House of Commons
28th November 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
454 PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS (S. I., 2014, No. 2848) 30:10:14
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Firefighters' Pension Scheme (England) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 2848), dated 23 October 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 28 October, be annulled.
513 SUGAR CONTENT IN FRUIT DRINKS 17:11:14
That this House is alarmed by Action on Sugar's report that a quarter of supermarket fruit drinks contain more sugar than the equivalent volume of Coca-Cola; notes that these drinks are commonly advertised as healthy and targeted at children; further notes a quarter of the products tested met or exceeded the maximum daily adult intake recommended by the World Health Organisation; is concerned such products are contributing to record levels of tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes among children; and calls on the Government to implement legislation to reduce levels of sugar content in food and drink products.
514 NEWLY-INSTATED YEMENI GOVERNMENT 17:11:14
That this House supports the newly-instated government in Yemen and urges an end to the increasing levels of violence; applauds Prime Minister Khaled Bahhah's calls for all factions to stop fighting and comply with the political agreement made on 2 November 2014; is concerned that dozens of people continue to be killed in sectarian violence; notes some of these armed groups are associated with al-Qaeda; further notes the US is considering evacuating its embassy in the wake of this violence; and calls on the Government to take all possible measures to support the Yemeni government and prevent Yemen from descending into wider sectarian conflict.
515 NHS STAFF PAY 17:11:14
That this House acknowledges that NHS budgets remain constrained as the Government steers the country towards greater prosperity; recognises that frontline NHS staff continue to provide excellent service after years of pay restraint; and therefore calls on the Government to fund in full the recommendations of the independent NHS pay review body, paid for by restraining the pay of very senior NHS managers, eliminating waste in procurement spending, the efficient managing of budgets and continued efficiency savings.
516 PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE 17:11:14
That this House notes that, whilst the introduction of vaccinations has been effective in reducing levels of pneumococcal infection in children, pneumococcal infection remains a significant public health risk, particularly among other vulnerable groups, including those aged 65 and over; expresses concern that around 84,000 people are hospitalised due to pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia in the UK every year, with around half of these cases amongst those aged 65 and over; further notes that an estimated £269 million is spent on hospitalising adults with pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia each year, of which around £135 million relates to those aged 65 and over; welcomes the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's intention to conduct a review of the adult vaccination programme, considering the latest evidence on the epidemiology and cost effectiveness of adult pneumococcal disease vaccination; and expresses concern that this review is intended to take six months, potentially placing more vulnerable adults at risk.
517 NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL REGISTRATION FEES 18:11:14
That this House recognises the dedication and hard work of nurses and midwives; notes with concern the decision to raise the cost of the mandatory registration fees for members of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to £120 a year; further recognises that this figure represents a rise in fees of 53 per cent in three years; acknowledges that this is a further strain on workers who have already experienced the value of their pay cut between eight and 10 per cent since 2010 during the public sector pay freeze; believes that any further requirement for regulators including the NMC to pay a fee to the Professional Standards Authority could lead to further increases in members' registration fees; and calls on the Government to seek urgent talks with the NMC to address this issue and provide assistance.
518 MERGER OF BREAST CANCER CAMPAIGN AND BREAKTHROUGH BREAST CANCER 18:11:14
That this House welcomes the announcement that Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign will merge in Spring 2015; recognises that united, they will become the single largest breast cancer research community in the UK, responsible for addressing the critical gaps in breast cancer knowledge and research; supports their shared ambition that by 2050 no one will die from breast cancer; congratulates both charities and all their supporters on their efforts to beat breast cancer thus far; and wishes them every success for the future.
519 COMMUNITY WORK PLACEMENTS SCHEME 18:11:14
That this House is appalled that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appears to have no proper oversight or monitoring of the Community Work Placements scheme and is unable to provide the most basic information about it; points out that the programme is a mandatory one which forces unemployed people to take jobs, such as litter collecting, or lose their benefits; notes that the DWP has been unable to say how many people are on the scheme, what the breakdown by constituency is, or how many people have refused to participate and had their benefits cut; is shocked that six contracts to administer the scheme have been given to G4S, which was responsible for the security fiasco at the 2012 London Olympics; and demands that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions compiles forthwith a cost-benefit analysis and a human inventory of this costly and discriminatory scheme.
