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The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Nigel Griffiths): This has been a very well informed debate. I am pleased that hon. Members curtailed their comments to allow 18 Members to contribute. Of course, the debate was necessarily cut short by the sad death of Sir Edward Heath, but none the less many issues were raised, and I will try to deal with as many of them as I can.
My hon. Friend the Member for Houghton and Washington, East (Mr. Kemp) will welcome, as I do, the publication on Monday of the youth Green Paper. It is important that we applaud what young people do, as too often we are quick to criticise the tiny minority who need more care and attention. I will ensure that the Home Secretary is aware of his comments about Wearside Women in Need.
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The hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) talked about a hospital in his area. If I was in his position, I would share his worry that, despite the vast increase in the capital budget and the dozens of new hospitals built and substantial hospital repairs that have taken place, his area has been left behind. I will ensure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health is aware of that. Equally, I will ensure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is aware of his points about water and the A303.
My long-term friend and distinguished colleague, my right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Dr. Strang), raised an issue that he has championed throughout his political life. I will ensure that my colleagues at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office take heed of his concerns and respond accordingly.
The hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. Fallon) raised several matters. I would say to him, in a spirit of good will, that I have the Hansard of the exchange with my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, and I think that the hon. Gentleman may have done him a disservice, as I am not sure that he gave such a commitment. I know that the hon. Gentleman will look at that. I suggest that he write to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister about when the planning legislation review as regards Travellers is likely to be published, because that is a matter of concern for many Members on both sides of the House.
My hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Jim Dowd) talked about an issue that was raised by the hon. Member for Sevenoaksthe lack of staffing in railway stations and the problems that that poses.
The hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire (Mr. Vara) gave an excellent maiden speech, as others have said. His family must be very proud of him. I am sure that breast cancer and, in future, other causes have found an eloquent advocate.
My hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland (Dr. Kumar) talked about newspaper distribution in supermarkets. I know that he has taken that up assiduously with my right hon. Friends at their respective Departments.
The hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) gets the prize for raising the most issuessix or seven. I know that he will forgive me if I do not cover them all, but I am happy to ensure that he is written to. On the case of the Briton detained abroad, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, Foreign Office officials and the ambassador raise that at every conceivable opportunity, and they will note his comments.
The hon. Gentleman raised other important matters such as the programme, "Drunk and Dangerous", and questioned why local licensing committees are granting licenses in such circumstances. I share his concerns, as will the whole House. We give powers to local licensing committees and we expect them to take the advice of local police and other authorities. We want firm action to be taken because drunkenness is one of the most serious problems in society. There is no quick fix but it puts tremendous pressure on our health and other services.
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My hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Siobhain McDonagh) raised an issue about which there are clearly diverging views. I know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health will want to study those views and representations carefully. However, it is for the primary care trust to make a decision and weigh up the evidence. I know from my hon. Friend's reputation that she will have piled up the evidence and made a good case. I am sure that the shadow Leader of the House will also make a forceful case.
The hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink) raised an issue that several hon. Members mentioned: the threat to the green belt. He also referred to the plight of elderly patients in the health service and joined other hon. Members in praising almost all health service workers. Of course, the Government take seriously any concerns such as those that he highlighted. His comments on Cyprus represent his point of view. There are strong views on both sides of the argument.
I join my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West in praising the work of Iain Hepplewhite as a Department of Trade and Industry press officer, with whom I worked. He served both Governments well. Our thoughts are with him and his parents.
"putting local and rural railways on a sustainable basis for the long term, so that they can continue to offer a vital service for passengers and freight and contribute more to the local economy as well as meeting Government targets on accessibility, the environment and social inclusion";
That before the general election, the Government were discussing an east-west rail link to connect Oxford to Milton Keynes by increasing services at Bicester and surrounding villages, only for the new franchise to move Bicester back rather than forward in terms of service levels.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Department for Transport to honour its clear commitment to sustainable communities and community rail development by reviewing the franchise and implementing a full timetable and range of facilities at Bicester Town station.
Mr. David Amess (Southend, West) (Con): I have the honour to present a petition on behalf of a great number of local residents in Chalkwell ward who are very concerned about the health effects of telecommunications masts, particularly their link to causing brain tumours.
Declare that the Petitioners oppose Application SOS/04/01758/TEL for the erection of a T-Mobile telecommunications mast at the junction of The Ridgeway and 93, Chalkwell Avenue. The Petitioners further declare that they are united in protest against the Application and that they will exercise all of their rights to that end.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Deputy Prime Minister to reject Application SOS/04/01758/TEL for the erection of a T-Mobile telecommunications mast at the junction of The Ridgeway and 93, Chalkwell Avenue.
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