Adult Education Funding for Community Colleges

Orders of the Day — Further and Higher Education Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 3 March 1992.

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  1. '.—(1) A community college may, notwithstanding the provisions of section 6 of this Act, for the provision of specific courses offering further or higher education to adult persons, submit direct to the Funding Council covering the location in which it is located, an application for financial support, to be given on terms laid down by the Funding Council concerned requiring the applicant to apply such funding only for the specified purpose.
  2. (2) Every community college applying under the provisions of subsection (1) above shall keep and maintain separate accounts to receive such Funding Council payments: and the money in such accounts shall he held in trust for expenditure only in accordance with the terms laid down by the Funding Council as a condition of making such funding available.
  3. (3) For the purposes of this Act, the term "community college" shall be taken to mean a school (whether or not owned by a local education authority) which offers to adults courses of further or higher education in addition to its primary function of providing secondary education to children of school age.'.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop , Tiverton

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster Central

With this we may consider the following amendments: No. 6, in clause 5, page 4, line 26, at end insert 'or'(c) an existing service which provides a course or courses mentioned in Schedule 2 to this Act and which is the local deliverer of quality provision meeting local needs.'. No. 14, in clause 6, page 6, line 21, at end insert; 'or(c) where an external institution has an existing substantial and significant profile of courses falling within Schedule 2 to this Act, its governing body may seek permission from a regional committee to make application directly to a council subject to conditions specified in an order made by the Secretary of State.'.

Photo of Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop , Tiverton

The purpose of new clause 7 is to enable community colleges, for courses approved by the funding councils, to be funded directly by the funding councils after direct application has been made to them. By establishing that the payments received by community colleges for such courses shall be held in trust for the purpose for which the funding council provides them, that gets round the difficulty about which my hon. Friend the Minister of State wrote to me last November, when he pointed out that community colleges do not have a legal identity. Of course, a trust fund does. This not only provides the legal identity, which was, I think quite authentically, worrying my hon. Friend; it also ensures that the money cannot be siphoned off by a malign LEA for another purpose. That other principal worry of Department of Education and Science Ministers is dealt with in this carefully drafted new clause.

Is it desirable that there should be community colleges? We are not talking about something that does not exist. We are talking about secondary schools—that is their main purpose—which also use their facilities, when they are not using them for providing secondary education for children, for providing a whole range of courses for adults. But, of course, the funding council would not fund the whole range of a community college's adult education courses, only those which met its criteria. There is no question that money provided by central Government would in this way be used for a purpose outside that which central Government intend. That is why I drafted the new clause—I drafted it myself—with very considerable care.

I am aware that there are some community colleges —most notably Richmond—which do not fall within my definition of a community college, because they are not primarily secondary education colleges who provide adult education as an extra. What I am saying is that the community college structure within the pattern of our education makes the best possible use of the resources, not just the resources of buildings, but of the equipment, of the facilities and of the staff. Very often—although not universally—they are in rural areas: not universally.

Plymouth certainly is not a rural area, yet it has a thriving community college. Indeed, its principal was one of the five whom I took to see, together with my hon. Friend the Member for Devon, North (Mr. Speller), the Secretary of State very early in September to persuade him to write into his Bill, while he still had time to do so, the provisions which I am now bringing forth. He could, in fact, had he wished to, have thought up means of getting round his own objections. However, as that is, we have to assume, beyond the skill of the parliamentary draftsmen, well, I have done it for them.

It is a particular pleasure to see that it has attracted support from both main parties and others as well. It is in no sense a doctrinare new clause, unless one calls it doctrinaire to try and get the fullest possible use out of educational facilities rather than leaving them to stand idle when they need not do so in evenings. It also gets round in rural areas the undeniable problems of the changing—rapidly changing—pattern of public transportation.

The task, without this new clause, placed by my hon. Friend and by my right hon. and learned Friend, who is not gracing us with his presence tonight, on FE colleges is a very formidable one indeed because the FE college to whom community colleges will otherwise have to make their applications has to know about their accessibility and the accessibility of the community colleges by public transport. Because public transport can alter its pattern or, indeed, disappear after a week, the gift of prophecy is required, not just hard work to acquire knowledge.

8.45 pm

It is also, as I pointed out on Second Reading, necessary for the FE college not just to know what it is intending to put on itself, but to know what other FE colleges are putting on. That is quite a task, because the other FE colleges will not know what they are putting on until the course has been advertised and they know whether they have got a high enough response to decide to put it on rather than not to put it on. This is the reality.

Yet before that is known, the FE college which has to handle the community college's applications has to exercise this quite astonishing degree of prophetic power, so that it can either forward it, saying in good faith to the funding council that it does not think—it cannot know —that there is adequate provision for the course concerned without the community college putting it on; or that there is not adequate public transport to get potential students from the area where the community college is to the location where the FE college concerned is—or, hypothetically, another FE college. This is the problem it is going to be faced with.

I do not need to speak at any further length, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because I really deployed the case for this on Second Reading. That case is unchanged. What I have had since then is a large number of letters from community colleges outside Devon—of course, I have been dealing with community colleges inside Devon before, but I have now had letters from community colleges all over the place where, frankly, I did not know that they existed, and very helpful some of those letters have been too.

I will end again by saying that I have been at great pains to meet the specific objections which the Minister of State wrote in his letter as recently as last November to me. Those objections cannot apply to new clause 7. I therefore hope that my hon. Friend's response will be one of gratitude and acceptance. He will know that, if this is accepted and added to the Bill tonight, it does not reopen the whole Bill in another place. It only opens this particular new clause to acceptance, rejection or amendment. Since I do not doubt that there is a majority for it as it is in the other place, there will be every incentive for them to hasten it back here rather than to hold it up so that they lose what they have given plenty of evidence of what, in fact, they want—namely, a provision of this kind in the Bill.

Photo of Mr Michael Carr Mr Michael Carr , Ribble Valley

I do not intend to speak for long—

Photo of Mrs Elaine Kellett Mrs Elaine Kellett , Lancaster

The hon. Gentleman looks lonely.

Photo of Mr Michael Carr Mr Michael Carr , Ribble Valley

I am deeply grateful to the hon. Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman) for being concerned about my apparent loneliness; I am greatly touched.

I do not propose to make a lengthy speech because the hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) argued his case admirably. Ever since I was a practising teacher—long before I came to this place— I have been surprised that the model offered by community schools and colleges has not been followed elsewhere. Many authorities and areas—particularly rural areas—would benefit from having community colleges.

The community colleges offer a range of opportunities for adults to return to and continue with their education. They also provide a focal point for many other community activities. Although we are not here to discuss those activities now, it is worth mentioning that the community schools and colleges contribute more to the communities in which they are located than merely the provision of educational opportunities.

Let us consider the schedule 2 provision that community colleges seek to make. New clause 7 certainly sets the matter out simply. There will be no problem about maintaining separate accounts. We heard from Ministers earlier about the receipt of funding for higher education institutions from a number of different sources. The arrangements do not appear to present a problem in respect of higher education institutions and there is no reason why they should present a problem here. The new clause will give community colleges the right to apply direct to the funding councils in respect of schedule 2 courses.

Many adults progress from community colleges to follow award-bearing vocational courses and, in rural areas, the Bill as drafted sheds some doubt over those arrangements. I am not from Devon and I am not familiar with Devon's pattern of provision, but I am assured, in letters that I have received from Devon, that the community colleges there are widely supported and highly regarded by those whom they serve. Right across the community, and irrespective of political or other affiliation, there is a desire to ensure that the colleges continue to provide the excellent education facilities that they offer at present.

