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Fully behind plans for new M&S store in Stevenage

Stephen McPartland (Stevenage)

I am fully behind plans for new M&S store in Stevenage, supporting more choice, jobs and investment for our town. Please read my submission to Stevenage Borough Council Planning in support of the planning application.

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Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, recently met with KCOM CEO Dale Raneberg to hear about the expansion in the telecoms giant’s work and to discuss plans to bring ultrafast ‘Lightstream’ broadband to “sluggish” parts of his constituency.


The meeting followed completion of KCOM’s build in Withernsea, which means that 95% of properties in the town are now ‘passed’ by new, fibre broadband that could offer speeds of up to 900Mbps. Ofcom, the regulator, defines superfast broadband as anything over 30Mbps (enough to download a film in around 4 minutes) while ultrafast speeds are over 300Mbps.


In the meeting, Mr Raneberg committed to connect Withernsea residents to the new infrastructure for free, if they take out one of KCOM’s ‘fibre-to-the-premises’ packages.


In response to a Government request to boost access to better internet speeds, particularly when more people than ever before are working remotely, KCOM have introduced a new, cheaper ‘Flex Package’ for people in receipt of benefits such as Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Pension Credit.


Graham said, “It was a real pleasure to meet with Dale, just after KCOM have finished their extensive build in Withernsea. The pandemic has shown just how important it is for people to have decent internet as families battle over access to their emails, video calls and Netflix.


“The Government wants to rollout gigabit-capable broadband to 85% of the country by 2025, and I’m keen for my constituency to benefit sooner rather than later with the help of KCOM. It’s also great news that the Government has relaunched its voucher scheme, which can offer up to £3,500 off the cost of building the infrastructure.


“I’ve been in touch with parish councils already, and I’d encourage any residents in rural areas who want to see faster speeds in their area to get in touch with me at grahamstuartmp@parliament.uk.”


Currently, just over 95% of premises in Beverley and Holderness benefit from access to superfast broadband, while two-thirds have a FTTP connection. Nationally, these figures stand at around 97% and 22%.


Mr Raneberg added, “It was a pleasure to meet with Graham and hear that he shares our enthusiasm to cover Beverley and Holderness in full-fibre broadband.


“We want to give local residents the fastest possible speeds and we’ve shown this with recent builds in Withernsea, North Newbald and Bishop Burton. This has been helped by a recent expansion of our in-house engineering teams, which is creating more skilled jobs for local people.”

Flooding and the Mid Norfolk Flood Partnership

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk)

Flooding has long been a concern for many in our part of Norfolk – and the heavy rainfall of December 23rd-24th 2020, and again in the early part of 2021, resulted in a record number of call outs for Anglian Water, the Environment Agency and Norfolk County Council alike, exacerbating these long held frustrations and fears.

Many saw their gardens and homes flooded with surface rain water and, sometimes, raw sewage. Many more reported being unable to use toilets and showers as drainage systems and nearby pumping stations were overwhelmed. Sadly, in most cases, it was the second/third/fourth time this had happened in the previous year (following similar flooding in previous years) and, quite understandably, people are at the end of their tether – feeling hopeless, and angry and distrustful of the local agencies that take their money, but provide a service well below the standard promised and which would be reasonably considered acceptable.

That’s why I decided to band together with local councillors in some of the most affected communities, and bring together community groups and officials of NCC, Anglian Water and the Environment to form a Mid Norfolk Flood Partnership – an open forum in which specific flooding issues, historic wider issues and how the system for responding to and mitigating flooding events needs improving.

The MNFP pulled together a 14 point letter that was among the very first submissions to Lord Dannatt and the Norfolk Strategic Flooding Alliance that he now chairs – and since then, we continue to lobby hard for assistance and reform.

This page is dedicated to this campaign, and you will find each update I provide on this issue.

The third law of government is its expansion is built into all the policy programmes of centre left and left parties. It is easier being a left Minister as you are going with the flow of continuous government expansion set out in the first law.

The left welcome the idea of higher taxes to pay for more government. They see higher taxes as a good in themselves. They enjoy inventing new ways of taxing success and attacking independence and enterprise.

The left seek to monopolise the votes of public sector workers by being a kind of extended Trade Union for the  state sector. They constantly seek better conditions of employment for public bodies, and more staff to carry out tasks, at the expense of the private sector.

The left believe public delivery of goods and services is morally better than free enterprise doing the job.


The left believe that people and families allowed to make their own choices and allowed to keep more of their own money to spend will make bad ones. Government is necessary to restrain and tax the successful whilst making the less well off dependent on the all providing state who can then control and direct their lives.They hope for gratitude for state hand outs they conjure, but rely more on making false claims about the threats to people they allege the right represents. They seek to create a myth that right of centre parties enter politics to harm others.

Gwynne supports bold HIV Action Plan

Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish)

The Terrence Higgins Trust, Elton John Aids Foundation and National Aids Trust have launched a campaign to ensure that when the Government publishes its long-awaited HIV Action Plan later this year, it takes the bold and ambitious steps necessary to end domestic cases of HIV within the decade. Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has announced his support for the campaign.

In December 2020, the independent HIV Commission published a report with a set of recommendations that would enable the government to meet the target of eliminating domestic cases of HIV by 2030.

The government agreed to use the report as the basis for its HIV Action Plan Policy, which it has promised to publish in 2021. The Terrence Higgins Trust, Elton John Aids Foundation and National Aids Trust are now calling for the government to meet its promise and include the recommendations of the HIV Commission in its policy.

Andrew Gwynne said: 

’80 new cases of HIV are detected every week in the UK, and it is vital that the recommendations of the HIV Commission are incorporated into the government’s action plan.


That’s why I support the Terrence Higgins Trust, Elton John Aids Foundation, and the National Aids Trust in their campaign to ensure that the government meets its promise and delivers a plan that proactively tackles the HIV epidemic.


There needs to be cross-party support for a plan that starts the process of ending new cases of HIV and supports those who live with HIV.’

For further information on the campaign visit hivcommision.org.uk

The post Gwynne supports bold HIV Action Plan appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.

