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Session 2004 - 05
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Summary Agendas and Orders of Business

Order of Business 02 March 2005

Here you can browse the House of Commons Order of Business for 02 March 2005.

* 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
Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for Wales
*1 Mr Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk):    What plans there are for supporting small businesses in Wales through central Government initiatives.
( 218066 )
*2 Simon Hughes (North Southwark & Bermondsey):    What assessment he has made of the merits of making St. David's Day a national holiday in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
( 218067 )
*3 Mr Martyn Jones (Clwyd South):    What assessment he has made of current employment levels in Wales.
( 218068 )
*4 Mr Alan Williams (Swansea West):    What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of measures to reduce child poverty in Wales.
( 218069 )
*5 Hywel Williams (Caernarfon):    If he will bring forward further legislative proposals in relation to the Welsh language.
( 218070 )
*6 Mr Martin Caton (Gower):    What assessment he has made of the effect of the New Deal in Wales.
( 218071 )
*7 Mr Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy):    What assessment he has made of the effects of current rates of stamp duty in poorer areas in Wales.
( 218072 )
*8 Mr Hugo Swire (East Devon):    What discussions he has held with the National Assembly for Wales Government Secretary for Health on the treatment of Welsh NHS patients in English hospitals.
( 218073 )
*9 Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley):    What recent assessment he has made of the numbers of police officers and community support officers in Wales.
( 218074 )
*10 Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore):    What recent assessment he has made of measures to address child poverty in (a) Wales and (b) Ogmore.
( 218075 )
*11 Mr Anthony Steen (Totnes):    If he will take steps to increase the scope of the powers of the National Assembly for Wales.
( 218076 )
*12 Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West):    What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the Ofcom report on public service broadcasting in Wales.
( 218077 )
*13 Dr Hywel Francis (Aberavon):    What assessment he has made of the numbers of police officers and community support officers in Wales.
( 218078 )
*14 Mr Win Griffiths (Bridgend):    When the Welsh sub-group of the coal health claims monitoring group last met; and what progress was reported on payments under the scheme.
( 218079 )
*15 Gareth Thomas (Clwyd West):    What assessment he has made of current employment levels in Wales.
( 218080 )

At 12 noon
Unless otherwise indicated the Members listed below will ask a Question without notice.
Oral Questions to the Prime Minister
*Q1 Mr Nigel Beard (Bexleyheath & Crayford):    If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 2nd March.
( 218938 )
*Q2 Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield):    
( 218939 )
*Q3 Lembit Öpik (Montgomeryshire):    
( 218940 )
*Q4 Mr Michael Connarty (Falkirk East):    
( 218941 )
*Q5 Hugh Robertson (Faversham & Mid Kent):    
( 218942 )
*Q6 Hugh Bayley (York, City of):    
( 218943 )
*Q7 Mr Mark Francois (Rayleigh):    
( 218944 )
*Q8 Dr John Pugh (Southport):    
( 218945 )
*Q9 Mrs Anne Campbell (Cambridge):    
( 218946 )
*Q10 Mr Damian Green (Ashford):    
( 218947 )
*Q11 Sir Robert Smith (West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine):    
( 218948 )
*Q12 Mr Richard Spring (West Suffolk):    
( 218949 )
*Q13 Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York):    
( 218951 )
*Q14 Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold):    
( 218952 )

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

Preliminary Business

Notices of Presentation of Bills

+  1  


[No debate]

      Ms Secretary Hewitt
        Bill to make provision for the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights; to dissolve the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the Disability Rights Commission; to make provision about discrimination on grounds of religion or belief; to impose duties relating to sex discrimination on persons performing public functions; and for connected purposes.

Formal first reading: no debate or decision.



[No debate]

      Mr Alex Salmond
        Bill to make provision for withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union; to amend the Fishery Limits Act 1976; to make provision about the exercise of functions under that Act by Scottish Ministers, the National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Ministers and the Secretary of State; to provide that that Act shall have effect regardless of the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972; to define English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish waters; and for connected purposes.

Formal first reading: no debate or decision.



[No debate]

      Mr Michael Foster
        Bill to make provision about concessionary fares on buses for elderly persons.

Formal first reading: no debate or decision.

Ten minute Rule Motion



[Up to 20 minutes]

      Miss Anne Begg
        That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision about the enforcement of entitlements to annual leave under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and to amend the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 in that connection; and for connected purposes.

        The Member moving and a Member opposing this Motion may each speak for up to ten minutes (Standing Order No. 23).

Main Business


OPPOSITION DAY (5th allotted day)

[Until 7.00 p.m.]



      Mr Michael Howard
      Mrs Caroline Spelman
      Mr David Willetts
      Mr Philip Hammond
      Mr Eric Pickles
      David Maclean
        That this House notes that council tax bills have increased by 70 per cent. under the Labour Government, with further above-inflation rises planned in the forthcoming year and after the general election; expresses concern that pensioners have been hit hardest and calls on the Government to implement the Conservative policy of an automatic council tax discount for those aged 65 and over; notes with alarm the Government's plans in any third term for a revaluation which would lead to greater inequities and new higher council tax bands; rejects Liberal Democrat plans for a local income tax, regional income tax and higher national income tax; and calls for less bureaucracy and interference from Whitehall and regional bureaucrats in local government funding and for greater transparency in the allocation of local funding for councils.