520 FOREIGN EXCHANGE MARKETS AND BANKS 18:11:14
That this House condemns the manipulation of the foreign exchange market by bankers at RBS, HSBC, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and UBS; welcomes the decision by the Financial Conduct Authority to fine those banks £1.1 billion; and furthermore calls on the Government to regulate the foreign exchange market and all benchmarks that are used as the basis for fixed income, currency and commodity trading.
521 MEDICS WORKING IN GAZA DURING AND SINCE OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE IN GAZA 18:11:14
That this House applauds the exemplary work of all health professionals in Gaza, be they medics, social workers, occupational therapists, ambulance teams and others who continue to look after the 12,000 injured, including 3,374 children, long after the media have taken their cameras away from the one vantage point permitted them during Israel's Operation Protective Edge attack on Gaza in August and September 2014; notes the death toll of 2,200 Palestinians, 1,500 civilians including 500 children, and 71 Israelis, five civilians; further notes that many of the injured are now permanently disabled and will require a lifetime of physical and psychological rehabilitation; commends all those who have donated their services to looking after the people of Gaza; deplores in particular the conduct of the Israeli authorities in refusing entry to Gaza of medical personnel from abroad including the indefatigable and determined Norwegian surgeon Dr Mads Gilbert who repeatedly works in Gaza whilst it is under attack, and who is the latest victim of such unjust treatment; and calls on the Government to press the Israeli government to respect international law and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and to lift the siege on Gaza.
523 STARS IN OUR SCHOOL CAMPAIGN 19:11:14
That this House welcomes the Stars In Our School campaign and supports its core aim of celebrating school support staff; notes the vital work undertaken every day by teaching and classroom assistants, learning support assistants, librarians, science technicians, crossing patrol officers, cleaners, caretakers, catering staff, parent support advisers, examination officers, administrative assistants, finance officers and school secretaries, all of whom are represented by UNISON; further notes that school support staff add huge value to schools and children's education; believes that schools today cannot function without support staff; further notes that on 28 November 2014 celebrations will be held in schools across the country to recognise the contribution made by school staff; and calls on the Government and local authorities to do all they can to ensure that school support staff are better rewarded for the work they do, with proper career structures and better pay, terms and conditions.
524 ROYAL MAIL'S PARTNERSHIP WITH MISSING PEOPLE 19:11:14
That this House welcomes the Royal Mail's partnership with the charity, Missing People; understands that postmen and women across the country will assist the charity to locate vulnerable missing children and adults, significantly increasing the number of people committed to help find them; notes that 124,000 UK postmen and women will be involved in this while out on their postal rounds; acknowledges that this will be the first time that an organisation has made its business-wide communication channels available to the charity, Missing People; and further welcomes the fact that this partnership will effectively double the number of people receiving child rescue alerts.
525 SELF CARE WEEK 2014 19:11:14
That this House notes that 17 to 23 November 2014 is national Self Care Week, an annual event that focuses on providing internal support for self care across communities and families; further notes that this year's theme is Self Care for Life - Be healthy this winter, owing to the rising demand on health services during the winter months as a result of weather-related illnesses; recognises that the NHS reports that adults usually have two to four colds a year while children are likely to have three to eight, and that it is imperative to take necessary self care during the coming months; encourages hon. Members and staff to consult the NHS Choices website which has guiding principles to help people take care of themselves; and commends the awareness work of the Self Care Forum in providing people with good information on what self care is and its benefits.
530 SUGAR IN FOOD AND DRINKS (LABELLING AND ADVERTISING) 19:11:14
That this House notes that one in four people in Britain is obese, with two-thirds of the population overweight, and the growth of NHS costs associated with obesity and diabetes; further notes the link between added sugar in processed foods and drinks and obesity; further notes that the maximum amount of added sugar the World Health Organisation recommends per day is six teaspoonfuls for women and nine for men, and that the promotion of high sugar products is often as low fat products; and calls on the Government to support moves to express added sugar in teaspoonfuls on product packaging and to restrict the advertising of high sugar products as low fat products.
531 ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 19:11:14
That this House notes with concern the threat to freedom of association and the right to protest posed by the facilities company Mitie at the Royal Opera House in its letters to staff which state that protesting against Mitie falls under the category of bringing the company into disrepute; calls on the company to withdraw the disciplinary letters Mitie sent to 11 workers for protesting; condemns this threat to the basic human rights of its staff; and urges the Royal Opera House to disassociate itself from Mitie's unacceptable practices.
537 CELEBRATING THE UK CHEMICAL INDUSTRY 21:11:14
That this House recognises that yet again in a pan-European survey of the chemical industry's reputation, the UK chemical industry has the highest reputation with those who drive public opinion with top or second places in 15 of the 16 separate measures; and congratulates the sector which adds £60 million every day to the UK economy, and its representative body, the Chemical Industries Association, on its work within local communities and its contribution to the UK.
543 FOR OUR DAUGHTERS CAMPAIGN 24:11:14
That this House notes that For Our Daughters, a national charity which campaigns against sexist violence and homicide and commemorates those who have died, reports that at least three to four women and girls die each week in the UK as a result of all forms of male violence; further notes that the annual death rate is worse than in the Northern Ireland conflict and exceeds annual troop losses in Iraq and Afghanistan; further notes that the gender-neutral and compartmentalised way in which government statistics have for years been collated and presented seriously obscures the extent to which females are subjected to sexist violence; believes that urgent action is needed to tackle homicide and life-threatening assaults against women and girls; therefore calls on the Government to develop the UK-wide strategy to end violence against women and girls so that it challenges the sexism and attitudes of contempt which foster it, to bolster cross-party and inter-departmental structures to progress this work, including requiring the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to report regularly to Parliament and to set clear time-limited targets to reduce and then end domestic and sexual homicides; and further calls on the Government to require all police, health and social services to record, monitor and publish gender-specific data about violent crime, in particular homicide and assaults in which there is potential threat to life, and designate domestic and sexual violence as a sixth National Policing Priority, thus ensuring that intelligence and resources can be shared.
545 COMMUNITY PHARMACIES 25:11:14
That this House recognises that the NHS has to be smarter and enable people to access health more efficiently and cheaply; further recognises that community pharmacists, who receive six million visits each day, could play a greater role if they could access medical records and ensure that information is not fragmented or incomplete; notes that NHS England is undertaking a proof of concept exercise to consider the merits of access to care records and issues of informed consent, liability and accuracy of records, with the results due in March 2015; and encourages Members of both Houses to join a round table meeting on 2 December 2014 in Portcullis House with the London Central Local Practice Forum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, to discuss the merits of the case for sharing patient records for the NHS, taxpayers and patients.
547 WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME - EXCLUSION OF NORTHERN IRELAND 25:11:14
That this House notes with concern the exclusion of pensioners resident in Northern Ireland from the Warm Home Discount Scheme since its inception in 2011; recalls that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), in its Fuel Poverty Statistics Methodology and User Manual, has described fuel poverty as a partially devolved matter and has stated that the purpose of the Warm Home Discount Scheme is to reduce fuel poverty in the UK; acknowledges that, despite having high levels of fuel poverty amongst pensioners, Northern Ireland is the only region of the UK that is excluded from the scheme; and calls on DECC Ministers to enter into discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive in order to agree the extension of this important scheme so that pensioners in Northern Ireland can enjoy the benefits of this annual rebate on the cost of household energy bills.
549 DIDSBURY IN BLOOM PROJECT 25:11:14
That this House recognises the success of Didsbury in Bloom, which has won the prize for Best Urban Community in the North West and has been nominated for the 2015 Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom national final; commends the project, which involves the local community volunteering together to sustainably improve the local area; supports Didsbury in Bloom's bid for success at the national final; and congratulates Heather Stemp, chair of the Didsbury group, and the rest of the group, for their ongoing success, commitment and dedication to making the community of Didsbury more beautiful, green and environmentally-friendly.
550 BROADBAND IN THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS 26:11:14
That this House notes that many Government services are now only delivered online; congratulates the Government on providing funds to enable the roll-out of fibre optic cables and broadband in the Highlands and Islands and that the project is on schedule to complete in 2016-17; further notes, however, with concern that neither Openreach nor Highlands and Islands Enterprise will say which houses will benefit, leaving communities unable to plan for the choice between commercial and community provision; and calls on the Government to require the providing partners to be open and transparent.
551 COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS 26:11:14
That this House recognises that current research shows that around 489,000 people will be alone on Christmas Day; particularly recognises that loneliness adds to health challenges for many elderly people in communities around the country; and applauds Community Christmas for its attempts to ensure that all who wish to will have a welcoming place to enjoy Christmas lunch.
