Health (Wales) Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee on 10 December 2002.

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[Mr. Win Griffiths in the Chair]

Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Welsh Office, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales 10:30, 10 December 2002

I beg to move,


(1) during proceedings on the Health (Wales) Bill the Standing Committee, in addition to its first sitting on Tuesday 10th December at half-past 10 o'clock, do meet on that day at half-past 4 o'clock and on Thursday 12th December at five minutes to 9 o'clock and at half-past 2 o'clock;

(2) the proceedings shall be taken in the following order, namely Clause 1, Schedule 1, Clause 2, Schedule 2, Clauses 3 to 7, Schedules 3 and 4, Clauses 8 to 10, New Clauses and New Schedules;

(3) the proceedings on the Bill (so far as not previously concluded) shall be brought to a conclusion at Five o'clock on Thursday 12th December.

May I say how delighted I am that you are chairing the Committee, Mr. Griffiths? You were a distinguished Minister in the Welsh Office and achieved a great deal for the health service in Wales. I know that you have announced your intention not to seek re-election in the next general election, and that will be met with sadness in your constituency, as it will in this House. Over the years, you have made a major contribution to public life in Wales, as a Member of the European Parliament and of this House.

I know that the subject of this Bill is close to your heart, Mr. Griffiths; as a Wales Office Minister in 1997, one of the first things you did was to reiterate our commitment to reform and change and to the protection of our community health councils. I am indeed pleased to serve under your chairmanship and look forward to your guiding of these proceedings as expeditiously and successfully as possible.

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

I do not wish to detain the Committee long on this motion, which was keenly debated yesterday evening and received unanimous support.

I should like to add my and my party's delight that you are chairing the Committee, Mr. Griffiths. When you were a Minister in the Wales Office, improving the quality of the health service for all the people of Wales was at the forefront of your objectives. It was refreshing that you thought—and, sometimes, spoke—the unthinkable, when other colleagues were less frank. We are looking forward to two full days of debate on the Bill and I hope that our discussions will improve it.

Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths Labour, Bridgend

I thank the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, the hon. Member for Islwyn (Mr. Touhig) and the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) for their kind words, though they will not affect the conduct of the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.

Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths Labour, Bridgend

I remind the Committee that the Bill has a financial resolution, copies of which are available in this Room. Adequate notice should be given of

amendments and, as a general rule, I do not intend to call starred amendments, including any reached during an afternoon sitting. I also remind everyone to switch off mobile phones.