House of Commons
27th November 2013
Notices of Motions for which no days have been fixed
('Early Day Motions')
The figure following this symbol is the number of Members who have added their names in support of the Motion, including the Member in charge of the Motion.
After an Early Day Motion (EDM) has been printed for the first time, it is only reprinted when names are added or amendments tabled; only the first six names and any names added since the last printing are included. After the week in which a Motion is first printed and the following week, added names and amendments appear only in a separate paper, Mature EDMs, distributed the next Thursday. In the meantime, they are available for inspection by Members in the Table Office and the Library or on the EDM database at edmi.parliament.uk
741 SKILLS FOR CARE AND DEVELOPMENT AMBASSADORS 18:11:13
That this House endorses the Skills for Care and Development Ambassadors initiative for expanding careers in social care and children's services in the UK; recognises that over 70 per cent of the UK's population will use social care and children's services at some time in their lives, that the care sector makes a huge contribution of over £40 billion to the economy each year, and employs 1.87 million people; and regards the Skills for Care and Development Ambassadors, who visit schools, colleges and jobcentres to attract people to pursue a career in care, as an effective means of filling the 90,000 vacancies a year in the sector.
742 SELF-MONITORING OF BLOOD CLOTTING 18:11:13
That this House welcomes the AntiCoagulation Self-Monitoring Alliance (ACSMA) campaign to achieve greater access to self-monitoring technology for people on long-term warfarin; notes that self-monitoring of blood clotting levels is associated with considerable benefits in that it reduces the risk of death by nearly two-fifths, more than halves the risk of strokes, improves quality of life, is convenient and can result in substantial cost savings to the NHS; further notes with concern that 69 per cent of patients on long-term warfarin who responded to an ACSMA survey are currently unable or not allowed to self-monitor their condition by their healthcare professional or clinical commissioning group; and calls on the Government to ensure that patients have full choice about how they want to treat their condition and to be able to have an informed discussion with their medical professional about the possible self-management options available to them.
745 SACHIN TENDULKAR 18:11:13
That this House congratulates the magnificent Sachin Tendulkar on his stunning career following his 200th and final test match in Mumbai on 15 November 2013; notes that in his record breaking and remarkable career the Little Master scored 15,921 runs in 200 Tests, 18,426 runs in 463 one day internationals and an astounding 100 centuries; further notes that Tendulkar has served as an inspiration for millions of Indians and people from all around the world; and recognises his selfless dedication to the sport, which has surely enriched cricket for decades to come.
746 ASSASSINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGNERS IN COLOMBIA 18:11:13
That this House expresses its condolences to the family and friends of small-scale campesino farmer and community leader César García, who was gunned down in Cajamarca, Colombia, on 2 November 2013; notes that César was a leading figure in the campaign against the London-listed AngloGold Ashanti La Colosa open pit gold mining project, which many fear will have devastating environmental, social and economic consequences in the region; further expresses its condolences to the family and friends of Adelinda Gómez Gaviria, assassinated on 30 September 2013 in Almaguer, Colombia, in front of her 16 year-old son who was also injured in the attack; further notes that Adelinda was an active campaigner against mining in an area where AngloGold Ashanti has important business interests; further expresses concern about these crimes; calls on the Colombian authorities to carry out prompt, rigorous and independent investigations to identify the perpetrators of these crimes; and requests that other community leaders and environmental campaigners receive adequate protection so that they can peacefully exercise their democratic rights.
747 STRATEGIC ROAD NETWORK 18:11:13
That this House recognises that the Strategic Road Network is a major public asset which is essential to the economy of the UK; is concerned that proposals to change the status of the Highways Agency to a GoCo are a costly distraction and will do nothing to improve safety, the environment or the reliability of the network; and calls on the Government to halt this process of privatisation and allow the Strategic Road Network to remain a public asset, managed by the Highways Agency.
749 SIR JOHN TAVENER 18:11:13
That this House is deeply saddened by the death of Sir John Tavener at the age of 69, one of the leading classical composers of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries; appreciates his outstanding contribution to classical music by bringing it into popular culture, with works such as Protecting the Veil, Song for Athene and pieces inspired by William Blake's poetry, The Lamb and Eternity Sunrise; recognises his exceptional creative talent demonstrated in the recent piece Cantus Mysticus, which premiered at a late night BBC Proms in 2008; notes that, as a student of the Royal Academy of Music and a teacher at Trinity College of Music, his work serves as a reminder of the importance of music in our cultural life; and calls on the Government to ensure that all children not only have access to music but are able to learn to play a musical instrument.
750 STEVE PRESCOTT MBE 18:11:13
That this House mourns the passing of Steve Prescott MBE; celebrates a hero in sport and in life; recognises his Rugby League footballing talent for England, Ireland, Lancashire, St Helens, Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity and Thatto Heath Crusaders; admires his ability to create and face incredible challenges after being diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei; commends his assiduous fundraising efforts despite his condition; is grateful to Steve, to his family, friends and the Rugby League community for supporting him and to all those involved in his incredible feats to raise money for worthy causes; is humbled by his truly inspiring nature; and feels that adding his name to the Man of Steel award would be a fitting tribute to a genuine man of steel.