The Government have rightly given flexibility to schools through the local management arrangements. Despite Ministers' rhetoric about decentralisation and the devolved administration of educational establishments, the Bill is a centralising measure, in the sense that it gives powers to funding councils that are answerable to Ministers. The new clause recognises the role that the community colleges have played and the fact that they need to be separately funded from further education colleges.

Photo of Mr John Farr Mr John Farr , Harborough

I support the new clause so ably advocated by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop). Fortunately, my amendment No. 6 has been grouped with it. That gives me an opportunity not only to explain my support for my hon. Friend's proposal but to touch upon the real concerns that we still have in Leicestershire.

I say "still" because my hon. Friend the Minister of State was kind enough to see me on two occasions with two delegations of Leicestershire Members. On the first occasion, we said, in a nutshell, that we wanted amendment No. 6—or, rather, an amendment identical to that amendment. He said, "Come back with your experts and convince us." A week later, my hon. Friend was kind enough to see several of my hon. Friends representing Leicestershire constituencies, together with our chairmen of governors and our community college and adult basic education principals.

I think that we won the argument, and at the time I was confident. I was utterly shocked to learn a couple of weeks after our last meeting with my hon. Friend that the Bill was to proceed in its present form. In view of the fears that are felt in Leicestershire and elsewhere in the country—colleagues from East Anglia and Essex are also a little concerned about the consequences of the Bill as drafted —the least we expected was that my hon. Friend would proceed with the higher education part of the Bill and leave the further education part for further reflection and consideration. He did not take that course, and I therefore have no option but to support the new clause.

As I explained, amendment No. 6 is a chrysalised version of the original amendment which I submitted to my hon. Friend the Minister of State before Christmas. It is the amendment we wanted and the one we talked about when we were lucky enough to see my hon. Friend in January and February.

Let me explain why we wanted the amendment. In Leicestershire we have a highly advanced system of adult basic education as of right. We are proud of our system of one-to-one education in the home and feel that it is something on which we should build. Her Majesty's inspectors have recently examined our adult basic education system in the county and say in their report—of which 1 have a copy—that it is the sort of system that should be built upon.

I come now to further education, about which my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton spoke so ably. In Market Harborough, we have a community education centre called Welland Park community college. The buildings are in full-time educational use. As soon as the kids from the local secondary school go home at tea time, the FE college takes over. Full use is made of those fine buildings, for the benefit of the community.

After I went to see my hon. Friend the Minister with my experts from the county, I had a meeting with them and they told me that they felt that they would lose unless changes were made in the Bill. They listened carefully to what my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State said on Second Reading. In relation to provisions in clause 5 which I have mentioned, he referred to parts of clause 6. We had a further meeting in Leicestershire and the education experts considered what was said. They felt that, unless specific mention was made somewhere in the Bill and colleges of further education had direct access to the Further Education Funding Council, we would lose out.

Photo of Mr Derek Fatchett Mr Derek Fatchett , Leeds Central

I endorse everything that the hon. Gentleman has said. I know the Leicestershire system very well, as I was the parliamentary candidate for Bosworth in the 1979 general election and I got to know Leicestershire very well. I lost on that occasion and I am not sure what that says about the people of Leicestershire. However, the adult education service and the community colleges in Leicestershire were supported by all the electorate and all political parties. It is interesting to note in Leicestershire the extent to which the development of the community colleges has occurred not on a partisan basis but across all three political parties, largely because of the nature of the local authority.

Photo of Mr John Farr Mr John Farr , Harborough

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that helpful intervention. Leicestershire has a hung or balanced local authority. For many years, no one party has had overall control. The adult basic education structure and further education structure in the county has blossomed so much because the three parties have got together around the committee table and done what is best for the people who created that balanced authority.

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The purpose of amendment No. 6 is to encourage funding councils to recognise and retain existing high-quality provision such as free-standing adult basic education and English as a second language schemes in Leicestershire which have a structure that meets the needs of local users.

My hon. Friends the Members for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham), for Bosworth (Mr. Tredinnick) and for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) came with me to meet my hon. Friend the Minister. However, there are still real fears that, as a result of the Bill, the county will lose out in respect of its present highly regarded situation.

There has been much comment about the damage that may be caused to the county. As my hon. Friend the member for Tiverton said, we do not have a system in Leicestershire that is based specifically on FE. Some of the education takes place in community colleges and some in students' homes, in village halls, in very small groups or, quite frequently, on a one-to-one basis in the home. The purpose of our FE structure is to build up the confidence of people who found school difficult and to whom a classroom atmosphere has always been alien. That is why I will vote in favour of new clause 7.

I want to finish by leaving with the House a message contained in a letter that I have just received from Mr. Lee, the head of community education at Welland Park community college, after he and I had the benefit to meet my hon. Friend the Minister of State. He wrote: The Government would create a lot of goodwill if they allowed selective other institutions—ie Welland Park college —to have direct access to the funding councils. I endorse that request and nothing that my hon. Friend the Minister said has led me to change my view that we, in Leicestershire, have something that is too precious to lose. I will vote for the new clause.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley , Glanford and Scunthorpe

I welcome amendment No. 14 and give it my full support. I cannot understand why the Minister of State continues to say that there is no problem in community colleges, adult education colleges or adult education consortia which can go to various further education colleges and make applications. If they could go through that system, it would surely make a lot more sense to accept the amendment.

It worries me that the hon. Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) and his hon. Friends have gone along to the Minister of State with local experts, local people and principals of adult education colleges and community colleges to put that point. I am sure that they put their point fairly and professionally in a non-partisan manner, but they have been completely ignored. That is what worries me about the thrust of the Bill. If there are issues in it that the Government consider worthy, why do they not listen to the reasonable arguments about securing important parts of the adult education service, whether it be the community college side or the adult education service?

I fail to understand why the Government cannot allow those organisations to make their own bids in the same way as a sixth form college or a further education college would. Why should they be treated in that way? I do not accept the Minister of State's assurances. We have already seen the Secretary of State floundering when answering a question by the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) about capital allocation and how it will work.

I now refer to the adult education service on a countywide basis. Some very important difficulties have not yet been cleared up, or I certainly have not heard the answers. I appreciate that the Secretary of State tried to be helpful in dealing with some of the points that I raised with him, but he did not satisfactorily answer my question. For example, if there is a countywide service and more than one community college, if they have to make a bid to the existing FE college, which FE college will it be? In the case of community colleges, does it have to be the nearest FE college? The right hon. and learned Gentleman did not say that they could channel a bid through one college. I take that as a helpful clarification of what can be done.

The Humberside adult education service is bigger than most of the FE colleges in the county. It is a matter of how the bid is channelled through the colleges. In my constituency, the adult education service has several adult education centres. One of those centres is in a building known as Ancholme house. The building is owned by the FE college, but the adult education service operates within that building and provides a range of services, including basic education, which is actually being taken away from it by the Bill. There is a further complication. To get the service back, it would have to bid possibly through the very college which has the service within its own buildings. One can see the potential for complications and difficulties in such a situation.

There is no doubt about the value of adult education in community colleges or consortia. That point has been made time and again. It is not good enough for the Government to say that there will be no changes and that every level of service will be guaranteed. At present, they are not in a position to say that because of the way those colleges will have to bid. The amendment would safeguard community colleges at least and make the position much clearer and more coherent in respect of obtaining funding. For adult education consortia, there is still a worry about bidding and how they will obtain money.

The Minister of State fails to understand that, with a countywide service, a consortium and some community colleges which will be part of such a consortium, the service is provided on the basis of the total number of courses. The service is staffed to meet those courses and it is resourced to meet those courses. Under the proposals, in my county of Humberside 50 per cent. of those courses would be lost and would go technically under the control of the colleges of further education. They may or may not be given back to the adult education service as part of its bid. We do not know: no one knows. The Minister does not know, and I certainly do not know. The service does not know.

