6.10 pm

Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con): I, too, welcome the hon. Member for Nottingham South (Lilian Greenwood) to the Opposition Front Bench. She is very familiar with HS2 from her previous work, and I am sure she will properly discharge her duties, despite disagreeing entirely with me on the merits of the project. I thank my hon. Friend the Minister for his kind remarks, and welcome the Secretary of State to his place on the Front Bench. It is good to see that this project is still engaging the Department fully.

The parliamentary process for High Speed 2 is both lengthy and confusing. The petitioning and consultation processes are time consuming and very arduous for my constituents and others who give evidence to the Committee, who have busy and demanding lives, and have not chosen to be affected by this project.

The additional provision process is another example of how opaque our procedures are here. There is a lack of information on additional provisions 3 and 4. While that is not entirely helpful to colleagues, it is certainly confusing to constituents, who want it explained to them why a motion like this can come before the House and be voteable on, yet the inherent details that will come with the major announcements from the Department are not available. I understand the intricacies of the House, but it is hard to explain them to constituents.

Mr Goodwill: I am sure that interested constituents watching the proceedings of the House will be aware that this is just opening the door to the opportunity to engage and petition. We are kicking the ball into play, and it is up to those who wish to petition and engage in the process to play the match.

Mrs Gillan: I am grateful for that. Anything that we can do to clarify the position for our constituents is much appreciated.

Notwithstanding the complexities of legislating for a major infrastructure project, I am very grateful for the HS2 Committee’s recommendation of the proposal for extended tunnelling through the Chilterns area of

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outstanding natural beauty, now known as C6, and the Government’s decision to adopt it. The extension of the tunnel from the originally proposed Mantle’s Wood portal to the South Heath green tunnel north portal will provide vital extra protection to our ancient woodlands and communities. It recognises the enormous efforts that my constituents, many national organisations, local organisations and I have made to try to save our area from real environmental damage.

While of course I am pleased that the Committee has proposed this additional mitigation, we must not forget that a large swathe of the area of outstanding natural beauty remains exposed to the railway itself. Unfortunately, the recommendation of C6 still falls short of what is required to protect the area fully from the severe impacts of this project. A long, continuous, fully bored tunnel throughout the entire AONB is really the only way adequately to protect our natural countryside and communities. I urge the Committee, and the Minister and his officials, to continue to look at the long tunnelling proposals. Indeed, I was hoping that I could encourage the Minister and his officials to think of this less as a railway in my constituency and more of a tube line, and continue the tunnelling to the end of the AONB.

Additional provision 4 contains two further amendments affecting Chesham and Amersham that I am keen to see implemented and consulted on carefully. Shardeloes Park in Amersham will, I hope, benefit from an improved design for the protection of its walled kitchen garden and grade II listed building. However, I remain concerned about the effects of construction on other historic buildings in the area, particularly in the nearby village of Little Missenden. In addition, there will be a realigned footpath south-west of Potter Row in South Heath, and I look forward to receiving more specific details of that amendment and that relating to Shardeloes gardens.

Many of my constituents will be affected by the proposals in AP4, particularly the changes that will provide for extra tunnelling. I encourage the Government to make sure that the dates for the release of the supplementary environmental statement, as well as those for petitioning and the deadlines for consultation responses, are published as widely as possible. As the Select Committee is hearing from petitioners in the Chilterns, it is crucial for my constituents to be able to plan their evidence accordingly and be as fully prepared as possible. In particular, the prompt release by HS2 Ltd of all the relevant noise data for the South Heath area would be appreciated, as people will be “directly and specially affected”—to use the legal terms—by the extra tunnelling. They may also, as I know the Minister acknowledges, wish to return and petition on the additional changes.

The constituency of the right hon. Member for Buckingham (John Bercow) is also affected by the provisions. Some landowners in the constituency have been affected by multiple additional provisions in the past. With each AP in which more land is taken, the impact on the landowner’s business increases. As such, would not it be right and proper, once all the additional provisions have been published and the true aggregate impact is known, for those affected landowners to be afforded an opportunity to present to the Select Committee again, in order to summarise the overall impact? The right hon. Gentleman also feels that there is a limited explanation as to why additional land is required. One affected landowner who has seen the additional provision

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knows he is going to lose more land, but claims he has had no explanation as to why. I hope my hon. Friend the Minister will take that into consideration.

Once again, my constituents in Chesham and Amersham will have a very small window between their petition date and the release of AP4 in mid-October. I ask the Committee in particular to be mindful that many petitioners will not necessarily have the time or resources to study AP4 prior to their first petition appearance, and that points may need to be picked up in further detail if a petitioner decides to submit another petition on AP4. I hope that any final decision on a long tunnel in the Chilterns will not take place until after AP4 has been consulted on and all Chilterns petitions heard, so that the Committee will then be in possession of all the arguments for and against the recommendation as it stands.

I ask the Minister whether it would be possible for me to meet HS2 Ltd officials soon after the release of AP4, in order to understand more closely the specific details and aid my constituents in any way I can. Perhaps my colleagues in Buckinghamshire could be similarly briefed.

The deadline for submissions in response to the AP2 supplementary environmental statement ends this Friday, 18 September. I plan to submit a response myself, but, along with several of my constituents who have contacted me, I have found it very difficult to distinguish which aspects of AP2 will be made redundant or affected by AP4. I ask the Minister to be aware that that has been a significant issue during the AP2 consultation period, which gives a further reason for the details on AP4 to be released as quickly as possible. I also continue to have concerns about compliance with the public participation requirements of the Aarhus convention, and situations such as the confusion surrounding AP2 and AP4 do little to assuage them.

I am also concerned that constituents who were affected by the original, pre-AP4 plans and who have conducted their business or made plans accordingly now find themselves in a better position following the adoption of AP4. I would like reassurances from Ministers that the Department will look carefully and favourably on those cases, because it is invidious to have told someone that they are going to lose their business and for them to go on to make arrangements as a result, only to then find that their business premises have in fact been saved by AP4.

I thank my constituents for all their work thus far. I also thank the Select Committee for its work. It is fair to mention the Clerk, Neil Caulfield, who has given exemplary assistance to my office and my constituents.

I hope that the Select Committee will continue to listen to the arguments made by petitioners from Chesham and Amersham and, if the project goes ahead, ensure that it is executed in what I consider the right way. It should ensure that our manifesto promises on the environment are adhered to, not sacrificed on the alter of this project. That still causes a great deal of concern not just among my constituents and other people, but to the Government’s assessment institution, the Major Projects Authority, which continues to afford it an amber/red classification.

Finally, I want to say that I have worked hard with many people and organisations over many years, and inch by inch, we are getting more tunnels in the Chilterns.

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My appeal to the Minister is: just tunnel to the end of the area of outstanding natural beauty and protect it. At least, we would then have the satisfaction of knowing that it was a job well done.

