House of Commons
14th October 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
523 FAIR ADMISSIONS CAMPAIGN 8:10:13
That this House welcomes the launch of the Fair Admissions Campaign, which seeks to open up all state-funded schools to all children, without regard to religion; notes that over one third of state schools have a religious character and most have an admissions policy that allows them, if oversubscribed, to turn away children on the basis of their parents being of the wrong religion or no religion; further notes that, for this reason, many children are unable to gain admittance to their local school; believes that it is wrong for a school to be able to dictate a child's future on the basis of a system that can incentivise families to be insincere about religious belief and practice, and that risks undermining community cohesion by segregating children along religio-ethnic lines; celebrates the fact that many schools already choose not to select pupils on faith grounds yet are still able to maintain a religious ethos; and therefore calls on the Government to work with schools, dioceses and devolved governments to cease such religious selection, as well as to bring forward legislative proposals on that basis.
524 SPEAKER'S DELEGATION TO BURMA 8:10:13
That this House wishes to thank Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker's Office and the British Embassy staff in Rangoon who helped to organise Mr Speaker's successful delegation to Burma on 28 July to 4 August 2013; welcomes the constructive meetings with Daw Suu Kyi, President Thein Sein and other Burmese politicians and activists; notes the need for constitutional change to allow Daw Suu Kyi to stand for election as President of Burma; further notes the meetings between faith leaders and the delegation, and hopes that this continued contact brings lasting peace to Burma; further welcomes Mr Speaker's speech at Yangon University; praises the hard work by all parties to reform Burma's political process, but also notes the work left to do to strengthen Burma's democracy; further welcomes the enthusiasm and desire for democracy from the younger generation shown during the meeting with youth activists in Mon State; calls for the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Beliefs to be allowed to carry out his work with the full protection of the local police; further calls for the establishment of a UN Office of Human Rights in Burma as agreed to by President Thein Sein; and further calls on the Government to continue to provide practical assistance to strengthen the capacity building of the Burmese Naypyidaw Parliament's research department to help reduce the workload of the Bill Committees and help assist Burmese Members of Parliament to carry out their work.
525 SPEAKER'S DELEGATION TO BURMA (No. 2) 8:10:13
That this House notes the Speaker's successful delegation to Burma which visited that country between 28 July and 4 August 2013; welcomes the constructive meetings with Daw Suu Kyi, President Thein Sein, HE U Soe Thane, Minister Presidential Office, HE U Khin Aung Myint, Speaker of the Upper House, HE U Thura Shwe Mann, Speaker of the Lower House, Burmese MPs from all parties, Burmese Committee Chairs, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, international agencies, Rohingya and Rakhine leaders, 88 Generation, ethnic and faith leaders, including Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Anglican and Catholic representatives, the Burmese business community, the Chief Minister of Mon State, the Speaker of Mon State Parliament, local MPs, and young political activists; further notes the visits to a DFID-funded school, UK-funded law clinic, a Commonwealth War Cemetery, a Migrant community clinic, and humanitarian projects; further notes the work by all parties to reform Burma's democratic process, but notes that there is still more work to be done, especially in the area of human rights; and calls on the Government to continue its support for democratic reform in Burma and to provide the resources necessary to strengthen Burma's democratic institutions.
526 BRITISH SOLDIERS AND SECTARIANISM 8:10:13
That this House condemns the reprehensible and ill-disciplined behaviour of members of the armed forces, including some Royal Marine soldiers at Ibrox Park, the home of Glasgow Rangers, on 28 September 2013 on what was dubbed an armed forces' day; notes the sickening scenes as they chanted songs attacking Catholics, embraced braying fans and held up sectarian banners; questions the role of the senior officers who apparently sanctioned the event and appeared to take no action to halt the behaviour; and demands that those marines who joined in this hatefest are severely disciplined.
