This edition contains an update on Covid-19 and my activities across the constituency and in Parliament.
Read the full edition here.
Since Boris Johnson first promised he had a plan to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’ more than 23 months ago, 2 million people have had their requests for care turned down, care workers and families have been stretched to breaking point, and thousands of people have had to sell their homes to pay for their care.
After a decade of failure, the time for Conservative excuses has long passed – Ministers must bring forward plans as a matter of urgency, and provide all older and disabled people with the dignity and security they deserve.
Read more on Sky News.
The post Government told to ‘grasp the nettle’ and set out social care reforms and give people ‘security’ appeared first on Liz Kendall.
The Social Action team at London Riverside Church (LRC) are hosting a ‘Love the Borough’ event over the weekend of 10 -11 July 2021. Over the two days LRC will undertake a variety of community projects within Barking and Dagenham.
One of the planned projects is a DIY SOS style event.
Subject to location and permission, LRC would like to offer basic DIY services such as assembling flat pack furniture, garden fence repairs/replacement, garden clearance, grass cutting etc. Additional requests will be considered if LRC have the expertise and resources to carry out the task.
LRC have always had a good working relationship with Jon Cruddas MP and have asked his office to refer anyone that may be in need of DIY services to the church in anticipation of the event.
Other events being held over the weekend include a Jumble Giveaway - like a Jumble sale but free and a Community help centre.
Full details can be found via the LRC Love the Borough event page by clicking HERE
Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, is chairing a further virtual meeting this Friday with local farmers and representatives from the Environment Agency (EA), East Riding Council (ERYC) and the National Farmers Union to follow up on the discussion they had in April. Sir Greg Knight has been invited as the Chairman of Hull River Board and as a neighbouring MP, whose farmers are similarly affected.
This will be an opportunity for Graham (and Sir Greg) to keep in touch with farmers and for the EA to report back about the progress they have made since the first meeting. Farmers will also get the chance to raise any additional concerns they may have.
In the interim, there has been continuing discussion with the EA and ERYC about the outcome of the Bathymetric Survey of River Hull bed and what can be done to improve the situation for farmers who have been adversely affected.
Graham said, “I look forward to chairing the follow up meeting and to hearing an update from the EA about the work they have been doing. It is fantastic that Sir Greg Knight is on board and will be joining us for this meeting with some of the farmers in his constituency too. I do hope that a clear proposal for the way forward can be agreed and that agencies can work together in order to achieve it and reduce the effect that flooding has on local farmers in the coming winters.”
I support the Government’s passion for home ownership. They are right that we need to do more to extend that opportunity to a new generation. It was, after all, an opportunity that previous generations took advantage of, enjoying the pleasures that can come from owning one’s own home and doing with it rather more of the things one wishes to do.
I support the Government’s wish to bring forward more brownfield development, because there are still many sites around the country that could be tidied up and better used. I trust that, within that, the Government wish to ease the planning system sufficiently so that where we need to convert tired or redundant commercial buildings into residential properties there will be no great planning impediment in doing so.
I strongly support the wish of the Government to do something extra to make sure that developers with planning permissions build out the permissions they have under a proper local plan. In the borough of Wokingham, of which I represent a part, we have been afflicted in recent years by some landowners and developers gaming the system. Thousands of planning permissions are outstanding, and yet the local plan, which tries to protect areas, has been overwhelmed at times by people lodging appeals on land not within the local plan for development and inspectors deciding that we did not have enough land because of the slow rate of build against all the permissions that are there.
Above all, we need a planning system that can reconcile our wish to protect the green gaps, the green fields, the farms and the woods—indeed, to expand the woods—and at the same time to make enough land available for housing. The Office for National Statistics has shown that, in the year to March 2020, we welcomed some 715,000 extra people into our country.
Although 403,000 people also left, that meant that there were still 312,000 extra people to house, and not all of those going freed up homes in the right place for the incomers. We need to have sustainable immigration. Of course we need to welcome people into our country, but they should expect decent standards of housing, and the gap is too large. We now have a backlog of demand and need, and if we keep inviting in hundreds of thousands of extra people, we are not going to catch up. I urge the Government to make things easier so that the trade-offs between environmental protection and more concrete for housing are not so difficult.
Finally, on levelling up, which I strongly support, over the years a large number of executive homes have been built in Wokingham and places like it, attracting people with great qualifications—people capable of commanding well above average earnings. We need to provide that kind of housing if we wish to attract companies and the investment to level up, and we should not put all that housing into the areas that have already been very successful.
The chairs of two cross-party groups in the UK Parliament have written to Justin Tomlinson MP, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work to publish its review of how the welfare system treats terminally ill people.
The letter from the Chair of the APPG for Terminal Illness and the Chair of the APPG for Motor Neurone Disease can be found here APPG-Letter-DWP-220621
The announcement of a review by the UK Government was made in July 2019 following a report by Terminal Illness APPG that found that the current legal definition of terminal illness is arbitrary, outdated and not based on clinical reality. Terminally ill people who have an uncertain prognosis and may survive longer than six months are unable to access fast-track support from the benefits system.
Commenting, the Chair of the APPG for Terminal Illness, Drew Hendry said:
“The disgraceful and punitive ‘6 months or less’ policy is actively preventing terminally ill people from accessing benefits and must be scrapped.
“We have been urging the UK government to take action on this issue facing terminally ill people for years.
“The APPG on Terminal Illness’s inquiry report in 2019 revealed that the ‘six-month rule’ leaves terminally ill people facing devastating and far-reaching financial hardship and crippling debt because of a policy brought in three decades ago that has no relevance now.
“UK ministers promised a review of the policy following the report – instead of action, we have been met with a deafening silence. Clinicians, social and palliative care workers and medical experts all recommend reform of this rule.
“Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association estimate that more than 6,000 people have died waiting for a decision on their benefits claim since the DWP announced its review IN 2019.
“The six-month rule continues to fail terminally ill people and their families for years – a simple policy fix would stop that.
“The Scottish Government legislated in 2018 to scrap the six-month rule for devolved benefits. However, the rule remains in place for reserved benefits such as Universal Credit. The UK Government must follow the Scottish Government’s lead and scrap the punitive ‘6 months to live’ policy so no one living with a terminal illness in the UK has to prove they have 6 months to live to access fast-tracked welfare support.”
The post LETTER: UK Minister urged to publish delayed review appeared first on Drew Hendry MP.
Former Defence Minister and South Shropshire MP, Philip Dunne, has thanked members of the Armed Forces community for their service, as the country marks Armed Forces Week.
Armed Forces Week runs from 21st June to 27th June, and includes Reserves Day on Wednesday 23rd June, and Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26th June.
Mr Dunne served as a Defence Minister from 2012 to 2016, and is now one of only two parliamentary Commonwealth War Graves Commissioners, supporting work to commemorate the sacrifice of service personnel and maintain the many burial sites across the world.
