23/01/2017 House of Commons


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


23/01/2017

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including an Urgent Question on Trident: Test firing and an Industrial Strategy Consultation Statement.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 23/01/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

it. The noes have it. Order. Urgent question. Can I ask the Secretary of

:00:00.:00:00.

State for defence if he'll make a statement on the test firing of a

:00:00.:00:07.

Trident nuclear missile in June 2016.

:00:08.:00:15.

Mr Speaker. In June last year, the Royal Navy conduct aid demonstration

:00:16.:00:25.

and shake down operation designed to certify HMS Vengeance and her crew

:00:26.:00:31.

prior to their return to operations. This included a routine unarmed

:00:32.:00:37.

Trident missile test launch. Contrary to reports in the weekend

:00:38.:00:43.

press, HMS Vengeance and her crew were successfully tested and

:00:44.:00:48.

certified as ready to rejoin the operational cycle. We do not comment

:00:49.:00:55.

on the detail of submarine operations. I can, however, assure

:00:56.:01:01.

the House that during any test firing, the safety of the crew and

:01:02.:01:06.

public is paramount and is never compromised. Prior to conducting a

:01:07.:01:12.

Trident test fire, the United Kingdom strictly add meres to all --

:01:13.:01:18.

adheres it all relevant treaty obligations, notifying relevant

:01:19.:01:21.

nations and other interested parties. Here, the chairman of the

:01:22.:01:27.

Defence Select Committee, the Opposition defence spokesperson and

:01:28.:01:30.

the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee were informed in advance.

:01:31.:01:36.

I can assure the House that the capability and effectiveness of the

:01:37.:01:40.

United Kingdom's independent nuclear deterrent is not in doubt. The

:01:41.:01:46.

Government has absolute confidence in our deterrent and in the Royal

:01:47.:01:52.

Navy crews who protect us and our Nato allies every hour of every day.

:01:53.:01:59.

Can I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. He will know that I

:02:00.:02:06.

am one who is a strong believer in this country's independent nuclear

:02:07.:02:11.

deterrent. In recent decades there have been major inroads made to

:02:12.:02:15.

transparency of nuclear issues amongst the public. An important

:02:16.:02:20.

message in terms of maintaining the consensus and support of our

:02:21.:02:23.

independent nuclear deterrent. Included in that has been the

:02:24.:02:28.

openness and publicity about the test launches in Florida. Can I ask

:02:29.:02:32.

the Secretary of State with regard to the latest test, will he, he will

:02:33.:02:38.

have seen the press at the weekend, the cla claimsthat the missile

:02:39.:02:40.

Veered off towards the United States. Could he confirm whether

:02:41.:02:47.

that was the case? Could he tell the House when he was first informed

:02:48.:02:50.

there was a problem with the test and when his department informed the

:02:51.:02:55.

then Prime Minister, David Cameron, of the problem? Could he also say

:02:56.:03:01.

whether it was him or the Prime Minister, David Cameron, at the

:03:02.:03:04.

time, who took the decision of his department to shelf the customary

:03:05.:03:09.

practice of pub list sizing the test and ordering a news blackout?

:03:10.:03:14.

Finally, could he also say what discussions he has had with the

:03:15.:03:17.

present Prime Minister about this test and why it was not relayed to

:03:18.:03:23.

Parliament before the debate on successor submarine programme last

:03:24.:03:26.

July. Can I finish by paying tribute to the members of our armed forces

:03:27.:03:32.

who for the last 48 years have maintained operation relentless,

:03:33.:03:36.

which has maintained our continuing at-sea deterrent. I'm grateful to

:03:37.:03:43.

the honourable gentleman. I do appreciate that he's not only takes

:03:44.:03:46.

a very close interest in defence and has borne responsibility for the

:03:47.:03:50.

defence of our country and is a supporter of the deterrent. I have

:03:51.:03:54.

to say to him, though, that I disagree with him on his call for

:03:55.:03:57.

greater transparency in these matters. There are very few things

:03:58.:04:05.

that we cannot discuss openly in Parliament, but the security of our

:04:06.:04:09.

nuclear deterrent is certainly one of them. It has never been the

:04:10.:04:15.

practice of governments to give Parliament details of the

:04:16.:04:20.

demonstration and shake down operations. There have been previous

:04:21.:04:27.

examples where some publicity has been decided on a case by case

:04:28.:04:34.

basis, informed by the circumstances at the time and by national security

:04:35.:04:45.

considerations. # Would my right honourable friend agree with me

:04:46.:04:50.

there is absolutely no evidence of suss tomorrowic failure anywhere in

:04:51.:04:56.

the system? And would he confirm that he, like me, has total

:04:57.:05:00.

confidence in our Trident defences as being both deadly and reliable? I

:05:01.:05:07.

can certainly confirm that. I repeat to the House that HMS Vengeance

:05:08.:05:14.

successfully certified and has passed the test that was set and has

:05:15.:05:20.

therefore rejoined the operational cycle and is part of that

:05:21.:05:29.

operational cycle today. Mr Speaker, I'm grateful to the Secretary of

:05:30.:05:32.

State for his answers. But I'm just sorry that it's taken allegations in

:05:33.:05:36.

a Sunday paper and an urgent question to bring him to Parliament

:05:37.:05:42.

this afternoon. Let me be clear, we are not asking the Secretary of

:05:43.:05:46.

State to disclose any sensitive or inappropriate detail. All we want is

:05:47.:05:51.

clarity and transparency. Because yesterday, the Prime Minister

:05:52.:05:56.

refused four times on live television to say when she became

:05:57.:06:01.

aware of the details of this missile test. Today Number Ten admitted that

:06:02.:06:05.

the Prime Minister was told about this incident as soon as she took

:06:06.:06:10.

office. Yet when she came to this House on July 18 to call on members

:06:11.:06:15.

to back the renewal of Britain's nuclear submoo reerns, she did not

:06:16.:06:19.

say a word, not a single word. Mr Speaker, this is just not good

:06:20.:06:23.

enough. The British public deserve the facts on a matter as important

:06:24.:06:29.

as Britons nuclear deterrent. They deserve to hear those fact from

:06:30.:06:32.

their Prime Minister, not in allegations sprawled across a Sunday

:06:33.:06:35.

paper. Can I ask the Secretary of State a simple question: Why was

:06:36.:06:38.

this information deliberately kept from Parliament and the British

:06:39.:06:42.

public? Who made the decision to keep this incident quiet? Was it his

:06:43.:06:47.

department or was it Number Ten? Whilst respecting the limits of what

:06:48.:06:53.

he can disclose, can he set out what investigation his departments has

:06:54.:06:56.

carried out into what happened in June? And what assurances can he

:06:57.:07:01.

give there will be no future cover ups on important matters like this.

:07:02.:07:06.

Mr Speaker, at the heart of this issue is a worrying lack of

:07:07.:07:09.

transparency and a Prime Minister who's chosen to cover up a serious

:07:10.:07:13.

incident rather than coming clean with the British public. This House,

:07:14.:07:19.

and more importantly the British public deserve better. Let me just

:07:20.:07:25.

be very, very clear, neither I nor the Prime Minister are going to give

:07:26.:07:33.

operational details of our submarine operations or of the systems and

:07:34.:07:41.

subsystems that are tested through a demonstration and shake down

:07:42.:07:45.

operation. She asked me very specifically about the Prime

:07:46.:07:48.

Minister's knowledge. Let me again be clear, the Prime Minister has

:07:49.:07:52.

ultimate responsibility for our nuclear deterrent. She is kept

:07:53.:07:58.

informed as to how the nuclear deterrent is maintained, including

:07:59.:08:03.

the successful return of HMS Vengeance to the operational cycle.

:08:04.:08:10.

Is the Secretary of State telling us that nothing went wrong on this

:08:11.:08:18.

particular launch? While accepting that the nuclear deterrent needs to

:08:19.:08:22.

be shrouded in secrecy, it also needs to deter. Once stories get out

:08:23.:08:27.

there that a missile may have failed, isn't it better to be quite

:08:28.:08:34.

Frank about it, especially if it has no strategic significance, as in

:08:35.:08:40.

this case, it probably has none. Sir Craig Oliver vehementing denies that

:08:41.:08:45.

he or any other members of David Cameron's media team ever knew about

:08:46.:08:50.

the aborted Trident test. Will the Secretary of State tell us when Mr

:08:51.:08:55.

Cameron was told about it, when he himself was told about it, and will

:08:56.:09:01.

he accept an invitation to attend the defence committee tomorrow

:09:02.:09:06.

morning to resolve any outstanding issueser in closed session for --

:09:07.:09:10.

issues in closed session for some questions if need be? As I've said,

:09:11.:09:17.

the details of the demonstration and shake down operation I am not going

:09:18.:09:22.

to discuss publicly on the floor of this House. All I can do is repeat

:09:23.:09:31.

that HMS Vengeance has successfully been certified again to rejoin the

:09:32.:09:37.

operational cycle. So far as the Prime Minister is concerned, I think

:09:38.:09:42.

I've already answered the responsibility of the Prime Minister

:09:43.:09:46.

and made it very clear that the previous Prime Minister and this

:09:47.:09:51.

Prime Minister are, of course, were, of course, informed about the

:09:52.:09:56.

maintenance of the nuclear deterrent and the outcome of the test and the

:09:57.:10:00.

successful return of HMS Vengeance to the operational cycle. The basic

:10:01.:10:12.

rule of deterrent is it has to be credible and capable. Given

:10:13.:10:15.

yesterday's sensational revelations, it's safe to assume that Trident is

:10:16.:10:20.

neither. Given that one of the UK's nuclear missiles Veered off towards

:10:21.:10:26.

the United States, it really is an insuggest to our intelligence to try

:10:27.:10:31.

and claim, as the Government has, that it's Trident's capability and

:10:32.:10:35.

effectiveness is unquestionable. There is however an equally serious

:10:36.:10:40.

matter to arise, this the deliberate withholding of information from this

:10:41.:10:45.

House ahead of crucial Commons vote on the renewal last July. It is

:10:46.:10:49.

absolutely outrageous that this House had to rely on the leak to a

:10:50.:10:55.

Sunday newspaper to find out about this and the subsequent cover up.

:10:56.:10:58.

Account Secretary of State tell me when did he first find out about

:10:59.:11:03.

this missile failure? Was it he who informered the new Prime Minister

:11:04.:11:08.

about the failure? And who took the decision not to inform Parliament of

:11:09.:11:09.

this incident? The honourable gentleman is opposed

:11:10.:11:21.

to the Trident deterrent that has kept this country safe for so many

:11:22.:11:27.

years. Let me first of all caution him against believing everything he

:11:28.:11:33.

has red in the weekend press. Let me repeat to him that this government

:11:34.:11:40.

is in no doubt about the capability and effectiveness of our deterrent

:11:41.:11:45.

and would not have asked This House to endorse the principle of the

:11:46.:11:50.

deterrent and our plans to build four new submarines if there had

:11:51.:11:54.

been any question about the capability and effectiveness of our

:11:55.:12:00.

deterrent. Would my right honourable friend agree that secrecy and

:12:01.:12:08.

transparency are simply incompatible and it is right that every British

:12:09.:12:14.

and indeed American and French government, our other nuclear

:12:15.:12:17.

allies, have always put secrecy first in this area? I agree with my

:12:18.:12:24.

honourable friend. As I said to the House earlier, there are very few

:12:25.:12:28.

issues that cannot be discussed openly in This House, but the

:12:29.:12:33.

security of the nuclear deterrent is clearly a prime example of something

:12:34.:12:43.

that cannot be discussed in detail. Can the Secretary of State confirm

:12:44.:12:47.

that whether through the notice to Gehrman system or other warning

:12:48.:12:50.

systems are enemies would have been aware of the failure of this test

:12:51.:12:54.

and would he agree with me that four members of This House to be able to

:12:55.:12:59.

debate the merits of Trident or its like-for-like replacement

:13:00.:13:03.

effectively we need timely and security appropriate information and

:13:04.:13:08.

that we did not get it in this case? On the first point, the honourable

:13:09.:13:14.

gentleman may be aware that under our international treaty

:13:15.:13:16.

obligations, and as funny test-firing does have to be given to

:13:17.:13:22.

other countries and other interested parties and in the case of the June

:13:23.:13:29.

test-firing, that was done. I do not agree with this latter point. The

:13:30.:13:33.

government would not have put the motion in front of This House last

:13:34.:13:39.

July had it had any doubt about the continuing capability and

:13:40.:13:46.

effectiveness of the deterrent. Can I remind the House that the Russians

:13:47.:13:50.

do not just contemplate using nuclear weapons, but they practice

:13:51.:13:56.

their employment and their exercises? Is it not crucial,

:13:57.:14:04.

therefore, that we retain our own independent nuclear deterrent to

:14:05.:14:08.

ensure that our potential enemies, such as Russia, our deterrent and

:14:09.:14:15.

think twice before they even contemplate using such a weapon of

:14:16.:14:22.

mass destruction? I am grateful to my honourable friend and that indeed

:14:23.:14:26.

was the proposition that before this new parliament last July and

:14:27.:14:32.

endorsed by 472 members of This House against a vote of only 117.

:14:33.:14:39.

117 including, of course, the Leader of the Opposition. As the government

:14:40.:14:45.

instigated a bleak enquiry to find out who the source for the Sunday

:14:46.:14:52.

Times was and will it do so? As I said earlier, I am not confirming

:14:53.:14:58.

speculation in the weekend press and I would caution the House against

:14:59.:15:01.

believing everything they have read in the weekend press. Could I ask

:15:02.:15:10.

the Secretary of State whether the MoD and US partners have shared

:15:11.:15:15.

information about the test-firing and subsequent evaluation? This will

:15:16.:15:19.

be important to reassure our service personnel and the public in the

:15:20.:15:24.

validity of the nuclear deterrent. I understand why my honourable friend

:15:25.:15:27.

has asked the question, but I am afraid I have to say that it takes

:15:28.:15:32.

us into the detail of the operation of the nuclear deterrent and I am

:15:33.:15:38.

not going there. Following on from that, the government continually

:15:39.:15:42.

refers to Trident as the independent nuclear deterrent it the science in

:15:43.:15:46.

the malfunction was designed, manufactured and owned by the US

:15:47.:15:49.

with a US guidance system and leasing arrangements. It isn't an

:15:50.:15:54.

operational issue to tell us whether he has known that the malfunction

:15:55.:15:59.

last year was reported at the time today's president, or whether the

:16:00.:16:02.

new president has been briefed about it and nor who decided to cover it

:16:03.:16:08.

up, the UK Government or the US. Our Trident nuclear deterrent is

:16:09.:16:14.

completely operationally independent of the United States and, in our

:16:15.:16:22.

country, only the Prime Minister can authorise the firing of these

:16:23.:16:27.

weapons, even if they are employed as part of an overall visual

:16:28.:16:34.

response. Can I congratulate my right honourable friend in the

:16:35.:16:37.

approach he has taken on this issue? I think that the whole area of our

:16:38.:16:44.

independent nuclear deterrent is of crucial importance and I think the

:16:45.:16:49.

arguments he has made very strongly about not being as open as he might

:16:50.:16:53.

at times like to be on the operational side is absolutely

:16:54.:17:00.

correct. I am grateful to my honourable friend. It might well be

:17:01.:17:05.

that earlier governments in different situations, indeed in more

:17:06.:17:09.

benevolent times, might have taken different decisions about how much

:17:10.:17:14.

information they were prepared to reveal about these particular

:17:15.:17:18.

demonstration and shakedown operations. These are not, of

:17:19.:17:22.

course, benevolent times and the decision would have taken was not to

:17:23.:17:27.

release any information about the testing of all the systems and

:17:28.:17:33.

subsystems involved in the operational cycle of HMS venture. I

:17:34.:17:42.

think there is no doubt as to why The Member For North East Somerset

:17:43.:17:47.

wanted to have this in private, not just to keep our Zoo Bridge from the

:17:48.:17:50.

Russians, but to save the ministers and the Prime Minister the

:17:51.:17:55.

embarrassment. It is worse than a crime. I have known him long enough

:17:56.:18:01.

to know he is naturally pugnacious and combative in spirit but that

:18:02.:18:06.

mustn't elide into impugning the integrity of another honourable

:18:07.:18:12.

member. He has had his bit of fun, but he must now wash his mouth out,

:18:13.:18:17.

withdraw those words and put a question, for which the nation will

:18:18.:18:23.

be grateful. I certainly withdraw an implication that the honourable

:18:24.:18:26.

member was worried about embarrassment to the Minister. Could

:18:27.:18:33.

the Minister confirm whether it is the case that in the book the silent

:18:34.:18:39.

deep there is a full description of a previous firing in 2012. How is it

:18:40.:18:45.

an operational matter or a security threat merely to ask when the

:18:46.:18:49.

Minister and when the Prime Minister were made aware of the problem and

:18:50.:18:56.

why they decided to keep it quiet? On the first point, I have made it

:18:57.:18:59.

clear that, of course, earlier governments in different

:19:00.:19:05.

circumstances have taken different decisions not to share details with

:19:06.:19:09.

Parliament, but to release information publicly about the

:19:10.:19:15.

completion of these particular tests. We have to take our decision

:19:16.:19:20.

in the light of the circumstances that prevailed at the time and the

:19:21.:19:26.

National security considerations. So far as his second question is

:19:27.:19:30.

concerned, I have made it clear that both I and the Prime Minister are

:19:31.:19:34.

informed of nuclear matters at all times and, in particular, of the

:19:35.:19:39.

successful return of HMS vengeance to the operational cycle. I welcome

:19:40.:19:46.

the approach so far from the Secretary of State. These things

:19:47.:19:50.

should always be super. Will he speculate with me why it should be

:19:51.:19:56.

that when the debate last was on renewal, neither to do with Trident

:19:57.:19:58.

missiles, while the should be any suggestion the Prime Minister would

:19:59.:20:06.

announce this failure? Well, I think I have already said Mr Speaker. The

:20:07.:20:10.

government would not have brought the motion before the House last

:20:11.:20:15.

year had there been any doubt about the safety, the capability or the

:20:16.:20:18.

effectiveness of the Trident missile system. He is right to remind us

:20:19.:20:25.

that that vote and the huge majority that it secured, that vote was, of

:20:26.:20:31.

course, on the principle of our deterrent and the government plan to

:20:32.:20:36.

renew our four submarines. Mr Speaker, the essence of deterrence

:20:37.:20:43.

is uncertainty about when or whether or if missiles will be fired. Can I

:20:44.:20:49.

take it that the purpose of the statement today by the Secretary of

:20:50.:20:54.

State is that he wishes to add to uncertainty and, therefore, increase

:20:55.:21:02.

deterrence? Well, to take his question seriously, he is right that

:21:03.:21:06.

the principle of deterrence, of course, is to leave your allies

:21:07.:21:14.

uncertain as to the circumstances in which you would employed. I have

:21:15.:21:17.

simply made clear to the House today that the outcome of the test was a

:21:18.:21:26.

successful return by HMS vengeance to the operational cycle. I am not

:21:27.:21:29.

prepared to go into further operational details of the tests

:21:30.:21:36.

themselves. I welcome the approach by the government to this and I also

:21:37.:21:41.

thank my right honourable friend for his reassurance of the effectiveness

:21:42.:21:47.

of the Trident system. I wonder if he could confirm that there have

:21:48.:21:52.

been 160 successful firings of this missile and that surely it reassure

:21:53.:21:56.

the British people rather more than the prospect of the Leader of the

:21:57.:22:00.

Opposition haven't his finger on the button. He is right to draw

:22:01.:22:07.

attention of the House to the previous testing regime and the

:22:08.:22:14.

House might want to know that the demonstration and shakedown

:22:15.:22:18.

operation is critical at intervals for demonstrating the effectiveness

:22:19.:22:24.

of the deterrent. It comprises a comprehensive series of system and

:22:25.:22:28.

subsystem tests, as I have said, and it provides a period of intensive

:22:29.:22:35.

training for the submarine crew. It evaluates the complex weapon system

:22:36.:22:39.

involved in Trident, including the performance of the crew and it

:22:40.:22:44.

concludes, each time, with an unarmed missile firing. He HMS

:22:45.:22:48.

vengeance successfully concluded that shakedown operation. As a

:22:49.:22:58.

supporter of the deterrent, doesn't the Secretary of State understand

:22:59.:23:01.

that a leak to a Sunday newspaper followed frankly by government

:23:02.:23:06.

stonewalling does not enhance support for the deterrent, it

:23:07.:23:12.

undermines it? I can understand why the honourable gentleman, he is a

:23:13.:23:16.

supporter of deterrent, why he has said that, but the security of our

:23:17.:23:23.

deterrent is absolutely paramount at a time like this and whether he

:23:24.:23:31.

likes it or not, I am not going to respond to speculation about the

:23:32.:23:34.

test that occurred last June and I am not going to give details of the

:23:35.:23:42.

particular operation of HMS vengeance during the test. Does my

:23:43.:23:48.

right honourable friend agree with me that the continuing secrecy of

:23:49.:23:53.

our nuclear deterrent has kept this free from aggression day in day out

:23:54.:23:57.

since 1968 and that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and

:23:58.:24:07.

women that operated? I wholeheartedly endorse that. I hope

:24:08.:24:10.

that would at least be common ground. The nuclear deterrent has

:24:11.:24:14.

played its part in keeping this country safe through a series of

:24:15.:24:23.

continuous at sea patrols, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. I

:24:24.:24:26.

joined my honourable friend in paying tribute to the crews of all

:24:27.:24:35.

four of our nuclear submarines. There is now a question about the

:24:36.:24:39.

effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent. This in itself, is in

:24:40.:24:45.

terms of what is in The Papers, this undermines our national security. We

:24:46.:24:48.

need to send a clear message that our deterrent is still able to do

:24:49.:24:53.

its job. I urge the Secretary of State to accept the invitation of

:24:54.:24:56.

the chair of the Select Committee, reassure us and the House that our

:24:57.:25:01.

deterrent is fit for purpose. Let me just reassure the honourable lady

:25:02.:25:05.

who does follow these matters extremely closely and on the defence

:25:06.:25:09.

committee, that there is absolutely no doubt about the effectiveness of

:25:10.:25:13.

our deterrent and, again, had the government had any doubts about the

:25:14.:25:18.

continuing capability or effectiveness of the deterrent it

:25:19.:25:20.

would not have brought the motion before the House last July. Would my

:25:21.:25:27.

right honourable friend agree with me that not only was the Prime

:25:28.:25:32.

Minister absolutely right not to discuss this on national television,

:25:33.:25:36.

but that a 90% success rate in testing for a weapon system is

:25:37.:25:42.

phenomenal and that once it has been tested, all but that go out are

:25:43.:25:46.

fully operational and 100% capable and this is something we should a

:25:47.:25:49.

huge tribute to Her Majesty's Royal My honourable friend is right to

:25:50.:25:58.

draw attention to the importance of these tests and to also hint at the

:25:59.:26:03.

complexity of the tests themselves, of the systems and the subsystems

:26:04.:26:09.

that are involved in maintaining the Trident deterrent. I think it is to

:26:10.:26:14.

the dread it of the crew of HMS Vengeance, they were able to

:26:15.:26:18.

complete these tests last July and now take their part again in the

:26:19.:26:24.

operational cycle. Since the minister's not prepared to confirm

:26:25.:26:29.

very much at all, can I ask him whether he would confirm that each

:26:30.:26:36.

test of a Trident missile costs at least ?17 million. No, I'm not able

:26:37.:26:47.

to confirm that either. Thank you Mr Speaker, it is regrettable that the

:26:48.:26:51.

phrase cover up has been used concerning this, when this concerns

:26:52.:26:56.

our national security. Would my right honourable friend agree with

:26:57.:27:00.

me, if things go wrong, the last things you do is give succour to the

:27:01.:27:04.

enemy by telling them that is the case? I agree with my honourable

:27:05.:27:09.

friend. It is important that we maintain the secrecy of our

:27:10.:27:15.

deterrent and it is important for us the, for our adversaries to

:27:16.:27:19.

understand that we attach the paramount importance to making sure

:27:20.:27:23.

the operational details of the deterrent are as closely guarded as

:27:24.:27:31.

possible. I look forward it meeting with the Secretary of State tomorrow

:27:32.:27:35.

at the defence committee if he's available, would he not agree with

:27:36.:27:38.

me that credibility lies at the heart of this urgent question today.

:27:39.:27:42.

Will there be an official inquiry into the malfunction and overall

:27:43.:27:45.

credibility of how the UK would deliver its weapons of mass

:27:46.:27:51.

destruction and will there be a further inquiry by the PM could not

:27:52.:27:55.

answer a question on four separate occasions on the Andrew Marr Show

:27:56.:27:58.

yesterday. Our nation really does deserve better as does our serving

:27:59.:28:04.

personnel On the first point, I am uponering the invitation that --

:28:05.:28:10.

pondering the invitation that I've received to answer questions again

:28:11.:28:13.

tomorrow as fully as I've been answering them today. I will give

:28:14.:28:15.

that... LAUGHTER

:28:16.:28:20.

I will give that further thought. The Prime Minister, of course, did

:28:21.:28:24.

answer questions yesterday. She didn't give the answer that the

:28:25.:28:26.

honourable gentleman may have wanted. But she did answer that

:28:27.:28:31.

question. I want again to be clear with the House, the Prime Minister

:28:32.:28:36.

who retains the ultimate responsibility and an awesome one at

:28:37.:28:41.

that for our deterrent, is kept informed as to how that deterrent is

:28:42.:28:46.

maintained and was informed, of course, as her predecessor was of

:28:47.:28:53.

the return of HMS Vengeance, the successful return of HMS Vengeance

:28:54.:28:58.

to the operational cycle. As these missiles get older there are bound

:28:59.:29:01.

to be increasing maintenance programme costs as well as costs

:29:02.:29:05.

from I merging and as yet unforeseen threats to the system. What is the

:29:06.:29:09.

United Kingdom's exposure to these costs of maintaining and protecting

:29:10.:29:13.

the Trident missile system this side of 2060? My honourable friend draws

:29:14.:29:21.

attention to the relative age of the Trident system, which I know he's

:29:22.:29:28.

had some doubts about in the past and probably continues today. But

:29:29.:29:33.

that is one of the reasons why these tests are conducted every four or

:29:34.:29:39.

five years, to make sure that our submarines are able to fire the

:29:40.:29:44.

Trident missile when they return from periods of long maintenance. On

:29:45.:29:48.

the very specific question, perhaps my honourable friend would allow me

:29:49.:29:54.

to write to him. As an accident is the most likely cause of the nuclear

:29:55.:30:01.

catastrophe that we all fear, either by misunderstandings between the

:30:02.:30:05.

nations or because of human error or because of technical failure. Now

:30:06.:30:11.

President Trump has his impulsive finger on the nuclear button,

:30:12.:30:17.

shouldn't our prime course now be to persuade him not to encourage South

:30:18.:30:23.

Korea, Japan and other small nations to acquire nuclear weapons, thus

:30:24.:30:29.

magnifying the risk of all by accident.

:30:30.:30:32.

THE SPEAKER: Especially in relation to Trident testing. I'll do my best

:30:33.:30:37.

but that might be quite hard. I hope you'll join me with Mr Speaker in

:30:38.:30:42.

congratulating President Trump on his inauguration and say how much

:30:43.:30:44.

our Prime Minister looks forward to meeting him later this week. And

:30:45.:30:50.

discussing the importance of our Nato alliance to both our countries

:30:51.:30:57.

and the importance of the nuclear deterrent within that Nato alliance.

:30:58.:31:01.

THE SPEAKER: What the Secretary of State has merit but I was more

:31:02.:31:09.

inclined to congratulate the young gentleman on the ink newt of his

:31:10.:31:15.

question. Ingenuity? This deterrent has brought us not only peace since

:31:16.:31:22.

1968 and rot tection of western Europe but is congrunt as our

:31:23.:31:34.

position as a permanent five member of Nato. Isn't this all in line with

:31:35.:31:41.

unicks complaining about the cost of Viagra. A gree.

:31:42.:31:48.

THE SPEAKER: I am sure it went down very well at the Oxford union.

:31:49.:31:56.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister was asked nothing that

:31:57.:32:00.

compromised security, she was asked what she knew and her refusal to

:32:01.:32:04.

answer that four times is an embarrassment not just to the

:32:05.:32:07.

Government but to the United Kingdom. Does the Secretary of State

:32:08.:32:10.

not understand at a time when the Government is piking cuts in

:32:11.:32:15.

virtually all areas that to not deal with this misfiring will not make

:32:16.:32:19.

people believe that the huge price tag of Trident is worth it and that

:32:20.:32:24.

needs to be addressed. We've had this debate last July in this -- and

:32:25.:32:34.

this House decided by an overwhelming majority committed to

:32:35.:32:37.

the plan to build the four new submarines. I've made the Prime

:32:38.:32:42.

Minister's position extremely clear. She has the responsibility for the

:32:43.:32:47.

deterrent. She is coped informed as to how that -- kept informed as to

:32:48.:32:52.

how that nuclear deterrent is maintained including the successful

:32:53.:32:55.

return of HMS Vengeance to the operational cycle. Like myy of my

:32:56.:33:02.

constituents -- many of my constituents, I live in the shadow

:33:03.:33:06.

of a nuclear facility. I want to be certain that those weapons at every

:33:07.:33:10.

stage of their development are tested to the utmost, even to the

:33:11.:33:16.

point of failure. Will my right honourable friend confirm those

:33:17.:33:20.

tests should be secret. For them not to be secret gives aid to those who

:33:21.:33:24.

mean us harm. I agree with my honourable friend that the vital

:33:25.:33:29.

importance of keeping this work secret and let me also pay tribute

:33:30.:33:35.

to the secret work that is done by his constituents working at

:33:36.:33:40.

Aldermarston and you are field alongside as part of the -- burfield

:33:41.:33:45.

alongside as part of the importance of verifying the detent. Having been

:33:46.:33:54.

in Florida for the 2009 firing I know this is not the first time

:33:55.:33:58.

there's been a media blackout to suit a particular Government's

:33:59.:34:01.

agenda. That firing was of course carried out by my own husband. The

:34:02.:34:11.

MoD press statement says that the crew were successfully tested. What

:34:12.:34:16.

about the missile? How can the nuclear deterrent be certified when

:34:17.:34:19.

the system has catastrophicically failed? As I said the honourable

:34:20.:34:25.

lady and I know she has family connections in this area, must not

:34:26.:34:30.

believe everything she read in the newspapers yesterday. I am not going

:34:31.:34:37.

into particular operational details, except to confirm that HMS Vengeance

:34:38.:34:42.

successfully concluded her demonstration and shake down

:34:43.:34:53.

operation. Mr Speaker, there say huge difference between -- there is

:34:54.:34:56.

a huge difference between subjects which are of interest to the public

:34:57.:35:00.

and things in the public interest. Would my right honourable friend

:35:01.:35:06.

agree with me, whilst intelligence operations, counter-terrorism

:35:07.:35:10.

operations and nuclear submarine operations are of massive interest

:35:11.:35:14.

to the public, it is not in the public interest or national interest

:35:15.:35:17.

to discuss them openly, either in in place or any other place. I

:35:18.:35:21.

completely agree with my honourable friend. The Secretary of State has

:35:22.:35:28.

advised us not to believe everything we read in the Sunday newspapers,

:35:29.:35:31.

but should we believe the White House official who while we've been

:35:32.:35:35.

sitting here debating has confirmed to CNN that the missile did

:35:36.:35:40.

autoself-destruct off the coast of Florida and if that is the case, why

:35:41.:35:45.

is the British Parliament and the British public the last people to

:35:46.:35:52.

know? It's as I've said, we do not in this House, nor has any previous

:35:53.:35:57.

Government given operational details of the demonstration and shake down

:35:58.:36:03.

operation of one of our submarines conducting a test with one of our

:36:04.:36:12.

Trident missiles. Does the Secretary of State agree with me that a most

:36:13.:36:16.

important conclusion from this particular missile test is that our

:36:17.:36:21.

excellent submariners or HMS Vengeance prove they can deal with

:36:22.:36:25.

unexpected challenges with a ballistic missile system known to be

:36:26.:36:28.

the most reliable in the world. That should be of enormous reassurance to

:36:29.:36:34.

the British people. I congrape late the crew on completing their test

:36:35.:36:37.

and -- congratulate the crew on completing their test and returning

:36:38.:36:41.

to the operational cycle of the submarines that discharge this duty

:36:42.:36:45.

on our behalf. But again, I'm not going into operational details. How

:36:46.:36:53.

can this be an independent nuclear deterrent if on the one hand, Donald

:36:54.:36:59.

Trump, the President of the United States of America, a man that is

:37:00.:37:05.

thick as two short planks is given the information and the whole of the

:37:06.:37:11.

Opposition benches are not allowed it? How can it be independent? The

:37:12.:37:19.

honourable gentleman knows very well the nuclear deterrent that has

:37:20.:37:23.

served us so well is independent because its operational control

:37:24.:37:26.

rests with our Prime Minister not with the President of the United

:37:27.:37:33.

States. Can my right honourable friend confirm that the full debate

:37:34.:37:37.

we had in this place six months ago, on July 18, and which was endorsed

:37:38.:37:42.

by 472 right honourable friends and members was on the principle of our

:37:43.:37:46.

deterrents and replacing the vanguard class boats, it was not on

:37:47.:37:53.

a routine test. I can confirm that. It was an overwhelming majority. It

:37:54.:37:58.

has allowed us now to proceed to start with the construction of the

:37:59.:38:03.

submarines and I had the honour to cut steel on the first of those four

:38:04.:38:09.

submarines in October of last year. But I do repeat to the House, had

:38:10.:38:14.

the Government any doubt at this time of the safety, capability or

:38:15.:38:20.

effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent, it would not have brought

:38:21.:38:26.

the motion before the House. Can the Secretary of State tell us what

:38:27.:38:30.

further Trident missile tests are planned and will he keep the House

:38:31.:38:33.

updated on the outcome of future tests? These particular

:38:34.:38:41.

demonstration and shake down operations take place when each of

:38:42.:38:46.

our submarines emerges from a period of long-term maintenance. So they

:38:47.:38:52.

tend to take place every four or five years. It would follow from

:38:53.:38:57.

that there is not likely to be another one in the immediate future.

:38:58.:39:06.

As, on this occasion, we will of course keep the, keep interested

:39:07.:39:10.

parties informed as we wrote to the chairman of the defence committee,

:39:11.:39:15.

the Shadow defence spokesman and the chairman of the Public Accounts

:39:16.:39:20.

Committee. In certain theatres of war such as

:39:21.:39:25.

Ukraine, Russia has been testing and refining its electronic and cyber

:39:26.:39:30.

warfare techniques. I'm not blaming Russia for this interdent, but will

:39:31.:39:38.

this be taken against possible countermeasures? Yes, I was in

:39:39.:39:42.

Ukraine last week, discussing this amongst other matters. Of course, we

:39:43.:39:46.

are taking very good care to ensure that our deterrent is properly

:39:47.:39:53.

protected against any new technologies that our adversaries

:39:54.:39:57.

might get hold of. Does the minister not realise because the Trident

:39:58.:40:00.

programme was approved by the House as a whole, it doesn't mean there

:40:01.:40:05.

after there should be total silence, either from members of Parliament or

:40:06.:40:10.

the media. As far as the failed test is concerned, this is not ironical,

:40:11.:40:14.

but if the information had been given at the time and there had been

:40:15.:40:19.

no cover up, there would be far less publicity for what is taking place

:40:20.:40:28.

now. I don't accept that. Previous governments that he supported in

:40:29.:40:34.

this House have not given details, operational details of previous

:40:35.:40:39.

demonstration and shake down operations that comprise the major

:40:40.:40:43.

tests of the systems and subsystems that we've been dealing with today.

:40:44.:40:49.

Can I commend the reticence of my right honourable friend to get drawn

:40:50.:40:57.

into this and the reticence of the prime ministers which was entirely

:40:58.:41:00.

appropriate given the subject at issue. Isn't it ironic to hear

:41:01.:41:04.

honourable and right honourable members complaining about the

:41:05.:41:07.

possible lack of credibility of the deterrent and some them don't

:41:08.:41:12.

actually believe in the doctrine of deterrence at all and it would be

:41:13.:41:15.

unwise of the Russians or any other potential adversaries to suggest

:41:16.:41:20.

they can take the risk of invading this or that country on the basis

:41:21.:41:23.

that we might have in misfire of one of our missiles. Again, I agree with

:41:24.:41:29.

my honourable friend and we should not forget that there were many in

:41:30.:41:35.

that particular debate to take the opposite view that we no longer

:41:36.:41:40.

needed the deterrent. I am pleased that the majority, the overwhelming

:41:41.:41:45.

majority, of This House from both sides of This House that voted in

:41:46.:41:49.

favour of renewing the deterrent that has kept us safe for so long.

:41:50.:41:56.

We now know, despite a refusal to answer on the Andrew Marshall, that

:41:57.:42:00.

the Prime Minister did know about this. What specific discussions took

:42:01.:42:04.

place with the Prime Minister about whether to disclose this will

:42:05.:42:07.

function to Parliament, when it did these discussions take place and how

:42:08.:42:10.

was it determined it should not be shared and does realise how

:42:11.:42:14.

inadequate his responses today have been in relation to This House and

:42:15.:42:20.

to be watching public? It might be that she and members of the watching

:42:21.:42:25.

public might want and would like to know further operational details of

:42:26.:42:33.

our nuclear deterrent, but I am not going to assist them. So far as her

:42:34.:42:38.

specific programme is concerned, this promised, as a predecessor, is

:42:39.:42:42.

kept informed as to how the nuclear deterrent is maintained and was

:42:43.:42:48.

fully aware of the successful return of HMS Vengeance to the operational

:42:49.:42:58.

cycle. As my right honourable friend followed the argument given by some

:42:59.:43:04.

opposite that perhaps we would have voted differently had this

:43:05.:43:07.

information being given back in July? Can I tell my right honourable

:43:08.:43:13.

friend. That is the case? We would not have been influenced by the

:43:14.:43:19.

result of one out of many tests. Indeed, is there anyone on this side

:43:20.:43:23.

of the House who would have voted differently had this information

:43:24.:43:30.

come out? No. I haven't confirmed any information today and have been

:43:31.:43:37.

careful to try not to confirm any particular information today, except

:43:38.:43:40.

to one of the House repeatedly not to believe everything that was in

:43:41.:43:46.

the newspapers yesterday. He is right to remind us that the vote in

:43:47.:43:51.

July was on the principle of the deterrent and our plans to replace

:43:52.:43:55.

the current boats with the four new dreadnought submarines. When we

:43:56.:44:03.

voted in July last year on funding Trident, unfortunately the official

:44:04.:44:08.

opposition was split. Now, properly informed scrutiny is vital to the

:44:09.:44:12.

effective and accountable operation of his Department. Is he satisfied

:44:13.:44:16.

with the level of scrutiny by the official opposition on this matter?

:44:17.:44:25.

I have been disappointed for some time in the scrutiny of the official

:44:26.:44:30.

opposition but perhaps my fifth defence Shadow will improve on the

:44:31.:44:35.

record of her four predecessors. I am sure she will. There is clearly a

:44:36.:44:40.

balance to be struck. Parliament is rightly keen to know details of the

:44:41.:44:48.

expenditure involved in replacing the four submarines and that was a

:44:49.:44:51.

big part of the debate and we will make sure that the Defence Select

:44:52.:44:58.

Committee and the Public Accounts Committee are kept fully informed as

:44:59.:45:02.

the board replacement programme continues. Will know of my special

:45:03.:45:13.

interest in the Royal Navy. Like many of my constituents. With over

:45:14.:45:22.

160 successful Trident missile tests, isn't it ridiculous for some

:45:23.:45:27.

people to be claiming that this system does not work? Well, let me

:45:28.:45:35.

reassure my honourable friend who does take a close interest in these

:45:36.:45:40.

matters, that the Trident system does work and we are in absolutely

:45:41.:45:44.

no doubt about its capability and its effectiveness. It will come as

:45:45.:45:52.

no surprise to the Secretary of State for those of us who live

:45:53.:45:55.

within the blast zone of fast lane, but we do not share the Secretary of

:45:56.:46:00.

State's confidence. If he has absolute confidence in the

:46:01.:46:03.

capabilities of HMS Vengeance and the system, what steps is his

:46:04.:46:08.

Department taken to rectify the error that caused the aborted launch

:46:09.:46:15.

itself? As I have already said, HMS Vengeance completed its

:46:16.:46:18.

demonstration and shakedown operation successfully, otherwise it

:46:19.:46:22.

would not have been able to rejoin the four broad operational cycle.

:46:23.:46:29.

Good my right honourable friend confirm that while Devonport

:46:30.:46:36.

dockyard in my constituency was responsible for the refitting and

:46:37.:46:41.

refuelling of HMS Vengeance, the Dock Yard is not responsible for the

:46:42.:46:45.

missiles and weaponry as some ill informed people might think? Yes, I

:46:46.:46:54.

can confirm that. Thank you Mr Speaker, so far today we have had a

:46:55.:47:01.

Secretary of State who has told me he doesn't believe in greater

:47:02.:47:04.

transparency and his backbenchers agree with them. The Prime Minister,

:47:05.:47:08.

if this test was successful, why did the promise to not answer that

:47:09.:47:12.

yesterday? I don't understand how he can tell us everything is OK, when

:47:13.:47:17.

this generation of Trident is not good enough. Our constituents demand

:47:18.:47:25.

an enquiry. The honourable gentleman and I disagree. I do not believe in

:47:26.:47:28.

greater transparency in This House when it comes to our nuclear

:47:29.:47:35.

deterrent. With a resurgent Russia and an unstable world, would the

:47:36.:47:38.

Secretary of State agree with me that nothing would have heard in the

:47:39.:47:42.

exchange today undermine the clear rationale for the renewal of our

:47:43.:47:47.

continuous at the nuclear deterrent to secure the long-term security of

:47:48.:47:53.

our country? The security of the deterrent and its effectiveness is

:47:54.:48:00.

underlined by the testing and shakedown programme when these boats

:48:01.:48:06.

come out of their long-term refit and are being tested again to see

:48:07.:48:11.

whether they are fit and ready to rejoin the operational cycle. That

:48:12.:48:18.

is what HMS Vengeance has now done. Doesn't the Secretary of State's

:48:19.:48:25.

character -- don't tell approach make no sense at all, given that

:48:26.:48:31.

with the reports we have had, or American and abroad will certainly

:48:32.:48:35.

be given full details of what happened around this test and that

:48:36.:48:39.

his stonewalling here does nothing to strengthen our security and

:48:40.:48:41.

everything to undermine the credibility of This House? This is

:48:42.:48:48.

our deterrent, carried by our submarines and the secrecy that we

:48:49.:48:56.

rightly put round it is in our national interest. Would my right

:48:57.:49:02.

honourable friend agreed that ever since Clement Attlee sought our

:49:03.:49:06.

first nuclear deterrent without a debate in Parliament, without even a

:49:07.:49:10.

debate within the Labour Party, successive responsible governments

:49:11.:49:13.

have always treated these issues with the utmost discretion and we

:49:14.:49:18.

must not allow the present tortured relationship between the Labour

:49:19.:49:20.

