House of Commons
13th February 2014
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
1031 CURRENT SITUATION IN BANGLADESH 3:2:14
That this House notes that the 10th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh were held on 5 January 2014 and that over half of constituencies went uncontested; is deeply concerned about the levels of violence and instability surrounding the election; urges the UK Government to explore every available option to encourage dialogue between the opposing parties; calls for international bodies to apply pressure on opposing parties to resolve this situation at the earliest opportunity; condemns the violence, political harassment and arbitrary confinement; further notes with concern the effect the upheaval is having on the garment industry, which accounts for 80 per cent of Bangladesh's exports; and further urges leaders of all parties to find a way forward to make sure the people of Bangladesh can participate in a peaceful, inclusive, free and fair election which meets international standards.
1033 ENGLAND WOMEN'S CRICKET TEAM ASHES VICTORY 3:2:14
That this House congratulates the England women's cricket team for retaining the Ashes after defeating Australia 10-8 in the multi-format series; pays tribute to captain Charlotte Edwards and her team for their strong performance; recognises the players as great role models for girls and young women playing sport; and wishes the team the best of luck in the forthcoming World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh.
1034 SYRIA - YARMOUK AND HOMS 3:2:14
That this House expresses deep concern over the continued suffering of civilians in towns and suburbs in Syria such as Yarmouk and the Old City of Homs which are beseiged by Syrian government armed forces; notes that there have been documented deaths due to starvation; asks the Government to continue to bring their plight to the attention of the UN and the Syrian government; and calls on the Government to do all it can to bring pressure to bear on the Syrian government and opposition forces to respect international humanitarian law and guarantee access for humanitarian aid to civilians in areas such as Yarmouk and the Old City of Homs.
1035 NUCLEAR SUBSIDY 3:2:14
That this House believes that the UK has been ripped off by Électricité de France (EDF) which has agreed to sell future electricity in France at £38 per Mwh while pressuring the Government to pay £92.50 per Mwh for Hinkley Point electricity, double the present price, index-linked and guaranteed against EDF loss for 35 years; and further believes this massive subsidy will inflate electricity bills for four decades.
1036 NUCLEAR SUBSIDY (No. 2) 3:2:14
That this House is appalled that UK consumers will pay up to £17.6 billion of super-normal subsidies via their energy bills to the French government-controlled company EDF for Hinkley Point nuclear electricity; and calls on the Government to accept the European Commission's judgement, abandon this absurd agreement and honour its Coalition Agreement promise of no-nuclear subsidies.
1037 FAMAGUSTA PETITION 3:2:14
That this House is aware that recently a petition signed by more than 50,000 people, supported by both the Famagusta Association of Great Britain and the Turkish Cypriot Association for Democracy was delivered to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street; notes that it also contained the results of an opinion poll, undertaken by the Turkish Cypriot Initiative Group which showed that an overwhelming majority of citizens believed that the town should be returned to its inhabitants; and believes that this should occur immediately and that the opening of its port would result in its comprehensive economic development to the benefit of Greek, Turkish and other communities and would positively promote socio-cultural co-operation which would then serve as a catalyst in reaching an amicable solution to the Cyprus problem.
1038 SYRIA 3:2:14
That this House notes the present conflict worsening considerably in Syria with the increasing numbers of people fleeing the country in search of safety now reaching epidemic proportions, 52 per cent of whom are children; believes that as this crisis intensifies Britain should do all in its power to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable that have been affected; recognises that the UK has already committed £600 million to the UN's humanitarian appeal to assist; is disappointed that so far no refugees have yet been allowed admission to the UK under the terms of the UNHCR Refugee Programme; and calls on the Government as a matter of priority to provide urgent entry, safety and protection for the most beleagured of these suffering citizens.
1039 FIREFIGHTERS' PENSION SCHEME 3:2:14
That this House is aware that the Government is currently consulting on a third year of pension contribution increases for firefighters despite the fact that their scheme is already amongst the highest for contributions paid in the public and private sectors; and believes this to be unfair on the UK's firefighters and a slap in the face for men and women who every day risk their lives in this profession.
1040 NIGERIA No. 1 (2014) (Cm. 8791) 4:2:14
That the Agreement, done at Abuja on 9 January 2014, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Cm. 8791), a copy of which was laid before this House on 27 January 2014, should not be ratified.
