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Petitions

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2018

Home Education: draft guidance and the consultation

I rise to present a petition on behalf of 76 of my constituents on the issue of home education, draft guidance and the attendant consultation.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of Westmorland and Lonsdale,

Declare that the ‘Home Education - Call for Evidence and revised DfE guidance’ has been written following significant consultation with local authorities and no consultation whatsoever with the home education community…

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to withdraw the draft guidance and the consultation, until it has put in place an accessible and workable complaints procedure and further has consulted with home educating parents, as it has with Local Authorities, what the contents should include.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of residents of Westmorland and Lonsdale,

Declare that the “Home Education - Call for Evidence and revised DfE guidance” has been written following significant consultation with local authorities and no consultation whatsoever with the home education community; further that the consultation is consequently for little more than show as an intention to implement the content has already been stated: further that it seeks to encourage local authorities to breach the ECHR Article 8 and the GDPR; and further that the report provides no accessible means for a parent to address ultra vires behaviour by their local authority, where many of those authorities already act routinely in an ultra vires manner.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to withdraw the draft guidance and the consultation, until it has put in place an accessible and workable complaints procedure and further has consulted with home educating parents, as it has with Local Authorities, what the contents should include.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P002210]

School funding formula in Calderdale

I rise to present a rather hefty petition organised by the campaign group Calderdale Against School Cuts. It is signed by 1,653 teachers, parents and concerned residents from right across the area who are calling on the Government to urgently fund schools in line with increasing costs and to invest in our schools and young people. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to fund all schools fully and properly as a matter of urgency and necessity; further to invest in both staff and pupils; further to commit to such investment over the life of this Parliament; and to recognise the potential negative impact of insufficient funds on children’s educational outcomes if schools are unable to maintain adequate staffing levels, safe environments and appropriate learning resources.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that Calderdale schools are in urgent need of extra funding to offset the worst effects of the proposed National Funding Formula and increased costs; further which sees more than three quarters of Calderdale schools significantly disadvantaged under such funding arrangements.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to fund all schools fully and properly as a matter of urgency and necessity; and further to invest in both staff and pupils; further to commit to such investment over the life of this Parliament, and further to recognise the potential negative impact of insufficient funds on children’s educational outcomes if schools are unable to maintain adequate staffing levels, safe environments and appropriate learning resources.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P002212]

Funding cuts to North Lincolnshire Citizens Advice Bureau

I rise to present a petition on North Lincolnshire citizens advice bureau and its importance and value to the community. We are often advised to use the citizens advice bureau, so it is a shame that Conservative-controlled North Lincolnshire Council has cuts its core funding. I praise Julian Corlett and other campaigners for amassing this petition of significant size.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of North Lincolnshire,

Declares that the decision of North Lincolnshire Council to cease their core funding for North Lincolnshire Citizens Advice Bureau is putting the long-term future of the Citizens Advice Bureau at risk, and means that service provision will be adversely affected and jobs will be lost at an outstanding organisation which has served the North Lincolnshire community so well for such a long time.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to intervene with North Lincolnshire Council to keep the funding for North Lincolnshire Citizens Advice Bureau.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002216]

Public sector nursery provision

I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of residents of Salford who are concerned about changes to Government funding that bring into financial peril the existence of five outstanding Salford nurseries. I praise the campaigners who worked on the petition.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of Salford,

Declares that public sector nurseries consistently provide above-average quality of provision, provide superior levels of school-ready pupils, Special Educational Need provision and services to areas of high deprivation; further that in comparison to the private sector, public sector nurseries provide more accurate tracking information to schools, more affordable services and a better standard of early education; further that new conditions imposed by the Department for Education have thrown many nurseries and Early Years services across the country into financial peril, both in the public and private sector; further that local authorities are now unable to use the vast majority of the Dedicated Schools Grant for their own Early Years provisions; and further notes that the £55 million fund set aside to support Maintained Nursery Schools is not available for Local Authority nurseries which are not headed up by a head-teacher and which lack trained teaching staff.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to do all in its power to value and to support the continuation of public sector nursery provision, including reversing the changes to the Dedicated Schools Grant and changing the way that the £55 million supplementary funding for Maintained Nursery Schools is used to make available to all Local Authority nurseries.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002218]

