Hugo Swire’s latest questions in Parliament – motorcycle noise, Venezuela, Scotland, Egyptian tourisn

Verbatim from his official website:

You can read about Hugo’s activities in Parliament, including his most recent speeches and appearances below (provided by they workforyou):

Motorcycles: Noise | Department for Transport | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the penalty is for motorcycles exceeding permissible noise levels on roads.

Motorcycles: Noise | Department for Transport | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to reduce the level of acceptable noise from motorcycles in the next 12 mon

Motorcycles: Noise | Department for Transport | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with industry to better regulate noise emissions from motorcycle

Motorcycles: Noise | Department for Transport | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of legislation governing noise from motor

Motorcycles: Noise | Department for Transport | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many prosecutions there have been for motorcycles exceeding acceptable noise levels in e

Venezuela: Politics and Government | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has discussed the political and economic situation in Vene

Venezuela: Politics and Government | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in Latin America on

Venezuela: Politics and Government | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Venezuela on the

Venezuela: Politics and Government | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the political

Venezuela: Politics and Government | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political and economic situ

Sovereignty: Scotland | Scotland Office | Written Answers
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what the cost to the public purse was of the 2014 Scottish referendum.

Aviation Security | Commons debates
I have just returned from a Conservative Middle East Council trip to Egypt, where we were able to see the devastating effect to the local

Aviation Security | Commons debates
I have just returned from a Conservative Middle East Council trip to Egypt, where we were able to see the devastating effect to the local”
[it goes on to request resumption of flights to Sharn el Sheikh …

https://www.hugoswire.org.uk/parliament?page=1

Guardian on Devon Police and Crime Commissioner election expenses

“Investigators examining whether a police and crime commissioner failed to properly declare expenses during the last general election have referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Independent Police Complaints Commissionhas sent the CPS a file on the allegations against Alison Hernandez, the Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner.

Hernandez was an election agent for Conservative MP for Kevin Foster’s successful candidacy for the Torbay seat at the 2015 general election. Last year she was elected as the PCC for Devon and Cornwall after standing as the Tory candidate.

The IPCC revealed on Wednesday that the matter had been referred to the CPS.

A spokesperson said: “The managed investigation into allegations that Alison Hernandez failed to properly declare election expenses during the 2015 general election is complete and the matter has been referred to the CPS.

“Ms Hernandez was employed as an election agent for the Conservative candidate in the parliamentary constituency of Torbay. A referral to the CPS is made when the IPCC investigation indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed. It does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow. The CPS will decide whether any charges should be brought.

Q&A: what is the Conservative election expenses row about?

“The managed investigation was undertaken by West Mercia police under the direction and control of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and overseen by IPCC deputy chair Sarah Green.”

Devon and Cornwall is among a dozen police forces to have passed files to the CPS over allegations that up to 20 Conservative MPs broke local spending limits at the last general election.

Prosecutors have to decide whether to charge the MPs or their agents, after a 10-month investigation into whether party spending on an election battlebus that brought activists to marginal seats was wrongly recorded as national spending.

Andrew White, chief executive for the office of the PCC for Devon and Cornwall, said Hernandez would continue in her role while the CPS considered the case.

He added: “Although the case is being referred to the CPS, at this time, no decision has been made about whether charges will be laid against Ms Hernandez. There is no presumption that their consideration will lead to a charge and even if the CPS decide to charge it may be many months before any case comes to court.

“This referral does not prevent the commissioner from holding the position of PCC. If a charge is brought this remains the case – it would not prevent her from remaining in office,.

“I am certain that some will see this as a significant stage in the investigation but in British justice an individual is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

“There is no charge, no trial and no verdict, and neither is there any impediment to the commissioner carrying out her duties as an elected representative of the people of Devon and Cornwall.”

Hernandez recently published her first police and crime plan and budget after Devon and Cornwall’s biggest ever public consultation on policing.

White said: “She has made additional funds available to the chief constable to allow him to recruit an additional 100 front line police officers and recently announced a new initiative that will change the way first time offenders are treated by the criminal justice system.

“If you consider her achievements since being elected to office I believe it confirms my view that the commissioner is fully meeting her obligations to the people of Devon and Cornwall.”

Hernandez is paid a salary of £85,000 a year, a figure is set by the home secretary. She has previously worked as a councillor.

She was on the Isles of Scilly on Tuesday speaking to police and members of the public and was understood to be working in Penzance on Wednesday.

Hernandez was not available for comment.”

What SHOULD super-Mayors (and LEPs) be doing?

This is what a think tank believes Mayors (and by extension Local Enterprise Partnerships) SHOULD be tackling.

Can anyone see any of these issues being given attention in our Devon and Somerset super-mayoral area?

… Mayors are due to be elected in May in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Tees Valley, Liverpool City Region, Cambridgeshire/ Peterborough and West of England, the latter an area based around Bristol.

The IPPR said its evidence base showed mayors should deliver inclusive growth by using their transport policy to prioritise poor neighbourhoods, establishing development corporations and championing the living wage and higher employment standards.

They could improve infrastructure by integrating land use planning and working with central government on housing investment and seek to embed health in all public policy.

The IPPR also urged mayors to set up companies to pilot ‘invest-to-save’ models in employment support, and to collaborate with councils to tackle homelessness….”