Party and the nuclear deterrent to change that? I do agree with that.

:49:21.:49:29.

Previous governments have been very careful to maintain the secrecy of

:49:30.:49:33.

the deterrent and I think it is important we keep to that. Have

:49:34.:49:41.

there been any other missile test failures of this type the government

:49:42.:49:45.

has chosen not to share with the House of Commons? Or should I watch

:49:46.:49:51.

a White House briefing if I want that information? I am not

:49:52.:49:55.

confirming particular details of the operation and testing of the various

:49:56.:50:00.

systems and subsystems involved must all I Kunduz remind the gentleman

:50:01.:50:06.

that this demonstration and shakedown operation was concluded

:50:07.:50:12.

successfully, along HMS Vengeance to take it apart now in the four boat

:50:13.:50:18.

operational cycle. Mr Speaker, to clear up any confusion, can the

:50:19.:50:22.

Secretary of State share with us, has there been any change in the

:50:23.:50:26.

approach of the government to informing the sounds of this

:50:27.:50:28.

demonstration and shakedown operation? No, there hasn't.

:50:29.:50:35.

Previous governments have not given details, have not given details, of

:50:36.:50:39.

previous demonstration and shakedown operations to Parliament. The

:50:40.:50:49.

replacement of the Trident submarine system does not only enjoyed the

:50:50.:50:53.

support of the majority of members of parliament, it also enjoys the

:50:54.:50:56.

support of the majority of people in every one of the four nations of the

:50:57.:51:01.

United Kingdom. On that basis, does the Secretary of State recognise

:51:02.:51:06.

that the wake this information is coming out, the fact that in the

:51:07.:51:10.

last hour, Moore has been revealed by the US defence Department than in

:51:11.:51:15.

this Parliament massively undermined that confidence that we need the

:51:16.:51:19.

public to have inconsistent? I do not think members of the public

:51:20.:51:24.

agree and I do not agree. They understand that the effectiveness of

:51:25.:51:30.

the deterrent does depend on the secrecy that is needed regarding the

:51:31.:51:36.

detail of that operation. Does might right honourable friend agree with

:51:37.:51:39.

me that the continuing effectiveness of the system depends upon its

:51:40.:51:44.

routine testing question mark this is not a secret. A spokesperson for

:51:45.:51:48.

the opposition was informed in advance. What does damage national

:51:49.:51:52.

security is to give a running commentary on the success or

:51:53.:51:57.

otherwise of those tests. I agree with Mike honourable friend. Members

:51:58.:52:03.

of This House, senior members of This House, were informed of the

:52:04.:52:08.

forthcoming demonstration and shakedown operation which, as I have

:52:09.:52:12.

described, involves a series of very complex tests of all the different

:52:13.:52:18.

systems and subsystems involved. But operation was concluded

:52:19.:52:24.

successfully. What the Secretary of State has been saying today is that

:52:25.:52:27.

members of the public in this country have no right to know about

:52:28.:52:33.

a nuclear missile miss firing, but the people of America and the people

:52:34.:52:38.

elected as politicians in America do. How does he believe that that

:52:39.:52:45.

incontinence is any in this system? This is our deterrent, carrying our

:52:46.:52:49.

missile and it is for us to decide its level of security. That is why I

:52:50.:52:58.

am not going in to particular operational details and, again, I

:52:59.:53:02.

caution the honourable gentleman against believing everything he has

:53:03.:53:04.

been reading in the weekend newspapers. If there is an

:53:05.:53:15.

investigation into the successful certification of HMS Vengeance last

:53:16.:53:19.

year, can I have assurances from my right honourable friend, the Defence

:53:20.:53:23.

Secretary, but that information will remain classified for the sake of

:53:24.:53:29.

British national security? It will not suddenly remain classified, it

:53:30.:53:32.

will remain top secret. I information regarding our nuclear

:53:33.:53:41.

deterrent properly should. The Prime Minister is responsible for our

:53:42.:53:46.

deterrent and yet again she is not here to account to this Parliament

:53:47.:53:50.

or to reassure the public or our allies. The Secretary of State has

:53:51.:53:54.

been asked a times about who knew what and when, what it was the

:53:55.:53:57.

promised are told, what it was the former promise to told and what it

:53:58.:54:01.

was a good question I am not asking for operational details, I am asking

:54:02.:54:06.

for dates. The question was addressed at the honourable

:54:07.:54:10.

gentleman to me, which is why I am here answering. So far of the Prime

:54:11.:54:15.

Minister is concerned, I made it clear that both prime ministers who

:54:16.:54:21.

had separately ultimate responsibility for the nuclear

:54:22.:54:24.

deterrent -- deterrent, both are kept fully informed as to how that

:54:25.:54:27.

deterrent is maintained and both were made aware of the successful

:54:28.:54:33.

return of HMS Vengeance to the operational cycle. Does my right

:54:34.:54:42.

honourable friend agree with Steve Aiken, a former experienced

:54:43.:54:46.

submarine commander, she told the BBC this morning that this makes no

:54:47.:54:50.

difference to the case for renewal and the government is correct in not

:54:51.:54:55.

commenting on matters which could prejudice our national defence and

:54:56.:55:00.

certainly not on live television? I completely agree with that. Given

:55:01.:55:08.

that the Russians had to be informed in advance of this test and given he

:55:09.:55:13.

clearly would have the capability to monitor the test is he seriously

:55:14.:55:16.

trying to tell us that our enemies and allies can know what happened,

:55:17.:55:19.

but this democratically elected chamber must be kept in the dark?

:55:20.:55:26.

The notice under our international treaty obligations, notice of a

:55:27.:55:29.

future test firing is given to other nuclear powers, including, in this

:55:30.:55:38.

instance, to France and, as he says, to Russia. Operational details are

:55:39.:55:44.

obviously not disclosed. Without reference to any particular test and

:55:45.:55:47.

the necessary security that must surround each, can he confirm that

:55:48.:55:52.

the very point of this testing process is to both certified the

:55:53.:55:56.

crews of Her Majesty's submarines but also to allow Lockheed Martin to

:55:57.:56:00.

maximise the reliability and lethality of this weapon system?

:56:01.:56:04.

Yes in essence that's right. The system is tested to ensure the

:56:05.:56:13.

complex parts and various systems involved are fully understood and

:56:14.:56:17.

that the crew of the submarine concerned are ready to be able to

:56:18.:56:23.

operate it. That operation was, as I've said, several times now,

:56:24.:56:29.

successfully concluded. Mayion of us on these benches share the Defence

:56:30.:56:33.

Secretary's commitment to the deterrent and for that matter his

:56:34.:56:36.

concern about national security, but the logic of what the Secretary of

:56:37.:56:39.

State has said to us today is that there has been a security breach,

:56:40.:56:44.

it's been this weekend. American officials are now briefing CNN and

:56:45.:56:50.

British officials secretly are briefing the Guard yand and the

:56:51.:56:54.

Sunday Times, surely according to his own logic there must be now be a

:56:55.:57:00.

full investigation in Certainly we deplore the leakage of any

:57:01.:57:05.

information about the nuclear deterrent. But it is not for me to

:57:06.:57:10.

comment on what may or may not be happening or said by the United

:57:11.:57:15.

States administration. This is our submarine, our deterrent. It is our

:57:16.:57:21.

responsibility to apply to it the very highest security

:57:22.:57:29.

classification. Would my right honourable friend confirm that no

:57:30.:57:32.

government has ever routinely reported an operational matters

:57:33.:57:36.

relating to our nuclear deterrent at any time because to do so would not

:57:37.:57:40.

only be irresponsible it would also be dangerous? That is absolutely

:57:41.:57:52.

correct. Mr Speaker, he says media publicity is decided on a case by

:57:53.:57:57.

case basis, so was the decision not to publicise this test taken before

:57:58.:58:01.

or after the test? Was any footage taken of the test and were any

:58:02.:58:05.

journalists present in case the decision was made to publicise it?

:58:06.:58:10.

The decision on what publicity to give particular tests, tests that

:58:11.:58:14.

take place every four or five years, is decided by the Government of the

:58:15.:58:17.

day in the light of the circumstances of each test and in

:58:18.:58:22.

the light of the national security considerations that apply at that

:58:23.:58:27.

particular time. They, of course, influence the decision that was

:58:28.:58:36.

taken last June. Since we have to notify other nuclear powers every

:58:37.:58:40.

time a missile test takes place, the number is not unknown to them. So

:58:41.:58:43.

can the Secretary of State confirm to the House that there have been

:58:44.:58:48.

160 tests of the Trident missile system and if he can, won't that

:58:49.:58:52.

give our constituents full confidence that the system provides

:58:53.:58:58.

us the deterrent that we need? I think my honourable friend is

:58:59.:59:01.

broadly correct about the number, but if I'm wrong about that I hope

:59:02.:59:07.

he will allow me to write to him and give him the correct figure. The

:59:08.:59:13.

Government has every confidence in the Trident deterrent system. Again,

:59:14.:59:17.

we would not have brought the motion before the House if we'd any doubt

:59:18.:59:22.

about it. Despite the Secretary of State's refusal to clarify, it is

:59:23.:59:26.

commonly understood that the missile went the wrong way. Now I'm no

:59:27.:59:30.

expert, but that strikes me as a major flaw. And friendly fire with a

:59:31.:59:34.

nuclear weapon is not exactly what the Secretary of State might be

:59:35.:59:37.

looking for. Can the Secretary of State at least tell us whether the

:59:38.:59:40.

new Trident missiles will have better guidance systems? I'm not

:59:41.:59:46.

able to confirm the speculation in which the honourable lady is

:59:47.:59:53.

indulging about the root of the missile that was fired. Would the

:59:54.:00:01.

Secretary of State agree with me that much as there is no doubt of

:00:02.:00:04.

the valour of the men and women of the Royal Navy who keep us safe,

:00:05.:00:08.

that Coke wally we must use discretion when talking about

:00:09.:00:11.

weapons systems they use to keep us safe? Absolutely. I think we owe it

:00:12.:00:19.

to those crews on whom an obligation of secrecy is placed, indeed for

:00:20.:00:26.

their livetime, we owe it to them not to break the security

:00:27.:00:30.

classification of the information surrounding the deterrent or to

:00:31.:00:35.

treat that information in any frivolous way. The Secretary of

:00:36.:00:41.

State has been quizzed by members for over an hour now. I've not heard

:00:42.:00:48.

any member ask for any operational details that might compromise

:00:49.:00:52.

national security. We simply want to know - was this test successful or

:00:53.:00:57.

not? And his refusal to answer that question when his counterpart across

:00:58.:01:02.

the Atlantic is answering it, surely is giving credence to the concerns

:01:03.:01:06.

that it was not successful and as well as not being a deterrent the

:01:07.:01:10.

system simply may not work. I think when the honourable gentleman reads

:01:11.:01:14.

the account of today's proceedings he will see that I have been asked

:01:15.:01:20.

for all kinds of different operational details, but let me

:01:21.:01:24.

repeat to him that the demonstration and shake down operation of which

:01:25.:01:32.

this was one of a number of tests was concluded sat factorily. Many

:01:33.:01:39.

residents of my constituency, some of whom live within 13 miles of

:01:40.:01:43.

Faslane, are extremely angry because of this Government's lack of

:01:44.:01:45.

transparency on this crucial matter. Can the Secretary of State ensure

:01:46.:01:48.

the House that any significant problem relating to future test

:01:49.:01:53.

firing will be reported to the House at his earliest convenience or do

:01:54.:01:57.

with ehave to wait for the Sunday Times to confirm it? I those who

:01:58.:02:03.

work on our behalf at Faslane are very much aware of the importance of

:02:04.:02:07.

the secrecy with which they naturally have to concur. They

:02:08.:02:12.

understand that obligation. Even though he doesn't, I think they too

:02:13.:02:17.

support the importance of the deterrent.

:02:18.:02:20.

THE SPEAKER: Order. Well, I shall take this point of order from the

:02:21.:02:25.

originator of the urgent question if it relates exclusively to the

:02:26.:02:29.

matters under discussion. Not in the attempt to continue the schaengs but

:02:30.:02:33.

new information with which the honourable gentleman thinks the

:02:34.:02:36.

House should be favoured. Point of order. It has become apparent

:02:37.:02:40.

throughout this debate that there are US officials now briefing more

:02:41.:02:45.

detail than has been given by the Secretary of State today. He's

:02:46.:02:49.

hidden behind secrecy for the demonstration shake down, even

:02:50.:02:52.

though his own department authorised a book last year giving a full

:02:53.:02:55.

description of what happens. The chair of the Select Committee made a

:02:56.:02:59.

generous offer I thought to actually offer him to come before them. How

:03:00.:03:05.

can Parliament actually hold this department to account for this

:03:06.:03:10.

issue, if it is not going to even take up the generous offer which the

:03:11.:03:14.

right honourable gentleman has made? THE SPEAKER: I thank the honourable

:03:15.:03:17.

gentleman for his point of order. I would simply say that the Secretary

:03:18.:03:23.

of State will have heard the right honourable gentleman the chair of

:03:24.:03:29.

the Select Committee, extremely diligent and extraordinarily

:03:30.:03:32.

intelligence and persistent chair of the Select Committee, whom I've

:03:33.:03:37.

known a damn sight longer than the Secretary of State has known. How

:03:38.:03:41.

the Secretary of State wants to deal with the right honourable member is

:03:42.:03:45.

entirely a matter for his judgment to exercise to the best of his

:03:46.:03:50.

ability. We'll leave it there for now. To pick a fight with the

:03:51.:04:03.

chairman of the Select Committee is a rather stupid thing to do.

:04:04.:04:08.

THE SPEAKER: Order. Statement the Secretary of State for business,

:04:09.:04:16.

energy and industrial strategy. Thank you Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker,

:04:17.:04:19.

this is a hugely important moment for the United Kingdom. A moment

:04:20.:04:23.

when we must prepare a new strategy to earn a prosperous living in the

:04:24.:04:28.

years ahead. Leaving the European Union allows and requires Britain to

:04:29.:04:32.

make long-term decisions about our economic future. We will, of course,

:04:33.:04:39.

be ambitious in the upcoming negotiations and will secure the

:04:40.:04:44.

best possible access tore firms to trade with and trade in the European

:04:45.:04:50.

market. The competitiveness of our own economy is important. That's why

:04:51.:04:53.

the Government is committed to a modern industrial strategy. Its

:04:54.:04:58.

objective is to improve living standards and economic growth by

:04:59.:05:01.

increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country.

:05:02.:05:05.

Today's green paper is part of an open dialogue to develop this

:05:06.:05:08.

strategy as the enduring foundation of an economy that works for

:05:09.:05:13.

everyone. Now Mr Speaker, we start from a position of considerable

:05:14.:05:16.

strength. We are the fifth biggest economy in the world, despite having

:05:17.:05:22.

the 22nd highest population. We've achieved higher levels of employment

:05:23.:05:25.

than ever before in our history, in fact 2. 7 million more than in 2010.

:05:26.:05:32.

We have businesses, research institutions and cultural

:05:33.:05:35.

achievements at the very forefront of global excellence. For all these

:05:36.:05:41.

reasons, we attract investment and talented individuals from around the

:05:42.:05:44.

world. But there are challenges that Britain must face up to now and in

:05:45.:05:49.

the years ahead. The first is to build on those strengths and to

:05:50.:05:53.

extend that excellence into the future. British excellence in key

:05:54.:05:58.

technologies, in professions, in research disciplines and

:05:59.:06:02.

institutions provide us with crucial competitive advantages. But we can't

:06:03.:06:07.

take them for granted. If other countries invest more in research

:06:08.:06:11.

and development and we don't, then we Cabinet expect -- can't expect to

:06:12.:06:19.

keep our technological lead in key sectors. The same goes for our

:06:20.:06:25.

record, as Europe's leading destination for inward investment or

:06:26.:06:30.

opposition as a centre for finance. Our competitors are upgrading

:06:31.:06:33.

infrastructure networks and reforming systems of governance. We

:06:34.:06:40.

too must strive for improvement. In industrial sectors from automotive

:06:41.:06:43.

and aerospace to financial and professional serviced and the

:06:44.:06:47.

creative industries, the UK has a global reputation, but the

:06:48.:06:50.

competition for new investment is fierce and unending. The conditions

:06:51.:06:55.

that have allowed UK investment destinations to succeed include the

:06:56.:06:59.

availability of supportive research programmes, relevant skills in local

:07:00.:07:02.

labour markets and capable supply chains. For continuing success,

:07:03.:07:09.

these foundations must be main tands and strengthened. -- maintained. The

:07:10.:07:15.

second challenge to make sure that we work to close the gap between our

:07:16.:07:21.

industries places and people and those that are less productive. For

:07:22.:07:25.

the global excellence of the UK's best companies, industries and

:07:26.:07:28.

places we have too many who lie behind the leaders. That's why on

:07:29.:07:32.

average workers in France, Germany and the United States produce about

:07:33.:07:38.

as much in five days as UK workers - as much in four days as UK workers

:07:39.:07:43.

do in five. It's why despite having the most prosperous local economy in

:07:44.:07:47.

northern Europe in Central London, we also have 12 of the 20 poorest

:07:48.:07:53.

among our closest neighbours. We must address these long tales of

:07:54.:08:00.

underperformance if we are to ensure sustainable growth in living

:08:01.:08:02.

standards. To do so is a huge opportunity for the whole nation to

:08:03.:08:07.

benefit from improved productivity, which is to say earning power in all

:08:08.:08:11.

parts of the country. The third challenge is to make the UK one of

:08:12.:08:14.

the most competitive places in the world to start or to grow a

:08:15.:08:21.

business. A fatal flaw of 1970s-style industrial strategies

:08:22.:08:25.

was their dominant focus on existing industries and the companies within

:08:26.:08:31.

them. Then mostly the bigger firms. Too often they became strategies of

:08:32.:08:36.

incumbency. It's worth noting that many of the most important companies

:08:37.:08:40.

in the world today didn't eeb exist 25 years ago. Unlike in the past,

:08:41.:08:45.

industrial strategy must be about creating the right conditions for

:08:46.:08:50.

new and growing enterprise to thrive not protecting the position of

:08:51.:08:55.

incombens. To meet these challenges, we've identified ten pillars around

:08:56.:08:59.

which the strategy is structured. That is to say, ten areas of action

:09:00.:09:03.

to drive growth across the economy and in every part of the country. To

:09:04.:09:09.

invest in science, research and innovation, to further develop our

:09:10.:09:13.

skills, to upgrate infrastructure, to support businesses to start and

:09:14.:09:19.

grow, to improve public procurement, to encourage trade and investment,

:09:20.:09:23.

to deliver affordable energy and clean growth, to cultivate world

:09:24.:09:26.

leading sectors, to drive growth across all parts of the country. And

:09:27.:09:31.

to create the right institutions to bring together sectors and places.

:09:32.:09:36.

Across all these areas, the Government is taking strategic

:09:37.:09:39.

decisions to keep British business on the front foot. For instance, the

:09:40.:09:45.

go ahead for major upgrades to infrastructure, such as Heathrow,

:09:46.:09:48.

and high speed two, in the Autumn Statement, the biggest inacross in

:09:49.:09:52.

research and development spending since 1979. In conjunction with

:09:53.:09:56.

today's green paper, we're launching a range of further measures. They

:09:57.:10:01.

include a gnaw preach to enabling existing and emerging sectors to

:10:02.:10:05.

grow through sector deals with reviews taking place regarding life

:10:06.:10:12.

sciences, ultralow emission vehicles, industrial digitalisation,

:10:13.:10:14.

nukeler and creative industries. To decide on the priority challenges

:10:15.:10:19.

for the new industrial strategy challenge fund and to embark On Tour

:10:20.:10:26.

overall of technical education, club capital funding to set up new ibs

:10:27.:10:35.

tugss of technology, to deliver education in science. In a world

:10:36.:10:39.

containing uncertainty, public policy should aim to be a

:10:40.:10:44.

counterforce for stability not to be an additional source of

:10:45.:10:50.

unpredictability. Our aim is to establish an industrial strategy for

:10:51.:10:54.

the long torm, to provide a policy framework against which major public

:10:55.:10:57.

and private sector investment decisions can be made about

:10:58.:11:02.

confidence. It's vital that the development of our strategy should

:11:03.:11:05.

take place with and not just for British enterprise. The full

:11:06.:11:09.

involvement of innovators, investors, job creators, workers and

:11:10.:11:14.

consumers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is the

:11:15.:11:18.

only base is on which we can produce an enduring proemgra of action.

:11:19.:11:22.

That's why this is a green paper, a set of proposals for discussion and

:11:23.:11:29.

consideration and an invitation to all to contribute collaboratively to

:11:30.:11:31.

their development. Mr Speaker, I commend this statement to the House.

:11:32.:11:39.

Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. Thank you to the Secretary of State for

:11:40.:11:47.

his statement on at this location. Mr Deputy Speaker, today would be a

:11:48.:11:51.

moment this day if it was indeed the day that the Conservative Party

:11:52.:11:55.

finally broke free of the free market fundamentalism that has

:11:56.:12:00.

dogged them and of the country for decades. Will the Secretary of State

:12:01.:12:04.

tell us whether the new, active role for the state means the government

:12:05.:12:06.

is abandoning the approach of the last Prime Minister and Chancellor

:12:07.:12:12.

and his predecessor who banned the term industrial strategy from the

:12:13.:12:16.

previous Department? If so, I will make clear at the outset, that we

:12:17.:12:21.

welcome that, alongside the good intentions set out in the Green

:12:22.:12:25.

Paper today. The question is whether the details will live up to them.

:12:26.:12:30.

For example, action and skills will be welcomed given the challenges

:12:31.:12:34.

provided by automation and the pace of technological challenge and

:12:35.:12:38.

change. This government have already cut adult education by more than ?1

:12:39.:12:43.

billion. Can the Secretary of State is then how ?170 million of one-off

:12:44.:12:49.

capital spending can even begin to close the skills gap? Nor will the

:12:50.:12:53.

government be equipped to support an industrial strategy if his

:12:54.:12:57.

predecessor's cuts are implemented. Can he confirm the 2020 project has

:12:58.:13:01.

now been thrown into the bin along with the rest of his predecessor's

:13:02.:13:07.

legacy? He sets of the goal of developing a competitive edge in

:13:08.:13:10.

industries of the future, but how does he reconcile this with his

:13:11.:13:15.

government's plan to privatise the green investment bank? If the

:13:16.:13:19.

Secretary of State is serious about tackling the product of the crisis,

:13:20.:13:24.

will he finally bring investment in R and infrastructure in line with

:13:25.:13:33.

the Secretary of State promise a fundamental rethink of business

:13:34.:13:34.

rates which many businesses say would help them much more than and

:13:35.:13:37.

other single measure? And does he agree that a successful industrial

:13:38.:13:41.

strategy must include partnership and cooperation with the workforce?

:13:42.:13:46.

Yet the Green Paper doesn't mention trade unions once. Surely now is the

:13:47.:13:50.

time to promise that the toxic trade union Act will be repealed. Steel is

:13:51.:13:56.

a critical sector for our future but it is only mentioned once. Will he

:13:57.:14:00.

commit to implement the recommendations on procurement and

:14:01.:14:02.

supply chains contained in the all-party Parliamentary group on the

:14:03.:14:10.

out today? Because we cannot let our focus to high-tech manufacturing, Mr

:14:11.:14:13.

Deputy Speaker. An industrial strategy that narrows its focus to a

:14:14.:14:16.

future was sectors will let them the majority of businesses in this

:14:17.:14:21.

country and the people they employ. Can he tell us what this industrial

:14:22.:14:25.

strategy will do for small and medium enterprises who are huge

:14:26.:14:29.

employers for financial services which are our main exporters, for

:14:30.:14:32.

foundation industries or retail outlets that shape our high streets

:14:33.:14:39.

up and down the country? Finally, there is a glaring inconsistency

:14:40.:14:48.

between the noble aims paper and the threats made by the Prime Minister

:14:49.:14:50.

to turn Britain into an offshore tax haven if she feels in her Brexit

:14:51.:14:54.

negotiations. The industrial strategy has consisted of one of the

:14:55.:14:58.

made in secret with Nissan. If that be didn't last six months, how can

:14:59.:15:02.

business be confident of the other commitments in this Green Paper? It

:15:03.:15:07.

is often said, correctly, that an industrial strategy is a long-term

:15:08.:15:12.

project and that is what that must outlast particular governments. I

:15:13.:15:16.

can put our support for its broad aims from this side of the chamber,

:15:17.:15:20.

but I feel compelled to ask, can the Secretary of State can't on the same

:15:21.:15:25.

from his own side? When we debated the industrial strategy here one of

:15:26.:15:28.

his own honourable friends said they had two problems with it, one was

:15:29.:15:33.

industrial and the other was strategy. I hope the Secretary of

:15:34.:15:36.

State faces down such attitudes because now is not the time for half

:15:37.:15:41.

measures, Mr Speaker. The BBC reported this morning that the

:15:42.:15:44.

government want to be in the driving seat but not up to hands on the way.

:15:45.:15:50.

I look members opposite do not like safety legislation, but that is not

:15:51.:15:54.

an approach I would recommend if you keep making U-turns. If the

:15:55.:15:58.

Secretary of State and himself isolated in the coming months, my

:15:59.:16:02.

party will be happy to help. We too are ambitious for a proper

:16:03.:16:06.

industrial strategy, but it will only succeed if the means match at

:16:07.:16:13.

the end. Thank you very much indeed, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is true that

:16:14.:16:17.

an industrial strategy that wants to help all parts of the United

:16:18.:16:21.

Kingdom, I look forward to engagement with colleagues on all

:16:22.:16:25.

sides of the House you can represent the views of their constituencies. I

:16:26.:16:31.

have to say, I find myself relieved that the honourable gentleman is so

:16:32.:16:35.

grudging in his support for this, given that the last time he appeared

:16:36.:16:40.

at the dispatch box he said, and I quote, we on this side of the House

:16:41.:16:45.

the public good, Private bad. A disastrous signal to the investors

:16:46.:16:49.

that we want to invest in this country. I am pleased to be on the

:16:50.:16:57.

other side of that particular argument. When it comes to the

:16:58.:17:02.

points and the questions that he made, the commitment to transforming

:17:03.:17:08.

our technical education is one of the things that has been most widely

:17:09.:17:11.

welcomed by the business community up and down the country today. Given

:17:12.:17:17.

that this is a Green Paper, it is highly unusual for a Green Paper to

:17:18.:17:22.

commit any funds. This is about the consultation on the direction and

:17:23.:17:26.

the fact that the Chancellor has announced ?170 million for Institute

:17:27.:17:29.

of Technology is a great step forward. In terms of research and

:17:30.:17:34.

development, he asks about increasing the level of research and

:17:35.:17:37.

development, he might have missed when I said, in which the Chancellor

:17:38.:17:43.

has committed the biggest increase in research and development since

:17:44.:17:49.

1979. 1979, I recall as a period that included several years of

:17:50.:17:53.

Labour government, so by implication, it was a big increase

:17:54.:17:57.

that took place during the 13 years of Labour government. On business

:17:58.:18:01.

rates, we on this side of the House are legislating, putting forward

:18:02.:18:07.

legislation, this afternoon to have 100% retention of business rates by

:18:08.:18:12.

local councils so the interest of local businesses and the councils

:18:13.:18:18.

are aligned. He asks about the workforce. I was clear that the

:18:19.:18:23.

consultation is with employees as well and I am looking forward to a

:18:24.:18:26.

roundtable with the trade union Congress and its member

:18:27.:18:33.

organisations and Steve. Honesty he will see in the paper and approach

:18:34.:18:37.

to sector deals. I have already met with the chief executives of the

:18:38.:18:40.

steel companies and I am about to meet with the trade unions and look

:18:41.:18:45.

forward to that being one of the deals that is being put forward. He

:18:46.:18:49.

asks about involving small business. I should say that the chairman of

:18:50.:18:55.

the Federation of Small Businesses today has said the FSB has

:18:56.:18:58.

appreciated being part of the discussions with Business Secretary

:18:59.:19:02.

to ship the industrial strategy and it fits well with the small business

:19:03.:19:06.

community. It carries their endorsement. As far as the

:19:07.:19:12.

honourable gentleman's position on the fiscal arithmetic goes, he

:19:13.:19:16.

should reflect on the fact that the first foundation of any credible

:19:17.:19:22.

industrial strategy is confidence in the public finances that were left

:19:23.:19:24.

in such a disastrous state during the time that he was in government.

:19:25.:19:33.

As far as the unanimity of purpose goes, as far as the industrial

:19:34.:19:39.

strategy goes, as far as I understand from the port in recent

:19:40.:19:42.

days, he is having a consultation with himself about whether he can

:19:43.:19:46.

support his own party's position and trigger Article 50. In terms of the

:19:47.:19:51.

consultation we are engaged in, we will be looking forward to responses

:19:52.:19:55.

from all parts of the House as we form a strategy for the years ahead.

:19:56.:20:05.

Can I congratulate my friend on an intelligent approach set out in this

:20:06.:20:08.

Green Paper, building on what has been achieved over the last six

:20:09.:20:13.

years, but taking it much further in skills, signs and in the woods and

:20:14.:20:18.

powerhouse. Can I ask about universities sector which, of

:20:19.:20:20.

course, is a jewel in the crown of British industry and stop the new

:20:21.:20:26.

sector will be opened up just as in the 19th and 20th century we opened

:20:27.:20:30.

up universities to the arrival of London University and the redbrick

:20:31.:20:33.

universities. It now faces opposition in the House of Lords

:20:34.:20:37.

from people who represent the existing players and that sector.

:20:38.:20:40.

Will he reassure me he will see off proposition? Let me say to my

:20:41.:20:47.

honourable friend that he will see in the approach we are sitting

:20:48.:20:52.

forward here a vigorous continuation of many of the measures, such as the

:20:53.:20:56.

northern powerhouse, that he championed in his time in government

:20:57.:21:01.

that is making such a big difference in the north and in other parts of

:21:02.:21:07.

the country. I can confirm that, with my honourable friend and our

:21:08.:21:10.

colleagues in the House of Lords, we will drive the reforms that have

:21:11.:21:18.

proven so successful in the past in expanding the institutions that

:21:19.:21:21.

contribute to our higher educational excellence. The standard and is

:21:22.:21:25.

standing of higher education in this country has never been higher and

:21:26.:21:28.

that is a reflection of the sounds of the policies pursued in recent

:21:29.:21:34.

years. Can I give a cautious welcome to this proposal. I think it is on

:21:35.:21:42.

us in some ways in its reflection of the state of the economy, in other

:21:43.:21:45.

ways it is brutally honest in terms of the problems such as the regional

:21:46.:21:51.

disparity and the problem of productivity. It recognises some

:21:52.:21:56.

successful sectors, automotive, aviation and Aberdeen as an oil and

:21:57.:22:02.

gas hob. In terms of these problems, which are not new, how can he ensure

:22:03.:22:08.

these same mistakes are not repeated and in support of new industries,

:22:09.:22:11.

how will he ensure existing ones are not sacrificed in that process

:22:12.:22:15.

question mark when it comes to research and development, the new

:22:16.:22:18.

money that has been allocated, can he confirm that will be in addition

:22:19.:22:22.

to anything that would have come from the European Union and will

:22:23.:22:27.

give long-term commitment to match European Union funding? Can he

:22:28.:22:30.

outlined how much of that spending will be outside of London and the

:22:31.:22:34.

south-east Finland? In terms of regional disparities and EU

:22:35.:22:38.

structural funds, imagine how much worse that regional disparity would

:22:39.:22:41.

have been without those funding streams. Can he commit to long-term

:22:42.:22:46.

replacement for those funds? When it comes to renewables and carbon

:22:47.:22:50.

capture and storage, you will not be surprised I am disappointed by the

:22:51.:22:53.

lack of ambition in what will be an industry worth hundreds of billions,

:22:54.:22:57.

if not trillions, of dollars in the near future. When it comes to

:22:58.:23:02.

sectoral dealers, will he consider one for renewables and will he work

:23:03.:23:06.

with the Scottish Government in terms of how that can be done in

:23:07.:23:11.

Scotland? Access to finance is identified as a problem, I shared

:23:12.:23:14.

the concerns about the green investment bank, it is short-sighted

:23:15.:23:18.

to sell off when one of the key industry sectors need access to

:23:19.:23:21.

funding and that is the perfect vehicle to do it. Can I ask about

:23:22.:23:25.

the consultation and how this process will work with the devolved

:23:26.:23:30.

governments? Finally, however that this industrial strategy might be,

:23:31.:23:33.

we have to accept that the biggest threat to the Scottish economy and

:23:34.:23:37.

the UK economy is a lack of access to the markets and the skilled

:23:38.:23:42.

people that come through our EU membership. Will he give serious

:23:43.:23:46.

consideration to the Scottish Government plans that would see

:23:47.:23:48.

Scotland maintain its membership of the European single market? Can I

:23:49.:23:54.

thank the honourable gentleman for his thoughtful opening remarks and I

:23:55.:24:00.

am impressed he has got to page 91 already in this document. It shows

:24:01.:24:06.

his diligence. He is right in saying this is brutally honest. If you are

:24:07.:24:13.

going to look to the future and have an industrial strategy that reflects

:24:14.:24:17.

on the challenges that we have then you need to be clear eyed about it

:24:18.:24:23.

and, when it comes to the force of technical education, for example,

:24:24.:24:28.

when it comes to the imbalances that we have, some very prosperous areas,

:24:29.:24:32.

some that can catch up, then it is right to be ambitious. When it comes

:24:33.:24:41.

to research and development of the honourable gentleman mentioned, the

:24:42.:24:44.

money the Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement was separate

:24:45.:24:49.

from whatever might be decided on the European funds. It was

:24:50.:24:56.

independently granted and is available to universities and

:24:57.:25:02.

research institutions through that. The consultation on how that money

:25:03.:25:09.

is spent is part of the consultation on this exercise. It is for research

:25:10.:25:12.

and development and one of the points we make is that we have often

:25:13.:25:20.

been excellent at producing brilliant new ideas, but less

:25:21.:25:25.

successful at commercialising them. So, to push further on how we can

:25:26.:25:29.

translate good ideas into practice is a very important feature of that.

:25:30.:25:34.

He mentions renewables, very important in Scotland, of course.

:25:35.:25:41.

The emissions reduction plan that is in preparation at the moment will

:25:42.:25:45.

address that particularly, but the commitment that we have in a chapter

:25:46.:25:50.

of the Green Paper on the green economy has a big commitment to

:25:51.:25:55.

doing what we can to make sure that we obtain industrial advantage from

:25:56.:25:59.

the investments we are breaking in green technology. Finally, he

:26:00.:26:04.

mentions what he regards as the biggest threat to the economy as

:26:05.:26:09.

being the exit from the European Union. I would say to him, the

:26:10.:26:14.

United Kingdom economy has been very successful in recent weeks and I

:26:15.:26:17.

would suggest the biggest threat that would be if that successful

:26:18.:26:21.

alliance of our There is so much to welcome in this

:26:22.:26:31.

very thoughtful report and I congratulate my right honourable

:26:32.:26:33.

friend and his team for delivering this. When it comes to

:26:34.:26:38.

infrastructure, could he say more about how this unprecedented

:26:39.:26:40.

investment in infrastructure our Government is making will deliver

:26:41.:26:44.

export growth? He I'm sure will not be surprised but may be disappointed

:26:45.:26:47.

to know that our export potential particularly from our rail

:26:48.:26:58.

independent have -- our rail industry is outstripped. My

:26:59.:27:03.

honourable friend knows how important making connections are

:27:04.:27:08.

between places. It is a very important means to provide the

:27:09.:27:12.

under-Pinocheting of growth. She will be aware that through the fund

:27:13.:27:17.

that has been established, the national infrastructure fund, this

:27:18.:27:25.

will rise by 60% from this year to 2022, that is a huge investment and

:27:26.:27:29.

appropriate one to make sure that the quality of our infrastructure

:27:30.:27:34.

keeps pace with the investments our competitors are making. May I warmly

:27:35.:27:42.

welcome and support Government endorsement of an industrial

:27:43.:27:45.

strategy that is long-term and interventionist. I hope it will play

:27:46.:27:50.

an active role in ensuring workers are upskilled and receive high wages

:27:51.:27:54.

and that British firms can scale up and become more enterprising,

:27:55.:27:58.

competitive and productive. May I ask the Secretary of State what's

:27:59.:28:04.

different this time from previous it ragss of industrial strategy,

:28:05.:28:07.

include those of which he was a Cabinet minister. What will be the

:28:08.:28:11.

short-term, medium and long-term metrics by which this will be

:28:12.:28:15.

evaluated in terms of success or failure? I'm grateful to the

:28:16.:28:19.

honourable gentleman for his welcome. He says it's an

:28:20.:28:23.

interventionist strategy. It's true I think the Government should be

:28:24.:28:27.

engaged with the economy to make sure that we have the right

:28:28.:28:32.

conditions for success. But I would also point out the real importance

:28:33.:28:39.

of making sure that the openness, that the ability for competition to

:28:40.:28:45.

have its full run in our economy is vital to our success. I know as

:28:46.:28:48.

chairman of the Business Select Committee he will reflect that. I

:28:49.:28:52.

look forward to the Select Committee's inquiry on this. He asks

:28:53.:28:55.

how it's different from its predecessors. I would suggest two

:28:56.:29:01.

ways in particular. One is he will have observed that the, many of the

:29:02.:29:05.

themes that I've talked about are not about investing in particular

:29:06.:29:08.

companies or subsidising particular businesses. But they are

:29:09.:29:12.

cross-cutting, they're horizontal, if you like. ,. . They're looking at

:29:13.:29:16.

skills across the economy, looking at infrastructure, look being at

:29:17.:29:21.

importance of place and differences between places, of science and

:29:22.:29:28.

research. So they are looking at cross-economy measures. That is a

:29:29.:29:33.

different approach from that has been taken in the past. The second

:29:34.:29:36.

thing I would draw to as attention, a lot of efforts in industrial

:29:37.:29:42.

policy in the past have been correctly about innovation but have

:29:43.:29:47.

concentrated just op new discoveries -- on new discoveries and new

:29:48.:29:52.

inventions. That's very important, we need to extent our excellence

:29:53.:29:59.

into the future. But there is a big opportunity to make differences for

:30:00.:30:03.

the following companies and the regions that are not competing at

:30:04.:30:08.

the top level. If you can really increase productivity there, you can

:30:09.:30:11.

make a big difference to the whole economy. That hasn't been the focus

:30:12.:30:19.

of previous industrial strategies. May I congrape late my right

:30:20.:30:21.

honourable friend in a bold and ambitious statement. May I give him

:30:22.:30:27.

a unique, once in a lifetime chance to get his technical college, his

:30:28.:30:31.

new training plans off to a really tremendous start. In Haywards Heath

:30:32.:30:37.

in my constituency, there is a sixth form college bankrupted by Labour's

:30:38.:30:42.

ferocious education cuts and corporate governments that will have

:30:43.:30:47.

done credit to Al Capone. It lies empty. It would be a perfect

:30:48.:30:50.

starting place for one of his excellent new colleges. I'm grateful

:30:51.:30:57.

for the early pitch from my right honourable friend he highlights that

:30:58.:30:59.

it's very important that we should have right across the country a

:31:00.:31:04.

better and more reliable ability to give technical education to those

:31:05.:31:07.

who can benefit from it. There are pane jobs that are available in West

:31:08.:31:12.

Sussex, but are not accessible if people don't have the right skills.

:31:13.:31:20.

This will help solve that. I welcome the Government's acceptance finally

:31:21.:31:23.

that we have got a skills challenge in this country, particularly with

:31:24.:31:28.

the long trail of underachievement. How does the Secretary of State

:31:29.:31:33.

square this with the huge cuts faced to further education and adult

:31:34.:31:36.

education over the last six-and-a-half years of his

:31:37.:31:40.

Government? And why isn't there more emphasis on what can be done to

:31:41.:31:44.

really close that productivity gap if we invest in child care and get

:31:45.:31:47.

more women back to work, not even mentioned in his report? The first

:31:48.:31:56.

thing, as I said to her friend on the frontbench, the task that the

:31:57.:32:00.

Conservative-led Government had in restoring Sanity to the public Fire

:32:01.:32:06.

Services is -- finances is foundational to a successful

:32:07.:32:09.

strategy. She will be aware in the field of child care, this Government

:32:10.:32:16.

has been particularly innovative in extending child care to large parts

:32:17.:32:20.

of the country, many people who previously were not able to access

:32:21.:32:25.

child care and that is an important foundation on which we build. Would

:32:26.:32:30.

my right honourable friend agrow with me that many of the highly

:32:31.:32:36.

impressive propositions on technical education within this green paper

:32:37.:32:39.

owe their owe gin to the work undertaken by our honourable friend,

:32:40.:32:44.

the member for Grantham when he grew up -- drew up the skills plan laid

:32:45.:32:47.

before the House in July. Would he full agree with me that the success

:32:48.:32:52.

of specialist maths schools at Kings College London and Exeter university

:32:53.:32:55.

is an example that other universities should follow if they

:32:56.:32:58.

hope to hang onto their current high level of tuition fees? What I would

:32:59.:33:03.

say to my right honourable friend is first of all, to endorse warmly the

:33:04.:33:09.

acknowledgement that he makes to our honourable friend the member for

:33:10.:33:14.

Grantham and Stanford. He made a massive contribution. He's

:33:15.:33:18.

absolutely right, in fact I text him yesterday to flag that many of the

:33:19.:33:23.

proposals there owe their owe gin to our honourable friend. We wish him

:33:24.:33:29.

well in his recovery. I commend very warmly the examples of the maths

:33:30.:33:35.

schools that my right honourable friend friend mentioned. To expand

:33:36.:33:39.

maths schools across the country so that people with a real flair for

:33:40.:33:46.

maths can be pushed further and be equipped to go even higher in their

:33:47.:33:50.

ambitions I think is a fantastic thing, whether it's in Exeter or in

:33:51.:33:53.

London, they are a good template for others to follow. My right

:33:54.:34:00.

honourable friend for Manchester Central pointed this out, isn't one

:34:01.:34:05.

of the things that has held industrial strategies back in this

:34:06.:34:09.

country for decades has been the skills gap? In the green paper that

:34:10.:34:13.

the Secretary of State has brought forward, there's mention of an

:34:14.:34:18.

overhaul of technical and reindicational education. Can I say

:34:19.:34:21.

to him, I think what this country needs is a cultural change, a shift

:34:22.:34:28.

to valuing technical and vocational education and skills education as

:34:29.:34:32.

highly as academic education. Until that changes, the Secretary of State

:34:33.:34:34.

will not achieve what he wants, however much all of us want him to.

:34:35.:34:39.

