Results 1–20 of 2633 for speaker:Roberta Blackman-Woods

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Social Mobility (19 Mar 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: The Secretary of State must understand that if we are to achieve social mobility, our schools have to be adequately funded. Because of funding cuts, Durham County Council is closing a school—the only school—in a disadvantaged village in my constituency. The young people there will feel undervalued, as will the community, so what will the Secretary of State do to ensure that that...

Bills Presented: Vote 100 and International Women’s Day (8 Mar 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I join the Minister in welcoming International Women’s Day. Does she also welcome the fact that the UN Commission on the Status of Women is meeting again in New York next week? Does she agree that it is really important that it comes up with strong policies so that women in rural communities are adequately supported?

National Planning Policy Framework (5 Mar 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I begin by thanking the Secretary of State for early sight of his statement. Today, once again, we have seen the Government bringing forward proposals that tinker with the planning system in yet another vain attempt to look as if they are doing something about the housing and infrastructure crisis that the country is facing, which is largely of their making. Let us be clear about the scale of...

Funding Higher Education — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair] (28 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: Does my hon. Friend agree that, unless the Government are at least prepared to put more money into the sector, it is difficult to understand how we will get a sustainable system for funding universities? The Minister needs to be clear about that.

Funding Higher Education — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair] (28 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: The hon. Lady makes an important point. Does she agree that it is important not to talk in binary terms about university or technical education? Our universities deliver some of the best technical education in the country, and we should aim for a route to whatever form of education is best for the young person or older person retraining. We should not get stuck in the binary divide, but...

Funding Higher Education — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair] (28 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: My hon. Friend is making a really important point, which I hope the Minister can address. There is real concern among universities that the review could result in a huge loss of income. As I said earlier, the whole of the sector is not making a huge surplus. We want our university sector to thrive, compete globally, and give our young people and others the skills that they need to compete in...

Funding Higher Education — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair] (28 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I am glad that my hon. Friend has raised the discussion we had in that Bill Committee about what universities contribute to our society in addition to teaching and education. They contribute to sports development, cultural development and social outcomes in our communities. They do a lot of voluntary work. Students from my own university, Durham, do a lot of voluntary work in the local...

Funding Higher Education — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair] (28 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that we need the Government to look at sustainability in the sector? The briefing for this debate said that the forecast surplus for the university sector is only 1.3% this year, so it is not a bloated sector. It does not mean there is a differential outcome for various institutions. In fact, university budgets are under threat from Brexit, from the cuts in...

Office for Students: Points of Order (27 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I asked the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation whether the person specification for the board members of the Office for Students had been checked properly and if we could be assured it met the requirements of the code for public appointments. He did not address that issue, so I wonder whether you could give any advice as to how we can...

Office for Students (27 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I start by thanking all Members who signed the letter to the commissioner for public appointments asking for his investigation. I also thank him for yesterday’s response. Despite what the Minister says, the report clearly shows a lack of proper process in the appointment of Toby Young and in relation to the student appointment. We need to hear a lot more from the Minister about how...

Post-18 Education (20 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: The terms of reference that the Secretary of State published say that the review cannot make recommendations on tax policy and that it must make recommendations in keeping with the Government’s fiscal policies. Does that mean that there will be no new money for higher education regardless of the review’s recommendations?

Petition - Sherburn Hill School, County Durham (6 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: The second petition is from the residents of Sherburn Hill on the closure of Sherburn Hill School. They believe that Durham County Council has not guaranteed that all its pupils will be eligible for transport-to-school funds. The petition states: The petition of residents of Sherburn Hill, Declares that the proposed closure of Sherburn Hill school in County Durham is contrary to the wishes of...

Petition - Mount Oswald Estate (6 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I hope you will bear with me, Madam Deputy Speaker, while I present these two petitions. The first is from the residents of the Mount Oswald estate in Durham. The petition states: The petition of residents of Mount Oswald Estate in Durham, Declares that the new development, built by David Wilson Homes, where there are residents who lack any form of acceptable broadband service; further that...

Housing, Planning and the Green Belt (6 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I start by thanking hon. and right hon. Members who have contributed today, not least the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr Robertson), who secured this important debate. It is good to see the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Nick Boles), a former planning Minister, back in his place. I am acutely aware that the subject of this debate is often contentious and that discussion of the green...

Housing, Planning and the Green Belt (6 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: My hon. Friend makes a very good point, which has been much made this afternoon. The change signalled by the Government is what I think led my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham) to label the policy “green belt first”. My hon. Friends the Members for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Justin Madders) and for Bury North (James Frith) also clearly highlighted the...

Women’S Suffrage Centenary (6 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I thank the Minister for her statement. Will she join me in paying tribute to the group of women in Durham who this year are not only helping to organise the Durham miners’ gala but are reinstating the women’s gala on 30 June to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage?

Rail Update (5 Feb 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I think it is the Secretary of State who has the short memory, so I will remind him that this is the third time in 11 years that a private sector franchise on the east coast line has failed. Can he explain to the House why his Department prevented East Coast, a public company that ran the railway superbly for both passengers and the taxpayer, from bidding for this contract? Will he today...

Backbench Business: Town and Village Plans (30 Jan 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I thank the hon. Member for Mid Norfolk (George Freeman) for securing this incredibly important debate. There is a lot of cross-party agreement on the issue, and I agree with almost everything that hon. Members have said in the debate. My only disagreement with the hon. Gentleman is that I think the issue affects both rural and...

Housing, Communities and Local Government: Fire Safety (22 Jan 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: As the Secretary of State has said, one of the key recommendations of the interim review of building regulations and fire safety was to restructure the whole suite of approved documents to provide more clarity on how fire safety measures are applied. Will the Secretary of State therefore provide an update on what steps his Department is taking to implement that recommendation, with particular...

School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill (19 Jan 2018)

Roberta Blackman-Woods: I am grateful to the Minister for announcing at least some progress. Will the pilots involve looking into how the sugar tax could be used to help to feed children during the holidays?

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