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Gordon's next Advice Surgery - Friday 7th July

Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South)

Gordon is to hold his first advice surgery since the election next Friday (7th July).

This will take place from 3.00pm to around 4.00pm at the Salvation Army on Raikes Parade, Blackpool, FY1 4EL.

Appointments are required and can be made by either calling 01253 344143 or emailing gordonmarsdenmp@parliament.uk . 

My first Prime Minister's Question

Ben Bradley (Mansfield)

Today, I asked my first question in the Commons Chamber.  It was, of course, a very daunting experience for someone just elected as an MP, with 600+ faces watching you.
I asked the Prime Minister whether she thought that the fact that the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn has flip-flopped on a number of issues, including his stance on Brexit and Trident caused the result in my Mansfield constituency.
In the first instance, I am clear that Mansfield voted to leave the EU to enable us to have control of its borders, and Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s desire to keep Britain in the Single Market is clearly completely contrary to this aim.
The Labour leader’s muddled stance on Trident is another bone of contention, promising publicly to support Trident renewal, as per his party’s line, whilst later stating that he would dismantle the programme at the Glastonbury Festival.
It is clear that neither of the viewpoints presented by Jeremy Corbyn are in the national interest, and that only a Conservative Government can deliver on the European Referendum result and keep Britain safe in these uncertain times.

Plan to scrap pay cap fails

Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South)

An amendment to the Queen’s Speech to end the pay cap for public sector workers was tabled by Labour yesterday.

Regrettably it was defeated in the House of Commons by 323 votes to 309 last night.

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s first Labour MP, supported scrapping the pay cap. 

He said:

“I’m hugely disappointed by the outcome of last night’s vote. 

But I’m even more disappointed for the hard working public servants who dedicate their lives to run the services we all rely on in our great city”.

At lunchtime yesterday, there were signs the Government were seeing sense, but by the evening they voted to keep the pay cap in place. 

The cap on public-sector pay was imposed by George Osborne in 2012 and rolled over for another four years in the chancellor’s 2015 budget, meaning that the ceiling is fixed until 2019.

Stephen added: 

“We need a fairer deal for public sector workers. The cap should be scrapped. I will always work hard to support our city’s teachers, nurses and other public sector employees. That’s what they deserve”.

I was pleased to see in the latest Commission Paper on the future of EU Finances the EU has set out a number of options to pay for a more ambitious Union government. As they say, the level of political ambition must be aligned with the financial means to act. They look at both increasing the contributions from member states, and seeking new direct sources of tax revenue.If they just decide to carry on around the current level of commitment and integration they identify the need for more sources of revenue and the end to rebates. It is in line with many continental wishes for a full Union, and with what some of us predicted prior to the referendum. It is good the UK will not now be trying to stop them and will not be in line for paying.

They also state that “The withdrawal of the UK will signify the loss of an important partner and contributor to the financing of EU policies and programmes. However, it also presents an opportunity for a vital discussion about the modernisation of the EU budget” – as the Uk of course stood in the way of getting rid of rebates to own resource contributions.

They look forward to cancelling all rebates on contributions. They float the idea of directly acting common environmental and energy taxes. They look at taking a percentage of each country’s Corporation Tax and at a Financial Transactions Tax.

They consider auctions under the Emissions Trading System, emission premia for cars, and entry fees for travellers. They could tax electricity and motor fuel. They also expect to make more from seignorage on the Euro.

It will be interesting to see which of the five scenarios the EU signs up, ranging from doing less to doing much more together. It appears from the statements of Mrs Merkel and Mr Macron that the move will be towards doing more and towards greater political union. This will obviously entail accepting higher payments under the current system, allied to new sources of Union revenue from the list above.

Reflection Paper on the future of EU finances EU Commission June 28th 2017

Knight Urges Action on Ivory Trade

Greg Knight (East Yorkshire)

TweetFollowing revelations that dozens of African elephants are still being killed every day East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is backing an all-party Parliamentary motion calling for a total end to the ivory trade in the UK. Under existing law … Continue reading

Queen’s Speech debate – Our NHS

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Queens Speech

For my contribution to the Queen’s Speech debate, I spoke in the time allocated for matters of health and security.

I opened my remarks today by stressing my gratitude to the medical professionals at the Royal Free Hospital, and those across the country, for the unrelenting professionalism with which they have responded to the horrific tragedies the country has suffered over the past few months.

I then addressed the challenges facing the NHS also come from policy decisions taken in Parliament, and I stated my belief that is no bigger challenge than that posed by a hard Brexit. I talked about the consequences of the Government’s feeble offer for EU nationals, in particular the problems it could create within the NHS

The full speech can be viewed here and below.

Tracy Brabin has accused the Government of being ‘out of touch and out of ideas’.

Today, Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin has commented of the Queen’s Speech to Parliament. The Queen’s speech is written by the Government and sets out their legislative plans for the coming years.

This year’s speech was short and many Tory manifesto pledges were left unmentioned, including a controversial vote on reinstating fox hunting and only offered a ‘consultation’ on social care rather than the planned ‘dementia tax’.

There was indication that the government would take the strain off public services after years of cut backs.

Commenting, Tracy Brabin said, “What’s clear is that this Government is out of touch and out of ideas.

This was an opportunity for Theresa May to show she was listening to the concerns of the people of Batley & Spen and she has clearly failed.

Our community wants a 24/7 A&E to remain at Dewsbury Hospital but no extra resources for our NHS were announced.

In West Yorkshire we’ve lost 2,000 police officers since 2010 but there was no promise to recruit more police officers.

Parent’s will be interested to hear a pledge for fair funding of schools, but last time the Tories announced a funding formula they wanted to take £9.4 million from our schools, this time the devil will clearly be in the detail.”

The Queens Speech announced 27 new bills or partial bills, 8 of which were related to Brexit.


Secret Life of Us

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

Today, the Disabled Children’s Partnership, a coalition of more than 35 charities, have joined forces, working closely in partnership with parents, to campaign for improved health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families.

Their campaign Secret Life of Us seeks to increase public awareness of the lives of disabled children, young people and their families and remove the stigma that many face on a daily basis. There are around a million disabled children across England and 97% of parents with a disabled child say the public do not understand the challenges they face.

As the Disabled Children’s Partnership asks: What is the simplest task you do in your day-to-day life? Getting on the bus to school or work? Going to the local shops? Visiting the park?

For the majority of families caring for a child or young person with a disability, these run-of-the-mill activities could be the most challenging tasks they face in their daily lives. It can take weeks to plan, need specialist equipment and transportation, and require additional support. This is made harder because the right support is simply not in place.

With increased awareness and public support a real difference can be made to the lives of disabled children, young people and their families. The Secret Life of Us campaign shows the day-to-day lives of disabled children, young people and their families, the similarities they share with everyone in the things they love and enjoy, but importantly, the unacceptable struggles they face on a daily basis, in living a life that we all take for granted. It will reveal parts of their lives that most people simply do not see.

In my region of the North West more than 4 in 5 parents of a disabled child face problems accessing the services they need; with over half believing this has a negative impact on their child’s health and wellbeing. Regionally, more than three quarters of parents have experienced mental health issues, compared to 1 in 6 in the general population and 83% of parents believe the needs of their disabled child wouldn’t be met if they could no longer care for them.

I am pleased to add my support as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary and MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth to the Secret Life of Us campaign to help highlight the stories, challenges, hopes and opportunities of disabled children and their families across the country and in my constituency of Oldham East and Saddleworth.

The campaign provides us all with the opportunity help make a real difference to the lives of disabled children, young people and their families. I know from both my national and local work the challenges young disabled people and their families face on a daily basis, be that in the difficulty in accessing public transport for a trip to the park to ongoing battles with the social security and health and social care systems to receive support to which they are entitled.

