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Weekly Round-Up :: 09 June 2023

Karin Smyth (Bristol South)

I was pleased to be able to ask the Minister in the Commons this week about the steps he is taking to increase the provision of social rented and affordable housing. This is the number one issue that constituents contact me about. I called on the Government to follow where our Labour-led Bristol City Council leads. The council is building more social homes for the future, but because the Government has decided to scrap targets across England it means that neighbouring authorities are not rising to the challenge. I wanted to know what analysis had been conducted by the Department on the impact on local housing supply of the Government’s decision to water down its housing targets. Everyone deserves a safe and comfortable roof over their heads and the Government has to ensure that we have good quality social housing in the UK.

As the shadow Health Minister, I rose at the Dispatch Box this week during health questions. I focused my questioning on the lack of provision of GPs and their non-existence of plan to ensure that the NHS is well-staffed. From Sittingbourne to Bristol to Oldham, people are fed up of how long they must wait for a GP appointment. The Tories try to bamboozle us with ever changing statistics. This week, they continued these tactics. We need a workforce that is supported by adequate training places to ensure a steady flow of new staff and workplace conditions that prevent overworked medical staff feeling burned out. We need a long-term solution without a fudging of numbers to make things look better.

On Tuesday, I joined a meeting of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) where the Information Commissioner, John Edwards, was questioned on his views on the handling of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests by Government departments and other public authorities, in his first appearance before PACAC. Since 2005 there has been a sustained trend of public authorities granting fewer FOI requests in full, with information increasingly partially or fully ‘withheld’. Access to information is vital in a democracy and the Government’s unwillingness to release information has implications beyond simply us being without the information that we need. Trust in Government is vital for the functioning. The UK has a lower-than-average level of trust in the national Government compared with other OECD states – this isn’t healthy and the Government has to take active steps to improve this and in particular relating to FOI requests.

Was a pleasure to visit Bristol Eye Hospital on Friday to see the location of their new High-Volume Diagnostic Assessment Service. This service opened in July 2020 and subsequently moved to the Galleries in March of this year. I’ve long known of their successful treatment of patients, of which there have been 30,000, and that’s why I supported their nomination in the 2022 NHS Parliamentary Awards. Community care should be the watchword for the NHS in the 21st century so I was delighted to see up close the successes Bristol is having locally so we can replicate across England for others to benefit from.

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 :: 09 June 2023 first appeared on Karin Smyth.

Proposed Closure of Girlguiding Activity Centres

Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

9 June 2023
Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital and Children’s Hospital Projects

The East of England is one of the very few regions without a dedicated specialist cancer hospital or specialist children’s hospital.

That’s why, throughout my time as an MP (and in my previous roles as a Health Minister and as Minister for Science, Research and Innovation), I have always actively campaigned for increased support for these two crucial parts of our NHS here in the East, and more widely.

I am firmly committed to continuing that work and, having long been a supporter of the campaign for a new Cancer Research Hospital and a new Children’s Hospital at Cambridge, I welcomed the chance to be involved in an update briefing earlier today – hearing how those projects is coming on.

I am pleased to report that construction on the new Cancer Research Hospital is intended to begin in 2024 – and will deliver a first-class NHS hospital (on a site located amongst a cluster of world leading healthcare research facilities) that will provide new capacity for highly-specialised care, alongside helping to drive forward innovative and more effective cancer diagnosis and treatment capabilities. This is a great step forwards for cancer research and treatment here in the Eastern region.

Similarly, construction on the new Children’s Hospital is also intended to begin in 2024 and will become a major hub for paediatric physical and mental health treatment for the East – ensuring that children (with their families) do not have to travel so far in order to receive the specialist treatment they urgently need.

Both hospitals are vital for long term health provision here in the East and I am delighted to be working with fellow parliamentary colleagues and the NHS to get them both over the line.

Following the fantastic news about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn (see more here), it is very positive indeed that these strides are being made.

