House of Commons
25th July 2015
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
124 VAT REDUCTION FOR THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY 15:6:15
That this House recognises that local restaurants and public houses are facing very challenging conditions in the current economy and are being put under further pressure by the rise of large supermarkets that enjoy preferential value added tax (VAT) treatment; notes that these businesses lie at the heart of their local communities, economically and socially; further notes that 13 EU member states, including the Republic of Ireland, have introduced a reduced rate of VAT within their tourism and hospitality sectors for restaurants and public houses, and 22 have done so for hotel accommodation, and that such measures have had a positive impact; calls on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to undertake a review of similar sector-specific VAT reduction measures to help businesses in the UK; and further recognises that such a move would encourage growth in the wider economy, support job creation and generate investment in local businesses.
126 ANNIVERSARY OF ISRAELI BOMBARDMENT OF GAZA 15:6:15
That this House recognises that 8 July 2015 will be the first anniversary of the start of the most recent and most devastating Israeli military operation in Gaza and resulted in, according to the UN, more than 2,000 deaths, 1,492 of them civilians and 551 of those, children; notes that there has been no meaningful reconstruction of Gaza which saw over 100,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged in last year's conflict, that children in particular have suffered the harshest of conditions and that no action has been taken to challenge the violations of international law as exemplified by the security wall, the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories, or the illegal blockade and separation of Gaza; calls on the Government to intensify its actions within the international community and towards the Israeli government to resolve the humanitarian and political crisis in Palestine; further calls for a more direct and stringent message to the Israeli government that progress on talks to reach a long-term and peaceful solution must be delivered within an agreed time frame; and calls on the Foreign Secretary to prioritise action through the UN Security Council for a meaningful UN resolution in this regard.
146 TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP 17:6:15
That this House is extremely concerned about the potential impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on the ability of hon. Members to make decisions in the public interest; in particular opposes the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism which would give foreign corporations enhanced legal power to challenge public policy; is further concerned that TTIP would undermine the UK's regulatory framework, in particular the high standards of food production enjoyed in this country and the Government's ability democratically to set a framework for public service provision, and financial and environmental standards; and calls on the Government to ensure TTIP is fully scrutinised by Parliament and, during negotiations, to oppose inclusion of the ISDS mechanism and the regulatory cooperation framework currently being proposed by the EU Commission.
147 NORTHERN LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND STAFFING OF TRAINS 17:6:15
That this House notes that the Department of Transport have agreed with numerous passenger surveys that passengers highly value a member of staff in addition to the driver on trains; welcomes that under railway regulations maintaining the operational role of a guard/conductor guarantees that a second member of staff is on board the train at all times to assist in protecting the safety of the train and passengers and provide ticket and travel advice; further welcomes that this protection for passengers currently applies for Northern Rail and TransPennine Express passenger services; is concerned, however, that despite big increases in passenger numbers and the objections of a number of local authorities in the North, the proposed new franchise agreement will not maintain the role of the guard/conductor on Northern Rail services and therefore weakens the protection for passengers; further notes that 30 northern local authorities through the Rail North umbrella organisation will have a key role in overseeing and improving the franchise; and calls on Rail North to protect rail jobs and passenger safety and service by developing the franchise agreement to retain the current role of the guard/conductor, keep ticket offices open and ensure proper staffing at as many stations as possible.
148 FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF RAIL SERVICES IN THE NORTH 17:6:15
That this House is concerned that despite almost half a billion pounds leaking out to shareholders from the privately run Northern Rail and TransPennine Express services, rail services in the North are to be privatised again and also handed over to Dutch, French or German owners; is dismayed that this will mean private rail companies and other countries' railways will make big profits, while rail passengers in the North will endure higher fares, fewer services and overcrowded trains; is further dismayed this will mean trains will no longer have a guard to protect the train, while ticket offices could be closed and station staff cut; and calls for a publicly owned People's Railway in the North run under public ownership in the interest of passengers and communities.
