House of Commons
21st 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
699 LEICESTER DIABETES CENTRE 11:11:13
That this House welcomes the opening of the Leicester Diabetes Centre in Leicester General Hospital on 7 November 2013; notes that it is one of the largest diabetes centres in Europe and will enable researchers across different departments to work together on one site for the first time; further notes that Sir Steve Redgrave, himself a sufferer from diabetes, opened the centre, making it a significant event in the campaign to raise awareness for diabetes; upholds Leicester as a leading example of a city at the forefront of innovative health developments; commends the work of Professor Melanie Davies, Professor Kamlesh Khunti and Professor Azhar Farooqi OBE: recognises that there are three million adults with diabetes in the UK and a further one million who are thought to have the condition but are unaware of it; and encourages the Secretary of State for Health to visit the centre in order to highlight the prevention of diabetes as a priority for the NHS.
700 HIV TESTING WEEK 11:11:13
That this House welcomes HIV Testing Week which runs from 22 to 29 November 2013; notes that HIV Testing Week leads up to World AIDS Day on 1 December 2013; commends that it raises awareness for HIV testing; further welcomes the fact that it highlights the global issues of AIDS and HIV; expresses concern that approximately 22,000 people in the UK are unaware that they have HIV; celebrates HIV Testing Week for raising awareness of the importance of early and regular HIV testing amongst those most at risk; and calls on hon. Members to support raising awareness for HIV and AIDS by supporting HIV Testing Week locally.
701 PROGRESSIVE ILLNESSES AND ESA 11:11:13
That this House supports the call by Parkinsons UK, the MS Society, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for the improvement of the work capability assessment as outlined in their submission to the assessment's fourth independent review; notes their evidence that 45 per cent of people with progressive illnesses who have applied for employment and support allowance have been told that they could recover enough to return to work; recognises the pain and suffering that many people with progressive illnesses face on a daily basis and that the work capability assessment currently adds to this; further notes that many people with progressive illnesses have been valuable contributors to the UK economy and society and will only submit a claim for the benefit as a last resort; calls on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure that anyone with a prognosis of being unlikely to return to work in the longer term is placed into the support group, rather than allocated to the work-related activity group; further calls on the DWP to oblige Atos healthcare professionals to seek further evidence to clinically justify their recommendations on likely return to work before being able to place anyone with a progressive condition in the work-related activity group; and further calls on the DWP to abandon prognosis statements, which advise that a return to work could be considered in a certain timeframe, if that person has a debilitating progressive condition.
702 POLITICAL SITUATION IN BANGLADESH 11:11:13
That this House notes that a number of leading members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party have been arrested recently; further notes that the home of the leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Begum Khaleda Zia, has been surrounded by security forces, making it very difficult if not impossible for leading members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to meet and consult with her; further notes that these actions follow the demand by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party that the incumbent government should hand over to a caretaker government that will command the confidence of all principal parties which will then preside over the forthcoming general election; fears that the political situation is deteriorating in Bangladesh which will be potentially disastrous for the country; and therefore urges the Government to ask the current government of Bangladesh to respect basic human rights in Bangladesh and to negotiate with all the principal opposition parties to arrive at a process for the forthcoming general election which will be acceptable to and which will have the necessary credibility with all the principal political parties in Bangladesh.
703 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FOR BUSINESS 11:11:13
That this House is encouraged by the positive progress made in the development of the International Festival for Business, to be held in Liverpool in 2014 and attracting 250,000 visitors from around the world; recognises that this is an excellent opportunity to provide an international showcase for British business; notes that over half of the total target of 100 events have already been confirmed; praises Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision for the role they have played in enabling the Festival to go ahead; acknowledges the active support and involvement of government departments and agencies; and calls on the Government to continue to assist and constructively engage with the Festival.
