Session 99/00

PQs: 340

EDMS signed: 370

EDMS tabled: 22

Petitions: 1 (Rural banks)

Contributions to debates: 12

Bills presented:

Health Care Standards for Elderly Persons Bill 4/4/00

%age of divisions participated in: 69%

Contributions to Standing Committees,

Delegated Legislation

Agriculture Select Committee (97 to 01)

Health Bill [Lords]20/5/99

Health Bill [Lords] 18/5/99

Health Bill [Lords] 13/5/99

Health Bill [Lords] 11/5/99

Health Bill [Lords] 29/4/99




Supplementary business question on the winter fuel allowance. 16.11.2000

Fuel Protests 25/10/00

Election of Speaker:  Debate on a motion that Mr Michael J Martin do take the Chair of this House as Speaker. 23/10/00 

Question after statement on the government annual report 13/07/00

European Council:Question after statement on European Council meeting in Feira on 19-20 June  21/6/00

Health Care Standards 4/4/00:  Health care standards for elderly persons. Motion for leave to introduce a bill. Agreed to on question. Presentation and first reading (Bill 103 1999/2000). To be read a second time on 21 July.

Question after statement on French ban on imports of British beef. 7/12/99

Question after statement on rural development. 07.12.1999



EDM 1147   



 That this House notes that counterfeiting and piracy cost UK industry £8.19 billion in 1999, according to a recent survey by the Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy; further notes that this translates into a £1.36 billion loss of tax revenues for Her Majesty's Treasury; and calls upon the Government to introduce legislation as a matter of urgency to stiffen the penalties for intellectual property theft and make it easier to secure convictions.


EDM 1112   



 That this House congratulates the emergency services, including fire, police and ambulance services, Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council and Shropshire County Council, particularly its emergency planning team and volunteers, for showing dedication and professionalism in working in partnership to cope with the worst floods in Shrewsbury for 50 years; appreciates the Dunkirk spirit of local people across Shropshire; expresses concern for the anxiety and stress caused to those affected and the damage to property; and urges the Government and the Environment Agency to speedily prioritise and find new environmentally sensitive flood defence schemes after consulting with local people.


EDM 972   



 That this House strongly supports the Clinical Applications for Logistics Management (CALM) system developed over 13 years at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital by Clinical Director, Mr Andrew Hay and his team, which is a clinician-led, computer system that effectively manages hospital bed occupancy and has achieved a 60 per cent. reduction in patient admission cancellations; notes that in 1998 the Emergency Services Advisory Team declared that CALM provided the only effective bed management solution in the National Health Service, in 1999 CALM achieved NHS Beacon Status and in February 2000 the National Audit Office report praised CALM, and thanks Lord Wolfson for his sponsorship of the system and Sema Helix project team for their support; recognises a new improved version of CALM will be available from July 2000; notes that 56,000 patients in the NHS suffer from last minute cancellations of planned hospital admissions; believes that CALM provides a cost effective, innovative quality solution to this problem; and urges the Government to pilot CALM across the NHS with a view to full implementation to delivery improved patient services.


EDM 956   



 That this House congratulates Shrewsbury Sixth Form College in winning the Schools' Analyst Competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry's Analytical Division; notes that this is the only national analytical competition for secondary schools and colleges and that Shrewsbury Sixth Form College emerged as winners from over 200 schools and colleges throughout the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland after successfully completing a quality control of the cobalt (II) bromide complex of the vitamin nicotinamide; congratulates the winning team of students, Cheryl Knowland, Ben Leighton, Tim James, and their teachers Mrs Margaret Priestley and Mr Steve Lewis; and applauds the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund of the Society for its continued commitment to education in schools and colleges.


EDM 921   



 That this House welcomes the launch of the 1999 Annual Research Report of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre formed between the Royal Marsden National Health Service Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research; recognises the tremendous developments in cancer research and the achievements in improving treatments and patient care which are increasing survival rates and delivering a better quality of life for cancer patients; hopes the first draft of the Human Genome Sequence and the expertise of dedicated scientists will help the centre fulfil its mission of relieving human suffering by pursuing excellence in the fight against cancer; and thanks all the staff for their commitment and hard work.


