House of Commons
15th January 2015
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
659 AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT INITIATIVE 5:1:15
That this House congratulates the Austrian government on its call to all states to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and its pledge to co-operate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal; notes that this pledge was made at the end of the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held in Vienna on 8-9 December 2014 and attended by 157 states including the UK; applauds the contribution of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to the conference and the participation of civil society led by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons; agrees that no national or international response capacity exists that would adequately respond to the human suffering and humanitarian harm that would result from a nuclear weapon explosion in a populated area; supports the states led by Austria now calling for work to begin on crafting a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons; and urges the UK Government to participate fully in this new and multilateral initiative.
660 DETENTION OF SHEIKH ALI SALMAN IN BAHRAIN 5:1:15
That this House is appalled at recent human rights abuses in Bahrain, most notably the multiple charges that have recently been brought against the Bahrain Opposition Al Wefaq leader Sheikh Ali Salman; believes that unjust arrests and detentions are part of an ongoing campaign by the Bahrain authorities to continue to undermine human rights; and calls on the Government to take action to encourage the release of unjustly-held Bahraini citizens, including Sheikh Ali Salman.
661 PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS 6:1:15
That this House is aware that many people with mental health problems find it difficult to work because of the impact of their condition and the lack of appropriate support and understanding from employers and that currently nearly half of those receiving employment and support allowances are claiming primarily because of their mental health condition; believes that many people with such health problems want to and many are able to return to work with the right kind of help; recognises that current Government-funded schemes are currently failing this group with three times more without this condition being helped back into work; praises the mental health charity MIND, which has highlighted this fact; and calls on the Government to take people suffering from such conditions out of the current back to work schemes and instead create a new individual programme which understands the needs of this group of unemployed people that provides them with the personalised and specialist support they need.
As an Amendment to Sir Alan Meale's proposed Motion (People With Mental Health Problems):
Line11, at end add 'and examine the procurement process which disadvantages local specialist employment support services like Northern Rights, a not for profit community interest company with a proven track record of helping people in East Durham with disabilities and mental health problems to overcome barriers to work through tailored one to one support; and commends Northern Rights for working with the most challenging cases who are not catered for or have been failed by the Work Programme and large scale training providers.'. 8:1:15(a1)
662 NHS WALK-IN CENTRES 6:1:15
That this House believes that it is unacceptable to shut accident and emergency (A&E) departments when patients have nowhere else to seek treatment; notes that NHS walk-in centres played a major role in reducing the numbers of patients attending A&E; and calls on the Government to encourage clinical commissioning groups right across the country to reintroduce walk-in centres.
668 EGYPTIAN CRACKDOWN ON THE GAY COMMUNITY 7:1:15
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest of 26 men in Cairo by the Egyptian government on the charge of debauchery; notes with concern the stigma the ensuing trial will place upon the men involved, causing detriment to their careers and families; believes that this latest arrest is part of a worrying trend of human rights abuses resulting in the restriction of basic rights and freedoms of the gay community in Egypt; recognises the alarming implications that such action has for human rights and freedom within wider Egyptian society; and calls on the Government to work with international partners and all relevant aspects of civil society to do everything in its power to press the Egyptian government to take urgent action in order to guarantee the fundamental human rights of all Egyptian citizens regardless of sexuality, gender, ethnicity or creed.
669 BANGLADESH AND THREATS TO DEMOCRACY 7:1:15
That this House regrets that the leader of the Bangladesh Opposition, Begum Khaleda Zia, has now been interned in her political office by armed police, that the television station ETV has been closed by the Bangladesh government, that there was an attack on the National Press Club, and that live ammunition has been fired at opposition demonstrations; believes that these actions are not the actions of a democratic government, but instead a government aiming to suppress any opposition; calls for the Bangladeshi government to enter into discussions with opposition groups towards having a further election on a free and fair basis; and calls for the UK Government to use its influence to ensure that Bangladesh moves back towards a society based upon democracy and the rule of law.
