§ Read a third time.
§ Lord Graham of Edmonton
My Lords, before the Bill is passed, I wish to crave the indulgence of the House for one minute. I do not intend to oppose the Bill, which is a simple, even a modest, measure. It is designed to give the London Borough of Bexley not only the opportunity of enlarging and improving its existing market at Erith but also the possibility of establishing a new market within one mile of the town centre.
I appreciate that all representations have been invited and the Bill has gone through all stages in both Houses. However, as late as last week the market traders in Woolwich, which is very close to this spot, drew my attention to their fears and apprehensions about whether the new market, if it ever is established, will be nearer to them than to the town hall at Erith.
I very much hope that Bexley council will bear that point in mind as it makes progress. The House should also appreciate that while large developers and large sums of money are involved in the retailing scene, we should pay as much attention to what happens inside town centres and market places as we do to what happens on the edges of towns. I have declared my interest in the retailing trade many times before. I am concerned about the traditions, the history and the character of many of the small places inside our land which are deeply affected by such measures and which are precious to us all.
§ The Chairman of Committees (Lord Aberdare)
My Lords, the noble Lord has intervened at a very late stage in the Bill. As he said, it has been through the other place and has been through committees and there have been no petitions against it. However, I shall certainly undertake to inform the promoters of the Bill of what the noble Lord has said this afternoon. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Aberdare.)
§ On Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons with amendments.