Clause 17 - Youth courts to have jurisdiction to grant gang-related injunctions

Crime and Courts Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:30 pm ar 29 Ionawr 2013.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Martin Caton Martin Caton Llafur, Gŵyr

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government new clause 7—Extension of section 37 and section 47 of the Ch ildren Act 1989 to youth courts—

‘(1) The powers of direction of courts—

(a) under section 37 of the Children Act 1989 (including the power to direct the local authority children’s service to investigate whether a child is at risk of suffering significant harm); and

(b) under section 47 of that Act to direct a local authority to intervene to safeguard and to promote a child’s welfare shall extend to youth courts.

(2) Such powers shall be available to youth courts throughout any criminal proceedings and in any family proceedings concerning the welfare of a child.

(3) In any investigation pursuant to the foregoing subsections, the local authority shall consider whether it should—

(a) apply for a care order or supervision order with respect to the child;

(b) provide services or care to the child or his family; or

(c) take any other action with respect to the child.

(4) It shall be in the discretion of the youth court to adjourn sentencing until such local authority investigation has concluded and the findings thereof have been notified to the court.

(5) Any youth court in which the powers under this section are to be or may be exercised shall include on its panel at least one member of the Family Court.’.

Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Ceidwadwyr, Enfield, Southgate

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to new clause 7 as part of the stand part debate. I feel enthused, as though I have been in a trap waiting to be set free, a little like the dogs of old that ran around Walthamstow stadium. The rabbit I am after in this case is not the Government. It is one which, in many ways, we all take hold of. It is a recognition about young people, in particular when they are in the jurisdiction of the youth court. This is an area on which we all agree.

In the debates on the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill—the right hon. Member for Delyn and the hon. Member for Sedgefield served on that Committee, which went through the Bill line by line—there was consensus about youth court provisions. Young offenders come before the youth court with a whole package of issues, such as drugs, alcohol, mental health concerns and education. It is right that there are orders before that court to deal with those requirements. I must declare an interest, because I was a criminal defence solicitor. When I reflect on my filing cabinets before I was elected in 2005, those factors were prevalent with most young people. But many also had family issues. More often than not the father was not present or involved, and often there were other complications. There are issues of real concern around the family, and that forms the context for the new clause.

Family issues are also relevant to clause 17, and it is right that we debate them. When we try to tackle the scourge of gangs, which is an issue relevant to most of our constituencies, certainly those in north London—there are a number of projects in Enfield and Walthamstow that aim to tackle this area—we need to prevent the problem at an earlier stage, and tackle reoffending. In the early stages, mentoring projects can be useful, and Chance UK has recently kicked off a mentoring project in Enfield. However, it is important to have a number of tools in the box, which is why I support the tool of gang-related injunctions. Enfield was the first north London borough to impose a gang-related injunction on a gang that was causing mayhem. That tool, along with many others in the box for prevention and enforcement, has led to a 50% reduction in antisocial behaviour and gang-related crime in Enfield.

Clause 17 will allow that important tool to be available to youth courts. The power should be available. In Enfield, it has helped ensure that gangs in our patch receive prison sentences of 14 months. The explanatory note makes it clear that the clause is in the Bill to allow courts with the most appropriate facilities and expertise in dealing with young people to consider these matters. That forms the backdrop to new clause 7, which aims to ensure that youth courts, which have the expertise and facilities to deal with family-related issues, also deal with gang-related matters. Some cases that need urgent action in terms of enforcement and injunction involve, not far beneath the surface, family-related issues. The new clause seeks to allow youth courts to deal with issues of family concern.

Over the years, I have spoken to many magistrates who have been involved with youth courts, and many who are also involved in the family courts—many magistrates are both on the youth court and the family panel. They express frustration that when they see before them cases that have family issues bubbling under the surface, they want to get them into the family court as soon as possible so that appropriate investigation and reports can take place and those welfare concerns are dealt with.

This chimes with the Government’s principle, which has been outlined, of having a system where the jurisdiction meets the particular area of litigation—a triaging process to get people into the right court. We have that flexibility, which has been welcomed across all sides of the House, in relation to community justice, whether it is the Red Hook Harlem scheme in the United States, in Liverpool or elsewhere. We want to make sure that the court process fits the wide-ranging needs of somebody who comes before the court.

