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Lee Anderson MP's Weekly Column

Lee Anderson (Ashfield)

I was delighted to hear that a very proud grandmother in Ashfield was cheering on her grandson, Alex Smith, as it was announced that he will join the England Deaf Football for the World Cup, as a goalkeeper. This is fantastic and just goes to show that anything is possible. I know that Alex will…
Maria Miller MP for Basingstoke visited Instavolt’s newly expanded headquarters based in Chineham Business Park and met the car charging network’s boss Adrian Keen. Maria said, “Instavolt is another thriving Basingstoke business having recently expanded their premises in Basingstoke to meet the…

The P{rime Minister this week has a great opportunity and a great platform to set out his vision of the future and tell us how Conservatives can make things better and help people improve their lives.

Today I ask what should Rishi Sunak tell the nation this week, from such a good platform?

After 5 years of a Coalition government and 8 years of a Conservative one he must  not trash the past and can  be proud of some achievements. The transformation of school standards, the freedom from the large EU budget contributions and escaping from the running up of big new EU debts, the global reach of an independent UK   strengthening our ties with Australia, New Zealand and the Trans Pacific Partnership are all to be welcomed. Nor must he spend much time on the past, but show he as a new Prime  Minister is looking forward to the huge opportunities ahead for the UK now Brexit and the covid lockdowns are behind us.

He needs to reassure us that the high levels of taxation are temporary, brought on by covid and the Ukraine war. He should point the way to a slimmer, fitter and better public sector after several years of poor productivity and service interruptions from lockdowns and strikes. We need empowered users of public services, and well rewarded public servants with the machine power and data to be more productive. People want  access to doctors and hospital appointments to be easier and quicker, for their children to  have a choice of good schools, for our public transport to be on time and affordable and for our roads to have fewer potholes.

He began the fight back over the last two weeks. Government should not be telling us which  cars and heating systems to buy and then stopping us buying ones they do  not like. It should not be keeping our oil and gas in the ground and importing it from abroad. They should not be raising taxes on strivers, savers and small businesses.

Tomorrow  will offer some ideas on what he can now deliver.


Black History Month

Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

For more information :  https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

Woolton Hill Village Market

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

Another splendid village market came to Woolton Hill at the end of September. I would guess over 50 stalls selling all sorts of delights set up for the morning at Thorngrove School, and saw hundreds of local come to have a look and buy.

For me, I always stock on on venison from Savernake Game, and then some delicious wine from Millward Wine. It was also a great pleasure to draw the well supported raffle at the end.

The whole event is put together by a band of volunteers ably led by Emma Terleske and we owe them all a huge thank you for making such a success of this local institution.

Statement from Council Leader Cammy Day ahead of the deadline for short-term lets license applications.
29 September 2023
Dunne welcomes £1.5m bus funding for Shropshire

South Shropshire MP, Philip Dunne, has welcomed £1.5m of funding from the government to improve local bus services.  

The funding forms part of a £300million bus package, and can be used to maintain existing service levels or to deliver targeted initiatives to encourage bus use. The Government has now invested over £3.5billion since 2020 to protect and improve bus services while keeping bus fares low. 

The rules around Bus Service Improvement Plan funding have recently been amended to allow local authorities to use this investment to support bus services at risk of being cut, so that the socially necessary services on which local people rely can be protected. 

Shropshire Council will receive £1,490,492 for 2024/25 to support delivery of their Bus Service Improvement Plan. 

Mr Dunne said:

“This £1.5m from the government to support bus services in Shropshire is extremely welcome, and can be used to support routes and encourage bus use locally.  

“I have worked with Shropshire Council to support bids for greater bus funding from central government, so I am pleased we have had some success through the Bus Service Improvement Plan funding.” 

Over the past several months, many local people have raised their concerns about the standards of our waterways. I know many are, quite rightly, concerned at reports of sewage being discharged into our rivers. In Wycombe, our water is managed by Thames Water. In the region operated by Thames Water, 86% of bathing waters were rated Good or Excellent in 2022 but pollution incidents have been significant. Since 2010, the company has been made to pay over £35 million for […]
Press Release: Date: 29/09/2023 The Conservative Government have invested a further £80 million to protect essential bus services and allow local authorities to make travel improvements in their communities.   The funding will support 64 local authorities including Nottinghamshire County Council…
Greg Smith MP very much enjoyed visiting Longwick C Of E Combined School this week, speaking at their assembly - where they were marking World School Milk Day - and answering the School Council's fantastic and thoughtful questions. Greg was also grateful also to the Head Boy and Head Girl for…

If a constituent in Tameside stopped me in the street and asked me what I thought the single most important thing for unlocking Britain’s potential would be, my answer would be simple: education.  

That’s not to say that a whole host of other things don’t matter in politics, but education is the engine of our society. It prepares people for life and equips them with the knowledge and skills to contribute to our world. Get education right, and you’ll make tangible inroads in tackling problems like poverty and sluggish growth.  

Unfortunately, at this point in time, the Government is not getting education right. We’ve got staff shortages, huge attainment inequalities, and a developing crisis in absenteeism. Add this to the recent RAAC concrete crisis, and it’s clear that our education system is in need of urgent attention.  

When I visit schools here in Tameside, I’m always inspired by the talent, kindness, and knowledge I encounter. The same can be said for further education institutions, which equip adults with new skills in an ever-changing employment landscape.  

But this talent is being failed through a combination of Government neglect and a fundamental failure to invest in our children.  

Ultimately, politics is about priorities, which is why I’m so pleased that Labour has committed to relentlessly driving high standards in our state schools. This will start by ending the unjustifiable tax breaks afforded to private schools. By scrapping these tax breaks, the next Labour Government will recruit over 6,500 more teachers and put access to mental health counselling in every school.

This work will allow the next Labour Government to develop a broad and enriching curriculum, one that allows children and young people to participate in arts, digital and sports subjects that develop essential life skills.  

This is precisely the kind of innovative and bold thinking we need to see in Government.   

When education fails, we all fail. You don’t need to be a parent or guardian to be invested in our education sector, it impacts and benefits us all. It therefore needs to become a national mission to break down the barriers to opportunity at every single stage. 

The post Education is key to unlocking our potential – my weekly article for the Tameside Reporter appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.

Bank bosses have been urged to clearly set out what services will be available when the Halifax branch in Hatfield closes.

The Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps is concerned local people will lose out when the branch in (town centre/street) shuts in June 2025 to be replaced by a ‘banking hub’.

He has written to Halifax bosses asking: “What range of facilities that will be offered at the new banking hub? Will it just be cash machines and a banker who is available once a week? Or will it offer other and newer services for customers?”

Mr Shapps added: “How accessible will the new services at this hub be for customers? And how will you help regular users adapt to this new change?”

Mr Shapps said he would help “in any way which will make the transition to a new hub as easy as possible for the people of Hatfield”.

You can read his letter here.

The post New banking services need to be set out “clearly” insists Grant Shapps MP appeared first on The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP.

WESTON-SUPER-MARE Jobs Fair will return for a tenth time later this year.

The annual jobs fair, organised by local MP John Penrose, unites local and national employers with residents local to Weston who are looking for work.

This year’s fair will host 40 employers, with hundreds of job vacancies to fill.

Businesses in attendance and with jobs to offer include: Brandon Trust, Smart Systems, Priory Trust, Pier Health, Weston Hospital, Avon & Somerset Police, EDF Energy, Bristol Airport, Weston College, North Somerset Council, Abatec, and many more.

Job hunters will also be able to attain interview advice and learn about courses and apprenticeships on offer at Weston College.

John Penrose MP said: “It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since we held the first Weston Jobs Fair!

“I’m very proud of it, because during those 10 years, we’ve had great feedback from local people and companies who attended saying they’ve found a new job they really love or from companies who say they found someone who turned out to be a long-term, valued member of their team.

“This year, we’ve had organisations from many sectors reach out and ask when the next event would be.

“It’s clear that there’s plenty of work available around Weston, whether you’re currently between jobs or in work and ready for a change.

“As always, the goal with this year’s Jobs Fair is to match as many local people as possible with rewarding jobs and provide organisations access to talented local people.”

The event will take place at the Winter Gardens on Thursday November 2, from 10am until 2pm.

It’s free to attend with no pre-event registration required.

Drew Hendry MP celebrated the launch of SafeKab, an innovative initiative from Inverness Taxis, and offered women the chance to share their experiences through a focus group meeting held earlier this week. The event was an informative gathering meant to raise awareness and discuss the potential of SafeKab in addressing women’s safety.

The initiative emerges as a response to the growing concerns regarding women’s safety in public spaces, aiming to instil confidence and ensure security and fast action in the event of an emergency.

Women from various organisations, including Women’s Aid, RASASH, the Young Women’s Movement and the Street Pastors, were in attendance to share their thoughts and experiences. Gavin Johnston, owner of Inverness Taxis, also attended to convey the progress made with their new app.

SafeKab offers various tools via a smartphone app to protect individuals walking or taking a taxi home, focusing on proactive safety measures and immediate response features. Such tools include allowing a family member or friend to track your walk home or alerting nearby taxi drivers to an emergency with the tap of a button.

Comments by Drew Hendry MP:

“I am very pleased to have SafeKab introduced to our community, a significant step forward in safeguarding the women in the Highlands. It is crucial for everyone to feel secure when returning home, and SafeKab serves as an essential tool in ensuring such security – a huge congratulations to Gavin and the team at Inverness Taxis for successfully taking the lead on this.

“By bringing women from various backgrounds together at the focus group, we aimed to address the diverse needs and concerns related to safety. The insights gained from this event will undoubtedly contribute to further enhancements in the app and other safety initiatives.

“Creating safe communities is a collective responsibility, and I am optimistic that SafeKab will inspire more innovative solutions to emerge, focusing on protection and safety for all.”


A Sensible Path to Net Zero

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe)

Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil, and using more energy efficient tools and devices will help us to save money and protect the environment. Lowering carbon emissions will also reduce the effects of climate change, and developing new sources of green energy, including from new nuclear stations, will help us […]
Aberconwy MP Robin Millar has welcomed the announcement from energy regulator Ofgem that it is launching into a review into standing charges for gas and electricity. Standing charges are the fixed daily fees for gas and electricity connections and they are added to bills regardless of how much, or…
The Conservative Government have invested a further £80 million to protect essential bus services and allow local authorities to make travel improvements in their communities. The funding will support 64 local authorities including Blackpool with £506,488 of funding, building on the £80 million of…

Liz visits Leicester’s job centre

Liz Kendall (Leicester West)

Earlier this month I visited Leicester’s Job Centre on Wellington Street and spoke to the work coaches for the over 50s and for the young unemployed, and their disability advisers to find out how they are trying to help people find work and to encourage employers to provide more support too.

Huge thanks to everyone for talking to me about the work they are doing and the challenges they face, especially Disability Employment Advisors Vib and Clare, and Carly who leads the work coaches for over the 50s.

The post Liz visits Leicester’s job centre appeared first on Liz Kendall.

