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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 15, 2019:
    • Britain'S Place in the World | Commons debates

      Will the Minister give way?

    • Britain'S Place in the World | Commons debates

      Will the Secretary of State give way?

    • Britain'S Place in the World | Commons debates

      May I point out that I stood on a manifesto promising to fight for a second referendum, a referendum on the deal, so that the people could have the final say on whatever is stitched up in the vape-filled rooms in Brussels and London? May I also point out that in the Lake District, where we have a marvellous export-our tourism industry-one in three of the staff on whom we rely are from overseas, most of them from the EU, and the Government's proposal to introduce a £30,000 salary floor for those people would decimate our tourism industry? Will the right hon. Gentleman sort that out before he causes such enormous harm to such an important part of our economy?

  • Oct 8, 2019:
    • Topical Questions | Oral Answers to Questions - Justice | Commons debates

      Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

      Local families and police in the south lakes have been badly affected by the closure of Kendal court. Will the Secretary of State agree to meet me to ensure that we restore access to justice in the south lakes?

    • Government Plan for Net Zero Emissions - [James Gray in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Truro and Falmouth (Sarah Newton) for securing this important debate. Undoubtedly, climate change is a bigger challenge and a bigger crisis than even Brexit. It is important that we put it in that context, but given that I do not have all that much time, let me focus on Cumbria.

      Cumbria receives 42 million visitors each year, and we are delighted to see them. We just wish that fewer would come by car, which is how 83% of our visitors currently arrive. That is a serious problem in our fight to achieve net zero carbon emissions, and I am sure what is true in my patch applies in many other places across the country. Therefore, in the moment or two I have, I want to address public transport, which is an enormous part of achieving net zero. Not only does the use of diesel and petrol-powered cars have a devastating impact on the environment, but the Government's failure to invest in public transport prevents people from choosing better options.

      Bus provision is a colossal problem in our communities in the Lake district. In the past 10 years, we have lost 888 bus routes in the north-west of England. To their absolute credit, communities have not just stood by; in places such as Sedbergh and Dent, they have established community bus services, which are a lifeline for people who would otherwise be isolated from the communities around them. I am massively grateful to the volunteers who make those services possible. However, with the closure just this month of bus services 552 between Arnside and Kendal and 530 between Cartmel, Levens and Kendal, the decline appears to be accelerating.

      I am of course fighting those cuts along with the community but, more broadly, I ask the Minister to make provision of a comprehensive, affordable and reliable rural bus service in Cumbria a key plank in the northern powerhouse. From a rural Cumbrian perspective, the northern powerhouse does not look much like a powerhouse, and it is not even very northern.

      The main public transport route into the Lake district is the Lakes line. Back in 2017, the Government shelved their planned electrification of the Lakes line on the basis of completely inaccurate projected costs. Electrification of the Lakes line is the easiest electrification project in the country. The 12-mile route carries hundreds of thousands of passengers each year, but it could carry four times as many if we introduced a passing loop at Burneside so we could run half-hourly services. If the Government are serious about tackling climate change, they need to speed up their electrification project, especially for the railway line that is responsible for taking people into Britain's second biggest visitor destination after London.

      The impacts of climate change are real, and they are being felt right now. My constituency in the lakes and the dales has been devastated by catastrophic floods. In the past nine years, we have experienced three flood events classified as one-in-200-year events, with one-in-100-year and one-in-50-year events filling the gaps. At this rate, we absolutely will need to revise the classifications. In 2015 alone, Storm Desmond caused 7,500 properties and more than 1,000 businesses to be flooded. The impact has been heartbreaking.

      I want us to mitigate the consequences of our failure to tackle climate change in time to protect my communities from further flooding, but I am also determined that the Government must make the big strategic decisions to fight climate change. That requires a revolution in renewables and a push for energy self-sufficiency, especially in hydro, tidal and marine, for which 95% of the supply chain, including Gilkes in my constituency, is British. That would protect our environment, boost our economy and give us vital energy security. Just a few weeks ago, I was with students in Kendal protesting against inaction on climate change. That was a reminder that the coming generation will not let us get away with it, and they are absolutely right not to.

