HC Deb 08 July 1996 vol 281 cc48-57

Amendment made: No. 25, in page 21, line 7, leave out

`by virtue of section 23(1)'

and insert

'under section 24(I)(a)'.—[Mr. Clappison.]

Mr. Raynsford

I beg to move amendment No. 105, in page 21, line 8, after 'so', insert 'in exceptional circumstances'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss also the following amendments: No. 61, in page 21, line 11, leave out from 'than' to end of line 12 and insert `six months after the date of the application.'. No. 106, in page 21, line 13, at end insert— '(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply if the disabled occupant is in hospital or residential care or a delay in adaptations would have a detrimental effect on the long term health or safety of the disabled occupant'.

Mr. Raynsford

We now come to a very fundamental issue—the availability of grants to people who are disabled, and the provisions in clause 36 that allow delayed payment of such grants.

Most people who are familiar with the working of the current grant regime and with the availability of grants for people with disabilities are very conscious of the problems caused by delay. It takes a great deal of time, not only before applications are assessed, but there is often further delay while reports are obtained from relevant sources such as occupational therapists, people at social services and others qualified to make an assessment on the need for aids or adaptations to suit the needs of disabled people.

Currently, delays of two years and more are not uncommon, so clause 36, which allows for a further 12-month delay from approval of the grant to its payment has—quite rightly—caused serious alarm and concern among those who suffer from disabilities.

Disabled people's concerns have not been allayed by the Government's justification for that provision in clause 36. When challenged about it, Ministers accepted that there would be delays in some cases, but they said that they were necessary because the new framework allows some grants—such as the disabled facilities grant—to be mandatory, which in some cases will pose a serious problem for local authorities' finances. The discretion to postpone payment for 12 months was therefore necessary, they said, to enable local authorities to comply with the requirements.

We noticed that the Government's proposed solution was not a possible alternative framework to ensure that local authorities were able to finance disabled facilities grants within a year; instead, they argued for this provision as a fail-safe mechanism.

The Government also called in aid local authorities, arguing that they would find it difficult to comply with the obligations of a mandatory grant system without a framework allowing deferment. I must tell the Minister that local authorities are far from enthusiastic about clause 36. They know very well that it is an unpopular clause, that it will rightly lead to much anger and irritation among disabled people and that it will be resented very widely. Local authorities would much prefer a framework in which they can meet the need for disabled facilities grants within a reasonable timeframe.

A second issue, which has been aired in Committee but to which the Minister has not given a satisfactory answer, is the position of the contractor. Applications for disabled facilities grants will be based on an estimate from the contractor who is to carry out the work. There is a requirement that competitive tenders be obtained for grants and, when there are two or more tenders, the most favourable—presumably the lowest—will be accepted. The contractor will have tendered on the assumption that the work will be carried out within a reasonable period of time, and most contractors specify that the tender will be valid for only a limited time.

If grant payment is deferred for 12 months, the contractor will either try to honour a tender that is clearly out of time or—much more likely—seek to renegotiate the price because the tender period has passed. If that happens, the supposed beneficial effect of delaying implementation could result in a further claim on public funds when the contractor seeks an increase—it is not normal for contractors to seek reductions in tenders—because of the delay. That perfectly reasonable point was made in Committee, but the Minister had no answer to it.

Clause 36 is unpopular because it will cause anomalies and hardship to many people. It will also cause further increases in public expenditure. If disabled people have to remain in hospital, residential care or other similar accommodation because appropriate work has not been done to their homes so that they can live in them, the cost will almost certainly be far more than the cost of a renovation grant.

The organisations concerned with assistance for disabled people have produced a series of estimates of the costs of keeping people in hospital. The figures with which I have been provided by disability organizations—particularly by the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, which has done an excellent job throughout the Bill's passage on behalf of people with disabilities—show that Department of Health statistics estimate that a geriatric bed costs more than £700 a week. A delay of even a few weeks would therefore be very costly, and a delay of one year would be hugely costly—in the region of £40,000.

It cannot make sense to incur substantial additional public expenditure by keeping in hospital people who want to return to their home simply because the payment of a disabled facilities grant to enable them to return home has been delayed due to the provisions of clause 36.