Charles H. Mackie: Colour and Light 15 May 2021 – 10 October 2021 City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DE Free Admission, pre-booking online essential
6 May 2021
Scrutiny by committees will help ensure COP26 is the success we need it to be

Published in The House Magazine.

In coming months, with the eyes of the world on the UK and the COP26 conference, it is crucial that government policies are aligned to ensure the conference’s success.

Parliamentarians serving on select committees have a crucial part to play in the nation’s governance; we hold the government to account for its policies and offer solutions to enhance policymaking. In coming months, with the eyes of the world on the UK and the COP26 conference, it is crucial that government policies are aligned to ensure the conference’s success. While the buck stops with COP President Designate Alok Sharma, select committees have a key role to play in ensuring successful delivery of COP.

In just over six months, delegates and ​global leaders from all corners of the world are due to descend on Glasgow for the 26th UN Climate Conference, Covid permitting. The importance of this assembly of global leaders to the future of the planet can hardly be overstated, especially having been postponed a year as a result of the pandemic. COP26 represents a deadline for the parties to the Paris Agreement, concluded at COP21 in 2015, to deliver on their commitments made in that agreement.

I welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to establish a full-time cabinet position for Alok Sharma as COP President Designate: the task ahead of him requires his full attention. Supported by the COP26 Unit in the Cabinet Office and by dedicated COP units in several other departments, his task is twofold: to use the UK’s diplomatic presence to achieve the Presidency’s goals, and to ensure that UK climate policy is fully consistent with the measures the Presidency is pressing other nations to adopt.

He has the unstinting, though not uncritical, support of the House in this task, as was made clear in the Estimates Day debate before Easter on the government’s preparations for COP26 which Darren Jones, Chair of the Business Enterprise and Industrial Strategy Committee, Bim Afolami, Chair of the Parliamentary, Renewable and Sustainable Energy APPG, and I secured.

Select committees are accustomed to looking back at implementation of policies and considering current policy initiatives. It is more unusual for them to look forward. Scrutiny of preparations for delivering the London 2012 Olympics was an innovation at the time. Shining the spotlight of parliamentary scrutiny on preparations for COP26 is intended to help ensure success.

Climate policy, and the conduct of the COP Presidency throughout 2021, has implications for the whole of Whitehall. On the Committee Corridor, a multitude of select committees have strands of work examining departmental policies relating to climate action and COP26. It therefore made sense for these committees to work together, creatively and flexibly, to establish a unique framework for committee scrutiny of the UK’s preparations for the summit. Without exception, my fellow chairs responded warmly and constructively to my proposal for collaboration, informally dubbed the “Committee on COP26,” as did the President Designate and his team.

The first of these sessions was held on 11th March, when the Environmental Audit Committee, and chairs and members from nine other committees, quizzed Sharma and a team of officials on the machinery of government supporting the Presidency. From now until the end of 2021, the committees engaged in this collaboration will take turns in leading evidence sessions with the President Designate, or another minister engaged in COP26 preparations, and senior Presidency officials and advisers.  

It was heartening that in his comprehensive written statement to the House on 18th March, Alok Sharma recognised the vital and constructive role that scrutiny in the House of Commons plays in improving Government policy.

Preparation for regular committee scrutiny, combined with preparation of answers to oral and written questions, ought to ensure that the right questions continue to be asked and should encourage departmental objectives and delivery to be fully aligned behind the government’s objectives for the Presidency.

Philip Dunne is the Conservative MP for Ludlow and chair of the Environmental Audit Committee.

Tomorrow, on  the 6th of May, people across Worcestershire will get the chance to secure real change for our city and county. The benefits of voting Conservative include:

  • Conservative councils charge lower levels of Council Tax – averaged across council tiers, Conservative-run councils in 2020-21 in England charged £83 a year less than Labour-controlled councils on Band D and £130 a year less than Liberal Democrat-controlled councils.
  • Recycling – over half of the English Councils with the best recycling rates are Conservative-run. In 2019-20, of the 20 councils with the best recycling rates, 11 were Conservative and a further six are either run by independents or have no overall control. None were run by the Labour Party. Conservatives are committed to leaving our planet in a better state for the next generation.
  • Working collaberatly to deliver the Towns Fund Bid  which will deliver funding to some of Worcester’s areas of highest need including a range of initiatives to support employment and skills
  • Secure Worcesters share of the Levelling Up Fund – this fund will include a range of high value local investment priorities, including local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets and voting Conservative will help to ensure we see the maximum possible impact from the Levelling Up Fund.
  • Building back greener – includes a range of high value local investment priorities, including local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets.
  • Conservatives who will work hard to cut down on crime and keep people safe – John Campion has launched his bid as the Conservative candidate to be re-elected as the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner who has worked hard to ensure the public’s views are at the heart of policing whilst not dodging the difficult decisions to ensure their money is spent effectively and efficiently.

It is vital to have Conservative representation on Worcester City Council, including Leader of the City Council Marc Bayliss –  who has a strong track record of working across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors-  and Worcestershire County leader Simon Geraghty – who has overseen many major improvement projects – to continue to the great work going on in the City and Worcestershire.

These are the benefits of having Conservative representation in Worcestershire – as well as continuing our recovery from the pandemic, regenerating our high streets and local communities, unlocking the opportunities of Brexit to help create good quality sustainable jobs, helping businesses deliver more apprenticeships and recruiting more police officers.

In short, building back better.



Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

As part on my ongoing work to represent residents in Newcastle Great Park, this week I again met with representatives of developers on Newcastle Great Park/Newcastle Great Park Consortium, Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Police to discuss concerns raised with me by constituents and receive an update on a number of issues. Below are some … Continue reading GREAT PARK UPDATE
Maria Miller MP for Basingstoke has welcomed new facilities for family fun at three local parks following Borough Council’s major improvement works. A mix of children’s play facilities and exciting new equipment and circuits including pump tracks, parkour tracks and a skate park have all been…

New Green Savings Bond will help tackle climate emergency

John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

Rishi Sunak has announced a new Green Savings Bond giving UK savers the opportunity to take part in the collective effort to tackle the climate emergency. The Chancellor first announced the new savings product in the Spring Budget 2021. It will be offered through NS&I, the UK Government owned…

Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

This week saw the end of the first session of this parliament, with the House prorogued until Her Majesty The Queen conducts the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday 11th May. The State Opening marks the formal start of the parliamentary year and the Queen's Speech sets out the government's…

Liz joins Rights for Residents campaigners

Liz Kendall (Leicester West)

Yesterday I joined Rights for Residents at their virtual petition hand-in on Parliament Square. I spoke to campaigners about their experiences of being unable to visit their loved ones in care homes, and how it has impacted on their lives. Rights for Residents have been campaigning tirelessly for the rights of people living in care homes. They have now reached almost a quarter of a million signatures on their petition.

