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Local Government Finance Bill (Allocation of Time)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 26th January 1987.

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Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury 5:45 pm, 26th January 1987

Indeed, but the Bill does not affect that. The matter would have to be the subject of a separate piece of legislation.

The other matter that was irrelevant to the Bill was raised by the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham), who mentioned the Rate Support Grants Bill, about which he was warned in July, September and December. He appears to have forgotten that the Government have always said that they would abolish grant recycling. For the hon. Gentleman to try to draw that into this discussion is ridiculous. It shows how right the Government are to introduce the timetable motion.

I shall not rehearse the urgent reasons for which the Bill is required because the House know them very well. I think that Opposition Members will find that local authorities will be keen to see the Bill on the statute book so that they know where they are.

There have been extraordinary examples of filibuster, particularly this afternoon. The right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams) came to the debate from the cold, not having the faintest idea what the Bill or our discussions were all about. He talked for 20 minutes. Your patience, Mr. Deputy Speaker, was remarkable. I congratulate you upon it, letting that drivel from the right hon. Gentleman run on. I am sure that once the motion is passed, as it will be, the right hon. Gentleman will go away from the Committee and never be seen again. He was right when he said that he knew nothing about the rate support grant. I think that he said that he has been in the House for 26 years—