552 ROBOTIC SURGERY FOR KIDNEY CANCER OR BLADDER CANCER PATIENTS 26:11:14
That this House believes that all cancer patients deserve the most appropriate treatment through the NHS; expresses concern about the proposed clinical commissioning policy for kidney and bladder cancer from NHS England which proposes to stop altogether robotic-assisted surgical treatments for patients with bladder and kidney cancer; notes that awareness of bladder and kidney cancer is low and that the conditions need more research; recognises that a proven treatment operation has been available for some time and is concerned that the cessation of these services will limit treatment options for patients; and calls on NHS England to look again at its draft commissioning policies and listen carefully to responses received through a public consultation.
556 ROYAL MAIL UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION AND OFCOM 26:11:14
That this House calls on Ofcom to review urgently and reform the current mail competition regime which is endangering the continuation of the Universal Service Obligation on Royal Mail to deliver to every address in the UK; and believes that access charges are far too low for its competitors which consequently cherry-pick highly profitable, cheap intra- and inter-city deliveries, dumping mail for outlying areas back into Royal Mail and so threatening its future.
558 GOVERNMENT PRACTICE IN TABLING MOTIONS FOR MONEY RESOLUTIONS 26:11:14
That this House notes that the Affordable Homes Bill, which seeks to combat the worst effects of the Government's under-occupancy penalty, also known as the bedroom tax, was approved by the House on Second Reading by a remarkable 306 to 231 votes on 5 September 2014; regrets, however, that Conservative Ministers have chosen to abuse the privilege of executive power by resorting to deploying a rarely-used underhand device of not tabling a motion for a Money Resolution for the Bill, in their attempt to sabotage it and thereby defy the clearly-expressed will of the House; further notes that the Deputy Prime Minister has made it clear that a motion for a Money Resolution will be tabled for the Conservatives' EU Referendum Bill once a Money Resolution is agreed to for the Affordable Homes Bill which precedes it; and therefore calls on the Government to table a motion for a Money Resolution to allow the Affordable Homes Bill to proceed beyond the Committee stage.
559 CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN 26:11:14
That this House condemns the ongoing kidnappings, rape, torture, violence and killings of Christians in Pakistan; notes that hundreds of Christian girls are taken from their homes and families and forced to convert to Islam each year; further notes that the country's blasphemy laws have devastating effects on religious minorities, particularly Christians; and considers that this is something which must be condemned.
560 AFGHAN WOMEN 26:11:14
That this House supports the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework and in particular the commitment to Afghanistan and ensuring that Afghan women have full human rights in education, health, employment and participation in all walks of life.
561 EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS AT SODEXO 26:11:14
That this House is dismayed at global outsourcing company Sodexo's behaviour towards staff working on its contract providing catering services on behalf of Transport for London (TfL); notes that the company has recently had an unusually large number of grievances and tribunal claims raised against it and was found by an employment tribunal to have unfairly dismissed Rail, Maritime and Transport trade union representative Petrit Mihaj for his trade union activities; is concerned that Sodexo, despite being a large undertaking, made it clear that it was unwilling to reinstate or re-engage Mr Mihaj in any capacity or at any location and stated it would flout such a tribunal order if made; further notes that, accordingly, the employment tribunal judge hearing his case decided not to order reinstatement or re-engagement; calls for Sodexo to reinstate or re-engage Mr Mihaj at the earliest opportunity and for TfL and the Mayor of London to support this position; and further calls for the law to be reviewed with a view to ensuring that tribunals can enforce reinstatement orders.
563 RETAINING THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION IN RURAL AREAS 26:11:14
That this House notes with concern Royal Mail's recent comments raising doubts on its ability to continue to deliver its Universal Service Obligation (USO); further notes that the least profitable routes are often those serving rural areas, such as the Lake District, and that any threat to end the USO could add strain to already under-resourced rural services and could be deeply damaging to remote communities and the rural economy; and therefore strongly calls on Ofcom to bring forward its planned review of end-to-end competition as a matter of urgency, so that fair competition can be achieved and the vital USO is retained.
564 NORTH KOREA AND HUMAN RIGHTS 26:11:14
That this House welcomes and fully endorses the findings and recommendations of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea; further welcomes the June 2014 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the UN General Assembly; urges the Government to take a lead within the EU and the wider international community during the current UN General Assembly session in support of Recommendation 1218 of the Commission of Inquiry that calls for the referral of individuals responsible for crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court; and calls on the Government to request that the government of Switzerland immediately freezes all North Korean assets held in Swiss bank accounts and redistributes these funds to North Korean refugee groups, whilst respecting UN Security Council Resolution 2094 on the ban of the supply, sale or transfer of luxury goods to North Korea.
