House of Commons
2nd April 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
1214 RELEASE OF SAKINEH MOHAMMADI ASHTIANI 24:3:14
That this House welcomes the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from prison in Iran; notes that Mrs Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery in 2006; further notes the Early Day Motion tabled on 19 July 2010 to raise awareness of Mrs Ashtiani's case; further notes that her case was suspended in 2010 after international pressure, including a letter to the President of Iran signed by 119 hon. Members, ultimately reducing her sentence to 10 years; welcomes the news that Sakineh Ashtiani has been allowed to leave prison; further notes the Prime Minister's involvement in raising the case of Mrs Ashtiani with the Iranian government; calls on the Government to urge the Iranian government to review other cases where women have been convicted of adultery; and further calls on the Government to put pressure on the Iranian government to outlaw the practice of stoning and other forms of the death penalty, flogging or imprisonment for those convicted of adultery, a violation of the Declaration of Human Rights to which Iran is a signatory.
1215 CONGRATULATIONS TO WILLIAM CAMPBELL-TAYLOR 24:3:14
That this House congratulates William Campbell-Taylor for becoming the first ever Labour councillor elected to the City of London local authority; and wishes him well in his aim of using the ancient institutions of the City for the common good.
1216 CUTS TO THE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE 24:3:14
That this House recognises that cuts to the Fire and Rescue Service put the public at risk; is concerned at the detrimental impact upon 999 response times; notes that the Fire and Rescue Service costs less than £1 per week per adult, which represents exceptional value for money; and calls on the Government to halt any further cuts and ensure sustained investment for the Fire and Rescue Service.
1217 USE OF CHEQUES 24:3:14
That this House calls for cheques to be accepted by all suitable establishments, including banks, energy companies, utility companies, shops and public bodies; highlights that plans to abolish the cheque in 2018 were scrapped following mass support for the cheque; notes that cheques are the favoured legal tender for many people, the majority of whom are overwhelmingly pensioners; further notes the increasing incidence of businesses refusing to accept the cheque as payment for services; questions the rationale of saving the cheque as a method of legal tender if people are denied the right to use it in many establishments; further notes that establishments refusing to accept cheques make the lives of those who wish to pay by cheque much harder; reminds large establishments that they serve their customers, not the other way around; celebrates that cheques are in some circumstances the safest method of payment; suggests that the use of cheques could be subject to a minimum spend requirement as debit and credit cards are in many establishments; and calls on the Government to work with the Payments Council to undertake a review into possible methods of protecting customers' rights to use cheques in appropriate circumstances.
1219 HUNTING BAN 24:3:14
That this House notes with great concern that the Government is considering amending the Hunting Act 2004 by eliminating the restrictions on the number of dogs which may be used to help farmers shoot foxes; is concerned that any weakening of the Hunting Act could permit fox hunting for sport to resume; further notes that there is great public opposition to allowing fox hunting to take place in the UK; further notes that there is no evidence suggesting foxes are a significant cause of missing livestock; urges the Government to listen to the voices of the vast majority of people in the UK who are opposed to blood sports; believes that if the Government does want to relax the ban, the proper way to go about this is through primary legislation rather than through a statutory instrument; further believes that a fox being torn apart by dogs should not be considered a sport; further urges the Government to ensure compliance with the existing legislation rather than attempting to weaken it; and further believes that deliberate cruelty to animals should have no place in this country.
1220 LEGAL AID AND ADVICE (S. I., 2014, No. 607) 24:3:14
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 607), dated 12 March 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 14 March, be annulled.