I am committed to supporting the campaign to raise awareness of the challenges that disabled children, young people and their families face but also to find solutions to them, including providing a joined up network of support.

You can read individual stories from disabled children, young people and their families here.

Public sector workers deserve pay rise now - Farron

Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale)

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has repeated his call for public sector workers to be given a pay rise, following years of a pay cap that has hit salaries as increases in inflation have left behind increases in pay.

A Downing Street spokesperson has suggested that the public sector pay cap of 1% is under review because the general election showed people are "weary" after years of a cap. The source suggested that the 1% cap, in place since 2013, could be changed in the Budget in the autumn.

The Lib Dem manifesto called for an end to years of pay restraint for nurses, teachers and police in Cumbria by lifting the 1% cap on public sector pay and increasing wages in line with inflation.

Tim said: "The government are now in full retreat on public sector pay. Backbench Tory MPs have clearly had enough of having to defend the indefensible when nurses come to their surgeries saying they need to go to food banks to survive.

"During the election Liberal Democrats, Labour and the SNP joined with the unions to call for a pay increase for public sector workers.

"The government refused to listen and said there was no magic money tree. Now that tree has appeared in Belfast and the Tories seem to be shaking it down for every last penny.

"Nurses, teachers, and our emergency services are on the front line every single day but have had thousands of pounds pinched from their pay packets already. They did not create the financial crash but have had to pay the highest price for it. Theresa May should end the cap on public sector pay now."

Published and promoted by P Trollope on behalf of T Farron and the Liberal Democrats, all at Yard 2, Stricklandgate, Kendal
Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY

A Queen’s Speech to Deliver Brexit

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe)

Last Wednesday, Her Majesty The Queen conducted the State Opening of Parliament following the general election. The central focus of The Queen’s Speech setting out the government’s programme for the next two years was the legislation required to deliver Britain’s exit from the European Union. In Kent, we live on the frontier between Britain and continental Europe, and it is vital to our local interests that we get the right deal, in particular, in terms of managing trade and immigration.


The work required to make Brexit a reality is mainly twofold. There are the formal negotiations with the European Union, which commenced last Monday and are being led for Britain by David Davis. These negotiations do not determine whether or not Britain leaves the EU, that has already been decided by the referendum. The purpose of these talks is to discuss our future relationship with the EU, and to settle issues like the reciprocal rights of British and EU citizens living in our respective territories.


The second important part of the work that needs to be done to prepare for Britain’s departure from the EU is to create new UK legislation to replace the European rules by which we are currently bound. The measures in the Queen’s Speech to deliver this include the Repeal Bill which will establish many of the rules and regulations regarding trade and business into UK law, and under the jurisdiction of British courts. This will help to provide clarity to businesses and individuals that the day to day rules and regulations that we don’t want to be affected by Brexit will continue once we have left the EU.


The Queen’s Speech also includes an Immigration Bill that will gives us control of the number of people coming here from Europe, while allowing us to continue attracting the brightest and the best to work here. The proposed new Trade Bill and a new Customs Bill will enable the United Kingdom to conduct its own independent trade policy, helping British businesses trade with thriving markets around the world. There is also a new Fisheries Bill will allow us to control access to our territorial waters after we leave the EU.


On Monday this week, the government agreed its working relationship with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (DUP) to ensure its support in parliament. As I have previously written, the DUP will not become members of the government, this is not a coalition like the one formed between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2010. The support given by the DUP to the government will be limited to ensuring that we can pass the Queen’s Speech, deliver on the necessary Brexit legislation, and to avoid the calling of another general election through the passing of a motion of no confidence. At this time, we need a period of stability in order to carry through these important negotiations on Brexit.

The post A Queen’s Speech to Deliver Brexit appeared first on Damian Collins.


Martin Docherty (West Dunbartonshire)

Martin Docherty MP has lodged an Early Day Motion in parliament marking 25 years of the Clydebank Asbestos Group. The SNP MP has praised the volunteer group which was founded in 1992 to help provide support, advice and information for victims of asbestos and their families in Clydebank and across the West of Scotland. Mr Docherty tabled his parliamentary motion in tribute to those who have lost their lives to asbestos-related diseases, gaining cross-party support from MPs in the House...

Read More Read More

I would like to start by thanking everyone who voted for me in the General Election. It is a great pleasure and privilege to serve as the Member of Parliament for Amber Valley again.

In the wake of the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, my thoughts are with the victims and families of those affected. Many constituents have contacted me with their concerns over fire safety and I would like to reassure all those living in Amber Valley by reiterating the words of Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, who carry out regular inspections of blocks of flats, including Rivermead House, the only high-rise building in Derbyshire. The block is owned and managed by Derby City Council and Derby Homes and fully complies with current fire safety regulations. Its construction is designed to prevent the spread of fire between flats and between floors. Each flat is designed as a self-contained fire resisting compartment that will contain a fire and limit its spread.

The Prime Minister has ordered a full, judge-led public inquiry, which will give people the answers they deserve and the Government has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks. A new £5 million Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund has been made immediately available to help those who had to flee their homes. Every household whose home has been destroyed will receive a guaranteed £5,500 minimum down payment from the fund. I understand that the fund will be kept under review and will increase if necessary.

In Parliament this week, the Queen’s Speech set out the Government’s programme following the General Election. The Queen’s Speech set out a number of Bills geared towards making a success of Brexit. These will centre around getting a deal which delivers the result of last year’s referendum.  There has been speculation about what the General Election meant regarding Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The fact is that over 80 per cent of the electorate backed the two major parties, both of whom campaigned on manifestos that said we should honour the democratic decision of the British people.

This will be a busy legislative session with a number of Bills including the Great Repeal Bill, which will allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after exit and therefore maximising certainty for individuals and businesses. The Bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and convert EU law into UK law as we leave the EU and create temporary powers for Parliament to make secondary legislation.

With the repeal of the European Communities Act, it will be necessary to establish new powers concerning the immigration status of EEA nationals. The Bill will allow the government to control the number of people coming here from Europe while still allowing us to attract the brightest and the best.

The Queen’s Speech also set out plans to drive investment and innovation in transport, to boost growth and provide necessary infrastructure. These plans include the next steps to deliver HS2, linking up the Midlands to the North West. I welcome this progress as this large-scale investment into the country’s rail infrastructure will provide a station here in heart of the East Midlands.

The Queen’s speech also included the Government’s aims to continue to improve the public finances, while keeping taxes low; ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend a good school and that all schools are fairly funded; as well as increasing the National Living Wage so that people who are on the lowest pay benefit from the same improvements in earnings as higher paid workers.

Another aspect was the determination to tackle unfair fees on tenants and to make the private rental market more affordable and competitive. The suggested draft Bill proposes banning landlords and agents from requiring tenants to make any payments as a condition of their tenancy with the exception of the rent, a capped refundable security deposit, a capped refundable holding deposit and tenant default fees. Another proposal would cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than one month’s rent. I welcome these approaches which will help those residents of Amber Valley who are currently renting.

Steve McCabe MP supports the Summer Reading Challenge 2017

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

Summer Reading Challenge 2017
Steve McCabe MP is supporting this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, a campaign run by the charity The Reading Agency. 
This year the theme is Animal Agents and children are encouraged to borrow and read books in order to help a detective agency of fury friends solve a mystery. To get involved in the Summer Reading Challenge all you need to do is take your child to your local library where they will receive an Animal Agents collector pack and can borrow a variety of exciting books.

read more

Last year, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the parent company of Southern and Thameslink, launched a consultation which sets out proposed changes to the timetable which will be operated by GTR in 2018.