751 SUPPORT FOR CARERS OF PEOPLE WITH CANCER 18:11:13
That this House is aware that there are nearly one million people in the UK who carry out unpaid care work for family members and friends affected by cancer, providing on average 15 hours help per week for sufferers; notes that the number of individuals predicted to become victims of that illness is likely to double over the next 20 years; considers that it is therefore imperative that priority should be given to supporting this network of aid, especially carers' access to information and relevant services; and calls on the Government as a priority to bring forward amendments to the Care Bill to take these factors into account.
752 REVIEW OF THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME 18:11:13
That this House notes that, whilst in opposition, the right hon. Member for Thornbury and Yate, now the Minister of State for Pensions, supported the campaign for assistance for 145,000 members of pension schemes throughout the UK when their company became insolvent, believing that all accrued rights should be honoured and that no changes should be made to pension rights that had already been built up; further notes that the Financial Assistance Scheme introduced by the previous Labour administration afforded 90 per cent of pension rights but due to inflation erosion and indexation being limited to post 1997 service only, is now in real terms nearer to 76 per cent of what was a guaranteed 100 per cent company pension, meaning that a pension promise made has not been kept; calls on the Government to review the extent to which the commitment to 90 per cent of expected pension entitlement has not been reached for those involved in the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), taking into account that some 3,000 recipients of FAS received small overpayments through inaccurate calculations by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which they now seek to recover, making these pensioners even more adversely affected; and calls on the FAS to waive the clawback.
753 TEACHING ASSISTANTS IN SCHOOLS 18:11:13
That this House recognises that there are over 350,000 teaching assistants employed in England and appreciates the immense value they bring to classrooms and schools across the UK; notes that they perform an incredibly varied and complex mix of roles in schools, ranging from supporting teachers with administrative tasks to covering classes for teachers, providing targeted intervention programmes and delivering English classes for speakers of other languages; understands the difference they make to the most challenging pupils and those with severe learning difficulties and that mainstreaming in schools would have to stop without their efforts; further notes that, in a recent survey by UNISON, 95 per cent of school leaders believed that teaching assistants added value to schools, in particular in the team around the child, as effective mentors and advocates, and in enhancing the learning environment for all pupils; and joins in supporting UNISON members in their celebration day for teaching assistants on 29 November 2013 to recognise the difference they make to the education and support of children in UK schools.
754 UNITE THE UNION'S BACK HOME SAFE CAMPAIGN 18:11:13
That this House supports Unite the Union's Back Home Safe campaign, highlighting the need for immediate action to improve the safety of offshore flights; recognises the work of that union, following the most recent fatal offshore helicopter incident, in canvassing workers to show that over half do not feel adequately protected; acknowledges the role of the inquiries which have already been announced; but believes that only a full independent public inquiry will examine all aspects of helicopter operations offshore, including the role of the Civil Aviation Authority.
755 WITHERSLACK COMMUNITY SHOP 19:11:13
That this House recognises the benefits which community shops can bring to the local economy; notes the hard work undertaken by the Witherslack Community Shop Committee since 2007 to enable the local community to own and run local retail services to Witherslack, Meathop, Ulpha and neighbouring communities in the Lake District; and calls on the residents of South Lakes to celebrate this shining example of communities working together to protect vital services, by shopping at the Witherslack Community Shop.
756 VAT ON ENERGY BILLS 19:11:13
That this House deeply regrets the energy price rises announced by British Gas, NPower, SSE, Scottish Power and EDF in recent weeks and the damage that rising prices will do to consumers' costs of living; notes that VAT on energy bills is levied at five per cent, which currently equates to around £65 on the average domestic dual fuel bill; further notes that essential items such as food and children's clothing are subject to a zero per cent rate of VAT; believes that heating and lighting a home is also essential; further regrets that the European Union (EU) has control over VAT rates; calls on the Government to make the repatriation of control over VAT rates from the EU a priority in any forthcoming treaty negotiations; and further calls on the Government to do all it can in the meantime to secure EU agreement to make energy bills subject to a zero per cent rate of VAT as part of an effort to deliver sustainable and long-term help to hard-pressed bill payers.
757 THE LATE EDDIE McGRADY 19:11:13
That this House is deeply saddened by the death of the former hon. Member for South Down Eddie McGrady; pays tribute to Eddie's outstanding contribution to political life in South Down and throughout Northern Ireland over the past 50 years as a local councillor, MLA and MP; recognises the dedication and devotion he showed in representing his constituents and fighting for their interests without fear or favour; acknowledges the critical role he played in the peace process and in facing down all those who engaged in acts of violence through his lifelong commitment to the principles of non-violence and reconciliation; appreciates that he was absolutely dedicated to the sanctity of life and the solidarity of community on a totally inclusive basis; further pays tribute to his legacy; and conveys deepest sympathy to his family and all those who knew this true gentleman.
762 GURKHA HUNGER STRIKE 19:11:13
That this House is gravely concerned about the Gurkhas who since 7 November 2013 have been undertaking a hunger strike in protest against the lack of proper provision of pensions compensation and medical care; notes that for the last two centuries the Gurkhas have sacrificed themselves, and will continue to do so, and therefore considers it is only right that they are treated equally with other military personnel; further notes that an ex-Gurkha soldier should not have to go on hunger strike outside Downing Street to get the attention of the Government; and calls on the Government to enter into negotiations with representatives of the United Struggle Committee on the Way Forward Proposals as a matter of urgency to resolve the plight of former Gurkha soldiers and families.