The adult education service has an infrastructure of adult education centres. I went round the one in Priory road in my constituency recently and I have visited the one in Ancholme house. I saw the nature and range of the work that the adult education service does. If the service loses half its staffing and half its funding, the county council LEA will not be able to maintain all those centres, whether in villages, towns or cities. The level of provision and potential level of service of the whole consortium will be undermined. That issue has not yet been dealt with satisfactorily by the Government.

The principle behind the new clause is perfectly sound and rational. If the Government believe that there will not be a problem, why do they not accept the new clause? All of us in the Chamber believe that the new clause is a much more rational approach to funding adult education than the bits and pieces approach under which no one is clear what will happen. I hope that the hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) can persuade as many of his hon. Friends as possible to vote for the new clause and send it back to another place, where it can be given sympathetic consideration to speed this part of the Bill through.

Earlier we heard a diatribe from the Secretary of State against local authorities, and Labour authorities in particular, but he grudgingly conceded that adult education under LEA control has prospered and done well, despite all the obstacles that the Government have put in its way. Standard spending assessment calculations, which are bizarre, and the threat of poll tax capping have had an impact which has been felt by adult education services.

In my county, despite all the problems that Humberside LEA has, I am pleased to say that the LEA spends its full SSA allocation on adult education and provides one of the highest levels of service in Britain. It is one of the largest providers of adult education. It has every right to bid as a service direct to the funding council to ensure independence, continuity and the same high standard to which the service has been delivered by Humberside county council. The principle behind the new clause is sound and I hope that the House will support it.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Dickens Mr Geoffrey Dickens , Littleborough and Saddleworth

Unless I have misunderstood the Bill, there is no great merit in the new clause. As I understand the Bill, the further education colleges, and perhaps sixth-form colleges, will have to bid to the regional further education funding council for their funds. Some vocational and academic courses are run in community centres or community schools. If those courses lead to a certified national award, I am sure that the FEFC will be willing to fund them.

The Bill is about the pursuit of excellence. We want to compete with the rest of the world and develop our brain power. The only way to do that is to ensure that our higher and further education is second to none.

Community education, on the other hand, is basically leisure and recreational, although much of it may lead towards a more vocational course. It is terribly important in terms of building people's self-esteem and giving there a social life outside their home. As I understand it, it is to be funded by the LEA.

Both in writing and verbally, we have all heard from the Secretary of State that the LEAs will not be underfunded, and that community leisure and recreational courses will continue as normal.

I represent two boroughs, Rochdale and Oldham. About 20,000 people enjoy community education in both boroughs. If some of those community centres or schools run vocational or academic courses, the proper place to get funding for the continuation of the courses is through the FE college, via the regional FE funding council.

I do not think that the people of Littleborough, Saddleworth or the village of Shore would wish to be dragged into the centre of Oldham or Rochdale to the FE college, as it would mean long journeys late at night. People, and especially the elderly, do not like travelling late at night because of transport costs, difficulties with transport and fear of travelling at night, which is a real fear and one that must not be set aside.

As I understand it, the Bill does not try to make difficulties for education but tries to improve it. I cannot believe that, if a well-supported course—which leads to, or is part of, a vocational or academic qualification—is run in a village a long way from anywhere, the bid by the FE college locally, through the FE funding council, will not be successful and allow the course to continue.

If I have understood the Bill correctly—I think I have —there will be no need for my hon. Friend's new clause or for the fears expressed by some of my hon. Friends and by the Opposition. I shall wait until I have heard what the Minister has to say, and I shall reserve my judgment.

I honestly believe that I have understood the Bill correctly and that we are talking about the pursuit of excellence—ensuring that the United Kingdom develops people to their full potential so that we can compete with the rest of the world in terms of brain power, which will make us successful. If we do not do that, we might as well stay at home, because we will not be competitive or win orders throughout the world. We must not forget that this nation produced the jet engine, which made the world smaller, and television, which came from radar, We have always had brain power. We had it long before we found mineral wealth.

I am sure that the Bill is designed to encourage the development of our brain power and to prevent a brain drain abroad, so that we can develop our nation and go forward in the pursuit of excellence.

Photo of Mr Frank Haynes Mr Frank Haynes , Ashfield 9:15, 3 March 1992

I am not surprised at that contribution from the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth (Mr. Dickens). I listened carefully to the hon. Member for Tavistock. Is it Tavistock? [HON. MEMBERS: "Tiverton."] I am sorry. I visited that beautiful town during the summer recess last year.

Photo of Mr Frank Haynes Mr Frank Haynes , Ashfield

Tiverton. The hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) was a little cheeky upstairs. Now he is being cheeky down here.

Photo of Mr Derek Fatchett Mr Derek Fatchett , Leeds Central

He will not be here after the election.

Photo of Mr Frank Haynes Mr Frank Haynes , Ashfield

No, he will not.

I support the new clause. We shall be looking to see whether the Government take it on board, and I want to tell hon. Members why. Honestly, we never won a thing in Committee. The Minister rejected every amendment out of hand. That is what will happen tonight, unless the Minister tells us at the Dispatch Box that we have won and that he accepts the new clause.

The important thing is that I am back on the subject of Fred Riddell, who—for your information, Mr. Deputy Speaker—is the chairman of Nottinghamshire local education authority. If we are not careful, as my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) said, we will lose a fair amount of what we already have, and the situation will get worse.

Make no mistake about it: the Bill is full of obstacles, and that is why the hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) and his hon. Friends have tabled the new clause, especially in the interests of adult education.

It is all right the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth talking about facilities for leisure in the community. That is an important thing to our constituents.

Photo of Mr Frank Haynes Mr Frank Haynes , Ashfield

The hon. Gentleman flippantly went across it, and he blew it out of the water.

We want to be able to provide the proper facilities for adult, further and higher education. However, when the community colleges make an application to the funding councils, we must remember that the Minister and his cronies will have loaded the councils with their own kind. Nine times out of 10, the councils will say, "Get lost. You can't have anything." That is what is wrong with the system and that is what we are afraid of.

The Labour party will change all that after 9 April. My hon. Friends will be sitting on the Government Benches and some of the Conservative Members will be sitting on this side. You, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will be in the Chair listening to a Labour Government. The Labour Government will make all the changes that are necessary to further, adult and higher education. There is no doubt about that. People outside the Chamber, who are clamouring for change, will get the satisfaction that they do not get under this lot. The Government are destroying further education.

I never forget Fred Riddell telling me what happened in Nottinghamshire as a result of the Government's provision of resources. We know that the Government want to put money into the pockets of the rich at the expense of the poor. Those people who have been put out of work and cannot get jobs want to better themselves in adult and further education and, if they can, in higher education. This lot and the Bill have put a block on that.

I will be in the Lobby to support those Conservative hon. Members who tabled the new clause, because it is a good one.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Dickens Mr Geoffrey Dickens , Littleborough and Saddleworth

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) misrepresented my speech. I said that community education built self-esteem.

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster Central

That is not a point of order for me.

Photo of Mr Anthony Speller Mr Anthony Speller , North Devon

I have enjoyed not just the debate, but the work which led up to it. It has been one of those occasions when one is rightly obliged to consult principals of community colleges and those in further education colleges and to listen to what is said.

Three points have come over most strongly to me. The first is that many non-vocational courses that are taken almost for pleasure may lead to a vocational course. It would be criminal to make cuts and force a student to go to authority A for one course and authority B for another.

