6 July 2015 : Column 121

6 July 2015 : Column 122

6 July 2015 : Column 123

6 July 2015 : Column 124

Amendment proposed: 123, page 34, line 13, at end insert,

“including a requirement for gender balance among the members of the Scottish Parliament and members of boards of Scottish public authorities;”—(Ian Murray.)

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 193, Noes 313.

Division No. 39]

[

8.50 pm

AYES

Abrahams, Debbie

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Arkless, Richard

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Dr Roberta

Blomfield, Paul

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Buck, Ms Karen

Burgon, Richard

Butler, Dawn

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Jenny

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cox, Jo

Creagh, Mary

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Fletcher, Colleen

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Godsiff, Mr Roger

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harpham, Harry

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Hayman, Sue

Healey, rh John

Hendrick, Mr Mark

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hillier, Meg

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollern, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kinnock, Stephen

Kyle, Peter

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lynch, Holly

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

McCabe, Steve

McCarthy, Kerry

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGinn, Conor

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Murray, Ian

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Owen, Albert

Pearce, Teresa

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Powell, Lucy

Pugh, John

Qureshi, Yasmin

Rayner, Angela

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees, Christina

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Ryan, rh Joan

Shah, Naz

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sherriff, Paula

Shuker, Mr Gavin

Siddiq, Tulip

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smeeth, Ruth

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Spellar, rh Mr John

Starmer, Keir

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turley, Anna

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, rh Keith

Vaz, Valerie

West, Catherine

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Tom Blenkinsop

and

Graham Jones

NOES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Allen, Heidi

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kinahan, Danny

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mordaunt, Penny

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Tredinnick, David

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

Margot James

and

George Hollingbery

Question accordingly negatived.

6 July 2015 : Column 125

6 July 2015 : Column 126

6 July 2015 : Column 127

6 July 2015 : Column 128

Clauses 32 to 37, schedule 2 and clauses 38 to 45 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 46

Gaelic Media Service

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

The Temporary Chairman (Sir David Amess): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Clauses 47 and 48 stand part.

Amendment 157, in clause 49, page 49, line 6, after “operator” insert—

“or not for profit operator”.

Amendment 158, in clause 49, page 49, line 8, leave out “does not” and insert “may”.

Clause 49 stand part.

Amendment 149, in clause 50, page 49, leave out from beginning of line 32 to line 50 on page 50 and insert—

‘(4) The Scottish Ministers may not make regulations under section 9 unless they have consulted the Secretary of State about the proposed regulations.

(5) Subsection (1) does not prevent the Secretary of State making a support scheme in relation to Scotland under section 9, or varying or revoking regulations made by the Scottish

6 July 2015 : Column 129

Ministers under that section with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers”

This amendment would remove the requirement in Clause 50 for the agreement of the Secretary of State as a pre-requisite to the exercise of certain powers by the Scottish Minister. It includes a requirement for the agreement of Scottish Ministers before the Secretary of State may vary or revoke instruments made by the Scottish Ministers.

Clause 50 stand part.

Amendment 150, in clause 51, page 52, leave out from beginning of line 10 to end of line 3 on page 53 and insert—

‘(5) The Scottish Ministers may not make an order under section 33BC unless they have consulted the Secretary of State about the proposed order.

(6) The power of the Secretary of State to make an order under section 33BC is exercisable so as to make any provision that may be made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, or vary or revoke an order made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, but only with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.”

This amendment would remove the requirement in Clause 51 for the agreement of the Secretary of State as a pre-requisite to the exercise of certain powers by the Scottish Minister. It includes a requirement for the agreement of Scottish Ministers before the Secretary of State may vary or revoke instruments made by the Scottish Ministers.

Amendment 151, page 53, leave out from beginning of line 45 to end of line 37 on page 54 and insert—

‘(5) The Scottish Ministers may not make an order under section 33BD unless they have consulted the Secretary of State about the proposed order

(6) The power of the Secretary of State to make an order under section 33BD is exercisable so as to make any provision that may be made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, or vary or revoke an order made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, but only with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.”

This amendment would remove the requirement in Clause 51 for the agreement of the Secretary of State as a pre-requisite to the exercise of certain powers by the Scottish Minister. It includes a requirement for the agreement of Scottish Ministers before the Secretary of State may vary or revoke instruments made by the Scottish Ministers.

Amendment 152, in clause 51, page 55, leave out from beginning of line 28 to end of line 21 on page 56 and insert—

‘(5) The Scottish Ministers may not make an order under section 41A unless they have consulted the Secretary of State about the proposed order.

(6) The power of the Secretary of State to make an order under section 41A is exercisable so as to make any provision that may be made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, or vary or revoke an order made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, but only with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.”

This amendment would remove the requirement in Clause 51 for the agreement of the Secretary of State as a pre-requisite to the exercise of certain powers by the Scottish Minister. It includes a requirement for the agreement of Scottish Ministers before the Secretary of State may vary or revoke instruments made by the Scottish Ministers.

Amendment 153, in clause 51, page 57, leave out from beginning of line 15 to end of line 7 on page 58 and insert—

‘(5) The Scottish Ministers may not make an order under section 41B unless they have consulted the Secretary of State about the proposed order.

6 July 2015 : Column 130

(6) The power of the Secretary of State to make an order under section 41B is exercisable so as to make any provision that may be made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, or vary or revoke an order made by the Scottish Ministers under that section, but only with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.”

This amendment would remove the requirement in Clause 51 for the agreement of the Secretary of State as a pre-requisite to the exercise of certain powers by the Scottish Minister. It includes a requirement for the agreement of Scottish Ministers before the Secretary of State may vary or revoke instruments made by the Scottish Ministers.

Clauses 51 and 52 stand part.

Amendment 154, in clause 53, page 60, leave out lines 9 to 17.

This amendment removes restrictions on the consultation process with the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament in relation to renewables incentive schemes.

Clauses 53 and 54 stand part.

Amendment 155, in clause 55, page 63, line 18, at end insert—

“() the Scottish Ministers,”

Clause 55 as currently drafted would allow Scottish Ministers to make a reference to the Competition and Markets Authority only in the most exceptional circumstances. This amendment would enable Scottish Ministers to make a reference without the involvement of the Secretary of State.

Clauses 55 to 64 stand part.

New clause 50—Commission on social and economic rights

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint a commission on social and economic rights.

(2) The Secretary of State shall invite the Presiding Officers or Speakers of the House of Commons, House of Lords, National Assembly of Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament each to nominate no more than three persons to the commission on social and economic rights.

(3) The commission on social and economic rights must report on—

(a) the practicality of making the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government subject to the rights contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and

(b) the consequences of Scottish devolution for the attainment of economic and social rights throughout the United Kingdom.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations determine the role, composition, organisation and powers of the commission on social and economic rights.’

The purpose of this New Clause is to create a commission to consider whether economic and social rights could be made justiciable in Scotland, and the prospects for achieving fuller attainment of economic and social rights throughout the United Kingdom.

New clause 52—Office of Wellbeing

‘(1) Scottish Ministers shall appoint an independent Office of Wellbeing to monitor and report on the wellbeing impacts of fiscal and macro-economic policy in Scotland, with a particular focus on inequalities of wellbeing.

(2) The First Minster must publish at least once a year a wellbeing statement setting out the relevant social, economic and environmental policies of Scottish Ministers and their intended effects on the wellbeing of the people of Scotland.

(3) The Office of Wellbeing may commission independent research.

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(4) The Office of Wellbeing must report at least once a year on progress being made against the wellbeing statement made by the First Minister and may report from time to time on any other relevant matter.

(5) The costs of the Office of Wellbeing shall be borne by the Scottish Parliament.’

This Clause establishes an independent Office of Wellbeing, akin to the Office for Budget Responsibility, to ensure that expert consideration is given to the interplay between the economic, fiscal and macro-economic policies of the Scottish and United Kingdom Governments and their environmental, economic and social effects.

New clause 65—Rail Services

‘In Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Act, in section E2, after “Exceptions” there is inserted—

“The provision of rail passenger services that are Scotland-only services (and so far as they include other services, include only cross-border services designated by the Scottish Ministers), including the power to decide who will run such services, the provisions of the Railways Act 1993 notwithstanding.”’

