Tessa Munt, MP for Wells, has been elected to chair the first Lib Dem backbench MPs’ ‘Green’ Group.
Local MP Tessa Munt has been at the centre of negotiations to improve the Education Bill currently going through the House of Commons. Read the rest of this entry »
I should like to make just a few points and to speak for the Somerset half of that Somerset and Devon bid, which would make such a fantastic difference. Many hon. Members have made points about farmers, young people and old people, but, in my area, many who have retired to Somerset because it is such a beautiful place can stay in their town centre homes and, using broadband, can access facilities and services such as shopping deliveries.
Rural post offices also benefit from broadband. Businesses use the internet in my towns, and individuals use eBay and Amazon to sell and buy goods. In my post office, there are queues of people who want to send small parcels and envelopes containing things that people have bought, which props up our post office system.
I thank the Minister for meeting me on Monday to discuss broadband in Somerset. I pointed out to him that I am running, with the Administration Committee, an iPad trial. The iPad is fantastic when I am here in
London, and completely useless when I am in Somerset, where I cannot access anything because the broadband service is so poor.
Where it works, broadband is the most fantastic thing. One area of my constituency that has a good service is Burnham and Highbridge. Burnham-on-Sea has a website—burnhamonsea.co.uk. Some 7,000 or 8,000 people live in Burnham, but that website gets 15,000 unique visitor hits per day, and 50,000 pages are downloaded every day. That rate goes up during the summer tourist season, which is critical, because 26,000 people are employed in tourism in Somerset alone. They depend on people coming to Somerset for their holidays and knowing what they can do and what facilities they can access.
I thank the Minister for the trouble he has taken to listen to the Somerset and Devon bid, and I hope, as it is bound to do, that it brings success to our counties in business and every other sense, particularly for residents.
The same problem exists in Somerset, and it affects not only those who are seeking to retire but those who are seeking jobs. In my area, jobcentres are few and far between, and people seeking jobs must be online to apply for jobs that are advertised in jobcentres, so their opportunities are incredibly limited when they cannot get broadband.
Following suggestions that Somerset County Council could start to charge or ask for donations for library usage, Tessa Munt put the questions of charging and donations to Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. Read the rest of this entry »
Tessa used a debate on ‘Wind Farms in Mid Wales’ to raise, again, National Grid’s proposals for 150 foot pylons across Somerset between the Hinkley Point power station and Avonmouth. Tessa took the opportunity to raise this crucial issue in a debate with the Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Charles Hendry MP. Read the rest of this entry »
Tessa asked a question last week about the potential for banks to create the impression that they are increasing lending to small businesses when they are, in reality, only extending existing overdrafts of businesses known to them. Many of these businesses are not planning to use bank loans in the foreseeable future.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the (a) drop-out and (b) course transfer rate at each university in England was for students starting degrees in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006, (iii) 2007, (iv) 2008, (v) 2009 and (vi) 2010.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will place in the Library the country by country arms export data for (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010 in the same format as that used for the period from 2000 to 2007.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to section 6.12 of his Department’s report on Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer
(1) which NHS hospital trusts have applied for additional investment for radiotherapy in 2011-12;
(2) what criteria he proposes for hospitals to be eligible for additional investment for radiotherapy;
(3) what estimate he has made of the proportion of additional investment for radiotherapy which will be available during the current financial year.