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Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, has chaired a meeting between MS3, the company installing telegraph poles in Hedon and Preston, Cllr Steve Gallant (SW Holderness, Lab) and East Riding of Yorkshire Council to try to find a solution that would work for residents.   In…
26 September 2023
Offshore Wind Infrastructure Campaign Update – Letter to Secretary of State

As has been widely publicised in recent years, the East is at the forefront of the offshore wind revolution that is already strengthening our UK energy resilience and driving forward the decarbonisation of our energy network. 

That’s why, having been a leading figure over several years calling for a proper offshore solution for delivering this crucial Offshore Wind Infrastructure, I was proud to co-sign an OffSET MP letter to the new Secretary of State last week – in which we reiterated the importance of proper community consultation around the question of offshore infrastructure versus onshore pylons.

The next round of consultation cannot begin until the findings of National Grid ESO’s review into offshore options are known and communities have been fully engaged.

While particularly relevant to the East Anglia Green proposals, this issue is very much connected to the wider campaign for a proper solution – one that would save the British taxpayer billions over the coming decades, minimise environmental and community disruption and in fact enable to the UK to accelerate its offshore wind production in the years to come.

We, the OffSET MP collective, have also asked for an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State too.

Rest assured, I am remain committed to speaking up for the people of Mid Norfolk on this issue – and I hope to be able to provide further updates in the not too distant future.

To learn more about my campaign work on this issue, please visit my website here.

Community Ownership Fund Opens for Applications

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)

For details on Round 3 of funding, please click here.

Weekly Round-Up :: 22 September 2023

Karin Smyth (Bristol South)

My week started with a visit to the Senedd in Cardiff. The Welsh Parliament was the setting for the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA). For those of you not aware, BIPA was founded in 1990 as a vital link between the UK Parliament and Houses of the Oireachtas. In 2001 membership was enlarged to include the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald and the States of Guernsey and Jersey. In 2008, the name British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly was adopted to reflect a new era of relations between Britain and Ireland. These meetings are vital for securing lasting peace on the island of Ireland, but to also learn from each other’s successes so we can deliver a more prosperous future for all.

With Parliament in conference recess, it means I have had the opportunity to meet up with local groups, organisations and institutions in Bristol. I have held meetings with Headteachers of our primary and secondary schools to hear about the opportunities and challenges they are facing. In addition, I held a meeting with the Principal of St Brendan’s College where we discussed Further Education provision in south Bristol and how to secure the best possible outcomes for our young people.

A health service only works if it puts patients at the heart of everything it does. I was pleased to sit down with local GPs and nurses to talk about the increase in demand and complexity of care they are providing. The long-term security of the NHS will depend upon a quality social care system that relieves the pressure upon hospitals, allowing for waiting lists to fall and enabling healthcare professionals to focus on patient outcomes instead of fighting backlogs.

On Wednesday I met with Chief Inspector Steph Mckenna, at Broadbury Road police station, in Bristol South. We discussed local crime issues including anti-social behaviour, drug use, progress with tackling domestic abuse, and motorcycle crime. I often hear about the challenges of living with the impact of anti-social behaviour and drug-resultant behaviour from constituents and I know that they are concerned to see this dealt with effectively. It’s important that the community know that the police are working to deal with these issues but also that they have contact with their local police officers and can build trust.

This week, I also visited Well Pharmacy. The pharmacy is the first point of call for many when dealing with a medical issue and they provide a vital service in the community. When we talk about supporting the health service, we must also remember pharmacies as an important element of that support. It was great to discuss these issues with Well Pharmacy Area Manager Leanne Passaway and regional manager for the Southwest Andrew Jones about the challenges for pharmacies in the coming 5-10 years and what needs to be done to ensure that they remain a vital and present part of our communities.

On Thursday, I visited the Knowle branch of Lloyds to see how they are supporting constituents. Our focus was a discussion on the digital training that Lloyds offers to help constituents deal with their finances online and enable them to work to prevent fraud. With scams a dominant concern for many constituents, this digital training from Lloyds is a vital part of our fight against fraudsters who seek to use more digital means in the 21st century to steal money. It is heart-breaking to hear some of the stories of people who have been scammed and defrauded and this digital training from Lloyds is a great first step in combatting this crime.

If there are issues you want to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing Karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 0117 953 3575.

The post Weekly Round-Up :: 22 September 2023 first appeared on Karin Smyth.

Cherwell Local Plan 2040

Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

Cherwell District Council has today launched a six-week consultation on the draft Cherwell Local Plan 2040. Local Plans are really important as they provide a framework for the location, scale and nature of future development which will be permitted when planning applications are submitted. It is…

My Weekly Round-up

Christina Rees (Neath)

I attended the National Marine Parks (NMP) Parliamentary launch event. The Blue Marine Foundation (BMF) and 12 partners launched a National Framework and Guidance to support the evaluation of NMPs which offers a common purpose, objectives, and principles, for NMPs to evolve in Britain. The BMF partnership’s vision for NMPs is that they could fulfil a role in re-connecting people with sea and deliver more coherent conservation to benefit nature and coastal communities. Over 80% of people across England, Scotland, and Wales believe it is crucial to protect our ocean, but over 50% perceive the health of the marine environment as poor. The BMF partnership has scoped areas across Britain and found there is an appetite to explore introducing NMPs from Dorset, Argyll, to Pembrokeshire. Read the reports here.

I attended the APPG for Christians in Parliament Chapel service with my dear friend Baroness Anita Gale, which is open to all parliamentarians and staff. The Reading was Psalm 130, and Reverend Mark Harris delivered his interpretation of this Psalm.

As vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coalfields Communities, I attended the meeting to welcome the Minister for Levelling Up, Dehenna Davison MP, so that members of the APPG could ask her questions on our APPG Report “Next Steps in Levelling Up the Former Coalfields”, which we launched in Parliament on 12th June 2023. Specifically, recommendations 1, 2, 9, 10, and 12, which you can read here. The Minister confirmed that the next round of Levelling Up funds would be round 3, reflecting previous rounds, and application bids should be shelf ready to go with no conflict in community input and vision. Representatives pointed out that the round 2 bidding process was very complicated with lots of forms to complete, and it should be simplified. Round 2 had built up expectations in councils that their bids would be approved, councils had spent lots of money to formulate bids, which were rarely granted, and there was a lack of private sector support. Also, when a bid was successful it has to be spent in 18 months, which I pointed out is a very short timeframe compared with former European funding which allowed 7 years, with the option of a 3-year extension. And the financial settlement provided to Wales is not enough to level up the coalfield communities in Wales. The APPG was very well attended by MPs and Peers, plus representatives from Coalfields Communities, including: Trade Unions; Councillors; and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

As vice-chair of the Climate Change APPG, I attended the roundtable discussion with Dr Steve Pye, Associate Professor at UCL, who spoke about what climate science says about phasing out oil and gas production and his research focusing on net zero pathways, energy system decarbonisation and securing UK energy independence; Tessa Khan, CEO Uplift, provided an overview of the state of UK oil and gas policy, and how transitioning away from oil and gas production can also tackle issues around energy security, and the cost of living crisis; Louise Borrows, Climate and Energy Lead For the Beyond Oil and Gas Coalition (BOGA), who was on a secondment to the Cabinet Office for COP 26 and was joint head of the energy campaign for the UK’s COP Presidency Year. She led the delivery of multiple projects including ending fossil finance, no new coal, methane, and directing the Presidency’s approach to gas, and she successfully cemented and led the “Glasgow Statement” signatories as a government coalition for change; and Darren Proctor, National Secretary of RMT Union, spoke about worker’s views on moving away from oil and gas and how a just transition can happen. See upliftuk.org

The APPG for Steel and Related Metal Industries received an update on the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) from TRA officials: Edward Smith, Investigator; Timothy Sharp, Lead Investigator; and Katherine Newton-McGee, Head of Investigations. The members of the APPG questioned the TRA officials on: how the TRA is reviewing the safeguards, what are they doing and how can steel producers and users contribute to the review; and what are the timelines for the review. The TRA has instigated the review regarding the extension of the UK steel safeguards beyond 30 June 2024 covering the 15 product categories that are currently subject to the measure. The maximum they can be extended is another two years to June 2026, and it is vital that this will be the outcome of the review. UK Steel will be presenting evidence to the TRA, and engaging with the relevant stakeholders to ensure the best outcome is achieved. The TRA preliminary determination will be published in February 2024, and the Secretary of State for Business and Trade will make the final decision by 30 June 2024 on whether to maintain the safeguards for another two years. MPs asked the TRA officers how the economic injury would be assessed, in the context of EU safeguards and whilst US S232 tariffs remains in place. Removing UK safeguards would lead to a huge influx of diverted imports from countries that face much lower energy costs, and benefit from subsidies and other unfair competitive advantages.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the leading dementia research charity in the UK working to revolutionise the way we treat, diagnose, and prevent dementia. Almost 1 million people are living with dementia in the UK today. One in two of us will be directly affected in our lifetime, either by caring for someone with the condition, developing it ourselves, or both. We are at tipping point. New ways of diagnosing the diseases that cause dementia earlier and more accurately like blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease are showing promise. New treatments that can affect the course of Alzheimer’s disease could be available in the UK in just a few months’ time. New insights are showing how we can reduce the prevalence of dementia in the first place by addressing factors that affect our brain health. I support the charity’s recommendations: to set up a UK cross-governmental strategy for the prevention of ill health to address the health and lifestyle factors that affect our risk of developing dementia; invest in the current diagnostic pathway to make it fit for purpose and fit for the future; ensure new dementia treatments are available on the NHS as soon as possible; and establish the UK as a world leader in dementia research. Contact Alzheimersresearchuk.org 

Western Gateway held a Parliamentary reception to celebrate the launch of its Western Gateway 2050 Rail Vision published earlier this year. The Vision is transformational – connecting local communities at risk of being left behind; deliverable – building on a pipeline of schemes already underway; investable – ready for the public and private sector to enhance communities and add at least £34bn to the UK economy by 2030. The Western Gateway APPG co-chairs Jess Morden MP and the Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland MP introduced and closed the event. Katherine Bennett CBE, Chair of the Western Gateway, said that the vision is not about asking the UK Government for instant investment, or building a new high speed trainline, it’s a long-term vision supported by cross-party leaders and the Western Gateway APPG, because the region has huge potential to deliver the UK’s sustainable and net zero future economy and unlock a greener, fairer, future. We heard from guest speakers: my dear friend Baroness Debbie Wilcox, who as the former Leader of Newport Council and former leader of the Welsh Local Government Authority who was instrumental in setting up Western Gateway; Huw Merriman MP, UK Government Rail Minister; Louise Haigh MP, Labour Shadow Transport Secretary; Stephen Morgan MP, Labour Shadow Rail Minister; Council Leaders within the Western Gateway Region; and representatives from Transport for Wales, Network Rail, and GWR. Read the vision report here.