1221 REGISTRATION OF OFF-ROAD VEHICLES 24:3:14
That this House calls on the Government to introduce compulsory registration of off-road vehicles; notes that Bradford has a high incidence of anti-social behaviour related to the use of off-road vehicles; appreciates that it is almost impossible for the police to safely tackle inappropriate use of off-road vehicles; further notes that the police are unable to investigate such crimes without suitable identification markers on off-road vehicles; further notes that there is currently a voluntary scheme for off-road vehicle owners to register their vehicles in case they are stolen; suggests that off-road registration should include compulsory display of number plates; welcomes the argument that the implementation of compulsory number plates would make it significantly easier for the police to bring to justice those who are illegally riding their vehicles on public roads; celebrates the fact that this measure would reduce crime, increase safety and would encourage off-road vehicle users to use their vehicles legally and responsibly; and calls once again on the Government to investigate the introduction of compulsory registration and display of mandatory number plates for off-road vehicles.
1222 SKILLS AND EMPLOYMENT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 24:3:14
That this House calls on the Government to ensure that young people are fully prepared throughout their education to enter the job market; notes with concern the large number of young people who lack basic skills; further notes the recommendations from the British Chambers of Commerce Skills Manifesto, for schools, businesses, chambers and local bodies to work together to ensure young people are granted the most opportunities for employment; and urges a greater development of employability skills and careers education throughout the national curriculum.
1223 BARCLAYS AND TAX HAVENS IN AFRICA 24:3:14
That this House notes the negative impact of tax havens and tax avoidance generally on developing African countries; believes that a reliable and robust tax regime is essential for the provision of services and amenities to developing communities and that local tax avoidance in such communities only further increases the likelihood of certain countries having to depend on foreign aid provided by taxpayers in nations such as the UK; acknowledges therefore the disadvantage suffered by certain developing countries as a result of Barclays Bank's Offshore Corporate Division and its promotion of Mauritius as a way of channelling offshore investment into Africa; condemns the practice of encouraging offshore tax avoidance in those regions and recognises that, as the UK's most prominent bank in Africa, Barclays Bank has an obligation to reflect the moral economic attitudes of the Government and the British people; and calls on the Government to condemn these practices and on Barclays to live up to its own corporate responsibilities by closing down its Offshore Corporate Division, becoming more transparent by making a detailed tax strategy public and proving that any remaining activities in tax havens are not linked to tax avoidance, further proving that Barclays intends to play a positive role in Africa on tax by demonstrating that it is pursuing a constructive and fully transparent relationship with the relevant tax authorities, and supporting the development of strong local tax collection systems and strong on-shore finance sectors in the African countries in which it operates.
1225 2 SISTERS FOOD GROUP 25:3:14
That this House notes with great concern the closure of Solway Foods' Corby site, owned by 2 Sisters Food Group, with the loss of approximately 900 jobs; regrets that management have referred to the site as unviable and refused to commit to the long-term future of the business in Corby, despite the council's offer of financial assistance with relocating to an upgraded facility elsewhere in the area; further notes that the redundancies follow on from around 2,400 redundancies at firms, including RF Brookes, Vion and Avana, forced to close within two years of their acquisition by 2 Sisters Food Group; believes that the company's owner and Chief Executive Mr Ranjit Singh Boparan appears deliberately to be undermining job security, pay and conditions of employees of the companies he has acquired; further notes that the overall turnover of 2 Sisters rose by 23 per cent last year to exceed £2.8 billion; and therefore supports members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union in campaigning to defend their members and calls on management to enter meaningful negotiations to protect jobs in the industry.
1226 PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS (S. I., 2014, No. 525) 25:3:14
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Local Government Pension Scheme (Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., No 525) dated 5 March 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 10 March, be annulled.
1228 EDUCATION CENTRE, LONGTON 25:3:14
That this House welcomes of opening of the new education centre in Longton for specialist provision of the charity Nacro of quality education and support for young people with complex educational and behavioural needs in Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding area; believes that education and learning is the key to equip young people with the skills, motivation, aspiration and work-based opportunities for the support they need to move their lives on and away from crime; notes the positive impact the new education centre in Longton will have in reducing truancy and offending rates and the rehabilitation of young offenders; and supports Nacro in its specialist services and the development of service models for sector-wide improvement and to overcome the multiple barriers faced by young people when there is a rising number in Stoke-on-Trent who are not in education, employment or training.
