'(1) Before making any order under Parts 1, 2 or 3 the Secretary of State shall—
(a) invite all local authorities in England (except London) to submit to him proposals for the creation of regions for the purposes of this Act; and
(b) invite such other persons and bodies as appear to him to represent relevant interests throughout England (except London) to submit to him proposals for the creation of regions for the purposes of this Act; and
(c) upon receipt of submissions in response to paragraphs (a) and (b) invite the Electoral Commission to comment on the submissions and to make proposals to the Secretary of State for the creation of regions for the purposes of this Act having regard to—
(i) the desirability of all regions being, in so far as is not incompatible with (ii) below, of approximately equal population size; and
(ii) the need to reflect the identities and interests of local communities
(d) publish the proposals made to him by the Electoral Commission under paragraph (c); and
(e) make an order creating regions for the purposes of this Act, having regard to the proposals published under paragraph (d).
(2) For the purposes of this section "relevant interests" means professional bodies, trades unions, voluntary organisations, faith groups, political parties, business organisations and community organisations.
(3) For the purposes of subsection 1 paragraphs (a) and (b), the Secretary of State shall set out a timetable for the giving of responses to him.'.—[Mr. Hammond.]
Brought up, and read the First time.
Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—
The House divided: Ayes 159, Noes 295.