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House of Commons
Session 2006 - 07
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 10th January 2007

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

PRAYERS.

1    Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee,—Dr William McCrea reported from the Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee the Stamp Duty Land Tax (Variation of the Finance Act 2003) Regulations 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 3237).

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

2    Protection of Listed Vehicles,—Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for the establishment of a scheme to promote the maintenance and preservation of certain vehicles of cultural value; and for connected purposes: And that Mr John Randall, Kelvin Hopkins, Mrs Janet Dean, John Thurso, Mr Greg Knight, Mr Gerald Howarth, Mr Robert Goodwill, Michael Fabricant, Andrew Rosindell, Mr Julian Brazier and Mr Greg Hands do prepare and bring it in.

3    Protection of Listed Vehicles Bill,—Mr John Randall accordingly presented a Bill to make provision for the establishment of a scheme to promote the maintenance and preservation of certain vehicles of cultural value; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 2nd February and to be printed [Bill 44].

4    Opposition Day [2nd 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.

    Community Maternity Services,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House supports the provision of high quality maternity services designed around the needs and wishes of expectant mothers and reconciling choice, access and safety; values the hard work of health professionals working in maternity care; endorses the need for every woman to be supported by the same midwife throughout her pregnancy; is deeply concerned at the closure or prospective closure of birth centres and maternity units and the consequent impact upon choice and access to services; regrets that the impacts of financial deficits and the Working Time Directive are forcing closures; welcomes and congratulates the cross-party opposition to such closures; and calls on the Government to respond positively to the demands for a national debate about the future configuration of maternity services—(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 'welcomes the extra investment in NHS maternity services under this Government; further welcomes the endorsement by the Royal College of Midwives of the ambitious vision for maternity services; notes that this investment has funded 2,400 more midwives than in 1997 and supported a 44 per cent. increase in students entering the midwifery profession, and that the latest surveys show that 8 out of 10 women say they are satisfied with their maternity care; recognises the preparatory work underway to deliver the Government's manifesto commitment that by 2009 all women will have the choice over where and how they have their baby and what pain relief to use, and that every woman will be supported by the same midwife throughout her pregnancy, with this support linked to other services provided in children's centres; supports the focus of services to tackle inequalities; and recognises that maternity services will need to continue to change in order to deliver this commitment and to ensure that the NHS provides the safest and most effective maternity care for babies, parents and families and the best possible value for money for taxpayers', instead thereof.—(Ms Secretary Hewitt.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Crispin Blunt, Andrew Rosindell: 237.

      Tellers for the Noes, Claire Ward, Liz Blackman: 324.

    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 extra investment in NHS maternity services under this Government; further welcomes the endorsement by the Royal College of Midwives of the ambitious vision for maternity services; notes that this investment has funded 2,400 more midwives than in 1997 and supported a 44 per cent. increase in students entering the midwifery profession, and that the latest surveys show that 8 out of 10 women say they are satisfied with their maternity care; recognises the preparatory work underway to deliver the Government's manifesto commitment that by 2009 all women will have the choice over where and how they have their baby and what pain relief to use, and that every woman will be supported by the same midwife throughout her pregnancy, with this support linked to other services provided in children's centres; supports the focus of services to tackle inequalities; and recognises that maternity services will need to continue to change in order to deliver this commitment and to ensure that the NHS provides the safest and most effective maternity care for babies, parents and families and the best possible value for money for taxpayers.

    Future of the Sub-Post Office Network,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House recognises the contribution that sub-post offices make in communities across the country; pays tribute to sub-postmasters and postmistresses for the service they provide; believes that sub-post offices have a key role to play in delivering new services in those communities for local councils, businesses and consumers; condemns the Government's short-sighted plan to close 2,500 sub-post offices; and urges the Government to allow sub-post offices greater freedom to develop their businesses—(Mr Alan Duncan);

    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 'acknowledges the important role that post offices play in local communities, particularly in rural and deprived urban areas; recognises that the business environment in which Royal Mail and the post office network are operating is undergoing radical change, with more and more people choosing new electronic ways to communicate, pay bills and access Government services; applauds the Government's record of working closely with Royal Mail, Post Office Ltd. and sub-postmasters to help them meet these challenges with an unprecedented investment of more than ú2 billion made by the Government in supporting the network since 1999; endorses the Government's firm commitment to ensuring the continuation of the network, while acknowledging the widely held view that its present size is unsustainable; supports the Government's approach of allowing Royal Mail the freedom to respond to future commercial challenges and opportunities, and in particular enabling Post Office Limited to determine the future shape of the network within clear Government rules governing criteria for local access, a requirement to develop new "outreach" services, full public consultation on proposals for each affected area and a continuing commitment to social network payments by the Government to reflect sub-post offices' social role; and welcomes the Government's renewed commitment to allowing the public to get their pensions and benefits in cash from post offices if they choose to do so, including a successor to the Post Office card account when the current contract expires in 2010', instead thereof.—(Mr Secretary Darling.)

    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, Mr Tobias Ellwood, Mr Crispin Blunt: 241.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Alan Campbell, Mr Ian Cawsey: 310.

