House of Commons
17th 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
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.
611 UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY—IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS 10:12:14
That this House congratulates those families who have brought the In Their Footsteps display to London on International Human Rights Day; notes the recent statement by the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights that budget cuts cannot be used as an excuse for not upholding the rule of law and also that by not conducting effective, independent and reasonably prompt investigations into killings by security forces in Ireland the Government is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights; deplores the fact that the families of the victims of the conflict in Ireland, regardless of which organisation killed their loved one, continue to be denied justice; further notes the broad consensus surrounding the inadequacy of the current mechanisms for dealing with the past in Ireland; recognises the importance of the upcoming Coroner's Court inquests and those currently being undertaken; calls on the Government to ensure the adequate resourcing of the Coroner's Court in respect of legacy cases; and further calls on the Government to commit fully to the establishment of acceptable and effective mechanisms to deal with the past and the necessary financing of such mechanisms.
612 BUFFER ZONES AROUND ABORTION CLINICS AND PREGNANCY ADVISORY BUREAUX 10:12:14
That this House notes with concern the recent escalation in anti-abortion activity targeted at women and staff attending abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory services; further notes that approaching and recording women and staff, alongside the distribution of misleading information and distressing images, intimidates women and jeopardises access to legal healthcare services; believes in upholding the right to peaceful protest; further believes that the right to peaceful protest should not interfere with the fundamental right for women to make individual reproductive choices; further notes that campaigns against women exercising their sexual health rights can continue without occupying the space immediately outside clinics; supports the British Pregnancy Advisory Service's Back Off campaign to implement buffer zones outside reproductive health clinics as a means of ensuring that women are not harassed or obstructed from accessing confidential advice and treatment; and calls on the Government to bring forward legislation to protect the rights of women to access lawful healthcare by enabling the introduction and implementation of buffer zones around clinics offering abortion and sexual health services.
613 KURDISTAN EMERGENCY APPEAL 10:12:14
That this House warmly welcomes the Kurdistan Emergency Appeal launched by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) UK representation, the Kurdish community and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan region; notes that the appeal for funds and goods, such as blankets, has been necessitated by the presence in Kurdistan, whose population is normally five million people, of about 1.5 million refugees and internally displaced people, most of whom arrived with nothing to their name; recognises that the KRG has sought urgently to provide shelter but this has been stymied by an Iraqi federal government decision this year to cut budget payments to the region, UN funding shortfalls and bureaucracy; is concerned that deaths will result from the coming cold winter and rains; and commends the appeal as allowing the British public and the Kurdish diaspora once again to contribute directly to relieving the plight of those escaping from the so-called Islamic State.
614 SUPPORTING CARERS 10:12:14
That this House notes that there are an estimated 6.5 million carers across the UK; is seriously concerned that ongoing cuts to social care budgets are having a huge impact on the demands on individual carers; understands that if the estimated cost of unpaid care and support to ill, older or disabled people was paid by the state it could well be in excess of £100 billion; believes that it is unfair to expect these dedicated people to be forced into debt and financial hardship; and therefore calls on the present and future Governments to pledge to reform carers' benefits, stop cutting support to carers and protect vital support services from further cuts to prevent carer ill-health and isolation.
615 FINES AND COMPENSATION ENFORCEMENT 10:12:14
That this House applauds the work of staff in the National Crime Enforcement Service who have continued to improve collection rates of fines and compensation set by the criminal courts despite cuts to staff; welcomes moves to give staff access to data held on defaulters by HM Revenue and Customs to help further improve collection rates; notes that it is not always possible to recover every debt due to insufficient information on the defaulter being available or because of their personal circumstances such as homelessness; is alarmed by reports from Citizens Advice Bureau regarding the behaviour of poorly regulated private bailiffs who fall short of public sector collection rates of 2013 and are only collecting 22.7 per cent of fines arising from distress warrants in full; is concerned that the Government is seeking to use uncollected fines as a reason for privatising this well performing public service; and urges the Government to scrap its plans to privatise under the Compliance and Enforcement Service Project.
