House of Commons
8th 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.
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.
583 GREENHEAD COLLEGE, HUDDERSFIELD 1:12:14
That this House congratulates the staff and students of Huddersfield's Greenhead College on its having been rated the UK's top sixth form college, ahead of more than 2,000 state and independent schools; notes that Greenhead has been consistently rated Outstanding in Ofsted inspections and was awarded the status of Beacon College by the last administration; and recognises the huge contribution the college makes, along with other award-winning institutions such as Huddersfield University, which was the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2013, in enriching Huddersfield and the surrounding area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
606 BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE 8:12:14
That this House welcomes the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill which was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 29 October 2014; recognises that the Bill promotes the use of British Sign Language (BSL) by requiring Scottish Ministers and relevant public authorities to prepare and publish BSL plans; further recognises that BSL is the preferred language of between 50,000 and 70,000 people within the UK and since 2003 has been recognised by the Government as an official minority language; and calls on the Government to bring forward similar proposals to raise awareness and promote BSL across the UK.
607 ACCESS TO DUODOPA FOR PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE 8:12:14
That this House believes that people with Parkinson's disease should always have the full range of treatment options open to them; notes with concern that in England people with Parkinson's disease are currently unable to access Duodopa; recognises that Duodopa is a licensed and often life-changing treatment that can give people back their independence when all other treatment options have been exhausted; further recognises that, when people cannot access Duodopa, their health and care needs significantly increase, with significant cost implications; further recognises that the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group review of Duodopa has been characterised by delays and a lack of transparency; and calls on NHS England urgently to review the availability of Duodopa and take action to ensure that people are able to access the treatment.
608 DIABETES AND DEMENTIA 8:12:14
That this House is deeply concerned by reports that diabetes is directly linked to early onset dementia; notes that evidence from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health demonstrates that uncontrolled diabetes ages the mind by five years, hastening the onset of dementia; further notes evidence that the risk of dementia is reduced through a healthy diet, exercise and controlled blood pressure; and calls on the Government to promote education programmes addressing the link between diabetes and dementia.
609 BAHRAIN BASE 8:12:14
That this House is appalled that Britain has signed an agreement with the government of Bahrain to establish a permanent military base at Port Mina Salman in Bahrain; believes that this announcement will be deeply upsetting to all those who have suffered human rights abuses by the government of Bahrain and its officials, and will serve to send a message that the UK Government is not interested in justice, rule of law and reconciliation in Bahrain; notes the protests in Bahrain since the announcement was made; believes that the increased British military presence is likely to exacerbate tensions in the region; and calls on the UK Government to play a much more constructive role in Bahrain to help end, and ensure appropriate redress for, serious human rights violations, and to encourage meaningful dialogue leading to substantive political reform.