My questions in the House of Commons from throughout June are below.
4th June 2015
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): I am sorry that the Secretary of State is not answering this question, because only a couple of months ago, when he was the Chair of the Select Committee, he authored an excellent report highlighting the scandal of the imbalance in funding for the English regions compared with London. Now that he is in a position to implement it, will he?
Mr Vaizey: I am afraid that this is the second time that Opposition Members have asked for the Secretary of State to respond. Unfortunately, they have to put up with me, and I apologise for that. I am pleased that the chief executive of the Arts Council took note of the excellent report put forward by the Select Committee. As a member of that Select Committee, the right hon. Gentleman should be aware that civil servants now pore over these reports as though they were sacred texts.
11th June 2015
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): Can the Secretary of State clear up the confusion caused by the Chancellor’s recent comments about a separate rail franchise for Devon and Cornwall? He will be aware that those bits of the First Great Western franchise are the least profitable. Is there not a danger that they would be unviable on their own, and that we would suffer service cuts?
Mr McLoughlin: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor said what I would say as well—that we are always looking at ways to improve the franchising system and the service for passengers. I very much hope that new rolling stock will be announced for that particular line in the not too distant future.
11th June 2015
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): Is it not an act of the deepest cynicism for the Government, a few months before the election, to announce, in a fanfare of self-congratulation, a very modest increase in spending on cycling safety, only for that money to be axed in the first week after the election? Why should any of Britain’s millions of cyclists believe a single word the Government say?
Claire Perry: I am slightly disappointed, because I know that the right hon. Gentleman is a keen cyclist, and I am sure he will know and welcome the fact that when the last Administration came to power, cycle spending across the country was around £2 a head; that currently it is around £6 a head; and that in the cycle ambition cities, it will reach £10 a head. I have been assured that the cycle ambition city programme, which the previous Government introduced, will fully deliver its outputs. He should welcome that.
22nd June 2015
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): How much investment and how many jobs will be lost to the economy of the south-west of England as a result of the Secretary of State’s decision?
Amber Rudd: The investment in renewable energy over the past six years has been £7 billion a year. We are committed to ensuring that the UK is the leading country in developing renewable energy. We have been particularly successful in offshore wind—we have more offshore wind than the rest of the world put together and hope to become a serious exporter of it. Renewable energy is important for jobs and important for building on our commitments.
24th June 2015
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): With the death of yet another cyclist—again, a young woman commuter, beneath the wheels of a tipper truck—will the Prime Minister meet a small delegation from the all-party parliamentary cycling group to discuss what more can be done to protect vulnerable road users, including the call by the acting leader of the Labour party for a ban on these killer lorries in our towns and cities at peak times?
The Prime Minister: I am very happy to have that meeting. It seems to me that although a lot has been done in London to try to make cycling safer on our roads with the cycling strategy—money is being invested and cycle lanes are being introduced—the number of fatalities is still very high, and it is extremely depressing that young lives are being snuffed out in this way. I am very happy to have that meeting and perhaps keep in contact with the Mayor about this important issue.