This amendment would devolve rail services in Scotland giving Scottish Ministers full powers and flexibility to decide who would run such services.

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Andrea Leadsom): Thank you, Sir David. It is a great pleasure to be introducing these clauses. Clauses 46 and 47 deliver the Smith commission agreement and provide Scottish Ministers with greater influence over the strategic direction—[Interruption.]

The Temporary Chairman: Order. Members owe the Minister the courtesy of leaving the Chamber quietly.

Andrea Leadsom: Thank you, Sir David.

Clauses 46 and 47 deliver the Smith commission agreement and provide Scottish Ministers with greater influence over the strategic direction of the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses and of MG Alba. They achieve that by enabling Scottish Ministers to appoint a member of the Northern Lighthouse Board and by giving Scottish Ministers the power to approve Ofcom appointments to MG Alba.

Clause 48 provides that the Secretary of State will be required to consult Scottish Ministers when setting the strategic priorities in relation to the exercise of functions in Scotland regarding the activities of Her Majesty’s Coastguard and the safety standards of ships. These functions are exercisable by the Secretary of State for Transport, but are in practice carried out in the UK by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, an Executive agency of the Department for Transport.

The Smith commission agreement was explicit in the devolution of the power to allow public sector operators to bid for rail franchises funded and specified by Scottish Ministers, and clause 49 achieves that.

Clauses 50, 51 and 52 implement the Smith commission agreement and devolve design and implementation powers relating to energy efficiency and fuel poverty to Scottish Ministers, while reserving responsibility for the overarching aspects that affect all consumers in Great Britain, such as scale, costs and apportionment of obligations, as well as the obligated parties. The clauses contain safeguards to give effect to the Smith commission agreement that the devolution of these powers

“be implemented in a way that is not to the detriment of the rest of the UK or to the UK’s international obligations and commitments on energy efficiency and climate change.”

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It is the Government’s position that such provisions are necessary. Specifically, we believe that it would be in the interests of UK and Scottish Ministers that the benefits provided to consumers in one part of Great Britain should be proportionate to the costs on consumers in that part of Great Britain.

Scottish Ministers should be able to design supplier obligations for Scotland, but costs should be proportionate across regions, removing the possibility of competitive distortions and cross-subsidy by consumers across Great Britain. We will look at ways of making the costs of obligations clear and equitable between Scotland and the rest of Great Britain.

Clause 53 creates a formal consultative role for Scottish Ministers in the design of renewable electricity incentive schemes that will apply in Scotland. Clause 54 will enable Scottish Ministers to take decisions on safety zones for renewable energy installations in Scottish waters by making Scottish Ministers the appropriate Ministers, and it will enable them to take responsibility for ensuring that offshore renewable energy installations are removed or decommissioned at the end of their useful life. It ensures that consent to and decommissioning of offshore renewable energy installations and the management of Crown Estate assets in relation to such installations are the responsibility of Scottish Ministers, rather than being divided between Scottish Ministers and the Secretary of State.

Clause 55 delivers the Smith commission agreement by devolving to Scottish Ministers, when acting jointly with the Secretary of State, the power to require the Competition and Markets Authority to carry out a market investigation reference when they suspect that features of a market are preventing, restricting or distorting competition. Clause 56 requires Scottish Ministers to lay Ofgem’s annual report and accounts before the Scottish Parliament. To enable that, it ensures that copies will be provided to Scottish Ministers.

Clause 57 gives effect to two key elements of paragraph 38 of the Smith commission agreement relating to Ofcom. It gives Scottish Ministers the power to appoint one member to the Ofcom board to represent the interests of Scotland, and it requires Ofcom’s annual report and accounts to be laid before the Scottish Parliament. Clause 58 gives effect to paragraphs 39, 40 and 41 of the Smith commission agreement relating to the appearance of the Northern Lighthouse Board, Ofcom and Ofgem before the Scottish Parliament on matters relating to Scotland.

Finally, part 7 contains standard technical clauses, including general provisions associated with the Bill, such as transitional provisions, commencement arrangements and the short title.

Wayne David (Caerphilly) (Lab): Before speaking to amendments 157 and 158 to clause 49, I would like to comment on clauses 50 and 51, which relate to fuel poverty support schemes and energy company obligations. I would like the Minister to explain—indeed, to justify—why those clauses are constructed as they are. They amend existing primary legislation, but they are far from clear.

Our starting point must be paragraph 68 of the Smith commission’s report, which states:

“Powers to determine how supplier obligations in relation to energy efficiency and fuel poverty… will be devolved. Responsibility for setting the way the money is raised… will remain reserved.”

6 July 2015 : Column 133

Importantly, it then states:

“This provision will be implemented in a way that is not to the detriment of the rest of the UK or to the UK’s international obligations and commitments on energy efficiency and climate change.”

Indeed, paragraph 68 is one of the more prescriptive in the report.

Clauses 50 and 51 also state clearly that any action proposed by Scottish Ministers should not be to the detriment of the United Kingdom as a whole. I want to press the Minister on the criteria to be used by the Secretary of State to determine whether a course of action proposed by Scottish Ministers would be to the detriment of the UK. That is clearly stated in clause 50, and at several points in clause 51. Specifically, proposed new section 14A(8)(b) in clause 50 refers to schemes likely to

“cause detriment to the United Kingdom”.

However, it does not state how detriment in all cases may be judged to have occurred. Proposed new section 14A(9) states that

“considerations that the Secretary of State may take into account include the costs imposed on suppliers by virtue of schemes made, or to be made, by the Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers under section 9.”

That is section 9 of the Energy Act 2010.

In clause 51, proposed new section 33BCA(7) and others make similar references to “detriment” and to “costs”. Here, too, the phrase “may take into account” is used, which strongly implies that the Secretary of State will not be obliged to take costs into account. It seems that he will also be able to take other, non-specified factors into account. The same can be said of other amendments to existing legislation proposed in clause 51.

What I find worrying about the proposed new sections in clauses 50 and 51 is the lack of specificity and the significant discretion placed in the hands of the Secretary of State. Apart from the politics of this, there is a question of the lack of clarity and, with it, the possibility of any course of action being justiciable. I am not a lawyer—I am an ordinary person—but my experiences over the past decade or so tell me that if there is a lack of clarity in legislation, all too often it is the judges who end up providing that clarity.

I am thinking of the action taken two years ago by the UK Government against the Welsh Government. The Welsh Government wanted to protect Welsh agricultural workers after the UK Government abolished the Agricultural Wages Board, and the UK Government lost the case in the Supreme Court. That is simply an example that springs to mind of what can happen when legislative imprecision leads to legal problems. I would welcome the Minister’s response to the points I have made.

Let me turn to clause 49—Rail: franchising of passenger services. It amends section 25 of the Railways Act 1993 to remove the prohibition on public sector operators bidding for a franchise in relation to a Scottish franchise agreement. The Smith commission’s report stated clearly, in paragraph 65:

“The power will be devolved to the Scottish Government to allow public sector operators to bid for rail franchises funded and specified by Scottish Ministers.”

Labour’s amendment 157 would take a small but significant step further, but in a way that is in keeping with the spirit of the Smith commission’s report. In proposing to allow not-for-profit operators, it echoes the proposal by Gordon Brown prior to the referendum.

6 July 2015 : Column 134

9.15 pm

As things stand, the Scottish Government are already responsible for letting and funding the ScotRail franchise. The legal framework for letting the franchise is provided by the Railways Act 1993, the Transport Act 2000 and the Railways Act 2005. These, collectively, preclude state-controlled organisations from bidding for franchises. Members might find it surprising, however, that state-controlled bodies from other countries are not precluded from holding a franchise. Abellio, an offshoot of the Dutch national state railway, was recently awarded the ScotRail franchise by the Scottish Government. That decision raised a few eyebrows. The general secretary of the RMT union said:

“Scotland could have taken control of its own railways. Instead, they have opted to go Dutch, meaning that profits will be sucked out of the system to underpin investment in fares in Holland.”

That is a real concern for many people. ASLEF’s general secretary spoke for many when he criticised the “perverse” decision by the SNP Government in Scotland.