I was honoured to deliver the second reading at the annual Service of Thanksgiving for Victory in The Battle of Britain in St David’s Church Neath, which was organised by Neath & Swansea Branches of the Royal Air Force Association (Neath 617 Branch). The first reading was delivered by Louise Fleet CStJ, JP, the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan and the congregation listened to the usual, thought-provoking sermon by our wonderful Avon Nedd Ministry Area Leader, The Reverend Canon Lynda Newman. After the service, we gathered at the Memorial Gates, Gnoll Grounds, to place wreaths in memory of those service people who gave their lives to achieve peace in the world, and play the Last Post, before a minutes’ silence, and Reveille. We Will Remember Them.

As vice-chair of the APPG on Restorative Justice (RJ) I was honoured to be at the launch of our APPG Investigation: Implementing restorative practices in education, health, and social care report authored by our Advisory Board. The report was introduced by the Advisory Board Chairman, and CEO of the Restorative Justice Council, Jim Simon. The investigation focused on the current implementation and impact of restorative practice in non-judicial settings across the UK. The findings and subsequent recommendations are based on the reported experience of restorative practitioners working in education, health, and social care who embraced the opportunity to contribute evidence of their successes and pointed out improvements that could be made. The APPG calls on UK Government to use this report and its recommendations to shape future public policy and develop a cohesive strategy for the long-term implementation of restorative justice. Read the report here. Jim and our APPG chair Elliot Colburn MP will be meeting the UK Government Justice Minister, Ed Argar MP, on 12th September to discuss our report, the benefits of implementing restorative justice, and the Victims and Prisoners Bill. After the meeting they will fully brief the members of the APPG on the outcome of the meeting. Jim outlined details of the first annual Northern Ireland RJC Conference in Belfast on 14/15th September on which he will report back to the next APPG in October. There will also be an APPG Parliamentary Drop In event on 30th October in the Thames Pavilion which will highlight the work of RJC in education, health, social care, and the devolved nations.

I joined the online meeting of the APPG for Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to hear evidence from voluntary organisations, including: Gingerbread; women who have been let down by the CMS; and MPs who receive so much casework from constituents who are suffering because the child maintenance payments that have been agreed following the split up of partners in a relationship, are not being paid by the relevant partner towards the upkeep of the children. The children, and parent who has custody of the children, are struggling to survive without the maintenance payments that they are owed. The CMS was set up by the UK Government in December 2012. There is a £20 application fee, unless the parent or child is a victim of domestic abuse, or the applicant parent is under 19 years old. There are two methods of payment: Direct Pay which can be chosen by either parent with agreement of the other, there is no collection fee; Collect and Pay, whereby the CMS calculates the amount of maintenance due and collects it from the paying parent, and pays it to the receiving parent, but there is a 20% fee for the paying parent on top of the maintenance payments and 4% is taken off the maintenance paid to the receiving parent. In the interests of fairness, the DWP should consider removing the 4% charge from receiving parents. Since set up in 2012 there is £547.9 million in unpaid arrears, i.e 8%. In the last quarter, to March 2023, of UK Government statistics, £237 million was due by Direct Pay, but the DWP does not measure how much of this is unpaid. £72 million was due by Collect and Pay of which £22.9 million was unpaid. In my Neath constituency my excellent and diligent staff have resolved many CMS cases, mostly where the paying parent has disputed the amount of maintenance they have been asked to pay, stating that they can’t afford the payments, and so lapse into arrears, and are not able to make up the arrears amount. The receiving parent raises this with the CMS, and the paying parent is placed on direct payments taken from their wages, but this is not possible if they are paid in cash. If the paying parent receives a below 25% wage increase the CMS will not trigger a change of circumstances to increase the payments. Also, if the paying parent is receiving benefits, they are obliged to only pay the CMS minimum of £7 per week.

I was pleased to support the WI Week of River Action Parliamentary launch event, which kicked off their new Clean Rivers campaign which seeks to tackle river pollution and to promote the designation of more bathing waters. The WI will endeavour to raise awareness of the ecological state of the UK’s rivers and draw public attention to the importance of clean rivers for people and for wildlife in their communities.

I attended another APPG Christians in Parliament Chapel service with my friend Baroness Anita Gale. The Reading was from Mark 1:14-15, and there was a talk by Paul Woolley, CEO of The London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, entitled “Growing confidence: Recovering the Gospel as Good News”.

I supported UNICEF’s launch calling on the UK Government for a Baby and Toddler Guarantee as part of its Early Moments Matter campaign to support families with young children to ensure that babies and toddlers have the best start in life across the UK. UNICEF’s latest research reveals the pressures families with young children are under and how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting children. YouGov polled parents and guardians of at least one child aged 0-4 years old living in Great Britain. Poll findings for Wales (National average in brackets): 79% said the cost of living has negatively impacted their family lives (78%); 65% have struggled with their mental health (61%); 67% believe it’s harder to be a parent now than their parents’ generation (70%); 66% are worried about their child’s future life chances (66%); 55% can’t afford to give their child the life they want (50%); 44% had less time to read, play, cook healthy meals than last year (37%).

I dropped into the ABTA The Travel Association and UK inbound event on potential solutions to improve youth mobility between the UK and Europe. Tourism is a vitally important soft power and a global success story for the UK and youth mobility whether for education, work or travel, makes a significant contribution to both the UK economy and in Neath where in 2019, over 241 jobs were supported by the inbound tourism sector and over 300 jobs were supported by the outbound tourism sector. The youth and student travel market sees 25 million travellers per year; young travellers support over 265,00 jobs in the education sector; and the outward-bound travel industry is worth more than £37.1 billion a year to the UK economy, 1.8% of GDP, supporting 526,000 jobs across the UK. Therefore, it is important for the UK Government to work with the UK tourism industry to reinvigorate youth mobility through expansion of the Youth Mobility Scheme, development of collective passports, and digitisation.

As a vice-chair of the Show Racism the Red Card APPG, it was an honour to attend a meeting with parliamentarians, to promote the 9th annual Wear Red Day #WRD23 which will be held on Friday 20th October 2023, organised by the wonderful Ged Grebby, Founder of Show Racim the Red Card, who works full time to stamp out racism at all levels of society. Racism is abhorrent and I was proud to wear my Show Racism the Red Card red t-shirt and stand in solidarity with campaigners.

As a former chair of the APPG for Sport I supported my dear friend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, the chair of Sport Wales, who hosted a parliamentary event to strive to make the UK the most active nation in Europe. The event was organised by Active Partnerships; CIMSPA; Sport for Development Coalition; Sport Recreation Alliance; Local Government Association; UK Active and the Youth Sport Trust. Currently, the UK is the 11th most inactive nation, and the 3rd highest spenders on healthcare costs associated with inactivity. The sport, recreation, and physical activity sectors’ leading bodies are urgently calling on political parties to commit to making it easier for people to play, move, and be active in any way they choose by ensuring that sport, recreation, and physical activity is accessible and affordable to everyone. We can build a future where: all children are given the best possible start, gaining habits and skills to manage their physical and mental wellbeing, living longer and healthier lives; preventing and improving community health leads to significantly less pressure on NHS and other public services; our streets and communities will be safer, happier, and greener places to be; our economy will be boosted by a healthier workforce that increases productivity and lengthens people’s employment. Turning this vision into reality will not be easy, and will take time, but we believe it can and must be done. We urge the current and future governments to put sport, recreation, and physical activity at the heart of national policy making working closely with the sector and devolved governments of all the Home Nations on a programme of reforms including: building a common evidence base of the benefits to drive better funding; more and better targeting investment to create modern sustainable places and spaces to be active to drive up participation unlocking the power of sport for social good. It was a lovely surprise to meet Emily Reynolds, National Programmes Director, Youth Sport Trust, who is from Glynneath and the daughter of my dear friend Gerry Reynolds. Emily has worked for Youth Sport Trust for over 8 years and was deputising at the event for her CEO, Ali Oliver, who unfortunately couldn’t attend, otherwise our paths may never have crossed, and I would not have had the wonderful opportunity to meet Emily, who I am sure will become a close friend too. Read “Unlocking the Potential” 

I attended the Asthma + Lung UK transport policy Parliamentary event called “putting the brakes on toxic air” and received a briefing on the Cleaner Travel Access Fund (CTAF). We heard that polluting vehicles are fuelling toxic air and the climate crisis, and millions of people are breathing unsafe levels of air pollution. 97% of the UK’s 33 million cars still run on petrol and diesel, releasing pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide into the air. Road transport is responsible for nearly 50% of all nitrogen oxide air pollution. There is no safe level of air pollution but tens of millions across the UK are breathing levels of air pollution that are against the law. Babies, children, pregnant women, older people, and those with existing lung conditions are more vulnerable. Air pollution is costing the NHS and Social Care services millions every year and contributes to up to 43,000 early UK deaths every year. The least responsible for air pollution are often the most exposed. The poorest people live nearest busy roads and worst air pollution levels are in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, but there is less car ownership in these groups. The CTAF is a scrappage scheme of £777 million aimed at people on low incomes and those whose mobility is affected by long term health conditions to swap their polluting vehicles in exchange for a £3000 grant per household to use public transport, buy active travel, or put towards an electric vehicle.

I attended the Parliamentary launch of a report by the Women’s Budget Group, funded by the Community Justice Fund entitled Gender Gaps in Access to Civil Legal Justice. We listened to guest speakers: Rt Hon Emily Thornberry MP, Labour Shadow Attorney General; Dr Zubaida Haque report author; Isabel Langdale, Project Manager Women’s Homelessness, Homeless Link; and Pamela Fitzpatrick, Director of Harris Law Centre, discuss the findings of the report and what needs to happen to close the gender civil justice gap. The report drew on survey data collected from 115 organisations and services across England and Wales, and explores the gender disparities in accessing civil legal justice, and the pressing needs, barriers, and adverse impacts faced by women. The discussion focused on the types of civil law issues women seek help for, from employment law to family and immigration law, the consequences of the changes in scope including the LASPO Act 2012, and the solutions to help women from all backgrounds. Key findings from respondents include: 85% said vulnerable women are unable to access civil legal aid, 77% said a major consequence of the legal aid changes is women reaching crisis point of problems escalating before they receive legal help or advice, 48% reported domestic violence as a key issue, the most widespread employment law issue is pregnancy/maternity discrimination, and the reduced scope of what is covered by legal aid plus the reduced amount of legal aid available disproportionately affects women. The report’s recommendations included: more research into the impact of LASPO 2012; improving access to legal aid for employment law, thresholds and time limits should be increased; intervene with support sooner to avoid litigation and keep cases out of tribunals; better legal training for solicitors, and embed this in GPs/housing/homelessness/services, and food banks; improve general public legal education at a local level; and more cross-sector collaboration to build on expertise and knowledge and facilitate referrals to legal advisers. Read the report www.wbg.org.uk

I attended a very important event organised by One Million LivesR;ipple, and Make A Difference Media, held during Suicide Prevention Week. One Million Lives is a free mental health check to help you understand how you are currently coping and provide suggestions for building resilience. Checking is important even if you feel well because the sooner you check the earlier you can make changes to stay well. Alice Henry lost her brother Josh in November 2020 to suicide. Josh had been searching for suicide techniques on the internet. Alice set up R;ipple which is a free digital resource for parents, schools, and charities that discreetly intercepts harmful internet searches and signposts to 24/7 free mental health support. Make A Difference Media provides a global learning space for employers looking to embed preventive strategies that will have a sustainable impact on workplace wellbeing, culture, and environment. We learned how vital language matters to avoid perpetuating negative stereotypes about suicide. For example: we must not say commit or committing suicide, because this implies it’s a sin or a crime, rather we should say died by suicide or lost their life to suicide. We must not say you’re not going to do anything silly are you, because you want to show you are not dismissing or making fun of how they are feeling, rather we should say have you been thinking of killing yourself. We must not say successful or unsuccessful suicide, because this implies that suicide is an achievement or something positive, rather we should say lived through a suicide attempt.