1041 ASDA EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 4:2:14
That this House expresses its disgust with and condemnation of the employment practices of Asda, in particular with regard to its treatment of a staff member at its branch in Longsight, Manchester; notes that this staff member was suspended for nearly two years on bogus allegations and has now, after this protracted and biased process, been unfairly dismissed; suspects that racism is involved in the persecution of this constituent of the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton; asserts that Asda has breached its own policies and procedures, confidentiality and data protection; further asserts that Asda has made false statements, has been involved in collusion over statements, has breached the ACAS code of practice, has made its decision with no valid evidence in support and has taken hearsay as being fact; and condemns these nasty bullies who believe they can get away with anything simply because they are immensely wealthy.
1042 RECOGNITION OF SCIENTIST DOROTHY HODGKIN 4:2:14
That this House recognises the work of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), a pioneer scientist in the field of X-ray crystallography who, before the high-tech age, identified the three dimensional positioning of atoms in the molecules of various materials, including penicillin, vitamin B12, steroids and insulin; notes that this cracked the code, which then enabled scientists to make materials synthetically thus saving countless lives worldwide; celebrates that Dorothy Hodgkin was a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to biochemistry at a time when women in science were few and far between; further notes that she remains the only British woman to have won a science Nobel Prize, was the second woman to receive the Order of Merit in 1965, the first woman to receive the Copley Medal and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize; further notes that Dorothy Hodgkin was one of five Women of Achievement selected for a set of British stamps issued in August 1996; further notes that she tutored former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the University of Oxford; acknowledges that 2014 is the year of crystallography; further celebrates her passion for campaigning for peace and East-West understanding; believes that her achievements should be remembered by including her in the Key Stage 1 education syllabus; and calls on all hon. and right hon. Members to recognise and celebrate her outstanding contribution to science.
1043 CONVICTIONS RELATING TO MORECAMBE BAY COCKLE PICKERS' DISASTER 4:2:14
That this House notes that Lin Liang Ren, Lin Mu Yong and Zhao Xiao Qing were all convicted for their involvement in the Morecambe Bay cockle pickers' disaster; further notes that the 10th anniversary of the disaster is in February 2014; considers that the people of Morecambe deserve to know how many years each served in prison in the UK; and further considers that the people of Morecambe deserve to know when they were deported and whether they are currently incarcerated in their native China.
1044 CHANGES TO FLOODLINE CHARGES 4:2:14
That this House notes that the Prime Minister has forced the Environment Agency to launch an 0345 floodline number; further notes that this was in response to complaints that the old 0845 number cost up to 41 pence a minute to call; believes that this service should be as affordable as possible to users; and therefore welcomes the changes made.
1045 CHILDHOOD BRAIN TUMOURS 5:2:14
That this House congratulates Enfield Council, Sutton Council, Hampshire County Council and Reading Borough Council for working with The Brain Tumour Charity to raise awareness of the symptoms of childhood brain tumours through its HeadSmart campaign; notes that 500 children are diagnosed with brain tumours each year and that 125 will die as a result of delayed diagnosis; further notes that many more will survive with debilitating disabilities like blindness; and calls on the Government to support the HeadSmart campaign by recommending that all local authorities in England use their distribution networks to disseminate the HeadSmart awareness cards to schools and healthcare professionals.
1046 INEOS AND TRADES UNIONS 5:2:14
That this House expresses serious concern at the anti-trade union behaviour of INEOS at its petrochemical plant in Grangemouth where it has dismissed Mark Lyon, the UK Vice-President of Unite The Union for carrying out his responsibilities as the elected convener of Unite The Union at the Grangemouth complex; notes that INEOS refuses to accept the Unite shops stewards elected by the workforce to represent them and is acting against the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work 1998, particularly ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise 1948, and ILO Convention 98 on The Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, 1949; further notes that INEOS is acting in contravention of the rights set out by the UK Government on the gov.uk website sections on Trade union membership: your employment rights and the role of your trade union rep; is concerned that INEOS is in line to receive £9 million in grants from the Scottish Government and has applied for loan guarantee fund support from the UK Government of £150 million; calls on the Government to make it clear to INEOS that actions in breach of ILO conventions and in contradiction of UK law on the rights of employees to be represented by a trade union and to take part in trade union activities is not acceptable in the UK in the 21st century; and further calls for the reinstatement of Mark Lyon and a negotiated settlement of points of difference between INEOS and trades unionists in its employment.
1047 RAILWAY PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF IRELAND 5:2:14
That this House salutes the work and achievements of the volunteers of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) in its golden anniversary year; acknowledges the valuable work carried out by the Society across the whole island of Ireland in preserving and restoring to working order its fleet of steam locomotives and carriages which, with the co-operation of Northern Ireland railways and Irish Rail, enables RPSI to run its annual programme of special steam trains both in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic; notes that over 50 years the RPSI has enabled nearly 450,000 families and individuals to experience the age of mainline steam; and wishes the Society continued success in the future, not least in its endeavours to meet the requirements of the modern railway and to develop its Northern Ireland base in Whitehead Co Antrim into a fully-equipped engineering base and heritage working museum.
