Examination of Witnesses(Question 287-299)|
Mrs Charles George and Miss Joanna Clayton
Tuesday 4 February 2003
287. CHAIRMAN: First, if it is acceptable to the
Committee, I would like to report that Mr Jim Cunningham will
not be joining us this week. He has suffered a very sad and tragic
bereavement his mother died and therefore you
will understand and I am sure you will forgive his absence. I
have, on behalf of the Committee, written to Jim last evening
to send our condolences to him and to his family and to pass on
to him the Committee's sadness at his loss and our understanding
at this difficult time.
288. It seems that we have a development. Mr George,
would you like to make a comment?
289. MR GEORGE: Sir, what I was going to do was first
of all to ask Miss Clayton to draw the Committee's attention to
a very few corrections to the transcript, and then I was going
to update the Committee about two developments, one concerning
the Secretary of State and one concerning the Petitioner. The
whole matter will only take a very short time.
290. CHAIRMAN: I think it will be most helpful, thank
you, Mr George.
291. MR GEORGE: Thank you.
292. MISS CLAYTON: May I take hon Members to page
17 of the transcript first of all, paragraph 113. About six or
seven lines from the bottom of the paragraph hon Members will
see reference is made to "Standing Order 1422"; it should
be "Standing Order 142(2)".
293. Next, if I could take hon Members to page 23
of the transcript, paragraph 149, four lines down from the paragraph,
hon Members will see Mr George was saying, "One is to go
to the Government and ask for the power" - it should say
- "to borrow" rather than "tomorrow". Wishful
294. Page 40 of the transcript, paragraph 262, there
is a reference to a paragraph in the Petition Mr George was looking
at. It should say, we think, "That is in paragraph 9 of the
295. Finally, page 42, paragraph 275, the second
line, reference is made to "the cost of construction has
been" - we think it should say "paid off" rather
than "made off". On the following line, Mr George was
pointing out that "under the present legislation there is
no requirement to stop tolling" rather than "go stop
296. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. While we are on the corrections,
could I refer the Committee to page 37, paragraph 237, the first
line, where it says, "have not got that moment". It
should say, "have not got at the moment". Thank you.
297. MR GEORGE: Sir, I hope the Committee has the
second report of the Secretary of State for the Department of
Transport. The Committee may recall that in the bundle at A29,
page 130, we had the first report. There were two outstanding
concerns. One related to the EU Directive: one related to a need
for further consultation. The Secretary of State says that he
has now seen the filled-up Bill and that he is satisfied that
the amendments in it meet his two previous concerns.
298. Sir, secondly, I am happy to report to the Committee
that discussions with Mr Fleming for the outstanding Petitioner
have proved extremely fruitful, and that an agreement in principle
has been reached with Mr Fleming whereby it seems that it is not
going to be necessary to trouble this Committee with the Bill.
There is a need for a very short further period of time for those
discussions to reach the point at which, so to speak, a formal
announcement could be made to the Committee, and I crave the permission
of the Committee to have an adjournment, either now for a period
of, say, half an hour, or alternatively to come back at whatever
time the Committee was minded to sit this afternoon, by which
time I and Mr Fleming are extremely confident that we shall be
able actually to tell you that we have reached the decisive further
299. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr George. Shall
we adjourn then until 11 o'clock this morning, at which point
I would invite Mr Fleming perhaps to say a few words too. As a
courtesy to you, sir, I think it would be good to give you an
opportunity to explain why you have arrived at this happy position.
The Committee is now adjourned until 11.00 am.