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6 Jun 2007 : Column 367

I listened very carefully to what the hon. Member for St. Albans (Anne Main) said about the difficulties faced by small businesses. We do not understate those difficulties, and we need to cut unnecessary regulation. There are now 600,000 more small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK than there were 10 years ago, so something is going right, and I hope that that includes the estate of Verulamium as well as the rest of the United Kingdom. The work of the Small Business Service and its delivery partner, Business Link, is very important.

It is also important to consider some of the domestic challenges that we face. As this century progresses, in our judgment there will be growing demand among our citizens for a better balance between economic activity and their private lives—what we often call the work-life balance. Reforms in the labour market, which now help parents and carers to make choices about flexible working to balance their time at work and time with their families, are important.

We are taking action across a wide range of areas that I do not have time to discuss. We want to ensure open and competitive markets, which are a hallmark of our approach. We are committed to reducing the administrative burdens of regulation by 25 per cent. Our plans will see 500 areas of red tape abolished, which will deliver an overall £2 billion reduction.

It is important to discuss the political differences between us. There are areas of consensus that I welcome, but whereas the previous Conservative Government devalued science, Labour has invested heavily in it. Labour has produced an energy strategy of which we can be proud to tackle climate change and bring about energy security, which is so important to national security.

It is worth quoting again the views of the leader of the Tory party, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State quoted earlier. What was his contribution to energy security? He said:

Mr. Patrick McLoughlin (West Derbyshire) (Con) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question, That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the original words stand part of the Question:—


The House divided: Ayes 167, Noes 320.
Division No. 134]
[6.59 pm



AYES


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, rh Mr. David

Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Field, Mr. Mark
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Gauke, Mr. David
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Hosie, Stewart
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Ruffley, Mr. David
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Mr. Richard
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Tredinnick, David
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Hywel
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete

Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

Andrew Rosindell and
Mr. Crispin Blunt
NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, Danny
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Balls, Ed
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Annette
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Lorely
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
Davey, Mr. Edward
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Dowd, Jim
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Don
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harris, Mr. Tom
Harvey, Nick
Healey, John
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith

Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Holmes, Paul
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunter, Mark
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, Mr. David
Laws, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leech, Mr. John
Lepper, David
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Marris, Rob
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Olner, Mr. Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purnell, James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, Mr. Alan
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rowen, Paul
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Seabeck, Alison
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, Sir Robert
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
Stunell, Andrew
Swinson, Jo
Tami, Mark
Taylor, David
Taylor, Matthew
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Thurso, John
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, rh Keith
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Webb, Steve
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mark
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Wills, Mr. Michael
Winnick, Mr. David
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Noes:

Jonathan Shaw and
Huw Irranca-Davies
Question accordingly negatived.
6 Jun 2007 : Column 368

6 Jun 2007 : Column 369

6 Jun 2007 : Column 370

6 Jun 2007 : Column 371

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments) , and agreed to.

Mr. Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

Resolved,


6 Jun 2007 : Column 372

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Ordered,

Petition

Kingskerswell Bypass

7.19 pm

Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge) (LD): I have a petition from residents of the villages of Kingskerswell, Aller and Edginswell, who are objecting to the proposal for a bypass around their village. I do not agree with their conclusions, as I am in favour of the bypass. However, it is important that the Government take note of the petition that they wish to be laid before the House. I therefore support the petition, in so far as it should be laid and discussed.

The petition states:

To lie upon the Table.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I declared the second Division to be off, but I note that the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland (Dr. Kumar) is not present to introduce his Adjournment debate.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I know that there are always difficulties in the Lobbies, but it seemed to me that one of the problems was that we were continuing with the Division because the Clerks could not hear and had not been informed of what was happening. We could not hear ourselves. It took a little time, and one or two of us were unaware of the fact that you had called off the Division. I understand the problems, but I hope that in future a way of dealing with them will be found.

Mr. Speaker: I see that the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland is now present.


6 Jun 2007 : Column 373

Policing (Middlesbrough)

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

7.21 pm

Dr. Ashok Kumar (Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland) (Lab): I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) for giving me a chance to get here. If she had not done so, I should have lost the debate. I also thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to speak about aspects of policing in the Middlesbrough area of my constituency.

Most people are aware that the Government have made combating crime and antisocial behaviour a key community priority. In practice, the police and our local crime-fighting partnerships have been supported consistently by resources and backing from the Government, and it is on the concept of partnerships and their success in Middlesbrough that I want to concentrate.

We cannot rely on the police alone to fight crime; crime-fighting must be the business of the whole community. In order to identify the problems and determine the appropriate strategies with which to confront them, we must ensure that there is broad participation by all the relevant stakeholders. The supervision of policing through an active and involved police authority is central to the process, as is full support from the local authority. Combined with a highly competent and dedicated chief constable and a committed team of senior police officers, that approach has given Middlesbrough what is perhaps the country’s most impressive crime-fighting partnership.

That partnership is certainly performing. Let us look at the facts and figures. In 2006-07 crime was down by 5.1 per cent., with around 1,298 fewer victims than in 2005-06. Robberies were down by 12.7 per cent., house burglaries by 23.8 per cent., vehicle theft by 34.7 per cent. and sexual offences by 8.6 per cent. The key driver of those reductions was the crime detection rate, which rose by 5.2 per cent.

I believe that Sean Price, who became Cleveland’s chief constable in April 2003, has been one of the key factors in this great success story. He has united and lifted the morale of a force that had been divided by internal tension under its previous leadership. He has established a hands-on management style that has led to higher personal involvement by senior officers in front-line policing, and has delegated more decision making to officers on the beat. He has also successfully argued for extra officers to be deployed on the ground. As a result of his determination, along with the support from the Home Office, Cleveland will soon have the highest number of officers in the force's history. That equates to 1,727 full-time police officers, 197 police community support officers and 50 special constables.

The force has been able to recruit 23 more police officers and, crucially, 20 of those new posts have been earmarked for neighbourhood policing. That has been accompanied by an intense programme of collaboration with Middlesbrough council and with community and neighbourhood groups across the town. The Cleveland police motto of “putting people first” is not just a catchy mission statement. It forms part of their whole ethos.


6 Jun 2007 : Column 374

In Cleveland, we now have at least one dedicated police officer in place for each neighbourhood across the force area, based in well known public buildings. As the chief constable said recently:


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