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Results 1–20 of 8400 for speaker:David Heath

Elections for Positions in the House: Backbench Business — Valedictory Debate (26 Mar 2015)

David Heath: I always said that I would leave this place before I lost the buzz of having the privilege of speaking in this Chamber. I am very happy to say that after 18 years I am doing that. There are many people who did not think I would last 18 years. The late Lord Rees-Mogg wrote an article every time I stood for election, saying that on the basis of an extensive poll of his friends and family, I was...

Business of the House (24, 25 and 26 March) (No. 2): Procedure of the House (26 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Further to the point of order, Mr Speaker. There is, of course, another way. The Leader of the House could withdraw the motion—[Hon. Members: “Withdraw, withdraw.”] I have to say that although I would always support a secret ballot, I very much dislike the way in which this matter has been brought before the House today.

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Undercover Policing (26 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Forty years ago, when I was president of a students union, I was visited by officers from King’s Cross special branch, whose express purpose was to tell me that they had a file on me. Like the right hon. Member for Neath (Mr Hain), I do not take that desperately seriously, given the circumstances of the time, but I do take very seriously the matter of files being kept on Members of this...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Undercover Policing (26 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker.

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Undercover Policing (26 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Mr Speaker, you will have heard the exchange between me and the Minister. Given the importance of these matters for parliamentary privilege and future Parliaments and Members, can you assure me that, far from simply waiting for the inquiry to take place and looking at its results, parliamentary authorities will be fully engaged with the inquiry throughout, so that we can be absolutely sure...

Business of the House (24, 25 and 26 March): Clause 1 — How an MP becomes subject to a recall petition process (24 Mar 2015)

David Heath: I rise to support the amendments, such as they are, from the House of Lords. They clearly strengthen the Bill in a minor way. Members may recall that we expended a fair amount of time and effort trying to strengthen the Bill in a more concrete way when it was before this House by giving access to a non-parliamentary route for recall. I am sad that we did not find a solution acceptable to both...

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department: Police Budgets (23 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Avon and Somerset police have indeed done very well. However, an understandable operational response to difficult budgets is to withdraw policing from rural areas, which empirically have a lower level of crime. That is understandable, but wrong. Will the Minister reassure me that he will tell all police forces that they have a duty to people who live in rural areas? Those people must not...

Ways and Means — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law (20 Mar 2015)

David Heath: I think that I can confidently predict that this will be the last Friday morning sitting to which I will contribute. It is a great pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Luton South (Gavin Shuker), who is proving the exception to the unhappy feeling that this is a special Budget debate, organised for elderly Members of Parliament not seeking re-election. With any Budget, there is almost a...

Energy and Climate Change: Household Energy Bills (19 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Following on from the question from the hon. Member for Clwyd South (Susan Elan Jones), many, many people in rural areas like mine are dependent on fuel oil or liquid petroleum gas and have seen their costs go up inexorably over recent years. Even in an unregulated market, is there any way in which the Minister can ensure that the prices now fall commensurate with the fall in oil and gas...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Council Tax (16 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Residents in my constituency benefited from a very welcome temporary rebate in their council tax after the floods of last year, but their houses have probably been permanently devalued and they also face very high insurance premiums. Should that not be reflected in council tax banding? Will the Secretary of State instruct the Valuation Office Agency to that effect?

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Rural Payments Agency (12 Mar 2015)

David Heath: This Government should be hugely proud of the massive improvement in the Rural Payments Agency, compared with the chaos of a few years ago. We should also give thanks to its chief executive, Mark Grimshaw, for his work on making that happen. It is a fact that the IT systems will be critical in future. They will have to work, but we also need to enable farmers to use IT out in rural areas of...

Deregulation Bill (Programme) (No.3): Backbench Business — School Funding Formula (10 Mar 2015)

David Heath: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I was one of the founder members of the F40 group back in 1996 as chair of education in Somerset, and signed up to it with a lot of Labour colleagues who then ran county councils, who were equally incensed about this issue. I do not understand—this relates to the point made earlier—why this anomaly was not dealt with when school budgets were rapidly...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Wine Duty (10 Mar 2015)

David Heath: While the Financial Secretary is looking carefully at the duty on English wine, will he redouble his efforts to support artisan and small-scale cider makers, who risk being put out of business as a consequence of a disastrous recent EU decision?

Business of the House (5 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Despite the fact that I have made it plain that I am standing down at the next election, inexplicably I am getting a lot of e-mails asking me to commit to opposing things in the next Parliament, particularly the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which, strangely enough, I have not seen the details of because nobody else has—it has not been negotiated yet. For the avoidance of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Railway Stations: Traffic (5 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Travel to the west country is often massively disrupted by incidents between Reading and Paddington. Given the huge investment that has gone into Reading station, is it not possible to find alternative means of connectivity between Reading and London—Reading is virtually becoming a London station—so that people from the west country can get in and out of London perfectly easily?

Broadband — [Sir Alan Meale in the Chair] (4 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Can I bring the Minister back to his “fag packet”, because one of his problems is that he has raised expectations? In Somerset, we may be a bit rough and ready; we are certainly very rural. However, we do not have big mountains, we are only under water part of the year and it was entirely predictable that the rotten old copper cables that ran three and a half miles from my house to an...

Broadband — [Sir Alan Meale in the Chair] (4 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Is not much of the problem caused by the hugely deceptive nature of percentages? We talk about a large percentage being covered without realising that in Somerset and the surrounding area, that means the fleshpots of Taunton and Exeter, and probably places such as Tiverton and Honiton. That relatively small percentage of people covers a large area of my constituency and that of my hon....

Broadband — [Sir Alan Meale in the Chair] (4 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the issue in Devon and Somerset now is not so much the delivery of the original contract, which is carrying on at its own pace—we are impatient, but it is happening—but the large areas in our constituencies that will not be covered by that contract and that need to catch up with the rest of the counties? I think that that will not be done through big...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Modern Languages (2 Mar 2015)

David Heath: Are not our horizons still too limited? With the advent of IT and refinements in distance learning, should not any child in any school be able to learn any language?

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