I was privileged to be granted a Westminster Hall Debate about Sepsis by Mr Speaker on 13th September which is World Sepsis Day. I began my speech with a tribute to Dame Cheryl Gillan, who tragically died in April 2021. I was extremely surprised and honoured to be asked by Dame Cheryl to take over from her as chair of the Sepsis APPG when she stood down in March 2021. It was a shock to me and most parliamentarians when Dame Cheryl died only a month after I took over as chair. Why did Dame Cheryl choose me? It could be that when I became a member of the APPG in 2017, Dame Cheryl and I had a cup of tea because she wanted to listen to my Sepsis story. I am one of the very fortunate people who contracted Sepsis (in August 2013), and survived. I owe my life to my friend Jen Smith who kept taking me back to the NHS when I didn’t improve after many weeks of not being diagnosed with Sepsis, and the consultant surgeon at the Heath Hospital, Dr John Jones, who correctly identified Sepsis and operated immediately to save my life. I have done my very best to chair the APPG but I have had enormous help from Sarah Hamilton-Fairly and Dr Ron Daniels of the UK Sepsis Trust. Sepsis is a global health concern, and it occurs when the body’s responses to infection causes injury to its tissues and organs. It is not known why some people develop Sepsis in response to infections, whereas others do not. My source of Sepsis remains a mystery. Sepsis is often referred to as the “silent killer” because of its ability to strike swiftly and unexpectedly. In the UK 245,000 cases are reported every year, leading to over 48,000 deaths, and the leading cause of avoidable deaths – more than breast, bowel, and prostate cancer combined. Around 40% of people who develop Sepsis are estimated to suffer physical, cognitive and/or psychological after-effects. Most recover after a few weeks but others develop Post Sepsis Syndrome. One of the biggest challenges is early diagnosis because Sepsis can mimic other common illnesses, with similar symptoms, such as fever, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, confusion, and extreme pain. I suffered with most of these symptoms plus a swollen face, so I was diagnosed with toothache and mouth abscesses. The UK Sepsis Trust has worked tirelessly to educate health care providers and the public to improve early detection. Their “Sepsis Six” care and treatment pathway has been implemented in 96% of hospitals across the UK and in 37 other countries to ensure rapid and effective treatment. But there is confusion amongst clinicians because the Sepsis NICE Guideline NG 51 has not been updated since 2016, despite being scheduled for updated publication in June 2023, and which now conflicts with the position statement from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. I asked the UK Government Under Secretary of State for Heath and Social Care , Maria Caulfield MP, who was responding to my debate, to tell the House: the publication date for the updated NG 51; the model and implementation date for Martha’s Rule, which would give families a right to a second diagnosis, advocated by Martha’s grieving parents because Martha tragically died from Sepsis; if her UK Government would replicate the 10 million Swiss Francs (£9 million) of state funding announced by the Swiss Government for implementing Sepsis improvement over a 5 year period; and would she meet with me, Dr Ron Daniels, and Sarah Hamilton-Fairly to discuss setting up a National Sepsis Register, because unlike data for heart attacks, strokes and cancer, Sepsis data is imprecise, and relies on coded administrative data, rather than granular, clinical, data of patient level registries. The Under Secretary said that The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was meeting Martha’s family later that day, and she will update members on the outcome and how Martha’s Rule will be implemented; since 2017 the National Institute of Health and Social Care has funded 14 Sepsis research projects with a combined value of £27 million but stressed that further applications would be welcomed; and that she will meet me and anyone I want to bring with me. Before being elected to Parliament in 2015, the Under Secretary was an NHS nurse for twenty years, specialising in cancer research, and I am optimistic that she really understands the issues surrounding Sepsis. On World Sepsis Day we remember those who have lost their lives, and those whose lives have been affected by Sepsis.

I attended the APPG for Drugs, Alcohol and Justice to discuss the role of the voluntary sector in drug and alcohol treatment and recovery. The meeting was so well attended that we need to find a bigger room in Parliament to hold future meetings. We heard from guest speakers: Jess Mullen, CEO, Collective Voice; Dr Roya Vaziri, Medical Director, Humankind; and Michelle Foster, Founder and CEO, The Basement Recovery Project. All speakers described the treatment and recovery projects they have been successfully running, and the parliamentarians and stakeholders had the opportunity to make comments or question the speakers.

Thomas the Tank

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

Are the railways now a metaphor for our incompetent government?

Billions have been spent on HS2, promised as the zero carbon, high speed, rail network of the future. Now it won’t even reach central London and the link to Manchester and beyond may never be built.

This year has seen industrial disputes, cancellations, and too many late and overcrowded trains. The Tories promised competition and better services through privatisation. They’d offer franchises for the best bids and the taxpayer would benefit from a share of profits as the new companies licked our railways into shape. Instead, contracts are rarely honoured while the businesses demand ever bigger bailouts to provide dividends for their often-foreign shareholders, as commuters and taxpayers pick up the bill.

It’s getting harder to squeeze more profit from existing arrangements as passenger numbers decline over rising costs and poor services, so now they intend to cut jobs by closing ticket offices, leaving many stations without staff.

Last week I had an odd encounter at New Street when the ticket barrier suddenly snapped shut as I was attempting to exit. Fortunately, for me no damage was done but I was concerned at what might have happened if it had been a child or elderly person. I was waiting in the queue to report it when I discovered that the women before me had experienced an almost identical incident minutes earlier and she had suffered some injuries. Apparently, it happens quite often and that’s why, for safety reasons, barriers are sometimes left open if there aren’t enough staff to cover them. New smartphone technology could dispense with their need altogether but presumably train companies are reluctant to invest in it.

Our government has bungled the HS2 project and now threatens to saddle us with a hugely expensive white elephant. Their operating model for the existing network is a joke and an albatross around the neck of British taxpayers; and now they want to cut jobs and take risks with safety. No wonder our railways are a mess. It’s no way to run the rail network and no way to run the country.

Leaseholders Face Sky High Building Insurance Premiums

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham)

Leaseholders Face Sky High Building Insurance Premiums Andrew Thu, 09/21/2023 - 13:09
Join Damian for a networking special with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. There will be an opportunity to meet new contacts and generate business leads, whilst sharing ideas and experiences with like-minded business people. Throughout the course of the morning, there will be a Full English…

Llanelli’s MP, Dame Nia Griffith is calling on former Road Chef employees to make sure that they respond to the latest communication from the Road Chef Employee Benefit Trust (REBTL). 

Some 4,000 former Road Chef employees nationwide, including some who worked at Pont Abraham, are still waiting for a payout after the High Court ruled back in 2014 that £10.6 million which had been paid in tax from proceeds of shares from the Roadchef Employees Benefit Trust did in fact belong to the Trust, and former employees have been waiting since 2018 for HMRC to pay back the money they are owed.

The trustees of the Road Chef Employee Benefit Trust hope to obtain High Court approval to start the distribution process before long – providing that the High Court gives that approval. Menzies will be handling the process.

 Dame Nia Griffith MP said:  

“It is absolutely shocking that nearly ten years since the High Court ruled that this money rightfully belonged to the former employees, they are still waiting for the money owed to them by HMRC.

This is hard-earned money that they put in this scheme like a pension, and they need that money now to live on, especially with the current cost of living crisis. That it is a government department that has been causing the delays is outrageous. I can well understand employees cynically dismissing this latest letter, but in chasing this matter up, I was told that it is vital that employees do respond.”   

The Member of Parliament who has campaigned for many years for the return of the monies owned, has recently been in conversation with campaigners. Any former employees who believe they are beneficiaries but have not heard from Menzies, should contact Menzies straight away.  

Menzies helpline is 0330 912 9355 or they can be contacted by email at REBTL@menzies.co.uk.  

John Lamont 'disappointed' by end of four Berwickshire bus services

John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

I am very disappointed by news that four bus services in the Scottish Borders will soon cease operating. People need these services to get to work, to visit friends and family, and to go about their daily lives. I will strongly oppose this move and I will be speaking to the bus operator and Borders…


Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

Catherine is looking for a highly motivated individual with excellent organisational and communication skills to join her team as a Parliamentary Assistant/Senior Parliamentary Assistant to support her in her roles as Member of Parliament for Newcastle North and Shadow Schools Minister. The position will be based in Catherine’s Westminster office. Part-time/flexible working or a job share would […]

Marlow Carnival

Joy Morrisey (Beaconsfield)

I was absolutely delighted to be in Marlow for the Carnival this weekend. At the Carnival, I held a Pop-Up Surgery where I spoke to constituents about their priorities in Marlow.  It was great to meet so many local residents, charities and businesses at the many stalls in the Green Village. 

Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has expressed concern with the fact that the population in Na h-Eileanan and Iar has fallen 5.5% in the last ten years, the largest fall in Scotland.

Scotland has grown less than the UK average although the population is at its highest. However, these trends have been forecast, by 2050 Scotland’s population will fall while neighbouring independent countries will rise.

Commenting Angus MacNeil said:

“Quite obviously it is beyond time that we started to look at what other island groups who are successful in growing their population have done.

“I note that Shetland’s population is down too, but Orkney’s population has increased.

“In short, island populations that are in charge of their own futures tend to do better, most notably the Faroe Islands.

“It is time that we seriously started to look at inter-island tunnels to link our communities to make transport in and out easier and better; to bring more PSO routes to our airlines, Benbecula being an example of a poor weekend service. People who live on community-owned land should have a right as a member of the community to get land to build a house for themselves. We have an ironic situation of people wanting to live and build here but can’t. The recent change in crofting grants brought in by the Scottish Government also has to change back to be less intrusive and to be more friendly towards house building by removing some of the restrictions that have been brought in.

“The Home Office is another problem, and this is a difficult one because in London they are not responsive. It is a reason why Scotland needs control and then after independence, a one-size-fits-all policy is not the answer, the Swiss cantons show how this can be done.  The number of times that we have tried to get people to come to live in the islands that have been blocked by the Home Office is mind-boggling. They simply do not care, I have met with the Home Office many times, they have a policy for the UK and quite clearly, one size does not fit all.

