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Session 2005 - 06
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Supplement to the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
17 March 2006

SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF BENFLEET, ESSEX AND OTHERS

13th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of residents of Benfleet, Essex and others

Declares that the Petitioners wish to formally object to the removal by First Essex Buses Limited of the No. 12 bus service from Tarpots in Benfleet to Pitsea because there is no alternative service and the removal will cause great inconvenience and hardship to those residents who rely solely on public transport, and that this loss is unacceptable and particularly hurts vulnerable and elderly people in our community.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons call upon the Government to urge the Bus Company to maintain the No. 12 service and to take such action as is necessary to enable First Essex Buses to maintain such an important yet marginal bus services.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF SOUTH ESSEX AND OTHERS

13th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of residents of South Essex and others,

Declares that we pay tribute to all who work in the Southend Hospital Cancer Centre, believe it does wonderful and very caring work and achieves excellent outcomes. We wish to see this valuable facility retained locally to serve local people and believe that removing it will not provide cost savings or a better service for local people or better outcomes. We note the efforts of the local press and local MPs in successfully fighting for the centre some years ago and welcome the new efforts of the local press and MPs in working together to retain the centre now.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons call upon the Government to accept the views of local people and retain the cancer centre at Southend hospital and to give it full support in the future.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

The House received further Petitions in these terms on the following date: 13th March [two Petitions].


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF THUNDERSLEY, CASTLE POINT, ESSEX, AND OTHERS

13th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of the residents of Thundersley, Castle Point, Essex, and others,

Declares that we the residents of Thundersley and surrounding areas are concerned about the loss of green belt land to development, particularly in the area of Burches Road, and we believe Castle Point is already overdeveloped for the infrastructure that exists.

The Petitioners therefore call on the House of Commons to urge the Government to impress upon Castle Point Borough Council to reject any development in this area, as requested by the Member of Parliament.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM ROBIN BARWELL AND STAFF, RESIDENTS, CARERS AND SUPPORTERS OF BARNHAVEN RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME, BAMPTON, DEVON

13th March 2006

To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

The Humble Petition of Robin Barwell and staff, residents, carers and supporters of Barnhaven residential Care Home, Bampton, Devon

Sheweth

That the decision by Devon County Council to close Barnhaven is opposed by the Petitioners.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House will note that there is strong local support for both keeping Barnhaven open as a care home and expanding the services it could provide to support older people in the community, and urge the Government, in the light of the recent White Paper "Our health, our care, our say", to help our group of committed volunteers to put the aims of the White Paper into action in Bampton.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF LLANELLI AND OTHERS

14th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of residents of Llanelli and others,

Declares that the sentence passed for the manslaughter of Stuart McKibbin is inadequate and further declare that, despite taking a life, the perpetrator could be freed after serving only three and a half years of a seven-year sentence.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Home Secretary to refer the sentencing guidelines for manslaughter to the Sentencing Guidelines Council.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM BRITISH SOMALILANDERS AND FRIENDS OF SOMALILAND

15th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of British Somalilanders and friends of Somaliland,

Declares that Somaliland's continued ability to be a force for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, to develop its democracy, economy and public services, to access foreign assistance, to represent its interests internationally, and to combat terrorism and piracy is gravely hindered by its non-recognition as a state; and that the United Kingdom, as the former colonial power, has a particular responsibility to assist in the resolution of Somaililand's damaging lack of status, particularly through the UK's approach in discussions at the EU, UN and international financial institutions, and bilaterally with other African states.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls upon the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to ensure that the United Kingdom plays a leading role in efforts to resolve Somaliland's lack of status, to ensure that the needs of Somaliland are factored fully into international discussion of the problems of the former state of Somalia and to secure Somaliland's early recognition as a state.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM JEAN WEATHERITT AND OTHERS

15th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of Jean Weatheritt and others,

Declares that free residential care should be made available to all who need it. The Petitioners further declare that the "Barnett formula" should be scrapped in order to ensure that free care is available to all, whether they live in England, Scotland or Wales.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for Health to respond to the Petitioners concerns.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM NARROW BOAT OWNERS FROM THE CANALS OF THE UK AND OTHERS

15th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of narrow boat owners from the canals of the UK and others,

Declares its support for the continuation of the red diesel derogation currently available to marine owners in the UK which is due to expire on 31st December 2006; welcomes the decision announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the pre-budget statement of the intent to negotiate an extension of that derogation and notes that the Financial Secretary needs to take account of the impact any loss of the red diesel derogation would have on narrow boat owners given the technical problems that will result from the inevitable conversion of engines, and the costs of heating living space. At a time when there is a massive increase in activity on Britain's waterways and canals, a direct result of government investment and help, this would be totally counterproductive.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Financial Secretary to consult fully with representatives from the Royal Yacht Association and the British Marine Federation and boat owners in general in order to secure this derogation.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM TRADERS AND RESIDENTS OF BILLERICAY

15th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of traders and residents of Billericay and others,

Declares that increases in business rates will push up prices and could threaten some shops with closure. Further declares that the massive increase in business rates in recent years threatens to turn Billericay High Street into a 'pub alley' as themed pubs take over vacant shops.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to give Billericay shopkeepers some respite by halting any planned increases in business rates.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF PRIVATE PET CREMATORIA

15th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of the National Federation of Private Pet Crematoria,

Declares that the Petitioners do not wish our local pet crematorium Gardens of Remembrance to be classified, operated and licensed as a landfill site. A human crematorium is not classified as a landfill site and if our pets' ashes are prepared and treated in the same way as human remains, there should be no discrimination or additional financial burdens placed upon pet owners at such a difficult time. Our local pet crematorium has beautifully maintained grounds and the Petitioners do not feel that such sites should be classified as landfill sites.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to remove pet crematoria from the category of landfill sites.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM WINCHESTER VOICE FOR REFUGEES

15th March 2006

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of Winchester Voice for Refugees,

Declares that it is the responsibility of those of us who are privileged enough to have liberty, livelihood and the rights of citizenship to take a stand against injustice and that the marginalisation of asylum seekers through destitution is unacceptable.

