Kevan Jones: One of the major problems facing manufacturing in the north-east is the high value of the pound against the euro. This is a particular problem in the north-east because 78 per cent. of the region's exports are to the eurozone. Does my right hon. Friend agree that one advantage of joining the eurozone would be to give a boost to manufacturing in regions such as the north-east?
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is given to NHS trusts on prioritising young people for treatment when they have been diagnosed with cardiac abnormalities. [R]
Kevan Jones: Would my hon. Friend agree not only that the process causes alienation, but that it will cost regions such as the north-east money? I refer to a question that I asked my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport about predictions that an initial 4 per cent. of lottery funding, possibly rising to 11 per cent., will be diverted to the Olympic bid. That is bound to...
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what form of annual appraisal is undertaken of the performance of the regional commissioners of the NHS Appointments Commission; (2) when the term of office of the Northern and Yorkshire commissioner of the NHS Appointments Commission is due for renewal; and what the process is for consulting on reappointment.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the effects of a successful London Olympic bid on the levels of sports lottery funding available for projects in the North East.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the need for an Olympic size swimming pool for the North East of England; and if she will make a statement.
Kevan Jones: Does my right hon. Friend agree that excellent regional universities—for example, the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and Sunderland—are anxious that they will be at a disadvantage if an élite group of universities, mainly in the south-east of England, are allowed to raise their fees to figures upwards of £10,000 a year, as today's newspapers reported the Minister...
Kevan Jones: Does my hon. Friend agree that there are tremendous possibilities for regions such as the north-east, which relies on exports, and whose 76 per cent. of exports are to the European Community? Expansion to new markets in eastern Europe will give a big boost to such regional economies.
Kevan Jones: Will the hon. Gentleman draw to the Electoral Commission's attention the experiment in Chester-le-Street and Derwentside in the recent local elections? Turnout increased by 20 per cent. through a postal ballot. An experiment in electronic counting meant that the count was covered in less than half an hour. Will the hon. Gentleman ensure that the Electoral Commission evaluates the experiments?
Kevan Jones: May I give an example? In some seaside towns—there is certainly one example in the north-east—on bank holidays, there are congregations of large numbers of people in areas with a great concentration of bars. The sales of alcohol and the large numbers of people create a lot of disorder locally. The threat of not being able to control those crowds or stop the sale of alcohol in...
Kevan Jones: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that boats are different from GNER trains, because boats are on the water and people can fall overboard, while trains have sealed doors and are difficult to fall off?
Kevan Jones: Does my right hon. Friend agree that, under the strategic defence review, record numbers of orders have been placed with United Kingdom manufacturers? That has given a tremendous boost to economies such as that of the north-east of England. Does he further agree that the strong base that those orders have created gives UK manufacturing a strong and determined base from which to pursue export...
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the security vetting procedures are for non-UK and overseas territories citizens working at the Mount Pleasant military base in the Falkland Islands; and what the policy is on employing non-UK and overseas territories citizens on MoD contracts in the Falklands Islands.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will reply to question number 93595, Session 2002–03, tabled for answer on 27 January.
Kevan Jones: Especially with morris dancing.
Kevan Jones: Is it not also true that in the case of the Isle of Wight there would be a stretch of water between the two authorities? Unless the hon. Gentleman's constituents have come up with the novel idea of walking on water, would that not also be a reason not to class them as one premises?
Kevan Jones: Many hon. Members know that I have reservations about the Bill. However, the hon. Gentleman seems to argue for a system in which hospitals are entirely free from Government control. Under that system, would hospitals be allowed to charge for health care?
Kevan Jones: May I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to early-day motion 1100? [That this House notes the statement by the honourable Member for Kingston and Surbiton on behalf of the Liberal Democrats that 'War is not an issue for the local elections. Our advice to candidates has been not to campaign on it because, with British citizens fighting, it's in poor taste'; further notes that in Manchester,...
Kevan Jones: Does my right hon. Friend agree that for business in regions such as the north-east, which rely on EU countries for 78 per cent. of their exports, the nightmarish policies advocated by the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (Sir Teddy Taylor) would be disastrous?
Kevan Jones: Will my right hon. Friend clarify the reference that he just made to Tynemouth and Northumberland? He well knows that these issues are closely followed in the local press. Will he confirm that he was not in fact proposing that those two areas should be joined, but that it is an option that could be put forward?