Mr Dunne said:
“During my time as a Defence Minister, and since, I have met many serving soldiers, sailors, and air personnel, veterans and their families. I am well aware serving in the Armed Forces, even in peacetime, can be difficult, and take a toll on family life. But I also know the consummate professionalism and dedication to duty of our Armed Forces.
“So on Armed Forces Week, I want to thank the whole Armed Forces community – regulars, reserves, veterans and their families for their contribution to keeping our country safe.”
We should roll out open banking to open everything, setting the new global standards for simple, safe data sharing in future and establishing a strong digital image of a new post-Brexit global Britain.
When was the last time you switched to a different bank? This week? This decade? Ever?
For most of us, no matter how much we may grumble about unexpected account fees or lousy foreign currency rates, the answer is ‘never’. And that’s not so bad if we’re broadly happy with what we’re getting. For lots of us, life is too short to spend time worrying about a service that’s fairly trouble free, and which lets you manage your finances from your phone wherever you are.
But sometimes it really isn’t OK. If you want a better deal from your bank but whoever has your current account won’t play ball or wants to charge a small fortune, you’ll want to shop around. And that’s where the UK is sitting on a hidden gem. It’s called open banking, and it means you or I can ask our bank to send any of our financial details to a competitor or a financial advisor, to see if they can find us a better deal.
It’s simple and secure, and it upends the balance of power between banks and their customers. Gone are the days of putting on a suit and tie to impress the bank manager; they know they can’t take anyone who uses open banking for granted anymore, because it’s suddenly so easy for you or me to see if we’re being quietly ripped off, and to take our business elsewhere whenever we want.
Best of all, we’re leading the world in this area. No-one else has got as far as us, although plenty would love to catch up. But as long as we’re ahead, it makes our financial services and ‘fintech’ firms more globally competitive too; if we have the most creative and competitive financial sector in the world, British firms will be better prepared to win exports abroad as well.
Except that there are clouds on the horizon. We may have been first, but open banking’s mandate is due to run out later this year. If we don’t do something by then progress will stall and, in an industry as fast-paced and creative as finance, that means we’ll be overtaken and our lead will be gone. Now isn’t the time to slow down or, worse still, to stop altogether: it’s the moment to think big instead.
How? By realising that open banking has created a recipe which doesn’t have to be limited to current accounts and high street banking; it will work for big swathes of the rest of our economy too. Why stop at open banking when you or I could use the same approach to get better deals on loans to grow our small business or buy our first house? Or for open energy, open telecoms, or even open online groceries too?
In other words, we shouldn’t be shutting open banking later this year and marking time until other countries overtake us. We should be extending their mandate for another three or four years, and telling them to roll out what they’ve done to create open everything, covering lots of the rest of our economy as well. It would give you, me and business leaders better deals on pretty much everything, and create the same ‘if you can win in Britain then you can win anywhere’ export vibe that’s already begun in our fintech and financial services industries too.
Last but not least, if we can maintain and extend our lead so we aren’t just the first to create open banking, but the first to build open everything too, then Britain can be the founder member of the new global standards which will surely be needed for simple, safe data sharing in future. The standards for things like the Internet or the World Wide Web already exist, and are kept up to date by international bodies based in America. Why couldn’t we do the same for international data? What stronger, better and more digital image of a new post-Brexit global Britain could there be than that?
My week in Parliament began with the AGM of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Hairdressing, Barbering and Cosmetology and I was honoured to be re-elected as chair. The UK Government has provided little support for this very important sector. Working with the Hair Council, the organisation that has statutory registration responsibility for the hairdressing sector under the Hairdressers (Registration) Act 1964, we have been campaigning for many years for the Act to be amended from voluntary to mandatory registration, and for the beauty sector to be added to the Act. This would be important to regulate the sector, and would have been so beneficial during the pandemic. Unfortunately, the UK Government does not fund the Hair Council, which is funded by registration fees. The members of the APPG discussed the forward plan for future meetings which included: amending the Act; apprenticeships, training, and further education funding; hair and beauty products becoming climate change friendly; recycling pandemic protection equipment and sector products, and the problems that the pandemic has caused for the Wedding Sector.
Ahead of the Football Governance Petitions Debate in which I spoke on Monday evening I attended a private briefing from Gary Neville, broadcaster and former Manchester United and England International. Gary has campaigned for an independent regulator to sort out football’s problems, and has sent an open letter signed by prominent figures in the world of football.
Many members had applied to speak in the debate, so we were limited to just three minutes each. I began my speech by thanking Neath constituents for signing the petitions and congratulating Wales on securing a draw in their first match at the European Championships (they did so much better in their second match beating Turkey 2-0). I spoke about the furore of fans over the efforts of 6 Premier League clubs to form a breakaway European Super League, and demonstrated the deep disconnect between football clubs and the communities they once represented. The UK Government’s fan led review is welcome but whole scale reform is needed. Fan ownership has been at the forefront of a campaign that the Co-operative Party has been conducting for the past 20 years. In 2007 the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party founded Supporters Direct; campaigned for funding and resources so that supporters could start fan-owned trusts, and progress to take over clubs; supporters places on club boards; community shares model, and strengthening community asset legislation to prevent sales of club grounds. I called for a robust, effective, independent, regulatory, framework with statutory backing, to safeguard football, because unless supporters can influence or own clubs or assets we will forever be second class spectators. I do not think that the German 50+1 model would be suitable for share ownership for the top English Premier League clubs who have invested millions of pounds, but it would be suitable as a voting structure.
On Tuesday morning I joined a round table discussion organised by Stephen Kinnock MP, chair of the APPG for Steel, on the “Roadmap to De-carbonisation and a Just Transition”, with panelists from the South Wales Industrial Cluster; Carbon Capture and Storage Association; Community Union; Green Alliance; the Materials Processing Institute; and the European trade unions body IndustriAll. The highly informative discussion stressed the importance of the Steel Council; development of UK Steel’s Net Zero Steel Report including carbon capture and storage; HyDRIgen steel making; increase the use of electric arc furnaces; and the need for strong UK Government support for the steel industry, which needs a £6 billion investment; plus skills and employment implication recommendations. IndustriAll stressed that the scale and breadth of activity on steel decarbonisation in the EU highlighted the need for UK Government to move quickly not to be left behind other countries.
The Gaps in Support APPG discussed the continuing issue of PAYE freelancers being without any form of UK Government support since the start of the pandemic. Over 1.3 million people are PAYE freelancers, which is a unique employment status where people are not technically self-employed, but take on short-term contracts to deliver very specific expertise, usually in the creative sectors. Due to their employment status, PAYE freelancers have completely fallen through the gaps in UK Government support, and the APPG is calling on an independent Public Enquiry to look at this injustice.
