Madam Deputy Speaker, I welcome you to your place. I thank all colleagues who have contributed to the debate today, and I wish the Bill well on its travels to the House of Lords. I point out to their noble lordships and ladyships that the Bill passed through the Commons unamended; there were no amendments in Committee, but there were discussions and agreement with the Opposition.
I say to Lyn Brown, who has just expressed concerns, that there were opportunities to load the Bill with a lot more material. However, it was kept very narrow because, from my long experience of Fridays in the House, I knew that it would not proceed unless that was the case. To continue with an earlier play on words, I hope that the noble Lords will get their ducks in a row, but I hope that they will not add to them. We have quite enough here.
It would be instructive for councils up and down the land to study this debate. There have been some wonderful contributions; I will pick up two or three points that have come up. My hon. Friend Kevin Hollinrake spoke with experience of starting and expanding a small business. His point about the power of offering one hour’s free parking, then charging an additional 60p per hour, was very persuasive, and many councils up and down the land should take note.
My hon. Friends the Members for Faversham and Mid Kent (Helen Whately), for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) and for Bury St Edmunds (Jo Churchill) mentioned festivals, and hon. Members focused on the importance of having special events that draw people into towns. We need flexibility in parking charges for those events.
I thank the members of the Public Bill Committee for their help, along with the other Members I have already thanked today. I thank the two Ministers who have spoken on the Bill—my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning, who spoke in Committee, and my neighbour the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend Mr Jones, who has spoken today. As I have said, I have also had the support of the Opposition. I thank my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary for allowing me access to some of his officials—I know it is not normal to thank officials, but I thank Phillip Dunkley and Thomas Adams for their assistance in ensuring that I was properly briefed.
It is with great happiness and surprise that I find myself having taken through the House a private Member’s Bill that can affect every town, city and large village in the country. I hope that it will proceed through the House of Lords.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.