527 PROFESSOR PETER HIGGS 8:10:13
That this House congratulates Professor Peter Higgs CH FRS FRSE of the University of Edinburgh on the occasion of being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics 2013 by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; notes the outstanding contribution that Professor Higgs has made to the cause of theoretical and particle physics; further notes that this richly deserved Nobel Prize has been awarded for his role in proposing the mechanism that explains how the most basic building blocks of the universe have mass; further notes that scientists using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, confirmed that they had found a particle (the Higgs Boson) that matched the theories; further notes that this marked the culmination of 49 years of work since Professor Higgs and his colleagues first described the new type of particle; further congratulates Belgian scientist François Englert for his role and on also being awarded the Nobel Prize; and expresses pride in the achievements of UK science.
528 PROFESSOR PETER HIGGS AND THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR PHYSICS 8:10:13
That this House congratulates Professor Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, for the much merited award to him, along with François Englert, of the Nobel Prize for Physics for their theoretical work on the Higgs Boson which was recently confirmed by experiments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.
529 PROTECTION OF WORKERS SERVING THE PUBLIC 8:10:13
That this House is appalled at levels of violence suffered by workers who deal with the public, as evidenced in the 2013 survey from the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, which showed that four per cent of shopworkers had been physically attacked in the previous 12 months and 35 per cent had been threatened with violence, and at the traumatising effects of these incidents for staff who have to face the continual possibility of attack or abuse throughout their working day as they are on the frontline of dealing with the public; is concerned at the paltry level of sentences meted out to offenders, often with a suspended sentence or with no custodial element; and calls on the Government to introduce a specific offence of assaulting a worker who is serving the public in order to ensure that victims of such violence are given the justice they deserve and to provide a deterrent.
530 HELP FOR SAVERS 8:10:13
That this House recognises the ongoing financial difficulties faced by many working families throughout the UK; acknowledges that lower interest rates have assisted home buyers in recent years; understands that there are many more savers than mortgage holders across the nation, many of whom are senior citizens depending on the relatively low interest their savings provide to supplement their income; and calls on the Governor of the Bank of England to examine ways in which new products could be introduced and promoted to assist savers.
531 ROYAL MAIL PRIVATISATION 8:10:13
That this House is concerned at the imminent privatisation of the Royal Mail postal service; recognises that the postal service is integral to people and businesses across society; commends the dedication of all those who work within the service to ensure that people receive mail whatever the conditions; acknowledges the particular importance of postal services to the rural economy where it lies at the centre of commercial and social activity; is deeply concerned that the market pressures of privatisation will lead to the watering down of long held social compacts including the universal service obligation and the commitment to deliver six days a week; has reservations that the sell off will be highly lucrative for speculators, hedge funds and investment banks rather than the public; and calls on the Government to review its decision and reassure the public that a fully functioning service will remain in place.
533 SOUTHAMPTON CHILDREN'S HEART SURGERY UNIT 8:10:13
That this House commends the surgeons and staff at the Children's Heart Surgery Unit at Southampton General Hospital for the outstanding care they provide; notes that Southampton Children's Heart Unit is rated the best in the country outside London, and was rated as exemplary in the management of paediatric intensive care, supporting parents with information and choice, and training and innovation in the 2010 Kennedy Report; further notes the advantages provided by the strategic partnership with Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals through the South of England Children's Congenital Heart Network; is concerned that the planned future development of the Unit is now uncertain given the suspension of the Safe and Sustainable Process; calls on the Secretary of State for Health to ensure the future of children's heart surgery at Southampton is resolved as quickly as possible to minimise further distress to patients and staff; and further calls on the Government to keep the Unit open and to invest in its future.
534 EAST LOTHIAN COUNCIL AND WELFARE REFORM MINI-DRAMAS 8:10:13
That this House congratulates East Lothian Council for producing a series of innovative mini-dramas on the Government's welfare reforms and making them widely available on social media outlets as part of its support for local residents affected by the reforms; believes that the four mini-dramas on debt crisis, fear of the future, downsizing and rent arrears, are an innovative and creative approach to communicating important messages to members of the public who are dealing with these difficult problems; commends the non-professional actors from East Lothian Tenants and Residents Association and Bridges Project, professional actors and council staff involved in making the films; and hopes that other local authorities can learn from this approach.