5.15 pm

We made all those points in Committee, and the Minister responded to them. On 6 June, he gave a very straightforward response. He said: I can give some reassurance to the Committee. The power is discretionary and we envisage that local authorities will use it only in exceptional circumstances."—[Official Report, Standing Committee F, 6 June 1996; c. 178.] I hope that the Minister will remember those words, because they are precisely the words of our amendment. Our amendment seeks to put the words "in exceptional circumstances" in the Bill and to give effect to the expression of hope that the Minister gave the Committee.

If the Minister opposes our amendment, he will owe it to the House to explain why his preferred solution in Committee is now not acceptable and why it is not reasonable to say that this provision should be available only in exceptional circumstances. If he does not accept our amendment, he will have a lot of explaining to do.

Amendment No. 106 seeks to ensure that delay does not apply when people are awaiting a move out of hospital or in which delay in approving a renovation grant would have a detrimental effect on their long-term health or safety. Those are obvious requirements of any civilised society, and they are sensible in the interests of saving public money by not keeping people in hospital beds for longer than necessary.

Amendment Nos. 105 and 106 make a great deal of sense and give effect to the proposal made by the Minister in Committee. I hope that the Government will accept them. If they do not accept them, I sincerely hope that the House will ensure that they are incorporated into the Bill.

Mr. Chris Davies

I endorse many of the comments made by the hon. Member for Greenwich, particularly his remarks on the alarm and concern caused by delays. I am surprised, however, that he did not go further in his amendment. We have tried to impose tighter limits in amendment No. 61. It obviously takes some time for local authorities to process applications for grant, but we believe that six months should be more than sufficient for the payment of this type of grant.

I am not convinced that disabled facilities grants should be further delayed in the manner proposed by the Minister and as provided for in the Bill. We believe that the maximum period should be reduced, and we should have been very happy if the suggestion of a reduction to six months had been incorporated into the amendment moved by the hon. Member for Greenwich.

I also seek the Minister's views on the subject, and an explanation of why the far too extensive period allocated to local authorities for payment of the grant should remain in the Bill. Surely he should have recognised by now that there is no justification for that provision. It is yet another example of the Minister giving disabled people a lower place in the queue than that to which they are entitled.

Mr. Stevenson

I look forward to the Minister's response because, as my hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Raynsford) said, during our discussions in Committee, the Minister accepted the principle. He said that local authorities would use the power "only in exceptional circumstances", which is exactly what the amendment seeks to do. I hope that I am correct in assuming that we are not talking about the principle, but about the method of obtaining the result.

Amendment No. 105 seeks to place the Minister's commitment on the face of the Bill. That is the best method to use for such an important subject. I hope that the Minister will agree and accept that that is the right thing to do. If he does not, we shall listen carefully to how he intends to deliver the commitment that he gave in Committee. The fact that the Government are attempting to strike the right balance between the available resources and expectations of what the Minister describes as a demand-led scheme is well documented.

The Government's refusal to accept the amendment in Committee on the basis of the need to avoid causing local authorities considerable financial difficulty, is also well documented. My experience of local authorities is that they are pretty good at managing such matters, although resources present a considerable problem. I think that most of us agreed with the Minister when he said, as he did in Committee, that he would expect such applications to be processed in no more than six months. He was talking about the processing of the applications. As the amendment states, we are talking about further delays in the system in terms of payments.

Let us not confuse the Minister's reassuring words in Committee—that he would expect applications to be processed in no more than six months—which we would all accept, with the amendment, which deals with when the payments begin. Clause 36 involves an inbuilt delay of 12 months in the vital matter of mandatory grants for disabled facilities. For the reasons outlined by my hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich, we believe that that is wrong, not only in principle but in practice. Given the Minister's commitment to the principle, I hope that he will accept the need for the provision to be placed on the face of the Bill and accept amendment No. 105.

Mr. Clappison

It is clear from the debate that the disabled facilities grant is important. It has been a successful grant and it will continue to be successful, providing many disabled people with facilities and modifications to make their life easier and safer—but it will be a demand-led system. As we said in Committee, clause 36 is an honest and open attempt to deal with the problems that sometimes arise from a demand-led system. I emphasise the word "sometimes" and I shall be more specific about that later.

