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Brian Binley: If he will make a statement on the security situation in Iraq.
Brian Binley: Senior elements in the Iraqi army say that they have enough people in Basra but that they are dangerously short of equipment. Will the Secretary of State impress upon the Iraqi Government that British efforts will have been wasted if the Iraqi army is unable to procure the relevant equipment quickly?
Brian Binley: To ask the Prime Minister what the terms and conditions of Mr Stephen Carter's employment as Chief of Strategy and principal adviser are; and what rules apply to the retention of interests in outside bodies by special advisers.
Brian Binley: May I thank the Minister most sincerely at the start of my contribution—before he quickly leaves—for two reasons? First, I thank him for meeting representatives from across Northamptonshire's policing body. They were most grateful that he saw them, and I hope that he will have words for me tonight that show that the meeting was worth while. Secondly, I wish to thank the Minister for his...
Brian Binley: I am most grateful for your intervention and I welcome its robustness—
Brian Binley: I am grateful for that guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I learnt my bad habits as a local councillor and I apologise. My hon. Friend underlines the point that both the east midlands and Surrey suffer as a result of formula funding, and that puts them in an impossible position. My hon. Friend will also know that when the Government's growth agenda is added on top of that, the position becomes...
Brian Binley: I would be delighted if we were to proceed in that way, and that gives me a little hope— [ Interruption. ] It gives me hope, I can tell the Minister, because my party is obviously thinking in the right way. I have already said that my area has the largest number of immigrants from eastern Europe, but we also have one of the largest Somali immigrant communities—to say nothing of other...
Brian Binley: I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention and I completely accept his comments. He gives me the opportunity to point out that on top of the growth in sustainable communities we face the general trend he describes, which adds to our difficulties. The Minister will know that we have tried to bring our case to the attention of the Government. I have already thanked him for meeting colleagues...
Brian Binley: How does the right hon. Gentleman feel that that applies to the sustainable communities project? The Government have asked my county in particular to be heavily involved in that project, yet they have not found the sort of money for services that growth requires.
Brian Binley: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his generosity in giving way. I would only add that the county council has already given £500,000 to the Northamptonshire constabulary for community policing, and it intended to give even more but was unable to do so because of the poor grant that it received.
Brian Binley: May I pursue this a little further. There is a feeling in the industry that the Government have been premature in making decisions about the issue through this competition and that they in fact close down activity that ought to be opened up. Is that your general view at this stage?
Brian Binley: Can I come to the industry now, because I understand that money is available and people want to go ahead, but they feel that they are being excluded by the way in which the competition is framed, and so forth. Is that fair?
Brian Binley: This is my final question. Do both of your groups believe that amending this Bill to open up that particular aspect would be a good thing? Is that what you are telling me?
Brian Binley: Can I move on to the question of clean coal carbon storage and the possible relationship between that and extending our North sea energy resources? I know that two of the companies you represent were excluded from the competition and were very disappointed. But I understand that you are still going ahead with working on the technology and producing a plant that could help us in the ways I...
Brian Binley: Does that mean, in terms of my previous question, that you would want to see that issue opened up in the Bill at this stage? Do you think it important to do so given our energy needs?
Brian Binley: May we pursue this matter a little further? The Minister already spoke about public perception. Frankly, this impacts on public perception big time, and Members in particular know how volatile public perception can be, so it matters to us. In management terms, a programme is only as good as the quality of the people at its lowest level—that goes without saying. Therefore, monitoring is...
Brian Binley: I am talking particularly about the decommissioning programme.
Brian Binley: So you have the people and the robust programmes in place. What should our Minister do now to make sure he is monitoring and reporting to the people that all is well and the decommissioning programme is going as it should, because reassurance about the whole process will be vital? What should the Minister be doing to ensure that you are doing what you say you will do?
Brian Binley: I did not mean you personally; I meant anybody who wished to answer the question.
Brian Binley: Please do. He will be delighted.