764 NATIONAL DEBATE ON CHILD PROTECTION 19:11:13
That this House notes with regret the high-profile cases of child deaths as a result of child abuse and neglect in recent years, such as the cases of Victoria Climbie, Baby P, Keanu Williams, Hamzah Khan and others; further notes the recent case of Daniel Pelka in Coventry and the subsequent Serious Case Review; further notes the personal attention to the case of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families and his efforts to investigate potential failures to protect Daniel Pelka; further notes the extremely difficult nature of social work and stress that social workers can be under, particularly when understaffed; further notes that protecting children relies on the effective exchange of information between agencies including the police, schools, health visitors, hospitals, GPs, social workers, local authority social care and the local Safeguarding Children boards; further notes that in the majority of serious case reviews into failures to protect children, a key problem has been information-sharing between agencies; further notes that a second key problem identified is the failure to have direct communication with the children themselves; calls on the Government to commission an investigation into methods of improving the system of information-sharing between agencies and improving social care practices; and further calls for a national debate into child protection and our social services.
765 STATE VISIT OF IRISH PRESIDENT 19:11:13
That this House welcomes the announcement by Buckingham Palace of the historic first State visit by an Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, on 8 to 10 April 2014; believes that this gesture, so soon after the visit to Ireland by Her Majesty the Queen in May 2011, reflects the warmth of the relationship and strengthened ties between Britain and Ireland and furthers our thriving social and economic links; notes the positive response by political parties on both sides of the Irish Sea and organisations representing the Irish in Britain diaspora; and further believes that the State visit has the capacity to bring British-Irish relations to a new level and be seen as a further milestone in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation, for healing the wounds of the past and reaching for a better future.
766 SITUATION IN THE CONGO 20:11:13
That this House notes that the M23 militia group has surrendered after a violent 20-month campaign in Congo's eastern province; applauds the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right hon. Member for Richmond (Yorks), the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, MONUSCO's newly-established Intervention Brigade and others for enabling these hard-won battlefield gains; supports Save the Congo's call to the Foreign Secretary, together with the UK's friends and allies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the EU and the US to take whatever steps are necessary to extend the mandate of the UN Intervention Brigade to neutralise the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Hutu militia group whose leadership and ranks include individuals involved in the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda; and therefore urges the Foreign Secretary to work with United Nations Security Council members and the UK's allies and friends in SADC to ensure a resolution in such terms is passed.
767 DOCTOR WHO 20:11:13
That this House notes the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and the pleasure and enjoyment that it has brought to many generations of fans; and further notes that the BBC is truly providing its licence payers with the Best of BBC in this programming.
768 PHILIPPINES DISASTER 20:11:13
That this House extends sincere sympathy to all of those who have lost loved ones in the typhoon in the Philippines; prays for all of those who are injured and displaced; offers aid and assistance to those suffering the devastation on the ground through the international aid programme; and further offers thanks to the millions of members of the British public who have already given generously to help in this dreadful disaster.
771 CEMENT 20:11:13
That this House welcomes the publication of the Mineral Products Association's publication, Cementing the Future; recognises the strategic significance of cement to the UK economy and society; further recognises the employment the industry generates in mainly rural locations throughout the UK and draws attention to the importance of retaining a competitive, domestic, cement industry at a time when it is under increasing pressure from rising costs; notes that cement is a critical ingredient in concrete which is the most-used man-made material in the world and which helps to provide the UK's roads, railways, homes, schools, hospitals and much more that the UK's modern society depends on; further notes that cement and concrete will be essential to the construction of the UK's future low carbon economy when the material is used in new power generation capacity including concrete gravity bases for off-shore wind towers; and further recognises that the cement industry contributes approximately £1 billion per year to the wider mineral products industry which in turn accounts for £9 billion of the UK economy and supplies other industries with a value of £400 billion, as set out in the Mineral Products Association's publication, Make the Link.
772 LETTER TO STAFF OF MITIE 21:11:13
That this House notes with concern the threat to freedom of association and the right to protest posed by the facilities company MITIE in its letters to staff which state that protesting against MITIE falls under the category of bringing the company into disrepute and that this action, like all gross misconducts, can lead to disciplinary action including suspension and dismissal; calls on the company to withdraw this threat to the basic human rights of its staff; and urges the clients of the company, including the City of London Corporation and the legal firm Clifford Chance, to disassociate themselves from MITIE's unacceptable practices.
773 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS AND THE IVORY TRADE 21:11:13
That this House notes with alarm that an estimated 40,000 African elephants are killed each year, one every 15 minutes, out of a total population of 400,000; recognises that the profits from the illegal wildlife trade pose an increasing threat to security by funding criminal gangs and terrorism, including al-Shabab, the Somali cell of al-Qaeda; welcomes the Government's active role as a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and its support for a total ban on ivory sales; further welcomes the training and support provided by the British Army for the Kenya Wildlife Services anti-poaching rangers; further welcomes the Foreign Secretary's initiative to host a high-level conference on illegal wildlife trade in February 2014; encourages the Government in its efforts to secure a commitment from the international community to work together to reduce demand for wildlife products, to enforce the law, and to provide sustainable alternative livelihoods; and calls on the Government to encourage international support for the protection of elephants which are now universally acknowledged as intelligent, social, sentient beings and to use the overseas aid budget to make a substantial and strategically important contribution to the African Elephant Action Plan adopted in 2010 by all 38 African Elephant Range States in order to enable African countries to take the necessary steps to protect their elephants from poachers and to stop the illegal trafficking of ivory.