6.20 pm

Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab): I obviously support the motion because it is important for my constituents to have the chance to petition the Select Committee. That does not, however, mean that I support the proposals or HS2. I oppose HS2 on cost and on merit: it will not achieve its stated objectives.

The impact of HS2 on my constituency—on residents, businesses and the environment—will be devastating. It is a major cause of concern to very many of my constituents. Such is the concern throughout the constituency that it is raised with me daily. The plans for changes at Euston station have a long and sorry history. Standing back, we can see that not the least reason for that is that it does not make sense to bring a 21st-century, high-speed railway into a densely populated part of north London simply because that is where the conventional station is.

Mr Goodwill: There was a lot of disruption for the constituents of the hon. and learned Member—or for the people who are now his constituents—when the work was done at King’s Cross station. Do they consider that the work was worthwhile, now that the station has been finished?

Keir Starmer: That is a false comparison, as I am sure the Minister knows. The situation in and around King’s Cross cannot be compared with the densely populated area around Euston. We only need to look at a map, as I am sure the Minister knows, to see that the situations are not comparable. In fairness and in respect to my constituents, it is not right to make such a point when, anxious about their situation, they are coming to me daily. When I address them at meetings, I can see the anxiety on their faces. Please let us address the motion with respect to them, not make false comparisons. The Minister knows that the two situations are simply not comparable.

We have had plans, amended plans and further amended plans for Euston, but the only sensible plan is to abandon the project altogether. Far from being an improvement on the other plans, this plan is the worst of the lot. It leaves my constituents with all the pain and none of the gain. I want to focus particularly on the phased approach.

The plan offers and sets up decades of blight with no assurance about when the project as a whole will be finished. I will spell that out, because this is what it means for my constituents. Phase 1 will take up to 2026 and phase 2 will then go up to 2033, while the development of the eastern side of the station has no start or finish date. That amounts to 16 to 20-plus years of works and blight, so we can see why my constituents are coming to me daily and why they are so concerned.

Under the proposal, we will have half a station, but it will take twice the time. I will have children born in my constituency who will grow up and probably leave school knowing nothing other than construction works at what is likely to be the biggest construction site in Europe. I have people at the other end of the scale who will retire in the next few years and probably spend their entire

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retirement with the construction works going on. That is what this plan means for many thousands of people in the Euston area.

The Secretary of State described the plans in one document as

“essential for the local community”.

That beggars belief and is testimony to the failure of HS2 and others to listen to what the local community is saying.

I pose the following questions for the Minister. First, the hybrid Bill was premised on a new station being delivered at Euston by 2026. What is now proposed is half a station by 2033. How did HS2 Ltd get its planning so hopelessly wrong that we are in that situation? Secondly, why is HS2 Ltd no longer able to build a new station at Euston by 2026? Is it the cost, the impact on existing users or some other reason?

Thirdly, and I would like some detail on this, what is the current budget for the new station at Euston? How do the current costs compare with the estimated costs in March 2010, when the route for phase 1 was announced, and November 2013, when the hybrid Bill was deposited in Parliament?

Fourthly, the extended construction completion time of 2033 and beyond will blight the lives of up to 17,000 people in my constituency who live within 300 metres of the construction work. What is the proposal to compensate them for that?

Fifthly, appendix A to the explanatory note before the House states that

“The development principles in the EAP include promoting ‘comprehensive, commercial-led, mixed-use development above and around the new and existing stations’.”

That is at odds with the No. 1 objective in the Euston area plan:

“Prioritising local people’s needs: To ensure that new development meets local needs by ensuring homes, jobs, businesses, schools, community facilities and open space lost or affected by HS2, should it go ahead, are reprovided in the Euston area.”

I ask for an assurance from the Minister and, if appropriate, the Secretary of State that they recommit to that No. 1 objective in respect of local needs. Sixthly, by what date will the Government commit to re-provide new social housing, open spaces and community facilities on the land acquired for the new station?

My constituents are entitled to answers to those questions. The plan for Euston is a mess and there is a lack of information in the provisions. HS2, Network Rail and Transport for London need to step up and listen to local residents and businesses, who speak with a clear voice in opposition to these plans.

6.27 pm

Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South) (Con): I am grateful, Madam Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity to make a short contribution.

I support the motion and, in particular, the AP3 proposals. Before I turn to those, I thank the Minister and the officials of HS2 Ltd and Network Rail who put on a helpful briefing for Members last week. That was particularly useful in helping us to visualise the proposed changes at Euston station.

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I am a long-standing supporter of HS2, not least because of the benefits that will be delivered to my constituents in Milton Keynes by the freeing up of capacity on the west coast main line for additional commuter, regional and inter-city services. Notwithstanding that support, I and many of my constituents have been concerned about the impact on the commuter services into and out of Euston during the construction phase. I have been reassured by the presentation last week and the motion before us today that, during the construction phase, the current timetable will be maintained with minimal disruption. There will be some disruption at weekends and at other times, as is inevitable with large-scale infrastructure projects. I am grateful for that reassurance.

An earlier additional provision that we considered opened up the prospect that the west coast main line could be connected to Crossrail services and some commuter services could be diverted directly on to Crossrail. I simply ask for that option to be kept on the table should any further restrictions at Euston be required.

An article in The Sunday Telegraph at the weekend seemed to indicate that there would be a permanent reduction in capacity for the classic services at Euston when HS2 is complete, but all my information suggests that the reverse is true. In addition to the additional capacity on HS2, if my figures are correct, there will be a doubling of commuter seats into and out of Euston at peak hours once HS2 is complete. I would be grateful if the Minister would confirm that.

Mr Goodwill: I can confirm that. The revised plans include so-called path X, which is an underpass that allows much more flexibility in the way Euston can be used. When phase 1 of HS2 is open, we estimate that about 30% of passengers will alight at Old Oak Common and get on to Crossrail, or perhaps go to Heathrow on Crossrail 2, and that will take the pressure off Euston station for the remainder of the construction period.

Iain Stewart: I am grateful for that reassurance. One feature of the revised plans for Euston that I was pleased to see is the flexibility of its design. If in future Crossrail 2 is developed to go through Euston, the station has been designed in a way that could easily incorporate that.

I make one personal plea to the Minister. It may not be entirely within his gift, but perhaps he could use his good offices to encourage people at Network Rail or elsewhere—in the design there is room for this—to put back the old Euston arch, which was shamefully destroyed, or at least taken away, when Euston was redeveloped in the 1960s. That was a grave mistake. As well as building a brand-new railway line for the future, hopefully we can make reference to our architectural history and put back the Euston arch somewhere.

6.32 pm

Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) (Lab): I am glad that we have clarified the purpose of this debate. When we debated AP2, some of us believed that we were to consider the detail of the proposals, but no detail was available. I understand from the Minister’s letter of 8 September that this is simply a permissive motion to allow debate in the Bill Committee, and that there will be an opportunity to challenge matters there.