The excellent community colleges in Devon have been referred to at some length. The principals have community tutors and teachers who make full use of the premises for youngsters by day and for older students in the evening. They are fully aware of what the local community requires. With the best will in the world, the worst thing one can do is to seek to impose national uniformity across a country where, over recent years, we have sought to allow local folk to take control of local matters in the educational sector. It would be a retrograde step, when we have attempted to improve local choice and responsibility and appointed local governors, to seek to apply the whitewash of uniformity.

I agree with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State that money has been well provided. I do not suggest that both sides of the House do not want the same thing, which is better education for both youngsters and older people. I have been interested in the arguments of hon. Members in all parts of the House, who all want the best. Some are schoolteachers and, years ago, I was a chairman of a local education authority at a time when our schools were turning comprehensive even though that was against my political wishes. We can be successful in education only by working together, with all-party co-operation. We must not mess about with education.

If education needs anything today, it is a period of peace. I fully understand the need for change where change is necessary, but we must now allow the education authorities to settle down. I plead with the Minister to remember that dual decision and dual funding are the classical bases for dispute. That is bound to happen, be it in the health service or in the social services. Where there is national and local funding, the question who is to lead and who is to pay the greater proportion is bound to arise. Where one authority is producing the cash and making the decisions that makes sense.

I agree almost entirely with the principles behind the Bill and should hate to have to vote against it in toto because i disagree with it in part. I urge the Minister to be cautious. I have spoken in North Devon to my intelligent and principled principals, their associates and local governors, all of whom have told me, "Our present sustem is good." I have been worried by the ministerial argument today which says, "Because it is only working all right, we must somehow improve it." I am happy with it as it stands, so I support my hon Friend the Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop).

Photo of Mr Allan Rogers Mr Allan Rogers , Rhondda

The hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth (Mr. Dickens) said more than once, "If I understand the Bill correctly." He does not understand it. He does not understand the process of adult education correctly. He is equally lost in understanding the new clause.

Adult education is not, as the hon. Gentleman seemed to suggest at one stage, a substitute for a course of psychiatric treatment, although I do not deny that he might have regarded it as such at one time. Nor is adult education about providing certificates in every subject. It is about people wanting to participate in the education process without necessarily obtaining a qualification.

The hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) talks about community colleges providing liberal, non-vocational, adult education. In that sense, it will not at the end of the day have to deliver a certificate as a result of a course having been taken. That is not to say that the content of the course might not be far higher than many purely academic courses leading to a qualification. Had the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth attended extra-mural or local authority courses in the areas of which we are speaking, he would be aware of the wonderful provision that we make in Britain.

Adult education is in many respects non-political. My experience of it in Wales is that it did not matter what was the politics of the local authority. It was purely and simply a matter of whether people were committed to education. Whatever their political complexion, if they had a commitment to adult education, the facilities were provided, but if that commitment was missing, the resources were not made available.

The hon. Member for Tiverton is trying to ensure that the money and resources not for further or higher but for adult education in free-standing community and adult colleges are available. We may have funding councils and give money to local authorities, further education colleges, and so on, but experience shows that when demands are made on the purses of those bodies, adult education is shuffled off and is the last item for which provision is made. The reason for that is sound in some ways. Because no certificate is awarded at the end of a course, local authorities understandably feel that they must fund certain courses because people depend on them for a living, so there is an imperative on those who dispense the money. If we are to have a properly funded adult education service, which this country has never had, the Minister should take the new clause on board.

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Although I shall support the new clause, it could have been changed to take account of free-standing adult education colleges which operate like community colleges but entirely in their own premises. In answer to a letter, the Minister told me that those colleges would be properly funded, and there have been examples of that. Ministers keep giving that reassurance, which is fine, but how do we resolve the problem in Gwent, where a community college is attached to a school? It uses all the school's facilities but is separate from the school. How will such a college he funded?

Photo of Mr Allan Rogers Mr Allan Rogers , Rhondda

That may be so, but who decides? Ultimately, adult education is shuffled off the end.

People go into adult education for different reasons. While some take psychiatric courses or courses to repair certain objects, others undertake courses as a development programme, to attain a certificate or even as access to further education. We need adult education and I plead with the Minister to look carefully at the new clause and accept it as it stands, perhaps amending it in the future if he wishes to do so.

I understand why the Minister is against the suggestion that local authorities should run adult education. It is simply because the Government distrust all local government whether Tory or Labour. For some peculiar reason, the former Prime Minister, the right hon. Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher), did not like local government and it has been bashed for the past 10 years. It is about time the Government stopped bashing local government and Ministers were mature enough to get rid of their hang-up about local government.

Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Southend East

I am grateful, as we should always he, to the hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) because he often tables amendments that enable us to express long-standing questions and grievances about the Bill that have not otherwise been identified. His ability to identify those issues is an example to us all.

I hope that something good will come out of the Bill. The Minister must be well aware that in many community colleges throughout the country people are concerned, alarmed and distressed about what they think is happening. Although I have sent him only a few examples, he will also be well aware that many people who attend community colleges where leisure, recreational and education classes are provided together have been given to understand that, once the Bill becomes law, leisure and recreational classes will be closed down and fees for all classes will increase.

I received four letters this morning from people who attend the dressmaking class at Ambleside Drive college asking me to get an assurance from the Minister that those classes will not close down because of his horrible Bill. Those complaints are not from people who go around with sledgehammers and throw bottles and bombs; they are from those who are among the huge number of people who very much enjoy the activities that community colleges offer. I hope that the Minister will take the opportunity provided by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton to get across some facts clearly.

I have sent all my constituents a splendid letter, as the Minister says, saying that no money will he cut, no class will be required to close and no fees will need to go up. Although I am constantly sending such letters, people unfortunately have the impression that that what I have just said is not the case. The college staff are acutely worried about what is happening, with the result that posters are being put on the walls urging people to stop the Tory plot to close down the dressmaking classes at Ampleside Drive college.

We know that the colleges are terribly popular. The attendance rate at Ampleside Drive college shows that it is undoubtedly a big success. We must try to find out what the Bill provides for and what the amendment provides for. I hope that the Minister will explain what good comes from the Bill.

Does the Minister accept that there are some dangers posed to community colleges? We all know that, although county councils are wonderful organisations, when there is a change of Government policy, those councils—whether Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat—sometimes do nasty things and blame them on the Government. That could happen in this instance. Some county councils might decide to close down classes such as the dressmaking class at Ampleside Drive college and let the Government carry the blame.

Some colleges provide education, recreational and leisure classes, with the entire college working extremely well and efficiently. If one section of the college is taken out —for example, the education part—and shoved somewhere else, there is a danger that the college will not be so economically sound. As a consequence, instead of three colleges in one town, there may be only two or two and a half, and instead of five colleges in a large town, their numbers might be reduced to three and a half. That prospect worries college staff.

What can be done now? I hope that the Minister will correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that, if the splendid Ampleside Drive college wants its education classes to continue, and wants to remain a leisure, recreational and educational college, it can seek to co-operate with the local further education college. It could ask the FE college to include it when the FE college makes its requests of the council. The FE college may say yes or no. In the short term it will probably say yes, as accommodation may not otherwise be available. Instead of education coming under the control of the college principal, there would be a system of subcontracting.

Instead of the college superior, principal or director being in charge of everything, he would be in charge of leisure and recreation, while the control and administration of education would come under the remit of one of the clever people in charge of the FE college. I think that the Minister would accept that that would create problems, tensions, distress and alarm among college staff.

Does the Minister appreciate that, if the amendment were accepted, it would mean that education would be commissioned directly from the funding council? Instead of being a sort of odd job done under a subcontract, the college could go straight to the council to ask if it could run the education service. The college director would still be in charge of everything.

