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Volume 656: debated on Tuesday 12 March 2019

The regulation of the Hair, Barber and Beauty industries

I would like to declare my membership of the Hair Council and that I am a salon owner and a state-registered senior barber.

The Hairdressers (Registration) Act 1964 established a voluntary statutory UK register for qualified hairdressers, which is maintained by the Hair Council and was set up in 1964 under the Act. The necessity of amending the Act to make registration mandatory has been addressed several times in the House since that time. However, the need for regulation to become a requirement has never been as crucial as it is now. Regulation for the barber and beauty industries is equally essential and of the upmost importance. I therefore rise to present this petition of residents of the UK.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that based upon recent research from industry, stakeholders and the general public, (upwards of 84% average of all respondents), there is a strong need and desire to amend this Act of Parliament from voluntary to that of mandatory; further that currently the hair, barber and beauty industries are completely unregulated which the public and industry find totally unacceptable and not in line with protecting the public from untrained and unqualified practitioners, including cases of poor health, safety and hygiene standards; further that with the current modern day slavery issues together with the use of precursor chemicals used in the making of incendiary devices, by giving industry the tools to self-regulate, we can make a huge contribution to challenging and stamping out these illegal and dangerous practices.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to amend this Act of Parliament to that of ‘Mandatory’ whilst including Beauty into the body of the ‘Act’, thus allowing industry to self-regulate with the remit to raise the standards of quality and training within the industry, whilst also raising the perception of the industry with the general public and protecting them from any form of malpractice; the petitioners further request that the Hair and Barber Council be consulted when amending this Act.

And the petitioners remain, etc.


Save Romiley Greenbelt

We now come to the important business of the day. I rise to present a petition about the Greater Manchester spatial framework and, in particular, the Romiley green belt. Since the framework’s publication in 2016, I have consistently urged that the overall number of houses needs to be reduced, that where houses are to be built, we should follow a robust brownfield-first strategy, and that local green-belt land, which is highly valued by local people, should be protected.

One such site, which is of particular concern in my constituency, is Hyde Bank Meadows in Romiley. It comprises a well-used community sports facility, a popular green space, a nature reserve, orchards and allotments. The loss of this green space would be damaging to the local environment, the community and the health and wellbeing of local people.

I have worked closely with the Friends of Tangshutt group over recent weeks, and I am especially grateful to Chantal Johnson for her help in collecting the signatures for this petition, which has been signed by 692 local residents.

The petition:

Declares that the revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework should avoid the residential development of 250 units on the greenbelt at the site of Hyde Bank Meadows in Romiley; notes that the proposed site contains well-used community facilities of Tangshutt fields including, playing fields, three football pitches, a children’s play area, and outdoor gym; further notes the proposed site is adjacent to Tangshutt Meadow, popular green space, a nature reserve, community orchards and allotments, which are all hugely valued by local people; further declares concern about insufficient road access and increasing traffic levels, endangering child safety by blocking a section the ‘Safe Route School’, loss of sports and exercise facilities for both individuals and teams, and loss of community event space which unites two areas of existing housing; further declares such a loss of this green space would be damaging to the local environment, the community, and the health and well being of local people; and further notes the petitioners oppose plans for a new residential development on Hyde Park Meadows as set out in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework-Revised Draft (2019).

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government not to support plans of this development.

And the petitioners remain, etc.


Closure of the Wellingborough Driving Test Centre

I rise to present a petition signed by hundreds of my constituents, called “Stop Wexit”, which I entirely support. Wexit stands for “Stop Wellingborough driving test centre closing”. The proposal is to close the driving test centre in Wellingborough, which would mean that my constituents would have to drive to Kettering and Northampton. They tried that once before and it was a disaster. It will be another disaster if they are allowed to get away with it. The petition is led by Chris Howard.

The petition states:

The Humble Petition of the residents of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas,


That the petitioners believe that the closure of the Wellingborough Driving Test Centre should be refused on the grounds of the loss of local access to driving tests, the increase in congestion and emissions in and around Northampton and Kettering, increased lead times for test dates and the increased costs to learner drivers and parents.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to take into account the concerns of the petitioners and refuse to grant the closure of the Wellingborough Driving Test Centre.

