Mr George Stevenson: Will my right hon. Friend give way?
Mr George Stevenson: As my right hon. Friend suggests, this is an extremely important matter. Clause 15(1) says that an authorisation "may" restrict. As I understand it, that "may" was inserted in place of "must". How does that strengthen regulation?
Mr George Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children were in classes of 31 or more in (a) infant and (b) primary schools in Stoke-on-Trent in each year since 1996–97.
Mr George Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK overseas embassies and consulates are using pottery products manufactured in the UK.
Mr George Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) original projected total cost and (b) the final cost of Phases 1a, 1b and 2 of the A50 road construction in Stoke-on-Trent was.
Mr George Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) Advantage West Midland and (b) the Government Office for the West Midlands on transport provision in North Staffordshire.
Mr George Stevenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the population liable for tax in (a) Stoke-on-Trent, South constituency and (b) Stoke-on-Trent unitary authority are (i) higher rate taxpayers and (ii) exempt from paying tax.
Mr George Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what resources have been allocated to Stoke-on-Trent LEA in the last five years.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. I was in the hon. Lady's constituency with my grandchildren at the weekend to watch the kite festival, and very nice it was too, but her intervention was just a little too long.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. The political topography of the country is not at issue.
Mr George Stevenson: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Amendment No. 249, in clause 43, page 33, line 30, at end insert— '(3A) In section 23(2) add ( ) he is using the weapon or ammunition on private property with the consent of the occupier in an activity which would be lawful other than by virtue of his age.'. Amendment No. 250, in clause 43, page 33, line 30, at end insert—...
Mr George Stevenson: Order. That was quite a lengthy intervention. I ask hon. Members to refocus on the amendments.
Mr George Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds in Stoke-on-Trent LEA have moved into (a) further education and (b) higher education over the last five years; what percentage the figures represent of the total number of 16 to 18-year-olds in the area; and what the national average figures are.
Mr George Stevenson: My right hon. Friend just mentioned the south of Stoke, which, of course, is consistent with the name of my constituency. Will he agree, however, that any consideration of measures to relieve congestion on the M6, particularly in relation to the MidMan study, would be conditional, in an important way, on the Strategic Rail Authority having the funds to ensure that any rail developments as a...
Mr George Stevenson: I hope that I said that I was prepared to give the Bill the benefit of the doubt, when I made my speech.
Mr George Stevenson: It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Alan Simpson), and I am about to disappoint my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew), who said that all contributions by Labour Members will oppose the Bill. I want to put on the record the important reasons for my position. We have heard many claims about being in the Labour and trade union movements, all of...
Mr George Stevenson: Yes, they call me by my first name, the hon. Gentleman may be surprised to hear—there is no "Mr. Hammond" in my constituency. I pick up more cases in my local Tesco than in my surgery, but that is another matter. To be serious, we must justify the Bill. My constituents are asking me why, if the pottery workers have had to accept a nil increase in their pay, the FBU will not accept 16 per...
Mr George Stevenson: That may well turn out to be the case, although we hope not. If the hon. Gentleman is patient with me, I shall deal with that issue in a moment. I submit that my general point is a valid one. When employers' organisations offer deals but do not know how they will be paid for, and then ask the Government to sign the cheque, is it not the Government's responsibility to turn around and say "Hang...
Mr George Stevenson: We have heard from the Deputy Prime Minister, and it is not in the legislation as I understand it. So the Bill is probably irrelevant.
Mr George Stevenson: Exactly. The question was asked, and the response was, "Well, there ain't much we can do." That is why I use the word "irrelevant". However, for the Government to sit back and do nothing when a public interest issue is at stake would worry me almost as much. I view the Bill as a catalyst, no more, to show that the Government are serious about the public interest, which I recognise is an...