1229 FUNDING FOR ELITE BASKETBALL IN THE UK 26:3:14
That this House condemns UK Sport's decision to withdrawn all funding from British Basketball's elite funding programme ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games; notes that both the men's and women's national elite teams have gone from the bottom rung of the international ladder to being one of the most respected national sides in Europe since UK Sport funding was initiated; further notes that Sport England's Active People Survey 7 demonstrates that sports participation in England has decreased by over 50,000 in the last year, yet participation in basketball has increased; further notes that basketball is the third most played team sport in England; further notes that by removing funding from the sport's elite development programme, young grassroots participants will have no national team to aspire to; suggests that UK Sport's 'no compromise' funding approach means no hope for the future of elite basketball in the UK; and further suggests that UK Sport reviews the process for assessing funding allocations to team sports and that funding is reinstated to ensure a prosperous future for basketball in the UK.
1230 COMMUNITY ENERGY IN SUSSEX 27:3:14
That this House welcomes the ambition in the Community Energy Strategy that by 2015 it will be the norm for communities to be offered the opportunity of some level of ownership of new, commercially-developed onshore renewable projects; believes that progress towards this should start immediately; applauds the large number of community energy schemes already operating, gaining a great deal of experience and expertise in installing locally-owned solar and wind generation; notes that there are at least six solar farm developments currently in the planning system in Sussex; supports the suggestion from Community Energy South and Brighton Energy Co-operative that planners require at least some degree of community ownership as a condition of planning for new solar farm developments; draws attention to the guide these organisations have produced that sets out how community groups, planners and developers can work together to enable community-ownership of local renewable energy assets; and urges local planners, councillors and Ministers to follow this guide and to do all they can to ensure community ownership fulfils its potential to offer not only a good return for local investors but also considerable local community funds that can be reinvested in community energy efficiency and local amenity enhancements.
1231 INCINERATION OF FOETAL REMAINS IN NHS HOSPITALS 31:3:14
That this House is deeply concerned about recent reports of the incineration of foetal remains by NHS trusts, two of which were found to have burnt the bodies of aborted or miscarried foetuses and babies to generate power for heat; and calls on the Care Quality Commission to investigate fully UK hospitals to understand how widespread this practice has been.
1232 RANA PLAZA COMPENSATION 31:3:14
That this House, mindful that 24 April 2014 will be the first anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, and noting that the victims and their families have yet to be fully compensated, welcomes the launch on 24 March 2014 of the Rana Plaza Arrangement compensation fund negotiated under the auspices of the International Labour Organization by employers and unions in Bangladesh and globally and by the government of Bangladesh; urges companies sourcing from Bangladesh, and especially those sourcing from Rana Plaza, to make sufficient contributions to meet the £24 million target by 24 April 2014; and calls on the Government to encourage companies to do so.
1233 ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE REFORMS OF LEGAL AID 31:3:14
That this House acknowledges that 1 April 2014 is the anniversary of the implementation of the reforms to civil legal aid; notes that since 1 April 2013 a range of civil and family issues have been removed from the scope of legal aid including debt advice, welfare benefits and private family law matters where no domestic violence can be proven to have taken place in the past two years; is concerned that due to the reforms of civil legal aid tens of thousands of families will no longer have access to justice and that this will have an entirely negative effect on the most vulnerable children in society; welcomes the campaign against cuts in legal aid organised by the Justice Alliance; further notes that the Family Courts Unions Parliamentary Group will host an event on the anniversary of these reforms in Parliament to hear from the professionals and staff working in the field first-hand accounts of the devastating effect they have had on the lives of children and families across the UK; and therefore calls on the Government to urgently address the serious concerns that have arisen since the start of implementation and review its entire programme of reform of civil legal aid.
