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9.55 pm

Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall) (LD): I shall keep my remarks fairly brief. I have had the privilege, in the brief time that I have been in the House during this Parliament, to serve on a number of Public Bill Committees. On those occasions, I may not have agreed with what was happening when we reached Third Reading, but at least there was a feeling that something would change the world in some way.

We have reached Third Reading with this Bill. We have devoted a lot of time to debating it, and we have attempted to improve it and to give it some meaning. Even this evening, there have been a few last-ditch attempts to do that. What we have ended up with is nonsense, as the hon. Member for Thurrock (Andrew Mackinlay) has said. The Bill will not offer anything at all, when people need support. They need some of the control that central Government have put on local government-the previous Government as well as the current one-to be released to allow local authorities to come up with solutions that are appropriate to their areas.

The Bill does nothing appreciable to improve conditions so that local democracy can flourish. Many of those in the construction industry remain unhappy with the elements of the Bill on construction. The Bill's attempts to improve economic prosperity and its tinkering will not unlock the potential in the regions to develop an economy that will see us through into recovery. It is a huge missed opportunity.

I join in the Minister's tribute to all hon. Members, both in the House today and in Committee, for their contributions, but it is with a sense of genuine disappointment that I find us here on Third Reading discussing a Bill that offers nothing, for all the effort that has been put into dealing with it. I pay tribute to the work that my hon. Friend the Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Julia Goldsworthy) has put into the Bill. I also thank Steve McAuley and Beth Warmington, who have put in a lot of work in doing research and conducting discussions.

A lot of people watching our debate will feel let down, particularly on the construction elements of the Bill. There was an opportunity to put the matter right, but that has not happened. With great sadness, I have to say that the Bill fails to achieve any of its objectives.

9.58 pm

Mr. Curry: The Bill faces in absolutely the wrong direction. The core of the Bill is to give more powers to the regional development agencies, which are unaccountable bodies. It sets up leaders panels, heavily chaperoned by the Secretary of State, as was said in Committee, to
13 Oct 2009 : Column 264
manage the consultation process. The situation should be exactly the other way round-those powers should go to local government. Local government works well together. The multi-area agreements work and the leaders panels have something to be said for them, but they should be bidding for the powers that are presently vested in the regional bodies, along with private sector partners and the third sector, because they are ultimately accountable and those regional bodies are not.

If we take the combined effect of the Planning Act 2008, the Infrastructure Planning Commission and the powers given to the regional development agencies, there is a huge retreat from accountability with the Bill, which is very bad for democracy. The title of the Bill is a parody of what its impact will be in practice. Perhaps before the Government implement this, they should read Tristram Hunt's book "Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City" and contemplate how much they, and perhaps all of us, have at times contributed to its fall. It is about time that we engineered its rise again.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The House divided: Ayes 274, Noes 189.
Division No. 217]
[9.59 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, rh Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
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
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Drew, Mr. David
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Etherington, Bill

Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, rh Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, rh John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Khan, rh Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, rh Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Marris, Rob
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh David
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Christine
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
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, rh Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wishart, Pete
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Ayes:

Steve McCabe and
Kerry McCarthy

Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brooke, Annette
Browning, Angela
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Nadine
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gray, Mr. James
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Holmes, Paul

Horwood, Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Howell, John
Hughes, Simon
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Maples, Mr. John
Mason, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Mulholland, Greg
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Chloe
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Noes:

Jeremy Wright and
James Duddridge
Question accordingly agreed to.
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13 Oct 2009 : Column 266

13 Oct 2009 : Column 267

Bill read the Third time and passed, with amendments.

13 Oct 2009 : Column 268

Business without Debate

Delegated Legislation



Motion made,

Hon. Members: Object.


Motion made,

Hon. Members: Object.


Motion made,

Hon. Members: Object.


Motion made,

Hon. Members: Object.

13 Oct 2009 : Column 269


Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn. -(Ms Butler.)

10.14 pm

Barry Gardiner (Brent, North) (Lab): There is a challenge facing the world, and it is to seal the deal on combating climate change at the UN conference on climate change meeting in Copenhagen in December. In its last report, the intergovernmental panel on climate change considered that the 2° C rise in temperature that marks dangerous climate change would be triggered by a CO2 emissions concentration level of 450 parts per million. Many of us now believe that figure to be hopelessly optimistic, and consider a concentration level of 380 ppm, or even 350 ppm, to be more in keeping with the latest science. However, for the purpose of this debate, I shall use the 450 ppm figure.

To stay within the target of 450 ppm, the world must curb its projected greenhouse gas emissions by 17 gigatonnes per annum by 2020. However, by 2050, the total emissions each year from the entire global population must be no more than 20 gigatonnes if we are to stabilise the climate within the 2° C dangerous climate margin. That is a huge mitigation challenge-a reduction of at least 47 gigatonnes from a business-as-usual scenario.

Globally, biofuels and biomass could play an important role in meeting those mitigation targets. Nationally, the UK renewable energy strategy, published earlier this year, has indicated that approximately 30 per cent. of the UK's renewable energy target could come from bioenergy for heat and power. That could rise to 50 per cent. if biofuel for transport is included.

The target is for 15 per cent. of our energy to come from renewables by 2020, which means that in the next decade we should see the UK growing 4.5 per cent. of its heat and power. In 2006, Peter Kendall, the president of the National Farmers Union, argued that British farmers were uniquely well placed to deliver the renewable transport fuel obligation in a sustainable manner, thanks to the widespread adoption of farm assurance schemes. He said:

Part of the win for farmers is the £47 million subsidy that the Government provide through the rural development programme, under which payments of 40 per cent. of the actual establishment costs of energy crops are made to encourage farmers to plant for energy. However, this is where farmers need to gauge relative reward: certainly, the high price of wheat, even from lower yields on poor-quality land, has not encouraged them to switch from traditional food crops as fast as the Government would have wished. That has prompted the Government to decide to increase the planting grants from 40 per cent. to 50 per cent. of actual establishment costs in England from 2010.

But subsidy is a two-edged sword. It should be used to tackle market failure; it should not be used as market manipulation for the protection of domestic interests. Last year's report from the World Bank entitled "Biofuels: The Promise and the Risks" highlighted the effects of the support for biofuels among different Governments around the world. It stated:

13 Oct 2009 : Column 270

The report said that more than 200 support measures costing around $5.5 billion to $7.3 billion a year in the United States amount to 38 to 49 cents per litre of petroleum equivalent for ethanol. It added:

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