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Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

Middle East

By leave of the House, I beg to lay a petition relating to the recent conflict in Gaza between the Palestinians and Israelis. It calls for both sides to work towards a lasting and just peace and a suspension of military aid to both sides, and it calls on the EU and USA to adopt similar practices. The petition has been collected by the Brecknock Peace and Justice Group and contains more than 140 names.

The petition states:

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of the Brecknock Peace and Justice Group, and others,

Declares great concern at the continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to do everything in his power to work for a lasting and just peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians; to suspend all military aid, co-operation and arms sales to both sides in the conflict until a lasting peace agreement is concluded; and to press both the European Union and the United States of America to adopt similar policies.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


Planning and Development (Essex)

I wish to present two petitions, the first of which relates to a limited number of homes in a street in my constituency, hence it is signed by only a few neighbours. None the less, it is of importance to, and represents the views of, the people directly affected and so is of significance. I know that the inspector will carefully consider it and all the relevant facts, and make a wise decision that will be fair to all the parties involved.

The petition states:

To the House of Commons

The Petition of Mr and Mrs Hall and others,

Declares that, as the close neighbours of the development at 9B Westwood Road, Canvey Island, who are really the only ones directly affected by the issue, we support the building alterations and are happy for the new roof extension on the property to remain and do not feel that it destroys the street scene in any way and that it would be disproportionate to force the removal of the alterations.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to respect the views of those living in the surrounding houses and to approve the appeal.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


Green Belt Development (Essex)

I shall move on to my second petition. I rise again in my long-standing battle to save our green belt, and this petition is one of the most important that I have ever had the privilege to present to Parliament. We must fight to stop building on Canvey’s floodplains, school fields and green land, and to get the additional access road that is so desperately needed by Canvey people. People are not fools and they are deeply angry when councillors try to tell them that the wider community implicitly agrees with their plans to build on our green belt. That sort of spin and misrepresentation makes people immensely angry about political parties and politicians. I warmly congratulate and thank Graham and Linda Bracci, Debbie Walker, Cheryl Redwin, Bill and Marion Perkins, Jan Eagle, Kerri Thipthorpe and all the excellent people of Canvey island—it is an honour to represent them.

The petition states:

To the House of Commons

The Petition of Ashleigh Sharp and others,

Declares that building on Canvey’s flood plain, school fields and green land is totally unacceptable and that what Canvey really needs is an additional access road from the Northwick area; welcomes the recent referendum which was professionally organised and conducted by Graham Bracci and others, taken over the last few weeks on Canvey Island, in which 6,534 people voted of whom 99.13 per cent. supported the motion that there should be no further development on Canvey Island greenbelt land; also welcomes the Constituency wide ‘Save Castle Point Greenbelt’ campaign which was launched by Bob Spink MP in March 2007 and the subsequent localised save the greenbelt campaigns such as that to stop development on Daws Heath; and notes the overwhelming view of Castle Point residents that their greenbelt should be protected and totally rejects the suggestion by Castle Point Councillors that residents implicitly agree with their Core Strategy plan to build on greenbelt.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage Essex County and Castle Point Borough Councillors to respect the flood plain, rescind plans to sell off part of Castle View School playing field, protect Castle Point greenbelt in its core strategy and make the Canvey additional access road their priority.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.