“We need to fill in any digital gaps we have. One of the successes of the Faroe Islands was to make physical and digital communications within their islands to be comprehensive and this has helped see a growth in the population.

“Finally, population trends are not destiny and not a function of our geography as the Faroe Islands or indeed the Isle of Man show but a function of our lack of control in Scotland and the islands over our own futures.”


At full council on 11th September 2023, Nottingham City Council unanimously passed a motion resolving to adopt the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Charter, which sets out the care and support that local people living with MND and their carers deserve and should expect. The motion also commits to promoting the charter and raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.

Motor Neurone Disease is a debilitating disease that steals sufferer’s independence. This degenerative disease robs its sufferers of mobility, the ability to eat, speak and eventually to breathe. All those who suffer Motor Neurone disease will die. It may take months, or years or for some decades. When someone is afflicted with this disease, their family and loved ones have to watch as they slowly and inevitably decline. This is heart breaking and distressing for those affected and their loved ones and families. It is compounded by the fact that it is often a difficult and lengthy process to get a diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease.

Considering the disease and the current difficulty in diagnosis, the Motor Neurone Disease Charter adopted by Nottingham City Council set outs five key points:

  1. The right to an early diagnosis and information
  2. The right to access quality care and treatments
  3. The right to be treated as individuals and with dignity and respect
  4. The right to maximise their quality of life
  5. Carers of people with MND have the right to be valued, respected, listened to and well-supported.

All people deserve a quality of life, to be treated with respect and dignity with access to care and treatment and information about what diseases they have. The charter makes it clear that those suffering from MND deserve exactly the same as anyone else. Nottingham Labour is proud that as a council we have agreed to recognise and set out these points to help ensure that those suffering from MND and their families can be treated well, and that the impact of such a horrible disease is lessened as much as possible.

Cllr Nayab Patel in proposing the motion stated “ We would like to acknowledge the work of all the volunteers in the Nottingham Branch in their help to assist and support people living with MND and the support they give to their carers whenever possible. It is commendable that these volunteers stay as volunteers for a long time as they are committed to helping fight this terrible disease. The adoption of the Charter will be the first step in a lasting relationship with the MND association where we work together to ensure people with MND get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”

Cllr Woodings

Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio for Adults Social Care and Health seconded the motion “this charter is a statement of the respect, care and support that people living with MND and their carers deserve and should expect including the right to maximize their quality of life.

And within our Transformation programs in adult social care I hope that some of these objectives will be met. Because we seek to reduce our backlog in Occupational Therapist assessments, expand and speed up our use of adaptations and technology enabled care, all with the hope that we can help people who develop conditions like MND to remain in their homes, with support, and to have the dignity of living independently for as long as they can.”

The motion carried with cross-party support and it highlights the values of Nottingham Labour in seeking to ensure that all those in the city are treated with dignity and respect and that their needs are met. Now Nottingham Labour and the City Council will do all we can to raise awareness of MND and look into what good care for sufferers looks like, and what the council can do to ensure that where we provide care for sufferers it is of good quality

Anne-Marie's Farming Update

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

See my updates first on my Facebook. Yesterday I shared NFU Online’s petition for a ‘Buy British’ button on supermarket online shopping sites. Did you know? ¼ our local North Northumberland businesses are in agriculture, putting farmers at the heart of our rural community and economy £1.04m…


Martin Docherty (West Dunbartonshire)

Martin led the SNP’s response to the Prime Minister’s statement on the G20 summit in India. Here is an extract of the House of Commons statement transcribed via Hansard:

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP (SNP, West Dunbartonshire): We have heard a lot of PR and spin today, and I am sure we will hear a lot more. As ever in this game, what the Prime Minister is not saying is almost as important as what he is saying.

The Leader of the official Opposition raised the case of President Biden’s announcement. Can the Prime Minister tell us what part of those projects his Government are involved in? They are worth more than any FTA that we could sign, and will leave Brexit Britain on the global sidelines yet again if it is not fully involved. That is on top of the United States’ inflation-busting and reduction Act tackling climate change.

On the bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister’s counterparts, we heard of very strong concerns—relating to your statement earlier, Mr Speaker—raised with Chinese Premier Li. Can the Prime Minister advise the House when he was first notified of this issue?

On the case of my constituent, Jagtar Singh Johal, which was raised by the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton (Alicia Kearns), the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Prime Minister brought it up in conversations with Prime Minister Modi. Given the widespread concerns, in this place and outside, about the leaking of this Government’s resolve to Jagtar Singh Johal, particularly in relation to getting a trade deal over the line, will the Prime Minister agree to meet me and Jagtar Singh Johal’s family, so he can tell them exactly what he intends to do on their behalf?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Conservative): I refer the hon. Gentleman to my previous answer on Mr Johal. Most recently, the Foreign Office Minister met Mr Johal’s family to discuss the case in detail.

Turning to the hon. Gentleman’s other points, on our investment partnerships, the British investment partnership approach with India, for example, has invested over £2 billion to support 600 different enterprises, employing about half a million people. That is just to give him some sense of the scale of the alternative projects we are involved in.

Lastly, I turn to the hon. Gentleman’s point, which the Leader of the Opposition also raised, about the US Inflation Reduction Act and the approach of other countries. Neither seem to recognise that the approach we have taken is working for the UK, not least with the recent announcement of a £4 billion investment in the UK by Tata, which represents the single largest investment in our auto industry, potentially ever, to build a gigafactory here. That was followed by investment by Stellantis and BMW to secure future electric vehicle manufacturing in the UK.

Any which way we look at it, our auto manufacturing sector is receiving record amounts of investment to make the transition to electricity-oriented vehicles. That is because of the tax, regulatory and incentive regime we have put in place, which is delivering real jobs and real opportunity for the British people.

Watch the debate in full here.

Meeting the Federation of Small Businesses in Parliament

Royston Smith (Southampton, Itchen)

I was pleased to meet with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Parliament on Wednesday. It was good to discuss the current challenges facing small businesses and discuss the importance of bringing skills and opportunities to Southampton. The FSB have a dedicated team that run events and provide assistance and advice for small businesses in [...]

The post Meeting the Federation of Small Businesses in Parliament appeared first on Royston Smith MP.

Judith has criticised the Government for missing its statutory deadline to publish an important report into spiking, arguing that a failure to take spiking seriously is putting vulnerable people at risk.

A law passed last year required that the government deliver a report on spiking to Parliament by April 2023. However, this vital report has still not been released, leading non-profits such as the Good Law Project and Gemini Project to consider legal action against the government.

Speaking in Parliament, Judith attacked the Government for failing on its legal duty:

‘The deadline has long been passed and the Government is now facing threats of legal action to meet its statutory duty. The longer this government dithers and delays, the more vulnerable people are put at risk. Can the Leader of the House confirm a precise date when she expects this report will be laid before Parliament?’

Evidence seen by the Home Affairs Select Committee shows that spiking is commonplace, with a shocking 15% of women and 7% of men saying they have had drugs or alcohol put in their drinks without their knowledge or consent.

The government’s failure to publish the report into spiking falls against the backdrop of their decision not to make spiking a specific criminal offence. When Judith challenged the government’s record on spiking earlier this year, then-Justice Secretary Dominic Raab downplayed gaps in the law that mean there are only a handful of spiking-related convictions annually.

Whilst the Government continues to downplay the need for a specific law on spiking, their failure to publish a report has left the public in the dark about how widespread the spiking epidemic actually is.

Responding to Judith’s question, the Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt MP, said:

‘I will make sure the Home Secretary has heard her concerns and contacts the honourable lady’s office with an update.’

Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor for Police and Crime welcomed the work to hold government to account on the issue saying:

“Spiking was raised as a major issue by women and girls with West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin and me in the winter of 2021. We have worked hard to clarify the law around spiking and have met with Judith Cummins MP on several occasions to take forward her recommendations for improvements, and to support her wider campaigning on the safety of young people at festivals. 

We thank Judith for her commitment to this agenda and hope the government will act to protect the public.”

Speaking afterwards, Judith added:

‘This Government’s inaction makes it clear that they have no intention to tackle spiking. This long overdue report, which has still failed to materialise, must be published as soon as possible so that the scale of this issue is fully understood.’

‘It is not right that government delays continue to put the safety of people, especially women and girls, at risk.’

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BCCA hold Special General Meeting

David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)

The Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association (BCCA) held a Special General Meeting last Friday evening (8 September) at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club. The meeting was necessary because of the new Parliamentary boundary changes, which will take effect at the next General Election. The…

Local Upate

Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell)

Dear constituent

I am writing to you about a number of local matters.

Stoneleigh Foot Bridge

Firstly for those of you living in Stoneleigh, I have had an update about the next steps in the work to rebuild the station and the footbridge over it.

You will be aware that there is current work taking place during the daytime, which is due to be completed on Friday. But after that there are plans for night-time work, which can only take place when trains are not running. These are the details which have been sent to me.

I appreciate that some of this will be disruptive in the area, but I hope at the end of the work we will have a much better station and that the two halves of Stoneleigh will be much better connected.


I know there is a lot of anger locally about the introduction of the ULEZ in London, and I have corresponded with many of you about the scheme, with which I strongly disagree.

But I thought it might be helpful to let you know that drivers who are disabled and whose vehicle (or whose nominated driver’s vehicle) does not meet ULEZ emissions standards may qualify for a grace period regardless of whether they live in London or not. This means they will receive a temporary 100% discount from the ULEZ charge until October 2027. There are three grace periods: the ‘Disabled and Disabled Passenger Vehicle’ Tax Class grace period; the wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) grace period; and the Disabled Benefits grace period.

There is also a grace period available for designated wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles used to carry out a private hire booking until October 2027.

Many not-for-profit organisations that operate minibuses used for community transport can also register to benefit from a grace period until October 2025. These are minibuses that carry passengers on a not-for-profit basis. For example educational, religious, social welfare reasons, or other activities that benefit the community.

Details of all of these can be found here.


The Wells Road Bridge

Some of you will be aware that there is an issue with the road bridge over the railway into The Wells. The level of the road has sunk after a water leak. I have been in touch with Network Rail who own the bridge, who have assured me that they are aware of the issue and are on the case with planned repairs.

Age Concern Volunteers

Age Concern in Epsom is looking for volunteer befrienders, who can visit an older person on a regular basis to offer a supportive and reliable relationship to people who may be socially isolated and need provide companionship and support.
If you have an hour or two a week to spare, and would like to know more, please contact Jane Hodgson, Volunteer Co-ordinator on jane.hodgson@ageconcernepsom.org.uk or by telephone on 01372 732456.

I hope this is helpful.

With best wishes


The post Local Upate appeared first on Chris Grayling.

