§ Mr. Robert Wareing (Liverpool, West Derby)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I want to ask for your guidance on an issue which has been raised in my constituency.
On 11 February I wrote to the Secretary of State for the Environment about the problem arising from the threatened closure of Croxteth park and Croxteth hall in my constituency. On 5 March I received an answer from Lord Elton, Minister of State. Among other things, he said that he did not believe that there was anything further that could be gained from meeting a delegation. I had asked him to meet a delegation from my constituency. Yet this morning my attention has been drawn to an article in last Thursday night's Liverpool Echo which states:Lord Elton, a Minister from the Department of the Environment, met Mossley Hill MP David Alton and members of the Croxteth Community Forum to discuss the park's plight.I have written to the noble Lord, because I believe that he must have known when he wrote to me, and must have had in his diary, the date of the meeting with the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton). We need your protection, Mr. Speaker, when the Minister is not in this House to answer questions.
Yesterday, the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) stated—I believe you would be in accord with that statement Mr. Speaker—that when issues arise in a Member's constituency, that matter should be the concern only of that Member. As the only Member representing the constituents of Liverpool, West Derby, I ask you to protect me from any usurper.
§ Mr. David Alton (Liverpool, Mossley Hill)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. We also confirm that it is the job of any Member of this House when representations are made to take up grievances which concern—[Interruption.]
§ Mr. Speaker
I must say in reply to the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) that this took place last Thursday, and I think there would have been opportunities to raise it other than today. It is not a matter for me whether a Minister sees a delegation or not. The hon. Gentleman must take that matter up with the Minister. As to the other matter, it is a convention—the whole House knows this—that we do not take up cases in each other's constituencies. That is a convention to which I think we should hold.