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That this House takes note of European Union Document No. 7430/02, draft Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on working conditions for temporary workers; and supports the Government's initial approach to negotiations.[Mr. Kemp.]
That the Local Government Finance (England) Special Grant Report (No. 102) (HC 943), on Children's Services (Quality Protects) Special Grants for 200102 and 200203, which was laid before this House on 19th June, be approved.
That the draft African Development Fund (Additional Subscriptions) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 27th June, be approved.
That the draft Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, which were laid before this House on 27th June, be approved.[Mr. Kemp.]
Mr. Christopher Chope (Christchurch): I wish to present the first of two petitions condemning the Royal Parks Agency's plan to close Pen Ponds car park in Richmond park, which has facilitated popular access to the park for more than 70 years. The hon. Member for Richmond Park (Dr. Tonge) is also presenting a petition, with signatures largely from her constituents.
This petition has been signed by many hundreds of people living outside the Richmond Park constituency, in areas including Putney and Roehampton, Kingston, Battersea, Tooting, Twickenham, Sutton, Cheltenham, West Sussex, Guildford, Portsmouth and indeed Christchurch. That shows that this is not just a local but, more important, a national issue.
Mr. Andrew Rosindell (Romford): I wish to present a petition on behalf of the residents of the Gidea park community in my constituency, where it is proposed to close the doctor's surgery in Belgrave avenue. The petition reads:
Declares that the Belgrave Avenue Surgery in Romford is an essential part of the local community, and that they are opposed to the proposed closure.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for Health to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the surgery is permitted to remain open and serve the residents of Gidea Park.
Dr. Jenny Tonge (Richmond Park): The petition from my constituents and those of the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Colman), and national users of Richmond park, has attracted 16,500 signatures. It declares that
Mr. Kevan Jones (North Durham): May I begin by saying how pleased I am to have secured tonight's debate? It allows me not only to highlight the excellent work of museums in the north-east, but to emphasise the fact that not all of our national treasures are located in London. A truly national policy on museums and galleries must recognise the immense value of regional museums and the contribution that they make to our country's historical and cultural life.
The north-east has a long, diverse and proud historical pastfrom the Roman settlement, through the early examples of Anglo-Saxon Christianity, to the 18th and 19th centuries, when industry in the north-east played a key role in Britain's earning the title of the "workshop of the world". Much has been written about the decline of the north-east in the past 30 years, and it is true that it has been through hard times. However, a strong part of the region's character is its proud sense of history, along with a willingness to change and to adapt to face future challenges.
Such cherishing of the past but adapting for the future is exemplified in the work of the region's museums. They are varied in terms of both size and subjects covered, and they contribute to the region's tourism industry, which the Northumbria Tourist Board estimates is worth some £738 million to the north-east's economy. Last year, more than 3 million people visited museums in the north-east. They directly employ more than 600 people, along with countless seasonal workers and an army of unpaid volunteers, who give of their time freely to help their local museum. Those individuals in particular should be thanked, and their hard work on behalf of museums not just in the north-east, but nationwide, should be recognised.
One strand of the north-east's rich web of museums is Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum, which is in my constituency. A living and working museum that was created in the past 30 years, Beamish covers some 300 acres of a greenfield site, and depicts life in the north-east in the 1800s and 1900s. Last year, it attracted more than 320,000 visitors, 50,000 of whom were children. Children are allowed to wander freely across the site. They can walk down a 19th-century street, complete with trams, travel on a steam locomotive, or visit a coal mine to experience some of the harsher conditions of Victorian life.
What we see today is testimony to the foresight of Beamish's early advocates and the key role played by local authorities in its development. Such organisations worked together by pooling resources and, in doing so, they recognised that Beamish has a regional significance outside their own municipal boundaries. For that, they should be congratulated.
Joyce Quin (Gateshead, East and Washington, West): My hon. Friend mentions the partnership work of local authorities in promoting the cultural sector. Will he join me in congratulating Gateshead and Sunderland councils on achieving beacon status through their work in the