Andrew Selous (SouthWest Bedfordshire): I wish to present a petition bearing the signatures of more than 400 residents of the village of Totternhoe, in Bedfordshire, to which I am pleased to add my support.
The Humble Petition of residents of Totternhoe, Bedfordshire
Sheweth that the narrow roads of Totternhoe were not made for heavy goods vehicles to pass through the village, and that the size, noise and speed of these vehicles are abhorrent to the petitioners. In addition, when the "Green Wave" starts in Dunstable the position will worsen and the number of lorries increase.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House shall urge the Government and local authorities to impose a 7.5 tonne weight restriction order, except for access, in Stanbridge Road, Castle Hill Road and Dunstable Road, Totternhoe.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.
You will be aware, Mr. Speaker, that we attempted to deal with this matter yesterday evening, and I simply seek your guidance as to where the House now stands on this motion. It appears that the motion provides for three hours for the Adjournment debate on Monday, but that the Division that will decide the matter is not until Wednesday. The House would be grateful for your guidance as to what is likely to happen on Monday. The Leader of the House said that there will be a statement, and there are two other items of business that we know about: Second Reading of the Mobile Telephones (Re-Programming) Bill, and the motions to establish the Transport Committee and the Committee on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Given that Monday is already
Mr. Speaker: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving me notice of his point of order. Monday's business will go ahead without account being taken of the proposal in the motion before the House yesterday, which was not decided on. By the time that the deferred Division on that motion is taken, it will be too late for it to have effect; however, the Chair has no power to cancel the deferred Division. The right hon. Gentleman may wish to take up, through the usual channels, how this odd situation may be dealt with.
Mr. Forth: Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am most grateful for that guidance, although I doubt whether anybody else will be. However, it raises another matter relating to the Adjournment debate itself. Will it be within the gift of the Government to arrange business on Monday so that we can have an Adjournment debate of a proper length? I see the distinct danger that, if the business that we know about is in any way prolongedand if the Government insist that we stop at 10 o'clock, for examplethe Adjournment debate could be squeezed very severely. Can you confirm that it is now a matter for the Government as to whether proper time be allowed for the Adjournment debate?
Mrs. Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your advice because I am very concerned about what appears to be the incredible shrinking Order Paper before the House today. On Monday, 63 Bills were down for consideration today, on Tuesday there were 64, and on Wednesday we had an embarrassment of riches67 Bills. Yesterday, 68 Bills were listed for consideration today, all of which have some merit and are certainly worthy of closer examination.
Today, however, only 49 Bills are on the Order Paper, and I seek your advice, Mr. Speaker, on what has happened to the others. I want to know why they are not before the House today and whether some dirty deal behind the bike sheds has been done to get rid of them, thereby robbing this House of the opportunity to scrutinise them in any way, shape or form. Can you advise me whether it is possible to find out if undue pressure has been brought to bear on any Member to withdraw his or her Bill? That information would be most helpful to other Members, and certainly to Opposition Members.
Mr. Speaker: I am always happy to advise the hon. Lady. Bills that are not printed are not included on the Order Paper. Of course, hon. Members of this House would not tolerate undue pressure from any quarter.
Bob Spink (Castle Point): On a very pleasant point of order, Mr. Speaker. As this is the day on which Trevor Dann, the Principal Doorkeeper, announced your arrival in this House for the last time before his retirement, will you advise us whether this would be an appropriate time
Mr. Speaker: The hon. Gentleman gives me the opportunity to say that I have known those officers for a long time, and they have been conscientious, hard-working and most obliging to all Members of the House. I wish them all well in their retirement and thank them for their excellent service to the House.
Mr. David Wilshire (Spelthorne): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to page 1088 of the Votes and Proceedings for yesterday, which reports the deliberations of the Reasons Committee in respect of the Lords amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Bill? I was a member of that Committee and I found myself in a difficult position, so I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, as to how one should deal with the situation that developed.
Because it is not appropriate to provide any such exceptions, the House having reached its decision without the opportunity for debate."
Mr. Speaker: The responsibility of the Reasons Committee is to give reasons as to why certain legislation has been dealt with in a certain way. It is not for me to interfere with the business of the Reasons Committee. It has put down a reason and that will be sent to the other place.
Mr. Stephen McCabe (Birmingham, Hall Green): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Can it be in order for any Member of the House to seek your absolution because he regrets his own voting record?
'Where an assistance dog being carried in a private hire vehicle causes damage, vomits, urinates or defecates therein then the disabled person accompanying the assistance dog shall be liable for the full cost of repairing and cleaning the private hire vehicle, the amount being recoverable as a civil debt.'.[Sir Sydney Chapman.]