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Mr. Holt : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. During the six years that I have been a Member of the House there have been frequent points of order from hon. Members on both sides of the House when they have sought to place matters before the House. I spent a number of hours this afternoon in the Library reading "Erskine May", but nowhere could I find anything about the occupant of the Chair refusing to take further points of order. If you say that points of order will no longer be taken during the debate, that is a new ruling.
One thing is certain. There must be a good story to tell about the Labour- controlled Derbyshire county council because of the tremendous efforts that Conservative Members have made to stop the story being told.
We know only too well--
Mr. Teddy Taylor (Southend, East) rose--
Mr. Skinner : We know that in the course of the past 10 years the rate support grant nationally has been reduced from about 61 per cent. to 46 per cent. But in Derbyshire the picture is much more dramatic. The rate support grant has fallen from 61.9 per cent. to 37.4 per cent. That means that, in contrast with the position when Labour left office in 1979, the ratepayers of Derbyshire in all 10 constituencies have had to find £62.6 for every £100 that has been spent.
It is important that we get it on the record that rates increased generally, and in Derbyshire, because of the massive cut in the rate support grant. [ Hon. Members :-- "Tell us about Reg Race."] One reason why the rate support grant has been cut is in order to finance--[ Hon. Members :-- "What about the waste?"]--those people-- [Interruption.]
Mr. Skinner : I was trying to explain that one of the main reasons why rates paid by the ratepayers in the Tory-held constituencies in Derbyshire have increased rapidly is the Goverment's massive cut in rate support grant.
Mr. David Shaw : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have been called a silly twit by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott). In all the time that I have been a Member of the House I have known the hon. Gentleman to speak up for the National Union of Seamen- -
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. I have appealed to the House. It is unusual for Adjournment debates to be interrupted by points of order. Many hon. Members will hope to have Adjournment debates and to have an opportunity to put their case. I hope that the hon. Member for Bolsover will have the opportunity to put his case. Mr. Skinner.
Mr. Skinner : I was saying, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you are having great difficulty dealing with people this late at night. I was trying to make the point that Tory Members are trying to prevent the Derbyshire county council's Labour-controlled case from being put in the House of Commons. [ Hon. Members :-- "Rubbish."] I think it is a very good case.
Hon. Members will be pleased to know that since 1981 the Labour-controlled Derbyshire county council has managed to hold the price of meals on wheels for many thousands of old age pensioners at 35p per head. It has never increased the price in those eight years. It managed to hold the price of school meals down to 45p for the junior schoolchildren and to 55p for the seniors. It is the lowest price in any shire county in Great Britain. It is a story of success against the massive cuts that this Government have carried out against the Derbyshire county council.
The motion having been made after Ten o'clock on Thursday evening, and the debate having continued for half an hour, Mr. Deputy Speaker-- adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
Adjourned at seventeen minutes to One o'clock.
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