Commons Journal 265

Session 2008-09
Chronological Index
Alphabetical Index - Part I
Alphabetical Index - Part II


[No. 24 ]

Tuesday 3 February 2009

The house met at 2.30 pm.

PRAYERS.

1 Questions to the Secretary of State for Justice

2 Employment Rights Bill: Presentation (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr William Cash, supported by Mr Michael Ancram, Mr John Redwood, Mr Peter Lilley, Mr Graham Brady, Mr Christopher Chope, Mr Bernard Jenkin, Philip Davies, Mr Nigel Evans and Mr David Heathcoat-Amory, presented a Bill to provide that, notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972, workers or members of a trade union who are UK nationals shall have rights of employment in the United Kingdom equal to or as favourable as those afforded to foreign nationals or conferred by the United Kingdom Parliament.

Bill read the first time; to be read a second time on Friday 6 February and to be printed (Bill 53).

3 Protection of Garden Land (Development Control) Bill: Presentation (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Paul Burstow, supported by Tom Brake, Lorely Burt, Andrew George, Susan Kramer and Mr Edward Davey, presented a Bill to protect private gardens from development which is out of character with the surrounding area; to make provision about the circumstances in which a planning application may be rejected by a local authority and about rights of appeal in such circumstances; to prohibit repeated planning applications in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the first time; to be read a second time on Friday 20 March and to be printed (Bill 54).

4 Home Repossession (Protection): Motion for leave to introduce a Bill (Standing Order No. 23)

Ordered, That leave be given to introduce a Bill to amend the Law of Property Act 1925 to require a mortgagee to obtain the court's permission before exercising the power of sale, where the mortgaged land consists of or includes a dwelling-house; to make certain powers available to the court in actions by mortgagees for possession of a dwelling-house; and for connected purposes;

That Mr Andrew Dismore, Mr Virendra Sharma, Shona McIsaac, John Austin, Mike Gapes, Ms Karen Buck, Siobhain McDonagh, Judy Mallaber, Rob Marris, Mr Chris Mullin and Dr Evan Harris present the Bill.

Mr Andrew Dismore accordingly presented the Bill.

Bill read the first time; to be read a second time on Friday 26 June, and to be printed (Bill 52).

5 Opposition Day: Leader of the Opposition (4th allotted day (Standing Order No. 14))

(1) Skills and Further Education in a Recession

Motion made and Question proposed, That this House regrets that the number of young people not in education, employment or training in England has grown from 686,000 to 850,000 since 2000, that the number of adult learner places has fallen by 1.3 million in just two years, and that the number of UK students enrolled at university is now falling; notes that current policies are hindering training opportunities by cutting support for second-chance students, placing too much emphasis on paper-based qualifications rather than raising skills, imposing too many bureaucratic obstacles on employers wishing to offer apprenticeships and freezing the further education capital spending programme despite the Prime Minister's commitment to bring forward capital projects; believes that providing improved opportunities to up-skill and re-skill is more important than ever given the challenges posed by the recession; and calls on the Government to boost the number of apprenticeships, provide more support to young people not in employment, education or training, help small and medium-sized employers access training, improve opportunities for adult learners, and introduce an all-age careers service._(Mr David Willetts.)

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Amendment moved, in line 1, to leave out from `House' to the end of the Question and add `commends the Government's efforts to boost the number of apprenticeships, provide more support to young people not in employment, education or training, and improve opportunities for adult learners and introduce an adult advancement and careers service; welcomes the real help provided to those affected by the downturn, including increasing the support available through the further education and skills systems; further welcomes the #240 million allocated to help those facing redundancy or newly unemployed; welcomes the additional #140 million to boost apprenticeships, the trebling of Professional and Career Development Loans, and making the Train to Gain programme more responsive, including through #350 million support for small and medium-sized enterprises; notes the Government's planned investment of #2.3 billion in renewing and modernising further education facilities over this spending review; commends its efforts to help colleges and universities become more responsive to the employer's needs, including the #50 million Higher Education Funding Council for England economic challenges fund, and to ensure the #175 billion public procurement budget maintains and strengthens investment in skills; further welcomes the simplification of existing systems; further notes that three million people access the skills system every year, with more 18 to 24 year olds working or engaged in full-time education compared to 1997; further notes the number of students in higher education in England is rising, not falling; and further notes that the Government will resist calls to cut skills budgets, as this would undermine the steps being taken to provide real help to business and individuals now.'._(Secretary John Denham.)

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question (Standing Order No. 31(2)).

The House divided.

Division No. 29.

Ayes: 218 (Tellers: James Duddridge, Jeremy Wright).

