House of Commons
6th 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
630 OPEN GOVERNMENT AND ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS 28:10:13
That this House is concerned that the current lack of accountability and openness created by the secrecy clause, Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, is a hindrance to public accountability, open government and the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal use in experiments; notes the concerns of the animal experimentation industry about personal information and intellectual property, which are already met by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and are no reason to maintain a blanket ban on information, especially as government polls reveal a decreasing level of public trust in regulation; and calls on the Government to repeal Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
631 TESTING OF HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS ON ANIMALS 28:10:13
That this House notes that the Coalition Agreement contained a pledge to end the testing of household products on animals; further notes that a response to a Parliamentary Question on 28 March 2011 stated that `the prohibition will apply to both finished household products and their ingredients, although in practice mainly the latter are tested', 28 March 2011, Official Report, column 80W; is disappointed that no action has been taken on this issue to date; and supports the campaign led by Cruelty Free International to call on the Government to introduce a total ban on the testing of finished products and ingredients.
632 ALL-PARTY INQUIRY INTO ELECTORAL CONDUCT 28:10:13
That this House notes the publication of a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Electoral Conduct; welcomes the cross-party nature of the report and the engagement of such a wide range of political parties in the process; further welcomes the recommendations of that report, including the call for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Electoral Commission to enhance their activities in facing down racism and discrimination during elections; and calls on the Government, the Electoral Commission, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the police to respond fully to the recommendations of the inquiry.
634 LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE 28:10:13
That this House is aware that the Government released authority-specific information on local government future funding in July 2013 as part of the consultation of the Local Government Finance Settlement; notes that Coventry City Council has already lost approximately £45 million in the three years to 2013-14 in core Government grant and has had to implement a significant savings programme as a consequence, that a further £19 million cut was also expected for 2014-15 and that the June Spending Round announcement indicated a 10 per cent cut in resources for local government in 2015-16; understands instead that according to the July settlement consultation, the actual cut is over 13 per cent nationally and 15.2 per cent for Coventry; recognises that Coventry will therefore be facing a cumulative cut of 24.2 per cent between October 2013 and 2015-16; further notes that both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury have indicated that they expect the current trend of austerity settlements to continue for the remainder of this decade; further notes fears voiced by sources within Coventry City Council and other local authorities that, assuming current trends, by 2020 local authorities will only be able to afford the most basic elements of their services, such as statutory minimum levels of service in children's and adults' social care; and calls on the Government to reconsider the scale of the cuts to local government future funding to avoid local authorities having to reduce non-mandatory services.
635 FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION 28:10:13
That this House expresses concern at the abhorrent crime of female genital mutilation (FGM); notes the work of the British Arab Federation in its efforts to tackle this issue; calls on the Government to implement a change in the law to protect girls living in Britain and British girls from being taken to other legal jurisdictions with the intention of carrying out FGM; further calls for better enforcement of the law relating to parents and guardians who organise FGM and medical practitioners who conduct FGM procedures; and further calls for better education to support young girls in resisting FGM and to empower communities to confront that crime.
638 LABOUR AND TRADE UNION LAW IN IRAQ 29:10:13
That this House notes that the international trade union movement has urged successive Iraqi governments to amend the labour and trade union laws which place substantial restrictions on the fundamental rights of workers, including to associate freely, to bargain collectively and to strike; further notes that the US last year put under review Iraq's trade preferences, in large part over the Iraqi government's failure to adopt ILO-complaint legislation; and respectfully urges the Iraqi authorities, in full consultation with the trade unions, to implement new laws that overcome Saddam Hussein's restrictions on the fundamental rights of Iraqi workers so that their organisations can play a full role in helping construct a pluralist Iraq.
639 TRUSTEES' WEEK 2013 29:10:13
That this House welcomes the fourth annual Trustees' Week between 4 and 10 November 2013 as an opportunity to recruit new trustees and to celebrate the work of nearly one million charity trustees across the UK and the vital contribution they make to civil society; notes the importance of the role good trustees and good governance play in successful charities across the UK; encourages everyone to think about the difference they could make to the community by becoming a trustee and to look at the Trustee's Week website for more information; urges hon. Members to attend the Trustees' Week reception at the Cabinet Office on 5 November 2013; and thanks the Charity Commission, OSCR, the Small Charities Coalition, Charity Finance Group, NCVO, SCVO, and Reach Volunteering for having had the foresight to establish Trustees' Week as an annual event, alongside a host of additional partners.
