March 2010

Here you can find information on some of the key parliamentary motions that I signed in March 2010.

EDM 1197 – Holy Week and Easter Sunday
EDM 1195 – Wateraid and Sanitation Targets
EDM 1178 – Commercial Whaling Ban
EDM 1177 – Pedals and Beer Pumps Tour
EDM 1174 – Tesco in Stretford and the Impact on Independent Retailers
EDM 1137 – Supermarkets and Community Investment
EDM 1130 – Retro-Reflective Markings and Heavy Goods Vehicles
EDM 1121 – Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas
EDM 1116 – Control of the Use of Mephedrone
EDM 1103 – Right to Work of Asylum Seekers
EDM 1079 – Muslims in Britain
EDM 1006 – Local Carbon Budgets
EDM 995 – Funding of Greater Manchester Police
EDM 993 – Conduct of Lord Ashcroft
EDM 989 – Industrial Action and Civil Service Compensation Scheme
EDM 980 – Jang Group and the Times of India Aman Ki Asha Peace Campaign
EDM 975 – Asbestos in Schools (No. 2)
EDM 971 – Criminal Records Bureau Checks on NHS Surgeons
EDM 965 – Diabetes UK Recommendations
EDM 963 – Save BBC 6 Music and Asian Network Campaign

EDM 1216 – MARIE CURIE CANCER CARE NURSES

I tabled this EDM to support the work done by Marie Curie Cancer Care nurses in providing terminally ill cancer patients and their families and those with other terminal illnesses at the end of their lives, allowing them to live out their final days surrounded by the people they love in their place of choice. Such care can dramatically improve patients’ quality of life, and 65 per cent of people would wish to be cared for at home if they were terminally ill, yet only around 18 per cent of people are able to die at home. It calls on NHS trusts to guarantee funding for home-based palliative care.

EDM 1208 – NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND CLINICAL EXCELLENCE RULING ON AZACITIDINE

That motion I put forward notes that patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) suffer from chronic and severe fatigue and are at risk of progressing to a more aggressive form of leukaemia (acute myeloid leukaemia), and the drug azacitidine is the first and only licensed drug available specifically to treat MDS. It is therefore disappointed at the recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommendation that azacitidine is not sufficiently cost-effective. It calls on NICE to reconsider its recommendation on use of the drug which is already widely available in other Western European and North American countries.

EDM 1197 – HOLY WEEK AND EASTER SUNDAY

This EDM recognises the importance of Holy Week and Easter Sunday to thousands of Christians living in the UK and beyond, and while welcoming the fact that they are free to observe their faith here, recognises that in many parts of the world they are still persecuted for this. It therefore calls on the Government to work with others to ensure that all Christians, no matter where they live, can observe their faith without fear of intimidation.

EDM 1195 –WATERAID AND SANITATION TARGETS

Around 2.5 billion people across the world live without access to sanitation, with around 4,000 children dieing from diarrhoea each day as a result of this. Charities such as Wateraid fight against this, and they petitioned the Government so an amendment was made at the UN Millennium Summit to halve the number of people living without access to sanitation by 2015. We are currently not on track to meet this target, and through this motion members urge the Government to take action to prioritise these targets to make sure they are met.

EDM 1178 – COMMERCIAL WHALING BAN

This EDM states the dismay shared by many members of the House at the prospect of the international moratorium on commercial whaling being nullified as a result of compromise proposals being drawn up by the International Whaling Commission. Whaling should not return under the guise of quotas, observers and DNA databases, simply because some states have persisted hunting whales in defiance of the existing ban on this activity. This motion welcomes the UK Government stating its concerns about this, and believes that the international moratorium should stay in place.

EDM 1177 – PEDALS AND BEER PUMPS TOUR

This is a parliamentary motion that I tabled, applauding the work of former Beautiful South and Housemartins frontman Paul Heaton and his efforts to highlight the plight of British pubs and promote cycling. I hope other MPs will join me in wishing him good luck on his Pedals and Beer Pumps tour, which will see him visit 16 pubs around the country.

EDM 1174 – TESCO IN STRETFORD AND THE IMPACT ON INDEPENDENT RETAILERS

I tabled this EDM to raise my concerns with Trafford Council Planning Committee’s recent decision to approve plans for a giant Tesco store in Stretford. I have previously submitted my concerns regarding this development to the committee, particularly discussing is potential detrimental impact on local retailers in the Chorlton District Centre and Stretford Mall. This motion calls on the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to call in this decision, given the store’s size and potential effects on the local area.

EDM 1137 – SUPERMARKETS AND COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

This motion notes members concerns about the monopolistic influence of the major supermarkets and their effect on communities and independent retailers, and calls for five per cent tax levied on the turnover of supermarkets. Also it calls for revenue from this to be made available to social enterprises, charities and third sector organizations.

EDM 1130 – RETRO-REFLECTIVE MARKINGS AND HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES

I recently met with the road safety group REFLECT, who work on promoting the benefits of using retro-reflective markings on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to help prevent road accidents. The number on accidents involving HGVs remains disproportionately high, causing 15 per cent of all road fatalities despite accounting for only 5.6 per cent of all road traffic. This motion is aimed at raising awareness of the work done by REFLECT, and the use of retro-reflective markings as an effective means of reducing accidents.

