Ruth Smeeth: Stoke’s The Sentinel newspaper is this afternoon presenting a petition to the Prime Minister at No. 10 as part of its NHS SOS campaign. Following on from the question from the hon. Member for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy), may we have a debate in Government time on the need for proper investment in our NHS and for a truly integrated health economy?
Ruth Smeeth: Will the Minister give way?
Ruth Smeeth: I must begin by directing the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I am a proud member of the GMB, the trade union that represents thousands of workers in our shipbuilding industry. It is slightly challenging to follow so many Members who have spoken with such authority. I do not want to repeat what has already been said, and I shall speak as briefly as...
Ruth Smeeth: As ever, we owe a debt of gratitude to our armed forces and their families who will be supporting them during this deployment. As the NATO summit continues, what efforts are being made to encourage our other NATO allies to increase their own commitments?
Ruth Smeeth: Now that the Foreign Secretary has resigned and the Prime Minister seems confused about what our tier 1 status is, what are we doing to ensure that we retain tier 1 military status?
Ruth Smeeth: One of the challenges with Stoke Speaks Out is that when it started in 2006 it had 30 staff, but in 2015 it went down to half a member of staff. Now it has gone back up to nearly 10, but its funding is being cut again. That inconsistency is not delivering for the children of Stoke-on-Trent.
Ruth Smeeth: I hate to interrupt a narrative about American television, but one of the most important things that Stoke Speaks Out has done is to deliver 3,000 free books to children across our city as part of the Stoke Reads project. Does my hon. Friend agree that that is as vital for parents as it is for children, as those parents start reading to their children?
Ruth Smeeth: I thank the hon. Lady for securing such an important debate. Stoke Speaks Out is one of the national exemplars of how to engage with this issue. Does she agree that we need sustained funding for such programmes? We have seen engagement in this work. In my constituency, 84% of children were 12 months behind in oral skills at the age of two. There was heavy investment and they eventually did...
Ruth Smeeth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to fund its share of the 2020 Invictus Games in the Hague.
Ruth Smeeth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to contribute financially to the domestic sporting event being delivered by Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion for Veterans in 2019.
Ruth Smeeth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group adheres to the revised NICE guidance on hearing loss in adults, published in June 2018, on the provision of hearing aids to people with mild and moderate hearing loss.
Ruth Smeeth: We have had 12 years of debate about what should happen to the contract—12 years of uncertainty for the workforce—and now we have a 12-year contract. It seems to me and the unions that key parts of the work currently delivered by the defence fire and rescue service, such as the checking of fire extinguishers on site, are not included in the contract. Capita does nothing for...
Ruth Smeeth: Will the shadow Secretary of State confirm that the Labour party is not trying to frustrate Brexit, and that the policy of our party and our Front Bench is that we will be leaving the European Union in March 2019?
Ruth Smeeth: In 2016, Stoke-on-Trent was the European city of sport, but it faces some of the highest health inequalities in the country. The Stoke newspaper The Sentinel highlighted the power of exercise in its recent NHS SOS campaign. Will the Minister meet the editor Martin Tideswell and my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Gareth Snell) to receive details of that incredibly important...
Ruth Smeeth: What assessment he has made of trends in the level of new homes available for social rent since 2010.
Ruth Smeeth: The Secretary of State fails to point out that only 199 houses have been built in the past six months. Given his failure to build new housing, can we instead look at actions to deal with the 7,235 privately owned empty houses in Stoke-on-Trent?
Ruth Smeeth: What is the Secretary of State doing to ensure that this attack on our steel sector will not lead to retaliatory attacks on ceramics?
Ruth Smeeth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to announce the outcome of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project.
Ruth Smeeth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the service specifications included in the proposed contract for the Defence Fire and Rescue Project.