require an audit of existing or planned infrastructure in areas of significant housing development: And that Mr Francis Maude, Mr Tim Boswell, Greg Clark, Mrs Nadine Dorries, Mr Nick Gibb, Charles Hendry, Mr Nick Herbert, Tim Loughton, Mr Andrew Tyrie and Hon Nicholas Soames do prepare and bring it in.

4    Infrastructure Audit (Housing Development) Bill,—Mr Francis Maude accordingly presented a Bill to require an audit of existing or planned infrastructure in areas of significant housing development: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 14th July and to be printed [Bill 61].

5    Privilege,—Ordered, That the matter of the evidence given by the Rt Hon Member for North Tyneside to the Transport Sub-Committee of the Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions on 14th November 2001 be referred to the Committee on Standards and Privileges.—(Chris Grayling.)

6    Opposition Day [7th 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.

    Council Tax Revaluation,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House regrets the decision of the Government to delay, but not to cancel, the council tax revaluation in England; calls for Ministers to be held to account for the flawed Welsh revaluation introduced by the Local Government Act 2003; believes that urgent measures are necessary to stop further rises in Welsh council tax bills next April as transitional relief is phased out; observes that the business rates revaluation in England has not been revenue-neutral; notes that Northern Ireland is being used as a testing ground for controversial reform in England; expresses concern that the Lyons Inquiry will be used to advocate expensive and time-consuming restructuring of local government, and instead calls for regional government to be curtailed; and fears that revaluation and re-banding will be used to increase further the burden of local taxation on hard-working families and pensioners in England—(Mr Eric Pickles);

    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 decision to postpone the revaluation of council tax in England in order that it may take full account of Sir Michael Lyons's further work on the functions of local government as well as its financing; supports the Government's extension of Sir Michael's terms of reference, which will enable him to review the strategic role of local government and therefore set any proposals for the reform of the funding system within the context of that role and of councils' accountability; recognises that the devolution settlement for Wales gives responsibility for council tax matters to the National Assembly for Wales, and that the context for rating reform in Northern Ireland is very different from that in Great Britain; refutes any suggestion that Northern Ireland is being used as a testing ground for reform in England; and looks forward to the final report of Sir Michael Lyons's inquiry which it is confident will provide a real opportunity for fundamental and lasting reform', instead thereof.—(Mr Phil Woolas.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Peter Atkinson, Mr Crispin Blunt: 247.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Alan Campbell, Mr Dave Watts: 300.

    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 Government's decision to postpone the revaluation of council tax in England in order that it may take full account of Sir Michael Lyons's further work on the functions of local government as well as its financing; supports the Government's extension of Sir Michael's terms of reference, which will enable him to review the strategic role of local government and therefore set any proposals for the reform of the funding system within the context of that role and of councils' accountability; recognises that the devolution settlement for Wales gives responsibility for council tax matters to the National Assembly for Wales, and that the context for rating reform in Northern Ireland is very different from that in Great Britain; refutes any suggestion that Northern Ireland is being used as a testing ground for reform in England; and looks forward to the final report of Sir Michael Lyons's inquiry which it is confident will provide a real opportunity for fundamental and lasting reform.

7    Deferred Divisions,—The Deputy Speaker announced the results of the Division which had been deferred to this day, pursuant to Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions):

    Marketing of Foods Derived from Genetically Modified Maize,—That this House takes note of the unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 15th July 2005, submitted by the Food Standards Agency, relating to the Draft Council Decision authorising the placing on the market of foods and food ingredients derived from genetically modified Roundup Ready maize line GA21; and supports the Government's view that products derived from this maize meet the necessary requirements for authorisation under Regulation No. 258/97.

      Ayes: 215.

      Noes: 75.

    So the Question was agreed to.

