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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

  • Dec 2, 2021:
  • Dec 1, 2021:
    • Storm Arwen | Commons debates

      I, too, send my condolences and pay my respects to those who have lost their life in such awful circumstances, in particular to the family of the man who passed away in Ambleside on Friday. At least 7,000 homes in my constituency have been without power for between three and five nights. I am immensely proud of the way that people in our community have stood up to support one another and their neighbours-they know who they are. I am also grateful to those working on the ground for Electricity North West to try to fix the problem as soon as possible.

      In my communities and elsewhere in Cumbria, thousands are still without power. They feel forgotten, but they have not been, I hope, by many hon. Members here. Places such as Killington, Garsdale, parts of Coniston, Orrest Head, Ayside, High Newton, Low Newton, Witherslack, Hincaster, Lambrigg, Bowston, Hutton Roof, Crook, Outgate, Haverthwaite, Spark Bridge, Backbarrow, the outskirts of Windermere and others are facing a sixth night without power. Some people are being told that their connection will not be fixed until 8 December-this time next week.

      The hardship caused, particularly to the elderly and other vulnerable people is unthinkable, which is why it is massively disappointing that it took until Wednesday for a Minister to come to the House to address the issue. It is not too late for the Government to act, however, so I ask the Secretary of State to task the Army to provide support to the engineers on the ground in Cumbria to speed up fixing the problem; to then use the Army to ensure that the most vulnerable are contacted and moved to emergency accommodation today; and to ensure that every affected community in Cumbria is given generators to provide at least a temporary fix today so that no one has to spend a sixth night in the cold.

  • Nov 30, 2021:
    • Points of Order | Commons debates

      Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. This is the second day running that no Minister has come to this House-I have submitted an urgent question bid as well-to answer on the issue of the very worrying power cuts around the country, right across the United Kingdom. My concern is specifically for more rural communities such as mine in Cumbria and those in in Shropshire and Lancashire. I am very concerned. I spoke to residents just overnight. Places such as Torver, west of Lake Windermere, and the Cartmel peninsula have now been without electricity for four nights and may face a fifth night without power. What is clearly needed is support for Electricity North West engineers who are working really hard around the clock to solve this problem, so we need to bring in the Army, as has been mentioned. We also need to bring in generators so that no community is without energy for a fifth successive night. Can you give me guidance, Mr Speaker, as to how we can bring Ministers to this House to act on this most urgent issue?

  • Nov 29, 2021:
    • Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill [Lords] (Money) | Commons debates

      On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. No Minister came to this House today to address the appalling situation for the 155,000 people across the United Kingdom who remain without electricity, following damage caused by Storm Arwen. Thousands of people in Cumbria-in Coniston, Haverthwaite, Torver, Hawkshead, Grayrigg, Shap, Alston, Troutbeck, Garsdale, parts of Windermere, parts of Kirkby Stephen and parts of the Cartmel peninsula-are now facing their fourth night without electricity.

      We need support tonight to help the hard work and increase the numbers of the engineers who are working around the clock to fix the connections. That may well involve bringing in the Army. We also need support for the amazing community volunteers who are helping vulnerable people and families who are cold, hungry and suffering in other ways. After four nights without power, most people become vulnerable. Could you advise me, Mr Deputy Speaker, how we can make representations to Ministers so that we can see immediate action tonight?

  • Nov 24, 2021:
  • Nov 23, 2021:
  • Nov 22, 2021:
    • Channel Crossings in Small Boats | Commons debates

      A few moments ago, the Home Secretary said that she wanted to welcome people who were genuinely fleeing persecution, but how can she know unless we go through due process with people who apply and claim asylum in this country? I am certain that she will also know that, per capita, the United Kingdom takes fewer asylum seekers each year than 23 members of the European Union. She will also know that we are not seeing a rise in the number of people seeking asylum in this country. We are seeing a greater number of people coming via the most dangerous routes. She will also know that, in order to stop people from taking utterly dangerous routes that we do not want them to take, she will need to provide safe routes because, without doing so, she plays into the hands of the people smugglers and she damages those people she says she wants to support.

    • Topical Questions | Home Department | Commons debates

      I thank the Home Secretary for her reply, and I very much welcome what she has said at length.

      Eighty per cent. of the working-age population living in the Lake district already works in hospitality and tourism. The Home Secretary will see that there is therefore no reservoir of domestic labour available to fill the gap left by her restrictive new visa rules. Will she recognise that we have a special case in the Lake district? We are the biggest visitor destination in the country outside of London, with one of the smallest populations. Will she meet me, and tourism industry chiefs in the lakes and the dales, so that we can come up with a youth mobility visa with European countries to solve the problem and get our economy working again?

    • Topical Questions | Home Department | Commons debates

      If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.

  • Nov 19, 2021:
  • Nov 17, 2021:
    • Points of Order | Commons debates

      On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Alongside the hon. Members for Bermondsey and Old Southwark (Neil Coyle) and for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner (David Simmonds), and our friend in the other place the Bishop of Durham, we have been pressing Ministers in the Home Office to permit a cross-party visit to the Napier barracks.

      On 7 September, the Minister for future borders and immigration-the Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Torbay (Kevin Foster)-declined our request for an in-person visit. The Select Committee on Home Affairs was refused a visit in July. On 27 October, we again requested an on-site visit and asked the Minister to respond by 10 November; we have yet to hear anything. Despite the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration and Her Majesty's inspectorate of prisons finding early this year that there were serious concerns and failings in the provision of accommodation at Napier barracks, the Government have extended the use of the barracks until 2025 and have stated that the site will be used to pilot the design of future accommodation for asylum seekers.

