Alex Burghart: I thank the Secretary of State for that response and congratulate him on the work he has done to put pressure on water companies to close down their offshore arrangements. Will he continue to hold them to account?
Alex Burghart: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what plans the Church of England has to commemorate the centenary of the end of the first world war.
Alex Burghart: I thank my right hon. Friend for that response. I grew up with my great grandmother, who lived through the first world war, and I knew some of her friends who were widowed in it and some of her friends who never married because of it. Will she ask the Church of England to remember the home front in its thanksgiving services?
Alex Burghart: I welcome the Minister’s apology and the comments she has made about system learning—that is extremely important. How long does she envisage it will take before everyone affected is repaid the money they are owed?
Alex Burghart: What steps his Department is taking to encourage greater collaboration between the police and fire services.
Alex Burghart: As the Minister will know, Essex is a pioneer in this area, where Roger Hirst, our police and crime commissioner, has brought fire services in. Will the Minister consider allowing the pooling of capital budgets to enable better joined-up working of back offices?
Alex Burghart: Before I come to my main speech, I wish to refer to some comments made by my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Leo Docherty) about Marxism and sausages. During my hon. Friend’s speech, the hon. Member for Bootle (Peter Dowd), of whom I am perpetually fond, shouted from a sedentary position, “How were the sausages in Soviet Russia?” Let me tell him that they were awful—awful....
Alex Burghart: The Housing First initiative has clear potential to prevent homelessness. What is the Department doing to monitor the effectiveness of pilots in Manchester and other cities, and what are its plans for taking the evidence forward?
Alex Burghart: Given my hon. Friend’s extensive experience in business, what does she think the House should do about historical allegations? What lessons can be learned from the private sector?
Alex Burghart: What fiscal steps he is taking to support the high street.
Alex Burghart: Businesses in my constituency are giddy with excitement at this huge reduction in business rates. Will my right hon. Friend confirm what proportion of businesses on the high street are going to benefit from this?
Alex Burghart: It is an honour to follow the hon. Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker), and indeed all hon. Members on both sides of the House, in what has been an extraordinarily powerful and emotional debate. I have not been able to think of anyone other than my great-grandmother this afternoon. She was born in 1895, and she lived with me and my parents until she died when I was nine, in 1987. She was a...
Alex Burghart: What steps the Government are taking to tackle the use of drones over prisons.
Alex Burghart: I thank the Minister for that advice. Drones are undermining the effectiveness of a number of our prisons. Does he agree that on top of what he suggests, we should be working with the manufacturers of drones, to ensure that they are helping to keep criminals under control?
Alex Burghart: If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 14 November.
Alex Burghart: Yesterday saw the best wage growth figures in a decade and the best employment figures in my lifetime. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that that can only be delivered by the free market economics that unite this side of the House, and not by the bankrupt socialism opposite?
Alex Burghart: I am delighted to welcome the new Secretary of State to her place, and I thank the old Secretary of State—[Hon. Members: “Former!”] My apologies—I thank the former Secretary of State for all she did, not least in acquiring the additional money for universal credit. I am delighted to say that we now have record disability employment in this country. Will the Minister confirm that the...
Alex Burghart: My hon. Friend is giving an important speech. Does he agree that in this context it is extremely important that we have embarked on the biggest programme of house building since the 1950s?
Alex Burghart: It is an honour to speak in this debate and to follow the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Thelma Walker). One of the most striking things about the Chancellor’s Budget speech was the moment in history that it reflected. As the Committee will know, in 2010 the Government—the coalition Government, as then was—inherited the largest peacetime deficit in our history, yet the Chancellor was...
Alex Burghart: I thank my hon. Friend for his comments. I believe that the answer to his question is none, but I stand to be corrected. Alongside the Budget, we heard the remarkable news last week that wage growth is at its highest level for a decade. That welcome return to growth benefits people in my constituency and around the country. In addition, we have the best employment figures in my lifetime....