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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

  • Nov 24, 2020:
    • Coronavirus: Protective Clothing | Department of Health and Social Care | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of wearing masks while singing for the reduction of transmission of covid-19.

    • Leaseholders and Cladding | Commons debates

      It would be an inexcusable outrage if the costs of making buildings safe in the light of the Grenfell tragedy fell in practice not on the developers or the governments, whose disregard of safety led to that tragedy, but instead fell on the innocent leaseholders; yet, in effect, that is the Government's default position, as people are left with homes they cannot afford to make safe and homes that they cannot sell. Will the Government accept Lords amendment 13 to the Fire Safety Bill in the name of my honourable friends Baroness Pinnock and Lord Shipley in order to stop this injustice?

    • Covid-19: Funding for Local Authorities - [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I pay tribute and give my thanks to the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Rushanara Ali) for securing this important debate.

      I will focus my few remarks on the support that local authorities have given, and continue to give, to businesses. Thanks to Government support, South Lakeland District Council provided the largest single number of grants to local businesses of any shire district anywhere in the country, and it is not hard to understand why that would be the case. We are the tourism epicentre of the United Kingdom and, after London, the biggest visitor destination in the country. The largest single employer is hospitality and tourism, and at the worst part of the crisis 40% of the entire workforce of my constituency was on furlough. We have seen a sixfold increase in unemployment.

      The diversity of employment is significant as well. One in four people in my constituency work for themselves. At the beginning, after initial grants and furlough, which were very welcome, were correctly provided by the Chancellor, there were some gaps in support. Discretionary awards were then made through local authorities and delivered expertly, fleet of foot, by local authorities, including my own in South Lakeland, to people such as small bed and breakfast owners, those who ran businesses from their own home or shared space with others, or those who did not get any support in the first tranche. Thanks to the campaigns of many and the Government listening, on that occasion, district councils such as mine were able to provide support, and they have done so well.

      That gives us a clue as to how the Government should behave towards the remaining 3 million people who have still received no support. I am thinking about many people on maternity leave; people who have been self-employed for less than 18 months; those who are running small, limited companies, such as taxi drivers, hairdressers, personal trainers and the like; and those who just missed the cut-off date for the payroll, at just the wrong moment in March.Those people have been left with zero support since March and are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage and feed their kids. I pay tribute to them for their campaigning. I beg the Government to allow councils to do for those people what they did for the first set of excluded people back in March and April.

      I thank councils for all they do at the forefront, providing social care, schools, special educational needs provision and child protection, and looking after the homeless and those in housing need. I am confident that in Cumbria we had the most effective localised Test and Trace system in the country, with public health being run incredibly well at a local government level in my community.

      I will just say, on top of all that, how odd it is that the Government think this is somehow a bright period in which to force top-down reorganisation of local government in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset. Even if a Government thought there was some wisdom in changing the balance of local government in those places, how crackers-how out of touch-would they have to be to think now is the moment to do it? I urge the Minister to provide funds for local authorities to support those who have been excluded from support so far, and to not distract our social care home managers, our carers, our teachers, those people caring for the homeless, and those leading the economic recovery in our communities. Do not divert them from their vital task by a pointless act of navel contemplation-a top-down reorganisation.

  • Nov 23, 2020:
  • Nov 19, 2020:
    • Asylum: Legal Aid Scheme | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 5 November 2020 to Question 109252 on Asylum: Legal Aid Scheme, what guidance she has issued to Migrant Help on advising asylum seekers housed at the (a) Napier Barracks in Folkestone and (b) Pengally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire on where they can access legally aided immigration advice.

    • Immigrants: Sleeping Rough | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure non-UK nationals who are experiencing rough sleeping will not face deportation.

    • Immigrants: Sleeping Rough | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has in place to support non-UK nationals who are experiencing rough sleeping to ensure that they do not face deportation when new rules come into force in December 2020.

  • Nov 18, 2020:
    • Asylum: Interviews | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's proof of concept pilot on the outsourcing of asylum interviews, whether asylum claimants interviewed under that proof of concept pilot will be informed that they are being interviewed by a third party rather than an employee of her Department.

    • Asylum: Interviews | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's proof of concept pilot on the outsourcing of asylum interviews, what comparative assessment her Department plans to make of the (a) timeliness and (b) quality of asylum interviews conducted by outsourced staff and by staff of her Department.

    • Asylum: Interviews | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria will be applied to evaluate the success of the proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews.

    • Asylum: Interviews | Home Office | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which external supplier is providing staff to deliver her Department's proof of concept pilot for the outsourcing of asylum interviews.

