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Local Government Bill

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 15 December 1987

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Order for Third Reading read.

11.27 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment
(Mr. Christopher Chope)

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

This was the first Bill to receive a Second Reading in this Parliament. It will not be the first to receive its Third Reading and that is because we had 100 hours deliberating it in detail in Committee in 29 sittings. That was a thorough consideration of the Bill.

The two main provisions of the Bill concern compulsory competitive tendering and the outlawing of anti-competitive contract compliance clauses. It is significant that both those subjects were the subject of early day motions supported by many of my hon. Friends in the previous Parliament.

It is the Government's established policy to ensure that we obtain better value for money in local government. The Bill will facilitate that and it deserves the strong and enthusiastic support of the House.

11.29 pm

This may not be the first Bill to receive its Third Reading in this Parliament—[Interruption.]

Order. I suspend the sitting for five minutes while the Strangers' Gallery is cleared.

Sitting suspended at 11.30 pm.

11.35 pm

The Under-Secretary of State said that this was the first Bill to complete its stages in the House this session. There will be few Bills more obnoxious than this one. It takes powers away from local authorities, it curbs their rights to use the media, it supports the Fascist apartheid regime in South Africa. [Interruption.] The Bill specifically brings aid and comfort to the apartheid regime in South Africa. It has the unique distinction of undermining civil rights abroad and doing exactly the same at home. Few Bills going through the House have that unique obnoxious facet. We are totally opposed to all its aspects, and we will divide the House on Third Reading.

I endorse what the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) has said. there are four parts to the Bill, all of which are equally unacceptable to these Benches. We oppose competitive tendering being compulsorily imposed on local government, not because it is bad, but because the Government are compelling local authorities to do it according to the Government's wish. Hon. Members are not alone in opposing that aspect of the Bill, because competitive tendering is opposed by all the organisations of local government outside the House. It is also opposed by the Audit Commission, by academics and around the land.

The Minister said in relation to previous debates this evening that we are all against discrimination, yet it is clear in part II that the Government are prepared to countenance discrimination at home in relation to those with disabilities, ethnic minorities and women, and abroad particularly in relation to South Africa. By preventing local authorities from taking a moral stand on South Africa the Government have declared their true intentions and true colours and their willingness to sustain that regime.

On housing, the Government are preventing schemes that should have been able to go ahead, and they are preventing local authorities from being able to sell properties to housing associations at a reasonable price.

In the last part of the Bill the Government are adding to restrictions on local authority publicity, for which they have given no justification. Tonight they have evidenced their clear prejudice on matters of discrimination in relation to homosexuals and homosexuality, and, to cap it all, they are even to abolish the dog licence.

The Bill should be rejected. It enshrines more selfishness in the law of the land and confirms the dogma and prejudice for which the Government will be particularly remembered. Their morality is not the morality of the Opposition or of the country. The Bill must be resisted, and I hope that it will be defeated before it completes its passage through the House.

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

The House divided: Ayes 308, Noes 215.

Division No. 119]

[11.40 pm

AYES

Adley, RobertBudgen, Nicholas
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBurns, Simon
Allason, RupertBurt, Alistair
Amess, DavidButler, Chris
Amos, AlanButterfill, John
Arbuthnot, JamesCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Carrington, Matthew
Ashby, DavidCarttiss, Michael
Aspinwall, JackCash, William
Atkins, RobertChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Atkinson, DavidChope, Christopher
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Baldry, TonyClark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Batiste, SpencerColvin, Michael
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyConway, Derek
Bellingham, HenryCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Bendall, VivianCope, John
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Cormack, Patrick
Benyon, W.Couchman, James
Bevan, David GilroyCran, James
Bitten, Rt Hon JohnCurrie, Mrs Edwina
Blackburn, Dr John G.Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterDavis, David (Boothferry)
Body, Sir RichardDay, Stephen
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDevlin, Tim
Boswell, TimDickens, Geoffrey
Bottomley, PeterDorrell, Stephen
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)Dover, Den
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Dunn, Bob
Bowis, JohnDurant, Tony
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesEggar, Tim
Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardEmery, Sir Peter
Brandon-Bravo, MartinEvans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Brazier, JulianFallon, Michael
Bright, GrahamFarr, Sir John
Brooke, Hon PeterFenner, Dame Peggy
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Browne, John (Winchester)Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)Fookes, Miss Janet
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon AlickForman, Nigel

Forth, EricLord, Michael
Fowler, Rt Hon NormanLyell, Sir Nicholas
Fox, Sir MarcusMacfarlane, Neil
Freeman, RogerMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
French, DouglasMaclean, David
Fry, PeterMcLoughlin, Patrick
Gale, RogerMcNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)
Gardiner, GeorgeMcNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Gill, ChristopherMajor, Rt Hon John
Glyn, Dr AlanMalins, Humfrey
Goodhart, Sir PhilipMans, Keith
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMaples, John
Gorman, Mrs TeresaMarland, Paul
Gow, IanMarlow, Tony
Gower, Sir RaymondMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Maude, Hon Francis
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Greenway, John (Rydale)Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Gregory, ConalMellor, David
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Meyer, Sir Anthony
Grist, IanMiller, Hal
Ground, PatrickMills, Iain
Grylls, MichaelMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)Mitchell, David (Hants NW)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Monro, Sir Hector
Hampson, Dr KeithMontgomery, Sir Fergus
Hanley, JeremyMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Hannam, JohnMorrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Morrison, Hon P (Chester)
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Moss, Malcolm
Harris, DavidMoynihan, Hon C.
Hawkins, ChristopherMudd, David
Hayes, JerryNeale, Gerrard
Hayward, RobertNelson, Anthony
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidNeubert, Michael
Heddle, JohnNewton, Tony
Heseltine, Rt Hon MichaelNicholls, Patrick
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Nicholson, Miss E. (Devon W)
Hill, JamesOnslow, Cranley
Hind, KennethOppenheim, Phillip
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Page, Richard
Holt, RichardPaice, James
Hordern, Sir PeterPatnick, Irvine
Howard, MichaelPatten, Chris (Bath)
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Patten, John (Oxford W)
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Pawsey, James
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Porter, David (Waveney)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)Portillo, Michael
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasPowell, William (Corby)
Irvine, MichaelPrice, Sir David
Jack, MichaelRaffan, Keith
Jackson, RobertRaison, Rt Hon Timothy
Janman, TimothyRathbone, Tim
Jessel, TobyRedwood, John
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRhodes James, Robert
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Riddick, Graham
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs ElaineRidley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Key, RobertRidsdale, Sir Julian
Kilfedder, JamesRoberts, Wyn (Conwy)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Roe, Mrs Marion
Kirkhope, TimothyRossi, Sir Hugh
Knapman, RogerRost, Peter
Knight, Greg (Derby North)Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)Ryder, Richard
Knowles, MichaelSackville, Hon Tom
Knox, DavidSainsbury, Hon Tim
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanScott, Nicholas
Lang, IanShaw, David (Dover)
Latham, MichaelShaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Lawrence, IvanShelton, William (Streatham)
Lee, John (Pendle)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lightbown, DavidShepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Lilley, PeterShersby, Michael
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)Sims, Roger
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Skeet, Sir Trevor

Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)Trippier, David
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Trotter, Neville
Soames, Hon NicholasTwinn, Dr Ian
Speed, KeithVaughan, Sir Gerard
Speller, TonyWaddington, Rt Hon David
Spicer, Jim (Dorset W)Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Waldegrave, Hon William
Squire, RobinWalden, George
Stanbrook, IvorWalker, Bill (T'side North)
Steen, AnthonyWalker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Stern, MichaelWaller, Gary
Stevens, LewisWalters, Dennis
Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)Ward, John
Stewart, Ian (Hertfordshire N)Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Stradling Thomas, Sir JohnWarren, Kenneth
Sumberg, DavidWatts, John
Summerson, HugoWells, Bowen
Tapsell, Sir PeterWheeler, John
Taylor, Ian (Esher)Whitney, Ray
Taylor, John M (Solihull)Widdecombe, Miss Ann
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)Wiggin, Jerry
Tebbit, Rt Hon NormanWilshire, David
Temple-Morris, PeterWinterton, Mrs Ann
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)Wolfson, Mark
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Wood, Timothy
Thorne, NeilWoodcock, Mike
Thornton, MalcolmYeo, Tim
Thurnham, PeterYounger, Rt Hon George
Townend, John (Bridlington)
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)Tellers for the Ayes:
Tracey, RichardMr. Robert Boscawen and
Tredinnick, DavidMr. Tristan Garel-Jones.