8    Opposition Day,—The House again proceeded to consider Opposition business.

    Emergency Preparedness,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House expresses its deep appreciation of the response of the emergency services and Transport for London to the terrorist outrages of 7th and 21st July 2005; urges heightened efforts to ensure that preparedness for emergencies is comprehensively pursued; believes that the appointment of a Minister for Homeland Security would contribute to effective co-ordination within government; calls for increased efforts in communicating with the public in respect of major threats, including both terrorist attacks and an influenza pandemic; regrets delays in the publication of an influenza pandemic contingency plan and the procurement of anti-viral drugs and disposable medical products; is concerned at the lack of public information and resulting confusion; and urges that pandemic influenza preparedness be achieved urgently, with effective communication to the NHS and public of the nature of the threat and planned responses—(Mr Andrew Lansley);

    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 'pays grateful tribute to the excellent work of the emergency services, of Transport for London and of all involved in responding to the terrorist outrages of 7th July and 21st July; congratulates the Government on its comprehensive approach to preparedness for emergencies; notes the effectiveness of current Departmental responsibilities for emergency preparedness; further congratulates the Government on the steps taken to enhance communication with the public in respect of major threats; notes that supplies of vaccines, antibiotics, antidotes and specialist equipment are strategically placed around the UK for rapid deployment in the event of a mass casualty incident, and that spending on the stockpile to date exceeds £120 million; further notes that NHS organisations have well-established, comprehensive plans in place for dealing with pandemic influenza, and that the Government's updated pandemic flu contingency plan is being published today; welcomes the fact that the Government is stockpiling key drugs and equipment, and will have enough antiviral drugs to treat 25 per cent. of the population by September 2006; and recognises that good communication with the public and with health professionals is crucial before and during a pandemic and therefore congratulates the Government on making accurate and up to date information widely available to doctors and the public through various agencies', instead thereof.—(Ms Rosie Winterton.)

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

    Mr Patrick McLoughlin 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, Michael Fabricant, Mr Peter Atkinson: 242.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Ian Cawsey, Mr Parmjit Dhanda: 316.

    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 pays grateful tribute to the excellent work of the emergency services, of Transport for London and of all involved in responding to the terrorist outrages of 7th July and 21st July; congratulates the Government on its comprehensive approach to preparedness for emergencies; notes the effectiveness of current Departmental responsibilities for emergency preparedness; further congratulates the Government on the steps taken to enhance communication with the public in respect of major threats; notes that supplies of vaccines, antibiotics, antidotes and specialist equipment are strategically placed around the UK for rapid deployment in the event of a mass casualty incident, and that spending on the stockpile to date exceeds £120 million; further notes that NHS organisations have well-established, comprehensive plans in place for dealing with pandemic influenza, and that the Government's updated pandemic flu contingency plan is being published today; welcomes the fact that the Government is stockpiling key drugs and equipment, and will have enough antiviral drugs to treat 25 per cent. of the population by September 2006; and recognises that good communication with the public and with health professionals is crucial before and during a pandemic and therefore congratulates the Government on making accurate and up to date information widely available to doctors and the public through various agencies.

9    Public Petitions,—Public Petitions from—

    (1) supporters of the Isitfair Council Tax protest campaign for a fair and equitable replacement for council tax;

    (2) Marlow Evening Townswomen's Guild against mixed sex wards; and

    (3) residents of Barnsley and others against the deportation of Ms Kuzvidza and her family;

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

10    Public Petitions,—A Public Petition from supporters of the Isitfair Council Tax protest campaign for a fair and equitable replacement for council tax was presented; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

11    Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Tom Watson.)

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

[Adjourned at 7.39 p.m.

Michael J. Martin

Speaker


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


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:

1    Access to Justice,—Revised Funding Code prepared by the Legal Services Commission [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Bridget Prentice].

2    Disabled Persons,—Draft Disability Discrimination (Private Clubs etc.) Regulations 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

3    Family Law,—Draft Civil Partnership (Family Proceedings and Housing Consequential Amendments) Order 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Bridget Prentice].

4    Food,—Draft Healthy Start Scheme and Welfare Food (Amendment) Regulations 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

5    Judgements,—Draft Civil Partnership (Jurisdiction and Recognition of Judgements) Regulations 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Bridget Prentice].

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

6    Dangerous Drugs,—Misuse of Drugs and the Misuse of Drugs (Supply to Addicts) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 2864), dated 12th October 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Clarke].

7    Education,—Southwark London Borough Council (Prescribed Alteration) Order 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 2836), dated 11th October 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Ruth Kelly].

8    Environmental Protection,—Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) and National Emissions Inventory Regulations 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 2903), dated 16th October 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

Other Papers:

9    Companies,—Report of Companies in 2004-05 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 544] [Secretary Alan Johnson].

10    Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims,—Code of Practice for Victims of Crime [by Act] [Mr Secretary Clarke].

11    Education,—Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools for 2004-05 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 451] [Secretary Ruth Kelly].