      The reality is that we are too late to stop climate change and have perhaps a dozen years left to avoid a major climate catastrophe. Tackling this global disaster will take change in every community and lots of steps that add up to a bigger picture. Clearly, public transport is an element of that. Will the Minister therefore agree to meet me and others so we can put together a comprehensive rural bus service under the umbrella of the northern powerhouse, and a plan for the electrification and expansion of the Lakes line? In order to succeed globally, we in the lakes are determined to act locally.

  • Oct 3, 2019:
    • Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund | Treasury | Written Answers

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his announcement of 28 September 2019 of £16.6 billion to guarantee funding for organisations in receipt of EU programme funding in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, whether charities and non-Governmental organisations that receive funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund will be eligible for that funding.

    • Tourism Sector | Digital, Culture, Media and Sport | Commons debates

      Is the Secretary of State aware that the Government's plan to put a £30,000 salary floor on migrants entering the UK will massively damage the tourism industry in the Lake District and the Yorkshire dales, leaving many unable to fill vital positions? Representatives of the tourism industry and I have spoken to Ministers past and present about the need to massively lower that figure. Will she listen?

  • Oct 2, 2019:
    • Free Movement of EU Nationals | Westminster Hall debates

      My hon. Friend makes a massively important point about the great mass of us in this country; this issue is about our freedom of movement, and that of generations to come, as much as it is about anybody else's.

      I wonder whether my hon. Friend will say something about those people in the most marginal position. There is a real need to ensure that the provisions of the Dublin system for refugee family reunion are maintained post-Brexit. However, does she share my concern that unaccompanied minors in Europe who have family in the UK might find themselves in a much more marginalised position?

    • Free Movement of EU Nationals | Westminster Hall debates

      Members across the House should understand that simple messaging is often far more powerful to people than complex explanations and systems. If we vote to leave the European Union and declare the end of freedom of movement as a great triumph-to great cheers, "I will remove your liberty." Amazing!-we should not be surprised if the response of people already in this country and elsewhere is to think, "The United Kingdom is not for me." The simplest message received by many EU citizens through us voting to leave the European Union is that they are not wanted. That might be inaccurate, but it is the perception, and it is human and understandable.

    • Community Pharmacies - [Sir David Crausby in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir David. I thank the hon. Member for Halifax (Holly Lynch) for bringing forward this issue, which is important for the whole country. Community pharmacies play a vital role wherever they are, but that is especially so in large dispersed rural communities such as mine.

      As we have heard, many of those community pharmacies are in increasingly marginal positions and are at risk of closure-indeed, many have closed. That is tragic for them, their patients and the communities that they are at the heart of. It is also a tragic wasted opportunity. The Government should make far better use of our community pharmacies to secure their futures and to benefit patients. The Government could provide sufficient funding for pharmacies so that they can provide an agreed range of patient services to prevent ill health and to keep people who are living with chronic conditions from getting worse, as hon. Members have mentioned.

      I sat down with one of my local pharmacists in Kendal a few weeks ago. He told me that the Government have an opportunity to commission a national minor ailments service provided by community pharmacies. The key objective would be to use the talents and expertise of our pharmacists and, in doing so, to remove pressure from GPs and A&E departments in other parts of primary care in the NHS.

      Pharmacists in my area serve communities as diverse and widespread as Sedbergh, Hawkshead, Ambleside, Staveley, Windermere, Milnthorpe, Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale and many others. All the pharmacists I speak to fear that their numbers may be further whittled away by the Government, either by design or by attrition. The Government and people in the sector have talked about there being 3,000 fewer pharmacies. On behalf of local pharmacists and their patients, I say that that would be unacceptable. We want clarity from the Government on the number of pharmacies that they envisage, and we want a commitment to maintain the number that we have.

      In the past, Health Ministers have expressed admiration for the French community pharmacy model, which pays for community pharmacies across the board to provide more patient services, such as conditions tests, smoking cessation and blood tests. Will the Minister commit to commissioning such services from community pharmacies across England comprehensively, not just case by case?