The Petitioners further declare that under regulations introduced in 2004, asylum seekers who have lost their claim for refugee status or temporary leave to remain are immediately made destitute. If they decide to appeal, they could face months with no financial support, no accommodation and no access to free health care (except in emergencies). Yet they are not allowed to work for a living to help themselves. Waiting for deportation can also take time. There are even cases where the Government deems an asylum seeker's country of origin unsafe for return, yet still offers no means of subsistence.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to bring forward more compassionate and just legislation regarding asylum seekers and to end the inhumane policy of enforced destitution. The Petitioners further request that the House of Commons pass legislation to issue temporary short term work permits until asylum seekers are either given Indefinite Leave to Remain or are returned to their country of origin.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Transport on the Petition [27th February] from residents of Canvey Island, Essex, and others for a pedestrian crossing on Furtherwick Road.

    Canvey Island is situated in the south of Essex on the north bank of the Thames estuary sandwiched between Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea. Canvey is around 35 miles east of London and is around 5 miles in length, by about 3 miles wide. Furtherwick Road links the town centre and the main A130 to the sea front.

    Historically there have been 26 slight injuries and 2 serious injuries in Furtherwick Road over the past 3 years. These have all been clustered in the town centre where traffic speeds are low and traffic volumes are high, rather than around the parade of shops. Essex County Council, as the Highway Authority, has conducted speed checks on Furtherwick Road within the past 3 months in response to individual complaints about excessive speed. The result of the surveys has shown that excessive speed is not a significant problem around the parade of shops.

    Both sides of Furtherwick Road have double yellow lines at the shopping parade in order to reduce obstructions and facilitate access and smooth traffic movements. Enforcement has passed from the local police to Castle Point Borough Council which now issues tickets for parking offences.

    Given the lack of evidence of a significant safety problem in this part of Furtherwick Road and the levels of pedestrian traffic, Essex County Council has not considered installing a pedestrian crossing. A pedestrian crossing could be considered in future if a safety problem arose, but the presence of closely spaced junctions along this part of the road could present difficulties to installation.

    Responsibility for this is entirely with the Local Highway Authority and it is not for the Government to intervene. We have, however, brought the Petition to the attention of Essex County Council.

10th March 2006


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Transport on the Petition [27th February] from residents of Castle Point, Essex, and others against the removal of the bus service from Pitsea to Benfleet.

    The provision of local bus services outside London is a matter for bus operators and local authorities. The majority are provided on a commercial basis. Licensed operators may register the particulars of any services they can operate without subsidy. Local authorities may subsidise additional services that are not provided commercially and which they consider socially necessary. They frequently intervene to replace commercial services that have been withdrawn by operators. It is essentially a matter for individual authorities to decide which services are most appropriate for support in their respective areas.

    This statutory framework allows operators to develop the services they can run commercially in response to market demand. It also allows local authorities to subsidise services that are socially desirable but not profitable. And it encourages partnership working between local authorities and operators to improve standards.

    We understand that bus service no. 12 was registered as a commercial service by First Essex Buses Ltd. to operate approximately every half hour, Mondays to Saturdays, on a circular route terminating at Basildon Bus Station. In February 2006, the operator advised the County Council of its decision to curtail the service at Pitsea because an insufficient number of passengers were using the South Benfleet/New Thundersley section and also because of traffic congestion at the major road junction of the A13 and the A130. This was one of some 30 changes notified to Essex County Council by this operator at the time and the Council decided to support as socially necessary some 9 of these services.

    The County Council is currently carrying out a study into factors affecting bus reliability on the A13 with a view to implementing suitable traffic management measures. It has also included a major scheme in its Local Transport Plan to alleviate the congestion currently experienced at the Sadlers Farm A13/A130 junction.

    Subsequent comments from passengers persuaded the bus company to retain the first journey in the mornings at 07.56 from Tarpots and the return journey at 17.50 Mondays to Fridays from Basildon to cater for commuters. In addition to the no. 12 journeys which were retained, the communities served previously by the no. 12 route in the South Benfleet/New Thundersley area were covered by other bus services. The Service 21 from Canvey to Southend runs at twenty minute intervals via Rushbottom Lane following the same route as far as the junction of Kents Hill road and the A13 before travelling onwards to Southend. It returns via the reverse of the outward route. It is possible to travel direct to South Benfleet railway station on this service and there are also frequent bus services along the A13 to Pitsea and Basildon. It was not felt to represent a good value for money measure for the local authority to reinstate the no. 12 service which would compete for custom with existing commercial services.

13th March 2006



 
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Revised 17 March 2006