    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 Alan Campbell, Mr Ian Cawsey: 301.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Tobias Ellwood, Mr Crispin Blunt: 228.

    So the Question was agreed to.

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

    Resolved, That this House acknowledges the important role that post offices play in local communities, particularly in rural and deprived urban areas; recognises that the business environment in which Royal Mail and the post office network are operating is undergoing radical change, with more and more people choosing new electronic ways to communicate, pay bills and access Government services; applauds the Government's record of working closely with Royal Mail, Post Office Ltd. and sub-postmasters to help them meet these challenges with an unprecedented investment of more than ú2 billion made by the Government in supporting the network since 1999; endorses the Government's firm commitment to ensuring the continuation of the network, while acknowledging the widely held view that its present size is unsustainable; supports the Government's approach of allowing Royal Mail the freedom to respond to future commercial challenges and opportunities, and in particular enabling Post Office Limited to determine the future shape of the network within clear Government rules governing criteria for local access, a requirement to develop new "outreach" services, full public consultation on proposals for each affected area and a continuing commitment to social network payments by the Government to reflect sub-post offices' social role; and welcomes the Government's renewed commitment to allowing the public to get their pensions and benefits in cash from post offices if they choose to do so, including a successor to the Post Office card account when the current contract expires in 2010.

5    Public Petitions,—Public Petitions from—

    (1) supporters of the Keep South Reddish Railway Station Open campaign against Network Rail's proposals for the closure of stations on the Stockport to Stalybridge railway line; and

    (2) Courtney's Campaign for amendment of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

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

6    Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Kevin Brennan.)

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

[Adjourned at 7.58 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:

Other Papers:

1    Cabinet Office,—Paper, entitled Transformational Government: Enabled by Technology: Annual Report 2006 [by Command] [Cm. 6970] [Hilary Armstrong].

2    Health and Social Care,—Report of the Commission for Social Care Inspection: the state of social care in England 2005-06 [by Act] [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

Papers withdrawn:

3    Mental Capacity,—Draft Mental Capacity Act 2005 (Loss of Capacity during Research Project) (England) Regulations 2006 [laid 30th October in the last Session of Parliament].

APPENDIX II

General Committees

1    Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill (Programming Sub-Committee),—The Speaker has appointed Mr Don Foster, Barbara Follett, Huw Irranca-Davies, Mr Mark Lancaster, Mr Jamie Reed, Mr Edward Vaizey and Mr Shaun Woodward members of the Programming Sub-Committee of the Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill Committee

2    Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed Mr Derek Conway Chairman of the Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill Committee; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated seventeen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Russell Brown, Barbara Follett, Mr Don Foster (Bath), Nia Griffith, Mr John Grogan, Paul Holmes, Huw Irranca-Davies, Mr Mark Lancaster, Mr Jamie Reed, John Robertson, Helen Southworth, Mr Robert Syms, Mark Tami, Mr Edward Vaizey, Mr Rob Wilson, Mr Shaun Woodward and Jeremy Wright.

3    Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill (Programming Sub-Committee),—The Speaker has appointed Mr Michael Foster, Paul Goggins, Mr Mark Lancaster, Dan Norris, Lembit Ípik, Mr Laurence Robertson and Lynda Waltho members of the Programming Sub-Committee of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill Committee.

4    Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed Sir Nicholas Winterton and Janet Anderson Chairmen of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill Committee; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated twenty-three Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Adrian Bailey, Mr Peter Bone, Rosie Cooper, Mark Durkan, Natascha Engel, Mr Michael Foster (Worcester), Paul Goggins, Mr Stephen Hepburn, Lady Hermon, Meg Hillier, Mr Stewart Jackson, Mr Mark Lancaster, Dr William McCrea, Dan Norris, Lembit Ípik, Dr Nick Palmer, Bridget Prentice, Mr Alan Reid, Mr Laurence Robertson, Chris Ruane, Lynda Waltho, Sammy Wilson and David Wright.

5    Statistics and Registration Service Bill (Programming Sub-Committee),—The Speaker has appointed Kevin Brennan, Dr Vincent Cable, Mr David Evennett, John Healey, Dr Brian Iddon, Sarah McCarthy-Fry and Mrs Theresa Villiers members of the Programming Sub-Committee of the Statistics and Registration Service Bill Committee.

6    Statistics and Registration Service Bill Committee:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed Sir John Butterfill and Mr Bill Olner Chairmen of the Statistics and Registration Service Bill Committee; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated twenty-one Members to serve on the Committee: Ms Celia Barlow, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Kevin Brennan, Dr Vincent Cable, Jim Dobbin, Mr Brian H. Donohoe, Mr David Evennett, Mr Michael Fallon, Mr David Gauke, Julia Goldsworthy, John Healey, Mr Mark Hoban, Stewart Hosie, Dr Brian Iddon, Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Fiona Mactaggart, Rob Marris, Alun Michael, Mr Brooks Newmark, Mr Andy Reed and Mrs Theresa Villiers.

