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GP appointments and waiting times

John Redwood (Wokingham)

On Friday I joined a regular local health review meeting to hear from management where the NHS has reached in restoring services post covid and tackling waiting lists. I was told that activity levels are  up on pre 2020 figures and all waits of over 2 years have been eliminated. A and E , GP appointments and 111 calls are all well up on past levels as the NHS seeks to tackle the backlogs.

Armed Forces Day 2022!

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

Today is Armed Forces Day and an opportunity to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
You can find out more about what our Armed Forces are doing at home and around the world by visiting the official sits of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.
It was good to see the Armed Forces Flag flying at the Town Hall in Walsall this week.

Growing Hope – nominate for a cake!

Steven Baker (Wycombe)

Growing Hope High Wycombe is a fantastic charity offering free therapy for children and young people (0-18) with additional needs. They also provide support for parents, carers and siblings through groups and courses. Their therapy clinic is open for referrals for children and families living in the High Wycombe area. Please give generously to Growing Hope, here. At a recent fundraising dinner for the charity, Growing Hope auctioned a cake a month for a year. I won the bidding and […]

Week of action launched to clean-up Craigmillar

Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Climate-conscious residents will be exercising their green fingers next week as they carry out a large-scale community clean-up of their local area.

c2c Weekend Update

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham)

c2c Weekend Update Andrew Fri, 06/24/2022 - 16:02

Ravensfield Primary School celebrated its success in the Morrisons ‘It’s Good To Grow’ scheme with a visit from Andrew Gwynne MP.

Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, visited earlier this month to present the school with new gardening equipment secured through the scheme. The school received one of the highest numbers of tokens in the country and successfully secured new gardening kit including seed supplies, spades, trowels and compost.

Pictured: Gwynne with year 3 pupils, teaching assistant Jordan Gleave, acting head Ruth Dawson, teaching assistant and gardening club leader, Kayleigh Myerscough and Morrisons Community Champion Becky Teeney.

The equipment will support pupils at the school in developing the school garden.  The work will allow children to develop a closer relationship with the natural world as they get hands-on experience of growing fruit and vegetables.

Morrisons launched the ‘It’s Good to Grow’ scheme last September to help inspire children to get outdoors and learn about where food comes from. Thanks to the scheme, over 71,000 pieces of gardening equipment are now being donated to schools up and down the country including:

  • 12,000 trowels
  • 7,600 forks
  • 2,200 watering cans
  • 15,000 packets of seeds
  • 2,800 pairs of gloves.

Commenting, Andrew Gwynne MP said: 

“It was great to visit Ravensfield Primary School and celebrate its brilliant success in Morrisons ‘It’s Good To Grow’ scheme.


As a keen gardener, I understand the benefits that gardening can have on your mental and physical wellbeing. This new kit means that pupils can develop a beautiful school garden, and get hands-on experience of growing fruit and veg.


Well done to the students and staff at Ravensfield, and a big thanks to Morrisons for launching this scheme. It is a wonderful initiative, and will get so many kids engaged with nature!”

Ruth Dawson, Acting Headteacher at Ravensfield Primary School, said:

“It is wonderful how the school community has worked together to benefit our pupils. Thank you to all those who helped and to Morrisons for their generosity.”

Becky Teeney, Community Champion at Morrisons Dukinfield, said:

“It is very important to us at Morrisons Dukinfield that children understand where their food comes from. This equipment will allow the children at Ravensfield Primary School to build a fantastic knowledge base and grow their own food. The team at Morrisons Dukinfield look forward to seeing what the children grow over the coming weeks and months.”

For more information visit: https://www.itsgoodtogrow.co.uk .


MP Gwynne, a keen gardener, said the tools would help ‘get kids engaged with nature’.

The post Gwynne celebrates gardening success at Ravensfield Primary School appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.

Most PhD students take longer than the time they are funded to complete their research, and some don’t even earn a living wage.

This impacts working class people, women and people of colour most.

Minister admitted the government doesn’t even bother to monitor equity of PhD completion




Weekly Round-Up

Karin Smyth (Bristol South)

Another busy week which was kicked off with a Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC). This inquiry focused on how international arrangements could be effectively scrutinised in the UK, now that the UK has left the EU. We heard from Professor Lorand Bartels MBE, a professor of International Law and Trinity Hall, Cambridge and Professor Malgosia Fitzmaurice, a professor of Public International Law at Queen Mary University of London. There have been instances in the past of countries breaking international treaties in exceptional circumstances, for instance when the Soviet Union collapsed or when Argentina went bankrupt. Our questioning in the cross-party committee focused on whether this is proportional in the current circumstance. Technical, you bet, but these hearings are vital if we are to hold to the Government to account for their ‘oven-ready Brexit agreement’.

The Labour Party secured two Opposition Day debates this week. I was able to speak in the latter on the Independent Advisor to the Prime Minister on Ministers’ Interests Recently, PACAC heard from the then-Independent Advisor Lord Geidt on the leaking of legal advice on the breaking of the Northern Ireland protocol, a serious breach of the Ministerial Code. We know that this has a profound impact on the UK’s constitution and domestic politics as well as on our international standing. We know that the legal advice is disputed. We know that the doctrine of necessity provided in some of the legal advice is an extreme and controversial step to take. It was clear through questioning Lord Geidt that no one seems to have the responsibility to investigate such a clear breach of the Ministerial Code, which is unacceptable to those of us who wish to see decency and standards return to public life. The appointment of an Independent Advisor with the capacity to investigate breaches of the Ministerial Code is clearly necessary, especially with the scandals engulfing the current Government.

Was a pleasure to meet with a young care leaver from Bristol South for the Day of Action on the Care Review in Westminster Hall this week. The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care has recommended bold and broad action to improve the lives of children and young people in care. In order to ensure that we have the best care system we can have, we need to listen to both those who work in the children’s care system but also those children and young people with the lived experience of the care system. I want to thank all the young people who attended the event and who shared their experiences with all of us.

On Friday we had our constituency surgery. It’s clear that the cost-of-living crisis is a concern for so many people. With costs and bills rising across the board and wages not keeping up, many people are struggling and sufficient support is not forthcoming. There’s a clear message from Bristol South: the Government need to stop trying to pit different groups of people against one another and take the action that is required to support people and families across the UK. In the meantime, Citizens Advice are available for help and advice for constituents in Bristol South who need it. Visit the website at https://www.bristolcab.org.uk/.

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

The post Weekly Round-Up first appeared on Karin Smyth.
Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield and Eastwood, has met with Broxtowe Borough Council Leader ahead of the submission of Eastwood’s Levelling Up bid. The Healthy Heart of Eastwood is the latest bid for the Levelling Up Fund the MP is supporting after successfully securing money for the Ashfield part of…
This week, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the national charity and leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding training across the UK and Ireland, brought its annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign to Westminster. Scott Benton came together with the RLSS UK CEO and Charity Director,…

MPs Celebrate World Cider Day 

John Penrose (Weston-Super-Mare)

World Cider Day was celebrated for the first time in Westminster, with MPs given an opportunity to sample the wide range of ciders made by Great British cider makers. 

MPs joined thousands of cider enthusiasts around the world on World Cider Day (8 June) to raise a glass in celebration of cider.   UK cider makers shared a wide range of different types of ciders in celebration of this annual event and we were delighted to be chosen to take part and take our cider to the Palace of Westminster. Ciders were displayed in various bar locations within the Palace of Westminster for the first week of June, recognising how World Cider Day has grown from humble beginnings, to an event that is celebrated in markets globally, from beaches in Australia to bars in the US, with cider makers in South Africa, Japan and across Europe holding special events to celebrate this important date in their calendar. 

MPs were invited to sample traditional ciders that have been at the heart of the industry for decades. Our local MP for Weston super Mare, John Penrose, popped into Strangers’ Bar to pour a pint of his local cider, Thatchers Big Apple, which was chosen to be served on the bar. 

Time to deal with scandal

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

It’s good news that the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee have decided to conduct an inquiry into exempt accommodation and even better they’ve come to Birmingham to take evidence.

I’ve been warning about exempt accommodation for a long time. It’s an issue which this newspaper has campaigned on and where virtually every Birmingham Member of Parliament has called for some sort of action.

