House of Commons
4th December 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.
541 DIABETES PRESCRIPTIONS 24:11:14
That this House is deeply worried by reports that NHS patients are having vital diabetes prescriptions refused or restricted; is aware these prescriptions are vital to provide diabetics knowledge of their blood-sugar reading to prevent serious health problems; notes these refusals and restrictions are reportedly part of cost-saving measures; further notes the Department of Health has previously requested that access to such prescriptions is not restricted; and calls on the Government to ensure these dangerous and counter-productive practices are stopped and diabetics have access to necessary medication.
542 CRASH FOR CASH ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS 24:11:14
That this House notes with concern the sharp rise in deliberate crash for cash road traffic accidents; recognises that organised gangs are the main cause of this increase, with a recent report by Aviva highlighting a 21 per cent growth in organised fraud in 2013; further notes that over 50 per cent of motor injury claims fraud is of an organised nature, with over 6,500 suspicious injury claims being related to known fraudster rings; further notes that these offences are particularly frequent in major urban centres such as Manchester, North London, Luton and Birmingham; recognises the costs imposed on society by such practices, including £400 million of added costs in the price of car insurance; further recognises that treating short-term, minor whiplash injuries with a course of rehabilitation rather than the granting of cash compensation would disrupt the operations of these gangs; and calls on the Government to act urgently in this regard to undercut this criminal practice.
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.
544 HUMAN RIGHTS IN ERITREA 24:11:14
That this House condemns the human rights abuses perpetuated by the government of Eritrea, including arbitrary arrest and detention and compulsory military service imposed on all able-bodied men, women and even children, which has led to an unprecedented exodus of Eritreans, now reaching 5,000 a month, fleeing their country as refugees to Europe on a precarious journey, including the recent tragedy at Lampedusa, which is costing hundred of lives; notes with concern the collusion between the government of Eritrea and the international mining companies from the UK, Canada and Australia, which is using the forced labour of Eritreans for work in extractive industries in conditions which have been described as abject slavery by Human Rights Watch and other campaigning non-governmental organisations; and calls on the government of Eritrea to honour the international human rights treaties to which it is a party and allow, without further prevarication and delay, a visit from the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
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.
546 WORK-RELATED STRESS AMONGST PRISON OFFICERS 25:11:14
That this House welcomes the independent report into work-related stress amongst prison officers commissioned by the Prison Officers' Association and conducted by Professor Dr Gail Kinman, Dr Andrew Clements and Jacqui Hart from the University of Bedfordshire; is deeply concerned at the findings of the report which irrefutably demonstrate the crisis which the prison system is now in, and the huge burden being carried by the staff and their families and the resultant impact upon prisoners and public safety; notes that the level of stress amongst prison officers is clearly in excess of that in other comparable services, that 65 per cent of prison officers often thought about leaving the prison sector, and that the Prison Service is failing to meet the widely recognised benchmarks of the Health and Safety Executive for wellbeing at work; further notes with concern the current record levels of the prison population, and the accompanying increase in prisoner suicides and assaults on staff; and calls on the Government to conduct an urgent inquiry into the prison system and the terms and conditions of those trying to professionally carry out an important public service under the most difficult of circumstances.
548 SCOTTISH SUNDAY MAIL HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTING 25:11:14
That this House recognises the campaigning efforts of the Scottish Sunday Mail in exposing the human rights abuses by British American Tobacco throughout its worldwide supply chain.
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.
557 DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAILWAY MAINTENANCE WORK 26:11:14
That this House notes that on the mainline railway and London Underground maintenance contracts have been brought in-house to improve efficiency, safety and quality of service; is therefore concerned that the new operators of the Docklands Light Railway, Keolis/Amey, are sub-contracting the maintenance and electrical team to MJ Quinn, which could result in not only a poorer service and less safe Docklands Light Railway, but also worse staff conditions, job insecurity and a loss of skills; and calls on the Mayor of London and Keolis/Amey to ensure that all Docklands Light Railway maintenance work is instead carried out in-house.
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.