536 SCOTLAND'S TEACHER OF THE YEAR JENNY McALLISTER 8:10:13
That this House congratulates Scotland's Teacher of the Year, Jenny McAllister, on her success in being the first teacher ever to be awarded that prestigious title who teaches outside of the conventional classroom; acknowledges the exceptional work being undertaken in outdoor learning centres across Scotland, including the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick where Jenny is based; believes that her recognition is, at least in part, a testimonial to the important part in education played by learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom; and wishes her well as she competes on Scotland's behalf in the UK awards ceremony in London on 20 October 2013.
537 NEW NUCLEAR 8:10:13
That this House is appalled at the record of delays and cost overruns of new nuclear plants; notes the French designed Olkiuoto plant started construction in May 2005 had an original promised completion date in 2009, and that construction costs have doubled and completion delayed to 2016; further notes that the similar designed Flamaville plant is suffering a three year delay with costs rising from €3.3 billion to €8.5 billion; further notes similar problems occurred at the construction of China's Sanmen plant; believes that the new generation nuclear plants are even more unreliable than earlier plants such as Fukushima Daiichi; and calls on the Government to stop dreaming up ever more exotic subsidies to attract new foreign investors, and to support sustainable renewable energy plants producing clean and green electricity from ever lasting energy sources such as wave, wind and solar.
539 EARTHCARE AWARD TO JOHN MUIR TRUST 8:10:13
That this House congratulates the John Muir Trust (JMT) on receiving the Sierra Club Earthcare Award 2013 on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, for its efforts to protect and restore the wild lands of Scotland and the greater United Kingdom; notes that this includes the important educational programme of the JMT; and further notes that this prestigious award honours an individual, organisation or agency distinguished by making a unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation.
540 BIBLE OATHS IN COURT 8:10:13
That this House expresses concern at the proposals by the Magistrates' Association (MA) to remove the traditional religious aspect of court oaths; recognises that this historic change is unnecessary as there is already an option of an opt-out for those who don't wish to reference God or swear by a Holy Text; and urges the MA to re-think this proposal and take into account that the Bible is bound up in the entire constitution of our monarchy and institutions of this country and there is no possible reason for any change.
541 FIREFIGHTERS' PENSIONS AND GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATIONS 8:10:13
That this House is concerned by the Government's failure to ensure a fair resolution to the firefighters' pensions dispute; recognises the invaluable contribution firefighters make to public safety; is further concerned by the prospect of firefighters being forced to perform physical duties until 60 years of age, believing that this could jeopardise public safety; is further concerned at the prospect of firefighters in their fifties being dismissed for being unable to fully perform their duties until the age of 60 and thus losing out on their pension entitlements; urges the Government to return to negotiations; notes the role the Government has in setting the financial limits for devolved fire pensions; applauds the actions of the Scottish Government in continuing negotiations; further urges Ministers of the Welsh Assembly Government to follow suit and to re-enter negotiations to work towards a new offer and to make representations to the Government on financial limits; believes that Defence fire and rescue service workers should also be exempt from a rise in the pensionable age; and further believes a lifetime of work should be rewarded by a fair pension.
542 SALE OF STUDENT LOANS 8:10:13
That this House believes that the Government's plans to sell off the student loan book to the private sector would be a grave error; notes that in order to make the student loan book profitable for private companies it would need to be accompanied by either subsidies from the taxpayer or an increase in the financial burden placed on graduates; and opposes any proposal to privatise the student loan book.
543 FIRST WORLD WAR COMMONWEALTH MEMORIAL 9:10:13
That this House welcomes and supports a new public campaign to recognise the collective sacrifice of the Commonwealth fallen in the First World War through a standalone and distinctive memorial statue in London created and organised by Commonwealth Exchange to mark the centenary of that war, which acknowledges and honours the diverse make-up of the Commonwealth and the UK; and further supports the Government's plans to forge a legacy that demonstrates this Commonwealth endeavour from those of differing extractions, faiths and traditions.
