Charities Bill [Lords]

– in a Public Bill Committee at on 4 July 2006.

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[Mrs. Joan Humblein the Chair]

Photo of Joan Humble Joan Humble Labour, Blackpool North and Fleetwood 10:30, 4 July 2006

I remind the Committee that there is a money resolution in connection with the Bill, copies of which are available in the room. As a general rule, adequate notice should be given of amendments. I and my fellow Chairman do not intend to call starred amendments, including any that may be reached during an afternoon sitting of the Committee. Given the weather forecast for today, hon. Gentlemen may remove their jackets. I call the Minister to move the programme motion.

Photo of Ed Miliband Ed Miliband Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)

I beg to move,


(1) during proceedings on the Charities Bill [Lords] the Standing Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday 4th July) meet—

(a) at 4.00 p.m. on Tuesday 4th July;

(b) at 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 6th July;

(c) at 10.30 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. on Tuesday 11th July;

(d) at 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 13th July;

(2) the proceedings shall be taken in the following order: Clauses 1 to 6; Schedules 1 and 2; Clauses 7 and 8; Schedules 3 and 4; Clauses 9 to 12; Schedule 5; Clauses 13 to 30; Schedule 6; Clauses 31 to 34; Schedule 7; Clauses 35 to 74; Schedules 8 to 10; Clauses 75 to 78; new Clauses; new Schedules; remaining proceedings on the Bill;

(3) the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 4.00 p.m. on Thursday 13th July.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs. Humble. The Committee has the privilege of considering a Bill that will make a real difference to the charities and people of this country. As I said on Second Reading, it has been well researched, having been the subject of the strategy unit report of 2002 and well examined by the Joint Committee. I welcome the fact that the programme motion will allow 20 hours of debate in Committee.

The Government will approach the Bill in a charitable spirit, listen to arguments that are made by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee and take on board those suggestions that make sense and which will contribute toward a better Bill. I am delighted to be ably assisted by my hon. Friend the Member for Erewash (Liz Blackman), the Government Whip. As a former teacher, she will ensure good order and behaviour—at least on our side. The Bill’s scrutiny will be improved by the Opposition spokesmen, the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Martin Horwood), who has direct experience of working in some of our major  charities, and the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Turner), who is well known for his diligence and attention to detail.

We also have a wealth of wisdom and expertise on the Government Benches, including that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Alun Michael), the former deputy Home Secretary, and my hon. Friend the Member for High Peak (Tom Levitt), the chair of the all-party group on the community and voluntary sector, and many other talented Members.

We all agree that the proper scrutiny of the Bill is an important service that Parliament owes to the charities of this country, so we on the Government side will keep our contributions short and to the point, so that all clauses of the Bill can be considered properly.

Photo of Andrew Turner Andrew Turner Conservative, Isle of Wight

Mrs. Humble, it is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship. As the Parliamentary Secretary said, the Bill is important and presents a huge number of opportunities for charities. We shall do our best to scrutinise it in an effective manner and not waste time. We are anxious to ensure that it is examined in an even fashion, not least because part 3 was not as vigorously scrutinised in another place as some other parts have been.

As a former teacher, I assure the Parliamentary Secretary that that qualification does not enable anyone to impose discipline on anyone else. It is far more a matter of personality than of former occupation. However, Opposition Members will do their best to scrutinise the Bill in the expected manner.

Question put and agreed to.