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am just going to talk about one new clause, new clause 29, which I oppose. It seeks to prevent further licences of North sea oil and gas. The reason I oppose it is that we have a plan for the decarbonisation of our economy and it is policed, if I can put it that way…

Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

Back to School and back to Westminster this week! A mini reshuffle to fill the boots of the departing Defence Secretary Ben Wallace means a new Minister for Children has been appointed. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our young people’s education has had a damaging effect, and the latest A-…

Nigel’s Summer newsletter & survey

Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)

Dear Constituent,

Welcome to my latest email newsletter to provide you with some updates on what’s been happening both in Parliament and around Amber Valley. Over the Summer, Parliament has been on Recess, so I’ve been out and about in Amber Valley meeting constituents and businesses as well as delivering my annual report. Now Parliament is returning to sitting this week, I wanted to provide a recap of a few of the things that have been happening over the summer, as well as asking for your views – please take just a few minutes to complete the survey below. 

Summer Survey 2023 – let me know your views:

I’ve set up an online survey for constituents to let me know their thoughts on some big local issues, from town centre regeneration to train station facilities, and national topics such as immigration and inflation.

Please take just a few minutes to fill in the survey and let me know your priorities here

Prime Minister’s Question on EPR:

Just before Parliament went into Recess, I was successful in the ballot for Prime Minister’s Questions. I took the opportunity to highlight to the Prime Minister the potential impact of the rollout of Extended Producer Responsibility in relation to packaging. 

You can find my question and the Prime Minister’s response in full here along with the rest of PMQs. 

Latest employment figures:

I welcome the recent statistics showing there are 4 million more people in work than 2010, which is an 8.1% decrease in unemployment. To further support this, through the Work and Pensions Select Committee in Parliament, which I sit on, we’re continuing to look at the Government’s plan for jobs and employment support, as well as benefit levelsand supporting vulnerable claimants. 

Improving broadband in Amber Valley:

I recently met with Thomas Poad from Virgin Media to discuss the company’s plans to expand full fibre broadband to over 10,000 throughout Alfreton, Somercotes and some of the surrounding area. This will bring hyper-fast speeds with download speeds of 1140 Mbps. Work is progressing and I’ll be visiting a local team soon to see more about what they’re doing and how they’re laying the infrastructure on the ground. 

Coach trip to Parliament – register your interest:

I’m planning another coach trip to Parliament for constituents to have a look around Parliament and see more about what happens in each House and in Westminster Hall. 

If you’d like to register your interest in joining the trip and getting the details on tickets, please just reply to this email. 

Government SPF grant community improvements – have your say:

As part of the Levelling Up funding, Amber Valley was given £2.978m by the Government in Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) grant funding. Two projects are currently being progressed, the new community facilities at Charles Hill and a new wheeled sports provision in Heanor. The Borough Council are currently consulting on the details and preferences of residents around these schemes. You can find out more and have your say on these here

Street Watch:

As always, if there are any street repairs in your area, such as potholes, pavement repairs or broken street lights, you can report these issues and concerns to me quickly and easily here so I can ask for the repairs to be investigated and addressed.

GDPR and privacy notice:

Data laws changed with the introduction of the new GDPR legislation: you can find my office’s privacy policy here and, if you don’t want to receive these emails anymore, you can unsubscribe here.

Get in Touch!

As always, you can contact me by hitting the ‘reply’ button on this email, or you can ring my office on 01773 744341.

Twitter and Facebook

You can also follow me on Twitter @NigelMills and like me on Facebook here to stay up to date with news and events in Amber Valley throughout the month.

Yours sincerely,


Promoted by Nigel Mills MP, of Unicorn House, Wellington Street, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3EH.

You’re receiving this newsletter because you subscribed to my mailing list.

Would you like to unsubscribe? Unsubscribe from this Newsletter here.

The post Nigel’s Summer newsletter & survey appeared first on Nigel Mills MP.

The Music Den – Pelsall

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

It’s great to see new small businesses opening on our High Streets and in our Village Centres.

So, I was really pleased to go along with the Pelsall Councillor First Team to the opening of the Music Den on Norton Road in Pelsall Village.

The Den offers a wide variety of instruments for sale including: guitars, digital pianos, keyboards, ukuleles, violins and has a huge passion for music.

My congratulations to Jamie, Abi and all of the team, I know how welcome they will be made to feel in Pelsall.

Event Pics

Marking the sixth anniversary of the Rohingya refugee crisis, Rushanara Ali MP said: 

"It’s been 6 years since 700,000 Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee their homes to neighbouring Bangladesh following a campaign of genocide and war crimes carried out by the Myanmar military. 

Distance learning has taken the world by storm, transforming traditional educational paradigms and creating new opportunities for learning from anywhere, anytime. With this shift in learning modes, the need for physical presence in educational institutions has diminished, affecting various aspects of institutional operations and maintenance, including pest control.

The reduced usage of educational facilities due to distance learning coincides with the increasing adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches within pest control. IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest control that utilizes a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

As distance learning becomes more common, the synergy between distance learning and IPM is evident in several ways:

1. **Reduced Attraction of Pests**: With fewer students and staff on campus, there’s a significant reduction in the amount of waste generated, particularly food waste, which is a primary attractant for many pests. IPM approaches can be more effective as a result, as they emphasize preventive measures such as proper sanitation and waste management.

2. **Preventive Pest Management**: Distance learning allows for greater flexibility in scheduling pest management interventions. With less foot traffic on campuses, pest control professionals can perform preventive maintenance, such as sealing potential entry points, removing potential food and water sources, and applying treatments at optimal times without disrupting classes.

3. **Monitoring and Identification**: Reduced campus occupancy enables pest control professionals to conduct thorough inspections and monitoring of facilities without interference. IPM approaches prioritize proper pest identification and monitoring to determine the most appropriate control measures. The quiet environment of a less-occupied campus allows for accurate assessments and targeted interventions.

4. **Minimized Chemical Use**: One of the principles of IPM is to minimize the use of chemical pesticides. The decreased presence of students and staff on campuses due to distance learning can reduce the pressure to resort to quick, broad-spectrum chemical treatments. Instead, pest control professionals can focus on targeted, localized treatments that align with IPM principles, such as using baits, traps, and other non-chemical methods.

5. **Education and Awareness**: The digital nature of distance learning provides an opportunity to raise awareness about IPM among students, staff, and the wider community. Online platforms can host webinars, workshops, and informational resources to educate people about the benefits of IPM and encourage its adoption beyond educational institutions.

6. **Environmental Impact**: The synergy between distance learning and IPM also extends to environmental conservation. With fewer people commuting to campuses, there’s a reduction in carbon emissions and pollution. Moreover, the minimized use of chemical pesticides in IPM contributes to healthier ecosystems by reducing the risk of chemical runoff and harm to non-target organisms.

However, the synergy between distance learning and IPM is not without its challenges. Prolonged periods of low occupancy can lead to unnoticed pest infestations, as regular monitoring by staff and students is absent. In such cases, it is crucial for pest control professionals to maintain regular inspections and monitoring, even in less-occupied facilities.

The emergence of distance learning has prompted a reevaluation of many facets of institutional management, including pest control. The alignment between distance learning and IPM principles presents an opportunity for educational institutions to embrace environmentally friendly and sustainable pest management practices. By leveraging the benefits of distance learning and IPM, institutions can create healthier, pest-free environments that are conducive to learning, whether in-person or online.

In conclusion, the synergy between distance learning and IPM holds promise for a more holistic approach to pest management. While there may be challenges to navigate, the opportunities for sustainable and effective pest control are significant. As distance learning continues to shape the educational landscape, the adoption of IPM principles will undoubtedly contribute to healthier and more sustainable learning environments.

The post Adapting to New Norms: The Synergy Between Distance Learning and Integrated Pest Management appeared first on Berger.

The Funeral of Mel Dyke - Dan Jarvis MP Eulogy

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

[Check against delivery]


It’s a privilege and an honour to be here to pay tribute to Mel Dyke.


What a life she lived and what a legacy she leaves behind: Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother!

Teacher, author, mentor, patron and a true Barnsley and Yorkshire champion.

Wise, generous, funny, tough, and a fine friend to so many of us.

I’ll always remember the very first time I met Mel.

I knocked on her door, during my by-election.

I can’t quite remember if she called me ‘young man’, I think she did, but she certainly said that she was pleased to see me and straight away invited me in for a talk.


She would be doing most of the talking!

Happy birthday NHS – here’s to the next 75 years

Matt Warman (Boston and Skegness)

We all have our NHS stories. Not every one is perfect – at its heart the NHS is millions of people giving their very best in the service of others. Nurses like my mum, doctors like my wife, porters and managers, cleaners and countless other workers alongside volunteers. It’s not just a system – it’s a human Service.
A little over six months ago the picture below this post was my main view of the NHS. A tiny baby who had nearly died being born and almost killed his mother in the process. The knowledge that my new son’s treatment wasn’t dependent on how much tax I’d paid or what healthcare plan I had was priceless. Too often politicians get accused of not caring about what really matters – the daily lives of our constituents. The NHS provides clarity on that mission every single day. It does amazing things routinely; we all have a duty to make sure the economy provides the funding for it to keep doing that and more. We’re building a new A&E at Pilgrim, investing in Skegness and addressing the huge issues facing dentists and GPs. My focus, locally and nationally will always be to meet needs close to home wherever possible and to make sure expert care is available further afield when it’s needed. The goal will always be the best possible outcomes for patients, knowing that prevention is better than cure. Happy birthday NHS – here’s to the next 75 years.
Member of Parliament for Beckenham, Bob Stewart, has welcomed the Government’s £48 million investment through the Skills Investment Fund, boosting the rollout of Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) and equipping students from all backgrounds with the high-quality, higher-level skills needed to…

Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)

Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online – Internet memiliki dampak luar biasa pada berbagai industri meskipun mungkin industri perjudian yang paling banyak mengalami perubahan. Perjudian online yang sederhana, dengan cepat menjadi industri multi-miliar dolar.

Ada sejumlah situs judi online yang menyediakan layanan hiburan dan perjudian kepada pengguna dari setiap bagian dunia. Di sini kita melihat manfaat utama yang bisa Anda dapatkan dari perjudian online.

Mari kita ulas bersama tentang keuntungan yang akan di dapatkan saat memainkan situs judi slot online ini yaitu;

Apa Saja Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online?

  • Kenyamanan

Faktor utama dalam pertumbuhan industri perjudian online adalah kenyamanan. Anda dapat memainkan game favorit anda kapan saja dan dari mana saja. akan tetapi masih banyak orang lebih suka bermain dari kenyamanan rumah mereka di mana mereka merasa paling santai.

Smartphone dan laptop memiliki dampak yang signifikan juga. Bahkan ada penelitian yang dilakukan tentang kapan pengguna paling suka berjudi online. Hasilnya tampaknya mengarah ke waktu sela seperti saat bepergian, menunggu teman, atau membuat janji.  dan juga meningkatkan popularitas karena banyak penjudi yang rajin bermain game saat istirahat di kantor.

  • Semua game di bawah satu atap

Meskipun kasino darat memiliki katalog permainan yang cukup luas, tidak ada yang mengalahkan variasi dan jumlah pilihan yang tersedia di kasino online. Pengguna bahkan dapat memanfaatkan tren teknologi terbaru dan berjudi di permainan dealer langsung.