640 KINGS SCIENCE ACADEMY IN BRADFORD AND THE FREE SCHOOL PROGRAMME 29:10:13
That this House is deeply concerned that a report which catalogued a series of financial irregularities at the Kings Science Academy in Bradford appears to have been suppressed for five months by the Department for Education; notes that more than £80,000 of public money was misused with false invoices submitted to cover party expenditure, pay for first-class rail travel and buy furniture for staff; additionally notes that the building, which cost £10 million, was also paid for by the taxpayer; points out that the principal Sajid Raza appointed his brother to the board of governors and employed his sister as a senior teacher while his wife also worked at the school and his father drove the bus; demands that the Department for Education report into the fiasco is published un-redacted so that those responsible are named; further demands that a fraud inquiry is opened into these matters; believes that the Prime Minister, who visited the school, should regret his words of praise; and concludes not only that there has been a total failure of governance but that crucial oversight of free schools by the Department is demonstrably negligent.
641 FORMATION OF THE POST-CRASH ECONOMICS SOCIETY AT MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY 29:10:13
That this House congratulates the economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester who have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society, which aims to combat the orthodox neoliberal globalised free market teaching which has been churned out by many universities over the last 40 years and has been accepted and embraced by the leadership of the main political parties; notes that this neoliberal free market model has resulted in a massive increase in wealth for the richest one per cent of the population, while the vast majority of people have seen their incomes, terms of employment, public services and standard of living eroded; and hopes that students studying economics at other universities will follow the example of the Manchester undergraduates and challenge their own universities to acknowledge the failure and instability of unregulated free markets which resulted in the 2008 financial crisis, and which would have caused even more misery and destruction of jobs and businesses if the Government had not stepped in and nationalised parts of the financial sector, and the Bank of England had not injected vast sums of money into the economy through quantitative easing.
643 SAFE REGISTERED NURSE STAFFING ON HOSPITAL WARDS 29:10:13
That this House shares deep concern about occasions when patient safety has been compromised on acute hospital wards; believes that any cases of inexcusably poor nurse practice should be rooted out; notes however, that many reports on such cases provide compelling evidence of a link between the adequacy of registered nurse numbers and the quality of patient outcomes; supports the work of the Safe Staffing Alliance in highlighting the need for safe registered nurse staffing , that cases of poor staffing should be routinely reported and that hospital care should be underpinned by a fundamental standard where a limit of eight patients to each registered nurse, excluding the nurse in charge, should never be breached; further notes recent supportive comments by respected authorities including Robert Francis QC; and calls on the Government to introduce new benchmark standards of safe registered nurse staffing on hospital wards.
644 CHARTISM AND PARLIAMENT 29:10:13
That this House welcomes the recent lecture by Professor Malcolm Chase as an apposite recognition in Parliament of the Chartist Movement's legacy to parliamentary democracy; acknowledges with gratitude Mr Speaker's significant contribution to celebrating the 175th anniversary of the People's Charter by officially opening the Chartist exhibition in the No Lobby and allowing the Chartist lecture to be given in Mr Speaker's State Rooms; recognises the support of Mr Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art in establishing the permanent exhibition, Chartism 1838-1858, in the Upper Committee Corridor; notes that there is a web version of the exhibition at www. parliament.uk/art-chartism; notes that the Dearsley Windows at the end of St. Stephen's Hall include a depiction of the Chartist period; and places on record the professionalism of Melanie Unwin, Deputy Curator of the Parliamentary Art Collection, and the commitment of the All Party Group on Archives and History in accomplishing these appropriate tributes to our great forerunners, the Chartists.
646 BENEFACTORS AND PATRONS OF FREE SCHOOLS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST 29:10:13
That this House is gravely concerned that apparent benefactors and patrons of so-called free schools are able to benefit financially, directly or indirectly, from contracts awarded to them or to their companies; notes that a company of the Conservative vice-chairman Alan Lewis, who is a patron of the Kings Science Academy in Bradford, is being paid almost £6 million over 20 years to lease the land on which the academy was built with £10 million of public money; believes that such deals are not just against the public interest but involve a clear conflict of interest; and calls on the Government to ensure that those setting up so-called free schools or becoming patrons of them cannot benefit financially, directly or indirectly, through contracts placed by so-called free schools.