I agree with the right honourable gentleman's analysis. I hope he'll

:34:40.:34:43.

join with us in making that change. I hope he will approach this with a

:34:44.:34:47.

spirit of both optimism and determination to make that change

:34:48.:34:52.

that the country needs. I very much welcome this common

:34:53.:34:55.

sense statement. Does my right honourable friend agree with me that

:34:56.:35:00.

the pillars will provide the ideal opportunities to enable regions to

:35:01.:35:03.

use their assets to the best effect for more balanced UK economy? And

:35:04.:35:07.

also further grow the Midlands engine for growth? I do agree with

:35:08.:35:12.

my honourable friend. We are one of the most centralised countries in

:35:13.:35:17.

the world. But it is patently the case that our levels of prosperity

:35:18.:35:22.

are not uniformly high. I think we should learn from other countries

:35:23.:35:26.

and learn from what has worked well when we have devolved powers and

:35:27.:35:31.

given people who know what is going to make a difference locally, a

:35:32.:35:34.

better ability to take those decisions. The minister's right to

:35:35.:35:41.

make upgrading infrastructure a pillar of his industrial strategy. I

:35:42.:35:46.

welcome the investment in HS2, how can he claim to be providing greater

:35:47.:35:51.

certainty and a clear long-term direction when the East Midlands top

:35:52.:35:57.

transport priority, electrification of Midland main line has been

:35:58.:36:00.

paused, unpaused, delayed by four years and now dropped all together.

:36:01.:36:03.

Doesn't he understand that it follows up the previous question

:36:04.:36:07.

that this uncertainty damages our economy, damages the East Midlands

:36:08.:36:12.

industry and actually harms its potential to grow exports? I would

:36:13.:36:17.

have thought she would welcome the commitment to upgrading

:36:18.:36:21.

infrastructure across the country, right across the country. This is a

:36:22.:36:27.

green paper that is proposing priorities for the years ahead. I

:36:28.:36:30.

would hope that she would welcome that. As well as welcoming the fact

:36:31.:36:37.

that there is a 60% increase in the investment in infrastructure that

:36:38.:36:41.

the Chancellor has provided, which will be of benefit I hope to the

:36:42.:36:45.

East Midlands and other parts of the country. I strongly welcome this

:36:46.:36:52.

paper in particular three elements of it, the battery re -- review, and

:36:53.:37:01.

the considerable efforts to create a hub for autonomous vehicles. Those

:37:02.:37:04.

three together should give the UK the opportunity to become one of the

:37:05.:37:08.

world's leading producers of the electric and autonomous vehicles

:37:09.:37:11.

that we will all be driving 20 or 30 years from now? I agree with my

:37:12.:37:15.

right honourable friend. What is important, what is the opportunity

:37:16.:37:20.

of an industrial strategy is to align policies that reinforce each

:37:21.:37:24.

other. We have some of the world's best researchers in energy storage.

:37:25.:37:30.

We have one of the world's most effective and efficient and

:37:31.:37:34.

innovative automotive sectors. We are one of the leaders in renewable

:37:35.:37:41.

energy through offshore wind. If you bring them together, then one

:37:42.:37:44.

reinforces the other and gives us this chance to be a world leader in

:37:45.:37:51.

a set of technologies that seems likely on any reasonable estimate to

:37:52.:37:56.

be taken up around the world in the future. The last thing we need is

:37:57.:38:02.

10% tariffs imposed on autonomous vehicles. The Secretary of State is

:38:03.:38:05.

right to make the point that we've been the leading destination in

:38:06.:38:09.

Europe for overseas investment, but much of that was from companies

:38:10.:38:12.

outside Europe wanting to gain access to the single market which

:38:13.:38:16.

the Prime Minister's now told us we're going to leave. Does he

:38:17.:38:20.

believe that the UK can remain Europe's leading destination for

:38:21.:38:23.

inward investment outside the single market? Yes, I do, Mr Speaker. What

:38:24.:38:31.

I said right at the beginning of my statement was that as a Government

:38:32.:38:35.

and as a country, I hope, that believes in free trade, we want to

:38:36.:38:41.

have the best possible access to the single market and we continue to be,

:38:42.:38:46.

as I said, a very attractive destination but we want to be even

:38:47.:38:51.

more attractive, which is why to set out the commitments that we're

:38:52.:38:57.

making on upgrading or science and research, on building better

:38:58.:39:02.

technical skills for example, on improving our infrastructure, these

:39:03.:39:06.

are investments. These are policies that will enhance the reputation and

:39:07.:39:09.

attractiveness of the British economy. Will the Government, under

:39:10.:39:16.

this new strategy, when reviewing procurement make sure that we find

:39:17.:39:19.

all those areas where British companies could supply better and

:39:20.:39:22.

cheaper and give them the contracts. At the moment, we're importing large

:39:23.:39:27.

quantity of military vehicles, building materials, steel for

:39:28.:39:30.

submarines, medical equipment, things that we could make

:39:31.:39:34.

competitively here if we have an intelligence Government customer. My

:39:35.:39:39.

right honourable friend is right. He will see various proposals on

:39:40.:39:42.

procurement which I hope will have his support. One I emphasise is

:39:43.:39:47.

opening up Government procurement to smaller and medium sized enterprises

:39:48.:39:52.

who too often find that the bureaucracy associated with

:39:53.:39:55.

procurement regimes in the part has literally kept them off the list.

:39:56.:40:01.

That is something we can reform. The green paper rightly identifies the

:40:02.:40:05.

crucial role that better connectivity to regional airports

:40:06.:40:07.

could play in growing economies and highlights the vital importance of

:40:08.:40:15.

the route from Newcastle airport increasing imports from the

:40:16.:40:17.

north-east. Could the Secretary of State confirm what discussions he is

:40:18.:40:24.

having with his Treasury colleagues about devolving Air Passenger Duty

:40:25.:40:25.

on airports like Newcastle? I think in the context of a Green

:40:26.:40:35.

Paper on industrial strategy I will with the representations from the

:40:36.:40:39.

honourable lady. I am pleased she acknowledges and recognises the

:40:40.:40:43.

emphasis we have placed on connection is not just through road

:40:44.:40:46.

and rail airport connections to every region of the country and the

:40:47.:40:52.

importance of establishing links to other nations with which we have

:40:53.:40:59.

good trading relationships. Could I ask my right honourable friend how

:41:00.:41:03.

much priority he gives to the establishment of a digital real way

:41:04.:41:07.

and will he encourage network in their plans to bring this technology

:41:08.:41:12.

to the great Eastern Main line and hopefully the West Anglia mainline

:41:13.:41:18.

as well? The nutrients which are on order can be equipped in advance to

:41:19.:41:21.

take advantage, rather than be fitted retrospectively at great

:41:22.:41:28.

expense. -- the nutrients. He is right and it is one of the proposals

:41:29.:41:33.

in the Green Paper I hope will have his support the concentration. The

:41:34.:41:44.

Green Paper rightly focuses on productivity, but there is one area

:41:45.:41:49.

of infrastructure where Britain lacks behind all our competitors and

:41:50.:41:54.

that is with the cost of childcare. Childcare in Britain costs more than

:41:55.:41:59.

every other OECD country apart from Switzerland and takes up over 40% of

:42:00.:42:05.

the average wage is up yet, it is hardly mentioned in his Green Paper.

:42:06.:42:09.

This is the way to liberate the talent of women. What will he do

:42:10.:42:14.

about it? It is a Green Paper that invites comments and proposals and I

:42:15.:42:18.

look forward to the honourable lady's response to the Green Paper.

:42:19.:42:25.

As I said, this government has taken seriously the importance of

:42:26.:42:27.

childcare in allowing women and men to return to work. We have made good

:42:28.:42:33.

progress in it, I would be interested in her response to the

:42:34.:42:39.

consultation. I welcome the opportunity to join the Secretary of

:42:40.:42:43.

State on his visit to the Warwick Manufacturing group on Friday. An

:42:44.:42:46.

institution which represents many important elements of this

:42:47.:42:50.

industrial strategy. Would my right honourable friend agreed that the

:42:51.:42:53.

Midlands can play a leading role in the development of such a strategy

:42:54.:42:58.

being home to world-class research, advanced manufacturing in the

:42:59.:43:02.

skilled workforce? I agree with my honourable friend. One thing I found

:43:03.:43:09.

striking in visiting the National automotive innovation Centre, a

:43:10.:43:13.

fantastic centre that is being built, is the fact that, as well as

:43:14.:43:17.

having research and development facilities that will be available to

:43:18.:43:22.

large but also small challenger firms, there is, on the same side,

:43:23.:43:28.

is good for apprentices that will take in 1000 apprentices every year

:43:29.:43:32.

to equip them with the skills that the motor industry across the West

:43:33.:43:36.

Midlands can benefit from. That is a good example of how research and

:43:37.:43:40.

development can tie up with this agenda of driving improved standards

:43:41.:43:47.

of technical skills. If the Secretary of State is serious about

:43:48.:43:52.

building an industrial strategy that works for the whole country and one

:43:53.:43:57.

which encourages and maximises the opportunity for research and

:43:58.:44:00.

innovation, debt must be space in that for the development of marine

:44:01.:44:04.

renewable energy, wave and tidal power. The word leading work in that

:44:05.:44:11.

is being done in my constituency at the European Union Marine energy

:44:12.:44:13.

Centre, can he come and see for himself the way in which our island

:44:14.:44:17.

communities can help them build a strategy that he says he wants to

:44:18.:44:22.

create? I would be delighted to visit his constituency. He will see

:44:23.:44:29.

when he reads the Green Paper, I know it is quite a time commitment,

:44:30.:44:35.

but I am sure it is worth it, there are a number of sources of support

:44:36.:44:42.

for innovation. The competitive way, the research and development funding

:44:43.:44:47.

is available for scientists and researchers to bid for. He will also

:44:48.:44:51.

note there is a chapter on the green economy that is making a suggestion

:44:52.:44:57.

as to how we can get industrial advantage as well as keeping costs

:44:58.:45:02.

low from our renewables. Both routes might be applicable to the green and

:45:03.:45:11.

tidal technologies. I have been calling for ambitious, bold and

:45:12.:45:15.

visionary redevelopment plans for the power station planned to attract

:45:16.:45:19.

businesses that will create highly skilled jobs. Can I welcome his

:45:20.:45:24.

statement on the Green Paper and does he agree with me that the new,

:45:25.:45:29.

modern industrial strategy will provide the framework and conditions

:45:30.:45:36.

to help deliver this vision? I am grateful for the question. I

:45:37.:45:39.

remember visiting the site with and I think it has great potential to be

:45:40.:45:45.

a home for not just the start up businesses that are very important

:45:46.:45:50.

in our economy, but also as a place in which technical skills can be

:45:51.:45:56.

imparted to the next generation of her constituents so they can have

:45:57.:46:03.

good, well and satisfying jobs. I welcome some of the things in the

:46:04.:46:08.

Green Paper, looking at the future of industry and our strategy moving

:46:09.:46:12.

forward, however, in order to do that we have two secure what

:46:13.:46:17.

industry we have now. In light of the comments from the CEO of Nissan

:46:18.:46:21.

saying he would revisit the competitiveness of the plant in

:46:22.:46:25.

Sunderland, could the minister tell us what his view is on that in

:46:26.:46:30.

securing the jobs in Sunderland that already exist? Well, the decision to

:46:31.:46:38.

back Sunderland and to build the two new models here was a very

:46:39.:46:42.

significant moment for her constituents and for the country. It

:46:43.:46:49.

is true to say that all investors, domestic or international, will

:46:50.:46:51.

constantly look to make sure that they are competitive and what this

:46:52.:46:58.

document, every page of this Green Paper, does is show our

:46:59.:47:01.

determination to make sure that this economy is competitive now and into

:47:02.:47:06.

the future, to take the actions that will make it so. May I welcome this

:47:07.:47:13.

wide-ranging discussion of government policies at this time?

:47:14.:47:19.

Even if the broad survey of good things outlined will unleash a

:47:20.:47:26.

torrent of insatiable demands, not least from the Davos business

:47:27.:47:30.

leaders jetting back with their government advisers to barge their

:47:31.:47:35.

way to the front of the table. Will my right honourable friend assure me

:47:36.:47:40.

that his agenda will be set by entrepreneurs? Would he be honest

:47:41.:47:43.

that for every sector that is favoured Adobe sectors of the

:47:44.:47:47.

economy that we can and will he assure me that he understands that

:47:48.:47:52.

in his Department there are no magic levers saying raise productivity or

:47:53.:47:55.

improve skills? The eluded his predecessors, they will likely elude

:47:56.:48:02.

him. In order to get running can have brevity in questions and

:48:03.:48:06.

answers? By honourable friend is right. What I would say is the

:48:07.:48:17.

essence of our strategy has to be to support the ability of people to

:48:18.:48:19.

compete and enter and make life difficult for the incumbents. There

:48:20.:48:24.

are no cosy club's for the incumbents. That is the test of our

:48:25.:48:29.

support in sectors as to whether this helps new businesses emerge.

:48:30.:48:39.

That is extremely important. The Federation of Small Businesses

:48:40.:48:42.

reported last year that significant numbers of women are starting small

:48:43.:48:46.

businesses and enterprises. Is he not therefore surprised, as the

:48:47.:48:50.

House is, but there is no mention of women in this industrial strategy,

:48:51.:48:53.

no mention of inclusion and very little mention of diversity? Will he

:48:54.:48:59.

undertake to review that? To this document we want to close the gaps

:49:00.:49:08.

that mean we do not achieve powerful performance and that is absolutely

:49:09.:49:13.

the case when it comes to the position of women at the highest

:49:14.:49:20.

levels in science and research. As minister in the Department in the

:49:21.:49:24.

past I have been successful in driving the appointment under my

:49:25.:49:30.

gift to increase the proportion of women at the top level. She is

:49:31.:49:37.

absolutely right, when there is an underrepresentation of people of

:49:38.:49:40.

talent it is the whole economy that suffers from that and that should be

:49:41.:49:49.

corrected. I strongly welcome the statement and consultation paper

:49:50.:49:53.

today. When you visit large and innovative manufacturers like Toyota

:49:54.:49:57.

or Erebus, they all speak about the importance of relationships with

:49:58.:50:00.

their local further education colleges. Does he agree with me one

:50:01.:50:03.

of the objectives of the strategy should be to replicate the examples

:50:04.:50:08.

of excellence and drive up standards within the further education sector

:50:09.:50:13.

is even more employers share in world class skills education? He is

:50:14.:50:17.

right and one of the proposals on which we are consulting is to have

:50:18.:50:21.

better connections between local employers and further education to

:50:22.:50:24.

nature that the skills that are being provided are those that can be

:50:25.:50:29.

taken up immediately in those industries. I very much welcome the

:50:30.:50:37.

statement by the Secretary of State and his indication that he will work

:50:38.:50:41.

across the country, including the devolved administrations. On the

:50:42.:50:45.

issue of skills and low-carbon, we both want to see low carbon energy

:50:46.:50:49.

sector being successful. He mentions nuclear. One of the concerns that

:50:50.:50:54.

nuclear workers have is that the conditions have been undermined by

:50:55.:50:57.

this government. Will he agree to work with me and meet with me to

:50:58.:51:01.

discuss this issue because we need those skill bases to build on for

:51:02.:51:07.

the future? I am grateful for his welcome and I didn't say to the

:51:08.:51:10.

honourable gentleman on the front bench for the SNP that part of our

:51:11.:51:13.

proposals is that we will work closely with the devolved

:51:14.:51:17.

administrations in all parts of the United Kingdom and I look forward to

:51:18.:51:20.

doing that. I am always happy to meet with the honourable gentleman.

:51:21.:51:26.

I certainly take great pleasure in welcoming the character and ambition

:51:27.:51:32.

of this industrial strategy. It is exactly the right direction of

:51:33.:51:37.

travel. I also salute the focus on technical skills. Does he agree it

:51:38.:51:40.

is important to create the correct pathway through our schools systems

:51:41.:51:44.

to those institutions so we encourage young people from the very

:51:45.:51:50.

start? That is a combination which will lead to higher wages and high

:51:51.:51:56.

skills. The honourable gentleman, the chairman of the Education Select

:51:57.:51:59.

Committee, is right. I hope he and his committee might make a

:52:00.:52:03.

contribution to the consultation to help us as we establish precisely

:52:04.:52:07.

that pathway that start in school but actually goes beyond the

:52:08.:52:15.

commencement of work, because people often need to retrain and take on

:52:16.:52:18.

new skills during their working life. I welcome the desire to

:52:19.:52:26.

transform technical education, something of a recurring theme ever

:52:27.:52:29.

since the days of Prince Albert. Trying to help make it a six as this

:52:30.:52:37.

time, could he pay greater attention to the 14 to 19-year-olds,

:52:38.:52:42.

university and technical colleges like at Aston University and could

:52:43.:52:45.

persuade him to also give the training levy to the newly elected

:52:46.:52:49.

regional mayors, because then they can make strategic training

:52:50.:52:52.

decisions which are appropriate for the regions they represent? She

:52:53.:52:56.

makes two important points. The first is it is vital and others in

:52:57.:53:04.

the past have recognised the importance of technical education

:53:05.:53:07.

and improving it. That is certainly our intention. In terms of the

:53:08.:53:13.

particular proposal she makes, if she would like to discuss it with

:53:14.:53:16.

me, she might want to feed into the consultation. Where does the crucial

:53:17.:53:21.

role of free markets said in this strategy? It runs through every page

:53:22.:53:27.

of this strategy. Newport has suffered grievously from

:53:28.:53:48.

the neglect of steel. It is now having a mini revival with the

:53:49.:53:53.

reopening of sight. Stephen does not travel well or cheaply. Does he

:53:54.:53:58.

agreed that if there is to be a new prosperity for manufacturing

:53:59.:54:03.

industry to be created, it must be constructed on foundations of

:54:04.:54:10.

Stephen? What I say to the honourable gentleman is that Stephen

:54:11.:54:13.

is a very important sector. It needs to compete in the world in which we

:54:14.:54:17.

find ourselves and the discussions I have been having with the steel

:54:18.:54:24.

industry is that they are based around a strategy that they are

:54:25.:54:29.

pulling together to make British steel and competitive in the years

:54:30.:54:38.

ahead. The new model in the Hereford University has received tremendous

:54:39.:54:44.

support from its departments. This ?170 million promised in this

:54:45.:54:48.

statement, will it be too late for Herefordshire as we have only got to

:54:49.:54:52.

the 20th of January to apply for funding? By honourable friend is

:54:53.:55:00.

right to point out the Christians of his friends and neighbours in

:55:01.:55:03.

Herefordshire in making their proposal. It is a good example of

:55:04.:55:08.

precisely the reform that we need to see. I think the prospects are

:55:09.:55:15.

pretty bright for it. There was no mention of exclusion and communities

:55:16.:55:19.

like Ashley which still mourning the loss of those well-paid jobs in the

:55:20.:55:23.

pits. I understand that this is a Green Paper, but what new jobs or

:55:24.:55:31.

tangible differences does the energy Secretary

:55:32.:55:37.

A it is very much a reference to communities such as she mentions.

:55:38.:55:46.

When I talk about places and parts of the country that have fallen

:55:47.:55:53.

behind the best performing in terms of productivity, these are the areas

:55:54.:55:58.

and the towns we have in mind. It is essential it seems to me that one of

:55:59.:56:01.

the foundations for future prosperity is to ensure the level of

:56:02.:56:08.

skills is higher than it has been for the industries that are

:56:09.:56:11.

expanding and this is particularly in areas such as hers that this

:56:12.:56:15.

transformation can have the greatest effect. I was delighted earlier to

:56:16.:56:21.

welcome the Prime Minister and Secretary of State to the... To

:56:22.:56:28.

unveil industrial strategy for the UK. Will he agree with me the other

:56:29.:56:35.

556 million boost for the Northern powerhouse, along 4.7 billion for

:56:36.:56:40.

science, technology and innovation will help create high skilled, high

:56:41.:56:45.

waged jobs hoping to bridge the North-South divide?

:56:46.:57:13.

My honourable friend mentions two things. One is a devolution through

:57:14.:57:20.

local growth funds which is making a big difference, putting more funds

:57:21.:57:24.

in the hands of people with the knowledge of what is needed locally

:57:25.:57:27.

to make a difference and of course, the big investment in research and

:57:28.:57:32.

development and impressive facilities will make very good use.

:57:33.:57:37.

Mobile technology is an important part of modern infrastructure. But I

:57:38.:57:44.

see Secretary of State to be cautious looking at Ofcom figures? I

:57:45.:57:49.

suspect many of us here have looked at maps saying yes, universal

:57:50.:57:53.

coverage, no problems at all. But when you go on the ground, you find

:57:54.:57:56.

it is phenomenally difficult. According to Ofcom, this building

:57:57.:58:03.

has perfect access to all four mobile signals. It is not true. The

:58:04.:58:09.

honourable gentleman makes an important point. When we talk about

:58:10.:58:14.

digital infrastructure, whether mobile or broadband, it is

:58:15.:58:17.

important, and for businesses who depend on it, it is the

:58:18.:58:23.

dependability and the reliability, not any theoretical availability. It

:58:24.:58:25.

is important and part of the approach. The Secretary of State

:58:26.:58:36.

pointed out 70s industrial strategy exclusively focused on big industry.

:58:37.:58:40.

Will he ensure his strategy does not repeat the mistake in exclusively

:58:41.:58:45.

focusing on large, mature economies at the expense of medium-sized

:58:46.:58:49.

emerging economies which together represent the future? He's up to

:58:50.:58:53.

Lula Wright and it is one of the reasons why much of the proposals

:58:54.:59:02.

about crosscutting are about certain firms are why there's a particular

:59:03.:59:08.

emphasis on helping small businesses grow and new businesses to be set

:59:09.:59:16.

up. Steel is a key infrastructure product for all those infrastructure

:59:17.:59:19.

projects he mentioned in his statement. I very much welcome his

:59:20.:59:32.

statement that there is likely to be deal for steel. What the said

:59:33.:59:35.

industry need to do to achieve that sector deal? The steel industry is

:59:36.:59:42.

already embarking on a consideration of how it can plan its future. I've

:59:43.:59:48.

encouraged them, that they didn't need the encouragement, they are

:59:49.:59:51.

keen to doing it and I look for to the fruits of that in the coming

:59:52.:59:59.

weeks. I welcome the recognition that role broadband is particularly

:00:00.:00:04.

important for increased growth. Will he make a commitment that no small

:00:05.:00:08.

rural business will be left behind when it comes to digital

:00:09.:00:16.

connectivity? An excellent point. If we want to help everywhere achieve

:00:17.:00:21.

its potential, then we know the prosperity of many rural areas is

:00:22.:00:25.

held back if they do not have good digital connectivity, so that is an

:00:26.:00:28.

ambition we set out in his green paper. Given a vital nature of steel

:00:29.:00:36.

as a foundation industry, it is pretty astonishing that Steele gets

:00:37.:00:41.

only one passing mention on page 100 or so of this report. Could I

:00:42.:00:47.

commend this report to the Secretary of State, steel 2020, and could I

:00:48.:00:55.

ask him to read it and come to a future meeting of the all party

:00:56.:00:59.

Parliamentary group to explain why steel has not been given a deal in

:01:00.:01:04.

the report and seems to be airbrushed out of the so far. He

:01:05.:01:10.

speaks nonsense, because I had cordial and successful meetings with

:01:11.:01:14.

the steel industry and are excited about the prospects of working

:01:15.:01:18.

strategically for their future. I've had the pleasure of attending in the

:01:19.:01:23.

past and look forward to doing so again. Last week, the Chancellor

:01:24.:01:28.

described the roll-out of new vehicles as disappointing. Will this

:01:29.:01:36.

Green paper lay a reliable road map to enable us to hit that target as

:01:37.:01:40.

it is also a key part in improving air quality? He's right that the

:01:41.:01:47.

opportunities in the roll-out of electric vehicles are significant,

:01:48.:01:52.

not just in the transport severe, but in terms of our energy systems.

:01:53.:02:00.

An electric vehicle is amongst other things, a unit for storing

:02:01.:02:04.

electricity. So combining a making the connections between these

:02:05.:02:07.

sectors is good for consumers, it is good for industry and for the

:02:08.:02:15.

resilience of the country. As the Secretary of State knows, automotive

:02:16.:02:17.

industries are a major contributor to the greatness of the industrial

:02:18.:02:22.

heartland that we have in the North East. Yet, the indication of a hard

:02:23.:02:29.

Brexit by the Prime Minister has left many businesses across the

:02:30.:02:35.

country and the North is nervous, including Nissan in my constituency.

:02:36.:02:40.

Will he ensure this consultation fully addresses these concerns and

:02:41.:02:45.

supports a success and hopefully future expansion with regard to

:02:46.:02:48.

electric vehicles and batteries of this vital industry? Well, the

:02:49.:02:56.

honourable lady is correct to emphasise the importance of being at

:02:57.:03:00.

the cottage edge of research and development in the automotive

:03:01.:03:06.

sector. -- the cutting edge. This is why it many car companies find

:03:07.:03:11.

Britain an attractive place to base themselves. When it comes to Brexit,

:03:12.:03:15.

we are clear and the Prime Minister has been clear that we want to have

:03:16.:03:20.

a free trading relationship with our friends and neighbours in Europe and

:03:21.:03:25.

that is the way we will approach the negotiations. As you are well aware,

:03:26.:03:31.

the North West of England is very much the hub of the nuclear sector

:03:32.:03:37.

of the UK. Can he shed light as to what thinking he's given to ensuring

:03:38.:03:40.

the people in the North West are the prime beneficiaries of the supply

:03:41.:03:45.

chain emerging at the nuclear sector? There are huge

:03:46.:03:52.

opportunities, through the development of new nuclear which

:03:53.:03:56.

will allow for the training of a new generation of engineers and

:03:57.:04:00.

technicians. There are also opportunities, not just here, but

:04:01.:04:04.

around the world, in using our expertise in decommissioning, to

:04:05.:04:10.

earn income for the UK and creates jobs. There are big opportunities in

:04:11.:04:13.

the sector, both in skills and in terms of industries expanding. The

:04:14.:04:22.

Prime Minister's strategy backs concrete proposals for Wales. And

:04:23.:04:26.

considering our surplus with the EU, Wales is set to suffer most as a

:04:27.:04:29.

result in the pursuit of a brutal Brexit. Does he accept that do

:04:30.:04:35.

nothing to counter the loss of EU funding will serve only to

:04:36.:04:39.

exacerbate the already significant geographical wealth and earnings

:04:40.:04:41.

inequalities which characterise the British states? I asked the

:04:42.:04:47.

honourable ladies read the Green paper as you will see a crystal

:04:48.:04:51.

clear commitment to making sure all parts of the United Kingdom are able

:04:52.:04:55.

to share in the prosperity, that is good for both those places on the

:04:56.:04:57.

UK. May I welcome the reference in the

:04:58.:05:10.

Green paper in recognition in the vital role of creative industries?

:05:11.:05:17.

It is one sector... Can he reassure me that it extends to the TV and

:05:18.:05:24.

film industry? The Crown, the recent hit series, which will still be my

:05:25.:05:29.

constituency, is a wonderful example of jobs, investment and expert that

:05:30.:05:32.

can be generated by that sector. Does he agree that requires not only

:05:33.:05:37.

the correct skills, be particularly in the south-east, the requisites

:05:38.:05:43.

why commercial space? I do agree with my honourable friend and the

:05:44.:05:46.

creative industries together have some claim to be Britain's most

:05:47.:05:52.

successful sector in recent years. They've been growing strongly. Sir

:05:53.:05:57.

Peter Basil get has agreed to work with the industries to work with

:05:58.:06:02.

building on that success in the future to continue to create the

:06:03.:06:05.

greatest jobs they've been doing and all afford to it. I warmly welcome

:06:06.:06:18.

the new Green paper. Though the last six years without a strategy has

:06:19.:06:23.

been wasted. Having said that, in relation to the bit for metals and

:06:24.:06:31.

there's no mention of the sea CS, these issues are critical to energy

:06:32.:06:35.

intensive industries going forward. But of real concern is regarding

:06:36.:06:45.

virgin steel-making capacity and certain ministers in relation to

:06:46.:06:48.

importing steel, rather than primarily relying on British made

:06:49.:06:54.

steel, whether in Scunthorpe or Port Talbot. Will the Minister please

:06:55.:06:59.

rule that out? I do recognise the issue you mention is, but if he

:07:00.:07:03.

speaks to me later, I will find out more about it. I'm grateful for his

:07:04.:07:06.

welcome for the approach we are taking. I'd argue strongly it builds

:07:07.:07:14.

on the some of the successes we've enjoyed in recent years, not least

:07:15.:07:19.

devolving powers and funds to local areas, looking to create

:07:20.:07:24.

institutions that can conduct research and development that now

:07:25.:07:30.

has a worldwide reputation. But we can't be complacent and must

:07:31.:07:33.

continue that are built in the future. I congratulate my right

:07:34.:07:41.

honourable friend on his industrial strategy Wix works hand in glove

:07:42.:07:45.

with the Government's Brexit plans to strengthen business confidence.

:07:46.:07:48.

The strategy underpins about commitment to life sciences and will

:07:49.:07:57.

my friend accepts invitations come to AstraZeneca's site and find out

:07:58.:08:04.

more about their growth plans? I will indeed. And speaking of life

:08:05.:08:11.

sciences in the North West is does that one of the themes of the paper,

:08:12.:08:15.

the interaction between sectors and places and how we can build

:08:16.:08:20.

institutions that can encourage a small business to be able to benefit

:08:21.:08:27.

from the presence of a range of other businesses in that sector. We

:08:28.:08:31.

have further work to do and my honourable friend will be an expert

:08:32.:08:40.

advisor. The Green paper should set other Government's ambitions, and an

:08:41.:08:47.

industrial strategy should have a central focus on jobs. I asked the

:08:48.:08:51.

Secretary of State on the 13th of December by the disability

:08:52.:08:53.

employment gap in our industrial strategy could support the

:08:54.:08:58.

Government's ambitions inhabit that gap -- halving that gap. Can he

:08:59.:09:02.

explain therefore why disability and the disabled and not feature in

:09:03.:09:08.

paper? It does make mention of the fight we will be setting out further

:09:09.:09:13.

measures on employment policies in particular and I've agreed with him

:09:14.:09:18.

in the past that just as in relation to the question from his honourable

:09:19.:09:22.

friend, when you have people whose contribution is not being adequately

:09:23.:09:28.

made use of, that is a loss not just for the individuals in question, but

:09:29.:09:33.

the whole of the UK and the economy. This is a welcome and ambitious

:09:34.:09:38.

green paper. Inswinger, we have embraced developments, but we need

:09:39.:09:41.

to be able to reach out for potential and to do that, we must

:09:42.:09:46.

unlock additional land and infrastructure funding. How can this

:09:47.:09:54.

process be sped up? I'm keen we should be fleet of foot in that,

:09:55.:09:58.

because it's important for business is expanding all being founded

:09:59.:10:02.

located for the first time that they should have the land available. The

:10:03.:10:09.

Communities Secretary have this in mind in his reforms to the planning

:10:10.:10:15.

system. Factoring and exports are benefiting greatly from... The much

:10:16.:10:23.

more needs to be done to build the country's industrial strength. Will

:10:24.:10:27.

he give serious consideration to re-establish in the national

:10:28.:10:32.

economic development Council on how British industry may be doing in the

:10:33.:10:36.

future? I am interested then the honourable

:10:37.:10:48.

gentleman 's proposal. I had not thought of reviving a body which is

:10:49.:10:53.

associated with a different type of industrial strategy, when it was the

:10:54.:11:04.

big empires sitting down. I think the approach we want to take is to

:11:05.:11:08.

create the conditions in which it is the resurgence of the new

:11:09.:11:14.

businesses. I am not sure that would be the rate approach. Small and

:11:15.:11:23.

medium-sized enterprises are the bedrock of local economic life. How

:11:24.:11:35.

can the secretary of state demonstrate my constituents in

:11:36.:11:39.

catering that the industrial strategy is relevant to them? My

:11:40.:11:46.

experience of businesses just like that is that what helps the ability

:11:47.:11:57.

to fulfil growing order books is often held up by the lack of skilled

:11:58.:12:03.

staff they can employ. We are wanting to improve standards in

:12:04.:12:08.

technical education to assist employers and I think it will make a

:12:09.:12:12.

big difference to those small and medium-size businesses who maybe

:12:13.:12:19.

cannot finance the larger training institutes themselves. Can I ask the

:12:20.:12:25.

Minister how he looks at this commitment to innovation with the

:12:26.:12:34.

wholesale pillaging of the claim of British energy companies through

:12:35.:12:40.

foreign takeovers. Not least the takeover of MasterCard and the

:12:41.:12:53.

perspective seal. I regard that I regard it as a matter of pride that

:12:54.:12:59.

this country is welcome to overseas investment and we have benefited

:13:00.:13:05.

hugely from that. When I was with my honourable friend in the West

:13:06.:13:11.

Midlands invaded, we met with the chief executive of Jaguar, which is

:13:12.:13:18.

known by an Indian company. I would want to be open to overseas

:13:19.:13:26.

investment. I warmly welcome the raider of that reply. Would he

:13:27.:13:37.

consider the future of the ear partnerships, with the long term

:13:38.:13:43.

relationship between the Ministry of Defence and Connecticut, would he

:13:44.:13:47.

look to grow other areas of expertise? It has been a success. We

:13:48.:13:54.

are making a commitment not only to that, but learnt lessons from other

:13:55.:14:05.

sectors that sectors like that go on to create similar institutions. I

:14:06.:14:11.

welcome the Green paper on that basis. But as they are the

:14:12.:14:17.

investment and the money they have traditionally supported? I went to

:14:18.:14:26.

old college to meet the principal and they said the lack of funding

:14:27.:14:34.

was really handicapping the efforts to help improve the skills level. We

:14:35.:14:40.

are looking to find as much common ground as possible. We are wanting

:14:41.:14:43.

to work with the colleges and employers to make sure the forms

:14:44.:14:51.

that only did for his constituents as well as others. So that they will

:14:52.:14:57.

be able to get these jobs in the future. Having a life sciences at

:14:58.:15:07.

the front of the schedule and the strategy, the biggest customer is

:15:08.:15:09.

the National Health Service. Could he confirm that the procurement, the

:15:10.:15:19.

inflexible and unimaginative process by the National Health Service will

:15:20.:15:23.

be under review, not least in relation to drug purchases? There is

:15:24.:15:38.

evidence that the green paper is a joined up in this and the Health

:15:39.:15:41.

Secretary is an enthusiastic participant in this. I am sure he

:15:42.:15:48.

will be pleased to hear about the expertise my honourable friend

:15:49.:15:56.

brings to the subject. When we had about the industrial growth, we

:15:57.:16:04.

welcome that. But having seen the ten action points outline, can he

:16:05.:16:11.

confirm that the sidelines with industrial strategy and will he be

:16:12.:16:26.

looking to tie up the deal with the colleges so we can sustain that. I

:16:27.:16:33.

think it showed very good ambition. I wish them every success in that.

:16:34.:16:40.

Deals will have to be negotiated, but he knows that Scotland has a

:16:41.:16:47.

very good record in that regard. I welcome the statement. We enjoy an

:16:48.:16:56.

excellent ecosystem for life sciences. Would he agree with me

:16:57.:17:03.

that the strategy practically provides the opportunity for

:17:04.:17:06.

businesses to bring their ideas to the door to drive direct action for

:17:07.:17:11.

the sector in particular, but all sectors and could I invite him to

:17:12.:17:23.

come and see Ipswich, with its enterprise zones. It would make an

:17:24.:17:26.

excellent site for a college of technology. It would be very nice to

:17:27.:17:35.

be there. Can I see the point she makes are absolutely resonating with

:17:36.:17:42.

the themes of the Green paper. We want to make sure we have the great

:17:43.:17:47.

institutions, the rate schools, the late support for businesses. It is

:17:48.:17:54.

very much business lead. We're not directing business, telling them how

:17:55.:18:02.

things should be. Employers and consumers will respond to the

:18:03.:18:08.

strategy. We want to hear what they want from it rather than the

:18:09.:18:11.

government telling them what how it is going to be. The Secretary of

:18:12.:18:18.

State talked about migration policy with regard to employment. Will he

:18:19.:18:27.

take over responsibility for certain parts of migration policy. Better,

:18:28.:18:33.

given has importance on evolution, will he look devolving immigration

:18:34.:18:42.

policy to the nations? My responsibilities are broad enough

:18:43.:18:48.

and keeping me very busy. It gives me the opportunity to emphasise that

:18:49.:18:54.

this is an approach by the whole of the government. It is important that

:18:55.:19:01.

the greatest and the best are able to continue to be employed to make a

:19:02.:19:07.

contribution that they are to the United Kingdom economy. Thank you.

:19:08.:19:16.

There's much to be welcomed this strategy and they would particular

:19:17.:19:23.

express my support for science development time developing skills.

:19:24.:19:28.

Could he sees a moment and make the case for the government to increase

:19:29.:19:33.

spending on science and technology to 3% of gross domestic product?

:19:34.:19:43.

Could I also ask to ask skin to look at the Digital strategy as a matter

:19:44.:19:49.

of urgency? I am grateful to the honourable member for pushing us in

:19:50.:19:54.

that direction. He will see that we are very clear-sighted about this.

:19:55.:19:59.

We are very keen to invest in science and research. We want to

:20:00.:20:07.

create conditions that the private sector, as well as government,

:20:08.:20:15.

invests. It is very much part of a programme of which this industrial

:20:16.:20:28.

strategy is leading. Thank you. I welcome the fact that this Green

:20:29.:20:36.

paper was brought forward. Much of this is looking at jobs in the

:20:37.:20:39.

future. But what about the healer know? -- here and no. For instance,

:20:40.:20:56.

the problems in my own constituency with Babcock? I am very aware of the

:20:57.:21:09.

situation is at Babcock and it is always bad news when we hear of

:21:10.:21:14.

people losing their jobs. We have had a good record of finding new

:21:15.:21:30.

employment and begin to park does reflect that businesses will close

:21:31.:21:38.

from time to time. But it is all part of a strategy that we would

:21:39.:21:40.

make sure that people will be able to hopefully get jobs in the future.

:21:41.:21:52.

Kathy gives technical education greater parity of esteem in

:21:53.:21:56.

universities to make young people find easier to get vacancies? I am

:21:57.:22:03.

grateful for his words and his contribution. It prominently

:22:04.:22:17.

features what he asks and I hope he will promote it in the years ahead.

:22:18.:22:25.

The science, engineering and manufacturing technology has helped

:22:26.:22:32.

create a shortfall of 50,000 engineers. How does the Secretary of

:22:33.:22:36.

State plan to close that gap? And can I ask him to ask him to check

:22:37.:22:52.

that all these steel and will HS2 be will be manufactured in the United

:22:53.:22:57.

Kingdom? There is a big focus on technical education, going rate

:22:58.:23:04.

street to identifying the challenge that the rate honourable gentleman

:23:05.:23:07.

puts forward. We want to make sure all these skills are available. With

:23:08.:23:13.

regard to procurements, he will know that is a change in the guidelines

:23:14.:23:21.

to enable contributions to be viewed only fear basis. That is part of the

:23:22.:23:41.

process. -- fair. I am reassured to hear the Secretary of State saying

:23:42.:23:46.

this industrial strategy will be a much broader and wide-ranging 1-run

:23:47.:23:59.

the one after World War II. When we look at what managed to lift but a

:24:00.:24:05.

note of economic gloom in the 1980s, tax simplification was at the centre

:24:06.:24:11.

of that. The third challenge we need to address this to keep the United

:24:12.:24:18.

Kingdom is one of the best places in the world to either start or

:24:19.:24:24.

continue our business. Both the policies he mentions are crucial to

:24:25.:24:29.

that. Part of our success in treating business success in recent

:24:30.:24:37.

years because we have had that very much in mind on the side of the

:24:38.:24:44.

house. The I congratulate the Secretary of State and the

:24:45.:24:47.

recognition of the energy system and the crucial storage and management

:24:48.:24:54.

policies will improve productivity. Would he agree that the United

:24:55.:25:02.

Kingdom should be the world leader in the sector and with the south

:25:03.:25:08.

west not be the ideal place for the base of that? He has commendably

:25:09.:25:16.

vigorous and has promotion of the south west. So will other parts of

:25:17.:25:26.

the country. The Northwest with the strong nuclear sector and the

:25:27.:25:39.

south-east with its equal energy directives. All parts of the United

:25:40.:25:42.

Kingdom can benefit from this strategy.

:25:43.:25:49.

Kent has strength in the life sciences, but the conspicuous gap in

:25:50.:25:59.

medical schools. An institution for which life size innovations

:26:00.:26:02.

frequently emerge. I'm hopeful this strategy may be a vehicle to seek

:26:03.:26:06.

support for medical schools and how grateful I would be to him for any

:26:07.:26:12.

encouragement he can offer. I'm grateful to my honourable friend for

:26:13.:26:16.

her words. She will know that in life sciences, one of the proposals

:26:17.:26:21.

we make is we review what the sector needs to be able to support the

:26:22.:26:27.

small and medium-size businesses there and that proposal may be

:26:28.:26:33.

something they should take up. Mel congratulate my honourable friend on

:26:34.:26:38.

the statement and green paper. As he develops the strategy, will is a or

:26:39.:26:42.

Britain's leadership in the fourth industrial revolution and the new

:26:43.:26:45.

jobs and companies driving forward our growth and encourage them to

:26:46.:26:48.

come to the green paper consultation? I'm grateful to my

:26:49.:26:54.

honourable friend for all the work he has done in assuring this country

:26:55.:26:58.

does not see it to others the energy and initiative in taking advantage

:26:59.:27:06.

of what is called the fourth industrial revolution, and the

:27:07.:27:08.

pamphlet he recently wrote is full of good ideas and I hope he will

:27:09.:27:11.

respond with his colleagues who wrote that to the consultation. I

:27:12.:27:22.

not only commend the Secretary of State for his statement today, but

:27:23.:27:27.

also commend to him the all party Parliamentary group published today

:27:28.:27:29.

and hope it will be useful as part of his ongoing discussions within

:27:30.:27:35.

Government. One area the Government has strode forward in is the public

:27:36.:27:39.

sector procurement. Can he ensure that as part of this we transfer

:27:40.:27:43.

some of those principles into the private sector procurement, too? I

:27:44.:27:50.

will bear that in mind and read it very closely the report that he

:27:51.:27:58.

mentions. Any industrial strategy or digital strategy must rely on

:27:59.:28:03.

transformative investment in broadband infrastructure. Can the

:28:04.:28:06.

