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Session 2006 - 07
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Supplement to the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
20 July 2007

SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM CONSTITUENTS OF SOUTH WEST HERTFORDSHIRE AND OTHER USERS OF BRITAIN'S INLAND WATERWAYS,

12th July 2007

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of constituents of South West Hertfordshire and other users of Britain's Inland Waterways,

Declares that our inland waterways are a unique national asset that provide an important contribution to the quality of life for millions of our citizens. We therefore are deeply concerned that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has seen fit to reduce British Waterways' grant by some 60 million over the next 5 years and that of the Environment Agency by 25 million in this financial year. We believe that these cuts will have a devastating effect upon the well-being of inland waterways.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls upon the Government to introduce legislation to solve the immediate problems caused by these cuts to current budgets and to ensure that long-term funding is guaranteed to enable continued investment and restoration of the waterways.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM PUPILS OF AYCLIFFE DRIVE PRIMARY SCHOOL IN THE DACORUM DISTRICT OF HERTFORDSHIRE

12th July 2007

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of pupils of Aycliffe Drive Primary School in the Dacorum district of Hertfordshire,

Declares that the current consultation of the West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust is flawed and seeks to damage our local health service. It overlooks the fact that Hemel Hempstead General Hospital is modernised and has the benefit of the adjoining Paradise site, which is in public ownership. To move acute services and maternity to an already overcrowded Watford Hospital, which is due for demolition and rebuilding would be extremely detrimental to all people in West Herts. Furthermore, Hemel Hempstead has the largest population of any town in Hertfordshire and has just been declared a growth area.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to call in the current flawed consultation of the West Hertfordshire Hospitals trust.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF RUISLIP-NORTHWOOD AND OTHERS

16th July 2007

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of residents of Ruislip-Northwood and others,

Declares that Britain's gardens are under increasing threat of destruction arising from inappropriate and unpopular development with local opinion being disregarded and communities left powerless to prevent the infill of green spaces with the loss of precious biodiversity, the increased strain on infrastructure, notably with regard to parking and traffic flow, and the resulting change in the fundamental character of neighbourhoods against local wishes.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to bring forward legislation to give stronger protection to gardens in planning law, and to allow elected local councillors to have greater discretion to protect local neighbourhoods.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

PETITION FROM RESIDENTS OF THE TAUNTON CONSITUENCY AND OTHERS

18th July 2007

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of residents of the Taunton constituency and others,

Declares that the Petitioners are extremely concerned that the determination of Council Tax levels in Taunton Deane and nationally do not fairly reflect the ability of citizens to pay.

Further notes that pensioners and those on a low income are especially disadvantaged as they have to pay a larger proportion of their income towards Council Tax than those with higher incomes.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to abolish the Council Tax and replace it with a system that reflects the ability to pay.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


SUPPLEMENT TO THE VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS

Observations by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Petition [4th July] from residents of Christchurch, Dorset against the closure of the Jobcentre Plus office in Christchurch.

    People have signed this Petition because they are opposing the possible closure of the Christchurch Jobcentre Plus office, which is located in the Dorset and Somerset Jobcentre Plus District.

    Managers at Jobcentre Plus District level consult widely about the kind of service they plan to provide or wish to revise. This consultation includes local MPs, local advice and welfare groups, employers, staff, trade unions and many other groups.

    The initial local Service Delivery Plans for the rollout of the Jobcentre Plus network were drawn up in 2002/03. The Service Delivery Plans covering Dorset and Somerset were agreed, after consultation, in early 2003. Most of the modernised offices in this District were rolled out in 2004, including Christchurch Jobcentre. Since then improved telephony and e-services, as well as improvements in the way benefit claims are processed have occurred.

    These improvements have allowed Jobcentre Plus Managers to review their service delivery plans to reduce wasteful activity and introduce efficiencies, as well as group resources to support those most disadvantaged with especial focus on those Local Authority wards which are deprived and have the poorest Labour Market positions.

    In March this year, the Dorset and Somerset Jobcentre Plus District Manager developed a formal case to revise the 2003 plans. The revised plan proposes the closure of Christchurch Jobcentre. In reviewing the network as time passes, Jobcentre Plus takes account of customer needs, employer needs, staff needs, and stakeholder needs, social factors and economic factors such as the cost and operational viability of maintaining services.

    These factors have been considered in respect of Christchurch Jobcentre. It is an office with a relatively low customer load and there is a 2% unemployment rate in the area. It is therefore felt that resources could be better utilised to focus in areas where there is greater deprivation without detriment to staff or employers or customers who will be able to use services in close by Bournemouth.

    Ministers insist that a minimum of six weeks is allowed for local communities and stakeholders to make a formal response to such proposals. Meaningful consultation is vital in gathering all the information to help Ministers consider all the relevant facts prior to making a final decision on closure.

    Before Ministers make a final decision on the potential closure of Christchurch they will want to understand how alternative Jobcentre Plus services will be delivered to local customers and be reassured that these arrangements will provide accessible services for customers and value for taxpayers. Ministers will also fully consider all the stakeholder views as well as the facts and data resultant from the six week consultation period.

18th July 2007



 
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