648 WINDRUSH DAY 29:10:13
That this House notes the cross-party campaign to celebrate a Windrush Day every year on 22 June to celebrate the positive contribution of the first generation of Caribbean immigrants since the MV Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury Docks on 22 June 1948; recognises that this generation have helped shape the UK's multicultural society, from their contribution to public service to literature, culture and food; and welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister on the 65th anniversary in 2013 praising their fortitude and determination in overcoming difficult challenges; and hopes that the Windrush generation, the last of whom are in their 80s and 90s, are remembered long into the future with an annual day of celebration.
649 CHAGOS REFUGEE ASSOCIATION 29:10:13
That this House congratulates the Chagos Refugee Association on their conference in Mauritius to mark 30 years since their foundation following their displacement from the Chagos Islands; and recognises that this historical wrong can best be corrected by allowing and facilitating their return to the Islands.
650 INTERNET GOODS DELIVERY SURCHARGES 30:10:13
That this House notes that people living in the north east of Scotland and the Highlands and Islands are often asked to pay substantial surcharges for the delivery of goods ordered over the internet; is concerned that such charges are often not clear to customers ordering products online; believes that such charges are unfair and discriminate against people living in the areas of the UK which are affected; welcomes the commitment of the UK Government to hold a delivery charge summit with major retailers; and backs calls from the Fairer Delivery Charges campaign for retailers to end excessive delivery surcharges and to offer delivery by Royal Mail when this is the cheaper option.
651 NIGEL DAVENPORT 30:10:13
That this House notes with sadness the death of Nigel Davenport, a truly great and prolific actor of stage and screen and a former President of Equity, the actors' union.
655 VISTEON UK LTD PENSION SCHEME 30:10:13
That this House continues to note that, when Visteon UK Ltd was spun off from the Ford Motor Company, employees transferred from Ford's pension fund into the Visteon UK pension fund on the clear understanding that their pension rights would be unaffected; further notes that when Visteon UK subsequently went into administration, now over four years ago, former Ford employees suffered a substantial reduction in their pension rights; regrets that the resolution of any court action is still some way off; believes that Ford should recognise a duty of care to its former employees and should make good the pension losses suffered by those worst affected without the need for legal action; and calls on the Government to use the power and influence at its disposal to help ensure that Ford recognises its obligations and accepts voluntarily its duty of care to former Visteon UK pensioners.
656 CLOSURE OF NHS SERVICES 30:10:13
That this House notes that the Secretary of State for Health has suffered another embarrassing legal defeat after the Court of Appeal judges ruled he had acted illegally in deciding to cut accident and emergency and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital; has concerns about Government amendment 168a to the Care Bill designed to change the rules to give the power to any hospital administrator appointed in England to dismantle hospital services arbitrarily, as long as a neighbouring hospital is deemed to be failing; believes that this attempt to sneak through a fundamental change to the way decisions are made about local hospitals makes a mockery of local scrutiny and democracy; and calls on the Government to accept that it has lost and to stop trying to change the law to enable it to close successful hospital services that the community wants and needs.
657 STREET LIGHTS AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PRIVATE COMPANIES 30:10:13
That this House notes that many council street lamps are housed on shared poles belonging to utility companies such as Electricity North West or British Telecom; further notes that many such companies have proposed to end this arrangement despite their infrastructure having been largely paid for by the taxpayer; further notes that the cost to council taxpayers of replacing these poles will be prohibitive meaning that many communities will lose large swathes of their street lighting; further notes that the impact of the removal of lights from shared poles will be particularly heavy in rural parishes where the majority of street lamps are not owned by the council; further notes the importance of adequate street lighting in ensuring safety; and calls on utility companies immediately to stop their policy of removing these lights.
658 WORKING CONDITIONS IN QATAR 30:10:13
That this House expresses its deep concern at reports of the ill treatment of migrant workers in Qatar on construction projects in preparation for the World Cup in 2022; calls on the government of Qatar to guarantee all International Labour Organisation conditions, including the right to join and be represented by an independent trade union for all migrant workers, and enable an independent investigation into reports of slave conditions, witholding of passports and due wages by employers; and futher calls on the Government to make urgent representations to the government of Qatar.
659 CONTROL OF INVASIVE FRESHWATER CRAYFISH 31:10:13
That this House is concerned at the continued spread of highly invasive American signal crayfish and growing evidence of severe adverse impacts, including on salmon and trout fishing and extensive burrowing into the banks of rivers and canals; notes that invasive species are currently estimated to cost the UK economy £1.7 billion each year; further notes that in Scotland anyone introducing crayfish deliberately or accidentally or caught in possession of non-native crayfish can now be jailed for up to six months and fined £40,000; further notes that the UK's only native crayfish species is predicted to face near-extinction; further notes that unless action is taken, severe damage caused by alien crayfish species will continue to increase; and calls on the Government to give urgent consideration to emulating Scottish biosecurity control measures in England and Wales, to review the 2004 Crayfish Byelaws and to ban the live transport and sale of all alien crayfish species in England and Wales.