Dr Philippa Whitford: In fact, the Scottish Government did not have the power to choose to give that franchise to a public service within Scotland, so to criticise them for giving it somewhere else seems a little perverse.

Wayne David: I will come to that, because it is an entirely predictable response from the SNP.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the decision was indeed somewhat perverse. I say that because the Scottish Government could have delayed the tendering process in the full knowledge that they would soon have the power to award a franchise to a public or not-for-profit operator that could reinvest any profits back into Scotland’s railways, but they chose not to delay. They knew the legislation was coming and pre-empted it.

Dr Whitford: The Scottish Government have put a break in the franchise so that if we are lucky enough to have this power in the Scottish Parliament by 2020, we can give the franchise to our own public sector.

Wayne David: I am glad that the SNP accepts the point I am making.

It would have been better if, instead of putting nationalist sentiment first, the SNP considered harsh economic reality and the wellbeing of the Scottish people, but no—it decided to press ahead. As SNP Members are well aware, rail passengers are suffering badly as ScotRail has adopted an approach to industrial relations that the Scottish TUC’s Graeme Smith has described as “nothing short of shambolic”. Few would disagree with that comment.

Yesterday, ScotRail cancelled a third of its usual Sunday services after pay talks with train drivers’ union ASLEF stalled. Abellio ScotRail has written to staff to offer voluntary redundancy, even though the franchise was supposed to guarantee that that would not happen. In the light of these developments, it is important for us to say clearly that Abellio’s workforce planning and industrial relations are shambolic—and that is an understatement.

Why on earth is what is happening on the Scottish railways being allowed to happen? Surely what is needed is in-depth scrutiny and a review of the previous tendering

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arrangements. In tabling amendment 158, our desire is not merely to put the spotlight on the foolish behaviour of the SNP Government in Scotland, but to ensure that they learn the lessons so that their mistakes cannot be made again. I hope that Members on both sides of the Committee will feel able to support our amendment on that basis.

Mr Graham Allen (Nottingham North) (Lab): Before I deal with the amendments and new clauses in my name, I should like to address a few words, through you, Sir David, to the other place. The way in which we are considering this Bill means that a large group of new clauses that try to give real life to the Smith commission proposals will not even be discussed this evening. They would give Scottish local authorities the general power of competence already enjoyed by English local authorities. They also refer to subsidiarity and to devolving power genuinely not just to the Scottish Parliament—of which I am one of the biggest supporters—but to Scottish local government. The new clauses would actually allow local government in Scotland to be constitutionally defined so that no one, either in this place or in the Scottish Parliament, could ever take away the rights and liberties of Scottish local government.

It is a flaw in our legislative process when we are not even allowed to debate those very important issues in our own Parliament. They have not even been dismissed. I very much hope that colleagues in the other place will note that those issues have not had a hearing. I think that many people—democrats from all parties—who were excited about the possibilities of what arose from the referendum and the Smith process will feel that this House has cheated them out of a proper debate on some of the wider issues of devolution.

This is going to happen again on another day, when the English version of devolution will be debased and devalued by a mere rearranging of the EVEL deckchairs in the House of Commons. I think people will live to regret that day, too.

Drew Hendry: As my colleagues have said, the principle of subsidiarity should not stop at local authorities. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that subsidiarity should be about people being able to take control themselves as and when they need to do so?

Mr Allen: I do not wish to be unkind to the hon. Gentleman, but subsidiarity is not stopping at local government in Scotland and many would argue that it is not really started at local government, either. There are many examples of how the Scottish Parliament, over which the hon. Gentleman’s party has majority control—there is no one else to blame—is sucking up powers. That sucking sound we hear from north of the border is the powers going up from local government to Holyrood. On subsidiarity, if it were justiciable, local government and, in fact, any individual, could take the Scottish Government to court if they removed the constitutional powers that I would have suggested had we had time to discuss the new clauses in the next group of amendments, but sadly we are not going to reach them.

Drew Hendry: Has the hon. Gentleman studied the document by the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy in Scotland? It was a cross-party and civic

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society exercise in examining how Scotland might go forward. In fact, I as an SNP member was a signatory and co-author of that document and was on the commission.

The Temporary Chair (Sir David Amess): Order. Before the hon. Member for Nottingham North (Mr Allen) responds to that intervention, I would be grateful if he drew his remarks more closely to the amendments under discussion.

Mr Allen: The hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Drew Hendry) is putting a terrible temptation in my way, but I will resist it.

Owen Thompson: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr Allen: In a moment. Why do we need that document? I gently remind the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey that we need it because of what his party has done to the police service, the fire service, local government, courts and colleges. I would be very happy to talk about the nationalisation of the police service in Scotland or the closure of 17 courts, but if I were to do so Sir David would call me to order. I could tell the Committee about the 23 local enterprise companies that were abolished and turned into just two, and give many other examples, but I will not stray there, Sir David, because I know you would say that I was out of order.

What I will say is that local government must play its part. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman and I can agree that local government has to be respected and recognised, and that my new clauses promote that possibility. Instead of that being at the whim of whoever happens to run the Scottish Government, it could be constitutionally defined. I suggest incorporating the words on subsidiarity from the Maastricht treaty. I suggest that the First Minister establishes a series of powers and competences for local government that can be changed only by a two-thirds majority in the Scottish Parliament. Those are ways in which, I hope he would agree, local government in Scotland could demonstrate to local government in England how to do things. Throughout the passage of the Bill—I hope the hon. Gentleman will give me credit for having been here on a considerable number of occasions—my concern has been to ensure that what is good enough for Scotland, and Scotland should have the very best, also applies to England.

I give way to the hon. Member for Midlothian (Owen Thompson), who has been very patient.

Owen Thompson: My hon. Friend the Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Drew Hendry) mentioned the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy. The Scottish Government have also introduced the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, which contains powers for greater local community decision making. The Scottish Government have given greater decision-making powers to local communities than anyone has ever given them in Scotland. The hon. Member for Nottingham North (Mr Allen) mentioned police and fire matters. There is greater local scrutiny of those matters than there ever was under the fire and police boards.

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The Temporary Chair (Sir David Amess): Order. This is very ingenious, but I would be grateful if the hon. Gentleman kindly related his remarks to the amendments before us.

Mr Allen: Certainly, Sir David. You are right to admonish the hon. Gentleman for trying to lure me, yet again, into discussing local government, which I would not wish to do. Although I worked hard to table eight new clauses on Scottish local government, it is probably of no concern to this Committee, which seems to regard it as an irrelevance. I think that that is mistaken, because local government is key to devolution in Scotland and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To get back to the plot, Sir David, Lord Smith referred strongly in the foreword to his report to the need for localism in the further devolution of powers. He was very clear about that. If Members in all parties, collectively, can be clear about that too, we will see that each nation of the United Kingdom can be governed much more effectively when as much power as is humanly possible is given to the appropriate level. That includes not just Parliaments, Assemblies and Executives, but local government and—to pick up the very good point made by the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey—beyond that, through double devolution, to neighbourhoods and communities, which can deliver many of the services that are currently over-centralised in Westminster, Whitehall and Holyrood.

I have tabled two of the new clauses in this group. New clause 50 concerns, in effect, a Bill of Rights. Earlier in the passage of the Bill, when I think you were in the Chair, Sir David, I suggested that the Scottish Parliament should continue with the Human Rights Act 1998, regardless of what this place does anywhere else in the United Kingdom. That Act should be safeguarded. I would go further, as I do in new clause 50. Human rights, as defined by the European convention on human rights, are very important. They are the fundamental block on which our liberties and freedoms rest, as I said in our earlier debates.

The issue of human rights could be taken further in Scotland through a discussion of economic and social rights. That is not an easy area, but it is perfectly possible for Scotland to lead in it. As the Scotland Bill is before the House, I have taken the opportunity to suggest that the Scottish Parliament could be a strong advocate of those rights. In the run-up to the elections next May, all parties in the Scottish Parliament should have a view on whether we can take human rights that one step further in one nation of the Union, even if human rights are being deferred, delayed and eroded in other parts of the United Kingdom.