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We were promised an environmental statement to deal with matters of detail, but I am afraid that the statement on AP2 did not exactly do that. It was written in a peculiarly liturgical style that was highly repetitious and confusing, and did not clarify matters. It took several meetings and correspondence with HS2—HS2 now responds promptly and with courtesy, although it did not use to—before such clarification was possible. Where significant proposals affect the route, I ask that the technical details be expressed as clearly as possible so that we and our constituents can understand them.

I will not pass judgment on the Euston scheme or vote against the motion, but I will raise some notes of caution. This is not the first significant change to the proposals for Euston, but it is a significant change. When I put it to HS2 that seven extra years will be required to complete the scheme, it said that a long time had been allowed for the rebuilding of Reading station, but that was completed 18 months early. All that says to me is that these time frames are notional, and for the building and rebuilding of the station we are looking to 2033—a very long time.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer) asked why this change is happening. It is happening because it is potentially better, or less disruptive, for existing users of Euston station. However, it will undoubtedly be worse for my hon. and learned Friend’s constituents and others who have to navigate their way around the Euston area.

Who is in charge of these projects and who will ensure that they function properly? Euston and Old Oak, which is in my constituency, are by far the two biggest projects within this huge project. Euston will have 22 platforms, 11 of them new, and Old Oak will have at least 14 new platforms, including Crossrail and the Great Western main line, not to mention overground and underground services. These are massive and complex schemes that will take place in very built-up areas. We should all pay tribute to the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan) for fighting her corner and to other Members with rural seats, but the compensation on offer and the regard that is had to urban areas is clearly less than is the case elsewhere. That is as true of my constituency as it is of Camden, but there are differences. Fewer residents will be affected, I am pleased to say, around Old Oak than around Euston, but—as my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing Central and Acton (Dr Huq) has said—if they will be affected, they will be mightily affected and for many years.

I suspect, however, that the Euston scheme will receive more scrutiny because it is a landmark site in the centre of London. In Old Oak, we are in danger of getting second best, such as a sort of industrial warehouse environment rather than something more prestigious—although having seen the design for the entrance to Euston, I have to say that it looks like the entrance to Le Grand Macabre: I am not sure that the designers have got it quite right yet.

I urge the Government to turn their mind to the operational and logistical configuration at Euston and Old Oak. The rumour is that the two will be joined together and the mayoral development corporation will be extended to include Euston. That is not a sensible idea. I did not think that the mayoral development corporation was a sensible idea for Old Oak, which involves three boroughs—albeit three boroughs that are

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co-operating very closely. I doubt that the London borough of Camden will wish to have all its planning and regeneration powers seized by the Mayor, whoever that is, although I am sure that it will want to co-operate—as we do—with the Greater London Authority. The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation is now a statutory body with statutory powers that was set up by this House, whereas Euston has an area planning board, which is not a statutory body and effectively relies on the good will of the co-operating parties.

At least three issues need to be addressed. The first is the competing interests of the locality and the national interest in an important national scheme—which I support. The second is ensuring that the planning and regeneration powers—and the conflicts of interest in bodies that have both at their disposition—are dealt with transparently and accountably. The third is the competent management of the scheme. I agree with what the leader of Camden council said about insufficient integration between what Network Rail is doing with the existing station and what HS2 intends to do. Exactly the same could be said about the integration of Crossrail and HS2 at Old Oak. We have to get this right in the economic interests of regenerating the area, in the national interests of ensuring that the country can be proud of these projects, and in the interests of local people living in the area. That is simply not happening at the moment.

I shall finish with an anecdote about my meeting yesterday with my clinical commissioning group. Hon. Members may wonder what that has to do with this issue, but it was part of my continuing campaign to persuade the CCG not to close down large parts of the acute hospital services in west London. I pointed to Old Oak and said, “Well, here are 24,000 new homes and there are 50,000 being built locally. How are you going to deal with that with much less provision?” “Oh don’t worry,” they said, “we have been assured”—I am sure the same is exactly true for Euston as well—“that these will just be occupied by young professional people of working age and they won’t really need health services in the way that other people do.” I wish somebody had told me that. Who is taking these decisions? Who, in smoke-filled rooms—probably not smoke-filled rooms in the health service these days—is making decisions about major infrastructure projects, looking decades or more ahead, without democratic input, without the input of local residents and businesses, and without the proper scrutiny of us in this House and of local authorities?

6.40 pm

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn) (Lab): Like my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer), I agree with the right to give residents the opportunity to come and petition if they feel that High Speed 2 is not affecting their areas in the way it should. I should make it clear that my overall stance is to oppose HS2. I have been campaigning against it for six years. I was a councillor for the Regent’s Park ward, where more than 300 council homes will be devastated and demolished. I sat through many a HS2 meeting in which HS2 Ltd was severely incompetent as regards taking forward the wishes of the community and listening properly to the grievances outlined. I hope HS2 Ltd will engage more with residents, both in Camden and in Hampstead and Kilburn.

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I turn to the additional provisions that affect Hampstead and Kilburn constituency, which is in the boroughs of both Camden and Brent. The three items I will highlight are affected by the issues at hand today. The first is the acquisition of additional land at Alexandra Place. Alexandra Place is already to be the location of a vent shaft. The amendment will allow vehicles to turn at Dinerman Court. Some 84 existing landowners are already inconvenienced, but another 46 new landowners will now be impacted by the changes. What protection will the landowners have and have they been taken into consideration?

The second item I am worried about is the disruption of a grade II listed building on the Alexandra Road Estate. The situation changes with the amendment at hand today. It does not alter the builders’ plans and no new people will be affected—just to be clear—but it constitutes an admission that the listed buildings legislation can be contravened and that they will now have the right to exercise their powers to override it, as enshrined in the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill. That is potentially an important admission and opens the way for questions about how the listed building will be protected while building works are taking place. I would be grateful for any reassurance the Minister can give me about the listed building.

The Minister is well aware of the loss of the launderette. Indeed, he mentioned it earlier. The residents live in apartments that do not have washing machines. This issue has been raised in my surgeries and in the public meetings I have attended. I would be grateful for any reassurance I could pass on to residents that the launderette will exist, along with the shops on that road. They are a lifeline for a lot of people who live in the area, many of whom are disabled and cannot venture any further on to Finchley Road.

Finally, this is the part I am most concerned about: the proposed moving of a vent shaft to Canterbury Road. This is in one of the most deprived areas in my constituency. It is being regenerated and the residents have been living in the middle of a building site for nearly 10 years, and now a vent shaft is being proposed right in front of the school. My worry is that a proper feasibility study has not been done to assess the impact on the students travelling in and out of the school, and on students inside the school.