774 CHILCOT INQUIRY 21:11:13
That this House is deeply concerned that the Chilot Inquiry into the Iraq war has still not produced a report almost four years after its first session; notes that the ignominious anniversary will fall on 24 November 2013; understands that the delay is caused by the failure of the Government to provide to the Inquiry Cabinet documents in the run-up to the war, 25 notes from the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to US President, George W. Bush, as well as more than 130 records of conversations involving the Prime Minister, the President and the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath; further notes with concern that the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, who was principal private secretary to Tony Blair in the run-up to the war, is the person responsible for deciding whether documents should be handed over to Chilcot; and calls on the Prime Minister to ensure that all relevant materials requested by Sir John Chilcot are delivered so that another anniversary will not fall before judgment is passed on those who took us into this disastrous war.
775 LEGACY OF JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE UK 21:11:13
That this House marks with sorrow the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination on 22 November 1963 of President John F. Kennedy, whose short presidency nevertheless brought a new approach to international politics, inspiring people across the world and especially across the British Isles, to which his ties were particularly strong and to whom, uniquely for this country among American Presidents, a national memorial was established; observes that this consists of not just a physical memorial at Runnymede on land given to the people of the US, where a ceremony is being held on the day of the anniversary, but also of the Kennedy Memorial Trust's scholarship programme which each year sends a group of British graduates to study at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; notes that the total number of people who have benefited from this now totals 488, including a number of Members of both Houses of Parliament, and that the special opportunities the Trust's scholarship programme and activities give reflect and refresh the aspirations and outlook of President Kennedy, not just the fostering of personal, cultural and knowledge exchanges between Britons and Americans, but also the principles of outward-facing liberal internationalism so vigorously promoted by him throughout his life.
777 CHILD CONTACT CENTRES 21:11:13
That this House acknowledges the vital work which is carried out in child contact centres across the UK; notes the vital role they play in restoring relationships between parents and children; applauds those charities and volunteers who currently operate these centres on a minimal budget; is concerned that many child contact centres are facing an uncertain future due to the current economic climate; further notes that sudden centre closures leave many children without the opportunity to see a parent; and calls on the Government to create a nationwide network of child contact centres with a statutory obligation to provide at least one venue for a family court centre, and with secured and increased funding, as well as the ability to retain or recruit trained volunteers to ensure children and parents have the best opportunities in difficult situations.
778 SAFER LIGHT-CONTROLLED PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS 21:11:13
That this House considers that type approval should be withdrawn for light-controlled pedestrian crossings that incorporate a flashing green light for walkers or a flashing orange light for motorised vehicles.
779 CYCLING SAFETY 21:11:13
That this House welcomes the huge growth in cycling and the number of cyclists in towns and cities across the UK; notes the recent tragic deaths of cyclists in London and elsewhere; believes that much more needs to be done urgently to safeguard cyclists; calls on the Government to ensure that all public contracts with contractors involving heavy goods and other large vehicles contain clauses requiring those vehicles to be fitted with safety equipment to warn of cyclists in blind spots; further calls on the Government urgently to investigate requiring all new large vehicles to be fitted with safety equipment and the banning of heavy goods vehicles from city and town centres during rush hours; and further calls on the Government to fund a major cycling safety campaign to help make cyclists more aware of good cycling practice.
780 ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS ON PALESTINIAN LAND 21:11:13
That this House agrees with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal and an obstacle to peace; considers the Israeli government's approval of thousands of units of new settlement building since the resumption of peace talks to be counter-productive; regrets the Israeli army's failure to arrest and prosecute settlers who burn olive groves and harass Palestinian farmers; and urges the Government to leave UK businesses in no doubt that it would help the peace negotiations if they avoided financial relationships with illegal settlements in the West Bank until there is a peace agreement.
782 CHILDREN'S FITNESS 22:11:13
That this House is alarmed at research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013 by Dr Grant Tomkinson of the University of South Australia which suggests that children's cardiovascular fitness is declining worldwide; notes that researchers looked at 50 studies on running fitness between 1964 and 2010 involving more than 25 million children, aged nine to 17, in 28 countries worldwide finding a significant decline in cardiovascular endurance; further notes the study found that 30 per cent to 60 per cent of the decline in endurance running performance could be explained by increases in fat mass; recognises that around 30 per cent of children in the UK are thought to be overweight or obese; and calls on the Department for Education to make practical cooking and food education compulsory in schools so that children are able to learn the worth of a healthy diet.
783 MUTUAL OF THE YEAR AWARD TO PROVIDE 22:11:13
That this House notes the important role of public sector mutuals and social enterprises in enhancing public service standards; commends the work of all such social businesses in creating wealth and public service renewal to the country; and especially commends Provide, which trades in Essex, the London boroughs and Cambridge, on becoming both the Employee Ownership Association's Mutual of the Year and the winner of the social enterprise of the year award at the National Business Awards 2013.