It has been over fourteen months since care homes closed their doors to visitors. This has not only caused them terrible anguish, but harmed the physical and mental health of care home residents too. Even though government guidance now allows care home residents to receive up to two visitors, some care homes are yet to implement this.

Alongside campaign groups including Rights for Residents, Labour are supporting the rights of care home residents to see family to be enshrined in law, and know that family members are not ‘just’ visitors – they provide essential care.

Rights for Residents are calling for the Government to:

  • Pass emergency legislation that enshrines the right of an Essential Care Giver in law to provide emotional and well being support, regardless of outbreaks, tier restrictions, lockdowns or future variants.
  • Mandate the Care Home Visiting Guidance with clear penalties for those that refuse to follow it.
  • Remove the unnecessary 28 day quarantine period for care home residents following an outbreak – in line with the ten day requirement for the rest of the population.

Get involved and sign the Rights for Residents petition here.

The post Liz joins Rights for Residents campaigners appeared first on Liz Kendall.

MP Welcomes Rainham HGV Ban

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham)


Jon Cruddas MP has welcomed the introduction from 11 May of a Heavy Goods Vehicle ban on lorries over 7.5-ton weight in Rainham Village. This will also have a positive impact on HGV traffic passing through Wennington Village.

The ban will be enforced by the introduction of a CCTV camera and is designed to stop the lorries travelling through Rainham village, Upminster Road South and Wennington Road. Lorries that are not exempt from the ban will be subject to Penalty Charge Notices if they drive through the area.

Jon Cruddas said “I have been campaigning with local residents for this measure for a long time and am very pleased to see Havering Council respond positively. I carried out a survey back in January across Wennington Village and support for traffic management measures was overwhelming. This will help protect the area and should contribute to improving air quality”. 

The death of PCSO Julia James

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe)

On Wednesday this week, along with other Kent MPs, I met with the Chief Constable of Kent Police, Alan Pughsley, for a briefing on the murder investigation following the death of the police community support officer (PCSO) Julia James. Her body was discovered on 27 April in Akholt Wood, in Snowdown, between Canterbury and Dover. She […]

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has praised Prospect union for easing industrial action this week to enable ballot boxes to be moved between islands after the polling stations have closed on Thursday.

Mr MacNeil said: “Prospect and Air Traffic Control members in both Benbecula and Stornoway, and other places, are very justified in trying to protect their jobs and making sure jobs are not taken from these fragile communities to be bizarrely put into a central location in Inverness at a far greater cost.

“We would hope that, once elected, the new Scottish Government would be understanding to the needs of the islands and make sure that we don’t lose these jobs in our communities.

“They need to get a grip of the wayward elements within HIAL who have been disregarding island legislation and the good of island communities in their attempt to spend even more public money – a sum of £2m each and every year –  because they refuse to entertain the prospect of doing what they say they need to do, locally.

If they costed this, they would find it would save them and the public purse a lot more money and wouldn’t be damaging our island communities.

“I hope any new or continuing Transport Minister will be up to the game of catching HIAL and protecting the communities.”

After campaigning for many months, today a notice of closure has been granted on an unsafe and substandard exempt property for the first time in Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

Saif Lodge has today, Tuesday 4 May, had an eight-week closure notice granted by a judge at Birmingham Magistrates Court. Local residents were relieved to hear the news after suffering from the many issues caused by the property. 

Saif Lodge has been running as an exempt property for a number of years, providing support and accommodation to some of Birmingham’s most vulnerable residents, including those with substance misuse issues and mental health support needs. However, for as long as the property has been running, there has also been longstanding problems with anti-social behaviour and with the property attracting drug dealers and sex workers. 

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Edgbaston in Birmingham said, “I’m delighted to see this progress with the closure notice coming into effect. Residents of Saif Lodge shouldn’t have to live in substandard accommodation without the support they need, and neither should the business operating be able to impact the community so critically.  

“I would like to thank the residents for working so closely with myself, the Police, the Council and the local ward councillors. Their knowledge, passion and drive, has really made the difference and has shown us what we can achieve working together. In this case it has been so important to really make people understand the devastating impact that unregulated accommodation providers, like those at Saif Lodge, can have on a community and I will keep fighting to make sure that all exempt providers are operating at a standard that makes us proud to have them as part of our communities.” 

Standard (Image)
Photo of Preet Kaur Gill MP, Police and local residents by Saif Lodge. Credit: Birmingham Live

War Graves Week

Robin Millar (Aberconwy)

WAR GRAVES WEEK - A WEEK TO REMEMBER This year the Commonwealth War Graves commission are running their first ever War Graves Week. Running from the 21-28 May 2021, war graves week will shine a light on their work and the people who keep remembrance of our war dead alive. Through a series of talks…

When it comes to aid, the Devil, as always, is in the detail

Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire)

My comments on the aid situation;  https://www.thearticle.com/when-it-comes-to-aid-the-devil-as-always-is-…   When the extent of the pandemic became clear in the early part of 2020, the Government’s understandable concern became how to pay for what was anticipated, correctly, to be an unprecedented…

Nottingham city centre is key for the local economy and its success relies on many different factors – people who live directly in the city, office and other workers who have normally commuted into the city, and a those who visit us for our wide range of leisure and shopping options.

Our vision has always been to make the city centre a great place to live, work and enjoy. We are the economic centre of a travel to work area that includes almost one million people and have the best public transport in the country. Although this is essential to maintaining our regional appeal, it’s also a vital way for Nottingham people to get to where they need to go in an affordable and timely way. 