I reiterate that south Kilburn is the most deprived area of Hampstead and Kilburn. People in the area, such as Pete Firmin, Liz, Ladi and Councillor Rita Connelly, are campaigning to ensure the removal of the vent shaft. I ask the Minister to reconsider whether the vent shaft should go in this area, where it would affect children, being on the school route, and new landowners. I invite him to visit the location to assess for himself whether it is appropriate to locate it there, putting residents through even more building work and inconvenience for the next 10 years.

6.45 pm

Mr Goodwill: With the leave of the House, I will make a few remarks in response to the debate.

The fundamental point of the debate is to allow petitions to be submitted to the hybrid Bill Committee, so, while many of the points are perfectly reasonable ones

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to make, they should be directed to the Committee for it to consider and then, if necessary, make recommendations on. That said, the hon. Member for Nottingham South (Lilian Greenwood) made some points I need to address, particularly about how Euston station can be developed. We are all in awe of the development of King’s Cross and St Pancras stations and the regeneration of the surrounding area. People used to go to King’s Cross for all the wrong reasons; now they go for the right reasons. It is a great place to be.

We need such regeneration around Euston, although I recognise the points about there not being quite so much spare land around there. It is important that we work with Network Rail and Transport for London to co-ordinate the approach. Our Euston proposal is fully compatible with the redevelopment of the remaining Network Rail station and has been developed with Network Rail and TFL. The improvements to the underground station at Euston will be transformational. When the new Victoria development opens, we will get a taste of how a new state-of-the-art underground station can help commuters and particularly of how the tidal flows of people need not conflict in the way they often do in other areas. On project delivery, Sir Peter Hendy and his team are looking at how Network Rail can work more effectively.

The hon. Lady mentioned excavated material being removed by rail. Extended construction at Euston station will allow more excavated material to be removed by rail, as there is capacity to do so. We will work to maximise what can be taken out by rail. The fewer trucks the better for noise and congestion and for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. I am a London cyclist myself. We know that, sadly, heavy construction vehicles are often involved in accidents. Despite the prowess and training of drivers and the modification of vehicles, accidents still occasionally happen. I can also confirm that there are no changes to the compensation schemes. The scheme in urban areas, compared with country areas, recognises the character of those areas and the effect that construction and development can have, particularly on property prices and people.

The hon. Lady asked about the net cost of the changes. I can confirm that the net cost is zero. The overall cost of phase 1 remains £21.4 billion at second quarter 2011 prices. Any changes that add costs simply draw down the contingency not set aside for that purpose. We always knew we would need to draw down the contingency—for example, to meet the cost of the Chiltern tunnel extension, the cost of which was more than £40 million, at second quarter 2011 prices, excluding the contingency. I hope I have reassured the House that the project is deliverable within budget.

The hon. Lady also asked whether we would return to the House to provide clarity on phase 2 and legislative plans. I can confirm that the Government will outline the way forward for phase 2 before the end of the year, including confirmation of the plans for legislation.

Lilian Greenwood: The Minister says that the Government will announce the way forward. Is that the same as confirming the line of route?

Mr Goodwill: On phase 1, the line of route is certainly becoming much closer to being confirmed, but on phase 2 there is obviously a lot more work to be done with local

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authorities and leaders of the great cities of the north, as we call them, to ensure that we get that right. Some criticism has been voiced today that we keep coming back with new changed proposals, but it is important that we react to the points that people make, as the Committee reacts to petitions, for example. We have reacted to ensure that we can deliver a state-of-the-art station at Euston and minimise the impact on local people during the construction phase.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan) mentioned the supplementary environmental statement. Let me repeat that for Camden it will be available from tomorrow for consultation until 6 November, while the consultation period on the AP4 area will commence in mid-October—I cannot give an exact date—and will run for six weeks.

The hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer) talked about the phased approach and how that would certainly mean disruption for a longer period, but we need to consider disruption not only to the residents affected by vehicles, noise, dust and so forth, but to the commuters who use the station. Delivering the project in the way we have outlined today will mean having more capacity through that station. I am pleased to reassure Members that some of the coverage at the weekend about reductions in platform space is not correct. There will be an opportunity to make sure that we keep the passengers going through.

As I mentioned in an intervention, Old Oak Common will become one of this country’s most important stations—it will be as well known as King’s Cross, Victoria and Waterloo. Indeed, at least 30% of the passengers will alight there to get on to Crossrail and then to a number of locations around London. As for other areas where it might be quicker to go through Euston when the line is complete, passengers will be able to use Old Oak Common as a connection. To come to Westminster, for example, it will take only three minutes longer via Old Oak Common than it would be via Euston. Many people may get used to Crossrail and like to use the new facilities.

The hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras, and indeed the hon. Member for Hampstead and Kilburn (Tulip Siddiq), mentioned the provision of social housing. It is important, particularly in the more deprived areas of our capital, to have good social housing provision. We have already committed to replacing lost social housing at Euston. We have purchased the Netley development and we are funding the construction of more social housing in the area—all with the aim of ensuring that social tenants are required to move only once.

The hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras also asked why the whole station would not be ready by 2026. If we look at the project—phase 1 to Birmingham and phase 2, the Y section—we find that capacity will not be needed until later for additional trains coming from Leeds and Manchester, and many other trains will start their journey further north in Scotland.

I think I have covered a number of the points raised. The ability to divert into Crossrail will be maintained, as my hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes South (Iain Stewart) made clear. As for the environmental statement, there will be an ability to prioritise local needs. The hybrid Bill does not take powers for over-site development, which will all be subject to the normal local planning process, so it will need to conform to the

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local planning strategy. I am sure that there will be tremendous opportunities at Euston for other development in the area, which will capitalise on the new station.

Finally, I come to the Euston arch. I can tell Members that the Secretary of State is very keen to see the resurrection of the Euston arch. We think we know where the bits are. The Euston Arch Trust aims to re-form the arch, and it is for that trust to bring it forward through a local planning application. We have a location for the new Euston Square gardens for the arch to come forward. Personally, I wonder whether a holograph might be even better, but I can certainly confirm that the Secretary of State is very keen to see the arch resurrected.

Mrs Gillan: I thank my hon. Friend for letting me intervene before he finishes. Towards the end of my speech, I raised the position of constituents who were affected by HS2 before the announcement of AP4, which has now been reversed by the Chiltern tunnel extension. Will HS2 Ltd and the Government stand by their proposals to the landowners who were previously affected, or will their position change?

Mr Goodwill: Petitioners will be able to petition if they have locus standi, which is the legal term. We will look at the petitions as they are presented to check whether that is the case, but if people are affected by these changes, they will be able to petition. If, for example, there is no fundamental change in their circumstances on the part of the route to which the tunnel will not extend, they will not be able to present an identical petition for the identical reason that they did so on the previous occasion. It is important for the effective operation of the Committee that we do not open up more petitions that do not relate to the specific changes in AP3 and AP4.

Mrs Gillan: Will my hon. Friend clarify one more point?

Mr Goodwill: Just once more.