Clause 17 recognises that. It allows the youth court to sit in a civil capacity in order to impose an injunction. That is a good example of the flexibility that we can allow the court through jurisdictional changes, the powers to fit better the circumstances before them, and to make use of the activities and what is coming before youth courts. There are good examples of where this is already working well in the present system. I do not suggest that there needs to be a major overhaul. There are examples of children’s services working well with the youth offending team, and when someone does come before the youth court, early work has already taken place and there is no need for further intervention.

There are cases when someone is up before the youth court for a first offence and is most likely going to receive a referral order. This is a good and important opportunity which, as I have seen myself, can sometimes be missed when there is a desire to move people through the system quickly to impose a short referral order and then a package happens away from the court. What can be missed is, yes, dealing with some issues around offending and trying to prevent reoffending, but also the welfare concerns of that young person. The statutory duty on all those within the youth courts to try to get beneath the surface again and make interventions in proportionate terms is what is missed.

There can also be those more serious cases where one hopes there has been earlier involvement with family intervention where sadly they have slipped through the system. In many ways, when they are before the criminal justice system, along with their own responsibility for offending, it is also testimony to a failure of the system. Sadly, the criminal justice system ends up as the dumping ground for people with serious welfare problems that many of us recognise should have been dealt with earlier through intervention. At the very least, once they are in the court system they should be tackled appropriately.

Another example that has been brought to my attention by magistrates and which I see a lot of in my area around the North Circular road, is children begging, stealing and causing problems in the streets around London. That happens all too often. Obviously there is a need to try to deal with that through enforcement, to tackle some of the antisocial problems around that. However, beneath that surface and of us wanting diversion  orders and things like that, all too often these children are part of an organised and exploited activity, run by people who are really the prime culprits. Sadly, they can often be carers and others around them. It is that example where we need to allow the youth court the opportunity to investigate further, rather than hope that somehow they will end up with the family court dealing with these issues, when they will be long gone. So it is about trying to make the most of the opportunity to deal with a child’s welfare.

This new clause has some record behind it. It was most recently welcomed in the last few days by the family law committee of the Law Society, which said:

“'The Law Society's Family Law Committee, comprised of specialist practitioners working day-to-day in the field, welcome the proposed amendment. The youth courts often have young people appear before them who they are concerned about from a welfare perspective. It is a serious lacuna that there is at present no route by which the courts can secure the involvement of children's services. In the view of the Committee, it must be the right for the option to be made available to the youth court”.

Baroness Butler-Sloss, who was the eminent President of the Family Division, has expressed particular support for this amendment. She sought to raise the issue through previous legislation in 2008 in the other place. The Centre for Social Justice has also welcomed it, saying it was recommended in its 2012 paper “Rules of Engagement”. It said,

“it will mean that young people’s offending can be responded to in the context of their families and will ensure that those at risk of harm receive the protection and support they need. It is vital that local authorities are held accountable as part of the effort to change young lives and reduce reoffending”.

We can go back further still. The Centre for Child and Family Law Reform, chaired by Professor Hugh Bevan in 2004, proposed a similar change to the law to enable the transfer of cases from the youth court to family court. Let us go back even further, to 1997. I know that the right hon. Member for Delyn will know this well: it will have been in the manifestos of some of my right hon. Friends as they sought to return to this place. In March 1997, the Home Office consultation said this, on page 26:

“Under the law at present, the Youth Court is not able to refer children to the Family Proceedings Court for consideration of a care or supervision order. It is possible that this might be a useful additional power which would enable the Youth Court to deal more effectively with difficult children. The Government would welcome views on this proposal”.

We then had an election, and the rest is history. I am not one to reinvent the wheel; that proposal was good then, when we were in government. There have been a few changes along the way, not least that we are now in coalition, but there may still be some civil servants around who were involved in drafting that proposal, and I am sure my right hon. Friends would have wanted to fulfil the purposes of that consultation of March 1997 had they been returned to Government.