Secretary of State reassure the House that this will not only

:28:07.:28:09.

address the problems of the last decade, but also the next 20 years

:28:10.:28:16.

and 30 years, so we can plan for an Internet of things and the fourth

:28:17.:28:21.

industrial revolution? He makes an excellent point and of course a

:28:22.:28:25.

strategy must be forward-looking and create conditions in which investors

:28:26.:28:29.

and firms can make commitments now that will lead to our prosperity in

:28:30.:28:33.

the future. His frame of reference is correct. I warmly welcome the

:28:34.:28:40.

green paper on the modern industrial strategy. However, will my right

:28:41.:28:45.

honourable friend reassure my constituents in Long Eaton that

:28:46.:28:49.

traditional industries such as lacemaking that contribute so much

:28:50.:28:52.

to our economy do not be left behind? I'm interested to hear the

:28:53.:28:59.

observation. It is a consultation and it is important that we

:29:00.:29:05.

participate in the new industries and that through our research and

:29:06.:29:09.

development and scientific expertise we take our place there. Of course,

:29:10.:29:17.

many industries we have make an important contribution to our

:29:18.:29:20.

economy and a boiler and we want them to prosper as well. I woke on

:29:21.:29:25.

these proposals and a note that in all ten of the areas of focus, the

:29:26.:29:31.

Yeovil area and its aerospace cluster present our study are

:29:32.:29:35.

crucial opportunities to optimise our potential. We leave it in my

:29:36.:29:39.

constituency and help me promote a local centre of excellence and

:29:40.:29:44.

technology to build local skills and actively encourage inward investment

:29:45.:29:48.

from the likes of Boeing so that in partnership with great local

:29:49.:29:52.

companies like Leonardo, we can deliver the skills and jobs of the

:29:53.:29:55.

future and maintain our strategic abilities in helicopters? In my tour

:29:56.:30:03.

of the country from Orkney to Somerset, it seems I will be

:30:04.:30:06.

delighted like other aerospace cluster that is there. Companies

:30:07.:30:12.

reinforce each other by their presence there and that we know

:30:13.:30:18.

across the world is a source of resilience for local economies, when

:30:19.:30:21.

you have several companies all in the same sector. I know you've been

:30:22.:30:30.

saving the best for last. There have been many references to mobile

:30:31.:30:37.

technologies and electric vehicles as growth areas for the future and

:30:38.:30:41.

both rely on batteries. Will the Secretary of State join me in

:30:42.:30:43.

welcoming the news that large deposits of lithium have been fouled

:30:44.:30:48.

in Cornwall? This presents a great opportunity to build on our mining

:30:49.:30:53.

heritage in Cornwall and develop new industries around the extraction of

:30:54.:30:58.

lithium. Will he also confirmed this industrial strategy is designed just

:30:59.:31:04.

to support industries like that? I hadn't picked up that news and am

:31:05.:31:08.

interested to hear it from my honourable friend. It is certainly

:31:09.:31:13.

true that the technological developments in energy storage,

:31:14.:31:16.

including batteries, are a big opportunity. And if Cornwall as an

:31:17.:31:20.

opportunity to contribute some of the raw materials, I'm sure it's

:31:21.:31:31.

excellent news for them. The local Government Bill, second reading. We

:31:32.:31:39.

now call the Minister to move the second reading. Minister. Thank you.

:31:40.:31:49.

I beg to move that the bill now be read a second time. This Government

:31:50.:31:56.

has made no secret of its ambition to build a growing international

:31:57.:32:01.

economy that works for everyone. But in global Britain, we need local

:32:02.:32:06.

foundations. It is not enough to have a world leading FTSE 100

:32:07.:32:11.

exporters, with the thriving high streets, strong independent

:32:12.:32:14.

retailers, local economies that match the exceptional growth UK plc

:32:15.:32:19.

has experienced in the last seven years. The best place to lead that

:32:20.:32:27.

drive for growth or local councils. They know their communities better

:32:28.:32:31.

than anyone, what strengths to build on and what challenges to address.

:32:32.:32:36.

They hold many of the levers required to deliver change. Yet, in

:32:37.:32:42.

many meetings with councillors and council leaders, I'm often told all

:32:43.:32:46.

local authorities like a meaningful incentives to grow at their local

:32:47.:32:52.

economies. They tell me the system is overcentralised, that residents

:32:53.:32:55.

see no connection between the level of local taxation and of services

:32:56.:33:01.

they receive, that the proceeds of local growth disappear into national

:33:02.:33:07.

coffers, forcing councils to go cap in hand asking for funding from

:33:08.:33:12.

Whitehall. Mr Deputy Speaker, that is not good enough. Local

:33:13.:33:16.

authorities and businesses as well as local communities deserve a

:33:17.:33:21.

better deal. And this bill will provide that. It delivers

:33:22.:33:25.

far-sighted and long overdue changes about radically reform the way we

:33:26.:33:32.

fund local Government. It ends the main Central Government grants

:33:33.:33:37.

altogether and instead, allows local authorities to retain a locally

:33:38.:33:40.

raised taxes. It encourages local growth and it supports local

:33:41.:33:49.

businesses. Does it without accounts are like mine actively promotes

:33:50.:33:52.

growth and incurs huge bills for new roads, schools, surgeries and other

:33:53.:33:57.

public facilities and that has not been adequately reflected in the

:33:58.:34:01.

amount of money were allowed to retain from taxes were raised

:34:02.:34:04.

locally or in the support we get from Central Government? I would say

:34:05.:34:10.

to my right honourable friend that I absolutely understand local

:34:11.:34:15.

Government for far too long cause complained that the incentive to

:34:16.:34:22.

create growth is not there, particularly because of things like

:34:23.:34:27.

the levy, which was implemented in regard to the 50% business rates

:34:28.:34:33.

retention scheme and that levy, as my right honourable friend will know

:34:34.:34:40.

is being scrapped in this bill. Mr Deputy Speaker, this is not a bill

:34:41.:34:47.

that increases spending and puts a greater strain on local taxpayers.

:34:48.:34:52.

Rather, it offers a focused package of reform that will encourage and

:34:53.:34:56.

support local growth whilst continuing to live within our means.

:34:57.:35:03.

I will start with a commitment made in October 2015, that by the end of

:35:04.:35:09.

this Parliament, local Government would retain 100% of locally raised

:35:10.:35:15.

taxes. In implementing these reforms, we will move local

:35:16.:35:18.

authorities away for dependency on a Central Government grant and on

:35:19.:35:24.

towards greater self-sufficiency. I would like to take this opportunity

:35:25.:35:30.

to record my gratitude for the substantial contributions made by

:35:31.:35:34.

many in local Government and in businesses to the development of

:35:35.:35:42.

these reforms. The bill is a major milestone in the process and

:35:43.:35:46.

establishes the legislative framework for the reformed system.

:35:47.:35:52.

The bill reflects the significant input we have had to date and our

:35:53.:35:58.

collaborative will continue as we are determined to detail of the

:35:59.:36:02.

implementation of the new system. A key part of that will be the

:36:03.:36:10.

strengthening incentives for local authorities to grow their business

:36:11.:36:14.

rates in coming. This will build on the current system of 50% business

:36:15.:36:20.

rate retention. Under these reforms, which are aiming to be implemented

:36:21.:36:28.

in 2019, 2020, local Government will retain around an additional ?12.5

:36:29.:36:36.

billion in revenue. To ensure the reforms are fiscally neutral, local

:36:37.:36:39.

authorities will have grants replaced with locally raised taxes

:36:40.:36:45.

for existing responsibilities, or be given new responsibilities. These

:36:46.:36:49.

matters will be subject to separate discussions and not dealt with in

:36:50.:36:55.

this legislation. However, the Secretary of State announced last

:36:56.:36:58.

week that devolution of attendance allowance funding is no longer being

:36:59.:37:04.

considered as part of the business rate reforms. And I'm happy to

:37:05.:37:12.

confirm that to the House today. To the Minister... In the consultation

:37:13.:37:17.

paper the Government published last year, as well as suggesting

:37:18.:37:20.

attendance allowance may be passed down to local Government, and I

:37:21.:37:24.

welcome the fact it is not, they also suggested the ?3 billion

:37:25.:37:29.

public-health grant and the better care fund so crucial to local

:37:30.:37:32.

authorities facing gay social care funding crisis, will be axed as part

:37:33.:37:38.

as a fiscal quid pro quo business rate devolution. Is that still the

:37:39.:37:47.

minister's intention? I would say that as the honourable gentleman

:37:48.:37:53.

will know, the bill before us today does not deal with the principle of

:37:54.:38:01.

what additional matters will be devolved to local Government or not.

:38:02.:38:07.

What I would say to him though is that with regard to social care

:38:08.:38:11.

funding, which is an extremely important issue, it is this

:38:12.:38:15.

Government whose given the opportunity for local Government to

:38:16.:38:19.

spend up to an additional ?900 million in the next two on social

:38:20.:38:25.

care, in addition to the additional package of ?3.5 million that we've

:38:26.:38:32.

given the councils access to and in total, we've given access to an

:38:33.:38:37.

additional ?7.6 billion across this spending review period that is

:38:38.:38:41.

dedicated absolutely and solely to adult social care. I am extremely

:38:42.:38:47.

grateful to the Minister. Woody accents that one of the consequences

:38:48.:38:52.

of the bill is that we will significantly see rates demand on

:38:53.:38:57.

hospitals at a time when the health service is so hard pressed, for

:38:58.:39:01.

example, the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham will see is rates demand

:39:02.:39:07.

rise to ?7 million. If he's willing to look at discretion of the relief

:39:08.:39:12.

on public toilets, will he look again at discretionary relief for

:39:13.:39:21.

hospitals? I thank the honourable gentleman for his question. I'm sure

:39:22.:39:24.

having perused the bill, he will know that within this bill, NHS

:39:25.:39:32.

hospitals do not feature in regard to the increase that he mentions. I

:39:33.:39:37.

am sure he will know that what I think is referring to is the 2017

:39:38.:39:43.

business rate revaluation, which is an exercise that has been undertaken

:39:44.:39:54.

by the valuation office agency, being independent of Government. In

:39:55.:39:58.

that sense, this Government has put a package of transitional relief in

:39:59.:40:04.

place, which is up to 3.6 billion pounds. NHS hospitals will be

:40:05.:40:11.

subject to the same transitional relief as well over rate payers who

:40:12.:40:20.

will see an increase in their business rates bill as a result of

:40:21.:40:27.

the re-evaluation. But I'd like to point out that the business rate

:40:28.:40:30.

revaluation is not as many members in this House will know a process

:40:31.:40:36.

designed to raise ball is business rate overall, it a fiscally mutual

:40:37.:40:46.

exercise and therefore within the business rate revaluation, there

:40:47.:40:48.

will be people whose business rates bill will have increased and

:40:49.:40:52.

organisations whose business rates bills have decreased.

:40:53.:41:09.

The bill does not determine individual levels for individual

:41:10.:41:18.

councils. We will continue to: people across government to deal of

:41:19.:41:25.

the fear funding review. We remain committed to deliver a new funding

:41:26.:41:33.

formula in time for implementation in 2019-2020. Does he agree that

:41:34.:41:45.

while the devaluation of business rates is very welcome, the gap

:41:46.:41:52.

between urban and rural businesses and the review must make sure the

:41:53.:41:57.

gap closes as soon as possible and does not further weighed in. I think

:41:58.:42:04.

you for that intervention. That is indeed my view in the local

:42:05.:42:09.

government settlement deal last year. That was the insertion of a

:42:10.:42:18.

rule taking into account absolutely what my honourable friend says. That

:42:19.:42:25.

said, it is not, as he knows, part of this bill, but we are putting

:42:26.:42:31.

that under review. It is apparent that there are many places in the

:42:32.:42:35.

country where local authorities have come forward and expressed concern

:42:36.:42:43.

that the last proper assessment was around ten years ago and in many

:42:44.:42:48.

places, the demographic has completely changed in the

:42:49.:42:51.

intervening period. We are looking closely at the review at the

:42:52.:43:01.

situation regarding how resources should be distributed across the

:43:02.:43:14.

system. I will give way. We have shared many a happy hour debating

:43:15.:43:25.

business rates reduction. Most businesses have welcomed the

:43:26.:43:32.

settlement. Some are worried about other adjustments which have been

:43:33.:43:39.

made. What action is my honourable friend taking on adjustments to the

:43:40.:43:43.

overall settlement to take into account changes that the department

:43:44.:43:48.

has made which renders some of the settlements rather strange, by

:43:49.:43:57.

comparison. My honourable friend and I have spent many a happy time on

:43:58.:44:03.

the business reduction Bill which is coming back for its fourth stage

:44:04.:44:07.

this coming Friday. In terms of the issue that my honourable friend

:44:08.:44:16.

brings, my honourable friend is extremely clever in these matters

:44:17.:44:21.

and a member of the select committee and the issue he is referring to is

:44:22.:44:24.

not part of today's bill. He will know it is part of the local

:44:25.:44:31.

government finance settlement under which we have very recently

:44:32.:44:36.

undertaken a consultation. And on which we will be responding to the

:44:37.:44:41.

consultation and appoints meet by honourable members in rating and

:44:42.:44:48.

from local authorities across the country in regard to the new homes

:44:49.:44:54.

bonus which he has been able to get America this evening. On the record.

:44:55.:45:10.

So far as the 50% local additional business rates which I raised is

:45:11.:45:18.

finding urban areas because they are more prone field sites the to

:45:19.:45:23.

encourage business setups. It will be far harder in the country for us

:45:24.:45:31.

to raise the money. That is a very valid point. Indeed, like in the

:45:32.:45:44.

current system, there will be a redistribution of one of the four

:45:45.:45:46.

principles within the system because we must, in setting up the system,

:45:47.:45:54.

make sure there are not alias fundamentally losing out just

:45:55.:45:59.

because they do not start at the same position in terms of the amount

:46:00.:46:05.

of business rates collected as other areas. I have had a number of

:46:06.:46:13.

honourable friends ask a question about rural areas. Many of them are

:46:14.:46:19.

dependent on small businesses. Would they be exempted from business rates

:46:20.:46:31.

completely by the government package on business rates relief? I can

:46:32.:46:44.

assure him that the effect of the 2017 re-evaluation will be mitigated

:46:45.:46:49.

on local authorities on the current system because it will make sure

:46:50.:46:55.

that rural areas do not lose out. It was also the case that prior to this

:46:56.:47:02.

new 100% business rates system getting under way. I will give way.

:47:03.:47:17.

I is the issue of redistribution, is there going to be another needs

:47:18.:47:23.

assessment? Currently, when the new system comes forward, this house is

:47:24.:47:31.

that information before us. I understand in future we will not

:47:32.:47:43.

have the system. The principle of allocation will not come to this

:47:44.:47:50.

house. By have we been circumnavigated in this process? The

:47:51.:47:59.

honourable gentleman is a great deal of knowledge and this is the

:48:00.:48:04.

chairman of the select committee. He also has a great deal of respect

:48:05.:48:08.

from the members in this house on the subject. We are now in a very

:48:09.:48:12.

different world in which we were in only a few years ago we local

:48:13.:48:21.

government collected the whole of the business rates and back to

:48:22.:48:30.

government. 80% of the of local government was money that was

:48:31.:48:33.

distributed from central government on the basis of the principles that

:48:34.:48:40.

he mentioned. No, we are moving to a system and Minix take it we are 100%

:48:41.:48:49.

of the money from that will be raised locally. It is not a

:48:50.:48:53.

situation where year-on-year we will be in a position we are we are

:48:54.:49:01.

redistributing the level funding that has been the case. The other

:49:02.:49:06.

point I would make and it has been well recognised by local authorities

:49:07.:49:13.

in the past year. 90% of the local authorities of seeing up to the

:49:14.:49:19.

four-year deal. The have asked for certainty of funding, which this

:49:20.:49:21.

certainly provides. Under for the point of

:49:22.:49:41.

redistribution mechanisms, given EV label owns that councils will be

:49:42.:49:50.

able to reason through precept. It will raise 700 million over the next

:49:51.:49:56.

three years. Could he give us any encouragement whether the better

:49:57.:49:59.

clear fund will be brought forward to address this serious concerns

:50:00.:50:04.

there are around the problems with social care? I am sure my honourable

:50:05.:50:17.

friend will know, I think she is referring to the new Cuckoo payment

:50:18.:50:21.

which will go directly to local authorities, that has been brought

:50:22.:50:27.

forward as part of the spending review from 2015. In that sense, she

:50:28.:50:35.

will also know that funding effectively by changing the way the

:50:36.:50:39.

new homes bonus operates and sharpening the incentive in relation

:50:40.:50:47.

to the way that system operates. Therefore, that additional money was

:50:48.:50:57.

not freed up quickly enough to do what she says, although this year it

:50:58.:51:03.

was ?105 million in the system. Next year it is ?800 million. The year

:51:04.:51:10.

after it is ?1.5 billion. Alongside that, we will also be an additional

:51:11.:51:18.

?240 million for the social care system is a dedicated, real ice to

:51:19.:51:31.

additional savings made through the new homes bonus. I will give way.

:51:32.:51:39.

There will not be a change every year in the assessment. It will be

:51:40.:51:45.

fixed for the period of the settlement. What is important is

:51:46.:51:52.

that when a new needs assessment is done, there is then an allocation

:51:53.:52:01.

agreed, at that point, at the first allocation statement, it is

:52:02.:52:06.

important that that comes back to this house so we can take a view on

:52:07.:52:10.

it? As I said earlier, the honourable gentleman, and a

:52:11.:52:15.

significant amount of respect and regard to these matters while he

:52:16.:52:20.

does not always realise it, there are members of the government

:52:21.:52:29.

benches who do listen to the suggestions and concerns that he

:52:30.:52:34.

raises. I would reiterate, we are moving to a different world. That is

:52:35.:52:42.

why we have chosen to implement a system that we have laid out in the

:52:43.:52:51.

bill. Given that the emphasis of resources are onto local government,

:52:52.:52:58.

what a central government actually going to save as a result of this?

:52:59.:53:04.

In response to the honourable gentleman. I would say to him, this

:53:05.:53:16.

situation is fiscally neutral. We expect the current expenditure of

:53:17.:53:19.

local government to be realised from the current local taxes that are

:53:20.:53:27.

raised locally. There will be an additional ?12.5 million of spending

:53:28.:53:34.

that will also go to local authorities. As I seek, these are

:53:35.:53:38.

not items of expenditure that are looked at in this goal. It is a

:53:39.:53:45.

separate principle. But we will certainly be looking to devolve

:53:46.:53:49.

additional responsibilities to local government. In discussion with local

:53:50.:53:56.

government and organisations concerned, which we expect to be

:53:57.:54:04.

fiscally neutral. It is not physically -- fiscally neutral.

:54:05.:54:11.

Central government are saving money as a result of shifting the

:54:12.:54:18.

resources onto local government. We have got to reach a point surely we

:54:19.:54:23.

are local government cannot sustain that. Central government must be

:54:24.:54:32.

saving money somewhere. As I said to the honourable gentleman, there is

:54:33.:54:43.

an additional money going to local authorities only fiscally neutral

:54:44.:54:47.

basis. What they would see as the whole principle of which this system

:54:48.:54:53.

is built is that it will give local authorities the incentive to wade in

:54:54.:55:02.

the business base and raise additional funding for providing

:55:03.:55:05.

local services as a result of that. I will give way. I thank the

:55:06.:55:17.

Minister. Would he agree that the biggest savings that they will give

:55:18.:55:27.

an incentive to create jobs and drive jobs for what, which will get

:55:28.:55:31.

people off benefits and that will be the biggest benefit of all? Is is

:55:32.:55:37.

quite often the case, my honourable friend has hit the nail on the head.

:55:38.:55:43.

This is about raising local taxes that can be spent on local services,

:55:44.:55:49.

but it is also about driving growth. The biggest thing we can get, one of

:55:50.:55:57.

the most satisfying things, is to see people being employed that were

:55:58.:56:01.

not previously and employment. It is a bill which will drive that.

:56:02.:56:10.

I thank the Minister. As he looked at a thing used in economics to

:56:11.:56:22.

indicate where on the income tax collections spectrum is the optimum

:56:23.:56:27.

place to collect as much revenue as possible? Because we hear a lot

:56:28.:56:33.

about what with revenue can do for local Government, but there's a

:56:34.:56:37.

limit on what businesses can bear. And in my towns, some of my

:56:38.:56:40.

businesses are struggling with business rates. What help can you

:56:41.:56:46.

give local authorities to try and incentivise things to optimise

:56:47.:56:53.

growth and the collection of these taxes and the results for business?

:56:54.:56:59.

Can I just say that interventions are getting too long. Can we keep

:57:00.:57:06.

them tighter and it would give us more time for people to take part.

:57:07.:57:17.

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Jones is normally a popular name.

:57:18.:57:27.

Marcus is not normally that popular. But it is good to have another

:57:28.:57:33.

markers in the House. I'm delighted at the pointy razors and I do recall

:57:34.:57:43.

that curve in my days of A-level economics. This bill will set out a

:57:44.:57:47.

framework for local authorities to be able to reduce the multiplier on

:57:48.:57:55.

the business rates, so reduce the tax rate and by implication of his

:57:56.:58:00.

point, that may well lead to business as being attracted to a

:58:01.:58:05.

particular area and additional revenue therefore being raised.

:58:06.:58:17.

Authorities have been very clear that they do want more stability.

:58:18.:58:25.

Something they don't get, as I mentioned to the Select Committee,

:58:26.:58:27.

from the current annual discussions on the local Government funding.

:58:28.:58:34.

Councils have told us they want longer-term arrangements. 97% of

:58:35.:58:39.

English councils have signed up to our multi-year deal. This bill

:58:40.:58:43.

delivers that certainty and amends the current settlement process and

:58:44.:58:48.

related approach to the setting of council tax referendum and symbols.

:58:49.:58:55.

We will conceive to be to local authorities from the impact of

:58:56.:58:59.

reductions and the bill will provide a framework that will help councils

:59:00.:59:05.

manage risk and ensure they have a better protection from the impact of

:59:06.:59:10.

successful appeals so they can focus on delivering services their

:59:11.:59:15.

residents and businesses need. On that point, in terms of local

:59:16.:59:23.

authorities who are protected from changes, I welcome his commitment to

:59:24.:59:29.

a fairer funding formula, but nine of the local authorities were the

:59:30.:59:32.

highest spending power are in London. Nine out of the ten. Yet

:59:33.:59:40.

nine out of the ten lowest council tax authorities are also in London.

:59:41.:59:44.

Does he agree a fairer form that must take into account cost drivers

:59:45.:59:48.

behind need in local areas and not necessarily what has simply gone

:59:49.:59:54.

before? It wants to be about need and cost of delivering those

:59:55.:59:59.

services. I thank him for that point. He is correct in that we need

:00:00.:00:06.

to take a significant look at how funding is provided across the

:00:07.:00:14.

system of local Government as I've pointed out on a recurring basis,

:00:15.:00:18.

that doesn't feature the principles for the fair funding as they does

:00:19.:00:25.

feature this bill. But their importance. And certainly, we are

:00:26.:00:31.

taking the issues that my honourable friend mentions into account in the

:00:32.:00:34.

work that we are doing alongside this Bill. Taking soundings from

:00:35.:00:43.

local governments. Madden back row, the bill also includes cutting rates

:00:44.:00:51.

are small businesses and allowing local amenities to local communities

:00:52.:00:56.

can thrive. We'll take power following the commitments of the

:00:57.:00:59.

Budget last year for the Treasury to set the indexation rates for the

:01:00.:01:03.

business rates multiplier. This will allow us to change from the current

:01:04.:01:08.

rate of RPI to the significantly lower CPI measure. We will change

:01:09.:01:15.

the rural rate relief to ensure small businesses there receive the

:01:16.:01:18.

same level of business rate relief as those in urban areas. This is not

:01:19.:01:24.

only fairer, but will make a real difference to many employers across

:01:25.:01:31.

the country. We'll provide a new relief for five years for new

:01:32.:01:35.

optical fibre, fulfilling an announcement made last year. To make

:01:36.:01:41.

Central Government more responsive to changing circumstances, the bill

:01:42.:01:44.

streamlines the admin process of including premises on the central

:01:45.:01:53.

rating list. We will also introduce charity relief for promises on the

:01:54.:01:57.

central list, drinking them into line with those of local lists. --

:01:58.:02:09.

bringing them into line. Much the amusement of honourable members of

:02:10.:02:12.

the House where up last week, we are providing a new discretionary relief

:02:13.:02:16.

for public toilets and councils will be able to maintain these important

:02:17.:02:19.

facilities without having to spend quite so many pennies, Madam Deputy

:02:20.:02:27.

Speaker. As I said, this Government is committed to providing the right

:02:28.:02:31.

conditions for growth. The key function of this bill is to provide

:02:32.:02:36.

local Government with strengthen incentives for growing the business

:02:37.:02:38.

rates income and encouraging local businesses to set up and grow. Could

:02:39.:02:48.

you clarify something? The words on the face of the bill say on the

:02:49.:02:55.

question of communications infrastructures, say it is wholly or

:02:56.:03:02.

mainly used for facilitating the transmission of communications by

:03:03.:03:06.

any means involving the use of electrical or electromagnetic

:03:07.:03:12.

energy. My reading is that confirms rate relief being for the

:03:13.:03:18.

infrastructure used in telecommunications and for example,

:03:19.:03:21.

virgin media, which has a property in my constituency in Kirby would

:03:22.:03:28.

not be eligible. I hope I'm wrong. Chinaman is to let me know if I am?

:03:29.:03:35.

I think the honourable gentleman may be conflating the central

:03:36.:03:46.

list and the business rates relief, which is basically to incentivise

:03:47.:03:57.

providers to actually lay further networks of fibre-optic cables in

:03:58.:04:03.

the ground so people can benefit from superfast fibre broadband

:04:04.:04:09.

across the country. Madam Deputy Speaker, under the current system,

:04:10.:04:13.

Central Government currently levies local growth. We've listened to

:04:14.:04:18.

councils who have told us that this tax on success is a huge

:04:19.:04:25.

disincentive for local authorities and scraps the Central Government

:04:26.:04:30.

levy for good. This means local authorities will keep the hundred

:04:31.:04:35.

percent of business growth in business rate income between resets

:04:36.:04:39.

periods and a real incentive to grow their local economies and a great

:04:40.:04:43.

way to keep the proceeds of growth in their communities. We will also

:04:44.:04:51.

allow local authorities that set of pooling arrangements to designate

:04:52.:04:54.

specific areas where they want to boost growth. Here, they are the

:04:55.:04:57.

potential to give all growth and not lose it to the periodic reset and

:04:58.:05:07.

distribution process. To unlock growth through his considerable

:05:08.:05:11.

incentives provided, we need councillors with business

:05:12.:05:15.

experience. What more can be done to attract busy business people to be

:05:16.:05:20.

themselves forward? I'm aware that my honourable friend is an

:05:21.:05:26.

entrepreneur himself. He is absolutely right. In the sense of

:05:27.:05:31.

visible and measures brought forward, I think it will attract

:05:32.:05:37.

people into becoming councillors, because like in the past, where it

:05:38.:05:42.

was a situation where local business rate was collected locally... Sent

:05:43.:05:48.

back to Government and distributed across the country, this will give

:05:49.:05:53.

them an incentive to be entrepreneurial and will also

:05:54.:05:57.

attract the people he and many of us want to see you in local Government.

:05:58.:06:05.

Madam Deputy Speaker, going further, the bill will provide real

:06:06.:06:10.

flexibilities to local authorities. Councils can also provide business

:06:11.:06:13.

rate relief for parts of area. As a result, for first time since

:06:14.:06:19.

establishment of the business rate system councils will be able to

:06:20.:06:25.

provide a reduced national business rates multiplier for the authority.

:06:26.:06:29.

This will help them attract business and investment into the area. We're

:06:30.:06:35.

also supporting investment where needed to boost infrastructure

:06:36.:06:42.

investment and also enable mayoral combine authorities and the GLA to

:06:43.:06:47.

raise a small supplement on the business rate in full consultation

:06:48.:06:50.

with businesses to enable them to realise their area's growth

:06:51.:06:51.

ambitions. These will allow property owner bids

:06:52.:07:11.

to be established across the country, whether or not a business

:07:12.:07:16.

rate supplement is in force in that area. This will allow a levy on

:07:17.:07:22.

those with a property interest. Running a business is more than a

:07:23.:07:27.

full-time job. The working day does not end when you put up the closed

:07:28.:07:31.

sign. There are huge demands on anyone running a business and such

:07:32.:07:37.

entrepreneurs deserve the Government to stand firmly behind them and not

:07:38.:07:44.

get in their way. We will take about the business rate system or

:07:45.:07:46.

convenient, ensuring every business can access it billing and provide

:07:47.:07:53.

guidance to make sure bills at the same across the board, if your

:07:54.:07:56.

business as premises in Rochdale, for example, you should not have to

:07:57.:08:01.

wrestle with two difference completely set of paperwork.

:08:02.:08:07.

Finally, a paving measure. That will help us me to come is offering

:08:08.:08:11.

joinder up access to tax bills, including business rates by 2022.

:08:12.:08:26.

The Toulon, local Government has been too dependent on the whims and

:08:27.:08:32.

largess of Whitehall and Westminster. Now at the time to

:08:33.:08:36.

change that and help local leaders focus on growth and reduce the

:08:37.:08:42.

burden on local businesses. This provides the framework to do all

:08:43.:08:47.

that and more and I'll... It will realise a once in a generation

:08:48.:08:51.

reform to revolutionise the way local Government is funded. A

:08:52.:08:56.

delighted to commend this bill to the House. The question is that the

:08:57.:09:05.

bill will now be read again. The people of England should be able to

:09:06.:09:08.

shape their own destiny without having to wait for the say-so of

:09:09.:09:12.

ministers opposite. This bill is one part of a mix of new law funding

:09:13.:09:17.

reviews and it regulation and other when all publicly available will we

:09:18.:09:21.

know whether ministers have merely devolved responsibility for more

:09:22.:09:24.

badly funded local services or if serious opportunities for local

:09:25.:09:28.

initiative are genuinely been created. The party opposite has all

:09:29.:09:35.

too often had an hostile attitude in practice to local people being given

:09:36.:09:39.

the power to govern themselves properly. We on these benches are

:09:40.:09:43.

well remember the attacks of the late Margaret Thatcher on local

:09:44.:09:47.

councils. The introduction of the poll tax, abolition of London local

:09:48.:09:53.

Government and the nationalisation of business rates. Notwithstanding,

:09:54.:09:57.

recent deals on extended local powers in some areas, services run

:09:58.:10:01.

by local councils have been one of the hardest hit areas of Government

:10:02.:10:03.

funding in every Budget since 2010. Whilst we are reminiscing, does you

:10:04.:10:14.

remember the local Government the Labour Government cut in rural

:10:15.:10:18.

councils during their time in office, causing many of the problems

:10:19.:10:21.

we now face in that imbalance of funding? No, I don't.

:10:22.:10:33.

I do not remember that. They were able to invest in local services.

:10:34.:10:40.

Far from what we are seeing at the moment. Devolving power to local

:10:41.:10:48.

area so fatal services can be improved. These ambitions we would

:10:49.:10:55.

support. But the detailed implementation that this paves the

:10:56.:11:02.

way for could make the difficult funding problem facing local

:11:03.:11:08.

government even worse. It could alleviate and add to the social care

:11:09.:11:16.

problems. Badly introduced and regional inequality could encase the

:11:17.:11:23.

divisions between those with a growth business industry and those

:11:24.:11:30.

more opposed to that. This has to be accompanied by every distribution

:11:31.:11:34.

formula which addresses those councils who already have a large

:11:35.:11:41.

business rates income and those who do not. It is important that other

:11:42.:11:45.

areas of England do not get left behind. This could work on some of

:11:46.:11:54.

those label -- labour council areas. It could work in river does not seem

:11:55.:12:04.

to be such industrial growth. If the rate honourable gentleman is

:12:05.:12:06.

successful in getting onto the committee, we can shear more debates

:12:07.:12:13.

about such questions. This bill does not answer the very questions which

:12:14.:12:20.

local council and about how business rates retention would work in

:12:21.:12:26.

practice. There is no mention of what additional responsibilities

:12:27.:12:31.

they would be allocated with this redistribution. Few people will of

:12:32.:12:35.

confidence that the government will be capable of addressing these

:12:36.:12:40.

concerns. Over the last seven years, and axe has been taken to local

:12:41.:12:44.

government by this government and the previous one. It is costing more

:12:45.:12:55.

for worse public services. Ministers are forcing councils to put council

:12:56.:13:00.

tax poll local services have to be cut. It is an interesting comment

:13:01.:13:07.

that the honourable gentleman makes. Council tax in real terms is named

:13:08.:13:11.

percent lower than it was when this comment came into power in 2010. The

:13:12.:13:17.

council tax not double while Labour were in government? The figures we

:13:18.:13:26.

have is that there will be a 25% increase in council tax over the

:13:27.:13:32.

course of this Parliament. This is a result of the decisions which have

:13:33.:13:38.

been taken by the government. I would say to the honourable

:13:39.:13:46.

gentleman that even with the adult social care precept which many

:13:47.:13:50.

councils have welcomed, council tax in real terms will still be lower in

:13:51.:13:56.

2020 and it was when his party were in charge in 2010. I do not know who

:13:57.:14:07.

came up with the fight. I says suggest he looks at the record of

:14:08.:14:13.

spending under has department on local council services. ?10 billion

:14:14.:14:17.

voice spent by councils this year than they spent in 2010-11. Councils

:14:18.:14:27.

have faced a 5.8 billion gap by 2020 just to fund statutory services are

:14:28.:14:32.

cut according to the local government Association. Without the

:14:33.:14:35.

necessary funding, it is hardly surprising that we wonder whether

:14:36.:14:45.

the government are really interested in devolution simply on the evading

:14:46.:14:53.

responsibility for cuts. Dorsal shout to libraries, Day centres,

:14:54.:14:57.

swimming pools, museums. Bus services. Abandoned or shot.

:14:58.:15:08.

Investment in parks and street cleaning Ltd. All of these services

:15:09.:15:16.

treasured by local communities and provide vital lifelines for

:15:17.:15:23.

vulnerable residents. It is interesting to hear that list. Ken

:15:24.:15:31.

Healy mainly how much extra funding the Shadow Chancellor promised? If

:15:32.:15:37.

he goes back and looks at our manifesto, he was committed to

:15:38.:15:43.

devolving ?50 billion of additional spending to local government. He

:15:44.:15:50.

likes to pretend this is simply a matter of effective management. This

:15:51.:15:55.

is stopping councils providing a decent services they want to

:15:56.:16:10.

provide. I will give way and a second. The former Prime Minister

:16:11.:16:16.

inadvertently exposed this dilution first. He wrote to the leader of

:16:17.:16:22.

Oxfordshire County Council and I quote, I was looking at a long list

:16:23.:16:27.

of suggestion to how to mitigate the cops to front line services. This is

:16:28.:16:33.

in addition to the into productive proposals to cheap close children's

:16:34.:16:41.

centres across the country. The lack of understanding and the

:16:42.:16:48.

consequences of his own actions recent bees received the response

:16:49.:16:51.

are regularly received from the council. It explained that 2800

:16:52.:16:57.

council employees have lost their jobs. The remainder had experience

:16:58.:17:02.

peak freezers and below inflation increases for a number of years.

:17:03.:17:13.

Could he clarify on the issue of Labour Party policy. At the moment

:17:14.:17:19.

there is a on which local authorities can raise the council

:17:20.:17:25.

tax by and of the ousted goal for the lay have to go for a local

:17:26.:17:29.

referendum. Does the honourable member agree with the or agree that

:17:30.:17:34.

there should be a referendum if authorities wish to raise it further

:17:35.:17:39.

so that there will be a democratic view from local people. It is an

:17:40.:17:49.

interesting question. I will come onto it shortly. The decision by

:17:50.:17:52.

Surrey County Council who announced they were holding a referendum on a

:17:53.:18:01.

15% increase in council tax. I wonder if my honourable friend for

:18:02.:18:12.

Carol and they will be voting, the likes of the Chancellor of the

:18:13.:18:20.

Exchequer, who lives there. This happens because not a single new

:18:21.:18:27.

penny of extra money was put into local council services. They want to

:18:28.:18:37.

stabilise the care market and stabilise the amount of recruitment

:18:38.:18:40.

and ease the pressure on NHS hospitals. One reason why Surrey 's

:18:41.:18:52.

decision was so striking is that they have been able to increase

:18:53.:18:58.

spending on adult social care by 34%. Some councils have had to the

:18:59.:19:04.

police the spending on that prey almost the same percentage. In fact

:19:05.:19:10.

only two out of 152 local clear authorities have been able to

:19:11.:19:13.

increase their spending more than sorry. So sorry cannot cope with the

:19:14.:19:23.

demand and social care, most even Oxfordshire cannot protect front

:19:24.:19:28.

line services, the impact is disproportionately felt across the

:19:29.:19:32.

country, this bill offers no guarantee that the situation will

:19:33.:19:40.

get better. We'll do the people get, the more the relying on local

:19:41.:19:45.

services. It will have the coolest area the hardest. The Institute for

:19:46.:19:52.

Fiscal Studies, the ten councils that are most don't really have had

:19:53.:19:56.

to cut the services by 53% on average. We cannot even call this a

:19:57.:20:07.

post called Waterloo. Your postcode matters, but it is not lock or

:20:08.:20:12.

chants which determines the quality or quantity of services, it is the

:20:13.:20:18.

actions taken by this government. That is the context we must consider

:20:19.:20:24.

this bill today. Before anyone in the government seeks to advance the

:20:25.:20:30.

idea that local councils are going to get a significant stream of new

:20:31.:20:34.

funding, ministers have always been clear that what they give today, on

:20:35.:20:41.

another day possibly revoke them working, they will take it away.

:20:42.:20:45.

This is meant to be fiscally neutral. I will give way. As the

:20:46.:20:54.

perfect example of that is in Birmingham, which has been brutally

:20:55.:21:01.

treated by this government. ?5.6 million from the front and changes

:21:02.:21:08.

to the new homes bonus means it loses ?5.6 billion -- million

:21:09.:21:16.

pounds. That is a very good point. There are many other local

:21:17.:21:21.

authorities around the country who have seen the housing shortages

:21:22.:21:30.

similarly disadvantaged by the secretary 's decision. As to what

:21:31.:21:41.

extra responsibilities tasked to councils and which of these grants

:21:42.:21:45.

the currently get for these responsibilities will be taken away.

:21:46.:21:49.

They are not being properly funded no, ministers expect them to take

:21:50.:21:53.

even more decisions while losing funding. I do welcome the

:21:54.:22:00.

confirmation that it will not go ahead with his predecessor 's plan.

:22:01.:22:07.

But as I intimated, that begs the question of what would happen to

:22:08.:22:12.

other specialist funding? We have the Housing minister refusing to

:22:13.:22:23.

rule out potentially the end of the ?3 million health grant. The

:22:24.:22:41.

secretary of state has again promised nonlocal authorities will

:22:42.:22:45.

lose out. Does that mean they will lose out not in year one because

:22:46.:22:49.

there could be transition or doesn't mean every council will be better

:22:50.:22:55.

off and move able to meet in full the statutory responsibilities

:22:56.:23:00.

throughout the next Parliament? I know ministers intend to pilot their

:23:01.:23:04.

approach to this policy in certain areas. It is crucial that the system

:23:05.:23:14.

of top occidentalis is clear. It has been indicated that this will be

:23:15.:23:19.

similar to the system introduced under the 50% business rates scheme.

:23:20.:23:30.

That is not very reassuring. If 100% of business rates had been retained,

:23:31.:23:42.

16 councils would have seen the funding decreased by 20% or more in

:23:43.:23:46.

comparison to only one who saw an increase. 12 of them lost more than

:23:47.:23:57.

2% of their funding. It would appear that to have a system of fear

:23:58.:24:07.

funding under 100% business rates retention, the system of tariffs top

:24:08.:24:10.

ups will have to be amended. Why pick this forward no without

:24:11.:24:14.

publishing the responses to the consultation. Without even a date

:24:15.:24:22.

for the fear funding review being published? It makes more questions

:24:23.:24:27.

than it answers. I will ministers handle the business rates authority

:24:28.:24:39.

in the wake of the major government decision, such as the building of

:24:40.:24:43.

the major London -- really term terminus. London has always

:24:44.:24:51.

benefited from business rates from Heathrow. Westminster has benefited

:24:52.:24:58.

because of the proximity to major national assets. This will have

:24:59.:25:09.

little to do with council policy, and all not be of benefit to those

:25:10.:25:13.

who do not have the benefit of such major attractions. We will want to

:25:14.:25:26.

explore what will happen if a major business closes or moves away from

:25:27.:25:32.

the local authority concerned. There would be huge implications for the

:25:33.:25:39.

local services of the major employer. What has been proposed

:25:40.:25:47.

looks less than generous. We do not know for the needs of particular

:25:48.:25:52.

councils would be assessed. The decision to allow only combined

:25:53.:25:58.

authorities to introduce infrastructure appears petty and

:25:59.:25:59.

vindictive. Too many big decisions around how

:26:00.:26:18.

the business rates regime will work in practice are not sure clear. Too

:26:19.:26:23.

many big decisions will also remember the Secretary of State once

:26:24.:26:27.

the new regime is in place. That much is clear. And as the chairman

:26:28.:26:31.

of the Select Committee made clear, it does seem a little drastic to

:26:32.:26:36.

abolish the need for ministers to be held accountable annually for their

:26:37.:26:39.

performance on local Government plans. There will be divisive

:26:40.:26:49.

players on something or other on the House should be able to hold him to

:26:50.:26:57.

account. Local Government in England and local services that people rely

:26:58.:27:02.

been badly treated the party opposite since 2010. This bill could

:27:03.:27:08.

make things worse. We will give the bill of fare listened to Knighton

:27:09.:27:12.

seeks to improve it, but it changes forthcoming, will consider afresh

:27:13.:27:17.

approached the Government's handling of this issue. There are 16 people

:27:18.:27:27.

wanting to speak in this debate. Please keep to ten minutes or under.

:27:28.:27:38.

I'm sorry the Shadow minister's glacier is half empty. He says this

:27:39.:27:47.

Bill has the potential to be able to create a much better situation and I

:27:48.:27:52.

think it has. But he also seems to emphasise he can't think of anything

:27:53.:27:56.

worse. I'm glad he's not voting if the second reading of this Bill to

:27:57.:28:02.

night. The minister referred to it as a once in a generation reform. I

:28:03.:28:07.

suppose I'm at that stage where I can recall my involvement in the

:28:08.:28:13.

1988 local Government Finance bill, when I was a minister taking forward

:28:14.:28:20.

the uniform business rate and I'm delighted my honourable friend has

:28:21.:28:24.

retained the principles which were set out in the uniform business rate

:28:25.:28:29.

which was introduced in order to prevent Labour councils, for example

:28:30.:28:39.

Liverpool, from attacking their own businesses and driving them out of

:28:40.:28:42.

town and driving jobs away the process. I'm glad we are not going

:28:43.:28:47.

to be allowing councils and the freedom to destroy jobs in the way

:28:48.:28:52.

they did prior to the 1980 legislation. I also welcome the

:28:53.:29:02.

embassy 's uncertainty and predictability. In that context, can

:29:03.:29:05.

