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Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I have heard what the Minister said. To some extent that shows up the defects of the procedure in this House under which certain Bills are dealt with in Grand Committee where amendments are not divided upon and therefore certain measures do not appear until Report. It is possible for the Minister almost to lay a trap for us at this stage into which we can fall because we have not been forewarned in time. Of course, had we been forewarned we could have corrected the defect. I listened very carefully to what the Minister said. I believe that most people who buy travel insurance are blissfully unaware that it does not—

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, I refer to a practical point. It is presumably the case that if the House carries the amendment tonight, it will have to be considered in the other place and the Government will have the opportunity to bring back to us an improved amendment, which I am sure, judging by the mood of this House, the whole House would be willing to accept.

Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, that is what I was about to say. We are saying to the House of Commons, "The Select Committee has put the evidence before you and has made an extremely strong recommendation that you should abide by that evidence". By seeking to amend the Bill, we will present the House of Commons with the opportunity to do what it said that it would. However, I reiterate the point—I think that it was underlined by the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner—that very many people who buy travel insurance through the internet are not aware of the extent of its cover. I am not sure what the Mondial insurance to which he referred includes. I am not sure whether it would cover the failure of EUjet. It may cover one's health while on holiday, but I have no idea. Without having all the small print available, you are not really aware what you are buying.

In the circumstances it is important, bearing in mind the support that we have had from all around the House, that this matter is divided upon. That will simply give the House of Commons the opportunity to revisit an issue that it did not adequately consider. I wish to test the opinion of the House.
28 Mar 2006 : Column 694

6.29 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 119; Not-Contents, 123.

Division No. 3


Addington, L.
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Berkeley, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Borrie, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chidgey, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Crickhowell, L.
DSouza, B.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goodlad, L.
Greengross, B.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Laming, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar, C.
Mar and Kellie, E. [Teller]
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Neuberger, B.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patel, L.
Patten, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Rawlings, B.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Rennard, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L. [Teller]
Simon, V.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Taverne, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tordoff, L.
Tyler, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Ahmed, L.
Amos, B. (Lord President)
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bilston, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blood, B.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Crawley, B. [Teller]
Cunningham of Felling, L.
David, B.
Davidson of Glen Clova, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haskins, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L
Kilclooney, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Leitch, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
ONeill of Clackmannan, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Robertson of Port Ellen, L.
Rooker, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Soley, L.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Warner, L.
Winston, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

28 Mar 2006 : Column 695
6.39 pm

Lord Hanningfield moved Amendment No. 4:

(1) The Secretary of State may direct specified aerodrome authorities to introduce compensation arrangements for property owners whose properties have been adversely affected by proposals for airport expansion.
28 Mar 2006 : Column 696

(2) The terms of the compensation arrangements will—
(a) ensure that the property owner is financially no worse off than if the property had not been adversely affected by the airport expansion proposals; and
(b) include advance guarantees to purchase any properties affected.
(3) Such arrangements are to be introduced as soon as practicable following the Secretary of State's direction."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the implications of the burgeoning aviation industry are felt far and wide, but nowhere more so than by those communities living in the shadow of our major airports. We have already discussed several times today the problems that those communities suffer on a daily basis, but they pale in comparison to the plight of those communities threatened by airport expansion. It is important to recognise that due to the distinctive character of aviation, the blight suffered far exceeds the territorial extent of the physical development. The difference is significant. When one builds a railway line, one does not expect the train to leave the tracks and create noise and nuisance over a mile away. The inherent nature and attendant problems of aviation make it unique, which has consequences for the way in which we must compensate for the blight that it can cause.

The amendment is designed to address the problem of generalised blight, which materialises as soon as any major airport expansion plans are made public. The problem was recognised in the 2003 air transport White Paper, when the Government signalled:

I declare at this juncture my interest as leader of Essex County Council, since much of my understanding is drawn from my experience of Stansted Airport's expansion plans. BAA's home owner support scheme has proved woefully inadequate; so inadequate that Takeley parish council—which is the major village involved—decided to pursue legal action. The case was before the High Court at the time of the Grand Committee. Although provision for judicial review was not granted, the case remains significant in two respects. First, it is clear evidence of the strong feeling in local communities that this approach to compensation is inadequate, arbitrary and unfair.

Secondly, the case gives the argument that I advanced in Committee a significant new dimension. The legal team acting on behalf of Takeley parish council argued that,

There is a line somewhere, and there is a house on one side and a house on the other side. It causes particular hardship.
28 Mar 2006 : Column 697

Consequently, at the hearing it was argued that the Secretary of State had acted unlawfully by granting policy support for the construction of a new runway at Stansted while failing to ensure that appropriate measures were in place to compensate those impacted by generalised blight. Since those were measures that the Government committed themselves to in the White Paper, the legal team argued that the Secretary of State thereby infringed the European Convention on Human Rights. I will not go into the more legal processes, but obviously people felt very strongly about it.

I am no lawyer, but it seems that the present practice of encouraging airport operators to introduce a voluntary compensation scheme has failed the Government's stated purpose in the White Paper. The nature of the existing arrangement has the potential at least for the Government to be found in breach of their obligations under the convention.

In light of that potential and the obvious unfairness of current voluntary compensation schemes, it would seem eminently sensible to accept the amendment and give statutory force to an equitable compensation proposal that chimes with the Government's sentiments and policies as set out in the White Paper. I beg to move.

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