EDM 1121 – VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS OVERSEAS

This motion welcomes the creation of a Ministerial role to co-ordinate the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence to tackle violence against women overseas. It recognizes that violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and a serious barrier to economic and social development, and this EDM calls on all parties to continue to support the work and role of this Ministerial position into the future.

EDM 1116 – CONTROL OF THE USE OF MEPHEDRONE

The drug mephedrone, also known as 4-MMC, Meow Meow, and M-cat, is a legal substance in the UK and readily available on the internet. This motion notes with concern that this substance, increasingly used by young people, has been linked with the death of teenagers and has known side-effects such as nose bleeds, weight loss and insomnia. It further notes that this is banned in some European countries, and calls on the Government to bring forward a review if this drug and make it a controlled substance.

EDM 1103 – RIGHT TO WORK OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

This parliamentary motion argues in favour of asylum seekers being granted the right to work in the UK on arrival. This would allow these vulnerable people to maintain a level of dignity while pursing their asylum claim and support themselves financially, and also notes that this would reduce the burden on the taxpayer.

EDM 1079 – MUSLIMS IN BRITAIN

This motion states members opposition to the increased demonisation of Muslims by sections of the media, and is also concerned that developments such as the recent House of Lords visit by far-right politician Geert Wilders and English Defence League demonstrations. Such activities will only lead to a climate of fear and division. Muslims make an important contribution to British society, and should be able to continue to do so away from this climate of fear.

EDM 1006 – LOCAL CARBON BUDGETS

I signed this motion to show my support by a recent announcement by the Minister for Communities and Local Government that local carbon frameworks are to be piloted in nine local authorities. Local action is crucial in helping to reach our national targets for reducing carbon emissions, and it is important that the Government now follow up on this by introducing local carbon budgets for all local authorities.

EDM 995 – FUNDING OF GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE

Since 2002 Greater Manchester Police has lost £81.2 million in funding due to changes applied in the Government’s funding formula, and the Police Federation have expressed concerns that these cuts will affect the service that the force can provide. This EDM notes that training, recruitment and overtime budgets are being cut as a result of this, and losses in 2009-2010 of £15 million could have funded 500 permanent police offices. It proposes that the funding formula is changed so that no police force is left in this position again.

EDM 993 – CONDUCT OF LORD ASHCROFT

This EDM notes the recent admission that Lord Ashcroft had non-domiciled status since his appointment to the House of Lords, and questions the sums of money which have thereby been denied to the Exchequer and contributed elsewhere through the non-payment of UK taxes.

EDM 989 – INDUSTRIAL ACTION AND CIVIL SERVICE COMPENSATION SCHEME

This motion concerns the recent decision by the Public and Commercial Services Union to take industrial action over unilateral changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. There are real concerns that these changes will not only affect redundancy payments, but in the long run may lead to massive job cuts and are concerned with the negative consequences that this would have on the civil service more broadly. It calls then on the Government and Opposition to consider alternative methods to public sector job losses for cutting the public deficit, and do so in consultation with the trade unions.

EDM 980 – JANG GROUP AND THE TIMES OF INDIA AMAN KI ASHA PEACE CAMPAIGN

This motion congratulates the Jang Group and The Times of India for launching their recent campaign to support peace between India and Pakistan. A stable and peaceful relationship between these two states is key to establishing stability in the wider region, and the recent resumption of formal peace talks between the two nations is a positive step towards this. It calls on the Government to offer their encouragement to both parties involved to work towards peace.

EDM 975 – ASBESTOS IN SCHOOLS (NO. 2)

This was tabled by my Liberal Democrat colleague Paul Rowen, MP for Rochdale, noting the findings of a recent report by the Asbestos Training and Consultancy Association. This report states that 75% of schools currently contain this potentially deadly substance, and welcomes the Department for Children, Families and Schools decision to set up a steering group to look into tackling this issue. It also calls on the Government to take further action, by ensuring that adequate training and guidance is in place to protect staff and pupils.

EDM 971 – CRIMINAL RECORDS BUREAU CHECKS ON NHS SURGEONS

Members of the House in this EDM express their shared concern with the Royal College of Surgeons, that crucial time is being wasted as surgeons have to repeat time-consuming criminal record checks before being able to treat children at different NHS hospitals, despite having already gone through the process. It calls on the Secretary of State for Health to issue clear and binding instructions to trusts to end this practice immediately.

EDM 965 – DIABETES UK RECOMMENDATIONS

This motion congratulates Diabetes UK on its Get Serious campaign, which recommends prioritising action to solve day-to-day problems facing people with diabetes. This disease is a major health challenge, and now costs the NHS around 10 per cent of its budget. I support the call that this EDM makes for the Government to commit to act on the recommendations of Diabetes UK.

EDM 963 – SAVE BBC 6 MUSIC AND ASIAN NETWORK CAMPAIGN

The recent announcement by the BBC that it is considering closing its 6 Music and Asian Network radio stations is an alarming one, as both these offer important outlets for independent and non-mainstream sources of music. The BBC as the major public service television provider in the UK needs to cater for these audiences that the market often may not serve well, as well as offer a platform for independent artists. In this spirit, it calls on the Government and the BBC to continue their support for these services for many years to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s