    • Covid-19 | Commons debates

      I think the hon. Member will probably agree with me that what is galling for so many people is the £10.5 billion of contracts given out without proper tender processes and without transparency, if we contrast that with the 3 million people in this country-people who have been self-employed for a short time, company directors of small limited companies and many others-who have been completely excluded from support. A small fraction of that amount of money would have kept food on their tables and a roof over their head.

    • Covid-19 | Commons debates

      The hon. Gentleman is making a good point, and the 60-something-per cent. success rate of the national system is deeply regrettable. As in many other parts of the country, Cumbria public health has been far more successful, with a 97% success rate. However, because of a flaw in the system, if someone is contacted by Cumbria public health, they are not able to get the isolation grant. That is preventing many people from making the choices that they need to make to keep everybody safe, while also putting food on the table. Does he agree that the Government need to answer calls from the director of public health in Cumbria, and ensure that those who are contacted and asked to isolate by that body get that grant?

    • Covid-19 | Commons debates

      I very much appreciate the Minister's work in this area. She will have seen that leading clinicians think it will take five years for us to catch up with the cancer backlog. Indeed, Cancer Research UK has recognised that there have been 35,000 avoidable deaths from cancer over this period. Only very recently, there was an awful figure in an article in The BMJ saying that there have been 60,000 lost life years as a consequence of cancer during this period. I absolutely acknowledge that progress is being made when it comes to diagnostics; I am less convinced that progress is being made when it comes to treatment. Will she confirm whether her Department is making an urgent bid for spending review funding for smart radiotherapy, for delivery at satellite sites and for digital technology, to ensure that we clear the backlog, save lives and catch up with cancer?

    • Covid-19 | Commons debates

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    • Exercise Cygnus | Department of Health and Social Care | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Public Health England report published on 20 October 2020 the only report that exists on the findings of Exercise Cygnus.

    • Exercise Cygnus | Department of Health and Social Care | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the report into Exercise Cygnus was not published until 20 October 2020.

    • Exercise Cygnus | Department of Health and Social Care | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the full findings of Exercise Cygnus.

    • Mental Health Services: Children and Young People | Department of Health and Social Care | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to page 20 of the NHS mental health implementation plan 2019-20 to 2023-4, what the timeline is for introducing a comprehensive offer for 0-25 year olds that reaches across mental health services for children and young people and adults in South Lakeland.

  • Nov 17, 2020:
    • Covid-19: Employment Rights - [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Christopher, and I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Gavin Newlands) for having secured this debate. Let us leap straight in on the point that was just raised by the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Justin Madders): the issue of asking people to self-isolate, after being traced through track and trace, is vexed when it comes up against people's right to an income.

      As in other parts of the country, Cumbria's NHS and public health services have been incredibly successful at tracking and tracing people. Their success rate has been 98%, compared with the Government's failed equivalent programme, which has a success rate of something like 65%. However, if a person is contacted by the NHS in Cumbria, because of the Government's failed system, they are not able to access the grant. That is an outrage, and for the past month, Cumbria's Director of Public Health has been raising this as an issue; so far, the Government have failed to answer it. A right to an income is surely something that should be at the top of all of our agendas for our constituents.

      I also want to refer to parental leave, particularly maternity leave. When the Government were coming up with the self-employed income support scheme back in March, they put together a scheme that looked at a self-employed person's income over the past three years. If that person had taken parental leave-most likely maternity leave-during those three years, they ended up with a reduced income. That is a real blow to people, particularly women who have taken maternity leave in that time, and it shows the Government's lack of concern for those people who have taken time out to raise a family. On top of that, as the hon. Member for York Central (Rachael Maskell) said, many people do not feel able to, or cannot, return to work after their maternity leave, simply because childcare is not available. Many of them are not able to be furloughed; many have lost their jobs, and they form part of the 3 million people in this country who have been excluded from any kind of Government support.

      Many employers in the Lake district and the Yorkshire Dales have done a tremendous job trying to support their staff, and have kept them going for as long as they could. Despite the fact that 40% of the entire workforce was on furlough at one point and we have seen a sixfold increase in unemployment in the south lakes, they nevertheless kept their employees going for as long as they felt they could, but after that short summer season at the end of August, they let their staff go.

      The Government have now announced an extension of furlough after months of most Members in this room urging them to make a commitment much sooner, but they left it so late that many employers in my constituency and elsewhere let their staff go in early September. Guess what? The Government will not backdate furlough to anybody who was let go before 23 September. There will be hundreds of thousands of people in this country whose employers did their best to keep hold of them, but realised they had the choice of losing their business and losing all their other staff or losing some of their staff. They made that difficult choice. Because the Government dilly-dallied for so long over extending furlough, there are thousands in that position. The Government should bring forward the date to which furlough can be backdated to the beginning of September.