It has been the will of successive Governments not only to prevent reoffending but to get to its roots and try to tackle those problems, because of concern about the welfare of children. I want to bring us back up to date, to a body that has informed much of our work in government—certainly on the Conservative side of the coalition—the Centre for Social Justice, with which I  have had some involvement. Its report, “Rules of Engagement”, made some key points on this issue. That report was not based on a whim, or some think-tank policy discussions; the centre was out there, in the field, and talked to 200 professionals, in over 70 hours of hearing evidence. It stated:

“There is a consistent failure by many local services to provide support to prevent offending and reoffending. The youth justice system is subsequently operating as a dumping ground,”— that was its phrase—

“sweeping up the problem cases that other local authority services have failed to address. A large number of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) have informed us of the difficulties they experience in obtaining the necessary input from children’s social services: children in trouble with the law are not seen as a priority and do not reach the thresholds required to access support.”

The report goes on to say that

“the youth justice system is often failing to provide a holistic, family-based approach to youth offending: opportunities are missed to work with families when parents or siblings are involved in the justice system; and there is significant variation in the extent to which YOTs are working with both young people and their families.”

I recognise that there are very good examples of good practice, with youth offending teams and services working well, but there are not enough. Sadly, more often than not—I say that as someone who has been involved in the world of the criminal court—the tendency is to respond to children’s offending in isolation from family problems, from which criminality so often flows. Cases could be referred to the family proceedings courts but are not, even when there are serious child welfare concerns.

That brings me to the new clause, which seeks to extend sections 37 and 47 of the Children Act 1989 to youth courts. The intention is to give the youth court new powers to respond to concerns that a child is likely to suffer significant harm attributable to the standard of care given to the child at home, or to a child who is beyond parental control. I know, as will others involved with the youth court system, that many children will sadly come within that bracket. The powers that the new clause seeks to be made available to the youth court in the same way as they are available to the family court are those under section 37 of the Children Act, to enable investigation by local authority children’s services, and under section 47 of that Act, to allow intervention to take place.

Subsection (5) of the new clause seeks to deal with the concerns that some people might have about whether the youth court is sufficiently experienced to deal with particular family court issues. I know that many a magistrate is already experienced to deal with those issues, but it is important to ensure that the proposed new power would not be overused and would not lead to an already overburdened system having to deal with many an order for investigation and report. Subsection (5) is designed to provide some assurance that there would be a family-court-trained member of the bench in place when the powers were exercised.

The other aspect I should tackle is the question whether the provisions would cause too much of a burden. Section 37 of the Children’s Act is used when a court thinks it may be appropriate to make a care supervision order. The time scale is defined as one of eight weeks for local authorities to report back. The referring court then has to spell out its reasons very  carefully. Guidance was put in place in 1993 to ensure that that power was not used in an unjustified way or overused; that guidance is quite proper as the power needs to be used proportionately.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Llafur, Birmingham, Selly Oak 3:45, 29 Ionawr 2013

I shall be brief. I have quite a lot of sympathy with what the hon. Gentleman is proposing. However, it sounds like an extension of court powers to place new obligations on local authorities at a time when most local authorities’ children’s departments cannot cope with looking after vulnerable children and the strain on their services as it is. How will he ensure, if the amendment is accepted, that it is possible for it to be enacted?

Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Ceidwadwyr, Enfield, Southgate

It is an important and practical concern. It is important that it is dealt with proportionately and with caution. At the same time, one should recognise that costs come in different ways. If there is not an appropriate intervention and appropriate information such as a report at an earlier stage, then down the line it could be much more expensive and more problematic for both the courts and the social system. It simply needs to be dealt with proportionately. The practical side of the issue should not negate the need for courts to be empowered.

There is also the question whether there should be a section 41 power, which would need to be in place for a child to access Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service guidelines for their own representation. The issues of legal aid and the implied costs also raise concerns. However, it is important that we have a proportionate power in place so that there can be an investigation in cases that need it; otherwise, we will allow too many cases to slip through the net, and that will not do us any good in terms of reoffending and also the welfare of the child.

Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

Mr Caton, may I add my congratulations on your chairing of us this afternoon? I welcome the other Ministers who have joined us this week. They missed a lot of fun last week. I hope we can make up for it this week.

I rise to speak to both new clause 7 and the clause 17 stand part debate. I welcome the intent of the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate. He and I share a concern about gang violence, having seen at first hand its impact on our local communities. I cannot debate gang violence in this place without mentioning some of the people we have lost in Walthamstow in the past two years or so. Tommy Overton and Ezekiel Amosu were bright young boys cut down in their prime through senseless violence. We know that gang injunctions are there to deal with gang violence. That is an important point to make in relation to the clause. It is important that gang injunctions are used in the spirit in which they were set out, which is not as a curative for gangs, but as part of a series of tools to enable us to tackle the problems that gangs cause.

We know the problems that gangs cause across the country and that there is a cost to the public purse. We know that gangs are responsible for 50% of shootings and one in five stabbings in London—both north and south London. I must include Croydon, although I have  not been there often. I know that youth violence is a problem there, and I appreciate that the Government are putting a lot of money into tackling gangs.

We support the issues that the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate is raising, but we want to understand how the transfer of powers will affect the ways in which other services are designed to work with gangs, particularly youth offending teams and the role of local authorities. We want to know how such things will be tied together in the move towards the youth courts, which we support. How will they cope? My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak mentioned the cuts in local government, particularly the cuts to youth offending teams, which have had a 20% reduction in their budgets.

We know that youth offending teams were due to be formally consulted before gang injunctions were applied for, especially if they are applied for with notice. We are concerned to understand how the power is now being used. Obviously, gang injunctions have already been in place for a year or so. We have some local authorities, mine included, using them and welcoming the powers that they give, but as the transfer takes place, we need to know how many gang injunctions have been required. How many are without notice and so do not involve the youth offending team, and how many are interim orders? I hope that the Ministers will commit to getting that information to us, because so far it has eluded us.

There is a formal role for a youth offending team in being a link body. Trying to look at issues around welfare and safeguarding, and ensuring that local authorities use the powers that they have around the welfare of the child, means that as the transfer takes place, and were the amendment to be passed, there would be a question about who would take primary responsibility for managing and dealing with the young people and dealing with the reasons why they joined the gangs. As we have already said, gang injunctions should never be seen as a curative, but should be part of an armoury of tools available to tackle and disrupt violent behaviour and leading to positive intervention, for example mentoring and displacement of activity. We must ensure that we do not inadvertently ask the courts to lead that work, but that we join up expert services at the local level. Our concern is to ensure that youth offending teams are part of the mix. If the new clause is accepted, there would be reference to them in the Bill. I hope that the Minister, on hearing the Opposition’s support for the issues being raised on the Government Benches, will look at what he can do in the Bill to make that happen.

I have a couple of concerns about how youth courts will operate. The majority of young people affected by gang injunctions at the moment are male, but the consequences of such injunctions may extend to young girls; young girls are joining gangs too. Clearly, there are issues about the kinds of orders that might be made—particularly on the civil injunction side, such as a gang injunction—that need addressing. We need to reflect the different needs of young women, particularly those at risk of sexual exploitation. Again, there are issues of welfare, well-being and safeguarding.

There is an issue about how gang injunctions join up with the Government’s broader agenda on troubled families. We know that many families with domestic violence—we will come on to the troubled families agenda—tend to have children who are involved in  antisocial behaviour and gangs. There are many links there, and it is important that we have a system that understands them. Building safeguarding into the discussion on gang injunctions will allow us an opportunity to have that conversation.

Crucially, one of the reasons why we support building safeguarding into gang injunctions is the strong link between young people who get involved in gangs and siblings or relatives. We want to ensure that in dealing with a young person whose behaviour may merit a gang injunction, there is a wider discussion about any other young people who might be affected or induced to be involved in gangs through that relationship.

The children’s panel will have an opportunity to look at safeguarding, but we want it to draw on the expertise that youth offending teams offer in dealing with such issues. It is therefore important for there to be co-ordination in the resources that are pulled in.

