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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

  • Jun 18, 2021:
  • Jun 17, 2021:
    • Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee | Commons debates

      I thank the Chair of the Select Committee for an excellent report. I congratulate him on a valuable report and on such an extensive consultation. Among the responses garnered have been those that have raised the failure to tackle excessive second home ownership in areas like mine. Is he aware that over the period of the pandemic a very bad situation has got much, much, much worse? The proliferation of excessive second home ownership in areas such as the Lakes and the rest of Cumbria robs those communities of a permanent population and can kill those communities altogether.

      During the pandemic there has been a 32% increase in the number of homes in the holiday let market, and something like 80% of all new purchases in the Lakes have been to the second home market. Does he agree that the planning Bill is a place where the Government could very quickly tackle this problem by making holiday lets and second homes a different category of planning use, so that communities like mine in Cumbria can protect themselves from being cleansed of local people?

    • Topical Questions | Environment, Food and Rural Affairs | Commons debates

      The reason why Cumbria's farmers feel betrayed is that the Australian trade deal gives Australian farmers an unfair advantage over British farmers, because their production costs are lower due to significantly worse animal welfare and environmental standards in Australia compared with those in our country. Given that this sets an appalling precedent for all future deals, will the Secretary of State ensure that farmers' representatives in this House get the final say and a veto before this deal is signed off.

  • Jun 15, 2021:
    • Immigration: EU Nationals | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government plans to take to encourage groups who are likely to miss the EU Settlement Scheme deadline to apply after the deadline has passed.

    • Immigration: EEA Nationals | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether EEA nationals who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme will be permitted right to work and rent while their applications are pending.

    • Levelling-up Agenda - [Mrs Maria Miller in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      Once the announcement was made, they did act swiftly, but I first raised the issue with the then junior planning Minister, who is now the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It took quite a long time to get to the stage where they made the announcement, but I thank the Minister anyway.

    • Levelling-up Agenda - [Mrs Maria Miller in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      That is a free measure the Government could take to have real power. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention.

      The Welsh Government have given local authorities the power to increase council tax on second homes. The right hon. Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Liz Saville Roberts) talked about Gwynedd, which has been able to double the council tax on second-home owners in those areas. What has that done? It has provided a disincentive in some areas for excessive second-home ownership. It has also led to revenue that can be spent on supporting schools, post offices, buses and other local services, which are losing resource because of the lack of a permanent population. I call on the Minister to do something free but powerful.

      Extreme circumstances that come about quickly require a response equally extreme and quick. If the Government are not to get a reputation for taking their eye off rural Britain and leaving rural communities behind-for example, leaving areas such as mine in level three for levelling up-they need to act, not in autumn or winter, but before the summer, to save my communities from the new clearances.

    • Levelling-up Agenda - [Mrs Maria Miller in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      It is a huge pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Edward. I congratulate the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Bob Seely) on leading this important debate.

      Levelling up is a concept that I strongly support. For it to work, we have to identify disadvantage and take action to tackle it. There is a lot that I could ask the Minister to consider today, but he will be delighted to hear that what I am asking for will not cost very much money and could be absolutely transformational in much of rural Britain.

      Over the last 15 months of the covid crisis, a housing crisis in areas such as mine in the lakes and dales of Cumbria has turned from crisis to catastrophe. Members who have been monitoring the housing market will have noticed things similar to what has happened in my communities. We have seen an increase in the number of holiday lets in my constituency of 32%. From talking to dozens of estate agents across the county, I know that the proportion of houses purchased during this period that are going into the second-home market is anything from 40% to 80%. At the beginning of the crisis South Lakeland had an average household income of £26,000 and an average house price of £250,000, which shows a serious problem from the start. That problem has been massively exacerbated during this time.

      What does that mean for our communities? Hospitality and tourism are critical to our economy and I am proud to stand behind them, but people involved in that industry know that vibrant communities are vital to the survival and strength of the lakes, the dales and the rest of Cumbria. The increasing proportion of homes in the second-home or holiday-let market means no permanent population. No permanent population means no kids at the local school, so the school closes. It means the loss of the post office, the pub and bus services. We end up with beautiful places that are empty. We must surely recognise that as utterly unacceptable.

      I have provided some top-line statistics, but on an anecdotal level, people who pay £600 a month for a flat in a lakeland village are being kicked out so that the landlord can charge £1,000 a week for a holiday let. That is happening, and many people are calling it the lakeland clearances. Extreme circumstances require drastic responses if we are to level up here and not leave rural Britain behind.

      I am pleased that the Government are closing the loophole that allows people to pretend that second homes are holiday lets, when they are not, and so avoid paying tax. That is a good thing. The Government, however, must accept some responsibility for the stamp duty holiday fuelling this crisis to a large degree, leading to a huge spike in purchases.

      The really important thing for the Government to do is to change planning law. They need to ensure that holiday lets and second homes are distinct categories of planning use, so that local authorities can say that there are enough homes of that sort in the community and, therefore, protect it.

  • Jun 14, 2021:
    • Immigration: EU Nationals | Department of Health and Social Care | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether EU nationals living in the UK before 31 December 2020, who go on to be granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme, will be (a) liable for chargeable healthcare as set out in NHS Charging Regulations Guidance or (b) entitled to free healthcare.

    • Covid-19 Update | Commons debates

      The Secretary of State will know that the hospitality and tourism industry has probably been hit more than any other part of our economy throughout this period. One of the challenges at the moment is that the ongoing restrictions mean that hospitality and tourism businesses need more staff than normal in order to cater for fewer customers than normal. Is he aware that the biggest single issue raised with me by hospitality and tourism industry bosses in the lakes and the dales is a lack of staff? This lack of staff is largely caused by the Government's new visa rules. Would he agree to get his Immigration Minister friend to sit down with me and, more importantly, hospitality and tourism leaders from Cumbria and other rural areas-and other parts of the country involved in tourism-to discuss an emergency way of getting that vital boost to our hospitality and tourism industry just now?

  • Jun 11, 2021:
  • Jun 9, 2021:
    • Agriculture: Further Education | Department for Education | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the level of funding that will be allocated to agricultural colleges in (a) 2021, (b) 2022, (c) 2023 and (d) 2024.

    • Agriculture: Further Education | Department for Education | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding the Government allocated to agricultural colleges in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

    • Investing in Children and Young People | Commons debates

      I have raised with the Prime Minister the issue of the Government directly commissioning outdoor education centres-of which there are dozens of excellent examples in Cumbria-to make use of their skills and talents to help re-engage young people with a love of learning. It is not about cramming subject-wise. Will the Minister engage with me and Brathay, the charity in my constituency that has written a draft proposal for the Prime Minister, to see whether we can make that a reality in schools right throughout the country, not just in Cumbria?

    • Investing in Children and Young People | Commons debates

      The hon. Lady has rightly pointed out that the Government's own expert adviser recommended 10 times more money than is being given, so I am sure she would agree that this is an outrage. Does she also agree that headteachers and teachers will make the best use they can of what paltry money the Government do give them, so is it not right that the professional judgment of headteachers should be trusted in how they spend that money? Yes, there has to be accountability, but surely they should be given the freedom to make the best choices of how to make the best use of what money they are given.

    • Investing in Children and Young People | Commons debates

      Will the hon. Lady give way?

  • Jun 8, 2021: