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Points of Order

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 13 June 2007

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, as you will know, yesterday we discussed the Serious Crime Bill in the House, a serious piece of Home Office legislation, which involves burdens of proof and admissibility of evidence and which affects the liberties of all people in this country. Is there anything you can do to persuade the Government to inform their Back Benchers of the serious nature of legislation going through the House, because apart from a couple of interventions not one Labour Back Bencher contributed—

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, in Westminster Hall, the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster) said in an Adjournment debate:

“nearly 70,000 people in Milton Keynes are still unable to register with an NHS dentist.”—[Official Report, Westminster Hall, 5 June 2007; Vol. 461, c. 62WH.]

The claim was repeated in the local press and it obviously caused enormous concern to many of my constituents, as well as to those of the hon. Gentleman. Because of the seriousness of the figure, which represents nearly a third of the population, I checked with the local Milton Keynes primary care trust. It confirmed with me that the waiting list for NHS dentistry in Milton Keynes has been totally cleared as a result of the new contracts and the extra £500,000 funding, that no one in Milton Keynes is waiting for access for longer than a week and that new practices are actively taking on new patients.

Order. I am going to rule that it is not a point of order, so there will not be a further point of order.

The hon. Gentleman is right: it is on the record, and some of the points of order that he has raised are on the record, too, and they have not been points of order. The hon. Member for Milton Keynes, South-West (Dr. Starkey) is using the system of points of order to put the record straight. In future, if she wants to put the record straight and to rebut the case that an hon. Member has put, she can apply for an Adjournment debate. Then she will have at least a quarter of an hour on the Floor of the House to put the case. That would be the best way. I think that, in fairness, the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster) should have an opportunity to say something, but I know that it is not going to be a point of order.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May I take the opportunity to apologise to the House, because now that the figures have been checked, it would appear that the 70,000 figure is not correct. According to the latest figures published, there are in fact 120,853 people, a massive 54 per cent. of residents in Milton Keynes, currently not registered with an NHS dentist. I make no apology for continuing to pursue that matter on behalf of my constituents.

Order. This is not a debate on Milton Keynes.

BILL PRESENTED

Protection of Adults in Care (Prevention of Harm and Exploitation)

Mr. Paul Burstow, supported by Mrs. Joan Humble and Sandra Gidley, presented a Bill to amend the Human Rights Act 1998 to extend the definition of public authority to include any body acting pursuant to a contract with a public body to perform a function of a public nature; to confer new functions on local authorities in relation to persons in need of care or protection provided by such authorities; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 29 June, and to be printed [Bill 123].