704 HEALTH FUNDING AND ECONOMIC DEPRIVATION 11:11:13
That this House expresses concern over the proposals in NHS England's Funding Review of Allocations to alter health funding formulas which would divert funding away from areas of poor health outcomes to areas with better health outcomes; notes the long-standing political and scientific consensus that economic deprivation is a major indicator of healthcare needs; further notes that life expectancy can vary by as much as 11.5 years in different parts of England; further notes the answer given by the Health Minister in the House on 12 June 2012 that he 'can give that assurance' in response to a question from the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne East that economic deprivation would not be downgraded in the resource allocation formula, Official Report, column 167; further notes the Health Minister's failure to condemn the proposals when questioned in the House on 22 October 2013, Official Report, column 134, and during a Westminster Hall debate on 5 November 2013, Official Report, column 63WH; and calls on the Government to resist any further moves to divert funding away from areas of high deprivation in future funding allocations and to oppose the proposals being consulted on in NHS England's funding review of allocations.
705 UNDER-OCCUPANCY PENALTY (No. 2) 11:11:13
That this House believes that the under-occupancy penalty was a mistake and should not have been introduced in the Welfare Reform Act 2012; further believes that it will not achieve the savings projected for it and that as constructed it is likely to have unforeseen consequences that will be unfair to certain groups and individuals; recognises that there is an urgent need to free up social housing to deal with the chronic shortage of social housing in many areas of the country, a legacy of the housing policies of previous Conservative and Labour administrations, including allowing people to buy council houses without replacing the stock, but nevertheless believes that the under-occupancy penalty is flawed and unacceptable in its current form; notes the perverse consequence that in some areas there are more larger properties now lying empty and with inadequate smaller housing; further believes that there should be more automatic exemptions, including for disabled and ill adults who require separate rooms for medical reasons or reasons associated with their disability; further believes that no-one should be subject to the penalty until they have refused a suitable home; further believes that councils should be given more exemptions, including where they can and wish to let houses above the recommended size without penalty to the individual or council; calls on the Department for Work and Pensions to conduct an urgent review of the policy and make changes; and further believes that if the Department refuses to do this, the policy should be scrapped altogether.
706 COMMEMORATION OF JOHN F KENNEDY 11:11:13
That this House notes the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 22 November 1963 and the lasting impact it has had across the world; remembers and pays tribute to his presidency and the huge contribution he made to the civil rights movement, the reduction of nuclear weapons, the introduction of Medicaid, the establishment of the Peace Corps, space exploration, and ending the Cold War; recognises the unique characteristics Kennedy brought to the presidency, and that his youth, energy, charisma, compassion and continuous belief that politics can bring out the best in people embodies not just the generation of the 1960s but those to come; recalls the intense pressure of the Cuban missile crisis and the remarkable statesmanship Kennedy displayed in preventing a global nuclear conflict; praises the efforts he undertook to close the gaps between rich and poor, young and old, black and white, American and non-American; and shares the late President's belief that, if a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
737 WORLD DIABETES DAY 2013 12:11:13
That this House notes that 14 November 2013 is World Diabetes Day which raises awareness for the condition suffered by millions of people worldwide; further notes that organisations and individuals take part in the Blue Monument Challenge, which has seen over 1,000 monuments and buildings lit in blue; congratulates the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, on their historic decisions to light up, blue, the Elizabeth Tower which houses Big Ben and the fountains in Trafalgar Square respectively; commends Leicester City Football Club, the Leicester Mercury and the New Walk Museum in Leicester which will also light up blue; recognises that we are in the midst of a diabetes epidemic with an estimated three million people with the condition and a further 850,000 people who are unaware they have the condition; further notes that an alarming 24,000 people die from avoidable diabetes complications each year; and urges the Government to adopt necessary and immediate preventative policies to address this growing problem.
739 FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR PALESTINIAN JOURNALISTS 12:11:13
That this House notes that, on a daily basis, Israeli authorities restrict journalists' movements and there are hundreds of military checkpoints that constrain or forbid journalists' movements; further notes that despite the long standing campaigning by journalists and civil rights organisations, the Israeli authorities continue to reject identiy cards, accreditation and press cards, including the International Federation of Journalists press card, when carried by Palestinian journalists; condemns the continuous attacks by Israeli soldiers on Palestinian news gatherers, in particular photographers and camera crews, the level of attacks has increased during the first half of 2013, in 2012 the attacks involved rubber coated steel bullets, tear grenades and stun grenades; and reaffirms that freedom of movement is a central tenet of independent professional journalism and, in restricting such a right, Israeli authorities are in breach of international covenants and the right to report.
