The Future of the Newport Passport Office
The Welsh Affairs Committee has decided to hold a one off evidence session to investigate the future of the Passport Office in Newport on Tuesday 16 November, following the statement from the Wales Office regarding the closure of the office.
Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, David T. C. Davies said,
"The closure of the Passport Office would have a huge impact on Newport and potentially much wider ramifications for Wales as a whole. This Committee will always be keen to examine issues within our remit which affect the people of Wales. We have therefore decided to hold an inquiry into this matter at the first date available to us".
The Committee asks for written submissions on this issue in accordance with the guidelines stated below. The deadline for written submissions is
Monday 8 November 2010. Witnesses for the session will be announced in due course.
Each submission should:
* begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
* have numbered paragraphs; and
* be in Word format or a rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible. Please do not send your submission as a PDF document.
A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> and marked "The future of Newport Passport office".
An additional paper copy should be sent to:
Welsh Affairs Committee
House of Commons
Wales under attack
In the same week as the Government announced the closure of the Newport Regional Passport Office with the loss of 255 jobs, staff employed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in Wales have been told their jobs are under threat.
Cardiff DSA, based in Caradog House, has about 80 staff and the office deals with the deployment to test centres of all driving examiners in the south of the country (England and Wales), it has responsibility for the Driving Test Centre estate across the south as well and books all driving tests for Welsh speakers.
Staff were told last Friday that the office is under threat of closure and PCS members believe a decision could be reached by Friday (October 15).
PCS Wales Secretary, Peter Harris said, ‘It beggars belief that the UK Government is set to inflict more misery on Welsh workers on the back of the disgraceful announcement to axe the Newport Passport office. There seems to be a cavalier, indifference to the dangers these cuts pose to our fragile Welsh Economy.'
In Parliament's 'No' lobby buckets were out this week.
Water was pouring in from the ceiling. Who failed to fix the roof when the sun was shining?
Such a thing never happened in thirteen years of Labour control.
The new (Public Administration Committee) PASC publishes a report at midnight about Equitable Life.
It's based on a stormy session this morning. We had Tory Minister Mark Hoban along. In opposition he stormed that Equitable Life pensioners deserved full compensation. They had been waiting too long. He claimed that 15 were dying every day. Just the sort of thing that gives cynical pre-election fear-mongering a bad name. All Tory candidates were lined up to sign a pledge to die in a ditch for Equitable Life pensioners. That was in April.
Jekyll turned to Hyde after the May election. Hoban said the pensioners will have another wait even longer. Probably until early next year. Then, if they lucky, they will get a pittance. Possibly £400. That's about 20% of what they had lost. If Hoban's emotional blackmail figures are correct, 2,500 more pensioners have died since the election. I asked him this morning whether he was ashamed of himself.
He said he wasn't. Hyde is proud of Jekyll.
The report states: '
"The government should commission a new assessment of the losses suffered by people who saved with Equitable Life, a committee of MPs has said.
The Public Administration Select Committee is calling on the government not to determine a final compensation until the Ombudsman's full recommendation have been considered."
The report also states that politicians should honour their promises. This Government has not done that. Unfortunately it would be a mistake to raise false hopes. This report is meant to quieten the consciences of MP rather than offer real hope of substantial compensation. False hope should not be aroused again.