In respect of amendment No. 61, I must draw the attention of the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth to the fact that the Bill already provides that all applications must be determined no later than six months after they were made and that a grant must be paid when the works have been completed. His amendment, which would reduce the period that local authorities would be able to delay from 12 to six months, would not give them much of the extra flexibility that we seek to give them to deal with some of the problems that can arise.

Amendment No. 61 might provide authorities with a little flexibility, but not much, as they could inform an applicant shortly after the application was made—within one or two months—that it had been approved, but that they would not pay grant for another four or five months. It would not give authorities the flexibility that they will need. The purpose of our proposal is to enable authorities to exert some control over mandatory grant expenditure, including scheduling payments between financial years if necessary, to help them comply with the requirement placed on them to operate within an annual budget.

Mr. Davies

Will the Minister confirm that his objective is to give local authorities flexibility on payment, but that the cost of that will be to slow down the payment of grants to disabled people who need them? Will he spell that out to the House?

Mr. Clappison

The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that the purpose of the proposal is to give local authorities the flexibility that they need to deal with the problems that can sometimes arise. Those who are familiar with the grant system will be familiar with the sort of problems involved. The measure is an open and straightforward way of attempting to deal with those problems.

The hon. Member for Greenwich showed a fondness for Shakespeare. His contribution would best be accompanied by the Shakespearean stage direction of alarum and excursion. The hon. Gentleman raised some alarms that were not necessarily appropriate in this context. We have made it clear throughout the Bill's passage that the provisions in clause 36 are for use only in exceptional circumstances.

I am sympathetic to the point that lies behind amendment No. 105, but I do not believe that the amendment would be an appropriate way of achieving that objective. Placing the phrase "in exceptional circumstances" on the face of the Bill would only store up future problems of interpretation. The scope for judicial review would be potentially wider and the real beneficiaries might be lawyers rather than grant applicants. The hon. Gentleman and I share common ground in that we both want to reduce the amount of work for lawyers arising from the provisions. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would not want to introduce anything that would increase that volume of work.

I take the same view on amendment No. 106. I can foresee only lawyers arguing over the meaning of "detrimental effect". We are, of course, fully alive to the needs of disabled people and we do not want to cause any unnecessary hardship, but we do not think that the amendment resolves them. We have made clear on many previous occasions that the guidance that we shall be issuing to authorities is the more appropriate vehicle for putting across such messages—I continue to hold that view.

Amendment No. 105 is a straightforward and honest attempt to deal with the problems. Provisions elsewhere in the Bill accommodate the sort of concerns about builders that the hon. Member for Greenwich described. We foresee the provision being used only in exceptional circumstances—it is the consequence of having a demand-led grant system. We have tried to face up to the sort of problems that can arise in an honest and straightforward way. All those who want to retain a demand-led grant system while—as the hon. Member for Greenwich said—remaining within the limit of present resources, have to face up to the same problems. We have done so in a straightforward way.

Mr. Raynsford

It is pretty curious to be told by the Minister that the Government are acting in an honest and straightforward way when they are resisting a move to put words used by the Minister in Committee on the face of the Bill. Either he meant what he said in Committee, in which case there is no justification for resisting the amendment, or he did not mean what he said in Committee, in which case the Government are certainly not honest and straightforward. The Minister has to have it one way or the other. If he was speaking the truth in Committee when he said that the provision would be used only in exceptional circumstances, I shall remind him of the purpose of amendment No. 105. Clause 36 states: Where the local housing authority are obliged to approve an application for a grant by virtue of section 23(1) (mandatory disabled facilities grant), they may do so on terms that payment of the grant, or part of it, will not be made before a date specified". The only change that amendment No. 105 would make is to insert the words "in exceptional circumstances" after the power given to the local authority. The clause would therefore state that they may do so in exceptional circumstances on terms that payment of the grant, or part of it, will not be made before a date specified". That simply follows the undertaking that the Minister gave in Committee.

If the Government resist the amendment, they must explain why the Minister's comments in Committee are not good enough to be included in the Bill. In the absence of an explanation, we shall draw the unfortunate conclusion that the Government speak with forked tongue: they say one thing in Committee but do something else on Report.

5.30 pm

The Minister quoted Shakespeare. He gave the impression that we are expressing false concerns—alarums and excursions. In this context, I can think of only one Shakespearian quotation and it is from Macbeth: If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly". We believe that renovation grants for disabled people should be paid—and paid quickly. There should be no delay.