12    Government Resources and Accounts,—Resource Accounts of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for 2004-05, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 471] [John Healey].

13    Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland),—Report of the Law Society of Northern Ireland on Legal Aid in Northern Ireland for the period 1st April to 31st October 2003, with the Reports of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Aid in Northern Ireland and the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Statutory Instrument]; to be printed [No. 463] [Bridget Prentice].

14    Miscellaneous (No. 6, 2005),—Agreement, done at Cardiff on 12th July 2005, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of the Netherlands regarding Collaboration in Centrifuge Technology, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 6680] [Mr Secretary Straw].

15    Northern Ireland (Monitoring Commission etc.),—Seventh Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission [by Statutory Instrument]; to be printed [No. 546] [Mr Secretary Hain].

16    Public Petitions,—Observations by the Secretary of State for Transport on the Petition [20th July] from people of Bicester and the surrounding area against the proposed reduction in the Oxford-Bicester rail service [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].

17    Treaty Series (No. 37, 2005),—Second Supplementary List of Ratifications, Accessions, Withdrawals, etc., for 2005 [by Command] [Cm. 6676] [Mr Secretary Straw].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

1    National Lottery Bill:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee A; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated seventeen Members to serve on the Committee: Adam Afriyie, Mr Adrian Bailey, Mr Richard Caborn, Mr Jim Devine, Mrs Natascha Engel, Mr Don Foster (Bath), Andrew Gwynne, Mr Tom Harris, John Mann, Mr Jamie Reed, Andrew Selous, Jo Swinson, Mr Hugo Swire, Emily Thornberry, Mr Andrew Turner, Mr Charles Walker and Claire Ward.

2    Draft Civil Partnership (Miscellaneous and Consequential Provisions) Order 2005 and the draft Social Security (Inherited SERPS) (Amendments relating to Civil Partnership) Regulations 2005:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Danny Alexander, Gordon Banks, Mr Tim Boswell, Peter Bottomley, Mrs Ann Cryer, Mr John Heppell, Mr Adam Holloway, Helen Jones, Eric Joyce, Mr Piara S. Khabra, Mr David Laws, Mrs Anne McGuire, Anne Moffat, Mr John Randall, Dr Gavin Strang and Mr Robert Walter.

3    Education (School Organisation Proposals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 1801):

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Henry Bellingham, Roger Berry, Mr Ian Cawsey, Mr Edward Davey, Mrs Nadine Dorries, Maria Eagle, Mr Stephen Hepburn, Mr Mark Hoban, Mrs Siān C. James, Ms Sally Keeble, Mr Austin Mitchell, Dan Norris, Mark Pritchard, Christine Russell, Mr Ian Taylor and Mark Williams.

4    Licensing Act 2003 (Second Appointed Day) Order 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 2091):

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated seventeen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Don Foster (Bath), Linda Gilroy, Andrew Gwynne, Mr Mike Hall, Huw Irranca-Davies, Mrs Theresa May, Mr Malcolm Moss, Kali Mountford, James Purnell, Andrew Selous, Grant Shapps, Ms Angela C. Smith (Sheffield, Hillsborough), Mr Gary Streeter, Jo Swinson, Kitty Ussher, Claire Ward and David Wright.

5    Draft Weights and Measures (Miscellaneous Foods) (Amendment) Order 2005:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Richard Benyon, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Michael Connarty, Jim Cousins, Mr David Crausby, Jon Cruddas, Mr Parmjit Dhanda, Mr David Evennett, Mr David Gauke, Charles Hendry, Norman Lamb, Anne Milton, Mr Alan Reid, John Smith, Ian Stewart and Mr Gerry Sutcliffe.

    European Standing Committees

6    Unnumbered letter dated 1st June 2005 relating to the draft Budget 2006:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Letter to the European Standing Committee; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated thirteen Members to serve on the Committee: Dr Vincent Cable, Mr Michael Clapham, Mr Vernon Coaker, Mr David Drew, Michael Fabricant, Mr Mark Francois, Patrick Hall, Chris Huhne, Mr Stewart Jackson, Mr Ivan Lewis, Mr Andrew Love, John Penrose and Mike Wood.

7    Unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 4th July 2005 relating to European Union Arms Exports:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Memorandum to the European Standing Committee; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated thirteen Members to serve on the Committee: Ed Balls, Mr Graham Brady, Mr Jeremy Browne, Mr Vernon Coaker, Mr Stephen Crabb, Dr Kim Howells, Ms Diana R. Johnson, Mr Gordon Marsden, David Mundell, Andrew Selous, Graham Stringer, Mr Mark Todd and Richard Younger-Ross.