Rest assured, I will continue to offer my full support to these efforts – and look forward to providing further updates in due course.

🏥Video Update: New Hospital 🏥

Maria Miller (Basingstoke)

🏥Video Update: New Hospital 🏥 Moving forward to the next stage... #NHS@ItsBest #Basingstoke #GreatPlaceToLive #GreatPlaceToWork

Monthly Column – June 2023

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Our wonderful constituency has a long history, with North Northumberland sending MPs to Parliament since its enfranchisement by Henry VIII in the early 1500s. It is an immense privilege that constituents, from Berwick down to rural Morpeth, have trusted me, on three occasions, with both that rich…

Greg visits Oracle Red Bull Racing

Greg Smith (Buckingham)

Buckingham MP and Co-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Motorsport visited the Oracle Red Bull Racing Technology Campus this morning where he met with Team Principle Christian Horner and was given a behind the scenes tour of their facilities. Commenting, Greg said: "A huge privilege…

Council Leader reaffirms Edinburgh's commitment to Europe

Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Statement from Council Leader Cammy Day following the motion 'Europe Day – Celebrating Edinburgh’s European Identity' which was approved recently by Council.

Rushanara Ali on the Treasury Committee on Insurance

Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)

Future Countryside

Philip Dunne (Ludlow)

9 June 2023
Future Countryside

Last Tuesday I joined over 200 people representing a wide cross section of organisations brought together to discuss the future of the countryside in the imposing setting of the Old Palace at Hatfield House.

The event has been organised amongst others by Julian Glover who wrote a Landscape Review for the Government as part of which he had visited Shropshire Hills AONB.

We were told it was the first time such an event had been held for 20 years. There were cross party contributions from Thérèse Coffey from Suffolk, Rory Stewart from Cumbria, the Labour rural affairs spokesman who represents Cambridge, and Lord Mandelson who formerly lived in Herefordshire.

There was a wide consensus that rural Britain has much to offer the population in terms of health and recreation as well as vital for food security. But important points were also made about how to engage urban dwellers, who make up 70% of the population, to engage with and access rural areas safely and affordably.

Thérèse Coffey pointed out that the vast majority of the Cabinet represent rural areas, including the Prime Minister, in contrast to the urban focussed opposition teams. Labour hold 17 out of 199 rural constituencies in England and Wales.

She highlighted some positive current initiatives, including the £110m Rural England Prosperity Fund currently open for capital grants for rural businesses and the £150m Community Ownership Fund to enable local communities to retain valued local assets.

She announced new initiatives to remove barriers to rural enterprise, including a consultation on extending permitted development rights for amending existing buildings in addition to recent changes to facilitate new farm shops. 

She also announced an acceleration of completing roll-out of Project Gigabit to reach remaining rural areas, including those parts of South Shropshire who still lack adequate connectivity to procure all remaining contracts by the end of 2024.

She recognised the importance of improving transport in rural areas and will soon be launching a Future of Transport Rural Strategy, for example to explore how demand responsive bus networks to link remote rural areas can be established.

She also emphasised the need to support more local housing in rural areas and is launching a scheme funded by DEFRA to enable each of 40 local authority areas to promote an affordable housing scheme working with local landowners and communities. There is £378m in grants ringfenced for rural areas for energy efficiency improvements, with 58% of all grants paid through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme having been installed in rural properties.

There will also be a Connections Action Plan published this summer with Ofgem to accelerate electricity network connections to help with decarbonising the rural economy.

The Prime Minister recently hosted a farm to fork Food Summit in No10 which was welcomed by the NFU at demonstrating the focus on food security and reducing food inflation while supporting farmers.

It is good for the future of the countryside that there is a real focus on coordinating ideas and policies to deal with the challenges we face in rural communities such as South Shropshire.