670 DEFENCE OF JOURNALISTS AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 8:1:15
That this House expresses its heartfelt sympathy to the families of those journalists, police and others who were assassinated or injured at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015; notes that this attack took place on press day, thereby increasing the casualty list and the potential damage to press freedom; considers that the perpetrators of this heinous crime must swiftly be brought to justice; further notes the bravery of individuals who work in this field despite many of them coming under attack previously, and that in carrying out their jobs they uphold the invaluable and historical right to free speech and freedom of expression which are both integral elements of democracies; acknowledges the solidarity that is being shown around the world on behalf of the victims and their colleagues in standing together in defence of civil liberties at this time; and offers its support to the NUJ in the UK and the International Federation of Journalists for their work in defending the rights of all journalists to do their job without fear of threats, intimidation and brutal murder.
671 FUEL PRICE INQUIRY 8:1:15
That this House recognises that the UK globally has the highest diesel price, third highest petrol price and in the Western world has the highest fuel duty; believes that with the global price of oil dropping rapidly to $50 a barrel, prices at the pumps should be decreasing in line with the fall however this is not the case; further believes that an investigation into domestic fuel prices is needed; notes the increasing discrepancy between petrol and diesel prices and calls on the Government and the Competition and Markets Authority to launch an inquiry both into the disparity between petrol and diesel prices as well as how the retail price is set; acknowledges the hard work that FairFuelUK has done on this issue and recognises that its campaign now has one million supporters; and hopes that such an inquiry will identify who profits from oil prices, who determines the price of oil at the pumps and why the price of fuel at the pumps does not reflect the global oil price.
672 SERVICE OF THE MARATHA INFANTRY IN THE FIRST AND SECOND WORLD WARS 8:1:15
That this House recognises the incredible sacrifice and service of the Maratha Infantry during the First and Second World Wars; notes the awards for gallantry made to soldiers from these Infantry battalions who served whilst India was under British rule; and applauds their service and wishes them and their relatives well in the future.
673 EFFECT OF THE LEGAL AID, SENTENCING AND PUNISHMENT OF OFFENDERS ACT 2012 ON INSOLVENCY LITIGATION 8:1:15
That this House notes the recent report by Professor Peter Walton on the likely impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 on insolvency litigation; further notes that Professor Walton's empirical evidence shows that from April 2015 the Act will have a negative impact on creditors, including the taxpayer and businesses, as well as the public interest; notes concerns from business groups representing creditors, including the Institute of Credit Management and the British Property Federation; is concerned that more than £160 million owed to businesses and the taxpayer each year could remain with directors or third parties that have wrongly, negligently or fraudulently taken money out of a business as a result of the Act; and calls on the Government to review the legislation before it comes into force in April 2015.
674 HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY 12:1:15
That this House notes that on 27 January 2015 the UK will observe Holocaust Memorial Day, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, where an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered; commemorates the six million victims of the Holocaust; further notes that the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 is Keeping the Memory Alive; further notes the significance of 2015 as it marks 70 years since the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the concentration camps; pays tribute to the commitment of Holocaust survivors who share their experiences with young people across the country; acknowledges the importance of the Holocaust Educational Trust's work in schools across the UK and in particular the Lessons from Auschwitz project, which has so far given over 25,000 students and teachers the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau; also pays tribute to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for organising the 2015 national Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration; further notes that a Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment will be placed in the corridor between the Members' Cloakroom and Members' Staircase; and urges all right hon. and hon. Members to sign that Book and observe the day, so that the appalling events of the Holocaust are always understood by future generations.