740 HITZ RUGBY SOCIAL INCLUSION SCHEME 12:11:13
That this House welcomes the national launch of HITZ, a social inclusion programme, combining rugby union with training to support 9,000 at risk young people back into education and employment; notes the high cost of young persons Not in Employment, Education or Training to British public services and economy requires innovative solutions such at this; applauds the efforts of Premiership Rugby, and its constituent clubs Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, London Irish, London Wasps, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks, Saracens and Worcester Warriors to tackle this pressing social issue in their communities; further welcomes the co-operation between Premiership Rugby, the private sector and public services such as youth offending schemes, pupil referral units and social and youth services involved in HITZ; and encourages the Government and others to look at the potential power of professional rugby union as an agent of social change for young people in the run-up to Rugby World Cup 2015.
741 SKILLS FOR CARE AND DEVELOPMENT AMBASSADORS 18:11:13
That this House endorses the Skills for Care and Development Ambassadors initiative for expanding careers in social care and children's services in the UK; recognises that over 70 per cent of the UK's population will use social care and children's services at some time in their lives, that the care sector makes a huge contribution of over £40 billion to the economy each year, and employs 1.87 million people; and regards the Skills for Care and Development Ambassadors, who visit schools, colleges and jobcentres to attract people to pursue a career in care, as an effective means of filling the 90,000 vacancies a year in the sector.
745 SACHIN TENDULKAR 18:11:13
That this House congratulates the magnificent Sachin Tendulkar on his stunning career following his 200th and final test match in Mumbai on 15 November 2013; notes that in his record breaking and remarkable career the Little Master scored 15,921 runs in 200 Tests, 18,426 runs in 463 one day internationals and an astounding 100 centuries; further notes that Tendulkar has served as an inspiration for millions of Indians and people from all around the world; and recognises his selfless dedication to the sport, which has surely enriched cricket for decades to come.
746 ASSASSINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGNERS IN COLOMBIA 18:11:13
That this House expresses its condolences to the family and friends of small-scale campesino farmer and community leader César García, who was gunned down in Cajamarca, Colombia, on 2 November 2013; notes that César was a leading figure in the campaign against the London-listed AngloGold Ashanti La Colosa open pit gold mining project, which many fear will have devastating environmental, social and economic consequences in the region; further expresses its condolences to the family and friends of Adelinda Gómez Gaviria, assassinated on 30 September 2013 in Almaguer, Colombia, in front of her 16 year-old son who was also injured in the attack; further notes that Adelinda was an active campaigner against mining in an area where AngloGold Ashanti has important business interests; further expresses concern about these crimes; calls on the Colombian authorities to carry out prompt, rigorous and independent investigations to identify the perpetrators of these crimes; and requests that other community leaders and environmental campaigners receive adequate protection so that they can peacefully exercise their democratic rights.
749 SIR JOHN TAVENER 18:11:13
That this House is deeply saddened by the death of Sir John Tavener at the age of 69, one of the leading classical composers of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries; appreciates his outstanding contribution to classical music by bringing it into popular culture, with works such as Protecting the Veil, Song for Athene and pieces inspired by William Blake's poetry, The Lamb and Eternity Sunrise; recognises his exceptional creative talent demonstrated in the recent piece Cantus Mysticus, which premiered at a late night BBC Proms in 2008; notes that, as a student of the Royal Academy of Music and a teacher at Trinity College of Music, his work serves as a reminder of the importance of music in our cultural life; and calls on the Government to ensure that all children not only have access to music but are able to learn to play a musical instrument.
751 SUPPORT FOR CARERS OF PEOPLE WITH CANCER 18:11:13
That this House is aware that there are nearly one million people in the UK who carry out unpaid care work for family members and friends affected by cancer, providing on average 15 hours help per week for sufferers; notes that the number of individuals predicted to become victims of that illness is likely to double over the next 20 years; considers that it is therefore imperative that priority should be given to supporting this network of aid, especially carers' access to information and relevant services; and calls on the Government as a priority to bring forward amendments to the Care Bill to take these factors into account.
