Ben Dean-Titterrell

Politics and beer. Travel content coming soon…

Month: May, 2016

James Heappey weekly: No.10

jamesheappey

Week 23 May – 29 May

In a week when the EU referendum campaign moved into its final month, the Office for National Statistics reported that in the year to December 2015 net migration hit 330,000 – the second highest figure on record, and doubt was cast on Vote Leave’s assertion that it costs the UK £350 million a week to be a member of the EU, what did James Heappey do?

Speeches and written questions

James Heappey did not speak in Parliament on any days allotted to debating the Queen’s Speech and has not yet spoken in this parliamentary session.

Voting record

James Heappey voted four times this week; once on 25 May and three times on 26 May.

On 25 May Mr Heappey voted once on proposals to amend an address due to be presented to Her Majesty thanking her for the Gracious Speech. He voted: against an Opposition motion to add an amendment that would express regret the Gracious Speech contained proposals to allow further increases to university tuition fees.

On 26 May the Wells MP voted three times on proposals to amend an address due to be presented to Her Majesty thanking her for the Gracious Speech. He voted: against an Opposition motion to add an amendment that would express regret the Gracious Speech fails to deliver for working people and protect public service; against an SNP motion to add an amendment that would express regret that the measures set out fail to meet the challenges facing the majority of people living in the nations and regions of the UK; and for an amendment that would express regret the Gracious Speech did not feature a Bill to protect the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Mr Heappey voted with the majority and way loyal to the government on all four votes.

Energy and Climate Change Committee

It was a busy week for the Committee who held two oral evidence sessions this week.

On 24 May the Committee held another evidence session relating to their inquiry into the delays to the development of Hinkley C. James Heappey asked a total of 22 questions to witnesses present at the session. At one point Mr Heappey asked Vincent de Rivaz, CEO of EDF Energy, whether Hinkley C will be operational by 2025. He asked “Can you confirm that Hinkley Point will be operational in 2025?” to which Mr de Rivaz replied “We understand fully the need for that to be the case.” After some back and forth between the two men Mr Heappey asked “because you are still working—there are 600 people employed on site and you are spending hundreds of millions of pounds still down there; that is very welcome down in Somerset—does that mean 2025 is still your date?” Mr de Rivaz responded “It is certainly the date we would like to be able to confirm at the moment of the Final Investment Decision.” Mr Heappey seemed content with the answer, saying “Okay. We will leave that there.”

On 25 May the Committee held an oral evidence session looking into the implications for UK energy and climate change policy of the EU referendum. Mr Heappey was present at the session but did not ask any questions.

James Heappey weekly: No.9

jamesheappey

Week 16 May – 22 May

In a week when the Queen carried out her 63rd State Opening of Parliament, Andy Burnham launched his bid to be mayor of Greater Manchester, and Manchester United won the FA Cup, what did James Heappey do?

Speeches and written questions

James Heappey hasn’t spoken in Parliament since 9 May. It’s likely he’ll speak at some point in the six days of the debate on the Queen’s Speech, three of which have now passed.

Voting record

There have been no divisions in the Commons for James Heappey to vote on since 11 May.

Energy and Climate Change Committee

The committee did not hold any oral evidence sessions this week. They announced that they will take evidence on delays to the Hinkley Point C project on 24 May and on the implications of the EU referendum to energy and climate change policy on 25 May.

Expenses

Since the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority publish expenses data every two months, and during the intervening period there’s nothing new to report, I’ll stop including this section. I’ll bring it back when they publish the data for February and March 2016, which should be at some point in July.

James Heappey weekly: No.8

jamesheappey

Week 9 May – 15 May

In a week when it was announced that the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war would be published on 6 July, David Cameron called Afghanistan and Nigeria two of the most corrupt countries in the world, and Ukraine won Eurovision, what did James Heappey do?

