HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 cc62-72

Lords amendment: No. 105, in page 55, line 29, after ("made)") insert (", in paragraph (a) (breach of obligation by landlord), omit sub—paragraph (ii) (requirement that circumstances likely to continue). ( ) In that subsection,")

Mr. Clappison

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 106 to 113, Lords amendment No. 114, Government amendments (b) and (c) and Opposition amendment (a) in lieu thereof, Lords amendments Nos. 278 to 285, Lords amendment No. 286 and Government amendments (a) and (b) in lieu thereof.

Mr. Clappison

We now come to a group of amendments that deal with applications to the leasehold valuation tribunal for the appointment of a manager. At the appropriate time, I shall ask the House to disagree with Lords amendment No. 114 and Opposition amendment (a) in lieu thereof.

These amendments make a number of changes to clauses 81 and 82 and to schedule 5, which establish the right of a tenant of a flat to apply to a leasehold valuation tribunal for the appointment of a manager on the ground that the landlord is in some way falling short in his management responsibilities.

Amendments Nos. 105 and 279 concern the grounds for appointing a manager set out in the existing legislation: that the landlord is in breach of his obligations under the lease and that this breach is likely to continue. The amendment deletes the second part. Also, under the two additional grounds introduced by clause 81, there is no express requirement for the tribunal to take account of the likely future behaviour of the landlord. This amendment therefore ensures a degree of consistency between the three grounds which the tribunal will have to consider and, most importantly, should improve the chances of tenants succeeding in cases where a history of bad management can be demonstrated.

Amendments Nos. 112 and 285 restrict the right of appeal from an LVT to the lands tribunal in cases for the appointment of a manager, by requiring that leave to appeal must be first obtained from either the LVT or the lands tribunal. An appeal will be possible only with the approval of either tribunal. That parallels the appeal procedures that we have introduced in relation to the new jurisdiction contained in clause 79 for leasehold valuation tribunals to determine the reasonableness of service charges.

Amendment No. 108 would require the LVT, when considering an application from a landlord for an order appointing a manager to be discharged, to be satisfied that the variation or discharge would not lead to a recurrence of the problems which led to the making of the original order and that it is just and convenient in all the circumstances of the case to vary or discharge the order.

I intend to ask the House to support Government amendments (b) and (c) in lieu of Lords amendment No. 114; Lords amendment No. 286 and Government amendments (a) and (b) in lieu thereof, and to resist Lords amendment No. 114 and Opposition amendment (a) in lieu thereof. In effect, the issues here are very similar to those we have just discussed in relation to the level of fees chargeable by the tribunal for dealing with service charge disputes.

The new jurisdiction given to the LVT to consider applications by leaseholders for the appointment of an independent manager will run in parallel. This is an important new right for leaseholders to secure the efficient management of their homes, and it offers them a respite from an unsatisfactory or oppressive landlord. We have modified and strengthened the grounds that the LVT can consider when deciding whether a new manager should be appointed, and we have made it more difficult for the old landlord to come back and simply ask for another chance to do the job properly, without demonstrating clearly to the tribunal that he has mended his ways.

The current position in the Bill on fees for these cases is not the same as for the service charge procedures. A Government amendment on Third Reading in another place was accepted, so the Bill currently states that the level of fees must not exceed the cost of providing the service. As I said earlier, this gives the Government considerable flexibility in setting an adequate fee structure, but there is a very strong argument for establishing a maximum limit of £500 in each case, in exactly the same manner as for the service charge procedures. We will then adopt a closely parallel fee structure for the two procedures, which will be of great benefit in helping leaseholders to understand what is involved and in deciding which procedure would be most suitable for them.

For the same reasons as I gave at length in relation to the previous group of amendments, I cannot accept the Opposition's amendment, which would establish a very low maximum level of fee of about £120. The issues are similar. I believe that we have struck the right balance to provide for effective justice for tenants at an affordable price.

Mr. Raynsford

We have before us very clear evidence of the problems caused by large-scale alterations to Bills at the last possible moment. Substantial amendments were made on Third Reading in the other place last Wednesday. Amendments and starred amendments have been tabled, with Government manuscript amendments being submitted only today because, at the last minute, the Government realised that there was an inconsistency between what they are doing in one part of the Bill and what they are doing in another.