I asked my honourable friend if he will set out a little more clearly

:29:06.:29:12.

how the reforms which he says are going to be brought into effect in

:29:13.:29:17.

2019, including the new funding formula, how they are going to

:29:18.:29:22.

interact with the four-year settlements which, as I understand,

:29:23.:29:28.

will still be subsisting in 2019 and 2020. For example, adult social care

:29:29.:29:34.

we've heard that councils can increase that precept by an extra

:29:35.:29:40.

amount in the next financial year and ever after. But in 2020, they

:29:41.:29:46.

would not be able to. Others arrange was going to interact with his

:29:47.:29:51.

laudable objective of an judge using all these reforms in 2019 and 2020?

:29:52.:29:58.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I wanted to say a little about a clause in this

:29:59.:30:07.

Bill. Close for Micro is very relevant in relation to local

:30:08.:30:13.

Government reorganisation. Each of the nine councils in Dorset are

:30:14.:30:20.

currently debating and meeting to decide if they wish to go down the

:30:21.:30:25.

road of a local Government reorganisation. One of the councils,

:30:26.:30:34.

in fact two of the councils, Bournemouth and Poole, seem to

:30:35.:30:40.

support the idea of creating a new unitary authority with Christchurch

:30:41.:30:46.

in the belief that when that new unitary authority is set up, if the

:30:47.:30:52.

Secretary of State was wise enough to -- unwise enough to approve it,

:30:53.:30:57.

that on day one the residents of Christchurch would be paying ?200

:30:58.:31:05.

more in council tax than the people living in the unitary authority area

:31:06.:31:12.

invested in bars is in Bournemouth or pool. My honourable friend

:31:13.:31:20.

confirmed last week it is not possible for an individual 's

:31:21.:31:28.

printable authorities are levy a different Council tax in one part of

:31:29.:31:35.

an area compared with another. I hope my interpretation of clause not

:31:36.:31:43.

-- clause for is incorrect. Where we'd have a unitary authority

:31:44.:31:47.

covering pool, Bournemouth and Christchurch, that from day one, the

:31:48.:31:52.

people of pool and Bournemouth and Christchurch will all be able to

:31:53.:31:56.

play exactly the same level of council tax. Because the council tax

:31:57.:32:07.

at excessive levels has often been interpreted about excessive levels

:32:08.:32:16.

of ingress that as the notes make clear, determination principles for

:32:17.:32:20.

Wetherwick Council ties is excessive allows the Secretary of State to

:32:21.:32:23.

make a statement of principles for determining whether or not council

:32:24.:32:26.

size is excessive and covering a number of years rather than just

:32:27.:32:38.

one. I corrects in thinking if there were a new unitary authority further

:32:39.:32:42.

three mentioned towns, that the Secretary of State would be able to

:32:43.:32:48.

say that there should be one set level of council tax starting from

:32:49.:32:55.

day one? I raised this point because later this week, in both Bournemouth

:32:56.:33:01.

and Poole, councillors will be invited to support this proposal for

:33:02.:33:08.

a unitary authority in the mistaken belief they will continue to be

:33:09.:33:14.

subsidised by local residents for 20 years. And if they were disabused of

:33:15.:33:25.

that and told from day one they would be liable for an increase of

:33:26.:33:31.

up to ?200, I think minds would be concentrated and would be as much

:33:32.:33:37.

enthusiasm from councillors for what is being proposed. I hope I can get

:33:38.:33:56.

Clare answers to those points, the essence of this is if councils

:33:57.:34:05.

impose excessive levels of council tax on their citizens then there

:34:06.:34:08.

should be the safeguard of a referendum. But what is proposed and

:34:09.:34:16.

the local Government reform in Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole

:34:17.:34:21.

is that Christchurch people should be expected to pay extra Council

:34:22.:34:27.

tykes but they won't have the chance of a local referendum to decide if

:34:28.:34:31.

they wish to be abolished and absorbed within a new council. If we

:34:32.:34:36.

can have referenda for levels of tax, why can't we have that for

:34:37.:34:41.

whether or not the council is to be abolished? Something seems to be out

:34:42.:34:53.

of sync. Can I also ask if my honourable friend can be clearer

:34:54.:34:58.

about the pooling arrangements. Why is the Government taken the power to

:34:59.:35:04.

introduce mandatory pooling arrangements and how will they work?

:35:05.:35:12.

All the local authorities be able to be regarded as a pool for the

:35:13.:35:18.

purposes of business rate income and distribution? If so, you may require

:35:19.:35:26.

desirable, but why Mylar have to be imposed by the Government, rather

:35:27.:35:40.

than agreed to locally? And my next point... I'm concerned some

:35:41.:35:50.

businesses because of the powers given in this Bill, may find that

:35:51.:35:56.

they are minorities in an area where they are subject to significant

:35:57.:36:03.

supplements on their business rates. How will we make sure there isn't an

:36:04.:36:09.

impression of a minority of businesses by the majority? The East

:36:10.:36:16.

Dorset, there is a business improvement districts and it is

:36:17.:36:20.

centred on a rundown industrial estate. When that was set up, it was

:36:21.:36:28.

clear that as there was a lot of concern amongst some businesses,

:36:29.:36:33.

they may end up paying extra for offering that was when they used to

:36:34.:36:38.

them. I'd be grateful if my honourable friend because spell out

:36:39.:36:44.

safeguards in place to ensure that hard-pressed businesses do not find

:36:45.:36:48.

themselves in pose the pond with significant increases in terms of

:36:49.:36:52.

supplements or additional business rates. And yet another point...

:36:53.:37:03.

Clause nine. Christchurch Council has been privileged to whether the

:37:04.:37:07.

toilet of the year awards on many occasions! And it has a great

:37:08.:37:15.

selection of public conveniences as would befit the age profile of the

:37:16.:37:19.

population and it being a very important tourist destination.

:37:20.:37:27.

Meanwhile, the borough council in a pool has decided to close half its

:37:28.:37:32.

public toilets, most of the rage of local people. Some councils are now

:37:33.:37:41.

thinking outside the box and saying why can't we have joint arrangement

:37:42.:37:53.

so that public buildings can be made available for public conveniences

:37:54.:37:57.

and it doesn't seem to me on the reading of this clause that any of

:37:58.:38:03.

these reliefs in terms of business rates will be available for a

:38:04.:38:12.

building which is partially consisting of the toilet and as

:38:13.:38:24.

other facilities as well. It difficult to speak about this

:38:25.:38:29.

without punning. And I got the point across though. But why would we wish

:38:30.:38:37.

to artificially restrict such a relief and said they can only be

:38:38.:38:42.

available in a freestanding, dedicated public lavatory. On that

:38:43.:38:53.

point, which does raise humour, I was attending and Age UK event and

:38:54.:38:59.

apparently there are 2 million people in this country you can be no

:39:00.:39:02.

more than ten minutes away from the toilet. If there isn't one

:39:03.:39:07.

available, they can't go out. This is a serious issue that does need

:39:08.:39:14.

money to provide it. In conclusion, this is one of the main reasons why

:39:15.:39:20.

support small district councils which are accountable to the local

:39:21.:39:28.

town and people. Does local people can then decide if they want more

:39:29.:39:32.

money spent on public conveniences or whether they wish to have money

:39:33.:39:38.

spent on public parks. It is better to leave that to the discretion of

:39:39.:39:43.

local councils and that's why I'm against the imposition of unitary

:39:44.:39:44.

authorities in Dawson. In passing, I note the honourable

:39:45.:40:12.

member for Christchurch gave himself credit for the uniform business rate

:40:13.:40:17.

system, but didn't give himself credit for the other part of that's

:40:18.:40:18.

when it came in at same time. feeling the the community charge

:40:19.:40:45.

delivered ready reckoner for local people. I will reappear to the first

:40:46.:41:03.

report from the select committee. As we were doing our enquiry, the

:41:04.:41:09.

government announced a consultation and this was a list of things for

:41:10.:41:14.

them to consider. There are many things which to need looking at. I

:41:15.:41:23.

will not go into the general issues of local government finance. I think

:41:24.:41:29.

they have taken the fair share of the austerity measures since 2010.

:41:30.:41:39.

My only real Sheffield have enjoyed more than their fair share of the

:41:40.:41:50.

local cops. But I do welcome aspects of the devolutionary they mention

:41:51.:41:57.

that the government are heading for. I understand that they have more

:41:58.:42:01.

control, but they have to have more control of raising the money in the

:42:02.:42:08.

first place. This bill in a small way, a very small way, goes in that

:42:09.:42:20.

direction, but it we are still the most centralised country in western

:42:21.:42:25.

Europe. I think the minister was getting slightly carried away when

:42:26.:42:30.

he called it a revolution. I do not see this as the revolutionary change

:42:31.:42:38.

in local government finance. Local authorities having to rely on the

:42:39.:42:46.

council tax. It is the only tax or in local government we are has to be

:42:47.:42:54.

a referendum to increase it by a certain amount. A little point in

:42:55.:42:59.

the proposed legislation is that this house in future will no longer

:43:00.:43:06.

be able to approve those decisions on the threshold at which local

:43:07.:43:09.

councils have to have a referendum with regard to rises in council tax.

:43:10.:43:15.

It is something else which has been taken off from this house. I felt we

:43:16.:43:22.

can debate this. There is also the retention of the growth imperative.

:43:23.:43:30.

There is no power to determine to reduce the multiplier or in the case

:43:31.:43:35.

of this supplement, for the very different cases, for combined

:43:36.:43:42.

authorities to be able to increase the business rates eye of a small

:43:43.:43:50.

moan for specific projects. I think it is good if councils have the

:43:51.:43:58.

ability to work out business rates multipliers. That would take us back

:43:59.:44:09.

to the system before the Honourable member for Christchurch helped bring

:44:10.:44:15.

in the new legislation. The multiplier limited ability to raise

:44:16.:44:26.

business rates. It is limited control. It still leaves it in a

:44:27.:44:32.

very centralised system indeed. Some important details. The appeals

:44:33.:44:37.

system. There is an enormous amount of evidence that the appeals system

:44:38.:44:49.

is a major problem for councils. The cost of any appeal falls on

:44:50.:44:55.

individual councils. I understand local authorities are holding back

:44:56.:44:59.

?1.5 billion in reserves for appeals. Theoretically percent of

:45:00.:45:08.

the business rates risers were subject to appeal. That is a very

:45:09.:45:16.

high number. By far the biggest challenge in this legislation is how

:45:17.:45:23.

you marry together the need to incentivise against the need to

:45:24.:45:28.

equalise within the system to recognise those authorities which

:45:29.:45:32.

cannot grow the base as rapidly as others. How you do that? You cannot

:45:33.:45:43.

do it with one tax. It is like a golfer trying to play around with

:45:44.:45:50.

only one club. I be not going to keep some of that back to help the

:45:51.:45:57.

equalisation which might make the system a lot more simple.

:45:58.:46:03.

Equalisation could never be simple, but this could make it a lot more

:46:04.:46:07.

complicated. I hope the ministers from about that. I will the fact

:46:08.:46:13.

that they are doing the needs assessment with the LGA. But then we

:46:14.:46:24.

get onto the complications of resetting within the system. If you

:46:25.:46:32.

do not reset often enough, local councils who struggle just over a

:46:33.:46:37.

longer period of time. I think there was an interesting idea that you get

:46:38.:46:47.

to the point at Aycliffe edge, all the new business development you

:46:48.:46:54.

have had is no going to be reset. What happens if you have the new

:46:55.:47:06.

development before the reset, the local council does not necessarily

:47:07.:47:08.

want to encourage the development because of it waited a few months,

:47:09.:47:11.

it would get the benefit of the reset. And we going to have a new

:47:12.:47:19.

assessment of the period of the needs assessment? Or is going to

:47:20.:47:26.

last in perpetuity? How is it going to working with the reset? I think

:47:27.:47:31.

it would be much easier to do that if you had it kept as a separate

:47:32.:47:40.

brand within the system. I accept if you had a separate support grant you

:47:41.:47:43.

would need to devolve even more powers to local government. It may

:47:44.:47:49.

be easier to do in the spirit of devolution to give them more power.

:47:50.:48:01.

The attendance allowance was taken off the agenda in the select

:48:02.:48:09.

committee report. The things in relation to transport, skills and

:48:10.:48:16.

economic development, there's hope they could have an immediacy and

:48:17.:48:23.

linking the money together. In principle, the money taken from

:48:24.:48:28.

business rates was for a business activities. I would also say, we

:48:29.:48:38.

have to look at the sections of the powers of section 51 to give

:48:39.:48:41.

guidance. We cannot look at the system without looking at social

:48:42.:48:47.

Kier. We have to have long-term revised arrangement with regard to

:48:48.:48:53.

social care. A real concern in our enquiry is that social care demands

:48:54.:48:56.

are likely to go up faster than business rates. If we are relying on

:48:57.:49:05.

business rates to fund social killer is going to be a growing disparity.

:49:06.:49:11.

The system will never succeed in doing its job. Let's have an

:49:12.:49:17.

independent look at social care with some other form of funding needs to

:49:18.:49:23.

come in to support it. I will give way. He is making a very good point

:49:24.:49:35.

on social care. One solution is plucked out of the ear and regarded

:49:36.:49:41.

as being a golden bullet to tackle a real crisis in funding of social

:49:42.:49:48.

care. It is going up by 5% a year in most local authorities. We DC have

:49:49.:49:55.

that could be incorporated into this bill. I just think the government

:49:56.:50:04.

has to be thinking for the longer term. If they are going to reform

:50:05.:50:14.

the business rates system to start in 2020. One of the responsibilities

:50:15.:50:19.

of local councils is that if we do not address social care and the

:50:20.:50:28.

demand continues to rise we actually are inventing a system which has to

:50:29.:50:35.

feel. I want this to succeed. I want to see more power devolved to local

:50:36.:50:41.

councils. But for that to work, we really need to address this problem.

:50:42.:50:53.

It is a real issue. One other point, the previous Chancellor announced

:50:54.:51:04.

plans to extend small business rates exemption and to change the really

:51:05.:51:10.

multiplier was calculated. That would reduce the amount of money

:51:11.:51:13.

local councils got from the business rate. This either rugby compensation

:51:14.:51:25.

for these changes. They will be reflected in the amount of money the

:51:26.:51:32.

councils get. What of the Chancellor was to make some similar changes to

:51:33.:51:37.

the business rates system, how would local councils be compensated if

:51:38.:51:44.

there was no appropriate grant? It is a very important point. Nobody

:51:45.:51:52.

wants to give up the poor to give up the ability to change the business

:51:53.:51:58.

rates once it is set, but I think the grant claiming powers have been

:51:59.:52:04.

removed. It is a very important point. But this is a fairly small

:52:05.:52:11.

step towards devolution, to give council more power to spend more

:52:12.:52:16.

money and have control over the money that the raise and can spend

:52:17.:52:23.

on the important services. I cannot go along with seeing it as

:52:24.:52:29.

revolutionary, but they would see it as a small step. I look forward to

:52:30.:52:33.

seeing the future consultation on this. It would be remiss not to

:52:34.:52:40.

recognise and congratulate the Secretary of State who will be

:52:41.:52:43.

responding to this debate on his birthday. What a way to spend a

:52:44.:52:56.

plastic. The Guardian suggested he was only 45 years of age. I commend

:52:57.:53:03.

the government on its more flexible approach to local government

:53:04.:53:12.

financing. I would also say that it is a pleasure to speak after the

:53:13.:53:16.

honourable gentleman. I she has concerns about the way in which

:53:17.:53:23.

local authorities may faint owners alike in the system by holding back

:53:24.:53:28.

on new developments to make the benefit of the reset. We have to

:53:29.:53:34.

look at other possible ways that that could be addressed. The City of

:53:35.:53:47.

London Corporation says the ungrateful for the provisions which

:53:48.:53:52.

will see councils compensated for losses from valuation changes. This

:53:53.:54:02.

is particularly helpful after the property downturn in the City of

:54:03.:54:09.

London. It is a substantial rate in the business rates retention scheme.

:54:10.:54:17.

Close to addresses that and is very welcome. Efficiency, there should be

:54:18.:54:25.

discretionary power exercised by the Secretary of State and I hope we

:54:26.:54:29.

will get confirmation as to how he says that power will be used,

:54:30.:54:34.

particularly queer full compensation is going to be provided for losses,

:54:35.:54:43.

it is also correct to say the support the City of London feels for

:54:44.:54:49.

the waiter devolution proposals put forward by the LGA. The city wants

:54:50.:54:57.

to retain a greater proportion of the business rates because it has a

:54:58.:55:11.

very small residential population. I hope all the non-London members will

:55:12.:55:12.

feel that we started looking at feel that we started looking at

:55:13.:55:19.

government finance, we look at the position we start from no. There has

:55:20.:55:24.

been a an accumulation of legislation going back many decades.

:55:25.:55:36.

Few would want to go through the rigmarole entirely from first

:55:37.:55:44.

principles. The principles of the is that many of these things may rule

:55:45.:55:49.

colleagues will feel simply give you get advantages to London.

:55:50.:56:04.

I wanted to turn to the western part of my constituency, Westminster City

:56:05.:56:11.

Council, which is seeking Government support for its western partnership

:56:12.:56:14.

investment programme which may incorporate parts of the London

:56:15.:56:22.

Borough of Camden. This idea aims to maintain private sector investor

:56:23.:56:26.

confidence at a time when businesses are anxious in the imminent impact

:56:27.:56:30.

of the business rates and evaluation and they will be looking for this

:56:31.:56:35.

programme to work alongside this particular bit of legislation. It

:56:36.:56:39.

would consist of transformative works to improve the public realm

:56:40.:56:43.

and the environment in the West End of London, such as Oxford Street,

:56:44.:56:50.

which will in turn secure finance and trigger additional investment by

:56:51.:56:55.

landowners and business occupiers. I accept my local authorities than

:56:56.:57:00.

usual. Westminster contributes 3% of UK tax revenues, making it the

:57:01.:57:04.

highest single contributor of any borough and has the highest business

:57:05.:57:09.

rates collection the UK. It is currently at ?1.8 billion a year,

:57:10.:57:14.

rising it is assumed, to about 2 billion in the next financial year.

:57:15.:57:19.

Ratepayers in Westminster contribute to more business rate supplement and

:57:20.:57:24.

all London bus combine, including some billion pounds towards

:57:25.:57:26.

Crossrail, with businesses in Oxford Street is contributing half of this.

:57:27.:57:32.

I appreciate capacity of West End businesses to continue contributing

:57:33.:57:36.

business rates and revenues for other projects such as Crossrail to

:57:37.:57:41.

is highly dependent upon confidence in the West End operating

:57:42.:57:48.

environment. Major investment to street furniture and infrastructure

:57:49.:57:52.

will be required to be End up to the standard expected by the firms

:57:53.:57:57.

located there and for the millions of people who visit. Existing

:57:58.:58:05.

authorities are simply unable to address these problems and I

:58:06.:58:07.

appreciate that when you present two parts of this central, global city,

:58:08.:58:16.

often, you can't have a mechanism that can be applied, there has to be

:58:17.:58:19.

a sense of being an exceptional state of affairs. It is resolutely

:58:20.:58:24.

designed to improve the dwell time of visitors here and their average

:58:25.:58:31.

expenditure, reversing a recently declining trend compared with other

:58:32.:58:38.

world cities. This will improve tourism and it's an important point

:58:39.:58:52.

to make. It includes the Soho media cluster to the south of Oxford

:58:53.:58:58.

Street, the Harley Street medical cluster north of Oxford Street and

:58:59.:59:05.

the creative quarter around the Strand area and of course, the

:59:06.:59:07.

significant financial services sector which is no longer just a

:59:08.:59:12.

cover-macro city, be very much in the Mayfair and Saint James's area.

:59:13.:59:20.

As far as London is concerned, supply chains will reach out to the

:59:21.:59:30.

UK regions. It is often said London gets a good deal. We get all the

:59:31.:59:35.

infrastructure development, whether infrastructure development, whether

:59:36.:59:39.

important to make a vital case. A important to make a vital case. A

:59:40.:59:43.

lot of our money coming into London, if it didn't come to our capital, it

:59:44.:59:47.

wouldn't come here at all, but another global city. It's also the

:59:48.:59:56.

case that the money invested creates jobs, contractors, construction jobs

:59:57.:59:59.

will go beyond the capital. Certainly for those of you, those

:00:00.:00:09.

members who are walking anywhere nearby here, whether it is Victoria

:00:10.:00:12.

Station or the West End to see what is happening with Crossrail. Huge

:00:13.:00:18.

numbers of jobs are going to other parts of the UK. The truth is, that

:00:19.:00:25.

investment does have great benefits John London and therefore, we need

:00:26.:00:32.

to not look too harshly toward special pleading from the capital

:00:33.:00:42.

city for future elements. It's an important point to make. Because of

:00:43.:00:50.

the iconic opportunities in central London will hinge upon the outcome

:00:51.:00:56.

of a funding decision of the Western polishers programmes which I have

:00:57.:01:00.

referred. Many overseas retail brands and concepts new to the UK

:01:01.:01:05.

will be trialled here in central London of course before being rolled

:01:06.:01:10.

out nationally. These flows between London and the provinces are often

:01:11.:01:15.

two way, with London dependent on supply trains in the region and

:01:16.:01:19.

those regions be very dependent upon London's performance. If the capital

:01:20.:01:23.

succeeds, then there are benefits for the rest of the UK. It is not a

:01:24.:01:33.

0-sum game. It would be icing foolish to go to the success of

:01:34.:01:35.

London because the rest of the London because the rest of the

:01:36.:01:41.

country also would then suffer. My authority in Westminster believes

:01:42.:01:45.

the programme it has in mind could create billions of additional output

:01:46.:01:53.

can generate even more. By producing additional floor space that

:01:54.:01:58.

increases revenues above projections for business rates. The private

:01:59.:02:04.

sector is prepared to invest in a joint up and strategic approach to

:02:05.:02:08.

development in the West End consisting of cash payments from

:02:09.:02:11.

firms and business occupiers toward the public realm and roadwork

:02:12.:02:17.

packages. My authority has submitted that to the Treasury last year and

:02:18.:02:25.

discussions are ongoing. The core of our programme costs ?800 million,

:02:26.:02:34.

and of this, 400 million will be required from the existing sources

:02:35.:02:39.

available to Westminster Council such as cash contributions from the

:02:40.:02:44.

private sector and our own community infrastructure Levy. The preferred

:02:45.:02:48.

funding option would result in Westminster Council really sink

:02:49.:02:53.

potential for something. Business rates, which were looming

:02:54.:03:12.

nightmare for many smaller businesses in my constituency and

:03:13.:03:17.

applies to much of London, but also be the capital city. I appreciate

:03:18.:03:22.

the Government has put together a welcome ?3.4 billion relief scheme

:03:23.:03:26.

nationally and that is designed to benefit the capital city more than

:03:27.:03:32.

any other region. Nonetheless, most recent consultation did not provide

:03:33.:03:36.

some London authorities with sufficient time to work out the

:03:37.:03:38.

extent to which our local businesses be affected. I would make this

:03:39.:03:44.

appeal to the ministers, certainly Westminster City Council would like

:03:45.:03:48.

to see something similar to the 2010 relief scheme and very much support

:03:49.:03:52.

the suggestion that we must bring rateable value into three categories

:03:53.:03:57.

to recognise the varying abilities of small, medium and large

:03:58.:04:01.

businesses to pay business rates. Now take this opportunity to which

:04:02.:04:04.

the Government a great success and I hope it is the first of many moves

:04:05.:04:09.

towards devolution. It has been pointed out this country

:04:10.:04:14.

historically has a centralised tax base of any western European

:04:15.:04:18.

country. I can't be healthy. Not if we are to have a thriving local

:04:19.:04:23.

democracy. This is an important step forward. Is a pleasure to follow the

:04:24.:04:39.

previous speaker. I will support the front bench, but I must say, I'm

:04:40.:04:48.

suspicious, because we've been here before with the Conservative

:04:49.:04:55.

Government. I've been in local Government although Roberto the

:04:56.:05:04.

Fatah's years. -- all the way back to the Thatcher's years. One

:05:05.:05:12.

particular carrot used in local Government bike in the days of

:05:13.:05:16.

Margaret Thatcher was local authorities being told they could

:05:17.:05:20.

give the capital receipts. Initially, they were able to keep

:05:21.:05:25.

going gradually, that was phased out. So let us be careful about the

:05:26.:05:32.

Conservative front bench enticing us to go down a road we may regret,

:05:33.:05:39.

because it seems to me the strategy is shifting the burden away from

:05:40.:05:43.

Central Government for certain services onto local Government and

:05:44.:05:47.

anyone with any experience of local anyone with any experience of local

:05:48.:05:50.

Government knows there will come a point with Central Government will

:05:51.:05:55.

be wanting to couple local Government because they'll be saying

:05:56.:05:59.

to them, you're spending too much money. We've been down here before.

:06:00.:06:07.

I will cautiously go along with the debate subject to if were able to

:06:08.:06:14.

amend. Having said that, he would be remiss of me not to talk about

:06:15.:06:20.

something or other as we outlined earlier. It suffers from potential

:06:21.:06:29.

job losses, library closures, youth services being reduced. There's a

:06:30.:06:34.

whole catalogue. Coventry has had the same problem. It's worth noting

:06:35.:06:42.

that since 2010, there's been a 40% cut in Government funding to local

:06:43.:06:50.

councils. It is full to possible choices onto local authorities. His

:06:51.:06:56.

force them to scale back services as demand increased. The funding gap

:06:57.:07:04.

for local councils is massive. Currently, these places find it a

:07:05.:07:11.

cute. Funding has been cut by massive 45% since 2010.

:07:12.:07:19.

This reduction is expected to rise to 55% by 2020. There's no way to

:07:20.:07:30.

make it up. Unless you local taxation. That's what I alluded to

:07:31.:07:40.

earlier on. But looking a social worker, the pressures create a

:07:41.:07:48.

massive gap by remains between the resources available and funding

:07:49.:07:52.

across the country. The precept of across the country. The precept of

:07:53.:07:57.

by the Government can't make up the shortfall. It's a panic measure that

:07:58.:08:01.

offers too little, too late Morse amend the idea of a postcode

:08:02.:08:09.

lottery. Quality depends on the affluence of residence. These

:08:10.:08:18.

pressures been highlighted recently. They plan to increase council tax by

:08:19.:08:25.

15% and certainly the council do the same thing on local rates increases.

:08:26.:08:39.

This is a Tory run council in an affluent area. It is an omission or

:08:40.:08:47.

failure in the policies of this Government and you must ask if

:08:48.:08:53.

funding is so tight in Surrey, why must everywhere else? More must be

:08:54.:08:58.

done to integrate health and social done to integrate health and social

:08:59.:09:04.

care and certainly in the last Labour Government, they did want to

:09:05.:09:05.

get on board to create an get on board to create an

:09:06.:09:14.

amalgamation of national care services. That was rejected. Failure

:09:15.:09:24.

to deliver and a breakdown in delivery, when we look at business

:09:25.:09:31.

rates, have the retention is welcome. This correct that they can

:09:32.:09:35.

shape their own services, but not at the expense of regional inequality.

:09:36.:09:42.

Poorer regions must not suffer at the expense of which are ones.

:09:43.:09:51.

Finally, once these changes come into effect, I urge the Government

:09:52.:10:01.

promised no area will be worse off for these changes. I also asked them

:10:02.:10:09.

to provide clarity on how this revenue will be distributed, so

:10:10.:10:15.

there's a level playing field. I also think that the minister should

:10:16.:10:22.

be accountable every year. We need to be able to put our case

:10:23.:10:44.

in the chamber. I rise to speak in support of the Local Government

:10:45.:10:51.

Finance Bill. I am glad they are committed to devolution and took a

:10:52.:11:00.

greater power to local authorities. It is good that councils have the

:11:01.:11:04.

money to spend really feel it is needed most in the local area. I

:11:05.:11:14.

know how important it is for local councils to be given the money to

:11:15.:11:21.

manage their own affairs properly. But the aspect of business rates is

:11:22.:11:29.

absolutely essential of the councils are to be able to carry out the

:11:30.:11:36.

It is essentially are able to obtain It is essentially are able to obtain

:11:37.:11:39.

this money and spend it we are necessary. As at the moment, the

:11:40.:11:46.

business rates system is very complex. In its current form,

:11:47.:11:53.

there's little incentive for local authorities stimulate growth. 50% of

:11:54.:12:05.

this is a very clean. This will be a challenge and we need to acknowledge

:12:06.:12:09.

that. All parties will have two drastically adapt to a new way of

:12:10.:12:13.

thinking and undergo a cultural change in order for the change to be

:12:14.:12:17.

a success. It is my hope that the Bill will push councils to more

:12:18.:12:23.

self-sufficiency and away from dependency local government. It will

:12:24.:12:29.

work more in tune with its local work more in tune with its local

:12:30.:12:32.

authority. They can then talk about business rates and get a better

:12:33.:12:37.

understanding of how the other works. It gets a better dialogue. I

:12:38.:12:46.

think it is very important for future employment. Thank you for the

:12:47.:12:54.

intervention. With the changes, it will be a lot easier to show

:12:55.:13:01.

businesses and residents really revenue is spent and the direct

:13:02.:13:09.

impact of the decisions. As a casual reader, I was always very

:13:10.:13:13.

frustrating to me to explain the complex funding system to frustrated

:13:14.:13:23.

businesses and residents. I was also pleased to see within the Bill that

:13:24.:13:31.

the government will raise less than the competing areas do not

:13:32.:13:38.

necessarily lose out. But this should never be used as an excuse to

:13:39.:13:42.

never fight for investment. We recently held an enquiry into

:13:43.:13:49.

business rates and we cannot underestimate the significance of

:13:50.:13:56.

the reforms but could lead to even more problems with local authority

:13:57.:14:00.

spending if it is not managed properly. It is my hope that

:14:01.:14:08.

councils believe the higher income proposals mean they will seek to

:14:09.:14:15.

reinvest the money. One final point is one of the recommendations

:14:16.:14:33.

suggested that the small business rates will not get such an incentive

:14:34.:14:40.

that the focus will be on much that the focus will be on much

:14:41.:14:47.

larger businesses. We need to make sure that the small businesses have

:14:48.:14:56.

plans plans put in place so that 100% business rates potential will

:14:57.:15:06.

be helped used to encourage the potential of all businesses, not

:15:07.:15:07.

just the larger ones. I think this just the larger ones. I think this

:15:08.:15:13.

is part of the devil you shouldn't the party has been working towards

:15:14.:15:17.

since being in government. By allowing councils to focus on their

:15:18.:15:23.

own priorities and offering facilities within their own business

:15:24.:15:27.

environment and keeping a more efficient system of government.

:15:28.:15:38.

It is a pleasure to follow the member for Northampton South, who

:15:39.:15:44.

like myself has experience of local government. I welcome the bill in

:15:45.:15:52.

principle. I want the ability of councils to make spending decisions

:15:53.:15:55.

closer to home. It is something we have argued for a long time. My

:15:56.:16:01.

worry is that it will do nothing to solve the crisis in local government

:16:02.:16:07.

funding. It was a missed opportunity to support local government. That is

:16:08.:16:11.

nowhere else in the public sector which has been hit harder by

:16:12.:16:17.

austerity than local government. I was executive member for finance in

:16:18.:16:22.

Manchester City Council. I experienced first-hand the

:16:23.:16:31.

consequences of that. The result was the government outsourcing the most

:16:32.:16:34.

difficult decisions to local authorities. It meant the local

:16:35.:16:41.

councils having the blame put on them rather than the government

:16:42.:16:45.

centrally taking a sales. I have some suspicions about this type of

:16:46.:16:52.

intention. I will not forget the role of the Liberal Democrats who

:16:53.:16:54.

are not represented here at the moment. But without whose

:16:55.:17:01.

collaboration with the Conservatives, local government

:17:02.:17:04.

would not be in such a mess as it is right now. Every year, we face

:17:05.:17:08.

impossible decisions as to what services to close because of huge

:17:09.:17:15.

funding cuts imposed on us. We have had to take out more than ?300

:17:16.:17:26.

million year-on-year. There will be a ?600 per house cut in funding.

:17:27.:17:38.

4000 staff. How are councils continue to deliver services

:17:39.:17:40.

properly with those sort of reductions? I knew that when making

:17:41.:17:48.

these difficult decisions the full effect would nicely be seen for some

:17:49.:17:52.

time. The full effect is no being seen. Since 2010, there has been a

:17:53.:18:00.

reduction of ?77 million in Manchester on adult social care in

:18:01.:18:08.

top of the ?11 million reduction in the public health can. Is it any

:18:09.:18:12.

wonder then that we have this crisis in adult social care around the

:18:13.:18:18.

country? I can to the remarks need bigger cheer of the select committee

:18:19.:18:25.

that we need to look look at how we fund adult social care in the

:18:26.:18:30.

future. The most important thing is that in the short term, this bill

:18:31.:18:36.

does not represent any additional funding for councils. It is fiscally

:18:37.:18:43.

neutral. While I welcome the principles of some of the measures,

:18:44.:18:50.

I support the ability of local councils to protect business rates

:18:51.:18:57.

revenue, there has to be protection for councils who are less able to do

:18:58.:19:00.

that. More questions than answers are raised in this bill with regard

:19:01.:19:08.

to funding. There is no clarity on the most important thing, which is

:19:09.:19:12.

how the government will handle the need for a redistribution mechanism.

:19:13.:19:19.

How a fairer funding formula will operate? What is the outcome of new

:19:20.:19:29.

replacement top and tariffs? We keep getting caught taunt councils will

:19:30.:19:33.

not lose out. I know there is good to be a review of the needs

:19:34.:19:38.

assessment, but I hope the house will forgive my scepticism. I have

:19:39.:19:45.

seen this commitment to funding previously. We have seen councils

:19:46.:19:58.

losing out over and over again. I am listening very carefully. Will he

:19:59.:20:04.

not acknowledge that rural counties and rule councils have been

:20:05.:20:06.

underfunded by central government for many years. This will be

:20:07.:20:14.

addressed the gap which has been in place for a very long time. I will

:20:15.:20:23.

give an example. In Manchester, we calculated, if we had a fair share

:20:24.:20:43.

?1.5 million better off in terms of ?1.5 million better off in terms of

:20:44.:20:52.

local government spending. In terms of the abolition of the revenue

:20:53.:20:54.

support grant, I agree with my support grant, I agree with my

:20:55.:20:58.

honourable friend. I would approach this with some caution. Councils

:20:59.:21:05.

have a different level of dependency on it. In Westminster, the only need

:21:06.:21:12.

to retain a percent of the business rates Duke of the level of grant. In

:21:13.:21:22.

the Wirral, they would require 157%. 259% on Tyneside. That illustrates

:21:23.:21:29.

what we make them the London problem. How do we address the

:21:30.:21:37.

ability, the much stronger ability of the city, particularly in the

:21:38.:21:41.

City of London to raise revenue. That will be all likelihood

:21:42.:21:48.

exacerbated by the likely host praising index. In real terms,

:21:49.:21:55.

London will be able to pay ?700 million more than everyone else will

:21:56.:22:00.

be raising less consequently because of the indexing. Unless the

:22:01.:22:05.

government makes clear how they are going to redistribute funds, we run

:22:06.:22:10.

the risk of cooler areas being left behind. Particularly in areas where

:22:11.:22:14.

business and industry has been in long-term decline. There are

:22:15.:22:21.

genuinely difficult solutions. In Manchester, we have even very well

:22:22.:22:26.

run council. There are plenty of areas around the country struggling

:22:27.:22:33.

to drive growth in the future. Forgive me if I want to see the

:22:34.:22:36.

detail before I will totally recommend this legislation. That is

:22:37.:22:43.

simply too much that is unclear, including no clarity for example on

:22:44.:22:54.

specialist grant funding. In the very complex world of local

:22:55.:22:58.

government finance, it is very easy for the government to go under the

:22:59.:23:02.

radar by arranging special discounts. It is not an unusual

:23:03.:23:07.

mechanism for governments to be able to force difficult decisions on

:23:08.:23:11.

local councils. I will focus on a couple of up positives. The ability

:23:12.:23:22.

of the councils to have the business rates multiplier. I am pleased to

:23:23.:23:30.

see powers being given to local authorities to fund local

:23:31.:23:33.

infrastructure projects. That has to be good news. I do welcome the

:23:34.:23:41.

settlements. It is a much more sensible way of allowing councils to

:23:42.:23:48.

fund in the future. There are some things that they support in

:23:49.:23:51.

principle, but they cannot support it now without a lot more detail in

:23:52.:23:54.

some sense that the government knows how it is going to address the

:23:55.:23:59.

addition -- issue of any quality, how it is going to make sure that

:24:00.:24:03.

areas like Manchester are not going to lose out. Thank you. It was a

:24:04.:24:14.

pleasure to follow the honourable gentleman on the opposite bench. Can

:24:15.:24:20.

I start by saying the timing of this is perhaps unfortunate. In South

:24:21.:24:29.

Dorset, this garment shake-up is something of a perfect storm.

:24:30.:24:44.

Everyone's mains seem to be on combined authorities and the worry

:24:45.:24:49.

about how this money is going to be allocated. The government is heading

:24:50.:24:59.

that way. Can I also say happy birthday to the secretary of state.

:25:00.:25:09.

Devolution is one of these things which I do endorse. It is important

:25:10.:25:17.

we have more power to make local decisions. I think there is an

:25:18.:25:21.

agreement across the house about that. But government responsibility

:25:22.:25:28.

to ensure that there is fair play and the difference between urban and

:25:29.:25:32.

rural and the puller and wealthier parts of the country are equalised.

:25:33.:25:37.

If you go to one system, business rates relating to this, as I asked

:25:38.:25:45.

earlier, it does raise the question, will cooler parts of the country or

:25:46.:25:49.

rural areas get the funding they deserve?

:25:50.:25:55.

My other concern is that as the pressures on finance grow, the

:25:56.:26:02.

perception from many of my councillors is that the government

:26:03.:26:09.

is putting more of the tax-raising powers into their hands, which they

:26:10.:26:14.

are not so keen on if they don't have the resources to ensure is

:26:15.:26:21.

distributed properly and fairly but I raise that is one concern. Overall

:26:22.:26:27.

I welcome the path the government is taking. I asked around as is my duty

:26:28.:26:35.

to do by several people, councils what they thought of the bill and

:26:36.:26:40.

being an MP I must act without fear or favour so it's my duty to raise

:26:41.:26:43.

five break points that have been raised. The New Homes Bonus, adult

:26:44.:26:50.

social care, the business rates appeal, second homes and the general

:26:51.:26:55.

point on underfunding. If I could touch briefly on five. New Homes

:26:56.:26:59.

Bonus, the significant funding change set out in February 16 has

:27:00.:27:04.

seen a reduction, six years worth of funding down to five years and four

:27:05.:27:12.

years from 18-19 onwards. Worryingly, the in-built so-called

:27:13.:27:20.

dead weight of 0.25% set out in the consultation was suddenly changed to

:27:21.:27:24.

0.4% in December 2016 nine months after the consultation closed. I ask

:27:25.:27:30.

colleagues forgiveness for the dryness of my words but let's face

:27:31.:27:34.

it, the subject is fairly dry and can get rather detailed. The scheme

:27:35.:27:41.

was designed to reward councils for building new homes but this dead

:27:42.:27:44.

weight, the incentive has been removed or risks been removed. In

:27:45.:27:50.

Weymouth and Portland that dead weight is 108 homes, so in 2016-17

:27:51.:27:57.

they built 234 homes but the New Homes Bonus was received for only

:27:58.:28:02.

126. The incentive was removed. There are no transitional measures

:28:03.:28:06.

to limit the impact. The calculation is based on band D, which

:28:07.:28:12.

disadvantages councils like Weymouth and Portland with the village

:28:13.:28:20.

properly band B. Even if the authorities see substantial growth

:28:21.:28:23.

in the number of homes, the New Homes Bonus doesn't necessarily

:28:24.:28:28.

benefit to the extent the government would perhaps like. It's predicted

:28:29.:28:33.

that Weymouth and Portland will use shy of ?1 million in New Homes Bonus

:28:34.:28:38.

between now and 2020. The Society of District Council treasurers have

:28:39.:28:45.

made several points about the government's plans, saying they are

:28:46.:28:50.

severe and come so late in the budget plan and process that many

:28:51.:28:53.

authorities have little option at this stage apart from reducing their

:28:54.:29:00.

reserves. As society touches on this point of 0.4%, is far more drastic

:29:01.:29:06.

than 0.25% mentioned in the consultation. Emerging local plans

:29:07.:29:11.

including substantial number of new homes often face fierce opposition

:29:12.:29:17.

and no more is that true in my seat. These plans often tempted by the

:29:18.:29:21.

promise of funding by the New Homes Bonus. In cash terms than award has

:29:22.:29:27.

now been reduced so the resistance to new homes is even greater. Moving

:29:28.:29:34.

on adult social care, there's no doubt in my view and again this is

:29:35.:29:38.

across the House that there is a crisis, I don't like to use that

:29:39.:29:42.

word because a crisis is considerably more serious than the

:29:43.:29:47.

situation now, but there are very serious concerns that we all have in

:29:48.:29:50.

this house about this particular subject. Business rates really do

:29:51.:29:57.

nothing in the view of this I've spoken to address urgent needs. The

:29:58.:30:01.

?240 million across the country in savings from the New Homes Bonus

:30:02.:30:05.

reform is going to social care in a one-off grant. This means that while

:30:06.:30:12.

social care gets resuscitation the council is of course lose out.

:30:13.:30:17.

Taking funding from district councils like this forces them to

:30:18.:30:21.

review discretionary services like low-level support to older people

:30:22.:30:25.

and other vulnerable groups and we've also talked about public

:30:26.:30:28.

conveniences and the interesting fact, I had no idea until I listened

:30:29.:30:32.

to this debate by a duty that 2 million people cannot be more than

:30:33.:30:36.

ten minutes from a public convenience. If they don't there is

:30:37.:30:42.

a disaster and for many unhealthy people, they don't leave their home,

:30:43.:30:47.

so in effect we are forcing them to stay in their homes and that can't

:30:48.:30:52.

be right. In addition, authorities get all of the money and two your

:30:53.:30:56.

councils like battered south have to split their revenues the District

:30:57.:30:59.

Council loses and this county council games. Social care is

:31:00.:31:06.

delivered through a grant which favours the Northern metropolitan

:31:07.:31:09.

areas and is taken away from councils like ours. South Dorset has

:31:10.:31:13.

an increasing elderly population which will only get bigger and

:31:14.:31:18.

therefore the impressions on adult social care is only going to

:31:19.:31:23.

increase. On the business rate appeals, they are growing and they

:31:24.:31:28.

are costing. Under the new 50% retention rate rules, local

:31:29.:31:31.

government must pay 40% of appeals and settlements against business

:31:32.:31:42.

rates. This year, the company that runs the onshore oil platform on

:31:43.:31:45.

