Clause 7 - Short title, commencement and extent
School Transport Bill
3:15 pm

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Christopher Chope

Mr Christopher Chope (Shadow Minister, Environment and Transport; Christchurch, Conservative)

Why is this to be called the School Transport Act 2005 rather than the School Transport Pilots Act 2005?

Photo of Mr Stephen Twigg

Mr Stephen Twigg (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Schools), Department for Education and Skills; Enfield, Southgate, Labour)

That is not a question that has arisen during the consultation or the pre-legislative scrutiny, but it is one on which I can reflect. Brevity was perhaps in our minds when we were coming up with a title for the Bill, and, therefore, for the Act.

Photo of Mr Roger Casale

Mr Roger Casale (PPS (Team PPS), Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Wimbledon, Labour)

Is it anything to do with the fact that we are intending to take the children to school by bus and by minicab—in the case of those with special educational needs—rather than by helicopter or by plane?

Photo of Mr Stephen Twigg

Mr Stephen Twigg (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Schools), Department for Education and Skills; Enfield, Southgate, Labour)

That is an ingenious answer. I am sorry that I did not think of it. Pilots could be taken to have another meaning.

Photo of Mr Huw Edwards

Mr Huw Edwards (Monmouth, Labour)

I am going to agree with the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope); it could be called the School Transport Pilot Areas Act 2005. That would give people a better understanding of what it really is.

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Mr Stephen Twigg (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Schools), Department for Education and Skills; Enfield, Southgate, Labour)

I now have two alternative suggestions. My preference is to maintain the brevity of the current description of the Bill and, therefore, the likely description of the Act.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 7 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Derek Conway

Mr Derek Conway (Old Bexley and Sidcup, Conservative)

Before I propose the Question, on behalf of my fellow Chairman and myself, I want to thank Committee members on the way in which they have conducted a frank and informative debate. On behalf of the Committee, I thank those who enabled us to go through the proceedings, particularly the staff of the Serjeant at Arms and the Official Report, the Clerks and police officers, for ensuring that all went well.

Photo of Mr Stephen Twigg

Mr Stephen Twigg (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Schools), Department for Education and Skills; Enfield, Southgate, Labour)

On a point of order, Mr. Conway. On behalf of Committee members from all parties, I thank you and Mr. O'Brien for your characteristically excellent chairmanship of our proceedings. We have had a very good Committee stage, in which the various

issues in the Bill have been fully explored. There are a number of issues to which we will return on Report. The excellent chairmanship of the Committee has enabled us to examine these matters in a frank and constructive manner.{**bch**}

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Mr Mark Hoban (Shadow Minister, Education; Fareham, Conservative)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Conway. May I echo the thanks that the Minister gave to you and to your co-Chairman, Mr. O'Brien. We have progressed at a fairly quick pace thanks to your guidance and chairmanship, and that of Mr. O'Brien. As the Minister said, we have aired a number of important issues. While the Bill may be described by the Select Committee on Transport as ''timid'', I know that many people beyond this Room will pay particular interest to some of the issues that we have debated. They hope, as well as we do, that such issues are returned to on Report.

Photo of Mr John Pugh

Mr John Pugh (Education Spokesperson, Education & Skills; Southport, Liberal Democrat)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Conway. May I thank you and Mr. O'Brien for your efficient and discreet chairmanship. I thank the Minister for having been charming throughout, for not being especially evasive and for using the scrutiny process to good effect.

I also congratulate the hon. Member for Fareham on his debut as an Opposition chief spokesman. His amendments were pointed and worth while, and his contributions were succinct and to the point. They engineered good debate. I also thank many other hon. Members who have made valuable and informed contributions and who did not choose the occasion to get on with their personal mail. That is very good. My sole disappointment is that many excellent amendments that I had prepared will now have to wait for Report and Third Reading. I am sure that that disappointment is widely felt, but we have to disband now.

Bill to be reported, without amendment.

Committee rose at twenty-six minutes to Four o'clock.