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Session 2003 - 04
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Order of Business 26 May 2004

Here you can browse the House of Commons Order of Business for 26 May 2004.

* indicates a question for oral answer.
[R] indicates that the Member has declared a relevant interest.
Questions for oral answer not reached receive a written answer.
Supplementary questions will also be asked. Other Ministers may also answer.

+ indicates Government business.
Timings are indicative only.

At 11.30 a.m. Prayers

Private Business

        Note: Private Business is not debated at this time, and may not be proceeded with if opposed.

Third Reading

Ipswich Market Bill.

Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
*1 Mr Harry Barnes (North East Derbyshire):    What his proposals are for the registration of donations made to political parties operating in Northern Ireland.
( 174921 )
*2 Mr Hugo Swire (East Devon):    If he will make a statement on the state of the electoral register in Northern Ireland.
( 174922 )
*3 David Taylor (North West Leicestershire):    What discussions he has held with the Irish Football Association regarding the implementation of Soccer Strategy.
( 174923 )
*4 Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd):    If he will give financial assistance to the development of exchange programmes between schools in Northern Ireland and (a) the UK mainland and (b) the Irish Republic.
( 174924 )
*5 Mr Andrew Mackay (Bracknell):    If he will make a statement on the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland.
( 174925 )
*6 David Burnside (South Antrim):    If he will make a statement on the amount of public money spent by his Department since 1998 on the promotion of (a) Irish culture and language and (b) Ulster Scots culture and language.
( 174926 )
*7 Mr Malcolm Savidge (Aberdeen North):    What steps are being taken to tackle organised crime in Northern Ireland.
( 174927 )
*8 The Reverend Martin Smyth (Belfast South):    How many representations he has received since January 2002 concerning the trafficking of people in Northern Ireland.
( 174928 )
*9 Mr David Trimble (Upper Bann):    What discussions he has had recently with the Irish Government on the provisions of the Belfast Agreement on the early release of prisoners.
( 174929 )
*10 Mr Gordon Prentice (Pendle):    What steps he is taking to tackle racism in Northern Ireland.
( 174930 )
*11 Dr Nick Palmer (Broxtowe):    If he will make a statement on the peace process.
( 174931 )
*12 Helen Jones (Warrington North):    If he will make a statement on changes in the Northern Ireland economy since the Good Friday Agreement.
( 174932 )
*13 Mr Andrew Robathan (Blaby):    What further action he intends to take against Sinn Fein in the light of the Independent Monitoring Commission's finding that Sinn Fein has responsibility for paramilitary violence.
( 174934 )
*14 Mr Ben Chapman (Wirral South):    If he will make a statement on measures to combat organised crime in Northern Ireland.
( 174935 )

At 12 noon
Unless otherwise indicated the Members listed below will ask a Question without notice.
Oral Questions to the Prime Minister
*Q1 Lembit O­pik (Montgomeryshire):    If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 26th May.
( 175599 )
*Q2 Clive Efford (Eltham):    
( 175600 )
*Q3 Tony Baldry (Banbury):    
( 175601 )
*Q4 Llew Smith (Blaenau Gwent):    
( 175602 )
*Q5 Bob Russell (Colchester):    
( 175603 )
*Q6 Jim Knight (South Dorset):    
( 175604 )
*Q7 Ann Winterton (Congleton):    
( 175605 )
*Q8 Mr Eric Martlew (Carlisle):    
( 175606 )
*Q9 Mr John Maples (Stratford-on-Avon):    
( 175607 )
*Q10 Andy King (Rugby & Kenilworth):    
( 175608 )
*Q11 Mr David Borrow (South Ribble):    
( 175609 )
*Q12 David Winnick (Walsall North):    
( 175610 )
*Q13 Mr Tim Boswell (Daventry):    
( 175611 )
*Q14 Mr Stephen McCabe (Birmingham, Hall Green):    
( 175612 )
*Q15 Mrs Anne Campbell (Cambridge):    
( 175613 )

At 12.30 p.m.Urgent Questions (if any)
Ministerial Statements (if any)

[R] Registered interest declared.

Main Business


OPPOSITION DAY [12th allotted day]      

[Until 7.00 p.m.]