752 REVIEW OF THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME 18:11:13
That this House notes that, whilst in opposition, the right hon. Member for Thornbury and Yate, now the Minister of State for Pensions, supported the campaign for assistance for 145,000 members of pension schemes throughout the UK when their company became insolvent, believing that all accrued rights should be honoured and that no changes should be made to pension rights that had already been built up; further notes that the Financial Assistance Scheme introduced by the previous Labour administration afforded 90 per cent of pension rights but due to inflation erosion and indexation being limited to post 1997 service only, is now in real terms nearer to 76 per cent of what was a guaranteed 100 per cent company pension, meaning that a pension promise made has not been kept; calls on the Government to review the extent to which the commitment to 90 per cent of expected pension entitlement has not been reached for those involved in the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), taking into account that some 3,000 recipients of FAS received small overpayments through inaccurate calculations by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which they now seek to recover, making these pensioners even more adversely affected; and calls on the FAS to waive the clawback.
753 TEACHING ASSISTANTS IN SCHOOLS 18:11:13
That this House recognises that there are over 350,000 teaching assistants employed in England and appreciates the immense value they bring to classrooms and schools across the UK; notes that they perform an incredibly varied and complex mix of roles in schools, ranging from supporting teachers with administrative tasks to covering classes for teachers, providing targeted intervention programmes and delivering English classes for speakers of other languages; understands the difference they make to the most challenging pupils and those with severe learning difficulties and that mainstreaming in schools would have to stop without their efforts; further notes that, in a recent survey by UNISON, 95 per cent of school leaders believed that teaching assistants added value to schools, in particular in the team around the child, as effective mentors and advocates, and in enhancing the learning environment for all pupils; and joins in supporting UNISON members in their celebration day for teaching assistants on 29 November 2013 to recognise the difference they make to the education and support of children in UK schools.
754 UNITE THE UNION'S BACK HOME SAFE CAMPAIGN 18:11:13
That this House supports Unite the Union's Back Home Safe campaign, highlighting the need for immediate action to improve the safety of offshore flights; recognises the work of that union, following the most recent fatal offshore helicopter incident, in canvassing workers to show that over half do not feel adequately protected; acknowledges the role of the inquiries which have already been announced; but believes that only a full independent public inquiry will examine all aspects of helicopter operations offshore, including the role of the Civil Aviation Authority.
757 THE LATE EDDIE McGRADY 19:11:13
That this House is deeply saddened by the death of the former hon. Member for South Down Eddie McGrady; pays tribute to Eddie's outstanding contribution to political life in South Down and throughout Northern Ireland over the past 50 years as a local councillor, MLA and MP; recognises the dedication and devotion he showed in representing his constituents and fighting for their interests without fear or favour; acknowledges the critical role he played in the peace process and in facing down all those who engaged in acts of violence through his lifelong commitment to the principles of non-violence and reconciliation; appreciates that he was absolutely dedicated to the sanctity of life and the solidarity of community on a totally inclusive basis; further pays tribute to his legacy; and conveys deepest sympathy to his family and all those who knew this true gentleman.
759 FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING 19:11:13
That this House notes that a financial transaction tax (FTT) on bonds and derivatives and shares could raise £20 billion in additional revenue in the UK in one year; further notes that an FTT would have a negligible effect on jobs in the City of London; further notes that unemployment across Bradford is currently twice the national average and that Bradford Council has been hit by huge and disproportionate cuts to its central grant since 2010; believes that the revenues from an FTT would repair the national finances and make money available to reverse the devastating cuts to local authority funding, thus allowing investment and a reversal of cuts to council tax benefits; and therefore urges the Government to introduce an FTT without delay alongside other European Union partners.
761 PLANNING INSPECTORS 19:11:13
That this House notes the democratic deficit that can occur when planning inspectors overrule local authorities on appeal; further notes the recent decision to allow three wind turbines to be built in Wilpshire, Lancashire, after Ribble Valley Borough Council's initial decision was overturned by the Inspector on appeal; further notes the Energy Minister's recent comments said in reference to wind turbines that, 'some planners have been too insensitive to the impact on the landscape...There's enough wind projects in the system now so we don't need to see any more on-shore expansion'; understands that 360 local residents wrote to oppose the application and believes that the views of local residents, the elected councillors, the areas hon. Member and the Government Minister have been ignored; and calls on the Government to issue stern guidance to planning inspectors that gives due weight to the views of residents and local authorities when considering appeals.