8    EU Documents Nos. 8137/05, 8138/05 and 8139/05 relating to EU Contribution to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Documents to the European Standing Committee; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated thirteen Members to serve on the Committee: Richard Burden, Mr Vernon Coaker, Michael Jabez Foster, Andrew George, Mr David Hamilton, Greg Mulholland, Mr Gordon Prentice, Mr John Randall, Mr Lee Scott, Mark Simmonds, Mr Gareth Thomas, Mr Michael Wills and Jeremy Wright.

9    EU Document No. 8635/05 relating to Marketing of Genetically Modified Maize and EU Document No. 10785/05 relating to Marketing of Genetically Modified Maize for Resistance to Certain Pests and Herbicides,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Clive Betts and Mrs Louise Ellman from the European Standing Committee (nominated in respect of the Documents) and nominated in substitution Liz Blackman and Mr Frank Doran.

10    European Union Document No. 8630/05, relating to the control of avian influenza, has been referred to European Standing Committee A.

11    European Union Documents Nos. 11216/05 and 11452/05 and Addenda 1-2, relating to financial management, have been referred to European Standing Committee B.

    Private Business

12    Committee on Unopposed Bills (Panel),—Rosemary McKenna reported from the Committee of Selection, That it had appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee on Unopposed Bills under Standing Order 111 relating to Private Business (Reference to committees of opposed and unopposed Bills), viz: John Austin, Mr Adrian Bailey, Gordon Banks, Peter Bottomley, Sir John Butterfill, Colin Challen, Paul Farrelly, Mr Brian Jenkins, Helen Jones, Siobhain McDonagh, John Mann, Sir Robert Smith, Sir Peter Tapsell, Jon Trickett, Mr Robert Walter and Ann Winterton.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

1    Education and Skills,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Education and Skills Committee [Higher Education issues]; to be printed [No. 520-i] [Mr Barry Sheerman].

2    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee [The Reform of the EU Sugar Regime]; to be printed [No. 585-i] [Mr Michael Jack].

3    Environmental Audit,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Keeping the Lights on: Nuclear, Renewables and Climate Change]; to be printed [No. 584-i] [Mr Peter Ainsworth].

4    European Scrutiny,—(1) Sixth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 34-vi] ; and

    (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Ministerial Correspondence]

    [Jimmy Hood].

5    Foreign Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee [Foreign Policy Aspects of the War against Terrorism]; to be printed [No. 573-i] [Mike Gapes].

6    Public Accounts,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Responding to the challenges of European law]; to be printed [No. 590-i] [Mr Edward Leigh].

7    Science and Technology,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Science and Technology Committee [Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council: Introductory Hearing]; to be printed [No. 491-i]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Office of Science and Technology Scrutiny Report 2005]; to be printed [No. 490-i]

    [Mr Phil Willis].

8    Scottish Affairs,—(1) First Special Report from the Scottish Affairs Committee [Meeting Scotland's Future Energy Needs: Government Response to the Committee's Second Report of Session 2004-05 ]; to be printed [No. 579]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee on 29th June [Scotland Office Annual Report 2005]; to be printed [No. 580-i]

    [Mr Mohammed Sarwar].

9    Statutory Instruments,—Fifth Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 35-v] [Mr Eric Forth].

10    Transport,—(1) Fourth Special Report from the Transport Committee [Government Response to the Eighth Report from the Committee, Session 2004-05, on Search and Rescue]; to be printed [No. 586];

    (2) Fifth Special Report from the Committee [Government Response to the Fifth Report from the Committee, Session 2004-05, on Rural Railways]; to be printed [No. 587]; and

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Going for Gold: Delivering Excellent Transport for London's 2012 Olympic Games]; to be printed [No. 588-i]

    [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].

11    Treasury,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Sub-Committee of the Treasury Committee [National Savings and Investments Annual Report and Accounts 2004-05]; to be printed [No. 575-i] [Mr John McFall].

12    Work and Pensions,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Work and Pensions Committee [Disability and Carers Service]; to be printed [No.572] [Mr Terry Rooney].

[W.H., No. 26]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

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

Adjournment,—Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned.—(Mr Vernon Coaker.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 5.11 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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