Speeches and written questions

James Heappey spoke once this week in the Commons, asking Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan a question following her statement on the government’s policy on academies. Mr Heappey welcomed the Secretary of State’s statement, saying “The statement that she has made today will be most welcome in Somerset. I have recently visited a number of good and outstanding local authority-controlled schools in my constituency, which see the attraction of academisation but are nervous about the transition.” He asked if she would “set out how her Department will work with schools and local authorities to facilitate that transition at a time of a school’s choosing?” The Secretary of State replied that Mr Heappey should “speak to his regional schools commissioner, who has an important position in the local community in working with schools that want to convert and can raise any problems directly with me or the Minister for Schools.”

Voting Record

Mr Heappey voted six times this week  on three different Bills.

On 9 May he voted once on the Energy Bill. He voted: for rejecting a Lords amendment to an earlier Commons amendment to the Bill regarding the issue of planning permission for onshore wind power stations in England and Wales.

Also on 9 May the MP for Wells voted three times on the Housing and Planning Bill. He voted: for rejecting a Lords amendment to an earlier Commons amendment to the Bill that would allow local planning authorities to meet all or part of its starter homes requirement through the form of other low cost housing if it can prove there is a need for alternative low cost home ownership; for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would allow local planning authorities to keep part of a payment due to the Secretary of State to build social housing; and for replacing a Lords amendment to the Bill that would set out the process of a neighbourhood right to appeal against new housing development with an amendment that would further set out what English local planning authorities have to include in reports on planning applications.

Finally on 9 May James Heappey voted once on the Immigration Bill. He voted: for accepting an amendment to the Bill that sets out for how long a pregnant woman may be detained.

On 11 May Mr Heappey voted once on the Housing and Planning Bill. He voted: for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would set out how many homes must be able to be built with any reduction in payment should the Secretary of State and a local housing authority enter into an agreement to reduce the amount that the authority is required to pay.

James Heappey voted with the majority and was loyal to the government on all six votes.

Energy and Climate Change Committee

On 11 May the committee held a one off evidence session on the issue of the economic recovery of the oil and gas industries. Mr Heappey asked several question during the evidence session.

He asked a panel of people involved in the oil and gas industry “What could be done to accelerate progress towards collaborative working across the industry?” Jake Molloy, Regional Organiser in the Offshore Energy Branch of the RMT Union, answered by saying “What would help [is] if the club to which all of the oil companies are joined up to, Oil & Gas UK, were bound by rules. [They] will no doubt tell you they can’t mandate what their member companies do, that to me is a failure.” Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, replied “We’re not a golf club – we can’t mandate our members, in the same way as you don’t mandate your members, Jake. What we can do is we can encourage them and get them to show leadership in that space.”

Expenses

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have released MPs expenses data for December 2015 and January 2016. During those two months James Heappey made ten expenses claims totaling £10,930.81 with the largest single claim being made on December 15 for £3,443.04 to pay rent for Mr Heappey’s constituency office. On either London accommodation rent or constituency office rent the Wells MP claimed a total of £10,093.04 in the two months of expenses data added.

All of Mr Heappey’s claims have been paid in full and none have had to be repaid.

James Heappey weekly: No.7

jamesheappey

Week 1 May – 8 May

In a week when Labour’s Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London and the Conservatives came second in the Scottish parliament elections, the government u-turned on their plans to make all schools become academies by 2020, and Leicester City won the Premier League, what did James Heappey do?

Speeches and written questions

Nothing to report this week. James Heappey hasn’t made a speech in Parliament since a debate on the Energy Bill on 20 April.

Voting Record

James Heappey voted six times this week.

On 3 May Mr Heappey voted five times on aspects of the Housing and Planning Bill. He voted: for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would have made it so an English planning authority could only grant permission for residential development if it had taken into account the provision of starter homes; for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would allow local housing authorities to keep an amount of a payment they may receive from the government to reduce the amount they pay and use that part of the payment to provide new social housing; for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would make it so local housing authorities “may”, rather than “must”, charge rent from a high income social housing tenant; for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would require all new homes built to meet standards intended to reduce carbon emissions; for rejecting a Lords amendment that would bring in a clause to amend the Water Industry Act 1991.