1234 SAVE THE INDEPENDENT LIVING FUND 31:3:14
That this House is deeply concerned by the plan to close, by June 2015, the Independent Living Fund (ILF) on which over 18,000 severely disabled people rely instead of being in residential care; questions the Government's rationale for local authorities taking over this funding given their higher overheads and squeezed budgets; notes that experts believe this financial pressure and loss of experienced ILF staff will mean current recipients will be placed in residential care or left at home without adequate care provision; further notes that many users will no longer be eligible for any local authority care funding because of tightening of eligibility criteria; is aware that the average cost of the ILF at £345 per week is less than half that of the average cost of residential care at £738 per week; is reminded that in November 2013 the Court of Appeal upheld a legal challenge to the Government's decision to close the ILF in March 2015, because the Department for Work and Pensions had breached equality duties; and urges the Government to respect its obligations under the UN Convention of the Rights of Disabled Persons by maintaining the ILF and reopening applications which were closed in 2010.
1235 PRIVATE AMBULANCE TRANSFER PROVIDER IN THE EAST MIDLANDS 1:4:14
That this House notes that Arriva Transport Solutions has failed to meet key targets since it took over patient transfer to and from hospitals from East Midlands Ambulance Service in July 2012; is extremely concerned that more than 22 per cent of journeys are so late that patients miss their appointment time; is alarmed that the commercial general manager of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals described this record as having a massive impact on the ability of hospital staff to carry out their jobs; and calls on the Government to hold a public inquiry into this failure of a private provider to perform an essential service and for ambulance transfer services to be brought back into efficient public ownership.
1236 NUISANCE CALLS ACTION PLAN 1:4:14
That this House welcomes the publication of the Nuisance Calls Action Plan by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; notes that the Action Plan sets out the actions being taken by Government, regulators, consumer groups and industry to tackle nuisance calls; further welcomes the news that the Government will consult on lowering the legal threshold for when firms can be fined for making nuisance calls; further welcomes the announcement by the Ministry of Justice that there are plans to impose fines of hundreds of thousands of pounds on claims management companies which use information gathered by unsolicited calls and texts and other bad practices; and calls on the Government to continue to work with regulators and industry to ensure that the measures set out in the Action Plan do tackle the plague of nuisance calls once and for all.
1237 IMPRISONMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 1:4:14
That this House expresses concern at the conviction and imprisonment of human rights lawyers Doctors Mohamed al-Mansoori and Mohamed al-Roken in the United Arab Emirates; notes with concern that both men have been sentenced to 10-year prison sentences after being convicted of 'plotting to seize power'; highlights the International Commission of Jurists has described both men's trial as 'manifestly unfair' and that Amnesty International defines the pair as prisoners of conscience; believes that Doctors Mohamed al-Mansoori and Mohamed al-Roken have been imprisoned simply for their work in defending human rights and representing activists in political trials; further believes that both men should be released immediately; and calls on the Government to put every diplomatic pressure on the government of the United Arab Emirates to secure this.
1238 PUB IS THE HUB AND THE BIG SOCIETY AWARD 1:4:14
That this House congratulates the Pub is the Hub initiative in winning the Prime Minister's Big Society Award at the Publican Awards; commends the Prime Minister's decision in recognising Pub is the Hub with this award; welcomes the Department for Communities and Local Government's announcement of a further £20,000 of funding, in addition to existing £150,000 funding until 2015, to provide specialist advice to pubs and help diversify their services; recognises the fantastic work that the Pub is the Hub initiative does to help pubs in rural communities to stay at the heart of village life by providing additional services; further recognises that the Pub is the Hub initiative has worked with over 400 pubs across England and Wales; and wishes further success to this already fantastic initiative in the future.
1240 CRIMINALISING EMOTIONAL ABUSE 1:4:14
That this House notes the Government's suggestion of legislation to criminalise emotional abuse; further notes that the vast majority of emotional abuse cited in care proceedings relates to domestic violence between the parents; accepts that this does at times cause emotional trauma for children; further notes, however, that domestic violence is already criminal; further notes that it is already the case that some rape victims do have their children removed from them as a result of the rape; recognises that criminalising the emotional abuse that results from domestic violence would at times also criminalise the victims; and calls on the Government to be very careful not to criminalise the victim of domestic abuse if it decides to continue with proposals to criminalise emotional abuse.
