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House of Commons Hansard
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24 March 2015
Volume 594

Progress of the Affordable Homes Bill

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I wish to present a petition that was the product of constituents’ astonishment, indeed anger, that the House of Commons could vote by an overwhelming majority on 5 September to support my private Member’s Bill to scrap the Government’s under-occupancy penalty, otherwise known as the bedroom tax, and to improve opportunities for affordable homes—the vote was 306 to 231, at column 603 of Hansard, and these were eligible votes in the House of Commons—but could then effectively have its will defied by one party of the coalition that acted in a high-handed manner in refusing to grant the Bill the necessary money resolution. To any objective observer—and my constituents are paragons of objectivity—that represents a clear abuse of Executive power. The petition is signed by over 1,000 constituents, but I have also received many hundreds of letters, e-mails and messages of support and encouragement, with none opposed to the measure. Such a Bill shall not be stopped in the next Parliament.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that the Petitioners support the Affordable Homes Bill sponsored by Andrew George, further that the Petitioners believe that the bill should be allowed to progress and further that a petition in the St Ives constituency calling for the bill to be allowed to progress was signed by 1072 individuals.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to bring forward a money resolution to allow the Affordable Homes Bill to make progress.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P001466]

Expansion of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Barnoldswick

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This is a petition to the House of Commons of the residents of Barnoldswick—[Interruption.]

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There is no need to hurry the matter unduly. May I say what a pleasure it is to see the hon. Gentleman back in the Chamber and in very good voice? As I say, these matters do not need to be unduly hurried, but we all look forward to his petition.

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Thank you, Mr Speaker.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Barnoldswick,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, West Close Road, Barnoldswick is over-subscribed and wishes to expand to meet the needs of the local area, including a growing Catholic community.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to support the St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School’s proposed extension.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P001471]

Planning permission for McDonald's in Kenton (Newcastle)

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I wish to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in Newcastle. A similar petition online—at www.mcdonaldspetition.co.uk—has collected 860 signatures so far. The petition calls on this House to listen to the democratic will of local people and the council, who have rejected a planning application for a McDonald’s drive-through in Kenton, Newcastle, and urge the Government to reject any appeal that may be considered by a Minister. The restaurant would be opposite Europe’s largest secondary school—which is also my old school—on a busy main road and a minute’s walk from another similar restaurant. The council has rejected the application, but an appeal was lodged on the last available day to the Planning Inspectorate, which takes the decision away from local people.

The petition states:

The Humble Petition of the organisers of the website mcdonaldspetition.co.uk

Sheweth that the Petitioners are campaigning to promote and strengthen local democratic oversight of the planning system; further that local people in Newcastle have rejected planning permission for a McDonald’s fast food restaurant opposite a school in Kenton and further that an appeal has been made to the Planning Inspector.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House will urge the Government to listen to the democratic will of local people in Newcastle and duly reject the appeal to the Planning Inspector for planning permission for a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Kenton.

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

[P001470]

Eligibility of Members to vote on certain issues in the House of Commons

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It is a pleasure to be joined by so many colleagues to present petitions from up and down the country calling for English votes on English laws. Petitions have also been raised by many dozens of other colleagues and constituencies. In just a few weeks, there will be a general election at which we will face a decisive choice on a number of important issues, one of which is whether the people of England should be allowed to determine their own destiny in areas where decisions have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, or whether MPs representing Scottish constituencies should be allowed to continue to decide issues that will have no effect whatsoever on their constituents.

We have set out proposals to ensure basic democratic fairness. The Opposition are, of course, silent. They want to maintain the flexibility to strike a cosy deal, backed by nationalist MPs who want to tear our country apart, so this is an issue they would prefer to avoid. That will not satisfy the thousands of people who have signed this petition and whose voice is heard tonight. I am grateful to you, Mr Speaker, for allowing us time to present the petition. As you have said, I will read it out in full so other colleagues do not need to do so. I wish to present a petition on behalf of those in the Beverley and Holderness constituency who want to ensure English votes for English laws.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Beverley and Holderness,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that when Parliament makes decisions affecting only the people of England or England and Wales then those decisions should be made only by the Members of Parliament elected to represent England or England and Wales.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons creates fairness in the devolution settlement by ensuring decisions having a separate and distinct effect on England or England and Wales, are only decided by the Members of Parliament elected to represent England or England and Wales.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P001451]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) on behalf of my constituents in Daventry. I also have a similar one, which I carried out online, with about 300 signatures. This is the second petition that I have presented on this issue since I became a Member of Parliament. It is a very strong and current theme in the pubs and on the streets of the villages in my constituency, so it gives me great pleasure to present this petition.

The Petition of the residents of Daventry.

[P001439]

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I, too, rise to present a petition in the same terms on behalf of the people of Dewsbury. It is no more and no less than a request that such matters are dealt with fairly from the perspective of those of us who live in England, who want no more than that enjoyed by those who live elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

The Petition of the residents of Dewsbury.

[P001454]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) on behalf of the constituents of Newton Abbot. English laws must be made only by English MPs: this is the heart of democracy.

The Petition of residents of the constituency of Newton Abbot.

[P001457]

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I rise to present a similar petition in the same terms on behalf of the residents of North East Hertfordshire, who feel most strongly about this issue.

The Petition of residents of North East Hertfordshire.

[P001458]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) on behalf of my constituents in Crawley, who believe that they should have equal weight in decisions that affect their lives in England. It is my pleasure to present the petition.

The Petition of residents of Crawley.

[P001459]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms on behalf of the residents of Redditch County. They do not want any more powers transferred away from this House, and want to ensure that English Members of Parliament are able to take decisions that only affect them.

The Petition of residents of Redditch County.

[P001465]

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On behalf of my constituents in Rutland and Melton, I present a petition in the same terms as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). We believe in a balanced and fair constitution that offers English votes for English laws.

The Petition of the residents of Rutland and Melton.

[P001468]

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I rise to present a petition in precisely the same terms as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). It contains 276 signatures from the residents of Hornchurch and Upminster.

The Petition of the residents of Hornchurch and Upminster.

[P001469]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms on behalf of my constituents in Congleton, who consider this to be a matter of fairness and justice for themselves and all the people of England.

The Petition of the residents of Congleton.

[P001472]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms on behalf of the residents of the faithful city of Worcester. It has been signed by more than 400 residents and 100 residents have signed a similar petition online.

The Petition of the residents of Worcester.

[P001473]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). It has been signed by many constituents in Southend West who are incensed about the unfair voting arrangements for English Members of Parliament.

The Petition of the residents of Southend West.

[P001475]

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I would like to associate myself with the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) and to present a petition in the same terms on behalf of my constituents in South East Cornwall.

The Petition of the residents of South East Cornwall.

[P001476]

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I rise to present a petition in the same terms as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) on behalf of my constituents in York Outer. It calls for English votes for English laws to deliver fairness for all.

The Petition of the residents of York Outer.

[P001477]

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I, too, rise to present a petition in the same terms as that laid out by my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). I present it on behalf of my constituents in Gosport, who are so frustrated by the injustice of this situation and request English votes for English laws.

The Petition of the residents of Gosport.

[P001478]

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I rise to present a petition on behalf of the constituents of Cleethorpes in the same terms as those of my hon. Friends. My constituents feel strongly that this constitutional anomaly wants correcting. They believe in English votes for English laws.

The Petition of the residents of Cleethorpes.

[P001479]