1048 CHRISTIANS AGAINST POVERTY 5:2:14
That this House notes the excellent ongoing work carried out by groups such as Christians Against Poverty, helping individuals and families who have found themselves in deep financial and emotional difficulties, offering help, hope and guidance for thousands, some of whom have contemplated suicide; and commends the work of so many volunteer counsellors in offering financial, emotional and spiritual assistance to many whose debt had become unmanageable.
1049 CHRISTIANS IN VIETNAM 5:2:14
That this House expresses concern at the decision to increase restrictions on Christian leaders in Vietnam that will prevent the practising of Christianity including holding services, training ministers and repairing places of worship; and notes that Decree 92 makes it virtually impossible for unregistered religious groups to obtain legal status.
1050 UGANDAN ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL 5:2:14
That this House calls on President Yoweri Museveni to return the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill to parliament with the amendments proposed by Sexual Minorities Uganda's recent report, that is to amend sexual offences laws to make them gender neutral, to ensure a system of mandated reporting of all forms of suspected child abuse should be implemented, to address risk factors associated with all forms of child exploitation and abuse and to prevent discriminatory access to health laws; and further calls on the Government, if the Bill passes unamended, to consider which sanctions would be appropriate to impose on the Ugandan government, including travel bans on the promoters of this legislation and redirecting development assistance from Ugandan government-associated schemes to civil society organisations which support values consistent with the constitution of Uganda, the Commonwealth Charter and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights which enshrines the right to freedom from discrimination.
1051 UNIVERSAL JOBMATCH AND UNSCRUPULOUS EMPLOYERS 5:2:14
That this House notes that at times unscrupulous employers who fail to pay wages or pay people cash-in-hand will have jobs advertised on the Government website Universal Jobmatch; recognises that if employers are subject to valid complaints, their advertisements will be withdrawn; further recognises, however, that this does not prevent the same employer advertising again; further notes that jobcentres have refused to be concerned about payments made cash-in-hand; believes that jobcentres should be concerned to ensure that proper tax payments are made by employers; and further believes that an employer that has been demonstrated to be unscrupulous should be prevented from adding new advertisements to Universal Jobmatch until any outstanding issues of concern are resolved.
1054 BUSINESS RATES REFORM 5:2:14
That this House is aware of the disquiet and anger amongst businessmen and women concerning annual inflation-linked increases in business rates, regardless of the ability to pay, or wider economic circumstances, especially those which inhibit growth and investment; and believes that whilst acknowledging the two per cent cap and limited relief options offered in the Autumn Statement, in the present period of austerity the Chancellor should immediately announce a two-year freeze in such payments and commit to a thorough review of this current fundamentally flawed system with the view to replacing it with a mechanism that is fair and one which enables companies to generate jobs, create wealth and growth within communities.
1056 CHECK-OFF OF UNION SUBSCRIPTIONS 5:2:14
That this House is concerned that Government departments have been asked by the Cabinet Office to review the established system known as check-off, by which public servants pay their union subscriptions directly via payroll; recognises that check-off was introduced as a helpful and inexpensive way for employers, trades unions and their members to work together to collect subscriptions; notes that the cost to the taxpayer of ending the system is likely to be greater than for continuing it; questions the rationale for treating check-off differently to other payroll deductions such as charitable giving via Give As You Earn; further notes the disproportionate impact of ending the system upon low paid workers who could be subject to bank charges if subscriptions are not taken directly from salaries; further recognises that while the Cabinet Office has written to departments describing check-off as not desirable, it cannot instruct departments in this matter; and urges the Government to halt the review of check-off and leave departments to engage in constructive discussions with the trades unions affected.
1057 SOCIAL SECURITY (S. I., 2014, No. 212) 6:2:14
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 212), dated 4 February 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 5 February, be annulled.
1059 GUARDIAN CAMPAIGN TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION 6:2:14
That this House notes that an estimated 66,000 women in the UK have suffered from female genital mutilation (FGM); further notes that an additional 20,000 British girls are thought to be at risk of being cut every year despite previous Government promises to stop FGM; commends the work of 17 year old student Fahma Mohamed, alongside The Guardian newspaper, to put a stop to this inhumane and unnecessary practice; further notes that Fahma's change.org petition calling on the Department for Education (DfE) to teach about FGM in schools has already collected over 22,310 signatories; welcomes the announcement on 6 February 2014 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development and the Minister of State for the Home Office of a package of measures designed to combat this harmful practice nationally and internationally; calls on the Government, and in particular the DfE to do everything in its power to support the work of Fahma and countless others who are fighting to end the culture of secrecy and fear around the practice; and further calls for swift action on the issue before the 'cutting season' begins once more during the 2014 school summer holidays.