675 NON-PAYMENT OF DAIRY FARMERS 12:1:15
That this House notes with grave concern that more than 1,000 British dairy farmers will not be paid for their milk from 12 January 2015 because of a financial crisis at the dairy co-operative First Milk; further notes that all farmers' payments will be delayed by a fortnight; further notes that NFU said in December that the number of dairy farmers had dipped below 10,000 for the first time, a 50 per cent fall since 2001; further notes that pint for pint, milk is now cheaper than mineral water in most supermarkets and that the recent milk price cuts, from most processors, have had a significant impact with some farmers now facing their lowest milk price since 2007, at around 11.4p per litre; further notes that farm costs remain about 36 per cent higher than they were eight years ago and the single largest cost component of a dairy farm, animal feed, is more than 50 per cent higher than 2007 levels; supports farmers in their attempts to work together to secure a better deal from large processors and retailers; calls on the Government to enable farmers to work collectively; urges First Milk to speak to its suppliers; and further urges Ministers to take action against processors and retailers who unfairly offer very low prices which severely disadvantage farmers.
676 DISCUSSION OF BAN ON INDIAN MANGO IMPORTS AT EU STANDING COMMITTEE MEETING ON 19 AND 20 JANUARY 12:1:15
That this House welcomes the decision by the EU Health and Food Safety Commission to allow discussion and possible revision of the importation ban on certain fruits and vegetables originating in India; notes that this opportunity follows a positive report from the EU Food and Veterinary Office on quality control improvements in India; further notes this ban has had a devastating impact on businesses in the UK and India; and calls on the Government to vote in favour of overturning the ban on 19 and 20 January.
677 LAMBETH COLLEGE INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE 12:1:15
That this House notes with grave concern the continuation of the long-running industrial dispute at Lambeth College, provoked by the college management's attack on staffing provision and employment conditions, including cuts in sick pay and holiday entitlements, which has resulted in the disruption of the education of the students since April 2014; and calls on the college management to enter into serious negotiations with UCU, the local trade union, to resolve this dispute constructively and allow the college to focus once again on its provision of high-quality education and training, thus avoiding jeopardising its current Ofsted status.
678 NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY 2015 12:1:15
That this House welcomes Bite The Ballot's second annual National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on 5 February 2015, supported by Open Society Foundations, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy, Hogan Lovells LLP and others, which aims to encourage 250,000 new electors to join the electoral register; praises the NVRD 2014 campaign which encouraged over 50,000 people to register to vote at a cost per registration of £0.25; acknowledges the Government's commitment to get more young people and other under-represented groups to register during the transition to Individual Electoral Registration; further welcomes the move to online registration and that over 36 million people have been successfully matched and automatically added to the new register; believes that with millions of voters still missing from the register, in order to deliver its commitment to maximising registration, the Government must now do more to encourage, support and promote the NVRD annual day of action that involves youth clubs, community groups, educational establishments and businesses across the UK registering people to vote; recognises that this initiative is supported by the APPG on Voter Registration and the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, with unanimous all-party support from members of both Houses and the devolved legislatures; and strongly urges the Government, the Cabinet Office, the Electoral Commission, local authorities, valuation joint boards and local electoral registration officers to fully recognise the importance of NVRD in creating an engaged and inspired young electorate.
679 ACCESS TO LEGAL AID 12:1:15
That this House welcomes the legal challenge by Rights of Women on the lawfulness of the Government's changes to access to legal aid which prevents victims of domestic abuse from accessing legal aid for family cases, even where there has been violence or ongoing risk of violence; notes that legal aid is a lifeline for victims of domestic abuse; further notes that legal aid enables victims to escape abusive relationships, protect their children and manage their financial situations; further notes that two women are killed each week as a result of domestic abuse; and calls on the Government to enable victims of domestic abuse to access legal remedies so they can safely leave violent relationships.
681 BLACK FRIDAY 13:1:15
That this House criticises large retailers who chose to adopt the American retail custom of Black Friday on the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday and at the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season; notes that the huge discounts led to scenes of disorder in some stores as many police had to attend to prevent or break up fights in stores, whilst other stores were forced to close; further notes with concern the safety risk that this custom poses; further notes that many shoppers suffered injuries due to the level of public disorder caused by this event; recognises the importance of police time and the unnecessarily high demands that Black Friday is placing on it; sympathises with police officers who have expressed frustrations including Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, who said that officers have enough to do already; and calls on all UK retailers not to mark this event in 2015 or again.