562 INNOVATIVE INVERCLYDE YOUTHS 26:11:14
That this House congratulates Ellie Wilkie, Ellie Stevenson and Claire Higgins from Inverclyde for winning the Grand Prize of a trip to Silicon Valley at the Appathon nationwide competition coordinated by Founders4Schools, which recognises innovative app ideas and prototypes and aims to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship in young people; notes that the award represents a significant achievement for these three young women and reflects the quality of the education they have received at Notre Dame High School in Greenock; recognises that this achievement reflects the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit which exists in Inverclyde; and applauds initiatives such as Appathon for spurring interest in technological innovation and development nationwide amongst young people.
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.
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.
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 AKINBELE 28:11:14
That this House applauds the Serjeant at Arms on his appointment of Victor Akinbele, 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.
582 UK TEXTILE INDUSTRY 1:12:14
That this House applauds the innovation and creativity of the UK's modern textile industry; congratulates the entrepreneurial leadership and hard-working skilled professionals that make the industry so successful; notes the great contribution that the industry makes to the UK's national wealth and export success; and calls on the Government to offer more assistance to the industry, in particular by offering more support for exports and by addressing the skills gap.
584 REDUCTIONS IN STAFFING ON EAST COAST AND GREAT WESTERN RAIL SERVICES 1:12:14
That this House notes with concern that government and train operating company plans for implementing the multibillion pound Intercity Express rolling stock programme which will ultimately be funded by the taxpayer and fare-payer could see significant staffing cuts on East Coast and Great Western services; is dismayed that new rolling stock being introduced from 2017 could have the buffet car removed, meaning that hot food and meals will only be available in first class whilst other passengers will be forced to rely on a trolley-only service for long, often crowded, journeys so more seats can be crammed onto inter-city services, and perturbed that this upstairs-downstairs catering service is under consideration when passengers already pay the highest rail fares in Europe; is alarmed that driver only operation is also proposed for this rolling stock which would downgrade the train guard's safety operational role and increase risks to passengers by restricting responsibility for safe operation of the train to the driver; further notes that passenger safety and service will be further jeopardised if the new rolling stock is used as cover for de-staffing stations, particularly train dispatch staff; further notes the threat to skilled maintenance workers' jobs in these proposals which would further impact on passenger safety and service and exacerbate the rail industry skills crisis; and calls on the Government to reject any contracts for East Coast and Great Western services which propose any such cuts to rail staff.
585 CLOSURE OF LOCAL NEWSPAPERS 1:12:14
That this House regrets the latest announcement from Trinity Mirror newspapers that approximately 50 editorial and non-editorial jobs will be lost as seven newspapers in the south of England, including the Harrow Observer, Reading Post and Surrey Herald, are to be closed; notes that the proposals will mean that the county of Berkshire will be served by a digital-only model; further notes that the latest closures come on top of the closure of 150 local newspaper titles since the financial crisis of 2008, with many more reducing the frequency of publication or the range of locally-specific news coverage; is concerned about the loss of such assets to local communities and the important democratic function they serve in reporting on public life including local and national election campaigning; welcomes the recent cross-party stakeholder seminar organised by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to consider policy responses; and joins the National Union of Journalists in calling for a short, sharp cross-party and inter-departmental government inquiry into securing a future for the industry, in order to protect the public interest and defend jobs in quality local journalism.
586 JOHN'S CAMPAIGN AND THE RIGHT TO STAY WITH DEMENTIA PATIENTS IN HOSPITAL 2:12:14
That this House notes that there are 800,000 people in the UK with dementia and that one in three people over the age of 65 will develop the condition; praises the families and carers of patients with dementia who are vulnerable and can often be distressed and disoriented; further notes an article in The Observer newspaper on 30 November 2014 by Nicci Gerrard whose father, Dr John Gerrard, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in his mid-seventies and died in November 2014; further notes that his family were restricted in the amount of time they were able to spend with him in hospital when he was admitted in February 2014 for a separate condition; further notes that his family were not able to provide a continuation of his normal life when in hospital, such as talking and reading to him and that as a result when he came out of hospital his Alzheimer's had worsened; and calls on the Government to support the same rights for families and carers of dementia sufferers as parents of sick children and allow for family representatives to stay with the patients at any time of the day as dementia sufferers can struggle to understand and communicate with strangers in unusual surroundings.