784 FUEL DUTY 22:11:13
That this House welcomes the Government's actions cutting fuel duty in 2011 and the freeze in fuel duty until the end of the present Parliament announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and urges the Government, if the economic conditions allow, to continue to cut costs for hard-pressed motorists and to consider a further fuel duty cut.
785 FLY GRAZING AND HORSE WELFARE 25:11:13
That this House is aware that throughout the UK a crisis is currently taking place in the horse industry whereby, because of austerity, lowered market values and lesser demand, coupled with the increasing costs of owning and caring for an animal, many owners have been left in the situation of neither being able to look after nor sell their horses, a situation which has led to many horses being subjected to neglect, abandonment or kept by fly grazing, a practice which sees horses left on land without the landowner's permission; notes that at the present time many equine charities are full to bursting point; and calls on the Government to make the necessary financial arrangements available to deal with this important matter.
786 INTERPAL 25:11:13
That this House acknowledges the humanitarian work carried out for the people of Palestine by the British charity Interpal; commends the generosity of British donors to the charity; regrets that it has been denied full access to the banking system as a result of an unfounded designation by the US administration in 2003; notes that a US district court in New York saw no evidence that Interpal funded Hamas-supporting charities; further notes that the court threw out a case against NatWest Bank claiming it had knowingly facilitated Interpal's alleged provision of money to these charities; further notes that the Treasury successfully intervened in this case; and calls on the Government to press the US administration to rescind its damaging designation of Interpal.
787 LONDON UNDERGROUND TICKET OFFICES 25:11:13
That this House is concerned at the Mayor of London's proposal to close all London Underground ticket offices and massively increase reliance on ticket machines; is further concerned that this will not only result in the loss of almost a thousand front-line station staff but will also impact on the service provided to passengers, both regular commuters and tourists; notes that in particular ticket machines are not able to provide passengers with full advice and assistance which may result in passengers enduring more expensive and difficult journeys; is also concerned that disabled and older people could be disadvantaged when trying to use ticket machines and that there will be an increased threat to the safety and security of vulnerable groups such as women travelling at night; further notes that polls show overwhelming opposition to ticket office closures; and calls on the Mayor of London to reconsider his proposals and keep the ticket offices open.
788 ROMA MIGRANT COMMUNITIES 25:11:13
That this House notes the significance of the University of Salford's pioneering research into the demographics of the UK's new Roma migrant communities; recommends that the Government carries out an urgent review to address the major shortcomings of its National Roma Integration Strategy; and calls on the Government to send out an urgent instruction to all statutory agencies reminding them of their duty to promote community cohesion particularly by refraining from anti-Roma rhetoric.
789 LIVING WAGE CAMPAIGN 25:11:13
That this House notes that the very successful living wage campaign was originally launched by The East London Community Organisation (Telco), developed by London Citizens and is now being championed by Citizens UK; congratulates effusively all three organisations for the campaign they have conducted; believes that it is quite wrong that there should be such a disparity between the legally enforceable minimum wage and a wage that people can actually live on; acknowledges there is no evidence that paying a living wage would reduce employment; calls on central government and all local authorities to sign up to the living wage campaign as Tower Hamlets Council and the former and current mayors of London have done; and urges the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to raise and peg the minimum wage to the level of the living wage.
790 IMPACT ON FAMILY JUSTICE OF CUTS IN LEGAL AID 25:11:13
That this House is alarmed by the cuts to civil legal aid and its impact on family justice; believes that the removal of £350 million from the civil and family legal aid annual budget is having a devastating impact on family proceedings and harming the children and families involved; is concerned that instead of family proceedings being cheaper and quicker they are now longer and more expensive; understands that the resultant cuts in legal advisers and managers, the rise in the number of persons self-litigating, the highly restricted opening hours of counters in Family Court offices, and the delays in the court process are leading to increasing frustration for those involved; notes that 68,000 children are likely to be affected by the lack of access to legal aid as a result of the high and bureaucratic threshold which has now been set for demonstrating evidence in order to receive legal aid including in cases of domestic violence; and calls on the Government to restore the money cut from the legal aid budget and ensure that fairness and justice for the most vulnerable families in society is its overriding priority.
791 HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS CENTRES IN NORTHERN IRELAND 25:11:13
That this House is deeply concerned about the imminent closure of the HM Revenue and Customs office in Newry and the plans to scale down operations in Derry and Enniskillen; recognises the vital services that are provided by these centres and their high degree of competence and expertise; acknowledges that this will result in the loss of over 130 jobs in Newry alone and cause real damage to the local economy in each area where the measures have been announced; and urges the Government to reconsider this decision and retain the centres.
793 TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP 26:11:13
That this House is concerned about the inclusion of investor-to-state dispute settlements in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); notes that their inclusion would enable foreign investors to file complaints against a national government whenever investors perceive a violation of their rights and that these complaints are filed directly to international arbitration tribunals and completely bypass national courts and the judicial system; believes there is a real risk that these provisions in the TTIP could overturn years of laws and regulations agreed by democratic institutions on social, environmental and small business policy on both sides of the Atlantic and is of the view that the Government's assertions about the economic benefits of the trade deal are questionable; further believes that any transatlantic partnership implies a relationship based on mutual trust, respect and shared values, something that the ongoing revelations about US secret services' surveillance of EU citizens and public representatives up to the highest level has shown to be gravely lacking; therefore calls for investor-to-state dispute settlements to be removed from the TTIP; and further calls on the Government to push for talks on the partnership agreement to be frozen immediately, in order to allow for a full public debate and Parliamentary scrutiny from both Houses of Parliament with a view to establishing whether full transparency and fundamental EU rights and rules can be guaranteed.
