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Column 936

Roe, Mrs Marion

Rossi, Sir Hugh

Rost, Peter

Rowe, Andrew

Rumbold, Mrs Angela

Sackville, Hon Tom

Sainsbury, Hon Tim

Sayeed, Jonathan

Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)

Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')

Shelton, Sir William

Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)

Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)

Shersby, Michael

Sims, Roger

Skeet, Sir Trevor

Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)

Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)

Soames, Hon Nicholas

Speed, Keith

Speller, Tony

Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)

Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)

Squire, Robin

Stanbrook, Ivor

Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John

Steen, Anthony

Stern, Michael

Stevens, Lewis

Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)

Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)

Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N)

Stokes, Sir John

Stradling Thomas, Sir John

Sumberg, David

Tapsell, Sir Peter

Taylor, Ian (Esher)

Taylor, John M (Solihull)

Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)

Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman

Temple-Morris, Peter

Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret

Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)

Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

Thorne, Neil

Thornton, Malcolm

Thurnham, Peter

Townend, John (Bridlington)

Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)

Tracey, Richard

Tredinnick, David

Trippier, David

Trotter, Neville

Twinn, Dr Ian

Vaughan, Sir Gerard

Viggers, Peter

Waddington, Rt Hon David

Wakeham, Rt Hon John

Waldegrave, Hon William

Walden, George

Walker, Bill (T'side North)

Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)

Waller, Gary

Walters, Sir Dennis

Ward, John

Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)

Warren, Kenneth

Wells, Bowen

Wheeler, John

Widdecombe, Ann

Wiggin, Jerry

Wilshire, David

Wolfson, Mark

Wood, Timothy

Yeo, Tim

Young, Sir George (Acton)

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones and

Mr. Tony Durant.

Question accordingly negatived.

Bill accordingly committed to a Standing Committee.



That, at this day's sitting, the Motion in the name of Mr. Secretary Ridley relating to the Football Spectators Bill [Lords] may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour ; and the Motion in the name of the Prime Minister for the Adjournment of the House may be proceeded with, though opposed, until One o'clock, or for three hours after it has been entered upon, whichever is the later.-- [Mr. Chapman.]

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Football Spectators Bill [Lords]

10.27 pm

The Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Nicholas Ridley) : I beg to move,

That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Football Spectators Bill [Lords] that it have power to make provision in the Bill relating to any aspect of the safety of spectators at designated football matches.

This motion was tabled at the suggestion of the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson). I have already explained its meaning and purpose and the use to which the Government might seek to put it by moving an amendment in Committee. I do not think that I need to add anything to what I said earlier.

10.28 pm

Mr. Denis Howell (Birmingham, Small Heath) : I do not wish to detain the House, but I think that the Secretary of State should give us a little more explanation of his motion because it might cause considerable problems to the Committee. I have already referred to all-seater stadiums, which is a desirable aim towards which we hope to move.

The purpose of the Government's proposal is to allow us to amend the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975, although that is not the legislation that we will be discussing. It raises questions about the powers of local authorities, the rights of football grounds and the cost of implementing any of the schemes. Can the Secretary of State assure us that all those matters can be debated in Committee under his proposal? If so, we shall be satisfied.

We do not wish to resist anything that will improve the safety of grounds and, wherever possible, we shall support the Government. Nevertheless, there are questions of cost and convenience for the football authorities and the local authorities, and we need to be satisfied on those matters before approving the motion.

10.29 pm

Mr. Robert N. Wareing (Liverpool, West Derby) : I am pleased that at least the Government have decided that it will be possible to introduce measures through the Bill which will enable the whole question of safety at football grounds to be properly considered. This precipitate legislation still needs major amendment if there is a real desire to do something about safety at football grounds. My hon. Friend the Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Pendry) referred to what had happened in relation to violence at football grounds in Holland. They set up an advisory board to consider not just hooliganism but safety and crowd control. I hope that the Government will listen to what other people have to say. It is a forlorn hope because, as we know, the Government never make mistakes. So they will decide what to do and they will not listen to anybody else.

I appeal to reasonable hon. Members on the Government Benches to support any move for which we press to try to ensure that the Government consult the people who know about football stadiums. I mean the football authorities, the police and, most of all, the people who tend to be ignored time and again by Government Members--the football supporters' associations. We want real safety. We want conditions in which Hillsboroughs do

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not occur again. The people of Liverpool are extremely concerned that all that we will get is sympathy but no real action. We should consider the experience of other countries. In Germany after the second world war, when they had the advantage of being able to build from scratch, the great stadiums were not built in urban areas, where so many of our grounds are. That is why we have problems on the streets outside grounds, why there is annoyance to people in their residences and why, incidentally, if the scheme is forced on us, we may have Luton copied everywhere else.

At one time the Anglican Church was regarded as the Tory party at prayer, but now Luton Town football club is taking on the pose of the Tory party at play. When I attended that ground on 21 January, in the directors' room there were no fewer than four Tory Members, including two members of the Cabinet, the right hon. Members for Huntingdon (Mr. Major) and for Hertsmere (Mr. Parkinson). Obviously they are impressed with the position at Luton.

Of course, safety does not extend outside the ground. During the 1987-88 football season there were no fewer than 262 cases of criminal damage in Luton town centre and 13 assaults on the police. Luton is not a Tory paradise ; it is not a place of peace and tranquillity, no matter what people say.

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