1060 GOVERNMENT REVIEW OF THE PROVISION OF CHECK-OFF FACILITIES 6:2:14
That this House notes with concern news that the Government is currently undertaking a review of the provision of check-off facilities throughout government; further notes that this is an arrangement whereby trade union subscriptions are automatically deducted from salaries; understands that the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), the largest trade union representing civil and public servants, which is active at HM Revenue and Customs Cumbernauld and other locations across Scotland, last year won a High Court case against the Department for Communities and Local Government when it sought to remove that contractual right; recognises the vital role played by trade unions in ensuring that the rights of workers are protected; believes that any move to remove this arrangement will represent an attack on trade unions and the rights of civil servants to organise themselves and may damage industrial relations; welcomes the position of the Scottish Government not to withdraw from existing arrangements to collect trade union subscriptions directly from salaries; further understands that the current check-off arrangements operating in the Scottish Government have been in place for many years and that they continue to work well; and commends the PCS and other public sector unions for their efforts to ensure that their members' interests are represented.
1061 FIRST UTILITY LOWERING CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 10:2:14
That this House congratulates First Utility for lowering the amount it charges when customers do not pay their energy bills by direct debit to just £2 per month; notes that prior to the backbench business debate on 4 February 2014 on energy companies charging their customers excessive fees for not paying by direct debit, First Utility charged £96 per year; believes that this change will help poorer customers and sets a good example to other energy companies; and urges them to follow this example.
1062 PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND DATA ON OBESITY 10:2:14
That this House is alarmed by data published by Public Health England on 4 February 2014 which reveals that 64 per cent of adults in England and Wales are either obese or overweight; notes that the worst affected area was Copeland, Cumbria with 75.9 per cent of the population above a healthy weight and that even the slimmest authority, Kensington and Chelsea, is 46 per cent overweight; further notes the findings of an earlier study by charity UK Active which suggested that sedentary lifestyles are responsible for 17 per cent of all premature deaths in the UK; recognises that the Government's over-reliance on the Responsibility Deal is limiting its approach to tackling the obesity epidemic; and calls on the Government to set up a cross-departmental working group to maximise the response to obesity before it overwhelms the NHS.
1063 ACCESS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES 10:2:14
That this House welcomes the investment that has been made into increasing access to psychological therapies, but notes with concern that one in 10 people are still waiting over a year for access to psychological therapies and three out of five people are not offered a choice in the therapy they are offered; believes that further investment in psychological therapies will deliver significant health and economic benefits, and lead to fewer people requiring more costly crisis care services at a later stage; urges the NHS in England to offer a full range of evidence-based psychological therapies to everyone who needs them within 28 days of requesting a referral, or sooner if they are in crisis; calls on the Government and NHS England urgently to introduce maximum waiting time standards; and further urges clinical commissioning groups to commission for choice, providing a wide range of therapies to meet the needs of their communities.
1065 BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY 10:2:14
That this House notes with concern the extremely repressive measures Birmingham University has taken in recent years against students engaging in peaceful political protest, culminating in the latest suspension of five students, without any right of appeal and, bearing in mind the impact that suspension will have on the education of those final year students, calls upon the Vice Chancellor of Birmingham University to intervene to lift these suspensions and to review the university authorities' attitude to the freedom of speech of students.
1066 ROYAL OPERA HOUSE RECOGNITION OF THE INDEPENDENT WORKERS UNION OF GREAT BRITAIN 10:2:14
That this House congratulates the porters and cleaners at the Royal Opera House who have achieved the London Living Wage; salutes the courage of these workers in waging a successful campaign in the face of adversity; notes with concern that the Royal Opera House's contractor MITIE has not recognised the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) of which almost all the cleaners and porters are members; and calls for the chosen union of the workers to be recognised and that the workforce to be treated with respect and dignity.