As a Labour and Co-operative Party MP, I am so proud that tackling poverty is at the heart of the co-operative movement. I was pleased to be able to ask James Duddridge, the Minister for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office this week what assurances he could give that the co-operative sectors, that do so much to alleviate poverty in developing countries, will not be impacted by cuts to the aid budget. I also called on him to commit to reinstating the 0.7% aid budget target. Tackling poverty is a challenge, at home and abroad, but it is one that is vital if we are to build back from the pandemic in a way that is sustainable and resilient. The poorest regions of the world need help to build stronger communities and stronger states to contribute to finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges that we face. We have a responsibility and a moral obligation and it is appalling that the UK Government have cut the aid budget – they must reverse this cut.
As a member of the Panel of Chairs, I joined its Summer Zoom Meeting convened by the Chair of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker, the Rt Hon Dame Eleanor Laing, who thanked Chris Stanton, Principal Clerk House of Commons Committee Office and Secretary to the Panel of Chairs; Tom Goldsmith, Principal Clerk of the Table Office and Senior Clerk for Westminster Hall; her own Secretary LJ Tiley; and her Assistant Secretary Abi Samuels for all their support during the pandemic. Dame Eleanor thanked all the chairs for their hard work, and also paid tribute to a former member of the Panel of Chairs, Dame Cheryl Gillan who tragically passed away. The present hybrid system for the Chamber, committees and Westminster Hall debates, and proxy voting, will remain in place until after the summer recess, due to the uncertainty around the new Delta variant, but Dame Eleanor remained optimistic that we will return to physical participation on all parts of the Parliamentary estate in the autumn.
Taiwo Owatemi MP was elected chair and I was elected vice-chair at the AGM of the APPG for Erasmus. We discussed the prospect of changing our name to the APPG Turin Scheme, but all members agreed that we should campaign for the UK Government to reinstate the Erasmus scheme, which is far better than its replacement Turin programme, and so agreed to call our APPG the Erasmus-Turin. We also discussed the prospect of merging with the APPG for Foreign and Modern Languages, because we share similar aims and objectives, and it was agreed that we should make a formal approach.
Later that day I joined a Zoom panel event organised by the APPG for HIV and AIDS; UNAIDS; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS; UNITE Network; to discuss the next steps after the upcoming G7 Summit and the UN General Assembly High Level meeting on AIDS/HIV have taken place. The panelists – Winnie Byanylima, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations; Peter Sands, Executive Director of The Global Fund; Ricardo Baptista Leite, MP, MD, PhD(c) Founder and President of UNITE; Mike Podmore, Director STOPAIDS; Andrew Ullman MP; Phumeza Tisile, someone living with AIDS, agreed that the G7 and UN have the opportunity for the international community to bring the global HIV response back on track and to implement the Global AIDS Strategy.
On Wednesday last week we marked the fifth anniversary of the death of fellow Labour MP Jo Cox. It is still hard to believe that such a wonderful and dedicated woman was killed in such an appalling act of violence and I’ve been thinking of her family and her children this week.
Citizens Advice are campaigning to highlight the dangers of scams to younger people. Despite growing up in the information era and having been brought up using the internet, unfortunately research shows that people in their twenties are most likely to be scammed. You can protect yourself by following a few simple rules: don’t ever give money or details to anyone you’ve met online and don’t click on unsolicited links or links from people you do not know.
May I take this opportunity to again congratulate our Wales football team on their wonderful progress in the European competition so far, and wish them all the best for their next match in the Round of 16. Come on Wales.
As always, if you have any questions or issues that fall under my role as MP and want to get in touch, please do not hesitate to drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01639 630152. My staff are working from home to comply with the social distancing measures, but, as always, we remain there should you need to get in contact with us.
I hope you stay well, and remember – observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep Wales safe.
We need to be clear that the only way to fix social care is to fund it properly and give it to the NHS to manage. A real National Health & Social Care Service. Put our GPs at the heart of their patients care for their whole life.— Stephen McPartland (@SMcPartland) June 21, 2021
This week we marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of fellow Labour MP Jo Cox. I will always remember her passion and dedication to her community and her determination to help make the UK a better place to live. My thoughts this week have been with her family, especially her children.
One of this week’s Opposition Day Debates focused on education and in particular the Government’s short-sighted decision to reject recommendations from the Government-appointed education expert Sir Kevan Collins with regards to helping our children catch up after this difficult year. Speaking in the debate, I paid tribute to all the school leaders in colleges and schools across south Bristol, and particularly to the parents and young people, for getting through this difficult year. They all had high hopes of the education recovery commissioner. However, the Government ignored Sir Kevan’s evidence-based plan, awarding just a 10th of the necessary funding and then forcing him to resign because their behaviour, in his words, “betrays an undervaluation of the importance of education”.
I recently met the Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb, to discuss the pupil premium and educational outcomes in Bristol South. I also meet school leaders as a group in Bristol South, as I do every year. Such a meeting now happens rarely across south Bristol because of the evolution of the multi-academy trust system; in all, the nearly 40 state-funded schools in Bristol South are run by 12 different organisations. I do think that some MATs act well as a family of schools, but I do not think that they serve the families of south Bristol as well as they should or could. Families live in the communities of south Bristol, not in the community of the MAT. Parents expect each child to be supported and educated well in their community through early years, primary, secondary, post-16 and higher education, but children are experiencing too many different organisations as part of that journey. Crucially, there is no accountability across south Bristol for the outcome of that journey, which is the destination of those young people—their chance in life.
In my six years as MP for Bristol South, my focus has been on further education and apprenticeships post 16 to help young people fulfil their potential, but I have realised that the lack of ownership and accountability for destination, success and outcomes is a major problem that no number of well-meaning piecemeal initiatives will solve. I now see that the pandemic and the loss of learning must be the catalyst for taking this seriously. We will not solve the problem of poor education outcomes for these children without focus on the context of their lives. That focus has to be local and at the transition between all levels. For me, supporting further education is the only approach that can capture those children and, with the right professional support and stability of funding, help them to reach their true potential. Covid-19 has exacerbated the disproportionate impact of poor education on young people. We absolutely need to use this opportunity to make things better for the future.
Research from Citizens Advice released this week has found that, contrary to popular belief, young people in their twenties are actually more at risk from scams than older people. We know how dangerous the internet and even when trying to be careful the most innocuous looking email can be a threat. But you can protect yourself by following a few simple rules: don’t ever give money or details to anyone you’ve met online and don’t click on unsolicited links or links from people you do not know.
As you may have seen, I am currently recruiting for two positions within my office, both in London and in Bristol South. I am looking for a Personal Assistant with excellent communication skills and experience of managing a complex diary to support my work in Westminster and a part-time Caseworker to join my constituency team in Bristol South. Closing date for applications is 5 July with a view to starting in the middle of August. Please do spread the word and pop in an application if you think either position would suit you!
If there are issues you want to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing Karin.email@example.com or by calling 0117 953 3575. In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy the weekend!The post Weekly Round-Up: 18 June 2021 first appeared on Karin Smyth.
On 17 June, Rushanara Ali MP joined with London Mayor, Sadiq Khan on a visit to The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.