Micah ?5 million appeal and the Ministry of Defence won 22 5p

:31:46.:31:52.

appeals for the two army camps, both against the District Council. 40% of

:31:53.:32:00.

7.5 million is ?3 million payable by the District Council directly. It

:32:01.:32:06.

try sticky ?1 million a year as a safety net so that's three years of

:32:07.:32:10.

Safetynet wiped out. On second homes, the viewers that these house

:32:11.:32:17.

prices are put up and reduces the number of local people living. Again

:32:18.:32:21.

that's a concern across the House. So long as a second home is

:32:22.:32:26.

available to rent for 140 days per year, it is registered as a holiday

:32:27.:32:30.

let, liable for business rates, it avoids council tax. This lowers the

:32:31.:32:36.

cost of home ownership for those who least needed. They live tax-free in

:32:37.:32:42.

a second woman said of tax-free on a small business as was intended. --

:32:43.:32:48.

second home. Business relief on second and makes a variable

:32:49.:32:51.

difference of district but a huge difference to county council and the

:32:52.:32:56.

Chancellor. At least 200 newly registered second homes in the last

:32:57.:33:00.

couple of years will see a loss of half ?1 million per year in revenue.

:33:01.:33:05.

At the moment, Purbeck district has or has to assess how many homes to

:33:06.:33:11.

build and then automatically adds 10% similar to counteract the effect

:33:12.:33:17.

of second homes. The chronic underfunding of district councils in

:33:18.:33:21.

the view of those I spoke to is not addressed by the Safetynet, it is

:33:22.:33:25.

not addressed by the transition grant payments which only increase

:33:26.:33:30.

uncertainty for budgets every calculated every two years. But rest

:33:31.:33:37.

by paying ?65 million to the upper quartile of super sparsity local

:33:38.:33:40.

authorities. Services should be separately funded, that's their

:33:41.:33:48.

view. Finally, it's not addressed by top slicing of the New Homes Bonus.

:33:49.:33:52.

The New Homes Bonus should be separately funded as well. With

:33:53.:33:56.

those points I conclude, although as I said at the start as the minister

:33:57.:34:02.

stated and are very happy birthday to him, I support the direction of

:34:03.:34:06.

travel but I am concerned with much of the detail.

:34:07.:34:12.

It's a pleasure to follow the honourable member for South Dorset

:34:13.:34:18.

and I'm sure his comments will be listened to with great interest by

:34:19.:34:26.

ministers opposite. The reform of business rates is of course, as many

:34:27.:34:29.

others have said in principle, welcome. But the minister did make

:34:30.:34:36.

very big claims in his opening speech about the benefits that would

:34:37.:34:41.

follow from it. For example, he used the argument that the measure would

:34:42.:34:46.

be fiscally neutral in response to my honourable friend, the member for

:34:47.:34:51.

Coventry South, and yet we've had no convincing arguments as to how, what

:34:52.:34:56.

the mechanics of making it fiscally neutral will actually be. Indeed, my

:34:57.:35:02.

honourable friend from the front bench from Harrow West made similar

:35:03.:35:07.

points and yet so far we don't seem to have had any clear answer to

:35:08.:35:15.

those queries. For me, the two tests will be, first of all, will the bill

:35:16.:35:20.

itself unable the resources to get to the areas of greatest need, as

:35:21.:35:26.

others have already referred to. Secondly, will it be fair to counsel

:35:27.:35:33.

taxpayers, businesses and local authorities? Before tackling

:35:34.:35:36.

directly some of those issues and how the bill itself will work in

:35:37.:35:43.

relation, I need to say a few words about the wider context of local

:35:44.:35:49.

government funding and services. In Knowsley, between 2010 and 2020, the

:35:50.:35:56.

budget of the local authority was reduced by a staggering 46%. Let me

:35:57.:36:10.

repeat that, 46%. That equates to come in cash terms, ?94.7 million.

:36:11.:36:16.

In other words, Knowsley has already experienced the biggest cut in

:36:17.:36:19.

government support, which is largely where those figures come from, of

:36:20.:36:23.

any local authority in the United Kingdom. It's quite right that I

:36:24.:36:32.

make some concerns known about the problem we've got and we'd like to

:36:33.:36:39.

relate them to what is in this bill. That means that these things don't

:36:40.:36:47.

happen without consequences. As the National Audit Office made clear in

:36:48.:36:55.

2014, local authorities at that time, all local authorities in

:36:56.:36:59.

England, had already experienced a real terms reduction in funding of

:37:00.:37:06.

37%. That was since 2010. That in itself represented, in terms of the

:37:07.:37:13.

council's income, 25% cut. You cannot sustain those sorts of cuts

:37:14.:37:22.

without it having consequences. In 2016, PricewaterhouseCoopers in a

:37:23.:37:26.

report commissioned by Lancashire County Council, said that there is a

:37:27.:37:35.

significant risk that the cost of statutory services will exceed the

:37:36.:37:39.

financial responsibilities available to the council. In other words, what

:37:40.:37:45.

they're predicting is that there is a real possibility that a local

:37:46.:37:51.

authority, that particular one but I suspect that applies to many others,

:37:52.:37:54.

may not be able to function in a legal and proper manner. Such cuts

:37:55.:38:01.

do have consequences, for example in Knowsley between 2015 and 2020,

:38:02.:38:08.

schools on average face funding cut per pupil of ?240. Despite the

:38:09.:38:14.

manifesto commitment of the Conservative Party to protect such

:38:15.:38:18.

funding, many schools in my constituency will be badly affected

:38:19.:38:24.

by that. So how does the bill address those problems?

:38:25.:38:27.

Unfortunately on the basis of what we've already been told, the answer

:38:28.:38:33.

is we don't know. The Minister talked about focus but too many of

:38:34.:38:37.

the details are still too fuzzy for us to make a rational assessment of

:38:38.:38:43.

how it will work. We do need the measures to be stress tested. In a

:38:44.:38:48.

briefing that I got from the Liverpool city region, they said and

:38:49.:38:55.

I quote, on the question of the Liverpool city region pilot scheme,

:38:56.:38:59.

despite submitting its formal proposals regarding the scope of the

:39:00.:39:04.

pilot scheme to the Department for Communities and Local Government in

:39:05.:39:09.

October 2016, the city region has till has no indication of what the

:39:10.:39:13.

pilot scheme will look like or even when the details of the pilot scheme

:39:14.:39:19.

will be provided. This is now so severely hampering our ability to

:39:20.:39:30.

plan effectively for the pilot schemeimplementation in 2017. Even

:39:31.:39:33.

the testing that's taking place, the people expected to do it don't even

:39:34.:39:36.

know what the terms of the testing is going to be and frankly that is

:39:37.:39:41.

something, a matter of some great concern. I want to move on to the

:39:42.:39:53.

question of additional funding for city regions like the Liverpool city

:39:54.:40:00.

region. Today I was at the launch of my honourable friend, the member for

:40:01.:40:06.

Liverpool Walton's campaign to be the first-ever elected city region

:40:07.:40:14.

and he made a very good fist of explaining how he wanted to use it.

:40:15.:40:19.

But when he does come in, there's so much uncertainty about how the

:40:20.:40:24.

powers and resources available will be able to be used, particularly in

:40:25.:40:31.

terms of the infrastructure resources that it's actually almost

:40:32.:40:36.

impossible to see what measures will be available, what resources are

:40:37.:40:39.

available to carry out some pretty critical infrastructure changes.

:40:40.:40:47.

I won't say anything much further but it seems the two tests I set at

:40:48.:40:57.

the beginning, about whether we will get resources to the community 's

:40:58.:41:00.

most in need, they still haven't been met because we don't know

:41:01.:41:05.

enough detail on how it will work in practice. I would appeal to the

:41:06.:41:12.

Minister, when he does wind up, to give a commitment that he will start

:41:13.:41:16.

talking to Liverpool's city region Council leaders who are at present

:41:17.:41:22.

running the combined authority and the mayor of Liverpool. And also the

:41:23.:41:27.

candidates who will become hopefully the next city region mayor, about

:41:28.:41:32.

how all this is going to work because, at the moment, the complete

:41:33.:41:36.

lack of clarity leaves people bewildered. I'm sure he would agree

:41:37.:41:45.

we don't want the position of local governments to be in. So I hope we

:41:46.:41:48.

can have more dialogue on this. I'm not opposed to the principle but we

:41:49.:41:53.

do need more detail, we need more clarity and more dialogue, and I

:41:54.:42:01.

hope we will get that. It is a great pleasure to follow the

:42:02.:42:06.

member the Knowsley, and can I also wish the Minister a very happy

:42:07.:42:11.

birthday. I hope he will get some time to enjoy his birthday and two.

:42:12.:42:20.

Madam Deputy Speaker... I am very grateful to have the opportunity to

:42:21.:42:24.

speak in this evening's debate and I'd like to focus my contributions

:42:25.:42:29.

on part one of the bill which builds on the reforms of business rates

:42:30.:42:34.

which were undertaken in the last Parliament and extend business rates

:42:35.:42:39.

retention from 154% to 100%. I welcome these changes as I see it as

:42:40.:42:44.

a key part of a devolution of powers and budget, and remove from local

:42:45.:42:52.

authority's reliance on central government grants. These reforms

:42:53.:42:57.

will give local authorities greater control, responsibility and

:42:58.:43:01.

accountability. I also believe this is a great way to provide councils

:43:02.:43:07.

with something they find very important, financial certainty. I

:43:08.:43:11.

was a local councillor before entering this place. I know how

:43:12.:43:16.

councils set their budgets, and the challenges they face when doing so.

:43:17.:43:19.

Councils planned their budgets many years ahead, and this requires a

:43:20.:43:26.

degree of certainty. Having our way of protecting their financial

:43:27.:43:29.

position for years ahead is very much in the interests of local

:43:30.:43:33.

government and allows them to plan projects and services the years to

:43:34.:43:40.

come. And the whole, local government is very efficient, and,

:43:41.:43:44.

for many years, has shown all of government how you can do more with

:43:45.:43:49.

less. There are many local authorities that deserve to be

:43:50.:43:53.

congratulated on their budget in these difficult times, and have

:43:54.:43:57.

protected front line services by sharing services with other

:43:58.:44:01.

councils, investing wisely, developing the local economy, and

:44:02.:44:06.

many other actions that have seen them rise to the financial

:44:07.:44:11.

challenges. There are various aspects to the bill which will give

:44:12.:44:15.

local authorities more control, including the ability to set and

:44:16.:44:21.

reduce the business rate multiplier, creating incentives for them to grow

:44:22.:44:27.

their business rate income. Rightly, these reforms are fiscally neutral,

:44:28.:44:33.

so with the retention of business rates come additional

:44:34.:44:37.

responsibilities. As a consequence of devolving these powers, there

:44:38.:44:41.

will inevitably be greater accountability. The power and

:44:42.:44:47.

decisions local authorities make will directly influence outcomes for

:44:48.:44:54.

local residents and businesses. I also know that local government

:44:55.:44:58.

relishes new challenges. There are many services they want to get

:44:59.:45:01.

involved in, for the betterment of the local communities, and bring

:45:02.:45:07.

their passion, drive for efficiency, and something they offer above all,

:45:08.:45:15.

their direct connection with voters. However, business rates don't always

:45:16.:45:19.

offer councils certainty, and there can be an issue when a council faces

:45:20.:45:27.

a large ratepayers closing their operations. Whilst I wholly agree

:45:28.:45:30.

with the government's plans to extend business rate retention

:45:31.:45:34.

there's one issue I'd like to address this evening, and that is

:45:35.:45:38.

the protection for local authorities who are faced with significant rates

:45:39.:45:46.

losses. Madam Deputy Speaker, last year, Risley B power station ceased

:45:47.:45:51.

operations. This was incredibly disappointing news for the employees

:45:52.:45:55.

and contractors working at the site, and also the local community, as the

:45:56.:46:01.

power station had come home to a large number of sports clubs and

:46:02.:46:07.

recreational groups. It has also hit the local council, Cannock Chase

:46:08.:46:11.

district Council, very hard. The closures sees them lose ?1 million

:46:12.:46:17.

in business rates per year. Unfortunately, though, it is my

:46:18.:46:22.

constituents, my residents, businesses and charities who are

:46:23.:46:26.

paying the price for the failure of the Labour run local authority to

:46:27.:46:31.

plan for this. Anyone who's worked in business will be familiar with

:46:32.:46:36.

swot analysis. With the scale of business rates losses and the impact

:46:37.:46:40.

this would have on the financial stability of the local council, the

:46:41.:46:45.

possibility and threat of the power station closing should have been at

:46:46.:46:50.

the top of the council's priority list, and issues to prepare for. The

:46:51.:46:56.

council would have been aware there was always a risk that a 40-year-old

:46:57.:47:00.

coal-fired power station would close and was coming to the end of its

:47:01.:47:05.

life span. They should have had contingency plans in place. The

:47:06.:47:13.

consequences, cuts to services which will adversely affect my

:47:14.:47:18.

constituents. They should have planned soon for this eventuality,

:47:19.:47:22.

and embarked on further efficiency measures sooner. They would have

:47:23.:47:27.

been a neighbour to position now, instead of defaulting to an argument

:47:28.:47:32.

of blaming the Conservatives for their financial woes. Especially

:47:33.:47:41.

when they are better funded than their neighbouring three district

:47:42.:47:44.

councils. But all said, the impact of the business rates losses should

:47:45.:47:53.

hopefully be a short-term issue. With the designer Outlet Village to

:47:54.:47:58.

be built in Cannock, this gap will, to some extent, be met. This, in

:47:59.:48:02.

conjunction with the redevelopment of the power station site, should

:48:03.:48:06.

see business rate growth for the Council in the medium to long term.

:48:07.:48:13.

In fact, I believe, with ambitious, bold and visionary plans, we could

:48:14.:48:17.

create an incredibly bright future based on a new industrial landscape

:48:18.:48:21.

which will serve the local community for decades to come. One which

:48:22.:48:25.

creates highly skilled jobs for future generations. But we have in

:48:26.:48:33.

the short term a shock to manage. It is my constituents know who are

:48:34.:48:36.

having to deal with Labour council 's failure to balance their books in

:48:37.:48:43.

the short. I'd like to urge the Minister to consider transitional

:48:44.:48:46.

funding to see the council through the next couple of years. I, for

:48:47.:48:50.

one, don't want to see any obstacles in place to the redevelopment of the

:48:51.:48:56.

power station site and the regeneration of Cannock Chase more

:48:57.:49:00.

broadly. Whilst I believe the council should and could have done

:49:01.:49:04.

more to mitigate the impact of the closure of the power station, in

:49:05.:49:08.

terms of business rates, it raises questions as to how we support and

:49:09.:49:13.

protect local authority from significant shocks of this nature.

:49:14.:49:20.

Particularly as we move towards 100% business rate retention. To conclude

:49:21.:49:24.

my remarks, I'd like to ask the Minister three questions. What

:49:25.:49:29.

measures are being taken to support and protect local authorities from

:49:30.:49:33.

the impact of power station closures, or for that matter, any

:49:34.:49:39.

business that is a significant business rate contributor? What

:49:40.:49:41.

discussions has the Minister had with his counterparts to manage this

:49:42.:49:47.

transition, and help local authorities as we phase out coal

:49:48.:49:53.

fired power stations? Finally, what support can the government give to

:49:54.:49:58.

local authorities to help them regenerate large development sites

:49:59.:50:01.

which will then attract high-tech businesses which will, in turn,

:50:02.:50:10.

create highly skilled jobs? Before I called the next honourable member,

:50:11.:50:14.

the last two speakers have been very disciplined in taking only eight

:50:15.:50:19.

minutes each. If everybody now restricts themselves to eight

:50:20.:50:23.

minutes each, I won't have to put on a time limit which will make a much

:50:24.:50:27.

more pleasant and better flowing debate. It is a pleasure to follow

:50:28.:50:34.

the honourable member the Cannock Chase. This is an especially timely

:50:35.:50:39.

debate because it comes just after the prime ministers spoke to my

:50:40.:50:43.

local paper, the Grimsby Telegraph, about planned funding for my

:50:44.:50:47.

council. Which was asked how the government's cuts to some of the

:50:48.:50:51.

least well off areas in the country squared with her promise to help

:50:52.:50:55.

those people who are just about managing, she suggested that

:50:56.:50:57.

north-east Lincolnshire was receiving more than enough funding,

:50:58.:51:02.

and taxpayers in the Yorkshire and Humber region had no reason to

:51:03.:51:05.

complain about the council tax going up. The fact is that north-east

:51:06.:51:13.

Lincolnshire has seen its budget cut by some ?79 million since 2010, that

:51:14.:51:19.

is as good as chopped in half. On the ground, that has meant that

:51:20.:51:23.

recycling has been cut to a fortnightly collection, charges the

:51:24.:51:26.

bin collections have been introduced, and they've increased

:51:27.:51:32.

children's centres, merged into new hubs, and public toilets also are

:51:33.:51:37.

being closed. On that point, can I ask the Minister to expand on clause

:51:38.:51:43.

nine, under the convenient heading of release, and just ask if that

:51:44.:51:47.

relief will come too late if the public toilets have already been

:51:48.:51:54.

shut? I raise this point because, not only for Great Grimsby

:51:55.:51:59.

constituency, but the neighbouring constituency, Cleethorpes, a big

:52:00.:52:03.

tourist area, that is a significant concern to local people at the

:52:04.:52:07.

moment. If the relief comes too late, I'm sorry to keep using these

:52:08.:52:16.

phrases! The reality years those facilities won't be there for other

:52:17.:52:21.

people to use and organisations like Age UK, which has already been

:52:22.:52:29.

mentioned, and others lobbying hard to make sure public conveniences

:52:30.:52:32.

aren't lost going forward because this is particularly important for

:52:33.:52:38.

parents of disabled children and young children and, indeed older

:52:39.:52:41.

people to make sure these facilities are not lost. On a visit to almost

:52:42.:52:50.

in South Parade Academy last Friday, I was asked by the schoolchildren if

:52:51.:52:53.

I could make sure there were more bins near shops because they've

:52:54.:52:58.

noticed that litter is starting to pile up. It might not make the front

:52:59.:53:03.

pages but these are the sorts of things that unnoticed, and really

:53:04.:53:07.

matter. The increase of fly-tipping, a blight on all of our communities.

:53:08.:53:13.

As the honourable member mentioned earlier, the cuts have taken the

:53:14.:53:16.

time to impact on local communities but it really is starting to be felt

:53:17.:53:21.

and starting to be felt across the piece. This isn't a Labour council

:53:22.:53:25.

versus a Conservative council at all. This is communities across the

:53:26.:53:29.

country that are affected. Perhaps the worst way in which the cuts to

:53:30.:53:33.

the council 's budgets have been felt have been in the care sector,

:53:34.:53:37.

and the knock-on effect this is having on the NHS. Government cuts

:53:38.:53:44.

to my counsel's budget have caused spending to social care to fall by

:53:45.:53:48.

20% and I've given examples before in previous debates about how this

:53:49.:53:53.

is forcing people to live in unacceptable conditions. It has also

:53:54.:53:58.

become clear this winter the government's downgrading of the

:53:59.:54:01.

social care system as having catastrophic effects on our NHS. The

:54:02.:54:04.

so-called bed blocking where patients are fit to return to their

:54:05.:54:09.

homes or move to a care home but there are no places or in-home

:54:10.:54:15.

support is available. That is sapping hospitals. The outrageous

:54:16.:54:24.

circumstance at my local hospital of 95-year-old woman discharged from

:54:25.:54:28.

AMD at four o'clock in the morning because there were no beds

:54:29.:54:33.

available. People in north-east Lincolnshire are facing a 10% hike

:54:34.:54:37.

in their council tax bills over the next couple of years because of this

:54:38.:54:42.

government's policy. With no prospect that that amount of money

:54:43.:54:46.

will be enough to fix these endemic problems. The government's Autumn

:54:47.:54:50.

Statement showed an increase in business rates income to the

:54:51.:54:57.

Treasury of billion in 2017-18. That still remains unallocated so why

:54:58.:55:01.

doesn't the Secretary of State and the Minister protect people from a

:55:02.:55:05.

massive rise in their council tax bills by investing that money and

:55:06.:55:10.

social care and ending the precept? For those members opposite to might

:55:11.:55:15.

think I am making a partisan attack on the government, I would point out

:55:16.:55:19.

that my conservative neighbour, the honourable member for Cleethorpes,

:55:20.:55:23.

has also gone on record calling for an end to local authority cuts,

:55:24.:55:27.

saying that many of the things that make our lives a little bit better

:55:28.:55:32.

are being cut to the bone. The Prime Minister said in the interview that

:55:33.:55:37.

I mentioned earlier that cuts to the council, like north-east

:55:38.:55:40.

Lincolnshire, were necessary in order to eliminate the deficit but

:55:41.:55:44.

that goes no way to explaining why the lowest income areas are facing

:55:45.:55:50.

the harshest cuts. They are generally unable to raise enough

:55:51.:55:55.

funds from local business rates because we just don't have the

:55:56.:56:00.

ability to do that. While the Prime minister's local authority is one of

:56:01.:56:02.

three councils to suffer the least. I'm very grateful to her forgiving

:56:03.:56:12.

way. She blames the current government the plight of the finding

:56:13.:56:18.

in her local authority area. In North Lincolnshire, the spending

:56:19.:56:24.

power of all the income from North Lincolnshire, ?711 per head. In a

:56:25.:56:33.

typical local authority area in the top ten local authorities in London,

:56:34.:56:39.

its ?1171 per head. Isn't it the system at fault, not this

:56:40.:56:46.

government, it's the way the the money is distributed, not according

:56:47.:56:52.

to need or what happened previously. I wouldn't agree that it's just

:56:53.:56:56.

about the system following what has always been. There does need to be a

:56:57.:57:02.

reassessment of where need cars and it's not just about following the

:57:03.:57:08.

previous system. I would say that ?79 million worth of cuts is nothing

:57:09.:57:12.

to do with what's happened before, is to do with decisions that have

:57:13.:57:18.

been made over the past seven years. As my colleagues on this side of the

:57:19.:57:24.

House have said, we are broadly supportive of the principles in this

:57:25.:57:29.

bill but I would say that for me to support this bill, my constituents

:57:30.:57:33.

in Great Grimsby would want me to ask the government to make sure that

:57:34.:57:39.

my local authority is absolutely no worse off than it is at the moment

:57:40.:57:40.

in the future. It's a pleasure for me to follow the

:57:41.:57:52.

honourable member for Great Grimsby and I'm pleased to be able to

:57:53.:57:56.

contribute to this debate. May I also was the Minister are very happy

:57:57.:57:59.

birthday. I'm sure there's nowhere else he would rather be this evening

:58:00.:58:04.

than responding to this debate. I'm delighted to see the government

:58:05.:58:10.

continue with its agenda for revolution with the introduction of

:58:11.:58:15.

this bill. The measures in it will revolutionise the way finances are

:58:16.:58:19.

raised and bring greater flexibility and accountability to local

:58:20.:58:22.

government. The retention of business rates is something I know

:58:23.:58:26.

that local councils have themselves been asking for for many years and

:58:27.:58:29.

it's a very welcome step. The developments in this bill will

:58:30.:58:34.

predictably be welcomed in Cornwall, not least because Cornwall will be

:58:35.:58:39.

one of the pilot areas for the 100% retention of business rates and will

:58:40.:58:44.

enable us to be an early adapter to this change and also contribute to

:58:45.:58:47.

fine tuning the roll-out across the country. I believe this is another

:58:48.:58:54.

sign of the government's recognition of the particular challenges and

:58:55.:58:59.

identity of Cornwall following on from the devilish and deal for

:59:00.:59:04.

Cornwall that was agreed in 2015. Members across the House will be

:59:05.:59:09.

aware that Cornwall is a dramatic geography, we jut out 90 miles into

:59:10.:59:13.

the Atlantic, our foundations are built on granite, surrounded by fish

:59:14.:59:19.

bearing sees on three sides and the river Tamer almost gives us island

:59:20.:59:25.

status. Our geography has contributed to our unique identity.

:59:26.:59:31.

It presents many challenges. One neighbouring county of Devon and it

:59:32.:59:38.

has caught an independent approach that our attitude in Cornwall. Our

:59:39.:59:44.

lenders is rich in natural resources which only this past week have been

:59:45.:59:47.

taken further with the announcement of large deposits of lithium that

:59:48.:59:53.

have been confirmed and that extraction of this precious metal is

:59:54.:59:57.

now eagerly expected. With the growing global demand for lithium

:59:58.:00:01.

for the production of batteries, this stands to write another chapter

:00:02.:00:07.

in Cornwall's long history of mining following on from tin, copper and

:00:08.:00:11.

china clay. We hope to read a whole new generation. This change will

:00:12.:00:28.

mean that the local authority. Hopefully it will mean that the

:00:29.:00:32.

local authority will be very supportive of developing the

:00:33.:00:38.

industry in the near future. Cornwall's cling to its own

:00:39.:00:42.

independent identity and culture has been long established and its desire

:00:43.:00:45.

for greater self-rule has been rekindled in recent times. These

:00:46.:00:51.

days we Cornish do not march in anger on Westminster as we did in

:00:52.:00:56.

1497 to protest at the imposition of yet another tax, that attempt didn't

:00:57.:01:00.

end too well for the Cornish. We have learnt and we now preferred to

:01:01.:01:05.

work more constructively with the Westminster government but the

:01:06.:01:09.

desire for greater devilish and of powers remains as strong as ever. --

:01:10.:01:17.

devolution. This is a key move to devolving more powers, an ideal

:01:18.:01:21.

balance between giving the autonomy required to act and be accountable

:01:22.:01:25.

locally without progressing into the unnecessary and expensive

:01:26.:01:31.

bureaucracy of another level of government. I do not believe we need

:01:32.:01:34.

another layer of government in Cornwall as some would like to see

:01:35.:01:38.

but I do support and are working for greater powers to be given to the

:01:39.:01:42.

existing bodies in Cornwall. The measures in this bill will take

:01:43.:01:46.

another step towards Cornwall Council being more responsible and

:01:47.:01:49.

more accountable for Cornwall's future. The current review of

:01:50.:01:56.

business rates was long overdue. The delay had led to rates being out of

:01:57.:02:01.

sync with the business community and the constantly changing landscape

:02:02.:02:05.

that they face. It left areas that are struggling for whatever reason

:02:06.:02:09.

further disadvantaged, putting additional unwelcome pressures on

:02:10.:02:12.

them. When a high street is blighted with empty shop space the last thing

:02:13.:02:15.

we need is more businesses pulling out because of higher rates. Leaving

:02:16.:02:22.

more empty shops which can reduce the footfall and further

:02:23.:02:26.

disadvantaged those left behind. With the new measures contained in

:02:27.:02:29.

this bill, councils will be able to take a more flexible approach and

:02:30.:02:35.

that has to be welcomed. Or being able to adapt the local business

:02:36.:02:40.

rates to suit the needs of their communities and businesses. They can

:02:41.:02:43.

work to attract new businesses where they are needed. This freedom for

:02:44.:02:51.

local authorities that are coming in 2022 set business rates according to

:02:52.:02:54.

local needs and situations will be a key advantage. It is the local

:02:55.:03:00.

equivalent of Brexit. Taking back control for the good of the local

:03:01.:03:04.

community instead of having a one size fits all scenario imposed by a

:03:05.:03:10.

remote authority, which all too often doesn't actually fit anyone.

:03:11.:03:16.

Alongside this, there are specific key changes in the bill, one of

:03:17.:03:19.

which I would like to address enclosing. Over recent years I have

:03:20.:03:25.

campaigned on the importance of public toilets. They are essential

:03:26.:03:30.

in a tourist area such as Cornwall. I have to choose my words carefully

:03:31.:03:36.

but a few years ago when I was the Cabinet member on Cornwall Council

:03:37.:03:38.

responsible for public toilets, I spent many months to ring the 285

:03:39.:03:45.

public conveniences of Cornwall. I spent far more hours than I would

:03:46.:03:49.

like to admit to in some of those toilets. In recent years, Cornwall

:03:50.:03:56.

Council has been seeking to hand over all of its public toilets to

:03:57.:04:00.

town and parish councils and other community organisations. But one of

:04:01.:04:04.

the biggest barriers to this is the cost of running the toilets. A very

:04:05.:04:11.

large part of the cost is that they are liable for business rates. It

:04:12.:04:16.

seems crazy to me that public toilets are liable for rates. There

:04:17.:04:20.

are an essential public service, they do not make a profit, they are

:04:21.:04:25.

not a business. Thankfully the government has recognised this. From

:04:26.:04:32.

April 2018, local authorities will be able to use their discretionary

:04:33.:04:37.

relief powers, release seems to be the appropriate term here, when it

:04:38.:04:42.

comes to toilets, to remove business rates liabilities. This is something

:04:43.:04:46.

that I, along with my Cornish colleagues raised with the former

:04:47.:04:49.

Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 when he visited Cornwall. We have

:04:50.:04:53.

been pressing for this change since and I'm delighted to see that the

:04:54.:04:58.

penny has dropped and the government are now addressing this issue. This

:04:59.:05:03.

will enable councils across the country to drop them in the sea of a

:05:04.:05:08.

council charging itself rates to provide something as basic as a

:05:09.:05:12.

toilet, as well as reducing the cost of running toilets for parish

:05:13.:05:16.

councils and other community organisations who may wish to take

:05:17.:05:21.

on running them. Madam Deputy Speaker, I'm pleased to welcome and

:05:22.:05:25.

support this bill. The measures it contains will be another significant

:05:26.:05:30.

step in this government's vision and commitment to devolve appropriate

:05:31.:05:32.

powers and responsibilities to local government.

:05:33.:05:39.

It's a pleasure to follow the honourable member for Saint Austell

:05:40.:05:46.

in Newquay, the members might be relieved to know that I'm not going

:05:47.:05:49.

to speak this evening on the subject of public toilets. The principle of

:05:50.:05:54.

business rates retention is one which I support, however the test of

:05:55.:06:01.

this bill must be in the extent to which it delivers fairness across

:06:02.:06:05.

the country. On that test, I have some concerns. First concern is

:06:06.:06:10.

about the context of more than six years profound unfairness for local

:06:11.:06:16.

government into which this bill is being introduced. Local government

:06:17.:06:22.

has faced swingeing cuts from the coalition government first,

:06:23.:06:24.

continued and intensified by this current government. The average cut

:06:25.:06:28.

in spending power per household for deprived council areas will be more

:06:29.:06:34.

than five times higher than that in more affluent local authority areas

:06:35.:06:38.

for the period 2012-2020 and by the end of this Parliament the average

:06:39.:06:42.

cut in more affluent coastal areas will be ?68 per household, while in

:06:43.:06:50.

deprived areas it will be more than ?340 per household. It is one of the

:06:51.:06:54.

profound injustices of the past six years that many council areas which

:06:55.:06:58.

have the most need, the lowest average income, the highest levels

:06:59.:07:03.

of deprivation have faced the harshest cuts. This government has

:07:04.:07:07.

been weakening the link between need and funding. It is very

:07:08.:07:12.

disappointing that we are debating this bill this evening in the

:07:13.:07:15.

absence of the details of the fairer funding review so that we can apply

:07:16.:07:19.

a test of fairness to the Bill and debated properly in a fully informed

:07:20.:07:25.

manner. There is no necessary connection at all between rising

:07:26.:07:29.

levels of need, for example for social care, and the ability to

:07:30.:07:32.

raise additional revenue from business rates to economic growth.

:07:33.:07:36.

In fact in many areas the reverse will be the case and it would be

:07:37.:07:39.

precisely those areas which have the highest levels of need, which also

:07:40.:07:42.

face the greatest challenges in terms of economic growth. My second

:07:43.:07:47.

concern relates to the level of challenge currently faced by local

:07:48.:07:52.

authorities as a consequence of the cuts they have experienced. The most

:07:53.:07:56.

acute of the challenges is in social care where a million people across

:07:57.:08:02.

the country who need care are not currently receiving any. Contracts

:08:03.:08:05.

are being handed back to councils because providers can't make them

:08:06.:08:09.

work and our NHS is feeling the pressure of a system which all too

:08:10.:08:13.

often isn't providing people with the support that they need, so they

:08:14.:08:18.

end up with an acute health crisis. There are pressures in many other

:08:19.:08:21.

areas of local authority services too. Libraries and children centres

:08:22.:08:27.

being closed, park service is being cut back and children services

:08:28.:08:29.

struggling to keep our most vulnerable children safe. A system

:08:30.:08:34.

which is already under such pressure needs reform which is guaranteed to

:08:35.:08:37.

deliver additional resources to the areas that need it most and I'm

:08:38.:08:41.

concerned about the risk in this bill without the details of a

:08:42.:08:46.

redistribution mechanism. The final concern which I raised when the

:08:47.:08:51.

committee discussed this issue is about the loss of a democratic link

:08:52.:08:56.

between the source of funding and the services are predominately

:08:57.:09:01.

funds. A very high proportion of Council's funds, 75% in some areas

:09:02.:09:06.

are spent on services which protect our most vulnerable residents, yet

:09:07.:09:09.

these are not the concern is typically uppermost in the minds of

:09:10.:09:14.

most businesses. I am concerned that councils may find themselves in an

:09:15.:09:19.

uncomfortable tension between footing and taxpaying residents and

:09:20.:09:21.

businesses who will provide the majority of their revenue. I would

:09:22.:09:25.

therefore welcome assurances from the Minister this evening that the

:09:26.:09:28.

government will monitor this issue and ensure that the funding for key

:09:29.:09:34.

social and community services is not eroded under pressure from a

:09:35.:09:36.

different tax payers stakeholder group. This government's track

:09:37.:09:42.

record on fairness for local government funding is appalling. I'm

:09:43.:09:47.

calling on the government this evening to publish the process for

:09:48.:09:50.

redistributing business rates to ensure that the new arrangements are

:09:51.:09:55.

fair, to look in the short term at the crippling crisis facing social

:09:56.:09:59.

care and other local authority services and redress the balance and

:10:00.:10:04.

insure overtime that the services our most vulnerable residents rely

:10:05.:10:08.

on are not placed at further risk. This reform should be introduced as

:10:09.:10:13.

part of a package of fiscal devolution and reform for local

:10:14.:10:17.

government funding, designed to embed fairness into the system to

:10:18.:10:21.

please control firmly in the hands of local government who know their

:10:22.:10:30.

community 's best. It's a pleasure to follow the member for Dulwich and

:10:31.:10:33.

West Norwood. The only observation is like many other features we've

:10:34.:10:38.

heard from the opposition benches. Review a list about local authority

:10:39.:10:44.

funding and what happened in the last parliament between 2010 and

:10:45.:10:48.

2015 but again I'm drawn back to the intervention I made on the shadow

:10:49.:10:49.

minister earlier. The shadow chancellor, now struck

:10:50.:11:02.

the Come Dancing star, was challenged about how much extra

:11:03.:11:06.

would be putting in. The plans had been published and the answer was

:11:07.:11:09.

nothing so I do think it interesting to hear some of what we've heard

:11:10.:11:14.

again tonight. When I came to this debate, I came with high hopes

:11:15.:11:17.

because having read clause nine I knew this would not be a

:11:18.:11:24.

bog-standard second reading debate. Absolutely happy to give way on that

:11:25.:11:29.

point. I have a copy of our manifesto from 2015, and makes clear

:11:30.:11:36.

we will transfer ?30 billion of funding to the city and county

:11:37.:11:39.

region so I hope the honourable gentleman will withdraw his remark.

:11:40.:11:45.

I thank the Minister for intervention. He talks about

:11:46.:11:49.

transferring funding. What about responsibilities? What was clear, in

:11:50.:11:54.

January 2015, there was a direct challenge to the former member for

:11:55.:12:00.

Morley, how much extra labour would be putting in. Answer? Nothing.

:12:01.:12:05.

Whilst there was a transfer, there wasn't going to be anything extra

:12:06.:12:09.

after five years of long complaints. Perhaps one of the reasons why

:12:10.:12:12.

people didn't have much confidence the Labour Party had a real

:12:13.:12:17.

programme for government and duly dealt them the electoral blow that

:12:18.:12:21.

would surely follow. And I suspect will soon follow them again. But

:12:22.:12:27.

let's go into the details of the bill. Overall, it is a welcome bill

:12:28.:12:33.

that is coming forward. When I became the cabinet member for city

:12:34.:12:38.

development in Coventry, at the time, I remember having constructive

:12:39.:12:40.

dealings with the number the Coventry South. We were briefed on

:12:41.:12:47.

the Birmingham dilemma. It was the idea that previously councillors in

:12:48.:12:51.

Birmingham had chosen to spend money on regenerating the city but, of

:12:52.:12:55.

course, to do that, they had to take money out of the services they were

:12:56.:13:01.

responsible for. Whilst the regeneration designs created new

:13:02.:13:04.

jobs, brought new business rates in, they took the blame for the cut in

:13:05.:13:11.

services. They didn't get the reward won a significant amount of revenue

:13:12.:13:14.

was generated for the national exchequer. That was the thing we

:13:15.:13:19.

were briefed on, how can you balance the fact that if you want to restart

:13:20.:13:23.

regeneration or push forward a project as a local councillor, you

:13:24.:13:28.

didn't get any of the reward for doing that financially, you only got

:13:29.:13:32.

the satirical award of being able to point to lower jobs figures...

:13:33.:13:38.

Unemployment figures, or point out how the town centre was looking

:13:39.:13:43.

better. The boss and the incentives, in terms of your day-to-day profit,

:13:44.:13:50.

revenue budget. That's why it's welcome we've seen the change to

:13:51.:13:55.

give local authorities more ability to retain the business rates growth

:13:56.:13:59.

they receive. And remove that dilemma from local councils, like

:14:00.:14:05.

the one I've described. It's particularly good we are moving to

:14:06.:14:09.

100% of that growth retain. They will need to be mechanism to

:14:10.:14:19.

scrutinise this bill in detail. If someone by luck has a piece of

:14:20.:14:23.

National infrastructure dropped off in their district council area, that

:14:24.:14:28.

might not always be a sign of taking very radical decisions for growth.

:14:29.:14:32.

There is also a reason that likewise if they are getting that

:14:33.:14:36.

infrastructure dropped off it's not unreasonable that it gets a direct

:14:37.:14:39.

reward from the business rates concern. I will give way. It's not

:14:40.:14:47.

always the case that the infrastructure is dropped in the

:14:48.:14:49.

laps that the local authorities keep the business rates. Some residents

:14:50.:15:00.

living around Hinkley Point will be glad to get the business rates from

:15:01.:15:06.

that power station. It would be a dividend declared rather than a

:15:07.:15:10.

council tax being set in some circumstances where large

:15:11.:15:12.

development 's go-ahead in some areas but it is right we have a

:15:13.:15:17.

system that does have a balance. And if we have something that happens

:15:18.:15:20.

where it couldn't be affected by the decision of other local authorities,

:15:21.:15:25.

such as a steel plant closing down, that is the other way around. Those

:15:26.:15:30.

are the details of something to be got into. The theory of making sure

:15:31.:15:35.

that local councils can take decisions, and then get a hard cash

:15:36.:15:39.

reward for doing that, they can use that to benefit the residents who

:15:40.:15:41.

have been prepared to support them and taking those dishes and is --

:15:42.:15:51.

those decisions. We're not looking at things suggested in the past,

:15:52.:15:56.

like tourist taxes, which would be counter-productive in areas like

:15:57.:15:59.

Torbay. The last thing we want to do is to put additional costs for

:16:00.:16:04.

people visiting and staying within the UK, and I'm pleased that those

:16:05.:16:08.

ideas have not been anywhere near this Bill. Finally, there is an

:16:09.:16:16.

issue with social care and we've had a lot of talk today about urban and

:16:17.:16:20.

rural and there is a real issue of coastal. A lot of coastal

:16:21.:16:26.

authorities, both within county areas and stand-alone unit trees,

:16:27.:16:31.

can find themselves taking a hit at both end of the spectrum, 9% of

:16:32.:16:36.

people our age Devon 95, presenting its own challenges, and at the other

:16:37.:16:40.

end, higher average number of children in care and a high rate of

:16:41.:16:47.

teenagers falling into pregnancy. That can create challenges were

:16:48.:16:50.

coastal communities, regardless of whether they are unitary authorities

:16:51.:16:56.

or part of a counter or two tier structure. We need more of a debate

:16:57.:17:01.

about how we can reflect that in terms of funding opportunities. I

:17:02.:17:06.

also think it is welcome we see the infrastructure being brought forward

:17:07.:17:09.

particularly with the combined authorities. There is talk about why

:17:10.:17:17.

it is instantly given to directly elected mayors. In many cases, the

:17:18.:17:25.

local urban area that might actually see the direct development or is

:17:26.:17:31.

this rate growth happen is dependent on infrastructure coming through

:17:32.:17:34.

nearby rural areas. The biggest boost in terms of Torbay's

:17:35.:17:39.

infrastructure, the South Devon Link Road, is 99% in Teignbridge district

:17:40.:17:43.

Council's area but it has a huge benefit, clearly, for Torbay. Wood

:17:44.:17:48.

development products like that in future be able to be dealt with via

:17:49.:17:52.

these types of arrangements rather than waiting decades for someone at

:17:53.:17:57.

a national level to make a decision? I do think this Bill overall is

:17:58.:18:02.

welcome. We are at second reading states there will be time for more

:18:03.:18:05.

detailed consideration at committee and when the bill returns to the

:18:06.:18:10.

house at report stage. From my perspective and from my experience

:18:11.:18:13.

in local government and seeing what's happened in Torbay, this is a

:18:14.:18:18.

welcome Bill that sets a framework for debate about how we can deliver

:18:19.:18:23.

a real incentive to local authorities to clear reward for

:18:24.:18:27.

those communities that do innovate, do grow, without penalising any

:18:28.:18:34.

other community. Thank you. It is a pleasure to

:18:35.:18:39.

follow my honourable friend from Torbay who speaks with much

:18:40.:18:42.

knowledge on this subject. Business rates retention clearly is a bill of

:18:43.:18:51.

huge potential for our authorities. They can then focus their attention

:18:52.:18:54.

on economic growth in their local areas to grow rates... Rates pace

:18:55.:19:01.

and their incomes. This is an incentive around growth rather than

:19:02.:19:06.

the whole redistribution of the current system, about how local

:19:07.:19:12.

authorities are funded. The majority of the revenue into local

:19:13.:19:17.

authorities will be baked in. We distributed, according to a former

:19:18.:19:22.

that we don't know the detail of, and I'm heartened to understand and

:19:23.:19:26.

hear from the Minister that their funding review is being taken

:19:27.:19:29.

forward. As a technical working group, of course, that is now

:19:30.:19:36.

charged with that responsibility. The principle has to be that they

:19:37.:19:40.

should be fair funding formula wherever you live. It can't be based

:19:41.:19:45.

upon a postcode lottery. The previous Secretary of State and the

:19:46.:19:48.

current one have been very clear this is a key part these proposals.

:19:49.:19:54.