565 IMMIGRATION CHECKS ON PRIVATE SECTOR TENANTS 26:11:14
That this House notes the introduction on 1 December 2014 of the pilot scheme of the requirement for private sector landlords to conduct immigration checks on their tenants; believes that this will lead to new fees from letting agents to all of Britain's nine million private tenants on moving to conduct these checks; considers that almost no undocumented migrants will be caught, as they will move into illegal tenancies, and in so doing will create a new market for illegal and exploitative landlords; further notes that this requirement will encourage discrimination in the lettings process; and further believes that it is morally objectionable to remove from any person access to shelter, just as it would be to remove access to water or to emergency medical care.
566 PHEASANTS AND PARTRIDGES REARED TO BE SHOT 26:11:14
That this House notes with concern that every year some 50 million pheasants and partridges are mass-produced to be shot for so-called sport, and that a large number of the breeding birds are confined for the whole of their productive lives in crowded metal battery units, known in industry circles as raised laying cages; further notes that these units cause the birds to suffer high levels of injury and premature death, despite them now being enriched; observes that many of the birds are fitted with restrictive face masks that attempt to limit the damage resulting from birds attacking one another because of the stresses caused by these unnatural, confined and unpleasant conditions; further observes that the law and tax regime recognise the game bird industry as primarily a sport rather than a means of food production; agrees with shooting industry spokespeople who have said in the past that the cages not only represent a major welfare problem but are harmful to the reputation of shooting; further notes that a recent YouGov poll found that 70 per cent of respondents oppose the use of cages; believes that there is no justification for causing unnecessary suffering to animals; further observes that the shooting industry can afford to pay for decent conditions for these birds and believes that it has a responsibility to do so; and calls on the Government to introduce a ban on raised laying cages for breeding pheasants and partridges.
567 ETHNIC DISCRIMINATION IN BAHRAIN 26:11:14
That this House opposes the vast demographic change instigated by the Bahraini government; expresses deep concern that, since the uprising in 2011, the process to expedite the granting of citizenship to individuals with other ethnicities from outside Bahrain solely in order to marginalise and outnumber the majority Shia Muslim population in Bahrain has increased significantly; recalls with concern that documents have suggested that since 2001 on average over 8,000 such individuals have been granted citizenship every year, exhausting a welfare system where Shia Muslims currently wait in excess of 17 years for social housing; further expresses disappointment at the continued failure to cease and reverse this violation; and urges the Government to make strong representations to try and prevent this unlawful ethnically-orientated process, instigated and maintained by the Bahraini government.
568 CLUB COSY CEREDIGION 26:11:14
That this House values the innovative work of Ymlaen Ceredigion in delivering its Club Cosy scheme in West Wales; recognises that this pilot project has been devised to reduce fuel poverty by supporting the creation, development and long-term sustainability of fuel clubs in off-mains gas areas; supports its major aim in providing a toolkit for similar schemes across the UK; further recognises that the recently launched scheme is funded via the Welsh Government, delivered on behalf of the Ceredigion County Council; and applauds the fact that the scheme will be incorporating Ymlaen's specialist work on energy efficiency and behaviour change.
570 TALBOT HOUSE AT POPERINGE 26:11:14
That this House recognises the invaluable service provided to British troops in the Ypres Salient by those at Talbot House from 1915 onwards; notes the way in which Talbot House provided these troops with a refuge where they could have a hot meal, write letters home, have a warm bath, and even be baptised or confirmed, as well as providing a space for variety shows; applauds the work of the Talbot House Trustees and the Anglo-Belgium Association in maintaining the house for visitors and ensuring that the heritage of Talbot House lives on; further recognises the significant historical importance of Talbot House and the importance of remembering the role it played in the war for off-duty troops; and calls on the Government to pledge financial support to Talbot House so it too can properly be recognised as part of the Great War centenary.
572 EDUCATION (S. I., 2014, No. 2765) 27:11:14
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Education (Student Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 2765), dated 14 October 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 16 October, be annulled.
573 YOUNG WORKERS AND LEVEL OF NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE 27:11:14
That this House condemns the epidemic of zero-hours contracts and low pay for workers in the UK; regrets that the current national minimum wage is set at just £5.31 for 18 to 20 year olds, £3.79 for 16 to 17 year olds and just £2.73 for apprentices; notes that workers under 21 years old are disproportionately employed in highly casualised sectors where zero-hours contracts are frequently used; further notes that this prevents many young workers from being able to budget from week-to-week or save for their futures; believes that employers should not be able to exploit young people in this way and that legislation must ensure that no worker has to work on a zero-hours contract; and calls for the adult rate for the national minimum wage to apply to every worker of 16 years of age and above, except on the basis of proven inability to pay, following full disclosure of company profits and executive pay levels.