1067 FAST FOOD RIGHTS CAMPAIGN 10:2:14
That this House notes that the fast food industry in the UK sees revenue of over £5 billion every year; further notes that the sector is dominated by multinational corporations delivering vast profits for their shareholders; is appalled that many employees in the industry are not paid a living wage and are employed on zero-hours contracts; believes that workers should be able to join a trade union without fear of recrimination from employers; welcomes the initiative of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union which, together with other campaign groups, has launched a Fast Food Rights campaign for workers in the industry; further notes that the campaign will be calling for a day of action on 15 February 2014 at branches of McDonald's UK, Burger King and Costa Coffee on London's Oxford Street; and calls for the management of the companies concerned to enter into meaningful discussions with the union over pay, conditions and trade union representation in their outlets.
1068 RECOGNITION OF PUBLIC SERVICE - WAR EFFORTS 10:2:14
That this House recollects a memorial to the Bevin Boys being recently unveiled at the National Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, in recognition of their role in serving their country during the Second World War by working in Britain's mining industry alongside other colliers who were also denied the right to be members of the armed forces because of their classification as being in a reserved occupation; recalls that during the period 1939 until 1945 many of these men were subsequently injured and some killed producing coal supplies for the war effort; believes these citizens, along with others who worked in restricted occupations during this period, including on the railways, coastguards, munitions production and shipbuilding, should be similarly recognised for their important contribution made during the nation's plight; and calls on the Government to instigate a Royal Commission to examine ways in which this could be achieved.
1069 USE OF DOGS IN PHARMACEUTICAL TESTING 10:2:14
That this House is aware that 90,000 dogs are used each year in research across the EU and US in evaluating pharmaceutical safety and efficiency, despite there being little research compiled to assess the usefulness of them being used in advancing the development of drugs for humans; notes the findings of recent indepth analysis by both the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments which clearly shows how unreliable their use is in such testing; and believes in the light of this the use of dogs in these scientific practices should cease immediately in the UK and instead a constructive dialogue be developed between stakeholders and the Government to find a more humane and acceptable way forward on these matters.
1070 WHICH? CLEAN UP CREDIT CAMPAIGN AND EXCESSIVE DEFAULT FEES CHARGED BY PAYDAY LENDERS 10:2:14
That this House notes the recent research published by the Competition Commission that found more than a third of payday loan customers repay their debt late and incur default fees; further notes previous research estimating that a million UK households a month are using payday loans; welcomes the Which? Clean Up Credit campaign on excessive default fees charged by payday lenders; supports the campaign's call for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to clamp down on excessive charges and irresponsible lending, and to make sure borrowers are being treated fairly whatever form of credit they are using; and calls on the FCA to take urgent action in response to this growing problem.
1072 ENDING SEVERANCE PAY FOR MINISTERS 11:2:14
That this House notes that when a Minister ceases to hold office they receive a severance payment normally equivalent to three months' salary; further notes that this payment is made for whatever reason the Minister ceases to hold office unless they are over 65 or take up another ministerial position within a three week period of leaving office; condemns the fact that ministers who resign in disgrace are still entitled to this payment; criticises the practice as outdated and inappropriate; and calls on the Government to end severance payments for ministers.
1073 DOWN'S SYNDROME AWARENESS WEEK (17-23 MARCH) AND WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY (21 MARCH) 11:2:14
That this House supports the campaign Better Health Care for People with Down's syndrome mounted by the UK charity Down's Syndrome Association (DSA) to ensure that people with Down's syndrome receive regular and effective health surveillance; acknowledges that Down's syndrome is the most frequently recognised cause of learning disability; notes that people with Down's syndrome have specific health needs; welcomes the launch of the DSA Health Book during Down's Syndrome Awareness Week (17 to 23 March); celebrates World Down Syndrome Day which takes place on 21 March and focuses on Health and Wellbeing—Access and Equality for All; and welcomes the Parliamentary Reception to be held on 18 March in the Churchill Dining Room when there will be an opportunity to hear about the DSA Health Book, and to meet parent members including Patron Damon Hill OBE.
1074 NO PRIVATISATION OF PENSION DELIVERY 11:2:14
That this House totally opposes any outsourcing to private companies of the delivery of the state pension; notes that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) presently administers £100 billion in public monies; is concerned that a review by the DWP indicates that it is considering privatising the delivery of state pensions in an attempt to slash costs; points out that the service currently employs 7,000 staff and that over 93 per cent of pensioners are satisfied with the current model; believes that the only way savings can be achieved by the Department or any private company is by cutting staff, pay and conditions, or by reducing the quality of the service; and urges the Government to reject any privatisation proposals for the delivery of the state pension.