587 SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT IN BURMA 2:12:14
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 by the Burmese army; further calls on the Government to urge the government of Burma to engage in genuine political dialogue with ethnic nationalities without preconditions; further calls on the Government to urge the government of Burma to uphold its obligations under international law to end impunity and ensure accountability; further calls on the Government to urge the government of Burma to amend the constitution of that country to remove the current disqualification of Burmese citizens with foreign children becoming President; further calls on the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict to address the issues in Burma highlighted by the Women's League for Burma's Report; and further calls on the Government to support an independent international investigation into rape and sexual violence in Burma and to provide funding to women's organisations from Burma which document sexual violence by the Burmese army and assist survivors.
589 DERWENT VALLEY CAR CLUB 2:12:14
That this House warmly congratulates the Derwent Valley Car Club on recently winning a grant of £6,000 from Carplus, a not-for-profit environmental transport non-governmental organisation that promotes accessible and low-carbon alternatives to traditional car use, and the Department for Transport; notes that this will allow the Car Club to research demand for expanding its pioneering service, including a voluntary driver scheme for those who cannot drive; further notes that the Club, which employs an electric car and electric bikes, also uses an array of solar panels, which offsets the electrical charging needed to run the vehicles, making the Club emission-free; welcomes its aim of becoming a member-led Social Enterprise scheme and increasing a scheme that provides a credible alternative to private car ownership with one car potentially replacing as many as 20 cars; and urges others to follow this inspiring example.
590 HUMANIST MARRIAGES 2:12:14
That this House supports humanists and their right to a legal marriage ceremony which reflects their beliefs and is performed by someone who shares them; urges the Government to lay down regulations for legislation of humanist marriage in a timely manner; notes that this would be a modest reform in line with existing marriage laws for Jews and Quakers and not a fundamental change; recalls the Government's pledge to support strong and stable families and its support for the institution of marriage; believes humanist marriage would greatly strengthen families in England and Wales by allowing couples to start their lives together in a deeply meaningful and personal ceremony; further notes the experience of humanist marriage in Scotland where its introduction led to a net increase in marriage in the context of a general decline; and encourages the Government to support humanists' rights to have independent legal wedding ceremonies outside registry offices like those allowed for persons of religious belief.
591 SCIENTIST JOB REDUCTIONS AT KEW GARDENS 2:12:14
That this House is appalled by the recent announcement of a further 51 scientist job cuts at Royal Botanical Kew Gardens on 28 November 2014; notes that these job cuts will result in the loss of over 1,000 years of scientific expertise; deeply regrets that staff were told via email that they were no longer required and that, if these scientists are not found other positions, Kew will lose up to 40 per cent of its scientific staff; supports the PCS and Prospect trade unions in their demand that vacancies within the new structure should be filled by existing staff rather than by recruiting external, less experienced candidates and losing hundreds of years' worth of invaluable experience; further notes the hugely detrimental impact such redundancies will have on the vitally important work carried out at Kew on a daily basis; and calls on the Government to urgently halt these further redundancies in order to allow the new structure put in place at Kew to take effect and to fully engage with staff and unions in order to save as many key scientific posts as possible.
592 ENABLE SCOTLAND'S BETHECHANGE CAMPAIGN 3:12:14
That this House welcomes the launch of Enable Scotland's new campaign, #BeTheChange, and supports its core aim to challenge bullying and eliminate offensive language about people with a learning disability; notes that Enable Scotland is a member-led charity of and for people with a learning disability, who told Enable Scotland it was time to challenge this hateful language experienced by 90 per cent of them; recognises the need for a campaign specifically focusing on anti-bullying measures for people with a learning disability; understands that the #BeTheChange campaign will encompass two main strands, a school resource for teachers to raise awareness and promote positive attitudes to learning disability and a public awareness campaign to tackle abusive language in wider society; acknowledges that the #BeTheChange campaign is the culmination of two years of Enable's work towards developing a learning disability-specific anti-bullying campaign with support from other key partners; and encourages people to take the #BeTheChange challenge and declare that they will help to end the use of abusive language towards people with learning disabilities.