EDM 897   



 That this House notes Egypt's Christian minority continues to suffer routine acts of discrimination and prejudice, often enshrined in unjust legal provisions such as the outmoded Hamayouni decree which still requires Christian congregations to submit petitions for the building of churches to the President; further notes the omission of the Coptic era of Egyptian history in the school curriculum; also notes the inadequate representation of Copts at senior levels of government; is appalled that acts of violence against the Coptic community continue to break out sporadically, most notably in El Kosheh at the beginning of January when 21 Coptic Christians were massacred during several days of rioting; is concerned that the General Prosecutor's long-awaited report into the incident was not released until mid-March, provoking widespread speculation that it was being deliberately delayed in order to allow international attention to move elsewhere; notes that all the casualties were Christians; and urges Her Majesty's Government to make representations to the Egyptian authorities on this subject with the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue.


EDM 878   



 That this House expresses deep disappointment that the England football team did not progress past the first round of Euro 2000 after losing to Portugal and Romania, although welcoming the first football victory over Germany in a competitive match in 33 years; pays tribute to Alan Shearer's service; urges a review of the Premiership clubs' preference for buying foreign players over promoting English players; demands that the Home Office takes tough action against holiday hooligans and prevents them from setting foot on the terraces at a football match again; appreciates the genuine support of millions of English fans; and hopes the Football Association and the England manager will develop a new England team with young talent that will bring the next World Cup back home.



EDM 829   



 That this House condemns the shooting of Brigadier Stephen Saunders, Britain's Defence Attache in Greece, by terrorists; urges the Greek authorities to use every means available to track down the criminals; notes that the car he was driving had no security protection; remembers him as a distinguished and decorated Army officer who joined the Army in 1965, served in Berlin, Cyprus and Northern Ireland and was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service; appreciates the warm tributes by family, friends and fellow officers; expresses sincere heartfelt condolences to his wife Heather and two daughters Nicola and Catherine; and supports the Government's determination to assist Greece in finding those responsible.


EDM 804   

 BURMA (No. 3) 06.06.00


 That this House recognises and supports the Committee Representing the People's Parliament in Burma which has been established due to the military junta's refusal to comply with the 1990 election results and allow parliament to convene since that time; notes that the Committee Representing the People's Parliament has already received statements of support from the European Parliament, the Danish Parliament, the Belgium Parliament and the Norwegian Parliament; and believes that international recognition of this kind will serve to strengthen the pro-democracy movement in Burma.


EDM 772   



 That this House is saddened by the news that Sir John Gielgud has passed away aged 96; recognises that he was one of the greatest classical actors of the twentieth century who made his stage debut at the Old Vic in 1921 in Henry V and went on to play Trofinov in The Cherry Orchard, Richard II and Hamlet, and helped modernise Shakespearean productions to appeal to a wider public; notes that he starred in many cinematic roles including Disraeli in The Prime Minister in 1940, Cassius in Julius Caesar in 1953, was nominated for an Oscar in Becket in 1964 as Henry II, Lord Raglan in The Charge of the Light Brigade in 1968 and in Providence in 1977; further notes he also played many famous cameo roles in films such as Murder on the Orient Express in 1974 and Chariots of Fire in 1981 and he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in Arthur; further notes that he starred in many television roles and was a respected author; also notes that in 1994 he was honoured by the Globe Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue which was renamed the Gielgud Theatre, he was Knighted in 1953, appointed Companion of Honour in 1977 and received the Order of Merit in 1996; and notes that he will be sorely missed, especially his distinctive voice, once described by Alec Guinness as a silver trumpet muffled in silk.


EDM 735   



 That this House supports The Independent newspaper's campaign to establish convincing scientific evidence for the alarming decline in the number of house sparrows in Britain, particularly in urban and city centres; notes that the RSPB estimates that there has been a fall on average in the last 30 years of 65 per cent.; pays tribute to this hardy bird that has been known to survive 14,000 feet up in the Himalayas and nearly 2,000 feet down in a Yorkshire coal mine; and urges the Government to support research into why the decline has happened and how it can be reversed.


