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Mr. Kilfoyle: The hon. Lady has evinced on many occasions her interest in all matters concerning the regions of outer space between the galaxies. She has a far more informed knowledge of the core of the galaxy than she has of core assets. It is the height of gall that she should accuse us of having stolen the Government's ideas on core assets.

Conservative Members might argue that we explored GM borrowing ad nauseam. As for the Procrustean beds that the hon. Lady accuses us of desiring, there must be a black hole in my knowledge of Greek mythology. I put it down to the notion that working-class heroes like myself were lucky to find a potato sack on the dock road.

19 Mar 1996 : Column 258

The proposals put forward by the hon. Lady tonight will do nothing to advance the educational interests of the vast majority of our children. More importantly from the hon. Lady's perspective, they will do absolutely nothing to encourage the grant-maintained sector. That is evidenced by its response, which was mentioned on the front page of The Times Educational Supplement several weeks ago: less than 5 per cent. of grant-maintained schools bothered to respond. Overwhelmingly, grant-maintained schools were not interested in taking on further debt.

Given the Government's failure to make a clear commitment on what core assets ought to be, so that schools can guarantee the delivery of the national curriculum, we feel impelled to vote for the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The House divided: Ayes 230, Noes 271.

Division No. 83
[9.04 pm


AYES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Allen, Graham
Alton, David
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)
Armstrong, Hilary
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Ashton, Joe
Austin-Walker, John
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bell, Stuart
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blunkett, David
Boateng, Paul
Bradley, Keith
Bray, Dr Jeremy
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)
Burden, Richard
Byers, Stephen
Caborn, Richard
Callaghan, Jim
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Canavan, Dennis
Cann, Jamie
Chidgey, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Church, Judith
Clapham, Michael
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Robin (Livingston)
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cummings, John
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John
Cunningham, Roseanna
Dafis, Cynog
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)
Davies, Chris (L'Boro & S'worth)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Denham, John
Dewar, Donald
Dixon, Don
Dobson, Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Dowd, Jim
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Ms Angela
Eastham, Ken
Etherington, Bill
Evans, John (St Helens N)
Fatchett, Derek
Faulds, Andrew
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foulkes, George
Fyfe, Maria
Galbraith, Sam
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Garrett, John
George, Bruce
Gerrard, Neil
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mildred
Graham, Thomas
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Gunnell, John
Hall, Mike
Hanson, David
Harman, Ms Harriet
Henderson, Doug
Heppell, John
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hodge, Margaret
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Hoon, Geoffrey
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Howarth, George (Knowsley North)
Howells, Dr Kim (Pontypridd)
Hoyle, Doug
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Hutton, John
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Jamieson, David
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Jowell, Tessa
Keen, Alan
Kennedy, Jane (L'pool Br'dg'n)
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
Kirkwood, Archy
Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Lewis, Terry
Liddell, Mrs Helen
Litherland, Robert
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loyden, Eddie
Lynne, Ms Liz
McAllion, John
McCartney, Ian
Macdonald, Calum
McFall, John
McKelvey, William
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclennan, Robert
McMaster, Gordon
McNamara, Kevin
MacShane, Denis
McWilliam, John
Madden, Max
Mahon, Alice
Marek, Dr John
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meale, Alan
Michael, Alun
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Milburn, Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Morgan, Rhodri
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wy'nshawe)
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Mowlam, Marjorie
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
O'Brien, Mike (N W'kshire)
O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Pearson, Ian
Pendry, Tom
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Pope, Greg
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Prentice, Bridget (Lew'm E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Randall, Stuart
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Dr John
Rendel, David
Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rogers, Allan
Rowlands, Ted
Ruddock, Joan
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Short, Clare
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Chris (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Spearing, Nigel
Spellar, John
Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Steinberg, Gerry
Stott, Roger
Strang, Dr. Gavin
Straw, Jack
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis
Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Walley, Joan
Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Wareing, Robert N
Watson, Mike
Welsh, Andrew
Wigley, Dafydd
Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Wilson, Brian
Wise, Audrey
Worthington, Tony
Wray, Jimmy
Wright, Dr Tony

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Robert Ainsworth and
Mr. Peter Hain.


