(2) the Motions in the name of Ms Harriet Harman relating to European Scrutiny (Standing Orders) and Modernisation of the
House of Commons (Changes to Standing Orders) not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the first such Motion; and
(3) the Motion in the name of Ms Harriet Harman relating to the Speakers Conference not later than one hour after the commencement of proceedings on that Motion;
such Questions shall include the Questions on any Amendments selected by the Speaker which may then be moved; proceedings may continue after the moment of interruption; and Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply.
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): Before I call the Leader of the House, I should say that Mr. Speakers selection of amendments has been published and is available to all Members. I do not intend to read out those amendments. All questions on the motions and amendments selected for Division will be put at the end of the debate.
That this House welcomes the Third Report from the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons on Regional Accountability (HC Paper No. 282); approves the proposals for regional select and grand committees for each of the English regions set out in the response from the Government in the White Paper, Regional Accountability (Cm 7376); accordingly endorses the clear expectation that the regional select committees should meet significantly less frequently than departmental select committees; and considers that the combination of select committees providing opportunities for inquiries and reports into regional policy and administration together with opportunities for debate involving all honourable Members from the relevant region will provide a major step forward in the scrutiny of regional policy.
approves the proposals for regional grand committees for each English region set out in the response from the Government contained in the White Paper, Regional Accountability (Cm. 7376); and considers that.
except that Chairmen of regional select committees shall not be paid..
That the following new Standing Order and amendment to temporary Standing Orders be made, with effect from 1st January 2009 until the end of the current Parliament
A. New Standing Order
Regional select committees
(1) Select committees shall be appointed to examine regional strategies and the work of regional bodies for each of the following English regions:
(a) East Midlands
(b) East of England
(c) North East
(d) North West
(e) South East
(f) South West
(g) West Midlands
(h) Yorkshire and the Humber.
(2) Each committee appointed under this order shall consist of not more than nine members; and, unless the House otherwise orders, all Members nominated to a committee shall continue to be members of that committee for the remainder of the Parliament.
(3) A committee appointed under this order shall have power
(a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn to any place within the United Kingdom, and to report from time to time;
(b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committees order of reference;
(c) to invite
(i) Members of the House who are not members of the committee but represent constituencies within the region in respect of which it is appointed, and
(ii) specified elected councillors from the region in respect of which it is appointed
to attend and participate in its proceedings at specified meetings (but not to move motions or amendments, vote or be counted in the quorum).
B. Amendment to Temporary Standing Order of 13th July 2005:
Liaison Committee (Membership)
At end add
(4) In addition to the members appointed under paragraphs (2) and (3) of this order, one Member who is for the time being the Chairman of a Regional Select Committee shall be a member of the Liaison Committee.
(5) The question on a motion in the names of the chairmen of all the Regional Select Committees to nominate a member of the Liaison Committee under paragraph (4) shall be put forthwith and may be decided after the moment of interruption.
who represent constituencies within the relevant region.
(2A) In nominating Members to the Committees under this order, the Committee of Selection shall have regard to the proportion of Members of each party representing constituencies in the relevant region;
(2B) Notwithstanding paragraph (2A), the Committee of Selection shall nominate at least one Member from each of the three largest parties to each Committee..
That this House expresses the opinion that the Resolution of the House of 30(th) October 2003, relating to Pay for Chairmen of Select Committees (No. 2) should be amended by inserting after (Select committees related to government departments) the words or Standing Order (Regional select committees).
That the Resolution of the House of 30th October 2003, relating to Pay for Chairmen of Select Committees (No. 2) be amended by inserting after (Select committees related to government departments) the words or Standing Order (Regional select committees).
That the following new Standing Orders be made, with effect from 1st January 2009 until the end of the current Parliament
A. Regional grand committees
(1) There shall be general committees, called Regional Grand Committees, for each of the following English regions:
(a) East Midlands
(b) East of England
(c) North East
(d) North West
(e) South East
(f) South West
(g) West Midlands
(h) Yorkshire and the Humber
which in each case shall consist of those Members who represent constituencies within the region and up to five other Members nominated by the Committee of Selection, which shall have power from time to time to discharge the Members so nominated by it and to appoint others in their place.