The second phase of their consultation on the 2018 timetable has now started. GTR’s plans are designed to provide more reliable services, with more capacity for passengers.

Feedback from the first part of the consultation last autumn has been taken on board where possible and detailed timetables are now available to comment on.

The information can be found at www.transformingrail.com.  At this link you’ll be able to view timetables, search times by station, and there are summary factsheets available by area.

Paper copies of the documents are available on request by writing to:
GTR Timetable Consultation
c/o East Side Offices
London Kings Cross Station

The consultation into the weekday timetables runs until 5pm on Thursday 27 July 2017. Weekend timetables will be shared later in the year.

Make sure you have your say on these changes. I remain committed to improving rail services in Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park, by pushing for a resolution to the dispute with the Unions, getting the much needed infrastructure, rolling stock and new drivers to improve the current service, and then breaking up the overly large franchise.

Harriett urges students to aim for engineering success

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire)

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin met with pupils from across the county as part of an initiative to encourage more girls to take up engineering. Photo credit: Martin Humby Photography. read more »

Animal Cruelty Sentencing

Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford)

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me both before and after the general election to raise their concerns about sentencing for animal cruelty. I am aware that several organisations, including the League Against Cruel Sports and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, have expressed concern that sentences they do not always appear to match the abuse suffered by the animals, especially in the case of extreme cruelty such as dog fighting. I agree that any sentences given by the courts must reflect the seriousness of these crimes. It is important that we send out a strong and powerful message that animal cruelty must stop.

The Government is yet to make any significant changes in this area and recently stated that it has no plans to introduce an animal abusers register. I believe that ministers should consider increasing magistrates’ sentencing powers and ensuring that the most serious cases of animal abuse are heard at the Crown Court. Any review should consider the prevalence of these offences and whether the current sentencing guidance is being applied properly.

As many of you will know, two Private Members’ Bills were introduced during the last Parliament with the aim of increasing the maximum sentences available for the offences of animal fighting and animal cruelty. The Animal Fighting (Sentencing) Bill and the Animal Cruelty (Sentencing) Bill were scheduled to have their Second Reading debates on Friday 24th February 2017, but this was objected to in both cases. The bills were relisted for 24th March but they were very low on the order paper and unfortunately therefore had no chance of being debated.

I would like to reassure my constituents that my Labour Party colleagues and I support efforts to increase sentences for those convicted of animal abuse and will continue to press for clear and enforceable penalties against anyone who commits animal cruelty offences. 

A Dragon in Esher

Dominic Raab (Esher and Walton)

On Friday, Dragon’s Den’s Star and retail giant Theo Paphitis came to talk to my local business club, Connect. Connect is a local group of business men and women interested in networking and politics. We arrange quarterly breakfast meetings, where I give an update on a burning political issue, and we hear from a guest speaker – ranging from Cabinet Members to entrepreneurs.

I gave an update on the political situation in Westminster, the start of Brexit talks and the Queen’s Speech. But, the main event was an ‘in conversation’ discussion chaired by Connect Chairman Mike Cumper between Theo and our members. The conversation flowed freely, across business rates, the challenge for the High Street, through Brexit and onto the state of politics in the UK. As ever, Theo was a terrific speaker, full of wit and wisdom – and I am very grateful to him for sparing the time to join us.

If you might be interested in joining Connect, please do drop me a line.

FM Statement

Stewart Hosie (Dundee East)

🎥 Watch Nicola Sturgeon's statement on Scotland's future in full here.

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MacNeil calls for use of local knowledge to optimise roll out of fibre broadband


Research by consumer group Which has confirmed the Western Isles was ranked in the bottom ten areas for broadband speeds.

While the Western Isles is ranked higher than Orkney, Shetland or the Highlands local MP Angus MacNeil is disappointed but not surprised to learn that Na h-Eileanan an Iar achieve average speeds below the UK Government’s Universal Service Obligation of 10Mbps, needed for the typical demands of a family or small business.

Mr MacNeil said

“A large number of the cases brought to me relate to difficulties accessing broadband and poor broadband speeds.

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s efforts in promoting Superfast Broadband through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme and the commitment to deliver fibre broadband to 95% of premises by the end of this year.

“However the fact that we remain in the lowest ten places in the country for broadband speed while extremely disappointing is of no surprise to me.

“In order for remote and rural areas to benefit more fully from the installation of fibre cabinets full use must be made of local knowledge in their siting by consulting local communities and their own local engineers.”



Diana Johnson MP today released analysis showing that Hull would get £209m extra if the City had the same Government funding deal announced this week for Northern Ireland.

Armed Forces Day

Kevan Jones (North Durham)

Kevan attended Stanley on Sunday 25 June 2017 to show his support to our Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day.


(for more news also see my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chrislesliemp)

[This week’s MP Update newsletter has been delayed because the House of Commons email servers were subject to a cyber attack – and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to send any emails out – many apologies!]

Last week we heard the Queen’s Speech, setting out the Government’s legislative programme for the next two years. But it was a meagre and hollow ‘plan’ from a drifting administration – and a much diminished Prime Minister. The Government have no majority and hardly any of their manifesto policies to be seen.

Brexit is the one issue which Ministers cannot avoid because the clock is ticking after Article 50 was triggered on 29th March. This means that UK law has to be able to rapidly cover ground that has hitherto been dealt with under EU legislation (including trade, customs, immigration, agriculture and so on) – a massive exercise in transposing rules and regulations. I will press for the UK to preserve the alliances and links with Europe that have been so crucial for the country and our economy in recent decades.

The only saving grace is that Conservative plans for scrapping school lunches, the pensioners winter allowance, social care payments and repealing the ban on foxhunting have all had to fall by the wayside – because they don’t have the numbers to get these through.

While there are a few measures which should achieve consensus in Parliament – including reforms to domestic violence laws – there are other proposals which still concern me including the proposal to change the funding formula for schools. There will now be several days of debate on this package of measures with final votes taking place on Wednesday and Thursday.


  • The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Craig Guildford, and Police & Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping have spoken out about the terrorist attack near Finsbury Park Mosque last week. They have assured the public that the police will continue to support communities in the wake of this incident, and offer a visible reassurance in Nottinghamshire. Paddy Tipping has said that there have been longstanding discussions between Nottinghamshire Police and Mosque leaders regarding increased protection for Muslim communities during Ramadan, and in light of the attack that protection has been strengthened and increased. I was concerned to hear about the incident at Al-Quba Masjid Mosque in Sherwood last week, where two men have now been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence after meat was smeared on the mosque’s door during Ramadan prayers. Nottinghamshire Police have asked people to remain alert and to report any suspicious activity on the Anti-Terror Hotline 0800 789 321 or, in an emergency, dial 999.
  • On Friday I met with senior officers at Nottinghamshire Police to discuss their counter-terrorism strategy and how we can build relationships with faith leaders, doctors, teachers and other organisations to identify people at risk of radicalisation. I wanted to emphasise how important it is to strike the right balance between reaching out across the community while not acting in a stigmatising or alienating way.
  • With local businesses still uncertain about the long term economic environment in which they operate it was useful to catch up with Richard Blackmore, the Regional Director of CBI East Midlands on Friday to discuss the needs of their members post-Brexit. Local businesses have told the CBI that their priorities for Brexit are economic stability, no new barriers to trade and to receive reassurances that employees who are EU citizens will be able to remain in the UK contributing to the economy.
  • The terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in West London continues to dominate the news, with many questions about tragedy still unanswered. Over the weekend we saw the terrible consequences of uncertain fire safety conditions now leading to evacuation of some residences in Camden as flats that were previously thought to be safe are now deemed a risk. You may have heard my colleague David Lammy speaking about the loss of his friend in the Grenfell fire – an artist named Khadija Saye. Khadija had a promising career ahead of her, with her work having just been exhibited at the Venice Biennale. Khadija was also supported by Nottingham’s New Art Exchange, and the gallery are raising funds for Khadija’s family at this difficult time. Khadija is one among many lives lost in this awful tragedy, and my sincere condolences go to all of those affected. I spoke with Nottingham City Homes again last week to seek reassurances for tenants in high-rise properties in the wake of the tragedy. Nottingham City Homes has announced that it will install sprinklers in the corridors and communal areas of the 13 high-rise blocks it manages in Nottingham, and are holding drop-in sessions for residents in all of the blocks. An audit of private high-rise blocks in the city is also underway. I will continue to follow this closely and keep you updated.
  • A new £200million project by the University of Nottingham that is due to create up to 500 new jobs has been launched. The high-calibre recruitment drive aims to seek out new academic and research talent to tackle six global challenges – including securing sustainable food supplies, ending slavery and developing greener transport systems – which collectively contribute to all 17 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The six research areas are:
  1. Rights Lab — finding solutions to ending modern-day slavery
  2. Green Chemicals — the next global industrial revolution
  3. Precision Imaging — personalised therapies to transform lives
  4. Propulsion Imaging — the future of propulsion
  5. Smart Industrial Systems — sustainable products for the future
  6. Future Food — exploring new ways of feeding the world