616 CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS 10:12:14
That this House notes the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 and in particular the legislation regarding children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities; further notes that there is wide variation between the interpretation and implementation of the reforms between local authorities, both in the funding arrangements for specialist education and in outcomes, and notes that this has resulted in young people with special educational needs and disabilities being denied appropriate independent advice and guidance, being pushed into inappropriate placements or excluded from education altogether; further notes that local authorities are both funders and commissioners and this situation can cause conflicting incentives; calls on the Government to publish stricter guidelines on how to adhere to this Act; calls for standardised delivery of local authorities' Local Offers; and further calls for regular analysis of the quality of the Local Offers and the independence of the guidance provided to young people.
617 PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS 11:12:14
That this House condemns the persecution of Christians, particularly in the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine recently where some Christians have been killed or injured; and calls on all relevant authorities to help bring such persecution to an end.
618 PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL CLUBS AND THE LIVING WAGE 11:12:14
That this House notes that there are people carrying out vital jobs in Premier League football clubs who are paid less than the living wage; further notes that not one Premier League football club has signed up to become a living wage employer nor collected information on how many people working within their club might be on low pay; further notes that some Premier League football clubs choose to pay their players wages of up to £300,000 per week whilst the cleaners, catering staff and security guards working at the club are not paid enough to live on; believes that the Premier League should accept responsibility for ensuring all staff, either directly employed or outsourced, are paid a living wage; calls on the Premier League to immediately gather information on how many people carrying out jobs in Premier League football clubs are paid less than a living wage; and requests club supporters actively to campaign to that end.
As an Amendment to Mr Frank Field's proposed Motion (Premier League Football Clubs And The Living Wage):
Line10, at end add, 'further congratulates Luton Town FC on being the first professional club in the Premier and Football leagues to adopt the Living Wage and being accredited by the Living Wage Foundation'.' 17:12:14(a1)
619 PRIVATE HIRE CHARGES FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS 11:12:14
That this House notes the important campaign led by People First Keighley and Craven, and Turning Point, to stop drivers of wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles from charging extra to carry wheelchair users; and urges the Government to bring into force section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, which states that private hire firms which have vehicles that have been designated as accessible by a local authority must carry passengers in wheelchairs without making an additional charge.
620 REGISTRATION OF OFF-ROAD VEHICLES 11:12:14
That this House calls on the Government to introduce a compulsory register of off-road vehicles; notes that Bradford has a high incidence of anti-social behaviour related to the use of off-road vehicles; acknowledges that quad bikes and dirt bikes are used as weapons to perform acts of anti-social behaviour; appreciates that it is almost impossible for the police to safely tackle inappropriate use of off-road vehicles; also notes that the police are unable to investigate such crimes without suitable identification markers on off-road vehicles being registered; further notes that there is currently a voluntary scheme for off-road vehicle owners to register their vehicles in case they are stolen; welcomes the hard work and dedication of West Yorkshire Police's Quad Squad who do a good job at attempting to tackle anti-social behaviour; also welcomes the argument that compulsory registration would enable the police to access more information in order to identify suspect bikes and make it significantly easier for the police to bring to justice those who are illegally riding their vehicles on public roads; celebrates the fact that this measure would reduce crime and increase safety in neighbourhoods and would encourage off-road vehicle users to use their vehicles legally and responsibly; and calls once again on the Government to introduce compulsory registration of off-road vehicles.
621 RENT CONTROLS 11:12:14
That this House notes the spiralling cost of living in every place in Britain where there is a thriving jobs market, driven by the cost of land and housing; recognises that this has reached a crisis point for many renters; and calls for the Government to give local authorities and the Mayor of London powers to implement rent controls wherever they, accountable to local residents, feel it is the best solution to this crisis.
