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Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 20 January 2010

Q8. The 200-year-old dam in my constituency, which is an earthworks dam containing the Chasewater reservoir, has started to leak. A recent engineers report stated that if it collapses, scores of lives will be lost and there will be a lasting effect on the west midlands. The small district of Lichfield does not have the funds to make the urgent repairs. Will the Prime Minister please use his best endeavours to ensure that the financial burden is spread over a much broader region? (311697)

Of course I will be happy to consider the hon. Gentleman’s point, although I see that he is making the case for public expenditure.

On Friday, MPs and councillors of all parties and local military historians will gather to take forward plans to provide a permanent memorial to Trooper Potts, Reading’s only recipient of the Victoria cross, which he won at Gallipoli in 1915 in an act of outstanding courage. Will the Prime Minister, to whom I have written on this subject, offer a message of support for our endeavours to mark for ever the gallantry of this truly local hero?

I agree with my hon. Friend that a permanent memorial would be a great way of expressing not only our debt to the people whom he has mentioned, but our continuing debt to all those who have served our country, including those who have been honoured for doing so with bravery and having demonstrated the greatest of courage. I hope that his proposal can move forward; we will do everything that we can to help it.

We have introduced a points system for immigration, which I believe is starting to work. The hon. Gentleman will see, from announcements coming soon, that the number of people whom we need to come to this country, to meet the demand for the skills, is being substantially reduced as a result of the skills and people being trained here. The points system is working: unskilled workers whom the country does not need and who cannot make a contribution to the economy are not allowed into the country.