Scams and fraud are a massive issue and these crimes can happen to anyone. We can all play our part in spreading awareness and look out for potential scams. As a result of coronavirus, many people are facing issues with employment, debt, housing and health, and scammers are exploiting people during this particularly difficult time. [...]
Last week I was lucky enough to be drawn to ask a question during Prime Minister’s Question Time. This came at the perfect time as later that day I was presenting a petition on behalf of more than 40,000 constituents who are against the disastrous cuts to South Tyneside Hospital.
I took this opportunity to remind the Prime Minister of all the things he said about out NHS, including “Our greatest national asset” “Best of this country” “Record increase in funding” “Saved my life—no question” “My No.1 priority”. Yet, during a worldwide pandemic our award-winning South Tyneside Hospital is being stripped of acute services causing a disaster for the people of South Tyneside and causing undue pressure on our neighbouring Sunderland A&E.
The past year and a half has shown that our NHS is needed more than ever however, in the hands of the Tories it’s very future is uncertain. The Government must step in and show they are serious about protecting the NHS, listen to our concerns, stop more cuts to South Tyneside Hospital and return the services we have already lost.
Crucially, in my speech I asked the Prime Minister if he would match his rhetoric with some action by blocking cuts to our hospital but unsurprisingly, he failed to provide us with any support or reassurance. This shows us all the Prime Minister does not care about the NHS which saved his life.
South Tyneside and Sunderland campaigners have worked incredibly hard to raise awareness of the dismantling of our local hospital services, even coming down to Westminster to hand me the 44,000 strong petition. However, on the very same day campaigners stood outside of Parliament, the Government once again chose to stand against us.
Pauline Town MBE. That’s an honour that Pauline never expected and never asked for, but one that is thoroughly deserved. What a year it has been for her. Pauline runs the Station Hotel in Ashton-Under-Lyne – a pub which also operates as the town’s We Shall Overcome Hub.
It all started in 2013, when a man named Ben knocked on the door of the pub in 2013. He struggled with mental health issues, had learning difficulties, and was begging on the street. Pauline let him come in for a cup of tea and spent over five months setting up his personal independence payments and accommodation.
Pauline has now helped more than 200 homeless people off the streets and gives out around 100 packed lunches a day. She is, to put it simply, and absolute inspiration. Last year, Tameside Council’s Homelessness Team set up the Town House (named after Pauline) in Ashton on Burlington Street.
The Town House acts as a community hub and overnight hostel, providing support and care to people who are homeless.
The Homelessness Team has done tremendous work in helping people in the Borough. The A Bed Every Night programme has been a fantastic success. The council recorded a drop in rough sleeping between 2018 to 2019 of 86%, and in April of this year no rough sleepers were recorded in Tameside. It is hard to overstate this achievement, and it is down to the hard work of people like Pauline and the Council.
I strongly believe that the innovative work of the Homelessness Team can be applied across the country. The team focusses on tailoring services to individuals’ needs and recognises that ongoing support is crucial to prevent people falling back into rough sleeping.
Homelessness is complex, and should be tackled with empathy, organisation, and long-term care. Last year, Crisis estimated that around 200,000 people nationally were experiencing core homelessness – the most severe form of homelessness.
Over the next few months, as furlough ends and the impact of the pandemic on the economy and jobs is truly felt, we need to be even more prepared to help those in need. Local authority and Government spending must be increased, and the Government needs to recognise the work of councils such as Tameside and individuals like Pauline to champion similar projects across the country.
The future after the pandemic is uncertain, but if we learn from people like Pauline, and schemes like A Bed Every Night, I’m certain that we can build a society where we all look out for one another and are proud to help those most in need.
The post What we can learn from the incredible work of Pauline Town MBE appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.
A group representing stroke and neurological patients and carers in South Cumbria has welcomed the news that a new provider has been found to take over Holehird care home in Windermere.
Last week, St Gregory's Homecare, Leonard Cheshire, the Holehird Trust and Tim Farron MP issued a joint statement on the future of the care home, which said: "Since Leonard Cheshire took the decision that it could no longer provide care at Holehird, we've been working hard to try to find a new provider to take over the running of the home.
"Holehird has provided amazing care for people of all ages with physical disabilities and complex needs for the past 60 years.
"So we're delighted that St Gregory's Homecare have come forward to offer to take over the running of Holehird and we've been working together to try to make this a reality.
"There are still several hurdles to overcome and there is no certainty that it will be achieved, but we wanted to make this statement to give confidence that we are committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for Holehird and the wider community."
Commenting on the news, Chair of the Patient and Carer Integrated Stroke and Neurorehabilitation Delivery Network Assurance Group for Lancashire & South Cumbria Phil Woodford said: "I'd like to thank everyone involved in working to secure this transition to a new provider, it is incredible what can be achieved when people come together with a common purpose.
"This hasn't been about securing the future of a building, it is much bigger than that, Holehird is home to a group of people who require specialist care and support.
"It must remain a very anxious time for the staff involved too, my thanks goes out to them for everything that they do to care for these people.
"I hope to visit Holehird after the new provider takes over and meet some of the residents and staff myself.
"There's still a little way to go to make it a certainty, but I wish everyone involved the very best and again, thank you.
"As a Stroke survivor myself I know how valuable such specialist care is."Published and promoted by P Trollope on behalf of T Farron and the Liberal Democrats, all at Yard 2, Stricklandgate, Kendal
Reacting to news that Bradford Bulls will now continue to run an Elite Academy, Bradford South Labour MP Judith Cummins said, “I’m pleased that the club and the RFL have reached a resolution that enables Bradford to continue to run an Elite Academy.”
“It would, however, have been better for all concerned to have avoided the worry and trauma in the first place,” she added.
Ms Cummins had challenged the RFL on the process and decision that saw Bradford losing out in the award of Elite Academy licences. She questioned whether quotas rather than an assessment of record, performance and deep roots into the community game had been given little weight in the consideration.
“The Bulls Academy has been productive and respected for its work, a rich source of playing talent. Leon Pryce, Sam Burgess, and John Bateman to name but a few of the players to have come through the academy and gone onto star at the highest levels of our sport.
There remain challenges ahead but I’m looking forward to working with and supporting the club and the RFL to make sure that the sport has a healthy future,” said Ms Cummins.
Jonathan Djanogly responds to the East West Rail Company’s non-statutory consultation. read more »
Tulip Siddiq MP is looking for an enthusiastic and responsible individual to join her busy team to support her constituency work.
This role will be full-time, based in Tulip’s constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn. We are happy to discuss options for flexible working at any stage.
The successful applicant will have a strong understanding of politics and campaigning, an unstoppable work ethic, a team-first mentality and meticulous attention to detail.