Noes: 308 (Tellers: Claire Ward, Mr Frank Roy).

Question accordingly negatived.

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith (Standing Order No. 31).

Question agreed to.

The Deputy Speaker declared the Main Question, as amended, agreed to (Standing Order No. 31(2)).

Resolved, That this House commends the Government's efforts to boost the number of apprenticeships, provide more support to young people not in employment, education or training, and improve opportunities for adult learners and introduce an adult advancement and careers service; welcomes the real help provided to those affected by the downturn, including increasing the support available through the further education and skills systems; further welcomes the #240 million allocated to help those facing redundancy or newly unemployed; welcomes the additional #140 million to boost apprenticeships, the trebling of Professional and Career Development Loans, and making the Train to Gain programme more responsive, including through #350 million support for small and medium-sized enterprises; notes the Government's planned investment of #2.3 billion in renewing and modernising further education facilities over this spending review; commends its efforts to help colleges and universities become more responsive to the employer's needs, including the #50 million Higher Education Funding Council for England economic challenges fund, and to ensure the #175 billion public procurement budget maintains and strengthens investment in skills; further welcomes the simplification of existing systems; further notes that three million people access the skills system every year, with more 18 to 24 year olds working or engaged in full-time education compared to 1997; further notes the number of students in higher education in England is rising, not falling; and further notes that the Government will resist calls to cut skills budgets, as this would undermine the steps being taken to provide real help to business and individuals now.

(2) Child Protection

Motion made and Question proposed, That this House is alarmed that nine years after the tragic death of Victoria Climbie¬ę the level of child abuse and deaths at the hands of parents and carers remains unacceptably high; notes that many of the shortcomings of child protection services raised in reports on the death of Baby P and other high profile cases recently echo concerns raised in Lord Laming's enquiry from which lessons have still not been learned despite the best endeavours of social workers and other professionals working in increasingly difficult and demoralising circumstances; calls on the Government urgently to restore confidence in the system by ensuring that all serious case reviews are published in full, appropriately anonymised and redacted where that would not compromise the welfare of the child and siblings so that all agencies can learn from mistakes made; urges further moves to increase transparency and accountability by requiring all local safeguarding children's boards to be independently chaired as recently recommended by the Conservative Party, and that the OFSTED inspection system should be overhauled to be fit for purpose in the inspection of children's services departments; and calls on the Government to free up social workers and other professionals to maximise the time available to spend with vulnerable families by scrapping the highly prescriptive template for the Integrated Children's System and other cumbersome data systems which have engendered a `tick box' assessment approach which is undermining child protection._(Tim Loughton.)

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Amendment moved, in line 1, to leave out from `House' to the end of the Question and add `agrees that safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility; recognises that keeping children safe is a top priority for this Government; commends action taken by the Government following the tragic death of Baby P, to keep children safe in Haringey; welcomes the requirement that all local safeguarding children's boards responsible for serious case reviews judged inadequate by Ofsted convene an independently chaired panel to reconsider the review and report to the Secretary of State; agrees with the Deputy Children's Commissioner and the NSPCC that while comprehensive executive summaries should be published full serious case reviews should remain confidential; affirms its conviction that the Every Child Matters reforms are soundly based and essential in driving change for children; welcomes evidence in the joint chief inspectors' third report on safeguarding children of improvements since 2005 in children's services and outcomes for children and young people; commends the development by the inspectorates of new local area assessment and inspection arrangements; welcomes the commissioning of Lord Laming to report on progress being made across the country in implementing effective arrangements for safeguarding children; agrees with his recommendation that serious case review panels should be chaired by people independent of the reporting agencies; commends the creation of a Social Work Taskforce to review frontline social work, including the role and development of the Integrated Children's System in support of its work; and further commends the recent announcement of the first stage of delivery of ContactPoint, which experts agree is vital to keep children safe.'._(Secretary Ed Balls.)

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question (Standing Order No. 31(2)).

The House divided.

Division No. 30.

Ayes: 198 (Tellers: Jeremy Wright, James Duddridge).

Noes: 292 (Tellers: Steve McCabe, Ms Diana R Johnson).

Question accordingly negatived.

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith (Standing Order No. 31).

Question agreed to.

The Speaker declared the Main Question, as amended, agreed to (Standing Order No. 31(2)).