Before we get to the substance of this debate, I must tell the Minister that this is no way to proceed with a crucial issue such as leasehold reform. Once again, last-minute changes are being made in a hurry without proper time to consider them and without opportunity for proper scrutiny. I say clearly tonight that this will not be the last word. The hon. Member for Kensington (Mr. Fishburn) said the same in the previous debate. This cannot be the final word on leasehold reform. We will need to return to the issue, because the Bill goes only some way towards resolving the problems, and does even that in an inherently unsatisfactory way.

Through this series of amendments, we are dealing with the whole issue of the management of leasehold blocks. We are considering the problems faced by leaseholders who have incompetent or, frankly, unscrupulous and dishonest landlords. We know of examples of landlords who have failed to do the things that they ought to have done and who have not maintained their blocks properly. Often, that has been because of incompetence—but we also know of a new breed of rogue landlords who have been determined to abuse their privileges and use their powers as freeholders to intimidate and extort more money from their leaseholders than they should pay for various charges. It is to provide redress against incompetence on the one side and dishonesty and extortion on the other that new measures are required to give leaseholders rights and to prevent landlords from abusing the system.

When the matter was debated in Committee, thoroughly and in detail, the Committee rightly voted for a simple and effective remedy: the right to manage. That remedy was advocated by the Labour party in its policy paper on leasehold reform issues, "An End to Feudalism", as the simplest and most effective way of giving leaseholders proper redress and ensuring that, if confronted with an incompetent or dishonest landlord, they could take matters into their own hands and take over management of the block, thereby ending the abuse.

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That right to manage mirrors an equivalent right that the Government have given to council tenants. It is a clear, simple, straightforward mechanism, and it would have been the right solution. It is common sense that those who have the greatest interest in the future management of a property—the leaseholders—should themselves be able to take on the responsibility if they feel that they can discharge it better than the freeholder. The remedy is effective, because it sends unscrupulous landlords a clear message that, if they fail to provide a good service, the leaseholders will be able to take over management; but it is not against the interests of good landlords.

Along with others, I have made that point on many occasions. There is no threat to the good landlord who does not exploit tenants, and charges a reasonable amount for services. In such circumstances, leaseholders would not want to take over management, because they would not be able to make any savings or provide a more efficient service. Equally, given the way in which the right to manage was proposed, it would have provided a proper safeguard for landlords' interests by ensuring their representation on the management company.

Despite all those strong arguments in favour of a right to manage, however, the Government chose on Report to vote down the proposal, albeit by a narrow margin. We have now been presented with the alternative—which is very much a second best—of an opportunity for leaseholders to seek redress by means of a leasehold valuation tribunal. The earlier arrangement laid down in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, allowing leaseholders to seek redress through the courts, has proved entirely ineffective. It has not enabled leaseholders to get rid of unscrupulous or incompetent landlords; the number of cases in which leaseholders have obtained orders to change the management of their blocks has been derisory.

This procedure depends on leaseholders' having to demonstrate fault. That will cause difficulties: it is not the simple, clear-cut procedure that applies when leaseholders say that they wish to take over the management of a property because they are confident that they can manage it better than the freeholder. They will have to present a case, and demonstrate that the landlord has been at fault. It will be difficult to prove fault, and there will be opportunities for unscrupulous landlords—often aided and abetted by crafty lawyers—to try to get around the provisions. This will not be a satisfactory alternative; moreover, the issue of costs will arise again.

We have discussed that issue in previous debates, and I will not detain the House by repeating the arguments at length. Suffice it to say that a leaseholder with a bad landlord who is not managing the property decently will be nervous about seeking redress through the leasehold valuation tribunal if the cost will be a £500 fee, with no guarantee of reimbursement. The same deterrent will apply as in the case of service charge disputes, which we debated earlier.

We are dealing with a serious problem, which requires a proper, long-term solution. The Government are offering only a limited and partial response, which is typical of their approach to leasehold reform. While they, and Conservative Back Benchers, are only too happy to protest their support for leaseholders and to say that they favour leasehold reform, when it comes to the crunch they repeatedly vote for measures that do not provide leaseholders with proper and effective remedies. On Report, when we had the opportunity to keep the right to manage in the Bill, all the Conservative Members who had spoken so passionately about leaseholders' interests voted with the Government to destroy that right. That is an indication of the extent to which the Conservative party has betrayed leaseholders' interests.

