Mark Menzies: Question 7, Mr Speaker.
Mark Menzies: You caught me off guard there, Mr Speaker, and I apologise.
Mark Menzies: I apologise to the Labour Front Benchers, too. The backbone of the north-west economy is built around small and medium-sized enterprises, so will the Secretary of State outline what help his Department is giving to small businesses across the north-west?
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps she is taking to support the development of additional new nuclear reactors.
Mark Menzies: As someone who has visited the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and who perhaps has more constituents working in the kingdom than any other Member in this House as a result of the relationship through the defence sector, may I urge the Minister to impress on our Saudi friends the importance of working with the moderate influences within the kingdom to ensure that peace and stability prevail throughout...
Mark Menzies: As a member of the Transport Select Committee, I have to observe that the Government have got themselves into a rather big hole on this issue. At least, however, they have my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, a former miner, to dig them out of it. Can my right hon. Friend assure me that this decision will be taken in the early summer and that it will look favourably at...
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that consumers can have confidence in vehicle emissions data.
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what he weight he plans to give to the views of people living close to the proposed shale gas well at Roseacre and Preston New Road in the process for considering planning appeals by Cuadrilla Resources to build wells at those sites.
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, for what reasons he has decided to recover the planning appeals by Caudrilla Resources to build shale gas wells at Roseacre and Preston New Road.
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what his policy is on pausing planning applications to build shale gas wells until after the Environment Agency has completed its consultation and published guidance for onshore oil and gas operations in the UK.
Mark Menzies: May I put on record my thanks to the emergency services and to officials at DEFRA and the Department of Transport for the work they have put in over the weekend? Will the Secretary of State assure me that she will continue to work with farmers in my constituency to ensure that the devastation that some of them have suffered over recent days will be looked at with sympathy?
Mark Menzies: What steps are being taken to support those with early onset dementia through the ESA process and, where appropriate, how do we support those who wish to continue in work to do so?
Mark Menzies: Fylde.
Mark Menzies: The reason Willie Walsh has taken this position is that BA acquired BMI to get its hands on more Heathrow slots. Having spent a vast sum of money acquiring BMI and the Heathrow slots, he does not want lots more Heathrow slots to come along and weaken his economic case.
Mark Menzies: I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Dr Mathias) for initiating this debate. She cheered up so many Conservative Members with her feistiness on election night, and we can see why she was elected. However, I have to say, as a member of the Transport Committee, that I am an avowed supporter of a third runway at Heathrow. We have one of the biggest airports in the world, with a...
Mark Menzies: Actually, I have read the report and the one thing very clear from it is that Davies has given a very strong indication of a preference. It is very frustrating that those who are viscerally opposed to Heathrow refuse, time and again, to provide clear alternative options. Today we have even heard Members say, “Let’s have more reviews and more discussions. Let’s kick it into...
Mark Menzies: No, I will continue. It is frustrating that national infrastructure issues that affect not just London but my constituents in Fylde are being sucked down to the lowest common denominator of what is right for a handful of constituencies in west London.
Mark Menzies: Let us therefore pay tribute to Heathrow, because next March it will introduce direct flights to Inverness. I do not accept some of the arguments that I have heard from right hon. and hon. Members. If we build a third runway, we will increase capacity and the opportunity for improved regional connectivity. People say that there would be no improvement, but that is absolutely a red herring.
Mark Menzies: No, I will not give way. Everyone aged 70 or less has grown up with Heathrow airport. If people grow up beside what was the busiest airport in the world, they should not be surprised to hear aircraft noise or see planes flying overheard. That is what happens if people choose to live beside what was the busiest international airport in the world. But guess what? It is no longer the busiest...
Mark Menzies: The former Transport Minister makes a valuable point. The Dreamliner A350, for example, not only has 20% lower fuel emissions, but 60% less noise emissions. For people who grew up or lived beside an airport when aircraft were far noisier than now—we are moving to a future in which aircraft noise is diminishing—the noise argument and, given the more efficient engines, the pollution...