Mike Amesbury: It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Streeter, and I welcome the Minister to his place. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mrs Lewell-Buck) for securing this important debate, and for all her work over a considerable period. There is consensus on both sides of the Chamber on securing change. As we have heard, funeral poverty affects many thousands of...
Mike Amesbury: With frontline police officers cut by over 22,000 since 2010 and police forces such as mine in Cheshire having their budgets slashed by a massive £56 million—that is a fact—surely the National Audit Office report exposing the crisis in funding for our police service is a wake-up call to the Treasury.
Mike Amesbury: Hundreds of thousands of workers could be denied access to justice for genuine comprehensive claims. The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers estimates that up to 350,000 workers could be denied access because of these measures.
Mike Amesbury: Despite being new at the Dispatch Box, I am under no illusion about the fact that people inside and outside this Chamber may shortly have plans to watch something other than my response to today’s debate. I will seek to respond in a manner that is timely, but that also does justice to the many thousands of people for whom the realities of universal credit are more than just a...
Mike Amesbury: That is exactly why this northern MP, who was born in Manchester and worked at Manchester airport, will be standing up for the north and voting against the motion.
Mike Amesbury: What progress the Government have made on the delivery of the northern powerhouse.
Mike Amesbury: Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council, Warrington Borough Council, the local enterprise partnership and other stakeholders are determined in their quest to secure a devolution deal, yet increasingly frustrated. Will the Minister update the House on the timetable for the deal?
Mike Amesbury: What steps he is taking to support the UK defence industry.
Mike Amesbury: The fleet solid support ship contract said that there would be the potential to bring jobs and work to shipyards across the UK. Does the Minister not agree that those ships should be built in Britain, and will he make this a UK-only competition?
Mike Amesbury: Is trespassing via organised hunts on farmers’ land and people’s private property a rural crime or an urban crime?
Mike Amesbury: Does my hon. Friend agree that the likes of Lidl, which has its senior management at Manor Park in Runcorn, should allow access to the trade union USDAW, because a healthy workforce is a productive workforce?
Mike Amesbury: Surely the way forward in this debate is what works. In the past 14 days alone, Northern Rail has cancelled 1,159 trains—full cancellations. It is complete chaos in my constituency. That demonstrates that the current franchise system is not working. We need public ownership and public control.
Mike Amesbury: rose—
Mike Amesbury: What fiscal steps his Department is taking to increase regional productivity.
Mike Amesbury: Given that average UK productivity is 30% below German levels, does the Minister agree it is now time to rebalance our economy and support further devolution for areas such as Cheshire and Warrington?
Mike Amesbury: What steps he is taking to help ensure the affordability of ticket prices for national sporting events.
Mike Amesbury: I am sure that the Minister will want to join me and my hon. Friend the Member for Halton (Derek Twigg) in congratulating Runcorn Linnets on winning the Hallmark Security League Premier Division title this week. Although my constituents can watch the Linnets for a relatively reasonable price—a very low cost—people attending major events cannot, as prices have rocketed in recent...
Mike Amesbury: Can the Minister guarantee that future publications of such sensitive reports will be done in a timely manner and given proper parliamentary scrutiny?
Mike Amesbury: It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire (Andrew Selous), who is very knowledgeable on these issues. In October last year, we sat in the Chamber and conducted an Opposition day debate on this crucial issue of social care. Today, six months later, we are doing exactly the same thing, not because there has been any major policy change or even any significant ideas...
Mike Amesbury: Will the hon. Lady give way?