One of the beauties of a federal system is that one part can pioneer and lead when other parts lag behind. The Minister knows that well from her experience of pushing forward ideas about early intervention and the treatment of children. She knows that if she works hard in her area, or if someone in one American state pioneers something, it is there as an example for everyone else to pick up as and when resources allow. A varied ecology allows our politics to thrive and grow, and it is the antithesis of an over-centralised state based in Whitehall that tells everybody what to do whether they are in Nottingham, Aberdeen or Cardiff.

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9.30 pm

Our basic rights are important, so I urge the parties in the Scottish Parliament to bring forward ideas about economic and social rights. Many of our European partner countries have had such systems for decades, and we can catch up. If the rest of the countries in the Union cannot do so, perhaps Scotland can show us the way and lead us towards a Bill of Rights that includes those contained in the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights.

I urge the Committee at least to listen to the debate on new clause 50, and perhaps the other place will act, conscious that its duty is not merely to make amendments related to the Scotland Act 2012. There is a broader duty now on us—we are failing in it—and on the second Chamber. We can take the tremendous opportunity that we have been given by the results of the referendum and the election in Scotland to look afresh at our whole democracy and at how the separate pieces of the jigsaw come together to make the picture that we call the Union.

I also wish to speak to new clause 52, which proposes the establishment of an office of wellbeing. I have listened to colleagues from all parties discussing full fiscal autonomy, councils’ ability to levy taxes and so on. Of course, there has been a wide variety of interpretations of statistics—how unusual is that in this place?—but when we have talked about Union-wide matters, the Office for Budget Responsibility has helped us have a rather more focused debate. I am sure the Minister knows far more about it than most in the Chamber. My new clause suggests that there be an office of wellbeing, which would perform pretty much the same task in Scotland.

The office of wellbeing would be independent and could commission independent research, but it would be appointed in the first instance by Scottish Ministers. It would meet and issue reports to the Scottish Parliament. That would ensure that the economic change that is happening in Scotland could be properly analysed and reported on. The information could then be of use to everybody else in the Union. Even the most bitter separatists would surely not wish to injure—

Chris Stephens: Are you referring to the Conservatives or us?

Mr Allen: Those who feel that they are being referred to should take that upon themselves, but surely they would not wish to injure the rest of the Union. Surely that is not a price that anyone would pay. A body that could analyse what happens as Scotland evolves would benefit its near neighbours, and it could be of great use as we continue the discussions on Scottish devolution.

Brendan O'Hara: Will the hon. Gentleman reflect on his terminology and on “bitter separatists”? Much of what he said was of great interest to many of us, but the spirit of it was perhaps lost by his use of those words.

Mr Allen: I seem to touch a nerve every time I use the word “separatist” to describe those people who wish to separate. [Hon. Members: “ You said ‘bitter.’”] Well, there may be bitter separatists and there may be lovely, generous warm separatists—I am sure there are; perhaps I am looking at many of them now. If people are

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pursuing a project so enormous that they might get offended at the word “separatist”—[Hon. Members: “You said ‘bitter!’”] Oh bitter—forgive me. In that case, so as to carry on in the right spirit I withdraw the word “bitter”. People of all temperaments who are separatists may wish to consider how they make their case, and they should not be too worried if someone refers to people who, for genuine reasons want to separate from the other countries in the Union, as “separatists”. That word has had a good outing now—hopefully, separatism and separatists will not cause such a problem now we have burst that bubble.

Mrs Anne Main (St Albans) (Con) rose—

Drew Hendry rose—

Mr Allen: I will give way to the hon. Member for St Albans (Mrs Main).

Mrs Main: I was hoping to suggest “ardent” so that we can all move on a little.

Mr Allen: I am happy with that—some are ardent and some are not so ardent, but whether they are separatists or any other word we care to use, the impact of some of their policies may be that Scotland separates from the Union. I would hate to see Scotland separate; I want the rest of the Union to learn from Scotland and ensure that England, Wales and Northern Ireland enjoy the fruits of devolution rather than this constricted, over-centralised system that we all labour under, and that even people such as me can become bitter about, even though I am not a separatist.

Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire) (Con): I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree that one cannot be too sensitive in a place where our visitors are known as “strangers”. He speaks about an office of wellbeing. How does he define wellbeing? Is it the same sort of wellbeing that we have in health and wellbeing arrangements in the NHS?

Mr Allen: Again, we can get hung up on the words, and the Office for Budget Responsibility could argue about what “responsibility” means. I am trying to suggest that there should be an independent body that can define some statistical basis for the economic arguments we will all have, whatever our political differences. I think the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey wished to intervene, but I do not want to disturb him if he is looking at a good game on his PC.

Drew Hendry: I was not looking at a good game, but I thank the hon. Gentleman for allowing me to intervene. I wanted to pick up on the issue of pejorative terms because I do not think they help the debate. However, the hon. Gentleman should feel free to use whatever terms he wants because we will just go on representing Scotland. Perhaps the lessons that should be learned from Scotland are that the Scottish public voted in overwhelming numbers to return 56 SNP MPs and have them stand up and have Scotland’s voice heard, which it clearly is not being.

Mr Allen: Again, that confusion of the SNP equalling Scotland; I do not regard that—

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Michelle Thomson (Edinburgh West) (SNP): The SNP has 95% of MPs.

Mr Allen: Yes, but I think 6% of the United Kingdom electorate voted for the SNP, so if we get into statistical battles—[Interruption.] We are in the federal Parliament now. Those who get annoyed must understand that this is not Holyrood and MPs are not entitled to do to local government in nations outside Scotland what has been done to local government inside Scotland. That writ, where what the SNP says goes and we must do, does not extend to the federal Parliament. So I would say to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey that in the rough and tumble of debate on the Union, there is a fundamental question. Some people wish to have devolution and some people wish to separate—I regard that not as pejorative but as accurate—and those debates must be heard here, even if the electoral system has handed a large number of seats to one particular party. It is a matter of respecting the views of everyone else. If that is done, that party might be able to claim that it represents the people of Scotland. But it cannot claim to be the exclusive voice of Scotland when so many people did not vote for that party and, of course, a large majority rejected the fundamental platform on which the SNP stands—separation from the Union.

Wayne David: We have heard a great deal about the fact there are 56 SNP Members. We are debating the Scotland Bill, so where are they? There are fewer than a dozen SNP Members in the Chamber. So much for being the voice of Scotland! [Interruption.]

The Temporary Chair (Sir David Amess): Order. Before the hon. Member for Nottingham North (Mr Allen) responds to that intervention, may I remind the Committee that the knife falls at 10 pm, and other hon. Members wish to speak? I have been very lax in allowing Members to drift on to the third group, which is not for discussion. I would ask the hon. Gentleman to draw his remarks much more closely to the amendments.

Mr Allen: If other hon. Members wish to speak—forgive me, but I did not see anyone else rising—it is a very good reason for me to shut up and sit down.

Callum McCaig: Amendment 154 addresses the consultation process on the renewable electricity incentive schemes. Paragraph 41 of the Smith commission report states:

“There will be a formal consultative role for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament in designing renewables incentives”.

Clause 53 provides that that would not apply in relation to

“any levy in connection with a renewable electricity incentive scheme”—

or to anything that the Secretary of State deems to be a minor, technical or administrative change. In the light of recent matters that certain parties seem to think are minor, administrative or technical, but that my party views as a major attack on Scotland’s renewable energy industry, the inclusion of those words gives some cause for concern, as does the rowing back on what was promised in the Smith report.

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The fundamentals of this are clear. The all-party devolution committee, about which we have heard much in the last few days of debate, said:

“Clauses 56 and 58 are identical to draft clauses 42 and 44 but Clause 53”—

the one I am talking about—

“has been changed, and does not require the Secretary of State to consult the Scottish Ministers about any levy in connection with a renewable electricity incentive scheme, it is understood that this relates to Contract for Difference—Supplier Operational Levies and Capacity Market—Settlement Cost Levies. These are levy payments made by Suppliers to cover the operational cost of administrating Contract for Difference and Capacity Market.”

Such levies are fundamental to designing renewable incentives. The spirit and letter of Smith demand formal consultation with the Scottish Government. Frankly, I do not understand what the consultation on renewable incentives will be about if it does not include the money required to enable them to happen.