It will make a big difference to a college if there is uncertainty—as there undoubtedly will be—first, as to whether some of the work might be taken away and, secondly, as to whether the local authority might do nasty things because of the change. In addition, college staff would feel humiliated at the education section being placed under the control of someone else. On that basis, I think that the Minister will see why there has been so much concern, distress and alarm.

Will the Minister assure me that I can tell my splendid local college that it can still continue with the education classes if that is agreed with the council and the local FE college? Some of the staff have the impression that those classes will be whipped away. My understanding is that they will not be, but will continue.

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

I can give my hon. Friend the assurance that he seeks.

Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Southend East

I promise my hon. Friend that I will sit down before 9.40 pm. I am sure that he will accept that, if there is to be change, it will cause upset, particularly among academic staff.

I rarely praise Ministers—I like to attack them—but the Minister of State takes education seriously and is fair-minded. Does he accept that people in charge of colleges providing education, leisure and recreation may be humiliated when they suddenly find that the glowing part of their responsibilities suddenly come under the control of others? That will cause distress and allegations of unfairness, not to mention feelings of discontent. Outsiders who may be less highly regarded may take over control of important parts of these activities, and the luscious relationship based on direct funding from the funding council may come to an end. In those circumstances, will colleges be able to approach someone to have their problems discussed?

The new clause tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton represents an attempt to give the colleges some security in the knowledge that they are maintaining a high profile and a direct right to provide education. That is important for their status. By contrast, the new clause undermines the work of the council. If further education is provided by new local bodies, some of them subcontracted, it will be undermined.

I ask Ministers to accept that there is a problem of education humiliation for some people, and to accept that there is a real problem. I see no reason why these colleges cannot carry on providing education. I hope that the Minister of State will show understanding of this real problem and will assure us that some of our worst fears are not well founded.

Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

It is a measure of the importance that attaches to adult education and of the extent of dissatisfaction with the Government's proposals that we have heard so many speeches by Conservative Members this evening. As the hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) has said, there is a real problem, and his colleagues underlined its extent and the need for a solution by means of the new clause.

It is to the credit of Conservative Members who support the new clause—it fits in well with our amendment No. 14—that they have listened to what is being said in their constituencies and have heard, like the rest of us, the representations from colleges and centres. Conservative Members have listened, while the Government resolutely refuse to listen.

The hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) outlined a commendably strong case for the contribution of community colleges in the south-west. He pointed out that they offer evening use and the effective use of resources, and he mentioned the difficulties that they could be caused by the Bill.

These problems arise from the distinction or division that the Bill would entrench between schedule 2 and non-schedule 2 work. We had some exchanges in Committee over the Minister's attributing less priority to non-schedule 2 work. He said then: Schedule 2 encapsulates the course which the Government consider to be a matter of national economic and educational priority."—[Official Report, Standing Committee F, 20 February 1992; c. 223.] That cannot but give the signal that courses not in schedule 2 are not matters of national economic and educational priority.

9.45 pm

The second great fear of all concerned with adult education concerns the adequacy of the funding that would be left through the local education authority route, given the confines imposed on local authorities by poll tax capping and Government cuts. The Minister has said that the Government are undertaking a survey, but when I asked him about this on 14 February, he gave me a reply which was not much of a valentine for those in adult education. Dealing with the report analysing the distribution of present local authority expenditure between schedule 2 and non-schedule 2 work, he said: The consultant's report is expected towards the end of this month and I will deposit a copy in the Library."—[Official Report, 14 February 1992; Vol. 203, c. 646.] That report had not appeared by the end of February, and it has not been deposited in the Library. That shows contempt for the public, for adult education and for the House. Hon. Members are being invited to pronounce on an issue without having had the benefit of seeing the evidence that the Government rely upon for their case.

The hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Carr) spoke about the important contribution made by community colleges in rural areas. I emphasise that that contribution is also important in urban areas. The hon. Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) spoke from his experience of community college provision in his constituency. I understand that the hon. Gentleman may have made his last contribution to our debates. We shall all miss the characteristic sincerity with which he spoke on behalf of his constituents. He underlined the damage that the Bill would cause in Leicestershire. It will be interesting to see how his hon. Friends who represent Leicestershire constituencies vote.

My hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) made a powerful case for fairness of treatment between institutions which, under the terms of the Bill, will remain the responsibility of local education authorities and those which are incorporated. The new clause and the amendments are all about fairness. My hon. Friend spoke about the impossible difficulties that would be encountered through countywide services having to make bids via a further education college. He said that community education centres in Humberside would be at risk. They will also be at risk in Essex, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Devon, and Surrey and all the other areas from which we have had so many representations.

Community colleges, adult colleges and community education services are being placed in an impossible position educationally, managerially and financially, because they will have to look to different sources of funding and will never know where they stand in relation to the planning of courses and the finance that is available for them.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) was uncharacteristically soft-spoken and gentle in his demolition of the Government's case. My hon. Friend may be called in the Budget debate, but if his speech tonight turns out to be his last, we shall miss the force of his arguments, his personality and the brightness with which his political principles burn through all his comments.

The hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Speller) made a persuasive case on the vital contribution made by adult education as a bridge to widen educational opportunities. Many people on so-called non-vocational or leisure courses have an opportunity for the first time to develop self-confidence, and their involvement in a collegiate atmosphere leads them to further studies and qualifications. When people start such courses, it is impossible to predict whether they will proceed to qualifications. That is the fundamental flaw in the Bill.

My hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Mr. Rogers) made a powerful case for liberal non-vocational education which is provided in colleges all over the country. It is indefensible that that is totally overlooked in the Bill. The Government have not been interested in listening to what the public and those who are involved in adult education have been saying. From the publication of the White Papers last May to these guillotined proceedings, the Government have not paid attention to the hundreds of representations that they have received.

If the White Papers and the Bill have one achievement, it is that they have assembled a formidable coalition of opposition. It is not, as the Secretary of State suggested, a politically motivated coalition, but one that is concerned about education and its members range from women's institutes to the Association of County Councils and from some Conservative Members to the Workers Educational Association and the trade unions.

The Government have not listened to the concerns expressed by those bodies, any more than they have listened to the adult education colleges, the community education centres and the open college networks. Throughout our deliberations on the Bill, they have treated adult education and the 3·4 million people it serves as poor relations—as an afterthought. They have hacked the service about to fit their predetermined policy on further education colleges.

Deaf to the chorus of protest, the Government have whipped and guillotined to ensure that their measure goes through unchanged, threatening the division and destruction of adult education should the Conservatives be returned to power. The Government have not listened, and the Government have not learned; but the millions who care about adult education will know from the Government's shabby treatment of the service in the Bill that only Labour can be trusted to make a reality of educational opportunity for all our citizens.

The Conservatives will learn the hard way. Adult education will prove to be one more reason why they will lose the election and we will win. I urge the House to support the new clause and the amendments.

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

At least the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) had the decency to smile when he claimed that Labour would provide the solution for adult students. He knows the record of the last Labour Government. In real terms, funding for adult education centres fell by 12 per cent. over five years. Under the present Government, it has risen by no less than 31 per cent. in real terms; moreover, there has been an increase of nearly 50 per cent. in the number of adults educated in further education colleges.

The Bill is concerned with finding ways in which to provide more students with a better quality of adult education. That is its whole objective. That is why we have chosen to provide ring-fenced funding for schedule 2 courses for adults, and that is why we have given a categorical assurance that local education authorities will have no excuse for raising students' fees or cancelling classes as a result of the Bill.