My Interview with Times Radio

John Redwood (Wokingham)

Please find below my Interview with Times Radio, you can find it between 1:12:28-2:12:00



Save Beaumont Park

Liz Kendall (Leicester West)

Many local residents have contacted me to say they are deeply concerned about proposals in Leicester City Council’s Local Plan to develop a large section of the park for industrial use, as well as space for a number of Gypsy and Traveller pitches.

I know Beaumont Park is a much-loved green space, enjoyed by thousands of people every year. It provides a place for local children to play and for nature to thrive, and the park is hugely valued for the wider benefits it brings to people’s physical and mental health.

We all know how important it is to provide good quality jobs and space for businesses to grow in Leicester, but there are alternative sites which can be used in and around the city.

That is why I am launching a new petition to Save Beaumont Park, to go alongside the other fantastic petitions and campaigns being run by local residents. If you agree, please sign below and encourage your friends, family and neighbours to add their names too.

We the undersigned join Liz Kendall MP in calling on Leicester City Council to remove changes to Beaumont Park from the Local Plan.


You can unsubscribe from these updates at any time by calling my office at 0207 219 2521 or by emailing me at: liz.kendall.mp@ parliament.uk.

Keeping your information safe is very important to me and my office. Your data will only be used in accordance with my privacy policy, which is in line with General Date Protection Regulation (GDPR). A copy of my privacy policy is available in my office and on my website www.lizkendall.org

The post Save Beaumont Park appeared first on Liz Kendall.


Martin Docherty (West Dunbartonshire)

West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes is leading the way for change to end an injustice imposed on people with asbestos-related lung cancer.

“People who have lung cancer because they were exposed to asbestos at work are denied the full and fair compensation they need unless they can track down all the responsible former employers,” said Mr Docherty-Hughes, who has tabled an Early Day Motion to gather support from fellow parliamentarians on the issue.

“It can take many years for lung cancer to manifest after someone is exposed to asbestos, meanwhile the companies which exposed them disappear and insurance records are lost. Tracing them can be an impossible task. It leaves people without full compensation to provide the care and support they need to help them cope with their illness,” he explained.

“The Government could introduce legislation to reflect what is already in place for sufferers of mesothelioma, a strikingly similar asbestos-related cancer, who can recover full compensation from any one responsible employer in these circumstances,” said Mr Docherty-Hughes. 

Mr Docherty-Hughes is supporting a campaign by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum (AVSGF) for a change in the law.

“The importance of full compensation, and the need for it to be provided to the victim quickly, cannot be overstated,” said industrial disease specialist lawyer Daniel Easton from APIL.

 “The Government recognised this in 2006 when it changed the law to allow sufferers of mesothelioma to receive full and fair compensation, even when not all negligent employers could be traced. But people with an asbestos-related lung cancer diagnosis, which is often difficult to distinguish from mesothelioma, suffer financially, sometimes very severely,” explained Mr Easton.

“This issue only affects a small number of people but it is grossly unfair, and the impact on those individuals and their families can be devastating.

“The difference in the way the law treats people with these two almost identical diseases is conspicuous. Change is long overdue,” he said.

The text of Martin’s Early Day Motion to Parliament is available here.

Dear Newcastle – Newsletter JUNE 2023

Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has written to the Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan, asking her to reconsider the decision to delay the introduction of an new training course which could be important in addressing the staffing crisis in the hospitality sector.

The Catering T-Level had been due to roll out this September, but has now been delayed by the Government until "beyond 2024".

This is the second time the qualification, which had been expected to be a catering and hospitality T-level, has been delayed.

The T-Level had meant to be up and running back in 2020. Since then the Government has quietly dropped 'hospitality' from its name.

Tim discussed the issue during a recent meeting with local hospitality leaders and Cumbria Tourism at their headquarters in Staveley.

During the meeting, Tim heard that 86% of businesses who took part in the organisation's latest survey said that they are struggling to recruit staff. That's an increase from 73% six months ago.