I want to hear from the Minister on this issue, but I have one final point to make about the message that will be sent to the renewable industry in Scotland and beyond if amendment 154 is rejected. Investors are already on edge because of the disastrous handling of the early closure of the renewables obligation. If the promise of meaningful consultation is withdrawn, it prompts the question of what else the Government have in store to wreck Scotland’s renewables potential.

9.45 pm

Andrea Leadsom: I am delighted to respond this evening. We have heard a wide range of views—albeit some ranging away from the proposed amendments—and I thank hon. Members for all their contributions.

The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Wayne David) spoke to clause 49, on which the Smith commission agreement was explicit that the power to allow public sector operators to bid for rail franchises funded and specified by Scottish Ministers would be devolved. Amendments 157 and 158 are unnecessary. Amendment 157 is not necessary as not-for-profit entities, public or private, are not precluded from being franchisees already. Amendment 158 would create unnecessary uncertainty by allowing discretion on whether a public sector bidder could join a live procurement process and therefore does not enhance the drafting in any way. New clause 65 would give the Scottish Parliament full competence over railways. That clearly goes beyond the Smith commission agreement, and would create the potential for unwanted disruption of networks and relationships between franchise authorities, passenger services and cross-border operations. I therefore urge right hon. and hon. Members to withdraw amendments 157 and 158 and new clause 65.

Turning to energy company obligations and fuel poverty, amendments 149 to 153 would depart from the Smith commission agreement. The agreement recognised that decisions that could impact on all Great Britain consumers have an impact on the Great Britain energy market as a whole and on UK international obligations that should be made at a Great Britain-wide level and remain reserved. Costs incurred by energy companies owing to supplier obligations affect all Great Britain’s consumers. Different costs incurred by a supplier in one area of Great Britain may cause competitive disadvantages and higher costs for customers in other areas. We think it would be in the interests of both UK and Scottish

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Ministers that costs on consumers in one part of Great Britain should not be disproportionate to their benefits. We believe that proportionate costs across regions removes the possibility of those competitive distortions and cross-subsidy by consumers across Great Britain. We will look at ways of making the cost of obligations clear and equitable between Scotland and the rest of Great Britain, and will work with the Scottish Government to identify the best way of achieving that.

The hon. Member for Caerphilly raised the question of who will decide what causes detriment to the UK. I can assure him that we will work with the Scottish Government to set up a process and methodology for evaluating the impact of schemes implemented in Scotland on their own, and in conjunction with schemes implemented in England and Wales, on the Great Britain energy market and on any relevant UK commitments and obligations. I can tell him that UK and Scottish Government officials have already begun working together to scope out how such a process could work.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP): The Minister refers to how to address the price of energy in different regions of the United Kingdom. One of the things we would like in Northern Ireland, if at all possible, is a connector between Scotland and Northern Ireland, which would reduce our prices. Is that part of the Government’s strategy? She has not mentioned Northern Ireland and I am conscious that I would like it included.

Andrea Leadsom: I think the hon. Gentleman means an interconnector. I am absolutely a huge fan of interconnectors. That is not a part of the Bill, but I can assure him that I am happy to discuss that at any time and to facilitate conversations with the Scottish Parliament. I am, however, quite sure he will not need me to do that and is able to discuss that with them directly.

Our proposals on energy company obligations and fuel poverty are fair to all consumers and align with the Smith commission agreement. I urge hon. Members not to press amendments 149 to 153.

Let me turn to renewables incentives. Amendment 154 would remove subsections (2) and (3) of new section 90C of the Scotland Act 1998, in clause 53, such that changes of a minor, technical or administrative nature would no longer be excluded from the requirement to consult Scottish Ministers, nor those made by the Secretary of State that are not subject to parliamentary procedure. The hon. Member for Aberdeen South (Callum McCaig) has raised his concerns about this area of consultation. Removing subsection (3) would remove the exclusion to consult the Scottish Ministers on any levy in connection with a renewable electricity incentive scheme. Amendment 154 would require consultation not just on the design of renewable incentive schemes, but on their operation. This would not be in keeping with the Smith commission agreement and would lead to over-complex and time-consuming consultations that would affect the smooth operation of the schemes.

Callum McCaig: The Smith commission refers to

“a formal consultative role for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament in designing renewables incentives”.

I simply cannot understand or fathom how excluding levies gives the Scottish Parliament a consultative role in designing those incentives.

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Andrea Leadsom: Let me reassure the hon. Gentleman that we are talking about consultation with the Scottish Parliament on the design of renewable incentive schemes. The point I am making is that where there are minor, technical changes, the need to consult would be too time-consuming and burdensome on both sets of Ministers. That is why we urge him not to press amendment 154.

Amendment 155 concerns the Competition and Markets Authority. A market investigation is a significant undertaking by the CMA, and the impact of business uncertainty and potential remedies may spread across the whole UK. Let us not forget that the CMA is funded by the UK Government, so it is only fair that, just like UK Ministers, Scottish Ministers should be required to involve the Secretary of State in any decision to require the CMA to undertake an investigation. I therefore urge hon. Members not to press amendment 155.

Turning to the amendments from the hon. Member for Nottingham North (Mr Allen), I fully recognise the position that he is trying to convey. He and I have had many conversations on wellbeing, and he will know that I am a big fan of devolution—I am a fan of devolution to local government and a fan of this devolution Bill. The Bill proposes fundamental changes that will give unique new powers to the Scottish Parliament that it has not had before. It will mean that, overall, this devolution settlement is one of the strongest anywhere in the world. The Bill will give significant new powers to Scotland, and it is important that all Members get the opportunity to do justice to those.

Equally, the hon. Gentleman will recognise that we do not want to be telling the Scottish Parliament whether it should be setting up its own commission on wellbeing or, indeed, what sort of commission it should establish. It will be for Scottish Ministers, with the support of their Scottish MPs, to decide when and if they want to establish their own commission for wellbeing and, of course, what sort of powers they want to devolve to their local government, local enterprise partnerships and so on.

Mr Graham Allen: I agree with what the hon. Lady is saying, but will she also touch on the rights of local government, so that it, too, can have responsibilities and clarity about its role? At the moment, that is unfortunately not the case in Scotland—or, indeed, any other part of the Union—but we now have an opportunity to give local government in Scotland that freedom.

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has said, he will be looking carefully at the debate and at all the feedback right across the House, giving consideration to all those proposals to see whether there is anything more we need to do to improve the settlement for Scotland. A lot of valuable contributions have been made and there is a long way to go with this devolution Bill. I am sure my right hon. Friend will listen to what the hon. Gentleman has to say, but at this point there is nothing further I can add to his comments, other than to say that I would of course entirely support any work done on wellbeing for any of the countries that make up the United Kingdom.

I think it is an incredibly important subject, and I certainly pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman for the work he has done. We have worked in close co-ordination

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on giving every child the best start in life and on the importance of wellbeing. I pay tribute to the Scottish Parliament, too, because I am aware of the enormous strides made in Scotland on supporting wellbeing and the best possible start in life for every child. I commend that Parliament for its foresightedness. I sincerely believe that other parts of the United Kingdom have something to learn from its actions.

To conclude, the discussion of all the amendments has been important. Today has been a bit of a wash-up, in that we have discussed everything ranging from the new powers for Scottish Members and appointing new members to the Northern Lighthouse Board to Scottish television stations and taking parliamentary submissions from Ofcom and Ofgem. We have also talked about new powers for the Scottish Parliament to be able to decide on the measures it wants to make to deal with fuel poverty and about incentives for new supplier obligations in Scotland to deal with those struggling to pay their bills.

I think that this set of measures represents an enormous transfer of powers from the UK to Scotland. All right hon. and hon. Members should be very pleased about that. We have heard a number of views on all the issues raised today, but for the reasons I outlined, I believe that the Bill’s clauses are in keeping with the Smith commission agreement, so I urge hon. Members not to press their amendments.

Clause 46 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 47 to 52 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 53

Renewable electricity incentive schemes

Amendment proposed: 154, page 60, leave out lines 9 to 17.—(Calum McCaig.)

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 253, Noes 315.