The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) and my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) raised the question of capital funding. Capital funding for LEA-maintained institutions, including those which do schedule 2 work, will come from LEAs, and we shall expect LEAs to bid for capital allocations as they do at present.

The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe asked whether a countywide service could apply through one further education college. The answer is yes. The hon. Member for Oxford, East referred to the consultants' report. Ministers have not yet received that report, but as I have said, when they do it will be placed in the Library. In the meantime, the Labour party might urge Labour-controlled LEAs which have not yet returned their questionnaires about the provision of adult education to the Department to do so.

My hon. Friends the Members for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) and for Devon, North (Mr. Speller) spoke eloquently about community colleges in Devon. I have not had the pleasure of discussing the Devon case with them, but I have discussed the position in Leicestershire in considerable detail with my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr). I recognise the very considerable service provided by community colleges to adult education. I am wholly committed to open and flexible learning, and I accept that community colleges provide a type of open and flexible learning which is especially suitable to rural communities.

The Bill contains sound mechanisms to secure the funding of schedule 2 education which is provided in adult colleges and centres and in community colleges. There are three methods. The first is incorporation through clause 16, but I know that my hon. Friends believeunderstandably—that that is not appropriate for most community colleges.

Another method which has been drawn to the Committee's attention is that of designation under clause 28. There has been some misunderstanding about designation because it is not appropriate for a college or institution which is not an independent legal entity. Therefore, as my hon. Friends have made clear, most community providers will decide to use clause 6(5).

Under clause 6(5), further education colleges must forward the community college application to the councils where the provision in question would not otherwise be adequate in the area—that is, the application from the community college. It is the specific purpose of clause 6(5) that community providers should have the opportunity to have their schedule 2 work considered for funding by the funding councils. I assure my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) that there will be a number of safeguards to ensure that that happens.

For the procedure to work effectively, there will need to be a clear framework and the Government will assist by giving guidance on the procedure for schedule 2 applications. Indeed, a circular letter has recently issued from the Further Education Funding Council unit which provides initial guidance to institutions on clause 5. That guidance will be supplemented at a later date by further guidance on procedures. I recommend my hon. Friends who have not yet seen the guidance which was issued on 28 February to study it. It states: If it"— the further education college— decides not to support such an application, it will be expected to give its reasons for not doing so. The LEA institution"— in other words, the community college— will have the right to appeal against the decision to the Council. However, protection for community colleges goes further than an appeal to the council. Of course, I expect that this procedure of application to a further education college and then, if necessary, an appeal to the council will sort out almost all—if not all—the problems which might arise, but if the community provider is still not satisfied it is open to the community institution to appeal to my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State on the ground that the FE college or the council has acted unreasonably or has failed in its statutory duty. The Secretary of State will seek to deal expeditiously with such complaints. If it is not possible to resolve the matter before the funding council announces its annual allocation—this was the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton—it will be possible to hold back the small sums involved for later distribution.

My hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton mentioned structure in terms of the methodology of bidding. Community colleges will be able to bid to the funding council for a package of provision according to the timetable that has been set down. It will not be a matter merely of waiting to see whether the students turn up, as my hon. Friend implied. Bidding will be well in advance, on a timetable, so that colleges and community providers will know exactly what courses they can lay on.

We believe that it is right that applications from community colleges and other community providers should go through the appropriate FE college. We believe that the FE colleges will act responsibly in response to local demands for courses. In most cases, if not the vast majority of cases, they will accept the bids put forward by the community colleges. We are totally committed to better quality adult education and to more being available in all areas. I urge the House to reject the new clause.

It being Ten o'clock, MR. SPEAKER, pursuant to Order [11 February], put the Question already proposed from the Chair.

The House divided: Ayes 218, Noes 300.