We continue to support a wide range of world class cultural offers for visitors – yes, the Castle re-opening 21st June 2021 will be a massive attraction and boost to the city centre economy, as we have already discussed this afternoon and about which I will go into more detail in answer to a later question, but also the Nottingham Playhouse, The Theatre Royal, Motorpoint Arena, National Justice Museum, Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, the Cineworld cinema in the corner house as well as the smaller but much loved Broadway cinema.

The city centre has a wide range of places to eat and drink which if they have outdoor areas are already busy, with others due to join the unlock as indoor eating spaces will be open in a few weeks time. Most recently we have supported this important food and drink and night time economy in the city centre with business grants – with some of the best operators in the country, all now competing to put out chairs and tables in the busiest bits of the city – Hockley, Sneinton Market, Angel Row, Canalside  and other sites – all of which are very busy now, having endured the past twelve months of Covid and restrictions.

Our events team and other event providers in the city, mean there is always something on – in the Old Market Square, but also Hockley Hustle, Sneinton Market events, music events at Rock City and other venues – many people come for these events from a distance. A lot of the events reflect the diverse nature of the city – Caribbean Carnival, Pride, Chinese New Year, International Food Markets. Our square is used for markets, but also for celebrations, for solemn occasions, for protest or for just sitting in the sun, it’s a wonderful asset at the heart of the city centre and is a great attraction to those living near and further afield.

The Southern Gateway has various projects which are complete or on the way to being complete, Broadmarsh Carpark, Nottingham College, Castle, Carrington Street heritage improvement, together with a number of new office and accommodation schemes have left the southern part of the city centre unrecognisable.

The Island Quarter development has started in the last few months; together with this and other schemes at the early stages of development, we have some impressive “cranes in the air” live projects that will make the city even more positive to visit – this includes work starting now on the Island Quarter event space and hotel, bringing areas long vacant back into productive use.

We can’t predict the effect that Covid will leave on our city centre, but we do know that people are already returning, and I am confident they will bring a much needed boost to the local economy.

The post Improving the City Centre to Create Jobs and Boost the Local Economy appeared first on Nottingham Labour.

Weekly round-up #Working4Wycombe

Steven Baker (Wycombe)

What I have been up to this week #Working4Wycombe: Confirmed High Wycombe’s new driving test centre will open on 5th May Spoke up in the International Travel Debate for my Muslim constituents who were served bacon while in hotel quarantine Urged Govt to believe in vaccines so the domestic travel industry, and coach holidays, can resume Attended a virtual Iftar with the APPG on British Muslims Put my name to a letter to the Health Minister calling on Govt to […]

MP visits local shops as restrictions ease

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, has spent a day last week visiting shops and other businesses which recently re-opened as part of the latest lifting of lockdown restrictions. The MP visited Barter Books alongside local councillor Gordon Castle, and went on to Robinsons clothing…

Inquiry into the impact of Covid 19 across Kashmir

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir's Call for Written Evidence

About the Inquiry

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir (APPKG) is conducting an inquiry to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across Kashmir, with a focus on health, healthcare and humanitarian impacts.

The APPKG would like to collect written evidence on:

  • health, healthcare and humanitarian impacts, for example access to oxygen, ventilators and hospital beds
  • social and economic impacts, for example unemployment
  • communication barriers
  • broader human rights issues
  • equity issues, including those citizens, men, women and workers disproportionally impacted
  • impacts associated with changes to the UK’s international aid budgets
  • the adequacy and speed of the Covid-19 vaccination roll out in the region
  • how the UK government and appropriate international bodies are monitoring the situation.

We wish to understand the impacts of Covid on top of existing issues identified prior to 2020.

The closing date for responses is Monday 31 May 2021

How to submit your evidence

Submissions should be between 500-1000 words per issue (strict maximum limit of 3,000 words).

Joint submissions from organisations on specific issues are encouraged.  Please indicate clearly all organisations that support the evidence submitted. Please indicate if the submission has been published online or in print, and if so, when.

Each submission should include a brief introduction about your or your organisation(s), relevant email address and include factual evidence references, as appropriate.

Please note we may publish all or part of your submission. If you wish for your submission to be anonymous or you do not wish any part of your submission to be published, this must be clearly stated.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (the DPA) together form a new framework for regulating the processing of personal data in the UK. The APPKG will only collect and use personal information for the specific purpose for which it has been obtained. The APPKG will only keep your personal information for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purposes described.

Please note that we are not obliged to accept your submission as evidence for the inquiry.

Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the APPKG Chair, Debbie Abrahams MP.

Written responses should be sent electronically, in Microsoft word or PDF format to the abrahamsd@parliament.uk and harpreet.uppal@parliament.uk


What happens next?

The APPKG will consider all written evidence received before deciding upon those witnesses from whom it wishes to hear oral evidence from. They will be contacted in due course.

Should you require alternative formats of this information or further assistance in making a written submission to the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact Harpreet Uppal on harpreet.uppal@parliament.uk


Thank you.

Debbie Abrahams MP, Chair APPKG

On behalf of all APPKG members.

30th April 2021

Feel strongly about this article?

The post Inquiry into the impact of Covid 19 across Kashmir appeared first on Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.

My Weekly Round-up

Christina Rees (Neath)

This week we marked Earth Day – a chance to think about the damage that we are doing to our environment and the ways in which we can change our behaviour to make a difference. This year’s focus was on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity. There are so many things we can do personally in the UK – from ensuring we leave no rubbish in our environment or joining a clean-up crew; considering how we buy products, whether that’s the food we eat or the clothes we buy; or by thinking about how we get around, using public transport where we can, active travel options or car-pooling. These may only be small steps, but by encouraging this behaviour among the population, we can build the understanding that we need to develop within public life to encourage change on a greater scale. Find out more about how you can take action here.