The truth is that the Tory party is still financially dependent on a number of large landowners. Those landowners may not attend meetings of the Premier Club. They probably do not need to: they already have close lines of communication with the party which are, as it were, paved with gold, or at least with financial donations. It is because of its dependence on the money of the big landowners that the Conservative party has consistently failed to defend leaseholders' interests, and has consistently shilly-shallied, and backed away from thorough-going reform. We are seeing the same process tonight: a failure to accept the need for effective, cheap remedies—for justice that is simple, straightforward and inexpensive. Instead, we are being offered a complicated and less than satisfactory alternative, for which leaseholders will have to pay more than they can afford in many cases.

I invite all hon. Members who really care about leasehold reform to join us in the Lobby to support the principle of genuine reform, and to fight properly for the interests of leaseholders.

Mr. Peter Brooke (City of London and Westminster, South)

I listened with pleasure to the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Raynsford) before we got down to the substance of the Lords amendments. I smiled, because I remembered how often the hon. Gentleman had congratulated the Government in Committee on the manner in which they had responded to arguments, and had said how much the Bill was being improved by our actions. I even remember the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mrs. Maddock) deriving enormous pleasure from the first concession made to her by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Urban Regeneration.

I felt some sympathy with the hon. Member for Greenwich in regard to what we were having to cope with today, and thought that he put his point with a degree of charm. He spoke with pride, however, about the behaviour of members of his party and its Governments in connection with leasehold reform. I have represented my constituency since 1977. The leasehold reform legislation passed before then was passed under the auspices of Labour Governments, and the hon. Gentleman deludes himself if he thinks that those Governments did not leave problems behind, with which leaseholders had to wrestle following 1967 and 1974.

A moment ago, the hon. Gentleman launched an implicit attack on the principle of amendments made on Third Reading in the House of Lords. We fully understand that, were the country to be unwise enough to elect a Labour Government, the constitution would be turned upside down; but I personally consider amendments on Third Reading in the House of Lords to be one of the glories of the constitution. They enable us to make corrections to Bills at the last possible moment, although, on the ping-pong principle, they will return to this House thereafter. I remember that, back in the early days of the 1979 Administration, an amendment on Third Reading to another DOE Bill, which was of immense importance to my constituents, was agreed to. I would be very sorry if such a device disappeared.

We heard the familiar inveighing of the hon. Member for Greenwich against landowners and their relationships with my party. I referred to it as proto-marxist theory in Committee and I am perfectly happy to do so again. He sought to be disarming in Committee and to say that the Labour party's views had no wider implications for property law or contract law. All I can say is that we will listen to that in future.

I have sympathy for the hon. Member for Greenwich on one point: the process through which we have all necessarily been put as a result of the manner in which the Bill has proceeded. I would welcome a response from my hon. Friend the Minister on it. It relates simply to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors' code, which was alluded to at an earlier stage as being what would inform the conduct of the leasehold valuation tribunal in considering applications for the right to manage.

My hon. Friend has drawn attention to the fact that there will be a surveyor on the tribunal who will be able to judge the appropriate law and conditions relating to the matters. When we discussed the matters before, the code was very much in draft form and was being discussed with interested parties. Some assurance was given that its final form would either be available before the Bill completed its passage through the House or fairly soon afterwards. I understand that, as a statutory instrument, it is likely to be available fairly soon afterwards.

I make not a complaint but a point, which is in line with the views expressed by the hon. Member for Greenwich. Leaseholders have been in touch with me to ask whether I have seen the code, think it is satisfactory, or agree that it is unsatisfactory. I inquired at the only place where one can inquire—the RICS. It properly says that, because the document is in draft form, it is being discussed with interested parties and is not available to Members of Parliament.

We therefore find ourselves in the slightly ironical position that, in order for the DOE to come to a conclusion on whether the code—and thus the statutory instrument—should be recommended to Ministers, leaseholders are allowed access to it and may hold views on it, but Members of Parliament who represent those leaseholders have no idea what it contains. Although I do not blame the RICS for regarding the draft code as a privileged document that should not be available to us, it is an unsatisfactory element in the evolution of policy that we shall eventually be asked to vote on a document that we cannot amend, when there might have been a better way in which to conduct consultation at an earlier stage.

Mr. Clappison

With the leave of the House, I should like to reply to the debate.

