Results 1–20 of 5422 for speaker:Charles Clarke

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: The hon. Gentleman has said that he will use his powers to block the proposal in whatever way he can. Does he accept that in so doing, he will be explicitly going against the positions of the Liberal Democrat candidate in Norwich, South and the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Norwich city council?

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I am delighted that this debate is taking place. First of all, and following the remarks of the Chair of the Select Committee, it is important to say that it directly affects the constituents of just three constituencies-my constituency of Norwich, South, and the constituencies of Norwich, North and of Exeter. There may be indirect effects on other constituencies, and the hon. Member for...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: For three reasons. First, as I said, it will be a new council-that is important-all-out elected in 2011, with new chief officers and a new situation. Secondly, I believe that there will be genuine economies in various areas as a result of a unitary authority with services working together. Thirdly, the performance of the city council over recent years has been improving significantly from a...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I am glad the hon. Gentleman has made that clear. I thought that with great subtlety he had ducked the point and not carried it through. I thought there had been a shift of policy, so I am glad he has clarified that. The reason for unitary local government is that it is much more efficient than two-tier government. It is far more effectively co-ordinated and coherent. The value for money that...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I beg your pardon. The Tory county council has decided to ask the director of planning, Mike Jackson, to take the decisions because it wants to run away from the responsibilities. It is extraordinary. My final point is that Norwich is already among the top five shopping centres in the country, and we want to achieve even better shopping centres, so the decision is taken-recommended by that...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I put a simple challenge to the Opposition parties. Let us add up the votes cast on general election day for the candidates in Norwich, South and Norwich, North, according to their attitude on unitary status. I predict we will find that the overwhelming majority of votes have been cast for candidates who support unitary status in Norwich. I hope that will be honoured. That is a central point...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: The hon. Gentleman talks about attitudes to this issue and the idea of having a convention, so does he concede that the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Norwich city council, Councillor Brian Watkins, and his colleagues, and my Lib Dem political opponent at the general election, Simon Wright-this is the 24th Lib Dem target seat in the country-both strongly support the unitary option...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: Can my right hon. Friend confirm that, in the city of Norwich at the moment, public workers work either for the county or for the city, so there are two separate human resources functions, two separate finance functions and two separate PR functions? People in planning are working entirely in parallel, and social services and social care overlap in a wide variety of ways. Despite the merit of...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Local Government (Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk) (9 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: My intervention follows the hon. Gentleman's answer to the hon. Member for Colchester (Bob Russell). The hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) stated that the Conservative Opposition, if they were in government, would never impose unitary government. Did I understand that right? Is he saying that if the Conservatives were in government and any district council opposed...

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: Is the hon. Gentleman saying he believes that a Norfolk county council covering 85 per cent. of its current area would deliver significantly worse services?

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that, in the case of Norwich, this process was initiated some years ago, when the Liberal Democrats ran Norwich city council and strongly supported the process? It remains the case that the Liberal Democrats in Norwich support the proposal of a unitary Norwich authority, based on current boundaries. I wonder whether he acknowledges that and whether he accepts...

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I was trying to make the point that, if Members argue that there are effects on their own constituents outside Norwich, or for that matter outside Exeter, it is incumbent upon them to explain what those impacts are. I have not yet heard-not just today, but ever-any serious argument that the interests of the constituents outside Norwich or Exeter are affected negatively by the decision for...

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I apologise for having a cold today; I hope it does not spread to too many Opposition Members. Perhaps I may begin with the fundamentals of the argument, which are that the case for unitary local government is very strong. It is accepted all across Scotland, Wales and urban England, and many other parts of England, for reasons of the efficiency, co-ordination, transparency and costs of...

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I have not seen the remarks that the hon. and learned Gentleman refers to, so I will not comment on them. I agree that Ministers should take responsibility for their decisions. I have carried that through in my own political career; it is important not to offload on civil servants. That is one reason why I commend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for taking the...

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: I do not concede that in any way. For a long time, Labour's view in Norwich has been that it is better for local elections to coincide with general elections because turnout is higher in general elections, and that is what we, as a Labour party, generally favour. These orders take away the elections that would have coincided with the general election and replace them with a new election in a...

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: With respect to the hon. Gentleman, I think that I am in a better position to comment on that than he is, as far as the city of Norwich is concerned. The challenge I put to him and his Front Benchers is that they look to the general election when it comes on 6 May, as I believe it will, because I, as the Labour candidate, and the Lib Dem and Green candidates will support unitary Norwich on...

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: The hon. Gentleman has not so far addressed in what respect the proposals would damage the interests of his constituents. I can see why he may have a general argument about the unitary pattern for Norfolk-he is entitled to make that case-but which specific interests of his constituents would be damaged, in his opinion, if the order was agreed?

Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon (Local Government) (2 Mar 2010)

Charles Clarke: Fifteen minutes into his speech, the hon. Gentleman has not identified one single respect in which the proposal for a unitary Norwich could damage his constituents' interests. Will he address that?

Outlawries Bill: Debate on the Address — [1st Day] (18 Nov 2009)

Charles Clarke: I am listening to the right hon. and learned Gentleman with great interest and I am very sympathetic to many of his points. Obviously, like him, I have had to deal with many of those issues. However, quite genuinely, I do not understand the difference between a Bill of Rights of the type he is now advocating and the European convention on human rights and, subsequently, the 1998 Act. What...


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