In his letter to the Education Secretary, Tim said: "I struggle to understand the DfE's rationale for this decision. We have a labour shortage which is disproportionately impacting the hospitality and tourism sectors.

"In the Lake District, where the hospitality and tourism sectors comprise a large proportion of our local economy, this has massive knock-on effects which are hurting business.

"The Government says we should grow our own talent but then it stops us doing it by delaying the T-level?

"This makes little sense. Doing so will reduce the number of young people going directly into the industry and will also reduce the number of people going on to the degree apprenticeship in tourism at the University of Cumbria in Ambleside.

"Please will you commit the Government to ensure that the T-Level in catering is offered as a matter of urgency?"

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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Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, has welcomed the Government’s strategy to unleash rural opportunities across Beverley and Holderness.  The Government’s new rural strategy, titled Unleashing Rural Opportunity, will be split across four broad themes of housing,…
Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was the Guest Speaker at a fundraising dinner to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Sir David Evennett’s Election to Parliament for Erith and Crayford in June 1983. The Dinner was held on Thursday evening at the Boathouse, Danson…
Scott Benton MP has pledged to support unpaid carers across Blackpool South this Carers Week, taking place this year from 5-11 June 2023. Carers Week is an annual awareness week which recognises the vital contribution made by people caring unpaid for family members or friends who have a disability…

Every morning, my team and I trawl through the latest constituency cases, and set to work looking at how we can help.

Every case is different. Some – like dislodged paving stones or missed bin collections – can usually be addressed relatively quickly.

Others – like visa applications or crime – are more complex and require more detailed work.

The cases that really make my heart sink, however, are housing related. That’s because I know securing good quality, affordable housing is increasingly becoming an exercise akin to finding hens teeth.

A combination of Right to Buy mismanagement, extortionate private rents and failure to build enough social housing or starter homes means that for many, the housing market is fundamentally broken.

England now has among the lowest numbers of homes per 1,000 people in Western Europe. The charity Shelter estimates that over 1 million people are waiting for social homes.

It’s difficult to overstate how catastrophic figures like these are for many households. Not only are people being shut out of the dream of owning their home, when they are stepping into the rental market they are finding themselves acutely vulnerable to high rents and rogue landlords.

The solution, as Labour has made clear, is to get Britain building.

That means overhauling planning laws so that good quality green space is protected while low quality sites, like disused shrubland and petrol stations, are utilised for the creation of genuinely affordable housing.

Labour would give councils in England new powers to buy land at lower prices to boost housebuilding, something that could be truly transformational for communities right across the country.

This work would come alongside clamping down on shoddy landlords and appalling housing conditions, which are causing health outcomes in many deprived communities to worsen at an alarming rate.

Safe, decent and affordable housing is not, and should never be, a privilege afforded to the few. I’m fed up of seeing hard working people in Tameside losing out because of a poor planning system and a Government that has failed to proactively tackle this crisis.

But the situation is not futile. With action, we can build a Britain where affordable housing is the norm, and where the dream of home ownership can become a reality again.

The post It’s time to fix the broken housing market – my weekly article for the Tameside Reporter appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.

Toby Perkins’ speech on Mental Health

Toby Perkins (Chesterfield)

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Robin Millar, MP for Aberconwy in North Wales, was joined in Parliament by MPs from around the country and the Chief Executive of UK Hospitality to launch a campaign to secure common sense energy contracts for businesses. Following concerns raised with him by businesses in the hospitality sector,…

May Highlights

Brendan Clarke-Smith (Bassetlaw)

In May, I have:  Welcomed the Government’s announcement to introduce measures to empower people to choose where they receive their NHS care under new plans to help cut waiting lists, one of the Prime Minister’s top five priorities.  Urged colleges across Bassetlaw to bid for new funding from the…

Welcoming Local School Funding

Joy Morrisey (Beaconsfield)

