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RDA Bill Gets Second Reading ...
RDA Bill Gets Second Reading

Opening the Commons second reading debate on the Regional Development Agencies Bill on 14 January, Richard Caborn, the minister for regeneration, regions and planning, said the government aimed to promote development in the English regions through agencies similar to those operating in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. He told MPs: 'The Regional Development Agencies Bill is an important first step in our regional agenda for England', and described the Bill which 'will give the regions the tools they need' to play a major part in the future economic success of the UK. He said the Government had received 1,500 responses to their consultation paper showing tremendous support for RDAs and he specifically mentioned the Local Government Association's support.

Shadow environment, transport and regions secretary Sir Norman Fowler said that the case for regional development agencies was 'not proven' and that they would be 'creatures of Whitehall', which were not accountable to local government. The Bill was opposed by the Conservatives.

Food Standards Agency White Paper Published

Agriculture minister Dr John Cunningham made a statement to the Commons on 14 January about the Government's plans for a Food Standards Agency and the publication of a White Paper 'The Food Standards Agency : A Force for Change'.

Draft Guidance Issued on Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997

A consultation exercise on plans to cut traffic congestion and improve air quality was announced in response to a written question by junior transport minister Glenda Jackson on 15 January 1998. Draft guidance on the 1997 Road Traffic Reduction Act to councils in England will offer advice on a range of transport measures to reduce traffic levels.

Data Protection Bill published

The government's Data Protection Bill received its formal first reading on Wednesday 14 January. The Bill will make new provisions for the regulation of the processing of information relating to individuals, and will incorporate the European Data Protection Directive into British law.

Forward Business

Monday January 19


European Communities (Amendment) Bill, remaining stages.


Human Rights Bill, report.

National Lottery Bill, Grand Committee

Tuesday January 20


Government of Wales Bill, committee.


Teaching and Higher Education Bill, committee.

Wednesday January 21


Backbench debate on probity in local government: Westminster City Council.

3pm questions to the Prime Minister.

Government of Wales Bill, committee, 2nd day.


Debates on agriculture and drafting legislation.

Thursday January 22


Short debate on racism in the Armed Forces.


Teaching and Higher Education Bill, committee.

National Lottery Bill, Grand Committee

Friday January 23


Private Hire Vehicles (London) Bill, second reading.

Cold Weather Payments (Wind Chill Factor) Bill, second reading.

Short debate on 1998-9 settlement for Kingston-upon-Thames

Monday 26 January


Government of Wales Bill, committee, 3rd day.


Teaching and Higher Education Bill, Committee, 3rd day

Tuesday 27 January


Local Government (Experimental Arrangements) Bill Committee

Wednesday 28 January


Scotland Bill Committee, 1st day

Thursday 29 January


Scotland Bill Committee, 1st day.

Tuesday 3 February


Crime and Disorder Bill Committee

Tuesday 17 March


Budget statement

The week beginning 13 April Easter recess has been given provisionally for the start of the Easter recess.

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