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If one person were missed out, we would end up with judicial review, which reveals it to be a wrecking amendment, does it not?

Paul Clark: I think that my hon. Friend may well have put his finger directly on the intention behind some of these amendments— [Interruption.] I am sure that the hon. Member for Wimbledon has been closely following our deliberations and he will have read the amendments tabled by others.

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Rob Marris: Will the Minister give way again on that point?

Paul Clark: No; let me make some progress. In common, however, with my right hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, Central, I want to respond to the amendments and to comments made by right hon. and hon. Members in the debate. Indeed, it would be discourteous not to do so.

My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Graham Stringer) raised a number of points, particularly about how QCS boards will view the public interest. He hoped that the boards would not nit-pick too much—I think that that was my hon. Friend’s terminology. It will certainly not be the job of QCS boards to second-guess every point of detail in a local authority’s proposal. Their role will be to ensure that a proper and plausible analysis had been carried out. My hon. Friend was equally concerned about drafting issues and I can confirm that the reference to the

does, indeed, mean the date on which services start to be provided under that contract. We think that that meaning is made clear by the rest of the wording in new section (1A)(a) inserted by amendment No. 124.

My hon. Friends the Members for Manchester, Blackley and for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell) raised a number of issues, including about the number of days of notice to be given. We can confirm that the notice period will be dealt with in regulations and increased from 56 to 112 days, which we believe is the right time for a period of transition towards a quality contracts scheme.

In addition, questions about the tribunal process have been asked. I had hoped that my earlier comments clarified the position, but my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Ms Smith) was particularly concerned about it. I reiterate that our intention is to ensure that the process is not overly cumbersome. We cannot prejudge what our Ministry of Justice colleagues will do, but I can give an assurance that, whatever the outcome, the process will have taken less time than a judicial review does.

My hon. Friends the Members for Hayes and Harlington and for Eccles (Ian Stewart) asked about the wording of “broadly comparable” and whether anyone would end up worse off. The “broadly comparable” wording in the amendment is consistent with the wording in the Local Government Act 2003, which makes provision for pension protection policy where activities are contracted out by the local authority. We are not aware of any difficulties that have arisen from the use of that wording. We are happy to work with the unions and other interested parties as we develop the secondary legislation that will support this important Bill.

On whether quality contract workers will be eligible to join the local government pension scheme, it would obviously be for an employer to determine what pension provision to offer its work force—subject, of course, to meeting the requirements set out in the regulations. The Government have confirmed to the trade unions that an operator of services provided under a quality contract would be eligible to join the local government pension scheme in respect of employees engaged in the provision of services under the quality contract.

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Ian Stewart: Will my hon. Friend clarify, on that specific point, that that will also apply to employees of operators who are not local government operators?

Paul Clark: This covers all employees who have been working under quality contract schemes.

Let me turn finally to issues of unfair dismissal, particularly whether it is automatically unfair if an employee is dismissed by an operator who fails to win a quality contract. We do not believe that that constitutes unfair dismissal. Because of the changes that we introduced in the mid-1980s, buses operate under a deregulated market, so bus operators, like suppliers in all sectors of the economy, are free to decide what services they wish to provide.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that the dismissal of employees who are redundant is not unfair dismissal. That is an important principle in employment legislation. The best we can do is, first, ensure that, wherever possible, employees in the area of quality contract schemes are protected by TUPE and, secondly, minimise as far as possible the likelihood of that situation arising where TUPE does not apply.

John McDonnell: I welcome many of the statements that the Minister has made tonight with regard to TUPE. A joint mechanism between the Government and the trade unions would be invaluable to monitor the implementation of the legislation in the coming period, particularly the detail that will be in the regulations, which he will publish in due course.

Paul Clark: I am sure that my hon. Friend will be one of those who scrutinises how well the legislation works. He will be well aware that there are mechanisms to check how it operates, and that can be done in conjunction with all those who have an interest, including the trade unions.

Ian Stewart: My hon. Friend has not been able to give complete reassurance to those of us who are concerned about that aspect of employment law, but—just in case any employers do not understand—will he reiterate that all other employment protections remain in place for workers who are made redundant?

Paul Clark: We have made it clear in the Bill that we have moved a long way on TUPE provisions and extended them to include those on pensions.

Before I conclude, may I make one point clear? I gave an answer on the 112-day consultation period: all that is out to consultation with the very people whom some of my colleagues want to see involved—the trade unions—as well as all concerned.

We have had an interesting debate about major issues. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear!”] I am delighted that Conservative Members agree, because I am sure that they want for their constituents good bus services that run on time, use all the available facilities and work in conjunction with all concerned to deliver a public benefit. On that basis, I have no doubt that they will want to join us in the Lobby. I commend new clause 9 to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time.

Amendment proposed to the proposed new clause: (b), in line 31, leave out “three months” and insert “one month”.— [Stephen Hammond.]

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Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House proceeded to a Division.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal): Order. I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

The House having divided: Ayes 144, Noes 302.
Division No. 289]
[6.43 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Barker, Gregory
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Duddridge, James
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Field, Mr. Mark
Francois, Mr. Mark
Gauke, Mr. David
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gray, Mr. James
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Horam, Mr. John
Howell, John
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
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
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, Mr. David
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard

Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. John Baron and
Mr. Philip Dunne

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Balls, rh Ed
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Beckett, rh Margaret
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cooper, rh Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda

Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunter, Mark
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lamb, Norman
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Leech, Mr. John
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh David
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mulholland, Greg
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Olner, Mr. Bill
Owen, Albert
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reid, rh John
Rennie, Willie
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rogerson, Dan
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob
Russell, Christine
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
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, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Smith, Sir Robert
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Swinson, Jo
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Wills, Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, David
Wright, Dr. Tony
Tellers for the Noes:

Ian Lucas and
Steve McCabe
Question accordingly negatived.
27 Oct 2008 : Column 620

27 Oct 2008 : Column 621

27 Oct 2008 : Column 622

Clause added to the Bill.

Mr. Hugo Swire (East Devon) (Con): On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Your answer to the following question may well be that we have pagers and that the vote was advertised on the screens, but for those of us who were not looking at either, may I inform you that the Division bell failed to ring in Portcullis House and thus some of us missed the vote? Might you make inquiries as to why it was not working, and ensure that it will be working for any future votes this evening?

Madam Deputy Speaker: I thank the hon. Gentleman. He is one of several Members who have informed me that the Division bells were not ringing in Portcullis House. On the basis of that information, I extended the period before the doors were locked by two minutes. I am aware that Members rely on the Division bells, but he is right to point out that they also have other means of knowing when there is a vote. As we are speaking, investigations are under way to make sure, as far as we can, that the Division bells will be working in any subsequent Divisions. May I also remind hon. Members to check their pagers and BlackBerrys and the Annunciator?

Peter Luff (Mid-Worcestershire) (Con): Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. In light of that wise ruling—as all rulings from the Chair are—may I remind the House through you, Madam Deputy Speaker, that mobile phone signals do not work in Portcullis House and that our pagers are not reliable there? We rely on the Division bells, so they really do need to work.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Perhaps that is a matter that the hon. Gentleman might take up via other channels? In the meantime, may I remind all Members that when
27 Oct 2008 : Column 623
they are not in the Chamber they should keep an eye on the other methods by which they are informed that a vote is taking place?

New Clause 10

Provision that may be made in an order under section 73

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