660 POLIO IN SYRIA 31:10:13
That this House is concerned about the occurrence of polio in Syria following confirmation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the disease has been identified in the country for the first time in 14 years; is further concerned that the main impact of the disease is being borne by children, who are particularly susceptible to paralytic polio, the most serious form of the disease, and that the WHO regards the risk of further infection as high; notes that the disease is entirely preventable with vaccination and that before the civil war, 95 per cent of children in Syria were vaccinated, and that the UN now estimates that over 500,000 children are currently unvaccinated and at risk; and calls on the Government to do all it can to support aid and delivery organisations operating in Syria to vaccinate all those affected, especially vulnerable children, and to support international efforts to prevent further outbreaks.
661 PILOT BADGER CULL PARLIAMENTARY ASSESSMENT AND VOTE (No. 2) 31:10:13
That this House recognises that 145 hon. Members signed Early Day Motion 299 expressing concern over the pilot badger cull; notes that since this EDM was tabled the pilot badger culls have killed fewer badgers than was envisaged and that the cull timetable has been extended; further notes that 10 members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have written a letter to England's Chief Veterinary Officer suggesting that the extension of the badger cull could result in increased suffering of badgers and place both badgers and cattle in and around the cull zones at greater risk of contracting bovine tuberculosis; further notes that the reduced effectiveness of the cull makes vaccination more cost effective; and calls on the Government to make a statement to the House and bring forward a vote to decide on the most cost effective, humane and efficient way to reduce bovine TB.
662 UNDER-OCCUPANCY PENALTY 31:10:13
That this House recognises that the bedroom tax, spare room subsidy, is unjust, discriminates against disabled and sick people, carers, separated parents, grandparents, the low paid and the poorest, will not reduce homelessness or housing benefit spending as claimed, and puts financial and social strain on communities, landlords and local authorities; and calls on the Government to suspend the policy pending a review of its impact and effectiveness, which should consider writing off the tenant and landlord arrears it has caused.
663 COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 31:10:13
That this House welcomes the launch of the Government's Commission on Physical Activity to confront the urgent issue of physical inactivity in children in the UK; notes that the Commission will take a cross-sector approach to investigating the physical inactivity epidemic and take evidence from organisations and individuals across health, sport, transport, urban planning and education; recognises that 31 per cent of boys and 28 per cent of girls aged between two and 15 were classed as either overweight or obese in 2011-12; and reminds the Government of the role of food and drink manufacturers in contributing towards this obesity epidemic that should not be ignored.
664 QUALIFIED TEACHERS 31:10:13
That this House believes that teachers are the single most important resource of any school, and that parents want and expect their children to be taught by good qualified teachers; further believes that all state-funded schools should provide parents with a guarantee that their children are taught by qualified teachers or those working towards a teaching qualification; notes that the Education Act 2002, enacted under Labour, failed to include a legal requirement for non-maintained schools to employ qualified teachers; and welcomes the fact that there are 3,000 fewer unqualified teachers employed by state-funded schools than when the Coalition Government came to power.
665 NEUROBLASTOMA TREATMENT 4:11:13
That this House recognises that neuroblastoma affects around 100 children a year in the UK; further recognises that children with this type of cancer have an 80 to 95 per cent chance of relapsing at any time until they reach the age of 20; understands that the best chance of survival is by using a new treatment called Radioimmunosorbent Test (RIST); acknowledges that those suffering from the disease have to travel abroad for RIST treatment because none is available in the UK; notes that the cost of RIST treatment can be as high as £300,000; and calls on the Government to consider ways in which RIST treatment can be made available in the UK.
666 VULTURE FUNDS 4:11:13
That this House welcomes the impact of the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010 in preventing vulture funds taking an estimated £145 million from developing countries; further welcomes the passing of similar laws in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man; notes that vulture funds are trying to force Argentina to default on its debt through a legal case in New York; further notes that vulture funds are making large profits on Greek debt repayments owed under UK law, despite other creditors agreeing a reduction in the amount they are owed; is concerned that vulture funds are preventing the fair implementation of debt restructuring; and urges the Government to share its experience of legislating on vulture funds with the US administration, bring forward legislative proposals to prevent vulture funds ignoring international agreed debt restructuring for Argentina and Greece in UK courts, and support the creation of a fair, independent and transparent arbitration mechanism for sovereign debt.
