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sector because they do not feel that the Bill deals adequately with the question of who is a fit person. New clause 4 makes minimal additions to the definition. I am not able to accept the Minister's assurances.

1.15 am

We have clearly and consistently said throughout the Bill's passage that registration is a public responsibility. Therefore, the issues are not charges on the market mechanism. I do not believe that people are motivated by the cash nexus. This may be the difference between the two sides of the House.

It is as important to have public responsibility for regulating the private sector as to have it for regulating the voluntary sector. The National Childminding Association, for example, has told the Minister that it would be worried if differential charges were introduced. It believes that some hard-pressed local authorities would feel that they had to take account of the views of the people from whom they got their income first. Some authorities already have great waiting lists for registration of child minders. Part of our aim was to ensure that those lists were reduced. Some authorities have argued strongly with the Government that differential charges would bring problems into the processes of registration and inspection. The Government have failed to address this issue. In any case, if independent schools are not to be charged, how does one justify charging even private nurseries? I have yet to meet representatives of any such nurseries who claim to deliver quality care with trained workers and can make a profit. I have visited a private nursery which employs only five qualified workers. Its minimum charge, operating on a non-profit basis, is £105 per week. Anyone who is making a profit can be doing so only at the expense of quality, and we want to ensure that that does not happen.

Registration is a public issue which affects all of us. No matter where a child is placed--in the public, the private or the voluntary domain--I want to be able to say to the parent, "The regulations are such that we are confident about the quality of the service on offer in this establishment."

I am sorry that I cannot respond to the Minister's entreaties--

Mr. Nicholas Soames (Crawley) : Blandishments.

Ms. Armstrong : --and I will not accept his blandishments. Question put, That the clause be read a Second time :

The House divided : Ayes 49, Noes 126.

Division No. 336] [1.18 am


Armstrong, Hilary

Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)

Battle, John

Beckett, Margaret

Beith, A. J.

Bell, Stuart

Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)

Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)

Buckley, George J.

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)

Clay, Bob

Clelland, David

Cohen, Harry

Corbyn, Jeremy

Cousins, Jim

Cryer, Bob

Cummings, John

Cunliffe, Lawrence

Dixon, Don

Fearn, Ronald

Flynn, Paul

Foster, Derek

Gordon, Mildred

Hardy, Peter

Hinchliffe, David

Home Robertson, John

Hughes, John (Coventry NE)

Illsley, Eric

Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Mo n)

Kirkwood, Archy

Leadbitter, Ted

Lofthouse, Geoffrey

McCartney, Ian

Column 811

Madden, Max

Meale, Alan

Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)

Pike, Peter L.

Powell, Ray (Ogmore)

Skinner, Dennis

Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)

Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)

Turner, Dennis

Vaz, Keith

Wall, Pat

Wareing, Robert N.

Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)

Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)

Wise, Mrs Audrey

Tellers for the Ayes :

Mr. Frank Haynes, and

Mrs. Llin Golding.


Alexander, Richard

Alison, Rt Hon Michael

Amess, David

Amos, Alan

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Ashby, David

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)

Baldry, Tony

Batiste, Spencer

Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Boswell, Tim

Brazier, Julian

Burns, Simon

Burt, Alistair

Butler, Chris

Carlisle, John, (Luton N)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda

Chapman, Sydney

Chope, Christopher

Colvin, Michael

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cran, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina

Curry, David

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Durant, Tony

Fallon, Michael

Favell, Tony

Fenner, Dame Peggy

Fishburn, John Dudley

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, Eric

Freeman, Roger

French, Douglas

Gale, Roger

Garel-Jones, Tristan

Gill, Christopher

Glyn, Dr Alan

Goodlad, Alastair

Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles

Gorman, Mrs Teresa

Gow, Ian

Greenway, John (Ryedale)

Gregory, Conal

Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)

Ground, Patrick

Hague, William

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Hanley, Jeremy

Harris, David

Haselhurst, Alan

Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney

Hayward, Robert

Heddle, John

Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)

Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey

Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)

Hunter, Andrew

Irvine, Michael

Jack, Michael

Janman, Tim

Jessel, Toby

Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey

Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)

Knapman, Roger

Lyell, Sir Nicholas

Mellor, David

Morris, M (N'hampton S)

Morrison, Sir Charles

Moss, Malcolm

Neubert, Michael

Norris, Steve

Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley

Oppenheim, Phillip

Paice, James

Patnick, Irvine

Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey

Pawsey, James

Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth

Porter, David (Waveney)

Riddick, Graham

Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)

Rowe, Andrew

Rumbold, Mrs Angela

Sackville, Hon Tom

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')

Shersby, Michael

Sims, Roger

Soames, Hon Nicholas

Speed, Keith

Speller, Tony

Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)

Stern, Michael

Stevens, Lewis

Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)

Stradling Thomas, Sir John

Summerson, Hugo

Taylor, John M (Solihull)

Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)

Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

Thornton, Malcolm

Thurnham, Peter

Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)

Tracey, Richard

Twinn, Dr Ian

Waddington, Rt Hon David

Walden, George

Waller, Gary

Ward, John

Warren, Kenneth

Watts, John

Wheeler, John

Widdecombe, Ann

Winterton, Mrs Ann

Winterton, Nicholas

Wood, Timothy

Yeo, Tim

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory


Mr. Greg Knight.

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