It’s largely provided by private landlords at taxpayer’s expense but in too many communities, it leads to family homes being converted into ‘mini hostels’ as the landlords chase huge profits.

If properly commissioned, by local authorities, it can be a good idea and there are some excellent organisations and landlords out there but when it’s just about money, it often leads to intolerable anti-social behaviour and substandard accommodation.

I welcome the government’s belated recognition of the problem and their recent pilot involving Birmingham City Council but we need them to go much further.

Ministers refused to give time to my parliamentary bill which would have placed restrictions on the number of ‘hostels’ per neighbourhood; demanded background checks on those who own and manage such places; and an assessment of an individual’s suitability before being placed in an exempt establishment.

During last week’s committee hearing, in Birmingham, we heard evidence from people forced to live in this type of accommodation. There were harrowing tales.

Exempt accommodation is costing the taxpayer a small fortune. It’s proved a very ineffective way to tackle homelessness or help vulnerable people but has provided a very lucrative market for unscrupulous landlords.

I hope the minister will treat this select committee report seriously and start dealing with this terrible scandal.

Rail strikes

Philip Dunne (Ludlow)

24 May 2022
Rail strikes

Yesterday, following a national walkout on Tuesday, railway services continued to be disrupted by strikes. Another strike is planned for Saturday.

This disruption is causing misery for many people across the country, and stand firmly in the way of meaningful reform for the railway. Those who travel by train to work, school, medical appointments or to visit relatives or friends will all be affected – but so will freight transport by rail which will impact supplies for days.

The pandemic over the past two years was devastating for the financial status of the railway – losing a fifth of passengers, and a fifth of its income. So the government stepped in, providing £16 billion of funding for rail services – equivalent to £600 per household or £160,000 for every rail worker. This meant that no one at train operating companies or Network Rail was furloughed throughout Covid, and critical rail services for key workers were able to continue. Thanks to government support, not a single rail worker lost their job.

It goes without saying that level of job security did not extend to the private sector during covid, despite the huge furlough funding the government spent protecting jobs.

Now, the government wants to reform the railways, to put them on a secure financial footing, so they are less reliant on taxpayer support. At the same time, it wants to modernise many of the outdated practices and aversion to technological advances by unions, which are causing inefficiencies we would not accept in any sector.

For example, leisure travel and staycations are booming, but under an agreement dating back to 1919, Sunday working is optional for staff. So many train operators rely on the ‘good will’ of employees to work on Sundays, and pay substantial overtime, making services expensive to run on certain parts of the network. Just 12 per cent of tickets are bought in ticket offices now, yet the least popular ticket offices continue to be manned - the quietest office sold just 17 tickets in 3 months.

I do understand that the cost of living is having immense pressure, but huge government funded salary increases are not realistic when attempts to reform and cut waste are constantly rebuffed by unions. Did you know that the median wage for rail workers is £44,000 and the median salary for train drivers is £59,000, with a fifth of drivers earning more than £70,000? While the average earnings for a nurse is around £31,000.

I hope the Unions will re-engage with railway employers to work through dialogue, rather than infuriate those who use the railways by pursuing more disruptive strikes and insisting on working practices not fit for 21st century rail travel.

Rushanara Ali MP statement on floods in Sylhet, Bangladesh

Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)

My Weekly Round-up

Christina Rees (Neath)

My week in Westminster began when I joined the M&S and Prince’s Trust reception to celebrate the milestone of 10,000 young people completing the Marks and Start employability scheme. M&S is the Prince’s Trust largest partner, and since 2014 many 16-30 year olds have taken part in 4 week placement programmes to gain practical experience and skills whilst working alongside a buddy in an M&S store. People who successfully complete the placement are offered a 16 hour fixed-term contract and 81% go on to continue working permanently for M&S. I met wonderful young Neath Store Manager Darcie Price, who had been through the programme, and we spoke about how important the store is to Neath – the retail service it supplies and the job opportunities it provides to the people of the Neath constituency.

At my next event, I met Sir Bill Beaumont and former England RWC winner Will Greenwood at the Aramis Rugby and World Rugby World Cup Official Supporter of France 2023 reception and panel session. We spoke about the great Phil Bennett, who had very sadly passed away that morning, and the legacy that he has left to rugby, and to the people of Wales.

On Monday evening, I joined the Llafur100 Reception to celebrate the centenary of the Labour Party winning the popular vote in Wales for the first time in 1922, and which the Labour Party in Wales has achieved in every general election since. Speakers included Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales; Sir Keir Starmer MP, Labour Party Leader; Jo Stevens MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales; Wayne David MP, Caerphilly; and Baroness Eluned Morgan MS, Welsh Government Health and Social Services Minister, who is leading the Llafur100 programme. The reception was chaired by Carolyn Harris MP for Swansea East and Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour. Mark Drakeford spoke about the iconic life of Jim Griffiths, former MP Llanelli, and that there has only been 4 MPs for Llanelli since 1922: John Williams 1922-36; Jim Griffiths 1936-70; Denzil Davies 1970-2005; and current MP Dame Nia Griffith, who has held Llanelli for Labour since 2005.

The business in the Chamber was the Report Stage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill. I voted on New Clause 4 which would ensure that the Director of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom has not, and cannot whilst in office, donate to a political party and ensure they are only appointed subject to confirmation of an independent advisory panel, the Select Committee of the House of Commons, and a resolution of each House of Parliament. Labour lost by 150 to 282 votes. I voted on Amendment 17 which would ensure that other competing freedoms as found in the Equality Act, the Counter-Terrorism Act and the Security Act 2015 are considered in relation to complaints lodged under the Free Speech Complaints Scheme. Labour lost by 152 to 284 votes.

On Tuesday morning, I chaired the Committee Stage of the Online Safety Bill Line by Line scrutiny session. The opposition parties have tabled hundreds of amendments. The Committee Stage started on May 24th and we will be in committee until the end of June.

At lunchtime I attended the private meeting of the Petitions Committee in which members considered petitions that had attained over 100,000 signatures, Government responses, and planned future petition debates.

Then I rushed to Chair the Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee which considered the Draft Hovercraft (Application of Enactments) and Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution) (Law of the Sea Convention) Amendment Order 2022. The UK Government Minister said that this Statutory Instrument (SI) performs a purely technical function of amending how the International Convention on Standards Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (1995) is transposed into UK Law. It is being considered under the Draft Affirmative procedure and will not come into effect if not approved by Parliament. This SI would extend regulations on marine pollution and the crewing of vessels that currently applies to ships so that they also cover hovercrafts. The SI would also authorise the UK Government to make further regulations punishing pollution from vessels with imprisonment of no more that 2 years instead of, or as well as, a fine. The Government requires this power to implement the Convention and to replace the Merchant Shipping (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) Regulations 2015. There was a lively debate about hovercrafts and I learnt that there’s only one hovercraft service remaining in the UK – from Southsea, Portsmouth to Ryde, Isle of Wight. There was cross party support for the SI and it passed without a division.

Then I attended the Colour-Blindness Awareness session, where I tried on simulation glasses through which I viewed a pie chart, which had been simulated to replicate severe colour vision. I discovered that I am not colour blind. I learned about the many everyday challenges faced by the one in twelve men and the one in two hundred women that suffer with colour-blindness in the UK, that’s three million citizens. I pledged my support to people and to my constituents who suffer with this challenging condition.

I then voted on our Official Labour Opposition Day debates. The first debate was a censure motion against the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration for his handling of the crisis at Her Majesty’s Passport Office, which directed him to come to the House no later than 20th June to apologise to the tens of thousands of people who have waited more than 6 weeks for their passport. Unfortunately, Labour lost by 198 to 295 votes. The second debate called on the UK Government to reverse its decision to sell Channel 4, as it will undermine the UK’s world leading creative industries and the delicate ecosystem of companies that support them. After a long debate where there was cross party support, the question was put and resolved.

On Wednesday morning I attended the Western Gateway All Party Parliamentary Group APPG and we listened to Professor Mark Barry speak about the importance of connectivity throughout the region and Wales. Mark emphasised the importance of public transport to the creation of jobs and skills, and I spoke about the Global Centre of Rail Excellence which is being developed in Onllwyn.

