New Clause 11 — Payment of additional grant
Bills Presented — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Relocation to Bristol) Bill
‘The Secretary of State shall be required to pay an additional grant to a local authority if, at the end of any financial year, the total expenditure incurred by the authority under any scheme approved pursuant to Schedule 4 of this Act is greater than the amount of grant received from the Secretary of State to fund the scheme. The amount paid to the authority shall be the difference between the sum originally received and the total cost to the authority of the scheme.’.—(Helen Jones.)
Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.
The Committee divided:
Ayes 225, Noes 309.
David Winnick (Walsall North, Labour)
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I know that Mr Speaker is very keen to defend the rights of Back Benchers. Tomorrow, as you know, we will debate Lords amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill. The first amendment, on employment and support allowance, deals with cancer patients and others. Obviously, I do not want to go into its merits or otherwise now. I have checked with the Clerks, and I am concerned because, whatever time that debate starts, it must end at half-past two. After Prime Minister’s questions and the ten-minute rule Bill, there would be an opportunity to debate the amendment for nearly two hours. However, if there is a statement or other parliamentary business, a matter that concerns many of our constituents could be debated for just half an hour. I therefore ask you, Madam Deputy Speaker, whether anything can be done to give at least nearly two hours to debating such a crucial issue.
Dawn Primarolo (Deputy Speaker; Bristol South, Labour)
The hon. Gentleman, who is an experienced Member, is correct to say that Mr Speaker takes defending Back Benchers’ rights very seriously. However, he also knows that timetabling Bills is not a matter for the Chair, but for the House. I am sure that all those present will bear his comments in mind.