On Monday I joined three APPG Zoom meetings. The first was the AGM of the APPG for Boxing. Chris Evans was re-elected chair, and I was very pleased to be elected as vice-chair. We spoke about our plan for meetings for 2021, which includes meeting the UK Government Schools Minister Nick Gibb to discuss the future of boxing in schools in May; a panel event in June to celebrate women in boxing; in July we shall be discussing concussion in boxing; and in September we shall discuss GB boxing performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

The second was the AGM and panel event of the APPG on Vegetarianism and Veganism. I was honoured to be re-elected chair of the APPG, very pleased that Vegetarian for Life and The Vegan Society are continuing as co-sponsors, and that The Vegan Society will continue to provide the secretariat. The panel discussion topic was “Out of the EU, can the UK now lead on more inclusive medicine developing and labelling”. Our guest speakers were: Sheetal Ladva a Medicines Information Pharmacist and member of the Plant Based Health Professional Group; Dr Hannah Short a GP and specialist in female hormonal health; and Hira Aslam a pharmacist and founder of Vegan Chemist start up. The guest speakers were addressing our APPG in a personal capacity as healthcare professionals, not representing their employers or organisations. Research published in the British Medical Journal found that 74 of 100 medications prescribed in UK primary care contain animal derived ingredients. Vegans and vegetarians, together with some religious groups whose beliefs involve excluding animal products, are affected by this. But there is no legal requirement for ingredients of animal origin to be specified on medicine labelling. This leaves patients with questions about their prescriptions and therefore lacking information to make an informed decision, and leaves healthcare professionals seeking answers. When information is available the lack of animal free alternatives to many common medicines leaves patients of having to compromise their beliefs to avoid risking their health. Our APPG looked at this in 2017, and contacted Jeremy Hunt MP, the then Secretary of State for Health, and requested that his department look into this matter, but with Brexit negotiations it was uncertain over future responsibility over medicine regulation. Now that Brexit negotiations have concluded, we are revisiting imperfect labelling’s impact on patients, and looking for practical solutions.

Following the very sad passing of Cheryl Gillan MP, a Zoom meeting of the APPG on Autism was convened, for which Cheryl has been the chair for many years. Huw Merriman MP has taken over as the chair, and I have been re-elected vice-chair. The meeting gave us an opportunity to pay tribute to Cheryl and her tireless work on behalf of autism. I paid tribute to her as someone who had become a friend. Cheryl asked me to take over as the chair of the APPG for Sepsis when she stood down as the chair after many years. I was so honoured that Cheryl thought that I could perform this role, and follow in her footsteps. Cheryl believed in working cross-party for causes that rise above politics, and she will be sorely missed.

Tuesday morning, I joined a Unite the Union briefing for MPs about the closure of GKN Automotive, Birmingham, putting 519 jobs at risk. This was announced on 28th January, with winding down taking place over the following 18 months. Corporate owner Melrose plan to offshore production to Poland and France. GKN supplies major UK car builders including Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota with driveline components which account for 15% of a vehicle. Unite shop stewards working with independent experts have tabled a two-stage plan; a productivity plan to improve the plant, followed by a transition to new products for electric vehicles. We are calling on the UK Government to back workers and intervene to stop the closure; support the UK auto industry supply chain; accept that the closure of GKN would jeopardise the UK’s ability to transition to electric vehicles ahead of the 2030 ban; and accept that closure makes a fiction of the UK Government’s levelling up agenda in a constituency facing chronic unemployment.

The APPG for T-Levels was constituted at its inaugural meeting, at which I was elected to serve as an officer. UK Government Secretary of State Gavin Williamson MP and Minister for Apprentices and Skills Gillian Keegan MP were guest speakers. As Chair of the APPG for Hairdressing, Barbering, and Cosmetology, I brought to the attention of the Minister that apprentices in our industry have not been able to fulfil their skills training and qualifications because salons have been closed for a large period of time since the first lockdown began in March 2020. These apprentices are over one year behind in gaining their qualifications and need to be supported by the UK Government to complete their awards. Furthermore, practitioners in our industry have received very little, if any, funding from the UK Government during lockdown and have fallen through the gaps in support. Practitioners have been unable to trade for large periods, therefore, the Minister should consider paying for apprentices’ wages, because salon employers are struggling. Salons depend on apprentices to help with clients in many ways, and trainees are indispensable to the success of a salon. I also asked the Minister to support the Hair Council, which is the statutory body under The Hairdressers (Registration) Act 1964, who has been campaigning for many years to amend the Act to include mandatory registration for all practitioners and amend it to include the beauty industry. Mandatory registration would enable the regulation of an industry that brings in over £6 billion per annum to the UK economy, but has some unscrupulous practitioners that practice without any recognised qualifications.

I joined the APPG End of Life virtual meeting chaired by Karin Smith MP and Andrew Mitchell MP, with guest speaker Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State Health and Social Care, and members of the public who have personal experience of the current law. The meeting discussed assisted dying and the current political landscape, in the UK and internationally. Since the start of the year there have been huge developments internationally. Tasmania has become the third Australian state to legalise assisted dying, following Victoria and Western Australia, and there has been an overwhelming referendum for support in New Zealand. Spain and Portugal have passed legislation on choice at the end of life and debates are ongoing in Ireland, France and Germany. In the UK individuals have continued to take desperate decisions to end their own lives, particularly given the increased difficulty of overseas travel to countries where choice at the end of life is available. The ONS found that one in seven suicides can be linked to individuals experiencing cancer, neurological, heart or lung disease. There is a need to understand more and gather more evidence about the experiences and choices that dying people experience in the UK who do not have the safeguarded choice at the end of life available to the millions of people in similar jurisdictions around the world.

Liz Twist MP, Chair of the APPG on Rare, Genetic and Undiagnosed Conditions, organised a webinar to discuss access to rare diseases medicines. Guest speakers included Kye Gbangbola, Sickle Cell Society; Kate Learoyd, National Society for Phenylketonuria; Lord Bethell, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Innovation); Emily Crossley, Duchenne UK; Jess Hobart, UK Mastocytosis Support Group; Roanna Maharaj, UK Thalassaemia Society; Meindert Boysen, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation NICE ; and Nina Pinwell, Head of Commercial Operations, Commercial Medicines Directorate, NHS England and NHS Improvement. All speakers made passionate pleas to the Minister and to Mr Boysen and Ms Pinwell to make available and to fund medicines that are available to improve, and in some cases save, lives of people suffering from these rare diseases. As vice-chair of the APPG for PKU, I pointed out to the Minister and to NICE and NHS representatives, that Kuvan, the medicine that has been available since 2008, successfully trialled, but not recommended by NICE, therefore not funded by the NHS, would have allowed all PKU sufferers to eat a normal diet, instead of being restricted to a diet without protein. People with PKU, cannot process and digest PKU, which is toxic to them and results in lifestyle changes that are very difficult or impossible to manage.

