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  • Thames Valley Berkshire LEP Debate
    significant tax revenues for the Exchequer I do not think I am being immodest on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire when I say that if every other region of Britain could match our area s growth and innovation the Bank of England would be forecasting significantly higher growth this year for the British economy than the current 3 4 As part of rebalancing the whole of the British economy both by geography and by sector the Government have been absolutely right to focus on major growth initiatives such as the regional growth fund and enterprise zones in areas of the country that need support Clearly the Government s policies are working We have seen that in the growth figures for the previous quarter that have just come out I do not want to give the Minister the impression that we in the Thames valley have not benefited from Government investment on the contrary As the Prime Minister saw for himself a few days ago the 895 million Reading station and related rail upgrade work is proceeding at pace and under budget Dr Phillip Lee Bracknell Con My hon Friend represents Reading to which my constituency is connected directly Is it not fantastic news that Crossrail is being extended to Reading a rail line that will give access to Heathrow as the hon Member for Slough Fiona Mactaggart has highlighted The eastern spur to Heathrow along with Crossrail points to the real need for the Airports Commission to decide on Heathrow as the hub I would like to see four runways there not just three Alok Sharma Having lobbied for Crossrail to come to Reading I was delighted when that announcement was made a few weeks ago I agree with my hon Friend We want to ensure that we have a strong Heathrow It is the hub airport in the country and I would like it to continue that way He raised the issue of whether there should be an extra runway or an extra two runways Those are matters for the Airports Commission to ponder and debate internally but as I said earlier I want to ensure that no downgrading of Heathrow results from future decisions and I am sure that my hon Friend agrees with me My hon Friend also mentioned access to Heathrow The western rail access to Heathrow link rail electrification the M4 smart motorway scheme and the Theale station upgrade are all examples of Government infrastructure projects that will benefit my constituents and constituents throughout Thames Valley Berkshire I am sure that other Members can give examples of successful investment projects in their constituencies The key to the continued success of Thames Valley Berkshire will be the delivery of all those major projects on time and as is currently the position in the case of the Reading station project under budget My main purpose in initiating the debate at this time apart of course from my wish to draw attention to the obvious merits of Thames

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/687 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma welcomes revised code of practice for police stop-and-search powers
    really common sense approach She mentioned community involvement in the best use of stop and search scheme Will she outline in a little more detail the mechanism for formal engagement between the police and communities Mrs May There are two elements of the extra community involvement that we are introducing One is the requirement that forces will have policies at local level to enable members of the community to apply to go out on patrol with them so that they can see what is happening and can comment on that The other is the new community trigger in relation to complaints We will work with forces to ensure that there is a process such that if there has been a considerable number of complaints about the use of stop and search in an area the police will need to engage with the community about it I want to see what is anyway supposed under the code of practice to be there which is that police forces are working with their communities talking to them about where particular powers are used and explaining how those powers are targeted so that police forces can get community buy in from the very start

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/685 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma calls for help for those who want to make their homes flood resilient
    the Government should consider introducing a scheme whereby they provide part funding for those who want to make their homes resilient or have some kind of tax credit for that purpose Peter Aldous My hon Friend raises a good point The 5 000 grant is a good way for individuals to make their properties more resilient In Bevan street east in Lowestoft the property with flood boards was the one that had very minimal flood damage We should be building on this scheme where the flooding happened this time and also look at other areas that are vulnerable Hansard Alok Sharma I share West Berkshire council with my hon Friend and our right hon Friend the Member for Wokingham Mr Redwood I too would like to put on the record my thanks to Carolyn Richardson and others who have done such a great job over the past few weeks Local residents in Purley in my constituency have decided to form a flood action group as a way of getting local people together to liaise with the Environment Agency and others Is that something he would recommend other communities look at working together to find a local solution Richard Benyon I applaud the residents of Purley because I have seen that approach work not only in my constituency but right across the country The National Flood Forum has a cut and paste organisation for local communities to pick up and run with It is a superb organisation with real knowledge and expertise I know that the Department and the Environment Agency will also assist local communities in setting up a flood forum The difficulty is that communities that have never been flooded will be flooded I entirely agree with my hon Friend the Member for Bridgwater and West Somerset Mr Liddell

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/651 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma concerned at delays to EU-US trade agreement negotiations
    the parties are still larger than the common ground they share Does the right hon Gentleman share my concern that there may be slippage in the timetable John Healey There may indeed the hon Gentleman raises an interesting point He has been part of the cross party efforts in this House in taking the debate about the potential for this deal out more widely into the country and he spoke

