Results 1–20 of 93 for speaker:Baroness Blower

Queen’s Speech - Debate (4th Day) (9 Jan 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I rise to make this brief maiden speech and in doing so I wish to thank my noble friends Lord Dubs and Lord Knight for their assistance both prior to and at my introduction, which I am bound to say now seems a long time ago. I also wish to place on record my thanks for the warm welcome I received on entering your Lordships’ House and to thank the staff of the House, whom I have...

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Committee (2nd Day) (Continued): Amendment 27 (15 Jan 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, it is a pleasure to support my noble friend Lord Dubs in this matter. For me, this is a moral and ethical matter as well as a political one. Why would a Government resile from a clear provision to facilitate the reunification of refugee children with their families, particularly when it had already been passed into law? A noble Lord opposite, who is not currently in his place, said...

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued): Amendment 38 (16 Jan 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I was going to make exactly the same point as the noble Lord, Lord Wigley: we are indeed leaving the EU—much to my regret—but not leaving Europe. As a former teacher of modern foreign languages, I am very well aware of the great benefit that students derive from speaking the target language in situ in the country, rather than in the classroom or—heaven forfend—a language...

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Report (2nd Day): Amendment 18 (21 Jan 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I will be brief but I am moved to speak on this issue, particularly as the speeches have piled up. First, though, I commend the right reverend Prelate on talking about this as a moral bell-wether. In my earlier speech on this matter, I also said that this is as much a moral and ethical issue as it is a political and legal one. I genuinely believe that. The issue of trust that we are...

Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL] - Committee: Amendment 7 (to Amendment 6) (25 Feb 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I have been unable to speak in this debate previously but am enthusiastic to have the opportunity to say something on the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson. It concerns me that we have talked about sports legacy for a very long time but have never willed the consistent funding and approach to genuinely embed it for generations of young people. I speak as a former...

Educational Settings - Statement (19 Mar 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I am sure that the Minister recognises that it takes quite a while to get an education, health and care plan in place. I have been approached overnight by a number of teachers who are very concerned that there are children who are half way through the process and who will not yet have a plan, but who are vulnerable. Schools would definitely want to welcome them in. Can she confirm...

Housing for the Homeless - Question for Short Debate (14 May 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I live in London and I am therefore most familiar with the situation here. I understand that there are 4,000 rough sleepers in hotels across London. Without government support, these people will certainly end up back on the streets. To avoid this there must be capital investment from the Government, with landlords bringing empty houses back into use, and, of course, access to...

Covid-19: Housing - Statement (18 May 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, while the Government’s intention to restart the housing market is welcome, provided that it is done under safe conditions, are the Government considering the following: backing local authority recovery plans through a combination of accelerated capital investment and low-cost lending in housing to get the sector moving again; protecting and accelerating council housing programmes...

Covid-19: Pre-school Sector - Question (8 Jun 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I refer to my interests in the register. A large amount of private provision has indeed closed during the pandemic. Maintained nursery schools have taken in additional children and become hubs for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. The 2019 supplementary funding of £60 million was welcome, but it leaves maintained nursery schools with real-terms cash equivalent...

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - Second Reading (9 Jun 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I have no specific interests to declare in the context of the debate, but I declare one as a lifelong trade unionist. As such, I always look at proposals from any Government in the light of how they will impact on employees and workers. There is, I am sure, a widespread fear that in the aftermath of the pandemic there is likely to be wide-scale job loss and the prospect of not a...

Covid-19: Recovery Strategies - Motion to Take Note (11 Jun 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, a fairer, cleaner and more sustainable economy in a more equal and socially just society cannot just be an aspiration: it must be seen as critical to our survival. We must build back better. This debate is indeed timely, with many people thinking that a target of 2030 rather than 2050 to be carbon neutral is actually needed. The situation of lockdown will have caused mental and...

Schools: Return of Students - Question (23 Jun 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, the Minister has in part addressed this, but can she say what discussions have been held with education unions to ensure that planning is in place for the academic year 2020-21 to cope with any second spike in the virus? How frequently are meetings taking place between the Government and education unions to discuss the detail of curriculum coverage and assessment for all young...

Schools: Disadvantaged Pupils - Question (24 Jun 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, will the Minister tell us what is being done to address the levels of child and family poverty in this country, which, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, already led to unequal outcomes? Whatever the figures, I think we all accept that no child or family should live in poverty. Can she say what additional resources will be available in the medium to long term to address the significant...

Food: Fruit and Vegetables - Question (6 Jul 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is a good scheme. My limited research suggests that children in year groups not currently eligible for the scheme miss their fruit and vegetables. Will the Government therefore consider extending it to all primary-age classes on reinstatement? Will the Minister undertake to work with teachers and the Royal Horticultural Society to promote...

Education Settings: Autumn Opening - Statement (8 Jul 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, the Government’s latest school census data shows that we have the highest proportion of secondary school pupils taught in classes of more than 31 for 40 years, and many large primary classes too. This extremely high class size helps to explain the difficulties that schools have faced in getting all children and young people back into school. Also, before the pandemic many schools...

Homelessness - Question (13 Jul 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, ultimately the way to prevent an increase in homelessness is rent controls and the abolition of no-fault evictions. However, given that Shelter and Crisis have predicted thousands of possible evictions next month, the Government should enable emergency legal provisions to allow judges to prevent evictions where people have complied with reasonable and affordable repayment...

Knife Crime - Private Notice Question (21 Jul 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for her positive responses to these questions. I add that the academics Stephen Case and Kevin Haines offer a perspective on knife crime with which I think the Government might very well engage. As they and others assert, children and young people need positive, nurturing environments and effective youth services. Communities need positive services and...

Trade Bill - Second Reading (8 Sep 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, it is always interesting to hear maiden speeches and I particularly enjoyed the speech of the right reverend Prelate, focusing on equality. As my noble friend Lord Stevenson indicated, there are significant gaps in this Bill. We will hope and expect to remedy these with amendments as the Bill progresses. I note that the Government’s own amendment on gender equality, which featured...

Hammersmith Bridge - Question (9 Sep 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, I noted the intervention this morning of the Secretary of State for Transport. Can the noble Baroness confirm that she does not believe that bashing heads together is what is needed? Rather, what is needed is the provision of government funding. As other noble Lords have said, it is absolutely clear that only central government has the money available to repair and restore this...

Covid-19 Update - Statement (10 Sep 2020)

Baroness Blower: My Lords, can the Minister say whether the Government will publish the science behind the decision not to test teachers and education staff—I congratulate them on being back at work—routinely and regularly, bearing in mind that there have already been school closures due to outbreaks? Is it a matter of science or of testing capacity?


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