Mrs Gillan: I am thinking of circumstances in which a constituent has effectively lost their business because it was disrupted by the HS2 works, and has made alternative arrangements, with great difficulty and at a financial cost. Now that AP4 has introduced extended tunnelling, they would have been in a much better position, because their business could have been saved. Will the door still be open for them to negotiate with the Department for the compensation that would have been due to them had AP4 not come into existence?

Mr Goodwill: I think I understand the point that my right hon. Friend is making. Because we have improved the scheme from an environmental point of view, it will not have the impact that was envisaged on that particular business. I should be happy to receive representations from my right hon. Friend explaining the exact position, and we will look at them in the context of the compensation packages that we have announced.

I commend the instruction to the House, and hope that it will receive the support that it deserves.

Question put and agreed to.


That it be a further Instruction to the Select Committee to which the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill is committed–

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(1) that the Select Committee have power to consider–

(a) amendments to accommodate changes to the design of Euston Station in the London Borough of Camden;

(b) amendments to accommodate the requirements of landowners and occupiers and changes to the design of the works authorised by the Bill in the London Borough of Camden;

(c) amendments, to accommodate the requirements of landowners and occupiers, relating to:

i. the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hillingdon and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea;

ii. the District of Three Rivers in the County of Hertfordshire;

iii. the parishes of Ellesborough, Great Missenden, Stone with Bishopstone and Hartwell and Wendover in the County of Buckinghamshire;

iv. the parishes of Aston Le Walls, Boddington and Chipping Warden and Edgcote, Greatworth and Marston St Lawrence in the County of Northamptonshire;

v. the parishes of Coleshill, Cubbington, Kenilworth, Long Itchington, Offchurch, Stoneleigh, Ufton, Water Orton, Weston under Wetherley and Wormleighton in the County of Warwickshire;

vi. the parishes of Balsall, Berkswell, Dickens Heath and Hampton-in-Arden in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull;

vii. the City of Birmingham;

(d) amendments, to accommodate changes to the design of the works authorised by the Bill, relating to:

i. the London Boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hillingdon;

ii. the District of Three Rivers in the County of Hertfordshire;

iii. the parishes of Amersham, Calvert Green, Denham, Preston Bissett, Quainton, Steeple Claydon and Wexham in the County of Buckinghamshire;

iv. the parishes of Boddington and Culworth in the County of Northamptonshire;

v. the parishes of Burton Green, Coleshill, Cubbington, Curdworth, Ladbroke, Lea Marston, Middleton, Offchurch, Shustoke, Southam, Stoneleigh, Water Orton, Weston under Wetherley and Wormleighton in the County of Warwickshire;

vi. the parishes of Hints with Canwell, Curborough and Elmhurst, Drayton Bassett, Fradley and Streethay, King’s Bromley and Lichfield in the County of Staffordshire;

vii. the City of Birmingham.

(e) amendments relating to the extension of the Chiltern tunnel in the parishes of Amersham, Little Missenden and Great Missenden in the County of Buckinghamshire;

(f) amendments for purposes connected with any of the matters mentioned in subparagraphs (a) to (e);

(2) that any petition against amendments to the Bill which the Select Committee is

empowered to make shall be referred to the Select Committee if–

(a) the petition is presented by being deposited in the Private Bill Office not later than the end of the period of four weeks beginning with the day on which the first newspaper notice of the amendments was published, and

(b) the petition is one in which the petitioners pray to be heard by themselves or through counsel or agents.

That these Orders be Standing Orders of the House.

Business without Debate

Delegated Legislation

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): With the leave of the House, we shall take motions 6 to 10 together.

15 Sep 2015 : Column 1016

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)),


That the draft Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, which were laid before this House on 16 March, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.

Constitutional Law

That the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedules 4 and 5) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 29 June, be approved.

Dangerous Drugs

That the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Temporary Class Drug) (No. 2) Order 2015 (S.I., 2015, No. 1396), dated 17 June 2015, a copy of which was laid before this House on 25 June, be approved.


That the draft Armed Forces Act (Continuation) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 7 July, be approved.

International Development

That the draft African Development Bank (Further Payments to Capital Stock) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 14 July, be approved.—(Stephen Barclay.)

Question agreed to.

European Union Documents

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 119(11)),

EU General Budgets for 2015 and 2016

That this House takes note of the European Union Documents No. 9404/15, Draft Decision on mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund to provide for payment of advances in the 2016 Budget; No. SEC(15) 240, Statement of Estimates of the Commission for 2016 (Preparation of the 2016 Budget): Political Presentation; No. SEC(15) 240 Statement of Estimates of the Commission for 2016 (Preparation of the 2016 Budget): Financial programming 2017–2020 (Provisional figures); No. 9403/15, Draft Decision on the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for the provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece; No. 10343/1/15, Letter of amendment No 1 to the draft general budget 2016: Financing of the EFSI Guarantee Fund; No. COM(15)351, Draft Amending Budget No. 6 to the General Budget 2015; supports the Government’s efforts to limit the size of the EU Budget, including use of the EU Solidarity Fund and Flexibility Instrument, in order to get the best deal for UK taxpayers at a time of tight constraints on domestic public spending; welcomes the fact that the 2016 Draft Budget respects the Multi-Annual Financial Framework agreement secured by the Prime Minister in 2013, which delivers an unprecedented real-terms reduction compared with the 2007–2013 period while protecting the UK rebate; notes that the 2016 Draft Budget achieves an increased payments and commitments margin compared to 2015 and that the Amending Letter No. 1 updates the 2016 Draft Budget to reflect strong political agreement on the Regulation on the European Fund for Strategic Investments which the UK supported as a mechanism to boost jobs and growth in the UK and Europe; and further notes that the Draft Amending Budget 6 concerns a routine adjustment of revenue calculations and welcomes that it provides for the payment of the rebate on the 2014 EU budget surcharge that was secured last autumn.—(Stephen Barclay.)

Question agreed to.

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Adult Stem Cells and Life Sciences

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Stephen Barclay.)

6.58 pm

Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate) (Con): It is a pleasure to be here, and I welcome the opportunity to speak about this subject. I am pleased that the Under-Secretary of State for Life Sciences is present, because his passion and commitment to issues such as regenerative medicine and life sciences are very real, and go beyond his job.

A decade ago I had no real knowledge of the life-saving treatment that is available through stem cell transplantation, but after being involved in the scrutiny of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which received Royal Assent on 13 November 2008, I was convinced that, with increased investment in research, the life sciences industry could continue to improve outcomes and save many lives.

The then Government sought to enable the United Kingdom to lead stem cell research and treatment, but their attention was not on adult stem cells. Adult stem cell transplantation already saves the lives of many who are affected by blood cancers and haematological disorders, but it has the potential to do much more, and that is the point of this debate.