762 GURKHA HUNGER STRIKE 19:11:13
That this House is gravely concerned about the Gurkhas who since 7 November 2013 have been undertaking a hunger strike in protest against the lack of proper provision of pensions compensation and medical care; notes that for the last two centuries the Gurkhas have sacrificed themselves, and will continue to do so, and therefore considers it is only right that they are treated equally with other military personnel; further notes that an ex-Gurkha soldier should not have to go on hunger strike outside Downing Street to get the attention of the Government; and calls on the Government to enter into negotiations with representatives of the United Struggle Committee on the Way Forward Proposals as a matter of urgency to resolve the plight of former Gurkha soldiers and families.
763 RESIGNATION OF TED TUPPEN, CEO OF ENTERPRISE INNS 19:11:13
That this House welcomes the departure of Ted Tuppen, CEO of the UK's biggest pubco, Enterprise Inns, announced on 19 November 2013; notes that Early Day Motion 2452 of Session 2010-12 called for his resignation; thus believes that the resignation is overdue and will be welcomed by many who care about pubs including current and former Enterprise licensees; further notes financial results showing that Enterprise has posted a post tax loss with an 11.7 per cent fall in profits before tax; further notes that Enterprise, valued at £700 million, holds £2.5 billion net debt; further notes that Mr Tuppen has been paid millions of pounds, including bonuses, as Enterprise share prices have collapsed, licensees have failed and pubs have shut; further believes that Mr Tuppen, one of the main participants of the overvaluation securitisation scam at the heart of the pubco model, has done more damage to British pubs than any other individual; deplores Enterprise's business practices of exploiting its licensees through excessive prices and rents, draconian fines and harassment, which have led to the failure of thousands of pub businesses and the closure of thousands of pubs, many sold deliberately for alternative use and have also ruined lives; further notes that the company's culture reflects the ruthlessness, arrogance and bullying shown by its CEO; further believes that Enterprise's business model is unethical and financially unsustainable; and calls on the Government to finally reform the sector through a market rent only option to stamp out years of exploitation and abuse that will otherwise continue.
764 NATIONAL DEBATE ON CHILD PROTECTION 19:11:13
That this House notes with regret the high-profile cases of child deaths as a result of child abuse and neglect in recent years, such as the cases of Victoria Climbie, Baby P, Keanu Williams, Hamzah Khan and others; further notes the recent case of Daniel Pelka in Coventry and the subsequent Serious Case Review; further notes the personal attention to the case of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families and his efforts to investigate potential failures to protect Daniel Pelka; further notes the extremely difficult nature of social work and stress that social workers can be under, particularly when understaffed; further notes that protecting children relies on the effective exchange of information between agencies including the police, schools, health visitors, hospitals, GPs, social workers, local authority social care and the local Safeguarding Children boards; further notes that in the majority of serious case reviews into failures to protect children, a key problem has been information-sharing between agencies; further notes that a second key problem identified is the failure to have direct communication with the children themselves; calls on the Government to commission an investigation into methods of improving the system of information-sharing between agencies and improving social care practices; and further calls for a national debate into child protection and our social services.
765 STATE VISIT OF IRISH PRESIDENT 19:11:13
That this House welcomes the announcement by Buckingham Palace of the historic first State visit by an Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, on 8 to 10 April 2014; believes that this gesture, so soon after the visit to Ireland by Her Majesty the Queen in May 2011, reflects the warmth of the relationship and strengthened ties between Britain and Ireland and furthers our thriving social and economic links; notes the positive response by political parties on both sides of the Irish Sea and organisations representing the Irish in Britain diaspora; and further believes that the State visit has the capacity to bring British-Irish relations to a new level and be seen as a further milestone in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation, for healing the wounds of the past and reaching for a better future.