622 ECULIZUMAB AND aHUS PATIENTS 11:12:14
That this House applauds the decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to recommend that the drug eculizumab be used for treating atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS); notes that this life-threatening disease affects around 200 people in England with 20 to 30 new patients diagnosed with the condition each year; and recognises that a petition of 30,000 signatures was presented to the House calling for the use of this drug.
623 OESOPHAGEAL CANCER WESTMINSTER CAMPAIGN 15:12:14
That this House notes that the UK has the highest incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma in the world and that incidence is rising; further notes that there are over 8,000 people diagnosed with oesophageal cancer every year in the UK; acknowledges that the survival rate for oesophageal cancer is one of the worst of any cancer, with only 15 per cent survival after five years; further notes that diagnosis for the condition Barrett's oesophagus which can lead to oesophageal cancer is low and that public awareness of the significance of persistent heartburn as a risk factor is very low; welcomes the work of the Oesophageal Cancer Westminster Campaign, a campaign group of patient groups, clinical experts, industry and bereaved families; further welcomes the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign on oesophageal cancer; and calls for the Government and the Department of Health to regard the diagnosis and treatment of Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal cancer as a national priority to save lives.
624 LANDLORD TENANT IMMIGRATION CHECKS 15:12:14
That this House notes the introduction of the pilot scheme on 1 December 2014 of the requirement for private sector landlords to conduct immigration checks on their potential tenants; believes that the checks will lead to new fees from letting agents to all of Britain's nine million private tenants on moving to conduct these checks; further believes that almost no undocumented migrants will be caught as they will move into illegal tenancies and in doing so will create a new market for illegal and exploitative landlords; is concerned that the checks will encourage discrimination in the lettings process; 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 emergency medical care; and calls on the Government to abandon the scheme immediately.
625 BEER DUTY BUDGET 2015 15:12:14
That this House welcomes the ending of the beer duty escalator and the positive impact of two successive beer duty cuts in the 2013 and 2014 Budgets in supporting the growth of Britain's breweries and underpinning confidence in the UK's pubs; notes that beer duty is now 13 per cent lower than under the tax rises previously planned, a tax reduction that has been popular with pubgoers, leading to an additional 16,000 jobs and in the first six months following the Budget an extra £44 million in investment; and urges the Government to consider a further cut in beer duty in the 2015 Budget which would secure pub jobs, help keep pub pints affordable and support Britain's much-loved pubs.
626 CENTRALISATION OF BRITISH VISA SERVICES IN INDIA AND BANGLADESH 15:12:14
That this House is deeply concerned that visa decision-making in South Asia is being centralised at the risk of creating poorer service and less effective oversight; notes crucial regional visa hubs such as Mumbai and Dhaka are being downsized, with Mumbai's visa staff reduced from 70 to 20 despite receiving a similar volume of applications to New Delhi; further notes 323,575 visa applications were made in India alone in 2013; recognises the importance of these areas to the 1.4 million people of Indian origin and 300,000 people of Bangladeshi origin in the UK; considers it vital to maintain good relations with India and Bangladesh; and endorses the campaigns launched by Asian Voice and Curry Life Magazine and the two e-petitions to the UK Government which call on the Government to review these regrettable decisions.
627 ROYAL MAIL AND THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION 15:12:14
That this House notes with gratitude the work Royal Mail carries out all year round and particularly during the period leading up to Christmas; further notes that Royal Mail's competitors are unregulated and, consequently, free to choose what, when and where to deliver; expresses strong concern that companies such as Whistl, formerly TNT Post, regularly fail to deliver hundreds of items on a daily basis in each constituency because they are cherry picking which addresses they find convenient; further notes that this results in additional costs per item as undelivered items of mail are returned to Royal Mail to deliver; further notes that these practices put additional and unfair pressure on Royal Mail revenues, thereby undermining Royal Mail's ability to provide a six day per week service to every household in the UK, the Universal Service obligation; further expresses concern that Royal Mail's competitors frequently pay staff below the living wage and use disreputable employment practices such as zero hours contracts; and calls on Ofcom urgently to investigate this unacceptable situation and take appropriate action to enable Royal Mail to meet its Universal Service obligation.