Division No. 40]

[

9.57 pm

AYES

Abrahams, Debbie

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Arkless, Richard

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bardell, Hannah

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Black, Ms Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Blackman-Woods, Dr Roberta

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Boswell, Philip

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brennan, Kevin

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burgon, Richard

Butler, Dawn

Cadbury, Ruth

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Jenny

Cherry, Joanna

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cowan, Ronnie

Cox, Jo

Crawley, Angela

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

Day, Martyn

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, Stuart

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Fletcher, Colleen

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harpham, Harry

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Hayman, Sue

Healey, rh John

Hendrick, Mr Mark

Hendry, Drew

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hillier, Meg

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollern, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Hosie, Stewart

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Graham

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Kinnock, Stephen

Kyle, Peter

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Law, Chris

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lucas, Caroline

Lynch, Holly

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McCarthy, Kerry

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonald, Stewart

McDonald, Stuart C.

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGarry, Natalie

McGinn, Conor

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

McLaughlin, Anne

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Mullin, Roger

Murray, Ian

Newlands, Gavin

Nicolson, John

O'Hara, Brendan

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Oswald, Kirsten

Owen, Albert

Paterson, Steven

Pearce, Teresa

Pennycook, Matthew

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Powell, Lucy

Pugh, John

Qureshi, Yasmin

Rayner, Angela

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees, Christina

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Angus

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Ryan, rh Joan

Salmond, rh Alex

Saville Roberts, Liz

Shah, Naz

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheppard, Tommy

Sherriff, Paula

Shuker, Mr Gavin

Siddiq, Tulip

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smeeth, Ruth

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Smyth, Karin

Starmer, Keir

Stephens, Chris

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Tami, Mark

Thewliss, Alison

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turley, Anna

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, rh Keith

Vaz, Valerie

Weir, Mike

West, Catherine

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wishart, Pete

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Jonathan Edwards

and

Hywel Williams

NOES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Allen, Heidi

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Campbell, Mr Gregory

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kinahan, Danny

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mordaunt, Penny

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shannon, Jim

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, David

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Tredinnick, David

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

George Hollingbery

and

Margot James

Question accordingly negatived.

6 July 2015 : Column 145

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6 July 2015 : Column 148

10.9 pm

Proceedings interrupted (Programme Order, 8 June).

The Chair put forthwith the Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83D).

Clauses 53 to 64 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.

Bill, as amended, reported (Standing Order No. 83D(6)).

Bill to be considered tomorrow.

6 July 2015 : Column 149

Business without Debate

Committees

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): With the leave of the House we will take motions 2 to 8 together.

Ordered,

Defence

That Richard Benyon, Douglas Chapman, James Gray, Johnny Mercer, Mrs Madeleine Moon, Conor McGinn, Jim Shannon, Ruth Smeeth, John Spellar and Bob Stewart be members of the Defence Committee.

Education

That Lucy Allan, Ian Austin, Michelle Donelan, Marion Fellows, Suella Fernandes, Lucy Frazer, Kate Hollern, Ian Mearns, Caroline Nokes and Kate Osamor be members of the Education Committee.

Justice

That Richard Arkless, Richard Burgon, Alex Chalk, Alberto Costa, Philip Davies, Sue Hayman, John Howell, Victoria Prentis, Christina Rees and Nick Thomas-Symonds be members of the Justice Committee.

Northern Ireland Affairs

That Mr David Anderson, Oliver Colvile, Mr Nigel Evans, Mr Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, Lady Hermon, Danny Kinahan, Jack Lopresti, Dr Alasdair McDonnell, Nigel Mills, Ian Paisley and Gavin Robinson be members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

Public Adminstration and Constitutional Affairs

That Ronnie Cowan, Oliver Dowden, Paul Flynn, Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, Mr David Jones, Gerald Jones, Tom Tugendhat and Mr Andrew Turner be members of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

Scottish Affairs

That Mr David Anderson, Kirsty Blackman, Mr Christopher Chope, Mr Jim Cunningham, Margaret Ferrier, Mr Stephen Hepburn, Chris Law, Dr Poulter, John Stevenson and Maggie Throup be members of the Scottish Affairs Committee.

Women and Equalities

That Ruth Cadbury, Maria Caulfield, Jo Churchill, Angela Crawley, Mims Davies, Mrs Flick Drummond, Ben Howlett, Jess Phillips, Tulip Siddiq and Cat Smith be members of the Women and Equalities Committee.—(Bill Wiggin, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)


6 July 2015 : Column 150

Cardiff City Deal

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Jackie Doyle-Price.)

10.10 pm

Craig Williams (Cardiff North) (Con): It is a privilege to lead this Adjournment debate on the Cardiff city deal. Let me say at the outset that the hon. Members for Cardiff South and Penarth (Stephen Doughty) and for Cardiff Central (Jo Stevens) may feel free to contribute, and I look forward to their interventions throughout the debate.

First, I will set out a bit of the history of Cardiff and explain why I think it is best placed for a city deal. I will then say a bit about the business community, higher education and other sectors that are doing vibrantly well in Cardiff. Cardiff is a great city, capital and region. The city has huge cultural heritage, with two fantastic castles, historical arcades and Spillers, the oldest independent record shop. The city has a wealth of history. In 1909, the first £1 million cheque was signed in the Cardiff Coal Exchange, when the port was one of the largest in the world. I can see the hon. Member for Cardiff South and Penarth smiling at that; the Coal Exchange is located in his constituency.

More recently, financial and professional services firms are being attracted into relocating to Cardiff and existing companies are expanding, which is extremely welcome. Deloitte is bringing 500 new jobs to the city. Admiral, Wales’s only FTSE 100 company, has recently moved into a new 3,000-employee headquarters in the heart of the city. Principality, the seventh largest building society in the UK, continues to thrive. We have specialists in technology, finance and administrative services, such as Equiniti, which is establishing a new financial technological hub, FinTech. Cardiff and Vale College has recently opened a major £45 million building, which will help students enter the financial services sector. Local firm ActiveQuote, which was recently recognised as one of the 10 fastest-growing firms in Wales, is creating 74 new jobs after winning four contracts to operate health and protection insurance comparison sites, such as Confused.com, Gocompare and Money.co.uk.

Cardiff also has an exciting start-up scene. New technology-based sectors, such as the life sciences hub in Cardiff bay, have become the nerve centre of a vibrant and prosperous Welsh life sciences ecosystem. I pay tribute to the work being done by the Welsh Government on driving the life sciences hub. GE Healthcare has recently opened an innovation village at its base in Cardiff North to help develop businesses and new ideas and bring them straight from the university into the commercial world. Cardiff Start is a growing community of new digital firms and NatWest is opening a new entrepreneurial spark accelerator for young entrepreneurs in early 2016.

Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth) (Lab/Co-op): I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing this important debate. Does he agree that Cardiff is rapidly becoming an important hub for the creative industries? Will he join me in welcoming the work that has been done by Cardiff city council and by the Welsh Labour Government to encourage the creative industries, particularly the new Pinewood Studio Wales, the BBC

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Drama Village and many other facilities? That is building a real hub of expertise and creativity, which are being exported to the world.

Craig Williams: The hon. Gentleman makes an excellent point. It is almost like he has read my speech, because I was coming on to the media and culture. Culturally, Cardiff attracts major films and studios through that investment. This is what the debate is all about: the UK Government, with their many arms and Departments, working with the Welsh Government and local authorities to build on the investment being made by both Governments. We need only to look at “Doctor Who”, “Casualty” and, of course, the Welsh soap opera, “Pobol y Cwm”, being filmed in and around Cardiff, to see the great potential we have.

Of course, BBC Wales is establishing a new huge 1,200-employee headquarters in the middle of Cardiff. That is a welcome development with an anchor tenant for the redevelopment of the centre. As the hon. Member for Cardiff South and Penarth has already said, Pinewood Studio Wales in Wentloog has a major appeal. US TV and cable shows, “The Crow” and “The Bastard Executioner”, are being filmed there and they are welcome. Cardiff is of course still home to S4C, and that is welcome.