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30775%3Athink-tank-urges-new-mayors-to-make-full-use-of-powers&catid=59&

Devon Police and Crime Commissioner election expenses case will be referred for prosecution

“The investigation into Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alison Hernandez and election spending will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has confirmed it intends to pass the file to the CPS after an investigation by West Mercia Police.

The CPS will consider whether any charges should be brought along with the cases of other MPs connected to spending on an election “battle bus” said to have exceeded the limit.

Andrew White, chief executive for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon & Cornwall, said the commissioner would not step down even if charges follow.

“This referral does not prevent the commissioner from holding the position of PCC,” he added. “If a charge is brought this remains the case – it would not prevent her from remaining in office.” To ensure absolute independence, in circumstances such as these, there is a clear legal process to be followed,” he said.

West Mercia police carried out the investigation into Ms Hernandez in her position as election agent to Torbay MP Kevin Foster in 2015, rather than Devon and Cornwall, to avoid any suggestion of bias.

The force is also considering whether to refer a second, linked investigation into spending locally to the CPS. A decision on this is expected soon and could see the commissioner face two charges in court.

“Although the case is being referred to the CPS, at this time, no decision has been made about whether charges will be laid against Ms Hernandez,” Mr White added. “There is no presumption that their consideration will lead to a charge and even if the CPS decide to charge it may be many months before any case comes to court.”

Mr White also clarified how the development affects Ms Hernandez’ position as PCC. “I am certain that some will see this as a significant stage in the investigation but in British justice an individual is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. “There is no charge, no trial and no verdict, and neither is there any impediment to the commissioner carrying out her duties as an elected representative of the people of Devon and Cornwall.”

Read more at http://www.devonlive.com/crime-czar-s-election-expenses-case-referred-to-cps-for-charging-decision/story-30266031-detail/story.html

Hugo Swire – another job – Twitterer par excellence!

The proof? This wonderful picture of him, Stuart Hughes and A.N. Other – under another wonderful picture of an egg laid by one of the hens at his MID-DEVON home recently posted to his Twitter account:

Perhaps the photographer thought calves, ankles and feet were their best features to woo voters with.

Mrs Swire, who is employed at around £35,000/year in his office, is said to “help” with his publicity – perhaps she was the person taking the photo or putting it on to Twitter? Though never having seen her in the flesh locally (has anyone not in the higher echelons of the local Tory party EVER seen her?) Owl wouldn’t be able to identify her.

Perhaps she’s home in MID-DEVON looking after the hens. Important job if you want fresh breakfast eggs.

Just another reminder about Mr Swire’s view of his “non-job” in EAST Devon:
https://www.hugoswire.org.uk/news/blog-greed-george-osborne

Forty percent of south-west GPs planning to quit due to NHS chaos

About two in five GPs in the south-west of England are planning to quit, exposing a potential doctors’ crisis in the NHS. A survey of more than 2,000 GPs in the region revealed the impending healthcare problems.

Figures published last month showed there had been a drop in the number of GPs working in the NHS despite the government aim of recruiting 5,000 more by 2020.

The survey, carried out by the University of Exeter, also found that seven in 10 GPs intended to change their working patterns in a way that would mean less contact with patients. This included leaving patient care, taking a career break or reducing their hours.

The researchers said the data provided a snapshot of low morale which, if echoed in other regions, could point to a deeper and more imminent crisis than previously anticipated in relation to the worsening shortage of GPs nationwide.

John Campbell, a professor who led the research, which is published in BMJ Open, has called for a move away from “sticking plaster solutions” towards robust, joined-up, action to avert the crisis nationwide.

Campbell, a practising GP, said: “We carried out this survey because of a nationally recognised crisis in the shortage of GPs across the country, and our findings show an even bleaker outlook than expected for GP cover, even in an area which is often considered desirable, and which has many rural communities.

“If GPs have similar intentions to leave or reduce their hours in other regions, as many are reporting, the country needs to take robust action more swiftly and urgently than previously thought.”

The research team sent surveys to 3,370 GPs across the region and received responses from 2,248, with 54% reporting low morale.

Campbell said: “We know that there’s an ageing workforce in general practice, with 30% of GPs being over 50 years old. Previous research has found that GP morale is low because of workload pressures, and many younger GPs do not want the financial risk and responsibilities of taking on a practice.

“Yet if the GPs we surveyed fulfil their intentions to leave or to cut back their patient contact, and no action is taken to address the issue, the south-west of England will experience a severe shortfall of GPs in the next five years.

“Whilst numerous government-led initiatives are under way to address recruitment, there is a need to address the underlying serious malaise which is behind this data.

“We are in a perilous situation in England, with poor morale of the current GP workforce, and major difficulties with recruitment and retention of GPs reflected in the stark overall reduction in the GP workforce. Reactive, sticking-plaster, approaches are not the answer.”

Campbell said GPs and their teams delivered nine in every 10 patient contacts with the NHS but attracted just seven pence in every pound of NHS spending.

“The government needs to work with the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Medical Association and universities to obtain evidence on the causes of the problem, to develop and implement relevant strategy, and to effect fundamental change in healthcare resourcing and planning nationwide,” he said.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/12/two-in-five-gps-in-south-west-of-england-plan-to-quit-survey-finds