• Manage relationships with the many and varied communities in Hampstead and Kilburn;
• Monitor local media and work with stakeholders in the constituency to ensure our office is aware of ongoing issues;
• Ensure local stakeholders are kept up-to-date with the latest relevant news from Parliament and maintain databases of contacts;
• Arrange and assist with surgeries, public meetings and other visits, and follow up as appropriate;
• Deal professionally and confidentially with standard queries from members of the public, as well as assisting on more complex cases;
• Respond directly to constituents by phone and email, log and monitor casework progress – gathering relevant information and following up as required;
• Correspond and liaise with Government departments, executive agencies, local government and charities to resolve constituency matters;
• Ensure records are kept in line with the data protection legislation;
Skills and values:
• Sound judgement in dealing with sensitive issues;
• Strong awareness of local and national politics;
• Excellent attention to detail;
• Ability to prioritise and manage a large workload independently;
• Fluent and clear written style;
• Good communication and teamwork skills;
• Proficiency in basic IT;
• Sympathetic to the aims and values of the Labour Party;
Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.
Closing Date: 21 June 2021
Interviews will be held in the week beginning 26 June 2021
Applicants should send their CV with a covering letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Job application: <your name>”
The covering letter should include an explanation why your skills, experience and knowledge make you suitable for this specific role for the Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Kilburn and why you would like to work in this community.
Great to be at Dafen Primary School yesterday to see them become the world’s first Global Entrecompedu Pioneer School.
Pupils, staff and many others involved with the school have worked really hard to embrace the scheme which gives children of all year groups the skills and knowledge needed to understand the world of business and commerce.
Particularly inspiring to hear directly from the children about how they put protecting the environment and collaborating with others at the centre of their work.
Congratulations to everyone involved and good luck with helping to share your experiences with other schools in the local area and across the UK and Europe!
Angus MacNeil MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar is urging any constituent who is an EU citizen to ensure they have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before the deadline of June 30.
Irish citizens and people with indefinite leave to remain do not have to apply but all other EU citizens must apply to the scheme to continue living or working in Scotland.
Both adults and children need to apply.
Mr MacNeil said: “It is the Scottish Government’s view that EU citizens should not need to apply to protect the right they already have to live, work and study here but the UK Government has made it a requirement.
“The deadline is the end of this month and so I would urge any constituent who is an EU citizen who has not already done so, to apply.”
Scotland’s Europe Minister Jenny Gilruth has requested that the UK Government make a series of urgent changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) – including extending the 30 June deadline.
Full details on how to apply can be found here: https://www.mygov.scot/help-eu-citizens
Preet Kaur Gill MP has called on the Government to urgently address health disparities between religious groups after new Covid data shows growing divergence.
The latest ONS data emphasises the alarming Covid mortality rates among Sikhs, Hindus, Jews and Muslims compared to Christians and people of no faith.
Even more worryingly, this data shows that the Covid mortality rate for Sikhs and Muslims compared to Christians has worsened between the first and second wave. For Sikh men, the age-adjusted risk increased from 1.3 times to that of Christians, to 1.7 times.
Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Edgbaston in Birmingham said, “Given the great pain experienced by the Sikh community during the worst of the first wave last year, it is extremely disturbing to see that not only has the work done on health disparities failed to keep up with the problem, it’s gone backwards”
“We know that structural inequalities stretch through every aspect of life and have a part to play in the enormous differences we have seen between different ethnic groups. However, these inequalities cannot be explained by ethnicity alone, and this new data paints a complex picture.
“I have written to the equalities minister to ask that the lack of routine data collected on Sikhs is addressed. Currently, the ONS advises public bodies to only use the existing ethnic categories in the census to deliver public services. This excludes information for groups including Sikhs and Jews. Given the fact that this new information on Covid mortality rates shows stark differences between majority Asian religious groups, it seems increasingly misguided to ignore these factors.
“Better data and knowledge is integral in addressing disparities, especially when as it stands routine data collection for Sikhs does not exist. Public bodies must have better information on the communities they serve in order to address these shocking health inequalities.”
Dr Sukdev Singh, a resident in Edgbaston constituency, not only sadly lost a loved one to Covid but is also Chair of the Sikh Doctor’s Association and has had to support patients and families throughout the pandemic.
He commented, “It is really concerning to see inequalities seemingly grow between Sikh people and those from other backgrounds. I’ve seen first-hand how devastating this virus has been to my family and my community. It’s disappointing that the Government hasn’t done more to protect those that are being the worst affected by the pandemic, particularly given the national debate on equality that was widely publicised following the first wave.
“The Government now needs to step up and support those who are worse affected so that we can recover from this crisis. But before these inequalities can be put remedied, the Government needs to start with understanding exactly how many people are from a Sikh ethnic background so that the right resource and funding can be sent to those communities.”
To read the letter from Preet Kaur Gill MP to the equalities minister, where she asks for an explanation on the steps being taken to ensure the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Sikhs is explained and in turn addressed with future monitoring of public service provision, please visit: https://preetkaurgill.com/content/preet-responds-news-covid-death-inequalities-worsened-between-waves
Information for editors:
For the latest ONS data release on deaths involving Covid-19 by religious group, please see here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/deathsinvolvingcovid19byreligiousgroupenglanddeathsoccurringbetween24january2020and28february2021
Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps joins Network Rail staff as he drives to get rail network clean as country moves to re-open
Mr Shapps attended a clean-up at the front of the station, helping clean the area of litter, as part of the ‘Great British Spring Clean- organised by Keep Britain Tidy.
At the station Mr Shapps met with Network Rail and station staff, donning protective gloves and a litter picker.
Of the visit, Mr Shapps said: “I’ve challenged Network Rail to clean up the network as much as possible before people start coming back, as we hope, get to the next stage of the unlock.
“I think it’s really important to make people feel more confident about being on the railway. I’m a big believer that if people find that the environment around them is clean, they feel happier and healthier. It helps people’s mental health [and] also helps with physical health as well.
“The Great British Spring Clean is a fantastic initiative, and I’m incredibly happy to be able to support it.”
Paul Rutter, Chief Environment and Sustainability Officer for Network Rail said: “So far, the local team have cleared 500 bags- nearly 5 tonnes rubbish- in the local area between Hatfield and Brookmans Park. Now we’re going to continue through to Finsbury Park and closer to London.
“[We are doing this] not just to make it look better, but also safer for employees and the travelling public.”
The Spring Clean runs until the 13th June. So far over 160,000 volunteers have pledged to tidy over 1 million miles of roads, rivers, beaches, and countryside.
Details about the campaign can be found here: www.keepbritaintidy.org
A video was produced during the visit, which can be viewed below.
The post May 2021 E-Newsletter appeared first on Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.
Below is an updated list of funding for Voluntary Organisations and Charities as of 28th May 2021.
The post Funding Opportunities for Voluntary Organisations & Charities appeared first on Dr Philippa Whitford.
I was delighted to formally open the brand new Melksham Hub Café the other week. The café and community space at Melksham Railway Station is located in a former commercial depot building and is a fantastic addition to the railway station. There is an extensive menu, and from today you can eat in as well as takeaway.