EDM 692   



 That this House warmly congratulates Shrewsbury Town Football Club for beating the drop into the Nationwide Conference against all the odds; genuinely commiserates with Chester City Football Club who in spite of a spirited fightback in the last few weeks were relegated; praises the Blues' Chairman, Mr Roland Wycherley, the Board, the management team, the backroom staff at the Gay Meadow, the main sponsors RMW Electrical Contractors, the players and especially the fans for their pride, passion and determination to continue their fifty year history in the football league; recognises the terrific support of the local media including the Shrewsbury Chronicle, BBC Radio Shropshire, Beacon Radio and especially the Shropshire Star for their Golden Shot award and enthusiasm to motivate supporters; and believes that the football club is very important to Shrewsbury economically, socially and culturally and that a fresh start can now be made to secure a new stadium, new investment and new young talent; and looks forward to the fans' loyalty being rewarded next season with the club's promotion and a long cup run.


EDM 665   



 That this House notes the importance of tackling the United Kingdom's digital divide and calls on industry to help ensure that the new technology is brought within reach of the less advantaged members of society.


EDM 606   



 That this House welcomes the Home Office's clarification that applications for city status from a number of English towns, including Shrewsbury, are still being actively considered and that no final decisions have yet been made; believes that Shrewsbury, as the county town of Shropshire, has a distinguished history, including nearby Wroxeter which was the fourth largest Roman city in Britain, the Wenlock Abbey Charter of 901 AD, which referred to the city of Shrewsbury; remembers the establishment of Shrewsbury Abbey in 1083 and Shrewsbury Castle in 1086; notes that the Edward I Parliament met in Shrewsbury in 1283 and was the first to include the Commons, and that the Great Parliament met in Shrewsbury Abbey in 1398; appreciates that Shrewsbury's stature grew through the wool trade in the medieval era which created the wonderful stone Old Market Hall and many timber-framed Tudor houses; welcomes the proposals to renovate the world's first multi-storey, iron-framed building at the Flax Mill in 1796; remembers the associations between the town and Charles Darwin, Clive of India, Disraeli, Mary Webb, Lord Hill, Brother Cadfael and Wilfred Owen; recognises that Shrewsbury is developing a strong, vibrant economy with low unemployment, rising skills and standards in quality schools and colleges, first class transport links, investment in technology, a new Shrewsbury Learning Centre and Shrewsbury Business Park, and is surrounded by stunning Shropshire countryside, ensuring that the Town of Flowers with its warm, friendly people has an excellent future; and believes Shrewsbury presents an outstanding case for city status.


EDM 598   



 That this House welcomes The Sun newspaper's donor card campaign, which highlights for fact that 4,000 patients are in need of transplants each year; notes that, whilst 18 million donor cards are in circulation, only 12 million people carry them; urges The Sun's 10 million readers to carry donor cards and register their support with the NHS Organ Donor Register; and supports the Government in its aim of increasing the number of people carrying donor cards and reducing the transplant waiting lists.


EDM 562   



 That this House notes with alarm the new study in California on the effects of smoking by pregnant women; expresses concern that children, born to mothers who smoke, suffered decreased lung function which does lasting damage; notes that the Royal College of Physicians has reported that 17,000 under-fives are hospitalised every year because of respiratory illnesses due to parental smoking; further notes that 23 per cent. of women smoke all through pregnancy and a third smoke at some point in pregnancy; is saddened that 93 per cent. of men smokers do not give up smoking when their partners become pregnant; recognises that smoking is addictive and it is better to actively encourage smokers to give up rather than blame them; and congratulates the Government on its new anti-smoking campaign, but urges it to give extra support to pregnant women through smoking cessation services so that the Government can meet its target of reducing smoking during pregnancy from 23 per cent. to 15 per cent. by 2010.


EDM 543   



 That this House recognises that the EU is India's biggest trade partner; notes that political dialogue has lagged behind trade talks; welcomes the opportunity for political talks to reach beyond economic concerns to address human rights issues at the first ever EU-India summit in Lisbon on 28th June; and calls upon the Government to raise the concerns about increasing religious persecution in India through the Common Foreign and Security Policy Forum, in order that these issues are raised at the summit.


EDM 495   



 That this House welcomes the Marine Conservation Society's annual report, Beachwatch 99; congratulates the 1,500 volunteers who took part in beach surveys that covered 171 beaches, covering 92.8 km of coastline in the United Kingdom and Channel Islands; notes that 1,913 pieces of litter were found per kilometre, weighing 11.6 tonnes, including in total 11,000 crisp and sweet packets, 9,000 cigarette ends and an assortment of other objects; recognises that the total litter found was almost double the level found in 1993 although the level over the previous year was slightly down; is greatly alarmed that tens of thousands of birds, fish and other marine life are killed by litter every year; urges the Government to encourage people, especially tourists, to take rubbish home and properly dispose of it; and calls upon the Government to give more support to local authorities to keep beaches clean and enforce anti-litter laws.