682 PROPOSED REDUCTIONS IN FUNDING FOR THE LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM 13:1:15
That this House notes with great concern the plans to severely cut the funding available to the Library of Birmingham, which would result in the loss of more than half of the library's staff and many of its services, including the loss of archive and research facilities; observes that Birmingham City Council's funding from central Government has been cut heavily over the course of the current Government, and that poorer cities such as Birmingham have received a disproportionately heavy share of spending cuts; condemns the decision to cut Birmingham's funding by an amount equivalent to £147 per household this year, compared to the national average of just £45; does not see why the citizens of Birmingham should have their library services destroyed in an attempt to cut a deficit that was caused by paying for the gambling debts of bankers, not by supporting essential cultural services for UK citizens; encourages the Government to take serious and concerted action to reclaim for the Exchequer the many billions of public funds which are currently lost to corporate tax avoidance; strongly supports the attempt to find alternate ways to keep the library open and maintain it as a centre of excellence, and wishes this campaign every success; believes that the whole of the UK would be the poorer without its world-class libraries, which play a vital role in education and research; and calls on the Government to urgently reconsider its ongoing slashing of local government funding.
683 NHS PRIVATISATION AND BEDFORD HOSPITAL TRUST AND CIRCLE GROUP 13:1:15
That this House notes with concern that Bedford Hospital Trust is refusing to sign a contract with a private healthcare provider, Circle group, over fears this will affect its trauma service; further notes that since the Circle group took over Bedfordshire's £120 million Musculoskeletal Service, Bedford Hospital Trust has seen a 30 per cent reduction in referrals; believes that if this trend were to continue it would not only undermine the ability of A&E to see and admit trauma patients, but also its ability to pay and retain consultants; also records that as part of the proposed contract, Circle would not pay the hospital its full fee for physiotherapy appointments, which would mean an additional loss to that department of the order of £90k per year; does not subscribe to the mantra enunciated by Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and other CCGs around the country that the best way to drive efficiency and innovation is through patient choice when this means siphoning off profits for private health providers to boost investor returns, further depleting already scarce resources; calls on the Secretary of State for Health to seek much-needed efficiencies and integration through a model such as that employed in Sweden, where hospitals, GPs and community services work in one team and with one set of data, without the intervention of the private sector employed at premium rates to further erode existing service provision.
684 NHS PRIVATISATION AND NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL TRUST AND CIRCLE GROUP 13:1:15
That this House notes with alarm that Nottingham University Hospitals Trust will not be able to provide acute adult dermatology, including skin cancer and emergency care, after losing six of its eight consultants; further notes that five of those departing are understood to have left rather than transfer to private healthcare company Circle over concerns about job security and that a profit-driven provider would not offer opportunities for academic research or training; understands that any patients with severe conditions will no longer be seen by a specialist at the hospital and may have to be referred elsewhere; fails to appreciate how the closure of a national centre of excellence for dermatology and the abandonment of its trainee programme will assist dermatological provision when there is already an estimated shortage of about 200 dermatology posts around the UK; agrees with the British Association of Dermatologists that the privatisation and fragmentation of specialist services was decimating the NHS; believes that this is yet another example of the Government's lack of understanding of the implications of pushing NHS services into unsustainable models provided by commercially driven private providers; and calls on the Secretary of State for Health to abandon the current commissioning model and seek much-needed efficiencies and integration by ensuring that hospitals, GPs and community services work together using one set of data, without employing the private sector at premium rates to further erode and undermine service provision.