NOES

Abbott, Ms DianeCummings, J.
Adams, Allen (Paisley N)Cunliffe, Lawrence
Allen, GrahamCunningham, Dr John
Alton, DavidDalyell, Tam
Anderson, DonaldDarling, Alastair
Archer, Rt Hon PeterDavies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Armstrong, Ms HilaryDavis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'I)
Ashdown, PaddyDixon, Don
Ashley, Rt Hon JackDobson, Frank
Ashton, JoeDoran, Frank
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Eadie, Alexander
Barron, KevinEastham, Ken
Battle, JohnEvans, John (St Helens N)
Beckett, MargaretEwing, Harry (Falkirk E)
Benn, Rt Hon TonyEwing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Fatchett, Derek
Bermingham, GeraldFearn, Ronald
Blair, TonyField, Frank (Birkenhead)
Boateng, PaulFields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)
Boyes, RolandFlannery, Martin
Bradley, KeithFlynn, Paul
Bray, Dr JeremyFoot, Rt Hon Michael
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)Foster, Derek
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Foulkes, George
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Fraser, John
Buchan, NormanFyfe, Mrs Maria
Buckley, GeorgeGalbraith, Samuel
Caborn, RichardGalloway, George
Callaghan, JimGarrett, John (Norwich South)
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)George, Bruce
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Godman, Dr Norman A.
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Golding, Mrs Llin
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Gordon, Ms Mildred
Clay, BobGould, Bryan
Clelland, DavidGrant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Clwyd, Mrs AnnGriffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Cohen, HarryGriffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Coleman, DonaldGrocott, Bruce
Cook, Robin (Livingston)Hardy, Peter
Corbett, RobinHarman, Ms Harriet
Corbyn, JeremyHattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Cousins, JimHealey, Rt Hon Denis
Cox, TomHeffer, Eric S.
Cryer, BobHenderson, Douglas

Hinchliffe, DavidO'Brien, William
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)O'Neill, Martin
Home Robertson, JohnOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hood, JamesParry, Robert
Howarth, George (Knowslay N)Patchett, Terry
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)Pendry, Tom
Howells, GeraintPike, Peter
Hoyle, DougPowell, Ray (Ogmore)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Primarolo, Ms Dawn
Hughes, Roy (Newport E)Quin, Ms Joyce
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)Radice, Giles
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Randall, Stuart
Illsley, EricRedmond, Martin
Ingram, AdamRees, Rt Hon Merlyn
Janner, GrevilleReid, John
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)Richardson, Ms Jo
Jones, leuan (Ynys Môn)Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)Robinson, Geoffrey
Kennedy, CharlesRogers, Allan
Kinnock, Rt Hon NeilRooker, Jeff
Kirkwood, ArchyRoss, Ernie (Dundee W)
Lambie, DavidRowlands, Ted
Lamond, JamesRuddock, Ms Joan
Leighton, RonSedgemore, Brian
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eccles)Sheerman, Barry
Lewis, TerrySheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Litherland, RobertShore, Rt Hon Peter
Livingstone, KenShort, Clare
Livsey, RichardSkinner, Dennis
Lloyd, Tony (Stratford)Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Lofthouse, GeoffreySmith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Loyden, EddieSmith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
McAllion, JohnSoley, Clive
McAvoy, TomSpearing, Nigel
McCartney, IanSteel, Rt Hon David
Macdonald, CalumSteinberg, Gerald
McFall, JohnStott, Roger
McKay, Allen (Penistone)Strang, Gavin
McKelvey, WilliamStraw, Jack
McLeish, HenryTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
McTaggart, BobTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Madden, MaxThomas, Dafydd Elis
Mahon, Mrs AliceTurner, Dennis
Marek, Dr JohnWall, Pat
Marshall, David (Shettleston)Wallace, James
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)Walley, Ms Joan
Martin, Michael (Springburn)Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Martlew, EricWareing, Robert N.
Maxton, JohnWelsh, Andrew (Angus E)
Meacher, MichaelWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Meale, AlanWigley, Dafydd
Michael, AlunWilliams, Rt Hon A. J.
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Millan, Rt Hon BruceWilson, Brian
Moonie, Dr LewisWinnick, David
Morgan, RhodriWise, Mrs Audrey
Morley, ElliottWorthington, Anthony
Morris, Rt Hon A (W'shawe)Wray, James
Morris, Rt Hon J (Aberavon)Young, David (Bolton SE)
Mowlam, Mrs Marjorie
Mullin, ChrisTellers for the Noes:
Murphy, PaulMr. Frank Haynes and
Nellist, DaveMr. Frank Cook.
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.