Alison Seabeck: I offer my congratulations to all who have spoken before me on their excellent and heartfelt speeches, and especially to the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron), on his interesting and thoughtful contribution. Like most Members of this place, I approach this moment with excitement and trepidation. We are bombarded with advice from colleagues, friends and family about the...
Alison Seabeck: Will my right hon. Friend outline some of the key milestones in the lead-up to this important decision, and will he ensure that the interests of those who work in Devonport dockyard are listened to with care?
Alison Seabeck: Does my hon. Friend agree that, after a period of some economic difficulty, Plymouth is now poised for the economic growth implicit in her comments? However, we have a northern way and a Thames gateway, so would it not be appropriate for the Government to consider establishing a Plymouth pathway to ensure that housing funding meets Plymouth's needs and aspirations?
Alison Seabeck: I know that my hon. Friend is very aware of the problems facing the south-west and our difficulty in accessing dentists, but I also know that her Department is working hard to implement a range of measures designed to increase dentist numbers. What we ultimately need is a sustainable approach, so we need to train more dentists. Will she therefore welcome a bid from Plymouth for a new dental...
Alison Seabeck: We have heard a catalogue of complaint from hon. Members who have had long experience of South West Water's poor relationship with its consumers. My hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Linda Gilroy) has vociferously campaigned over many years for water bills to be reduced in the south-west, highlighting the disparity between our region and the rest of the country. Apart from the...
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been spent collating statistical information relating specifically to tourism in each year since 2000, broken down by region.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of supermarket kits designed to counter hospital-based infections.
Alison Seabeck: I entirely agree with the thrust of the hon. Lady's argument. I know that the chamber of commerce in Plymouth would agree entirely that the night sleeper brings business to Plymouth that is vital for the regeneration of the city, and that we must do all that we can to ensure that the service continues.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many incidences of "micro" or "pocket" bikes being ridden illegally on-road there have been in each year since 2002; and how many of those incidences related to underage riders; (2) how many successful prosecutions for the illegal riding of "pocket" or "micro" bikes there have been in each year since 2002, broken down by region.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers are available to (a)the police and (b) local authorities to deal with the illegal riding of micro-bikes.
Alison Seabeck: I thank my hon. Friend for his answer. About 18 months ago, the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, now my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health, said: "when you're looking at the South West, getting the Transport system right is one of the most important things you can do to help . . . business and bring investment to the Region." Does he agree that getting the...
Alison Seabeck: We have heard much this afternoon about the cost of the passport to individuals, but there will be a broader cost. I would welcome my right hon. Friend's comments on the precise impact on the wider economy of identity fraud. Some 3 to 5 per cent. of all fraud involves identity fraud and we all have constituents who have suffered the misery of that crime. How much does it cost our economy?
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will raise the lower earnings level at which council tax benefit starts to fall below the maximum to the level of the income tax personal allowance; and if he will estimate the cost of making such a change.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many choice-based lettings schemes have been established by local authorities in England since 2001, broken down by region.
Alison Seabeck: The hon. Lady says that she is opposed to rebanding, to revaluation, to local income tax and to the Lyons review. She says that she would give £500—or was it £50?—to all pensioners, be they Margaret Thatcher or my granny, who was pretty poor. What about the other groups about which she has been talking? What are the measures that she is going to promote?
Alison Seabeck: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Alison Seabeck: I have listened to the debate with great interest but with sadness, because it is depressing that after eight years in opposition the Conservatives have failed to come up with any detailed proposals for a replacement for the tax they introduced in such haste to replace the deeply unpopular poll tax. This Government understand the need for a detailed and thoughtful approach to this complex...
Alison Seabeck: I have read elements of the report and I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman's assessment or indeed some of CIPFA's comments. I will not revisit the problems of local income tax as they were extremely well highlighted in the contribution of my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich and Woolwich (Mr. Raynsford).
Alison Seabeck: My hon. Friend is right. I close by saying to my hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government that I look forward to the review and report of Sir Michael Lyons and to the detailed consultation and debate that will, I am sure, take place in the House. [Interruption.]
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to change the legislation relating to the drinking of alcohol to make it an offence to drink in public if a person is under the age of 18.