667 LOBBYING REGISTER 4:11:13
That this House is concerned that the Government's planned lobbying register is deeply flawed and would result in less than one per cent of lobbying activity being publicly-registered; and calls on the Government in the strongest possible terms to amend its proposals to ensure that 100 per cent of professional lobbyists - to include those working in-house, for trade unions, for charities, for think tanks, for lobbying agencies, for law firms and for accountancy firms - are all part of a statutory registration regime in the UK.
668 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F KENNEDY 5:11:13
That this House notes the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 22 November 1963; remembers with fondness and admiration a great, compassionate and devoted leader whose life was tragically cut short; further notes President Kennedy's many accomplishments during his short life in office, his dynamic, vibrant and charismatic personality, his unwavering faith in public service and his unparalleled ability to motivate and rouse people from all sectors of society, through both his inspirational rhetoric and truly empathetic actions; shares his belief that people can solve their common problems if they put their country's interests first and work together in harmony; expresses its admiration for his courage and willingness to fight for new government programmes to help the poor, the elderly, the ill and the abused, his prioritisation of civil rights and his eagerness to fight for those segregated and mistreated in American society on racial or other grounds; recognises his realisation that the war in Vietnam was a war that had to be fought and won by the South Vietnamese people rather than the US; commends President Kennedy, and his family, for their tireless, selfless and dedicated work for the American people and for keeping the beliefs, hopes, aspirations, dreams and work of President Kennedy alive; and further shares the belief expressed in the words of his brother, the late Senator Edward Kennedy, when he said, the hope endures, the dream shall never die.
669 80th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WIENER LIBRARY FOR THE STUDY OF HOLOCAUST AND CONTEMPORARY GENOCIDE 5:11:13
That this House congratulates The Wiener Library as it celebrates its 80th anniversary; notes that the Library was founded in 1933 by Dr Alfred Wiener who spent years warning German politicians, industrialists and ordinary citizens of what a Nazi takeover would mean; recognises that on the eve of World War II, Dr Wiener brought his library to the UK and placed it at the disposal of Britain's war effort, contributing significantly to the success of the Nuremberg Trials and later the prosecution of Adolf Eichmann; further notes that today, The Wiener Library's unparalleled collection defines it as a key player in Holocaust research, commemoration and education; and expresses its commitment to ensuring that The Wiener Library will continue to be indispensable to those touched by the Holocaust, to those studying its causes and consequences and to anyone committed to strengthening democratic values as a bulwark against anti-Semitism, racism and religious intolerance.
670 FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (No. 2) 5:11:13
That this House expresses concern that there is a need for stronger action to prevent the crime of female genital mutilation (FGM); notes the report by a coalition of health professionals calling for FGM to be treated as child abuse; further notes the action plan on tackling FGM published by the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer; calls for implementation of the recommendation in the report and action plan that evidence of FGM in the family should be collected and used to identify persons who may be at risk of FGM; further calls for examination of the reporting duties for medical professionals and teachers in referring possible FGM cases to the police; and further calls on the Government to formulate a strategy to raise awareness of this issue.
671 GAY HUSSAR 5:11:13
That this House is saddened to learn of the decision by Corus Hotels, part of Malaysian United Industries, to auction the Gay Hussar restaurant in Soho, London in early December 2013; while recognising the right of Corus Hotels to dispose of its assets, notes that the restaurant's long-standing and loyal staff have not been consulted in any way; further notes that the Gay Hussar has played an important role in the culinary, political and journalistic life of the capital for more than 60 years and as such is an important national institution; and applauds any initiative, including a possible diners' and staff co-operative venture, as a means of keeping the Gay Hussar alive for future generations of rebels and Rabelaisians to enjoy.
672 FUEL POVERTY AMENDMENT TO THE ENERGY BILL 5:11:13
That this House welcomes the fuel poverty amendment moved by Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan in the House of Lords to the Energy Bill, seeking to retain a legal commitment to end the scandal of cold homes; recognises that the best way of doing so is in setting minimum energy efficiency standards that have to be met in the worst of the UK's housing stock, and within specified target dates; believes it is essential that such an objective remains in primary rather than secondary legislation; and calls on hon. Members and Members of the House of Lords to add their support to this initiative.