      Mr Michael Howard
      Mrs Caroline Spelman
      Mr Eric Pickles
      Mr David Cameron
      Mr Philip Hammond
      David Maclean
        That this House notes that each year the Government has pledged a `generous' increase in local government funding, yet council tax in England has on average risen by three times the rate of inflation every year since 1997; observes that the cumulative additional council tax burden since 1997/98 is £1,716 for a typical Band D household; deplores the failure of the Government to recognise its role in generating the underlying pressures leading to council tax increases, including new responsibilities, compliance requirements, red tape, targets and assessments imposed by central Government on local authorities; further notes that unfunded cost pressures force councils either to introduce disproportionate increases in council taxes or cut local front line services; and believes that this is a further indicator of growing centralisation and Whitehall interference in local communities, eroding local democracy and weakening democratic accountability.

            As Amendments to Mr Michael Howard's proposed Motion (Financial burdens imposed on local authorities by central Government):
      The Prime Minister
      Mr Secretary Prescott
      Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer
      Mr Secretary Blunkett
      Mr Peter Hain
      Mr Nick Raynsford
 Phil Hope      
        Line      1,      leave out from `House' to end and add `notes that the Government has increased grant to local authorities by 30 per cent. in real terms since 1997, in contrast to real terms grant cuts under the previous government; endorses the firm action taken by the Government to reduce council tax increases in 2004-05 to the lowest level for nine years; notes that Labour councils have the lowest average Council Tax increases at 4.7 per cent. and the lowest average level of Council Tax at £870; congratulates the Government on its commitment to enhancing the delivery of public services by local authorities and notes the evidence from the Comprehensive Performance Assessment of significant improvement in local authority performance; welcomes the extension of substantial freedoms and flexibilities to local authorities, including the prudential borrowing regime replacing the capital controls imposed by the previous government; notes with concern that all of these advances would be jeopardised by the policies of the official Opposition which would freeze expenditure on most local authority services; contrasts the Opposition's current rhetoric with its track record of centralisation when in government; rejects its opportunistic approach; and endorses the Government's commitment to high performing local authorities delivering effective local leadership and quality public services in the most cost-effective way.'.

      Mr Charles Kennedy
      Sir Menzies Campbell
      Mr Edward Davey
      Matthew Green
      Richard Younger-Ross
      Mr Andrew Stunell
        Line      12,      at end add `which began under the last Conservative Government and which can only be tackled by significant financial decentralisation, including measures such as denationalisation of business rates and a local income tax.'.



      Mr Michael Howard
      Mrs Caroline Spelman
      Mr Eric Pickles
      Mr John Hayes
      Mr Robert Syms [R]
      David Maclean
        That this House notes that development of the Green Belt continues unabated under this Government; believes the Government's Communities Plan will be unsustainable and will damage the quality of life of millions of people in this country by concreting over green fields and destroying rural communities; further notes that the Government's targets for brown field development have actually led to the loss of green spaces in suburban areas through infill development; and further believes that communities through their local authorities, not remote regional bodies, should be able to decide the priorities for local development.

            As Amendments to Mr Michael Howard's proposed Motion (Town cramming and urban sprawl):
      The Prime Minister
      Mr Secretary Prescott
      Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer
      Mr Secretary Blunkett
      Secretary Margaret Beckett
      Mr Peter Hain
 Keith Hill    Yvette Cooper    
        Line      1,      leave out from `House' to end and add `applauds the Government for maintaining the amount of Green Belt in England and its pledge to maintain or increase the amount of Green Belt; notes that development of previously developed sites for housing has a crucial role in meeting local needs for housing in the Green Belt and welcomes the Government's crackdown on urban sprawl, by adopting a sequential approach to the release of land and planning growth where it is needed; supports its proactive approach in improving the sustainability of rural communities; applauds the Government's success in achieving its previously developed land target early and increasing average densities of new development, which have helped to take the pressure off green fields; applauds the Government for introducing new planning policies in PPG17 to protect open spaces of value to the local community; and praises the Government for introducing the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to improve the speed and quality of decision making and place sustainability at the heart of the planning system, and for its new emphasis on community involvement, ensuring local people's views are an integral part of the plan making process.'.

      Mr Charles Kennedy
      Sir Menzies Campbell
      Mr Edward Davey
      Matthew Green
      Richard Younger-Ross
      Mr Andrew Stunell
        Line      8,      at end add `and therefore regrets the action of the Conservative Party in caving into Government pressure on the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill, to allow the planning powers of elected county councils to be passed up to unelected regional quangos.'.

        The selection of the matters to be debated this day has been made by the Leader of the Opposition (Standing Order No. 14(2)).

Debate may continue until 7.00 p.m.

+  2  


[No debate after 7.00 p.m.]