On 4 May Mr Heappey voted just the once on an opposition motion about NHS bursaries. He voted: against an opposition motion that would call on the government to drop its plans to remove bursaries that are currently used to help recruit NHS staff.

Energy and climate change committee

The Committee did not hold any oral evidence sessions this week.

Expenses

We are now over a week into May and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is still yet to publish its most recent data for MP’s expenses. At some point this month they aim to publish data for December 2015 and January 2016.

James Heappey weekly: No.6

jamesheappey

Week 25 April – 1 May

In a week when a two year long inquiry found that the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed and that the fans were in no way responsible for their deaths, Labour MP Naz Shah was suspended from the Labour Party for making anti-semitic comments on Facebook in 2014, Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party for saying Hitler supported Zionism, what did James Heappey do?

Speeches and written questions

James Heappey has not spoken in the Commons since 20 April and has not submitted a written question since 18 March.

Voting record

It was a busy week for the Wells MP who cast a total of 12 votes on three different bills.

On 25 April James Heappey voted five times on aspects of the Immigration Bill. He voted: for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would have allowed 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children from Europe into the UK; for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would have required immigration rules to  make provision for leave to remain in the United Kingdom to be granted to an overseas domestic worker; for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would have set out a time limit for how long a person can be detained and replacing it with an amendment that sets out the requirement to consider an application for bail;  for rejecting a Lords amendment to the Bill that would prevent the detention of any person the Secretary of State knows to be pregnant and replacing it with an amendment that says no pregnant woman may be detained for longer than 72 hours, or seven days when a longer detention is authorised; and for rejecting an amendment that would set out permission for asylum seekers to work after six months of their asylum application being submitted.

On 26 April James Heappey voted five times on aspects of the Policing and Crime Bill. He voted: against an amendment to the Bill that would prevent Police and Crime Commissioners from taking over the functions of Fire and Rescue Authorities; against an amendment that would require the Secretary of State to conduct a review on the level of funding the Fire and Rescue Service requires in order to secure public safety before she may allow a Police and Crime Commissioner to be a fire and rescue authority; against an amendment that would ensure that a Police and Crime Commissioner can only take over a Fire and Rescue Service with the approval of local people or their local representatives; against an amendment that would remove the provision for volunteer PCSOs to be issued with CS spray and PAVA spray (two types of pepper spray); and against an amendment that would guarantee that police funding would be protected in a police grant settlement approved by Parliament before proposals to grant additional police powers to volunteers can be brought forward.

On 27 April James Heappey vote twice on aspects of the Trade Union Bill. He voted: for accepting a Lords amendment to the Bill that sets out an independent review into electronic balloting; and for rejecting a Lords amendment to leave out a clause that would require relevant public sector employers to publish information on how many of their employees are involved in the relevant trade union.

James Heappey voted with the majority and was loyal to the government on all 12 votes.

Energy and Climate Change committee

On 26 April the committee held an oral evidence session for their inquiry into low carbon network infrastructure. James Heappey asked a dozen questions during the session and asked many of them to Andrea Leadsom, a Minister at the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Among the questions Mr Heappey asked were several on the issue of smart meters and what the government would deem a successful level of uptake. Mr Heappey said “Minister, would you care to offer what percentage uptake of smart meters would you deem to have been a success by 2020?” The Minister replied that “The absolute goal is that every consumer is offered a smart meter by 2020.” Mr Heappey pushed for a precise figure on what the DECC would consider a successful level of uptake. After several more questions and an intervention from Angus MacNeil, Chair of the committee, it was established that there was no target.

Expenses

It’s now May. At some point this month the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will publish expenses data for December 2015 and January 2016.