As part of the £450 million investment to improve schools across the country including Sir William Borlase's Grammar School and the Gerrards Cross CofE school. It is great to see our very own Lent Rise School is set to undergo significant improvements, which include: Upgraded mechanical systems…

Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

The most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show annual net migration of 606,000, an unprecedented figure and one that is 118,000 higher than the year before. What these statistics show is clear confirmation that we need to have a serious rethink about our post-Brexit immigration…

An Update on Small Boat Crossings

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe)

This week the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the Kent coast to meet with members of the Border Force team at Dover. Stopping illegal migration from small boat crossings in the Channel is one of the top priorities for the government. We must bring to an end these dangerous journeys that have led to loss […]

DEFRA Written Statement: Gamebirds General Licence

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)

From: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dr Thérèse Coffey  Volume 733: debated on Monday 5 June 2023  The Government support shooting for all the benefits it brings to individuals, the environment and the rural economy.... Continue Reading →

We have all been shocked by the proposal by the Conservative UK Government to use the Stradey Park Hotel as emergency accommodation for 200 asylum seekers from July. Tory Ministers are scrabbling around looking for more hotel accommodation, because of their monumental failure to process the backlog of asylum claims, so those from safe countries could be sent home.    

This proposal shows the utter arrogance of Tory Ministers who have failed to properly consult surrounding communities, the Welsh Government, Carmarthenshire County Council, the police and many others and, following secretive talks with the hotel owners, rejected all other alternatives and run roughshod over local opinion.

Wales is a welcoming country and, here in Llanelli, we have proudly played our part down the years in supporting those who have fled war and persecution elsewhere in the world in pursuit of safety. 

However, this proposal is unworkable, risks putting extra pressure on local services and creates a situation that could prove problematic for nearby residents and for the asylum seekers themselves. 

I will continue to vigorously oppose this plan for those reasons.

Together with local councillors, I am actively campaigning to reverse this plan and we are doing everything we can to stand up for the communities we represent.  We have offered our support to the Action Committee set up by local residents and are urging people to sign their petition, either online or in person.

In Parliament, I have already questioned the Minister for Immigration directly to emphasise the strength of opposition against this and requested urgent meetings with him, Clearsprings (an intermediary that manages the accommodation) and the hotel owners themselves to keep up the pressure for this proposal to be dropped.

I know that the County Council are also exploring all options open to them too.

This is a fast moving situation and I will do my best to keep people informed of what is happening and to let them how they can get involved to help.

Data reveals long mental health waiting lists in Dagenham & Rainham Andrew Wed, 06/07/2023 - 11:19

UK Energy Market: A Call for Consumer Fairness

Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

Summer promises sunshine, barbecues and picnics. But, as we know, the inevitable chill of autumn and winter follows all too soon. That’s why, despite the increasing temperatures, I am determined to keep on the case to demand fairness in the energy market with our It’s Your Money campaign.

To this end, this week, I met with Ofgem, the industry regulator. I demanded swift action on three core consumer issues that affect many households: inaccessible credit balances, unanticipated increases in direct debits, and the lack of clarity in energy bills.

Inaccessible Credit Balances:

Many of you have shared your experiences of being stuck with excessive credit balances with your energy suppliers and unable to withdraw your own money. This is plainly unjust. I’ve been urging Ofgem to enforce stricter rules to safeguard your money. We need to ensure easy access to credit refunds without any hassle because, after all, it’s your money.

Rising Direct Debits:

The unexpected rise in direct debits is another pressing issue. An unexplained spike in energy costs can cause severe financial distress. It’s crucial that any increase in direct debits is proportional, justified, and communicated ahead of time. I have made it clear to Ofgem and the government that they must take action to prevent unwarranted surprises in our energy bills.

Clarity in Energy Bills:

The issue of unclear energy bills is the third pillar of our “It’s Your Money” campaign. Without a clear understanding of what we’re paying for, how can we effectively manage our energy consumption? Energy providers must offer easy-to-understand, comprehensive information about our bills. I’ve insisted that Ofgem enforce transparent communication practices within the industry.

