Derek Thomas – speeches and questions

Derek Thomas recent speeches: live RSS feed

  • Environment Bill (28 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker—and I thank the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury) for her intervention. [Laughter.] For the Environment Bill, Rewilding Britain has made some incredible observations about what could be achieved with public money for the public good. It says that 6 million hectares of rewilding—regenerating woodland, peatlands and species-rich...
  • Environment Bill (28 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: Mr Deputy Speaker, I am not sure what your plans are in the next few weeks—you may be busy—but I want to invite you to west Cornwall, where you will find areas of outstanding natural beauty, sites of special scientific interest, nature reserves, special protection areas and marine conservation zones by the dozen. They are on the increase, not because of European legislation but because of...
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I commend my hon. Friend the Member for Honiton and Tiverton—
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I commend my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton (Neil Parish)—Tiverton is obviously first—for securing the debate and for all he does with his Select Committee. This is such an urgent issue, and the report is timely. It contains some helpful work and recommendations, and I hope that the Government take seriously and implement them all. It is urgent that we cut plastic...
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I will not comment on Tiverton and Honiton again. I say that my constituency is the most beautiful because, apart from a short section that neighbours the constituencies of my hon. Friends the Members for Camborne and Redruth (George Eustice) and for Truro and Falmouth (Sarah Newton), we are entirely surrounded by the sea. However, although ours is a beautiful, unspoiled part of the world...
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I welcome that intervention, and the fact that we agree on that is brilliant. The hon. Lady is right: I always say to everyone who comes down, or who wishes to, that the sun always shines—which is true, although sometimes the rain gets in between.
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I can, but the clouds sometimes obscure it. On the Isles of Scilly, where it is 12 °C and warm and beautiful, there is no hiding the fact that plastic pollution is taking its toll. I am the parliamentary species champion for the Manx shearwater, a ground-nesting bird that was in significant decline. We have been able to turn that decline around on the Isles of Scilly because we have been...
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I completely accept that. Cutting down on food miles and getting better at using food when it is available, and from close to where it is supplied, might be part of the solution to food waste. I agree with the hon. Lady, however, and I will come to the alternatives in a moment.
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I will not criticise my own Government, but I learned home economics in school, which taught me what cauliflowers and so on look like when picked from the ground. There is a joke around in Cornwall about children thinking that bottles of milk are literally collected from nests, rather than that milk comes from cows. However, the point has been properly made that we need to get to a place...
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I agree, and I intended to refer to the report picking up on that point, so I thank my hon. Friend for the intervention. First, therefore, let us get that issue properly sorted out and the information communicated clearly, so that we have practical measures to deal with items described as compostable and biodegradable. We need to support the innovation of alternatives. A number of...
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I agree, and I welcome that intervention. It is true that there will be some single-use plastic that we cannot avoid. If we go into a hospital, we will find items that are wrapped for what are obviously good reasons. I will name-check now if I am permitted to, Mr Stringer. There is a large outlet—retailer—in my constituency called Thornes. It sells a lot of fruit and veg and all sorts of...
  • Plastic Food and Drink Packaging — [Graham Stringer in the Chair] (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I am not here to beat up the supermarkets, and if I have done so, I apologise. I welcome the intervention, and the hon. Gentleman is right: in Cornwall, we have an excellent project—it is very early in the embryonic stage—called Hive, which is doing just what he describes. Already this year, it has taken 8 tonnes of food from the local supermarket, turned it into nutritious meals and...
  • Transport: Transport Sustainability (24 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: Road improvements are a key part of making transport sustainable for the future. The A30 goes all the way from London to my home town of Penzance, and part of it runs through villages and has traffic lights. Will the Minister meet me to ensure that improvements to the A30 are included in road investment strategy 2?
  • Debate on the Address: The Climate Emergency (17 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: We have heard lots about what we have not achieved, but it is worth pointing out that in the last two weeks the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has sold at auction the ability to deliver a quarter of our energy from wind power by 2025, so that is good news. In Cornwall, and on Scilly in particular, we have the smart islands initiative. It is not new; it was in the...
  • Government Plan for Net Zero Emissions — [James Gray in the Chair] (8 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Truro and Falmouth (Sarah Newton) for her excellent opening remarks, and for putting this subject back on the agenda. I also commend my constituents, hundreds of whom have spoken to me this year about their concerns in a way that has been constructive and productive, and that has helped me to understand my role as a local MP in bringing about change. We...
  • Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Reforming Probation (8 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: Good probation can be the means to transform young people’s lives and help to rehabilitate them in communities. We do not have a prison in Cornwall, but we have many people who are involved in this process. What can the Minister do to help those organisations to get the funds they need to support those young lives, so that they can play a full part in life?
  • Social Care Funding — [Sir Charles Walker in the Chair] (1 Oct 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I started the year encouraged by the 10-year plan and now by this weekend’s infrastructure investment. They are both welcome. Certainly, in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly, there is an ambition and enthusiasm for how they can use such opportunities to put right the challenges that we have. We all recognise, as has already been said this afternoon, that everything hinges on how we...
  • Health Infrastructure Plan (30 Sep 2019)
    Derek Thomas: I welcome this fantastic announcement. Our fantastic NHS staff are expected to deliver modern NHS services in buildings that were designed for a completely different era. Therefore, when considering the proposals that will come forward from Cornwall, will he pay particular attention to those that involve modern technology, so that people do not have to travel to the centre to receive...
  • Brexit Readiness: Operation Yellowhammer (25 Sep 2019)
    Derek Thomas: In his statement, my right hon. Friend referred to the measures that were taken to ensure that fish caught today along the coast of Cornwall would be sold the following day in the EU. This welcome statement will reassure fishermen in Newlyn, but uncertainty, lack of investment, and concerns over ownership of the quota are already causing problems. Will the Secretary say something to reassure...
  • Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: Heart Diseases: Medical Treatments (26 Jul 2019)
    Derek Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 272771 on Heart Diseases: Health Services, if he will estimate the number of patients with structural heart diseases who have been unable to access transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedures by region in each year from 2015 to 2019; and if he will make an assessment of the...