149 PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY AGAINST AUSTERITY MARCH 17:6:15
That this House notes evidence that the Government's economic strategy of austerity pursued since 2010 has seen a significant transfer of wealth from the least well-off to the more affluent; further notes the policy has had a disproportionately negative impact on the most disadvantaged areas; believes that this has contributed to increased inequality and impoverishment in society; welcomes contributions to the public debate advocating a positive economic alternative; and congratulates the organisation of the People's Assembly Against Austerity march to Parliament Square in London, as well as a simultaneous march in Glasgow, on 20 June, both of which will be a democratic expression of the desire for that alternative.
151 YOUNG ENTERPRISE SCOTLAND AWARDS 2015 18:6:15
That this House congratulates Rise Enterprise of Airdrie Academy for winning three awards at the Young Enterprise Scotland 2015 Awards, for Retail Excellence, Best Presentation and the People's Choice, which was the result of a public vote; similarly congratulates Fjara Jewellery of Kirkwall Grammar School in Orkney on winning Company of the Year; also congratulates all other award winners; commends all the Young Enterprise companies for taking part; and recognises and appreciates all the work done by Young Enterprise Scotland, teachers and business volunteers to support entrepreneurial and business experience for school pupils.
154 NEUADD PANTYCELYN HALL 18:6:15
That this House notes the vital role Neuadd Pantycelyn Hall has played in promoting the Welsh language and culture within the University of Aberwystwyth; further notes that the University under its Royal Charter has an obligation to promote the Welsh language; further notes that the University was established in 1872 as the people's University of Wales, paid for by small donations from the Welsh public and the generosity of industrialist David Davies Llandinam; expresses concern that without a dedicated Welsh language hall the existing ethos of the University will be damaged; understands that the Hall requires remedial work; and calls on the Council of the University to accept the recommendations of its own working group on the future of the Hall that it is preserved as a designated hall of residence for Welsh speakers and learners following completion of corrective work.
155 INVESTMENT IN BUILDING NEW HOMES AND THE HOUSING BENEFIT BILL 18:6:15
That this House notes with concern that there has been a dramatic reduction in the supply of housing, particularly social housing at social rents, since 2010; further notes that plans to extend the right to buy scheme to housing association tenants in England will further reduce the number of social homes available and threaten the financial viability of many housing associations; believes that building more homes will lower the costs of housing overall for everyone, help to cut the soaring housing benefit bill, enabling the transition from benefits to bricks, and ensure that thousands of families in desperate need of a home and living in unacceptable conditions are housed adequately; and calls on the Government to set a target of increasing the supply of housing to 250,000 new homes per year, including within this overall target a commitment to deliver a significant proportion of affordable and new social rented homes provided by local authorities and housing associations, to take urgent action to ensure effective regulation in the private rented sector to make private renting more affordable, secure and stable and to reform welfare policy to reverse the widening disparity created by cuts in housing benefit between rents and the benefit received.
156 AL-QAEDA IN YEMEN 18:6:15
That this House is deeply concerned at the reported rise of extremist terrorist groups, many associated with Al-Qaeda, in the Arabian Peninsula; notes that this branch of Al-Qaeda is regarded as one of the most dangerous organisations in the world, with a history of directing terrorist acts in the US and Europe; understands that these groups in Yemen are taking advantage of the ongoing conflict to seize territory in the south, including military bases and harbours; further notes that the Houthi rebel group is alleged to have launched Scud missiles into Saudi Arabia; and calls on the Government to consult international and regional partners regarding possible steps to tackle the rise of terrorist organisations in Yemen.
159 RAVENSCRAIG'S STEEL MAN STRUCTURE 18:6:15
That this House welcomes the unveiling of the sculpture, Steel Man, at the site of the former Ravenscraig steel works in Lanarkshire; pays tribute to the former steelworkers and trade unionists who raised funds and commissioned this significant work of remembrance; congratulates the sculptor Andy Scott for creating a fitting tribute to employees at the plant and beyond who left for work to make steel one day but did not come home; remembers the significance of the Ravenscraig works to Lanarkshire and the wider steel industry, which employed 15,000 workers at its peak and occupied twice the land area of Monaco; and further welcomes the continued importance of the steel industry to the area, which is built on the skills and hard work of our modern day steel men and women.
