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Sir David Amess: Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on the stress and anxiety caused by scam telephone calls and emails? Wicked individuals try to extort money from the most vulnerable people in society—the elderly, the frail and the simply too trusting. Surely this House could do something to prevent that from continuing to happen.
Sir David Amess: I beg to move, That this House has considered services at Southend hospital. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Davies. I very much welcome my hon. Friend the Minister to his new post in the Department of Health and Social Care. I was on the Select Committee on Health for 10 years, which was probably too long, but during that time—I am bragging a bit—I initiated the...
Sir David Amess: Right. Well, there seem to be rumours that, as a result of the plans being referred, there is a real danger that the extra money that we were promised might not materialise or that there could be repercussions for the services at Southend Hospital. I appreciate that the Minister might not be able to comment on that issue at the moment, but in this short debate I hope to set out some of my...
Sir David Amess: As ever, my right hon. Friend is absolutely right; he is intuitive. We need greater clarity on this matter, and our constituents want reassurance and certainty. I have outlined some of the successes of Southend Hospital, as well as the areas in which greater support and investment are needed. The hospital serves just under 340,000 people and, although challenged by the pressures on the...
Sir David Amess: indicated assent.
Sir David Amess: I draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on relations between the Maldives and the United Kingdom? Following the defeat of President Gayoom in 2008, there have been endless arguments about the legitimacy of succeeding Presidents. Now that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been elected...
Sir David Amess: Owing to the Division, this session will now finish at 4.16 pm—colleagues should bear that in mind. I call Rachael Maskell.
Sir David Amess: I call Paul Farrelly.
Sir David Amess: Last week, a debate took place at Durham Union. The motion was, “This House believes that the United Kingdom is less united than ever”. I was part of the team opposing the motion, and we comfortably defeated it. Does my right hon. Friend agree with those young people that the agreement that this House is being asked to vote on actually threatens our Union, was worked out by largely...
Sir David Amess: What assessment he has made of the importance of the contribution of the Commonwealth to UK national security.
Sir David Amess: Does my right hon. Friend agree that Commonwealth troops made a vital contribution to our successes in the first and second world wars? Accordingly, what measures is his Department taking to encourage more Commonwealth citizens to join the British armed forces?
Sir David Amess: Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on changing practices in how we buy and sell goods? There is little doubt that the impact of online shopping has produced a disconnect between shops and customers, so I think we need a strategy and taskforce—but not one led by some dodgy entrepreneur.
Sir David Amess: Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on the use of meanwhile spaces? Under present arrangements, charity shops, artists and entrepreneurs often take these spaces for three months and then face the full business charge, which seems very unfair under the circumstances.
Sir David Amess: What steps he is taking to support businesses and entrepreneurs.
Sir David Amess: Will my right hon. Friend join me in congratulating the BEST enterprise growth centre at Hythe in Southend, which provides free advice for businesses to grow and prosper, and has so far helped over 3,000 businesses in Essex, through start-up centres, to increase their profitability?
Sir David Amess: Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on childhood cancers? My constituent Mrs Lorraine Mitchell tragically lost her young, much-loved son Finn in June 2018. The family are still very raw about it and, although they do not wish to blame anyone for his death, they feel there is a lack of awareness of the symptoms of childhood cancer.
Sir David Amess: What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on support for fishermen after the UK leaves the EU.
Sir David Amess: Sea fishermen and cocklers are greatly looking forward to our leaving the European Union at 11 o’clock on 29 March 2019, but will my hon. Friend reassure them that their expected increase in living standards will not be damaged by any extension to the transition period?
Sir David Amess: If music be the food of love, we could certainly do with a lot of music just now. In that regard, will my right hon. Friend join me in welcoming Sir Michael Parkinson having opened the expanded premises of the United Kingdom’s first jazz centre in Southend on Saturday, inspired by Digby Fairweather and displaying wonderful jazz memorabilia and music—and is that not yet another reason why...
Sir David Amess: Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on the mis-selling of life insurance policies to the over-50s? Too often our constituents find that they have been paying more into the schemes than they will actually receive on their death, and if they try to cancel the policy they lose everything.