Select Committee on Mersey Tunnels Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses(Question 300-310)

Mrs Charles George and Miss Joanna Clayton

Tuesday 4 February 2003

After a short break

300. CHAIRMAN: Mr Fleming, would you like to address the Committee.

301. MR FLEMING: Mr Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to say a few words.

302. Basically I have been dealing with this objection, as it was, from the start of this and have been down a very long road. The outcome of all of this is that various parts of the objections have already been taken care of by the unions, and by the time we reached this committee stage we had narrowed down an area where, thankfully through negotiation, we have been able to resolve that matter. I am quite happy that the areas I want to proceed with can be dealt with within the existing structures.

303. I would formally like to withdraw my Petition, and hope that this Committee as it sees fit can move on with this. As a result of everything, I think Merseyside as a whole would benefit from everything that is going on.

304. I apologise if this has inconvenienced the Committee. I think my withdrawal will actually help Merseyside and, at the end of the day, that is what we are trying to do — progress things. I think with the structure that we hope will be in place that will be the result.

305. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. That was a very helpful contribution. Mr George, would you like to comment?

306. MR GEORGE: In those circumstances I would simply ask the Committee under Standing Order 131 forthwith to refer back the Bill to the Committee of Selection — we being at a stage that the evidence of the Promoters has not yet commenced.

307. Can I say formally, so far as the Promoters are concerned, one is always very happy when there are no longer Petitioners against a Bill. I am only sorry, and apologise to the Committee, that your time was taken last Thursday. I am sure you would have wanted to sit on this week. Thank you for your kindness in hearing us on Thursday.

308. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr George.

309. In the light of Mr Fleming's statement and Mr George's statement, the Mersey Tunnels Bill will now be referred to the Unopposed Bills Committee, and this Committee will be disbanded.

310. May I, on behalf of my colleagues, thank you, Mr George, for the way in which you have presented the case for the Bill — very ably supported, I may say, by your second Joanna Clayton; and, Mr Fleming, for your very helpful contribution to the Committee this morning.

Adjourned sine die

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