Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Adam Afriyie welcomes Lunar Mission One as a “visionary project” for space exploration

A new British-led space mission, Lunar Mission One, has been announced today.

The mission plans to reach the South Pole of the moon within 10 years and undertake a variety of space research including on lunar rock dating back 4.5 billion years.

Mr Afriyie, who chairs Parliament’s Space Committee, is hosting a briefing for parliamentarians on the mission today in Parliament.

Adam Afriyie, Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, said:

“Today marks another milestone in the UK’s fast-growing space industry. I wish the Lunar Mission One team the utmost success in their mission, which will energise future generations with an enthusiasm for space exploration and research.

“Lunar Mission One is a visionary project that has huge potential. Not only can it keep Britain at the forefront of the global space industry, but it also has huge potential to engage people of all ages in the fascinating world of space technology and innovation.

“The UK space industry has consistently delivered jobs and economic growth and this mission will help raise awareness of the space sector’s huge contribution to GDP, research, materials science, communications, satellite navigation and earth monitoring systems.

“It’s great that Lunar Mission One will encourage people to lift their eyes to the stars once again.

“Lunar Mission One will focus attention on the significant advances in engineering, space flight, biology and education.

“Having met and worked with its founder, David Iron, over the last 5 years, I want to thank the team behind Lunar Mission One who have pushed so hard for this exciting mission to take place.

“Britain has led space research in the past and this pioneering mission can help us to lead advances in the future.”


Unemployment falls again in Windsor

Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, has welcomed new figures from the Office of National Statistics showing that since the last General Election, there are now 60% fewer claimants of unemployment benefits.

Adam Afriyie commented:

“The Conservative-led Government has made many tough but necessary decisions to move the economy in the right direction.

“Important changes on welfare and Government spending have led to an increase in the number of jobs and a vast reduction in unemployment. In the Windsor constituency, well over 700 people have moved from benefits into work.

“In the last month alone, 46 people who were on benefits have found work.

“Jobs are essential for everyone in society. They give people a stake in society, hope for the future and the means to build the skills and experience that put you on the road to success.

“But we cannot afford to be complacent. There are still people who haven’t found work or people on low pay who are finding it difficult to make their way in life.

“That’s why we need to continue the good work that the Conservatives are doing in Government. I hope that there will be a Conservative majority Government in 2015 to ensure that the economy delivers for everyone.


The European Arrest Warrant

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK citizens were subject to a European arrest warrant in 2013-14.

And to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many European Arrest Warrant requests levied against British citizens have been refused in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14.

Karen Bradley (Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime): In 2013-14, the National Crime Agency received 7,881 arrest warrants from other EU Member States, of which 132 (or 1.67%) were issued in respect of UK nationals.

In the financial year 2013-14, ten Arrest Warrants from Member States for British nationals were refused by the courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Information is not held for the financial years 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Financial year 2013-14
Final court decisions on Arrest Warrants issued by Member States for the surrender of British Nationals 46
Arrest Warrants for British nationals that were refused by the court 10
Arrest Warrant for British nationals refused as a proportion of total of final court decisions. 22%

Of the total number of surrenders from England, Wales and Northern Ireland between April 2009 and March 2014, over 95% (4,855 of 5,072) of people surrendered were foreign nationals and just over 4.3% (217 of 5,072) were British nationals. By way of comparison, in non-Arrest Warrant cases over a similar period 40% of those extradited have been British nationals.

Universal Free School Meals

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential costs and benefits of the introduction of universal infant free school meals in the UK.

Mr David Laws (Minister of State for Schools): The Department for Education is responsible for the introduction of the requirement that state-funded schools in England should offer universal infant free school meals, which came into effect on 1 September 2014.

Between 2009 and 2011 the Department for Education and the Department of Health piloted the provision of universal free school meals in Durham and Newham. The independent evaluation of those pilots showed that there were a number of benefits arising from the provision of universal free school meals, including improved attainment, healthier eating habits and increases in the uptake of meals among children who would have been eligible for free school meals under the existing criteria. We also know, from research carried out by the School Food Trust (now Children’s Food Trust), that universal infant free school meals will save families who previously paid for school lunches up to £400 a year per infant child.

The Department has used School Food Trust research into the costs of school meal provision, as well as feedback from local authorities and stakeholders, to inform the allocation of funding for this policy and the targeting of implementation support. In particular, this research informed the decision to allocate £2.30 of revenue funding per meal taken by newly eligible pupils.

Repair and Renew Grants

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Repair and Renew grant scheme.

Dan Rogerson (Parliamentary under-Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management): We are working closely with local authorities, with support from the Environment Agency, to ensure the effective delivery and deliver the maximum benefit for the ‘Repair and Renew’ grant. We are aware of a number of collaborative applications that will have multiple beneficiaries. These demonstrate particularly effective use of the grant.

The scheme is still running. All local authorities must claim reimbursement for grant payments from Defra by 31 March 2015. After then we will be better placed to assess the effectiveness of the scheme.