(2) A motion may be made by a Minister of the Crown providing for
(a) a Regional Grand Committee to sit on a specified day at a specified place in the region to which it relates or at Westminster;
(b) the time and duration of such a sitting; and
(c) the business as provided in paragraph (4) to be conducted at it.
(3) The question on a motion under paragraph (2) shall be put forthwith and may be decided after the moment of interruption.
(4) The business of the committees may include
(a) questions tabled in accordance with Standing Order (Regional Grand Committees (questions for oral answer));
(b) statements by a Minister of the Crown, in accordance with paragraph (5) below;
(c) general debates on specified matters.
(5) The chairman may permit a Minister of the Crown, whether or not a Member of the House, to make a statement and to answer questions thereon put by members of the committee; but no question shall be taken after the expiry of a period of 45 minutes from the commencement of such a statement.
35 (6) If the House has resolved that the business at a sitting of a committee shall be concluded at a certain hour and it has not otherwise been concluded before that time the chairman shall, at that time, adjourn the committee without question put and any business then under consideration shall lapse.
B. Regional Grand Committees (questions for oral answer)
(1) Notices of questions for oral answer in a Regional Grand Committee by the relevant regional minister, on a day specified in an order made under paragraph (2) of Standing Order (Regional grand committees), may be given by members of the committee in the Table Office.
(2) Notices of questions given under this order shall bear an indication that they are for oral answer in a specific Regional Grand Committee.
(3) No more than one notice of a question may be given under this order by any member of the committee for each day specified for the taking of questions.
(4) On any day so specified, questions shall be taken at the time provided for in an order under paragraph (2) of Standing Order (Regional Grand Committees); no 50 question shall be taken later than three quarters of an hour after the commencement of the proceedings thereon; and replies to questions not reached shall be printed with the official report of the committees debates for that day.
(5) Notices of questions under this order may be given ten sitting days before that on which an answer is desired save where otherwise provided by a memorandum under paragraph (8) of Standing Order No. 22 (Notices of questions, motions and amendments), provided that when it is proposed that the House shall adjourn for a period of fewer than four days, any day during that period (other than a Saturday or a Sunday) shall be counted as a sitting day for the purposes of the calculation made under this paragraph.
and Standing Order No. 117 (Regional Affairs Committee) be suspended.
Ms Harman: Today, I bring to the House the Governments proposals on regional accountability, to put in place an effective and visible improvement in the scrutiny and democratic accountability of the public agencies and public policies that operate in the English regions. The reality is that in every region in England there are important public agencies, with budgets of billions of pounds. The decisions that they make, and how they put those decisions into practice, shape the future of the regions and profoundly affect those who live and work in them.
At regional level, those agencies are much bigger thanand are beyond the accountability ofany local authority in the region. The regional development agencies, the strategic health authorities, the Learning and Skills Council and the Highways Agency are big regional beasts. Their regional directors and chief executives are regional masters of the universe, with huge budgets. However, they are public bodies spending public money in the public interest, and it is right that they should be publicly accountable through this House to the region that they serve. Both in Parliament and within Government it has been recognised that there is the problem of an accountability gap in the regions; now we are seeking to do something about it.
Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): What part of no does the Leader of the House not understand following the referendum result in the north-east on elected regional government? Does she not understand that the people of England do not want to be balkanised and regionalised at their own expense?
Mr. David Heath (Somerton and Frome) (LD): The right hon. and learned Lady is talking about accountability to the regions. She knows how unhappy many of us in the south-west are about the composition of the south-west regional Select Committee. Will she give me a guarantee that no hon. Member from outside the region will sit on that Committee and that every county in the south-west will be represented on it?
Ms Harman: On the composition of the Select Committees, about which I hope to develop an argument if I can proceed with my comments, I can say that they will be Committees of the House and their composition will reflect that of the House.
Ms Dari Taylor (Stockton, South) (Lab): Speaking as Member of Parliament for a constituency in the north-east, does my right hon. and learned Friend accept that big organisations often set priorities that my constituents neither have any involvement in nor feel that they are a part of, and they believe that through a Select Committeethrough methey have a chance of being heard?
Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire) (Con): May I take the Leader of the House back to the central question asked by the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath)? Would not the membership of all these regional Committees have a Government majority, which would inevitably mean that many regions would need to have Members drafted on to them from outside those regions?