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Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is not the House suffering a selfish abuse of the procedure? The understanding is that these Adjournment debates are limited to three hours and that each of us should show some kind of restraint. Parading constituency problem after constituency problem is not a proper use of a Wednesday morning.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Morris): I have to say to the hon. Gentleman that the hon. Member who is speaking is entirely in order, in relation to the subject before us.

Mr. Tony Banks (Newham, North-West): Tedious repetition.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. There has been no repetition. If there had been, I would have intervened.

Mr. Banks: Well, it has been very tedious.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I would have intervened had there been repetition. I imagine that the hon. Member who is speaking will notice how many other hon. Members wish to contribute.

Mr. Field: If the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) had had the courtesy to intervene, I would have given way to him. I hope that he would have accepted-- because he is reasonable--that I have a cogent explanation for my speech this morning.

Since I came to the House in 1987, I have never made an entire speech about the Isle of Wight. I am the only Member who represents an entire county in its own right, and we have a number of problems. Not least, I am the only Member who represents more than 100,000 constituents, and this is the first occasion on which I have endeavoured, and am endeavouring, to make a comprehensive speech about the Isle of Wight. I am sorry if Opposition Members find it tedious: I am sure that my constituents do not. I can tell the hon. Member for Linlithgow that I do not intend to have a similar marathon in the future, having made this speech.

However, I have a number of other, separate points that I intend to raise this morning.

Mr. Banks: Tut-tut.

Mr. Field: The tut-tutting from Opposition Members would be more reasonable if they understood the considerable pressure and work load that having more than 100,000 constituents brings.

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I shall continue. Sadly, this week, a policeman was stabbed on the Isle of Wight. I am pleased to say that his injuries will not cause him to be off work for long, but I am sure that we wish him a speedy recovery. I am pleased that the House is addressing the subject of the carrying of knives in public places. The hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) has already--and rightly--raised that subject this morning.

There is considerable frustration on the Isle of Wight that we cannot get our local authority to take seriously the installation of closed circuit television cameras in public places. I am not suggesting that the island needs to be blanketed by them--fortunately, we have a considerably lower crime rate than the rest of the United Kingdom-- but many people on the island believe, and I am sure it is a universal opinion, that CCTV can make a major contribution to reducing crime, particularly petty vandalism in public places.

I am pleased that the Chancellor made provision for that in the Budget. We do not seem to be making much progress on its installation on the island, although I believe that the council, in conjunction with the police, will submit a bid for CCTV shortly.

We have the highest level of seasonal unemployment in the United Kingdom, which is another reason why I feel fully justified in taking up the time of the House this morning. In the past few days, however, we have benefited from the single regeneration budget.

There is a feeling on the island that glad tidings are about to come to us from the Government in the form of the assistance that they will give us. The business link has been established, and it is beginning to extend its tentacles throughout the island to draw together all the agencies of Government. I am sure that it will grapple with the intractable problem of seasonal unemployment, from which the island has suffered for so many years.

I still wonder why the Department for Education and Employment, the Isle of Wight council or business link has not conducted a survey of the number of people who commute to work from the mainland to the Isle of Wight. My constituency has one of the highest unemployment rates of all Conservative constituencies, and it seems extraordinary that a contingent of people commute to the Isle of Wight to work. We should endeavour to address that mismatch.

This week, the island's citizens advice bureau received the largest grant of those given throughout the south of England--more than £300,000--to assist its work on the island. I am particularly pleased about that, because our CAB has had problems in obtaining funding locally in the past. I am sure that that funding will ensure that it gives an efficient service to all my constituents throughout the island, and not just those in Newport, as it did hitherto.

The Isle of Wight's roads are notorious. When one drives off the car ferry, there is, for some reason, a large sign, erected courtesy of the council, which says, "Island roads are different", and indeed they are. They are rather corrugated. One former Transport Minister, who knows the Isle of Wight extremely well, said that the island's geological formation is a road maker's nightmare.

We have some serious traffic problems on the island. We have conducted some experiments, such as removing double yellow lines, to try to improve the lot of local

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traders who have suffered from the arrival of large supermarkets on the island, which have absorbed a considerable amount of the traders' business.

Like other hon. Members, I am concerned that my council continues to pursue traders who operate on the pavements. Given that the Isle of Wight is a holiday resort, I think such trading is perfectly reasonable and acceptable, and adds to the holiday atmosphere. I am sad that that trading practice is frowned upon where the pavement is wide enough to allow it.

The island recently received a substantial grant from lottery funds for its housing advice centre. I backed that bid, and I am pleased that the Department of the Environment has also given the centre money. My right hon. Friend might like to know that the Liberal Democrats opposed the allocation of that money, on the ground that the centre was also receiving income from Shelter.