544 SNARING 9:10:13
That this House expresses concern that at peak times around a quarter of a million snares are set in England and Wales causing unnecessary suffering to target and non-target animals, as highlighted in snaring research published last year by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); notes that although the study confirmed the inhumane and indiscriminate nature of these traps there has been no progress made towards a ban on snares; supports OneKind in its campaign calling for DEFRA to consult on the issue with a view to banning snaring as soon as possible; and congratulates the charity for highlighting these serious welfare concerns through its dedicated website SnareWatch.
546 COVENTRY CITY FOOTBALL CLUB LTD ADMINISTRATOR'S FINAL REPORT 9:10:13
That this House notes the Joint Administrators of Coventry City Football Club (CCFC) Ltd have now presented their final report to creditors; believes that as they act as Officers of the Courts there was a reasonable expectation that their findings would be supported by the presentation of reasoned argument as with a a court finding; further notes that the report contains no such thing, evidence contained in board minutes from 1995 which first established the basic structure of the connected companies that make up the football club are not mentioned, board minutes from March and April 2008 which continue this structure under the current owners are not mentioned, asset registers and player transfer documentation since that time, including the asset register for 2011 which was signed by Tim Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, and indicated assets resided in CCFC Ltd are not mentioned, and no arguments to support the administrators sale of the company without assets are presented; further believes the council taxpayers of Coventry, fans of the Sky Blues and the Trustees of the Higgs Charity will not be pleased with this report; further believes that Joy Seppala and her investor's Sconset Capital Partners LP, who were responsible for the choice of administrator, may be content with the report, but cannot be happy they continue to own a club with diminished potential and increasing debt; and calls on the Government to examine the legislation that allows administrators to be appointed by those whose activities they are investigating and enables them to report in this opaque manner.
547 SPORTING RECOGNITION FOR ARMED SERVICES 9:10:13
That this House recognises the number of events held by a range of sporting organisations to respect and offer appreciation to the armed services; is deeply appreciative of the work that the UK's soldiers, sailors and airforce personnel do on an ongoing basis; and expresses the hope that, as Remembrance Day approaches, all sporting bodies and institutions will join the widespread and heartfelt acknowledgement that the freedom we currently enjoy, including the right to object and protest, is down to the efforts of those service personnel over many decades who have preserved that freedom.
548 REFUGEE TRAGEDY AT LAMPEDUSA 9:10:13
That this House is shocked at the deaths of 274 refugees off the island of Lampedusa; recognises that this is the latest in a long line of tragedies where 20,000 desperate refugees have died in unsafe vessels in the Mediterranean; and reminds all EU states that they have obligations under the Geneva Convention to provide a place of safety for asylum seekers and that the tragedy of drowning has to be met with humanity and concern not xenophobia against victims of poverty and oppression.
549 REPATRIATION OF SOLDIERS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN 9:10:13
That this House notes that the Government has deliberately reduced the profile of repatriation ceremonies for the fallen in Afghanistan in order to make participation in future wars more palatable; is appalled at the cynical advice in a Ministry of Defence document, obtained by The Guardian, advising reduced attention to war deaths including changing the repatriation of the fallen from Royal Wootton Bassett to Carterton, and considers this was an attempt to reduce publicity of the visible grief of the loved ones of the fallen; would welcome the reading out of the full list of the names of the fallen in the House; believes the moves to end the Wednesday announcements of the recently fallen were further attempts to diminish public mourning; and further believes that news of the deaths and the repatriation of the fallen should not be diminished, but that their sacrifices should be fully commemorated so that the country is sensitive to the true cost of war.
550 DRUG TESTING PILOT AT THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT 9:10:13
That this House mourns the death of Nick Bonnie, a charity worker who died after taking a contaminated ecstasy tablet at the Warehouse Project nightclub in Trafford; notes with concern that this is the twelfth UK death directly related to ecstasy this year; recognises the need to avoid further tragedies such as Nick's; applauds the Warehouse Project's zero tolerance policy on drug use and welcomes the planned pilot drug testing scheme introduced by the Warehouse Project nightclub, which would test confiscated illegal substances brought onto the premises and alert patrons to potentially lethal substances via social media; further recognises that such a scheme would promote public safety and awareness of dangerous drugs whilst maintaining a strict zero tolerance drugs policy; and therefore urges the Government to support this pilot in order to combine the UK's strict drugs policy with promotion of public safety.