      You can see that a visit is now more than pressing, Mr Speaker. Could you advise me whether it is in order for the Government to refuse Members of Parliament access to this important site?

  • Nov 16, 2021:
    • Offshore Wind Energy | Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy | Commons debates

      I welcome what the Secretary of State says about wind power-we are proud in Cumbria to be at the heart of offshore wind-but does that not contrast negatively with the Government still sitting on the fence about commissioning a new coalmine in west Cumbria? Given the incredibly disappointing outcome on coal from COP26, is this not a moment for the UK Government to take a lead and say that the coalmine will not open?

  • Nov 15, 2021:
    • Sewage: Waste Disposal | Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fines have been issued to each water company for discharging raw sewage into bodies of water years in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021 to date.

    • Water Companies: Sewage Discharge - [Ian Paisley in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      I am very grateful for the right hon. Gentleman's intervention and for his work in this area highlighting this issue. We have much to be grateful to him for. The point that he makes is absolutely right. We can have policies, but what good are they if they are not enforced or the water companies can factor into their spending plans that a fine of perhaps less than £50,000 is a small price to pay when they are able to dish out to their shareholders £2 billion in dividends each year?

      I am absolutely proud of the English lakes and of our waterways. We have glorious lakes, rivers and streams in our community, and I want to keep them clean, but at the moment the water companies have permission to take advantage of the fact that they are allowed to have these emissions, and they are not being held to account via the legal process.

      I would like the Minister to reflect on the issues raised today and to tell me what plan she has to help us in the Lake district to ensure that the best visitor attraction in the country, and the biggest outside of London, is kept clean and pristine, and something that we can all remain proud of.

    • Water Companies: Sewage Discharge - [Ian Paisley in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Paisley; thank you very much for calling me to speak. I am hugely grateful to the hon. Member for Gower (Tonia Antoniazzi) for not just securing the debate, but making an excellent start to it. I am sure that Members will forgive me if I focus much of what I say on the situation in my communities-the English lakes in Cumbria. We are probably the wettest part of England. Storm overflow is a daily thing for us, and we need to keep those lakes topped up, so we do not complain. We do complain about the water companies taking advantage of that in order to justify overflows that I think none of us would consider in any way acceptable.

      Windermere, the largest lake in England and the reservoir of last resort for Greater Manchester, contains three designated bathing areas, which are of a good standard. I do not want to make the case that Windermere is an open sewer or anything like that; of course it is not. Nevertheless, on 71 solid days last year, United Utilities dumped raw sewage into that lake, and that is utterly unacceptable.

      If we look at the other issues affecting phosphate levels in the lake, we see that perhaps a quarter to a third of all the phosphates in the lake are coming via septic tanks. There is a complete lack of registration and regulation of septic tanks, and no help for those people who have them. If we talk to people in the Environment Agency, who do a great job on the ground in Cumbria, they will say that the only way they know where the septic tanks even are is by a process of elimination, because they know what is on the mains and therefore what is not. That is not acceptable; we need to ensure that there is a proper system of registration, regulation and help for people with septic tanks, so that we can preserve and protect our lakes and the quality of them.

      It is not just the lakes in south Cumbria that struggle and see the water companies take advantage of the permission that they effectively have to dump sewage into our waterways. The River Kent at Burneside, the Kent and the Gowan at Staveley and the Kent at Wattsfield in Kendal have seen sometimes catastrophic emissions. And in the likes of Burneside and Staveley, it does not even take much of a storm-not even a huge downpour-to see terrible raw sewage on the streets in those beautiful lakes villages. That is not acceptable.

      We have to look at what the Government are willing and able to do to ensure that water companies do the right thing to keep our waterways clean and at a level that we would consider acceptable. I hear what has been said about the Environment Bill. I am massively sceptical about the Government's amendment at the last minute. It does indeed take the Duke of Wellington's wording about progressively reducing harmful emissions, and the duty on water companies. And there is a timescale for a report, but there is no timescale for improvement and there are no volume references when it comes to improvement, either. How much sewage is acceptable, for example? I can tell the Chamber that 40% of the phosphates in Windermere are down to United Utilities. Will 39% be acceptable, after five years-two years? These are the things that leave people sceptical about the amendment that the Government made last week, providing good cover for Conservative Back Benchers and a free rein for the water companies to effectively carry on doing what they have already and always been doing.

      The hon. Member for Gower asked really important questions about fines that the water companies have paid. I submitted a written question to the Minister and I am very pleased that she answered a very similar question. The answer to the question of how many water companies in the last four years have been prosecuted and fined is that there have been 11 successful prosecutions in four years. Four of those prosecutions were for less than £50,000. In the north-west of England, there has not been one single prosecution since 2018. United Utilities nevertheless was guilty of five of the 10 longest discharges in the last year. We are seeing here a pattern of water companies being allowed to get away with murder and not being held to account.

  • Nov 12, 2021:
  • Nov 9, 2021:
    • Refugees: Afghanistan | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 October 2021 to Question 56158, on Immigration: Afghanistan, how many people evacuated during Operation Pitting will be referred to the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme.

    • Refugees: Afghanistan | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 October 2021 to Question 56158, on Immigration: Afghanistan, whether people evacuated during Operation Pitting who are subsequently referred to the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme will be granted refugee status.