794 BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH 26:11:13
That this House notes that brain tumours have one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers, of just 19 per cent within five years of diagnosis compared to 51 per cent for all cancers and the highest average years of life lost of all common cancers of 20.1 years, compared to 11.8 years for lung cancer and 6.1 years for prostate cancer; further notes that brain tumours kill more people, including children, under the age of 40 years than any other cancer but receive less research funding per death than many other cancers; and further notes the recent report by Brian Tumour Research on this issue and supports its campaign for better funding for brain tumour research specifically.
795 DEFENCE OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND THE PROSECUTION OF JOURNALISTS 26:11:13
That this House recognises the need for journalists to pursue difficult stories in the public interest without fear of prosecution; is concerned about the situation facing journalists who have been arrested and charged in relation to charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office; believes that such charges, levied against individuals who had no role in the authorisation of payments nor responsibility for a workplace culture where such payments were institutionalised and where trade union recognition was not allowed, do nothing to tackle the real issue of corporate responsibility for any alleged wrongdoing; regrets that it is ordinary working journalists who are being targeted, whilst senior executives and the companies themselves escape blame; further regrets that to discount the public interest defence in bringing legal proceedings sets a very damaging precedent for the industry; and therefore calls on the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that a consistent and fair approach is taken in regard to such cases.
796 IMPROVING TREATMENT DECISIONS FOR BREAST CANCER PATIENTS 26:11:13
That this House welcomes the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's final guidance on the Oncotype DX breast cancer test; notes that this represents an important milestone in delivering personalised medicine to breast cancer patients in the NHS; recognises that this test will guide individual decisions about chemotherapy treatment; further notes that avoiding chemotherapy where it is unlikely to be beneficial could improve patient outcomes, reduce overtreatment and save the NHS between £7,500 to £10,000 per patient; and urges the Government to encourage swift uptake of the Oncotype DX across the NHS and to ensure patients have fair and equitable access by developing a national commissioning policy for the test as soon as possible.
797 SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF TRUMACAR SCHOOL 26:11:13
That this House notes that Trumacar Primary School was founded in 1953; further notes that it therefore celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this year; believes that the school has made a phenomenal contribution to generations of young people in Morecambe over that time; further believes that this is a tribute to the professionalism of the staff, the care of parents and the support of the whole community; and congratulates Trumacar Primary School on this important milestone.
798 MILITARY COVENANT AND LANCASTER CITY COUNCIL 26:11:13
That this House notes that the Government has introduced the armed forces covenant; further notes that the armed forces covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the armed forces; further notes that councils around the UK have signed up to the armed forces covenant; further notes that Lancaster City Council has not signed up to the covenant; urges Lancaster City Council to sign up to show its support, to redress the disadvantages that the armed forces community faces in comparison to other citizens and to recognise the sacrifices that they have made; and further notes that among its benefits the covenant entitles service personnel to council tax relief, keeps the armed forces compensation scheme free from means testing and doubles the welfare grant.
799 ISRAEL AND BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR THE CHILDREN OF FOREIGNERS 26:11:13
That this House condemns the plan by the Israeli government not to issue birth certificates for babies born to foreigners; points out that this breaches articles 7 and 8 of the United Nations convention on the rights of the child, relating to every child's rights to a registered name, nationality and the preservation of identity; notes that this is another flagrant and unpunished contravention of a UN convention by Israel; and urges the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to urge his opposite number to drop this proposal and preserve the enshrined rights of children, whomever they are born to, within Israel.
800 DISORDER IN AMSTERDAM (CELTIC FC V AJAX) 26:11:13
That this House asks the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to investigate claims made by Celtic FC fans that they suffered an unprovoked attack by plain-clothed Dutch police officers while in Amsterdam on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 November 2013, which they allege sparked further disorder from fans of both teams; acknowledges that football violence is reprehensible; and asks that the Government raises the matter with the Dutch government and ensures it does all it can to protect British football fans while they are overseas and works with the UK's European neighbours to ensure good conduct by police forces during international sporting events.
801 DOUBLING OF MALNUTRITION IN BRADFORD 26:11:13
That this House views with the utmost concern the doubling of the diagnoses of primary or secondary malnutrition in Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the years 2010 to 2013 compared to the years 2008 to 2010; believes that this is as a direct result of the poverty and lack of employment in the city caused by the Government’s unrelenting austerity programme; notes the increase of food banks on Bradford and other major cities; further notes the repeated attacks on benefits and the stigmatisation of those claiming them; and calls on the Government to ensure that this shameful statistic of poverty is eradicated through the immediate halting of benefit cuts, the pegging of energy prices, the introduction of the living wage nationally and investment in an emergency job creation programme to bring work to a city with some of the highest rates of unemployment in the UK.