I am delighted to see the University leading on this bold project, boosting research and development in the East Midlands, investing in hundreds of jobs and fuelling the Midlands Engine.

  • As well as the national email problems with Parliament, the local Virgin telephone system to my constituency office is also not working properly – many apologies again! In the meantime you can contact my office on 0115 956 9429.


  • Today the Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (DUP) concluded a deal that will see their MPs join forces to give a parliamentary majority for Government legislation on the Budget, finance and Brexit – and on any ‘no confidence’ motions that emerge. This is a disappointing set of circumstances because it could mean that this Conservative administration will continue for up to five years, the length of a fixed term parliament. There will need to be scrutiny of the £1bn that has been offered to sweeten the deal with the DUP and also whether the DUP will influence some of the other socially liberal policies which even the Tories disagree with. But I am very sad to see that the Tories and DUP have apparently got passed the ‘half way’ number of MPs (325).
  • The Competition and Markets Authority have announced a probe into online gambling and betting websites following hundreds of complaints that promotional deals are not honoured or break consumer rules. A large number of people now bet and gamble online and with many of the companies involved being located offshore, there are an increasing number of stories of customers being ripped off or entangled in complex rules that break the advertising standards.
  • The Government announced a new ‘Data Protection Bill’ to replace the 1998 Act in the Queen’s Speech last week. There are some aspects outlined in the description of this reform which look to have merit, including a right for individuals to delete record content from when they were under 18 years old and a ‘right to be forgotten’ so that companies may not hold information if an individual requests data be deleted. The details of the legislation haven’t yet been published and it will be interesting to see whether a different balance will be struck between protecting individual data and allowing sharing between agencies for law enforcement purposes.
  • Saturday was Armed Forces Day in the UK, a chance to salute the bravery and service of those who work in the army, navy and air forces. Whether working to help address the terrorist threat across the country, fight Daesh abroad or provide humanitarian relief in areas of great stress in Africa and elsewhere, the armed forces – like our emergency services in the UK – put their lives on the line for us day in and day out. We are fortunate to have such dedicated troops and should never forget the service and sacrifice they give.


It’s a year since the EU referendum – and I’d be interested in your thoughts about where things stand and what should happen next.

The Government have offered the three million EU citizens living in the UK the right to ‘settled status’ and guarantees on healthcare, pensions, benefits and education as though they were British nationals. The offer, said the Prime Minister, is dependent on a reciprocal deal covering the one million UK citizens living in the rest of the 27 EU countries. However, the EU President Jean Claude Juncker has said these plans do not go as far as they would like, a sign that even those areas where there should be some consensus may take some time to iron out.

The Government have also agree to the request from the EU that – before negotiating our new trading relationship with the 27 European states – deals will need to be done first on citizen rights, the Northern Ireland border and the ‘divorce bill’ liabilities. I have long had concerns that a sequential approach, rather than talking about all these issues in parallel, is very dangerous for Britain. If acceptable divorce terms are not reached in time there is a risk we will go past March 2019 without a suitable agreement on future trading relations. This uncertainty will weigh heavily on business planning across a number of sectors.

I’d be interested to know how you think the negotiations should and will proceed, and whether there are specific issues I should be raising in the legislative process that is about to begin.


Chris Leslie

Labour & Co-operative Party MP for Nottingham East

European Union Member State Nationals

Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset)

During the Brexit campaign many of those who favoured Leave, including me, wanted to see a generous policy for European Union Member State nationals who were already legally in the United Kingdom. Although immigration was one of the reasons people voted to leave it was not about the individuals but the large total numbers, it would be unfair to penalise people for a decision to move here taken in accordance with a law that Parliament had accepted. Moreover, those who came deserve admiration for what they have done, moving hundreds of miles to a country whose language is unfamiliar, leaving behind friends and family, is a bold and worthily ambitious endeavour and the UK has benefited from their entrepreneurial spirit.

This makes the Government’s proposals for EU nationals especially welcome. It is clear, will be easy and fair to implement, is generous and minimises the opportunities for abuse. Anyone who is here already will be able to establish rights equivalent to those of a UK citizen. This will be called “settled status” and may be claimed by anyone who has been here for five years and is then permanent. Those who have not been here for that long will be able to stay and achieve “settled status” once the time period is up. There will be no change to the position of citizens of the Republic of Ireland who will continue to have free access to the UK.

What has been proposed is close to what the EU asked for with one exception. It has no role for the European Court of Justice and this must be right. No country accepts the jurisdiction of a foreign court to give different laws for one set of residents against another. The last historic analogy I can think of is the colonial system imposed on China in the unequal treaties whereby Europeans had different rights when resident in that country. The treaties remain a source of discontent in China to this day and Britain must be no satrapy of the EU when we leave.

East Hemel Development

Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead)

Mike Penning attends consultation event about East Hemel development proposals.

MP opens new vets' surgery in Westergate

Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs)

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert helped to open a new vets’ surgery in Westergate on Saturday (24 June).

News of David Smith’s retirement from the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group later this year has come as a surprise, particularly as he will leave when we are only half way through the Transformation Programme process. We have never had an easy relationship in my time as an Oxfordshire MP, particularly when it comes to the Horton General Hospital. I am also disappointed that Dr Joe McManners has decided not to seek re-election, although I understand his position given the difficulties general practice is currently facing.

My constituents and I are still waiting for decisions to be made regarding the Phase One consultation. It had been anticipated that Phase Two would start at the end of this year. I am not sure how a change in management will affect this. I remain concerned about the future of health services in Oxfordshire, particularly in the north of the county. David Smith and Dr McManners had a key role in compiling the consultation document yet they won’t be around to see any of the changes through. The consultation process must be stopped. While such uncertainty could delay matters further, I am hopeful that a change in leadership may allow the opportunity for a new vision for health services, ensuring that they remain safe, kind and close to home. The Horton General Hospital remains my number one priority.”

If the government has enough cash to spend a billion pounds buying the votes of the DUP to prop it up, they can afford to build Stockton’s much delayed new hospital, Labour MP for Stockton North Alex Cunningham, told the Commons today.

Speaking in the Queen’s Speech debate, he accused the Government of making big promises on healthcare, whist the words result in no action at all.