After many years of campaigning by Kate Learoyd and her volunteers in NSPKU, last month, Kuvan was recommended in a NICE report for sufferers aged below 18 years of age, for cost effective reasons. The report went to public consultation and the PKU family and the APPG made submissions asking for Kuvan to be available for all ages. Whilst I welcome progress after such a long campaign, imagine what it would be like to be able to take Kuvan through childhood and adolescence, lead a near normal life, and to reach your 18th birthday and have to change diet overnight to not eating any protein. There are so many challenges at this age, without having to cope with such a drastic, cliff edge, lifestyle transformation. Needless to say, the answers were totally unsatisfactory and very demoralising.

This week we marked Earth Day – a chance to think about the damage that we are doing to our environment and the ways in which we can change our behaviour to make a difference. This year’s focus was on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity. There are so many things we can do personally in the UK – from ensuring we leave no rubbish in our environment or joining a clean-up crew; considering how we buy products, whether that’s the food we eat or the clothes we buy; or by thinking about how we get around, using public transport where we can, active travel options or car-pooling. These may only be small steps, but by encouraging this behaviour among the population, we can build the understanding that we need to develop within public life to encourage change on a greater scale. Find out more about how you can take action here.

On Thursday I attended an EveryDoctor confidential briefing for MPs entitled “Is the NHS being privatised?”. EveryDoctor is a not-for-profit membership organisation representing 1700 UK doctors, receives feedback from NHS frontline staff daily via the 40,000 NHS staff in its network and advocates for the safety and well-being of every doctor, NHS worker and patient. EveryDoctor plans to set up an APPG about privatisation of the NHS which would start forming policy recommendations to ensure that the NHS stays in public hands for future generations.

As always, if you have any questions or issues and want to get in touch about matters that fall under my role as an MP, please do not hesitate to email on christina.rees.mp@parliament.uk or call on 01639 630152. My staff are working from home to comply with the social distancing measures, but as always, we are available 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.

John welcomes the promised new anti-corruption sanctions as a vital step in the fight against dirty money, but says there’s still more to do.…

Probably the biggest event of the past few days is, oddly, something that is no longer happening. The removal of the Operation Brock barriers on the M20, which I have been urging on Ministers for a few weeks now, can be seen as East Kent’s own particular step on the road back to normality. Along…

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron presented a Ten Minute Rule Bill that would create an independent regulator to protect the UK's world-leading food, farming and environmental standards.

The new regulator would be able to ensure that imports meet UK standards for animal welfare and environmental protections - preventing products like chlorinated chicken or hormone treated beef being able to flood the British market.

It would also have new powers to ensure that the Government and public authorities comply with their environmental and climate targets, by issuing sanctions for those that fail to meet them.

The Government had promised to create a new environmental regulator, replacing the role the European Commission played before Brexit. However the proposed "Office of Environmental Protection" (OEP) has been criticised for lacking meaningful enforcement powers.

Furthermore, the Environment Bill that will create the OEP has been delayed several times since it was first introduced in 2018, and is now not expected to return to Parliament until after the Queen's Speech.

Speaking in Parliament, Tim said: "This Bill would introduce an independent body - which the Government has promised to do for four years now - which would have the power to assess the environmental impacts of international trade deals and to ensure that the government does not bequeath an environmental disaster to our children and grandchildren.

"I hope the Government takes this opportunity to protect our air quality, biodiversity and our farmers, key allies in our fight against the climate and ecological emergencies, so that they can help us to improve our natural environment before it is too late.

"To do that, we need an independent environmental regulator as the Government has promised. And given that the Government has failed to deliver that promise, I stand here today to deliver it for them and for the good of our farmers and our environment…there is no more time to lose."

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

Community Defibrillator

Michelle Donelan (Chippenham)

Last week in response to concerns from several constituents, I wrote to Bridget Wayman about the urgent need to install the defibrillator purchased following a community fundraising effort. I am very pleased to have had a response from Bridget confirming they are working on the request and the defibrillator will be installed as soon as possible.

The post Community Defibrillator appeared first on Michelle Donelan MP.

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.

The vaccine roll-out continues

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

I am delighted to see the continued success of the vaccine rollout, not just here in the West Midlands, but across the country.
The NHS has administered a total of 44.4 million vaccines across the UK, helping to cut infection rates and reduce the spread of the virus. Over 60% of all adults have now been vaccinated, with over 11.1 million people receiving both doses.
The NHS are now requesting all those aged 45 or over to book an appointment. You can do so here: https://www.nhs.uk/…/coro…/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
I pass on my thanks and gratitude to all the fantastic NHS staff and volunteers who are making the rollout so successful.

Freedom of St Helens Borough for Dave Watts

Conor McGinn (St Helens North)

Funding Sources

Below is an updated list of funding for Voluntary Organisations and Charities  as of 23rd April 2021.

Funding Newsletter as at 16th April 2021

Funding newsletter as at 23 April 2021


The post Funding Opportunities for Voluntary Organisations & Charities appeared first on Dr Philippa Whitford.

Spring 2021 newsletter

Brendan O'Hara (Argyll and Bute)

The last few months have been tough for everyone but I am glad to see that with the easing of restrictions across Scotland, hope is on the horizon for an end to the pandemic and all the suffering and sacrifices it has involved. My latest newsletter is just a snapshot of some of my work […]

Statement on Greville Road layout proposals

Karin Smyth (Bristol South)

Speaking about the proposed Greville Road layout changes, Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“I am aware of the considerable interest in the scheme and have been in open communication with residents and local road users alike. It is my sincere hope that as many people as possible took part in the consultation exercise undertaken by Bristol City Council.

“It’s important that consultations of this type not only listen to the views requested, but also reach out to those who feel the language or supporting documentation is not sufficient. I am pursuing this very issue with the Council presently.

