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Column 917

Porter, David (Waveney)

Portillo, Rt Hon Michael

Redwood, Rt Hon John

Richards, Rod

Riddick, Graham

Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm

Robathan, Andrew

Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn

Robinson, Mark (Somerton)

Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)

Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)

Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela

Ryder, Rt Hon Richard

Sackville, Tom

Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim

Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)

Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian

Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)

Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)

Shersby, Michael

Sims, Roger

Skeet, Sir Trevor

Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)

Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)

Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)

Spink, Dr Robert

Spring, Richard

Sproat, Iain

Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)

Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John

Steen, Anthony

Stephen, Michael

Stern, Michael

Stewart, Allan

Streeter, Gary

Sumberg, David

Sweeney, Walter

Sykes, John

Tapsell, Sir Peter

Taylor, Ian (Esher)

Taylor, Rt Hon John D. (Strgfd)

Taylor, John M. (Solihull)

Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)

Temple-Morris, Peter

Thomason, Roy

Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)

Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

Thornton, Sir Malcolm

Thurnham, Peter

Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)

Tracey, Richard

Tredinnick, David

Trend, Michael

Trotter, Neville

Twinn, Dr Ian

Vaughan, Sir Gerard

Viggers, Peter

Waldegrave, Rt Hon William

Walden, George

Walker, Bill (N Tayside)

Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)

Waterson, Nigel

Watts, John

Wells, Bowen

Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John

Whitney, Ray

Whittingdale, John

Widdecombe, Ann

Wiggin, Sir Jerry

Wilkinson, John

Willetts, David

Wilshire, David

Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)

Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)

Wolfson, Mark

Wood, Timothy

Yeo, Tim

Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. Sydney Chapman and

Mr. Timothy Kirkhope.

Question accordingly negatived.

Column 918

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 30 (Questions on amendments) and agreed to.

Madam Speaker-- forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.


That this House commends the Government's achievements in urban and housing policy over the last 15 years, and recognises that Britain now leads the world in imaginative and constructive policy development in these areas ; notes with approval the development of the Single Regeneration Budget and the Government Offices for the Regions which build on the widely recognised success of City Challenge and other initiatives ; welcomes the formation of English Partnerships to carry forward the drive to improve derelict land ; commends the continuing success of Urban Development Corporations in transforming areas of dereliction and disuse ; notes that statutory homelessness acceptances are continuing their welcome decline ; notes that housing associations are now expected to provide some 179,000 homes with Government funding over the first three years of this Parliament, substantially in excess of the 153,000 promised in 1992 ; congratulates the Government on the success of the Right to Buy and its tenant management initiatives ; notes that the English House Conditions Survey showed an improvement in the fitness of housing in all sectors between 1986 and 1991 ; applauds the Government's continued efforts to secure maximum value for money from public spending, and to target resources on the areas and individuals most in need ; and calls on the Government to continue to place England's urban communities at the heart of its policy, and to draw on the commitment and energy of local people and local bodies in tackling the problems of cities, while maintaining the sound public finances necessary for the sustained economic growth which is an essential component of further improvement not only in urban centres but in the whole country.


Northern Ireland


Motion made, and Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 101(5) (Standing Committees on Statutory Instruments, &c.) That the draft Wills and Administration Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1994, which was laid before this House on 3rd May, be approved.-- [Mr. MacKay.]

Question agreed to.

Column 919

Teampace (Pension Scheme)

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn-- [Mr. MacKay.]

10.14 pm

Mr. Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield) : Last week, the Secretary of State for Social Security announced the Government's response to the Goode report. Their proposals fell a long way short of what many of us would have liked. Nevertheless, there were some useful points in them, and the Minister certainly seemed to attach some significance to them.

Introducing his statement, the right hon. Gentleman said : "Pensions are one of the most important ways in which people and their families hold a stake in this country. They are part of the fabric of a property-owning democracy--a fabric which we extended in the 1980s to cover large numbers left out before."--[ Official Report , 23 June 1994 ; Vol.245, c.359.]

Tonight's debate concerns a story that, for many of my constituents and for those of my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Dr. Jones), began in the 1980s, but the way they were treated does not leave them feeling that they have any great stake in this country--or that the Government consider their stake worth looking after.

These constituents worked for a firm called Burman's Ltd., in south Birmingham. It was taken over by a firm known as Teampace Holdings, run by two gentlemen, Michael Spiers and Kenneth Shaw. Under their management, Teampace acted as a parasite. They would acquire a subsidiary, Burman's being one ; Spiers and Shaw would become directors of the subsidiary, and would then appoint themselves trustees of the subsidiary's pension scheme. As trustees, they would then merge the existing pension scheme with the Teampace pension scheme, of which they were also the trustees.

Teampace Holdings is now in receivership. When the books were examined, it was found that the Teampace pension fund had a shortfall of about £2 million. The effect of that for many of my constituents who worked for the erstwhile Burman's Ltd. is that they have lost about half their pension entitlements.

Dr. Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak) : Although my hon. Friend and I are mainly concerned with the Burman's pensioners, he will be aware that we have been contacted by pensioners in the JLS scheme in Redditch and in the Charlesworth Developments scheme in Dudley. No doubt we will soon be contacted by pensioners from GMS in Sheffield, from Dando International in Brighton and from Wild Barfield in Watford. This problem is happening across the country, and it is not just our constituents who are affected by the scandal.

Mr. Burden : My hon. Friend is absolutely correct. The scandal is of national significance, and it makes the failures of Ministers all the more serious.

How did the scandal come about ? It seems that thousands of pounds collected from employees in pension contributions were not paid over to the Teampace pension fund. Apparently they were lost elsewhere in the Teampace empire. Then, of course, there is Spiers's and Shaw's own pension position. Not only did they make themselves trustees of the Teampace pension scheme, but they also made themselves members of that scheme. They wrote to each other increasing their personal pension benefits right

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