Just in general, from my friends who do British, or British related history, much of their archives seem to be digitally accessible, much more so than American national archives. Accessibility of historical documents for the public is great news.
It’s not on the search which seems to stop at 2004, but Stephen Pound mentioning the Fulham FC starting XI (and substitutes) into an unrelated debate should be worth a mention.
“I thank my hon. Friend for the positive way in which he is approaching this excellent Bill. New clause 1 would introduce a requirement to exceed building regulations – a Merton plus, plus model. In view of the work done by experts such as McBride and Healey, is it not the case that the building regulations will always be exceeded, regardless of what they are?”
“My hon. Friend underlines in many ways the importance of this Bill promoted by the hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. Fallon). However, I am concerned about whether there is a lacuna in the area of education. I think of my constituent, Mr. Simon Davies, who told me about the house built in south Wales by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Medway (Mr. Marshall-Andrews), which is known as the “Teletubbies house” and is built almost entirely underground and covered with what he calls organic insulation and the rest of us call grass.”
“My hon. Friend refers principally to thermal insulation, but he is on to something quite important with regard to sound attenuation. On the point about the amount of development in inner-London constituencies, in my area, even where there are cellars – or Kasey Kellers as people call them locally – people have tried to build there. Given his discussions with the Thermal Insulation Manufacturers and Suppliers Association, was he aware of any part of its remit that includes the benign combination of thermal and sound insulation in the same material?”
“I do not think that there will be many arguments in the House today except on points of detail. My hon. Friend referred to forward-thinking local authorities. I appreciate that we cannot introduce retrospective legislation, or retrofit legislation, and a builder such as Murphys in my constituency will say that it is perfectly happy and comfortable with the requirements for extensions and new build, but is there not a danger that we could end up with a two-tier system where older converted properties are energy-inefficient and the modern ones are efficient?”
Bearing in mind your rigid strictures, Madam Deputy Speaker, I will not give the warm words of praise to that eager partnership that I would have given otherwise. My hon. Friend’s new clause 1 is permissive: he is saying what a local authority may do, not what it shall do, which is implicit in the Bill as drafted. House prices are falling. If one talks to builders such as Mr. Dempsey in my constituency, to whom I talked last week, they will say that in a falling house market, margins are shaved.
I have mentioned former local government planning officers, who seem to work as consultants nowadays. Many of them will be as busy as Jimmy Bullard, as we say in west London, trying to find their way around words such as “reasonable” and around the permissive nature of “may”.
My hon. Friend makes an extremely important point, which is relevant to home information packs, although I do not wish to rehash the whole argument that we had on those. His point chimes with mine, in that, by and large, we tend to seek examples of good practice that have commercial benefit. I remember visiting a property in a place called Hangeland, in Norway, where they use a commercially driven system of heat insulation, not just because that is environmentally correct, but because it is an advantage to do so in that part of the world.
There is no point whatever in having energy-efficient homes if people do not want to live in them or if they cost too much. Prefabs are very popular; Baird Avenue in my constituency was built before the war and it is very popular.
Does my hon. Friend agree that it matters not whether a person is called Konchesky or Stalteri, and that what matters is the home that they need, not their origins?
The hon. Gentleman is to be congratulated on the way in which he has promoted the Bill. He has not used some of the more flashy and apocalyptic images. He has been more of a Barrington than a Dexter, more of a Gooch than a Gower and more of an Erik Nevland than a Diomansy Kamara. His taut, sparse, precise, elegant Bill has been all the better for that.
No need for a neural net, a simple Markov chain should do. Imagine the hallucinatory new laws it would generate, and the fun of pestering your MP’s to pass them.
I think it’s sweet how they keep calling each other honey.
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