“Traffic management schemes, be them large or small, should hold the primary focus of reducing and not simply displacing vehicle movements. It makes very little sense if any plan increases congestion and pollution on alternate routes. Liveable Neighbourhoods are not just one road and decisions should be undertaken with that in mind.”

The post Statement on Greville Road layout proposals first appeared on Karin Smyth.


Martin Docherty (West Dunbartonshire)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced details of the further relaxation of restrictions across Scotland. From Monday 26 April, hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants can reopen, along with tourist accommodation. Non-essential retail outlets and close contact services … Continue reading

The post COVID-19: MOVING TO LEVEL 3 appeared first on Martin Docherty-Hughes MP.

On May 6, alongside the London mayoral and assembly elections, there will be a referendum in Tower Hamlets on how the council is run.

I get the idea of grey-zone warfare. I studied strategy; I realise that we cannot fight the next war as we fought the last war—I get that, too. The real problem is that we are going to have to do the next war in a different way. I get that as well. But we have not fought a total war as envisaged…

Statement on Erin Landfill Site

Toby Perkins (Chesterfield)

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)

I am sure that I, like the rest of North Herefordshire, am deeply saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. My thoughts and prayers are with our Queen at this most unhappy of times. Prince... Continue Reading →

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon)

Jonathan Djanogly comments on the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.  read more »

Prince Philip 1921 – 2021

Royston Smith (Southampton, Itchen)

Prince Philip 1921 - 2021 Such sad news today. HRH, Duke of Edinburgh, has been a father figure to us all. RIP Prince Philip.

The post Prince Philip 1921 – 2021 appeared first on Royston Smith MP.


Angela Rayner (Ashton-under-Lyne)

March Roundup

Liam Byrne (Birmingham, Hodge Hill)

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:

  • Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities can resume where they enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group
  • Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE
  • The Stay at Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household
  • Some university students on practical courses will be able to return to face to face learning 

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

The post March Roundup appeared first on Liam Byrne MP.

March 2021 Newsletter

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Click here to read my March 2021 Newsletter

In my newsletter, you will find information about the work I’ve been doing this month as Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Kiburn and Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years:

  • Helping with the vaccine roll out
  • US firm takeover of GP surgeries
  • Tackle the climate and ecological emergency
  • Now is the time to Free Nazanin
  • International Women’s Day
  • Campaigning as Shadow Children’s Minister
  • Standing up for the early years sector
  • Vaccinations for education workers
  • World Book Day

Grant Shapps MP- One Year On

Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield)

It’s been a really challenging year for all of us. Who would have thought at the beginning of last year that, in only a few months’ time, we’d be in a nation-wide lockdown to protect ourselves from a global pandemic? It’s been tough on everyone – keeping apart from loved ones, not going out to work, studying and learning from home. Businesses have been placed under enormous pressure, many of which are only still going today on account of the generous support the government has provided in the form of staff furloughs and other grants and loans.

Most tragically of all, we all know people who have lost friends and family. And we mourn them all.

Of course, there are also aspects of the last year we will look back on with pride. The way Welwyn Hatfield has pulled together. The resilience our local NHS staff have shown when working at any and all hours in the battle against this virus. Local charities and volunteers like Sarah Jamieson of Resolve, who literally moved in with the homeless people she was helping to find accommodation during lockdown. And, of course, all those involved in the Herculean effort that is our vaccination roll-out, some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting when I had my first jab at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield recently.

One year and three lockdowns later, the remarkable rollout of our vaccine programme means that we’re now able to look forward to a cautious but final route back to normality. Well over 50% of all adults in the UK have now been vaccinated – no other major economy in the world has vaccinated its population faster. We know it will take time for things to get back to normal, but thanks to the fortitude of the people of Welwyn Hatfield, as well as the hard work of our scientists, our brilliant NHS workers, our military and the army of volunteers across the entire country, we are embarking upon the journey to recovery.

– Grant Shapps

Diana stands up for Britain's Red Arrows

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

Diana Johnson stood up for skilled jobs and the red arrows in the House of Commons today.

Diana asked the Minister:

Bradford MUST have a Northern Powerhouse Rail stop

Judith Cummins (Bradford South)

Judith, alongside Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of the council and Tracy Brabin, candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor, has called for the Government to ensure there is a Northern Powerhouse Rail stop in the city centre.

Representing all three of Bradford’s Labour MPs, Judith said: “There is a world out there that would open up with an NPR stop here in Bradford city centre.

“It would increase our opportunities for job search, it would mean our businesses thrive.

“It’s a massive deal for Bradford, I can’t think of anything bigger at the moment.”

You can read the full article on the Telegraph & Argus website by clicking here

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The Fire Safety Bill

Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East)

During the debate on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last night the local MP for Ashfield & Eastwood Lee Anderson spoke passionately in support of the legislation. During his speech, which can be viewed be clicking here, Lee vociferously supported measures which would allow those…

RELEASE: Research Reveals Majority of UK Firms Feeling Brexit Bite

Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

The SNP has criticised the UK government over its damaging Brexit deal, after new research revealed that three-quarters of UK firms are struggling with Brexit bureaucracy and delays.

In a survey of more than 200 leading industrial companies, 74% said they are facing Brexit-related delays. Meanwhile, over half (51%) have said this has led to increased costs, and one in five are losing potential business.

Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow International Trade spokesperson Drew Hendry MP said:

“Barely a few months into the UK’s new post-Brexit trading relationship and already the damage being inflicted upon businesses is clear.

“With three-quarters of surveyed firms warning that Brexit bureaucracy and checks are leading to delays, and over half stating that they are now facing extra costs, it is businesses that are being forced to pay the heavy price for the Tories’ bad Brexit deal.

“Time and time again, analysis has shown that Brexit will leave us poorer and worse off – with firms facing Brexit red tape, checks and delays, and a significant number of them looking to bail from Britain and set up shop in the EU instead.

“Scotland can do so much better. It’s clear beyond any doubt that the only way to properly protect our businesses, economy and place in Europe, is to become an independent country – and that starts with both votes SNP in the upcoming Holyrood elections in May.”

Keep up to date with new articles at www.drewhendrymp.scot 

Find out more about my work in parliament at www.theyworkforyou.com

The post RELEASE: Research Reveals Majority of UK Firms Feeling Brexit Bite appeared first on Drew Hendry MP.

