§ Order for Second Reading read.7.22 pm
§ Mr. Robert Rhodes James (Cambridge)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
The Bill is promoted by the Cambridge city council, Cambridge being the finest city in Britain, having the best university in the world and being not ill-represented in the House. It has a Labour council, but the Bill has the full support of all parties.
The Bill's purpose is primarily to preserve by reenactment in contemporary form certain existing local Act powers which were inherited under the Local Government Act 1972. I should be happy to answer any questions that hon. Members may pose.
Let me specifically refer to clause 6, which declares, for those who know Cambridge, Jesus Green to be a common and deems it to have been registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965. That has caused some concern in my constituency, but it is intended that the original common rights will be specified in an agreed amendment to be submitted in Committee.
I commend the Bill most warmly to the House.
§ Sir Anthony Grant (Cambridgeshire, South-West)
I intervene only briefly because one of the effects of the depradations of the previous Boundary Commission was to include part of the city of Cambridge, two wards to be precise — Trumpington and Queen Edith — in my constituency. That gave me two advantages—first, of 832 representing an agreeable part of the city, and, secondly, of having the good fortune to be a neighbour of my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James). Not only is he the most distinguished historian in the House, but he is a most noted academic. My hon. Friend, a fellow of All Souls, is a remarkable constituency Member. Nobody pleads the cause of Cambridge better than he does.
Therefore, I am delighted to say that this modest measure will be of advantage to my constituents who live on the fringe and who enjoy the benefits of what my hon. Friend has rightly described as the most beautiful and successful university city in Britain, if not the world. It is non-controversial and I sincerely hope that it will reach the statute book.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Neil Macfarlane)
I endorse many of the comments made by my hon. Friends the Members for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James) and for Cambridgeshire, South-West (Sir A. Grant). It may be convenient for me to intervene briefly to give the Government's view of the Bill.
The Government have considered the Bill and have no objection to the powers sought by the council. Neither my Department nor that of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport have any observations on the Bill. Therefore, I recommend to the House that the Bill be given a Second Reading and allowed to proceed in the usual way to Committee, where its provisions can be considered in detail.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read a Second time, and committed.