685 NHS PRIVATISATION AND HINCHINGBROOKE NHS HOSPITAL TRUST AND CIRCLE GROUP 13:1:15
That this House notes with the gravest concern the recent announcement that Circle Group, a private healthcare company, will pull out of a 10-year contract to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire - the first hospital to be privatised - which commenced in 2012; further notes that the company had the right to terminate its franchise in the event that support payments it had to make to run the hospital exceeded five million pounds; considers it appalling that Steve Melton, chief executive of Circle, should cite unprecedented A&E attendances and inconsistent and conflicting regulatory regimes as reasons for pulling out while not mentioning severely reduced expectations of profitability and share price pressure; further notes that the Care Quality Commission viewed Circle's running of Hinchingbrooke Hospital as inadequate; believes that this is yet another example of poorly thought-out commissioning decisions and the Government's lack of understanding of the implications of pushing NHS services into unsustainable models provided by commercially driven private providers or enterprises; and calls on the Secretary of State for Health, as a matter of urgency, to abandon the current commissioning model which allows private companies to cherry-pick the most profitable services, leave the NHS to deal with the difficult cases, and walk away from the contract if they feel it is insufficiently profitable, and to replace this with a service which prioritises public health not private profit, as the NHS was founded to do.
686 NHS PRIVATISATION AND PATIENT SAFETY IN PRIVATE HOSPITALS 13:1:15
That this House views with the gravest concern the findings of a recent report published by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI), including figures obtained from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) showing that just over 800 patients died unexpectedly in private hospitals in England between October 2010 and April 2014, and there were more than 900 serious injuries; agrees with the report which makes an unequivocal case for transparency in making hospitals safer; notes that currently it is not possible to compare data side-by-side from NHS and private hospitals for death rates or complications such as infections; believes the same level of scrutiny, regulation and protection of patients' safety should be afforded to private patients as for NHS patients; further notes that private hospitals now receive 28 per cent of their income from treating NHS patients, with the report confirming that the NHS serves as a safety net for the private sector, with over 2,600 emergency NHS admissions from the private sector in 2012-13; does not see why the taxpayer should carry this burden while private hospitals and their shareholders make a profit from people who are ill; and calls on the Secretary of State for Health to carry out a review of the nature and cost of admissions to the NHS from private hospitals and to give the NHS the powers to recoup costs resulting from a failure by a private hospital.
687 SAFE STAFFING ON HOSPITAL WARDS 13:1:15
That this House welcomes the Safe Staffing Alliance Manifesto which emphasises that patient safety is compromised significantly when the ratio of eight patients to each registered nurse, excluding the nurse in charge, is breached, and that even the ratio of seven patients to each registered nurse results in care being missed; notes its recommendation that safe nurse/patient ratios should be enforced and its finding that 45 per cent of hospital wards have unsafe staff levels; acknowledges that poor care does not only cost more, but causes more complications and deaths; and therefore calls on the Government to implement a transparent fundamental standard which should ensure that each hospital ward is staffed safely and never reaches the unsafe ratio of 1:8.
688 PAEDIATRIC FIRST AID TRAINING FOR PRE-SCHOOL AND NURSERY STAFF 13:1:15
That this House welcomes the Department for Education's review of paediatric first aid training for nursery staff across England following the tragic case of Millie Thompson, who passed away aged nine months after a choking incident at a nursery school in Cheadle; notes that Millie's case has exposed loopholes in current regulation; further notes that over 100,000 people signed an e-petition requesting a change to the law; pays tribute to Joanne and Dan Thompson and all their supporters for setting up Millie's Trust and campaigning for a positive legacy; and calls on the Government to introduce a requirement for all relevant pre-school and nursery staff to receive paediatric first aid training.
689 REMOVAL OF KEN MORLEY FROM CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER 14:1:15
That this House applauds the decision made by Channel 5 to remove Ken Morley from the Celebrity Big Brother house, following unacceptable and offensive language; condemns the racist terms used by Mr Morley when referring to both singer Alexander O'Neal and boxer Frank Bruno; is glad Big Brother has learnt the lessons of similar situations which have occurred in the past, when Shilpa Shetty suffered racist comments; and calls upon all broadcasters to have a zero-tolerance for racist, sexist, homophobic and other discriminatory acts.
