Michael Tomlinson: Two weeks ago, it was dementia friendly care week and I had the pleasure of spending a part of that at a picnic in the village of Corfe Mullen in Mid Dorset and North Poole. Does my right hon. Friend agree that although much progress has been made in diagnosis, there is still a long way to go in terms of care, especially for those individuals in Mid Dorset and North Poole?
Michael Tomlinson: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for securing the debate. I, of course, accept the principle and benefits of parental choice, but does he agree that the St Ives proposal should be properly co-ordinated and consulted on, as he was outlining, so that neighbouring schools that are affected, such as St Michael’s in Colehill, can make the necessary consequential arrangements in a timely fashion?
Michael Tomlinson: Last year, Dorset schools welcomed £3.1 million in additional funding, and Poole schools £3.2 million in additional funding. What reassurance can my right hon. Friend give me and schools in Poole and Dorset that this was but a downpayment for fairer funding for our underfunded schools in Mid Dorset and North Poole?
Michael Tomlinson: I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for securing this debate. It is good to see so many hon. Friends from across Dorset here in support of my hon. Friend. Does he agree that this issue affects the whole of Dorset, including the local authority areas of East Dorset, Poole and Purbeck, which fall in my constituency? The tourism industry across the whole of our county will be affected if this...
Michael Tomlinson: Last winter, the church of St Mary’s in Lytchett Matravers was shut due to a lack of heating, and parish churches across Dorset struggle to meet both their parish share and to ensure that their buildings remain open. What plans does the Church Commissioner have to provide support for churches such as St Mary’s in Lytchett Matravers to ensure that they remain open, and will she meet me to...
Michael Tomlinson: I am particularly pleased to be called to make my maiden speech in this important debate and to follow so many other excellent maiden speeches. I know that you will forgive me, Madam Deputy Speaker, if, before I turn to the subject matter of the debate, I make one or two comments about my constituency. Mid Dorset and North Poole is home, and it is a beautiful place in which to live and work....
Michael Tomlinson: What his plans are for the future of rehabilitation services for prisoners; and if he will make a statement.
Michael Tomlinson: Clean Sheet and Footprints are two charities in Dorset supporting ex-offenders into work and reducing the risk of reoffending. What steps is my right hon. Friend taking to support such charities and to ensure that offenders leave prison ready to face the world of work?
Michael Tomlinson: Does my hon. Friend and neighbour agree that the issue is one of the most important for Dorset infrastructure, along with road and rail? It relates to the whole of Dorset—east Dorset, Purbeck and Poole, and we are making the argument for businesses, tourists and residents alike.
Michael Tomlinson: I welcome the Government’s work to encourage businesses to take more people on by reducing the burden of employment law, helping more people in my constituency to get into work. What reassurance can the Secretary of State give me that he will further reduce the burden of regulation, thus helping businesses in Mid Dorset and North Poole and across the country?
Michael Tomlinson: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement, which will continue to build on the Government’s work to address the root causes of poverty in Mid Dorset and North Poole and elsewhere. Does he agree that this Government’s work to support families and prevent family breakdown is critical in tackling child poverty and increasing children’s life chances?
Michael Tomlinson: Corfe Mullen, Wimborne and Merley and Bearwood are three important areas in my constituency. Each is protected by the green belt. What they have in common is that the green belt is under threat there and in Purbeck. Will my right hon. Friend make time for an urgent debate on the matter to ensure that our green belt is protected and that Dorset remains a special place to live, work and visit?
Michael Tomlinson: On the basis of one in, one out, will my hon. Friend also mention Lytchett Matravers primary school, which has recently been through Ofsted and achieved a result of “good”? I am a governor of that school.
Michael Tomlinson: Does my right hon. Friend agree that, as others have mentioned, in Dorset the education funding formula must be fixed, as well as the funding for our police forces and local authorities?
Michael Tomlinson: On that point of pausing, is not the problem with some of the amendments, specifically amendment 40, that schools will potentially be left in a state that is causing concern for too long? The explanatory statement with amendment 40 says that “this amendment allows for mature reflection of the need for academisation”. Is “mature reflection” simply another phrase for “undue delay”?
Michael Tomlinson: An example of where it works would be Magna Academy, which is now a sponsored academy in Canford Heath in my constituency. Two years ago, the school was in special measures but, in the past two weeks, it has received an “outstanding” in every single category, which I am told is a first in the south-west in that framework.
Michael Tomlinson: Does the Minister share my concerns that a number of our ex-servicemen and women, having served our country with distinction, end up suffering from mental health issues, family breakdown and homelessness —yes, even on the streets of Dorset? What steps can be taken to help to prevent this?
Michael Tomlinson: Does my hon. Friend agree that although Labour members of the Committee have mentioned the Conservative party manifesto, this is but one measure in a package with which the Conservative party aims to drive up standards and improve schools? Other measures such as fairer funding will also help in this area. Fairer funding for our schools in Dorset will certainly be a welcome measure as part of...
Michael Tomlinson: Six months almost to the day before Bobby and Christi Shepherd were killed, my brother Edward was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning while abroad, so I am doubly grateful to the hon. Lady that this debate has been secured. Does she agree with me that having devices such as an audible CO alarm would be a concrete way to help to ensure that Edward Tomlinson’s family, the Shepherd family and...
Michael Tomlinson: Does my hon. Friend agree that, while the most vulnerable must be protected, welfare must be a safety net rather than a lifestyle choice?