On our select committee, which also reported into the business rates

:19:55.:19:59.

retention policies, and the opportunities, and the select

:20:00.:20:02.

committee report that is available and looks at the opportunities and

:20:03.:20:06.

the concerns around that. Overall, we were very supportive the

:20:07.:20:11.

principal of this Bill. We did recommend they should be an

:20:12.:20:14.

independent body to look out the funding review, and whether the

:20:15.:20:20.

Local Government Association should have good people there but if you

:20:21.:20:24.

had someone truly independent to look back at where government is

:20:25.:20:28.

today, it's important we take a fresh look at this. The initial

:20:29.:20:34.

witness sessions with had so far we had about an hour and a half with

:20:35.:20:39.

some experts in the House of Commons library trying to explain the system

:20:40.:20:42.

to us and we were none the wiser after an hour and a half. It was a

:20:43.:20:47.

complex system and I understand their 159 measures currently being

:20:48.:20:54.

used and the complexity around those measures, how they combine, you'd

:20:55.:20:58.

think with 159 measures the current system would be fair. Does it make

:20:59.:21:02.

it currently the? The answer seems to be absolutely no. The current

:21:03.:21:09.

system is not fair. I am grateful to Leicestershire County Council doing

:21:10.:21:11.

some detailed work on this, available on their website, I

:21:12.:21:17.

understand. They looked at the core spending power of authorities, which

:21:18.:21:20.

is as many of you all know, because spending power is all the revenue

:21:21.:21:24.

for local authorities, taking into account revenue support grant,

:21:25.:21:29.

council tax, business rates, New Homes Bonus, everything. I looked at

:21:30.:21:34.

this in great detail. Members opposite might say this is a

:21:35.:21:39.

political pitch, the shires against the Mets, but their evidence was not

:21:40.:21:43.

like that at all. There are many mets that are not getting a fair

:21:44.:21:48.

deal either and many shire counties are not getting their fair deal. The

:21:49.:21:54.

fairest deal seemed to be a lot of the London authorities. Nine out of

:21:55.:21:58.

ten of the top highest spending power authorities are in London. Yet

:21:59.:22:05.

nine out of the ten of the lowest council tax areas authorities are

:22:06.:22:11.

also in London. If you look at London authorities, what's happened

:22:12.:22:15.

over the last five years in terms of how council tax has changed, outside

:22:16.:22:22.

London, a typical increase of about ?100 on a typical council tax bill.

:22:23.:22:30.

Inside London over the last five years, a decrease in the average

:22:31.:22:33.

council tax bill. Something not quite right here in terms of how

:22:34.:22:39.

overall funding is being allocated in the current system. To put those

:22:40.:22:46.

figures in context, spending per head of the tuck-mac authority, but

:22:47.:22:50.

the higher spending power, which is a London authority, ?1170. Yet, in

:22:51.:22:59.

my area, North Yorkshire, its ?770. York has ?615. Many other examples,

:23:00.:23:06.

cookies, leaves, Wakefield, all getting a raw deal at the moment. Of

:23:07.:23:11.

course, you might say that's because of certain other factors, this is

:23:12.:23:16.

about a correlation in terms of deprivation or low income or in

:23:17.:23:21.

terms of age demographic, but that isn't the case. You are often seen

:23:22.:23:29.

areas with very low incomes and high income deprivation, such as Leeds or

:23:30.:23:34.

Kirklees, getting very low spending amounts per head. In terms of age

:23:35.:23:39.

profile, authorities that have got a very high proportion of people of a

:23:40.:23:48.

more elderly population, such as East Riding or Dorset, getting a

:23:49.:23:51.

very low amount of spending per head. So this just isn't working. In

:23:52.:23:57.

1988, when the system was centralised and money we

:23:58.:24:01.

distributed, around the different authorities, it was supposed to make

:24:02.:24:06.

this system fair. It was supposed to make sure we have equal funding

:24:07.:24:10.

services to these local authorities, based on need. That hasn't worked.

:24:11.:24:16.

What we're left with today is a postcode lottery. Another example,

:24:17.:24:20.

Hammersmith... I'm not trying to pick on London because there are

:24:21.:24:23.

some local authorities in London, including the Minister of whose

:24:24.:24:29.

birthday it is, but his local authority is not particularly well

:24:30.:24:32.

funded either, so it isn't universally around London but the

:24:33.:24:36.

pattern remains. To put this in context again, Hammersmith and

:24:37.:24:41.

Fulham, for example, have not increased their council tax this

:24:42.:24:46.

year, they are not applying the adult social care preset, they are

:24:47.:24:50.

providing home care for free to their local residents, meals on

:24:51.:24:53.

wheels, their price has been cut for meals on wheels in that area. Hardly

:24:54.:24:58.

any of those facilities are available in my area. It is simply

:24:59.:25:01.

not fair that people with the same not fair that people with the same

:25:02.:25:04.

need in different parts of the country are getting different levels

:25:05.:25:08.

of service. This impacts on other areas that we are able to provide in

:25:09.:25:13.

terms of my local area, such as North Yorkshire. Libraries are

:25:14.:25:17.

closing or being moved over to community libraries, bus services

:25:18.:25:21.

are not subsidised, so, therefore, some of those services are no longer

:25:22.:25:29.

operating. It has effects on Children's Services, and adult

:25:30.:25:34.

social care, crucially. North Yorkshire, we have a demographic of

:25:35.:25:35.

a more elderly population. With these situations it is not an

:25:36.:25:43.

easy situation to resolve. Moving from one system to the other there

:25:44.:25:49.

is a zero sum game issue if this is going to be made here today then

:25:50.:25:56.

somebody is going to lose out. We've got to move away from a system that

:25:57.:26:02.

is clearly unfair. I understand the system is like this because of

:26:03.:26:08.

regression. Its past inaccuracies, passed on fairness that has been

:26:09.:26:12.

built one on top of the other and very difficult to reverse those

:26:13.:26:16.

changes. But we are in a system where there's more money coming into

:26:17.:26:19.

the system, ?12.5 billion according to the Minister in his opening

:26:20.:26:24.

remarks. Clearly there will be some extra services required from that

:26:25.:26:27.

but this is also an opportunity at this time to make system fair, that

:26:28.:26:32.

the money is allocated in a way. Yes more services, yes greater

:26:33.:26:40.

responsibilities but areas that are getting a better deal today, we need

:26:41.:26:48.

to make sure. I'm very grateful to my honourable friend forgiving way.

:26:49.:26:50.

Would he agree that in order to ensure that the problems he sais

:26:51.:26:55.

highlighted and not replicated in the new system, we have defied an

:26:56.:26:59.

agreed insensible with of measuring rule deprivation, often incredibly

:27:00.:27:05.

hard to do because of the scarcity as Bastia population. I was good to

:27:06.:27:20.

move on to that point. What Leicestershire have suggested. Nine

:27:21.:27:30.

simple factors, children services,, area cost, sparsity and density.

:27:31.:27:34.

Very simple formula that people can understand and penetrate and then

:27:35.:27:41.

allow for and make sure the extra responsibilities that we are getting

:27:42.:27:45.

on the back of the system then also mean the allocations cater for those

:27:46.:27:50.

responsibilities, so nine simple cost drivers instead of this

:27:51.:27:55.

regression and model based on something that clearly doesn't work.

:27:56.:28:02.

A progressive move away from that regression, a symbol standard

:28:03.:28:05.

penetrable formula based on not where we live but a fair system with

:28:06.:28:08.

their resources. A fair assessment of the cost drivers wherever we

:28:09.:28:10.

live. Can I join others in wishing the

:28:11.:28:25.

Minister a very happy birthday. The House has been very patient, I won't

:28:26.:28:28.

hold it up for a very long because I'm sure she wants to enjoy his

:28:29.:28:32.

birthday for a couple of hours. The House has been very accommodating as

:28:33.:28:36.

well as being very patient. I think there's a lot of detail around this

:28:37.:28:42.

bill that we are yet to hear, as we've heard from members on all

:28:43.:28:46.

sides, particularly the honourable member for Southeast Sheffield and

:28:47.:28:50.

my honourable friend from Christchurch and others. There's an

:28:51.:28:54.

awful lot that we still don't really know but overall I think the bill is

:28:55.:29:05.

immensely welcome. I'd like to draw a few points out. Firstly, there

:29:06.:29:09.

will be a collective sigh of relief across Somerset rural areas about

:29:10.:29:18.

clause seven is extension of rate relief which will go some way

:29:19.:29:22.

towards putting rural areas or more of an equal footing to urban areas

:29:23.:29:27.

although there are still so much to do in so many other areas in order

:29:28.:29:30.

to achieve anything like that but this has been an inequality small

:29:31.:29:35.

businesses in my constituency certainly have brought up with me

:29:36.:29:39.

and I'm sure that happens across the country, so it's good that we are

:29:40.:29:44.

addressing that. Knowing also that business rates appeals cost some

:29:45.:29:52.

?2.5 billion over the last five years, like the local government

:29:53.:29:56.

Association, I'm pleased to see the Bill's provision setting out how

:29:57.:29:58.

government will pay local authorities for the cost of appeals,

:29:59.:30:04.

is clearly got to make a difference. But there is a proviso to that but

:30:05.:30:07.

it seems to me this really must be in place before the 100% retention

:30:08.:30:14.

of business rates. 11 for dealing with Minister says or surely the

:30:15.:30:19.

local authority will be liable or 100% of costs on appeals. I don't

:30:20.:30:25.

fully understand that. No doubt we'll hear more and given that local

:30:26.:30:31.

authorities will retain redistribution mechanism, allowing

:30:32.:30:36.

to be topped up if they don't raise enough, I do think that on business

:30:37.:30:41.

rates as a whole, this is extremely good news. Not just for local

:30:42.:30:44.

authorities but for small business as well. In terms of wider funding

:30:45.:30:51.

issues, altering the local government finance settlement so

:30:52.:30:53.

that it becomes multi-year instead of yearly provides local authorities

:30:54.:31:00.

with the opportunity to plan ahead, which will give them certainty and

:31:01.:31:03.

clarity so they can look ahead like any other business organisation, as

:31:04.:31:11.

we transition to this system where they are retaining 100% of local

:31:12.:31:15.

taxes and again there more that perhaps we could learn about that. I

:31:16.:31:22.

must talk about telecoms infrastructure. In rural Somerset

:31:23.:31:26.

it's an enormous issue. Many small businesses, hamlets, isolated areas

:31:27.:31:33.

are very much left behind by superfast broadband, of course. It

:31:34.:31:38.

feels like the 10% of businesses that are yet to be connected are all

:31:39.:31:46.

in my constituency. The tax break incentive for infrastructure

:31:47.:31:49.

development is enormously welcome that I think existing infrastructure

:31:50.:31:54.

also needs improvement. We have creaking half copper wires all over

:31:55.:31:58.

the place so I do look forward to the other elements of the ?1 billion

:31:59.:32:03.

connectivity investment that was announced by the Chancellor in the

:32:04.:32:08.

Autumn Statement. I must say I also have some concerns more generally

:32:09.:32:13.

about financial priority is given to areas planning to have a mere. The

:32:14.:32:21.

devolution plan in Somerset is widely controversial and to have a

:32:22.:32:28.

mere with existing plan of Somerset and Devon coming together seems to

:32:29.:32:33.

me not to be the right way to proceed, so I'm not sure what that

:32:34.:32:39.

would mean in terms of devolved areas and financial incentives.

:32:40.:32:42.

There's work to be done there. Overall this bill is extremely

:32:43.:32:46.

welcomed. Delivers on the commitment, on the government's

:32:47.:32:49.

commitment to devolved budgets and powers to local government. It moves

:32:50.:32:55.

local government away from dependency and towards

:32:56.:33:02.

self-sufficiency. As Voltaire and Spiderman's uncle both said, with

:33:03.:33:05.

great power comes great responsibility. So it's clear that

:33:06.:33:12.

with responsibility, the responsibility this bill provides,

:33:13.:33:16.

it strengthens both positions and indeed the powers of local

:33:17.:33:17.

government. I'd like to welcomed the devolution

:33:18.:33:28.

of business rates as proposed in today's bill. In that sense I

:33:29.:33:34.

supported very enthusiastically. I've no doubt the retention of

:33:35.:33:37.

business rates will encourage local councils to be entrepreneurial and

:33:38.:33:42.

rejuvenate economic developments to departments in city and County

:33:43.:33:47.

halls. In the long-term future I'm sure the new focus on local economic

:33:48.:33:51.

development and the government's industrial strategy with us focus on

:33:52.:33:55.

growth of all parts of the UK will deliver a self-sustaining local

:33:56.:33:58.

authorities delivering high public services in all parts of the UK. But

:33:59.:34:04.

we're not there yet. In fact, nowhere near. The funding per capita

:34:05.:34:08.

to predominantly rural local authorities is significantly below

:34:09.:34:13.

those in predominantly urban authority areas. Why? Because that's

:34:14.:34:18.

just the way it's always been. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it

:34:19.:34:23.

simply a legacy of old funding formulas and salt rural areas have

:34:24.:34:27.

continued to be at a disadvantage. That's iniquitous and it needed to

:34:28.:34:34.

be corrected. Instead, however, under the settlement announced, the

:34:35.:34:37.

gap will widen further. Last year rural MPs on both sides of the House

:34:38.:34:42.

one night a concession for extra money within the mural services

:34:43.:34:46.

delivery grant that effectively ensured that last year getting cuts

:34:47.:34:49.

were shared equally between urban rural areas. That was just a

:34:50.:34:53.

sticking plaster that did not change the settlement for this year or the

:34:54.:34:58.

two that follow. I remain ever hopeful that like last year, some

:34:59.:35:02.

extra money could be found to provide some extra RS GD to ensure

:35:03.:35:08.

the cuts fall freely and rule residents are not left acted as

:35:09.:35:12.

advantage. But I'm clear that that would just be another sticking

:35:13.:35:15.

plaster on what local authorities need more than anything is

:35:16.:35:21.

certainty. Certainty to borrow, certainty to invest and certainty to

:35:22.:35:24.

budget in the long terms of the local public services are on a more

:35:25.:35:28.

stable footing. That means that the current review into local government

:35:29.:35:32.

funding needs to be accelerated and it needs to be accelerated urgently.

:35:33.:35:38.

And furthermore, we should be bold in our ambition for the skill of

:35:39.:35:42.

that review. A full review of local government funding is needed that

:35:43.:35:48.

fully recognises the costs of an ageing population and that all of

:35:49.:35:52.

the other costs faced by local authorities around the country, not

:35:53.:35:56.

just in role areas but Herbin, the cost of communities that are

:35:57.:35:59.

predominantly having English as a second language, the cost to the

:36:00.:36:02.

pockets of high deprivation in urban and rural areas. All of those costs

:36:03.:36:08.

need to be understood and a new funding formula for local government

:36:09.:36:12.

puts into place that is entirely transparent and entirely fair on all

:36:13.:36:15.

of our constituents whether we represent rule or urban

:36:16.:36:21.

constituencies. In Somerset, we are already paying extra on our council

:36:22.:36:23.

tax to protect ourselves from flooding. We will pay extra on our

:36:24.:36:28.

council tax for adult social care and our cost of living is rising

:36:29.:36:33.

fast because fuel costs are going up and that impact rural areas far more

:36:34.:36:39.

than it does urban. In return, Somerset residents are getting their

:36:40.:36:43.

bins collected less often, the libraries are open lines, youth

:36:44.:36:45.

clubs have lost their funding and bus routes are being lost. Somerset

:36:46.:36:50.

County Council have done a great job running into this headwind, not

:36:51.:36:55.

least because they do so whilst carrying the enormous debts left by

:36:56.:36:59.

the Lib Dems when they were last in charge of County Hall. That ?20

:37:00.:37:04.

million per year Lib Dem interest and debt repayment is a very useful

:37:05.:37:08.

reminder of why Somerset is better off under Conservative control. We

:37:09.:37:15.

should be clear, Madam Deputy Speaker, that the Alchemy of the

:37:16.:37:21.

Conservative administration at County Hall in Taunton, just like in

:37:22.:37:24.

County halls across the country cannot go on for ever. There has to

:37:25.:37:31.

be a review that not only delivers the devolution of business rates but

:37:32.:37:36.

in the short and medium term insurance that we continue to

:37:37.:37:39.

redistribute money from London and the south-east out into the rest of

:37:40.:37:44.

the UK so that local authorities in rural areas and in the regions of

:37:45.:37:49.

the United Kingdom can be given a financial settlement that allows

:37:50.:37:52.

them to continue to deliver high-quality local public services

:37:53.:37:57.

but crucially with the certainty that is required that they can

:37:58.:38:01.

borrow, plan and budget for the long-term. I agree with the

:38:02.:38:05.

principle of this bill and agree absolutely with the devolution of

:38:06.:38:10.

business rates to local authorities. I think the opportunity for local

:38:11.:38:14.

authorities to be more entrepreneurial to invest in their

:38:15.:38:17.

economic development departments and to reap that return by growing

:38:18.:38:21.

number of businesses in their patches and pay rates that allows

:38:22.:38:24.

them to do more by way of public services is a great idea. It's

:38:25.:38:29.

clearly the long-term future but we should make no mistake. That system

:38:30.:38:34.

will not work immediately on its introduction and saw what is needed

:38:35.:38:38.

in the interim is a full review of local government funding so that our

:38:39.:38:42.

county councils, our district councils and councils everywhere

:38:43.:38:45.

else in the UK can operate with some certainty and we don't have to have

:38:46.:38:49.

this year by year cut to local public services that annoys our

:38:50.:38:53.

constituents and gives us such full mailbags.

:38:54.:39:00.

My apologies for not being here at the start of this debate and I'm

:39:01.:39:04.

grateful to you for allowing me to say a few words. I want cheaper

:39:05.:39:10.

frontbenchers very long. This bill provides a framework for a major

:39:11.:39:15.

change in the funding of local government. It for greater attention

:39:16.:39:19.

retention of business in revenue by local authorities and that principle

:39:20.:39:24.

is the right one. Money raised in an area should ideally remain there

:39:25.:39:28.

rather than being circulated and perhaps last as it goes around the

:39:29.:39:34.

country. People in businesses in an area are entitled to expect what is

:39:35.:39:40.

their money to be spent on local services with spending decisions

:39:41.:39:45.

made by local councillors with whom they can talk on a day-to-day basis.

:39:46.:39:49.

It is right that we are moving away from a system when the man in

:39:50.:39:55.

Whitehall thinks he knows best. This is an important move by the

:39:56.:40:03.

government but as is often the case in such circumstances there are

:40:04.:40:06.

potential pitfalls along the way. I wish to briefly outlined three of

:40:07.:40:10.

these this evening and I do this in my capacity as an MP in accounting

:40:11.:40:17.

and a coastal area and also as chairman of the all-party

:40:18.:40:20.

Parliamentary group for counties. The first pitfall is what I call an

:40:21.:40:27.

unintended consequence. As part of the devolution process, in order to

:40:28.:40:30.

facilitate the new business rate retention process, various

:40:31.:40:34.

responsibilities are being transferred from central to local

:40:35.:40:37.

government so as to ensure fiscal neutrality.

:40:38.:40:41.

There was a danger that in some circumstances there might be

:40:42.:40:46.

unintended consequences of doing this and an example I've come across

:40:47.:40:52.

is in the field of supported housing. Traditionally, developers

:40:53.:40:56.

of supported housing have been able to rely on fact that their bankers

:40:57.:41:02.

are prepared to fund much-needed new schemes in the relative comfort,

:41:03.:41:08.

they can be underwritten by central government. It is now proposed this

:41:09.:41:13.

should in future be a function of local government and there is, I

:41:14.:41:18.

regret to say, from the feedback I get from many specialists supported

:41:19.:41:23.

housing providers, they are very uneasy about whether this supported

:41:24.:41:28.

housing will come forward. And I'd urge the government therefore the

:41:29.:41:32.

practical steps need to be taken to address this concern and there may

:41:33.:41:37.

be others if this aspect of the devolution process is to succeed. My

:41:38.:41:44.

second concern relates to constraints. An underlying premise

:41:45.:41:49.

behind the move to greater business rate retention is those authorities

:41:50.:41:52.

who promote growth in their areas should be rewarded for it. This is

:41:53.:41:58.

right but there is the other side of the coin that there are those

:41:59.:42:03.

authorities that would like to promote economic growth in their

:42:04.:42:07.

areas and they shouldn't be penalised if, for reasons outside

:42:08.:42:11.

their control, they are unable to do so. For example, if much of a local

:42:12.:42:19.

authority area is a National Park, then it will not be realistic to

:42:20.:42:23.

promote a science park. Moreover, you can't buck the market. The

:42:24.:42:28.

success of such business park developments rests on the adage of

:42:29.:42:34.

location, location location. If you're not in the right location,

:42:35.:42:38.

there is nothing you can do about it. You can't move your district,

:42:39.:42:42.

you can't move your borough, you can't move your county. My third

:42:43.:42:49.

principle concern focuses on the requirement for the needs -based

:42:50.:42:54.

review of the funding to take place at the same time as they move

:42:55.:42:58.

towards full business rate retention. I am aware that this is

:42:59.:43:03.

the government's intention. There is a consultation which I believe is

:43:04.:43:08.

due to start next month. It is absolutely vital we keep to this. If

:43:09.:43:14.

we don't, county areas, like the constituency I represent, will be

:43:15.:43:17.

placed in an even greater disadvantage than they are at

:43:18.:43:22.

present. The current formula we have doesn't take proper account of the

:43:23.:43:27.

demand pressures that county and, as my colleague the member for Torbay

:43:28.:43:32.

said, coastal areas face. There's the adult social care time bomb

:43:33.:43:35.

we've heard so much about. The obligation to maintain hundreds if

:43:36.:43:43.

not thousands of local roads. The cost of delivering services in

:43:44.:43:46.

sparsely published of rural areas. The current formula is opaque and

:43:47.:43:52.

after years of tinkering is no longer fit for purpose as it is no

:43:53.:43:56.

longer directly linked to need. This needs -based review must be

:43:57.:44:05.

synchronised with the move towards greater business rate retention. It

:44:06.:44:11.

must be joined at the hip. If it isn't, then a large section of the

:44:12.:44:14.

population will be very unfairly penalised. In conclusion, I commend

:44:15.:44:23.

the government for being bold, the their ambition, and that their

:44:24.:44:27.

direction of travel. I thus support this bill. But I urge the government

:44:28.:44:34.

to both remember the devil is in the detail, and to pursue the needs

:44:35.:44:39.

-based review in a timely and fairway. Time really is the essence

:44:40.:44:43.

in this issue. Thank you madam Speaker. Thank you, Madam Deputy

:44:44.:44:54.

Speaker. Can I join many members on the government side in wishing my

:44:55.:45:00.

counterpart a very happy birthday. I'm sure this doesn't constitute a

:45:01.:45:04.

birthday bash, and I think for many it isn't the icing on the cake,

:45:05.:45:09.

either, but we wait with bated breath for a committee stages to

:45:10.:45:12.

really get under the skin of what this means and hopefully work

:45:13.:45:16.

together because I think there is a shared desire here to make sure we

:45:17.:45:19.

promote devolution, that we see a greater shift from power coming away

:45:20.:45:23.

from this place down to our communities, and that we empower

:45:24.:45:26.

local areas to determine for themselves what's right for their

:45:27.:45:30.

areas. The devil, of course, will be in the detail. We welcome the move

:45:31.:45:36.

for devolution and, of course, so will many of our counsellors, too.

:45:37.:45:44.

Genuine devolution actually means power, not just limited decisions

:45:45.:45:48.

made at local level but in a framework that is timely defined by

:45:49.:45:53.

very centralising government at its heart, genuine freedoms, genuine

:45:54.:45:57.

power, working with the community to co-produce what future they want

:45:58.:46:02.

their areas. Now that is devolution. How and the ability to affect change

:46:03.:46:06.

is what we all come into politics to do. None of us want to have it

:46:07.:46:12.

predetermined by government hundreds of miles away, who don't know the

:46:13.:46:16.

ins and outs of our community and to really don't know local

:46:17.:46:19.

circumstances in the way we do. It's also important we develop a plan

:46:20.:46:23.

that works for the whole of the country. I think for many people in

:46:24.:46:28.

England they look at devolution in disgust in Scotland more Wales and

:46:29.:46:32.

Ireland, and they say what about us? What about England? Even in England,

:46:33.:46:41.

we are seeing towns and cities pitted against each other. I think

:46:42.:46:49.

the challenge for the government is to let go as much as giving a little

:46:50.:46:54.

away to local areas. And to do that with a meaningful way, the same

:46:55.:47:00.

powers we are proposing from mayoral combined authorities, which should

:47:01.:47:04.

give the same power to our counties and metropolitan areas, too. That is

:47:05.:47:07.

real confidence and that is real letting go and if we can help

:47:08.:47:12.

through the committee stages to put some amendments board that hopefully

:47:13.:47:14.

will be received in a positive way, I'd hope we have a fair settlement

:47:15.:47:20.

for England. Let's be honest. Some of this comes down to cash as well

:47:21.:47:24.

as power. You can have ambition, a desire to make your area the best it

:47:25.:47:28.

can be but you need funding to make it happen as well. You need capital

:47:29.:47:33.

to invest in growth. I don't just mean deals done with government

:47:34.:47:37.

providing you've got access to the government and if you haven't you

:47:38.:47:40.

don't get the funding. I'm talking about revenue to make sure the

:47:41.:47:45.

skills providers, the school system, the health system, the Department

:47:46.:47:49.

for Work and Pensions all work together to see genuine reform and

:47:50.:47:54.

growth. People will look at local government and say if you want to

:47:55.:47:58.

see where real innovation has taken place, if you want to see where

:47:59.:48:01.

modernisation has taken place and proven itself to be efficient, look

:48:02.:48:08.

to local government. A lot of people in DWP and HMRC should look at

:48:09.:48:11.

themselves in shame at the way they've allowed front line services

:48:12.:48:14.

to be cut to the bone while they fail to reform from inside. I worry

:48:15.:48:22.

that we still see a very narrow base being discussed when we talk about

:48:23.:48:25.

fiscal devolution and local autonomy is. Let's be honest, we are still

:48:26.:48:29.

talking about council services not been based on need and peoples

:48:30.:48:34.

genuine need for that support and those services. Were still talking

:48:35.:48:39.

about 1991. We haven't had the courage to bite the bullet and take

:48:40.:48:43.

forward reevaluations. We haven't allowed local freedoms look at

:48:44.:48:50.

redemptions and discounts and the devolution deals that have taken

:48:51.:48:53.

place. And we are coming forward with a very narrow business rate

:48:54.:48:58.

base. In many areas, the same places that have a low tax base properties

:48:59.:49:02.

for residential properties have the same issue with their business rate

:49:03.:49:09.

base. Low values, low demand have that effect. That is a real shame

:49:10.:49:15.

that when we talk about fiscal devolution and autonomy, we are

:49:16.:49:20.

taking the easy option, with going to property tax because it is easy.

:49:21.:49:25.

We know how to collect it and generated, and it creates a pot of

:49:26.:49:28.

money for local authorities to sink or swim from. That's OK if you're in

:49:29.:49:32.

an area with a strong taxpayers. If you're not, the alternative to

:49:33.:49:36.

swimming is to sink and that isn't good enough if we believe in a fair

:49:37.:49:41.

and decent society. So you be seeing amendments coming forward that hold

:49:42.:49:45.

to account the idea of funding based on need. It isn't good enough to set

:49:46.:49:49.

one area against another. If there are particular instances in rural

:49:50.:49:55.

areas that should be taken into account, a fair model should

:49:56.:49:59.

accommodate for that. If areas have high levels of children that need

:50:00.:50:02.

safeguarding support or people that need social care, a fair funding

:50:03.:50:06.

formula should take that into account. But it shouldn't do is have

:50:07.:50:10.

a constant imbalance where errors are fighting with each other to get

:50:11.:50:15.

scarce resources to those public resources. I will give way. He makes

:50:16.:50:22.

a very good point at looking at this from a blank canvas. Would he accept

:50:23.:50:26.

the position that if new funding formula meant a local authority was

:50:27.:50:30.

worse off based on that objective need he'd support that legislation

:50:31.:50:36.

in that way? I think we've seen from both sides, actually, a real

:50:37.:50:41.

concern, a deep concern, that any review will mean some areas will be

:50:42.:50:44.

worse off than others. I've gone back to the point that I started,

:50:45.:50:49.

which is inevitable when you're looking at narrow tax bases. When

:50:50.:50:53.

you look at the council tax income and say that's it, and the

:50:54.:50:58.

additional grants are now in question to local authorities, then

:50:59.:51:04.

we will always be fighting the scarce resources. We know that

:51:05.:51:08.

devolution deals have recorded requests for the tourism tax and not

:51:09.:51:13.

every area wanted but if you believe in devolution, local areas should

:51:14.:51:16.

have the ability to have some of that. We haven't even discussed fuel

:51:17.:51:22.

duty retention. Or VAT being retained at local level. If you want

:51:23.:51:27.

genuine fiscal devolution, we need to be more open to more taxes being

:51:28.:51:31.

raised at local level and spent at a local level with local people being

:51:32.:51:35.

held to account, the people making those decisions. The truth is it

:51:36.:51:39.

isn't local government we need to change. It isn't even the government

:51:40.:51:45.

DC OG team. It's the Treasury. It's the Treasury that need to let go.

:51:46.:51:50.

The reason why passenger duty can't be devolved is Treasury has no idea

:51:51.:51:54.

how much fuel duty is generated at any of our airports. Why? Because it

:51:55.:51:59.

is paid by the airline at their head office. Treasury have no idea how is

:52:00.:52:06.

generated by fuel duty because it isn't attributed to any petrol

:52:07.:52:10.

station. It is paid at the refinery. They don't count how much is spent

:52:11.:52:15.

at local level. He's making a powerful point that many of us tried

:52:16.:52:20.

to make earlier in the debate. Would he agree with me that, on top of the

:52:21.:52:25.

fact there is no redistributive mechanism involved in this, there's

:52:26.:52:30.

also the problem that there hasn't been sufficient testing on what the

:52:31.:52:34.

outcomes will be for us to be satisfied that this is a measure

:52:35.:52:37.

that will actually work to the benefit of all local authorities?

:52:38.:52:44.

That is an absolute fair point. It is a point not just raised by me,

:52:45.:52:50.

but raised by your very credible think tank organisations, by the

:52:51.:52:54.

LGA, and they had a financial review where they said we need to have a

:52:55.:52:58.

broader review of the taxpayers to make sure local authorities have

:52:59.:53:02.

that broad range of taxes to make sure they are resilient to future

:53:03.:53:06.

changes and shocks. I think that is a very fair point. I will come back

:53:07.:53:12.

to my point. It isn't good enough we said the councils need to reform. Of

:53:13.:53:19.

course. For many, many years now we've debated local government on

:53:20.:53:23.

and off. Doesn't he think we should have some kind of independent

:53:24.:53:27.

inquiry to have a good look at local needs and how they should be

:53:28.:53:34.

properly funded? I strongly believe, and I think many local governments

:53:35.:53:38.

would believe this too, that local government finance and, actually,

:53:39.:53:42.

the powers that are contained in local government, should have

:53:43.:53:45.

constitutional protection from the interference of central government.

:53:46.:53:49.

It can't be the whim of the Minister of the day or the Prime Minister to

:53:50.:53:54.

be able to change the viability and sustainability of public services to

:53:55.:53:58.

such a degree. We have this in progress with the four-year

:53:59.:54:02.

settlement and I'm pleased the local authorities have put forward to that

:54:03.:54:05.

but that was based on the projections of doom, based on local

:54:06.:54:10.

authorities been told before that the efficiency plan was transmitted

:54:11.:54:13.

that they had to live within their means but it took no account for

:54:14.:54:22.

boundary. There was a gap. The gap hasn't been addressed with the

:54:23.:54:26.

funding settlements that are now being brought through. Because with

:54:27.:54:30.

the best will of the world, and the central government bites the bullet

:54:31.:54:33.

and deals with the chronic underfunding of social care in this

:54:34.:54:36.

funding, council tax payers will continue to bear the brunt. It is

:54:37.:54:42.

absolutely wrong, in a civilised country, that your ability to

:54:43.:54:54.

receive social care is based on how much a local authority got in 1991.

:54:55.:55:01.

I met the chief executive of the University Hospital in Coventry a

:55:02.:55:04.

couple of years ago. One of the big dilemmas as you have mentally ill

:55:05.:55:11.

people turning up at the hospital looking for treatment when they

:55:12.:55:14.

should be going elsewhere. There is a real difficulty in the Midlands of

:55:15.:55:19.

looking after the carers in that situation. Would he not agree with

:55:20.:55:22.

me something should be done about that? I do agree with that but the

:55:23.:55:28.

point goes beyond adult social care and the acute sector. We've been

:55:29.:55:32.

discussing Parliament the cuts to community pharmacies and the impact

:55:33.:55:36.

that will have. For Greater Manchester, a lot of their healthier

:55:37.:55:39.

together programme has been based on the preventative work on pharmacies.

:55:40.:55:47.

In my own town, 16 community pharmacies face potential closure.

:55:48.:55:52.

That's been held up as a place where there is health devolution. That's

:55:53.:55:58.

because it is very tightly defined and government just will not let go.

:55:59.:56:08.

I had the pleasure of working utterly fantastic not careful... I

:56:09.:56:16.

shouldn't over state this because he's one of the mayoral candidates

:56:17.:56:22.

for greater Manchester. He is very clear about what this means. This is

:56:23.:56:26.

not fiscal devolution, it is a retention of rates that will be set

:56:27.:56:32.

in Chile. We mean it then we should all lead to let go, trust our local

:56:33.:56:38.

economy and trust local people to hobos councils to account.

:56:39.:56:52.

Because of the cuts they're finding it so difficult to operate so they

:56:53.:57:00.

have to emerge, but that impact on any future operations in local

:57:01.:57:05.

authorities? My friend makes a very important point about the burning

:57:06.:57:13.

platform that many local authorities have seen coming down the line and

:57:14.:57:17.

we know there have been very short-term decisions made by local

:57:18.:57:20.

authorities that we support Huth got this horrible task of trying to meet

:57:21.:57:24.

the growing demand particularly for safeguarding of young and vulnerable

:57:25.:57:27.

adults and children and also the growing demand for social care. The

:57:28.:57:33.

principle of devolution has got to be having a national framework where

:57:34.:57:38.

there's answer for devolution. Not picking areas one by one against

:57:39.:57:47.

each other. Also, devolution with their funding at its heart and the

:57:48.:57:49.

fundamental difference I think on this side than the government

:57:50.:57:53.

benches about fair funding. There's one view that says fair funding is

:57:54.:57:57.

that gets the same regardless of the need in the local community. What we

:57:58.:58:03.

believe is that fair funding... Mr Speaker, I don't judge the benches

:58:04.:58:10.

on the heckling, I judge them on the actions and the coalition years and

:58:11.:58:14.

the financial services to show that councils are having their body

:58:15.:58:17.

stripped away while demand is going through the roof. I want to make

:58:18.:58:22.

progress because I'm conscious of the Minister's birthday. The

:58:23.:58:27.

Minister has caked with candles waiting at home. And he's got a

:58:28.:58:31.

great deal of unanswered questions to come back to this dispatch box

:58:32.:58:40.

but it would be rude given my friend's position as chair committee

:58:41.:58:44.

not to give way to him. I'm sorry some are disappointed on the other

:58:45.:58:48.

benches opposite. There is a real issue here and it is that positions

:58:49.:58:54.

in this post are always better and want to give more powers and more

:58:55.:58:57.

control to local authorities and government are. It's happened over

:58:58.:59:02.

the years. In looking at the future does he accept that we need to

:59:03.:59:05.

develop a system for local government for local authorities

:59:06.:59:10.

have more ability to raise money themselves and make their own

:59:11.:59:14.

decisions and there has to be the question of equalisation and

:59:15.:59:16.

recognising needs and we have to have an element of central funding

:59:17.:59:19.

but it would be helpful if there was a right for a local government as a

:59:20.:59:24.

whole to have a certain specified amount of income tax given to them.

:59:25.:59:29.

So that they were in control of that rather than relying on each

:59:30.:59:32.

government changing that system. Taking money away from them at a

:59:33.:59:38.

whim. I think my friend really does put on show his experience in these

:59:39.:59:43.

matters, very detailed assessment of the type of variable taxes that

:59:44.:59:46.

local government need to be sustainable in the long term. We are

:59:47.:59:52.

in the process of looking at local government finances longer term and

:59:53.:59:58.

I put this plea that we look about broader than the traditional council

:59:59.:00:01.

tax and business rate base, we are open minded to having more varied

:00:02.:00:05.

range of taxes that local authorities could take and in doing

:00:06.:00:09.

that that we allow local areas to be held to account, to work together to

:00:10.:00:12.

make sure the right distribution method is in place to make sure

:00:13.:00:19.

funding is genuinely based on need. I need to make progress because the

:00:20.:00:23.

Minister has already given notice that there are a number of very

:00:24.:00:27.

detailed points that have been made that he does want to address and I

:00:28.:00:30.

think it's fair that we give him that ability to do that and not all

:00:31.:00:33.

of us will have the pleasure of sitting on the bill committee going

:00:34.:00:36.

through this in great detail, I'm sure you're sad to hear. As much as

:00:37.:00:41.

we know that incentives are important, they are. So too is

:00:42.:00:45.

certainty. Yes, share the benefits of growth for growth can happen and

:00:46.:00:49.

for local authorities can demonstrate they have role in that.

:00:50.:00:52.

But it's really important to make sure that you're not allowed to sink

:00:53.:00:56.

for whatever reason. We had some examples where that could be

:00:57.:00:59.

completely outside of the local authority's control. A very large

:01:00.:01:02.

employer deciding to relocate somewhere else in the world, it

:01:03.:01:06.

would be wrong or the local taxpayer to feel the brunt of that with the

:01:07.:01:12.

public services they receive. That safety net is absolutely critical.

:01:13.:01:15.

So too is the detail that we look forward to seeing on the tariff and

:01:16.:01:20.

top ups for that. My friend, the member for Dulwich and West Norwood

:01:21.:01:25.

really raised the issue about how important it was, not just do have

:01:26.:01:29.

the tariff and top ups in place, but to make sure that the redistribution

:01:30.:01:33.

method was transparent and fairness was really at the heart of that.

:01:34.:01:43.

When we talk about certainty and when we talk of the future of local

:01:44.:01:46.

government, we need to bear in mind that we are not talking about these

:01:47.:01:51.

institutions. Councils don't exist for council's sake they exist

:01:52.:01:55.

because they provide public services for need and demand. We really

:01:56.:02:00.

missed a trick if we don't put at the front of our nine the real

:02:01.:02:03.

impacts that the cuts have had through austerity local communities

:02:04.:02:08.

but also allow them to benefit generally from growth and from

:02:09.:02:15.

devolution. We have seen and my friend the member for Knowsley was

:02:16.:02:18.

very clear on the true impact of this in terms of the impact on his

:02:19.:02:23.

local community where nearly ?100 million of cuts to that local

:02:24.:02:28.

cancel's budget. Let's be honest, there's no way you can take that

:02:29.:02:31.

amount of money out of the system and expect there will be no impact

:02:32.:02:35.

on the local area. We had the same from the member from Manchester who

:02:36.:02:40.

was very clear about Manchester, which is held up as being an

:02:41.:02:44.

excellent authority, at the forefront of devolution in leading

:02:45.:02:48.

the greater Manchester deals, has had to make some terrible decisions

:02:49.:02:52.

just a balance the everyday revenue book and that just can't be right.

:02:53.:02:57.

Looking down the line we've got a very serious problem coming our way.

:02:58.:03:02.

A ?2.7 billion black call on adult social care. We know if we don't

:03:03.:03:06.

deal with that it's not like we have 2.6 billion pounds more to spend or

:03:07.:03:14.

to save giveaway tax breaks for other people -- black hole. It will

:03:15.:03:17.

only have an impact on pushing demand elsewhere on the system.

:03:18.:03:20.

We've seen it with delayed discharge, we've seen it with queues

:03:21.:03:25.

going to accident and emergency and can be prevented, only prevented if

:03:26.:03:28.

we provide the money upfront to keep people in their homes longer, to

:03:29.:03:31.

have far more money in preventative services and to make sure we're not

:03:32.:03:36.

spending money unnecessarily, not because people don't need that

:03:37.:03:39.

service but because they get a better service and and being well

:03:40.:03:44.

longer at home and naturally important. We talk about the people

:03:45.:03:50.

who already receive social care not getting the support they need but we

:03:51.:03:54.

also know according to age concern, there are a million people in this

:03:55.:03:58.

country who would have been entitled to social care in 2010 who are no

:03:59.:04:01.

longer in receipt of that social care. That somebody had an mum, dad,

:04:02.:04:07.

grandparent. I would hope that when I get to that stage, having to think

:04:08.:04:13.

about my own father and mother needing that type of care that we

:04:14.:04:17.

really get a grip of where the system is but as mindful I am of

:04:18.:04:20.

that, I'm also mindful that as a parliament we have a responsibility

:04:21.:04:25.

for the million people who need it. They've worked all their lives, made

:04:26.:04:28.

that contribution and Wendy really need it it's right that the

:04:29.:04:34.

government really stand up for them. If it's bad in old man greater

:04:35.:04:38.

Manchester, let's look at Surrey. The Conservative leader of Surrey, I

:04:39.:04:44.

know David Hodge, we work together on the LGA, he's not a grandstand or

:04:45.:04:49.

make petty points, he is raising a very real issue about the lack of

:04:50.:04:55.

funding in social care. If Surrey has two raised their council tax by

:04:56.:04:57.

50% to keep their head above water, just look at the authorities that

:04:58.:05:00.

have their budgets cut even more than Surrey. Terrible situation. I

:05:01.:05:06.

leave it on this point and allow the Minister to come back. Work with us.

:05:07.:05:13.

Our front bench absolutely believe in devolution and sending power from

:05:14.:05:18.

this place down to our communities. There will be positive amendments to

:05:19.:05:22.

come forward as well as proven amendments but for government it's

:05:23.:05:26.

not enough simply to let go a little, government really need to

:05:27.:05:28.

learn to let go. Thank you very much Mr Speaker. As

:05:29.:05:42.

has been mentioned by several honourable members, today is my 45th

:05:43.:05:48.

birthday. There's not a cause for celebration on my part, but what

:05:49.:05:51.

better way Mr Speaker to numb the pain than a debate on local

:05:52.:05:57.

government finance. For nearly 24 years of my 45 years I've been

:05:58.:06:02.

interested in housing and local government policy and in all of that

:06:03.:06:06.

time there has been a very strong call from local government to move

:06:07.:06:10.

away from dependence upon central government grants. The chair of the

:06:11.:06:21.

select committee justified saying this was a revolutionary measure. A

:06:22.:06:27.

big step change in terms of reducing the reliance of local government in

:06:28.:06:30.

this country on central government. Will absorb solve other problems? No

:06:31.:06:34.

of course one. There will be arguments of the overall level about

:06:35.:06:38.

resourcing and distribution between local authorities but I would remind

:06:39.:06:41.

all members of the host to read the briefing we've had from the local

:06:42.:06:44.

government Association which says the central the central measure in

:06:45.:06:47.

this bill is something that has long been called for by local councils.