Then we dashed across to College Green for a photo and media session with stakeholders who have pledged to be partners in Western Gateway projects.

The Chamber business began with oral questions to the President of COP, followed by PMQs, and I spent the rest of the afternoon, patiently waiting with the other 19 MPs who have been fortunate to be drawn in the top 20 of the Private Members’ Bill Ballot to be called into the Chamber to present our PMBs and to specify a Sitting Friday date when our Bills will be debated. I chose the first Sitting Friday, 15th July 2022, and will be trying my best to persuade MPs and more importantly the UK Government to back my PMB to ban the import and export of shark fins into the UK.

The debate in the Chamber was a Government debate about Rail Strikes. I voted for Labour amendment (a) which stated that we did not want the rail strikes to go ahead, and therefore urgently called upon the Government, operators, network rail and the union to get around the table and resolve the issues on pay and cuts to safety staff to avert industrial action. Labour lost by 174 to 286 votes.

Back in Neath I visited Dwr-y-Felin school where I met the headteacher Penny Peet and pupils from years 7,8,9 for a Q&A session. We spoke about many topics including, Parliament, local government, social media, sport, arts, culture, and future careers. Every question I was asked was thought provoking and I really enjoyed meeting our stars of the future. I offered to host the pupils in Westminster and Ms Peet has promised to plan a visit to the House of Commons in the near future.

This morning we were notified by government that they are minded to appoint commissioners to oversee some parts of the City Council. The appointment of commissioners would be unjustified, and an attack on our local democracy. Under new leadership, Nottingham Labour have been making progress, being open about the difficulties we face and working hard to put things right. We have worked with the government appointed Improvement and Assurance Board to address all their concerns and they have reported positively to Government about our progress.

This work has resulted in the reduction in council debt, a transformation plan that will save the council £45m and improve services for Nottingham people. We have set a four year balanced budget, and have changed the culture and governance so that issues like the HRA are uncovered, shared transparently and sorted. The Council under the current leadership has made significant changes to the way it works, is open about the issues we face and is determined to get things right and this has been recognised by the Improvement and Assurance Board.

The Improvement and Assurance Board, headed by Sir Tony Redmond – the former Local Government Ombudsman – have described our progress positively to government and reported on our determination to succeed, so we are asking government what additional change they expect to achieve by bringing in people who know nothing of the City and our residents’ needs. Although we oppose the Governments’ intention to appoint commissioners the continuity provided by Sir Tony Redmond provides some assurance that our previous improvements are understood and can be built on.

But, we are asking what new actions would happen as a result of commissioners coming in that would improve the working of this council, or result in any changes that Nottingham people would want. We will use our opportunity to respond to this proposal from Government to ask these questions.

If it is the case that the government does take this action, this will be based not on what is best for the city, but what is best for the Conservative Party.

We will of course work positively and openly with commissioners, as we have with the Improvement and Assurance Board in the best interests of our city, but we will be straight with them, and straight with Nottingham people and will continue to fight for what Nottingham people need and have elected a Labour council to do.

The government cuts to our budgets means that it is more difficult to do everything we want to do to help our communities at this time but we have been fighting for Nottingham and protecting our services against the worst effects of Tory cuts. We made sure that Nottingham City Council – and our amazing staff – were there for you during the Covid crisis and we fought hard to get what we needed for our city to help keep people safe.

After more than a decade of Tory austerity – and the pandemic – we have managed to set a four year balanced budget. This has not been easy, but Nottingham Labour: Has retained 75 community protection officers Are still building council houses and have improved private rented housing through our licensing scheme Has kept ownership of our outstanding care homes Is still running six leisure centres Is supporting Welfare Rights advice services across the city because we defend what is needed by Nottingham people.

We are still supporting free events for families all year round, and you can still expect a regular bus service to get you there from our award winning city owned bus company. We have our own bus company because Labour protected it, when many others were sold off to private operators and they are now seeing more cancelled services and far higher fares. We invested in a tram that brings good jobs to the city and gets people to them. Our great public transport system has contributed to cleaner air than other cities in the UK and made people less reliant on a car.

The transformation of the Broadmarsh is underway after the shopping centre operator went into administration, a new central library will soon be fitted out, a green space in the heart of our city will be created and new developments creating jobs and homes will be coming in the next few years.

We are a city of hardworking people and Nottingham deserves better than intervention from an out of touch Tory government that is more concerned with protecting the profits of the energy companies than the people who can’t heat their homes or struggle to feed their families. We understand what twelve years of Tory austerity and now the cost of living crisis means to you, because we do not just represent our communities, we are part of them. We will carry on fighting for what Nottingham needs and will still be ready to help with the problems you are facing, or hear your views and hopes for the city.

The post Nottingham Labour Statement on further intervention appeared first on Nottingham Labour.

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Local MP, Maria Miller, has cautiously welcomed news that Crown Heights developer Barrett will now take responsibility for undertaking fire safety works at Crown Heights. The works had already been allocated funding from the Government’s Building Safety Fund, part of £3.5 billion in grant funding…

Anti-Social Behaviour: Worksop

Brendan Clarke-Smith (Bassetlaw)

Very disappointed to see that parts of Worksop have been rated worse than St Ann’s in Nottingham for anti-social behaviour. This needs to be dealt with robustly and it is also important to be clear that if you misbehave and live in a council property then you will be evicted. There also needs to be…
Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, congratulates Jodi Roper, a Child Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner working in the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, on being shortlisted for the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2022. The NHS Parliamentary Awards was launched in 2018 to celebrate the…

Norwich Jobs Fair

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk)

Norwich Jobs Fair

Looking to get back into work or change your career?

The Norwich Jobs Fair will be taking place between 10am-1pm on Wednesday 13th July at the Forum in the Norwich.

No registration is required. You can just turn up and talk to companies from various sectors and industries.  It is completely free to come along

Jobs Fair Poster

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has welcomed confirmation from the Transport Minister that the introduction of booking-windows will be considered on the Calmac network.

After months of pressure from Mr MacNeil on Calmac and the Scottish Government to act on this proposal, the Transport Minister has stated in a letter to him this week that she is open to considering options.

She accepted that the current policy of ‘first come, first served’ offers much more opportunity for those who are able to book further in advance.

In a letter to Mr MacNeil she stated: “The current booking policy of “first come, first served” clearly offers more opportunity for those who are able to book further in advance. I am open to considering options on this in the future and my officials are actively engaging with CFL, who are exploring potential options and impacts of booking windows.”

Ms Gilruth stated that the intention was to include a review of booking policy in the upcoming Islands Connectivity Plan, which will be subject to an Island Communities Impact Assessment.

Mr MacNeil said: “I am very glad to have confirmation from the Transport Minister that consideration will be given to introducing booking windows.

“I have suggested that, regardless of where people come from, there be a staggered release of space on car decks. 70% in the beginning, then 20% the month before and the last 10% in the week before the sailing. This gives different types of travellers, regardless of where people live, the ability to make these bookings. It gives businesses and people who need to travel at short notice or attend hospital, the hope of being able to travel.

“We cannot have a situation where the winter weather is blocking island travel and the success of summer island tourism is also blocking island travel. Given the rising demand over the last couple of years, the only way to achieve this is to introduce booking-windows.”

This morning, local MP Tim Farron has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, asking them to urgently address gaps in the Government's energy rebate scheme.

Currently, people who live in either a static home or caravan park are not entitled to receive the Government's £400 energy rebate, with the money instead going to the owner of the park whose name is on the bill.In the letter to Mr Sunak and Mr Kwarteng, Tim said: "It seems the Government is happy to accept that some of the most vulnerable in society and those on fixed incomes will miss out on the rebate, knowing this will impact people living on mobile homes or caravans on a permanent basis at protected sites.

"I am aware there has been an outcry from those affected right across the country for in most instances electricity, gas, and water are purchased through the site owners and they are the 'customers' of the utility companies, not the individual park home owners.

"I am sure this has been highlighted to both Treasury officials and civil servants at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Please don't let park home owners become like many of the self employed during the pandemic who fell through the cracks and were left out in the cold when it came to financial support.

"I urge you to act decisively and devise a system that allows individual park homeowners and not the site owner to receive this rebate."