This is an amazing community effort involving Wiltshire Council, Melksham Area Board, TransWilts and commercial partners Knorr-Bremse as well many others to make Melksham Railway Station a really attractive and user friendly place to travel to and from the town, be sure to check it out!
In the Queens Speech there was a noticeable absence of plans for adult social care, despite the Prime Minister saying as he entered Downing Street in 2019 “we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all” and despite promises of a White Paper since 2017. People in Nottingham and the rest of the country desperately need a social care system that is adequately funded over the long term and free at the point of use. Everyone contributes, everyone’s covered – just like our NHS. Local councils like ours will still need to lead in this area as we are best placed to support people to be independent and live the lives they want to, given the range of ways that our wider work and partnerships touch everyone’s lives.
The pandemic has shown how important social care is for people and though social care workers do an amazing job, the growing demand alongside chronic underfunding is pushing the sector further into crisis. In March I wrote to the Government along with local Labour MPs highlighting the need for a fair and adequate funding system for social care, quoting the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) who said that £1,3 billion is needed to cover demographic and inflationary pressures in 2021, Cllr Williams has yet to receive a reply.
Social care workers in our city support people to live well, maximising independence, choice and control. But they and the people they support, alongside their unpaid carers need a national long term plan for social care that recognises that this is skilled and vital work to support adults of all ages to make their own choices, and the best of their lives at every stage.
The Government’s current approach has been the adult social care precept, hitting Nottingham’s hard pressed council tax payers. This precept represents a significant sum to local households, but makes a negligible impact on the pressures to the Council’s budget in this area. An inadequate sticking plaster that costs Nottingham tax payers dearly – hitting household incomes at a time of economic crisis.
In March I wrote to the Government highlighting the need for a fair and adequate funding system for social care that covers everyone. I have yet to receive a reply. The absence of any plans in the Queen’s Speech makes clear that Government is going to leave those supported by adult social care, those who are paid to care, and unpaid carers left without a long term solution to the issues they experience every day.
In Wales and Scotland their Government’s are rising to the challenges with commitments to paying care workers a real living wage and considering a “National Care Service”.
This is a real failure to grasp the reality and urgency of the problem.
We urge the government to listen to the nation. Just as we have raised our voices when needed to defend our NHS, when we clapped for carers, we meant it. They would do well to listen – and act.
Worker’s Memorial Day is always a poignant moment each year. It’s an opportunity to reflect on those workers who’ve lost their lives in the workplace. It’s a chance to pay tribute to the incredible campaigning efforts of our trade union and labour movement. And it’s a chance to recommit ourselves to the fight for a better, safer world of work.
As the vaccine rollout continues across Birmingham we can start to see some light at the end of the tunnel after what has been a truly difficult year for all of us.
We all know someone whose health or employment has been affected by the events of the past 12 months, and as we look to the end of the covid restrictions I’m determined to see the government provide Birmingham with the support it needs to rebuild its healthcare and employment capacity.
While the numbers of covid patients is decreasing, our NHS will have a mountain to climb to provide care for those with other conditions whose treatment has been deferred. Recent figures show 300,000 patients now waiting a year or more to receive care as a result of the pandemic.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me in the coming months if you have been affected by these issues and I can help in any way.
Birmingham Coronavirus Update
Following the first stage of the unlocking process, the following changes to the coronavirus restrictions came into effect on the 8th March:
Call for an independent inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic
Alongside my fellow Birmingham Labour MPs and Council leader Ian Ward, I have called for a full independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of the Covid pandemic.
Many residents have raised this issue with me, and want to know why the UK had the highest death rates in the world and whether these deaths were preventable. I believe we have a duty to those who have lost loved ones to ensure a full, independent, and transparent investigation into how our country has handled the pandemic.
“The pandemic has undoubtedly presented unprecedented challenges to governments around the world. There has not been a crisis like this is living memory and combatting this deadly virus was always going to be difficult. However, it must be acknowledged that the UK has seen one of the highest death tolls in the world and questions are now rightly being asked about what led us to this position.”
You can read the full letter here.
Support for a nurses pay rise
Over the past year our health workers have given everything while under historic pressure to save lives and cope with the huge number of extra patients in our hospitals.
After all they’ve been through it cannot be right that the 12,289 nurses in Birmingham have been offered a real terms pay cut by the government. We must do better for them than that, after all they’ve done for the country there must be a fair pay settlement.
We’ve all been encouraged to show our appreciation throughout this crisis, but claps don’t pay the bills. I sincerely hope that the government will reconsider its recommended 1% pay increase.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day
This St Patrick’s Day was unlike any other in generations.
Coming from an Irish family, I saw the great solidarity and cohesion of the Irish community in Britain. It is heart-warming to witness this togetherness reaffirm itself during these challenging times.
I hope that all members of the Irish community in Hodge Hill found a way to mark the day, and that next year we will be able to come together as usual!
Fighting to safeguard employment
Second only to the health impact of Coronavirus is its impact on the economy and employment. That is why I’ve written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for a £7.8 billion Budget ‘fair share funding’ boost for our area to tackle the jobs crisis.
Businesses need help to bounce back from the Covid crisis, and we must do every we can to support them by extending the furlough scheme in a targeted way, extending business interruption and bounce back loans, enabling interest free deferral of VAT, and extending targeted business rate relief.
Alongside help for existing business we must make sure big projects such as HS2 and the Commonwealth Games deliver jobs and long term benefits for local people.
You can currently apply for one of over 200 vacancies with HS2 and its partners at the following link: https://www.hs2.org.uk/careers/careers-with-our-supply-chain/jobs
Diana Johnson stood up for skilled jobs and the red arrows in the House of Commons today.
Diana asked the Minister:
Steve Reed has asked Croydon Council to listen to local people over the future of South Norwood Library. The library’s future is uncertain because the Conservative Government has cut funding to Croydon by 70% and pushed it into a financial crisis.
Local MP Steve Reed has spoken to residents and campaign groups who are fighting to save the library. He’s now written to the Council asking them to consider how closing the library will affect the areas poorest residents who may not have access to WiFi or quiet spaces for learning or reading at home. He’s also asked the Council to fully involve the local community before taking any decisions.
Steve Reed said: “Croydon Council is faced with some really difficult decisions after ten years of Conservative funding cuts. But they do not have to go it alone. Now more than ever people want a say over what happens in their area. The Council should harness this enthusiasm and work with residents to come up with plan that could protect library services for South Norwood.”
If you would like to get involved in the campaign to save South Norwood library, email Steve at email@example.com
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.
The post Steve Reed calls on Council to work with residents to save South Norwood Library appeared first on Steve Reed MP.
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."
The cold weather has been harsh enough recently to trigger the Cold Weather Payments System, and some residents will receive an additional £25 towards the costs of heating.
Eligibility of CWPS is for those who are currently in receipt of some benefits, with pension credit serving as the most common eligibility criteria.
