Kelly Tolhurst: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for calling me to make my maiden speech in this important debate. It is a real pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Falkirk (John Mc Nally)—a small business owner like myself, who I am sure will make a great contribution to this House—and the hon. Member for Midlothian (Owen Thompson). I am proud also to be following my hon. Friend the Member for...
Kelly Tolhurst: Will my right hon. Friend confirm that now we have these recommendations, the people of my constituency, particularly on the Isle of Grain, can be assured that there will no longer be an airport proposal for the Hoo peninsula and that it is finally off the table?
Kelly Tolhurst: What steps the Crown Prosecution Service has taken to improve the conviction rate for rape and domestic violence in the past two years.
Kelly Tolhurst: What factors explain the variance in conviction rates for domestic violence and rape cases? Will the Attorney General join me on a visit to Kent to meet the excellent Crown Prosecution Service staff?
Kelly Tolhurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what estimate she has made of the total cost of smart meters being delivered to (a) 100 per cent of customers and (b) 80 per cent of customers by 2020.
Kelly Tolhurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps she is taking to ensure that the smart meter programme will not exceed the projected costs set out in her Department's impact assessment published in January 2014.
Kelly Tolhurst: After a Care Quality Commission inspection at Medway hospital, a two-day diversion of ambulances has been put in place, starting this morning. Will the Prime Minister assure me that all will be done to turn things around at our hospital so that my constituents can have a fully functioning A&E swiftly and urgently?
Kelly Tolhurst: The subject of immigration has created much thought and emotion in my constituency over a long period, whether it relates to EU or non-EU immigration, illegal immigration or refugees and asylum seekers. Often when the subject is discussed, those categories are not separated. Over recent months, we have seen heart-rending images of people migrating across the Mediterranean and across Europe,...
Kelly Tolhurst: I welcome the Secretary of State’s comments today. Although I am not a grammar school girl, I have some fantastic grammar schools in my constituency that are delivering for young people. Will she join me in welcoming the contribution that grammar schools have made to the improvement of underperforming schools in my constituency and across Medway?
Kelly Tolhurst: I want to explore a little more around employers who are repeat offenders. I have witnessed examples of activity from smaller businesses that have caused concern. Does clause 9 go far enough to prevent such businesses, once caught, from doing it again? Is it enough to stop people who have already caused concern for agencies?
Kelly Tolhurst: I have been made aware that fines sometimes—
Kelly Tolhurst: Undocumented workers. It has not always reached a full conclusion, so there has perhaps been a view that the penalties are not stiff enough. That is why I am interested to know whether this measure is enough finally to stop people taking those decisions and using undocumented workers.
Kelly Tolhurst: Mr Smith, you mentioned earlier businesses or associations that are part of your organisation, and you said that landlords who wilfully engage in this sort of activity will fall under the radar. Do you agree that the tougher penalties in the Bill target those very people?
Kelly Tolhurst: Earlier on you mentioned some of the numbers and the applicants to stay here. To what extent do you believe that the opportunities and ease of obtaining illegal work in this country are a pull for people to continue to come here?
Kelly Tolhurst: I represent a constituency in Kent, where the issue of unaccompanied minors has caused great pressures over the past 12 months. It is already a burden on the local authorities and the local people. I wonder whether you think there are any measures that are not in the Bill that would discourage families from allowing their young people to travel here on their own?
Kelly Tolhurst: Just a quick one—Mr Yeo, you have used the phrase “bad decisions” a number of times. Could you clarify your definition of a bad decision?
Kelly Tolhurst: To follow on from that, do you regard a bad decision as something that has been overturned by an appeal?
Kelly Tolhurst: Okay. So what do you think is required to enable decision making to be improved in such instances?
Kelly Tolhurst: Can I make a comment? Thank you for that. I would say one thing. Every day, people in this country break the law, intentionally or unintentionally, and cause death, and it wrecks their lives—British citizens, who have a legal right to be here. I was not really comfortable with the way you tried to make a death caused by road accident a lower-level activity, because—
Kelly Tolhurst: In my constituency and across my county of Kent this summer, we have seen very high numbers of unaccompanied minors. I understand that it has been an issue not just for Kent but for some of the surrounding local authorities. How do you feel that the Home Office has engaged with you with regard to dealing with that particular problem over the summer, and how do you see things moving forward?