690 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN SRI LANKA 14:1:15
That this House congratulates the people of Sri Lanka following the recent presidential elections, which will serve as a positive step for democracy in Sri Lanka; calls on all parties to allow for a peaceful transition of power following the victory of Maithripala Sirisena; and further calls on President Sirisena to launch a full and thorough investigation into crimes committed by any party in the recent conflict, and to build bridges with the Tamil community of Sri Lanka.
693 GP WAITING TIMES 14:1:15
That this House recognises the fantastic work done by local GPs and other practice staff; notes the importance to a patient of seeing a GP at their local surgery in a timely manner; praises the Government for restoring named GPs for patients who are aged over 75 years; and urges the Government to ensure that a patient can see their GP within a week and, in the case of patients with managed chronic conditions, enable them to schedule future regular appointments at the end of their current appointment.
694 NHS PRIVATISATION AND MUSGROVE PARK HOSPITAL AND VANGUARD 14:1:15
That this House notes with gravest concern that Musgrove Park Hospital, part of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, was forced to terminate the contract for cataract surgery with private provider Vanguard after more than half the 62 patients who underwent surgery reported serious complications; further notes that Vanguard was contracted to operate on 400 patients but the already over-burdened NHS team at Musgrove had to do this; further notes that an internal report into Vanguard's failings exposed a complex chain of sub-contracting, with three companies, Vanguard, The Practice plc and Kestrel, providing various elements of the ophthalmic service with an unspecific contract; further notes that failings were widespread and various in a very short space of time; further notes that the 2013 Care Quality Commission (CQC) report on Vanguard revealed lightweight consideration of safety issues and that the CQC could not inspect any patient records because Vanguard operated from mobile units; believes that consent forms given to patients in private hospitals should detail not only risks inherent in the procedure but also any stemming from the facilities or staffing of the hospital; further believes that the Department of Health should carry out a review of the cost of NHS admissions from private hospitals and the NHS should have the power to recoup costs resulting from a failure by a private hospital; and calls on the Secretary of State for Health to ensure that patients receive the highest standards of care in private hospitals.
695 SOCIAL SECURITY (S. I., 2014, No. 3270) 15:1:15
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Social Fund Winter Fuel Payment (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 3270), dated 10 December 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 15 December, be annulled.
696 LONDON MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY 150TH ANNIVERSARY 15:1:15
That this House congratulates the London Mathematical Society on reaching its 150th anniversary; notes that the inaugural meeting of the London Mathematical Society was held at University College, London at eight o'clock on 16 January 1865, at which Professor Augustus De Morgan was elected as its first President; further notes that a commemorative event will be held on 16 January 2015 at Goldsmiths' Hall, London entitled Mathematics: Unlocking Worlds; further notes that this 150th Anniversary celebration will be addressed by mathematicians at the cutting-edge of mathematics research and further notes that it will showcase the exciting ways in which mathematics touches so many parts of people's daily lives; and applauds the London Mathematical Society for its commitment to the idea that mathematics is for everyone and everybody uses it whether consciously or not.
697 HEALTH CARE AND ASSOCIATED PROFESSIONS (S. I., 2014, No. 3139) 15:1:15
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (Fees) (Amendment) Rules Order of Council 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 3139), dated 26 November 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 1 December, be annulled
698 LEEDS BID FOR EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 15:1:15
That this House supports Leeds City Council's ambition to be the best city in the UK by 2030; notes that the next opportunity for a UK city to become European Capital of Culture will be in 2023, with only two UK cities having held the title previously, Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008; believes Leeds is fast becoming a city of wider European and global appeal and would be a strong contender for the 2023 title; commends the city for its huge range of sporting, cultural and economic successes; further notes that recent sporting successes include hosting the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France and being a host city for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup; further notes the diverse range of cultural attractions, from Europe’s longest-running West Indian Carnival to the Leeds International Piano Competition, one of the world's most prestigious, well-known and popular arts organisations like Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet, world-renowned museums and galleries including the Royal Armouries and the Henry Moore Institute; also notes the economic strength of Leeds as the biggest city region economy outside London, worth £55 billion; expresses confidence that a successful Leeds bid would also be a boost for the wider Yorkshire region, with Merseyside attracting 75.1 million visitors in 2008, a 19 per cent rise from 2007, which generated £754 million for the North West economy; and therefore wishes the city every success in seeking to become the 2023 European Capital of Culture.