      Mr Peter Hain

    (a)   the matter of the Report of the Richard Commission be referred to the Welsh Grand Committee for its consideration;

    (b)   the Committee shall meet at Westminster on Tuesday 6th July at twenty-five minutes past Nine o'clock and between Two o'clock and half-past Four o'clock to consider the matter of the Report of the Richard Commission, under Standing Order No. 107 (Welsh Grand Committee (matters relating exclusively to Wales)).

If opposed, this item cannot be taken after 7.00 p.m.

At the end of the sitting:



        Proposed subject: Future of Northern Cyprus (Ann Winterton).

        Debate may continue until 7.30 p.m. or for half an hour, whichever is later (Standing Order No. 9 and Order of 29th October 2002).



1Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation2.30 p.m.Room 9 (public)
To consider the Mental Health (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 1272).
2Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation2.30 p.m.Room 11 (public)
To consider the Beer from Small Breweries (Extension of Reduced Rates of Excise duty) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 1296).
3Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation2.30 p.m.Room 12 (public)
To consider the draft Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.


4Education and Skills9.15 a.m.The Wilson Room, Portcullis House (private)
5Modernisation of the House of Commons9.30 a.m.Room 17 (private)
6Science and Technology9.30 a.m.
10.00 a.m.
Room 6 (private)
Subject: The use of science in UK international development policy.
Witnesses: Mark Lowcock, Sharon White, and Paul Spray, Department for International Development.
7Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development, Trade and Industry10.00 a.m.Room 16 (private)
8Health9.45 a.m.

10.30 a.m.
The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House (private)
Subject: Palliative Care.
Witnesses: Melanie Johnson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, and Dr Stephen Ladyman MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Department of Health.
9Treasury Sub-Committee2.15 p.m.Room 8 (private)
10TreasuryImmediately after the Treasury Sub-CommitteeRoom 8 (private)
11Defence2.30 p.m.

3.00 p.m.
The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House (private)
Subject: Duty of Care.
Witnesses: Lieutenant General Anthony Palmer CBE, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel), Rear Admiral Simon Goodall CBE, Director General of Training and Education, Colonel David Eccles OBE, Chief of Staff, ATRA, and Mr Julian Miller, Director General of Service Personnel Policy, Ministry of Defence.
12European Scrutiny2.30 p.m.Room 19 (private)
13Transport2.30 p.m.
2.45 p.m.
Room 6 (private)
Subject: European Community Competence and Transport.
Witness: Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Transport.
14Welsh Affairs3.00 p.m.Room 17 (private)
15Environmental Audit3.30 p.m.
3.50 p.m.
Room 20 (private)
Subject: The Sustainable Development Strategy: illusion or reality?
Witnesses: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; WWF (at approximately 4.35 p.m.).
16Environment, Food and Rural Affairs3.30 p.m.

4.00 p.m.
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House (private)
Subject: Bovine TB.
Witnesses: Professor Doug Young, Imperial College of Medicine, Mr Alick Simmons, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Dr Chris Cheeseman, Central Science Laboratory; Mr Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Professor John Bourne, Chair, Independent Science Group on Bovine TB.
17Northern Ireland Affairs: Sub-Committee3.30 p.m.

3.45 p.m.
The Grimond Room, Portcullis House (private)
Subject: Waste Management in Northern Ireland.
Witnesses: The Technical Advisers Group; ARC21.
18Public Accounts3.30 p.m.Room 15 (public)
Subject: Network Rail—Making a Fresh Start.
Witnesses: Mr David Rowlands CB, Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport, Mr Richard Bowker, Chairman and Chief Executive, Strategic Rail Authority, Mr Ian McAllister CBE, Chairman, and Mr John Armitt CBE, Chief Executive, Network Rail.
19Broadcasting4.00 p.m.Room 21 (private)
20Selection4.45 p.m.Room 13 (private)


21Draft Charities Bill9.00 a.m.Room 5 (private)
22Human Rights4.15 p.m.Room 5 (private)

[The decision of a Committee to sit in public may be rescinded without notice.]

Written Ministerial Statements to be made today

1    Secretary of State for Trade and Industry:      Data on the number of beneficiaries from the national minimum wage.
2    Secretary of State for Trade and Industry:      Company law: flexibility and accessibility.
3    Secretary of State for Northern Ireland:      Rivers Agency's key performance targets 2004-05.
4    Secretary of State for Defence:      Key targets for the Pay and Personnel Agency for financial year 2004-05.
5    Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs:      The future of Queen's Counsel.

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Prepared 26 May 2004