Division No. 105][10 pm
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley, N.)Golding, Mrs Llin
Alton, DavidGordon, Mildred
Archer, Rt Hon PeterGould, Bryan
Armstrong, HilaryGraham, Thomas
Ashley, Rt Hon JackGrant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Ashton, JoeGriffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Grocott, Bruce
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)Hain, Peter
Barron, KevinHardy, Peter
Beckett, MargaretHaynes, Frank
Beggs, RoyHeal, Mrs Sylvia
Beith, A. J.Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Bell, StuartHenderson, Doug
Bellotti, DavidHinchliffe, David
Benn, Rt Hon TonyHoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Benton, JosephHome Robertson, John
Bermingham, GeraldHood, Jimmy
Blunkett, DavidHowarth, George (Knowsley N)
Boateng, PaulHowell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
Boyes, RolandHowells, Geraint
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Hoyle, Doug
Caborn, RichardHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Callaghan, JimHughes, Roy (Newport E)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Illsley, Eric
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Ingram, Adam
Canavan, DennisJanner, Greville
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Carr, MichaelJones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Cartwright, JohnKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Kilfoyle, Peter
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Clelland, DavidLambie, David
Clwyd, Mrs AnnLeadbitter, Ted
Cohen, HarryLeighton, Ron
Corbett, RobinLestor, Joan (Eccles)
Corbyn, JeremyLewis, Terry
Cousins, JimLitherland, Robert
Crowther, StanLivingstone, Ken
Cryer, BobLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cummings, JohnLofthouse, Geoffrey
Cunliffe, LawrenceLoyden, Eddie
Dalyell, TarnMcAllion, John
Darling, AlistairMcAvoy, Thomas
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)McCartney, Ian
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)Macdonald, Calum A.
Dewar, DonaldMcFall, John
Dixon, DonMcGrady, Eddie
Oobson, FrankMcKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Doran, FrankMcKelvey, William
Duffy, Sir A. E. P.McLeish, Henry
Dunnachie, JimmyMcMaster, Gordon
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs GwynethMcNamara, Kevin
Eadie, AlexanderMcWilliam, John
Eastham, KenMadden, Max
Enright, DerekMarion, Mrs Alice
Evans, John (St Helens N)Marek, Dr John
Ewing, Harry (Falklrk E)Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Farr, Sir JohnMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Fatchett, DerekMartin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Faulds, AndrewMartlew, Eric
Fearn, RonaldMeacher, Michael
Field, Frank (Birkenhead)Meale, Alan
Fisher, MarkMichael, Alun
Flannery, MartinMichie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Flynn, PaulMichie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Foot, Rt Hon MichaelMitchell, Austin (G't Grtmsby)
Foster, DerekMolyneaux, Rt Hon James
Foulkes, GeorgeMoonie, Dr Lewis
Fraser, JohnMorgan, Rhodri
Fyfe, MariaMorley, Elliot
Garrett, John (Norwich South)Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Godman, Dr Norman A.Mowlam, Mariorie
Mullin, ChrisSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Murphy, PaulSmith, C. (lsl 'ton & F'bury)
Nellist, DaveSmith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
Oakes, Rt Hon GordonSmyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
O'Brien, WilliamSnape, Peter
O'Hara, EdwardSoley, Clive
O'Neill, MartinSpearing, Nigel
Orme, Rt Hon StanleySteinberg, Gerry
Paisley, Rev IanStephen, Nicol
Parry, RobertStott, Roger
Patchett, TerryStraw, Jack
Pendry, TomTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Prescott, JohnThomas, Dr Dafydd Elis
Primarolo, DawnThompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Quin, Ms JoyceTrimble, David
Radice, GilesTurner, Dennis
Randall, StuartWallace, James
Redmond, MartinWalley, Joan
Rees, Rt Hon MerlynWareing, Robert N.
Reid, Dr JohnWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Robinson, GeoffreyWigley, Dafydd
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Rogers, AllanWilliams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Rooker, JeffWilson, Brian
Rooney, TerenceWinnick, David
Rowlands, TedWise, Mrs Audrey
Ruddock, JoanWorthington, Tony
Sedgemore, BrianWray, Jimmy
Sheerman, BarryYoung, David (Bolton SE)
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shore, Rt Hon PeterTellers for the Ayes:
Short, ClareSir Robin Maxwell-Hyslop and
Skinner, DennisMr. Tony Speller.
Adley, RobertBurns, Simon
Aitken, JonathanButler, Chris
Alexander, RichardButterfill, John
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
Allason, RupertCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Amery, Rt Hon JulianCarrington, Matthew
Amess, DavidCarttiss, Michael
Amos, AlanCash, William
Arbuthnot, JamesChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Chapman, Sydney
Arnold, Sir ThomasChope, Christopher
Ashby, DavidChurchill, Mr
Aspinwall, JackClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Atkins, RobertClark, Rt Hon Sir William
Atkinson, DavidClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Colvin, Michael
Baldry, TonyConway, Derek
Batiste, SpencerCoombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Bellingham, HenryCope, Rt Hon Sir John
Bendall, VivianCormack, Patrick
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Couchman, James
Benyon, W.Cran, James
Bevan, David GilroyDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnDavis, David (Boothferry)
Blackburn, Dr John G.Day, Stephen
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterDickens, Geoffrey
Body, Sir RichardDicks, Terry
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDorrell, Stephen
Boscawen, Hon RobertDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Boswell, TimDover, Den
Bottomley, PeterDunn, Bob
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDurant, Sir Anthony
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'pto'n)Dykes, Hugh
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Eggar, Tim
Bowis, JohnEmery, Sir Peter
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesEvans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardEvennett, David
Brandon-Bravo, MartinFallon, Michael
Brazier, JulianFavell, Tony
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Fenner, Dame Peggy
Browne, John (Winchester)Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Fishburn, John Dudley
Buck, Sir AntonyFookes, Dame Janet
Forman, NigelLilley, Rt Hon Peter
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Forth, EricLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanLord, Michael
Fox, Sir MarcusLuce, Rt Hon Sir Richard
Franks, CecilLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
French, DouglasMacfarlane, Sir Neil
Fry, PeterMacGregor, Rt Hon John
Gale, RogerMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Gardiner, Sir GeorgeMcLoughlin, Patrick
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMcNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Gill, ChristopherMcNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Glyn, Or Sir AlanMadel, David
Goodhart, Sir PhilipMalins, Humfrey
Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairMans, Keith
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMaples, John
Gorman, Mrs TeresaMarland, Paul
Gorst, JohnMarlow, Tony
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Greenway, Harry (Eating N)Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gregory, ConalMates, Michael
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Maude, Hon Francis
Grist, IanMawhinney, Dr Brian
Ground, PatrickMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Hague, WilliamMellor, Rt Hon David
Hamilton, Rt Hon ArchieMiller, Sir Hal
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Mills, Iain
Hanley, JeremyMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hannam, Sir JohnMitchell, Sir David
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr")Moate, Roger
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Monro, Sir Hector
Harris, DavidMontgomery, Sir Fergus
Haselhurst, AlanMoore, Rt Hon John
Hawkins, ChristopherMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Hayes, JerryMorrison, Sir Charles
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneyMorrison, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Hayward, RobertMoss, Malcolm
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidMudd, David
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Neale, Sir Gerrard
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Nelson, Anthony
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hill, JamesNicholls, Patrick
Hind, KennethNicholson, David (Taunton)
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hordern, Sir PeterNorris, Steve
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelOnslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Oppenheim, Phillip
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Page, Richard
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyPaice, James
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Patnick, Irvine
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Patten, Rt Hon John
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Pawsey, James
Hunter, AndrewPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Irvine, MichaelPorter, David (Waveney)
Irving, Sir CharlesPortillo, Michael
Jack, MichaelPowell, William (Corby)
Jackson, RobertPrice, Sir David
Janman, TimRaison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Jessel, TobyRathbone, Tim
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRedwood, John
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Rhodes James, Sir Robert
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Riddick, Graham
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineRidsdale, Sir Julian
Key, RobertRifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Kilfedder, JamesRoberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Roe, Mrs Marion
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Rossi, Sir Hugh
Kirkhope, TimothyRost, Peter
Knapman, RogerRowe, Andrew
Knight, Greg (Derby North)Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Knowles, MichaelSayeed, Jonathan
Knox, DavidScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanShaw, David (Dover)
Lang, Rt Hon IanShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Lawrence, IvanShelton, Sir William
Lee, John (Pendle)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Shersby, Michael
Sims, RogerTrippier, David
Skeet, Sir TrevorTwinn, Dr Ian
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Soames, Hon NicholasViggers, Peter
Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Waller. Gary
Squire, RobinWalters, Sir Dennis
Stanbrook, IvorWard, John
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir JohnWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Steen, AnthonyWatts, John
Stern, MichaelWells, Bowen
Stevens, LewisWheeler, Sir John
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)Whitney, Ray
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)Widdecombe, Ann
Stewart, Rt Hon Sir IanWilkinson, John
Summerson, HugoWilshire, David
Tapsell, Sir PeterWinterton, Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ian (Esher)Winterton, Nicholas
Taylor, Sir TeddyWolfson, Mark
Temple-Morris, PeterWood, Timothy
Thompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)Woodcock, Dr. Mike
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Yeo, Tim
Thorne, NeilYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Thornton, MalcolmYounger, Rt Hon George
Thurnham, Peter
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)Tellers for the Noes:
Tracey, RichardMr. David Lightbown and
Tredinnick, DavidMr. John M. Taylor.

Question accordingly negatived.

Mr. Speaker then put forthwith the remaining Question which he was directed to put from the Chair.

Queen's recommendation having been signified—

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

The House divided: Ayes 305, Noes 210.