673 BONUSES FOR ENERGY COMPANIES' CHIEF EXECUTIVES 5:11:13
That this House welcomes the commitment from Sam Laidlow, Chief Executive of Centrica to give up his bonus this year; believes that accepting a six or seven figure bonus whilst putting up fuel bills by up to 10 per cent for customers would be unreasonable and highly questionable; and calls on the chief executives of E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE and EDF Energy to make the same commitment to waive their bonuses in light of the price rises announced by their respective companies.
674 HOMELESS FAMILIES IN BED AND BREAKFAST ACCOMMODATION 5:11:13
That this House notes with deep concern that the number of homeless families with children living in bed and breakfast accommodation is at a 10-year high; understands that, according to the housing charity Shelter, 2,090 families are living in this emergency housing, an increase of 8 per cent on 2012; further notes that 43,000 homeless families with children were living in other forms of emergency temporary accommodation, usually privately-rented flats, and that this is an increase of nine per cent on last year; and concludes that the Government's so-called welfare reforms are damaging the country's most poor and vulnerable families and children.
675 POLITICAL REPRESSION IN THE MALDIVES 5:11:13
That this House condemns the selling of teargas, stun grenades and rubber bullets by the British company Survitec to the repressive Maldives police force; notes that the Maldives police force prevented the re-run of the presidential elections in that country in October 2013; further notes that the massive consignment was exported by a Singapore-based subsidiary of Survitec, thus escaping UK arms controls; and demands that the Government introduce legislative proposals to prevent the evasion of arms controls in this way by British companies.
676 CO-OPERATIVE BANK TAKEOVER 5:11:13
That this House deplores the capture of the Co-operative Bank by rapacious US hedge funds; notes that the bank has mutural, ethical and collective principles which are at odds with the motives in this capitalist takeover; points out that the collapse of the Bank was caused by the catastrophic business judgements of the previous management; further notes that it is the workforce which is now paying for these disastrous errors; and calls on the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to exercise his powers under section 76 of the Companies Act to require the bank's new board to outline a plan to return the Co-operative to more democratic control within a fixed timescale.
677 COMPENSATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE IN ECUADORIAN AMAZON 6:11:13
That this House notes the huge environmental and social damage caused by oil giant Chevron-Texaco in the Ecuadorian Amazon; further notes that Chevron-Texaco admits to dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Ecuadorian Amazon between 1964 and 1990; is concerned that this contaminated the rivers used by local people for drinking, bathing and fishing resulting in numerous health issues for the people living there; believes this is one of the world's greatest environmental disasters with the oil dumped estimated to be roughly 30 times the amount spilt in the Exxon Valdez disaster; is concerned that Chevron-Texaco never carried out a meaningful clean up; congratulates the 30,000 local people who organised themselves into Amazon Defence Front and filed legal action against Chevron-Texaco to demand compensation; regrets that over the past 20 years Chevron-Texaco has not settled but used its financial advantage to oppose providing any compensation to the Amazonian communities; further notes that after decades of campaigning in 2011, an independent Ecuadorian court ordered Chevron-Texaco to pay $19 billion in compensation to the affected people; is concerned by reports that Chevron-Texaco has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in legal and lobbying fees to prevent compensation being paid; further notes that in contrast BP established a $20 billion fund to settle claims following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; and calls for Chevron-Texaco to settle the compensation payment to the Amazon communities for the damage caused.
678 DOROTHY HODGKIN AND WOMEN IN SCIENCE 6:11:13
That this House recognises and commends the contribution to science by Dorothy Hodgkin; notes her outstanding work in the field of X-ray crystallography; notes her discovery of the structure of penicillin for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964; believes that as a pioneer for women in science she is a role model for young people, particularly young women, interested in and working in scientific fields; and calls on the Government to do more to encourage and support the work of women in science.
679 ROYAL NAVY IN GIBRALTAR 6:11:13
That this House condemns the recent activity of the Guardia Civil in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters during which the Guardia Civil manoeuvered in a dangerous and provocative manner, causing a collision with HMS Scimitar, whilst she was on regular escort duty for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; points out that the actions of the Guardia Civil resulted in an armed stand-off; recognises the restraint and professionalism of the Royal Navy, Royal Gibraltar Police and Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the face of Spanish aggression; notes that the aggressive activity at the land border resulted in delays of up to four hours for hard-working people of Gibraltar and Spain; and expresses concern that Spain, a democratic member of the European Union, is acting in this manner.