160 GEORGIA FLOODS 18:6:15
That this House notes the recent floods in Tbilisi, Georgia, resulting in the tragic death of at least 19 people and the destruction of part of the city including the city zoo; and expresses the thoughts, sympathy and concern of the House to the citizens of Tbilisi in their time of hardship and mourning.
161 FEMALE UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS IN SCOTLAND 18:6:15
That this House welcomes the news that Scotland has one of the lowest levels of female unemployment in the developed world; understands that the latest comparison figures on female unemployment compiled by the Scottish Parliamentary Information Centre shows that Scotland has the fourth lowest female unemployment level comparing 34 other countries in the developed world; notes that the figures show that among the OECD countries only Norway, Japan and Korea had a lower rate of female unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2014 than the Scottish rate of 4.1 per cent; further understands that a comparison with figures from 1999 when the Scottish Parliament was reconvened show that the powers of devolution have been beneficial to Scotland with a drop in female unemployment of 30 per cent; further notes that these figures follow news last week that Scotland has the lowest female unemployment rate of any country in the EU; and believes that with full fiscal autonomy the Scottish Parliament will go even further to deliver real equality in the workplace, by delivering radical progress on issues like childcare, which will improve Scotland's economic performance.
162 CLOSURES OF ABORTION CLINICS 22:6:15
That this House is deeply concerned that anti-abortion clinic protests are escalating and having a significant impact on women's ability to access safe, legal reproductive healthcare services and advice; is alarmed to hear that one abortion clinic is to close due to intimidating protests and others have been unable to open due to local fears about anti-abortion activity; notes that groups of threatening protesters continue to harass and film women on a regular basis across the country, displaying graphic banners, and distributing medically inaccurate and deliberately distressing material; further notes that police have stated they are unable to use existing legislation to protect women, clinic staff, and local residents in response to these protests; recognises the right to protest peacefully but asks that this is balanced against women's legal right to access medical care free from intimidation; and calls on the Government to establish abortion clinic buffer zones only to be used in cases where women are being forcefully prevented from accessing treatment, to ensure women are able to access healthcare free from intimidation, and to issue national guidance to local police forces to provide clear advice about dealing with intimidating protesters whose aim is to prevent women from exercising their legal right to access medical treatment.
163 UN PUBLIC SERVICE DAY 22:6:15
That this House welcomes and supports the UN Public Service Day on 23 June 2015; recognises that Public Service Day pays tribute to all those who work in roles that serve the public and highlights their contribution to society in delivering key services to residents and communities across the length and breadth of the UK; and urges the Government to promote a worldwide celebration of this day in future years.
164 LEVELS OF DIABETES IN THE UK 22:6:15
That this House is deeply concerned that diabetes in the UK has now reached an all-time high according to latest NHS data; notes that there are now 3.9 million people with diabetes in the UK, and more people continue to be diagnosed; further notes that Type 2 diabetes, which is preventable, accounts for over 90 per cent of diabetes cases in the UK; is further concerned at the severity of diabetes complications if the condition is not managed carefully, including amputation, kidney, eye, brain, nerve and heart damage; and calls on the Government to provide regular updates on the progress of the National Diabetes Prevention Programme and to implement it across the UK as soon as possible.
165 NEO-NAZI RALLY IN GOLDERS GREEN 22:6:15
That this House notes with concern the planned neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green on 4 July 2015; highlights that this rally is due to take place on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, in an area in which 40 per cent of the population is Jewish; praises the public activism in opposition to the rally, particularly the change.org petition to ban it and the work of Hope Not Hate and the London Jewish Forum, under the umbrella of the Golders Green Together campaign, to promote solidarity and celebrate diversity in the local area; believes that every measure should be taken to protect Golders Green's vibrant community from provocation and abuse; and calls on the Home Secretary to consider what further actions the Government could take to isolate the politics of hate and division on our streets.