628 STAFF AT SHELTER HOUSING CHARITY 15:12:14
That this House supports workers at the housing charity Shelter in defending their terms and conditions and the service they provide to clients struggling with bad housing and homelessness; condemns the cuts to pay of up to £5,000 a year already implemented for new staff and threatened for existing staff which primarily affect the lowest-paid frontline service staff; disputes that Shelter must cut pay in order to compete for contracts; notes that the ability of staff to offer an excellent service is Shelter's strongest competitive advantage; further notes that cuts to pay will undermine Shelter's ability to recruit and retain the best staff; and calls on the management of Shelter to withdraw the proposals to cut pay for staff.
629 FOETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME 15:12:14
That this House notes the proven link between alcohol ingested during pregnancy and a wide range of health defects affecting the child upon birth, including brain damage, heart, kidney and liver damage and developmental problems; commends the work of groups such as the FASD Trust and FAS Aware in raising awareness of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome; further notes that there is no clear evidence that points to a minimum safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy; and calls for a holistic public health strategy focused on early intervention and encouraging no alcohol during pregnancy.
630 MINDFULNESS IN EDUCATION 15:12:14
That this House notes that approximately one in 10 children between the ages of five to 16 years old suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder and that 75 per cent of mental disorders emerge before the age of 25 years, about 25 per cent before the age of 12 years; further notes that 40 per cent of teachers leave the profession within five years and that stress is the predominant reason cited for leaving the profession; further notes that where staff turnover is high, lack of stability is likely to have an impact on pupils' learning and the cost is significant; further notes that costs of mental ill health are set to double over the next 20 years and billions of pounds could be saved through emphasis on prevention and early intervention; recognises the solid evidence-base for the reliable impact of mindfulness for adults on many aspects of psychological and physical health and a growing body of work with school staff and young people, showing that mindfulness interventions can have significant impacts in terms of reduced stress, depression and anxiety, increased sense of control, better behaviour, increased social and emotional skills, cognitive skills and performance in terms of focus and attention; believes that all young people and those who work in education, should have access to mindfulness training; and further believes that a Government-funded mindfulness programme will constitute value for money as access will lead to children and school staff being less likely to access costly interventions later.
631 MINDFULNESS IN HEALTH 15:12:14
That this House believes that all adults with a history of depression should have access to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) because it halves risk of depressive relapse and can reduce health care utilisation and it is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE); notes that despite NICE guidance access to MBCT for depression is very patchy and not available at all in some areas; highlights that prevention of depressive relapse through MBCT is particularly pertinent as up to 15 per cent of the population will experience depression during their lifetime; further notes that the World Health Organisation expects depression to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020; further notes that at least 50 per cent of people with a history of depression have more than one episode and depression costs the UK economy more than £9 billion a year in lost earnings; recognises that there is strong evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for other health conditions, in particular for reducing anxiety and depression for people living with cancer and for helping people to cope better with chronic pain; and calls on the Government to support increased availability to MBCT for people living with depression and to ensure further research funding is made available in areas where mindfulness-based interventions are showing promise for other long-term health conditions.
632 COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS ONLINE AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY 15:12:14
That this House recognises the work of Electrical Safety First, a charity dedicated to preventing deaths, injuries and damage caused by electricity, to raise awareness of people being put at risk by a new trend in which thousands of potentially dangerous counterfeit products are out on sale on social media; notes that sales of illegal, fake goods on social media have increased by nearly 15 per cent in the last year; further notes that, in the past year, the percentage of counterfeit goods seized by authorities because they posed a threat to people's health and safety has doubled, with the number of mobile telephones seized for this reason increasing by over 50 per cent in the last year; further notes that counterfeit electrical products often contain faulty parts, causing electric shocks, overheating and the ability to catch fire contributing to nearly 6,000 house fires; and calls on the Government to assess and tackle the number of dangerous counterfeit electrical goods being sold on social media in the UK.