802 TRAINING FOR UK SEAFARERS 26:11:13
That this House notes that 90 per cent. of UK trade passes through UK ports; believes it is essential for the future security and economic well-being of the nation for the UK to retain a strong maritime skills base; is therefore alarmed by the near 60 per cent. fall over 30 years in the number of UK seafarers and that a deficit in UK officers and ratings will exist by the end of the decade unless current rates of training and recruitment for UK seafarers are dramatically increased; welcomes the President of the Chamber of Shipping's call on the Government to consider using the training commitment in the tonnage tax to increase the annual number of UK ratings being trained; further notes that since the introduction of the tonnage tax in 2000-01, qualifying shipping companies have enjoyed a total tax break of approximately £800 million but have completely ignored the voluntary link to providing training for UK ratings; and calls upon the Government to protect the national maritime skills base by promoting policies which increase training and employment rates amongst UK ratings, including extending the madatory link between the tonnage tax and training that applies to officers so that it also applies to ratings.
803 PAYMENTS TO SIR NORMAN BETTISON 26:11:13
That this House views with concern that Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, is refusing to challenge £250,000 of perks paid to then Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison on top of his salary over five years; notes that these payments included £34,000 a year for a car, although he was already provided with a chauffeur-driven car; further notes that these payments were never cleared with the Secretary of State for the Home Department and that the former District Auditor has ruled them unwarranted; contrasts this with the action of the Police and Crime Commissioner in North Yorkshire who is pursuing two former senior police officers for the recovery of £100,000 of similar emoluments which have been deemed potentially unlawful; and calls on the Secretary of State for the Home Department either to declare Sir Norman's extra payments lawful or instruct Mr Burns-Williamson to begin action to recover what were illegal payments.
804 EXCESS WINTER DEATHS 26:11:13
That this House is ashamed and appalled by the massive increase in excess winter deaths last winter in England and Wales as detailed by the Office of National Statistics; notes that an estimated additional 31,100 people died, up 29 per cent over the previous year, most of these the frail and elderly; believes that these sad and unnecessary deaths were largely caused by cold and lack of heating, a consequence of this Government's austerity programme and the lack of regulation of the rapacious energy companies; contrasts this massive surge in fatalities with the ballooning profits of the big six energy companies, up 77 per cent in one year; and demands an emergency national insulation programme, a boost to the state pension, a nationally co-ordinated programme through local authorities to identify those most vulnerable to the cold, the immediate freezing of energy prices and a programme to bring energy supply into public ownership so that this avoidable tragedy is not repeated this winter and in the following years.
805 HABITUAL RESIDENCY AND BENEFITS 27:11:13
That this House supports proposals to ensure that economic migration is not encouraged by the benefits system; notes that it takes 12 months to obtain habitual residency in Spain and sees no reason why the UK should allow habitual residency after three months; further notes that there are abuses of the rules relating to self-employment whereby migrants are selling The Big Issue to qualify for tax credits and housing benefit; further notes that this operates to squeeze out the homeless and other traditional sellers of The Big Issue; and calls for the Government to review this loophole to prevent it being used to encourage migration whilst undermining the social support system, and to consider applying rules relating to habitual residency for in-work benefits.
806 WORLD AIDS DAY 2013 27:11:13
That this House supports World Aids Day 2013, which will take place on 1 December 2013; recognises that the day offers an opportunity for people across the UK and the world to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died; notes that approximately 100,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK and, globally, it is estimated that 34 million people have HIV; and calls on the Government to show its support for World Aids Day by committing to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education about HIV.
807 BIRKHEADS SECRET GARDENS AND NURSERY FUNDRAISING 27:11:13
That this House salutes the initiative of Christine and Mike Liddle, the owners of Birkheads Secret Gardens and Nursery near Sunniside in Gateshead in opening their gardens and coffee shop recently for a special fundraising event for the victims of the typhoons in the Philippines; congratulates them on raising a substantial amount of money for the Philippines' disaster appeal fund; and believes that this fine example of British generosity and compassion should be emulated elsewhere.
808 ISLAMIC FINANCE LECTURE SERIES 2013 27:11:13
That this House congratulates the London School of Economics and Fajr Capital on co-hosting the 2013 Islamic Finance Lecture Series; welcomes the House of Commons reception on 2 December 2013 to conclude that series of events; notes that the lecture series informed students, recent graduates and city professionals on the importance of a principles-based approach to financial services; further notes the Islamic financial services industry's valuable role in attracting trade and investment into the UK; and calls on the Government to promote Islamic finance's principles of ethical, community banking and socially responsbile investing to enable long-term growth, employment and prosperity.
809 LAUNCH OF LOVE YOUR NATIONAL PARKS CELEBRATION 27:11:13
That this House welcomes the launch of the Love Your National Parks celebration; sees the UK's national parks as assets to the nation which enjoy widespread public support and are enjoyed by millions of visitors; celebrates the diversity of national parks from upland to lowland areas; notes that they provide havens for wildlife, stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, opportunities for adventure, inspiration, learning, physical and mental well-being and spiritual renewal, and a home for thousands of businesses; further notes that much economic activity in national parks is underpinned by their high-quality environment; further welcomes the fact that employment grew by 2.7 per cent in national parks in 2012; observes that the 90 million visitors to England's national parks alone already account for more than £4 to £6 billion of spending in national parks and their surrounding areas; further welcomes the aim of the celebration to grow the economic contribution of national parks further and increase awareness of how they can support people's health and well-being; recognises England's national parks as part of the wider network of the UK's national parks that together represent Britain's breathing spaces; and supports the impressive work of the National Park Authorities, farmers, land managers, non-governmental organisations, businesses, local communities and a wide range of partners that make this happen.