766 SITUATION IN THE CONGO 20:11:13
That this House notes that the M23 militia group has surrendered after a violent 20-month campaign in Congo's eastern province; applauds the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right hon. Member for Richmond (Yorks), the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, MONUSCO's newly-established Intervention Brigade and others for enabling these hard-won battlefield gains; supports Save the Congo's call to the Foreign Secretary, together with the UK's friends and allies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the EU and the US to take whatever steps are necessary to extend the mandate of the UN Intervention Brigade to neutralise the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Hutu militia group whose leadership and ranks include individuals involved in the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda; and therefore urges the Foreign Secretary to work with United Nations Security Council members and the UK's allies and friends in SADC to ensure a resolution in such terms is passed.
767 DOCTOR WHO 20:11:13
That this House notes the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and the pleasure and enjoyment that it has brought to many generations of fans; and further notes that the BBC is truly providing its licence payers with the Best of BBC in this programming.
768 PHILIPPINES DISASTER 20:11:13
That this House extends sincere sympathy to all of those who have lost loved ones in the typhoon in the Philippines; prays for all of those who are injured and displaced; offers aid and assistance to those suffering the devastation on the ground through the international aid programme; and further offers thanks to the millions of members of the British public who have already given generously to help in this dreadful disaster.
769 AMNESTY CALL BY ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR NORTHERN IRELAND 20:11:13
That this House notes recent comments by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, which amounted to a call for an amnesty to be extended to all those who had committed murder and other atrocities in Northern Ireland before 1998; further notes that the overwhelming response from numerous innocent victims has been to reject such a suggestion; and calls for all those elected representatives opposed to murder and terror to join in opposition to any such proposal.
770 FOOD BANKS IN ARFON AND GOVERNMENT SPENDING PRIORITIES 20:11:13
That this House congratulates the dedicated volunteers who provide food to those in need throughout Arfon, at the Bangor Cathedral Food Bank and the Caernarfon Trussell Trust Food Bank; notes that Bangor Cathedral Food Bank has issued 376 single and 145 family food parcels so far this year; further notes that according to the Trussell Trust there have been 1,104 people - 692 adults and 412 children - receiving food over the past year; further notes that the Government's economic and welfare policies have led to increasing hardship and hunger for many; and calls for action by the Government to end food poverty and engage in creating a more compassionate society instead of prioritising cuts in tax for the highest earners, tax breaks for large corporations, and failing to clamp down on tax avoidance and excessive City executive pay.
772 LETTER TO STAFF OF MITIE 21:11:13
That this House notes with concern the threat to freedom of association and the right to protest posed by the facilities company MITIE in its letters to staff which state that protesting against MITIE falls under the category of bringing the company into disrepute and that this action, like all gross misconducts, can lead to disciplinary action including suspension and dismissal; calls on the company to withdraw this threat to the basic human rights of its staff; and urges the clients of the company, including the City of London Corporation and the legal firm Clifford Chance, to disassociate themselves from MITIE's unacceptable practices.
773 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS AND THE IVORY TRADE 21:11:13
That this House notes with alarm that an estimated 40,000 African elephants are killed each year, one every 15 minutes, out of a total population of 400,000; recognises that the profits from the illegal wildlife trade pose an increasing threat to security by funding criminal gangs and terrorism, including al-Shabab, the Somali cell of al-Qaeda; welcomes the Government's active role as a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and its support for a total ban on ivory sales; further welcomes the training and support provided by the British Army for the Kenya Wildlife Services anti-poaching rangers; further welcomes the Foreign Secretary's initiative to host a high-level conference on illegal wildlife trade in February 2014; encourages the Government in its efforts to secure a commitment from the international community to work together to reduce demand for wildlife products, to enforce the law, and to provide sustainable alternative livelihoods; and calls on the Government to encourage international support for the protection of elephants which are now universally acknowledged as intelligent, social, sentient beings and to use the overseas aid budget to make a substantial and strategically important contribution to the African Elephant Action Plan adopted in 2010 by all 38 African Elephant Range States in order to enable African countries to take the necessary steps to protect their elephants from poachers and to stop the illegal trafficking of ivory.
