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Baroness Hanham: My Lords, as I pointed out in Committee, the noble Baroness was not even speaking with the same voice as her colleagues in another place. Perhaps they have also changed their minds. I assume they have.

The noble Lord repeatedly says that we want to delay the Bill. In fact, we are not much in favour of it, but it will be a Bill and it needs to make sense. When considering regions, one of the areas that needs to make sense is the regional boundaries. That is why I have pushed the issue not only in Committee but also at this stage.

In reality, the Government will never be able to look at the boundaries again. Once a regional assembly is in place, that will set the boundaries for evermore. They

7 Apr 2003 : Column 47

will not be able to review them. The Minister's idea that perhaps at some stage, somewhere down the line, a boundaries review might take place seems, in reality, just Cloud-cuckoo-land. As we have pointed out, any reform of boundaries or local government will be appreciated. Regional government is not local government; it is defined as something else. But any time that issue is considered at a later stage, there will be even more difficulty and more problems than if it was looked at at this stage.

I understand the view of the Minister; I hear what the Liberal Democrats say; but I should like to test the opinion of the House.

5.22 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 111; Not-Contents, 160.

Division No. 1


Aberdare, L.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Bell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Feldman, L.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Fowler, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Jellicoe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lindsay, E.
Luke, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Noakes, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Powell of Bayswater, L.
Prior, L.
Pym, L.
Quinton, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wilcox, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Boothroyd, B.
Borrie, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fearn, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Orme, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Portsmouth, Bp.
Prys-Davies, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Sandberg, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

7 Apr 2003 : Column 49

5.33 p.m.

Lord Hanningfield moved Amendment No. 4:

    Page 1, line 7, at end insert—

"( ) No order under subsection (1) shall be made until a draft Bill setting out the powers, responsibilities and constitutional arrangements of elected regional assemblies has been published by the Secretary of State and laid before both Houses of Parliament for scrutiny."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment returns to a core theme of our debates on the Bill. We have discussed this matter at Second Reading and in Committee. Many comments have been made by the Minister and others on this theme. Voters should have such information and knowledge before a referendum.

The Government published the White Paper, Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions, about which we have heard much and which we have all read in considerable detail. Over the past few days we have asked for more information about the powers and responsibilities of any regional assembly, along the lines of the amendment tabled by my noble friend Lord Peyton.

The amendment is tabled to try to gain a commitment from the Government that they will publish a draft Bill. We would like to have seen legislation in place and our original amendments were along those lines. During Committee—one has to be realistic—we were accused several times, as we have been in the past few days, of moving amendments to wreck the Bill. We all acknowledge that the Government will achieve their Bill and that at some stage we shall have a referendum—maybe at the end of next year if all the information is ready by then. The Government want to hold a referendum in one or more regions. Therefore it is vital that people know what the assemblies will do. There is much uncertainty about the situation.

The amendment seeks to put on the face of the Bill that there should be a draft Bill stating the powers and responsibilities of regional government. That is along the lines on which the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee,

7 Apr 2003 : Column 50

has spoken of and I hope she will support it now. I believe the feeling of the House is that the Government should say where we are going.

There is little knowledge of this subject. In a MORI poll in the South East of England—I do not believe much in polls—80 per cent had no idea about regional government. When asked what they thought a regional government would do, 90 per cent put education first. I do not believe that that is one of the powers that will be dealt with by regional assemblies.

In tabling this amendment I hope that the Government will assure the House that they will bring forward a draft Bill before any referendum takes place and that such a provision will be put on the face of the Bill. I beg to move.

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