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Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

Tax (Alcohol)

This petition, with 1,628 signatures from customers of pubs such as the Clipper, the Maritime, the Fresher, the Varsity and the Swallow, and others including Wyndham square in my constituency, backs a great British tradition: the British pub and specifically the drinking of beer, both of which are under pressure from a variety of sources, including the decision in last year’s Budget that, in order to ensure that prices keep pace with rising incomes, alcohol duty will increase by 2 per cent. above the rate of inflation in future years. Incomes are no longer increasing, however.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Plymouth,

Declares that the tax on beer sold in pubs should not be increased annually.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons asks the Chancellor to remove the beer escalator on beer sold in pubs in his forthcoming Budget.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


Care Services (Essex)

The measure of our society is how we care for our vulnerable people. Wardens for residents in elderly people’s residential homes are not a disposable luxury. They are essential to residents’ well-being and quality of life. I have successfully fought councillors previously to keep our wardens, and I hope to win again this time. Castle Point councillors should not be chopping wardens and hanging the elderly people out to dry. Perhaps if councillors had not massively increased the pay of their officers and spent so much on outside consultants on a variety of projects the council would have the money to keep wardens in residential homes, and I congratulate everyone who signed this excellent petition.

The petition states:

The Petition of Mavis Hunt, and others,

Declares that permanent live in wardens in sheltered housing, for instance at Sweetbriar Lodge, should be retained, and notes the wonderful care and confidence these wardens give to vulnerable and elderly residents, enabling them to live with a degree of independence and dignity; further declares that councillors have full control of this decision and will be held to account for it; believes that a small expenditure on wardens can save much public money; congratulates wardens in Castle Point who are caring and thoughtful towards residents; expresses astonishment that borough councillors are, yet again, threatening to remove wardens to save cash in a very short-sighted manner and believes that councillors should start to listen to residents and the public.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to review their guidance to local councils on the use of permanent wardens and to ask Castle Point borough council to listen to the Member of Parliament and continue to support our local wardens.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.