1075 BANKERS' BONUSES 11:2:14
That this House is appalled that by the end of 2014 bankers' bonuses are likely to have reached £80 billion since the financial crisis 2008; points out that this is more than £1,000 for every man, woman and child in the country and more than three times the £20 billion in revenue HM Revenue and Customs collected from the banks in corporation tax, the bank levy and the bonus tax combined in the same period; notes that the bailed-out and state-controlled banks intend to make massive bonuses apparently with impunity and without any restraint from the Government; and concludes that not only is the state-supported financial sector a national scandal but the City's age of affluence continues regardless while the overwhelming majority of the country suffers unprecedented austerity.
1076 FLOOD REMEDIES 11:2:14
That this House believes that local authorities that give permission to develop in a flood plain should be made legally responsible; points out that in countries like Norway and France planners and politicians held liable may go to prison; notes that some five million people and 2.3 million homes are on flood plains in England and Wales; further notes that each year around one in every 10 new homes in England are built on flood plains, justified by planners by saying urban drainage systems work when they palpably do not; further believes that those whose lives and well-being are put at risk for profit should be able to sue those responsible; and demands that the Government ensures that in future no houses or businesses are allowed to be built on land which is designated as in a flood plain.
1077 CYPRUS PEACE TALKS 11:2:14
That this House welcomes the agreement, on 11 February 2014 in Nicosia, of the joint communiqué by the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, Nicos Anastasiades and Dervish Eroglu, creating the framework for negotiations to achieve an early, just and lasting settlement; believes that the process needs to be opened up to civil society and congratulates the many Cypriots already involved in intercommunal contact helping prepare Cyprus for change whether as individuals or through involvement in the Nicosia Master Plan, the Famagusta Ecocity Project, the Bicommunal Famagusta Initiative, Kondea village, the Cyprus Friendship Programme, the Malta Business Group collaborating with chambers of commerce (and Industry), trade unions, faith groups, the football associations, the Cyprus Friendship Programme, the Cultural Heritage and the Missing Persons Committees, the Home 4 Cooperation and the Cyprus Community Media Centre; and calls on all three guarantor powers, the European Union and the United Nations, and the US, who have played a positive role in promoting this agreement, to ensure further support to Cypriots to enable the process, reach a settlement and ensure a united Cyprus which will benefit all Cypriots.
1078 CAMRA PUB OF THE YEAR - THE SWAN WITH TWO NECKS, PENDLETON 11:2:14
That this House congratulates the Swan with Two Necks pub in the village of Pendleton in the Ribble Valley on being named CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2014; notes that in the competition pubs are judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly, quality of beer; further notes that to be named as CAMRA's Pub of the Year is a tremendous accolade and reflects the dedication of the owners and the staff as well as the high quality of the pub itself; recognises that the owners of the Swan with Two Necks, Steve and Christine Dilworth, work incredibly hard to ensure that the pub is the heartbeat of the village and local community; and wishes the Swan with Two Necks every success for 2014 and beyond.
1079 SELLAFIELD MANAGEMENT 11:2:14
That this House notes with alarm the Public Accounts Committee conclusions that cash estimates for nuclear waste at Sellafield exceed £70 billion, time-scales have slipped and reprocessing targets have been missed; believes that these enormous costs need to be strictly controlled so payments are not made to constitute a reward for failure; recalls that when the contract was awarded, Ministers were questioned on the probity of such huge sums being awarded without parliamentary scrutiny; further recalls EDM 2321 observing the agreement would privatise the profits of the contract leaving the potentially multi-billion pound liabilities with taxpayers; and now invites current Ministers to explain why Nuclear Management Partners have made such a pig's ear of the task of managing Sellafield safely and within budget.
1080 POWER CUTS IN GAZA 12:2:14
That this House calls on the Government to recognise the severe situation faced by Palestinians in Gaza in accessing electricity; notes the call from UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk that the situation in Gaza is at a point near catastrophe due to fuel shortages resulting in daily power cuts for sustained periods of time which have undermined an already precarious infrastructure; further notes that the provision of all basic services including health, water, sanitation and education is being severely disrupted; recognises that specialised health services are being interrupted daily, including kidney dialysis, operating theatres, blood banks and incubators, threatening lives; and further calls on the Government to respond to the call made by Amnesty International to urge Israel to lift the Gaza blockade immediately and urge Eygpt to open the Rafah border crossing.