This has been an interesting short debate. I emphasise to the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Raynsford) that we come to the problem from a common background. The concern among Conservative Members on behalf of leaseholders is no less than he expressed. We certainly recognise the problems that some leaseholders have experienced as a result of the behaviour of certain landlords. My hon. Friend the Member for North-West Leicestershire (Mr. Ashby) has spoken eloquently on the subject. The package of reforms that we have introduced, including these amendments, targets the problems caused by bad landlords. That is as true of the provisions that we make for the right to manage when there has been bad practice by landlords as it is with the other provisions that we have introduced.

I do not want to go over the wider ground of the right to manage, but I take issue with the hon. Member for Greenwich on what he said about leaseholders. We believe that the amendments will be of real benefit to leaseholders who seek the right to manage as a result of bad practice by landlords. It is no use saying that leaseholders who do not have problems with their landlords will not want to take advantage of such provisions, or, indeed, of a general right to manage such as that postulated by the hon. Gentleman.

We are concerned about leaseholders who we know are experiencing bad practice, unreasonable behaviour, poor standards of maintenance, unreasonable service charges and all the rest. The amendments will give such leaseholders the opportunity to seek the right to manage by challenging what the landlord has done. We do not believe that it will be as difficult as the hon. Member for Greenwich envisages for them to prove that the landlord is at fault. We think that the courts will want to consider the sort of circumstances that we have described and base a finding of fault on them.

6.15 pm

My right hon. Friend the Member for City of London and Westminster, South (Mr. Brooke), who has played a most constructive role in Committee and speaks with great knowledge and authority on the subject, raised the important issue of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors code. I can tell him that the code is in the final stage of completion and it is hoped that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will approve it shortly. It has previously been the subject of consultation, and I understand that the RICS has consulted the DOE on it and on its timing.

I shall certainly take up the important point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for City of London and Westminster, South about privilege and, access of Members of Parliament to the code. He spoke with great authority and clarity on the subject, as he did on the way in which the House must consider the amendments. He was absolutely right to emphasise the way in which we have approached the matter.

It is rather difficult to listen to debates and to try to respond to meritorious arguments and then be chastised for making changes in the light of such debates. We have taken such a course throughout the proceedings and think that it has borne fruit. The amendments will be an important benefit for tenants who seek the right to manage when they have suffered at the hands of bad landlords.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 106 to 113 agreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 114, in page 57, line 35, leave out ("is sufficient to meet") and insert ("does not exceed")

Motion made, and Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.—[Mr. Brandreth.]

The House divided: Ayes 261, Noes 227.