Residents in the following postcodes will be eligible; RG28, SO21, SP10, SP11, SP4, SP9, RG19, RG20, RG21, RG22, RG23, RG25, RG26, RG7
A full list of eligibility criteria can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment/eligibility
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Alec is advising all constituents to follow Public Health England advice for their own safety and the safety of others.
Please read, share and regularly check the Government guidance as the situation and the response to it is changing daily.
Read the regulations here: FAQs- what you can and can’t do.
Anybody with symptoms can book a test. To book a test click here.
The UK medical regulatory agency has approved two vaccines for COVID-19. The Government has begun the largest nationwide vaccination programme in history, starting with key clinically vulnerable groups. Your GP will contact you directly with a date to get your vaccine.
Alec is working with local Leeds City Councillors to best co-ordinate volunteer efforts in our community. If you’re able to offer help please go to www.doinggoodleeds.org.uk
Help from Alec
If you have a unique issue to raise with Alec that is not covered in the information above, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or via 01937 589 002. In line with national guidance, Alec and his team are working remotely but are working hard to get back to constituents as soon as possible.
I wanted to take a moment to explain my reasoning behind abstaining from the vote in Parliament on Wednesday (30/12) as the Governments’ Brexit deal returned to the House of Commons.
From the outset, I have sought to respect the decision of the referendum in 2016 and have been happy to work with colleagues in Parliament to deliver a compromise between those 16 million people who voted to remain in the EU, and the 17 million who voted to leave with the myriad of different options that would entail. It has become clear to me over the last 4 years that many people who voted to leave the EU in Gateshead, did so for very different reasons and with very different expectations of our future relationship ranging from close alignment like Norway, to what has now been termed a hard Brexit, essentially no formal trading relationship with the European Union, operating on basic WTO rules instead. I was re-elected to represent Gateshead at the last General Election on the pledge to respect the result of the referendum and to negotiate a deal that would meet the 6 key tests.
It would seem that successive Conservative Prime Ministers have seem set on rail-roading their respective deals through Parliament without proper scrutiny our accountability, and this week is no different. It appears to be the case that the Government may have sought to hold out for demands within the negotiations that they knew could not be agreed, around fishing quotas as an example, knowing that once these demands were dropped a deal could be agreed between both sides. They have then sought to drop these demands as Parliament goes into recess for the Christmas period, and bring back a deal of some 1200 pages for 5 hours of debate at 3 working days’ notice; 48 hours before the UK would end the transition period with no deal if this was not agreed.
The deal itself does not satisfy the 6 key tests I was elected on, and the way in which the Government appear to have manipulated the Parliamentary calendar to force MP’s into a vote quite literally between this deal or no deal, brings great shame on any type of Parliamentary Sovereignty. What we now have in the UK is Government sovereignty without proper input or scrutiny from democratically elected Members of Parliament.
To this end, I found that while a deal, even this deal, is better than a no deal, I could not in good conscience vote in favour of a deal which did not satisfy the key tests in the manifesto on which I was elected, and in essence to vote to help the Government extricate themselves from a mess entirely of their own making. It is the Government who have sought to negotiate this deal alone, it is they who have forced the timetable for approval and who have removed any Parliamentary Sovereignty and scrutiny from the timetable and it is the Government who must be judged on the success or failure of this deal.
As a local resident of Gateshead for over 40 years, I absolutely hope that this deal goes far enough to safeguard jobs and livelihoods of families across the North East. I also hope that this does not lead to shortage of supplies or price increases. This affects us all, and in many ways I do not wish the Government deal to fail to protect us from any negative consequences of it. However, with the way the whole process has been manipulated to force MP’s into a corner, and with the deal not meeting the 6 key tests set out in the manifesto on which I was elected, I could not see fit to vote in favour.
This is the Conservative Government’s deal, their deliberate mismanagement has brought it to Parliament, on a timetable manufactured by them, with no time for appropriate scrutiny, it’s their deal and they should own it!
I hope this sets out my reasoning, as ever please do get in touch should you have any further questions.
Subscribe to my future newsletters here
Welcome to my December email newsletter. I know this year has been incredibly difficult for many families, and will continue to be very challenging, especially given the new variant of Covid, but the rollout of vaccines and community testing, which are gathering pace in Derbyshire, gives some hope for the new year. I’m sure, like me, you particularly welcome today’s announcement of the approval of the Oxford vaccine for rollout in our communities. Under these challenging circumstances, I nevertheless wish you a very safe and happy new year in 2021.
Heanor Future High Streets Fund bid success – £8.5 million:
Following Heanor’s bid towards the Government’s £830 million Future High Streets Fund, I’m delighted that Heanor has been successful and has been awarded over £8.5 million to help transform its town centre and recover from the pandemic. You can find the full details of the Borough Council’s bid here, which focuses on plans to regenerate the Market Place and Grammar School site. The Council now have a few months to confirm the final version of their plans, and I look forward to continuing to support and work with them to ensure we can maximise this funding.
Brexit deal latest:
On Christmas Eve, the Prime Minister reached a deal with the EU regarding our future relationship after the end of the transition period, from the 1st January 2021. Parliament has been recalled today, on the 30th December, to consider the deal and vote on it. You can read the deal here and the legislation enabling it here. The select committee on the Future Relationship with the EU on which I serve has published a report on the deal this morning, which you can read here.
I can confirm I will be supporting the deal when it comes to a vote later.
Many constituents have contacted me throughout the negotiation period, and I think this deal delivers on the key areas whilst also providing certainty and security for businesses and residents already impacted by Covid-19.
This deal delivers on Brexit, the referendum and last year’s election result by taking back control of our laws, borders, money, trade and fisheries.
– there is no role for the European Court of Justice and no requirement for the UK to follow EU law, so regaining parliamentary sovereignty;
– we will trade with the EU on the basis of zero tariffs and zero quotas, which will allow businesses to be able to trade smoothly and continue to access EU markets;
– Allows us to introduce our own modern subsidy system. This new subsidies system will operate in a that best suits the interests of UK industries – outside the EU State Aid regime.
- offers streamlined co-operation on law enforcement, ensuring we continue to effectively tackle serious organised crime and counter terrorism, protecting the public, and bringing criminals to justice. It also provides for future cooperation between the UK and EU on emerging security challenges, such as cyber and health security, including continuing to work together on tackling the spread of Covid-19.
- Recognises UK sovereignty over our fishing waters and puts us in a position to rebuild our fishing fleet and increase quotas, overturning the inequity that British fishermen have faced for over four decades. By the end of the five year transition we will have full control of our waters and the amount of fish available to UK fishermen will have risen from half to two-thirds.
- Provides for the UK’s participation in certain EU programmes, furthering our commitment to making the UK a science and research superpower. This deal will fulfil our manifesto commitment to participate in the Horizon Europe programme, but also the Euratom Research and Training programme, and the space programme, Copernicus.
