Peter Atkinson: Before Lady Hermon resumes, I shall say that I intend to adjourn the Committee for a short period for a dinner break at 7 o’clock. I hope that that might focus minds.
Peter Atkinson: With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment No. 15
Peter Atkinson: I thank the Committee for being so co-operative with my co-Chairman and me. I am sure that we are all delighted not to have to come back at 10.30 on Tuesday morning.
Peter Atkinson: Order. The etiquette in these short debates is that there are to be no interventions. If there are to be interventions, that has to be done with the permission of the Member and of the Minister.
Peter Atkinson: Order. We must move on.
Peter Atkinson: I am grateful to the Father of the House, the right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams), for that explanation. I viewed new clause 1 as a useful probing measure. Like a lot of non-lawyers, when I see something in a Bill that says "without reasonable excuse" I begin to worry about the extent of "reasonable excuse" and how that could impact on various people. It is important. This...
Peter Atkinson: The scenario that I envisaged was someone phoning the emergency services to say that there was an out-of-control fire on the moor, and the emergency services turning out, with blue lights flashing, and arriving at the gateway to the moor. That surely would constitute an emergency.
Peter Atkinson: I share the concerns of my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) about the definition of emergency worker, whether the person works for the NHS or not. As an MP who represents a constituency that borders Scotland, I am aware that there are often differences between Scottish and English legislation. The Bill stipulates that employees should be persons "employed by a fire and...
Peter Atkinson: Could the Minister deal with the points that were raised? He did not deal with my question about heather burning earlier, but can he explain the anomaly for Scottish firemen and ambulance workers operating in England, who do not appear to be protected by either Scottish or English legislation?
Peter Atkinson: I echo what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope): there are a number of issues still to be debated. Although we all wish the Bill a good passage, it does deserve a little more debate, and I therefore hope that, with pole position for the next opportunity, we can deal with them on Third Reading at that time. It being half-past Two o'clock, the debate stood...
Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve litter collection on trunk roads in Northumberland under the control of the Highways Agency; and if he will make a statement.
Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to resolve the dispute over lunch breaks between the North East Ambulance Trust and ambulance crews.
Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when St. Mary's Hospital, Stannington, Northumberland, closed; what the cost of maintaining and securing the buildings and grounds of the hospital was in each of the last five years; and what steps she plans to take to expedite the disposal of the hospital estate.
Peter Atkinson: The Minister talked about increasing water capacity, but is he aware that Northumbria Water, which owns a water company in Essex, has been trying to increase capacity by raising the banks of an existing reservoir by 10 ft? The company reckons that if it finally gets planning permission for this, it will have taken 18 years from the moment the scheme was first put into play to the time when...
Peter Atkinson: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 13, in page 1, line 11, at end add— ‘(2) In considering whether an activity is a desirable activity for the purposes of this Part, the court shall have particular regard to whether the claimant— (a) willingly accepted a risk as his, or (b) entered onto land or into premises with the intention of committing an...
Peter Atkinson: Order. That intervention is rather long.
Peter Atkinson: I think that it would be helpful if the hon. Gentleman were to continue now.
Peter Atkinson: It is such a small clause that it would be sensible for the Committee to treat the discussion as a stand part debate.
Peter Atkinson: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 18, in page 2, line 27, after ‘legal', insert ‘or other'. No. 19, in page 2, line 29, after ‘another', insert— ‘( ) any service for money or money's worth to persons bringing claims'.
Peter Atkinson: Mr. Hollobone, you had better have the Floor.