Wednesday 21st July 2021

(3 days, 10 hours ago)

Commons Chamber

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Wendy Chamberlain Portrait Wendy Chamberlain (North East Fife) (LD)
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Many of the 29 post offices in North East Fife are still at the heart of small rural communities, and provide vital services to residents, particularly older neighbours in the community, who make use of in-person services. The proposed closure of counters at the Spar branches in Balmullo, Ladybank, Newport and Tom Morris Drive, St Andrews, will have significant consequences for all the communities affected, and it is particularly concerning that the closures come not long after bank branch closures in my seat, which were partly rationalised on the grounds that residents could still access cash services via post office branches. The fact that more 1,300 people have signed the petition shows how strongly people in North East Fife feel about this, and I present it to Parliament to highlight the importance of the issue to Spar, C.J. Lang and the Post Office, and encourage them proactively to engage to reverse the closures. I therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to engage with the Post Office and C.J. Lang and advise them to withdraw the proposal to close these services in North East Fife.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of North East Fife,

Declares that accessible local Post Office counter services are incredibly important; notes that many people rely on these services, particularly older residents; further that the closures of such services would cut off residents from public services; declares that Spar should engage with local and national governments and Post Office Ltd in preserving these services and ultimately reverse the proposal to close the Post Office counter services in Newport-on-Tay, Balmullo, Ladybank and Tom Morris Drive St Andrews.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to engage with Spar and advise them to reverse the proposal to close Post Office counter services in North East Fife.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002678]

Patricia Gibson Portrait Patricia Gibson (North Ayrshire and Arran) (SNP)
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The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of North Ayrshire and Arran,

Declares that sunscreen should be reclassified as an essential healthcare item and be exempted from VAT due to the vital role it plays in preventing serious health conditions such as skin cancer; notes that sunscreen is currently classified as a cosmetic product in the UK and is therefore subject to 20% VAT, which adds around £1.50 to the cost of each bottle; further that Cancer Research UK has concluded that being sunburnt once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma skin cancer, and that melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have more than doubled in the UK since the early 1990s; further that 90% of cases of melanoma skin cancer are preventable by being sun safe; further that research conducted by Tesco found that 57% of UK adults think sunscreen is too expensive and 29% said they would wear it daily if it was a little cheaper, with 31% of parents surveyed stating that they cannot always afford to apply sunscreen to the whole family, often deciding to apply it only to their children.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to remove VAT on sunscreen to make it more affordable and to encourage people to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002681]

Richard Burgon Portrait Richard Burgon (Leeds East) (Lab) [V]
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I rise to present a petition, alongside a corresponding petition online that is getting many thousands of signatures from those appalled by the grotesque levels of inequality that scar our country, and from those who are deeply shocked that British billionaires have used this crisis to further enrich themselves to the tune of more than £100 billion while poverty has soared and food bank use has hit record highs. I present the petition on behalf of those who want to see a fairer taxation system as part of building a fairer more inclusive country. The petition states:

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that proposals to introduce higher taxes on the super-rich as a step to tackling the widespread poverty and inequality that scar our society should be considered; further that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only shone a spotlight on the huge inequalities in our society – it has deepened them; notes that in May the Sunday Times Rich List revealed that Britain's billionaires have increased their wealth by £106 billion during the pandemic - that's £290m per day; notes that, in contrast, a record 2.5m food bank parcels were given to people in crisis in the past year; declares that as we come out of this pandemic, if we are to learn the lessons and build a more equal and more inclusive society, then we need to acknowledge that trickle-down economics is flawed and decades of failing tax policy must be tackled.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to take into account the concerns of the petitioners and review proposals to introduce a wealth tax intended to raise tens of billions from the wealthiest in our society, a windfall tax on corporations that made super-profits during the pandemic and a more progressive income tax system including a new 55% income tax rate on all income over £200,000 per year, a 50% income tax rate for those on over £123,000 and 45% rate for income over £80,000.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002683]

Kelly Tolhurst Portrait Kelly Tolhurst (Rochester and Strood) (Con)
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I rise to present a petition on behalf of the residents of the United Kingdom, and chiefly from my own constituency of Rochester and Strood, to object to Medway Council’s plans to build a relief road through protected green spaces, namely the land at Deangate Ridge, and also to construct a flyover near a busy residential area. The council’s proposals are deeply unpopular among my constituents and this petition, which has been signed by more than 4,000 people, shows the strength of feeling against these plans.

If the proposals went ahead, many villages such as High Halstow and Wainscott would be adversely affected. Many residents and councillors have expressed grave concerns over these plans, particularly over their financial viability, their deliverability, the environmental impact of new roads on green spaces and the proximity to the Lodge Hill site of special scientific interest. I hope that this petition will highlight these deep concerns and encourage Government to look closely at the proposals.

The petition states:

The petition of the residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the proposals outlined in Medway Council’s Housing Infrastructure Fund project to build a relief road and community-destructive flyover should be rejected due to their unsuitability and potential for the plans to damage the environment by destroying a key ‘Asset of Community Value’, Deangate Ridge Golf and Sports Complex and Lodge Hill SSSI.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to ensure that plans to build a relief road from A228 Peninsula Way to A289 Hasted Road via a flyover at Higham Road, through the former Deangate Ridge Golf and Sports Complex and Lodge Hill SSSI be rejected and the former Deangate Ridge Golf and Sports complex be developed as an asset that would further the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community, such as a Country Park.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002684]