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.”

You can see the full letter here.

If you would like to get involved in the campaign to save South Norwood library, email Steve at steve.reed@croydonlabour.org.uk

  • Steve Reed
    Steve Reed Member of Parliment for Croydon North

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.

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, spoke virtually in the House of Commons debate yesterday (23 February) on Supporting Businesses and Individuals. Sir David began his speech by welcoming the roadmap that will guide us cautiously…

I recently coordinated a cross party letter with Robert Halfon MP which gathered almost 100 signatures across both Houses in support of my School Breakfast Bill.

As a result of the reduced parliamentary calendar during lockdown, my Bill has been indefinitely postponed. However, with child food insecurity rising and the educational attainment gap growing, there is now an urgency for this Bill.

I am deeply concerned that the Government’s National School Breakfast Programme reaches just 7% of the schools meeting the government’s own eligibility criteria and that funding will end altogether in July 2021. This will leave thousands of children without access to the free school breakfast they have come to rely on.

The proposed School Breakfast Bill would address this issue. The Bill proposed scaling up school breakfast funding to all the 8,700 schools with high levels of disadvantage in England. The Bill also proposed making support to schools permanent at a cost of just over £300m annually. This could be funded by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) which continues to raise approximately £340m each year. In addition to this, research from Sustain has found more than £700m raised from the Levy since 2018 is unaccounted for. The unspent SDIL revenue can be allocated towards scaling up school breakfast provision.  

I really hope the Government accepts our proposals in the School Breakfast Bill so that every child at risk of hunger can have a free, nutritious school breakfast and be ready to start their day of learning.

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."

*Cold Weather Payments*

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

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 Advice and Assistance

Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

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.

Volunteer Support

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 alec.shelbrooke.mp@parliament.uk 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.

The post COVID-19 Advice and Assistance appeared first on Alec Shelbrooke.

Brexit Deal or No Deal

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

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.

Nigel’s December Newsletter

Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)

Subscribe to my future newsletters here

Dear Constituent,

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.

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 have recently 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.

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How to write a script for an e-course

Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

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 How to write a script for an e-course appeared first on Berger.

Statement on Tata Steel Group Announcement

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)

None of us wanted these new restrictions, and the Government has done everything in its power to avoid them.

As the Prime Minister said on Saturday night, we understand the huge impact further restrictions have on jobs, on livelihoods and on people’s mental health.

Throughout this pandemic we have sought to protect our businesses and limit the intrusions on personal liberty as much as possible. For those of us who came into politics to help hardworking people and small businesses to thrive, it is heartbreaking to place these burdens upon them. For those of us who value personal freedom deeply, it pains us to inhibit it in this way.

But the data left us with no choice, but to take this course of action and introduce new restrictions until 2nd December.

As Local Government Secretary, I strongly believe that we were right in pursuing a local and regional approach to tackling this virus. I want to thank the millions who have put up with local restrictions and the local leaders who have stepped up to deliver this approach. Councils and local leaders have done wonderful work to help tackle the virus in their areas, and I firmly believe that in the longer term that is the approach that works best.

That’s why after we ease restrictions on 2nd December we are planning to continue with a local approach according to the latest data and trends.

But for now, the stark reality is that infections, hospitalisations and deaths continue to double, meaning that the virus is now a national problem.

The NHS and its workforce is weeks from being placed in an impossible situation. And those concerns are shared by our NHS colleagues from rural Cornwall to Nottingham to Newcastle. And a significantly higher death toll than the first wave is now predicted without taking further restrictions. We owe it to the country to act, and to act swiftly.

The Prime Minister made a decision that any responsible leader would make when presented with the new medical evidence last week and will set out his plans to parliament ahead of a vote on Wednesday.

Non-Covid healthcare can continue as normal – so that you can continue to use the NHS for your treatments, appointments and scans.

And the furlough scheme has been extended for a further month, covering 80% of employees’ wages. The Prime Minister and Chancellor have always been clear that we will do whatever it takes to protect businesses and their employees.

These are tough national measures, but they are different from those in the Spring. Our schools, colleges and universities remain open and we should resist those who would close them. As a parent I know there is simply no substitute for face to face teaching and our children’s education must not be set back again.

Unlimited exercise outdoor is permitted and single person households can form a support bubble. Children under school age who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside, meaning that a parent can see a friend or family member with their baby or young children, and children and adults who are dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, will also be included in this exemption. Churches and places of worship will remain open,  providing solace and comfort for people, albeit for private prayer rather than communal worship.

If you can work from home you should, but if not, you can and should go to work, following the relevant guidance for your workplace. Too many jobs and businesses have been lost already, with all the harm that comes with that, so we must do everything we can to keep working and we in Government will do all we can to support you.

As Housing Secretary, I can confirm that the housing market will remain open throughout this period as will construction sites, building the homes and sustaining the jobs we desperately need. Tradespeople like plumbers and electricians can come into your home as long as they follow social distancing guidance.

Those we previously asked to stay at home and shield, the clinically extremely vulnerable, will be given new guidance shortly that will be less restrictive. But nonetheless they should continue to be cautious.

These changes are important to protect our way of life and our livelihoods, but I am under no illusion that the things people really want to do are hug their grandchildren, finally have the postponed wedding or simply share a cup of tea with old friends. But it is by taking these tough decisions now that we will get through this together.

Members of the public have shown incredible forbearance, patience and dignity in responding to this unique situation, and shown the character that has always been present in this country at moments of great challenge.

Amidst this winter gloom, there are rays of light piercing through and raising our eyes to the horizon. We know more about this virus with every day that passes and there are ever better medicine and therapies, along with the realistic chance of a vaccine being available for those that need it most in the first quarter of next year.

We expect to have quick turnaround tests that will tell you whether or not you have the virus very soon – with a massive expansion of these planned in the coming weeks.

These are reasons for optimism – but there is no denying that there are hard days ahead of us.

But by acting now, it is our hope that families across the country can be together for Christmas.

So, from Thursday: rejoin in a further national effort to protect the NHS, save lives and move forward together.

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.

Raise the Rate debate

Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

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.