Published and promoted by P Trollope on behalf of T Farron and the Liberal Democrats, all at Yard 2, Stricklandgate, Kendal
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Farmers Meeting in Horley

Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

I really enjoyed sitting down with local farmers in Horley on Friday. I was pleased to be able to discuss our Food Strategy, launched last week, which aims to boost domestic food production, promote local produce and back British farmers. We also discussed a wide range of important topics including…

Questions raised over SNP handling of sexual harassment with Borders MSP

John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

MP for the Borders, John Lamont, has written to local MSP, Christine Grahame, to question her position on the SNP’s handling of sexual harassment allegations in the party’s Westminster group.  In March 2021, Mr Lamont wrote to SNP group leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford MP, raising questions…


Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

Commenting on today’s news that inflation to June has reached  9.1%, Catherine McKinnell MP stated: “Today’s figures show a deepening cost of living crisis for families across Newcastle North and the country. People are seeing living standards plummet as prices increase, wages stagnate, and the Conservatives increase tax on working people. “Inflation is rising at … Continue reading RAPID INFLATION DEEPENING COST OF LIVING CRISIS

Let the City of Culture win transform Bradford

Judith Cummins (Bradford South)

The moment it was announced that Bradford had won the City of Culture 2025 title is a moment I will never forget. The crowds gathered in City Park erupted in cheers and applause at the sheer joy and immense pride of winning the title. I have said it many times in the past three weeks but it deserves to be said again: Congratulations Bradford!

And while we are sure to enjoy all sorts of exciting cultural events across Bradford District during our year with the crown, that is just the tip of the iceberg. The City of Culture title is not just twelve months for Bradford to shine in the national limelight. It is a transformative opportunity for the city to unlock its potential and make sure Bradford’s light keeps burning brightly for years to come.

Previous title winners have seen tens of millions of pounds of long-term investment – and there is no reason why Bradford can’t do better. Bradford is the youngest, most entrepreneurial city in the country and study after study has shown it is the city with most to gain from levelling up and investment. Our City of Culture win is an unmissable opportunity to leverage investment, funding and ideas into the city. It is about raising Bradford’s profile and making the case that we are open for business. It is a chance to showcase Bradford businesses to the world and to show that if you’re a company, then Bradford is a thriving place to come and do businesses too.

But to make the most of this springboard opportunity, families and businesses need support with the day-to-day struggle of making ends meet right now. I know times continue to be hard today but, what is worse, is that the country is on track to face an even harsher energy and cost of living crisis this winter.

In January, Labour proposed a one-off windfall tax on North Sea oil and other gas producers who are raking in obscene profits while ordinary people struggle, as a way to fund help with soaring energy costs. It took five months for the Government to finally accept that this was the right thing to do.

From January to May, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak left families, older people and those already pushed to breaking point worried, panicking and stuck because the Government failed to act.

I have long been calling on the Government to take action. In September 2021, I raised my concerns regarding our dwindling natural gas reserves directly with the Business Secretary and challenged the Government’s decision to stop investing in gas storage. I was met with meaningless rhetoric about future energy diversification and no plan – right before an energy crisis caused by a surge in wholesale gas prices. Then in May this year, we heard how the UK had a huge surplus of gas – but that we had nowhere to store it, while announcements were made that as many as six million households could face power cuts because of gas shortages.

And it’s not just people here that are being hit by the cost of energy; it is affecting local businesses too. Some are facing astronomical energy bills as the energy price cap does not apply to businesses. I visited one energy-intensive manufacturer recently who told me their energy bills have skyrocketed from £7 million to £35 million a year. When I asked the Business and Energy Minister what plans the Government had to support businesses like this, the Minister simply dismissed this as an ‘extreme case’ – yet I am hearing that this is the story up and down the country. The government needs to listen to businesses and step in to help them.

This is important. Bradford’s manufacturing industry is part of the city’s heritage. Over 24,000 people in the city work in manufacturing, making it the fourth biggest city for manufacturing in the country. Energy intensive industries across the UK like steel, food production, basic chemicals and building materials are essential to our everyday lives. Hardworking workers plough in hour after hour to keep these industries going. How can we expect to be able to showcase the best of Bradford when rising energy costs means businesses and residents alike are fighting to keep their heads above the water?

To make the most of its City of Culture win, Bradford needs its residents and businesses to be thriving. We need the national Government to get the basics right on this: Act now to properly support businesses, not six months down the line when it reaches another crisis point.

Bradford is ready to build a City of Culture legacy that will last for decades to come, and I call for the Government to get on board with us too.

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Hannington Country Fair Returns

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

After a three year covid related absence the Hannington Country Fair returned this last weekend, with huge crowds arriving in this tiny Hampshire village. With it’s usual one way system in place, the fair was a lovely way to spend an afternoon with the kids, and see some old friends. I even released a dove in support of the local hospice!

Statement on rail strikes

Robin Millar (Aberconwy)

I am deeply concerned about the damage and disruption that the week of planned RMT workers rail strikes will cause. These strikes are inconsiderate – those striking are already some of the best paid in the public sector. But those affected are already feeling the greatest pressure from the rising…
We all know that there is a great squeeze on spending at the moment, because of inflation, but it is fascinating to see how Ashford compares with the national picture on this. For the statistics in this column I am indebted to Barclays’ Local Insights publication. In the first quarter of this year…

An incredible example of the work that Leicester City in the Community’s fantastic team are doing in Leicester West, using the power of football to help children to be active, grow in confidence and develop essential life skills.

William, who attends Alderman Richard Hallam Primary School in the constituency, explains how the Premier League Primary Stars programme has helped him.  been nominated as a Premier League Primary Superstars programme has helped him:

Last month William recently had the opportunity to play in the Premier League Primary Stars Tournament Finals held at Vicarage Road last month, scoring a goal on a Premier League pitch. He’s now been nominated as a Premier League Primary Stars Superstar – go William! 


The post Leicester City in the Community making a difference in Leicester West appeared first on Liz Kendall.

Joint Statement from the Members of Parliament for the Borough of Oldham

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

Joint Statement from the Members of Parliament for the Borough of Oldham

Oldham’s three MPs have released the following statement in response to the publication of the Oldham Independent Assurance Review:  

“This is one of the most comprehensive safeguarding reviews undertaken and we welcome the recognition of the progress that was made in Oldham in shining a light on, disrupting and tackling child sexual exploitation and raising awareness to increase reporting.

It is an uncomfortable and disturbing fact that abuse takes place in every city, town and village and Oldham is not immune from that. The vast majority of victims are well supported, and professionals are working hard to meet increasing demand and changes to the nature and pattern of abuse as it develops. However, the report is clear that not all victims received the support they deserve, and one victim let down is one too many.

Our priority has always been supporting the victims, and as MPs we will continue to support victims’ right to justice when the system falls short.

Today’s independent review identifies that, whilst these incidents are not current cases, there is still work to be done in ensuring offenders face the full force of the law and the passage of time should not be a barrier to justice.

This independent review also addressed head on the false and often politically motivated conspiracy theories that claimed grooming gangs were operating under the protection of senior politicians. The review was clear that there is no basis for these accusations, and we are pleased that the report draws a line under this.”

Feel strongly about this article?

The post Joint Statement from the Members of Parliament for the Borough of Oldham appeared first on Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.

Out in Burnham today meeting constituents, doing a Q&A session on local issues, and delivering surveys to residents. I even managed to make it to the garden centre. Thanks to everyone who took the time talk about GP appointments, school provision, planning and more!
Today Greg met with the new HS2 Residents’ Commissioner Stewart Jackson and Cllr Peter Martin, Deputy Cabinet Member for HS2/EWR at Buckinghamshire Council. We drove around key HS2 sites in the constituency, meeting with Cllr Frank Mahon in Steeple Claydon and Cllr Paul Irwin in Waddesdon on the…

The 40th Anniversary of the Falkland Islands Conflict

Royston Smith (Southampton, Itchen)

Yesterday 40 years ago, General Moore, reported to the Commander-in-Chief, “The Falkland Islands are once more under the Government desired by their inhabitants. God Save the Queen.” A fitting service in St Margaret’s Church to remember those who helped liberate the islands.

The post The 40th Anniversary of the Falkland Islands Conflict appeared first on Royston Smith MP.