7    Income Tax Bill:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed Mr David Wilshire Chairman of the Second Reading Committee on the Bill; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated seventeen Members to serve on the Committee: Kevin Brennan, Mr Nicholas Brown, Dr Vincent Cable, Mr Philip Dunne, Mr David Evennett, Mr Mark Field, Paul Flynn, Mr Mark Francois, John Healey, John Hemming, Alan Keen, Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Kali Mountford, Mr George Mudie, Robert Neill, Mark Tami and Mr Tom Watson.

8    Motion in respect of the Electoral Commission in the name of Mr Jack Straw:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Motion to the First Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Mr Mike Hancock Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated seventeen Members to serve on the Committee: Adam Afriyie, Mr Bob Ainsworth, Mr Richard Bacon, Tony Baldry, John Battle, Mr Paul Burstow, Mrs Louise Ellman, Mr Tobias Ellwood, Paul Farrelly, Nigel Griffiths, Mr David Heath, Mr Denis MacShane, Mr Austin Mitchell, Paddy Tipping, Mr Don Touhig, Mr Shailesh Vara and Dr Rudi Vis.

9    Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (S.R. (N.I.), 2006, No. 439):

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Regulations to the Second Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Mr Hywel Williams Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated twenty-three Members to serve on the Committee: Ms Diane Abbott, Mr Clive Betts, Ms Karen Buck, Lorely Burt, Jeremy Corbyn, Mark Durkan, Angela Eagle, Mr Michael Foster (Worcester), Mr David Hanson, Dr Evan Harris, Lady Hermon, Mr Mark Lancaster, Chris McCafferty, Mr Andrew Mackay, Fiona Mactaggart, Mr Michael Mates, Dan Norris, Mr Gordon Prentice, Mr Laurence Robertson, Mrs Iris Robinson, Mr Si˘n Simon, David Simpson and Mr Dennis Skinner.

10    Stamp Duty Land Tax (Variation of the Finance Act 2003) Regulations 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 3237),—The Committee of Selection has discharged Sarah McCarthy-Fry from the Fourth Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Regulations) and nominated in substitution Ms Diana R. Johnson

    European Standing Committees

11    The Speaker has appointed Sir Nicholas Winterton Chairman of the European Standing Committee in respect of European Union Document No. 13347/06 on EU Enlargement: Bulgaria and Romania.

12    The Speaker has appointed Dr William McCrea Chairman of the European Standing Committee in respect of European Union Document No. (SEC (06) 1195/4) on EC Action on Health Services.

13    European Union Document No. 13193/05 relating to Consumer Credit:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed Mr Martyn Jones Chairman of the European Standing Committee on the Document; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated thirteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Richard Benyon, Colin Burgon, Mr David Burrowes, Lorely Burt, Tony Cunningham, Mr Tobias Ellwood, David Howarth, Mr Ian McCartney, Andrew Mackinlay, Mr Alan Milburn, Anne Moffat, Mr Mark Prisk and Mr Neil Turner.

14    Unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 28th November 2006, submitted by HM Treasury, relating to 2005 Annual Reports of the European Court of Auditors, has been referred to European Standing Committee B together with European Union Documents No. 11399/06, No. 11660/06 and Addenda 1 and 2, Unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 10th October 2006, No.14431/06 and Addendum 1 and No. 14630/06 and Addendum 1, relating to Financial Management, already referred to the Committee on 18th October in the last Session of Parliament and 29th November.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

1    Education and Skills,—(1) Public Expenditure: Government's Response to the Fifth Report from the Committee, Session 2005-06: First Special Report from the Education and Skills Committee; to be printed [No. 211]; and

    (2) Bologna Process:

      (i) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed [No. 205-i]; and

      (ii) Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be published

    [Mr Barry Sheerman].

2    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,—(1) The work of the Committee 2006: First Report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 213]; and

    (2) Climate Change: the "citizen's agenda": Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee, to be printed [No.88-iv]

    [Mr Michael Jack].

3    European Scrutiny,—(1) Fifth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 41-v]; and

    (2) Ministerial Correspondence: Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be published

    [Michael Connarty].

4    Foreign Affairs,—(1) The Work of the Committee in 2005 and 2006: First Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee, with Annexes; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 206]; and

    (2) Visit to Guantanamo Bay: Second Report from the Committee, with Appendices and Memoranda; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 44]

    [Mike Gapes].

5    Public Accounts,—Reducing reliance on landfill: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts; to be printed [No. 212-i] [Mr Edward Leigh].

6    Science and Technology,—Space Policy: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee on Science and Technology; to be printed [No. 66-ii] [Mr Phil Willis].

7    Transport,—The Draft Transport Plan for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Transport Committee; to be printed [No. 199-i] [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].

8    Treasury,—(1) Debt Management Office Report and Accounts for 2005-06: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Sub-Committee of the Treasury Committee, with Memoranda; to be printed [No. 190-i];

    (2) Government Actuary's Departmental Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2005-06: Memoranda laid before the Sub-Committee; to be printed [No. 194]; and

    (3) HM Revenue and Customs: Spring Departmental Report 2006: Memoranda laid before the Sub-Committee; to be printed [No. 51]

    [John McFall].

[W.H., No. 11]

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.—(Huw Irranca-Davies.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 5.09 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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