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Julian Knight: I thank the hon. Lady for securing this important debate. She is making a very good speech in many respects, but one of the concerns about DB schemes is that some that have existed for a long time have few members but a large legacy. A scheme may have only 100 employees, for example, but a very large legacy behind it. I wonder whether she recognises that super-consolidation may be an option...
Julian Knight: This announcement is very welcome indeed, particularly in relation to the under-representation of women in the nuclear industry. Has there been any scoping as to the positive impact on emissions of this new investment?
Julian Knight: I have to say, Mr Deputy Speaker, that I do not have any Proust. Instead, I will regale you with west midlands crime figures.
Julian Knight: It is a great pleasure to follow my right hon. Friend the Member for the rather evocative-sounding South Holland and The Deepings (Mr Hayes). I thought that his speech was superb in its evocation and exploration of the rise in crime over such a long timescale. It was very informative indeed. I agree with my right hon. Friend him about the glorification of knife culture in social media, which...
Julian Knight: What my right hon. Friend is saying is very resonant for me, because our police and crime commissioner closed our police station in Solihull. Burglars, in particular, often use fear-inducing weapons such zombie knives and death stars to commit violence. Does she agree that this Bill is very welcome in that respect?
Julian Knight: As a west midlands MP, I was surprised and shocked by the latest figures on gun and knife crime, because we have more gun crime per head of population than London. Will the Home Secretary elucidate how he thinks these new strategies will deal particularly with urban knife and gun crime?
Julian Knight: Last weekend I attended celebrations marking 70 years of production of the great British Land Rover. Will the Prime Minister join me in congratulating the workers of Solihull, commit to securing post-Brexit global trade deals and recognise that new clean diesel engines have a role to play for years to come?
Julian Knight: What steps he is taking to support economic growth while decreasing emissions.
Julian Knight: As we rightly move towards eliminating the internal combustion engine in all new cars from 2040, does the Minister agree that, in the short to medium term, it is important to jobs and growth that we recognise the role of clean diesel engines such as those in the cars that roll off the production in my local car plant?
Julian Knight: My constituents are extremely concerned by the Labour police and crime commissioner’s proposals to close Solihull police station. This will leave my constituency without a single proper police base following the earlier closure of Shirley police station. It will mean 209,000 people in a borough without a police station. Crime is one of the issues that local residents most often raise with...
Julian Knight: I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for her knowledge in this area; in fact, I think she was a TV star in the horticultural sphere for a short time. Is it not true that the changes in the Bill will make it much easier for plant nurseries to grow and be productive?
Julian Knight: I do not think that my hon. Friend is digressing at all. In fact, she has made a germane point in mentioning the 300,000 people who work in the industry. Does she agree that if we can get people to plant more and get them really interested in horticulture in ways such as this, we could get a great deal closer to self-sufficiency, not only in food but in plants?
Julian Knight: rose—
Julian Knight: While the hon. Gentleman is being so generous and giving such fulsome praise, will he also be generous in recognising that the Government and the coalition Government raised the personal allowance to such an extent that the very lowest incomes have risen considerably?
Julian Knight: It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Owen. I congratulate the hon. Member for Glasgow South West (Chris Stephens) on securing this important debate. Let us first get something straight about the British civil service in devolved Administrations and in England and Wales. According to the international civil service effectiveness index, this country is fortunate to have...
Julian Knight: I will give way, although I am conscious of the time.
Julian Knight: My hon. Friend makes a fair point, but it is right and proper that the Government now take into due consideration the independent pay review bodies so that the 1% cap is dispensed with over time. However, I take my hon. Friend’s point in its entirety.
Julian Knight: I am really conscious of the time. I apologise. Not only must the public sector modernise to keep pace with the evolving needs and expectations of modern Britons but it is absolutely essential that the civil service is equipped to take on the new responsibilities that will fall to the Government as we exit the European Union. It is worth remembering that the pay freeze has allowed public...
Julian Knight: My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. Is the situation he describes not exacerbated by pensions differences? The fact is that the pensions of public sector workers are far more valuable than those in the private sector.
Julian Knight: I support the statement and the Secretary of State’s careful, consultative approach. Birmingham airport, which is on the border of my constituency, currently runs well under capacity—by about 30% to 40%. Does he believe that this announcement will improve that situation over time, and if so, how?