West Dunbartonshire’s MP has warned the UK government further action is required to tackle the worsening cost-of-living crisis, as it’s announced that the first of two payments to help qualifying low-income households will hit people’s bank accounts from 14th July. Local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes welcomed the Chancellor’s confirmation that a payment of £326 would be …


I am strongly committed to offshore wind and the Government's renewable goals. However, residents in Norfolk have a right to a fair consultation which debates and assesses all of the options that may be on the table without fear of a predetermined decision. Many thanks to my colleague, Duncan Baker…

Local Update

Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell)

I am writing with a further update on a couple of local matters.

Firstly can I start by thanking everyone who was involved in organising all the Platinum Jubilee Events locally. We had a really wide range of things going on over the weekend, and I know it all took a huge amount of effort. Thank you.

TFL Clean Air Consultation

Those who live at the north end of Epsom and Ewell and in Nork are probably particularly aware of the Mayor of London’s plans to extend the Ultra Low Emission zone to the London boundary. This would mean that older vehicles would have to pay a daily charge to drive across the boundary.

Clearly this has major implications for many people living locally, and while I understand the intent behind the policy, it is in my view damaging and unworkable for the areas immediately adjoining the boundary. Transport for London have yet to give clear details about how it would work on the border – for example what do they plan to do with cases like that of Sparrow Farm Road in Stoneleigh,  which is in Surrey on one side and in London on the other. But it would mean a charge for many Surrey residents doing local journeys or driving from one place in Surrey to another if the route crossed the boundary.

I have lodged an objection to the scheme because of this, and would encourage residents here to make their views known to TfL before the consultation ends. You can do so via this link


Please do take part.

Supporting Ukraine

Thank you also to all of those who are helping Ukrainian refugees locally.

Over 70 Ukrainian families have arrived in the area and are being hosted by sponsor families.    If you are hosting and need some help, please reach out to Epsom & Ewell Refugee Network who can offer support and advise to you and your guests.   They have a help desk each Monday at the Surrey Stands with Ukraine unit in the Ashley Centre 0930 – 1430.

The Network are holding a free Summer Language School to offer intensive English classes to refugees over the summer holidays.  If you want more information, you can find out more on their website (see link below).


If you are a teacher and can offer any help over the summer, please get in touch with them at epsomrefugeenetwork@gmail.com.

Many Ukrainians are now finding work and looking to rent a property.   If you are a local landlord and want to find out more about renting your property to a Ukrainian family, please get in touch with Epsom & Ewell Refugee Network to find out more about how all of this works and how your rent is paid.

Finally, the Hub in the Ashley Centre continues to collect supplies to send to Ukraine, including tins of food for areas where supplies are short. I know that they would welcome any extra support.

With best wishes

Chris Grayling


The post Local Update appeared first on Chris Grayling.

Passport application backlog

Nia Griffith (Llanelli)

Hardly surprising after two years of travel restrictions, that this year there would be more people than usual seeking to renew their passports, but the Home Office does not seem to have made any provision.

Passports are now taking more than the stated 10 weeks. I am busy chasing urgent cases via the MP’s hotline, but even that seems overwhelmed, and I would strongly advise, wherever possible, that you ALLOW CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN TEN WEEKS to get a passport application processed.

Police Pension Reform

Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

Last week saw the start of the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill’s passage through the House. ‘Levelling up’ in its broadest sense is a great ambition and the right thing to be doing.  I do not however for one minute underestimate how challenging that is. For this to be a success, as with any…


Angela Rayner (Ashton-under-Lyne)

This week is #BikeWeek 2022

Conor McGinn (St Helens North)

Guide to Google Classroom distance learning in 2022

Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

Google Classroom is a good idea. It’s going to help teachers create better lessons, keep students engaged and reach out to parents more. The real question is whether it’s worth the price of admission.

Google Classroom

The availability of free education is a gift, but only if it can come with high quality. Google Classroom has given students in classrooms around the country an online option to supplement their learning. A potential downside to these options is the inability to meet with professors and apply classroom learning. As a part of the University of Washington system, we have found the use of Google Classroom during the quarter distance courses produced good results for both parties. Distance learning is here to stay and has only grown over time. If you want to make sure you aren’t left behind in a digital world, you may want to consider your options and how they will help or hurt your future professional prospects.

Google Classroom is a reliable one-stop-shop for managing all of your coursework and communication. It is definitely worth checking out if you are in a distance learning program, or even just want to streamline some of your everyday communication tasks.

Benefits and Drawbacks

There are several other features that set Google Classroom apart from the competition. It is a free tool and it works on computers and mobile devices through the GAFE platform. The discussion features of Google Classroom do an excellent job at encouraging interaction between students and teachers, making it a very effective tool for working with groups of all sizes. The major drawback to Google Classroom is that it is a relatively new tool, so it does not work with iPads, Android tablets or Kindle Fires. The lessons created within Google Docs can be exported directly into Google Classroom on the computer, but in order to view or edit those documents or upload them onto the iPad tablet, students will have to use other third-party tools such as Documents 5 and iBooks Author.


If you are using Google Classroom for your teaching and learning, it is important to note that it does require integration with Google Apps for Education. This means that you are using Gmail along with Calendar and Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides) etc., so the other school faculty members need to have access to all of these tools. The obvious way to do this is through the use of a domain. It is required that you have a domain in order to use Google Classroom or any other GAFE tool/application.

By going through a step by step process, one can easily move one’s entire digital repository into Google Classroom for easy organization and management; therefore, allowing access to all student work without having to worry about losing any data or files that are not needed for a current class engagement.

Google Classroom Future Prospects

According to the Scholastic Parent & Child list of the most popular educational apps , in 2015 Classroom wasn’t one of them, indicating that this tool is still relatively new and also relatively unknown. While the design is nothing particularly innovative, the new Google Classroom 2022 is a promising step towards more effective and efficient learning, especially in a classroom setting. Though it appears to be geared towards teachers, students will benefit from having access to Google Classroom, whether they’re in an online or a traditional classroom. With that said, it should be noted that it may take some time before this update fully penetrates into secondary schools and universities. But nonetheless, Google Classroom is off on the right foot, leaning further into an online world which we’ll all have to face sooner or later.

Bottom Line

Google Classroom has made a huge impact in the world of educational technology, especially for teachers who don’t have face-to-face access to students. It’s a powerful tool that will likely continue to be developed and improved upon, as educators keep gravitating towards it.

In the end, there is no one best way to teach and learn, but instead many valid options. Whether you are interested in the low-cost education of a MOOC or the high-end technology of Sketchfab virtual reality tours, it’s exciting to see that educational technology is progressing at a rapid rate. Let’s hope that as more schools begin to adopt innovative techniques like Google Classroom, we will continue to see positive changes in how students learn around the world.

The post Guide to Google Classroom distance learning in 2022 appeared first on Berger.

Storm Arwen: Ofgem and BEIS reports published

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, has given her reaction to the reports from BEIS and Ofgem - both realised today - which look into the issues surrounding resilience, repairs, communications and compensation experienced in the wake of Storm Arwen by the Distribution Network…
On Sunday 5 June Bob Stewart attended the celebratory church service in honour of Her Majesty The Queen at St Mary's Church, Shortlands.  The Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Hannah Gray, who was attending a huge number of street parties over the weekend also came to plant a celebratory tree in the…

Help with the cost of living

Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)

Dear Constituent,

Welcome to this special edition of my email newsletter to provide a summary of the Chancellor’s announcement yesterday to provide support for families in light of the rising cost of living. With the recent news that Ofgem will increase the energy price cap again in October, it was clear that more needs to be done to help households and those struggling so I welcome the support announced yesterday as a positive step. Below you will find an outline of this additional support.

The cost of living crisis

The cost of living crisis that we are experiencing at present is essentially the result of a series of global events which have driven inflation to significantly high levels across the world. These global pressures include the fast reopening of the global economy after the pandemic – with the demand for gas and oil rising so sharply that supplies were not able to keep up, causing skyrocketing gas and oil prices. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine further complicated global gas and oil supplies and a fresh wave of lockdowns in China has damaged global supply chains.