1241 DEATHS OF MINERS IN THE WORLD WARS 1:4:14
That this House pays tribute to the hundreds of miners who lost their lives in the two world wars; points out that the deaths of those, like the miners, in reserved occupations, have received no recognition; notes that September 2014 sees the centenary of the start of the First World War in which 165 men and boys lost their lives in the Yorkshire coalfield alone while in the Second World War a further 385 perished in Yorkshire; and believes that in recognition of their part in keeping the home fires burning and industry turning a fitting statue should be erected at the National Arboretum and that plaques bearing the names of those killed at work in those conflicts should be added to war memorials throughout the country so that families can pay their respects on Remembrance Day.
1242 SPORT ENGLAND AND THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION 1:4:14
That this House believes there is no justification for Sport England providing £30 million in funding to the Football Association (FA) to develop grassroots football; points out that while welcoming the cut of £1.6 million in the grant, the FA has an annual income of over £300 million and presides over the richest football organisation in the world, the Premier League; further believes that senior football clubs, and principally those in the Premier League, have failed to properly invest in grassroots football; notes that the Premier League currently gives just 3.7 per cent of its annual turnover to amateur and non-senior football, some £45 million, and contrasts that with the wage bill of just one club, Manchester City, which last year spent £233 million on salaries; is convinced that the lack of sufficient local high-standard facilities is responsible both for the drop in numbers of those playing the amateur game and is hindering the development of young talent; and calls on the FA to ensure that the Premier League is made to double its annual contribution, joined by the Government, so that more people are playing the game, particularly young people, which can only benefit the clubs and the national team.
1243 PANORAMA AND THE MAYOR OF TOWER HAMLETS 1:4:14
That this House believes that the recent Panorama programme about the Mayor of Tower Hamlets was petty, ill-informed and politically-motivated; queries how much of the licence fee was spent to produce a programme which alleged that the Mayor, as chief executive, had made an executive decision to move around £2 million in grants to organisations which have a Bangladeshi or Somali chair; points out that around £1.6 million of a £9.7 million programme goes to organisations with a Bengali or Somali chair, which is 16.5 per cent, while ethnic communities are over 35 per cent of the population; urges the BBC Trust to cast judgment on a programme which can only have been intended to influence the outcome of May's elections; and calls on the Communities Minister to make a statement to the House, rather than on television, which exonerates the Mayor.
1244 QATAR WORLD CUP AND MIGRANT WORKERS 1:4:14
That this House commends the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians and Building & Woodworkers International for organising a mission to Qatar to draw attention to the appalling health and safety standards on construction sites to which migrant workers are subjected; welcomes the exposé by Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror, highlighting the labour camps where tens of thousands of migrant workers are forced to live in abject squalor in overcrowded, insanitary accommodation; condemns the endemic poverty pay where skilled migrant workers, such as carpenters, receive as little as 56 pence per hour; deplores the widespread practice by unscrupulous employers of withholding wages for many months leaving workers destitute and starving; is appalled that 1,200 migrant workers have been killed in Qatar since it was awarded the 2022 World Cup; deprecates the system of sponsored employment in Qatar, known as the Kafala system that denies workers freedom of movement and prevents workers leaving the country without the approval of their employer; regrets the Qatari authorities' refusal to ratify International Labour Organization conventions allowing freedom of association; and therefore calls on FIFA to put Qatar on notice that its right to host the 2022 World Cup will be removed unless action is taken within the next 12 months to stop the exploitation of migrant workers by ending the Kafala system, ensuring all migrant workers are covered by the standards contained in Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Workers' Charter and allowing migrant workers to elect their own site committees and representatives.
