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House of Commons Hansard
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16 February 2011
Volume 523

Proposed Sale of Zurbaran Paintings

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I wish to present a petition from residents of Bishop Auckland, County Durham and the north-east, who believe that the Church Commissioners should not sell Auckland castle or the Zurbaran paintings. Bishops of Durham have lived in Bishop Auckland for 900 years. You cannot take the bishop out of Bishop Auckland.

I believe that the Church Commissioners have seen the light in regard to the castle, but have yet to see the light in regard to the Zurbaran paintings. Because the matter is so important, there are more than 3,000 signatures to the petition.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Bishop Auckland, County Durham and the North East,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that the Church Commissioners should not sell Auckland Castle or the Zurbaran Paintings.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Church Commissioners not to proceed with the sale.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000888]

Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance

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I rise to present a petition on behalf of care home residents, children at special boarding schools, and others who are concerned for their welfare. I welcome the presence of my hon. Friends the Members for Aberdeen South (Dame Anne Begg) and for Glasgow East (Margaret Curran), who have also supported the petition.

The petition declares

that the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) helps meet some of the extra costs disabled people can face getting around; further declares that the Government plans to stop paying DLA to people living in residential care, which will mean that many people no longer have the money to meet these extra costs and face being trapped at home.

People will lose £49.85 a week or £18.95 a week, and it will simply mean that they cannot get out.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls on the Government to keep the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for people living in residential care.

I have more than 6,900 signatures on a petition in similar terms. I think that that shows how strongly people feel about the important issue of not being trapped in residential care.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of care home residents and others concerned for their welfare,

Declares that the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) helps meet some of the extra costs disabled people can face getting around; further declares that the Government plans to stop paying DLA to people living in residential care, which will mean that many people no longer have the money to meet these extra costs and face being trapped at home.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls on the Government to keep the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for people living in residential care.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]

[P000887]

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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I know how keen you are that Ministers should make announcements to the House first. This evening, BBC television news reported that the Government were planning to abandon their consultation on the Forestry Commission land disposals. Sir, I wonder whether you have received any indication that a Minister will come to the House to make a statement, even at this late hour, or if not tonight, tomorrow.

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The short answer is no. Many matters are subject to speculation and conjecture, even in our media—a fact of which the hon. Gentleman, on the strength of nearly 14 years’ experience in the House, is well aware.