Division No. 208] [6.16 pm
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Clappison, James
Alison, Michael (Selby) Clark, Dr Michael (Rochf'd)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Amess, David Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Arbuthnot, James Coe, Sebastian
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Congdon, David
Ashby, David Conway, Derek
Atkins, Robert Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Cope, Sir John
Baldry, Tony Cormack, Sir Patrick
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Couchman, James
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Cran, James
Bates, Michael Currie, Mrs Edwina
Batiste, Spencer Curry, David
Bellingham, Henry Davies, Quentin (Stamf'd)
Bendall, Vivian Deva, Nirj Joseph
Beresford, Sir Paul Devlin, Tim
Biffen, John Dorrell, Stephen
Body, Sir Richard Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Dover, Den
Booth, Hartley Duncan, Alan
Boswell, Tim Duncan Smith, lain
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Dunn, Bob
Bowden, Sir Andrew Durant, Sir Anthony
Bowis, John Dykes, Hugh
Boyson, Sir Rhodes Elletson, Harold
Brandreth, Gyles Evans, Nigel (Ribble V)
Brazier, Julian Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Bright, Sir Graham Evennett, David
Brooke, Peter Fabricant, Michael
Brown, Michael (Brigg Cl'thorpes) Fenner, Dame Peggy
Browning, Mrs Angela Field, Barry (isle of Wight)
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Fishburn, Dudley
Burns, Simon Forman, Nigel
Burt, Alistair Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Butcher, John Forth, Eric
Butler, Peter Fowler, Sir Norman
Carlisle, John (Luton N) Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Linc'n) Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Carrington, Matthew Freeman, Roger
Cash, William French, Douglas
Channon, Paul Fry, Sir Peter
Chapman, Sir Sydney Gale, Roger
Gallie, Phil Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Gardiner, Sir George Merchant, Piers
Gamier, Edward Mills, lain
Gill, Christopher Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Goodlad, Alastair Moate, Sir Roger
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Monro, Sir Hector
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Gorst, Sir John Needham, Richard
Grant, Sir Anthony (SW Cambs) Nelson, Anthony
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Newton, Tony
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Nicholls, Patrick
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Norris, Steve
Gummer, John Oppenheim, Phillip
Hamilton, Sir Archibald Paice, James
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Patnick, Sir Irvine
Hampson, Dr Keith Patten, John
Hannam, Sir John Pattie, Sir Geoffrey
Hargreaves, Andrew Pawsey, James
Haselhurst, Sir Alan Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hawkins, Nick Pickles, Eric
Hawksley, Warren Porter, David (Waveney)
Hayes, Jerry Portillo, Michael
Heald, Oliver Powell, William (Corby)
Hendry, Charles Rathbone, Tim
Heseltine, Michael Redwood, John
Hill, Sir James (Southampton Test) Renton, Tim
Horam, John Riddick, Graham
Hordern, Sir Peter Robathan, Andrew
Howard, Michael Roberts, Sir Wyn
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Robertson, Raymond S (Ab'd'n S)
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Roe, Mrs Marion
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensb'ne) Rowe, Andrew
Hunter, Andrew Rumbold, Dame Angela
Hurd, Douglas Sackville, Tom
Jack, Michael Sainsbury, Sir Timothy
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Scott, Sir Nicholas
Jenkin, Bernard (Colchester N) Shaw, David (Dover)
Jessel, Toby Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Shephard, Gillian
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Shepherd, Sir Colin (Henefd)
Jones, Robert B (W Herts) Shersby, Sir Michael
Jopling, Michael Sims, Sir Roger
Key, Robert Skeet, Sir Trevor
King, Tom Smith, Tim (Beaconsfld)
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Soames, Nicholas
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Speed, Sir Keith
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Spencer, Sir Derek
Knox, Sir David Spicer, Sir Jim (W Dorset)
Kynoch, George Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Spink, Dr Robert
Lang, Ian Spring, Richard
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Sproat, lain
Legg, Barry Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Leigh, Edward Stanley, Sir John
Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark Steen, Anthony
Lester, Sir Jim (Broxtowe) Stephen, Michael
Lidington, David Stewart, Allan
Lilley, Peter Streeter, Gary
Lloyd, Sir Peter (Fareham) Sumberg, David
Lord, Michael Sweeney, Walter
Luff, Peter Sykes, John
Lyell, Sir Nicholas Taylor, Ian (Esher)
MacGregor, John Taylor, John M (Solihull)
MacKay, Andrew Taylor, Sir Teddy
Maclean, David Thomason, Roy
McLoughlin, Patrick Thompson, Sir Donald (Calder V)
Madel, Sir David Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Maitland, Lady Olga Thumham, Peter
Malone, Gerald Townend, John (Bridlington)
Mans, Keith Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Marland, Paul Tracey, Richard
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Tredinnick, David
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Trend, Michael
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Twinn, Dr Ian
Vaughan, Sir Gerard Whittingdale, John
Viggers, Peter Widdecombe, Miss Ann
Waldegrave, William Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Walden, George Wilkinson, John
Walker, Bill (N Tayside) Wilshire, David
Winterton, Nicholas (Macdesf'ld)
Waller, Gary Wolfson, Mark
Ward, John Yeo, Tim