We believe that the House should have an opportunity to vote on the matter, and I commend amendment No.105 to my hon. Friends and to all hon. Members who care about grants for disabled people.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 220, Noes 271.

Division No. 173] [5.30 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Davidson, Ian
Adams, Mrs Irene Davies, Chris (L'Boro & S'worth)
Ainger, Nick Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Allen, Graham Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Denham, John
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Dewar, Donald
Austin-Walker, John Dixon, Don
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Dobson, Frank
Barron, Kevin Donohoe, Brian H
Battle, John Dowd, Jim
Bayley, Hugh Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Beith, Rt Hon A J Eagle, Ms Angela
Bell, Stuart Eastham, Ken
Bennett, Andrew F Etherington, Bill
Bermingham, Gerald Evans, John (St Helens N)
Berry, Roger Fatchett, Derek
Betts, Clive Faulds, Andrew
Blair, Rt Hon Tony Fisher, Mark
Bradley, Keith Flynn, Paul
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Foster, Don (Bath)
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Foulkes, George
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Fraser, John
Byers, Stephen Fyfe, Maria
Caborn, Richard Gapes, Mike
Callaghan, Jim Garrett, John
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Gerrard, Neil
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Godman, Dr Norman A
Campbell-Savours, D N Godsiff, Roger
Canavan, Dennis Golding, Mrs Llin
Cann, Jamie Graham, Thomas
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomery) Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Chidgey, David Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Chisholm, Malcolm Grocott, Bruce
Clapham, Michael Gunnell, John
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hain, Peter
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Hall, Mike
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hanson, David
Clelland, David Harman, Ms Harriet
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Coffey, Ann Heppell, John
Cohen, Harry Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Connarty, Michael Hinchliffe, David
Corbyn, Jeremy Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Corston, Jean Hood, Jimmy
Cousins, Jim Hoon, Geoffrey
Cummings, John Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Howarth, George (Knowsley North)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Howells, Dr Kim (Pontypridd)
Dalyell, Tam Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Darling, Alistair Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Pickthall, Colin
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Pike, Peter L
Hutton, John Powell, Sir Ray (Ogmore)
Illsley, Eric Prentice, Bridget (Lew'm E)
Ingram, Adam Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead) Primarolo, Dawn
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H) Purchase, Ken
Jamieson, David Quin, Ms Joyce
Janner, Greville Radice, Giles
Jenkins, Brian (SE Staff) Randall, Stuart
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Raynsford, Nick
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Reid, Dr John
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Rendel, David
Jowell, Tessa Roche, Mrs Barbara
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Rogers, Allan
Keen, Alan Rooker, Jeff
Kennedy, Charles (Ross,C&S) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Kennedy, Jane (L'pool Br'dg'n) Rowlands, Ted
Khabra, Piara S Sedgemore, Brian
Kilfoyle, Peter Sheerman, Barry
Kirkwood, Archy Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Lewis, Terry Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Liddell, Mrs Helen Short, Clare
Litherland, Robert Skinner, Dennis
Livingstone, Ken Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Loyden, Eddie Smith, Chris (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
McAllion, John Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
McAvoy, Thomas Soley, Clive
McCartney, Ian Spearing, Nigel
McKelvey, William Spellar, John
Mackinlay, Andrew Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
McLeish, Henry Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
McMaster, Gordon Steinberg, Gerry
McNamara, Kevin Stevenson, George
McWilliam, John Stott, Roger
Madden, Max Strang, Dr. Gavin
Maddock, Diana Sutcliffe, Gerry
Mahon, Alice Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Mandelson, Peter Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Thurnham, Peter
Martin, Michael J (Springburn) Timms, Stephen
Meacher, Michael Touhig, Don
Michael, Alun Trickett, Jon
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Turner, Dennis
Milburn, Alan Vaz, Keith
Miller, Andrew Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Moonie, Dr Lewis Walley, Joan
Morgan, Rhodri Wareing, Robert N
Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wy'nshawe) Watson, Mike
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Wicks, Malcolm
Mudie, George Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Mullin, Chris Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Murphy, Paul Winnick, David
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Wise, Audrey
O'Brien, William (Normanton) Wray, Jimmy
O'Hara, Edward Wright, Dr Tony
Olner, Bill Young, David (Bolton, SE)
O'Neill, Martin
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Tellers for the Ayes:
Pearson, Ian Mr. Greg Pope and
Pendry, Tom Mr. Joe Benton.
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Baldry, Tony
Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan Banks, Matthew (Southport)
Alexander, Richard Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Bates, Michael
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Batiste, Spencer
Amess, David Bellingham, Henry
Arbuthnot, James Bendall, Vivian
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Beresford, Sir Paul