774 CHILCOT INQUIRY 21:11:13
That this House is deeply concerned that the Chilot Inquiry into the Iraq war has still not produced a report almost four years after its first session; notes that the ignominious anniversary will fall on 24 November 2013; understands that the delay is caused by the failure of the Government to provide to the Inquiry Cabinet documents in the run-up to the war, 25 notes from the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to US President, George W. Bush, as well as more than 130 records of conversations involving the Prime Minister, the President and the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath; further notes with concern that the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, who was principal private secretary to Tony Blair in the run-up to the war, is the person responsible for deciding whether documents should be handed over to Chilcot; and calls on the Prime Minister to ensure that all relevant materials requested by Sir John Chilcot are delivered so that another anniversary will not fall before judgment is passed on those who took us into this disastrous war.
775 LEGACY OF JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE UK 21:11:13
That this House marks with sorrow the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination on 22 November 1963 of President John F. Kennedy, whose short presidency nevertheless brought a new approach to international politics, inspiring people across the world and especially across the British Isles, to which his ties were particularly strong and to whom, uniquely for this country among American Presidents, a national memorial was established; observes that this consists of not just a physical memorial at Runnymede on land given to the people of the US, where a ceremony is being held on the day of the anniversary, but also of the Kennedy Memorial Trust's scholarship programme which each year sends a group of British graduates to study at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; notes that the total number of people who have benefited from this now totals 488, including a number of Members of both Houses of Parliament, and that the special opportunities the Trust's scholarship programme and activities give reflect and refresh the aspirations and outlook of President Kennedy, not just the fostering of personal, cultural and knowledge exchanges between Britons and Americans, but also the principles of outward-facing liberal internationalism so vigorously promoted by him throughout his life.
776 BLACKPOOL GIVE A LITTLE, HELP A LOT CAMPAIGN 21:11:13
That this House notes with approval the success in Blackpool of the Christmas Give A Little, Help A Lot, campaign which aims to help underprivileged children in the town to have a happier Christmas by collecting toys, games, books, gift sets, new clothing and other items as well as cash donations for this purpose; further notes that last year's campaign helped over 950 local children; congratulates Pam and Fred Jackson, the originators of the scheme, as well as Blackpool Council, for their wholehearted support and promotion of it, all the local groups, organisations and businesses who are assisting both with gifts and collection points and the generous public across Blackpool; and expresses the hope that this year's campaign, which continues throughout November with collections until 9 December, may consolidate previous success and the reputation of the town for charitable generosity and activity.
777 CHILD CONTACT CENTRES 21:11:13
That this House acknowledges the vital work which is carried out in child contact centres across the UK; notes the vital role they play in restoring relationships between parents and children; applauds those charities and volunteers who currently operate these centres on a minimal budget; is concerned that many child contact centres are facing an uncertain future due to the current economic climate; further notes that sudden centre closures leave many children without the opportunity to see a parent; and calls on the Government to create a nationwide network of child contact centres with a statutory obligation to provide at least one venue for a family court centre, and with secured and increased funding, as well as the ability to retain or recruit trained volunteers to ensure children and parents have the best opportunities in difficult situations.
778 SAFER LIGHT-CONTROLLED PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS 21:11:13
That this House considers that type approval should be withdrawn for light-controlled pedestrian crossings that incorporate a flashing green light for walkers or a flashing orange light for motorised vehicles.
779 CYCLING SAFETY 21:11:13
That this House welcomes the huge growth in cycling and the number of cyclists in towns and cities across the UK; notes the recent tragic deaths of cyclists in London and elsewhere; believes that much more needs to be done urgently to safeguard cyclists; calls on the Government to ensure that all public contracts with contractors involving heavy goods and other large vehicles contain clauses requiring those vehicles to be fitted with safety equipment to warn of cyclists in blind spots; further calls on the Government urgently to investigate requiring all new large vehicles to be fitted with safety equipment and the banning of heavy goods vehicles from city and town centres during rush hours; and further calls on the Government to fund a major cycling safety campaign to help make cyclists more aware of good cycling practice.
780 ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS ON PALESTINIAN LAND 21:11:13
That this House agrees with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal and an obstacle to peace; considers the Israeli government's approval of thousands of units of new settlement building since the resumption of peace talks to be counter-productive; regrets the Israeli army's failure to arrest and prosecute settlers who burn olive groves and harass Palestinian farmers; and urges the Government to leave UK businesses in no doubt that it would help the peace negotiations if they avoided financial relationships with illegal settlements in the West Bank until there is a peace agreement.