1245 GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL 1:4:14
That this House recognises the importance of grassroots football to communities; notes that participation in football promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, develops team work and builds lasting friendships among children; further notes with great concern the declining standards of pitches and facilities across the country and the hardships faced by local authorities to invest in grassroots football due to cuts in funding from central Government, often combined with higher charges to use pitches; further notes the huge success of the Premier League at home and around the world leading to soaring revenues and higher wages for players at the very top of the sport; and calls on the Government to work with the Football Association and Premier League to divert more funds from the Premier League into children's grassroots football by committing 7.5 per cent of money produced by domestic and international broadcasting rights, to guarantee the future of English football and to give every child the opportunity to participate in grassroots football.
1246 RAISING LITERACY LEVELS IN PRISONS 1:4:14
That this House recognises the significant percentage of prisoners who have a basic literacy problem and for whom reading and writing are a massive barrier to rehabilitation and to future employment; believes that raising literacy levels and rehabilitation are linked and are enhanced by regular reading; and calls on the Government to reconsider its ban on books for prisoners.
1247 BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO AND PREVENTING HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN US TOBACCO FIELDS 1:4:14
That this House, noting that Oxfam America and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), being an affiliate of the US equivalent of the TUC, have highlighted onerous conditions faced by migrant farm workers in the tobacco fields of North Carolina and the American South, including exploitation, long hours, child labour and other human rights abuses, that Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) is a major purchaser of the tobacco produced in those fields but refuses to grant freedom of association or worker representation to those workers and that British America Tobacco plc (BAT) is the largest shareholder and a major customer of RAI, holds that only when migrant farm workers have a recognised organisation will their complaints about their working and living conditions be effectively addressed; believes that BAT has a responsibility to ensure that its supply chain is free of human rights abuses and that FLOC's proposals to RAI can achieve that goal in the US; and therefore calls on BAT to use its influence with RAI to reach an agreement with FLOC forthwith.
1248 ENERGY IN BUILDINGS BILL 2:4:14
That this House believes that greater energy efficiency and the installation of cost-effective measures to generate energy by householders can reduce fuel bills, assist with alleviating fuel poverty and with achieving low carbon homes; and therefore supports the Energy in Buildings Bill brought forward by the hon. Member for Gower which will require the Secretary of State to draw up and implement a strategy to promote such measures.
1249 EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF DIABETES 2:4:14
That this House recognises the importance of early diagnosis of diabetes in order to bring the condition under control and prevent life threatening and expensive complications; notes the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, working in partnership with Sir Michael Hirst and the International Diabetes Federation, to offer blood glucose testing on the Parliamentary Estate in March that resulted in over 145 people, hon. Members, peers and staff taking the test; wishes to thank the nurses who volunteered their time to do this under the direction of Anne Felton of FEND (Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes); and calls on the Government to do all in its power to encourage more diagnostic testing for diabetes in workplaces and community settings across the country.
1250 EMPOWER: ACCESS TO MEDICINE CAMPAIGN 2:4:14
That this House welcomes the hard work of campaigners such as Les Halpin, who lost his battle with motor neurone disease in September 2013; notes the impact that such campaigns such as Empower: Access to Medicine, which Les founded, and those in the muscular dystrophy community, such as Joining Jack and Duchenne Children's Trust, have had on progressing the issue of drug development; further welcomes the news that the Government will commit to an early access scheme; further notes that this is a potentially significant development for those suffering from rare diseases with unmet clinical need and a clear demonstration that pressure from the patient community can have a positive effect; and calls on the Government to ensure that the early access scheme reaches as many patients as possible.
1251 WORKERS EARNING LESS THAN THE LIVING WAGE IN WALES 2:4:14
That this House notes the statistics released by the Wales TUC highlighting that Wales has 23 per cent of its workers paid below the living wage, a higher percentage than any other nation or region in the UK; further notes that in some constituencies it is as high as 40 per cent with women being the most affected by poverty pay; commends the Wales TUC for its work in this regard; condemns the economic policies of successive Westminster governments that have failed to tackle rising pay inequality; and calls for a living wage to be implemented as the minimum wage.
1252 DEFENCE INFRASTRUCTURE ORGANISATION GOVCO 2:4:14
That this House is concerned by the recent announcement that Capita is now the preferred bidder for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) contract; notes Capita's lack of experience in managing such a contract and its poor record in delivering in other areas of the Civil Service, including army recruitment IT services which are currently two years behind schedule; is alarmed by the proposed move of the DIO to a so-called GovCo model without proper scrutiny or evaluation of the plans by Parliament or employee representatives; further notes the concern of current DIO staff regarding the future of their jobs, pay, pensions and terms and conditions none of which have been safeguarded by the Secretary of State under the proposed GovCo model; and calls on the Government to allow proper scrutiny of the proposals on the floor of the House and to allow full consultation with staff regarding the future of the DIO.
1253 NUCLEAR INSURANCE 2:4:14
That this House notes the proposal by the Ministry of Defence for indemnification of private contractors at its facility at HM Naval Base Clyde; is alarmed that the Departmental minute reveals that the value of the contingent liability is unquantifiable due to the potentially catastrophic nature of a nuclear incident; declines to support such indemnification as it removes all risk from the private contractor and embeds unquantifiable liability with taxpayers; objects to the minute; and calls for a full debate on the floor of the House on this matter.
1254 RELEASE OF PRISONERS SERVING INDETERMINATE SENTENCES FOR PUBLIC PROTECTION 2:4:14
That this House notes that at the end of January 2014, 5,335 prisoners in the UK were still serving indeterminate sentences for public protection, which were abolished by the Government in 2012; further notes that 3,561 of these prisoners had already passed their tariff and that, since the Parole Board releases roughly 400 inmates every year, it will take nine years for the Board to clear this backlog of cases; further notes with dismay that many prisoners serving indeterminate sentences fail to gain places on appropriate courses which would progress their rehabilitation and that as a result such prisoners have little hope of release; recognises that 24 prisoners serving indeterminate sentences have committed suicide whilst in custody; further notes that each prison place costs £40,000 every year, making indeterminate sentences highly costly; and calls on the Government to increase funding to the Parole Board to clear the backlog of indeterminate prisoners, starting with those given initial tariffs of two years or less.
1255 150 YEARS OF RUGBY IN LEEDS 2:4:14
That this House congratulates the people and city of Leeds for celebrating 150 years of playing rugby; notes that on 4 March 1864 Henry Jenkinson, a clerk with a local railway company, placed an advertisement in the Leeds Mercury inviting interest from individuals interested in playing; further notes that this advertisement attracted over 200 people; further notes that the first Leeds team made its competitive debut on 19 June 1864 against Sheffield in a hybrid football game; also notes that the club became Leeds Athletic in 1870 and played on a ground by Whitehall Road; commends Leeds Rugby Foundation for the range of events it has organised throughout 2014 to celebrate 150 years of history and achievements; further commends the people of Leeds for their strong enthusiasm for rugby; wishes all rugby clubs in Leeds a strong and prosperous future; and looks forward to many more years of rugby being played across the city and surrounding areas.
1256 10 YEARS OF HOPE PASTURES 2:4:14
That this House congratulates the Leeds-based charity Hope Pastures, the Phyllis Harvey Horse and Donkey Trust, on its tenth anniversary; pays tribute to the fantastic work it does to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home horses, ponies and donkeys; commends that it opens every day, including bank holidays and weekends, free of charge to the public; notes that it provides a great environment for families to visit and take part in productive activities; recognises the opportunities provided by the charity for volunteers to participate and the excellent service provided by these volunteers to allow the charity to continue running; and wishes it further success in the future.
1257 175th ANNIVERSARY OF ANTI-SLAVERY INTERNATIONAL 2:4:14
That this House notes that 17 April 2014 marks the 175th anniversary of Thomas Clarkson and fellow abolitionists founding the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society; recognises that Anti-Slavery International is now the world's oldest international human rights organisation; acknowledges its historic contribution to so many major human rights milestones in the form of national actions and legislation, international treaties, or conventions and corporate standards; appreciates its ongoing work to expose and oppose all the modern facets of forced labour, human trafficking, controlled servitude, sexual exploitation, indentured poverty, child exploitation and other slavery-related abuses; further recognises the other courageous activists across the world who work with Anti-Slavery to expose slavery wherever it occurs and work for sustainable measures to eradicate it; and salutes Anti-Slavery International as a vital organisation for our times, bringing long historical and broad geographic perspective to the contemporary struggle to secure justice and rights for the 21 million people still bonded in slavery across the world in 2014.
