Martin Vickers: It has become quite clear over the past 35 minutes that the Minister has been sent out to defend the indefensible, as my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Philip Davies) quite rightly said. I urge her to take note of the exchanges that we have had over the past half hour and give a commitment to come back next week, having reflected on those views, with perhaps a slightly different view.
Martin Vickers: Ministers will know that Cleethorpes is the premier resort of the east coast, and we much appreciate the support that has come through the coastal communities fund, but what policies do Ministers have further to enhance the support for seaside resorts?
Martin Vickers: Notwithstanding what the Minister has just said and his colleagues have repeated many times, there are lingering doubts among the fishing community in my constituency and in neighbouring Grimsby. Can he give an absolute assurance that no further concessions will be made?
Martin Vickers: When does the Secretary of State anticipate being able to make an announcement about the Greater Grimsby town deal?
Martin Vickers: Although the people of northern Lincolnshire want nothing to do with the recreation of County Humberside or being linked into Yorkshire, they are very happy to be part of the northern powerhouse initiative. What specific proposals does the Minister have that would benefit my constituency?
Martin Vickers: On Saturday, I will be in Immingham to attend a ceremony to mark Workers Memorial Day. Three events in north-east Lincolnshire are being organised by my constituent Herbert Styles, who does a tremendous job. Mr Styles was delighted when the day was officially recognised, but he would like it to receive more publicity. Will the Government look at putting more details on websites and the like?...
Martin Vickers: What assessment he has made of the contribution of the seafood sector to the economy.
Martin Vickers: Around 5,000 people in the Grimsby-Cleethorpes area are employed in the seafood sector, and it is clear that it is vital to the local economy. Will the Minister reassure the industry that the Government will work with it to ensure a continuation of supplies and create further job opportunities?
Martin Vickers: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church of England had at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 on freedom of religion or belief; and if she will make a statement.
Martin Vickers: That is encouraging to hear. The Commonwealth and the Church of England have similar values where they overlap. Will my right hon. Friend ensure that the two organisations continue to work in unison to influence Governments in countries where freedom of religion is not respected?
Martin Vickers: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship in this important debate, Mr Hosie. Many people who signed the petition have genuine concerns about the NHS. I make it clear from the outset, just in case my remarks are deliberately misconstrued, that I am opposed to privatising the NHS, like my hon. Friends. My family and I rely on it. I support keeping the service free at the point of need,...
Martin Vickers: I agree with the hon. Gentleman. I am not arguing for privatisation. I am arguing that privatising some services improves patient care, which is surely what we are all interested in.
Martin Vickers: The hon. Lady is obviously very knowledgeable, as we heard earlier. I cannot compete with 33 years’ experience, although I recognise those faults and I can recall the stories of dirty hospitals, which may have had something to do with poor procurement and bad management. However, the reality is that the private sector has a role to play. Are we seriously suggesting that we should...
Martin Vickers: I thank my hon. Friend for that timely and helpful intervention. The King’s Fund report “Is the NHS being privatised?” determined that the gradual increase in the use of private providers has improved the choice and service for patients. That must be for the good of everyone. It is the patients who are important; scaremongering does not help them. A focus on process rather...
Martin Vickers: I thank the hon. Lady for that intervention. My understanding, and she will correct me if I am wrong, is that that 20% of costs could be reimbursed, depending on the individual’s circumstances.
Martin Vickers: The hon. Lady is probably going to tell me that I am wrong.
Martin Vickers: I thank the hon. Lady for her intervention and for her correction, which I am very happy to acknowledge. The debate over healthcare in this country is insular and inward-looking. It is ruined by a counterproductive tendency to pretend that the only imaginable alternative to the NHS is the American system. That is the go-to response for the vast majority of those who oppose reform. In reality,...
Martin Vickers: There is traffic chaos in north-east Lincolnshire due to the number of temporary traffic lights. Some have been installed for essential roadworks, but the council is failing to co-ordinate these operations. May we have a debate on how local authorities deal with these situations? Motorists are frustrated, traders are becoming increasingly angry and we need action.
Martin Vickers: The bioethanol industry and the farming community that supplies it are looking for some certainty about the introduction of E10. Is the Minister able to give a clear steer as to when they can expect that certainty and whether the Government will be giving support?
Martin Vickers: It is a pleasure to take part in this important debate. The industrial strategy is an important document that contains crucial objectives relating to skills and young people. The importance of the skills agenda is particularly demonstrated in my own area, where the offshore renewables sector is playing a major role in the area’s economic expansion. Indeed, the Government have referred...