Slot Online khas Inggris akan menawarkan hal itu dan jika Anda ingin pengalaman yang sepenuhnya mendalam, kami pasti akan merekomendasikan Anda untuk memeriksanya.


Pengguna dengan temperamen dan preferensi yang berbeda dapat berharap untuk menemukan sesuatu atau yang lain yang sesuai dengan gaya mereka. Sebagian katalog terdiri dari judul slot termasuk slot 3-gulungan dan 5-gulungan, dan pengguna tidak perlu khawatir kehabisan permainan untuk dicoba.

Tawaran Promosi

Saat Anda mengisi ulang, Anda pasti akan mendapatkan hadiah dan uang ekstra untuk dimainkan dalam hal bonus. Semakin banyak judul game yang Anda ingin mainkan, semakin banyak poin yang terakumulasi yang pada akhirnya mengarah pada lebih banyak hadiah dan peningkatan dalam uang mereka.

Penawaran lain juga tersedia di mana para pemain dapat mulai bermain tanpa harus menyetor satu sen pun.

  • Opsi Perbankan

Opsi perbankan yang digunakan platform kasino online semuanya benar-benar aman dan memungkinkan seseorang untuk mendanai akunnya dengan mudah. Ada berbagai metode yang dapat dilakukan dan pengguna dapat memilih metode yang paling cocok untuk mereka. Bahkan banyak yang memberikan penawaran tambahan saat menggunakan layanan ini.

  • Dapatkan Poin Hadiah

Pada setiap taruhan permainan meja atau mesin slot memungkinkan pengguna untuk mengumpulkan poin hadiah. Ini tercantum dalam akun pemain dan dapat tertukar dengan permainan, hadiah, atau manfaat lainnya.

Meskipun kasino tradisional juga memberikan poin hadiah, mereka biasanya membutuhkan waktu lebih lama untuk bertambah dengan platform online.

  • Pilih taruhan yang Anda inginkan

Platform kasino online memberi Anda kebebasan untuk bermain di level mana pun yang Anda inginkan. Di sisi lain, rumah kasino tradisional memiliki batasan ketat pada tingkat di mana pengguna dapat bermain terutama karena mereka harus mempertahankan pendirian mereka.

Di situs kasino online, seseorang dapat memulai dengan bermain secara gratis atau dengan taruhan minimum. Ini memungkinkan seseorang kesempatan untuk mengambilnya selangkah demi selangkah dan meningkatkannya secara progresif saat seseorang menjadi lebih nyaman, atau mendapatkan kemenangan beruntun.

Baca artikel lainnya di: Link Situs Judi Bola Terpercaya Alternatif, Solusi Paling Tepat Bermain

The post Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online appeared first on Chrisleslie.

Backbench Business Committee

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

My article in House Magazine

End Fire and Rehire

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

End Fire and Rehire Anonymous (not verified) Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:02

Visit my Facebook page

Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

Visit my Facebook page for upto date news on my work as your Member of Parliament.

New GP Surgery Back on Track for Shifnal

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)

New GP Surgery Back on Track for Shifnal
Tue, 16/02/2021 - 13:45

The local Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed that the funding is in place to build a new GP surgery for Shifnal.

Commenting, Mark Pritchard MP said:

"I'm delighted that, in the last 24 hours, the Shropshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed to me that the new GP surgery in Shifnal will go ahead this year.  The building plans are well advanced and NHS England has provided the extra funding needed.  Local councillors and Shifnal Matters 2021 have supported me in pushing for this new surgery, and I'm glad that the NHS has listened to local needs."

New Hospital in Sutton Confirmed

Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)

I am delighted to write and tell you that local NHS leaders have confirmed plans for a new hospital to be built in Sutton and to upgrade facilities at St Helier. This represents a £500 MILLION plan that will not only build a brand new state of the art hospital near to the Royal Marsden by 2025, but ALSO invest AT LEAST £80 MILLION into upgrades at St Helier.

The new specialist emergency care hospital, just a few minutes from St Helier, would treat the sickest 15% of patients, those normally arriving by ambulance. This larger specialist team would be available 24 hours a day to diagnose what is wrong with patients more rapidly, start the best treatment faster, and help patients recover more quickly. St Helier and Epsom Hospitals will remain open 24/7, with updated and improved facilities, providing all the other services that they currently do.

My children were born at St. Helier so healthcare provision in Sutton has been an issue that is a very personal one to me. Ever since being a councillor in Carshalton, some 14 years ago, I have been campaigning for a solution that protects the future of St. Helier whilst ensuring that Sutton residents have access to the very best treatment in cutting edge modern healthcare facilities. I believe that this decision can finally put to rest the political arguments so that we can get on with doing what’s best for residents across the whole of the borough of Sutton.

With this plan, the refurbished St Helier Hospital is here to stay providing the majority of local health services, and the sickest patients will get state-of-the-art treatment in the brand-new specialist emergency hospital right here in our area.

You can find out more about the plans, including the answers to some frequently asked questions at the NHS’ website: www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk. You can also contact them at hello@improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk, or get in touch with me with any queries.


Why is this being done?

To improve the care that we receive. As St Helier’s buildings continue to age over time, it’s necessary to upgrade our healthcare facilities to improve outcomes. Surviving illness and recovering quickly is the number one priority.

Is St Helier closing?

No, quite the opposite. St Helier is here to stay with a multi-million-pound improvement package.

Is a new hospital being built?

Yes. A new specialist emergency care hospital will be built in Sutton, in addition to improving St Helier hospital.

Is St Helier getting an upgrade?

Yes. At least £80 million of the funding promised will go towards improving the facilities at St Helier hospital.

Who developed these proposals?

For the first time, we have a plan that was developed by local clinicians, not national bureaucrats or politicians. Local healthcare professionals made the case for funding to deliver this improvement, which has been rewarded with a £500 million investment. Sutton Council also supported the proposals last year.

Will I have to travel outside my area for services now?

At the moment, if you have a stroke or heart attack you will be taken past St. Helier to be treated at St. George’s. This plan means that we will still be able to treat people within the local area, not moving more services away from Sutton.

Will we still use St Helier?

Yes. From 2025, Epsom hospital, St Helier hospital and the new hospital at Sutton will all have a 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) (which already treats the vast majority of people going to St. Helier in an emergency). Under the plans, 85% of services will remain at St Helier. Both Epsom and St Helier hospitals will still have a 24/7 UTC.

Diagnostic tests, such as MRI, x-ray or ultrasound, the heart problem diagnosis unit, the dialysis unit, Croft Ward (which takes care of patients who are stable but not ready to leave hospital), the eye care unit, the gastroenterology unit, and so many more services are staying put at Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

What about bed numbers?

The NHS have calculated that they will need the same number of beds as they do now.

What about A&E?

Unlike previous plans, which saw A&E diverted away into Tooting, A&E is now staying right here in our Borough at the new hospital. Most of the time you will still use St Helier for matters requiring immediate medical attention like broken limbs or cuts. Major trauma cases needing a blue light ambulance transfer will be treated in Sutton at the new state-of-the-art hospital next to The Royal Marsden.

What about maternity services?

Maternity services have also been protected and kept locally. Post-natal and ante-natal care are staying put at Epsom and St Helier hospitals, and births will take place in the brand-new maternity unit at the new hospital in Sutton built to the very latest healthcare standards. Women need the very best care and facilities when giving birth, and the new plans will provide that.

Where will children services be provided?

Most children will continue to receive care and treatment in the same place as they do now. Care for children who need to stay in hospital overnight – as a result of a serious illness or complex problems – will be treated at the new specialist emergency care hospital. This includes children’s surgery.  

What will happen until the new hospital in Sutton is built?

All services will continue to be carried out at Epsom and St Helier hospitals until such time the new hospital in Sutton is ready for patients.

Where will the new hospital be built?

After consulting residents, patient groups and healthcare professionals, the decision was taken to build a brand-new specialist emergency care hospital in Sutton. This will be combined with the necessary infrastructure and transport links to ensure the site of the new hospital is accessible to all that need to use it.

For more facts, and to find out what this multi-million-pound government investment in our local NHS will mean for you and your family, visit the following website: www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk/faq.

A&E at The Royal Glam

Chris Bryant (Rhondda)

A&E @ the Glam – Strength in Unity

I have said from the very beginning that if we are to ensure a 24 hour A&E Service at RGH then we need to forget about Party Politics, and come together to work cross-party.

We need you to play your part too, by signing the below letter. If you wish to do so then please let me know by filling in the form at the bottom of this page:


The configuration of Emergency NHS services across Cwm Taf Morgannwg has changed over the years – and will continue to change along with medical advances and changes in the local population. We welcome, for instance, the development of the new Major Trauma Centre at UHW, which will almost certainly save lives and we recognise that for some specialist forms of care it will be necessary to travel to a regional centre of excellence such as the Burns Unit at Morriston. We also understand that there is a UK-wide shortage of Emergency Consultants. and that Cwm Taf Morgannwg is not in a unique position with the recruitment challenges it faces,but would note that 5 of the 7 LHBs in Wales have substantially increased emergency consultant numbers over the last 6 years whereas Cwm Taf Morgannwg has not. We would argue that the uncertainty created over the future of the hospital due to the South Wales Programme has itself created a self-fulfilling prophecy about recruitment problems.

Our starting point, however, is that all NHS services should be safe, efficient and delivered as close to people’s homes as is medically and logistically feasible. Time-critical medical interventions can make the difference between life and death in many emergency situations and we are concerned that if the A&E were permanently to close at any one of the three hospitals, significant numbers of patients in some of the most deprived communities would not be able to get to an Emergency Department in time. A&E cannot be seen in isolation from other services such as GP surgeries, local minor injuries units and out-of-hours support. Additional capacity in these services would almost certainly lighten the load in the Emergency Departments, but this must be put in place before any changes to the configuration of Emergency Care is considered, let alone implemented, with evidence that they have substantially reduced the load on Emergency departments required before any changes. Changes to A&E provision at any one of the hospitals would have serious implications for other services within the hospital, including ITU and theatre and might harm the recruitment of other specialists.

There would be significant knock-on effects if the A&E at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital were to be downgraded to a Minor Injuries Unit, as the hospital would almost certainly lose its Intensive Care Unit and operating theatre. This could jeopardise the long-term future of the hospital. The RGH’s Emergency Department is the most used in the area, with roughly 65,000 attendances a year, and ranked the best in terms of viable outcomes.  We fear the two other Emergency Departments would find it impossible to cope with the additional workload and that many patients will travel instead to UHW, which is also already over-stretched. We are also concerned that extra A&E admissions to PCH and POW would put additional pressure on not just their respective A&E depts but onwards and throughout the hospital system. We are determined to work with people of all political parties and trades unions (and none) to get the best possible outcome for the communities we represent. We believe the eventual decision should be informed by clinical best practice and local experience on the ground – and not by any partisan consideration.