Alex has been a vocal campaigner against the proposed closure of the A&E Department at North Tees Hospital, meaning that Stockton residents would have to travel as far as Darlington in an emergency situation to receive urgent care. These changes would particularly affect those on lower incomes who likely do not have access to their own vehicle, putting them more at risk of fatalities arising from not receiving urgent care.

In his speech, the Stockton North MP also referred to a document he had acquired which had only a restricted circulation which spelled out the future of hospitals in the future. The document mentioned the need to hit financial targets, which Alex argues demonstrates that this Government cares only about cash.

During his speech, Alex said:

“It speaks of the need to hit the financial targets.  It means that the Darlington Memorial Hospital or North Tees in Stockton will be downgraded and the emergency service removed from one of them.

 “Yes – it’s driven by costs; it’s driven by the fact that the Government have failed to train and recruit the consultants we need; and it’s driven without the approval of clinicians and the general public most of whom are being by-passed.

“The Government are trying to solve the wrong problem.  They’re trying to beat down budgets but use the shortage of clinicians as an excuse to reduce services.

“What we really need in Stockton is the new hospital axed by the Tory/LibDem Government in 2010.  The Government doesn’t have the cash – yet they found a billion pounds or more to buy the votes of the DUP to prop up their shambolic government.” 


For more information please contact Alex Cunningham on 01642 345291.

The post Alex uses Queen’s Speech debate to raise threat to North Tees Hospital A&E appeared first on Alex Cunningham MP.

Putting local creative talent centre stage

Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

Film the houseLocal film-makers are being offered a great chance to make direct contact with movers and shakers in the film industry.

The Film the House initiative aims to uncover the best of UK creative talent and put it front and centre stage.

There are four categories:

  • Best short film  – under 16
  • Best short film – 16 and over
  • Best original film script – under 16
  • Best original film script – 16 and over

Scripts can be from three to 20 pages long and films from three minutes to 15 minutes long. Entries must be received by July 31 2017.

Local Members of Parliament make recommendations to be judged by the leading figures in the film industry, with prizes that include: mentoring from Lord David Puttnam, advice from screenwriters, a day on a film set and the winners’ films being publicly screened.

The creative industries are one of our country’s success stories. According to the British Film Institute, UK film contributes over £4.6 billion to the economy and supports over 117,000 jobs.

The Film the House competition aims to raise awareness amongst up and coming talent of their creative rights as well as inform parliamentarians about the need for any new legislation to support the fast-moving industry.

If you are interested, you can find all the rules and how to enter by clicking here.

Which? Broadband Speeds Figures

Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley)

Update on Fire Safety Glasgow North

Patrick Grady (Glasgow North)

Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy many people have been worried about fire safety in residential high rise tower blocks. Recently I wrote to the Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council, to the Scottish Government, and to all Housing Associations in Glasgow North to seek assurances about the fire safety measures that are in place. Whilst investigations into the London fire are ongoing, it is crucial that as much support, reassurance and certainty as possible is provided to concerned residents in Glasgow North. 

Steve Reed has met with senior council officials to ensure all measures have been taken to ensure fire safety in the borough’s 39 council housing blocks.

Following the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, Croydon North MP Steve Reed and Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones met with Council Leader Tony Newman.  They received assurances that all council blocks meet rigorous London Fire Brigade safety standards, and that urgent checks are now being carried out on all blocks with cladding.  Letters are being sent to all residents in council blocks to reassure them about safety standards and provide guidance on how to keep safe in case of fire.

The Council is contacting housing associations in Croydon to make sure all their housing blocks fully comply.  There are ongoing concerns about low-quality private housing blocks because the Conservative Government removed the Council’s powers to oversee the safety of new building development including conversions of office blocks into flats, a move Labour MPs voted against in Parliament.

Steve Reed MP said: “Residents’ safety must always come first, and fears are heightened after the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower.  We pay tribute to the Council for their swift action to check buildings and reassure residents.  But the Government must now explain why they did not fully implement the lessons from a previous fatal fire at Lakanal House in Southwark, and why they failed to carry out a fire safety review nationally.”


Blooming Great Tea Party

Michelle Donelan (Chippenham)

Last Saturday I enjoyed supporting the Blooming Great Tea Party to help raise money for Marie Curie, organised by J Sheppard And Son Ltd on Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate, in Chippenham. Marie Curie is a fantastic charity that provides care and support for people living with terminal illness and support for their families too. Last year they cared for over 40,000 people across the UK. Always lovely to support local people helping such worthy causes.

The post Blooming Great Tea Party appeared first on Michelle Donelan MP.

The Capital drives out hate crime on public transport

Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

The first pledge in Scotland to end hate crime on public transport has been launched today (Tuesday 27 June) by the City of Edinburgh Council and transport partners.

A Bristol MP has renewed her challenge to government Ministers over the delayed electrification of stretches of rail lines into Bristol Temple Meads.A Bristol MP has renewed her challenge to government Ministers over the delayed electrification of stretches of rail lines into Bristol Temple Meads.

As a member of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, the Labour MP played a key part in a recent inquiry into the modernisation of the Great Western Railway which led to the publication of its report in March 2017. She also quizzed the Rail Minister on the issue during a Commons debate last autumn.

Now Karin Smyth has this week tabled a series of Parliamentary Questions, and written to Transport Ministers, drawing attention to the continuing delays, and to the general election campaign visit by Chancellor Philip Hammond during which he reportedly refused to commit to a new date for the electrification project.

In her letter she says: “Whilst I recognise that decisions need to be subject to ongoing assessment, seven months on (from the Committee report) in the continuing absence of any government commitment to electrification, I and my constituents remain confused and still await news.

“My constituents want to know the timescale, not just for the electrification they want to see, but also for a firm government decision one way or another. Put simply: Is it going to happen or not?”

The Bristol South MP has also tabled Parliamentary Questions, asking the Secretary of State for Transport

  • when he expects to announce whether the Great Western mainline to Bristol will be fully electrified; and if he will make a statement
  • what assessment he has made of the benefits for passengers in terms of capacity, frequency and journey times of the full electrification of the Great Western mainline to Bristol, and
  • what the role of the Office and Rail and Road is in relation to the full electrification of the Great Western mainline to Bristol.

Speaking in the House of Commons 22 June 2017James Cleverly calls on the Prime Minister to outline proposals for improving trade with developing countries that have historically been penalised by EU tariff arrangements.


Richard Benyon (Newbury)

“Disruptive” is the new word of our age. It’s used to describe new technologies that rewrite how we make things, heal people, communicate, produce food and save our planet. In politics the new disruptors are…the electorate. A year ago they decided that the cosy consensus (of which I was part) was wrong and Britain should […]

Wolverhampton MPs, Emma Reynolds, Pat McFadden and Eleanor Smith, have jointly written to mosques in Wolverhampton offering their sympathy following the terror attack at Finsbury which tragically resulted in the death of a man, and further offering their support in ensuring community cohesion. You can read the letter here:

June 2017

The post MPs write to local mosques following the terror attack on worshippers at Finsbury Mosque appeared first on Emma Reynolds MP.