167 MALARIA RESEARCH AT DUNDEE UNIVERSITY 22:6:15
That this House congratulates Dundee University for its exciting and potentially world-changing discovery of a new compound which could treat malaria while also protecting people from the disease and preventing the spread of the disease; considers that such innovation in malaria drugs is necessary in light of the threat of resistance to current anti-malarial medicines; recognises that malaria continues to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths a year; and commends the Scottish Government's higher education policy, which continues to encourage such world-class innovation in Scottish universities through its supportive and progressive higher education policies.
168 CONSULTATION ON THE EXTENSION OF THE RIGHT TO BUY SCHEME 23:6:15
That this House believes the Government should conduct a full, transparent and public consultation with local authorities and housing associations on its plan to expand the right to buy scheme to encompass housing association properties; notes that councils and housing associations across the country, particularly in areas suffering from acute housing shortages, need time to prepare for the proposed sale of council and housing association homes; and further notes that some local authorities may have to sell three quarters of available council homes at a time when the Government should be increasing the supply of houses, to make home ownership more affordable for millions of people across the country.
170 ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF DETENTION OF ANDARGACHEW TSIGE 23:6:15
That this House is dismayed by the continued detention of UK national, and Ethiopian opposition activist, Andargachew Tsige, who was kidnapped from Yemen a year ago on 23 June and held since in solitary confinement in an undisclosed location in Ethiopia; notes with concern that Mr Tsige was sentenced to death in in absentia proceedings in Ethiopia 2009; deplores the absence of due process by the Ethiopian authorities in dealing with Mr Tsige's case; is extremely worried about Mr Tsige's current health and well-being; concurs with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Opinion No. 2/2015 (on Ethiopia and Yemen) which concludes that the adequate remedy would be to release Mr Tsige and afford him adequate compensation; and calls on the Government to make further representation to the Ethiopian government about Mr Tsige's welfare and prison conditions, as a matter of urgency, and to urge the Ethiopian government to release and return him to the UK.
171 INDUSTRIAL COMMUNITIES ALLIANCE REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC DISPARITIES IN OLDER INDUSTRIAL AREAS 23:6:15
That this House welcomes the report by the Industrial Communities Alliance, Whose Recovery? which notes the widening economic gap between former industrial areas in the English regions, Scotland and Wales compared to London and the South East; asks the Government to bring forward policies to address the growth gap which is damaging the UK economy through failing to fulfil the economic potential of all regions and nations of the UK and which is also reducing the life chances for people in the poorest regional economies; and calls on the Government to seek to rebalance the economy through matching the rhetoric of the Northern Powerhouse with practical policies prioritising the needs of former industrial areas through fairer funding, targeted investment and specific support based on the economic needs of former industrial communities to ensure that substantial parts of the country are not excluded from the economic recovery and that the benefits of growth are shared by all regions and nations of the UK.
172 BUFFER ZONES AROUND ABORTION CLINICS 23:6:15
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.
173 ESSENTIAL SMALL PHARMACIES SCHEME 23:6:15
That this House recognises the effects of the withdrawal of the Essential Small Pharmacies (ESP) scheme on areas where patients, especially the elderly and those with small children, struggle to access pharmacies more than a kilometre away from their homes; understands that this is impacting most on areas with high levels of deprivation and low car ownership; acknowledges its ramifications on substance misuse programmes; believes that this is causing unreasonable pressure on small pharmacies to increase the number of prescriptions; further believes that there are irrational expectations of how much pharmacies can do in their areas to increase their own business; and further recognises the special circumstances of pharmacies that were designated as ESP, which means that the application of a one mile distance criteria to other pharmacies, as currently applied under standard market entry assessment criteria, is inadequate and fails to recognise the reasoning behind the grant of ESP status to those pharmacies in the first instance.
174 KINGHORN LIFEBOAT 50TH ANNIVERSARY 23:6:15
That this House congratulates Kinghorn Lifeboat Station on its 50th anniversary; recognises that, since its establishment in 1965, the station has launched over 1,000 times to save lives at sea and along the coastline; appreciates the skill and bravery of the lifeboat crews; and wishes it continued success for the next 50 years.