NOES


Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)
Alexander, Richard
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, James
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)
Ashby, David
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baker, Rt Hon Kenneth (Mole V)
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)
Banks, Matthew (Southport)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Bates, Michael
Batiste, Spencer
Bellingham, Henry
Bendall, Vivian
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
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes
Brandreth, Gyles
Brazier, Julian
Bright, Sir Graham
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (South Dorset)
Budgen, Nicholas
Burns, Simon
Burt, Alistair
Butler, Peter
Butterfill, John
Carlisle, John (Luton North)
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln)
Carttiss, Michael
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
Churchill, Mr
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coe, Sebastian
Congdon, David
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Couchman, James
Cran, James
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Davis, David (Boothferry)
Day, Stephen
Devlin, Tim
Deva, Nirj Joseph
Dicks, Terry
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Dover, Den
Duncan-Smith, Iain
Dunn, Bob
Durant, Sir Anthony
Eggar, Rt Hon 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)
Fishburn, Dudley
Forman, Nigel
Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling)
Forth, Eric
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
French, Douglas
Fry, Sir Peter
Gale, Roger
Gallie, Phil
Gardiner, Sir George
Garnier, Edward
Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Cheryl
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Grant, Sir A (SW Cambs)
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Grylls, Sir Michael
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Hampson, Dr Keith
Hanley, Rt Hon Jeremy
Hannam, Sir John
Hargreaves, Andrew
Haselhurst, Sir Alan
Hawkins, Nick
Hawksley, Warren
Hayes, Jerry
Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Hendry, Charles
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence
Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Horam, John
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Hunter, Andrew
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Jack, Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Jessel, Toby
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Key, Robert
King, Rt Hon Tom
Kirkhope, Timothy
Knapman, Roger
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N)
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Legg, Barry
Leigh, Edward
Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Lester, Sir James (Broxtowe)
Lidington, David
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Lord, Michael
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
MacKay, Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Malone, Gerald
Mans, Keith
Marland, Paul
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Mates, Michael
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Merchant, Piers
Mills, Iain
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Moate, Sir Roger
Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector
Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Needham, Rt Hon Richard
Nelson, Anthony
Neubert, Sir Michael
Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Nicholls, Patrick
Norris, Steve
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Oppenheim, Phillip
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Patnick, Sir Irvine
Patten, Rt Hon John
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Pawsey, James
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Pickles, Eric
Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Porter, David (Waveney)
Powell, William (Corby)
Rathbone, Tim
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Richards, Rod
Riddick, Graham
Robathan, Andrew
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Sackville, Tom
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Shaw, David (Dover)
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Shepherd, Sir Colin (Hereford)
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Shersby, Sir Michael
Sims, Roger
Skeet, Sir Trevor
Speed, Sir Keith
Spencer, Sir Derek
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs)
Spink, Dr Robert
Spring, Richard
Sproat, Iain
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Stewart, Allan
Sumberg, David
Sweeney, Walter
Sykes, John
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
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
Townend, John (Bridlington)
Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Twinn, Dr Ian
Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Viggers, Peter
Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Walden, George
Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Waller, Gary
Ward, John
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Waterson, Nigel
Watts, John
Wells, Bowen
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
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Garry Streeter and
Mr. Derek Conway.

Question accordingly negatived.

19 Mar 1996 : Column 261

Clause 7

Orders and regulations


Amendments made: No. 29, in page 2, line 40, at beginning insert--
'( ) In this Act "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.'.
No. 30, in page 3, line 5, at end insert--
', and (b) may contain such incidental, supplementary, saving or transitional provisions as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.'.--[Mr. Robin Squire.]

Schedule 1

Nursery Education Grants: Inspections etc.


Amendments made: No. 31, in page 5, line 5, leave out

19 Mar 1996 : Column 262


'by regulations made by the Secretary of State'.
No. 32, in page 6, line 6, leave out
'the Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe'
and insert 'may be prescribed'.
No. 33, in page 7, leave out lines 44 to 46 and insert--
'13.--(1) Where a person has conducted an inspection under paragraph 6 he shall make his report in writing to the Chief Inspector within such period as may be prescribed, subject to any extension not exceeding three months which the Chief Inspector may consider necessary.
(2) Once the report of an inspection has been made to the Chief Inspector under sub-paragraph (1) he shall without delay send a copy of it to such authorities and persons as may be prescribed.'.--[Mr. Robin Squire.]

Schedule 2

Nursery Education Grants: Disclosure of Information

Mr. Spearing: I beg to move amendment No. 43, in page 8, line 26, leave out from 'Office' to end of line 29.

The amendment, which perhaps was missed in Committee, might be described as a gentle probing amendment. It proposes the deletion of paragraph 1(1)(b), which states that the schedule applies to


The schedule relates to the disclosure of information about social security.

Paragraph 2 of the schedule states:


The Bill is legally interesting: it is written in high legal code. In order to understand what the schedule means, we must find out what persons are involved in section 2--or clause 2, as it currently is. Clause 2 states:


I am glad to see that the present Secretary of State is here, waiting for Third Reading, to which we shall come shortly.

Because schedule 2 gives authorisation to "any person", the Secretary of State and her successors can ask any other person to take over any function relating to grants involving so-called nursery education. That person can be a provider; the provider could presumably be Capita or its successors, or any sub-contractor--if that is allowed in the contract--or, indeed, any number of people. The possibilities are mind-boggling.

That person could be an employee of such a provider of education, a director of a nationwide firm, or--dare I mention it again--of an international firm, who supplies education by virtue of being a provider, whether for one school or for a large number. Schedule 2 empowers the Secretary of State to supply a whole range of people: sub-contractors, providers, some voluntary, some mutual, some, perhaps, private firms, with an unimaginable range

19 Mar 1996 : Column 263

of information relating to social security. Later in the schedule is printed half a page of what will happen to those people if they misuse that information.

I want to know--I think that the Minister can now tell us--why social security information must be disclosed to such a wide range of people. It is unlikely now that even the head of a school--he or she would probably not dream of doing so--has any right to go to the social security office to obtain information about the circumstances of a parent.I cannot see that happening. It may happen, but I very much doubt it. Schedule 2 gives legal effect on a whole range of people who are not professional teachers or members of a local education authority, but who instead can be in a myriad of private firms involved in the execution of this important Bill.

Will the Minister explain why on earth that power is in the Bill? Will it go as widely as I think the Bill suggests? Should it not be cut down a great deal?


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