593 INTERSERVE CLEANERS AT WATERLOO STATION 3:12:14
That this House is concerned at the comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations between the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and cleaning contractors, Interserve at Waterloo Station which has resulted in industrial action; is dismayed that the breakdown results from the unwarranted victimisation and dismissal of RMT members, ignorance of basic employment rights and failure to follow agreed procedures by Interserve, the underpayment of wages and the bullying and harassment of staff; notes that Interserve is contracted to work at Waterloo Station by Network Rail, a publicly-owned company; supports the demands for dignity and respect at work and for the London Living Wage to be the minimum paid to any employee in London; calls on Interserve to work to resolve this dispute; and further calls on Network Rail to bring pressure to bear on Interserve and also to bring these workers back in-house as the best means of protecting their employment rights.
594 VAT AND THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR 3:12:14
That this House notes the continuing problems faced by the hospitality sector across the UK; further notes the differential in VAT rates across Europe; and calls on the Government to recognise the beneficial effect of a VAT reduction in the hospitality sector, not just for business owners and customers, but to the wider economy as a whole as the nation seeks to move out of recession, and to implement such a reduction in advance of the 2015 tourist season.
595 DAIRY COUNCIL CEREMONY OF THE CHRISTMAS CHEESES 2014 3:12:14
That this House congratulates The Dairy Council in staging the 2014 Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses, which forms the beginning of the Chelsea Pensioners' traditional Christmas celebrations; further congratulates in-pensioner, Ray Pearson, who was given the honour of cutting the cheese at this historic ceremony; notes that dairy products are a nutrient-rich food for people of all ages as part of a balanced diet; welcomes the work of the Royal Hospital in ensuring that dairy products play an important role in the diet of the Chelsea Pensioners; and calls on the Department of Health to take steps to promote the consumption of nutrient-rich food such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.
596 COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIPS 3:12:14
That this House expresses great satisfaction that nearly 1,000 Commonwealth citizens will take-up Commonwealth Scholarships funded by the Government in the 2015-16 academic year; congratulates the young recipients on their success in gaining such awards; underlines the distinctive importance of the scheme for Commonwealth visibility and cohesion, for its central place in soft-power strategies for extending UK international influence and promoting democratic values and for the outstanding contribution that alumni make to economic and social advancement in developing countries; welcomes the promising start made by the new Endowment Fund providing Commonwealth Scholarships in low- and middle-income countries; and calls on the Government both to maintain its level of support for the plan in real terms and to promote it among the UK's partners when Commonwealth education ministers meet in the Bahamas in June 2015.
597 HUMANIST MARRIAGES IN THE UK 3:12:14
That this House is aware that the Government has recently concluded its consultation on whether to give legal recognition to humanist marriages in the UK; notes that in Scotland people are able to choose marriages which accord with such deeply-held beliefs; believes that the legal recognition of humanist marriages would be uncontroversial and would remove unreasonable unfair restrictions and disparities which currently exist in different parts of Britain; and calls on the Government to act sensibly and swiftly in its determination on this matter.
598 BREAKTHROUGH BREAST CANCER CAMPAIGN AND ACCESS TO LIFE-EXTENDING DRUGS 3:12:14
That this House is aware of the organisation Breakthrough Breast Cancer's demand for a fair price campaign which calls for fairer access for sufferers of cancer to life-extending drugs; notes that although many of the treatments are very expensive and consequently have been rejected for routine use by the NHS, in England many are available via the Cancer Drugs Fund, a body whose tenure is due to expire in 2016; acknowledges that the Government controls the nation's drugs budget and negotiates with the pharmaceutical industry on pricing across Britain; and calls on the Government to work with the NHS, industry and charitable organisations to find a long-term solution to ensure that a person’s life cannot simply be priced away on any simple cost analysis.