1081 HUMAN RIGHTS IN BAHRAIN (No. 2) 12:2:14
That this House notes the ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation in Bahrain as observed by multiple international human rights organisations, most recently Human Rights Watch in its 2014 World Report; is concerned by the continued culture of impunity and failure of the Bahraini government to hold individuals accountable for torture, extrajudicial killing and other abuses; believes that the Bahraini government has failed to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and that this, along with the continued imprisonment of 13 high-profile activists who are serving long-term sentences for making peaceful calls for reform, undermines the chances of a political solution; further notes the recommendations of the recent report by the Foreign Affairs Committee (Fifth Report of Session 2013-14, The UK's Relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, HC 88), in particular the recommendation in paragraph 214 of that report that Bahrain should be designated as a country of concern, if there is no significant progress by the start of 2014; further believes that this progress has not been made; and urges the Government to designate Bahrain as a country of concern and to make strong representations to the Bahraini government to end its human rights abuses, hold individual human rights offenders accountable and release all prisoners serving sentences that relate to their exercising their rights to free expression and association.
1082 PROFESSOR STUART HALL 3 FEBRUARY 1932 - 10 FEBRUARY 2014 12:2:14
That this House is deeply saddened by the death of Professor Stuart Hall at the age of 82, one of Britain's leading public intellectuals; appreciates his exceptional contribution to sociology and cultural theory over the course of more than six decades; recognises his pioneering role in the founding of British cultural studies in the 1960s; notes the erudition and insight that were a hallmark of his writing over the course of his lifetime including The Popular Arts and Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies; praises his pivotal role in shaping contemporary progressive debates around race, gender and sexuality; and calls on the Government to ensure that sufficient funding is available for future research in sociology and cultural theory.
1083 VIOLENCE ON MINORITIES AFTER 5 JANUARY ELECTIONS IN BANGLADESH 12:2:14
That this House condemns the calculated and indiscriminate attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh in the aftermath of the elections held on 5 January 2014 and is particularly disturbed by the repetition of such incidents that took place after the general election in 2001, the perpetrators of which were not brought to justice; notes with appreciation the response of the government of Bangladesh to the violence, particularly the visit of the Prime Minister of that country to affected areas and her assurance of compensation, rehabilitation and security for the victims; underscores the bid for all stakeholders to uphold the tradition of communal harmony that has been a hallmark of the people of Bangladesh; and calls on all political parties, both in government and opposition, to ensure that such attacks are not repeated in the future, and that the rights and dignity of the minority people are upheld.
1084 DRUGS 12:2:14
That this House condemns the sale of legal highs in shops; and asks the Government to co-ordinate a UK-wide strategy that involves all the regions of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England and to stop this vile trade in misery and heartache for the individuals and their families.
1085 INDEPENDENT PETROL RETAILERS 12:2:14
That this House notes that there are 5,000 independent petrol filling stations in the UK; recognises the valuable contribution that they make to the economy and the national infrastructure; further notes that independent filling stations are closing at a rate of four per week with the loss of 1,500 jobs per year; believes that this is a real loss for those in rural communities who rely on them, as well as Government due to lost revenue; and therefore urges the Government to implement a plan to ensure fair competition, fair taxation, and fair planning in this industry to secure a sustainable future for the UK's independent petrol filling stations.
1086 UK CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 12:2:14
That this House regrets that every day 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news that they have cancer; notes that although survival rates are now around 75 per cent, cancer remains the largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK; recognises that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer on children and families; urges the Government to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) to raise awareness of the challenges children with cancer face, how charities help them and why it is vital to raise funds to improve support provided; supports the change of month of UK CCAM, which aims to raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer and the need for more support for children and their families, to September; commends the work of Julie Yates and others who have campaigned to change the date of CCAM to September; acknowledges that this move brings the whole of the UK's CCAM activities into line with other countries; welcomes the work of charities such as CLIC Sargent, Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia Group, Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and others who work with children with cancer which have announced that they will join together in September this year to take part in the month and raise awareness for more support; and further recognises plans to adopt the gold ribbon as the symbol for childhood cancer awareness throughout the UK.
1087 HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROJECT ZANZIBAR 12:2:14
That this House commends the work of Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ) for the outstanding work it has done in helping to establish high quality, accessible and trusted hospitals and primary healthcare units in Zanzibar; applauds it on its sustainable approach, including the provision of resources and the leadership for local people to put local services on a long-term sustainable footing; congratulates it on the excellent work it has already done in repairing and refurbishing Kivunge hospital in particular, and expanding the services provided there; recognises the vitally important role which volunteer doctors play in helping to provide the leadership and training for local medical staff; believes that its example, in ensuring the vast majority of its funding goes directly to provide the resources and training needed on the ground, is to be applauded; and encourages other charities to follow its example of ensuring its focus remains firmly fixed on creating sustainable local services which will stand the test of time, even after HIPZ finishes its direct involvement there.
