Some significant theme debates in Parliament

Each week in Parliament there are debates and questions that take place and it is always interesting to observe what emerges from our local MPs and occasionally other MPs that raise themes for our area. It is always fascinating most weeks to pick out a few of these events. Last Tuesday a theme emerged from Ian Byrne, a Labour MP who raised three written questions relating to the children who have been placed in Hotels in Hove. He began with “recent reports of the abduction of unaccompanied children from a Home Office residence in Hove” and went on to ask “what training was provided to security staff to manage the security of those children”. He then asked “what arrangements for custody and responsibility when it procured hotels to house asylum seekers in that area” and “what is taking to ensure the safety and welfare of children who are missing or that have been found and also what about those living at that residence.” The immigration minister who responded to these questions was Robert Jenrick. Inevitably he added lots of words to these responses but he included

Local authorities have a statutory duty to protect all children, regardless of where they go missing from. This can be from home or from a care setting as a looked-after child. Home Office Safeguarding Hub works closely with accommodation providers to ensure early identification of vulnerabilities, where issues are not disclosed by customers, and onward referral to the statutory agencies of health, police, and social services.

He went on to the second question naively that “We take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously, and we have robust procedures in place to ensure all children are accommodated as safely as possible whilst in hotels.” and later he claimed “It is not true to say that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are being kidnapped or abducted from these hotels.” His final response included

We take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously. We have robust safeguarding procedures in place to ensure UASC in hotels are as safe and supported as possible as we seek urgent placements with a local authority. Further care is provided in hotels by teams of social workers and nurses. All children receive a welfare interview which includes questions designed to identify potential indicators of trafficking or safeguarding issues and subsequent safeguarding plans are put in place.

It would be very helpful given these full questions and answers for our Sussex MPs and Ministers to reflect on these subjects. Along with our local MPs perhaps the Council leaders and other local agencies could also have a chance to respond to these words and indeed to provide information to the Government. Along with those questions from Ian Byrne last Tuesday, the following day included a session with the Prime Minister and the only Sussex MP who took part was Caroline Lucas who is the MP for Brighton Pavilion. She raised the question

It is nearly 10 years since the tragic death of nine-year-old Ella Roberta, the first person ever to have air pollution listed on their death certificate. Yesterday, the environmental improvement plan pledged to improve air quality, but the Government’s target of 2040 is a whole generation away. I do not think that that is fast enough, and neither does Ella’s mum, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. So I ask on her mum’s behalf: will the Prime Minister agree to meet us both to discuss the lifesaving measures in a proposed new Bill called Ella’s law?

Sadly the response from the Prime Minister did not include the option for Caroline and Roasamund to meet with him which is very sad. He started with

It is very sad to hear the case of Ella, and our thoughts and hearts go out to her family. Regarding the legislation, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will make a statement later today. We are confident that the measures we are putting in place are not only legally binding but world leading in tackling air quality.

Clearly it would be very good if he could review that request. Some of the other debates that took place last week included a Bee Killing Pesticide session on Wednesday which included Caroline Lucas on several times and a Building Safety debate that took place on Monday that involved Peter Bottomley from Worthing West on one occasion. On Tuesday there was also a session which included Lloyd Russell-Moyle from Brighton and he focused on the local RISE charity and spoke about it several times.

Along with these events last week, on Wednesday afternoon there will be a session entitled Climate change and biodiversity. It is indicated as a role of nature in adapting to climate change and it is being organised by Sally-Ann Hart from Hastings and Rye so it will be interesting to observe it.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Brighton & Hove, Charities, Community Safety, Housing, Immigration, Parliament and Democracy, Youth Issues and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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