The underlying problems that have caused this inflation, and therefore the rise in the cost of living, are so global it is impossible for any government to solve. However, we can help those struggling and build our own economy. The Government is doing this today through a £15 billion package which will support the most vulnerable one-third of households with £1,200 each.

The Government’s additional support can be summed up in the following:

  • Raising extra revenues through a new Energy Profits Levy, but without deterring investment from energy companies.
  • Providing £9 billion targeted support to the most vulnerable households, including pensioners.
  • Supporting hard-working families with £6 billion to help with energy bills.

The below sections will expand on these elements and give an overview of the support you are going to receive.

Supporting hard-working families with £6 billion to help with energy bills.

  • The October £200 energy bills rebate will be doubled to £400. It will also be turned into a grant, meaning it will not have to be paid back. That’s £400 directly back into the pockets of UK households. This will continue to be delivered by energy suppliers from October, with payments spread over six months.

Providing £9 billion targeted support to the most vulnerable households, including pensioners.

  • £650 cost of living payment for every household on means-tested benefits. This means over 8 million of the most vulnerable households (around one-third of all in the UK) will be directly sent a one-off cash payment of £650, paid out from DWP in two separate instalments, with the first due from July and the second in the Autumn. All those who live in the UK and are in receipt of Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit are eligible.
  • Winter fuel payments will be increased to £300. A pensioner cost of living payment for every pensioner household in receipt of Winter Fuel Payment. Around 8 million pensioner households already receive Winter Fuel Payments. The Government will send all existing recipients an additional one-off £300 cash payment, due to be paid out automatically in November/December.
  • £150 disability cost of living payment for those in receipt of disability benefits. There will be an additional one-off cash payment worth £150, paid out from DWP in September
  • An extra £500m for councils to help those in real need who are not covered by any of the above. The Government is providing an additional £500 million for the existing Household Fund from October, to ensure local councils can support those not covered by the above set of payments. Local councils will continue to have discretion over exactly how the funding is used.

The new Energy Profits Levy

  • The Levy will be in place from today, and will raise around £5 billion over the next twelve months. The new Levy will be charged on profits of oil and gas companies at a rate of 25 per cent, on top of the existing 40 per cent headline rate of corporation tax. It will be temporary, and as the oil and gas price returns to more historically normal levels, the Levy will be automatically phased out.
  • We still need to incentivise energy companies to invest in the UK. This is to ensure we are more protected from crisis like these in the future. Therefore, a new Investment Allowance will double the overall investment relief for oil and gas companies, so companies will have a significant incentive to reinvest their profits. Modelled on the ‘super-deduction’, for every £1 an oil or gas company invests, they will pay 91 per cent less tax.
  • This is very different from the levy proposed by Labour: Unlike Labour’s windfall tax, this Levy incentivises investment and raises more revenue. The Government’s Levy raises around £5 billion over the next twelve months. 

The support announced yesterday is in addition to previous measures, including

  • The non-repayable £150 Council Tax rebate for homes in Council Tax bands A-D; 
  • The 5p cut on fuel duty for the next 12 months, saving car drivers £100; 
  • £200 million per year to continue the holiday activities and food programme for disadvantaged children during school holidays; 
  • Significantly increasing the National Living Wage by 6.6% on the 1st April 2022 to £9.50 per hour for those over the age of 23; 
  • Increasing the National Insurance personal threshold from £9500 to £12,570 from July. 

If you have questions about any of the above, or you have an issue you think I might be able to assist with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Street Watch – report it:

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

GDPR and privacy notice:

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

Get in Touch!

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

Twitter and Facebook

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

Yours sincerely,


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

Immigration Minister Guests at Tory Fundraiser

David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Yesterday evening (26 May), the Immigration Minister, Tom Pursglove MP, was the guest speaker at a Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association fundraising supper. The sell-out event was held at the Conservative Club in the Broadway, Bexleyheath and guests enjoyed a two-course meal followed by…
Please find a link below to the full report, published on 25 May 2022. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1078404/2022-05-25_FINAL_FINDINGS_OF_SECOND_PERMANENT_SECRETARY_INTO_ALLEGED_GATHERINGS.pdf

Barnsley Mayor Making Speech 2022

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

[Check against delivery]


Ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured to speak here this evening, on my home turf.

Now, before I begin, I understand there’s a sweepstake on the length of my remarks.

Let me just put everyone’s mind at rest… my money went on 82 minutes – so settle in folks!

Turning to what this evening is all about… Councillor Tattersall – our new Mayor – congratulations!


Madam Mayor, you will be an outstanding Mayor for our borough. You are a tremendous councillor and a force of nature!

I know you have big plans for your term.

Your theme – Educate, inspire and deliver and your charities typify you…

Romero Communities – a wonderful organisation, who have provided invaluable support to countless people in Barnsley.

And one of the friendliest places to get a brew in the borough!

And Hey! – who do so much for our children and young people suffering with their mental health by providing the care they need when they need it most.


The very first time I met Sarah was back in 2011. I was dashing about canvassing for Party members’ support ahead of the selection hustings for the forthcoming by-election.

I knocked on her door.

She kindly invited me in.

I hesitated.

I obviously wanted to take Sarah up on her offer – her endorsement would’ve been very useful, but it suddenly dawned on me this encounter was laden with risk.

The dilemma was such: coming in for a chat, meant taking off my shoes which in turn meant – to my great embarrassment – revealing a hole in my sock.

“Shall I take my shoes off” I said sheepishly.

“Yeah, you can just leave them at the door” was the reply.

“Oh dear” I thought – it was actually another 4-letter word, but you get the gist.

I saw coming clean as the best course of action…

“I must apologise in advance, but I have a large hole in my sock” I said.

Now, discussing and exposing my ragged clothing – as you can imagine – was not meant to form part of the agenda for this important tête-à-tête.

Sarah’s response however was both merciful and profound…

“People are more interested in what you have to say rather than the state of your socks. And anyway, lots of people round here have holes in their socks”.

She was right. A sage lesson and one worth remembering.

Madam Mayor – I’m very much looking forward to working with you over the next year.

I have every faith you’ll be a huge success and a fantastic champion for Barnsley.

Congratulations again!


Ladies and gentlemen, before I go any further I’d like to say a few words about the terrible situation in Ukraine because we are joined here tonight against the backdrop of the most appalling violence and misery.

I know we are all greatly inspired by the resolve, determination and spirit shown by the Ukrainian people.

The response to the crisis from our community has been incredibly moving – we opened our hearts and our homes.

Naturally I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

We are of course twinned with a proud coalfield community in Ukraine – Horlivka.

A town which is now fighting for its very existence.

A fight it did not start, but from which it will not back down.

A few weeks ago – along with my great colleague and neighbour, Stephanie Peacock – I learned I had been personally sanctioned by the Russian parliament – something I see as a badge of honour because Barnsley stands united against Putin’s illegal invasion and we send our solidarity to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters both here and those resisting his barbaric regime.

Slava Ukraini!


I do also want to say a word about the Platinum Jubilee – truly a milestone in our nation’s history.

The Queen – overseeing us this evening – has been the embodiment of service and stability, a constant in our lives and it is right we recognise her unwavering dedication.


Ladies and gentlemen… that brings me to another fantastic ambassador, albeit one closer to home – our outgoing Mayor,

Councillor Caroline Makinson.

Caroline… you have been a wonderful advocate for our community and helped see us through the pandemic. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to you for all the work you have done – and will continue to do – for Barnsley.

Thank you.


I’d also like to say something about another outgoing Mayor… me!

In all seriousness, the last time I had the honour of speaking at this event was for Councillor Steve Green back in 2018 – which was only a matter days after I had been elected the inaugural Mayor of South Yorkshire, or the Sheffield City Region as it was then.

I’m now back delivering this address but no longer as Mayor.

Let me be candid, many people were surprised at my decision to stand down, but I said from the beginning that being a Mayor and an MP wasn’t a long-term arrangement.

And I meant it.

Some thought that I would step away as MP and keep going with the mayoralty, but I have a fierce loyalty to our town.

You can’t choose where you were born but you can choose where you want to be – and I chose Barnsley.

I hope everyone knows what an enormous privilege it is for me to represent our community, and how seriously I take that responsibility.

Politicians come and go, of course – and if the people of Barnsley want to get rid of me as their MP, then that is their absolute right. But I am not walking away from them.