:06:48.:06:52.

The honourable member for Harrow where speaking on behalf of the

:06:53.:06:54.

opposition suffered a bit uneasy about the Labour government's record

:06:55.:07:00.

in office but it was a very good nonetheless to hear that the

:07:01.:07:03.

opposition front bench support the measures in this bill in principle

:07:04.:07:06.

and he was right to say that the legislation before the House is part

:07:07.:07:11.

of wider package and that wider package is very important in

:07:12.:07:14.

considering the legislation in terms of what's going to be devolved to

:07:15.:07:20.

achieve fiscal neutrality, something the government is consulting on at

:07:21.:07:24.

the moment was that the distribution of the funding in terms of making

:07:25.:07:27.

sure we have a fair settlement for all local authorities. Then also the

:07:28.:07:34.

issue of a safety net if any authority faced a sudden decline in

:07:35.:07:39.

the income that it has and I would just make three points in that

:07:40.:07:43.

regard. The November four Manchester Withington by Dodig is present at

:07:44.:07:48.

the moment, he asked us to forgive his scepticism and they're certainly

:07:49.:07:51.

do forgive him. I think scepticism in these matters from all

:07:52.:07:55.

governments over the years is probably justified. You can't

:07:56.:08:01.

legislate for fairer funding. The relative need for different parts of

:08:02.:08:06.

the country are going to change over time, the select committee chairman

:08:07.:08:09.

made that point in his bid. It's not something we can legislate for, it's

:08:10.:08:13.

something the government is determined to get right under the

:08:14.:08:17.

moment we have two approaches in terms of taking forward the detail

:08:18.:08:20.

and making sure we address the concerns that members on both sides

:08:21.:08:23.

of the House express partly to pilot these arrangements. Honourable

:08:24.:08:33.

members are piloting these reforms. We have an important steering group

:08:34.:08:37.

with the local government Association working with local

:08:38.:08:41.

government to get the details right. Whilst the pilots are welcome, I did

:08:42.:08:44.

make the point when I spoke earlier that the the Liverpool city region

:08:45.:08:53.

have had no consultation whatsoever with the government about how they

:08:54.:08:56.

want to proceed with it. Doesn't he think before we get to the committee

:08:57.:09:00.

stage of the bill he could do with a bit more detail so we judged just

:09:01.:09:04.

what the likely outcomes are going to be. The Secretary of State said

:09:05.:09:10.

he disgusted with leaders within the city region and my officials said

:09:11.:09:13.

there had been detailed discussions, is certainly true that not all of

:09:14.:09:17.

the points are dealt with but I'll happily write to the honourable

:09:18.:09:20.

member and try to provide with some reassurance. To deal with some of

:09:21.:09:23.

the points that colleagues made, my honourable friend for Christchurch

:09:24.:09:28.

talked about local government reorganisation in Dorset on what the

:09:29.:09:31.

situation might be full to buy conceded that it would be possible

:09:32.:09:35.

to set one level of council tax from day one but in previous

:09:36.:09:38.

reorganisations, a period of time has been allowed for council tax

:09:39.:09:44.

rates equalise. He also asked about the pooling arrangements. Our

:09:45.:09:49.

intention would be to consult with local government about those

:09:50.:09:52.

arrangements but the reason for the change is that the current

:09:53.:09:55.

arrangements have letters on local authorities being left out of what

:09:56.:09:58.

would have been logical arrangements and we shouldn't allow that to

:09:59.:10:02.

continue. Deals on the point that we are looking to implement these

:10:03.:10:06.

reforms in the last year of the four near settlement, that's true and

:10:07.:10:08.

something we made clear at the outset when set out the four year

:10:09.:10:13.

settlement. The chair of the select committee. He said he would like to

:10:14.:10:20.

see not just authorities be given the freedom to reduce the multiplier

:10:21.:10:24.

but to increase it. Certainly that would be easy way to raise more

:10:25.:10:27.

income but on the side of the House we believe we can lose more income

:10:28.:10:30.

is to grow your local economy and that's what we try to provide.

:10:31.:10:36.

He made the crucial point that if resetting was done too often the

:10:37.:10:42.

intent of the growth disappears but if it isn't done regularly enough,

:10:43.:10:47.

there's a danger of falling behind. I can confirm to him we would also

:10:48.:10:52.

be looking to adjust the needs baseline each time, that is the

:10:53.:10:57.

crucial part of these reforms. And we will potentially have to look at

:10:58.:11:01.

the mix of measures devolved to make the package fiscally neutral because

:11:02.:11:05.

the demand for services may grow quicker than the income from the

:11:06.:11:09.

taxpayer so each time there's issues will have to be looked at. My

:11:10.:11:16.

honourable friend spoke powerfully about the unique constituency he

:11:17.:11:20.

represents for which he is such a powerful advocate in this house. And

:11:21.:11:24.

the huge potential for income and the real challenges those

:11:25.:11:28.

authorities face and he made some powerful points. My honourable

:11:29.:11:32.

friend for Northampton South made a very good point about making sure

:11:33.:11:36.

there was still incentives in relation to small business from

:11:37.:11:39.

which they might not get a business rate income. I would say to him that

:11:40.:11:43.

of course the hope of this government and his authority is that

:11:44.:11:47.

small businesses will grow to become medium-sized and large us in the

:11:48.:11:50.

long-term that incentive is still there. My honourable friend for

:11:51.:11:56.

South Dorset made a very important point about the appeal system for

:11:57.:11:59.

business rates. There is a real issue at the moment local government

:12:00.:12:05.

bears a significant part in risk to appeals and one of the reforms

:12:06.:12:09.

welcomed by Local Government Association is to deal with that

:12:10.:12:12.

issue so that the risk doesn't sit with the local authorities. If we

:12:13.:12:18.

have 100% retention, that's risk will be increased. My honourable

:12:19.:12:26.

friend for Cannock Chase raise the particular issue of the safety net

:12:27.:12:31.

and she referred to a local example in her constituency she's raised a

:12:32.:12:35.

number of times with ministers. I can tell her that at the moment with

:12:36.:12:42.

the 50% system there is a safety net at 92.5% of the assumed income. As

:12:43.:12:46.

part of developing these reforms, the government will need to give

:12:47.:12:50.

thought to what the arrangement should be with 100% retention but

:12:51.:12:55.

she's right to flag up the importance of protecting authorities

:12:56.:12:57.

that face a sudden large loss in their income. I will give way. I'm

:12:58.:13:06.

very grateful. Given it is the intention to phase out coal fired

:13:07.:13:12.

power stations between now and 2025, what will the government do to work

:13:13.:13:18.

with those local authorities who will be facing closures between now

:13:19.:13:26.

and over the coming years? I think there are two issues. Both making

:13:27.:13:32.

sure the arrangements we have cater for those circumstances where there

:13:33.:13:34.

is a significant loss from one financial year to the next in terms

:13:35.:13:40.

of the business rate income. But also advance warning of these

:13:41.:13:45.

decisions so local authorities have time to prepare appropriately and

:13:46.:13:48.

perhaps you may wish to have discussions with my honourable

:13:49.:13:52.

friend about the detail of that as the proposals go forward. I will

:13:53.:13:58.

give way one more time. I thank the honourable gentleman forgiving way.

:13:59.:14:02.

A few moments ago we mentioned we want to grow local economies through

:14:03.:14:09.

these measures. One of these problems is the local economy

:14:10.:14:13.

expanding and housing. We can't rely on the private sector so why don't

:14:14.:14:17.

you take the shackles of councils and allow them to borrow to build

:14:18.:14:22.

council houses to take the pressure off mortgages? Mr Speaker, this is

:14:23.:14:27.

my pet subject. If his argument is we need to build more homes in this

:14:28.:14:31.

country, I absolutely agree with him, so does the Secretary of State.

:14:32.:14:35.

There will be a White Paper coming forward shortly which will have a

:14:36.:14:38.

whole package of measures to try and encourage all sectors to build more

:14:39.:14:42.

homes but I would point him to the announcement the Chancellor made in

:14:43.:14:45.

the Autumn Statement with a further ?1.4 billion to build affordable

:14:46.:14:52.

housing in this country so I think the Secretary of State will agree we

:14:53.:14:58.

have considerable commitment of this. Rate relief for public

:14:59.:15:04.

toilets. There was quite a lot of toilet humour during this debate!

:15:05.:15:08.

Because I'm not for my birthday, my children are watching and I will

:15:09.:15:13.

keep it clean but I would simply observe to the honourable lady, she

:15:14.:15:17.

asked the question that of public toilets have been closed, would this

:15:18.:15:23.

relief apply, are they liable? They may still be rateable so in that

:15:24.:15:29.

sense there is the potential for a charge but unoccupied with a

:15:30.:15:36.

rateable value -- value below ?2000 may fall below that threshold. If

:15:37.:15:40.

they were above that, the powers in this legislation would be applicable

:15:41.:15:43.

so I think that's gives her the detail she was looking for. My

:15:44.:15:50.

honourable friend the Torbay spoke powerfully, I thought, about the

:15:51.:15:53.

pressures faced in coastal communities, and made a plea that

:15:54.:15:57.

has we look at the fair funding review, we look at the particular

:15:58.:16:01.

pressures facing this particular communities, and I know there will

:16:02.:16:04.

be other honourable members in this house will share his concern and I

:16:05.:16:09.

think he made his points very forcefully. My honourable friend for

:16:10.:16:14.

Thirsk and Malton I thought spoke incredibly powerfully and showed a

:16:15.:16:18.

real understanding of the detail of local government finance. I heard it

:16:19.:16:25.

said that when Einstein published as general theory of relativity, for a

:16:26.:16:29.

number of years, there are only two or three people that understood

:16:30.:16:32.

General relativity and I think the local government finance system is

:16:33.:16:36.

similar to in that regard. I think my honourable friend is one of them.

:16:37.:16:40.

He talked about regression, the formula we use is based are not

:16:41.:16:45.

purely on a sort of attempt to assess need but also takes past

:16:46.:16:50.

patterns of spending as a proxy for what is needed. The political

:16:51.:16:53.

decisions of different authorities have some impact on that and I think

:16:54.:16:56.

he was arguing to move away from that and that is absolutely

:16:57.:17:01.

something we can look at as part of this review. My honourable friend

:17:02.:17:08.

for Somerton and Frome spoke very powerfully about the importance of

:17:09.:17:12.

the measures in relation to rule or rate relief. He's a great champion

:17:13.:17:16.

of rural communities and we are pleased to include these measures

:17:17.:17:20.

which ensure that rural small businesses get the same treatment as

:17:21.:17:23.

small businesses in other parts of the country. My honourable friend,

:17:24.:17:28.

the member for Wells, spoke powerfully not just for his own

:17:29.:17:33.

constituents, but also for rural communities across the country in

:17:34.:17:37.

trying to ensure they get a fair deal out of the fair funding review.

:17:38.:17:41.

This is an issue the house looked at last year. It is an issue my

:17:42.:17:45.

honourable friend and the Secretary of State feel very strongly about,

:17:46.:17:48.

but we need to get the detail right to make sure the former takes

:17:49.:17:52.

account of the real needs that all communities, whether we are talking

:17:53.:17:56.

inner-city areas, suburban areas, like the one I represent or rural

:17:57.:18:02.

communities get a fair deal out of the system. The final backbench

:18:03.:18:07.

speech in the debate was from my honourable friend for Waverley. He

:18:08.:18:13.

made a number of points but I think one that bears repeating is the

:18:14.:18:16.

importance of implementing the fair funding review at the same time as

:18:17.:18:23.

we extend business rate retention to 100%. Because, clearly, it is

:18:24.:18:26.

absolutely essential in those circumstances that we get the

:18:27.:18:30.

distribution of the income local government as a whole is racing

:18:31.:18:33.

through that tax in an equitable way so I thought it was an important

:18:34.:18:38.

point he made. The honourable member for Oldham West Witton who wound up

:18:39.:18:42.

the debate for the opposition made two points I think it is worth

:18:43.:18:46.

picking up on. He spoke quite rightly about the dangers of making

:18:47.:18:52.

sure the system prevented certain communities from sinking,

:18:53.:18:54.

communities that were not able to raise additional funding for growth

:18:55.:18:58.

for whatever reason, and could find themselves deprived of income. That

:18:59.:19:02.

could become a self replicating cycle. He was quite right to raise

:19:03.:19:07.

the issue. I can say to him the government wants to address it in a

:19:08.:19:10.

number of ways. Firstly, we need to get the system right in terms of

:19:11.:19:14.

local government funding. It won't have escaped the house that we had

:19:15.:19:18.

an industrial strategy from the government that is determined all

:19:19.:19:21.

parts of our country benefit from the economic growth we are

:19:22.:19:24.

delivering and it is worth looking at the record of the Labour

:19:25.:19:28.

government that failed to do that. We don't intend to repeat that

:19:29.:19:33.

mistake. I wanted to end by picking up on one final point he made in

:19:34.:19:36.

relation to local government finance. Let me make it clear to him

:19:37.:19:41.

that nobody on this side of the house thinks that every single

:19:42.:19:43.

community in the country should have the same level of funding per head.

:19:44.:19:47.

We absolutely recognise funding should be based on need. His own

:19:48.:19:54.

local authority gets the spending power per dwelling of just under

:19:55.:19:58.

?1900. The Prime minister's community, that figure is just over

:19:59.:20:04.

?1300. His constituents are getting a spending power 50% more to reflect

:20:05.:20:07.

the fact there are extra needs in his community. I wanted to make that

:20:08.:20:11.

absolutely clear that we are committed to a fair system that

:20:12.:20:19.

reflects need. Just to conclude my remarks, it's probably worth putting

:20:20.:20:22.

on the record some of the other things this bill does that haven't

:20:23.:20:28.

had the same attention in the debate today. The pooling arrangements and

:20:29.:20:34.

the possibility for groups of local authorities to replicate enterprise

:20:35.:20:38.

zone policy is a really important measure. There's also been some

:20:39.:20:43.

mention of the powers that are in the legislation for the Greater

:20:44.:20:47.

London authority and four mayoral combined authorities to levy a 2%

:20:48.:20:52.

supplement on business rates if they've consulted business to fund

:20:53.:20:57.

new infrastructure. This is tempting me into my role as Minister for

:20:58.:21:01.

Housing and planning but the Secretary of State and I are

:21:02.:21:04.

convinced that if we want to get economic growth in this country and

:21:05.:21:10.

if we want to see the housing built getting the infrastructure in place

:21:11.:21:18.

is critical to that. We will experience the resistance to

:21:19.:21:22.

building new housing in our communities, driven by a perception

:21:23.:21:25.

that, over the years, new housing has not been accompanied by the

:21:26.:21:29.

necessary infrastructure, therefore people have find it harder to get an

:21:30.:21:35.

appointment with a GP, harder to get their children into the schools, the

:21:36.:21:39.

trains are more overcrowded, the roads are more congested. It's vital

:21:40.:21:43.

government tackles this problem, that we make sure we get

:21:44.:21:45.

infrastructure in place that isn't just going to fuel economic growth

:21:46.:21:50.

but is also going to help us to deliver the housing we so

:21:51.:21:54.

desperately need. I am very happy to give way. I appreciate the

:21:55.:22:00.

explanation the minister has given. When we first heard of

:22:01.:22:04.

infrastructure, can he confirmed it will be wider than roads and

:22:05.:22:08.

railways? Will there be a provision of superfast broadband? Absolutely,

:22:09.:22:13.

we want this definition to look widely at all of the different

:22:14.:22:17.

things that can help to drive economic growth. If you look at the

:22:18.:22:22.

industrial strategy paper published today, getting the right digital

:22:23.:22:26.

infrastructure is a key part of trying to ensure we get a

:22:27.:22:29.

broad-based economic growth we need in this country. That is an issue we

:22:30.:22:36.

shouldn't just be aiming to have the best connections just in core urban

:22:37.:22:40.

areas, we want right across the country so that all communities can

:22:41.:22:43.

benefit from that technology. I will give way one more time. Clearly, the

:22:44.:22:51.

challenge in making sure that once business rates have been retained,

:22:52.:22:57.

we need to grow the tax base locally. Does the Minister agree

:22:58.:23:00.

with me that growth deals that aggressively target those areas

:23:01.:23:03.

where the business rate base is smallest might be a good thing to do

:23:04.:23:09.

for the next few years? I know the Secretary of State is really keen to

:23:10.:23:12.

work with communities across the country to get these growth deals in

:23:13.:23:17.

place. We absolutely recognise if we want to drive economic growth in our

:23:18.:23:22.

country, the role of local communities, councils and businesses

:23:23.:23:26.

are absolutely critical. And the government giving additional

:23:27.:23:29.

freedoms to help make that work possible can play a huge role. One

:23:30.:23:33.

other measure that has not been touched on is the provision in the

:23:34.:23:37.

bill to change the inflation indicator in relation to business

:23:38.:23:45.

rates from RPI to CPI and as the association of convenience stores

:23:46.:23:48.

says this will lower annual rates and businesses. It is a reduction in

:23:49.:23:54.

business rates that are businesses will experience. In conclusion,

:23:55.:24:00.

local government is a crucial part of our democracy in this country.

:24:01.:24:04.

Many members of this house, a number of them including myself have spoken

:24:05.:24:08.

in the debate today but right up to the Prime Minister have served as

:24:09.:24:11.

councillors before they came into this house to serve as members of

:24:12.:24:18.

Parliament. All of us know just how important the work of councillors is

:24:19.:24:22.

to our local communities that we have the privilege to represent. The

:24:23.:24:25.

too long, councils have been forced to rely on us in Westminster.

:24:26.:24:30.

They've lacked the incentives required to drive growth and

:24:31.:24:33.

investment in communities. Those communities have suffered as a

:24:34.:24:37.

result. This bill presents a historic opportunity to change that

:24:38.:24:41.

forever. A global Britain can only be built on a strong, local

:24:42.:24:47.

foundation. This bill will help provide that I commend it to house.

:24:48.:24:57.

Order. The question is that the bill be now read a second time? As many

:24:58.:25:00.

as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the contrary, "no". I think the ayes

:25:01.:25:07.

have it. Programme motion to be moved formally. Question is as on

:25:08.:25:13.

the opinion, say "aye". To the the opinion, say "aye". To the

:25:14.:25:17.

contrary, "no". The ayes have it. The money resolution to be moved

:25:18.:25:23.

formally. The question is as on the order paper. As many as are of the

:25:24.:25:26.

opinion, say "aye". To the contrary, "no". I think the ayes have it. The

:25:27.:25:36.

ways and means resolution to be moved formally. The question is as

:25:37.:25:41.

on the order paper. As many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the

:25:42.:25:43.

contrary, "no". I think the ayes have it. We must

:25:44.:25:56.

now take the motion relating to different divisions. The motion

:25:57.:26:06.

relating to different divisions. I think the ayes habit. We now come to

:26:07.:26:15.

the motion number five on carry-over to be moved formally. I beg to move.

:26:16.:26:21.

The question as on the order paper. I think the ayes have it. Motion on

:26:22.:26:34.

police. The question is on the order paper,. I think the ayes have it.

:26:35.:26:41.

Motion number seven on financial services. The question as is on the

:26:42.:26:44.

order paper. The decision is deferred until

:26:45.:27:00.

Wednesday. Motion number eight on business of the House from the 24th

:27:01.:27:06.

of January. The question as on the order paper. Ayes Have it. Motion

:27:07.:27:16.

number nine on the Scottish affairs committee. Mr Whitton has begged to

:27:17.:27:22.

move. The question is as on the order paper. I think the ayes have

:27:23.:27:31.

it. The woman and qualities committee. The question is as on the

:27:32.:27:41.

order paper. I think the ayes habit. The adjournment. I beg to move this

:27:42.:27:49.

has two now adjourned. The question is now that this has do now

:27:50.:27:57.

adjourned. I've already had four honourable members say they back to

:27:58.:28:01.

intervene on me in the speech, so if others can bear with me I think that

:28:02.:28:05.

probably will be as much as we can contain within the time. Children

:28:06.:28:11.

have their first mobile phones when they are nine. Many have

:28:12.:28:17.

smartphones, unlimited and sometimes unfettered access to the World Wide

:28:18.:28:21.

Web and everything it has do offer. We should perhaps not be surprised

:28:22.:28:25.

that by the time they leave primary school most children have seen

:28:26.:28:29.

online pornography, one in five had to deal with cyber bullying and by

:28:30.:28:34.

the time they finish secondary school, six in ten had been asked

:28:35.:28:39.

for a digital nude or sexually explicit image of themselves usually

:28:40.:28:44.

by a friend post as a result many would have discovered that private

:28:45.:28:47.

images of themselves can be passed onto thousands of people at the

:28:48.:28:52.

touch of a button. Removing these images from the World Wide Web is

:28:53.:28:56.

all but impossible, reading difficult conversations with family,

:28:57.:28:59.

future employers and friends. In that women and equalities select

:29:00.:29:04.

committee report on sexual harassment we took evidence from

:29:05.:29:09.

children themselves who Seth sexual harassment has become a normal part

:29:10.:29:14.

of everyday life, calling which women names.

:29:15.:29:20.

Over the last three years, 5500 sexual offences were recorded in UK

:29:21.:29:29.

schools, including 600 rapes. Abusive behaviour from the off-line

:29:30.:29:36.

world seeping into the online world. The facts look pretty stark. Perhaps

:29:37.:29:43.

honourable members are lesser price to hear the latest Barnard 's

:29:44.:29:47.

research findings that seven in ten children believe they would be safer

:29:48.:29:52.

if they had age-appropriate classes on sex and relationship education in

:29:53.:29:57.

school. More than nine in ten specifically said it was important

:29:58.:30:01.

for them to understand the dangers of being online, especially sharing

:30:02.:30:11.

images. I understand and share her concern about there being improved

:30:12.:30:15.

relationships education in school, particularly for younger children

:30:16.:30:19.

but I'm extremely concerned and would you not agree that many

:30:20.:30:22.

parents would be to send it sex education is to be taught as a

:30:23.:30:27.

compulsory nature to primary school children. I think my honourable

:30:28.:30:31.

friend is right to say that parents need to have a voice in all of this.

:30:32.:30:36.

I'm sure any consultation the government would have would take

:30:37.:30:40.

that into account. To date information on research released by

:30:41.:30:46.

UK International says eight in ten adults in this country want to have

:30:47.:30:50.

sex and relationship education for children at school but I think the

:30:51.:30:55.

honourable lady is right to say that it has to be age-appropriate and

:30:56.:30:59.

that actually in primary schools, for the most part, what we're

:31:00.:31:02.

talking about is making sure they understand what a good unhealthy

:31:03.:31:09.

relationship looks like. I give way to the honourable gentleman. I

:31:10.:31:14.

congratulate the honourable lady in bringing this matter forward.

:31:15.:31:16.

Further to the point of the honourable lady, it's critical and I

:31:17.:31:21.

believe crucial and I said that to the honourable lady that parents

:31:22.:31:25.

have control and oversight of what happens in relation to their

:31:26.:31:30.

children. When it comes to any influence that they may have from

:31:31.:31:35.

outside. With the honourable lady feel that parents first and the

:31:36.:31:38.

government must consider that when it comes to any changes with sex

:31:39.:31:43.

education? The honourable gentleman is right, parents have a pivotal

:31:44.:31:46.

role to play but so do schools and I was just about to come onto that in

:31:47.:31:49.

my comments on remarks. I'm now going to be breaking my rules by

:31:50.:31:52.

allowing my honourable friend to intervene me. Many of us didn't get

:31:53.:31:59.

much from our parents and many others did not as not to children

:32:00.:32:02.

but the only truth is that celibacy is the only thing you can't inherit

:32:03.:32:06.

from your parents and many parents are too embarrassed to talk about

:32:07.:32:09.

these things do their children. They wouldn't be a good idiot parents and

:32:10.:32:13.

teachers discussed what children ought to know and discuss whether

:32:14.:32:16.

parents or teachers or both should talk to them about it. Pearls of

:32:17.:32:24.

wisdom from my honourable friend. -- it wouldn't for parents and teachers

:32:25.:32:27.

to discuss what children ought to know. The Minister, I'm sure,

:32:28.:32:36.

because I know her well, we'll remind us that some of the best

:32:37.:32:41.

schools already teach children about mutual respect, self-respect, about

:32:42.:32:45.

what makes a truly loving relationship, to go beyond what is

:32:46.:32:48.

currently compulsory, which is the mechanics of sex, the biology of

:32:49.:32:52.

reproduction and tackle relationships and the context of a

:32:53.:32:56.

sexualised online world because we need to help young people make

:32:57.:33:00.

better and informed choices in those early years. It's clear surely to

:33:01.:33:07.

both me and how that many schools do not take this approach and why

:33:08.:33:11.

should we sit by and allow those children to lose out? As I said, new

:33:12.:33:17.

research today published today shows an ex eight in ten adults think that

:33:18.:33:22.

compulsory sex and relationship education should be taught in all

:33:23.:33:27.

schools's status. Many children to make informed choices, Winnie

:33:28.:33:33.

children to understand that sexting is illegal and could affect their

:33:34.:33:36.

mental health. They could limit their future careers. Pornography

:33:37.:33:42.

doesn't reflect reality. Bullying behaviour online is just as

:33:43.:33:47.

unacceptable as bullying behaviour off-line. I think it might be more

:33:48.:33:53.

accurate to call it relationship and sex education because what children

:33:54.:33:56.

need more than ever this to understand what a healthy

:33:57.:34:04.

relationship really looks like. What they see and experience online is

:34:05.:34:12.

for the most part not that. My right honourable friend is making

:34:13.:34:15.

excellent points about sexting and unwanted touching but does my right

:34:16.:34:20.

honourable friend agree that nowadays, the insidious nature of

:34:21.:34:24.

early emotional abuse is vital for every child in school to understand

:34:25.:34:32.

those early signs. My honourable friend who I know has a great deal

:34:33.:34:36.

of expertise in this area is absolutely right. It's important

:34:37.:34:39.

that we give children the right information at the right time and I

:34:40.:34:44.

think that is what I'm calling for in the contribution I making today.

:34:45.:34:50.

Many reputable operators on the Internet and mobile communications

:34:51.:34:54.

world understand the downsides of their products, especially for

:34:55.:34:57.

children and increasingly try to fit parental controls to sort that out

:34:58.:35:01.

but at the moment there are only as good as we parents are and about 40%

:35:02.:35:07.

use those controls. Parents are conscious of the problems but when

:35:08.:35:10.

children use the Internet on average more than 20 hours per week they

:35:11.:35:13.

cannot be there looking over their children's shoulder at every single

:35:14.:35:19.

moment. Many simply fuel out of their depth as well. I do think we

:35:20.:35:24.

have reasons for optimism and in a recent children in social work

:35:25.:35:29.

debate, ministers have clearly been indicating that thinking is underway

:35:30.:35:33.

and the government has already acted to show that it can work with the

:35:34.:35:37.

online industry as well and we really all should applaud the work

:35:38.:35:41.

of David Cameron and what he did in outlying child abuse images online.

:35:42.:35:46.

He showed the Internet industry can act when it wants to. We can welcome

:35:47.:35:51.

also the work that's now being done by the government to put effect age

:35:52.:35:55.

restrictions in place for online pornography websites. I give way to

:35:56.:36:04.

the honourable lady from Brighton. I congratulate her for securing the

:36:05.:36:06.

debate and the excellent work committee has done on this area.

:36:07.:36:09.

Which agree that it significant there is such cross-party support

:36:10.:36:12.

for moving this direction, five jurors of select committees said he

:36:13.:36:16.

think it's an important issue and we should agree that the statutory

:36:17.:36:19.

nature is essential because it means you get good quality education. We

:36:20.:36:25.

need that teacher training done well so that it's good quality teaching.

:36:26.:36:30.

Villa the honourable lady has made an incredibly important point. What

:36:31.:36:35.

we need to have is consistency and as I pointed out before in the

:36:36.:36:38.

debate today, we don't have that at the moment and that's what the

:36:39.:36:43.

statutory nature would give us. The Internet has changed everyone's

:36:44.:36:47.

lives. For some its normalised sexualised behaviour which children

:36:48.:36:52.

can find difficult to to. I see the research as a cry for help. Parents

:36:53.:36:57.

have to take overall responsibility but schools have a pivotal role to

:36:58.:37:01.

play to help more children understand what a good relationship

:37:02.:37:04.

is to be able to make better decisions. I'm very grateful and

:37:05.:37:14.

cheesemaking good points. Can I ask you to clarify, when we talk about

:37:15.:37:18.

schools, we're talking about both local authority schools and also the

:37:19.:37:23.

growing sector of academies as well, very important to make sure that

:37:24.:37:27.

those would be included. I'm sure one of the many challenges the

:37:28.:37:31.

ministers will have in this area as how to make sure that every child

:37:32.:37:36.

can have the right sort of support in teaching and I don't

:37:37.:37:38.

underestimate the challenges that will present. I agree with the

:37:39.:37:43.

essence of what my honourable friend as saying. We can't pretend that

:37:44.:37:46.

what we're talking about today doesn't affect children or parents

:37:47.:37:51.

have all the specialist knowledge children need or that we can do

:37:52.:37:58.

something different and act. Act to clean up the Internet but also act

:37:59.:38:04.

to support parents, acted to give children the understanding they need

:38:05.:38:07.

to make informed choices. Today's to be disappointed by leading

:38:08.:38:18.

charities, the one sex and relationship education to be

:38:19.:38:24.

compulsory. At the moment schools are relying on guidance that was

:38:25.:38:28.

agreed more than a decade ago when the Internet was still out of reach

:38:29.:38:33.

of most children. They failed to be able to adapt to what children need

:38:34.:38:36.

and little wonder that Ofsted recently judged 40% of schools

:38:37.:38:40.

inadequate in their teaching in this area. Who are we to ignore children

:38:41.:38:47.

calling for change? Children only have one chance of a childhood. We

:38:48.:38:52.

know the damage done by cyber bullying, sexting and the underage

:38:53.:38:56.

viewing of extreme pornography. We have an obligation to act. My

:38:57.:39:02.

question for the Minister, my friend from Hampshire, tonight as she

:39:03.:39:06.

enters this debate, is how will the government respond to seven in ten

:39:07.:39:12.

children who want to see change. What are the government actually

:39:13.:39:15.

doing and when will we see that change happen?

:39:16.:39:21.

I would let us die by congratulating my right honourable and indeed my

:39:22.:39:27.

real friend, the Minister, the member of Parliament for Basingstoke

:39:28.:39:30.

for securing this really important debate. I share her views about the

:39:31.:39:36.

importance that children and young people should have access to

:39:37.:39:41.

effective factually accurate age-appropriate sex and relationship

:39:42.:39:45.

education. This is a subject the government takes very seriously and

:39:46.:39:49.

we have welcomed the extremely helpful input from many members

:39:50.:39:55.

across the House, not least for on women and equality select committee

:39:56.:40:00.

and the ongoing scrutiny of the children and social work well. The

:40:01.:40:04.

government is very committed to exploring all the options to improve

:40:05.:40:08.

delivery of sex and relationship education and personal social and

:40:09.:40:11.

health education. And to ensure we address both the quality of delivery

:40:12.:40:16.

and the accessibility. To support all children developing positive

:40:17.:40:22.

healthy relationships and being able to thrive in modern Britain. The

:40:23.:40:26.

government welcomed the very core brands of report by the woman and

:40:27.:40:29.

equality select committee on sexual violence and sexual harassment in

:40:30.:40:32.

schools which was published in September of last year.

:40:33.:40:35.

There are a number of recommendations. I was honoured to

:40:36.:40:45.

take part in an evidence session for that inquiry, and I would emphasise

:40:46.:40:50.

that we are in full agreement that sexual harassment and sexual

:40:51.:40:54.

violence in schools, no matter what form it takes, is absolutely up

:40:55.:40:57.

aren't and unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated. Thank you

:40:58.:41:04.

very much. I'm grateful to the Minister. Does she agree with me

:41:05.:41:07.

that this whole debate is intrinsically linked with PHC E, and

:41:08.:41:18.

equipping children to deal with things because they have the

:41:19.:41:21.

capacity to understand what they're dealing with? My honourable friend

:41:22.:41:26.

is absolutely right. We want to equip people to face the challenges

:41:27.:41:29.

of the modern world in which they find themselves and we have given a

:41:30.:41:38.

great deal thinking into the recommendations. And we committed to

:41:39.:41:47.

work with stakeholders to produce a framework setting out the whole

:41:48.:41:56.

practices. While combating harassment of any kind. Despite the

:41:57.:42:00.

usefulness of those important evidence sessions, we recognise the

:42:01.:42:04.

scale and scope of this problem is still not yet fully understood. To

:42:05.:42:09.

improve both our understanding and that of schools we've made a

:42:10.:42:12.

commitment to build our evidence -based and a Work Programme which is

:42:13.:42:16.

currently being developed by the government equalities office. This

:42:17.:42:19.

sits alongside a commitment to provide the very best practice

:42:20.:42:24.

examples of effective ways of working with girls and boys to

:42:25.:42:29.

better promote gender equality and better respond to incidents of

:42:30.:42:32.

sexual harassment and violence. Additionally, we've put in place

:42:33.:42:35.

plans to set up an advisory group which will be looking at how these

:42:36.:42:39.

issues and recommendations from the select committee's report can best

:42:40.:42:50.

be reflected within the DFE guidance. I know there is more we

:42:51.:42:54.

need to do. The Secretary of State has made it absolutely clear we need

:42:55.:42:58.

to be prioritising progress on the quality and availability of SRE and

:42:59.:43:05.

pH is C, and we must look at the excellent work that many schools

:43:06.:43:09.

already do as the basis for any new support and requirements. I think

:43:10.:43:16.

there is general agreement across the house this is the right thing to

:43:17.:43:21.

do. There is also a recognition across the house that with Brexit

:43:22.:43:25.

coming down the track, our capacity to pass legislation to make sure

:43:26.:43:29.

that every school does this is very limited. New clause one of the

:43:30.:43:33.

children in social work bill will require every school, both

:43:34.:43:37.

maintained an academy, to provide age-appropriate inclusive

:43:38.:43:40.

relationship education, the very education we want to see happen.

:43:41.:43:46.

Given that under time constraints, will the Minister tonight to make a

:43:47.:43:50.

commitment to back new clause one or come back with something that is

:43:51.:43:53.

exactly that because we've got no time left to make sure we make good

:43:54.:43:58.

on those promises to those children? My honourable friend has been very

:43:59.:44:02.

clear we will set out plans to move forward as part of that bill. So,

:44:03.:44:09.

the existing legislation requires that sex education be compulsory in

:44:10.:44:13.

all maintained secondary schools. At free schools are also required by

:44:14.:44:17.

their funding agreement to teach a broad and balanced curriculum and we

:44:18.:44:21.

encourage them to teach sexual and relationship education within that.

:44:22.:44:26.

Many schools choose to cover issues of sexual doctor-mac within a sorry.

:44:27.:44:35.

I will thank the Minister forgiving way. On the point the Terrence

:44:36.:44:42.

Higgins trust report found that 75% of young people hadn't learnt about

:44:43.:44:47.

consent, and that 95% had not been told anything about LGB T1

:44:48.:44:51.

relationship is and even the UN is calling for a sorry to be statutory

:44:52.:44:58.

in UK schools, does the Minister agree it is time now the government

:44:59.:45:01.

response to this request and make it statutory? Yes, Mr Speaker, we have

:45:02.:45:08.

agreed we are looking at it as we speak and we will set out our next

:45:09.:45:13.

plans for inclusion in the children in social work bill but this has to

:45:14.:45:18.

be done right, sensitively, carefully, and with cross-party

:45:19.:45:25.

support. This hasn't been updated for the last 16 years. And,

:45:26.:45:30.

actually, my personal opinion is that respect for yourself, and

:45:31.:45:33.

others, healthy relationships, consent and all the other things we

:45:34.:45:40.

value as part of SRE and PSHE are things we need to embody in a whole

:45:41.:45:46.

school ethos, not just something we teach on a Tuesday afternoon. The

:45:47.:45:51.

existing legislation also shows that Ofsted publishes case studies on its

:45:52.:45:55.

website which highlight effective practice in schools including

:45:56.:45:58.

examples of SRE has taught within PSHE. I'm grateful and thank the

:45:59.:46:06.

Minister forgiving way. I echo the point to make that the time is now.

:46:07.:46:11.

We've been discussing this since 2010, ever since the it didn't come

:46:12.:46:17.

forward last time. Can she confirm, the report stage of the bill of the

:46:18.:46:22.

children in social Care Bill will be with us at the start of February but

:46:23.:46:26.

will the government bring forward its own legislation or supporting

:46:27.:46:30.

clause one to make sure we have stacked Richard free SRE in every

:46:31.:46:38.

single school in our country? -- statutory SRE? We are considering

:46:39.:46:43.

all the options and are committed in supporting the bill and my

:46:44.:46:48.

honourable friend the children's minister will bring this forward as

:46:49.:46:51.

part of this. The key thing to this is getting it right, not rushing it

:46:52.:46:55.

through just to satisfy a loud voices on either side of the house.

:46:56.:47:02.

Just to translate what my honourable friend was saying, she was talking

:47:03.:47:06.

about compulsory, I'd put it is comprehensive. Does the government

:47:07.:47:08.

have any idea of how many young people growing up miss out on

:47:09.:47:13.

effective sex and relationship education? Can we be assured the

:47:14.:47:16.

government will try to make sure this number will be reduced to the

:47:17.:47:21.

extent where it is virtually zero within a few years? Sex and

:47:22.:47:28.

relationship education, in the form of the biology of it, isn't

:47:29.:47:34.

compulsory but what we want to see is a much broader look at healthy

:47:35.:47:41.

relationships, respect for oneself, issues around consent, and we have

:47:42.:47:44.

to look at these things carefully as we move forward on theirs. That's

:47:45.:47:48.

why we're encouraging schools to use the Ofsted case studies as a

:47:49.:47:52.

resource while they are tailoring very programmes to meet the specific

:47:53.:47:58.

needs of their pupils and, in addition, the PSHE association and

:47:59.:48:03.

the sex education Forum in 2014 produced a supplementary guidance

:48:04.:48:06.

document on sex education for the 21st century which provides valuable

:48:07.:48:11.

advice on what sadly am all to modern issues, such as online

:48:12.:48:17.

pornography, sexting and staying safe online. These really useful

:48:18.:48:21.

guidance is provide teachers with the tools to support pupils with

:48:22.:48:25.

these challenging matters, developing their resilience and

:48:26.:48:29.

their ability to manage risk. As we have heard today, social media and

:48:30.:48:33.

interactive services are hugely popular for children and young

:48:34.:48:36.

people. They can provide fantastic opportunities for them to express

:48:37.:48:40.

creativity, for them to learn digital skills and the them to

:48:41.:48:43.

improve educational attainment but I call forms of communication, they

:48:44.:48:49.

come with a level of risk. We expect on my industries to ensure they have

:48:50.:48:54.

online safeguards in place, including restricted access to young

:48:55.:48:58.

people. We have published a guide for parents and carers of children

:48:59.:49:02.

using social media, including practical tips about the use of

:49:03.:49:06.

safety improver see features on apps and platforms as well as

:49:07.:49:10.

conversation prompts to help families begin talking to their kids

:49:11.:49:14.

about online safety. We funded the UK's safe Internet Centre to develop

:49:15.:49:19.

new resources for schools, including cyber bullying guidance which helps

:49:20.:49:23.

them understand, prevent and respond to this issue. As well as an online

:49:24.:49:27.

safety toolkit to help schools deliver sessions through PSHE about

:49:28.:49:32.

cyber bullying, peer pressure and sexting. We're also talking directly

:49:33.:49:37.

to young people about healthy relationships. The government

:49:38.:49:43.

equalities office jointly funded ?3.85 million campaign with the Home

:49:44.:49:46.

Office to launch the second phase of the This Is Abuse campaign. It ran

:49:47.:49:54.

from February to May. It encourages young people to rethink their

:49:55.:49:57.

understanding of abuse within relationships including issues like

:49:58.:50:02.

sexting. It also addresses all forms of relationship abuse including

:50:03.:50:08.

coercive and controlling behaviour. And situations including same-sex

:50:09.:50:13.

relationships. Some of the materials contained gender neutral messaging,

:50:14.:50:17.

others depicted male victims of female perpetrators and this was

:50:18.:50:21.

targeted at 12-18 -year-old boys and girls and had the aim of preventing

:50:22.:50:25.

them from becoming the perpetrators and victims of abuse within

:50:26.:50:32.

relationships. So we are actively considering the clause to update

:50:33.:50:37.

SRE, issued in 2000. The feedback we've received indicates the

:50:38.:50:40.

guidance is clear young people should be learning what a healthy

:50:41.:50:43.

relationship looks like. However, we don't consider it will be static and

:50:44.:50:55.

we want to make updates to it. We don't want to rush it. We need to

:50:56.:51:00.

update a responsible approach, listening to a range of views,

:51:01.:51:02.

including both young people and parents alike. She's quite rightly

:51:03.:51:10.

setting out the very useful advice, guidance, toolkits and resources and

:51:11.:51:14.

campaigns that are available but will she agree with me at all of

:51:15.:51:18.

those things, valuable as they are, are not an alternative to ensuring

:51:19.:51:22.

that every single school in this country provides high-quality SRE to

:51:23.:51:29.

all our children and young people? Absolutely. I agree we need to equip

:51:30.:51:33.

all our young people to face the challenges of the modern world and

:51:34.:51:38.

everything it throws at them. SRE is an involving and vital area of

:51:39.:51:42.

education and we need to ensure we have guidance that is fit for

:51:43.:51:45.

children growing up in modern Britain. Our aim is to secure the

:51:46.:51:50.

very best teaching and learning in our schools on these issues as a

:51:51.:51:54.

matter of priority, and also providing clarity the schools in

:51:55.:51:57.

terms of what should be delivered, which I know members wish to see. We

:51:58.:52:01.

recognise this is a very important issue and we will continue to

:52:02.:52:05.

explore all effective means to remove sexual harassment and

:52:06.:52:09.

violence from young people's lives. My honourable friend the Minister of

:52:10.:52:13.

State for vulnerable children and families have is committed to update

:52:14.:52:16.

Parliament further during the passage of this bill and he will do

:52:17.:52:20.

his utmost to achieve the outcomes that keep young people safe and

:52:21.:52:23.

supported to gain the skills they need to develop healthy and positive

:52:24.:52:31.

relationships. Order. The question is this house do now adjourned. As

:52:32.:52:34.

many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the contrary, "no". I

:52:35.:52:38.

think the ayes have it. Order, order.

:52:39.:52:43.

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including an Urgent Question on Trident: Test firing, an Industrial Strategy Consultation Statement and second reading of the Local Government Finance Bill.