177 SEAFARERS' RIGHTS 23:6:15
That this House is appalled by the plight of Indonesian, Filipino and Romanian seafarers stranded in Newport, Wales on the Italian-flagged cargo ship Sunflower E which was arrested on 10 March due to the shipowner's unpaid debts, the eighth case this year of a ship being detained in a UK port owing to dubious financing; is deeply concerned that the Sunflower E's 13 crew are owed nearly four months wages and live in deteriorating conditions onboard, in blatant contravention of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC); welcomes and supports the intervention of inspectors from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) in highlighting this case, and attempting to retrieve wages owed and secure safe passage home for these seafarers; notes that 32 per cent of the 7,500 vessels inspected by the ITF across the world in 2013-14 breached the MLC's provisions, particularly on wages and repatriation; and calls upon the Government to contact the Italian Registry to ensure the seafarers on the Sunflower E are paid and supported in travelling home to their families, in compliance with the MLC and for the rights of abandoned seafarers to be afforded greater priority in domestic and international shipping policy.
178 SITUATION IN BURUNDI 23:6:15
That this House expresses deep concern about the human rights, security and political situation in Burundi, and in particular about the political repression carried out by authorities against political opponents, and the situation of nearly 100,000 refugees driven away from their country by fear; expresses alarm that this security and political situation does not offer conditions conducive to peaceful, credible and inclusive elections for the legislative polls planned for 29 June, but bears the risk of mass killings and armed conflict; acknowledges and welcomes efforts carried out by the international community, including those by the African Union, the East African Community and the United Nations; further welcomes the recommendations made by the African Union Peace and Security Council on 13 June, in urging Burundi stakeholders to resume their political dialogue and to agree on new dates for the upcoming elections; further welcomes the conclusions adopted by the European Council on 22 June to support recommendations of the African Union; deeply regrets the decision expressed by Burundi's ruling party, the National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) not to take part in the political dialogue planned to be resumed under the aegis of international organisations; asks the UK Government to intensify its pressure on the Burundi government to press its members to participate in political dialogue and to postpone the upcoming elections as a matter of urgency; and in particular urges the UK Government to push the EU Council to start negotiations under article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement immediately.
179 LOCAL NEWSPAPERS IN SOUTH LONDON 24:6:15
That this House believes that local newspapers play a crucial role in enhancing local democracy, such as by reporting on council meetings, holding local decision-makers to account and providing a forum for local issues; recognises that many local journalists are paid below the London Living Wage, despite the valuable work they do; is therefore concerned that Newsquest South London, a large regional publisher, is planning to cut the number of journalists and impose redundancies at local newspapers in South London, including the Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet and Richmond and Twickenham Times; notes that Newsquest has made large profits in recent years; is further concerned about the impact that these job losses could have on the quality of local journalism; regrets that many local journalists have decided to go on strike over the last fortnight; and calls on Newsquest to review urgently its plans for job losses in South London.
180 DAY OF THE SEAFARER 2015 24:6:15
That this House supports the International Maritime Organisation's Day of the Seafarer on 25 June 2015; notes that 1.5 million merchant seafarers move 90 per cent of the world's traded goods every year in an exceptionally hazardous and unevenly regulated industry; is concerned that there is a global shortage of seafarers ahead of a forecast doubling in sea trade over the next 20 years; further notes that UK seafarers account for only 1.5 per cent, or just under 23,000, of the international workforce, the result of a 60 per cent fall since 1982; further notes that the welcome quadrupling in the number of ships registered under the UK flag resulting from the introduction of the tonnage tax in 2000-01 has accrued a £1.6 billion tax concession for the international shipping industry; further notes that over 2,300 of the 7,500 vessels inspected by the International Workers Federation across the world in 2013-14 breached provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, particularly on the payment of wages; and calls on the Government to support Day of the Seafarer by committing to pursue domestic and international policies that further improve employment, safety and equality rights of UK and international seafarers.
181 DALAI LAMA'S 80TH BIRTHDAY 24:6:15
That this House congratulates Tibet's exiled spiritual leader Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, on his 80th birthday on 6 July 2015; recognises him as a global icon of peace and compassion; commends his work promoting mindfulness and non-violence; and encourages the Chinese government to enter into immediate and meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama's representatives to find a peaceful solution to the grievances of the Tibetan people which will allow the Dalai Lama to return to his homeland.
