That this House welcomes The Bridge Report launched by the Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation (RMNEF) and wishes to highlight the issues mentioned within; acknowledges the challenges facing seafaring families; notes that there is a disconnect between organisations set up to support families of current and former serving member of the Merchant Navy and their beneficiaries; is mindful that the RMNEF’s focus is education and on providing educational support for children of Merchant Navy seafarers, professional sea-going fisherman and crew members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions vessels; recalls that 95 per cent of the UK’s international trade by volume goes by sea and therefore recognises the need to raise awareness of the crucial role played by this fast-becoming forgotten sector; is aware that, despite being a rewarding profession, seafaring can be hazardous, involving a great deal of time away from home in sometimes unsafe environments affecting those at sea and their families and loved ones when health implications occur; further notes that the nature of the profession also has a financial and psychological impact on those concerned; is conscious that there are many organisations offering support, including the RMNEF, the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund, Seafarers UK, the Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution, Sailors Children’s Society, Nautilus, the Merchant Navy Association, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, the Watch Ashore, the Liverpool Seafarers Centre and the Mission to Seafarers; and calls for an increased awareness of those charities which exist to support seafaring families.
That this House recognises that junior doctors are dedicated professionals who are the backbone of the NHS, providing the best quality care for their patients; believes it is essential to ensure a contract that is safe for patients, junior doctors and the NHS; supports the view of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee that the best outcome for junior doctors is a contract agreed through genuine and meaningful negotiations and therefore calls on the Secretary of State for Health to drop all preconditions; further believes it is essential that proper hours safeguards are introduced to protect patients and their doctors, together with proper recognition of unsocial hours as a premium time, and an agreement that work on Saturdays and late evenings cannot be considered the same as daytime on a weekday; believes there should be no disadvantage for those working unsocial hours compared to the current system, nor for those working less than full time and taking parental leave; is concerned that the NHS Trust’s responsibility to monitor the number of hours worked has been withdrawn and urges its reintroduction; further recognises that junior doctors already work seven days a week for emergency work, and that the barriers to extend that to non-urgent elective work are the lack of complementary services, for example social care packages and pharmacists, not doctors’ working patterns; and urges the Secretary of State to accurately reflect this reality in his statements, to work to restore morale within the NHS, and to bring an evidence-based approach to renewed negotiations.
Local MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, has pledged his support for those threatened with eviction by East Thames housing association. Residents met with Mr Fitzpatrick at his Poplar advice surgery, and told him of their plight.
East Thames residents received letters stating that they must either buy their homes or vacate them. Those currently living in an intermediate market rented property received the news this month (October) that the housing association had taken the ‘difficult decision’ in light of ‘the current economic climate’.
A spokeswoman for East Thames told Poplar and Limehouse MP, Jim Fitzpatrick: ‘As you are aware, we have had to review our housing offer in line with government changes, particularly the year on year rent cut, which will result in a £14m reduction to our annual income’.
Mr Fitzpatrick said, ‘residents have found themselves in the most worrying of positions. If they can’t buy their property, they’re out. It’s as simple as that. Having spoken with them in person, I know they are anxious and uncertain about that most fundamental of human needs – the roof over their heads. I’ll do everything I can to support their efforts to stay in their homes.’
The MP has arranged to meet urgently with East Thames’ Chief Executive, Yvonne Arrowsmith, to discuss the matter. Mr Fitzpatrick said, ‘this situation is even more distressing for residents because they have been given so little time in which to get to grips with this proposed change to their circumstances. A deadline of 23 October for expressing interest in purchasing their homes was set by East Thames, and some have done so simply to ensure they are not immediately regarded as having opted for eviction instead.’ He concluded, ‘ultimately, housing associations such as East Thames are currently being put in the most invidious of positions by government policies. However, I am calling on East Thames to review and to find a way to reverse this decision.’
This press release was shared with local news outlets yesterday.
Q Asked by Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) Asked on: 13 October 2015 Department for Education Children’s Play
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will implement the recommendations of the All-Party Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood on encouraging play in childhood development and learning in school. A Answered by: Edward Timpson Answered on: 21 October 2015
We want all children to lead healthy active lifestyles. Physical activity and play are important throughout childhood and can contribute enormously to the healthy development of children. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework emphasises this and makes clear that in their early years children learn through play. When inspecting childcare providers, including schools, Ofsted look at how staff are enabling children to play in ways that help them develop and learn. Ofsted’s recent report on Teaching and Play is available to view at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-and-play-in-the-early-years-a-balancing-act
The EYFS framework can be found here at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2
Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab): May I begin by making two declarations of interests? First, my wife is a national trustee of the Sea Cadets, as was the Minister. Secondly, I am honorary president of air cadet unit 31 at Mile End.
As the Minister knows, his presence at Trafalgar Square yesterday was very welcome and very well received. Can he assure us that the Ministry of Defence will support cadet units that are not necessarily attached to schools, but are general units consisting of local people?
Mr Brazier: I thank my dear friend opposite—I am not allowed to call him my hon. Friend—for his kind words. I was very pleased to meet his air cadets on the Terrace of the House of Commons with him last year. The answer to his question is very firmly yes. We support cadets both in communities and in schools, and the new programme will be designed to be complementary, filling in gaps rather than competing with existing community arrangements.
Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab): The Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Mayor of London have approved a planning application for a cruise terminal at Enderby Wharf on the Thames, despite the absence of the provision of a shore to ship energy supply, which would prevent ships from having to use their diesel engines for power while they are berthed there. Has the Leader of the House had any indication from the Department for Communities and Local Government that it will be making a statement calling in this application for a proper examination of the impact on air quality in London?
Chris Grayling: I am sure the hon. Gentleman’s concerns have been heard. He has made his case eloquently. This is a detailed planning matter that would have to be handled in the usual way by Ministers, but I am sure his comments have been noted.
That this House applauds the efforts of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) humanitarian organisation and recognises the dangerous work these rescue teams of non-violent activists undertake every day to save lives; and calls on the Government to use all diplomatic efforts to ensure the UN authorises and puts in place a no-fly zone over Syria as a measure to help restore peace and dignity for the ordinary people of Syria.
That this House warmly congratulates each of the winners and finalists of the 2015 Inspiring City Awards held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow on 10 September 2015; further congratulates Glasgow Life and Celtic Connections for scooping the Art and Culture award; commends the Celtic FC Foundation for winning the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Award and Seric Systems for their commendation; welcomes recognition of the University of Strathclyde’s work by way of being presented the Education Award as well as the Industry and Business Award; congratulates The Coach House Trust for winning the Environmental Award; notes that the award for Young Business Leader was bestowed upon Angela Morrison of amiProperty and that Bill Munro of Barrhead Travel was recognised for his outstanding contribution as a Business Leader; expresses delight that Glasgow City Football Club won the Sport Award and that Amanda McMillan OBE and Glasgow Airport shared success with the Scottish Refugee Council as part of the People Make Glasgow Award; further notes that the Industry and Young People Innovation Award was won by Smart STEMS and that GTC Training received a commendation; congratulates Legacy Award winner John Gallacher MBE of Cruden Estates; further commends the University of Glasgow NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for winning the Judges’ Award for their contribution to the wellbeing of Glasgow; celebrates the Lifetime Achievement Award which was won by Maurice Taylor of the Chardon Group; and believes that each of these people and organisations has made a significant contribution to Glasgow.