Let me put the issue in context. More than 10 years ago, an editorial in Nature Biotechnology admitted:

“forward steps continue to be made in the field of adult stem cell therapy. One estimate is that there are currently over 80 therapies and around 300 clinical trials underway using such cells”.

The latest data from the Commons Library does not go much further than that. Will the Minister tell the House how many therapies and clinical trials are currently underway using adult stem cell transplantation and therapy? I think the answer is that we are not much further on.

7 pm

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 9(3)).

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Stephen Barclay.)

Mr Burrowes: A fine example of a forward step is the progress made by Professor Geoffrey Raisman, director of the spinal repair unit at University College London institute of neurology, whose work could ultimately lead to the repair of spinal cord injuries in humans.

Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen) (Lab): Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the collecting of data at transplantation centres is very important and so is the sharing of it if we are to make progress? There should be greater emphasis on that, and it should be properly resourced.

Mr Burrowes: Absolutely, and I will come on to that. The quality of the data that can be shared is important, and the key ask of the Government is to support the call for a national stem cell transplantation network, which will help in that.

However, Professor Raisman’s pioneering work remains underfunded. He hit the headlines in 2014 when Polish surgeons, in collaboration with scientists in London,

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enabled Darek Fidyka, a man paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack, to walk again using a frame. Professor Raisman said that the achievement was

“more impressive than man walking on the moon.”

Sir Richard Sykes, chair of the UK Stem Cell Foundation, said:

“To fully develop future treatments that benefit the 3 million paralysed globally will need continued investment for wide scale clinical trials.”

We are trying to get to precisely that clinical basis.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP): I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing this debate on what is an important subject. Given that a third of adults and a fifth of children who receive a stem cell transplant do not survive the first year, does he agree that we need better post-care provision, perhaps by establishing a national care pathway for patients for at least five years after transplant?

Mr Burrowes: I do, and I want to look at the long-term outcomes.

My co-chair on the all-party group on stem cell transplantation, the hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mark Tami), is present, and our group has been looking at some of the outcomes of research. Last year we joined together with the all-party group on medical research and heard from a number of experts, not least Dr Rob Buckle, director of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform. He said that the major challenge which remains is translating the basic science into the clinic. He said that we are still at least 10 to 15 years off routine clinical use of stem cells.

Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside) (Lab): The hon. Gentleman has touched on some of the late effects of transplantation, and the fact that we are getting patients with late effects proves that people are living longer, but we need to put more money into research and into looking at these problems, to ensure that patients live as normal a life as possible.

Mr Burrowes: The hon. Gentleman and I have for a number of years been party to reports recommending to Government that we need to invest in research to provide better long-term outcomes in transplantation and future therapeutic treatments.

One key area is Alzheimer’s, and some of us may have received a briefing from the Alzheimer’s Society. We know from our constituencies the huge impact of Alzheimer’s. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, and this is forecast to rise to over 1 million by 2025 and to exceed 2 million by 2050. A technique was developed in 2012 to turn adult cells into nerve cells, which again highlights the curative potential of stem cell transplantation. That can be particularly helpful in understanding and testing potential treatments for Alzheimer’s.

The Minister will know that the estimated cost of Alzheimer’s is a staggering £4.3 billion, which is approximately 3.4% of total NHS spending in the UK in 2013. Observing the initial stages of Alzheimer’s in nerve cells can give scientists clues to help them identify genetic risk factors. It can also be used to test potential treatments to see whether the damage from Alzheimer’s can be stopped. We are a long way from that, but it is an

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illustration of how important it is for us to carry out further research into adult stem cell transplantation. Indeed, it is vital; it makes economic sense and will save lives.

I wish to focus on my involvement with the all-party group on stem cell transplantation and to highlight the potential of cord blood donations to transform our ability to meet the needs of every patient who requires a stem cell transplant, including black, Asian and minority ethnic patients, who have suffered from such poor transplantation outcomes. It is a scandal that, in 2010, just 40% of BAME patients were able to find a well-matched stem cell donor. That figure has increased now to 60%, which is really welcome, and the Government can take plaudits for that. The £4 million that was pledged in 2013 and the total investment of more than £12 million since 2011, along with all the investment from the charitable sector, have made a difference, but we still face a situation in which four in 10 people from the black, Asian and minority ethnic community are unlikely to find a match, which is not good enough. We must do more, and I urge the Minister to support continued and sustained investment as we approach the next spending review.

We need to focus on the outcomes. Of the 6,200 patients who will receive a stem cell donation between now and 2020, one in three will not survive their first year after transplant. Of those who do survive their first year, many will suffer a number of post-transplant complications, including relapse, infection and graft versus host disease.

Since 1993, the collection of stem cells from cord blood and bone marrow has increased at impressive rates, meeting the needs of many patients in the UK. Over the past three years, we have seen progress in a number of areas. Cord banking rates have tripled, a quarter of all cord transplants in the UK are now sourced domestically, and the cost of transplants to the NHS has decreased dramatically. But the urgent need for improvements in long-term outcomes remains. In order to make the necessary progress, the UK needs to ensure that the early-stage advancements are sustainable by investing in long-term research, which is the focus of this debate, identifying improvements to treatments and developing potentially new life-saving therapies. So what needs to be done?

Fiona Bruce (Congleton) (Con): I thank my hon. Friend for securing this debate. He referred to the fact that the potential for about 80 treatments has been discovered through adult stem cell research. Does he agree that it would have been preferable to have put all the resources that have gone into embryonic stem cell research, which has produced negligible results, into the work on adult stem cells?

Mr Burrowes: My hon. Friend will know that I was very much making that case in 2008 in the debates that we had on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Strong lobbying went on in relation to therapeutic treatments. I remember being in Central Lobby when many charities said that we had to pass that measure to provide immediate treatments. I do not want to get too involved in that debate today, beyond saying that adult stem cell transplantation is saving lives now, and has potential for the future. We need to have a really good

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mutual circle of which everyone can be part. Such a circle must lend itself to looking at the big ask of the Government today, which is a national stem cell transplantation trials network to ensure that we save more and more lives. We also need to look at future therapies as well.

I urge the Minister, as he steps up to the Dispatch Box, to show his support for a national stem cell transplantation trials network. This will not only provide a turbo boost for improving patient outcomes and make the UK a world leader in stem cell transplantation, but also support the economy by growing the life sciences industry, and I know how seriously the Minister takes that.

The UK Stem Cell Strategic Forum, which was established at the request of the Minister of State for public health in 2010, stressed the need for further research into stem cell transplantation in 2014, and that included the recommendation that the network be established. Furthermore, the all-party group on stem cell transplantation has called for a clinical trials network a number of times over the past few years. Last year, the all-party group heard from experts in the field who pointed out some of the barriers to research into stem cell transplantation in the UK. They identified inadequate research infrastructure and inefficient data collection. Currently, the small number of patient cohorts and the complex regulatory environment—I ask the Minister to look at that aspect as well—mean that fewer than 5% of stem cell transplant patients are recruited into prospective clinical trials of any kind. Also, data collection at transplant centres is inefficient owing to inadequate staff training. The poor quality of the data means that they are unsuitable for research purposes, which significantly undermines the potential to achieving good outcomes in transplantations.

