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Jeff Smith: That is absolutely right and I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention. I was just coming to that point. The imposition of an elected mayor on Greater Manchester and on other areas is unnecessary. I am not necessarily against an elected Greater Manchester mayor, but it really should be for Greater Manchester to decide. It should be for local communities to develop evidenced proposals on the...
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the factors which explain why academics and researchers emigrate.
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many 16 and 17 year olds presented as homeless to Manchester City Council in the last 12 months for which figures are available.
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to improve supported accommodation for homeless young people in (a) Manchester, Withington constituency, (b) Manchester and (c) nationally.
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of how many students (a) from Manchester, Withington constituency and (b) studying at Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University will be affected by the removal of maintenance loans.
Jeff Smith: The Government have made a number of attacks since the election in May on support for green energy. In light of reports this morning that our current emissions targets may be insufficient to meet the challenge on global warming, may we have a debate in Government time on support for sustainable energy?
Jeff Smith: Rail commuter routes into Manchester are soon to lose trains to London Midland, raising memories of the TransPennine Express rolling stock debacle, which cost taxpayers £20 million and led to some services being downgraded. The Secretary of State had the opportunity to prevent the loss of TransPennine trains, but he chose not to use it. Did he have a similar option in the latest case? Is not...
Jeff Smith: Opposition Members recognise that the Tories have an ideological ambition to shrink the state. Attacks on the public sector have meant cuts in the workforce in almost all the areas where we try to serve our constituents, but I would never have thought that this Government’s ideological cuts would threaten to deliver the end of neighbourhood policing as we know it. That is potentially what...
Jeff Smith: Absolutely. We would all want to see front-line officers protected. They are the boots on the ground and the voices that connect with our communities.
Jeff Smith: If the hon. Gentleman does not mind, I am more interested in Greater Manchester and my own constituency, though I have nothing against Scotland. The Home Office is asking for modelling of cuts at 25% and 40%. I asked the Greater Manchester police and crime commissioner what that would mean for Greater Manchester police. A 25% cut would take police officer numbers below 5,000. A 40% cut would...
Jeff Smith: What progress her Department has made on the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
Jeff Smith: My city of Manchester is very willing to take its fair and equitable share of refugees, but has not had a fair share of local government funding cuts in recent years. In the light of that, will the Home Secretary commit to funding the resettlement scheme fully, and extend local authority funding to support refugees beyond one year to a minimum of three years?
Jeff Smith: If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.
Jeff Smith: May I endorse those comments? The Home Secretary referred earlier to the double lock process in the Investigatory Powers Bill, but the wording of the Bill appears not to deliver that safeguard. Will judges review the process undertaken by the Home Secretary, in the same way as applies in a judicial review, or the evidence itself?
Jeff Smith: What discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on developing proposals for reform of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Jeff Smith: Does the Attorney General agree with his predecessor, the right hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve), who said that the European convention on human rights is “the single most important legal and political instrument for promoting human rights on our planet”?
Jeff Smith: I want to make some brief remarks in support of the motion and, just as importantly, to welcome the opportunity to talk about this issue. I do so as someone who, like many Members of this House, and many millions of people across the country, has had my life affected by mental ill health. I grew up in a home where a very close family member suffered from severe depression and had a number of...
Jeff Smith: That is a very important issue, and I thank the hon. Gentleman for bringing forward his private Member’s Bill. A person recently came to my surgery who had some very difficult personal circumstances that left them unable to work due to mental health issues. They were told by an official at the jobcentre that in order to maintain their benefits they were required to take part in telephone...
Jeff Smith: What steps her Department is taking to meet EU recycling targets.
Jeff Smith: It looks as though we are going to miss our household recycling targets, and there is a question mark over the municipal recycling target as well. Is it not time for a proper waste strategy for this country to enable us to meet our requirements?