810 GLASGOW CELTIC SUPPORTERS AND BANNERS PROMOTING TERRORISM 27:11:13
That this House notes the significant progress which has been made by a number of football clubs in campaigns against racism and sectarianism, but also that a small number of supporters of Glasgow Celtic have repeatedly displayed banners, some of which have promoted terror and attacked the bravery of British troops; and calls on the boards of all clubs to take action against those who promote violence so that the vast majority of fans can enjoy games at their club grounds, free from such unacceptable behaviour.
811 RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015 AND TICKET TOUTS 27:11:13
That this House is looking forward to England hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2015; recognises that tickets for these matches will be in high demand; is concerned that there is no legislative framework to protect these tickets from reaching the secondary market; is further concerned that this will make it possible for these tickets to be targeted by touts; notes that police intelligence indicates that many ticket touts are part of highly organised criminal gangs who have access to technology that guarantees they can purchase large numbers of tickets; is dismayed that this will leave genuine fans with no alternative other than to pay inflated prices if they wish to attend these matches; believes that tickets should only be offered for resale at the original price printed on the ticket; and calls on the Government to legislate to designate the Rugby Union World Cup as an event of national significance as was done for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games thereby making it illegal for anyone other than the Rugby World Cup through its England 2015 programme to offer tickets for sale at any time.
812 DARKLEY 27:11:13
That this House notes the twentieth anniversary of the Republican massacre at Darkley Gospel Hall in South Armagh, and that this marked a low point in depraved terrorism; and remembers the faith and courage of those who were killed and injured in what was one of Northern Ireland's darkest hours.
813 PULSE OXIMETRY TESTING OF ALL NEWBORNS 27:11:13
That this House urges the Secretary of State for Health to ensure that hospitals and the medical profession administer the pulse oximetry tests on newborns as part of standard tests that are carried out to detect heart conditions; notes that congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect affecting around one in every 133 children in the UK or around 5,000 to 6,000 each year; further notes that getting more conditions diagnosed early could help save money, distress and save lives; and further notes that pulse oximetry tests are cheap, easy to administer and painless.
814 PUT US IN THE PICTURE: REPORT ON INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 27:11:13
That this House welcomes the Sightsavers' Put Us In the Picture report; notes that despite the fact that over one billion people worldwide have a disability, 80 per cent of whom live in developing countries, too few of them benefit from international aid programmes; agrees with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development that disability is the great neglected issue in development; further welcomes the International Development Select Committee's current inquiry into disability; believes that the potential for people with disabilities to contribute to global development is being missed because their specific needs and voices are not being taken into consideration; agrees that only with the active inclusion of people with disabilities in both UK aid programmes, and the framework that will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, eliminating extreme poverty and achieving universal primary education will become realistic goals; calls on the Government to build on its recent progress by adopting a systematic approach to ensuring that people with disabilities benefit equally from, and have a voice in, international development; and urges the Government to champion disability in international development discussions.
815 MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION AND EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE 27:11:13
That this House views with concern the plans to introduce a period of mandatory reconsideration as an intermediate stage for claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) who wish to appeal the decision not to award this benefit; notes with even greater concern that the assessment rate of this benefit will not be paid during this period and that no time limit has been set for the reconsideration process; calls on the Government to guarantee that any attempt to claim other benefits, particularly jobseeker's allowance (JSA), during the reconsideration will not influence the result of the reconsideration or a subsequent appeal; urges the Government to provide clarity about whether an ESA claimant who successfully appeals following mandatory reconsideration will have their reinstated ESA backdated to cover the full reconsideration period; believes that seriously ill or disabled people are effectively being financially penalised for disagreeing with a decision made by the Department for Work and Pensions and that people who may not be entitled to either JSA or ESA will face intense hardship; and further calls on the Government to reassess its proposals in such a way as to ensure that claimants are not left in an ever-worsening spiral into poverty.
816 IMPLEMENTATION OF SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT ON FOOTBALL LEAGUE 27:11:13
That this House notes the recent work of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee into Football Governance; further notes the report published by the Committee in July 2011 that found the Football Association (FA) in need of urgent reform; further notes that the report raised concerns including that the leagues have too great an influence over the FA's decision-making processes, at the increasing commercialisation of the game and the consequent financial risk being taken on by football clubs; further notes the report's call for the industry to put forward proposals for reform and the subsequent proposals from football authorities; further notes the Committee's rejection of the proposals and calls for the Government to bring forward legislative proposals; further notes the position of the Government as expressed in a letter of 30 April 2013 from the then Minister for Sport to the Committee as reproduced as an Appendix to the Committee's First Special Report of 2013-14, HC 156, stating that he agreed with the committee's recommendation that in the absence of significant progress by the beginning of next season, the Government should seek to introduce legislation as soon as practicably possible and that 'I have already been given drafting authority by the Parliamentary Counsel, and my officials have started working up a draft Bill and supporting documentation should football fail to deliver. This Bill will reflect the conclusions of your report'; and calls on the Government to bring forward legislation on football governance and finances as soon possible.