            As Amendments to Mr Michael Howard's proposed Motion (Council tax):
      The Prime Minister
      Mr Secretary Prescott
      Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer
      Mr Secretary Clarke
      Mr Peter Hain
      Mr Nick Raynsford
Phil Hope
        Line      1,      leave out from `House' to end and add `welcomes the Government's support for local government with its 33 per cent. grant increase in real terms since 1997, compared to a real terms cut of 7 per cent. in the last four years of the previous administration; notes that the increase in council tax this year is set to be the lowest in over a decade at around 4 per cent. and the second lowest since it was introduced and is less than the increase in average earnings; notes CIPFA's view that it will add less than £1 a week to average council tax bills; further notes that the effect of the Opposition's policy to cut grant to councils and abolish capping would allow council tax to rise unchecked; and looks forward to the report of the Lyons inquiry into local government funding which is due by the end of this year.'.

      Mr Charles Kennedy
      Sir Menzies Campbell
      Mr Edward Davey
      Matthew Green
      Sir Robert Smith
      Mr Andrew Stunell
        Line      1,      leave out from `by' to end and add `71 per cent. under the Labour Government, with further above-inflation rises planned in the forthcoming year and after the general election; notes that the council tax is Great Britain's most unfair major tax, with the poorest families paying four times as much as the richest families as a proportion of income; notes that both Labour and the Conservatives want to keep council tax, even though the Audit Commission described the council tax system as "fundamentally flawed"; expresses concern that the Conservative plans for council tax would give no help at all to over two million hard-pressed pensioners simply because they live with an adult under the age of 65, and overall give no benefit to six million British pensioners, including no pensioner at all in Scotland and Wales; further notes that the Conservative council tax plans are based on bogus and incredible public spending cuts that would include making 235,000 civil servants redundant; expresses concern that the Conservatives still back council tax revaluation which will push up council tax bills for many; and calls on the Government to stop council tax revaluation, and to abolish council tax, replacing it with a local income tax, related to ability to pay.'.



      Mr Michael Howard
      Mr Andrew Lansley
      Mr Simon Burns
      Chris Grayling
      Tim Loughton
      David Maclean
        That this House, whilst applauding the endeavours of dedicated NHS staff to do the best for their patients, is deeply concerned at the Government's continued failure to tackle effectively the continuing rise in the incidence of hospital-acquired infection; notes with alarm the recent report by the Office of National Statistics that 955 people died with methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as a contributing factor in 2003 alone, an increase of 155 on the year before and more than double the level in 1997; further notes that this seriously understates the gravity of the problem, given the failure to designate hospital-acquired infections on death certificates; is particularly worried by the sharp rise in the number of MRSA infections in children and babies as confirmed in a Patients Association study; further notes the continuing detrimental effect of the Government's obsession with targets which hinders the closure of beds or wards on clinical grounds when recommended by infection control teams; believes that matrons should have responsibility in hospitals for the hygiene, cleanliness and care of patients and the power to enforce measures including bed or ward closures; regrets the continuing failure of the Government to take measures recommended by the Public Accounts Committee and the failure to support a `search and destroy' strategy as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer in his report `Winning Ways'; and calls on the Government urgently to take concerted action to reduce drastically the level of hospital-acquired infections and restore the public's confidence in the safety of hospitals.

            As an Amendment to Mr Michael Howard's proposed Motion (Hospital-acquired infections):
      The Prime Minister
      Mr Secretary Prescott
      Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer
      Mr Peter Hain
      Mr Secretary Reid
      Miss Melanie Johnson
Dr Stephen Ladyman
        Line      1,      leave out from `House' to end and add `welcomes the Government's commitment to tackle hospital-acquired infections with a robust programme for improving standards in infection control; congratulates the Government on its action plan for reducing infection rates, "Towards cleaner hospitals and lower rates of infection", and the introduction of the new target to halve the rate of MRSA in the first instance, and the appointment of local directors of infection prevention and control to cut cross-infection locally; supports the Chief Medical Officer's action plan "Winning Ways"; recognises that MRSA is a longstanding problem that became endemic in the National Health Service between 1993 and 1997 and believes that this Government is to be congratulated on introducing a system of mandatory surveillance for MRSA to establish its full extent; notes that the Government is working with experts from home and abroad to identify the actions and best practice which will make a difference, including a matron's charter, a national hand hygiene campaign, improved standards and better inspection of hospital cleanliness; and therefore congratulates the Government on its comprehensive programme of investment and reform that has equipped the NHS to deliver improvements in patient safety, and to reduce hospital acquired infections.

        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.

+  6  


[No debate]

      Mr Secretary Murphy
        That the draft Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 7th February, be approved.

To be decided without debate (Standing Order No. 118(6)).