552 APPRENTICESHIPS AND PUBLIC CONTRACTS 9:10:13
That this House celebrates the value of apprenticeships in providing opportunities and developing skills; notes the need for more apprenticeship opportunities particularly for young people at a time when there are almost one million young people out of work; believes that government and public authorities are uniquely placed to use the leverage of the money they already spend on procurement to promote skills training and provide new apprenticeship opportunities and that this should be part of the procurement process; resolves therefore that suppliers winning public contracts worth over £1 million should be required to offer apprenticeship opportunities on public contracts; further notes that the Fifth Report from the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, Session 2012-13, on Apprenticeships has recommended this approach and estimates that at least one new apprenticeship place could be provided for every £1 million of procurement spend; further notes that this approach was successfully pursued by the previous Government; and further notes the widespread support for the Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement Contracts) Bill introduced by the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish to promote apprenticeships.
553 CENTENARY OF THE SENGHENYDD MINING DISASTER 9:10:13
That this House notes that 14 October 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Senghenydd Mining Disaster, the worst mining disaster in British history; pays tribute to the 439 men and boys who lost their lives in the explosion at the mine and the rescue worker who was subsequently killed; further notes that the 1913 disaster could have been avoided if the legislation passed following an explosion at the Senghenydd Colliery in 1901 had been implemented properly by the owners of the mine; and commends the work of the Aber Valley Heritage Group in organising a national memorial to those who died at Senghenydd and in other mining disasters in Britain.
554 KEEP ME POSTED CAMPAIGN 10:10:13
That this House believes all consumers should have the right to choose how they receive bills and statements and not be subject to any form of penalty for preferring to receive this information on paper rather than a digital format; notes that many consumers who do not have access to the internet or basic digital skills are unfairly disadvantaged by organisations that do not offer them this choice; and supports the Keep Me Posted campaign which champions the principle that companies and other organisations should continue to offer consumers the right to choose without penalty how they receive information.
555 MALDIVES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 10:10:13
That this House supports the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in his call for a credible and peaceful second round of voting for the Presidency in the Maldives; notes that this follows a decision by the Supreme Court to annul the results of the first round of voting in elections widely regarded by the international community as free and fair and that the run-off election had originally been set to take place on 28 September 2013; condemns those who are seeking to prevent President Mohamed Nasheed from participating in any future elections in the Maldives; further condemns the perpetrators of the arson attack that destroyed the Opposition-supporting Raaje TV station in Malé; and demands that the authorities take all necessary steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.
556 ADVERSE PSYCHIATRIC EFFECTS OF ROACCUTANE 10:10:13
That this House notes with great concern that the Roaccutane form of isotretinoin has been implicated in reports of 878 psychiatric disorders, including 44 suspected suicides, since its registration in 1983; further notes that Roche, the drug's manufacturers, maintain that there is no causal link between Roaccutane and suicidal tendencies; further notes that its variant in the US, Accutane, has proved controversial and was withdrawn from the US market as a commercial decision following mounting litigation; further notes that clinical studies using the drug on rats and mice have discovered evidence of disruption to serotonin levels, causing depression, but that similar studies have not been conducted on humans; and urges, in light of the increasing number of tragic suicides of recent years, the withdrawal of Roaccutane from the UK market pending further and full investigations into adverse reactions to the drug, to prevent further unnecessary deaths.
557 SUPPORTING IRISH IMMIGRANTS 14:10:13
That this House acknowledges that many of the Irish emigrants who came to the UK in the 1950s are now elderly and that some are facing isolation and poverty; believes that some Irish emigrants who came here are still among the most marginalised groups in society; thanks the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain (ICB) for supporting many vulnerable and isolated Irish emigrants in the UK, irrespective of beliefs and attitude to the Christian church; and further acknowledges the wide range of welfare services provided by ICB and other organisations including the Southwark Irish Pensioners Project which works with Irish older people, and other organisations which have worked with members of the Irish Traveller community and Irish prisoners for up to five decades.