680 IMPLEMENTATION OF REFORM OF SECTION 5 OF THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT 1986 6:11:13
That this House is greatly disappointed by the Government's delay in bringing into force section 57 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 which removes insulting words or behaviour from the scope of section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 and which received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013; observes that there have been further reports of the misuse of section 5 by the police which would not have occurred if the provision had been implemented; expresses concern that section 5 will continue to be used to limit freedom of expression until this important reform is brought into force; and therefore calls on the Government to bring section 57 into force immediately.
681 THE HAPPY LANDS 6:11:13
That this House congratulates Theatre Workshop Scotland and film director Robert Rae on the ground-breaking film The Happy Lands; commends the active involvement of members of local mining communities in Fife in rediscovering and recording a key time in their local history; notes that the film presents powerful stories about the UK's industrial heritage during the 1926 General Strike; applauds the engagement of so many local people in all aspects of making the film, from performing to set and costume design; warmly welcomes such collaborative, community-based film-making; encourages other communities to follow Robert Rae's lead in offering the film industry a genuine alternative methodology for film-making; acknowledges with gratitude that, with the negative impact of the recession in Fife, the making of The Happy Lands played a real part in transforming lives by investing in local work experience, jobs, enterprise and education; is delighted that the film has been selected for the 2013 Glasgow Film Festival, the 2013 Beijing International Film Festival, the 2013 Rennes Travelling Festival, the British Council's UK Now Festival in China and the National Schools Film Week Festival; further notes that it has recently been entered for the BAFTA Scotland Audience Award 2013; believes the film deserves to be shown to the widest possible audience; and thanks the director and producers of The Happy Lands for screening the film within the Palace of Westminster.
682 FIRST BLACK FEMALE SECOND PERMANENT SECRETARY AT THE TREASURY 6:11:13
That this House congratulates Sharon White on her appointment as Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury; notes that she is the first woman and the first black person to be appointed as a Permanent Secretary at the Treasury; further notes that Ms White has 25 years' experience in the Civil Service and she will have overall responsibility for managing the UK's public finances; welcomes HM Treasury's landmark and progressive decision; and encourages diversity in senior positions in the Civil Service to reflect multicultural Britain.
683 TAX ON HIGH CALORIE FOODS IN MEXICO 6:11:13
That this House applauds Mexico's congress for passing a bill to impose a levy of eight per cent on high calorie foods and a tax of one peso (£0.04) per litre on soft drinks to tackle the country's growing obesity problem; notes that it is estimated that by 2025, five million people in the UK will have diabetes because of rapidly rising numbers of overweight and obese people; further notes that a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks proposed by the UK's Academy of Medical Royal Colleges would cut the UK's obesity rate by 1.3 per cent, resulting in approximately 180,000 fewer adults with a body mass index of 30 or more; and calls on Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer to investigate the feasibility of imposing such a tax and the revenue that would be gained from it.
684 LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL DEVOLUTION AND FREEDOM 6:11:13
That this House believes local government in England should become ever more independent from central control; welcomes the historic coming together of the Core Cities Group, the Mayor of London and London councils to campaign as City Centred for fiscal devolution and greater freedoms to England's great cities; notes that these cities are the engines of the UK's economy and have bold ambitions for growth that would bring benefits across the country calls for funding reform to better allow the cities to invest and grow; further notes their concern that 95 per cent of all tax raised in these cities currently is sent to the Treasury; understands that their proposals will be cost-neutral at the point of devolution and not impact on funding for other parts of the country; and calls on all parties that aspire to Government to take action to progress the proposals as part of their localism agenda.
685 IMPRISONMENT OF EX-SENATOR STUART SYVRET IN JERSEY 6:11:13
That this House notes that Stuart Syvret who was previously elected as a senator in Jersey has been imprisoned for three months for making allegations on his blog about Andrew Marolia, David Minty, David Wherry and Jonathan Sharrock Haworth, who had previously obtained a super-injunction against him under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; further notes that the use of this law would cover all allegations whether they are true or not; believes that this is a chilling affront to freedom of speech and that before someone could be imprisoned for making allegations it should be shown that the allegations made are not true; further notes that Jersey still does not have a system of private prosecution, nor does it have the facility to judicially review prosecutory decisions; recognises that this means if people who are friends with those in power have committed criminal acts it is impossible to have those issues considered in an open court and that it is clear that the state will move to imprison people for making allegations about criminal offences not being prosecuted whether or not this is true; further believes that the Government should not be so complacent about the institutional failures in Jersey; and calls for Ministers to review the situation and report to Parliament.