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/649 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma praises local flood heroes in Parliament | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Alok Sharma praises local flood heroes in Parliament Speaking during Prime Minister s Questions Alok Sharma praises those taking action locally to help with flood alleviation and calls on the PM to ensure that details of schemes to help residents and businesses affected by flooding are made readily available Parliament TV Alok Sharma Reading West Con Parts of my constituency are suffering from flooding I want to put on record my thanks to the council officers from West Berkshire council and Reading borough council the volunteer flood wardens in places such as Purley and the soldiers of the 7th Battalion the Rifles for the work they are doing to help my constituents I welcome the schemes the Prime Minister has talked about to help individuals and businesses Will he ensure that the details of those schemes are made available to everyone affected so that they can make use of them The Prime Minister My hon Friend makes an important point I know that he is working very hard to bring people together in his own constituency to make sure that everything that can be done in Reading is done Obviously they will be concerned about the rise in the Thames We will publish details of all the announcements I have made and we will add into that the fact that the major banks are coming forward with more than 750 million of financial support which will mean repayment holidays reduced or waived fees loan extensions increased flexibility of terms and specialist

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-praises-local-flood-heroes-parliament (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma backs Government policies on job creation and education | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    the same compassion that meant that Labour missed all its child poverty targets that the gap between rich and poor grew wider and that left us with a record budget deficit for which we have still had no apology whatsoever The way to improve job security and tackle the cost of living is to grow the economy and get business confidence going which leads to more jobs and rising prosperity That is exactly what the Government are doing by cutting taxes getting rid of unnecessary red tape investing in our young people and infrastructure and welcoming foreign inward investment Let me say a little about Reading the town that I represent and where I grew up because I am incredibly proud that it is an economic powerhouse not just in the Thames valley but in the country as a whole What have the Government been doing for young people in Reading They have been investing some 4 million in the last year in the pupil premium providing 3 000 new apprenticeships investing millions more in new school places and bringing youth unemployment down to 225 in December 2013 compared with 635 when we came into government The key is getting students ready for the workplace and like many of my colleagues I have run careers fares At the last one 1 200 students came along to talk to 60 companies I run employability workshops with local employers which are the sort of thing we ought to be doing to ensure that our young people feel there is a way forward Let me read a few comments that I received from people who attended that employability workshop Navjit Gill said The interview and networking skills session was really useful I learned a lot about what to do in interviews Elijah Seville Williams said The workshop taught me about interview techniques which will prepare me for getting a job later That is what we should be doing as Members of Parliament Many employers in my constituency are creating many jobs small companies as well as larger ones Tesco has just set up a new distribution centre and I was pleased to be part of supporting that There are almost 1 200 new jobs but also 85 jobs for the long term unemployed I went to a graduation ceremony last year for people who had not had a job for a long time but had finally found employment through that scheme It was an incredibly emotional graduation People were there with their grandchildren and parents from across the social spectrum real people whose lives were being turned around The reason why companies such as Tesco are confident about creating those jobs is that they have been given that confidence as a result of this Government s policies Business confidence is up in the Thames valley The Thames Valley Business Barometer published a few weeks ago showed that eight out of 10 businesses are more confident in the economy 50 reported an increase in

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-backs-government-policies-job-creation-and-education (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma urges Ofgem to be firm with energy companies on direct debit payments | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Petition Boosting primary school places in Reading Delivery of Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Alok Sharma urges Ofgem to be firm with energy companies on direct debit payments Speaking in a debate on energy companies charging higher rates to customers who do not pay by direct debit Alok Sharma highlights the case of the elderly father of his constituent who has built up 1 400 credit on direct debit and asks if Ofgem should be doing more to ensure that energy companies set direct debits at a fair and reasonable level Alok Sharma Reading West Con My hon Friend is a huge consumer champion not just on this issue but on many others More power to his elbow He makes a good point about the way in which direct debits work They are not a panacea Last week I received an e mail from my constituent Mr Balfour who told me that his 87 year old father had built up a 1 400 credit because he was paying by direct debit According to Ofgem direct debits are meant to be set on a fair and reasonable basis Does my hon Friend share my view that we should define in more detail what fair and reasonable means Robert Halfon My hon Friend makes a hugely important point and I suspect that the Minister will have more to say about it I welcome the fact that the Government are forcing companies to compensate customers such as his

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-urges-ofgem-be-firm-energy-companies-direct-debit-payments (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma supports Deregulation Bill as good for business | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    that will cut red tape for business When the Departments looked at everything that could be deregulated were there examples that they wanted to include in the Bill but could not because they are overridden by EU legislation Mr Letwin My hon Friend raises an immensely important point I was going to talk about it later but let me deal with it now He is absolutely right and I am not talking of a few cases We came across and we continue to come across many many cases on which given our way we would certainly have deregulated yet we found that directives made it impossible for us to do what we would have liked to have done That is of course one of the reasons why if there is a Conservative Government after the next general election we will be seeking to renegotiate our relationship with the EU and then as long as the Opposition do not prevent this putting that to the British public in a referendum It is also one of the reasons why we are trying to pass the referendum Bill right now and we will bring it back and do so Hansard Alok Sharma My right hon Friend the Minister for Government Policy made the point that there is a lot of regulation that we can do nothing about because of EU regulation If the hon Lady cares so much about regulation why will she not support the European Union Referendum Bill Chi Onwurah I know that the Government face a real challenge in keeping their Members off the subject of Europe but perhaps in this debate on deregulation they will understand that we are not here to discuss the potential of a referendum I will come on later to talk about the relevance of

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-supports-deregulation-bill-good-business (2016-02-14)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-11