558 HEARING SCREENING PROGRAMME FOR PEOPLE AGED 65 14:10:13
That this House recognises the debilitating effects that age-onset hearing loss can have on a person's life by significantly reducing their ability to communicate effectively with friends, family and work colleagues, leading to loneliness and isolation; further recognises that hearing loss can exacerbate a number of other conditions including dementia; acknowledges that age-onset hearing loss affects over 10 million people in the UK and this number is on the increase; notes that a hearing screening programme for people aged 65 would ensure individuals adapt better to hearing aids earlier in their life, thus providing a greater success rate which would ensure better management of their hearing loss; and supports calls for the National Screening Committee to instigate such a Hearing Screening Programme.
559 STANDARDISED PACKAGING OF TOBACCO 14:10:13
That this House welcomes the research by the British Heart Foundation into the impact of standardised packaging of cigarettes in Australia; notes that of the 2,500 young people interviewed, more Australian than UK teenagers were discouraged from taking up smoking because of the packaging; further notes that 77 per cent of UK and 66 per cent of Australian teenagers support the introduction of standardised packaging; further notes that 59 per cent of Australian teenagers say that standardised packaging deters them from smoking; acknowledges the findings of a study by the Cancer Council of Victoria which showed that, when young people view packs stripped of colours and logos, they believe the cigarettes are lower quality, will taste worse and are less appealing; recognises that Australia's standardised cigarette packaging policy has proved a success in discouraging people taking up the habit; and therefore calls on the Government to press ahead with its plans to introduce standardised packaging of tobacco products in order to deter young people from taking up smoking, encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and saving the NHS billions of pounds in the long run.
560 INTERNATIONAL CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN BANGLADESH 14:10:13
That this House notes that questions have been raised about the procedures being used for the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh; further notes that this tribunal has been used to impose the death penalty on opposition politicians such as Abdul Kader Mullah; calls on the Government to urge Bangladesh to cease the use of the death penalty; and further calls for an international review of the procedures being used for this tribunal.
561 TRANSFERS FROM EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE TO JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE 14:10:13
That this House notes that Government policy is that people whose employment and support allowance (ESA) is ceasing are to be able to claim jobseeker's allowance or income support; further notes that in many cases people are not being told to make a further claim; further notes that these people end up without financial support; and calls on the Government to warn people that they need to make a claim if ESA ceases.
562 ALLIANCE BOOTS AND TAX REFORM 14:10:13
That this House regrets that corporate tax avoidance costs the UK Exchequer billions annually, and that several international companies have been largely responsible; is dismayed to learn from the report Alliance Boots and the Need for Corporate Tax Reform, published by Unite/War On Want/Change to Win, that Alliance Boots, an ostensibly British company, has lawfully avoided more than £1 billion in corporate taxes since 2007 when it entered private ownership in the largest leveraged buyout in UK corporate history, following which the company reincorporated in the tax haven of Zug, Switzerland, where it earns no revenue, and is controlled by entities in Luxembourg, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands; is concerned that it avoided taxes by loading most of the £9 billion buyout debt onto the highly profitable UK business, thus shifting profits abroad; notes that Alliance Boots significantly lowered its UK tax bill while deriving an estimated 40 per cent of its revenue from UK taxpayers, primarily via NHS prescriptions; further notes that Alliance Boots is seeking to increase its taxpayer-financed profits on the back of NHS privatisation; and calls on Alliance Boots to fully disclose its profits and taxes for all countries where it has significant revenue, on HM Revenue and Customs to comprehensively investigate Alliance Boots' tax practices, and on the Government to modernise the taxation of private-equity and heavily debt-financed businesses, and to require companies to disclose significant revenues that are derived from public sector contracts, and to reform the financial and taxation regulations in British Overseas Territories.