      Community pharmacies would also be aided by having greater flexibility to dispense authorised medication when the pharmacist is away for a short time, perhaps visiting a local care home. The Government should also consider allowing big national pharmacy chains to share their automation platforms for prescription assembly with smaller independent community pharmacies to reduce costs across the board.

      There is also the issue of fair payments. Many independent pharmacies in the south lakes are in danger of going out of business because of reductions in payments for prescriptions by NHS England. Often, the money that pharmacies receive from the national health service does not even cover the cost of the drugs being dispensed. In one shocking case, a pharmacist in my constituency in a relatively small Lake district village, who I have visited regularly, received in one single month £5,000 less in NHS payments than they had to pay out in wholesale drug payments. And that is on top of that pharmacy losing on average 10% of its NHS income each year over the last three years. That is utterly unsustainable, but it is replicated across our communities. So I ask the Minister to intervene personally to put this matter right.

      We see a picture of a community pharmacy network that is full of wonderful, talented, highly skilled and dedicated professionals, who provide vital services to patients and their families, and that is part of the glue that holds communities-particularly rural communities-together, but it is being let down by an unambitious approach to community pharmacy from Government, which undervalues what these pharmacies do and, even more importantly, undervalues what they could do.

      Therefore, I ask the Minister to consider the proposal in my early-day motion-which, thanks to the non-Prorogation, is still alive-for an essential community pharmacy scheme, to support community pharmacies in rural areas such as mine and to keep them open and thriving. Moreover, will she heed the calls from pharmacists across the country, who are merely calling for fairness in payments and for the ability to use their skills to serve their patients and communities, removing debilitating pressure from other parts of the NHS?

  • Oct 1, 2019:
    • NHS Hospital Projects | Oral Answers to Questions - Treasury | Commons debates

      You are very kind, Mr Speaker. In his announcement this week, the Chancellor chose not to invest a single penny in the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, but will he at least end the Treasury's 3% deficit tax on our local hospitals trust, which has cost £4 million from hospital spending in the past three years? That is money that should have been spent on a new radiotherapy centre for local cancer patients.

    • Social Care Funding - [Sir Charles Walker in the Chair] | Westminster Hall debates

      I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for giving way. He rightly points out the importance of unpaid carers. Any new consensus, which must come, should make clear provision to support those who do the caring- 12,000 unpaid carers in my constituency alone. If they were to cease caring-if we do not care for the carers-the social care burden on the taxpayer more generally becomes even more unmanageable.

  • Sep 26, 2019:
    • Business of the House | Commons debates

      Will the Leader of the House make time for my now de-prorogued Bill on access to radiotherapy treatment? It is wrong surely that cancer sufferers should have to travel day after day, week after week, for three-hour round trips for cancer treatment. Would it not be right to place satellite units in places such as Kendal, so that we can have longer lives and shorter journeys?

    • International Climate Action | Commons debates

      If we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. To that end, does the right hon. Lady agree that the proposals for the west Cumbria coal mine should be cancelled, and will she speak to her right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to whom I have written? Will she instead commit Government money through the northern powerhouse to create renewable industry and energy jobs in west Cumbria instead?

  • Sep 25, 2019:
    • Brexit Readiness: Operation Yellowhammer | Commons debates

      The chief executive of the Dale Farm dairy co-operative, who speaks for 1,300 dairy farmers across the United Kingdom, says that leaving the European Union without a deal would "wipe out" all profitability in the dairy sector. Cumbrian dairy farmers know that too, yet there is not a single explicit mention of the dairy industry in the Yellowhammer document. Is that because the truth of how badly hit dairy farming in Cumbria and elsewhere will be is so serious that it is not even written down, or is it that the Government have overlooked the interests and needs of Britain's dairy industry?

  • Sep 9, 2019:
  • Sep 5, 2019:
    • Building Safety | Commons debates

      Given that naming and shaming has been set out by the Secretary of State, could he be more explicit about what sanctions he will be using against the individuals and organisations that fail to comply with making these buildings safe for their residents?

    • Radiotherapy: Travel | Department of Health and Social Care | Written Answers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of cancer patients that turn down radiotherapy due to the distances involved in travelling to radiotherapy centres.

  • Sep 3, 2019: