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4 Nov 2002 : Column 124—continued

Dr. Brian Iddon (Bolton, South-East): Does my hon. Friend agree that the views of registration officers should be taken into account and that security of the records is important?

Ruth Kelly: I agree. I appreciate my hon. Friend's interest in the welfare of registration officers. We have consulted them closely in developing the proposals, and we intend to take account of their views. We agree that there is a balance to maintain between security of, and open access to, the relevant data. We are committed to finding an appropriate balance.

As I said, we want to respond to emerging public demand and we hope that local authorities will be in a position to take advantage of the new proposals.

Question put and agreed to.

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