The Power of Collective Action:

As part of the “It’s Your Money” campaign, I urge each one of you to push back when you believe your energy supplier is acting unfairly. By holding them accountable, we can ensure fair practices in the energy industry.

Change can feel impossible at times, but by striving for better, we can create a fairer, more transparent energy system.

More on Its Your Money Campaign.

Share your experiences with me.

The post UK Energy Market: A Call for Consumer Fairness appeared first on .

As many people die from preventable hip fractures as from lung cancer or diabetes, Judith Cummins MP has revealed.

Speaking on Tuesday in the House of Commons, Bradford South MP Judith Cummins called on the Government to step up its game on bone fracture prevention and save lives.

Judith has been vocal on the issue of Osteoporosis, which affects half of all women and a fifth of all men over 50. It is characterised by a loss of bone density, leaving people vulnerable to breaks and fractures. Because symptoms often aren’t noticed until a serious break, osteoporosis has been called the ‘silent disease’.

Raising the issue in Parliament, Judith highlighted the shocking reality of the condition:

‘Many of these will be serious hip fractures, and as many people will die from these fractures as from lung cancer or diabetes.’

Questioning the Minister, Judith asked why such a serious condition is so often overlooked in healthcare:

‘Can the Minister explain why not even one of the 63 key performance indicators set by NHS England for Integrated Care Boards sets a target for fracture prevention?’

Responding, Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Women’s Health Strategy, thanked Judith for her longstanding work on bone health. The Minister also highlighted measures the Government is undertaking to tackle Osteoporosis:

‘NHS England is expanding fracture services for higher risk women who do have Osteoporosis to prevent falls in the first place.’

Despite the Government’s claims to be stepping up fracture services, the limits of the current services mean that 74,000 preventable fractures will occur over the next five years, costing the NHS £665 million.

Making fracture prevention a key performance target could lead to stronger delivery of these services, preventing unnecessary pain, giving patients the level of care they deserve, and saving vital NHS resources.

Following the exchange, Judith said that Government support for fracture prevention was still inadequate:

‘Whilst Bradford offers a trailblazing service for those with Osteoporosis, this is not always the case nationally.’

‘The argument for investing in the prevention of fractures is clear: To save money and save lives, we need a government with the sense to invest in the future of women’s health in this country.’

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My Weekly Round-up

Christina Rees (Neath)

On the 22nd May, International Biodiversity Day, I attended a joint meeting of the International Conservation APPG and the Climate Change APPG, organised and chaired by Barry Gardiner MP who is chair of the former. The topic for discussion was “Biomass: Bad for Biodiversity and Bad for Climate Change”, which provided a timely opportunity to talk about all the biodiversity issues surrounding biomass and BECC, especially with the UK Government’s biomass strategy expected to be published in the near future. The speakers included: Matt Williams, senior advocate Forest Protection Nature Program, NRDC; Prof Mike Norton, Environment Programme Director at the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC); Eamonn Ives, former special advisor to UK COP President Alok Sharma, Head of Research, The Entrepreneurs; Duncan Brac, Environmental Policy analyst and advisor, former SpAd at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The main business in the Chamber was the return of the Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Bill from the Lords, who had made 7 amendments and we voted on Amendments 1,2,4, and 5 (because 6&7 are consequential on 5) at the end of the debate. The procedure is that each Lords Amendment must be accepted, altered, replaced, or rejected by MPs. The UK Government were opposed to all Lords Amendments, and voted to reject them. Amendment 1 would insert new subsections to Clause 4 to restrict its application to only England. The Government won by 288-227 votes. Amendment 2 would require consultation and review by a committee of each House takes place before the Secretary of State makes new regulations under s234B to specify minimum service levels. The UK Government won by 286-231. Amendment 4 would insert a new section 234CA to require a copy of a work notice to be given to a person who will be subject to it, employers must prove they’ve done this, and failure to comply with the work notice is not a breach of contract of employment, so the person cannot be dismissed or suffer detriment as a result. The Government won by 286-232 votes. Amendment 5 would remove s234E (no protection if trade union fails to take reasonable steps) to ensure that trade unions do not have any responsibility or obligation to ensure their members comply with a work notice. The Government won by 287-232 votes, and therefore, Amendments 6/7 were not voted on. The Bill has gone back to the Lords for them to consider whether to insist on any of their original Amendments or offer alternatives, and send them back to the Commons, known as “ping-pong”.