Let me tell you why… there is so much to celebrate about Barnsley – but above all, it is the enduring spirit of our people that sets us apart.

And why I hold this place so dear, and why I was never going to walk away from it.


Our community knows all too well the arc of history does not always necessarily steer to a better tomorrow. But we also know that together we have the power to bend it toward a more hopeful future.

When you walk through our town, you are walking through a chronicle of our past – lessons in who we are, voices reminding us of what we have achieved, inspiration for generations to come.

Just outside, we have our square dedicated to the Barnsley Pals battalions. Men who stepped forward to answer the call during the First World War.

Miners, glassworkers, stonemasons, clerics – many of them friends and neighbours. They joined-up together, trained together, fought together and ultimately, many of them died together.

It is a legacy that inspired some of Barnsley’s finest to serve. Tom Hicks who lived in Royston – a veteran of Arnhem who helped write the Airborne Forces into the annals of history.

And Sergeant Ian McKay, who was born in the borough – another member of that proud brotherhood, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his sacrifice on Mount Longdon 40 years ago next month.

From the First World War to the Second, to the Falklands and every other conflict beyond, Barnsley’s men and women have consistently stepped forward to answer the call.

Their story reminds us that the lone hero is a myth – we are all in fact, threads, woven together to create something much stronger.

Walk down the Huddersfield Road and you’ll find the head office of the National Union of Mineworkers – a paragon of our community built on coal.

While the Pals’ struggle took them to foreign soil, the miners’ struggle was brought to their very doorstep.

To their detriment, successive governments failed to recognise it wasn’t just coal that came out from the collieries, but community too.

Theirs was a bond forged over generations. Mineworkers and their families wouldn’t run at the first sign of hardship, they held their ground and withstood hunger, smears and violence.

Their fight is a lesson in the meaning of true solidarity.

Down in our town centre, we now have our COVID memorial sculpture – one of the first in the world.

It’s our tribute to those no longer with us, to those who lost loves ones and to those working-class heroes who sacrificed so much to keep us safe.

Barnsley's fierce love will hold you forever in its heart.


Our community was left devasted by the pandemic, I know everyone here this evening has their own story – me included.

That suffering will live long in the memory but so too should the resolve of those who pulled us through – our NHS

workers, carers, delivery drivers, shopworkers, posties, transport staff, and many others. Too often taken for granted but

whose true value was there for all to see during our darkest hour.

Men and women from Barnsley have fought, struggled and laboured time and time again for our tomorrow. Their journey is one we continue.

But our story isn’t just one of triumph over adversity. We are so much more.

Barnsley’s sons and daughters have a long and proud history of stepping out and shaping a better world.

Just look at who was awarded the Freedom of the Borough last month alongside our phenomenal Intensive Care Unit

Mat Wright – the musical director of the outstanding Barnsley Youth Choir

Katherine Brunt – the world cup winning cricketer

Graham Ibbeson – the artist and sculptor

And Katherine Kelly – the acclaimed actress.

Inspirational figures, and every one of them Barnsley to their core.


And it isn’t just our people that are doing us proud, it’s our place.

Our town centre has undergone remarkable transformation in recent times – praise rightly goes to the Leader of our Council, Sir Steve Houghton and his team for the incredible progress we have seen.

I am however acutely aware not everyone always shares my enthusiasm for when the winds of change begin to blow!

I remember once being in complete awe stood outside our wonderful Town Hall by the newly installed fountains one summer morning – the sun was shining, children were paddling, laughter filled the air. It was a scene of pure joy.

I paused to soak up the experience when a gentleman appeared beside me.

We looked at each other, I could sense he was poised to deliver his judgement.

He then uttered the following – words that will stay with me evermore…

“It used to be a lovely little car park”

I believe Barnsley deserves more former lovely little car parks – we deserve the best because we are capable of the best.

Anyone who questions that ambition has a short memory, look at what we have achieved and how we have achieved it… as one.


In every direction, there is much to do. Just as we emerge from a health crisis, we have entered an economic one. Families facing hardship, businesses facing uncertainty.

The challenges we face today and those we face tomorrow are daunting but like the challenges of yesterday, they will be overcome.

You only have to walk around our community and speak to the people who make it so special to know that holds true.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you take comfort in knowing I still have holes in my socks just as I take comfort in knowing our people don’t care, they are still more interested in what you have to say.

Enjoy the rest of your evening. And Madam Mayor, congratulations once again. Thank you.

Today, Preet Kaur Gill MP joined with pupils at St Paul's School for Girls to take part in online activities with children in Nigeria in the run up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Preet and the children linked up with Bomas Academy in Jos, Nigeria, and exchanged information about their families, school life and favour subjects. 

Steve Frew, who took gold in the 2002 games and 400m champion Lesley Owusu also joined them at the school for a morning of sporting activities. The event was part of Commonwealth Connections - a partnership between the British Council and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It involves 60 primary, secondary, and special schools in the West Midlands linking up with 60 schools across 10 Commonwealth countries. Through the partnership, children explore cultures and beliefs and learn how to communicate with people from different backgrounds and perspectives through sports and arts.  

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, said: “Our wonderful city of Birmingham is one of the most diverse in the world and truly reflects the Commonwealth. It’s fantastic to see Commonwealth Connections promoting collaboration and encouraging young people to make new connections with people from different backgrounds and different countries. 

“The Sustainable Development Goals 2030 affect us all and it’s vital young people, as future leaders, understand why these are so important. By talking to people across the world with different perspectives of how climate change and sustainability is impacting people’s lives is how we show how global Britain can be a force for good.” 

During the event, St Paul’s School for Girls was presented with a British Council foundation level International School Award by the organisation’s Senior Schools Consultant, John Rolfe MBE. The award champions schools that have shown a commitment to embedding international awareness and understanding in their classrooms and curriculums. The £500k Commonwealth Connections project is co-funded by Birmingham 2022 and the British Council.  

The British Council is delivering the project with Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) and the children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust (YST). BEP has nominated its flagship Birmingham Arts School to lead on delivery of the arts and culture strand of the project. 


For more information, please contact: 

Notes to Editors  

About Commonwealth Connections 

Commonwealth Connections is a joint project from the British Council and the Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.  

Running from the autumn 2021 until July 2022, it is twinning 60 schools in Birmingham and the West Midlands with counterparts in Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia 

The British Council is delivering the project in partnership with Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) and the Youth Sport Trust (YST).  

Supporting 120 primary, secondary and special schools in Birmingham/West Midlands and across 10 Commonwealth countries to use sport, arts and culture to learn about the Commonwealth and their own identities, in a way that focusses the attention and excitement of young people and their communities on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 

About the British Council 

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org 

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games    

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region and its people on the global stage.       

The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.       

Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.     

Find out more at www.birmingham2022.com       


Standard (Image)

The Queen’s Speech

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)

On Monday morning, Local MP Grant Shapps joined passengers at Welwyn Garden City Station to mark the beginning of new cross-London train services between Welwyn Garden City and Sevenoaks, Kent.

The new Thameslink services will run every half an hour during weekday peak times – greatly benefitting those who commute into London from the area.

The link makes up the first-ever direct route across central London via Finsbury Park in the north and Elephant & Castle in the south.

Passengers travelling from Welwyn Hatfield will also benefit from better access to the new Elizabeth Line which opens next week.

During the visit, Mr Shapps met with Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, as well as various other stakeholders from across the constituency, speaking to them about the new Thameslink service.

Commenting on the service Mr Shapps said, “it’s fantastic to see this new service being introduced, not only for the wider region, but also for my own Welwyn Hatfield constituents who will now be able to travel into London that bit easier.

“Increased connectivity between Welwyn Hatfield, London and Kent can only benefit residents, providing them with greater opportunities, and making the area a more prosperous and desirable place to live.”

When speaking of the service Mr Moran said, “We’re delighted we can now provide these extra seats and new journey opportunities for Hertfordshire and Northeast London commuters. The new route is a key part of the service uplift we’ve achieved for our passengers in the new summer timetable introduced this week.

“This timetable is the starting point for rebuilding our railway, working closely with our community and industry partners to support passengers and the economic recovery of both local and regional rail.”