This is a crucial time for Britain and with the most votes and largest number of MPs in the Commons by a significant margin Theresa May has the legitimacy to lead the Government the UK needs. However, the PM fell short of securing an overall majority and, finally, details of the deal agreed between the PM and the DUP are clearer. The DUP will support the Government on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and on legislation relating to Brexit and national security. This helps Mrs May govern in the national interest – strengthening and enhancing the Union, keeping us safe and securing the best possible future for us all as we exit the EU. What will also help the PM deliver her vision for Great Britain are the 50 Conservative MPs in the Southwest. Now led by former chief-whip Mark Harper, we formed in 2015 and we will not rest until we secure our fair share of funding for health, education and other public services. I’m acutely aware of the current pressure on our local schools. School funding here in West Cornwall is not keeping up with increasing costs and the Government will need to find a way to inject cash into our schools. I’ve raised this again since returning to Westminster and will continue to work with colleagues to ensure more money is made available for our schools. Amidst the challenges there is reason to be encouraged. In the past week I attended the launch of bookpenzance.com, a new way to book accommodation and keep booking fees in West Cornwall. Many of us welcomed the new bullet train visiting Penzance Station, part of £146m spent on the rail-link to Paddington. I met with the Head of Helston Community College to progress the building of the North Site, develop plans for an all-weather pitch and consider the replacement of the South Site and I enjoyed a positive village meeting in St Martin on the Lizard to discuss what we can do to keep their school open this September. Added to this was a buoyant Mazey Day and news of upwards of £1 million to rebuild the Newlyn Fish Market.

John Penrose and Stephen Kinnock appear on BBC’s ‘Week In Westminster’ radio show to discuss Brexit and the shape of the deal…

MP Maria Miller Praises Basingstoke Roll

Maria Miller (Basingstoke)

MP Maria Miller Praises Basingstoke Roll Tue, 27/06/2017 - 09:45

MP Maria Miller Visited Basingstoke's Shopmobility to meet Basingstoke Roll organisers, Basingstoke and District Disability Forum (BDDF).
The Basingstoke Roll is an Annual Charity treasure hunt which sees teams navigate their way around the town centre in wheelchairs. The event allows teams to experience what accessibility is like in the town for wheelchair users.
Maria said,“The Basingstoke Roll is an excellent annual event which encourages people to experience life as a wheelchair user in Basingstoke. We live in a great town and we need to make sure life is fully accessible for disabled residents and visitors. The BDDF have to be congratulated on their excellent commitment to ensuring that Basingstoke offers disabled residents and visitors support and the ability to enjoy the facilities Basingstoke has to offer."

Polling Day Input

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham)

Contact 1
For mobiles please type in - with a leading 44 - without the leading 0 - without any gaps eg 447773770941

Eid Mubarak

Keith Vaz (Leicester East)

I would like to wish all Muslims especially those in Leicester,  Eid Mubarak. I hope that you had a peaceful Ramadan, and that you had the opportunity to spend valuable time with your friends and families. Eid-Ul-Fitr is an occasion … Continue reading

Update on fire safety

Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North)

Firstly I want to thank Portsmouth City Council for its swift action in sending in material from its own tower blocks for testing, the reassurance and fire safety measures for residents of those blocks and work to remove cladding shown to be flammable, already well underway. They were one of the first councils to act and make use of the free testing service set up by Government.
As well as its own blocks the Council has been actively identifying all properties that are over 6 stories or greater than 18 meters within the private market in Portsmouth.
Where there is external cladding on properties the council has been actively contacting the owners of these properties to both provide support and pass information to them. Most of the companies involved are large national bodies. National Government has also be liaising with those bodies and the free national testing service is being made available every landlord, whether they are in the public, social or private sector. To date, only one block in Portsmouth in the private sector has been identified with any sort of cladding. 
Today I met with the Secretary of State for DCLG, who also made a statement in the Commons to update colleagues about Grenfell Tower and fire safety. In the meeting I specifically raised the point about finance and what help might be made available to our Council.
DCLG is in contact with all councils concerned and aware of the particular situation they are facing. In Portsmouth the council faces costs in doing the immediate remedial work on the blocks cladded in flammable material, and, potentially, in fire safety measures it may wish to install based on what the fire authority might recommend. We can expect further details to follow about funds shortly, but the Secretary of State has said that where councils need financial support for such necessary works they will receive what help they need. The full costs of Portsmouth’s work will not yet be know, but the instruction is clear: get on with necessary work immediately, and they are. I am in touch with PCC on a daily basis and Cllrs and officers are keeping me informed.
The statement today also announced the setting up of a special fire safety panel to make some immediate recommendations in light of the concerning and widespread breeches of fire safety and build regulations and good practice. There is much work to do.
 Photo: Sarah Standing. 


Responding to news reports that 372 mental health patients were sent out-of-area in 2016/17, Jeff said:

"This postcode lottery for mental health care is unacceptable. In Manchester alone, 372 adults were sent out-of area for emergency treatment in 2016/17, isolating them from their family and ultimately making their recovery harder.

This is a direct result of mental health budgets being used to plug black holes elsewhere in our NHS.

We’ve heard a lot of warm words on mental health from Theresa May, but it’s time we saw improvements on the ground to match."

Newcastle North MP slams DUP deal

Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, has hit out at the deal struck by the Prime Minister and the DUP today, enabling the Conservatives to remain in Government following the outcome of this month’s General Election. Catherine, who had already raised her concerns directly with the Prime Minister on this issue, said: ‘It’s no surprise the … Continue reading Newcastle North MP slams DUP deal

Jesse appointed as new Roads Minister at Department for Transport

Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire)

Jesse Norman at the Department for TransportLocal MP Jesse Norman has been appointed as the new Roads Minister at the Department of Transport in the recent ministerial reshuffle.

BBC Cymru i gyrraedd cynulleidfaoedd o bob oed gyda chynlluniau ‘hyderus ac uchelgeisiol’ i wasanaethau newyddion, teledu a digidol Mon, 26/06/2017 - 12:25

Mae BBC Cymru Wales wedi cyhoeddi cynlluniau eang i ehangu gwasanaethau ar draws Cymru, gan greu 40 swydd newydd a thrawsnewid gwasanaethau newyddion, teledu a symudol.


Dywed Cyfarwyddwr BBC Cymru Rhodri Talfan Davies y bydd pecyn ariannu gwerth £10.5m – sy’n cynnwys yr £8.5m o fuddsoddiad newydd a gyhoeddwyd gan y BBC yn gynharach eleni yn sicrhau fod y darlledwr yn gallu ymateb i’r her o wasanaethu cynulleidfaoedd o bob oed mewn tirwedd cyfryngol sy’n newid yn gyflym ac adlewyrchu Cymru ddatganoledig. Dyma’r buddsoddiad mwyaf mewn gwasanaethau Cymreig ers dros 20 mlynedd


“Mae ein cynulleidfaoedd yn newid yn gyflym. A ninnau hefyd. Fe fydd y pecyn hwn o newidiadau golygyddol yn sicrhau fod BBC Cymru yn ddarlledwr hyderus ac uchelgeisiol i’r genedl gyfan, yr hen a’r ifanc.


“Fe fyddwn yn cryfhau ein gwasanaethau traddodiadol, gan gynyddu effaith ein newyddiaduraeth i adlewyrchu realaeth datganoli, cyflwyno gwasanaeth teledu uchelgeisiol ac amrywiol a helpu i ailddyfeisio’r BBC ar gyfer cenhedlaeth newydd.”


Newyddion a Chwaraeon


Fel rhan o’r newidiadau, fe fydd BBC Cymru yn creu 25 swydd ychwanegol ar draws y timau newyddion a chwaraeon dros y ddwy flynedd nesaf i gryfhau sylw’r gorfforaeth i faterion pwysig a straeon sy’n effeithio cymunedau ar draws Cymru.


Bydd gwasanaethau newyddion a chwaraeon ar draws platfformau ar-lein, symudol a chymdeithasol hefyd yn cael eu cryfhau gyda ffocws ar gyrraedd cynulleidfaoedd iau, a bydd BBC Cymru yn ehangu’r tîm o ohebwyr arbenigol i ddarparu sylw i straeon pwysig fel materion cymdeithasol, chwaraeon a chymunedau wedi eu tangynrychioli.