I was elected a vice chair at the AGM of APPG for Ukraine, and Bob Seely MP and Alex Sobel MP were re-elected co-chairs. We received a confidential briefing about the current state of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and we all agreed that NATO should vote to proscribe the Wagner Group.

I attended the Dignity in Dying reception organised by its patron Dame Prue Leith to pledge my ongoing support for the campaign for a national conversation on assisted dying which is currently happening in Scotland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Ireland and France. Prue has called on Party leaders to listen to the voices of dying people and the public at large who are overwhelmingly supportive of a change in the law.

I was honoured to be re-elected chair at the AGM of the APPG for Sepsis, and I look forward to continuing to work with the UK Sepsis Trust to help to improve lives of people and families who have been affected by sepsis.

As chair of the APPG for Vegetarianism and Veganism, I attended the launch of the Vegetarian for Life report “Diet and Identity in Care Settings: A Systematic Literature Review”. Anna Boardman, lead researcher for the report, presented its aims and objectives. Food is often a meaningful activity in our lives. For those who follow a religion, food can be an extension of their faith, or a means by which to exercise one’s ethical, political, or philosophical beliefs, regarding the environment, animal welfare, or animal rights. Food can play a symbolic role in the way we view ourselves, as part of families, and members of society. The changes in aging can mean choices become limited, restricted, or superseded. Mealtimes can be the highlight of residents’ days, but often the meals served do not reflect the diversity in the resident’s needs. There are examples of vegans and vegetarians being served meat. The report aimed to explore existing research and identify the gaps in knowledge. Barriers to food provision came through knowledge and education, carers made nutrition choices, rather than beliefs and preferences, residents were not good self-advocates, temporary untrained food assistants, medicines without animal products. The research focused on care homes and the older demographic, but indicates it is pertinent where people have reduced autonomy.

I am supporting Anna Firth MP who introduced the first reading of her 10-Minute Rule Bill “Animal Welfare (Responsibility for Dog Attacks)” in the chamber this week. The Bill will seek to criminalise fatal dog-on-dog attacks because currently dog owners are not liable when their dog fatally attacks another dog. Anna has called her Bill ‘Emilie’s Law’ after her constituent Michael’s bichon fris called Emilie was tragically killed in a dog attack in 2021.

I attended the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) Parliamentary Reception for Welsh MPs and Peers to meet the chair, board members, and senior management team. Speakers included: Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Jo Stevens MP; Plaid Cymru Justice Spokesperson, Liz Saville-Roberts MP; and Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies MP. The SRA is the largest regulator of legal services in England and Wales, covering 90% of the legal market. In Wales, the SRA oversees 4000 solicitors, and more than 400 law firms who have their head offices based in Wales. The SRA works to set and maintain high professional standards, protect members of the public and support the rule of law and administration of justice. The SRA recently set out a commitment to develop its presence in Wales, and take full account of Wales throughout its work, in particular, taking account of Welsh Law in the new Solicitor’s Qualifying Exa, and developing opportunities for aspiring solicitors to sit this exam through the medium of Welsh. In 2021, the SRA recruited its first Head of Welsh Affairs, and opened an office in Cardiff. I hope to visit the new office in the near future.

