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Mr. Thomas McAvoy (Glasgow, Rutherglen): Does the Minister recall that, in 1974, the so-called four cities expanded their areas and became district councils? If those areas are to retain the right to have a lord provost, surely it would be better to have a certain size requirement for councils to have a lord provost. If the four cities expand into areas that, more traditionally, are cities and a nearby council is a reasonable size, why should not the latter have the opportunity to call its convenor "lord provost"?

Mr. Stewart: The hon. Gentleman makes a perfectly reasonable point. It is generally agreed that the four historic cities should be able to call their first citizen lord provost. He asks about outlying areas, and whether there should be a requirement for a population size of 100,000, 90,000 or whatever. I have no doubt that he had Rutherglen in mind when he made that point, but the point of Lords amendment No. 1 is that it would not rule that out. Under it, any request on behalf of a community to


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have its first citizen named lord provost would be considered by my right hon. Friend on its merits. That is a perfectly reasonable proposition; it is not a particularly partisan matter.

Mr. Andrew Welsh (Angus, East): Why should the Secretary of State have that power? He has gathered every other power to himself under the Bill. Why should he say that one city shall have a lord provost but another shall not? Again, the Government are taking power away from the people. Why in all logic, history or justice should the Secretary of State take to himself, and himself alone, the right to choose who should have a lord provost?

Mr. Stewart: I hope that the hon. Gentleman does not propose that every community in Scotland should have the right to have its first citizen entitled "lord provost". That does not make any sense and it would not be supported by the residents of the four cities that are already entitled to give that title to their first citizen. The title of lord provost applies irrespective of sex. If a woman becomes lord provost, she will be so entitled. I hope that the House will accept that the amendment is a perfectly reasonable compromise. [Interruption.]

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes): Order. There is too much chatter on the Benches.

Question put, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment:--

The House divided: Ayes 273, Noes 24.

Division No. 319] [19.41 pm

AYES


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Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)

Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan

Alexander, Richard

Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)

Ashby, David

Atkins, Robert

Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)

Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)

Baldry, Tony

Banks, Matthew (Southport)

Batiste, Spencer

Bellingham, Henry

Bendall, Vivian

Bennett, Andrew F.

Beresford, Sir Paul

Biffen, Rt Hon John

Body, Sir Richard

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas

Booth, Hartley

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)

Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia

Bowden, Sir Andrew

Bowis, John

Boyes, Roland

Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes

Brandreth, Gyles

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Sir Graham

Brooke, Rt Hon Peter

Browning, Mrs. Angela

Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)

Budgen, Nicholas

Burns, Simon


Column 1419

Burt, Alistair

Butler, Peter

Butterfill, John

Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Cash, William

Channon, Rt Hon Paul

Chapman, Sydney

Churchill, Mr

Clappison, James

Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)

Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif)

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coe, Sebastian

Colvin, Michael

Congdon, David

Conway, Derek

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cope, Rt Hon Sir John

Couchman, James

Cran, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)

Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)

Davies, Quentin (Stamford)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Day, Stephen

Deva, Nirj Joseph

Devlin, Tim

Dixon, Don

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Duncan, Alan

Duncan-Smith, Iain

Dunn, Bob

Durant, Sir Anthony

Dykes, Hugh


Column 1420

Eggar, Tim

Elletson, Harold

Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)

Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)

Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)

Evans, Roger (Monmouth)

Evennett, David

Faber, David

Fabricant, Michael

Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)

Forman, Nigel

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, Eric

Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)

Freeman, Rt Hon Roger

French, Douglas

Fry, Sir Peter

Gallie, Phil

Gardiner, Sir George

Garnier, Edward

Gill, Christopher

Gillan, Cheryl

Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles

Gorman, Mrs Teresa

Gorst, Sir John

Grant, Sir A. (Cambs SW)

Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)

Greenway, John (Ryedale)

Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)

Grylls, Sir Michael

Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn

Hague, William

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Hampson, Dr Keith

Hannam, Sir John

Hargreaves, Andrew

Haselhurst, Alan

Hawkins, Nick

Hawksley, Warren

Hayes, Jerry

Heald, Oliver

Heathcoat-Amory, David

Hendry, Charles

Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael

Hicks, Robert

Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence

Hill, James (Southampton Test)

Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)

Horam, John

Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Howard, Rt Hon Michael

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

Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)

Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)

Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)

Hunter, Andrew

Jack, Michael

Jenkin, Bernard

Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey

Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)

Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)

Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine

Key, Robert

Kirkhope, Timothy

Knapman, Roger

Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)

Knight, Greg (Derby N)

Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)

Knox, Sir David

Kynoch, George (Kincardine)

Lamont, Rt Hon Norman

Lang, Rt Hon Ian

Legg, Barry

Leigh, Edward


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