686 SANCTIONS AT SPARKHILL JOBCENTRE IN BIRMINGHAM 6:11:13
That this House notes with concern reports that Sparkhill Jobcentre in Birmingham hands out unusually high levels of sanctions; further notes reports that people have inappropriately been given jobseeker's directions, which are supposed to be only for people with a history of non-compliance; further notes that the practice of making people attend 8.15am appointments and then sanctioning them for a few minutes' lateness was stopped after it generated negative publicity; calls on the Government to fully investigate reports of unfair practices at this jobcentre; draws to the Government's attention cases from around the country of people being sanctioned, even though they informed their jobcentre that they needed to rearrange an appointment to attend a job interview, training appointment or family funeral; urges the Government to consider how people who want to work are supposed to travel to job interviews, maintain a smart appearance or even feed themselves if the income they rely on to survive is removed for such reasons; and calls on the Government to use all effective means possible to dramatically reduce the inappropriate use of an increasingly oppressive sanctions regime that seeks to penalise rather than encourage an effective route back into work.
687 NUCLEAR WEAPONS HAZARDS 6:11:13
That this House congratulates Nuclear Information Services and The Observer newspaper for exposing the ultimate hazard posed by the possession of nuclear weapons in the article, How a NATO war game took the world to the brink of nuclear disaster, published on 3 November 2013; believes that the implications of making errors with nuclear weapons unveiled by the article demonstrates that nuclear weapons undermine the UK's national security; and therefore calls for the Government to place all British nuclear weapons into international multilateral disarmament negotiations along with nuclear weapons held by the other Permanent Five Countries, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.
688 POLITICAL PRISONERS IN AZERBAIJAN 6:11:13
That this House observes that the already dire situation of human rights abuses in Azerbaijan has deteriorated further in the past year; is appalled that the ten-month imprisonment on trumped-up charges of two opposition politicians continues; and calls on the Government to make representations on behalf of Ilgar Mammadov and Yeni Musavat, plus many others imprisoned for political reasons by the Aliyev regime.
689 PROTECTION OF THE GREEN BELT 6:11:13
That this House notes the need to protect the Green Belt which is made up of undeveloped land that surrounds urban areas; pays tribute to Ebenezer Howard who first proposed the Green Belt in his 1898 book, Garden Cities of Tomorrow, and whose day job was as a Hansard Reporter in Parliament; further notes that the Metropolitan Green Belt was proposed by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935, was enacted by Parliament in 1938 and was extended to other parts of the UK in 1955; acknowledges the need to build new homes; further notes that these new homes should first be built on brown field land such as the Servis Site in Darlaston, Walsall, which has planning permission for 124 homes; further considers that the practice of land banking should be ended and that those areas of land that already have planning permission should be developed before new areas are used; further notes the National Planning Policy Framework, published in March 2012, and the section titled Protecting Green Belt land; calls on the Government to commit to protecting the Green Belt from development and urban sprawl; and further calls on the Government to attach the appropriate weight on planning grounds, balancing the need for housing with a protection of the countryside preserved for future generations.
690 CO-OPERATIVE BANK NAME 6:11:13
That this House notes that assorted hedge funds now own 70 per cent of the Co-operative Bank; deeply regrets the lack of oversight and executive competence which has led to the current situation; expresses sympathy for the loyal staff who are going to be made redundant through no fault of their own; views with disgust the executives who presided over the ill-judged and disastrous merger with Britannia Building Society but still left with very large pay-offs and pension pots; believes that now that the Co-operative Bank is no longer a mutual organisation owned by its members, but instead owned by vulture funds and hedge funds, it can no longer be called a 'co-operative'; and calls on the city regulator and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to force the bank to change its name because its description is misleading.
691 WILMER PLACE N16 AND PLANNING LAW 6:11:13
That this House notes public opposition to a planning proposal for housing and retail in Wilmer Place, N16; further notes national opposition to clone high streets, where the same chains destroy the individuality of communities and threaten small businesses; further notes that councils are powerless to halt the spread of betting shops on high streets up and down the country; further notes the Government's opposition to putting a public health criteria in planning law which would enable councils to control the number of fast food shops on the high streets and around schools; and calls on the Government to bring forward proposals for reform of planning law to enable councils to fully reflect the will of local people.