Division No. 106][10.14 pm
Adley, RobertBrazier, Julian
Aitken, JonathanBrown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)
Alexander, RichardBrowne, John (Winchester)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Allason, RupertBuck, Sir Antony
Amery, Rt Hon JulianBurns, Simon
Amess, DavidButler, Chris
Amos, AlanButterfill, John
Arbuthnot, JamesCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Arnold, Sir ThomasCarrington, Matthew
Ashby, DavidCarttiss, Michael
Aspinwall, JackCartwright, John
Atkins, RobertCash, William
Atkinson, DavidChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Chapman, Sydney
Baldry, TonyChope, Christopher
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)Churchill, Mr
Batiste, SpencerClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyClark, Rt Hon Sir William
Bellingham, HenryClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Bendall, VivianColvin, Michael
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Conway, Derek
Benyon, W.Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Bevan, David GilroyCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnCope, Rt Hon Sir John
Blackburn, Dr John G.Cormack, Patrick
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterCouchman, James
Body, Sir RichardCran, James
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Boscawen, Hon RobertDavis, David (Boothferry)
Bos well, TimDay, Stephen
Bottomley, PeterDickens, Geoffrey
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDicks, Terry
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'pto'n)Dorrell, Stephen
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bowis, JohnDover, Den
Boy son, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesDunn, Bob
Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardDurant, Sir Anthony
Brandon-Bravo, MartinDykes, Hugh
Eggar, TimKnapman, Roger
Emery, Sir PeterKnight, Greg (Derby North)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)Knowles, Michael
Evennett, DavidKnox, David
Fallon, MichaelLamont, Rt Hon Norman
Favell, TonyLang, Rt Hon Ian
Fenner, Dame PeggyLatham, Michael
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Lawrence, Ivan
Fishburn, John DudleyLee, John (Pendle)
Fookes, Dame JanetLeigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Forman, NigelLester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Forth, EricLloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Fox, Sir MarcusLord, Michael
Franks, CecilLuce, Rt Hon Sir Richard
French, DouglasLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fry, PeterMacfarlane, Sir Neil
Gale, RogerMacGregor, Rt Hon John
Gardiner, Sir GeorgeMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMcLoughlin, Patrick
Gill, ChristopherMcNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Glyn, Dr Sir AlanMcNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Goodhart, Sir PhilipMadel, David
Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairMalins, Humfrey
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMans, Keith
Gorman, Mrs TeresaMaples, John
Gorst, JohnMarland, Paul
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Marlow, Tony
Greenway, Harry (Eating N)Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Gregory, ConalMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Mates, Michael
Grist, IanMaude, Hon Francis
Ground, PatrickMawhinney, Dr Brian
Hague, WilliamMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Hamilton, Rt Hon ArchieMellor, Rt Hon David
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Miller, Sir Hal
Hanley, JeremyMills, Iain
Hannam, Sir JohnMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Mitchell, Sir David
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Moate, Roger
Harris, DavidMonro, Sir Hector
Haselhurst, AlanMontgomery, Sir Fergus
Hawkins, ChristopherMoore, Rt Hon John
Hayes, JerryMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneyMorrison, Sir Charles
Hayward, RobertMorrison, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidMoss, Malcolm
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Mudd, David
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Neale, Sir Gerrard
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Nelson, Anthony
Hill, JamesNewton, Rt Hon Tony
Hind, KennethNicholls, Patrick
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hordern, Sir PeterNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelNorris, Steve
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Oppenheim, Phillip
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyPage, Richard
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Paice, James
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Patnick, Irvine
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Patten, Rt Hon John
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hunter, AndrewPawsey, James
Irvine, MichaelPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Irving, Sir CharlesPorter, David (Waveney)
Jack, MichaelPortillo, Michael
Jackson, RobertPowell, William (Corby)
Janman, TimPrice, Sir David
Jessel, TobyRaison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRathbone, Tim
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Redwood, John
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Rhodes James, Sir Robert
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineRiddick, Graham
Key, RobertRidsdale, Sir Julian
Kilfedder, JamesRifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Roe, Mrs Marion
Kirkhope, TimothyRossi, Sir Hugh
Rost, PeterThornton, Malcolm
Rowe, AndrewThurnham, Peter
Ryder, Rt Hon RichardTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Sayeed, JonathanTracey, Richard
Scott, Rt Hon NicholasTredinnick, David
Shaw, David (Dover)Trippier, David
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')Twinn, Dr Ian
Shelton, Sir WilliamVaughan, Sir Gerard
Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)Viggers, Peter
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Shersby, MichaelWaller, Gary
Sims, RogerWalters, Sir Dennis
Skeet, Sir TrevorWard, John
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Soames, Hon NicholasWatts, John
Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)Wells, Bowen
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Wheeler, Sir John
Squire, RobinWhitney, Ray
Stanbrook, IvorWiddecombe, Ann
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir JohnWigley, Dafydd
Steen, AnthonyWilkinson, John
Stern, MichaelWilshire, David
Stevens, LewisWinterton, Mrs Ann
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)Winterton, Nicholas
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)Wolfson, Mark
Stewart, Rt Hon Sir IanWood, Timothy
Summerson, HugoWoodcock, Dr. Mike
Tapsell, Sir PeterYeo, Tim
Taylor, Ian (Esher)Young, Sir George (Acton)
Taylor, Sir TeddyYounger, Rt Hon George
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Dr Dafydd ElisTellers for the Ayes:
Thompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)Mr. David Lightbown and
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Mr. John M. Taylor.
Thorne, Neil
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley, N.)Dalyell, Tarn
Alton, DavidDarling, Alistair
Archer, Rt Hon PeterDavies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Armstrong, HilaryDavies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Ashley, Rt Hon JackDewar, Donald
Ashton, JoeDixon, Don
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Dobson, Frank
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Doran, Frank
Barron, KevinDuffy, Sir A. E. P.
Beckett, MargaretDunnachie, Jimmy
Beggs, RoyDunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
Beith, A. J.Eadie, Alexander
Bell, StuartEastham, Ken
Beliotti, DavidEnright, Derek
Benn, Rt Hon TonyEvans, John (St Helens N)
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
Benton, JosephFatchett, Derek
Bermingham, GeraldFaulds, Andrew
Blunkett, DavidFearn, Ronald
Boateng, PaulField, Frank (Birkenhead)
Boyes, RolandFisher, Mark
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Flannery, Martin
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Flynn, Paul
Caborn, RichardFoot, Rt Hon Michael
Callaghan, JimFoster, Derek
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Foulkes, George
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Fraser, John
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Fyfe, Maria
Canavan, DennisGarrett, John (Norwich South)
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Godman, Dr Norman A.
Carr, MichaelGolding, Mrs Llin
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Gordon, Mildred
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Gould, Bryan
Clelland, DavidGraham, Thomas
Clwyd, Mrs AnnGrant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Cohen, HarryGriffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Corbett, RobinGriffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Corbyn, JeremyGrocott, Bruce
Cousins, JimHain, Peter
Crowther, StanHardy, Peter
Cryer, BobHeal, Mrs Sylvia
Cummings, JohnHealey, Rt Hon Denis
Cunliffe, LawrenceHenderson, Doug
Hinchliffe, DavidNellist, Dave
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kllsyth)O'Brien, William
Home Robertson, JohnO'Hara, Edward
Hood, JimmyO'Neill, Martin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)Paisley, Rev Ian
Howells, GeraintParry, Robert
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Patchett, Terry
Hoyle, DougPendry, Tom
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Hughes, Roy (Newport E)Prescott, John
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Primarolo, Dawn
Ingram, AdamQuin, Ms Joyce
Janner, GrevilleRadice, Giles
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)Randall, Stuart
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)Redmond, Martin
Kaufman, Rt Hon GeraldRees, Rt Hon Merlyn
Kilfoyle, PeterReid, Dr John
Kumar, Dr. AshokRobinson, Geoffrey
Lambie, DavidRobinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Leadbitter, TedRogers, Allan
Leighton, RonRooker, Jeff
Lestor, Joan (Eccles)Rooney, Terence
Lewis, TerryRowlands, Ted
Litherland, RobertRuddock, Joan
Livingstone, KenSedgemore, Brian
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Sheerman, Barry
Lofthouse, GeoffreySheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Loyden, EddieShore, Rt Hon Peter
McAllion, JohnShort, Clare
McAvoy, ThomasSkinner, Dennis
McCartney, IanSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Macdonald, Calum A.Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
McFall, JohnSmith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
McGrady, EddieSmyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)Snape, Peter
McKelvey, WilliamSoley, Clive
McLeish, HenrySpearing, Nigel
McMaster, GordonSteinberg, Gerry
McNamara, KevinStephen, Nico!
McWilliam, JohnStott, Roger
Madden, MaxStraw, Jack
Mahon, Mrs AliceTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Marek, Dr JohnTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)Trimble, David
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)Turner, Dennis
Martlew, EricWallace, James
Meacher, MichaelWalley, Joan
Meale, AlanWareing, Robert N.
Michael, AlunWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)Wilson, Brian
Molyneaux, Rt Hon JamesWinnick, David
Moonie, Dr LewisWise, Mrs Audrey
Morgan, RhodriWorthington, Tony
Morley, ElliotWray, Jimmy
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)Young, David (Bolton SE)
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Mowlam, MarjorieTellers for the Noes:
Mullin, ChrisMr. Eric Illsley and
Murphy, PaulMr. Frank Haynes.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.