The infrastructure is ready to provide support for a national network, which would allow for the rapid recruitment of participants, standardise procedure and provide a central data hub to manage and evaluate research and share information which could be used to improve patient outcomes.

Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) (Lab): Excellent UK charities such as the Anthony Nolan trust have been the first in the world to invest in third-generation sequencing. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the Government should give support to that groundbreaking technology?

Mr Burrowes: Absolutely. I pay tribute to the Anthony Nolan trust, which has been supportive of the all-party group for many years. It has worked hand in hand with the Government on providing more collections, and its registry is world renowned for providing support and saving lives. The trust is making the call, as we are doing here, that we could do much more with high-quality research to support better long-term outcomes for patients.

I would like to highlight the success of the trials acceleration programme, which was established by someone the Minister knows well, Professor Craddock at the University of Birmingham. He is also connected with the Anthony Nolan trust. The early phase trials involve an initiative to speed up the pace of new clinical trials using a hub and spoke model to ensure that trials are conducted efficiently. The hub co-ordinates trial centres at hospitals around the UK and deals with bureaucracy

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and regulatory issues. The trials acceleration programme has successfully overcome the main barriers to research—namely, inadequate research infrastructure and inefficient data collection. I suggest to the Minister that this programme should be replicated in the form of a national stem cell transplantation trials network.

Jim Shannon: I understand that one in eight people in the UK fail to find a matching donor. That number increases dramatically, however, for people in black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that we should prioritise support for further research into stem cell transplantation and the factors that affect transplant survival rates?

Mr Burrowes: I agree with the hon. Gentleman on many of these issues. Progress has been made on collection rates, particularly among the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, but we need to find better ways to do this. As I said, one in four people are unable to find a match. My hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (John Glen) is himself a donor, and he can speak for himself on this. I know that others present in the Chamber have family members whose lives have been saved by people donating. I want to send out a message from the debate tonight for people to donate and to be part of the registry, so that they can help to save lives.

Mark Tami: This is not just about finding a match. We also have to think about the quality of the match. Everyone would like to see a 10 out of 10 success rate, but as a result of technological advances, lesser matches can now be used to help to save lives, even though they are not ideal.

Mr Burrowes: Absolutely; I welcome that point. We are not talking simply about increasing capacity all over the place. We must remain focused, particularly on the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, to give them greater opportunities. We must also focus on quality and on the long-term outcomes. When a match is found, we must ensure that the transplantation happens and that there are no barriers to a good long-term outcome. We need further research if we are to achieve that.

Professor Craddock has estimated that the network will need £3.4 million of funding over four years. It is not going to be cheap, but there is a great return in terms of lives saved and good health outcomes. The lack of investment in this industry is a reflection on some of the uncertainty about the way in which we should go forward, but Professor Craddock’s approach is a trailblazing way forward.

The call to the Minister is to follow what is said in our report “Cord blood transplantation: meeting the unmet demand”. We made a specific recommendation to the Government to establish a national stem cell transplantation trials network to facilitate and promote high-quality research into cord blood as a curative therapy for patients with blood cancer and blood disorders. He will know that that is very much in line with the Government’s current strategy to develop the life sciences industry in the UK, as stated in the 2012 life sciences update. It says:

“We recognise the importance of empowering patients to participate in clinical research, and have set up the Clinical Trials Gateway, with associated mobile applications”.

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We have yet to receive the Government’s formal agreement to support the all-party group’s recommendation, and I look forward to the Minister saying today that he agrees with it. I hope that he joins with the broad support from across the transplant community of well-organised stakeholders in the field who are looking to the Government to provide that lead, support and engagement, to make the UK a world leader in transplantation, research and life sciences—and that will need resources. I also ask that he meets the Anthony Nolan trust and other stakeholders to discuss this issue of research and long-term health outcomes, and the recommendation of the all-party group. We would be happy to welcome him to discuss all those things at our next all-party group meeting.

7.16 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Life Sciences (George Freeman): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) on securing this Adjournment debate on this crucial topic. I also thank Members from across the House—the hon. Members for Torfaen (Nick Thomas-Symonds), for Strangford (Jim Shannon) and for Alyn and Deeside (Mark Tami), my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Fiona Bruce) and the hon. Member for North Tyneside (Mary Glindon)—for staying late to raise and support this important issue. Let me take the opportunity to pay tribute to the Anthony Nolan trust, and to the work of the many volunteers who support its work around the country and the partnership it has established with the NHS and with the National Institute for Health Research. I have been invited by them twice to visit the facilities and I am very keen to do that. I want to put on the record that the only reason those two visits had to be rearranged was the intrusion of the general election, and I look forward to visiting as soon as I can.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate has made clear, stem cell transplantation is a life-saving treatment that plays a key role in the treatment of leukaemia and some other diseases. Almost 4,000 patients a year receive this type of treatment. Many patients are fortunate to have a closely related family member who can donate stem cells, but the treatment of more than 1,000 patients depends on stem cells from a suitable unrelated donor. The Department of Health has invested significantly in this area and since 2011 will have provided a total of £19 million in funding to establish and staff a series of donor centres around the country. Earlier in the year, I was delighted to announce the latest £3 million of funding, and just this week we have seen the formal opening of the £3 million blood and transplant research unit down in Bristol, where red blood cells are being manufactured from stem cells. It is based in Filton and is the world’s largest blood bank. It is one of four new NIHR-funded blood and transplant units—part of the £15 million programme the NIHR is putting in place. The latest analysis by the UK stem cell strategy oversight committee is that this funding has directly led to approximately 130 additional patients each year receiving a transplant.

That great achievement relies on not only the dedicated clinical teams working in hospitals across the UK, but the effective partnership between NHS Blood and Transplant and the charity Anthony Nolan. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Professor Charlie

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Craddock and the work that he and all those involved in the trials acceleration programme are doing. They are, in many ways, trailblazers for the wider programme of accelerated access that I am leading through the accelerated access review. The Institute of Translational Medicine in Birmingham is breaking new ground on how we can take science into NHS practice.

The Government have also directly funded the creation of a unified registry—the Anthony Nolan and NHS stem cell registry—that ties together the different databases across the UK, making searching for a suitable donor quicker and easier. The number of registered donors continues to grow, and I am delighted that last year the registry passed the 1 million mark.

As hon. Members have highlighted, this is not just about the quantity; it is also about the quality. In response to the recommendations from the oversight committee, the funding from the Department of Health has specifically been used to create a panel of young male donors, who are much more likely to be able to donate. That panel now exceeds 70,000 and continues to grow. The data clearly show that that has been an effective strategy and that those young men are several times more likely to be asked to donate than others on the registry.