182 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS WITHIN SECC LTD 24:6:15
That this House is dismayed by the actions of Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) Ltd, a company in which Glasgow City Council is the 91 per cent shareholder, regarding its regular failure to recognise a trade union for its staff for collective bargaining rights which has been exacerbated by the recent dismissal of a Unison health and safety representative following an unwitnessed incident and a recent refusal by the management of SECC to establish a health and safety committee; welcomes the recent announcement that trade union literature may be displayed on staff noticeboards; but nonetheless calls on SECC Ltd to grant Unison full trade union recognition and to re-instate the employee recently dismissed.
183 MEASUREMENT OF CHILDREN'S ACTIVITY AND FITNESS LEVELS 24:6:15
That this House recognises that formal measurement of children's activity and fitness levels is required to put in place effective solutions to stop the rise of the least active generation in history; accepts the varied benefits to be had by ingraining an appreciation for physical activity in even the most disengaged youngsters; acknowledges that half of seven year olds fail to meet the target of 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended in the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines for children; further recognises that drop-off rates in activity accelerate as children enter their teenage years; notes the findings of ukactive's Generation Inactive report highlighting the disparity that exists in requiring teachers to understand children's academic abilities but not their basic fitness levels; and calls on the Government to extend the National Child Measurement Programme to also measure fitness to support local public health initiatives and better inform the local planning and delivery of services for children.
185 AUCHINLECK TALBOT 24:6:15
That this House congratulates Auchinleck Talbot on its most recent Scottish Cup victory at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, defeating Musselburgh 2-1; notes that the tournament was sponsored by Dyslexia Scotland and it is hoped that this sponsorship has raised awareness of this condition; further notes that this was Auchinleck's 11th Scottish Cup success, a wonderful achievement making it the most successful junior football team; and observes that for a village of 3,500 to produce so many successful teams is remarkable.
186 CHILD MAINTENANCE SERVICE CHARGES 24:6:15
That this House is greatly concerned at the impact that charging for the use of the Child Maintenance Scheme (CMS) is having on families and children; believes that these charges in effect constitute a tax on children in contradiction to the Government's professed child-friendly stance; notes that charities such as Gingerbread have warned that this increases the potential for conflict between parents, which can only negatively impact on the child; recognises that most single parents struggle financially; is deeply concerned that many poor families may be deterred from applying for child maintenance as a result of this policy and therefore remain in poverty; and calls on the Government urgently to bring forward its review of the CMS in light of these grave concerns.
187 RAIF BADAWI 24:6:15
That this House recognises the unjust arrest and imprisonment of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia in May 2014 for championing free speech and freedom of expression; is concerned that he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, 1,000 lashes, a fine of one million Saudi Riyal - over a quarter of a million US dollars - and prevented from using any kind of media and banned from travelling until 2034; applauds Amnesty International's global campaign to secure the release of Mr Badawi; is aware that Mr Badawi is now suffering from ill health which has worsened since the first lashes of his sentence were administered and believes he may not survive further physical punishment; is further concerned that the United Nations Human Rights Council has expressed concern at the treatment of peaceful dissidents and human rights activists in Saudi Arabia; and calls on the Government to use its influence to secure Mr Badawi's release from imprisonment as soon as possible.
188 INTERNATIONAL DRUGS POLICY AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF TORTURE 24:6:15
That this House welcomes the third global day of action for the Support Don't Punish campaign, to highlight the harms caused by the war on drugs; further welcomes the international day in support of victims of torture; notes that both events take place on 26 June 2015 and that both issues are interlinked; expresses concern that Government funding is being channelled into aggressive anti-narcotics programmes overseas which lead to violations of international human rights law, including torture and use of the death penalty for drugs offences; further notes that the threat posed by drugs and the drugs trade can be used by governments to attempt to justify grievous abuses of human rights; further notes that punitive approaches towards drug users, particularly compulsory treatment programmes, sometimes amount to degrading treatment and torture; and calls on the Government to ensure that its funding for anti-narcotics programmes overseas does not contribute to human rights abuses such as torture being committed, that at least 10 per cent of its budget for anti-narcotics programmes should be re-directed towards harm reduction, and that it continues to play a positive role in the run-up to and during the 2016 UN General Assembly special session on drugs.
