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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

  • Oct 29, 2020:
  • Oct 28, 2020:
  • Oct 27, 2020:
  • Oct 23, 2020:
  • Oct 21, 2020:
    • Free School Meals | Commons debates

      I was not going to make that point, but it was actually another example of a policy that you guys definitely did oppose, and which we managed to persuade you to do. But that is not my point.

      My point is about support for children, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, when it comes to their learning. It is clear that young people who have no access to learning technology at home fall further behind than those who do have access to wi-fi, laptops and larger screens. There are 2,300 children living in poverty-below the poverty line-in my constituency, yet only 116 PCs were delivered to support them. Should not the Secretary of State look at that provision again, so that people from poorer backgrounds do not fall further behind at school?

    • Free School Meals | Commons debates

      The hon. Lady is making a passionate and thought-through speech. Does she agree that the holiday periods are always a difficulty-whether or not there is a pandemic-for those children from families on free school meals? They always need that support, and that should be something we are doing irrespective of the pandemic. In my constituency, 40% of the entire workforce are on furlough. The cliff edge is coming in a few days' time, when the number of people desperate for support will increase massively. Is it not therefore right that we take action today?

    • Covid-19 Restrictions: South Yorkshire | Commons debates

      The hospitality and tourism industry in Cumbria is comfortably our biggest employer. It was very much looking forward to half-term next week, as a chance for businesses to pick up after the enormous damage they have sustained as a result of the virus. However, we are seeing cancellation after cancellation, because neighbouring economies in Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and now, of course, other parts of the north England have been put into tier 3 and people are therefore not able to travel. Rather than quibbling over £5 million, people in Cumbria are getting nothing-no compensation for their businesses collapsing. Will the Minister commit to making sure there is support of the hospitality and tourism industry in tier 1 places such as Cumbria, where our market has dried up because our neighbours are in tier 3?

  • Oct 20, 2020:
  • Oct 19, 2020:
    • Sewage: Waste Disposal | Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of off mains drainage properties which use septic tanks in (a) England and (b) Cumbria.

    • After Clause 1 - Impact of section 1 on the social care sector | Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill | Commons debates

      This is a thoroughly depressing Bill, one that is entirely political and deeply impractical. That is the kind of Bill, or Act, as it will become, that does not stand the test of time. That we are celebrating the loss of the freedom of British people and thinking it is a good thing would be comical if it were not so tragic, confident though I am that this will not last.

      Let us look at some of the details. The Lords amendments are entirely practical and reasonable. Indeed the Minister himself has accepted that, in principle at least, some of them fit that description. I want to focus on Lords amendments 4 and 5. Lords amendment 4 would of course provide the opportunity for family reunion-a safe and legal route. The Home Secretary herself, at the Conservative party conference just a few weeks ago, talked about the importance of safe and legal routes, but of course we are sleepwalking out of one of the safe and legal routes we currently have, the Dublin settlement, with no sign of any kind of meaningful replacement to take its place. If we are-and I am sure all of us here are-outraged and filled with compassion and horror at what we have seen in recent times as people have made the death-defying journey across the channel in rickety boats, taking desperate risks because they are desperate people, the answer is most certainly to provide safe and legal routes. Lords amendment 4 gives the Government the opportunity to have a safe and legal route, and to reject it is music to the ears of the human traffickers. I do not yet understand why the Government seek to turn down such a route via either compassion or practical application.

      On amendment 5, it seems an absolute no-brainer that EU citizens with settled status granted to them by this Government should have physical proof of that status. I have had a number of my constituents in touch with me recently who are deeply concerned about the lack of physical documentation. I talked to a person working for a local school and people working in hospitality in Windermere and in Kendal who are concerned about the lengthy multi-step process involving passport, date of birth and a unique one-off code sent to their phone, their employer's email addresses, business details and both accessing the Government's website separately. Members have already spoken of the occasional tendency for Government IT schemes not to work completely perfectly. Like other issues that we are talking about tonight, this has huge resonance with the appalling Windrush scandal. While there may be some debate as to which Government bears responsibility for the heartbreak of the Windrush scandal, there will be absolutely no doubt whatever who is to blame for this one. They saw it coming and they voted for it.

      Comments were made earlier about the minimum income salary threshold. The Lake district hospitality industry is possibly the most hard-hit part of the UK economy as a result of the coronavirus. May I point out also that 20,000 people working in that industry are from outside the UK, and if we say to 90% of them, "You are not welcome here unless you're earning a figure that your employers cannot afford to pay", that would deal an appalling hand to, and damage massively, an industry that is struggling to cope with the covid crisis? It is time for politics that is more practical and less political.

  • Oct 14, 2020:
    • Productivity: Rural Areas | RAF Valley: Funding and Employment | Westminster Hall debates

      It is a real pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Ghani.

      Anyone who could make a living among the lakes and dales of south Cumbria, just would-the problem, of course, is the ability to make that living. One in four of my constituents in work works for themselves, and they are entrepreneurs. We want to encourage that strongly, and the fact that we have 95% officially superfast broadband in my constituency is hugely welcome.

      That 95%, however, does not ring many bells for the chief executive officer of a trading and development company in our big town of Kendal, which has a 0.05 megabits per second upload speed. The reality, and the figure that matters, is not the 95% superfast broadband, but the 9.7% of my constituents who have fibre to their home. That compares with the 27% nationally, and even that figure is a disgrace. That is what matters the most, that 90% of my constituents rely on copper wires, a 20th-century solution to a 21st-century problem.

      Given the time available, I simply want to make this case to the Minister: if the Government want Britain to be levelled up with the rest of Europe and the rest of the developed world, that is where we need to start. We need to aim for 95% fibre to the home or the premises right across the country, starting in rural areas, because that is where it will do the most good.

      I said that one in four of my constituents works for themselves, and that they are entrepreneurs and creative. Even more could be if they were given the ability to be better connected. I look at our community at the moment, struggling from covid and doing their best to work from home, in circumstances that were utterly unthinkable just six months ago. I am sure we will not go back to how things were before. When we go back to work more generally, post-covid, we need to be able to compete, and we will do that only if we decide that we will adopt that 21st-century solution, and build fibre to the home.