Feb 062007

Martin Linton asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the 10 most common reasons given for claiming incapacity benefit were in each London borough in the last 12 months.
Jim Murphy replied that data was not available in that format but that some data had been placed in the House of Commons library.

Feb 022007

Martin Linton asked David Milliband (Secretary of State, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) if he will publish payments made under the common agricultural policy single payment scheme by constituency.
David Milliband replied that the 2005 figures have not yet been analysed and that once this work has been completed, they will decide on the appropriate level of detail to publish.
Martin Linton came back and said that as this costs £16 billion each year the payments should be identified, at least, by constituency.
David Milliband denied that the figure was as large as that and said that it was most important to ensure that the payments were correct before ensuring that the information about the payments was published.

Feb 022007

Martin Linton has written an Early Day Motion about the proposed closure of Wandsworth Museum. This is what it says:

That this House regrets the proposal from Wandsworth Council to close Wandsworth Museum; values the work of the museum’s small but dedicated staff; notes the museum’s success in attracting 30,000 visits last year, including 8,300 school-children; commends the museum for its success in attracting ethnic minority visitors and celebrating immigrant communities in the borough from the Huguenots to the Windrush; congratulates it on being one of only six local authority-funded museums in London to be granted Accredited Status by Museums London; and urges the Council to think again and come forward with options as the basis for consultation with the Wandsworth Historical Society, civic societies and other stakeholders.

Feb 012007

Martin Linton asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of incapacity benefit claimants whose capacity to work has been affected by smoking-related diseases. Anne McGuire said that this information is not available.

Jan 312007

Martin Linton pointed out that some local authorities are closing special schools for no good reason. He gave the example of the Vines, in his constituency.

My hon. Friend says that local authorities are closing special schools in unsuitable locations, but my local authority is closing a popular special school in a very desirable location, although The Vines has been thriving. It received an excellent report from Ofsted, and although it was praised by the local authority as one of the best schools in the authority area, plans for its closure were announced a few months later. Sadly, the school will close in August. Although the local authority has tried to blame Government policy for the closure, the real reason is the value of the site on which the school is built, which is £6 million.

Jan 312007

Martin Linton asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government two questions.
Firstly he asked what the average rents were for local authority housing in each London borough in 2006-07. Yvette Cooper gave a link to the data on the Communities and Local Government Department’s web site.
Then he asked which housing associations required buyers to purchase outright a share greater than 75 per cent. in shared-ownership housing developments in the last 24 months. Yvette Cooper answered for the government.

Jan 302007

Martin Linton asked Tessa Jowell about the timetable for the completion of the two phases of the East London Line extension and whether it could be finished in time for the London Olympics in 2012. He also got in another little dig about the proposed BAC closure and Tessa Jowell took the opportunity to back him up.

On Battersea arts centre, I echo the Prime Minister’s words: Wandsworth should do everything that it can to keep the centre open. I should make it absolutely clear that we are talking about a Conservative authority that has had a 25 per cent. plus increase in its grant since 1997, so any decision to close the centre is a Conservative choice, not a Government requirement.

Jan 262007

Martin Linton asked for a debate on how councils use the threat of council tax capping as an excuse for cutting services. He gave the example of Wandsworth council using capping as a reason for cutting BAC funding. Jack Straw said that he would look for an opportunity to hold such a debate and made his feelings on Wandsworth council very clear.

I am afraid that Wandsworth Conservatives have been using bogus figures to justify cuts for at least the three decades in which I have been a Member in this House. I dare say that they will carry on doing so. The fact that they are putting at risk such highly valued community services in my hon. Friend’s constituency illustrates their distorted sense of priorities.

Jan 232007

Martin Linton asked the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with cycling campaign groups on the draft highway code and on the use of cycling facilities. Stephen Ladyman answered.

Jan 232007

Martin Linton has written an Early Day Motion about crane safety. This is what it says:

That this House welcomes the campaign launched by Building magazine to improve safety standards for cranes following recent crane collapses in Battersea, Liverpool and central London; recognises that there is an increased risk both to construction workers and to the public from the use of tower cranes on brownfield sites in residential areas; and supports the calls from Building magazine for a publicly-available register of checks to cranes and construction equipment and from the Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group for a review of crane safety legislation.