575 LONDON CITY AIRPORT 28:11:14
That this House notes with concern proposed measures by City of London Airport to revise flight paths in and out of the airport; recognises that, under the proposals, air traffic will be concentrated over a narrower corridor, affecting many residents profoundly; further notes the lamentable lack of engagement with elected representatives and residents' groups; and calls on City Airport to devise a more equitable solution to address the distribution of aircraft noise.
576 HUDDERSFIELD CIVIC SOCIETY 28:11:14
That this House congratulates Huddersfield Civic Society on its Golden Jubilee for the great work it has done in promoting high standards of architecture and town planning in Huddersfield; praises its success in stimulating public interest and pride in caring for the town through the tasteful treatment of its historic buildings and improvements to public amenities; notes that Huddersfield is home to almost 3,000 listed buildings; and maintains that only an active and committed band of members are able to maintain this amazing heritage.
577 SCHOOL STANDARDS AND FRAMEWORK 28:11:14
That the draft School Admission Code, which was laid before this House on 30 October 2014, be not made.
578 SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT IN BURMA 28:11:14
That this House condemns the continuing use of rape as a weapon of war and the recent escalation in military attacks in Kachin, northern Shan and Karen States; notes the recent report by the Women's League for Burma, detailing evidence of the continuing use of rape and sexual violence; calls for a nationwide ceasefire and an end to the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war in Burma; urges the government of Burma and the ethnic nationalities to engage in a political dialogue; welcomes the renewed dialogue between the government of Burma, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, the ethnic nationalities and the military; further urges the government of Burma to uphold its obligations under international law to end impunity and ensure accountability; further urges the government of Burma to amend the Constitution in order to allow the full participation in presidential elections of all political candidates; further urges the Government to make Burma a country of priority concern in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative; calls on the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict to address the issues in Burma; and calls on the Government to consider mechanisms for justice, accountability and ending impunity in Burma.
579 LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING 28:11:14
That this House believes that under the guise of austerity, central government is slowly but surely putting an end to local government as we know it; notes that from 2010-11 to 2015-16 core central government funding to local authorities has been slashed by 40 per cent whilst local government responsibilities increase; further notes that demand for council services is growing and that people are suffering under government policies harming the poorest and most disadvantaged such as the bedroom tax, cuts to tax credits and benefits and the increase in VAT; further notes the recent National Audit Office report criticising the Government for failing to properly assess the effects of further cuts to funding of councils by central government and the cross-party Local Government Association warning over plans to stop funding local welfare assistance schemes that 'If the Government pulls the plug on funding, many local authorities will be unable to afford to make up the difference at a time when we are tackling the biggest cuts to council funding in living memory', which will cause three-quarters of councils to scale back or scrap their schemes; and therefore calls for the cuts to local government funding to be reversed and for local government to be protected from further cuts to enable local authorities to provide cherished community services as well as vital social services such as support for looked-after children, care-leavers, users of adult social care, older people, homeless people, low-income families in crisis, disabled people, those with special educational needs and emergency help to survivors of domestic violence.
580 VICTOR AKINBILE 28:11:14
That this House applauds the Serjeant at Arms on his appointment of Victor Akinbile, the first ethnic minority representative from the office of the Serjeant at Arms to sit in the House of Commons chamber in parliamentary history; and supports further measures to increase diversity in House of Commons staff, whilst continuing to hire on merit, to reflect the multiculturalism of the UK.
581 FUNDING FOR CHILD CONTACT CENTRES 28:11:14
That this House commends the work carried out by the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC); applauds the safety and quality of the national network of 403 child contact centres and their invaluable work in providing safe environments for children, parents and carers to have contact during difficult family situations; notes the NACCC's adaptability during difficult and complex reforms within the family justice system in order to ensure that their member centres continue to provide a stable support system for families in distress; further notes with concern the NACCC's urgent need for core funding in order to continue to provide support, organisation and development for contact centres across the UK and the families who use them; is deeply concerned at reports that the NACCC will not be able to remain fully functional for long into New Year 2015 unless its funding stream is confirmed by early December 2014; and calls on the Government urgently to review the financial situation of the NACCC in order for the charity to continue to carry out its vital work for the most vulnerable families in society.