Fe sefydlir tîm Brexit newydd – yn gweithio rhwng Caerdydd, San Steffan a Brwsel – i roi sylw i’r stori fawr hon. A bydd cyfres materion cyfoes newydd, BBC Wales Investigates, yn cyflwyno ymchwiliadau o bwys ar draws gwasanaethau teledu, radio a symudol.


Bydd BBC Cymru hefyd yn cyflwyno bwletin newyddion byr am 8pm ar nosweithiau’r wythnos ar BBC One Wales, wedi ei gynhyrchu yng Nghaerdydd gan roi sylw i straeon byd eang, Prydeinig a Chymreig am y tro cyntaf. Mae disgwyl i’r bwletinau newydd gyrraedd dros 300,000 o wylwyr dan 45 oed bob wythnos. Bydd bwletin hwyr Wales Today hefyd y cael ei ymestyn i ddarparu’r sylw mwyaf cynhwysfawr posib i newyddion Cymreig ar BBC One.


Mae ehangu’r rhaglenni newyddion ar BBC One Wales yn dilyn cyhoeddiad diweddar gan BBC Cymru y bydd hefyd yn lansio rhaglen drafod fisol ar BBC One i adlewyrchu tirwedd wleidyddol sy’n newid yn gyflym. Mae hyn yn ogystal â chyfres wleidyddol wythnosol  BBC Cymru.


Fel rhan o’r ymrwymiad i gryfhau newyddiaduraeth Gymreig, mae BBC Cymru hefyd wedi cyhoeddi cynlluniau i ddarparu cyfleoedd hyfforddi newydd i dros 250 o bobl dros y ddwy flynedd nesaf, gan gynnwys 20 cyfle ychwanegol i weithio dan hyfforddiant gyda’r gorfforaeth. Bydd y cynllun datblygu yn canolbwyntio ar ddenu unigolion o gymunedau wedi eu tangynrychioli.


Teledu, BBC iPlayer a symudol


Mae BBC Cymru hefyd wedi amlinellu sut fydd y buddsoddiad ychwanegol, gyhoeddwyd ym mis Chwefror gan y Cyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol Tony Hall fel rhan o siarter newydd 11 mlynedd y BBC, yn trawsnewid gwasanaethau teledu a chyfryngau cymdeithasol.


Bydd yr arian newydd yn cefnogi ehangu sylweddol mewn rhaglenni drama, comedi a ffeithiol.


Y flwyddyn nesaf, fe welir y nifer fwyaf o ddramâu teledu yn Saesneg wedi eu lleoli yng Nghymru – gyda thair cyfres yn cael eu ffilmio ar hyn o bryd yng Nghasnewydd, Caerfyrddin a’r Gogledd Orllewin – oll i gael eu darlledu ar y BBC yn 2018. Maent yn cynnwys Keeping Faith gydag Eve Myles a Requiem gyda Lydia Wilson a Richard Harrington. Mae Chris Aird, comisiynydd drama rhwydwaith newydd hefyd wedi ei benodi i sicrhau fod Cymru’n cael ei hadlewyrchu’n well ar y sgrîn.


“Adloniant sydd wrth galon ein cynlluniau – ac mae gennym nifer o brosiectau comedi a drama cyffrous ar y gweill gyda rhai o sêr mwyaf a thalentog y genedl. ‘Da ni am ddangos i’r gynulleidfa bod mwy nag un ffordd i BBC Cymru fynd o dan groen y Gymru fodern,” medd Rhodri Talfan Davies.


“Mae cynulleidfaoedd yng Nghymru yn gwerthfawrogi’r BBC yn fwy nag unrhyw genedl arall yn y DU, ond mae hwn yn gyfle digynsail i ddyfnhau ein cysylltiad gyda’r gwylwyr a’r gwrandawyr ym mhob rhan o’r wlad.”


Fe fydd y cynlluniau yn sicrhau cynnydd o 50% o fuddsoddiad mewn teledu a chynnwys byr dros y ddwy flynedd nesaf, gydag o leiaf 2-3 awr o raglenni ychwanegol ar gael bob wythnos ar BBC One Wales, BBC Two Wales a sianel ar alw BBC Cymru ar BBC iPlayer. Mae disgwyl i’r buddsoddiad newydd gefnogi yr hyn sy’n cyfateb i dros 100 swydd llawn-amser ar draws sector annibynnol Cymru.


Fe fydd y buddsoddiad newydd yn cefnogi datblygiad newydd mewn cynnwys byr ar gyfer BBC iPlayer a chyfryngau cymdeithasol. Fe fydd BBC Cymru yn cyd-weithio gyda BBC Scotland, sydd wedi arloesi gyda llwyfan The Social i ddatblygu hyb cyfryngau cymdeithasol i gynulleidfaoedd iau. Bydd yn darparu platfform i leisiau newydd ac amrywiol yn Gymraeg ac yn Saesneg.




Saturday 24 June

Bob Stewart (Beckenham)

Saturday 24 June Sat, 24/06/2017 - 19:26

Today is Armed Forces Day but I had attended the formal local ceremony held at Bromley's Civic Centre earlier in the week.  However, because of my obvious connections to the Army, I was also invited on to Andrew Castle's LBC radio programme to review the papers; which I did from 7.30am this morning. 

Of course what happened to the Grenfell Tower and its reverberations still dominates the news as residents of other blocks with similiar cladding have to be evacuated. Clearly that must occur as a precaution but it is obviously highly inconvenient and very difficult for some people, particularly the ill, infirm and elderly.   Although tower blocks are being checked nation-wide, thankfully, to date, no similiar unsafe cladding has been found in the Beckenham area.

Apart from that I also spoke with Andrew Castle about my view that politics seemed to have become much more vicious in this latest general election - the third I have fought.  For instance, on Thursday evening I was at the annual dinner of the Bury St Edmonds Conservative Association and there I heard about an 81 year old lady who had had the front of her house covered in red paint for 'daring' to put a Conservative poster in her front window.  More locally, in London, I know there were other instances of Conservative supporters being jostled and spat upon. Name calling in the last election seems to have dropped to new lows as well - which I personally experienced here in Beckenham.  I am really saddened and indeed angered by this.  Some people clearly think they can do what they like publicly - including, it seems,  the encouragement of  what was called a 'day of rage to bring down the Government'.  We must stop this abhorrent trend of nasty vindictiveness which seems to be appearing quite fast in our politics.  For goodness sake, we live in a civilised and great country, do we really have to legislate to try and stop this sort of thing? Sadly we may have to if it continues.

Just to bring me back to earth, at lunchtime today, I was subjected to my (now) annual dousing with water sponges in the stocks at the Shortlands Station Fair.  It seemed to me that those throwing seemed to have had some practice since last year as most shots hit me full-on.  The people paying most to assault me seemed to be the staff of South Eastern railways led by their Customer Services Manager, Mike Gibson - possibly because I have complained so many times on behalf of both myself and constituents about late running and over-crowded trains!



Every week Gloria has a column in the Ashfield Chad. Here is her column from June 21 edition:

As a new term of Parliament begins, I want to say a big thank you to the people of Ashfield and Eastwood for re-electing me to be your MP.

It was a very close result following weeks of extremely hard campaigning in which I spoke to many of you and wrote to many more.

I have been re-elected to represent our area and to serve you all, whether you voted for me or not.

It has been a privilege to be your MP for the past seven years and I am looking forward to continuing to be so in the years to come.

As Theresa May found out when the election results came through, there are few things in the world of politics that you can be sure of.

However you can be sure that I will continue to work hard for my constituency and do all I can to represent the views of the people who live here in Parliament.

