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Mr. Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) : Will my hon. Friend consider the example of my sister, whom he knows, who is deputy leader of the London borough of Ealing and has recently taken up an appointment as a solicitor for the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham? If the Bill becomes law, she will have to choose. Many of the officers mentioned by the

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hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Bennett) and others are in public service as councillors. Does my hon. Friend agree that those people will have to make an unfair choice?

Mr. Grant : I agree absolutely with my hon. Friend. His mention of his sister is particularly apposite as her position encompasses all the problems.

Mr. Terry Fields : My hon. Friend has made a valuable point about the breach of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. However, given their past record, what confidence can we have in the Government's attitude towards EEC legislation and especially rulings of the European Court of Human Rights? If we are appointed to the Standing Committee, how can we ensure that the legislation has sufficient safeguards for us to be able to raise matters in the European Court of Human Rights and receive proper results in the interests of our constituents?

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. We appear to be straying from the money resolution. Would the hon. Gentleman relate his remarks to the money resolution?

Mr. Grant : I agree with my hon. Friend. I was in Europe myself, and I must say that people there are taking a dimmer view of the Government as time goes by.

On the question of voting rights of members of committees, in their response to the report of the Widdicombe committee of inquiry, the Government acknowledged the value of the contribution made by co-opted members to policy formulation. In paragraph 2.0 Cmnd. 433, the committee said of co-option :

"It is a means of involving the community in local authority proceedings, especially those sections of the community (eg women, ethnic minorities, council tenants) that are under-represented among elected members."

The Commission for Racial Equality has recommended the use of co-options by local authorities as a means of discharging its functions under section 71 of the Race Relations Act 1976, for the simple reason that it brings in outside expertise and experience which is not available--given the under- representation of black and ethnic minority communities among elected members--and as a means of providing access to the decision-making process. To remove the voting rights of co-optees would render the under-represented groups powerless in challenging ineffective and ill-informed policies. That is yet another reason why we should vote for this money resolution. Clause 25 raises the question of economic development. The legislation aimed at giving local authorities a new specific power to promote economic development is welcomed. I am disappointed that black and ethnic minority business enterprises have not been given a high priority and that the consultative procedures introduced do not include any mention of the need to involve black and ethnic minority communities. That exclusion is surprising in the light of the Government's so-called commitment to inner- city enterprise, as exemplified by the Home Office-administered racial disadvantage fund, which is geared towards assisting black businesses.

I should like to mention the power to incur discretionary expenditure. The inner-city areas will clearly be the hardest hit by the proposed amendment on the basis for calculating the ceiling on section 137 expenditure. Black organisations in these inner-city areas will be especially affected because the majority of them are revenue projects.

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It being three-quarters of an hour after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, Mr. Deputy Speaker-- put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted Business).

The House divided : Ayes 183, Noes 59.

Division No. 93] [10.58 pm


Alexander, Richard

Alison, Rt Hon Michael

Amess, David

Amos, Alan

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Aspinwall, Jack

Atkins, Robert

Atkinson, David

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)

Baldry, Tony

Batiste, Spencer

Beggs, Roy

Bellingham, Henry

Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)

Benyon, W.

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter

Bottomley, Mrs Virginia

Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)

Bowis, John

Brandon-Bravo, Martin

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Graham

Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)

Burns, Simon

Burt, Alistair

Butcher, John

Butler, Chris

Carlisle, John, (Luton N)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda

Chapman, Sydney

Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)

Colvin, Michael

Conway, Derek

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cope, Rt Hon John

Couchman, James

Cran, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina

Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Day, Stephen

Devlin, Tim

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Durant, Tony

Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas

Fookes, Dame Janet

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Gale, Roger

Garel-Jones, Tristan

Goodhart, Sir Philip

Gow, Ian

Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E')

Grist, Ian

Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn

Hannam, John

Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')

Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)

Haselhurst, Alan

Hayes, Jerry

Hayward, Robert

Heathcoat-Amory, David

Heddle, John

Hind, Kenneth

Hordern, Sir Peter

Howard, Michael

Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)

Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)

Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)

Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, David (Wirral W)

Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)

Hunter, Andrew

Irvine, Michael

Jack, Michael

Jones, Robert B (Herts W)

Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine

Kilfedder, James

King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)

Kirkhope, Timothy

Knapman, Roger

Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)

Latham, Michael

Lawrence, Ivan

Lee, John (Pendle)

Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)

Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark

Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)

Lightbown, David

Lilley, Peter

Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)

Lord, Michael

McCrindle, Robert

Macfarlane, Sir Neil

MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)

Maclean, David

McLoughlin, Patrick

Malins, Humfrey

Maples, John

Martin, David (Portsmouth S)

Maude, Hon Francis

Meyer, Sir Anthony

Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)

Molyneaux, Rt Hon James

Monro, Sir Hector

Morrison, Sir Charles

Moss, Malcolm

Moynihan, Hon Colin

Neubert, Michael

Nicholls, Patrick

Nicholson, David (Taunton)

Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)

Norris, Steve

Page, Richard

Paice, James

Patnick, Irvine

Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth

Porter, Barry (Wirral S)

Porter, David (Waveney)

Powell, William (Corby)

Raffan, Keith

Rathbone, Tim

Redwood, John

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