Ashby, David Biffen, Rt Hon John
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert Body, Sir Richard
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Booth, Hartley
Baker, Rt Hon Kenneth (Mole V) Boswell, Tim
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Bowden, Sir Andrew Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Bowis, John Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald
Brazier, Julian Hampson, Dr Keith
Bright, Sir Graham Hannam, Sir John
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Hargreaves, Andrew
Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Haselhurst, Sir Alan
Browning, Mrs Angela Hawkins, Nick
Bruce, Ian (South Dorset) Hawksley, Warren
Budgen, Nicholas Hayes, Jerry
Burns, Simon Heald, Oliver
Burt, Alistair Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Butler, Peter Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Butterfill, John Hendry, Charles
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Carrington, Matthew Hicks, Sir Robert
Cash, William Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hill, Sir James (Southampton Test)
Chapman, Sir Sydney Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Churchill, Mr Horam, John
Clappison, James Hordem, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)
Coe, Sebastian Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Colvin, Michael Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Congdon, David Hunter, Andrew
Conway, Derek Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Jack, Michael
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Jenkin, Bernard
Cormack, Sir Patrick Jessel, Toby
Couchman, James Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Cran, James Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Key, Robert
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) King, Rt Hon Tom
Day, Stephen Kirkhope, Timothy
Deva, Nirj Joseph Knapman, Roger
Devlin, Tim Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Dover, Den Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Duncan, Alan Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Duncan Smith, Iain Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Dunn, Bob Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Durant, Sir Anthony Legg, Barry
Dykes, Hugh Leigh, Edward
Eggar, Rt Hon Tim Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Elletson, Harold Lester, Sir James (Broxtowe)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Lidington, David
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lord, Michael
Evennett, David Luff, Peter
Faber, David Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fabricant, Michael MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Fenner, Dame Peggy MacKay, Andrew
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Maclean, Rt Hon David
Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling) McLoughlin, Patrick
Forth, Eric McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Madel, Sir David
Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley) Maitland, Lady Olga
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger Major, Rt Hon John
French, Douglas Malone, Gerald
Fry, Sir Peter Mans, Keith
Gallie, Phil Marland, Paul
Gardiner, Sir George Marlow, Tony
Garnier, Edward Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Gill, Christopher Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gillan, Cheryl Mates, Michael
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Merchant, Piers
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Mills, Iain
Gorst, Sir John Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Grant, Sir A (SW Cambs) Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Steen, Anthony
Moss, Malcolm Stephen, Michael
Neubert, Sir Michael Stem, Michael
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Stewart, Allan
Nicholls, Patrick Streeter, Gary
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Sumberg, David
Norris, Steve Sweeney, Walter
Ottaway, Richard Sykes, John
Page, Richard Tapsell, Sir Peter
Paice, James Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Patnick, Sir Irvine Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Pawsey, James Thomason, Roy
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Porter, David (Waveney) Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Tracey, Richard
Powell, William (Corby) Tredinnick, David
Rathbone, Tim Trend, Michael
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Twinn, Dr Ian
Richards, Rod Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Riddick, Graham Viggers, Peter
Rifkind Rt Hon Malcolm Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Walden, George
Robathan, Andrew
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Waller, Gary
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Ward, John
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Waterson, Nigel
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent) Watts, John
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Wells, Bowen
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Whitney, Ray
Sackville, Tom Whittingdale, John
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy Widdecombe, Ann
Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Wilkinson, John
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian Willetts, David
Shepherd, Sir Colin (Hereford) Wilshire, David
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Shersby, Sir Michael Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Sims, Sir Roger Wolfson, Mark
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Wood, Timothy
Speed, Sir Keith Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Spencer, Sir Derek
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs) Tellers for the Noes:
Spring, Richard Dr. Liam Fox and
Sproat, Iain Mr. Gyles Brandreth.

Question accordingly negatived.

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