Easter Adjournment

Part of Deferred Division No. 85 – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 4:11 pm, 29th March 2007

I would like to know whether my hon. Friend is sure that there are only seven. He went on to discuss more serious matters, such as the local referendum on planning permission for a plant which threatens the safety and security of schools, homes and the area generally. I, too, hope that when the inspector makes his decision, he will take note of the result of that referendum.

My hon. Friend expressed concern that the Environment Agency failed to activate flood defences to prevent flooding. He asked the Secretary of State to hold an inquiry into the matter, and I am sure that the Deputy Leader of the House will pass on those concerns.

My hon. Friend also discussed health. He rightly pointed out that it is important that the NHS concentrates some resources on preventive medicine rather than trying to deal with illnesses after they have occurred. Such an approach would clearly have a major impact on the NHS budget.

My hon. Friend concluded by referring to the European Union, a subject which has been debated for many hours in the House. The debate has been going on for a long time, and I am sure that it will continue. No doubt he will contribute to future debates.

My hon. Friend Mr. Jackson, whose constituency adjoins mine, discussed the new prison in his constituency, which has placed law and order at the forefront of local matters. He also considered the arguments of liberal academics who advocate fewer custodial sentences and made it clear that he favours stronger sentencing. He rightly pointed out the overcrowding in our prisons, and, like many hon. Members, he will welcome the fact that the Government have announced that two more prisons will be built. In my view, although that is welcome, we need those prisons now, and we must deal with the problem before those two prisons come into operation.

My hon. Friend touched on the balance between policing and crime, as well as the prevalence of drugs and mental illnesses among those who end up in prison. Of course, law and order is a massive, complex issue that has only been made more complicated by the changes that were proposed earlier today. The House awaits clarification on their full impact in the days and weeks ahead.

We concluded with a speech by Shona McIsaac. I confess that when she said that she wished to comment on the speeches that had already been made, I was a little concerned that the Deputy Leader of the House and I would be left without much to say, but I was heartened when she quickly moved on to address issues in her constituency. She particularly mentioned the A180, with its noisy concrete surface. I wish her well with her endeavours in resolving that. She mentioned the heavy goods vehicles going through the town and port—she was keen to emphasise the word "port"—of Immingham and the campaign to get weight restrictions imposed. Again, I wish her well with that. She is clearly passionate about the level of tolls on the Humber bridge, which she has spoken about on several occasions, and I hope that that is dealt with satisfactorily. She mentioned the planning issues involving the Winter Gardens and said that there is some uncertainty as to whether the sale has fallen through. I hope that that, too, is satisfactorily resolved.

The hon. Lady concluded by saying that she wished to promote her tourism industry. On what better note could I conclude than to say that with the recess coming, perhaps hon. Members might consider taking a few days off and going to her constituency, or to that of my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton and Honiton.

I wish you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, all the staff in the House, and all right hon. and hon. Members a very happy and peaceful Easter.