Easter Adjournment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:38 pm on 29th March 2018.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Government Whip 4:38 pm, 29th March 2018

I agree entirely and thank the hon. Gentleman for that helpful addition to my comments. It is important to place that on the record.

Liz McInnes made an important point about having a Minister for older people. I recall making a speech on that issue as a Back Bencher and being very supportive of it. Now that I am standing here, I am bound by collective responsibilities, so she will have to guess what my thoughts are, but I wish her well in that cross-party campaign. She raises a worthwhile issue that covers many cross-departmental issues, and I know that many Ministers will want to think carefully about it.

My hon. Friend Bob Blackman may be getting bored of people congratulating him on his Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, but even if he is, I will not stop, because he deserves praise and applause for what he has achieved. I well recall the issues around step-free access to his tube stations and the battle with TfL over getting the right amount of funding. He will be pleased to know that my successor, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend Ms Ghani, overheard it because she is sitting right next to me.

I can reassure my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow East that one point I made very clear when negotiating Network Rail’s funding for control period 5 was that we must have a dedicated ring-fenced fund to make sure that Access for All funding continues. I know that my hon. Friend will take up the cudgels and keep fighting to make sure that we have inclusive transport across not just London but the country as a whole. I look forward to seeing the response to the inclusive transport consultation, and I wish him well with what I hope will be his Adjournment debate on the particularly tragic case that he raised.