The report by the joint inspectorate published last December talks about the poor care that we give to looked-after children. There is a strong connection between gang behaviour and looked-after children. One of the issues raised by the report is displacement. One of my concerns is that youth offending teams are already being stretched and are being asked to take young people not from their areas through the measures of a gang injunction; in south-east Kent, 20% of the case load is not from the Kent area. That places a burden on local authorities and on the organisations in the area that are dealing with gang members.

Displacement is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is important for there to be recognition of what impact that might have. Again, a local safeguarding board and a formal relationship with the courts in making provisions will provide information about the impact of such an assessment. If someone was placed in an inappropriate area, where there may be other links to members of a gang, that could be raised in conversations to make sure that it is right to make that injunction.

I do not want to speak for long; I know that Members are completely focused on this debate and not at all on the debates regarding the boundary changes. Like everyone else, I have to declare an interest, especially if Walthamstow is abolished.

I ask the Minister to provide us with information about gang injunctions and how they are being used, and to confirm that youth offending teams will be involved in youth courts, with the same roles that they have when they are involved in Crown courts.

I also ask the Minister to clarify how resources will be made available to ensure that gang injunctions, where they are used, are not seen as alternatives, but as a complementary measure to deal with gang behaviour, and that local authorities are able to deal with them. Will he support the new clause tabled by his colleague the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate regarding safeguarding to ensure that young girls, siblings and those in care are properly afforded the support that they need to break the chains of bad behaviour that lead to gang violence, and to ensure that we all benefit from that impact? I join the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate  in pointing out that, while the process may seem to be of a high cost, if we consider that we spent £133 million to deal with the consequences of the riots alone, having failed to deal with the causes of violent youth behaviour and with gangs, it is a surprise that none of us can afford to pay in the long term.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office) , The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

Let me start with new clause 7. I am fascinated that one of the many eloquent arguments made by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate did not appear in the 1997 Conservative manifesto. As someone who is proud to have been first elected to this House under that manifesto, even I would not necessarily regard every comma of that to be a guide to political success or prosperity, remembering what happened next.

As my hon. Friend explained, new clause 7 relates to the powers of youth courts when dealing with a child whom they consider to be at risk of significant harm. I absolutely sympathise with the outcomes that he and the hon. Member for Walthamstow seek to achieve. I hope that I can persuade them that the amendment is unnecessary, given the existing powers available to the courts.

Protecting children is self-evidently of the highest importance. It is essential that there are clear links between local youth justice and children’s services at both strategic and operational levels in order to achieve that. The current process for helping a young offender at risk of harm is relatively straightforward. When a young offender comes in contact with a youth court, they are referred to a youth offending team for an assessment covering the welfare of the child, including whether they are or have been abused or neglected. If the assessments raise any concerns, the youth offending team is responsible for referring cases to local children’s services so that any action necessary to safeguard the child and promote their welfare is taken.

When such a case is referred to children’s services by a youth offending team, it is for the local authority to assess the child’s needs and determine what steps are necessary to respond. Local authorities have wide-ranging powers. They can take robust action to obtain urgent orders for the immediate protection of children, as well as applying to the court for a care order to allow the authority to share parental responsibility and make long-term plans for the child’s care if it considers it to be in the child’s best interests. Decisions to intervene in families are not easy, and are not taken lightly. Local authorities have statutory responsibilities to safeguard children. Furthermore, they have experienced staff with the skills required to assess children’s complex needs in often challenging circumstances, in order to make such sensitive and difficult decisions.

Youth courts already have a power under section 9 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 to request a local authority to investigate the circumstances of children appearing before them, and local authorities have a duty to provide such information. Those provisions are little used, if ever. I believe that that reflects criminal courts’ acceptance that the youth offending team is, in the vast majority of cases, delivered by local authority children’s services and should be the primary conduit for securing information about the child and ensuring that wherever necessary, referrals are made to the local authority’s safeguarding services.