563 HUMANITARIAN WORK IN MALAWI 14:10:13
That this House congratulates the teams from Glasgow's City Building and Access who recently travelled to Malawi to deliver humanitarian aid; notes that the trip to Malawi is through the Lord Provost Office as sole organiser for City Building and Access; further notes that the City Building has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise Sustainable Development; further notes that the City Building team was made up of seven staff and two apprentices and the Access team, four staff, and that, in 12 days, they used their skills to refurbish a building that had been lying empty; further notes that 14 rooms were refurbished and the building was rewired and made accessible to all by the addition of a ramp; further notes that the team also built a small children's play area beside the building; considers that this was a challenging build and a difficult timeframe to meet but that the team rose to the challenge; further considers this is a great example of the work being done by many organisations from Glasgow and across the UK to assist around the world; and commends the City Building team of Scott McEwan, Paul Brown, Graham Robb, Martin Bredin, Simon Young, Chris Devlin, Lee Thomson, Lee Raeburn and Paul Carey and the Access team of Robert McPhee, Sammy Birnie, Maria Zon Quintas and Ashley Bickerstaff for their hard work in refurbishing this building, which, it considers, will have a lasting impact on the community.
564 SCOTLAND'S HEAD TEACHER OF THE YEAR KAY DINGWALL 14:10:13
That this House congratulates Scotland's Head Teacher of the Year, Kay Dingwall, on her success at winning this prestigious title; notes that Mrs Dingwall was successful in this category after having been Head Teacher at Knightswood Secondary School for only two years; believes that her nomination through the school's Parent Council is testament to the substantial positive impact Mrs Dingwall has made on the school in such a short time; and wishes her well as she competes on Scotland's behalf in the UK awards ceremony in London on 20 October 2013.
565 SYRIAN REFUGEES 14:10:13
That this House recognises the scale of the current refugee crisis caused by the ongoing conflict in Syria; welcomes the UK's contribution to the humanitarian aid effort so far; is concerned that despite this support countries bordering Syria are struggling to cope with the numbers of refugees and believes that this threatens the stability of the region; further recognises the UK's proud tradition of protecting refugees and providing sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and war; further recognises that the UK has long sheltered a Syrian diaspora, many of whom have family links to those currently fleeing Syria; regrets that the UK is not one of the 17 countries participating in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resettlement programme; notes that Germany has agreed to transfer 5,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon to Germany; and calls on the Government to work with the UNHCR and the international community to institute an emergency humanitarian evacuation programme and to establish a resettlement programme in the UK.
566 DRUGS POLICY 14:10:13
That this House notes that the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy reports that the price of drugs has dropped, whilst their purity and potency has increased; further notes that their findings reinforce Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton's view that prohibition has put billions of pounds into the hands of criminals and that those with drugs misuse problems should be treated and cared for, not criminalised; recognises that these findings offer further proof that the war on drugs has failed and again highlights the need for evidence-based and evidence-led policy; believes that the focus should be on prevention and treatment rather than criminalisation; and calls on the Government to acknowledge the urgent need for drug law reform and as a first step meet with drug treatment providers through the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Parliamentary Group to consider these concerns.
567 FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE 14:10:13
That this House recognises that firefighters dedicate their professional lives to keeping their communities safe; notes that cuts to the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) put the public at great risk; further notes that the Government's expectation of firefighters continuing to perform their duties until 60 years of age further compromises public safety; supports the stance of the Fire Brigades Union in defence of the FRS and their pensions; and calls on the Government to ensure that there are no further cuts to the FRS and to protect the pensions of its workforce.
568 NUCLEAR SUBSIDIES AND THE COALITION AGREEMENT 14:10:13
That this House recalls the Coalition Agreement said that new nuclear power stations would be permitted 'provided that they receive no public subsidy'; believes that the present proposed deals guarantee a fixed subsidy for 40 years at double the current cost of electricity; further notes that any future cost escalation will be paid for from the public purse as a subsidy; further notes that the current nuclear waste clean-up costs being met by taxpayers add up to over £75 billion; further believes that any deal done with Chinese financiers to support the building of nuclear power plants will inevitably result in massive future liabilities to British taxpayers; and calls on the Coalition to honour its own agreement and cancel all subsidies.