Previous Section Index Home Page

In many parts of the Bill, there is an implicit recognition of the role of the voluntary sector and the community sector in representing communities. That is not the same role as councillors have; it is a complementary one. I do not want to get into an argument about Wiltshire, but perhaps the answer to the concerns of the hon. Member for Salisbury (Robert Key) is the strengthening of local area agreements. Making sure that different service providers work together towards common aims and goals, and share
22 May 2007 : Column 1246
the necessary practical and administrative facilities, has great potential. Services do not have to be delivered identically in every community. They have to recognise the needs of those communities at a local level. In years to come, we will look back at the partnerships that are inherent in the Bill and say that the Bill was good because of the changes that were made.

Another reason the Bill enhances local democracy is that it extends public scrutiny. We have seen the scrutiny system in local government mature over recent years. It has become a force to reckon with and has shown itself capable of holding local authorities to account. The provision of social care is one of the roles of local authorities, but over recent years we have seen a blurring of the border between health and social care. It is therefore essential that we produce a vehicle that can extend the scrutiny over the grey border between health and social care. The way to do that is through the mature scrutiny functions of local authorities and the experience of patients. I am thinking of the sheer commitment that many patients have shown through their involvement with community health councils and forums. I am sure that, in a few years’ time, we will see that in the local involvement networks as well. As I said in Committee, abolition is a dirty word, but actually it is just part of a process that will bring together health and social care with the support of the scrutiny that local authorities can give. But, essentially, it will be a voluntary organisation—more than likely—that will co-ordinate LINks and make sure that patients are properly represented.

We are also seeing greater powers and responsibilities for councillors. It is not just their scrutiny role that is enhanced; there is also their role as facilitators and champions of their community—people who work with their community organisations rather than against them, as some councillors do. I am talking about being part of the same process, and working through the community call for action and some of the other facilities in the Bill to make sure that people who draw attention to the issues that are important in different streets and communities get their voices heard. In a limited way, there are even powers to choose whether there are thirds elections or all-out elections. That has been a minor success, but a success none the less, showing that scrutiny in this place works too.

The Bill is about making things happen in communities. It is about trusting local people, involving local people and serving local people—not just through councillors and local government, but through the other organisations that hold our communities together and provide the glue and the fabric that make society work. In that sense, it is no exaggeration to say that we will look back on this Bill in a few years’ time and say, “That was when it was recognised that communities, voluntary groups and others could come together with local authorities and councillors as partners, working with other public sector providers to make sure that there is a coherent, sensitive provision of local services that complement each other and make life in communities better.”

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 260, Noes 180.
Division No. 127]
[9.54 pm


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Begg, Miss Anne
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Coffey, Ann
Cooper, Rosie
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Drew, Mr. David
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Heppell, Mr. John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lepper, David

Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Lucas, Ian
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Seabeck, Alison
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Tellers for the Ayes:

Steve McCabe and
Jonathan Shaw

Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Baron, Mr. John

Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Cash, Mr. William
Clark, Greg
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, rh Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Herbert, Nick
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Main, Anne
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael

Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Taylor, Matthew
Teather, Sarah
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Mark
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Mark Lancaster and
Mr. David Evennett
Question accordingly agreed to.
22 May 2007 : Column 1247

22 May 2007 : Column 1248

22 May 2007 : Column 1249

22 May 2007 : Column 1250

Bill read the Third time, and passed.


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

human fertilisation and embryology

Question agreed to.

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

human tissue

Question agreed to.


Hospice (North-West Leicestershire)

10.9 pm

David Taylor (North-West Leicestershire) (Lab/Co-op): I have been privileged today to welcome a party of constituents to the Palace of Westminster. Their mission has been to promote the case for an adult hospice in North-West Leicestershire. The first part of the day was to discuss the topic with my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-East (Mr. Hamilton), chairman of the all-party hospice and palliative care group. The second was to lobby the Under-Secretary of State for Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, South (Mr. Lewis). I am grateful to my colleagues for the time that they gave. The third and final part is for me to present this petition.

The signatories include Dorothy Lacey MBE, Carol Smith, Kate Last, Loraine Liddell, Tony Hodkinson and Stewart Shepherd of the Hospice Hope support group, who are working extremely hard to advance the campaign and who were at the House today, as well as me as the local Member of Parliament.

22 May 2007 : Column 1251

The petition states:

To lie upon the Table.

22 May 2007 : Column 1252

Burton's Foods Plant (Moreton)

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn. —[Mr. Alan Campbell.]

10.11 pm

Angela Eagle (Wallasey) (Lab): On the morning of Friday 11 May, just as I was about to attend a turf-cutting ceremony for a brand new primary care centre at the Victoria central hospital in Liscard—a £14-million public investment—I received phone calls from distressed workers at the Burton’s Foods plant in Moreton. They had been gathered together in the canteen and told that the production of biscuits at the plant would cease, making 660 of them redundant. Following that bombshell, staff were not allowed to ask their managers questions, nor were their trade union representatives allowed on site to meet them. Instead, the employees were escorted off company premises by the additional security guards who had been hired specially for the day.

Despite a history of considerable public sector investment and financial support for the plant, the company chose not to give any prior notice of its decision to the local authority, the trade unions or me. I had visited the plant on several occasions in the past few months and was acutely aware that the review was being conducted. I had received personal assurances that I would be kept in touch with progress, but I was not. In 2003, as the local MP, I had played a part in putting together a package that had involved £4 million of public money. In response, the work force had agreed a painful £12 million cost reduction plan. As part of it, they had endured a three-year pay freeze and changes to working practices designed to safeguard their future. The company’s legal obligations under that package ran out in March this year.

To say that there is shock and anger in the communities of Moreton and Leasowe as they contemplate Burton’s actions is an understatement. I feel that I must express that shock and anger to the House on their behalf tonight. There is despair and worry about the future, as well as a sense that the company has taken the considerable sacrifice that local workers have made over the past few years and thrown it back in their faces. I must say that I can see that point of view.

Five days after the shock of the announcement of 11 May, I convened a meeting in Parliament. It was attended by the chief executive of Burton’s Foods, Paul Kitchener, representatives of the Northwest Development Agency, Wirral metropolitan borough council chief executive Steve Maddox, and the general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, Tony Woodley. I am grateful to all concerned for their swift response to my request and for the seriousness with which all parties approached that meeting. After a long and intense meeting, the company agreed to share its figures and plans with us in much greater detail. We will now work together to see whether any alternative approach can be taken that might enable us to preserve at least some manufacturing capacity on the Moreton site.

Next Section Index Home Page