The focus of section 9 of the 1969 Act and section 37 of the 1989 Act are slightly different, but both cover the courts’ powers to request information from local authorities and local authorities’ duties to provide such information and take other action. Unlike section 37 of the 1989 Act, section 9 of the 1969 Act does not explicitly require the local authority to consider applying for a care or supervision order. However, if as a result of investigations under section 9 there is reasonable cause to suspect that the young person is likely to suffer significant harm, the local authority has a duty under section 47 of the 1989 Act to consider whether it should take any action to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare. That could include applying for a care or supervision order.

Section 47 of the 1989 Act does not enable a court to direct the local authority to intervene as new clause 7 suggests. However, it does impose a requirement for local authorities to investigate whether there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and to take action on the basis of what they find. When there is a need for the child’s immediate protection, that could involve seeking an emergency protection order to remove the child to a place of safety and then making an application for a care order.

The Government believe that, as local authorities will have responsibilities for the continuing care of looked-after children, it should be for those same authorities to determine whether it will be necessary for children to enter care. In the new single family court, it would then be for a judge in the family court, who could be a magistrate or a judge, to decide whether it is in the best interests of the child to grant such an order. I hope that I have reassured my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate enough to enable him to withdraw the new clause.

The hon. Member for Walthamstow spoke about gang injunctions. Central Government does not routinely collect information about the take-up of gang injunctions, but the information we have suggests that in excess of 100 gang injunctions have been granted so far since January 2011. We are also aware of case studies when gang injunctions have made a real difference to local communities by preventing gangs from operating in specific streets where they have previously caused serious problems.

The take-up of gang injunctions for those under 18 years old is slower, but at least three are in place. Discussions are happening with the Courts and Tribunals Service as part of the transfer to the new court on how the data will be collected for under-18s. The hon. Lady also mentioned the troubled families programme. Progress is certainly being made with that. Families are now being identified and worked with, and more than £100 million has been paid out to local authorities to help implement the system and the changes required.

Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I very much appreciate the figures that the Minister has given. Does he mean that 100 gang injunctions have been issued for respondents over the age of 18 or does that figure include those under the age  of 18? I am worried; I think that there are three in my borough alone, so I am not sure that that figure is entirely right. Can he clarify whether the gang injunctions were with notice or without notice, or is he including interim gang injunctions?

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office) , The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

I do not have the pieces of information to hand on the last couple of matters. I will certainly write to the hon. Lady about them. The figure of 100 injunctions includes those over the age of 18 as well.

Clause 17 makes changes to how the court system deals with gang injunction applications for under-18s. In essence, it transfers the jurisdiction of gang injunction applications from the county court or the High Court to the youth courts sitting in their civil capacity. When gang injunctions were originally introduced, it was felt that the civil court was best placed to hear the applications due to its expertise in handling civil injunctions. That remains the case for adults. However, following discussions with practitioners, we have reached the conclusion that that the youth court is best placed to deal with gang injunctions for 14 to 17-year-olds as well.

Youth courts have more appropriate processes, as well as tailored facilities for dealing with under-18s, such as the inclusion of appropriate adults for the young person, automatic reporting restrictions and appropriate and adequate security, including tagging facilities or cells if a young person needs to be held overnight. They also have expertise in handling and sentencing young people, and an understanding of the support structures they need. Obviously, they are familiar with the protocols and have access to technology that will aid bail decisions.

Clause 17 aims to ensure that gang injunctions for under-18s are handled efficiency and effectively. I commend it to the Committee.

Photo of Martin Caton Martin Caton Llafur, Gŵyr

Mr Burrowes, you have been invited to withdraw your new clause. In fact, this is not the time to do so. The only question before us is whether clause 17 stands part of the Bill. You can reserve your decision on whether you wish to press it to a later stage in the Committee’s deliberations, but you are very welcome to participate again in the debate.

Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Ceidwadwyr, Enfield, Southgate

I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on what the Minister says. I ask him to note the continuing concern of practitioners and the Youth Justice Board. Perhaps it will lead to some changes. They support the key points of principle. I hope the Minister will take the time to consider.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 17 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 12 agreed to.

Ordered, That further consideration be now adjourned—(Mr Syms.)

Adjourned till Thursday 31 January at half-past Eleven o’clock.