As an Amendment to Greg Mulholland's proposed Motion (Leeds Bid For European Capital Of Culture):
Line4, after '2008;' , insert 'notes the success of the application by the city of Hull for 2017;'. 15:1:15(a1)
699 DARK STAR BREWING COMPANY LETTER TO TESCO 15:1:15
That this House welcomes the letter sent by Dark Star Brewing Company to Tesco about some of the 43 stores Tesco is looking to close this year, offering to buy back some of them, and that they could be converted back into pubs; condemns the weak planning system currently in place which allows predatory purchasing of pubs and converting them into supermarkets without needing planning permission; notes the results of the research carried out by the Campaign for Real Ale that found supermarkets were responsible for two out of 31 pub closures per week between 2012 to 2014 in order to create more stores; believes that local communities, entrepreneurs, smaller breweries, and small pub companies should be allowed a say in seeking to protect much-valued local pubs; and supports the Pubs Matter campaign in its call to the Government to make the simple amendment to the General Permitted Development Order 1995 so that planning permission and consent from the local community is always required before any pubs can be demolished or converted in the future.
700 DISABLED ACCESS DAY 15:1:15
That this House gives its full support to Disabled Access Day on 17th January 2015, a fantastic initiative aiming to encourage the 11.6 million disabled people in the UK to visit somewhere new with their friends and families; praises Euan's Guide and all the organisers for the hard work that they have put into recruiting organisations and ensuring that the day will be a success, and for their continuous efforts to make information on disabled-accessible locations readily available; commends the over 200 companies and venues across the UK that have pledged their support for the initiative, including Buckingham Palace; recognises the importance of empowering disabled people so that they have the confidence to get out of their comfort zone and visit new places; and encourages more venues and facilities to consider how they could make their sites more accessible for disabled people.
701 IMPRISONMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN MAURITANIA 15:1:15
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the two year prison sentences given to three anti-slavery activists in Mauritania from the Haratin ethnic group, including 2013 UN Human Rights Prize laureate and 2014 Mauritanian Presidential runner-up Mr Biram Abeid, Mr Brahim Ould Bilal Ramdane and Djiby Sow; strongly supports the rights of these and other individuals to peacefully protest and work unhindered towards eradicating contemporary forms of slavery in Mauritania; is deeply concerned about the potential ramifications of such convictions on both the Mauritanian and global fight against contemporary forms of slavery, something to which the UK is a prominent leader; notes the reports that the defendants' non-governmental organisations (NGOs) headquarters have been forcibly closed since 12 November 2014; recognises the important role NGOs play in this regard; is dismayed about allegations of the defendants' pre-trial detention treatment, including sleep deprivation, denial of medical care and not being allowed family visits and of some detainees having been forced to sign false confessions; is therefore troubled by the multiple charges levelled against them and concerned that they may not have received a fair trial; and calls on the Government to urgently raise these cases with the Mauritanian government, to work with its EU partners in the country to bring an end to slavery and landowners' exploitation of marginalised sections of society, to raise this issue with the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and to push for much needed land reforms.
702 HENRY BOOT DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED AND SAINSBURY'S IN BELGRAVE, LEICESTER 15:1:15
That this House is deeply concerned at the developments being undertaken at the site of the former Sainsbury's store in Belgrave, Leicester, by Sainsbury's and its partners, Henry Boot Developments Limited; is appalled that these developments are being undertaken by Henry Boot Developments with a lack of any transparency and in secrecy; notes that Dean Clegg, Director of Property at Sainsbury's, has made clear that any plans for the site will only be shared with the public when suitable for Sainsbury's; and considers this to be an arrogant approach and not one that will endear Sainsbury's to the people of Leicester.