Resolved, That this House agrees that safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility; recognises that keeping children safe is a top priority for this Government; commends action taken by the Government following the tragic death of Baby P, to keep children safe in Haringey; welcomes the requirement that all local safeguarding children's boards responsible for serious case reviews judged inadequate by Ofsted convene an independently chaired panel to reconsider the review and report to the Secretary of State; agrees with the Deputy Children's Commissioner and the NSPCC that while comprehensive executive summaries should be published full serious case reviews should remain confidential; affirms its conviction that the Every Child Matters reforms are soundly based and essential in driving change for children; welcomes evidence in the joint chief inspectors' third report on safeguarding children of improvements since 2005 in children's services and outcomes for children and young people; commends the development by the inspectorates of new local area assessment and inspection arrangements; welcomes the commissioning of Lord Laming to report on progress being made across the country in implementing effective arrangements for safeguarding children; agrees with his recommendation that serious case review panels should be chaired by people independent of the reporting agencies; commends the creation of a Social Work Taskforce to review frontline social work, including the role and development of the Integrated Children's System in support of its work; and further commends the recent announcement of the first stage of delivery of ContactPoint, which experts agree is vital to keep children safe.

6 Tribunals and Inquiries

Ordered, That the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008 (S.I., 2008, No. 2699) dated 9 October 2008, be referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee._(Ian Lucas.)

7 Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2008^09

Motion made and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 119(11)), That this House takes note of European Union Document No. 15455/08, Commission Communication: Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2008^09; and supports the Government's policy that Turkey, Croatia and all the countries of the Western Balkans should be able to join the EU when they meet the criteria._(Ian Lucas.)

Question agreed to.

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8 Statutory Instruments: Motions for Approval

(1) Motion made and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)), That the draft Unit Trusts (Electronic Communications) Order 2009, which was laid before this House on 8 December, be approved._(Ian Lucas.)

Question agreed to.

(2) Motion made and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)), That the draft Open-Ended Investment Companies (Amendment) Regulations 2009, which were laid before this House on 8 December, be approved._(Ian Lucas.)

Question agreed to.

9 Scottish Affairs

Ordered, That Lindsay Roy be added to the Scottish Affairs Committee._(Rosemary McKenna, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)

10 Adjournment

Subject: Preparation for the 2011 Census in Southend (Mr David Amess).

Resolved, That this House do now adjourn._(Ian Lucas.)

[Adjourned at 10.47 pm until tomorrow. ]

Other proceedings

General Committees: Reports

11 Business Rate Supplements Bill

Mr Peter Atkinson (Chairman) reported the Bill, without Amendment.

Written evidence (reported on 20, 27 and 29 January) to be printed.

Bill, not amended, to be considered tomorrow.

12 Coroners and Justice Bill Committee

Frank Cook (Chairman) reported:

(1) That the Committee had come to the following Resolution, That, subject to the discretion of the Chair, any written evidence received by the Committee shall be reported to the House for publication, and

(2) Written evidence.

Written evidence to be published.

13 Saving Gateway Accounts Bill Committee

John Bercow (Chairman) reported written evidence submitted to the Committee.

Written evidence to be published.

14 Second Delegated Legislation Committee

Ann Winterton (Chairman) reported the draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Registration of Regulated Activities) Regulations 2009.

15 European Committee B in respect of European Union Document No. 15546/08, and Addenda 1 and 2, relating to the protection of animals used for scientific purposes

Mr Eric Martlew (Chairman) reported the following Resolution:

That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 15546/08 and Addenda 1 and 2, a draft Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes; and supports the Government's aim of securing practical, proportionate and enforceable legislation that makes proper provision for the welfare of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, without delaying or preventing the scientific progress and benefits which responsible animal use can bring, and does not impose any disproportionate regulatory burden which could have adverse consequences for the competitiveness, sustainability and success of the research base in the United Kingdom and Europe.

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General Committees: Appointments

The Speaker appoints the Chairman of General Committees and members of Programming Sub-Committees, and allocates Statutory Instruments to Delegated Legislation Committees.

The Committee of Selection nominates Members to serve on General Committees (and certain Members to serve on Grand Committees).

16 Welfare Reform Bill (Programming Sub-Committee)

Members: Gordon Banks, Mr John Baron, Mr Mark Harper, Helen Jones, Mr Tony McNulty, Mr James Plaskitt and Paul Rowen.

17 European Committee B in respect of European Union Document No. 15546/08 and Addenda 1 and 2, relating to the Protection of animals used for scientific purposes

Members: Margaret Moran discharged and Mr Fabian Hamilton nominated in substitution.

Reports from Select Committees

18 Defence Committee

Readiness and recuperation for the contingent tasks of today: Part of the evidence, to be printed (HC 122-i) (Mr James Arbuthnot).

