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'Any regulations made under this section shall include'.

No. 70, in page 44, line 36, leave out "for".

No. 71, in page 45, line 35, at end insert--

'( ) Where an order has been so made, the registration authority shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the making of the order, notify the local authority in whose area the person concerned acts or acted as a child minder, or provides or provided day care, of the making of the order.'.

No. 72, in page 52, line 26, leave out--

'the Chief Inspector of Schools'

and insert--

'Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training'.--[Mr. Mike Hall.]

Clause 79

Basic definitions

Amendment made: No. 73, in page 53, line 22, after "clinic" insert ", independent medical agency".--[Ms Stuart.]

Clause 91

Persons referred for inclusion in list under Protection of Children Act 1999

Amendment made: No. 74, in page 61, line 22, leave out "or 2A" and insert ", 2A or 2D".--[Ms Stuart.]

Clause 98

Transfer from Consultancy Service Index of individuals named in past inquiries

Amendments made: No. 75, in page 67, line 8, at end insert--
'and in paragraph (a), for "this section" there shall be substituted "section 1 above"'.
No. 76, in page 67, line 22, leave out "this section" and insert "section 1 above".--[Ms Stuart.]

12 Jul 2000 : Column 1033

Clause 103

Suitability to adopt a child: searches of lists

Amendments made: No. 77, in page 70, line 22, at beginning insert--
'( ) The Police Act 1997 shall be amended as follows.'
No. 78, in page 70, line 22, leave out--
'113(3A) of the Police Act 1997'
and insert "113 (criminal record certificates)--
( ) in subsection (3A)'.
No. 79, in page 70, line 23, at end insert--
( ) After subsection (3D) (inserted by section 89) there shall be inserted--
"(3E) The references in subsections (3A) and (3C) to suitability to be employed, supplied to work, found work or given work in a position falling within subsection (3B) or (3D) include references to suitability to be registered--
(a) under Part II of the Care Standards Act 2000 (establishments and agencies);
(b) under Part IV of that Act (social care workers); or
(c) for child minding or providing day care under Part XA of the Children Act 1989, or under section 71 of that Act or Article 118 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (child minding and day care)."
( ) In section 115 (enhanced criminal record certificates)--
(a) in subsection (5)--
(i) after paragraph (e) there shall be inserted--
"(ea) registration under Part II of the Care Standards Act 2000 (establishments and agencies);
(eb) registration under Part IV of that Act (social care workers);" and
(ii) after paragraph (g) there shall be inserted--
"(h) a decision made by an adoption agency within the meaning of section 11 of the Adoption Act 1976 as to a person's suitability to adopt a child." and
(b) in subsection (6A), after "113," there shall be inserted "or his suitability to adopt a child,".'.--[Ms Stuart.]
Remaining Government amendments agreed to.
Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.--[Ms Stuart.]

2.33 am

Mr. Hammond: The lateness of the hour clearly calls for brevity, but it would not do justice to the process that the Bill has undergone if I did not make one or two comments.

I would not like the length of this evening's proceedings and the fact that the opposition parties--ourselves and the Liberal Democrats--have felt the need to raise further issues to obscure the fact that, by and large, the Bill has passed through the House with a fairly strong spirit of consensus behind it. Some difficulties have been identified with specific matters of implementation, but the principles behind the Bill are supported on both sides of the House. I would like to place that fact once more on the record.

The Bill is not perfect, but the substantial dependence on regulations to make it work, which was one of our significant concerns during earlier stages of its consideration, now becomes a strength. We have not finished with the Bill because, in the coming months, and

12 Jul 2000 : Column 1034

perhaps years, the Government will issue a stream of regulations that will put the meat on its bones. We will be looking to engage constructively with the Government to ensure that it becomes proper, working legislation.

I shall certainly be taking up the offer that the Minister of State, Department of Health, the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Hutton), has extended to myself and Liberal Democrat representatives to participate in the consultation process on standards and regulations. In that way, I hope that we will be able to ensure that the legislation is workable and robust.

I cannot speak for my noble Friends and other noble Lords who may take a different view of the substantial changes that have been made to the Bill since it came from the other place. It started life there, and I know that several noble Lords have a sense of ownership towards it. It may yet be possible that we in this place will see it again--who knows what will happen when it returns to the other place?

The Minister of State is not present, probably because he is preparing for a Standing Committee early in the morning. He has dealt with the issues that we have raised and the dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of amendments that we have tabled with great diligence, courtesy and good humour throughout. Sometimes, I sense, his patience has been sorely tested, but he has never allowed that to show, or at least not very often.

Although it may not always seem like it to the Minister, the points of difference between him and us are relatively small. The main difference is that, from where he is sitting, he can afford to take a much more relaxed view of the use of secondary legislation than we can. Perhaps if I were doing his job, I would be able to take that relaxed view too. [Hon. Members: "Dream on."] Well, in time.

I end by congratulating the Minister on getting his Bill through the House. I hope that whatever disagreements there have been along the way, we can all work together to try to ensure that, as the regulations are drafted and adopted, we have robust and workable legislation that will achieve the objective that we all share, which is to improve the quality of care to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

2.37 am

Mr. Burstow: I wish to associate myself and my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight (Dr. Brand) with the comments that the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) has just made about the Minister of State and the way in which he has conducted the Government's part in Committee, and I extend that to other Ministers who took part in the Committee's deliberations. I think that it is appropriate to single out the Minister of State because he had to carry the larger burden in dealing with the Bill.

The Bill is very important and, although 2.38 in the morning may not be the time to trumpet that fact, it is worth putting on the record our feeling that introducing this regime for regulating and inspecting a host of care settings is a vast improvement on what has gone before. The previous system was a hotch-potch and did not give adequate safeguards to vulnerable people, and the Government are to be applauded for putting in place a regime that goes a long way to doing just that.

12 Jul 2000 : Column 1035

There are still gaps, and I hope that, when their lordships consider what we have done in this place, they will feel that there is still more that can be done to improve the Bill. Hon. Members on both sides of the House want to ensure that vulnerable people, including the elderly and children, are given the safety, security and standards of care that we would want for our own parents and children and for ourselves.

The Bill should receive a Third Reading; it is a good Bill, and it deserves our support.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed, with amendments.


Motion made and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 108 (Welsh Grand Committee (sittings)),

Question agreed to.


Motion made and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No 118 (6) (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation),


Question agreed to.

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