That centre has made a considerable improvement to the advice that young people and those threatened with homelessness receive. It has also assisted them in finding accommodation. The centre is greatly trusted by all parties on the island, because of the excellence and professionalism of its advice. It has made great strides, and its professional, specialist advice has helped to lessen the work load of the CAB. I should like my right hon. Friend to pass on my thanks to Ministers at the Department of the Environment for their support in the early stages of establishing the centre.

The Isle of Wight has a number of bids in for the millennium fund. My own proposal, which I hope will be accepted, is for the establishment of a national civil war museum on the island. As everyone in the House is aware, at the other end of the building lies the arrest warrant for King Charles I, which was served at Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight.

Although it is understandable that no nation would wish to celebrate a civil war, sufficient years have now passed, and we should try to draw together all the artefacts and historic memorabilia from around the country in one national museum. People could visit it to learn about the incarceration of King Charles 1, and how that affected the island. In due course, I hope that that museum could become a national centre of excellence, as well as an archive of that remarkable period of history.

Mr. Winnick: I do not want to antagonise the hon. Gentleman, because I hope that he will support my private Member's Bill. I have already spoken, so I have no personal motive in asking the hon. Gentleman to bear in mind the fact that this is a time-restricted debate. He has spoken for half an hour, and if he continues to speak he will deprive many other hon. Members, Conservative and Labour, of the opportunity of speaking. I have no motive in saying that, other than that I think he is being extremely unfair. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will accept that criticism in the spirit in which it is intended.

Mr. Field: It is Christmas, so I will. I also think that it is extremely unfair that Opposition Members get the same allowance for office costs as I do, when, after the next election I shall have almost half as many constituents again as the rest of them. I make no complaint about that, however, because it is a great privilege to be here. I must repeat that I have never been selfish since I was elected in 1987, and I am coming to a conclusion, but I have just two more points to make.

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Under the Budget, the relief on capital gains tax was not extended. The yield from CGT has been considerably reduced because of the roll-over reinvestment available on unquoted shares. To combat that low yield, I suggest to the Treasury that, if the relief was extended to allow for investment in housing associations and external loans for investment in private housing schemes for renting-- a Budget proposal--the yield from CGT would not alter, but it would be targeted at the private housing market and give it the oomph it needs.

My right hon. Friend will be aware that the Evening Standard has recently run an effective campaign about the problems of long leaseholds and landlords who take advantage of them. We have a lot of Victorian property on the island which has been converted into multiple-occupation housing and sold on long leases, so we have had problems with leases in the past. I was interested to note that the Evening Standard mentioned companies that were in a similar location to some that had caused me and my constituents considerable problems.

The cry for more legislation goes up yet again. If the Department of the Environment were to join with the Department of Trade and Industry, their combined weight against a company which is sailing very close to the wind would prove a very effective force. They could apply pressure to the directors of the company, and perhaps make public the organisation's activities. That would be much more effective than again opting for primary legislation, and it might well prove a more speedy solution.

That brings me, finally, to the question of deregulation. As hon. Members know, I am the Chairman of the Deregulation Committee, and it is a matter of personal regret to me that we shall not be able to dance on new year's eve--which falls on a Sunday this year--as dancing is prohibited in this country on a Sunday. I had hoped that the deregulation order would be passed to allow people to celebrate the new year, but the other place decided that that was an inappropriate use of a deregulation order. Therefore, I know that this year our constituents throughout the United Kingdom will sit at home cuddling a cup of Bovril instead of dancing. That is very sad.

In the new year, we should examine deregulation proposals and consider giving local authorities the discretion to exercise some of the powers they used to have. In my keenness to vote in the House for a unitary authority on the Isle of Wight and the Local Government Commission, I was surprised to learn that we were also voting for the commission to consider the issue of parish and town councils. As you know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, in the old days, if a proportion of the local population-- I think that the figure was two thirds, but I may be wrong--declared that they required a parish council, the local authority would put that proposal to the Secretary of State, who could then allow it.

I am now told that that is impossible without a complete review by the Local Government Commission. That band of wandering minstrels rumbles around the country while local communities, that would desperately like to have a parish council are no longer afforded that option. A deregulation order could be brought before the House to deal with that situation, and return that power to local authorities.

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If that cannot be done, my noble Friend Lord Mottistone in the other place is in the early stages of producing a Bill with the Government that will allow East Cowes to have a parish council. The Local Government Commission envisaged in its report that the Isle of Wight should have a unitary authority. In his capacity as Lord President of the Council, I hope that my right hon. Friend will ensure that all Government Departments give full force to my noble Friend's proposals, if that is the only alternative open to the people of the Isle of Wight.


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