The post Grant Shapps Welcomes Welwyn Garden City Cross-London Train Route appeared first on The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP.


Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South)



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ARTICLE: I Won’t Give Up on Unfair Energy Prices

Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

The UK Parliament was prorogued last week, marking the end of this Parliamentary term. As is the way at Westminster, there is a lot of pomp and ceremony attached to the process, but, in short, prorogation allows the Government to reset parliamentary business.

Parliament will recommence on the 10th of May, with the Queen’s Speech marking the beginning of the new legislative session. At this point, we learn the bills the Government intends to pursue over the course of the next session of Parliament.

Readers may recall that Boris Johnson was found to have illegally prorogued Parliament during the Brexit negotiations. He used this process to avoid scrutiny by MPs of his Government’s Brexit deal – which resulted in him having to make a formal apology to the Queen. At the time, it was almost unthinkable that any Prime Minister would act to bring their own Government into disrepute. Now we know it was only the beginning.

Before the end of Parliament, my Energy Pricing (Off Gas Grid Households) Bill was published. If passed, the bill would oblige the UK Government to act to ensure households do not have to pay more for energy because they do not have access to mains gas supply.

The current energy price cap is based on the assumption that households across the nations of the UK consume energy with a split of 80% gas and 20% electricity. However, about one in six homes across the nations of the UK are currently off the gas grid.

The end of the parliamentary session means this bill will fall, along with many others. I will keep on the issue in the new parliamentary session.

Last week, I also presented Highland News Media’s petition on unfair electricity charges to 10 Downing Street. It was great to see so much support across the Highlands to end these unfair charges and rest assured, I will continue to work on this issue on your behalf.

Before I sign off, I want to take this opportunity to wish all the candidates standing for  election to the Highland Council well. Whatever separates us in politics, we all want to see the best for our communities.

To everyone else – don’t forget to vote this Thursday to elect your local Councillors. If you have a postal vote and haven’t filled it out yet, there is still time, and it can be returned to the polling station on Thursday.

The post ARTICLE: I Won’t Give Up on Unfair Energy Prices appeared first on .

April 2022 Newsletter

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Click here to view my newsletter for April 2022

New Plan for Immigration

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe)

Wednesday 27 April 2022 The UK has a proud history of welcoming those in desperate need of help. We are a fundamentally generous nation recognised as a beacon of humanity, openness, and opportunity around the world. You only need to look at the enthusiastic response to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to see that we […]

Climate and Environment Emergency: WWF Earth Hour

Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East)

Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)

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

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

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

Apa Saja Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online?

  • Kenyamanan

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

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

  • Semua game di bawah satu atap

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

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


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

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

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

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

  • Matt Warman has welcomed the Conservative Government’s decision to give councils £125 million to provide vital support services for domestic abuse victims in 2022-23, taking the total support to date to £330 million.
  • This funding will play an important role in funding healthcare, social workers and benefits, interpreters, immigration advice and other specialist services – so that victims of domestic abuse can get the support they need to rebuild their lives.
  • Building on the Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act, this is providing victims and their children with the support they need.

Matt Warman has welcomed the Government’s decision to give Lincolnshire £1,458,158 to provide vital support services for domestic abuse victims, helping victims recover and rebuild their lives.

The Government is providing £125 million to councils across England to make sure that safe accommodation spaces, such as refuges and shelters, can provide victims with vital support services including healthcare, social workers and benefits.

Interpreters, immigration advice, drug or alcohol support and other specialist services will also be funded and made available so that anyone who flees their home gets the help they need.

The funding Lincolnshire will receive from the Government will help them to increase the support they can offer domestic abuse victims, whilst allowing them to choose how the funding is spent to match local priorities and benefit those in need.

The Conservative Government also announced that it will consult on current housing rules, with the aim of giving victims more choice on where they rebuild their lives. By removing Local Connection Tests for abuse victims, this could help victims apply to social housing outside their local area, escaping the community their abuser lives in.

Commenting, Matt Warman said:

“Domestic abuse is a horrific crime, and we must do everything we can to help victims recover and rebuild their lives.

“I am pleased the Government is giving additional funding to Lincolnshire to help local victims of abuse and their children start again – with better services such as healthcare, social workers and benefits.

“Combined with the Conservative Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act, we are helping victims escape their abusers and making sure that perpetrators feel the full force of the law.”

Commenting, Rough Sleeping and Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said:

“This funding will give victims of domestic abuse and their children across the country the practical and emotional support to recover and rebuild their lives from this terrible crime.

“Through the landmark Domestic Abuse Act, the government has transformed the response to domestic abuse, helping to prevent offending and make sure victims are protected and supported.

“The consultations we are launching today build on this work and will help us give victims more options to move forward with their lives in the way that is right for them.

Commenting, Safeguarding Minister Rachel Maclean said:

“Home is not the safe place it should be for domestic abuse victims and their families. The extra support provided today will provide a vital lifeline for victims as they try and rebuild their lives positively while feeling supported and protected.
“These are important changes that sit alongside the new measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which will give victims of domestic abuse longer to report offences to the police, so that abusers do not evade justice.

Notes to editors:

  • The Conservative Government has invested more than £330 million since 2014 to provide support for domestic abuse victims in safe accommodation. Refuge bed spaces have increased by more than 20 per cent in the past 12 years. On top of this, £4 million is being invested in the Respite Rooms programme which supports vulnerable rough sleepers impacted by domestic abuse (DLUHC, Press release, 15 February 2022).
  • The Conservative Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021 helps keep victims safe and ensures survivors of this horrendous crime get the support they need to rebuild this crime. The Act defines domestic abuse in law, strengthens protections for victims, and tackles perpetrators at the earliest stage – making sure they feel the full force of the law (HO, Policy paper, 31 January 2022).
  • The Conservative Government is giving domestic abuse victims more time to report assaults – ensuring abusers cannot evade justice. We are increasing the time to report incidents of common or assault and batter from six months to two years – protecting victims while bringing perpetrators to justice (MoJ, Press release, 4 January 2022).

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, stood up for the thousands of Menopause Warriors in Wales during the Welsh Grand Committee debate earlier this week as she discussed the work of the menopause revolution and how it is benefiting women across the nation. 


A key success of Carolyn Harris’ Private Member’s Bill last year was the formation of the Menopause Task Force, of which Carolyn is co-chair, which will be holding its inaugural meeting in the coming weeks.  


Through the Taskforce, Carolyn aims to totally transform menopause support and services for women right across Wales and the UK with three key aims- to improve diagnosis and treatment pathways; to ensure women have the understanding and support they need from doctors, employers and their families; and to develop the school curriculum so the next generation are better educated on the menopause. 


Carolyn has also been working closely with the Welsh Labour Government, who have put the menopause high on the political agenda, to make the  improvements in healthcare and education so that women in Wales will be able to access the support and services they need when it comes to menopause care.

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, said:

“2021 saw the menopause revolution really take off.  We have already achieved so much in breaking down the barriers and getting people talking about the menopause, putting the menopause high on the political agenda.


“In Wales, we are so lucky to be able to access HRT free of charge thanks to the Welsh Labour Government, but I’m looking forward to working with Welsh Government colleagues to make further improvements to menopause support and services to ensure women across Wales can always access the support and services they need.


“Our combined efforts across the Senedd and Westminster are helping us revolutionise menopause care throughout the UK to help keep women wonderful.  There should be no politics in women’s health, and we must work together cross-party and with the devolved governments to make a difference to women’s lives and achieve our common goals.”

Constituents Update – 10th November 2021

Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington)

End Fire and Rehire

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

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

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Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

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

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.

New GP Surgery Back on Track for Shifnal

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)

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

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

Commenting, Mark Pritchard MP said:

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

New Hospital in Sutton Confirmed

Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)

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

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

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

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

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


Why is this being done?

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

Is St Helier closing?

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

Is a new hospital being built?

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

Is St Helier getting an upgrade?

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

Who developed these proposals?

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

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

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

Will we still use St Helier?

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

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

What about bed numbers?

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

What about A&E?

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

What about maternity services?

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

Where will children services be provided?

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

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

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

Where will the new hospital be built?

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

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

A&E at The Royal Glam

Chris Bryant (Rhondda)

A&E @ the Glam – Strength in Unity

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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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.