For foodies, it is claimed that Cardiff has more restaurants per head than any other part of the UK, a very welcome development. A burgeoning street food and craft beer scene has developed through the efforts of local entrepreneurs. Cardiff is also home to Brains, which I was lucky enough to visit with the Prime Minister recently, one of the greatest British regional breweries, established in 1882 and a strong family business.

Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central) (Lab): I, too, congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing the debate. He mentions food and I wonder whether he welcomes the launch of the slow food movement in south-east Wales, which encourages local providers and sources to generate a new initiative?

Craig Williams: I certainly do. The other day I asked my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about securing food labelling and honouring and protecting our established brands, such as Welsh lamb, which is as important in south-east Wales as in the rest of Wales. We should look after our brands, our identities and our intellectual property in the food industry as well as in every other industry.

Let me move on very neatly to sport before I move on to the great potential I see for the city deal.

Chris Davies (Brecon and Radnorshire) (Con): Before my hon. Friend moves on, may I congratulate him? In a very short time, he has not just secured this Adjournment debate but has done so much for the people of Cardiff and Cardiff North, not just as a Member of Parliament but as a county councillor. He has been entrenched there since moving from Montgomeryshire and I congratulate him on all the hard work he does. With all this tremendous investment coming to Cardiff, how does he feel that it benefits the rest of Wales, particularly mid-Wales and areas such as Brecon and Radnorshire, which I represent?

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Craig Williams: I thank my hon. Friend for that kind intervention. I am unashamed of the fact that Cardiff is the engine room of the Welsh economy. Securing those high-quality good jobs and dragging them from London will deliver on our long-term economic plan, as I am sure my hon. Friend will appreciate, to build it up to be that true engine room.

The most recent achievements for the city involve our sporting prowess. Cardiff City had a recent spell in the premiership, albeit that it was a little too short, while Cardiff North residents Sam Warburton and Gareth Bale have pushed the Welsh rugby and football teams to recent success. We have massive ability and a proud record of catering for large-scale sporting activity in Cardiff. The FA cup finals between 2001 and 2005 gave us confidence as a city. This week, once again, we will welcome the Ashes back to Cardiff for the first of the series. Although I welcome the England and Wales Cricket Board to the SWALEC stadium and hope that we triumph over the Australians, I must highlight the fact that there is no finer city in which to celebrate when Wales triumphs over England at the Millennium stadium—a great city and a great stadium. Cardiff is an Olympic city, and a venue for the rugby world cup and the champions league final.

Higher education is a subject that must not be missed. Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales have invested tens of millions of pounds in new buildings in our city, including the new school of art and design at Llandaff and the iconic Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama building on North Road, which houses one of the UK’s top conservatoires.

Following its rating as the fifth best research university in the UK, Cardiff University has revealed ambitious plans to boost economic growth through the creation of a £300 million innovation-led campus. The first part of that project involves a £17.3 million award from the UK Government to the Compound Semiconductor Research Foundation, the first of its kind in the UK. It has the potential to become one of the leading clusters in Europe, and it will continue the university’s strong partnership with a great company in Cardiff, IQE plc, which is the leading global compound semiconductor wafer supplier. Any Member with a smartphone in their pocket who wants to look up what that means will probably find that that company is part of the supply chain involved in its manufacture.

Despite all that success, Cardiff still has a long way to go. In my previous role as chairman of the council’s economic scrutiny committee, I saw many reports, including the 2014 Welsh index of multiple deprivation, which showed that the southern arc of Cardiff was among the most deprived communities in Wales. I also saw that the Welsh capital was ranked only 24th in the 2013 competitiveness index report, having fallen seven places since 2010. It has been outranked by Norwich, Derby, Leeds and Bristol. I pay tribute to those cities, but I want my city to be far above them, and 24th is not good enough. That same report concluded that

“whilst government agencies and devolved political institutions have given the British economy the chance to diversify its competitiveness away from its dependence on the financial sector, this opportunity has not been embraced”.

The need for a strong city deal could not be clearer.

The city deal could also transform our transport infrastructure. The ball is now in the court of the local authorities, businesses and higher education institutions,

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and skills and infrastructure are the key to transforming our city and the south Wales economy. Fair play to the Minister for Transport in the Welsh Government: at least the Metro is starting to emerge in skeleton form, and it is also good to be talking about completing infrastructure projects such as the Eastern Bay link. Drivers going through the Butetown tunnels have been frustrated for far too long by the fact that neither the link nor the city circle—a ring road around Cardiff—has been completed.

The Secretary of State for Transport made a commitment in this House two weeks ago, saying that the electrification of the Great Western line was his top priority. That is not only welcome but essential for the development of the south Wales city region. That key fast link between the two capital cities will help to drive the south Wales economy. It is worth noting that Cardiff is the closest European capital city to London, and we must unashamedly mark that fact, as the Cardiff Business Council has done. The link will also offer the potential for a direct link to Heathrow, opening up the possibility of investment from across the Atlantic bridge as well as much further afield. In business, time is money, so Cardiff coming closer to London will attract investment. With Crossrail, the journey from Cardiff Central to Canary Wharf will take just two hours. The Government could deliver nothing more terrific for the people of Cardiff. This, more than any other factor, illustrates why the city deal—the first in Wales—is so badly needed. Without decent transport and infrastructure, we will go nowhere fast.

My predecessors in Cardiff North have raised many of these issues in this Chamber before, but it is only now, thanks to this Government, that a city deal is being offered. At a time when England and Scotland are forging ahead and developing core cities, city deals and city alliances, Wales has lacklustre spatial plans. The Labour Welsh Government have dragged their feet, up to a point. Far too often, I see an attitude in the Senedd of “anywhere but Cardiff” in relation to investment, and the probable local government reorganisation risks being a bit of a mess. The Welsh Government have to drive the city region agenda in conjunction with local authorities in south Wales, and that has to get going now, rather than waiting until after the local government reorganisation. I see the Welsh Government as having arrived in the room for the city deal but not yet having pulled up the chair to the table.

After winning the opportunity to hold this debate in the Chamber, I contacted the leaders of all 10 local authorities in the south Wales area to work on a cross-party basis and ask them for their thoughts and opinions on the city deal and how they see it affecting their authority. I want to focus on two of the responses, those from Blaenau Gwent and Monmouth. I thank those leaders for taking the time to respond positively and frankly and for their statesman-like approach to the issue.

The first was Councillor Peter Fox, leader of Monmouthshire County Council. I shall read out his view because it is important to get it right. He stated:

“The opportunity to lever in investment money has to be grasped or the City Region will never be competitive on the wider stage . . . Business are fundamental to a successful deal, it is crucial for me that business are given some serious reins here. The business community know what they need, they know how to create opportunity and growth . . . The key partner which I hope will really grab this is the Welsh Government itself and currently

6 July 2015 : Column 154

I am unclear of their commitment . . . If they don’t keep up and actively get on board there is a threat to the deal before it starts”.

Those are stark words from Councillor Peter Fox, and I share his view that business organisations such as the Cardiff Business Council which bring businesses together have a key role, alongside the officers in all our various councils, who have the skills and expertise to move the project forward, and the Welsh Government. The four pillars—higher education, the private sector, our local authorities and the Welsh Government—must all work together in close collaboration.

Jo Stevens: I was delighted that the hon. Gentleman made so many references to iconic buildings in my constituency, but I notice that all the companies mentioned at the beginning of his speech have located in Cardiff with the help of the Welsh Labour Government. The hon. Gentleman should give credit to the Welsh Labour Government for that.

Craig Williams: The hon. Lady is very unkind to me. I name-checked the Welsh Government more than once and gave them due credit for a lot of investment in the city. If the Welsh Government were as kind as UK Trade & Investment and the UK Government, as in the case of the broadband investment that was made in the city, we would see a lot more Welsh Government logos on that UK Government investment. I have been very kind to the Welsh Government. I do not accept the broader point.

Secondly, the leader of Blaenau Gwent council rightly identified the main challenge as the need to identify sufficient schemes and projects that will raise the gross value added across the region, not just for Cardiff. That is the key. Such leaders get it, as one would expect from the leader of Blaenau Gwent: the city deal would deliver for the region and develop sufficient quality employment and skills to meet the regional needs. Clearly, the city deal has a time scale, but it needs to feed into projects such as the Circuit of Wales in order for growth to be linked into the region. That is how such projects and the city deal can all work together—a strong vision and one that I support.