189 NATIONAL COMPLIANCE ENFORCEMENT SERVICE 24:6:15
That this House applauds the work done by staff in the National Compliance Enforcement Service (NCES) who brought in £518 million in fines, penalties and confiscation orders during 2013-14 and have continued to improve collection rates despite cuts to staff and resources; recognises the value of sharing data held on defaulters by other Government departments, such as HM Revenue and Customs, in improving collection rates; commends the joint work NCES staff do with the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service in ensuring effective and just enforcement; believes that the on-going threat of privatisation, under the auspices of the Compliance and Enforcement Service Project, should be immediately removed to ensure that this good work can continue; and calls on the Government to listen to the concerns of staff working within the NCES to make certain that this vital part of the justice service is not put in the hands of a private company who will put profit before justice.
190 SCHOOL STUDENTS LEGALLY RESIDENT IN THE UK AND ACCESS TO STUDENT LOANS 24:6:15
That this House notes that, as a result of 2011 changes to the Government Student Loans Scheme, there are thousands of lawfully resident and British educated students who are no longer eligible for student loans; further notes that this is because such students do not have full citizenship; further notes that very often, because such students are legally resident, they do not realise there is a problem until they apply for student finance; believes that it is wrong for lawfully resident British students to be denied university education in this way; and calls on the Government to revise these student finance restrictions so that all lawfully resident persons are entitled to student finance.
191 INDUSTRIAL ACTION AT GUNSTONES BAKERY 24:6:15
That this House notes that management at Gunstones Bakery, near Sheffield, having recently made over 400 redundancies, is now trying to impose a pay freeze on the remaining workforce; further notes that the Chief Executive of the parent company, 2 Sisters Food Group, Ranjit Singh Boparan, and his wife, are estimated by the Asian Rich List to enjoy a personal fortune totalling £1.35 billion; deplores the exploitative business model that has seen attacks on jobs, pay and conditions across the 2 Sisters Group; highlights the goodwill previously shown by Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) officials and members in offering to suspend pay negotiations whilst the redundancy process was conducted; believes that the company management is now being unreasonable in insisting that any increase in pay would need to be financed via reductions in existing terms and conditions of BFAWU members; recognises that BFAWU members have been obliged to take industrial action to protect their pay and conditions; and calls on their employers to enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.
192 WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES 25:6:15
That this House notes that a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses was included in the manifestos of the Conservative, Labour and Green parties at the recent general election, showing the unified support across the House on this animal protection issue; recalls that 94 per cent of respondents to a Defra public consultation supported a ban and the House of Commons voted unanimously in favour of such a ban in 2011; further notes that currently two circuses with fewer than 20 wild animals are touring England and Wales; notes that a deadline of December 2015 was included in the Government's draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill; notes that the UK has fallen behind 31 countries which have introduced similar national measures; notes the work of Animal Defenders International highlighting circus suffering in the UK and currently assisting the Peruvian government to enforce a ban; and calls on the Government to bring forward this manifesto commitment at the earliest opportunity
193 NATIONAL GALLERY INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE 25:6:15
That this House commends the knowledge, experience and dedication of the visitor and security services staff at the National Gallery; does not support the Gallery's decision to use a private company to manage services that include ticketing, security and information; deplores the victimisation of Public and Commercial Services Union representative Candy Udwin; notes that an Employment Tribunal found at an interim relief hearing that a full tribunal was likely to find that she was dismissed for legitimate union activities and that the tribunal made a continuation of employment order to restore her to the payroll; urges the National Gallery to comply with that order; believes that visitor and security services should remain in-house at the Gallery to ensure that world-famous art can be viewed and enjoyed by the public in an educational environment; and calls on the Government to ensure the funding is in place so that valuable skills and knowledge of the current staff of the Gallery is not lost.