633 DISTRIBUTION OF ASYLUM SEEKERS 16:12:14
That this House believes that asylum seekers should be homed widely in the country to assist community assimilation and to share fairly the strains and burdens on services that newcomers create; is astonished that Cardiff has 976 section 95 migrants, double the total in all of South East England outside of London and that Newport has 391, while the constituency of the Home Secretary has one and those of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister have none; and calls on hon. Members to encourage their areas to accept their responsibilities and welcome at least the average total of migrants homed elsewhere.
634 DETENTION OF ANTI-SLAVERY CAMPAIGNERS IN MAURITANIA 16:12:14
That this House is extremely concerned about the arrest and detention of high-profile anti-slavery campaigner and 2014 Presidential election runner-up, Biram Dah Abeid, and a number of campaigners and members of the Haratin minority in Mauritania engaged in peaceful protests against contemporary forms of slavery in the country in November and subsequently charged with multiple offences; is dismayed to hear allegations of the detainees' mistreatment, including sleep deprivation, denial of medical care and not being allowed family visits and of some detainees having been forced to sign false confessions; notes that Mauritania is consistently ranked as having the highest rate of slavery in the world, despite slavery being criminalised in 2007; and calls on the Government to raise these cases and related issues with the Mauritanian government and to work with its EU partners in the country to bring an end to slavery and landowners' exploitation of marginalised sections of society and to push for much needed land reforms.
635 BAKERS' ASTHMA 16:12:14
That this House notes with concern that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that levels of work-related asthma could be ten times as prevalent as official figures would suggest; notes that for nearly a decade, bakers and flour confectioners, together with vehicle sprayers, have consistently been the occupations recording the highest number of newly-recorded cases each year; regrets that due to HSE funding cuts, regular inspections of small independent and craft bakeries do not take place; further notes the research of Professor Paul Cullinan of the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London which suggests that incidence of unreported bakers' asthma is particularly high in supermarket scratch bakeries; believes that major employers like supermarkets have a responsibility to work with experts in occupational health and trade union representatives to develop best practice in limiting exposure to flour, enzymes and other dusts; and calls on the Government to reverse cuts to the HSE's budget so that regular inspections can take place to ensure that workers are properly protected.
636 ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS (No. 2) 16:12:14
That this House welcomes the Government commitment to allow animal experiment licences to be obtained under Freedom of Information Act rules and to end the use of animal experiments to test household product ingredients; notes that the former Home Office Minister, the hon. Member for Lewes, stated that these commitments were to take effect before the General Election; and urges the Home Secretary to proceed in this direction at the earliest opportunity.
637 FIFA ETHICS COMMITTEE REPORT INTO WORLD CUP BIDDING PROCESS 16:12:14
That this House questions the findings of the FIFA Ethics Committee report into World Cup bidding; notes the objections to the report made by the chair of the investigation, Michael Garcia; expresses deep concerns at the failure to publish Michael Garcia's report in full; calls for this report and all related evidence to be published in full as a matter of urgency; further calls for the publication of the details of all those who refused to co-operate with Michael Garcia's investigation in full or in part; welcomes the decision to refer the matter to the Swiss prosecution authorities and calls for similar referrals to be made to all relevant national enforcement agencies; and believes that unless these actions are taken there will not merely be reputational damage but also potentially damage to the financial viability of FIFA and the international game.
638 REVEREND LIBBY LANE, FIRST WOMAN BISHOP 17:12:14
That this House congratulates the Reverend Libby Lane, currently Vicar of St Peter's Hale and St Elizabeth's Ashley, on her appointment as Bishop of Stockport; and believes that her outstanding record of service to the community since her ordination in 1994 will stand her in good stead as the first woman bishop in the Church of England.
