Regional Development Agencies Bill — Vesting and acquisition of land: supplementary provisions — 1 Apr 1998

I beg to move amendment No. 4, in page 11, leave out from beginning of line 32 to end of line 19 on page 14.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin):

With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 5, in page 12, line 4, leave out 'consult' and insert 'obtain the consent of'.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 9, in page 15, line 13, leave out from 'section' to end of line 14 and insert--

' "highway" and "local highway authority" have the same meanings as in the Highways Act 1980;

"private street" has the same meaning as in Part XI of that Act.'-- [Mr. Caborn.]

Amendments made: No. 10, in page 18, leave out line 17.

No. 11, in page 18, leave out line 21.-- [Mr. Caborn.]

I beg to move amendment No. 25, in page 19, line 7, leave out 'including' and insert--

'(3A) The provision which may be made under subsection (3) includes--

(a) provision changing the name of a public body which acquires functions by virtue of provision made under subsection (1)(a) or (b), and


Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 13, in page 19, line 7, after 'transfer', insert 'to another public body'.-- [Mr. Robert Ainsworth.]

I beg to move amendment No. 28, in page 19, line 33, at end insert--

'(1A) The Secretary of State shall once in every financial year lay before both Houses of Parliament a statement listing the property, rights and liabilities of the Urban Regeneration Agency which have not been subject of any directions under subsection (1).'.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: No. 14, in page 20, line 10, after 'transfer', insert 'to another public body'.-- [Mr. Caborn.]

I beg to move amendment No. 27, in page 21, line 10, at end insert--

'(2) No statutory instrument may be made under subsection (1) until the Secretary of State has laid before Parliament a copy of any concordat reached between Her Majesty's Government, the regional development agencies in England, the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales (or any of them) in relation to regional assistance.'.

That is April next year, if I recall rightly, but the Scottish Executive will not be in existence by April next year and the Minister for Home Affairs and Devolution, Scottish Office said:

"I want to reinforce the response again, that agreements cannot be made until the Scottish Executive is up and running, and it should be clear that draft agreements cannot in any way be considered to be binding on it."--[ Official Report , 31 March 1998; Vol. 309, c. 1159.]

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn .

I beg to move amendment No. 26, in page 25, line 5, at end insert--

'.--(1) The persons to whom section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 applies (persons to or in respect of whom benefits may be provided by schemes under that section ) shall include employees of a regional development agency.

(2) Accordingly, in Schedule 1 to that Act, at the appropriate point in the list of "Other Bodies", there is inserted "A development agency established under section 1 of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998".'.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move amendment No. 12, in page 36, line 15, at end insert

', if he is satisfied--

( ) that an alternative right of way has been or will be provided, or

( ) that the provision of an alternative right of way is not required.'

Amendment agreed to.

Order for Third Reading read.

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The English regions have long felt themselves to be the poor relations of the United Kingdom, believing that Scotland and Wales, with their development agencies, have been much better placed to improve their competitiveness. Our task, reflecting our manifesto commitment to set up regional development agencies, is to give the English regions the tools to improve their performance.

The regional economies are the building blocks of a prosperous national economy, affecting the overall UK performance. We must put all our regions in a position to compete with their European counterparts in the global marketplace. The figures for 1995 released by Eurostat and the Department of Trade and Industry in the past few days show that we have inherited a deteriorating situation from the previous Administration. There has been a marked deterioration since 1993, with every English region performing worse than it did then. Before the figures were released, the hon. Member for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo) assured us in Committee that they would be considerably better and would show that many English regions were performing at or above the European average. The Conservatives have left us with every English region under-performing against the European average. The regions are doing considerably worse than they were, based on comparable figures from two years before.

The figures show that we have not progressed since 1984, when the United Kingdom stood at 96, compared with a European average of 100. The 1995 figures show that position to be unchanged. The previous Administration have left this Government with a pathetic performance from the English regions.

Even the capital, which has performed quite well--standing at 147 in 1993--is down to 139. Even the jewel in the crown is a little tarnished. However, make no mistake, we shall ensure that a twinkle is put back on that diamond when we establish the new mayor of London, the elected authority and the new development agency.

The Bill provides us with a means to tackle that economic deficit, which has plagued the English regions for too long. It provides for RDAs to be established in all the regions of England. The agencies will provide for effective and properly co-ordinated regional economic development and will underpin wider regeneration. They will play a major part in the future economic success of the entire United Kingdom.

1 Apr 1998 : Column 1367

Question put , That the Bill be now read the Third time:--

The House divided: Ayes 270, Noes 127.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con0 126 (+2 tell)079.0%
Lab252 (+2 tell) 0060.9%
LDem18 0039.1%
UUP0 1010.0%
Total:270 127063.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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