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House of Commons
Session 2005 - 06
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Supplement to the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
26 January 2006

SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES OF HARTLEPOOL AND OTHERS

19th January 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of Residents and businesses of Hartlepool and others,

Declares that there should be a direct rail link from Hartlepool to London Kings Cross, as proposed by Grand Central Trains. There is a need for a direct link at a reasonable price to help to boost Hartlepool's economic regeneration and development and to allow the town's residents to visit other areas of the country at a price which is financially viable.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons consider this wide support and urge the Government to ensure that the Office of the Rail Regulator considers the issues raised in this petition and the petitioners support for Grand Central Trains' bid when the bid is evaluated.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM STOP AIDS CAMPAIGN

19th January 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of Stop AIDS Campaign,

Declares that that the G8 group (the leaders of the 8 richest countries) promised at their Gleneagles summit to ensure AIDS treatment for all who need it by 2010. Universal AIDS treatment will cost over $12 billion in the next 3 years. The UK and other rich countries must pay their share. Countries must also be free to produce or import cheaper versions of AIDS medicines. Only a cut in price will make treatment for all sustainable. AIDS medicines for children must be made available, cheaper and easier to take.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Prime Minister to use his influence to ensure the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and other bodies receive full funding.

The Petitioners further request that the House of Commons urge the UK Government to use its position at the World Trade Organisation and in other trade negotiations to ensure a fair trade in medicine.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM THE SAVE STAMFORD HOSPITAL NOW CAMPAIGN

24th January 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of the Save Stamford Hospital Now Campaign,

Declares that Peterborough Trust should review their policy on the closure of Stamford Hospital. The Petitioners further declare that the Hospital should be utilised to its full capacity.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for Health to pressurise Stamford Hospital Trust to implement the following for the population of Stamford and surrounding villages:

  • Expansion of the outpatient facilities;

  • Expansion of diagnostic testing rather than travelling to Peterborough;

  • Expansion of its use for surgery (day case and elective surgery);

  • Extension of the hours of the casualty department with a possible inclusion of weekends; and

  • Expansion of the use of convalescence/recuperative beds.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF ESSEX

25th January 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of residents of Essex,

Declares that they wish to support option four of a stand alone strategic police force for Essex and they object to Government plans to merge police forces which would lead to unacceptable centralisation with the possibility of political control and higher costs, and with less local control and accountability of the police; and they welcome the cross-Party actions of Essex MPs to save Essex Police Force.

The Petitioners therefore request the House of Commons to call upon the Government to withdraw its dangerous and politically motivated policy of merging police forces and retain Essex Police Force in its current format.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF ESSEX AND OTHERS

25th January 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of Residents of Essex and others,

Declares that there is a scandalous lack of proper funding for children's hospices which care for the most poorly kids, which means many are forced to rely on charitable and public donations.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons call upon the Government to drastically improve funding for children's hospices and further urge the Government to do all within its power to ensure that children's hospices are, at the very least, funded at the thirty per cent. level awarded to adult hospices.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Defence on the Petition [29 November] from the Save the Scottish Regiments Campaign against the Government's plans to restructure the Scottish infantry regiments.

    Following the announcement of all the new names and formation arrangements of the British Infantry regiments by the Secretary of State for Defence on 24th November, Petitioners will be aware that the Scottish Division will change from six single battalion regiments, with two TA regiments, to a single multi-battalion regiment, under the title of 'The Royal Regiment of Scotland', by the end of March 2006. On 1st August 2006, The Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borders will amalgamate, to achieve the reduction of one battalion from the Scottish Division.

    We appreciate the sensitivities that changes to the infantry structure evoke, particularly in Scotland who have experienced the greatest change from previous regimental structures. The move to large multi-battalion regiments has been necessitated by the end of the Infantry Arms-Plot. The arms-plot reduced the availability of infantry battalions and also severely disrupted the lives of our serving solders and their families, due to frequent changes in location. To ensure that our soldiers could maintain a broad range of experience required the creation of a multi-battalion regiment, undertaking different infantry roles to allow for individual postings within a single regiment.

    The reduction of one battalion from Scotland, and three from England, is a result of continued progress in Northern Ireland, which allows us to reduce our permanent presence in the Province. These posts are being reinvested back into the Army to ensure we have sufficient numbers of key enablers, such as logisticians and engineers, who are central to our ability to fight expeditionary warfare.

    A guiding principle throughout this process has been the desire to maintain the illustrious history and traditions of the Scottish Division in the new regiment. We are doing this in a number of ways. The battalions within the Scottish Division will keep their antecedent titles first in their titles. The Black Watch, for instance, will become 'The Black Watch, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland'.

19th January 2005


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Defence on the Petition [14 December] from residents of Bridgwater and others against the closure of the Royal Ordnance factory at Puriton, Somerset.

    I understand that the closure of the BAE Systems Land Systems site at Puriton, near Bridgwater, will not be welcome news for local residents. Petitioners will be aware that the closure of the site is part of a wider rationalisation of the company's munitions business aimed at releasing the investment necessary to sustain production over the long term. We remain confident in the company's ability to provide continued security of supply.

19th January 2005


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the Petition [7th December] from supporters of the campaign for justice for Mohan Singh for assistance with the investigation into the murder of Mohan Singh.

    We are, of course, aware of the tragic death of Mohan Singh in the Punjab, India, in August 2005. Our consular staff in both London and New Delhi are closely monitoring developments on this case. Our Director of Consular Services in New Delhi met the Police Investigating Officer in the Punjab in October 2005 to request assurances that the case was properly investigated. While we are unable to interfere in the judicial affairs of other countries, we are doing all we properly can to help ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice.

    While we remain alive to the possibility of raising this case at Ministerial level in the future, our view is that it would be counter-productive to do so whilst there is an ongoing investigation. We are in regular contact with Mr Singh's family and will continue to provide all proper consular assistance.

    Safety of British citizens in India is a matter for the Indian police. Those considering travel to India should consult our Travel Advice in order to make an informed decision about whether to travel. We would also urge British nationals who are concerned about their safety to register with the nearest High Commission on arrival, and to contact them for advice in the event of difficulties.

20th January 2005


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Transport on the Petition [20th December] from residents of Southend-on-Sea and others for the introduction of replacement bus services in Southend.

    The Government recognises that the withdrawal of the services in questions has caused concern.

    We are committed to improving bus services and we have provided substantial investment to help achieve this. Total local and central government support for bus services has more than doubled since 1997 and is now over 1.6 billion annually. However, decisions on which specific local bus services to subsidise are essentially a matter for individual local authorities based on local circumstances and priorities.

    Local authorities can fund bus support from the Revenue Support Grant and over 300m was spent by them on bus support in England outside London in 2004-05.The Government has increased total local government grant to local authorities in 2005/06 by 3.5 billion or 6.3%. This is the 8th successive year of real terms increases overall and means that Government grant to local authorities, including ring-fenced grants, will have increased by 33% in real terms since 1997.

    We are also providing, for example, nearly 400 million a year in Bus Services Operators Grant (BSOG) and over 50 million a year in Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG). In addition people aged 60 and over and disabled people will be entitled to free bus travel within their local authority area from 9.30 am Monday to Friday and all day at weekends from April next year. The Government will provide an extra 350 million in 2006/07 to fund this.

    We will continue to keep under review whether any further measures are necessary to achieve improvements in bus services.

25th January 2006



 
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Revised 27 January 2006