639 ACCESS TO TRANSLARNA THROUGH THE NHS 17:12:14
That this House is deeply concerned at the decision of NHS England to halt its assessment of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment, Translarna, whilst it reconsiders how it assesses new treatments; understands that Translarna, which received conditional approval from the European Commission (EC) in July 2014, is the first drug to treat an underlying genetic cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy; notes that under the terms of the EC's conditional approval Translarna would be made available to boys whose Duchenne is caused by a nonsense mutation, who are over five and can still walk; further notes that NHS England has taken its decision at a very late stage of the assessment process; acknowledges the deep concern of families at this delay, who fear that it could prevent their sons from accessing Translarna before they lose the ability to walk; and joins the calls of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign for NHS England to take emergency steps to ensure that Translarna is made available to the children it could help by April 2015.
640 REPLACEMENT OF PACER TRAIN ROLLING STOCK 17:12:14
That this House notes with concern that antiquated rolling stock, including Class 142 Pacer railbuses, is continuing to be used along Northern rail routes; recognises that these models fail to meet the safety, comfort and capacity standards applied to newer rolling stock, offering particularly inadequate protection in the event of a collision; believes that all passengers are entitled to expect a minimum level of quality for their rail fares; further notes that Pacer modification will not address the fundamental problems with these outdated carriage models; and, following the encouraging remarks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Autumn Statement 2014, calls on the Government to make the replacement of Pacer trains a requirement of all invitations to tender for the next Northern and Trans-Pennine Express rail franchises.
641 NATIONAL DEFENCE MEDAL 17:12:14
That this House notes the significant personal sacrifice armed forces personnel make in their service to the nation once they take the oath or affirmation of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen; acknowledges that ex-service personnel are proud to receive and wear Her Majesty's Veterans Badge, but notes that it is not awarded posthumously and it is considered by many to be insufficient recognition of the contribution veterans have made to the safety of the nation since the end of the Second World War; and therefore calls on the Government to rescind its decision not to recognise the veterans more appropriately by the award of a national defence medal and instead to establish a working group to work with the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals with a view to implementing a national defence medal as soon as possible.
642 HUMANITARIAN IMPACT OF TRIDENT AND NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY 17:12:14
That this House welcomes the Government's attendance at the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons conference in Vienna on 8 to 9 December 2014; congratulates the Austrian government on its success in continuing to drive dialogue on nuclear weapons and the need for nuclear disarmament; and urges the Government to publish research on the effect of the detonation of a UK Trident warhead, as a contribution to a global dialogue on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and for presentation at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in April and May 2015.
643 ENDING COLD HOMES 17:12:14
That this House welcomes the Ending Cold Homes: Affordable Warmth Manifesto launched by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, an alliance of over 50 poverty, environmental and consumer groups, trade unions and other civil society organisations; supports the Manifesto's core aim of ending the misery of fuel poverty in the UK; further supports the six key pledges set out in the Manifesto: to improve the energy efficiency standards of all low income homes to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2025, to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority, to implement a cross-departmental fuel poverty strategy, to use trusted agencies and organisations, such as local authorities, to improve homes and encourage health and social workers to refer people for home improvements, to require fuel companies to provide a better deal for low income households, with rebates on fuel bills to all low income consumers and to ensure employment and income policies provide a sufficient income to pay fuel bills and maintain a good standard of living; and therefore urges current and future governments to support the Affordable Warmth Manifesto and take immediate action on fuel poverty to improve the quality of millions of people's lives across the UK.
644 CUBA AND USA 17:12:14
That this House congratulates Raoul Castro and Barak Obama for formalising relations between their two countries; and looks forward to many future benefits if the US trade embargo is lifted.
645 THE FILM PRIDE 17:12:14
That this House applauds the film masterpiece Pride as an authentic, moving, witty, rumbustious story of how two bullied tribes were tormented into a touching triumphant solidarity.
646 RAIL FARES 17:12:14
That this House expresses its concern that rail fares are too high, making it expensive for commuters and other travellers to travel by train; notes that from 2004 onwards the then Government set as its policy on rail fares that they should go up by one per cent above the retail price index (RPI) each year; further notes that this policy was continued under the current Government until 2012; further notes that it was then replaced with a policy of RPI-only increases; welcomes this reduction and the end of the era of above-inflation raises in rail fares, but believes that rail fares are currently too high; and calls on the Government to ensure that rail fares are reduced in real terms.