I will stand up for the issues that are important to you and do all I can to promote this area.

Highlighting the potentially devastating effects that the school funding cuts imposed by the Conservatives will have on our children’s education was one of the subjects I raised during the election campaign.

Fighting these cuts and the damage they will undoubtedly cause is one of my priorities now that I am the MP again.

I will not sit back and let our local schools be stripped of thousands of pounds that they need to keep class sizes down and to give youngsters the education they really need.

Another of my priorities is to continue my fight for a fairer pension for ex-miners and their widows.

I want the government to look again at the surplus sharing arrangement it has for the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme so the miners get a bigger share of the scheme’s profits.

I was set to meet with scheme trustees before Parliament was dissolved in May and am hoping a new date for that meeting can now be set up so we can take another step forward in getting this matter sorted out once and for all.

You may have heard about one-year-old Dawson Willcock from Sutton who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

His mum Wendy is desperately trying to raise £500,000 for life-saving treatment in the USA and I have been supporting the family.

Please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/adollarfordawson and give what you can.

Since 2010 when I became MP for Ashfield, I have directly helped 8,500 residents.

If you need my help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling my office on 01623 720399 or emailing gloria.depiero.mp@parliament.uk.


The post Gloria’s Chad column: Thank you for re-electing me appeared first on Gloria De Piero.

Whitchurch Station Parking

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

Whitchurch Station Parking Update: On Thursday I met with the incoming operator First Group to discuss the closure of the car park near to the station in Whitchurch. A poor parking situation for commuters has been made much worse and there is now even more urgency in the search for a solution. If commuters can’t park they can’t take the train, something that I reminded them of. Following a constructive meeting I understand that they are undertaking a review of car parking across the whole network with Whitchurch being reviewed as a matter of urgency. I will update you with further information as soon as I can.

Week in review 19th to 23rd of June

Kate Hollern (Blackburn)

This week in Parliament, Kate has been representing Blackburn in Parliament, championing constituents inside and outside of the debate chamber. Events in Westminster have been in the headlines, and Kate and the Labour Party have been standing up for ordinary people.

Emergency services communications

Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch)

In the last Parliament, the Public Accounts Committee, which I chaired, raised concerns about the timetable for introduction a new system of communication for our emergency services – the Emergency Services Network.

The tragic incidents in Manchester, London Bridge, Grenfell Tower and Finsbury Park highlight the importance of our emergency services being able to communicate effectively in the event of an emergency.

I have written to the Home Secretary asking when the new system will be implemented and to ensure there is no gap in service.

Trouble for the gig economy?

Frank Field (Birkenhead)

Now is the time to sweep away two of the gig economy’s most egregious aspects – the bullying culture at the top; and the poor treatment and poverty pay meted out to workers at the bottom – so that it

Bidders for South Eastern Rail Franchise Announced

David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Bidders for South Eastern Rail Franchise Announced Thu, 22/06/2017 - 20:39

Earlier today (22 June) the Government announced the names of the companies to run the next South Eastern franchise.

The four companies are:

1.         South Eastern Holdings Ltd

2.         London and South East Passenger Rail Services Ltd

3.         Stagecoach South Eastern Trains Ltd

4.         Trenitalia UK Ltd

Mr Evennett commented: “The consultation for people to share their views and priorities for the new franchise is still open until 30 June, and I am urging all my constituents to write in to participate.”

“Southeastern have failed local passengers, and the new operator must work closer with Network Rail to improve punctuality and reliability to provide the service rail users deserve.”

Details of the consultation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-south-eastern-rail-services-----

Thank You!

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

I want to thank everyone in Gateshead who voted for me in the election on June 8th. The local result was magnificent, and I’m proud that I will be able to continue my work in Parliament on behalf of all of the residents of our constituency.

Nationally, the result demonstrated that the Tory Government has now lost the confidence of the British people.

Although, at the present time, they seem determined, with the support of the DUP, to run a zombie government, it is clear they now have no mandate, no vision for our country, and must make way for those who have.

What we are witnessing is nothing less than a seismic shift in our national consciousness.

People across the UK are demanding a better, safer and fairer society.

Labour’s message is clear. Austerity has failed and has caused untold and unnecessary suffering.

Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn as its Leader, is now the only party that has the leadership and policies to build a better, safer and fairer Britain.


Ian Mearns (Labour): 27,426

Conservative: 10,076

UKIP: 2,281

Liberal Democrats: 1,709

Green: 611

Stephen calls for a better deal for our Armed Forces

Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth)

To mark Armed Forces Day on June 24, Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty is calling on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal.

Stephen Doughty MP and Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Nia Griffith MP.

Stephen said: “I am delighted to support our Forces, serving personnel and Veterans and their families, on Armed Forces Day.

“It’s wonderful that we have a day that recognises the hard work and bravery of the Forces community, but of course we need to be supporting them year-round and the Government must ensure that our Armed Forces are getting a good deal on pay, welfare, housing and services.” 

Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, added: “Our servicemen and women stand up for us every day, so it’s especially important that we stand up for them on Armed Forces Day.

“Satisfaction with Service life has dropped every year since 2009, and the number of personnel leaving the Forces is worryingly high. It’s time the Tories show them they are valued and invest in them. The Government needs to get a grip of this problem and take action now.”


Ruth responds to the Queen’s Speech

Ruth George (High Peak)

The Queen’s Speech was more notable for what was not included, than the legislation set out.


As the Conservatives no longer have a majority in Parliament following the general election and are not even able to put together a coalition as yet, they are not able to go ahead with many of the most damaging policies from their manifesto.


I am very pleased that the following manifesto policies were not included in the Queen’s Speech:


  • Means testing of the Winter Fuel Allowance for pensioners
  • Ending the Triple Lock on pensions
  • The ‘Dementia Tax’ on social care
  • A Grammar School system
  • Ending free school meals for 5, 6 and 7 year olds
  • Fox hunting


By replacing a Conservative MP with a Labour MP, people in High Peak have already made a real difference to the future of our country and a significant contribution to preventing these harmful policies, which so many people told me concerned them.


It is good to see that the Conservatives’ manifesto proposals for a very hard Brexit have been softened by adopting the Labour Party’s priorities of supporting businesses and jobs, and I look forward to working with MPs from all parties to try to retain as many of the economic benefits of the European Union during the negotiations on Brexit.


I am also pleased that the government have committed to legislation on two areas which I and the Labour Party have been advocating for several years:


  • Ending letting agents’ fees
  • A price cap on excessive energy bills


However, I am most concerned at the lack of action in the Queen’s Speech on the most pressing issues which we face:


  • Huge cuts faced by our schools
  • Long waits for health services
  • Existing and impending Cuts to support for people who need it, particularly People with disabilities and families on low incomes
  • An increase in affordable homes
  • A huge skills shortage which contributes to low productivity across the UK
  • Government investment in our much-needed transport infrastructure


The Queen’s Speech represents a continuation of austerity and further cuts to our struggling public services  – a policy which is not only cruel to those who need support, but also holds back our economy and has seen our deficit more than double over the past 7 years.


I and others in the Labour Party will be fighting to ensure that public funding is increased where it is needed, but also against the waste of public funds, particularly on unneeded Free Schools, and on contracting out our health services to the private sector.


I will also be fighting against cuts to our local services in High Peak and to make sure that our corner of Derbyshire is not overlooked when it comes to the fair distribution of reducing resources.


This very sparse Queen’s Speech makes clear that there is a lot to do both in High Peak and across the country.

The post Ruth responds to the Queen’s Speech appeared first on Ruth George for High Peak 2017.

Dave Cross / Thursday 29 June 2017 11:20