Esther McVey: Can the Minister provide an update on the progress of the mid-Cheshire rail line?
Esther McVey: If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 18 October.
Esther McVey: Will the Prime Minister reaffirm her Government’s commitment to the northern powerhouse? Will she set out the specific schemes—[Interruption.]
Esther McVey: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The importance of the north will be heard. Will the Prime Minister set out the schemes that she seeks to prioritise, and does she agree that the only norths that are in tune with the Leader of the Opposition’s political correctness and Marxism are Islington North and North Korea? [Interruption.]
Esther McVey: Following on from the many letters I have received from constituents, will the Secretary of State join me in thanking and congratulating the staff of the CAA, the Department for Transport and my local airport, Manchester airport, on the work they have done on the biggest evacuation in peacetime?
Esther McVey: I congratulate my hon. Friend and neighbour on securing this important debate. I endorse all the points that she is making, in particular those about safety, security, suitability and cost. My constituency, too, is full of brine fields and wells where salt has dissolved and been pumped out, which creates craters underground. Ros Todhunter, a geologist who lives in Lostock Green in my...
Esther McVey: Having recently met the governor of Styal prison in my constituency, I know that drones are an increasing problem in prisons, as is the illegal use of mobile phones. The two are linked together because mobile phones allow for greater frequency and accuracy of drone activity. Does the Minister agree that the way to curb drone activity and stop illegal mobile phone use is to block phone signals...
Esther McVey: Although the Government provide support for cattle farmers affected by TB, can the Secretary of State reassure me that goat and sheep farmers in Cheshire will get comparable compensation?
Esther McVey: rose—
Esther McVey: Good choice, Mr Speaker. I appreciate that the Secretary of State is seeking to be decisive, but my constituents in Tatton are deeply concerned by what they hear in the media. Will he ensure that my constituents, and I as their representative in Parliament, will be fully involved in the decisions that will hugely affect them, and that he and High Speed 2 will not ride roughshod over their...
Esther McVey: I congratulate the Government on choosing to prioritise school funding, which has been such a huge issue in Tatton and throughout the country. All the Cheshire Members of Parliament have come to my right hon. Friend saying what we need for our local schools, and I therefore welcome today’s announcement. So that everyone can be clear about the position, however, will my right hon. Friend...
Esther McVey: Alderley Park in my constituency is the largest bio-centre in the United Kingdom. It is a true world leader, and it is currently undergoing a 10-year transformation. Will the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy make a statement on the country’s industrial strategy and how Alderley Park fits into it? [Interruption.]
Esther McVey: Whether he plans to expand the rail network in Cheshire.
Esther McVey: I am grateful to the Minister for his reply, and I want to impress on him the urgency of getting the mid-Cheshire rail link and the Manchester airport western link. Our population is expanding, businesses are increasing in size and the local plans will mean tens of thousands of new homes in the area. This cannot be catered for on the local roads and High Speed 2 will not be an answer. Will...
Esther McVey: A number of my constituents are deeply concerned about the impact of High Speed 2—particularly residents in Ashley, who came to see me in a surgery last week. I am sure that you, Mr Speaker, will be pleased that I am not going to go through every point they raised with me, but could the Minister meet me to go through every concern they had?
Esther McVey: Trust is the key word—trust and faith, if people have that, in the inquiry. Every story is different. My constituent, Barry Flynn, is a twin. His twin is not here, but on his behalf he wants to be able to trust the inquiry. He wants the victims to be heard and to decide the remit, and he wants their evidence to be taken. Does my hon. Friend agree that that is the way to get trust?
Esther McVey: Will the Minister of State confirm what this means for Tatton schools in particular and Cheshire schools in general? Will there be no cuts in their funding?
Esther McVey: May we have a statement from the Secretary of State for Education on school funding in Cheshire? There is a great deal of concern among parents, governors and teachers about funding for their schools. I hope that a statement will provide me and them with the reassurance we seek.