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Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

Carer Poverty

I rise to present a petition that calls for a better deal for carers. We can all agree about the wonderful work that they do, and we know that society would not be sustained as it is without them. I warmly thank Darren Osborne and the 600 or so who have signed his electronic petition, which is fronted by the paper petition that I have with me. Campaigners will be taking the matter to the Prime Minister tomorrow at No. 10. Meanwhile, I am honoured to support the good work of all who have signed the petition.

The petition states:

The Petition of Mr Darren Osborne, Carers Poverty Alliance, Carers Poverty Protest and others,

Declares that carers allowance should be paid at a level that gives carers the dignity, quality of life and recognition this hard working group deserves within the benefits system; that all carers who provide 35 hours per week unpaid care for a relative, partner or friend of any age with a long term illness or disability, or who is elderly and frail, be paid an increased allowance regardless of means or receipt of any other benefits, including the state pension; further notes that carers should not be forced to live on a limited income, nor should they have to self fund their caring role, by living off their limited savings; that for these and other valid reasons, carers who provide over 35 hours of care per week should receive an increased carers allowance exempt from assessment for all other benefits and believes that this is in the public interest.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to pay increased carers allowance exempt from all other benefit assessments to all carers who provide over 35 hours of care per week.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


Anti-social Behaviour

I have a second petition, about antisocial behaviour, which we all know destroys the quality of life of decent, law-abiding residents. We should not tolerate it—we should seek to stop it, not excuse, explain or understand it. There is too much political correctness surrounding antisocial behaviour, and I thank Mr. and Mrs. Martin and those who have signed their petition for their efforts in trying to remove that blight from their community.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of Mr and Mrs Martin, the residents of St George’s Walk and others,

Declares that the constant playing of football on the green adjacent to St George’s Walk is causing a nuisance to local residents by damaging the green, surrounding properties and area; that the participating youths behave anti-socially which causes distress and creates unnecessary work for residents who must clean up the mess left at the end of the day; further declares that the Council has a statutory responsibility, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to take reasonable steps to investigate any complaint of a nuisance in their area; that for these and other valid reasons, Castle Point Borough Council should prohibit the playing of football on this area of the green and plants trees around the green to increase the safety of properties and the visual amenities for the community.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press Castle Point Borough Council and local Councillors to immediately investigate this nuisance, ban football on the green and begin planting trees for the community wellbeing.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]


Traffic Calming (Irchester)

I should like to present a petition that has been organised by Mr. Brian Cheney of the Wollaston road residents and road users group, who went out in the most inclement weather to get 543 signatures.

The petition states:

The Humble Petition of Residents of Irchester, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas.

Sheweth that there is a problem with speeding traffic through Irchester, welcomes the efforts of local councillors, council officers and the police in devising road calming measures; that the Petitioners support the mini roundabout, the vehicle-activated signs, the police enforcement scheme and other measures; but that the Petitioners have reservations about the chicanes on the Wollaston Road; and notes that a survey of 543 people showed that the majority wanted revised traffic-calming in Wollaston Road.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to request that Northamptonshire County Council in conjunction with the Borough Council of Wellingborough and Irchester Parish Council, review the chicanes in Wollaston Road to see whether alternative or revised traffic-calming measures are necessary.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.