647 CARDINAL HUME CATHOLIC SCHOOL, GATESHEAD 17:12:14
That this House recognises Cardinal Hume School's latest achievement in being highlighted yet again by Ofsted in its document which highlights schools that provide excellent solutions with regard to Closing the Gap; recalls that Cardinal Hume Catholic School is a secondary converter academy in Gateshead that serves a largely white British community with above average levels of deprivation; notes that in this school all students, regardless of background, make outstanding progress and end up with GCSE results well above the national average; further notes that a large number of children are eligible for the pupil premium but there is little difference between their attainment and that of other students; welcomes the fact that the school achieved outstanding in every category in its 2014 inspection and has been repeatedly highlighted by Ofsted for its highly successful initiatives in raising standards through a focus on reading, speaking and listening, and writing; further recalls the school has been at the forefront of raising achievement for white working class children and the disadvantaged and disengaged for many years and has had considerable success in this area; and further notes that in addition the school has been highlighted by Ofsted as a school of good practice for the teaching of Literacy (Raising Standards through Literacy, Cardinal Hume Catholic School 2013) and that this work has led to members of the senior staff touring England, visiting some of the most challenging areas in the country in order to support others in their quest to raise standards and tackle underachievement.
648 EMPLOYMENT OF SUPPLY TEACHERS 17:12:14
That this House recognises that properly qualified supply teachers are an essential resource for schools which wish to deliver the same quality learning experience for pupils when a class's regular teacher is absent; notes that supply teachers are increasingly employed by agencies which siphon off significant amounts of public funding for education into their profits; is concerned that agencies are unable to offer supply teachers membership of the Teachers' Pension Scheme and are driving down their pay, with a recent survey by the National Union of Teachers finding that 40 per cent of supply teachers are getting lower, or significantly lower, pay than three years ago; further notes the uncertainty and disquiet about umbrella companies which increasingly employ supply teachers; and calls on the Government to encourage schools to employ supply teachers directly or through the local authority, rather than using agencies, to ensure supply teachers are paid fairly and have access to pension rights on an equal basis to other teachers.
649 PARLIAMENTARY ICT AND THE 500 RECIPIENT RULE 17:12:14
That this House registers its growing frustration at the continued imposition of the 500 recipient rule which restricts the offices of hon. Members from replying to more than 500 email addresses in any one email when responding to constituency correspondence; believes that this rule, which came into existence after the migration of Microsoft Office 365, has been introduced for purely financial reasons as part of the agreement with the Microsoft Corporation; further believes that this rule bears little or no relation to the growing volume of email and email campaigns from constituents that hon. Members have to deal with; considers that this rule is an unnecessary, bureaucratic and time consuming constraint; and calls on the Government to make representations to Microsoft to remove the operation of this rule as a matter of urgency, thereby allowing hon. Members and their staff to respond effectively and in a timely and efficient manner to large volumes of email; and further believes that the IT system operating in the UK Parliament should reflect the needs of the UK Government and UK citizens rather than the arbitrary constraints imposed by Microsoft for its own convenience.
650 DOGS TRUST REPORT: THE PUPPY SMUGGLING SCANDAL 17:12:14
That this House notes with concern the findings of The Puppy Smuggling Scandal report by Dogs Trust which was the result of a six-month investigation into the illegal entry of dogs into the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS); further highlights the documented exploitation of the 2012 changes to PETS; and welcomes the report's recommendations to the Government that it should develop and implement an action plan to address the abuse of PETS and the number of undeclared dogs entering the UK every day, ban the importation of puppies under the age of six months into the UK under PETS, create a centrally-accessible database logging pets' microchip numbers at the point of entry into the UK so that it can be traced when and how a dog has entered the country, and actively encourage cross agency working and develop an intelligence system specifically to record and share data in respect of illegally-traded commercial consignments of animals.