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Tim Farron's Recent Appearances in Parliament

Tim Farron speaking on unaccompanied refugees (Liberal Democrat Newswire)Content supplied and updated by theyworkforyou.com

  • Aug 9, 2022:
  • Jul 27, 2022:
  • Jul 25, 2022:
  • Jul 22, 2022:
  • Jul 19, 2022:
    • Access to NHS Dentistry | Health and Social Care | Commons debates

      We all know that NHS dentistry was in crisis long before the pandemic. In my community, only a third of adults have seen an NHS dentist in the last two years, and fewer than half of children have seen a dentist in the last 12 months. It is obvious why: we have an ageing system-units of dental activity-based on a snapshot taken 15 years ago, which is completely unfit for purpose, as dentists and patients around the country are telling the Government. Will the Secretary of State listen to dentists and patients and reform the system urgently?

  • Jul 15, 2022:
    • Asylum: Rwanda | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of whether her policy of transferring asylum applications to Rwanda will result in the separation of families.

    • Asylum: Rwanda | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Monitoring Committee referred to in paragraph 15 of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement, whether the findings and recommendations of that Monitoring Committee will be published.

    • Asylum: Rwanda | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Monitoring Committee referred to in paragraph 15 of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement, what resources will be provided to that Monitoring Committee to enable it to fulfil its functions.

    • Asylum: Rwanda | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Monitoring Committee referred to in paragraph 15 of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement, when that Monitoring Committee will be established.

    • Drinking Water: South East | Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the likelihood of London and the South East running out of drinking water as a result of over-stressed or polluted water supplies; and whether his Department has a contingency plan in the event of that occurrence.

  • Jul 14, 2022:
    • Schedule 7 - Plan making | Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill | Public Bill Committees

      I, too, am deeply concerned by the noises from some of those seeking to become leader of the Conservative party, and therefore Prime Minister, on issues to do with climate change and net zero. I think that they are unwise, politically. When all is said and done, the public are convinced of the need to take serious and radical action. They recognise it as the biggest earthly threat that we face. We must face it together, or we will indeed fall together.

      This is where local authorities have the opportunity to make a huge difference in the planning process. I am going to pull out two examples to illustrate why it is so important for the planning system to be tied very closely to the need to comply with the terms of the Climate Change Act 2008. The first is, of course, zero-carbon homes. When we are building new buildings, whether they be homes for us to live in or business properties, we should ensure that they are all compliant. We know that planning committees currently want to make new developments zero carbon, to ensure that they are contributing to renewable energy and minimising any wastage of energy whatsoever, and yet in the final analysis they cannot do so, because it is not enforceable. This Committee has the ability to make the law so that they could do that. Why would we not do that? Why would we not give communities the power and agency to actually enforce zero-carbon homes and buildings in our communities?

      As I said earlier, at some point in August-after an eight-month delay-we expect the inspector to announce whether the UK will open its first coalmine for 30 years, in west Cumbria. We obviously should not do that. We will wait and see what the inspector says, and then we will wait and see what the Secretary of State says in response. It should be a no-brainer. If we are acting in line with the terms of the Climate Change Act, we are not going to be sanctioning the digging up of more fossil fuels for any purpose at all.

      Those powers should be held by local authorities so that planning authorities can put in practice what we as a national community and family have agreed are our priorities. That power is not present. This amendment, I hope, provides the possibility that it could be.

    • Schedule 7 - Plan making | Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill | Public Bill Committees

      This is a wise amendment and I hope that the Minister will take it seriously. I mentioned earlier the fact that fewer than 1% of the county's population engaged with a consultation on local government reorganisation in Cumbria. The fact that they were ignored probably explains why people do not engage so much: never have we been more consulted as a society, and never have we been less listened to.

      It is important to flesh out the status of neighbourhood priority statements. When people make representations on the future of their communities, we need to know whether they hold any status whatsoever. For example, a parish might identify a specific need for supported living for younger people with learning disabilities or for older people. There may be a specific need, as is the case in many parishes in my constituency, for on-farm agricultural dwellings for farmers to retire to or for agricultural labourers to live in while working on site. Such special needs identified by district and parish absolutely should be incorporated into the planning process.

      Furthermore, neighbourhood priority statements should be taken into even greater consideration in planning discussions and decisions in those areas where the planning committee is not elected. I mentioned national parks earlier. Not a single member of the national park planning boards in England and Wales is directly elected. They are good people-most of them are very good people-who do their very best, but it does not seem right that people who make decisions are not directly accountable to those affected by them. That should be addressed in other ways, but in the meantime it is important that even greater consideration is given to neighbourhood priority statements in those communities where democracy is not part of the planning process.

    • Schedule 7 - Plan making | Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill | Public Bill Committees

      This is one of many really helpful amendments being put forward today. I hope the Minister will seriously consider it.

      In communities such as mine, there is a housing catastrophe-"crisis" is not an adequate word for it. There is a huge change in the demographic, as well as in the nature and the usage of the housing stock; I am sure that the situation is similar in your constituency, Mrs Murray. The nature of rural and holiday-destination communities has put us in a desperate state, so there is a need for urgent action.

      One of the reasons why I am delighted to be a member of this Bill Committee is that it gives us the opportunity to talk about policies that could lead to urgent change. We do not have the time to be deliberative, and to take forever over all this; the crisis is happening now. The horses are leaving the stables at a canter. We need to shut the stable door at the very least, and then put some more horses in, if hon. Members do not mind me flogging a dead horse of a metaphor.

      We need to think about this very seriously because so much has changed in the last few years. The timeliness of local plans is critical. We would make poor decisions if we used demographics on housing tenure and demand from 10 years ago; actually, we would probably make poor decisions if we made them on the basis of the way things were three years ago.

      The recent census results show that in my community, there has been a 30% rise in the proportion of people who are retired-brilliant! But there is a drop in the number of people in the working-age population. It is therefore unsurprising that we face an absolute care crisis. We cannot find staff to provide support for people in their older age, or at other points in their life when they need care or support. Likewise, there would be 60,000 people working in the hospitality and tourism industry, which is utterly fundamental and the biggest employer in Cumbria, if we could fill the vacancies.

      There has been a clear and very quick change in the nature of our demographic, with whole clearances of the working-age population. Long-term rentals are collapsing, and at least 50% of those properties are moving into the short-term Airbnb sector. We need to ensure that plans for development in our communities are based on live, current data. That is essential, so I hope the Minister will take this amendment seriously.