1088 NEWSQUEST NEWSPAPERS AND LOCAL JOURNALISM 12:2:14
That this House deeply regrets that Newsquest Media Group intends to transfer the design and sub-editing for the Northern Echo (Darlington), Telegraph and Argus (Bradford) and the Press (York) to Newport, Wales; notes that the US-based owner Gannett paid £922 million for Newsquest in 1999, taking on the company's debt, leading to cutbacks and lack of investment in the local newspaper titles; further notes that the current plans represent de-skilling of the workforce and entail serious risks in the reduction of quality due to the loss of local knowledge and the vital connection with the local community; resolves to support members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) taking action to defend local journalism; and calls on the Government to convene urgent discussions with the NUJ and publishers to discuss how to encourage investment, decent pay and conditions essential for a thriving local press and also to develop an effective strategy for protecting local jobs and quality journalism.
1089 COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION - SEVERE WEATHER DAMAGE 12:2:14
That this House is aware of the sterling work done by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; notes that the recent inclement weather has had a devastating effect on Britain's communities with many areas damaged by severe flooding and high winds; reminds Ministers that 2014 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War and 75 years since the beginning of the Second World War, which has already placed major burdens on this organisation and its task to look after the many graves in its care throughout both the UK and other parts of the Commonwealth; and requests that the Government responds urgently and positively to this body's needs which are likely to be immense considering the weather damage done.
1090 AFGHANISTAN QUARTERLY STATEMENT 13:2:14
That this House regrets the delusional Government Quarterly Statement on Afghanistan made in February 2014 that ignored the insult to the UK's brave troops by the ingrate President Karzai who described their sacrifices as failures, and also disregarded the record high total of Afghan civilian deaths, the largest ever heroin production and the degradation of hard-won women's rights; calls for a withdrawal of the foolish boast of mission accomplished, and a recognition that the Taliban control large areas of the country and that President Karzai has released 65 imprisoned Taliban terrorists; and believes that unbalanced Government optimism threatens the future peace of the region.
1091 CULTURAL STUDIES 13:2:14
That this House recognises the contributions of the late Stuart Hall to British cultural studies while remembering the pioneering Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham founded in 1964 by Richard Hoggart who was succeeded by Stuart Hall.
1092 UNDER-OCCUPANCY PENALTY (No. 3) 13:2:14
That this House believes that the Government's so-called bedroom tax has been an unmitigated disaster; notes that according to the National Housing Federation two-thirds of households in England affected by it have fallen into rent arrears and one in seven families have received eviction risk letters; concurs with the Federation that the tax is heaping misery and hardship on already struggling families; points out that families struggling to pay rents are unable to find anywhere cheaper to live because of a shortage of smaller homes; concludes that this unfair tax on the most vulnerable should be abolished; and urges all hon. Members to support its repeal.
1093 MINISTRY OF DEFENCE IT CONSULTANT 13:2:14
That this House deplores the Ministry of Defence's decision to employ as its chief information source a freelance IT consultant at £2,000 a day; notes that once again the Government has used Capita to recruit Yvonne Ferguson; points out that if someone internally could not be recruited to do the job then the standard of ability and training within the Department is seriously remiss; recalls that while paying out around £500,000 a year for Yvonne Ferguson's services 50,000 military and civilian jobs have already been axed by the Ministry of Defence; and doubts whether taxpayers who are already suffering unprecedented austerity will be confident that this is money wisely spent.
1094 PRIVATE MANAGEMENT ORGANISATIONS FOR NUCLEAR COMPANIES: GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL FOR NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING AUTHORITY INDEMNIFICATION 13:2:14
That this House notes that on 6 February 2014 the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) presented to Parliament a departmental minute concerning a contingent liability relating to an indemnity to be given by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in relation to the proposed Magnox Ltd and Research Sites Restoration Ltd Parent Body Organisation (PBO) competition (6 February 2014, Official Report, columns 33-4WS); recalls that a similar notification for Sellafield PBO indemnification was made in August 2008, with significantly negative implications for the public purse; further notes that the minute asserts that the prospective PBOs ‘are not prepared to accept liability’ for certain nuclear liability claims; further notes that despite international protocols being established to cover nuclear operational liabilities since 2004, the UK has not yet ratified them in the subsequent decade; further notes that the justification put forward by DECC to Parliament is that there is a ‘low probability’ of a claim against the public purse; but further notes with serious concern that the minute also reveals that ‘because of the nature of nuclear activities the maximum figure for the potential liability is impossible to accurately quantify'; believes that such a proposal unacceptably privatises the profits and socialises the liabilities; and calls on the Government fully to explain and justify the basis of the minute, and not to incur such an uncapped liability upon the public purse until it has received the explicit support of Parliament for doing so.