19 Environmental Audit Committee

Pre-Budget Report: Evidence, to be printed (HC 202-ii) (Mr Tim Yeo).

20 Home Affairs Committee

(1) Managing Migration: Points-Based System: Evidence, to be printed (HC 217-i);

(2) Policing Process of Home Office Leak Inquiries: Evidence, to be printed (HC 157-ii)

(Keith Vaz).

21 Human Rights (Joint Committee on)

(1) UN Convention Against Torture: allegations of abuse and mistreatment involving UK agents in Pakistan: Evidence, to be printed (HC 230-i);

(2) Counter-terrorism policy and human rights: Written evidence, to be published;

(3) Deaths in Custody: Written evidence, to be published;

(4) Human rights judgments: Written evidence, to be published;

(5) Human trafficking: Written evidence, to be published;

(6) Legislative scrutiny: Written evidence, to be published

(Mr Andrew Dismore).

22 Justice Committee

(1) The work of the Information Commissioner: Appointment of a new Commissioner: Third Report, with written evidence, to be printed, with the Formal Minutes relating to the Report (HC 146);

(2) The work of the Crown Prosecution Service: Part of the evidence, to be printed (HC 186-ii)

(Sir Alan Beith).

23 Treasury Committee

(1) Banking Crisis: Evidence, to be printed (HC 144-v);

(2) Work of the Financial Services Authority, 2007^08: Written evidence, to be printed (HC 98)

(John McFall).

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[WH, No. 13]  

Sitting in Westminster Hall

The sitting began at 9.30 am.

Subjects:

Implementation of Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Mr Anthony Steen).

Garden land development (Andrew George).

Bristol barrage and Severn Estuary tidal lagoons (Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger).

Welsh-language text on identity cards (Nia Griffith).

Tax credits (Jo Swinson).

Motion made and Question proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned._(Meg Hillier.)

Sitting adjourned without Question put (Standing Order No. 10(11)).

[Adjourned at 2.00 pm until tomorrow. ]

APPENDIX

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:

1 Companies

Draft Companies Act 2006 (Accounts, Reports and Audit) Regulations 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum (by Command) (Mr Pat McFadden).

2 Constitutional Law

Draft National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Housing) Order 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum (by Command) (Secretary Paul Murphy).

3 Industrial Development

Draft Financial Assistance for Industry (Increase of Limit) Order 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum (by Command) (Mr Pat McFadden).

4 Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Draft Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (Continuance in force of sections 1 to 9) Order 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum (by Command) (Secretary Jacqui Smith).

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

5 Agriculture

Hill Farm Allowance Regulations 2009 (S.I., 2009, No. 138), dated 29 January 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum (by Command) (Secretary Hilary Benn).

6 Disabled Persons

Public Service Vehicles Accessibility (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (S.I., 2009, No. 143), dated 29 January 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum and an Impact Assessment (by Command) (Secretary Geoff Hoon).

7 Public Passenger Transport

Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment, Use and Certification) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (S.I., 2009, No. 141), dated 29 January 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum and an Impact Assessment (by Command) (Secretary Geoff Hoon).

8 Road Traffic

Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (S.I., 2009, No. 142), dated 29 January 2009 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum and an Impact Assessment (by Command) (Secretary Geoff Hoon).

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9 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Prescribed Criteria) (Foreign Offences) Order (Northern Ireland) 2009 (S.R. (N.I.), 2009, No. 21), dated 22 January 2009 (by Statutory Instrument), with an Explanatory Memorandum (by Command) (Mr Secretary Woodward).

Other Papers:

10 Air Force (Constitution)

Amendment List 22 to Queen's Regulations for the Royal Air Force (Fifth Edition) (by Act) (Mr Secretary Hutton).

11 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Government Response to the Foot and Mouth Disease 2007 Review (by Command) (Cm. 7514) (Secretary Hilary Benn).

12 Libya (No. 2, 2009)

Treaty, done at London on 17 November 2008, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (by Command) (Cm. 7549) (Secretary David Miliband).

13 Miscellaneous (No. 1, 2009)

Recommendation of the Customs Co-operation Council concerning the amendment of the Convention establishing a Customs Co-operation Council (concluded at Brussels on 15 December 1950) recommended by the Council at its 109th/110th Sessions in June 2007 (by Command) (Cm. 7550) (Secretary David Miliband).

14 Parliamentary and Other Pensions

Accounts of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund for 2007^08, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (by Act); to be printed (HC 224) (Clerk of the House).

15 Prevention of Terrorism

Fourth Report of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (by Act) (Secretary Jacqui Smith).


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Prepared 11:47 on 4th August 2011