Results 181–200 of 5200 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Frank Dobson

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: God knows; it would depend on when, if the hon. Gentleman sees what I mean. The bulk of the reservoir capacity and the pipework was provided when big cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds and the Metropolitan Water Board in London were trying to look after the interests of the people of their areas. They created the reservoirs and laid the pipes. During the arguments...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: That is certainly true. Until 1995, Ministers from all parties accepted the statement by the water industry that the bulk of the water that leaked out of the system leaked out of customers’ pipes. It took a lot of effort from me and somebody who was working for me at the time to finally reveal that that was nothing short of a lie. It was not that the Ministers were lying; they were being...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: In 1995, 826 million gallons of water per day were leaking out of the water companies’ pipes. According to my calculations, that is 3,755 million litres per day. The companies now proudly proclaim that they are dealing with the leaks. They have got the figure down to the apparently minuscule 2,910 million litres per day. Once they had to admit they were getting it wrong, we could see that...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: I cannot really do that as I have only just come back to looking at the water industry from the time when I tried to make life difficult for it, with some success. “Hammer the customers for the profiteers” is the motto of the water industry. We have higher charges, and now water companies want to install compulsory water meters everywhere. That is basically their policy, and a lot of...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: That might be the case, but the statement was not made in my name, put it that way. When I was responsible for water in opposition, I was opposed to metering. I remained opposed to it when Labour was in government and continue to be opposed to it. South West Water is not the only one. Thames Water had sewage and run-off problems and came up with a great £4 billion scheme. Because of how it...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: My understanding is that the party’s policy—no doubt it will be enunciated in due course from the Front Bench—is that the current situation is unsatisfactory, and that we need a dramatic change in the powers and functions of the regulator. No Government Member would think there is anything wrong with that proposal. Where is all that customers’ money going? In the case of Thames Water,...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: It is no good me saying that the previous Government’s record was as good as it ought to have been—I will not pretend that it was. Another thing is that, over the years, charges for water have risen at twice the average of price rises for everything else. There can be no possible justification for that. What sickens customers are the water industry’s byzantine financial arrangements and...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: These industries are pleading poverty all the time, so it would not be all that expensive. The cost could be paid out over a very long period, which is what happened when industries were brought into public ownership in the 1940s and early 1950s. Most people are sick to death of what is going on. They have no faith in Ofwat, officials at the Department or Ministers. I share their lack of...

Water Industry (5 Nov 2013)

Frank Dobson: In view of the hon. Gentleman’s commitment to the issue, I hope that he will confirm that the only time there have been reductions in water charges was under the previous Labour Government.

Business of the House: Clause 2 — Financial reports (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: I am going to be the original parochial MP. For many people in my constituency, this issue is not a question of “not in my back yard”, but one of “not through my front room”. A total of 220 homes will be destroyed and a further 1,000 homes will be blighted for the 10 years while the works go on at Euston. A large number of small businesses will be bankrupted because of what is going...

Business of the House: Clause 2 — Financial reports (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: I represent not just St Pancras, but Euston and King’s Cross. Does the Secretary of State accept that virtually all the people in my constituency who are now opposed to HS2 were strongly in favour—indeed, the first advocates—of the transformation of St Pancras and the improvements at King’s Cross?

Business of the House: Clause 1 — Preparatory expenditure (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: Does my right hon. Friend feel that some people might be a bit suspicious that a contingency sum of £14 billion closely resembles a blank cheque?

Business of the House: Clause 1 — Preparatory expenditure (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: Can my right hon. Friend confirm that Sir David Higgins spent all the contingency sum on the Olympics?

Business of the House: Clause 1 — Preparatory expenditure (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: It may interest the hon. Gentleman to know that about 220 households in my constituency will need to be re-housed at the expense of HS2. The authorities were rather shocked to discover that a one-bedroom flat in a block recently built in the locality is currently going for £482,000. Most of the people who need to be re-housed need a family-sized flat.

Business of the House: Clause 1 — Preparatory expenditure (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: Will my right hon. Friend give way?

Business of the House: Clause 1 — Preparatory expenditure (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: I am sure my right hon. Friend is right that the proposal to have a tunnel from Old Oak Common to Primrose Hill and to run the rest of the connection above ground across Camden Town will not provide an adequate service. It will certainly wreak destruction in Camden Town, which the people behind the project denied until recently. As an indication of their general incompetence, when the cost of...

Business of the House: Clause 1 — Preparatory expenditure (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: Let us assume that the Government’s £50 billion estimate is correct. That investment is expected to bring the greatest benefits to Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester: five cities. Does my hon. Friend think that if the £50 billion were broken up into nuggets of £10 billion, and if each city were offered that amount to promote its local economy, the five of them would...

Business of the House: Annual Energy Statement (31 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: Surely the Secretary of State understands that the public believe that the energy companies are giving Ministers, civil servants and Ofgem the runaround. Would it not be better if the public and pressure groups had access to the figures that clearly mesmerise officialdom and we applied freedom of information to the energy companies?

Point of Order (29 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Has the Secretary of State for Transport indicated that he intends to make a statement to the House on the fourth revised version of the justification for High Speed 2? I heard him say on the television this morning that the £50 billion was perfectly justified and that he was producing a report for Parliament. However, as far as I can make out, there has been...

Point of Order (29 Oct 2013)

Frank Dobson: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker.


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