Results 101–120 of 2174 for speaker:Mr Robert Atkins

Clause 123: Short Title, Commencement, Extent, etc. (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I should speak briefly to this amendment. In Committee, we dealt in preliminary terms with the structure of the national parks. I know that hon. Members on both sides of the House will want to respond to the Government amendments and I therefore want to put on record some points that may be of help to them. There has been some interest in identifying the parish nominations to which we...

Clause 123: Short Title, Commencement, Extent, etc. (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I shall be more than happy to address the amendment after my hon. Friend has spoken to it.

Clause 123: Short Title, Commencement, Extent, etc. (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: That is unreasonable.

Clause 92: Producer Responsibility: General (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I understand the hon. Gentleman's concern. He is, however, getting a little bit concerned about something about which he does not need to be concerned. It would certainly be my intention and that of the Secretary of State to ensure that Members of Parliament were consulted on the matter. I agree with the spirit of the amendment, but it would restrict our flexibility in practice. I hope that...

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: The hon. Lady represents an inner-London constituency, and I know that her colleagues, and hon. Friends representing similar constituencies in London and other cities, share her concern about the state of air quality and the public's perception of it. I must also tell her, however, that the Conservative party and this Government have done most, historically, to improve air quality....

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: Let me finish the argument. The hon. Lady has had her say; I am entitled to mine in response. Consequently, we do not take kindly to Opposition Members suggesting to us that we are not doing what is necessary on air quality.

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: In a minute. A collection of hon. Members wish me to sit down, and I shall do so in due course. However, the argument that the hon. Lady makes, about which we agree, is the urgency of tackling the public anxiety, whether by proclamation from the Dispatch Box or by speech by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State or—more important in the context of the Bill—by way of the regulations...

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: The hon. Gentleman provokes me to refer to the book, and I shall read him what it was that, in order not to delay the House, I was seeking to avoid having to say. Under the provisions of Part IV, local authorities will have a duty to act, dependent on the state of air quality. We wish to make clear the circumstances in which they should act. Specifically, we wish to ensure that designation...

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: My memory is slightly rusty, from my days as Roads Minister, about exactly what the powers of the Department of Transport are, and those are matters to which I would have to refer, but as far as I understand it—I would not want to be held absolutely to this—powers do exist at the moment to do something along the lines that the hon. Gentleman suggests, to a greater or lesser degree. If...

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: At this late hour, we have inevitably had a fairly brief debate on the important matter of public perception, on which there is considerable agreement. I said in Committee that resources, whether for local authorities or the police, were a matter for the respective Ministers. I undertook in Committee, and I undertake again, to ensure that—for example, in relation to local authorities—my...

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would allow me to finish the point that I am on. [Interruption.] I do not need that sort of nonsense. The hon. Member for Deptford asked a perfectly legitimate question that needs examination. Generally, as the hon. Lady rightly acknowledged, there is concern among some groups of people about the power to stop vehicles being spread too wide, for example, to local...

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: We want to make progress, and I do not want to delay the House unduly. However, as the hon. Gentleman presses me, I shall read to him what I have been told. Traffic wardens can, under other legislation and in strictly limited circumstances, and usually in support of the police, help police with certain of their functions. There you have it.

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: We have had a spot of fun, and I have read out what I was given, but the answer is that I simply do not know, and I make no bones about it. The hon. Lady asks a perfectly sensible question that requires a sensible answer. I shall ascertain exactly, precisely and unequivocally the powers of a traffic warden in this respect, and let her know. If she would like to copy it for the hon. Member for...

Clause 60: Purposes of National Parks (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: I had intended when I started my remarks this evening to say that, until now, we have had rather a good debate on a vexed subject which, by demonstrating the controversy across the Floor of the House, illustrates the concern about the words involved. I am tempted to say that we have made a lot of noise about "quiet enjoyment". I want to clarify one or two points. The hon. Member for Glanford...

Clause 60: Purposes of National Parks (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: They are indeed excited. My point is that, representing the people who live and work in the English national park constituencies, my right hon. and hon. Friends speak with great authority. My right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Jopling), who, I am very sorry to say, is retiring at the next election, has represented Westmorland and the Lake district with...

Clause 60: Purposes of National Parks (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: Well, there it is—it has leaked out. The Labour party is interested only in those who visit and "recreate" in the national parks. The difference between Labour and us is that we are concerned about the jobs and livelihoods of people who live and work in the parks as well as about their recreational concerns and activities. Much has been made of amendment No. 267 which, as Opposition...

Clause 60: Purposes of National Parks (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: Indeed, I cannot forbear to take note of the Central Council of Physical Recreation in view of my former incarnation. Both organisations expressed sensible views.

Clause 60: Purposes of National Parks (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: In essence, the hon. Gentleman is right, but we are concerned about the fact that there are potentially some people or organisations that would choose to go to law because they want to prevent those who live and work in the national parks doing certain things. I am sorry, but I am not prepared to accept that, and nor are my right hon. and hon. Friends. I emphasise again that there was...

Clause 60: Purposes of National Parks (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: There are some frightfully clever and very important people in another place, across the political divide, who are experts in constitutional law and who understand about land owning and its management, as well as living in and understanding the national parks. Their view was that this amendment, which the Opposition have taken over, did not adequately define what "quiet" meant. To return to...

Clause 79: National Air Quality Strategy (28 Jun 1995)

Mr Robert Atkins: On amendment No. 116, to which the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) has just spoken, our main focus—in weather such as we are experiencing in London and elsewhere, these matters become of singular importance—must be on achieving the goal of good air quality and reducing the risk of episodes of relatively high pollution. The risk of such episodes, particularly in the weather that we are...


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