§ 3.7. p.m.
§ The Deputy Chairman of Committees (The Earl of Listowel)
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend the Chairman of Committees, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.—(The Earl of Listowel)
§ The Earl of Shrewsbury
My Lords, I welcome the opportunity of speaking on the Third Reading of the Staffordshire Bill as it was I who requested that your 719 Lordships considered my proposal of an Instruction to the Committee in order to safeguard the interests of the Stafford market traders. I shall be as brief as possible and shall not delay the House a moment longer than is absolutely necessary. I was most heartened to note from the report that the Select Committee felt it necessary to visit Stafford to see the various situations and problems involved at first hand. Undoubtedly this visit did a great deal of good and was most worthwhile.
On reading the report I am sure that the market traders are in full agreement with the findings of the Select Committee, save for the description of the siting of an alternative market as being "adjacent" to the present Shire Hall site. The word "adjoining" would be far more acceptable to the market traders, as in the first instance the market traders were very worried about the potential siting of any replacement market. Indeed, they were so worried that many of them pledged their life savings to try to get matters brought to a speedy conclusion and to contest the plans of the borough council both in the courts and in Parliament.
Nevertheless, the Select Committee have given a thorough report for which I am sure all involved in the Bill are most grateful. I thank your Lordships for the consideration given to this troublesome part of the Bill, and I shall delay this Third Reading no further.
§ Lord Ampthill
My Lords, on the substantive point that the noble Earl has made about the Committee's choice of the word "adjacent" rather than the word "adjoining", I should like to reassure him inasmuch as the proposed new site for the market is only 24 feet distant from the old site. I hope that that will not only reassure him but the House and indeed the market traders. Meanwhile, the Select Committee will be grateful to the noble Earl for the general welcome he has given to our report.
§ The Earl of Listowel
My Lords, I am sure that my noble friend the Chairman of Committees will read Hansard with much interest to see what both noble Lords have said.
§ On Question, Bill read a third time, and passed, and sent to the Commons.