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Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: As my right hon. Friend will know, we are approaching the party conference season. Is he aware that the Electoral Commission is conducting an inquiry into party funding? Will he allow a debate, as soon as possible after its report, on an issue that is important to all members of all parties?
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I apologise to you for missing a previous opportunity to speak by a smidgeon as I made the mistake of going in to the Public Gallery rather than the Members' Entrance. I am grateful to you for giving me a second opportunity to speak. Following the vexed issue of contact orders in the review, is the Department prepared to countenance that the presumption should...
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: Everyone in the House attaches importance to Lord Laming's report and the protection of the most vulnerable children, so I hope that we do not obfuscate our responsibilities by playing a game of personality politics.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: I wish to ask the hon. Gentleman two things. First, does he agree with the direction of travel towards a target of 50 per cent. of people accessing higher education, and secondly, given the thesis that he is advancing, why does he think that when there was no charge for higher education and full grants were available, only 20 per cent. from the lower socio-economic classes went into higher...
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: I asked whether the hon. Gentleman was in favour of the direction of travel in increasing participation towards the examples that my hon. Friend the Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (James Purnell) gave from Scandinavia, Australia and Canada.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: Does my hon. Friend think that his argument is strengthened by the fact that we never changed the 80:20 participation ratio even in the heyday of full grants? Even after the grant was introduced, it seemed that there was a 20 per cent. ceiling, and we did not budge it. That shows that individual finances are not the real issue behind access to higher education.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: Does my right hon. Friend agree that economic prosperity, social well-being and quality of life are vastly enhanced for people who study to a higher level? For people in my constituency, the two great determinants of getting into higher education are aspirations at the age of 11 and access to further education through FE colleges. Will my right hon. Friend ensure that in the response to the...
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if the Government will review benefit and pension entitlement with regard to the relationship between the lower earnings threshold and national insurance contributions.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: It is crucial for many of our constituents that the balance between further and higher education, in terms of funding, remains an issue in the forthcoming review. The much-needed expansion in access for the non-traditional entrants by whom many of our communities are over-represented must be based on access, via further education, to higher education. Will my hon. Friend assure me that the...
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what allocations of funding were made by the Greater Manchester Learning Skills Council to each of the boroughs under the Local Initiative Fund Scheme for 2001–02.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: As a non-lawyer, but as somebody who has supported a child victim through the criminal justice system, I believe that the most dreadful thing is that the process destroys any concept of justice at such a young age. The proposals should enshrine changes to the process which instil in young people the courage to pursue the high principles of justice. Will my right hon. Friend ensure that the...
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to allow greater flexibility in the calculation of the annual permitted work rules in respect of average rather than actual weekly earnings for self-employed disabled people.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action is being taken to address diffuse pollution of water by agriculture; how the Government intend to implement the nitrates directive in England; and if she will make a statement.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the outcome was of the 2001 review of sensitive areas as required by the Urban Waste Water Treatment (England and Wales) Regulations 1994; and if she will make a statement.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: Does my hon. Friend agree that a crucial plank in that strategy, which will help us to meet the target, is to ensure that the children's national service framework on mental health and medical services looks at the way in which vulnerable children are supported? Sadly, for many decades, in certain regions there has historically been under- acknowledgment of the funding needed for core...
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to extend provision for communication aids for severely disabled people.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adults with physical disabilities have been supplied with communication aids by community equipment stores in (a) 2001 and (b) 2002.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to ring-fence funding for communication aids within extra funds provided for community equipment.
Ms Lorna Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the funding allocation to the Equipment Service has been spent on physical equipment.