In conclusion, I hope this Adjournment debate has demonstrated both why Cardiff needs a city deal and how this would enable huge regeneration across south Wales. We must to ensure that the engine room of the Welsh economy, Cardiff, has the power and capital funding to become the fastest-growing capital city in Europe.

Edward Argar (Charnwood) (Con): My hon. Friend is already well known as a passionate and strong advocate for his city and his constituents. Does he agree that a strong and successful Cardiff is good news not just for Wales, but for the whole of the UK, and plays a key role in delivering our long-term economic plan and our one nation strategy? The potential that we are seeing from Cardiff is just the start of what that wonderful city has to offer this country.

Craig Williams: My hon. Friend has far more eloquently made the case for the city deal for Cardiff, Wales and the United Kingdom. This is a great offer for south Wales, Cardiff and all four pillars that I mentioned. They can apply for anything. The ball is firmly in the

6 July 2015 : Column 155

court of the civic leaders of Cardiff and south Wales. They should come to the UK Government with a business plan and make their case.

In the city deal for Ipswich, the city was given control over jobcentres and many other significant powers. This is the time for civic leaders in south Wales to step up, come up with a plan and transform the south Wales economy. They have a willing audience at this end of the M4.

I have outlined some of the hurdles in our way to becoming the fastest-growing capital city in Europe. The main one, on which I shall end, is that the city deal needs a delivery body. We are very good in Wales—better than any other part of the UK—at forming committees. We love committees and we will talk endlessly on committees. Having previously been a committee chairman, I know that to be true—as soon as I arrived in this place I wanted to join several Committees, and now I have. The city deal needs a delivery body—a modern-day Welsh Development Agency or Cardiff Bay Development Corporation version 2—and organisations that have traditionally tended to work against each other need to come together and collaborate. Only then will we see the benefits of the first Welsh city deal, and only then will our region and the Welsh nation tackle huge inequality, the need for regeneration and the huge infrastructure challenges we face.

10.30 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Alun Cairns): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff North (Craig Williams) on securing the debate and, more importantly, pay tribute to him for the way in which he has pressed the case for Cardiff this evening and championed the opportunity that the city deal offers. He is a true champion for Cardiff and has pressed the case for the city deal for a long time now, and for the benefit of not only his constituency, but the wider region.

My hon. Friend truly sees the regional impact that a city deal can have. As he has said, the city deal is a transformational opportunity for Cardiff and the capital region. It has the potential to create jobs, improve living standards, drive growth and improve the quality of life for all across a wide area. It forms part of the Government’s plan to drive productivity.

I should also underline that we start from a good base. As has been highlighted across the House, Cardiff is a great place to live and work. It was recently named the best city in the UK in which to live, with low unemployment, growing disposable income and relatively low living costs. Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan has the highest GVA—gross value added—per head in Wales, and Wales is the fastest growing part of the United Kingdom. Unemployment is lower than in neighbouring large cities such as Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. Cardiff has a fantastic cultural heritage. Many of its successes have already been highlighted by my hon. Friend. The UK film incentives have played a major role in attracting new investment by film makers, independent television companies and the BBC.

Cardiff has also built a strong reputation for hosting major international events, such as the six nations, the FA cup and test match cricket. I was pleased to celebrate

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the confirmation last week that the champions league final will be played in the city in 2017, and in the same summer as the International Cricket Council’s champions trophy. That demonstrates the great breadth that Cardiff and the city region has to offer. We then need to add the Ryder cup and the NATO summit held only a short distance away in Newport. These events show that the Cardiff capital region packs a great punch. A city deal offers a great opportunity to build on these successes.

A city deal must be ambitious and innovative. It should not be focused on capital inputs, finance or parochial interests; a city deal is so much more. I am pleased that the cross-party support for the city deal announced by the Chancellor in last year’s Budget is gathering momentum. The Government have already concluded 28 city deals in 27 cities. It started with eight deals in the largest cities outside London. It is estimated that the eight core deals will create 175,000 jobs and 37,000 apprenticeships.

There are great examples of successful projects. My hon. Friend mentioned the city deal in Ipswich. In Nottingham the local authority used the city deal to accelerate the growth of business in its creative quarter. The “Inspired in Nottingham” programme matched 185 students with business mentors, and 122 of them developed a prototype or began trading, and at least five of them now run businesses with six-figure turnovers. Newcastle and Gateshead established an accelerated development zone that has created over 1,450 jobs so far and used tax increment financing powers to speed up development. Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire city deal established an infrastructure delivery programme and investment fund, and it plans to build a distributor road to the motorway, which will also accommodate 4,000 new homes. These are just some examples of the variety of opportunities that a city deal can offer.

The Cardiff city deal, however, should not be limited or governed by those examples. I hope that the private sector and relevant authorities will consider the best of the deals so far and use them as their starting point. The Cardiff vision needs to be bold and strong, independent and dynamic. It must not be constrained by demands for cash. The successes I have listed have been based on innovative solutions in areas such as skills through making the right connections with educational institutions, job centres and apprenticeship providers with a number of infrastructure projects. At the heart of a successful strategy is the power of local partnership working that gets behind what works and positions business-led solutions.

A short time ago, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales met local authority leaders and highlighted the four-pillar approach that my hon. Friend mentioned, which has a role for local authorities and for the private sector, including higher education and further education. Such startling universities as Cardiff University, which is part of the Russell Group, Cardiff Metropolitan University, which is the most successful post-1992 university, and the University of South Wales, which is attached to Cardiff and Vale College, have major parts to play, along with the Welsh Government and the UK Government through the investments that have been made in rail infrastructure and the business-competitive environment that has allowed the Welsh Government and UKTI to attract investment.

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Stephen Doughty: The Minister mentioned rail infrastructure. We all welcome the electrification of the great western main line, but does he agree that we also need new station capacity, particularly to the east of Cardiff in some of the more deprived areas, to ensure that people can access the jobs and opportunities that might be developed through a city deal?

Alun Cairns: It is up to the authorities involved—the Welsh Government and all those who play a part—to come forward with those sorts of bids. That demonstrates the innovative thinking that is needed. The best thing about the city deal is the bottom-up approach. It is about what the business community and civic leaders demand and see as their opportunities rather than a top-down Government approach saying, “This is what you must have.” That is the strength and the benefit of the programme.

The four-pillar approach demonstrates that all can focus their attention on outcomes. All must work hand in glove, with the needs and demands of the business community—the wealth creators—central to the plan. In April, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government visited Cardiff to meet business leaders. When he was questioned about the role of the private sector in the city deal, he underlined the central role that the business community must play and the fact that all organisations must have bought into the plan for the Government to respond positively. We are keen to work with all partners to help to secure the city deal.

It is important to underline the need for joint working between local authorities themselves. Obviously Cardiff’s is central to the city deal, but I was pleased to hear my hon. Friend share comments from the leaders of authorities such as Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire. These

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authorities are a little further away than many from the centre of Cardiff but see the potential that the city deal offers their areas. That demonstrates that all authorities should play a part and that this is genuinely benefiting the region. I hope that some of the authorities that have not yet have been so engaged can take the lead from places like Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.

This is not about competition with the next authority; it is about creating a larger cake in which we can all share. The fact that authority areas in Wales are smaller means that people may live in one but work in another. Everyone can benefit with the right sort of plan. The Welsh Government have proposed local authority changes in recent weeks. These are naturally likely to raise issues between councils, but I do not want those to detract or distract from the opportunity of the city deal. The timescales are tough, but we should not be governed by timescale. This demonstrates the willingness of the Government to work with the authorities and to be ambitious not only in the plans themselves but in terms of timescale. We want this to happen, but the lead must come from the community.

There has never been a better time to invest, innovate or prosper. Wales is coming back. When the capital city region succeeds the whole of south Wales benefits directly, with a knock-on effect to all parts. It is important that all local authorities, the Welsh Government and business communities across the capital region seize that opportunity. Cardiff has a first-class reputation, a brand that is recognised and a strong private sector. We must use the city deal to bind them all together.

Question put and agreed to.

10.40 pm

House adjourned.