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Baroness Morris of Bolton: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply and noble Baronesses for their support. The Minister says that things are good in the PVI sector. On the Government's own figures, only 24 per cent of PVI providers are making a surplus. If we turn that the other way round, 76 per cent of them are making a loss. That is a timebomb waiting to go off.
12 Jun 2006 : Column 49

Childcare centres can be set up without proper business plans or appraisal. They are given a huge amount of grant up-front from the New Opportunities Fund that is not available to them later. The PVI sector is seriously concerned. One leader in the market, a lifelong Labour voter, said to me, "Trish, the sector is going bust. If the Government want the private and voluntary sector out of childcare, they should say so". Such providers are not made to feel any better when they read that Margaret Hodge said that if nurseries do not become children's centres, they will die.

It is not about the Government having the PVI sector working where they want them to; it is about proper partnership. The Government should look at the 163,000 spare places, many of them in good, high quality settings, before they consider building brand spanking new buildings. I have to say that it would be much easier to achieve a strong and constructive partnership if the amendment were accepted. Therefore, I would like to test the will of the House.

5.24 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 9) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 148*; Not-Contents, 147.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Biffen, L.
Blackwell, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bottomley of Nettlestone, B.
Bridgeman, V.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chidgey, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craigavon, V.
Cumberlege, B.
De Mauley, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
D'Souza, B.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Greengross, B.
Hamilton of Epsom, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Home, E.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hylton, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Laidlaw, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lee of Trafford, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
McAlpine of West Green, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
McNally, L.
Mar and Kellie, E. [Teller]
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Naseby, L.
Neuberger, B.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Palmer, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plumb, L.
Ramsbotham, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rennard, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Seccombe, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Holbeach, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tonge, B.
Tordoff, L.
Trimble, L.
Ullswater, V.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Windlesham, L.
Wolfson, L.


Acton, L.
Adonis, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President.]
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhatia, L.
Boothroyd, B.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carey of Clifton, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Corston, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Foster of Bishop Auckland, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Griffiths of Burry Port, 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 Breckland, B.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Leitch, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Morgan, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murphy, B.
Nicol, B.
O'Neill of Clackmannan, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prashar, B.
Prosser, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Soley, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Truscott, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.

12 Jun 2006 : Column 51

[* See col. 73 for Lord Chancellor's explanation and decision on Amendment No. 9.]

5.35 pm

[Amendments Nos. 10 and 11 not moved.]

Lord Adonis moved Amendment No. 12:

"(5) Except in relation to a disabled child, this section does not apply in relation to childcare for a child on or after the 1st September next following the date on which he attains the age of 14."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 12, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 16 to 18 and 25 to 28.

This group of government amendments deals specifically with the issue of services for disabled children and young people. It follows intensive discussions with noble Lords on all sides of the House. I pay particular tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Rix, who throughout has taken a deep interest in the issue of how we provide for disabled children. My noble friend Lord Carter has also played a significant part and was present in the meetings with the noble Lord, Lord Rix. I also pay tribute to Mencap, which provided a significant input into the discussions.

We all share the same objective of providing disabled children and their families with the best possible support and advice, and we want to ensure
12 Jun 2006 : Column 52
that all disabled children and young people have the same opportunities as their peers to achieve and enjoy. The fact that the noble Lord, Lord Rix, is not in his place today is the best possible testament to the fact that the Government must have got this right. There is no one who would have been quicker to appear in the House if he thought that these amendments did not meet his objective and I am very glad, therefore, not to see the noble Lord in his place today.

We know that the age to which the childcare duty continues for disabled children has been of particular concern to noble Lords. It is because we are committed to improving the life chances of disabled children by helping to lift them out of poverty that we have looked again at whether or not it would be appropriate to increase to 18 the age to which the childcare duty runs for such children and we have decided so to do. These amendments make this possible.

Noble Lords reading the Marshalled List may wonder why the government amendment does not simply substitute the age 18 for 16. The reason is that we have been advised that the best way to express the policy intention is to amend Clause 6(5) so that the childcare duty, except in relation to disabled children, does not apply to children after 1 September following their 14th birthday. This means that disabled children will continue to be included in the duty after their 14th birthday and up to the age of 18, when they are no longer a child in accordance with the definition in Clause 106.

I turn to Amendments Nos. 16, 17 and 18. It was always the Government's intention to ensure through regulations that information on services, facilities and publications of benefit to parents of disabled children would be made available. Placing the requirement on the face of the Bill will give greater permanence and clarity to the information needs of parents of disabled children. It will also emphasise to local authorities the importance of providing this more specialised information.

Amendment No. 16 will ensure that the needs of parents of disabled children are specifically included in the regulations supporting the information duty in the Bill. The amendment places a duty on the Secretary of State to have regard to the needs of the parents of disabled children when making regulations setting out the information to be provided by local authorities. Such information would relate to childcare which is suitable for disabled children and other services, as well as facilities and publications which may be of particular benefit to disabled children, young persons and their parents.

Amendment No. 17 is a consequential amendment to ensure that local authorities are clear that they must provide the information set out in subsection (2) before considering the provision of additional information. Amendment No. 18 defines the term "disabled" for the purposes of Clause 12.

With the agreement of the Welsh Assembly Government, we are also tabling Amendments Nos. 25 to 28, which mirror the effect of the amendments I have described.
12 Jun 2006 : Column 53

I believe that the amendments meet the wishes of the House and I beg to move.

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