Finding a suitable donor is not the same for all patients. There is a global shortage of donors for patients from minority groups and those with diverse origins. To address that, the Government supported the targeted recruitment of donors from the black, Asian and minority ethnic community, which has now increased the chance of a patient finding a suitable well-matched donor from only 40% in 2010 to 60% today. It should be noted that our work with minority communities is supported by a number of partners in the charitable sector, such as the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, and more widely the Department continues to work with NBTA—the National BAME Transplant Alliance—which co-ordinates the work of those organisations on all forms of donation, including bone marrow.

It is an unfortunate fact that for many patients, finding a suitably matched donor will remain very difficult if not impossible, and in those situations umbilical cord blood might offer an alternative source of stem cells. Cells isolated from the umbilical cord are much more tolerant of slight mismatches and can be just as clinically effective as adult bone marrow and, unsurprisingly, BAME patients are almost six times more likely than Caucasian patients to receive stem cells from the umbilical cord. That is why funding from the Department has supported the targeted collection of high-quality cord blood samples. Both NHS Blood and Transplant and Anthony Nolan run dedicated units to collect cord blood and they have a specific target of collecting 40% of samples from BAME parents. The NHS cord blood bank now has more than 12,000 high-quality samples and, as a consequence, many more patients are now receiving cord blood samples obtained in the UK, making transplantation quicker and easier.

We continue to explore how transplantation can be improved, including clinical outcomes. I am aware that the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure, NOCRI, has been in discussion with the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and other stakeholders to explore how it might be possible further

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to build on the NIHR national clinical research networks. The NIHR welcomes applications on any aspect of research related to stem cell transplantation and those applications are subject in the normal way to peer review and judged on the basis of scientific quality and the importance of the subject to patients and the healthcare service. The collection of clinical outcome data, which has been mentioned by a number of colleagues, remains an important issue within stem cell transplantation, which is why some of this year’s stem cell improvement funding of £3 million has been earmarked specifically to support data collection. That is an issue that the hon. Member for Torfaen has highlighted.

Such initiatives complement at every level the broader work we are doing to support the new life science landscape in which genomics and informatics drive better targeted treatments. When we are thinking of the future of stem cell transplantation in the UK, it is important to see it as part of a much wider strategy for the development of regenerative medicine. When we identified regenerative medicine as one of the eight great technologies in 2012 in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, it was largely on the basis of its theoretical potential to develop into a significant sector, but in the past few years we have seen an explosion of activity in this field, justifying that investment. Much of the work is, of course, for small and medium-sized enterprises.

We have not only established through the work of Innovate UK the Cell Therapy Catapult but have provided £55 million of funding to build the cell therapy manufacturing centre in Stevenage. That centre will enable UK and global companies that are looking to scale up to phase 3 manufacturing, solving a key barrier identified in the translation of research into commercially viable products. When that facility opens in 2017, it alone will support the creation of up to 150 new jobs on the Stevenage campus.

The creation of such centres of excellence attracts further inward investment and current estimates are that the sector will grow within the next 10 years to be worth £1.2 billion here in the UK. The Government have worked to co-ordinate funding across the regenerative medicine sector through initiatives such as the UK regenerative medicine platform, driven by Innovate UK. The unique role played by NHSBT is notable in this respect. It already has experience in cell processing, storage and delivery of living cell-based therapies from its work with blood supply and it will have a key role in the development of the logistics systems to respond to the specific requirements for regenerative medicine. In the coming years, the number of cell therapies and their clinical impact will expand far beyond their current use in transplantation, but will none the less rely on this key foundation. NHSBT is more than just a specialist logistics organisation; it has the ambition and potential to play an important role in the development and adoption of a wide range of novel therapies. It has already set in place a number of regenerative medicine projects, working in partnership with universities and the commercial sector.

Preparing the NHS for the novel regenerative therapies was a key aim of the regenerative medicine expert group, and am I pleased to say that the excellent report published in March this year contained a number of clear recommendations. To ensure that those recommendations

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are acted upon, I have asked the chief executive officers of the key delivery organisations to take them forward. I look forward to receiving their update in due course.

My hon. Friend asked whether I would be prepared to meet the all-party group on stem cell transplantation. I would be delighted to meet the group. In fact, I want to take this opportunity to announce that, in order to facilitate the process of submitting applications to the National Institute for Health Research, I am in the process of organising an NIHR parliamentary moment—I hope that it will become a parliamentary day—at which that great institution, which spends £1 billion a year on front-line clinical research at the heart of the NHS, can come to Parliament and set out for colleagues across the House the different programmes that we are running in the different disease areas and how applications can be made. I hope that the all-party group, along with the Anthony Nolan trust and clinicians such as Charlie Craddock, will play a role in making applications to the NIHR.

I echo my hon. Friend’s call for donor volunteers to come forward. I congratulate those, such as my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (John Glen), who have already led the way by donating. The truth is that progress in biomedical science, cell therapy, genomics, informatics and the development of autologous stem cells—stem cells that do not require donation—is moving at an incredible pace. I recently visited the Berlin institute for stem cell therapy, and the extraordinary advances across Europe are bringing within our range a whole new world of regenerative medicines based on autologous, manufactured stem cells that do not require donation. There is a whole new class of therapeutics, with the T cell and the immunotherapy drugs, which we hope will mean that in due course we can treat some of these cancers without that therapy being necessary. For now, however, it is our line of last resort, so it is crucial that we support that work and encourage and support donors to come forward.

Mr Burrowes: I welcome the Minister’s call for donors. I want to return to the point about trying to get the life sciences industry more involved. The Minister mentioned

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that it was largely SME-based. Although there has been public sector and charity involvement in the early stage of development, industry investment has been moderate. What does he put that down to, and how can we try to encourage the bigger life sciences industry to get involved?

George Freeman: My hon. Friend makes a good point. As in some other sectors, such as malaria, where the commercial models are not as well developed or as clear, there is a role for the Government, which is why we have set up the strategy and the partnerships. By de-risking and supporting the deep science in the early stages and bringing forward these partnerships of support, we hope to make it a sector in which more and more companies are beginning to see a return, and then they will start to invest their own money. All the indications are that that is beginning to happen here in the UK.

Mary Glindon: Will the Minister therefore ensure that the Government will continue to support the science budget in the years ahead?

George Freeman: Much as I would like to, I cannot take on the role of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor and announce the results of the autumn statement. I hope that the hon. Lady will see that our commitment to, and support for, the sector is clear. I am confident that we will see a continuation of that support for science in the autumn statement. We all know that funding is tight. The key is to demonstrate clinical impact and partnerships of support with companies.

I think that this is a great success story. I pay tribute once again to the Anthony Nolan trust, whose partnership with the NHS is genuinely changing outcomes for patients.

Question put and agreed to.

7.29 pm

House adjourned.