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


Chicken farm, Rushden, Northamptonshire

My second petition is signed by thousands of my constituents. The lead petitioner is Mr Roger Barnes, from the organisation Cluck Off. I fully support the petition. You may remember, Madam Deputy Speaker, that we had this petition before. Unfortunately, the developer has come back again. He has not learnt his lesson and he needs to learn it tonight.

The petition states:

The Humble Petition of residents of Rushden, Northamptonshire and the surrounding area,


That the Petitioners believe that the proposed Bedfordia Farms planning application for a high intensity chicken farm be refused on the grounds of increased pollution, foul odour, effect on local house prices, increased traffic volume; and further that similar farms have a poor record on animal welfare.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Communities and Local Government, Northamptonshire County Council and East Northamptonshire Council to take in account the concerns of petitioners and refuse to grant the planning application for a high intensity chicken farm to Bedfordia Farms.

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


On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I rise to ask your opinion and to try to get some advice about what recourse a Member of this House might have if another Member has deliberately or inadvertently misrepresented them on social media. Earlier today, the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Gavin Newlands) posted that I called Scotland “a principality”. That simply is not true. At the time, I was chuntering about Wales and its constitutional status—which was a subject in a Westminster Hall debate a number of weeks ago—but I was certainly not referring to Scotland in the debate. Constitutional matters are ones that we on the Government side of the House regularly disagree with the Scottish National party about, and I think there is enough for us to disagree about on facts and substantive debates. I was not allowed to speak in the previous debate and I was not allowed to intervene, so I ask you, Madam Deputy Speaker, about the recourse that can be had and about how to make sure that the record is clear that I did not say that about Scotland. Actually, we should focus on facts and substance in our debate, where the Conservative party and the SNP have plenty to disagree about.

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving me advance notice of his point of order. I have come to expect some strange remarks from him, but even I was surprised at what I heard in the Chamber earlier on. I did see my colleagues who were also irked and many of them confirmed that they also had heard “Scotland”, but I hear what he says. I do wish that he would be as rigorous in representing his Ochil and South Perthshire constituents’ remain vote as he is in defending his running down of Scotland in this Chamber. [Interruption.]

The hon. Gentlemen concerned will appreciate that this is not a matter for the Chair, except in so far as the veracity and truthfulness of anything that is said and reported in this Chamber is a matter of concern for everyone in the Chamber and for the Chair. If there has been a misunderstanding about what one hon. Member has been reported as saying, which has been repeated—but, I take it, without malice—by another hon. Member, I am pleased that there has been an opportunity through points of order to clear up the misunderstanding. I am quite certain that nobody who is reasonably well educated in any way whatsoever would refer to Scotland as “a principality”.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Just to bring the House back together in a spirit of unity, on behalf of SNP Members, can I wish the hon. Member for Moray (Douglas Ross) all the very best? I know that this is on Twitter and that was the subject of the point of order earlier, but the hon. Gentleman has had to return home because his wife has gone into labour. He was unable to make tonight’s vote, but I am sure that all of us in the House would wish him and his family all the best for the next 24 hours or so.

Once again, it is always very pleasant when we have a point of order that is not a point of order but which is a point that the entire Chamber is very happy to note. We all look forward to good news coming from Moray in the very near future. I am sure that the lady in question will wish it to be sooner rather than later, and we all send our congratulations.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Today, a number of visitors came to see me with different constituency issues, health issues and things that I hoped to help them with. They made me aware that the security today had only one line open and not two. I said, “Is that because the other line was broken?” They said, “No, it is not. It is because they did not have enough security staff there to facilitate both security lines.” The result of all that was that a large number of people were in the queue outside; it was unbelievably long and there was heavy rain, as you, I and everybody in the Chamber knows. Were you aware of that situation, Madam Deputy Speaker? If so, I seek your guidance on how we can ensure that it does not happen tomorrow. The weather hopefully will not be the same tomorrow, but let us hope that it does not happen.

I appreciate the point that the hon. Gentleman is making. It is very serious. I have noted the point and I will make sure that it is duly passed on to those who are concerned with it, but as a matter of principle, it is better not to discuss the intricacies of security matters on the Floor of the House. I thank the hon. Gentleman.