Home Education: draft guidance and the consultation

I am pleased to present two further petitions on behalf of the constituents in Worsley and Eccles South on the issue of home education, and in similar terms to the petition presented by the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron) on home education draft guidance and consultation.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of Worsley and Eccles South constituency,

Declare that the “Home Education - Call for Evidence and revised DfE guidance” has been written following significant consultation with local authorities and no consultation whatsoever with the home education community; further that the consultation is consequently for little more than show as an intention to implement the content has already been stated: further that it seeks to encourage local authorities to breach the ECHR Article 8 and the GDPR; and further that the report provides no accessible means for a parent to address ultra vires behaviour by their local authority, where many of those authorities already act routinely in an ultra vires manner.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to withdraw the draft guidance and the consultation, until it has put in place an accessible and workable complaints procedure and further has consulted with home educating parents, as it has with Local Authorities, what the contents should include.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002217]

The petition of residents of Worsley and Eccles South constituency. [P002224]

Serpentine Community Farm, Buxton

I rise to present a petition in support of Serpentine community farm in Buxton. A group of volunteers have spent five years transforming a derelict and polluted site into an intensive but sustainable growing area for fruit, flowers, vegetables and salads. They have involved and supported people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and loneliness.

The 1,243 signatories and I request

that the House of Commons urges the Government to request High Peak Borough Council not to terminate the lease for Serpentine Community Farm in Buxton in order to sell this much valued conservation area for housing development; and further to give the farm a long lease to enable them to develop their valuable work, enriching individual and community life, on a secure footing.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of residents of Buxton and the High Peak,

Declares opposition to High Peak Borough Council ending the tenancy of Serpentine Community arm, Buxton.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to request High Peak Borough Council not to terminate the lease for Serpentine Community Farm in Buxton in order to sell this much valued conservation area for housing development; and further to give the farm a long lease to enable them to develop their valuable work, enriching individual and community life, on a secure footing.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P002219]

Preston Park train services

I rise to lodge a petition on behalf of people impacted by the decimation of rail services at Preston Park station in Brighton. Some 1,098 people have signed the petition in just five days. Services at this extremely busy and vital station have been slashed by around 30% at peak times, and cancellations on top of the devastated timetable have left Preston Park almost unusable. Victoria services are rammed full on arrival, or too late to be of use for work. London Bridge and St Pancras trains have been hit by a 43% cut in the morning and 53% cut in evening peak times. This is leading to dangerous overcrowding and distress. Preston Park commuters are literally at their wits’ end.

The petition states:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reinstate Preston Park train services to the same level as prior to the 20 May 2018 timetable changes as a minimum, include reintroduction of Gatwick Express services to Victoria with all peak northbound trains to originate from Brighton station and re-introduction of peak time southbound trains which start service from London Bridge station, gaps of no more than 15 minutes between services on Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Southern trains, 12 carriages at peak times and proper investment to the station, to ensure safe reliable train travel for the thousands of people using the station daily.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[Declares that the timetable change on 20 May 2018 has left Preston Park train services decimated with a significant reduction in the number of trains stopping at the station and large proportion of those that do now stop coming from further afield and already full to capacity when they arrive for boarding; further that people have been removed from the Gatwick Express service and from the Brighton mainline during peak hours, and the Thameslink services have been slashed, further that the timetable changes have led to long gaps between the trains and dangerous overcrowding with potential serious health and safety issues, making train travel unbearable for passengers, many of whom now have to travel into city; further that the infrequent services have caused severe stress and disruption to people’s lives and work, with many fearing for their jobs; further that Preston Park station is a vital daily commuting station for the city of Brighton and Hove; further that since many regular commuters buy their seasonal and daily tickets from Brighton station, the actual number of people using Preston Park station is likely to be much higher than the official figures indicate particularly as there are no exit barriers to record the numbers; and further that the reduced services to and from the station are having an impact not only on local residents but also on the city and its surrounding areas from an increase in car journeys as a result.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reinstate Preston Park train services to the same level as prior to the 20 May 2018 timetable changes as a minimum, include reintroduction of Gatwick Express services to Victoria with all peak northbound trains to originate from Brighton station and re-introduction of peak time southbound trains which start service from London Bridge station, gaps of no more than 15 minutes between services on Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Southern trains, 12 carriages at peak times and proper investment to the station, to ensure safe reliable train travel for the thousands of people using the station daily.

And the petitioners remain etc.]

[P002223]