Lord Cotter: My Lords, I want to make a general comment to the Government. Coming from a plastic manufacturing background, I was staggered to read in the newspapers that weekend that plastics were used to encase buildings. I say to the Minister: beware of experts. Based on my plastic manufacturing experience, I would have been very concerned by that. Please can the Government check on these experts?
Lord Cotter: My Lords, I believe that the debate today is vital, thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Haskel. I will concentrate on two aspects: leadership and management. In the 1950s, I left school, did national service and then went into a small manufacturing company, which was run along the lines of “them and us”, “us and them”. After two years I left because I could not stand the way it was run. I...
Lord Cotter: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of mental health treatment is funded by the National Health Service nationally as against local funding.
Lord Cotter: I hear what the Minister says, but parity between mental and physical health remains a concern. He knows about the facility for mental health in Weston-super-Mare and the problems associated with its future. However, I have found this problem around facilities in local areas to be widespread throughout the country. Their funding is not predominantly mainstream NHS money for mental health...
Lord Cotter: My Lords, we all know how serious the issue of mental health is for all ages. It is absolutely vital that we see increased funding for all the NHS but, in particular, for mental health. I ask the Minister to investigate one area of great concern—parity of mental health with physical health. This was announced as a future commitment by the Government. I quote the Select Committee: “We...
Lord Cotter: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in implementing the proposals for support for mental health provision for children and young people in schools, set out in the December 2017 Green Paper, Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision.
Lord Cotter: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply. As we all know, mental illness is an increasing concern. It is good that the Green Paper to which he referred has been produced. Appendix B refers specifically to schools and says that, “68% have a designated member of staff”, for mental health. However, does the Minister not agree that it is equally important that teachers are fully trained...
Lord Cotter: I am a non-expert in the field—a member of the public, if you like. The Statement talks about a, “significant strengthening of the deterrent”, and states that, “employers have failed to take account of the scheme”. As an outsider, I am concerned about those two important aspects of the Statement.
Lord Cotter: The Minister mentioned concerns about mental health, but crisis teams are reported not to be available in all parts of the country for under-18s, who are very vulnerable. Will the Minister look into crisis teams not being available for under-18s in many parts of the country?
Lord Cotter: My Lords, I wish to ask the Minister two questions. As regards online training for those in difficulty, what will be done to ensure that they are capable of gaining online access? Secondly, I may have missed this but when will the costly phone line be replaced with a free line? Has that happened already? If not, it is very urgent indeed.
Lord Cotter: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps, if any, they are taking to support the delivery of digital resilience programmes, such as Be Strong Online, in schools and elsewhere, to help young people to explore the digital world safely and to cope if they experience abuse online.
Lord Cotter: My Lords, the Be Strong Online initiative is a scheme whereby young people are trained as online ambassadors to help youngsters to cope with online abuse, through school lessons. The staff in schools are encouraged by what is happening. The scheme is asking for tangible and widespread support from the Government; online abuse and bullying are very serious issues.
Lord Cotter: My Lords, have the Government looked into the issue of payments by NGOs, by enterprise agencies and by local councils, many of which get their funds originally from the Government? Will the Minister look into the issue of local payment by local organisations?
Lord Cotter: My Lords, I follow many speakers, in particular the speaker who has just spoken, with concerns about what we should be doing. I am participating in this debate because of the key issue of Brexit to this country. The key element is undoubtedly the relationship between the UK and Ireland, so long established and much improved in recent years. As much as anything, I want to listen to the many...
Lord Cotter: Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in establishing a network of trade commissioners to highlight the importance of UK exports and to assist UK companies in exporting their products.
Lord Cotter: Her Majesty's Government what action they are planning to deal with issues around mental health in schools.
Lord Cotter: Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure that each school in the UK employs a member of staff with specific experience to address mental health issues.