599 CONTINUED DETENTION OF ANDARGACHEW TSEGE 3:12:14
That this House remains extremely concerned about the case of British citizen and Ethiopian political opposition activist Andargachew Tsege, abducted on 23 June 2014 while in transit in Sana'a airport, Yemen, on his way to Eritrea and extradited to Ethiopia; is very disappointed that after more than five months in detention, his whereabouts are still unknown and meaningful consular access has not been facilitated by the Ethiopian government; notes that over the past decade Human Rights Watch and other domestic and international human rights organisations have documented patterns of serious human rights violations, including arbitrary arrest and detention, ill-treatment and torture in many official and unofficial detention facilities throughout Ethiopia; is dismayed that the Ethiopian government has not provided an unequivocal guarantee that it will not carry out the death penalty imposed in previous in absentia proceedings; calls on the Government to do more to ensure that it obtains regular consular access and that Mr Tsege receives a fair trial; and further calls on the Government to review its aid programme to Ethiopia, including any funding given to the security sector, as a matter of urgency.
600 BRITISH BEER AND PUB ASSOCIATION 3:12:14
That this House condemns the disgraceful campaign of misinformation by the pubcos' trade association, the British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA) who are misrepresenting Clause 42 in the Small Business, Employment and Enterprise Bill and falsely presenting predictions of its effect; notes that BBPA have misrepresented predictions of the discredited London Economics study by claiming that study said it 'would' lead to closures when it says 'may', that they have presented only the top figure of a scale of predictions that are misrepresenting these figures when they do not actually apply to Clause 42 but were based on immediate MRO; further notes this report was exposed as being based on 'confidential data' supplied by pubcos and that the conclusions are invalid in failing to understand the legal position of leases; further notes previous false and misleading statements made by the BBPA in 2013 including by the Chief Executive to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee and claiming on television that the Government's own figures show that there are more pubs that are closing that are free-of-tie than that are closing that are tied, when the reality is that the Government had no pub closure figures, nor do CGA Strategy collect pub closure figures; believes the BBPA is now thoroughly discredited and not trusted in Westminster and Whitehall and as such can no longer fulfil its role as a representative body; and calls on BBPA members to review their membership and for the BBPA to be replaced by a new credible association.
601 EU BAN ON INDIAN MANGOES 4:12:14
That this House welcomes reports that the EU's ban on the importation of Indian mangoes may soon be lifted, following an investigation by the EU's Food and Veterinary Office; is deeply concerned that this ban has had a devastating impact on businesses in the UK and India; notes the importance of this report, with no revision otherwise permitted until December 2015; and calls on the Government to support the removal of this importation ban.
602 WASTEWATER NETWORK BLOCKAGES 4:12:14
That this House congratulates Welsh Water on its Let's Stop the Block Campaign which aims to reduce the number of everyday items being put down toilets which can cause environmental damage and increase the risk of sewage flooding in homes; notes that it costs Welsh Water £7 million and 28,000 staff hours a year to clear blockages in its wastewater network; further notes that costs for other water utility companies could be significantly higher; commends water companies running similar campaigns in their operating areas to help protect both the environment and customers; and calls on the Government to urge manufacturers properly to label goods such as wet wipes, nappies and cotton buds that are causing the blockages.
603 PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AND READING 4:12:14
That this House is appalled that one in four children in England cannot read well at age 11 and that the damning statistic rises sharply to two in five among low-income families; commends the report by the campaigning group Read On, Get On in highlighting this failure; notes that some areas and constituencies in the country, like London, come out well, whereas Bradford West is in the lowest 25 per cent of achievers; believes that the likelihood of being able to read well should not be determined by income or postcode; points to the example of the London Challenge, which dramatically increased educational outcomes in secondary pupils in the capital; and calls on the Government to form a similar challenge to ensure that all primary children, whatever their background, circumstances or location, are able to read well as they leave primary school.
604 DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS IN TUNISIA 4:12:14
That this House welcomes the democratic progress in Tunisia, standing proud as the guardians of the Arab Spring in North Africa; recognises the important milestones of peaceful and credible elections in October and November 2014 and anticipates a further such second-round presidential ballot in December 2014; congratulates all those who have participated in Tunisia's democratic process; notes the security and economic challenges which Tunisia continues to face; and calls on the Government and the international community to continue supporting these areas as well as the consolidation of the democratic process, including through the work of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and other such organisations.