+  7  


[No debate]

      Secretary Margaret Beckett
        That the draft Gangmasters (Licensing Authority) Regulations 2005, which were laid before this House on 26th January, be approved.

To be decided without debate (Standing Order No. 118(6)).

At the end of the sitting:



        Proposed subject: Safety of mechanised wheelchairs (Bob Russell).

        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).



1European Standing Committee B2.00 p.m.Room 10 (public)
To consider EU Documents Nos. 11890/04 and 11981/04 relating to the Fight Against Fraud and 14549/04 relating to the European Anti-Fraud Office, and Unnumbered Memorandum relating to the 2003 Annual Report of the European Court of Auditors.
2Eighth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation2.30 p.m.Room 9 (public)
To consider the draft Social Security (Intensive Activity Period 50 to 59 Pilot) Regulations 2005 and the draft Social Security (Intensive Activity Period 50 to 59 Pilot) (No. 2) Regulations 2005.


3Science and Technology9.00 a.m.
9.30 a.m.
10.00 a.m.
10.15 a.m.
Room 8 (private)
Subjects: (i) Science question time (ii) Strategic science provision in English universities.
Witnesses: (i) Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Minister for Science and Innovation, Department of Trade and Industry (ii) Professor Bob Boucher, Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr Simon Campbell, Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor Peter Main, Institute of Physics, Professor Sir Tom Blundell, Biosciences Federation, Professor Amanda Chetwynd, London Mathematical Society; Professor Richard Bruckdorfer, and Malcolm Keight, Association of University Teachers (AUT) (at approximately 11.00 a.m.).
4Education and Skills9.15 a.m.

9.30 a.m.
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House (private)(public)
Subject: The Work of the Department for Education and Skills.
Witness: Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP, Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
5Culture, Media and Sport9.30 a.m.

9.45 a.m.
The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House (private)
Subject: Arts Development: Theatre.
Witnesses: Equity, BECTU, The Musicians' Union; Joan Bakewell CBE, Chair, Victoria Todd, Director, National Campaign for the Arts, Mr Giles Croft, Nottingham Playhouse, Sir Peter Hall, Kingston Theatre, SuAndi OBE, Black Arts Alliance (at approximately 10.30 a.m.); Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund (at approximately 11.15 a.m.); Department for Culture, Media and Sport (at approximately 12 noon).
6Trade and Industry9.45 a.m.

10.00 a.m.
The Grimond Room, Portcullis House (private)
Subject: Occupational Segregation and the Gender Pay Gap.
Witnesses: Amicus-UNIFI; Sector Skills Councils (at approximately
7Defence10.00 a.m.Room 16 (private)
8Transport2.15 p.m.
2.30 p.m.
Room 6 (private)
Subject: Search and Rescue.
Witnesses: RNLI; PCS and NUMAST (at approximately 3.20 p.m.); Maritime and Coastguard Agency (at approximately 4.00 p.m.); David Jamieson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport, Phil Hope MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Fiona Mactaggart MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (at approximately 4.40 p.m.).
9Accommodation and Works2.30 p.m.The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House (private)
10Defence2.30 p.m.Room 15 (private)
11European Scrutiny2.30 p.m.Room 19 (private)
12Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Sub-Committee on Draft Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill2.45 p.m.

3.00 p.m.
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House (private)
Subject: Draft Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill.
Witnesses: English Nature; The Wildlife Trusts, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Campaign to Protect Rural England (at approximately 3.30 p.m.); Lord Whitty, Minister for Farming, Food and Sustainable Energy, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (at approximately
13Environmental Audit3.00 p.m.
3.20 p.m.
Room 20 (private)
Subject: Sustainable Procurement Policy.
Witnesses: The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply; The Waste and Resources Action Programme (at approximately 4.00 p.m.).
14Northern Ireland Affairs3.30 p.m.Room 21 (private)
Subject: Reconciliation: Ways of dealing with Northern Ireland's past.
Witnesses: Mr Colin Parry; Ms Marie Smyth (at approximately 4.05 p.m.); The Haven Project (at approximately 4.40 p.m.).
15Public Accounts3.30 p.m.Room 16 (public)
Subjects: (i) Department for Employment and Learning: Jobskills (ii) Local Management of Schools.
Witnesses: (i) Mr Will Haire, Permanent Secretary, Mr Tom Scott, Director of Corporate Services, and Ms Heather Stevens, Director of Skills and Industry, Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning (ii) Mr Gerry McGinn, Permanent Secretary, and Ms Katrina Godfrey, Head of Resource Allocation, Northern Ireland Department of Education (at approximately
16Broadcasting4.00 p.m.Room 7 (private)
17Selection4.45 p.m.Room 13 (private)


18Human Rights4.00 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    Parliamentary Under Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs:      Civil Legal Aid Reforms.
2    Secretary of State for Defence:      Defence Information Infrastructure (Future).
3    Secretary of State for Education and Skills:      Adoption and Children Act 2002.
4    Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:      London Meeting to Support the Palestinian Authority.
5    Secretary of State for International Development:      Aid conditionality.


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Prepared 2 March 2005