We are calling on the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to do the following:
1) Rule out the closure of A&E at the RGH or changing it to a 24-hour Minor Injuries Unit.
2) Reinstate the option of maintaining a full consultant-led A&E at all three hospitals. This would require a serious new attempt at recruiting Emergency Consultants who would have secure full-time permanent posts working across all three hospitals. It would also require at least a ten-year commitment to RGH so that potential staff can apply with confidence.
3) Bring forward proposals to extend the opening hours of the Minor Injuries Unit at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda and Ysbyty Cwm Cynon and make these units more readily accessible for walk-in patients.
4) Bring forward other proposals for community health services, including improvements in the out-of-hours GP service, that might alleviate the pressure on all three A&E departments
and bring services closer to local communities.

In addition, we are calling on the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to publish the following:
1) A socioeconomic and equality impact assessment of any proposed changes.
2) Detailed analyses of travel-to-hospital times, average ambulance response times and levels of car ownership, for all electoral wards in the area. that analyses such times during periods of poor weather.
3) Detailed statistics for levels of ischemic heart disease, diabetes, stroke and infant and adult mortality for all electoral wards in the area. and how they compare with the Welsh averages/wealthier wards in Wales.
4) An assessment of how many patients from each electoral ward would be affected by a proposal to move to an 8 to 8, and 8 to 10 and an 8 to midnight Emergency Department.
5) An assessment of capacity in the Emergency Departments at POW, PCH, and UHW and how they would cope with additional patients.
6) Statistics for the number of patients who are admitted on towards at each hospital from A&E.
7) An assessment of the impact to the Welsh Ambulance Service, Ambulance response times, handover response times, in terms of waiting times at hospitals, blue light trauma travel times
and non-emergency transport between hospitals.

Please wait...

The post A&E at The Royal Glam appeared first on Chris Bryant.

Reflecting on Defeat

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield)

First of all, thank you to everyone who has sent such kind messages to me after last night’s result in Birmingham Northfield. Even though I never took this election – or any election – for granted, it is still a big blow to lose the seat I have represented for 27 years and which is […]

Compensation package for Waspi women

John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne)

Labour has pledged compensation packages for millions of women hit by state pension age rises imposed by the Tories.

Pay-outs of up to £31,000 will be made, with an average payment of £15,000.

The scheme will be delivered within Labour's first full five year term of government.

Payments will go to women born in the 1950s who had their state pension age hiked.

David Cameron's coalition government presided over a change in the law that increased the women's state pension age to 65 in November 2018 - followed by 66 in October 2020.

Labour will introduce a compensation scheme as rapidly as possible for the 3.7million women hit by the changes, which Cameron's Tory-Lib Dem government imposed in 2011.

It comes after Boris Johnson u-turned on his pledge to help those affected.

He dismissed the concerns of a woman who has lost out on her pension, telling her it’s “not possible” to right the huge wrong she and so many others have suffered.

The next Labour government will compensate women who were unfairly hit by the rise in the state pension age and give them the respect they deserve.

They were not able to prepare and have had to suffer serious financial consequences as a result.

We have a historic debt of honour to them.

Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)

This website is discontinued. Please visit my new website: StephenMetcalfe.org.uk 

MP meets South Downs farmers

Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs)

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert met South Downs farmers on Friday (19 January) to discuss the challenges they face as Britain leaves the EU and…

Mhairi Black to Young People: Don’t let the Tories leave you behind

Mhairi Black (Paisley and Renfrewshire South)

A vote for the SNP is a vote to stand up for young people against the Tories, Mhairi Black has said, she urged young voters to use their voice in this Thursday’s election.
In government, the SNP has protected and expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance which has been scrapped south of the border, and has abolished university tuition fees in Scotland while the Tories have increased them to £27,000.

The SNP has also increased the number of Modern Apprenticeships, with a target of 30,000 new starts by the end of this Parliament.

The SNP manifesto commits to a real Living Wage – projected to be just over £10 by the end of the parliament for all workers aged 18 and above – creating a new single adult rate.

SNP MPs will also support a ban on exploitative zero-hours contracts and will support votes at 16 at all elections.

Commenting, Mhairi Black said:

“A vote for the SNP is a vote for a strong team of MPs who’ll stand up for young people – calling for a fair and equal minimum wage, protecting rights in the workplace and votes at 16 in all elections.

“The SNP are already delivering for Scotland’s young people, delivering free university education and with youth unemployment at the lowest level on record – while the Tory vision is just cut after cut.

“The Tories think they can do anything they want to young people and get away with it – from hiking tuition fees to slashing housing benefit for young people and much more.

“That’s why it’s so important that young people turn up and vote – don’t let the Tory government leave you behind.

“Any Tory MPs elected in Scotland will simply rubberstamp whatever the Tory government does to young people, and Labour can’t win this election in Scotland – meaning that voting Labour risks letting Tory MPs in by the back door.

“Now more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland. Only then can we protect Scotland from the dangers of an unopposed Tory government at Westminster.”


Here’s how strong SNP voices will stand up for young people at Westminster.

– SNP MPs won’t let the Tories trade away Scottish jobs in the Brexit negotiations – we will work to protect Scotland’s place in the Single Market.

– We will back a transition over the next parliamentary term towards payment of the real Living wage for all adults above the age of 18. This will mean a new single adult rate and will see the UK minimum wage to rise to the real Living Wage, projected to be just over £10.

– We will guarantee the continuation of free university education in Scotland, protecting students in Scotland from paying up to £27,000 of fees.

– In Scotland, we are mitigating the Tory decision to withdraw housing support from 18 to 21 year olds. We will fight for the restoration of this support across the UK, alongside scrapping the Bedroom Tax.

– SNP MPs will look to introduce our own legislative proposals to give 16 and 17 year olds a vote in all elections.

– In Scotland, youth unemployment is already at the lowest level on record. SNP MPs will support the devolution of employment and employability powers so we can extend our successful approach on youth employment.

– To help businesses create jobs, we will propose a doubling of the Employment Allowance – the discount businesses receive on National Insurance when they create jobs.

– We will press the UK government to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, and to ensure that workers have appropriate rights and protections, including holiday and sick pay. And we will work to ensure that the rights and protections currently safeguarded by EU membership are not diminished.

– We will work to protect opportunities for young people to study and train in other European countries through the ERASMUS+ scheme.

– We will continue to work with Scotland’s universities and institutions to seek clarity from the UK government on what will replace EU research funding for Scotland’s universities.

On being a woman in politics

Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)

A few things have recently been rattling around in my head which concern women in politics; I've been trying to gather some ideas as to why there aren't more of us, and how I might encourage female candidates to come forward. At the same time, I noticed that the launch of the Counting Women In campaign, couldn't miss the outrageous attack on Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, and I've been enjoying Winnie Ewing's very readable autobiography. I've also been out on the doorsteps for Ken Andrew in Hillhead.

All of these together really say: the culture of politics in the UK is what's at fault. Women don't think it's for them and just disengage. 

Now, obviously that's a generalisation. I'm a woman, and I'm very engaged in politics. I'm prepared to accept I'm a bit odd.

I chapped on a door the other week while canvassing. I had Alexander with me in the pram. A woman answered, I politely introduced myself and my purpose on her doorstep - she shook her head and told me she wasn't interested. I asked why. She firmly asserted that all politicians are just the same. I asked her if anyone from any political party had ever come to see her with a baby in a pram. She thought briefly, admitted that'd never happened, and sent me on my way. 

I'm not sure whether that experience tells me whether I ought to a) leave the wee man at home or b) work on my doorstep pizzaz, but I bet that woman had opinions on all kinds of things. I don't think she believes them to be particularly political - provision of care services, or bin collection, say - but in the end they're determined by politicians. I want women like her to tell me what she wants and why it matters. More than that, I want women who care about issues to join political parties to further that cause. There are all kinds of causes promoted within the SNP, and I will most likely welcome you in.

I'm sure I've said before that I've always felt welcomed as a woman in the SNP, and that remains true. I'm not sure how Labour men treat women in general (not great by some accounts, which appear to be no barrier to reselection), but they're certainly not great at giving SNP women the respect they are due.

I recalled hearing when Winnie's book came out that she had been bullied while at Westminster. The Scotsman's 2007 interview put it thus:

As the lone SNP member in the Commons - at best an intimidating place for an inexperienced politician - she found herself without friends, without party colleagues, without any supporting structures. She was completely alone. She was hundreds of miles from her husband and her children in an excessively macho and very hostile environment. "I was treated as the enemy, I was shunned and despised. It's a peculiar experience to suddenly find yourself hated. At times I did feel terribly lonely, close to despair." 

Reading the autobiography, you really get a vivid picture of the pressure Winnie Ewing was under as an MP on her own. Her every action was scrutinised; if she didn't attend a debate, the other parties would ensure it got in the papers. The nuances of what said were taken apart. She was under political and personal attack from all sides and, even more sinister, stalked by another MP. Interventions by others had some impact, but it must have been a great emotional strain.

What I didn't know was that when Winnie was appointed as an MEP (pre-democratic elections to Europe), the bad behaviour of two particular Labour bullies continued in the European Parliament when she was alone again, deliberately working to ridicule and undermine her for over a year. By the account in the autobiography, this only ended when the President of the Parliament intervened, threatening to have them withdrawn as being "not fit to represent their country and Parliament in Europe".

You might think that, around forty years later, a female SNP MP might expect some kind of change to have occurred in attitudes, as with wider society. Women are accepted in a range of jobs, universities are gaining majorities of female students, there are innumerable opportunities and directions for careers. And then, there's Ian Davidson MP.

Eilidh has written a revealing article in the Scotland on Sunday - I'd urge you to read the full article, but I think this small quote does illustrate the point perfectly:

"It does not matter that all I had done was disagree with the committee. In fact what inspired Mr Davidson’s remark is utterly irrelevant. There is no action, no misbehaviour that justifies the threat or act of “a doing”. We hear too often of women being told they were “asking for it” in justification for intimidation or violence. I never expected to hear that from an MP in Parliament.

But this is not simply an issue of aggression towards woman; it’s about a culture of intimidation and bullying affecting men and women that seems to flourish with impunity in the Westminster world."

The tragedy is that it's primarily through this Westminster lens that the viewing population sees politics and politicians. They see argument, they see confrontation; they see crowds of boorish suits moaning a weary "hear hear". And they switch off. They say "that's not for me".

They don't see a politician arguing the case with a housing association, trying to help a vulnerable tenant. They don't see someone working on a committee, trying to improve a policy that will help improve children's health. They don't see the joy that is presenting prizes to year groups of school students, with the hope that you can encourage them in that tiny second as you shake their hand. They don't know what a privilege it is to be invited into so many lives and homes, to meet with groups and organisations and offer what help you can.

The work of politics should never be that yah boo nonsense that men excel at and so many women hate. More women should be in politics for the fantastic difference they can make every day.

Made by @davorg / Last built: Monday 02 October 2023 12:32