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill) Young, Sir George
Waterson, Nigel
Watts, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Wells, Bowen Mr. Timothy Wood and Mr. Richard Ottaway.
Whitney, Ray
Abbott, Ms Diane Dixon, Don
Ainger, Nick Dobson, Frank
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Dowd, Jim
Allen, Graham Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Eagle, Ms Angela
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Eastham, Ken
Armstrong, Ms Hilary Etherington, Bill
Ashton, Joseph Evans, John (St Helens N)
Austin-Walker, John Fatchett, Derek
Bames, Harry Faulds, Andrew
Barron, Kevin Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Battle, John Fisher, Mark
Beckett, Margaret Flynn, Paul
Bell, Stuart Foster, Derek
Benn, Tony Foster, Don (Bath)
Bennett, Andrew F Foulkes, George
Benton, Joe Fraser, John
Bermingham, Gerald Fyfe, Mrs Maria
Berry, Roger Galloway, George
Betts, Clive Gapes, Mike
Blair, Tony Garrett, John
Boateng, Paul Gilbert, Dr John
Bradley, Keith Godman, Dr Norman A
Bray, Dr Jeremy Godsiff, Roger
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Golding, Mrs Llin
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Gordon, Ms Mildred
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Byers, Stephen Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Cabom, Richard Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Callaghan, Jim Grocott, Bruce
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Hain, Peter
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Hall, Mike
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Hanson, David
Campbell-Savours, D N Hardy, Peter
Canavan, Dennis Harman, Ms Harriet
Cann, Jamie Harvey, Nick
Chisholm, Malcolm Hattersley, Roy
Church, Ms Judith Henderson, Doug
Clapham, Michael Heppell, John
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hinchliffe, David
Clelland, David Hodge, Ms Margaret
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Coffey, Ms Ann Hoon, Geoffrey
Cohen, Harry Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Connarty, Michael Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Howells, Dr Kim
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hoyle, Doug
Corbyn, Jeremy Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Corston, Ms Jean Hughes, Robert (Ab'd'n N)
Cousins, Jim Hutton, John
Cox, Tom Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampst'd)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try SE) Jackson, Mrs Helen (Hillsborough)
Cunningham, DrJohn Jamieson, David
Dafis, Cynog Jenkins, Brian (SE Staffs)
Dalyell, Tam Johnston, Sir Russell
Darling, Alistair Jones, Barry (Alyn & D'side)
Davies, Chris (Littleborough) Jones, Dr L (B'ham Selly Oak)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H) Jowell, Ms Tessa
Dewar, Donald Kaufman, Gerald
Keen, Alan Radice, Giles
Kennedy, Mrs Jane (Broadgreen) Randall, Stuart
Khabra, Piara S Raynsford, Nick
Kilfoyle, Peter Reid, Dr John
Kirkwood, Archy Rendel, David
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eccles) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Livingstone, Ken Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Lloyd, Tony (Stretf'd) Roche, Mrs Barbara
Lynne, Ms Liz Rogers, Allan
McAllion, John Rooker, Jeff
McAvoy, Thomas Rooney, Terry
McCartney, Ian (Makerf'ld) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Macdonald, Calum Ruddock, Ms Joan
McFall, John Sedgemore, Brian
McKelvey, William Sheerman, Barry
Mackinlay, Andrew Sheldon, Robert
McLeish, Henry Shore, Peter
McMaster, Gordon Short, Ms Clare
McNamara, Kevin Simpson, Alan
MacShane, Denis Skinner, Dennis
Madden, Max Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Maddock, Mrs Diana Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Mahon, Mrs Alice Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Spearing, Nigel
Martin, Michael J (Springbum) Spellar, John
Maxton, John Steel, Sir David
Meacher, Michael Steinberg, Gerry
Meale, Alan Stevenson, George
Michael, Alun Stott, Roger
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley) Strang, Dr Gavin
Miller, Andrew Straw, Jack
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Molyneaux, Sir James Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Moonie, Dr Lewis Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Morgan, Rhodri Timms, Stephen
Morris, Alfred (Wy'nshawe) Tipping, Paddy
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Touhig, Don
Mowlam, Ms Marjorie Trickett, Jon
Mudie, George Tyler, Paul
Mullin, Chris Vaz, Keith
Murphy, Paul Walker, Sir Harold
Nicholson, Miss Emma (W Devon) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
O'Brien, William (Normanton) Wareing, Robert N
Olner, Bill Watson, Mike
Orme, Stanley Wicks, Malcolm
Pearson, Ian Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Pendry, Tom Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Pickthall, Colin Winnick, David
Pike, Peter L Wise, Mrs Audrey
Pope, Greg Wright, Dr Tony
Prentice, Mrs B (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Tellers for the Noes:
Prescott, John Mr. Eric Clarke and
Primarolo, Ms Dawn Mr. Eric Martlew.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendments made in lieu of the Lords amendment: (b), in page 57, line 33, leave out from first 'order' to end of line 37 and insert 'subject to this limit, that the fees payable in respect of any one application or reference by the court together with any proceedings before the tribunal arising out of that application or reference shall not exceed £500 or such other amount as may be specified by order of the Secretary of State.'. (c), in page 58, line 2, leave out 'which, unless the order' and insert—

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