EDM 350   



 That this House condemns the proposals by Lloyds TSB Bank to close its rural branch in Pontesbury near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, which has approximately 400 customers served by two members of staff; notes that Lloyds TSB proposes to close another six branches in the West Midlands this year; deplores this continuing systematic closure of rural branches by Lloyds TSB and other major banks; recognises that rural branches provide not just important banking services but also a focal point for village life, enabling particularly the elderly, disabled and young easier access to services which would otherwise require them to travel large distances to urban banks; calls upon the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to write to Sir Brian Pitman, Chairman of Lloyds TSB, to urge him to end their rural branch closure programme in Pontesbury, across Shropshire and across the country; and calls upon the Minister for the Cabinet Office to investigate the level of banking services in rural areas and publish the findings as a matter of urgency.


EDM 173   



 That this House welcomes the Government's announcement on the Rural Development Regulation which increases rural development and environmental investment to £1.6 million over the next seven years and which is a 60 per cent. increase; believes that this demonstrates the Government's commitment to agriculture, rural communities and the rural economy; particularly welcomes the 229 per cent. increase in funding for the organic conversion scheme amounting to £140 million and an extra £500 million for the countryside stewardship scheme; recognises the full match funding agreed by the Government for the modulated element; which is new money; congratulates the Minister of Agriculture and his team for securing this deal with EU partners; notes the last Tory Government's failure to achieve any comparatively significant funding for agr-environment schemes; and urges farmers, rural communities and the Government to maximise the potential of this new investment.


EDM 174   



 That this House unreservedly condemns the decision by the French Cabinet to continue the ban on British beef which is the safest beef in the world; notes that it is a purely political decision and follows the French scientists' decision not to support the continuation of the ban following the British Government's clarifications and assurances on the safety and traceability of British beef; congratulates the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture on their determined efforts to end the ban which was imposed in 1996 under the last Tory administration following the BSE crisis; and calls on the Government urgently to press the European Commission to deliver an ultimatum to the French Government to lift the ban or face expeditious court action.


EDM 116   



 That this House welcomes the agreement of the creation of a whale sanctuary in the Mediterranean, which is 84,000 square kilometres off the coasts of Italy, France and Monaco, which will protect sperm, fin and pilot whales, risso's dolphins and a host of animal and plant species; congratulates the Governments involved and praises the wildlife groups and scientists, in particular the World Wildlife Fund for Nature which have lobbied for the creation of a whale sanctuary for over 10 years; and notes that the adjacent land areas must reduce sewage and chemical pollutants and that steps should be taken to limit shipping including cruise liners and speed boats.


Fertility Treatment

Public petition from residents of Shropshire and Mid Wales for fair and equitable access to infertility treatments. (Circulated with the Vote for 3 May 2000).

9.23 pm

Mr. Paul Marsden (Shrewsbury and Atcham): I am pleased to present a petition signed by 1,176 local people on the sensitive and sometimes heartbreaking issue of gaining equal access to fertility treatment.

The petition states:

To the House of Commons, this petition of Shropshire and mid-Wales residents declares

That with one in six couples seeking help for infertility at some time, there is an overwhelming need for better funding for this treatment on the NHS, the current provision of which is patchwork across Britain and very minimal in Shropshire and mid-Wales.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State to ensure that adequate resources are available for infertility treatment and that access to this treatment should be on a fair and equitable basis across the country.

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

To lie upon the Table.

19 Apr 2000 : Column 1073



Rural Banks

10.1 pm

Mr. Paul Marsden (Shrewsbury and Atcham): On behalf of 1,850 people living in the rural areas of Shrewsbury and Atcham and Shropshire, I wish to present a petition which I wholeheartedly support.

The petition states:

To the House of Commons

The Petition of Shropshire Residents

Declares that

The threat to close the rural Lloyds TSB bank in Pontesbury should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. It would affect 400 customers, two staff and is another indication of the decline in the provision of rural services by a major bank.

The Petitioners Therefore Request that the House of Commons

Urge the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to review the practice of major banks closing rural branches.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.

14 Mar 2000 : Column 274



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