The deal also includes arrangements for airlines and hauliers that provides them with certainty, and gives people the ability to travel to and from the EU easily for work and holidays; a social security agreement that has practical benefits for UK citizens including accessing healthcare when travelling in the EU; and agreements on energy which will benefit consumers by helping to keep prices down.
As I set out in previous newsletters, compromises were necessary to achieve a deal, especially on fishing and the level playing field. Having been through the deal I am satisfied that these compromises are acceptable in the context of the importance of tariff free access to the EU market. This is a good deal achieved at great speed and gives us the best possible platform to make a success of Brexit.
Coronavirus guidance latest:
Following the last review of the tier restrictions on 16 December, Amber Valley and all of Derbyshire remained in the tier 3 restrictions. The next review takes place today. Amber Valley currently has a high case rate, of 332 cases per 100k, which is one of the highest in Derbyshire, and up 44% on the previous week. This is a very concerning situation and may lead to further restrictions being out in place locally.
On the positive side, mass testing has started in Swadlincote in the south of the County and will spread further in the county, including to Amber Valley early in the new year. This programme, along with similar roll outs in health, care and school settings will help identify cases earlier and slow the spread.
Vaccines are also now starting to be rolled out across the County, and I’m pleased that Ripley is one of the first primary care centres to begin rolling out the vaccine, which you can read more about here. Now that the Oxford vaccine has been approved for us, the roll out of vaccination should increase rapidly at dedicated centres as well as local GPs and pharmacies. Please do wait to be contacted about the vaccine though rather than asking your GP.
We are now at a critical point in this pandemic with cases rising rapidly and the problems of 2 new variants. But the end is in sight now we can rapidly vaccinate the most vulnerable. At this time we all need to show as much caution as possible to reduce the number of cases and minimise the new restrictions needed. We’ve got this far, let’s not ease off now.
I will continue to engage with ministers, the public health team and the local NHS to ensure that this area sees the full roll out of the vaccines and mass testing as soon as possible and that support is in place for those who can’t work and those businesses forced to close as a result of the tier measures.
You can read my contributions in Parliament here including on highlighting the need to roll out the vaccine to people who are unable to leave their homes as soon as logistics allow here and about consideration of more localised geography for tier restrictions here.
As always, you can find the latest Covid-19 guidance, and support available, here.
Coronavirus – support for local businesses & high streets:
In Parliament, I’ve continued to highlight the difficulties faces by our local businesses, such as the events industry and conference centres (you can read my question to the Secretary of State for Business on this here), and supporting local high streets (which you can read more on here).
I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of the extension of the furlough scheme until the end of April 2021, and the extension of the business loan schemes until the end of March. You can find more information on the support and grants available for you or your business here.
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.
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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.
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Easy level: information courses. The main goal is to inform employees and tell how to use the acquired knowledge in work. For example, to get acquainted with a new product of the company. There may not be a hero and a plot. Therefore, in the scenario it is enough to describe on which slide what to tell: for example, on the first – about the main characteristics of the product, on the second – about the advantages over competitors.
Intermediate level: motivational courses. The main goal is to motivate employees to change their approach to work or attitude to something. For example, staff do not follow fire safety rules in the workplace, and you need to motivate employees.
In such courses, the character works well – involves in training. In the material about fire safety, a fire instructor will look logical. He will tell you what the neglect of the rules leads to and how to avoid an emergency. It is also important to add more practical assignments.
Difficult level: training course. The main goal is to pump up an old skill or develop a new one. There must be a history. Here it is important to think about the plot, the conflict, the place and time of the action, the main character and more.
Below I will tell you how to write a script for a training course. If you take this height, it is easy to handle tasks easier.
The results of the step: you have determined what type of course will best solve the tasks.
The post Very proud day today – the law change I fought for to protect pensioners comes into force appeared first on Mark Tami.
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 email@example.com, or get in touch with me with any queries.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THESE PROPOSALS
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 @ 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.
Wigan Constituency Labour Party have reselected Lisa Nandy MP as their candidate for the next General Election.
At meetings held over the last fortnight, members in all of the branches that make up Wigan Labour Party voted overwhelmingly to reselect Lisa. All affiliated organisations, including Unite the Union, the Communication Workers’ Union, GMB, Unison and Usdaw, also voted to reselect.
“I’m grateful to Labour members in Wigan for choosing to reselect me so overwhelmingly. Being the Member of Parliament for Wigan is the privilege of my life, and I couldn’t do it without the members who turn up year in, year out and in all weathers to campaign for the Labour Party. With a General Election looking likely, we will be out once again fighting for every vote and to put an end to the damage inflicted on Wigan by this reckless Conservative government.”
Wigan Constituency Labour Party said:
“We’re delighted to have reselected Lisa Nandy as our candidate for the next General Election. For 10 years Lisa has worked tirelessly to represent Wigan in Parliament, fighting for constituents hit hardest by this Conservative government’s brutal cuts and ensuring that Wigan’s voice is heard on the national stage. The overwhelming level of support Lisa received from local party members is testament to that work. We’re proud to have Lisa as our MP and we’re ready to fight and win the next General Election together.”
We did it!
Thank you to each and every one of you that volunteered time to canvass with me, deliver leaflets, stuff envelopes and most importantly those who voted for me.
I cannot wait to get back up to Westminster and be the voice for Swansea East.
This website will be closing down shortly, but you can keep up to date with my work on my main webpage.
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.
Over recent days I’ve received hundreds of emails from local residents about the refugee crisis. It’s extremely heartening to know that so many of you not only share my anguish at the human cost of the crisis but agree with me that more needs to be done to help those seeking sanctuary from civil war, sectarian violence and authoritarian regimes.
The crisis is one of the biggest humanitarian challenges that Europe has faced since the Second World War. It is therefore shameful that so far the Government’s ‘Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme,’ begun in March 2014, has only assisted 216 Syrian refugees.
As a result of concerted public pressure the Prime Minister reluctantly agreed to welcome more Syrian refugees to Britain. In my view his Government is right to prioritise the most vulnerable Syrians – victims of sexual violence, elderly and disabled people, and victims of torture living in camps across the Middle East – for resettlement and to argue that we need to redouble efforts to help tackle the traffickers and people smugglers who prey on people’s fear and desperation. However, given the scale and immediacy of the present crisis the pledge the Prime Minister gave the House of Commons on Monday, to receive only 20,000 Syrian refugees over the course of the next five years, is woefully inadequate.
The Government should think again about taking more refugees – both directly from Syria and from Southern European countries who are bearing the brunt of this crisis. The Prime Minister should also engage with EU leaders to agree a process for dealing with this crisis at Europe’s borders and work with local authority leaders across the UK to see what more can be done in our local communities to support refugees and asylum seekers.
Please rest assured that I will continue to press the Government on this issue while also supporting local efforts by the council, community groups and individual residents to help those in need.
With Northern Ireland once again in politcial crisis and continuing divisions within unionism, we need to consider carefully the consequences, both for the Union itself and for efforts to create a shared future here.