1258 UK TROOPS WITHDRAWAL FROM HELMAND 2:4:14
That this House applauds the courage, professionalism and sacrifices of UK troops in Helmand Province since 2006 when UK forces were ordered into the province in a mission of pacification, construction and reduction in the opium trade and in the hope that not a shot would be fired; recalls that only two British soldiers had died in combat in Afghanistan before the Helmand incursion which was described in 2006 as likely to be as suicidal as the Charge of the Light Brigade; acknowledges that the mission was a failure of major historic proportions, resulting in the deaths of 448 UK soldiers, a current record opium crop and Taliban control of most of the province that makes participation in elections impossible; and believes that describing the Helmand tragedies as mission accomplished is self-serving delusion.
1259 QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY 2:4:14
That this House congratulates Queen's University, Belfast and all of those involved in their tremendous breakthrough in ovarian and breast cancer research that could mean preventative operations for mastectomy and oophorectomy could be unnecessary with alternatives to surgery becoming available through this ground-breaking work.
1260 SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD MINERS AND RESPIRATORY DISEASE 2:4:14
That this House recalls the tributes paid to Nelson Mandela, a great fighter against apartheid and a founding father of democratic South Africa; notes that 27 April 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of South Africa's first democratic election; expresses its concern that one of the legacies of apartheid which has not been addressed is that thousands of South African gold miners, mostly from rural areas that were the primary sources of apartheid migrant labour, have been decimated by epidemic rates of silicosis, an incurable, preventable, respiratory disease that increases susceptibility to tuberculosis, which is endemic in rural areas where TB rates and drug-resistant TB are soaring, constituting what a leading medical expert has described as a river of disease flowing out of the gold mines; believes that delay in providing improved testing and treatment will mean more and more of those with silicosis and TB will suffer and die uncompensated leaving their families destitute; further notes that a number of South African mining companies are now listed on the London Stock Exchange; calls on the companies that were involved in gold mining urgently to provide decent compensation and improved health care, including screening and testing for silicosis for those who may have and do have the disease; and urges those companies to make public commitments to do so in 2014, the 20th anniversary of democracy and freedom in South Africa and prior to the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela's death.
1261 COMPENSATION TO STREET PREACHER 2:4:14
That this House notes the recent case of street preacher, 57 year old Mr John Craven; acknowledges the payment of £13,000 compensation to him from Greater Manchester Police as a result of him being held in police custody for 15 hours without food or water; and further acknowledges the work of the Christian Institute in working to highlight unacceptable practices such as this, as well as representing people who are singled out for police questioning as a result of vexatious complaints regarding their proclaiming of Bible truths.
RELEVANT INTEREST DECLARED
1244 QATAR WORLD CUP AND MIGRANT WORKERS: Natascha Engel has declared a relevant interest.
210 SHARED PARENTING RIGHTS AND THE FAMILY COURTS: Simon Danczuk has withdrawn his name.
RELEVANT INTEREST DECLARED
Natascha Engel has declared a relevant interest in respect of Early Day Motion 1244 (Qatar World Cup and Migrant Workers).
In the Notices of Motions given on 1 April 2014, on page 2233, the name of Andrew George should have appeared in support of Early Day Motion 1236, NUISANCE CALLS ACTION PLAN and the names of Mark Durkan, Ms Margaret Ritchie and Andrew George should have appeared in support of Early Day Motion 1237, IMPRISONMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES; on page 2235 the name of Andrew George should have appeared in support of Early Day Motion 1244, QATAR WORLD CUP AND MIGRANT WORKERS.