The business in the Chamber was the Official Opposition Day, and there were two debates: Leasehold Reform (England only); Safety of School Buildings (Education is devolved to Wales and to Scotland). At the end of each debate there was a vote. The UK Government instructed their Conservative MPs not to take part in the Leasehold Reform vote, which the official opposition and other parties won 174-0. The vote on the second debate was lost by 171-296 votes.

I was re-elected a vice chair at the AGM of the APPG for Flooding, my friend Rachael Maskell MP was re-elected chair. The business for the forthcoming year will include Flood Defence Grant in Aid Scheme (FDGIA), Levelling Up, Planning, Property Flood Resilience, Frequently Flooded Communities, and Riparian Ownership. At this meeting we had an update from the frequently flooded area, Shrewsbury Flood Action Group, which stated that it had flooded 18 times since 1977, but they don’t qualify for the criteria under the FDGIA, and these criteria need to be changed. The mental health of frequently flooded people is being seriously affected, as well as the costs of repairing houses and replacing contents. It’s also difficult to obtain house and contents insurance under these circumstances. Peter Grant, Funding Manager at the Environment Agency, explained that the FDGIA is based on a partnership funding model, the more a scheme costs the more grant is available, it’s a big town model, so it’s more complicated for dispersed houses that don’t reach the criteria which DEFRA sets. Some schemes cost more than the grant available. I stated that the criteria should be updated to include inflation and building oncosts, so that the grants are increased to reflect actual flooding costs.

I was pleased to support the #KnowYourSkin Melanoma Awareness Month drop-in event in Parliament, organised by the charity Melanoma Focus, and hosted by Sir Chris Bryant MP. We were encouraged to check our skin and contact our GP if there’s a new change in moles/lesions and protect our skin with SPF30+ sunscreen. The charity has found that 86% of melanoma skin cancer is preventable, which is increasing to over 16,000 new cases per annum, in 15-44 age group melanoma is the second most common cancer in males and the third most common in females, and it is the deadliest cancer. Several cancer charities are campaigning for high factor protective creams to be VAT exempt, which is now at 20%, because the cost-of-living crisis has caused many people and families to struggle to buy these essential items, and could be contributing to the rise in cancer in the UK.

As vice chair of the APPG for Restorative Justice (RJ), I attended our regular monthly meeting to listen to an update from our 2023 Workstreams which were set up to progress the recommendations made in our report “Restorative Practices 2021/22”, following an enquiry bringing 50 leading practitioners together to take evidence. At this meeting we heard from the Devolved Administration Group; Internal Management Group; and External Management Group. We also discussed the forthcoming “Victims and Prisoners Bill” which does not mention RJ and the possibility of APPG members tabling an RJ amendment to the Committee Stage of the Bill.

I supported the launch of the Baton of Hope Workplace Charter. The founder John McCarthy believes that “suicides are preventable, and everyone can play a part in supporting a move towards a zero suicide society”. In the UK there are still 17 suicides a day, despite numerous initiatives. The six principles of the charter are: make suicide awareness, support, and prevention a workplace priority; use clear and consistent messaging about suicide for internal communication and induction training; implement suicide prevention, early detection, prevention and supportive services; embrace those with lived experience; promote crisis services, suicide prevention advice, counselling, training and support; and promote the charter to increase awareness. Employers have a crucial role to play in suicide prevention.

I have been a supporter of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) for many years, and was pleased to attend their event to highlight that hunting with dogs has continued in England and Wales because of the weaknesses in the Hunting Act, and the use of “trail” hunting as a smokescreen for illegal hunting. There are nine exemptions and a loophole that allows hunts to claim that chasing and killing an animal was accidental, so the law fails to protect animals from cruelty. During the 2022-23 hunting season, the LACS compiled 1367 incidents of fox hunts wreaking havoc and involved or suspected of illegal hunting, drawn from the LACS Crimewatch service and hunt monitors. 841 cases of hunt havoc such as railway trespass, chasing pets, and 526 reports of illegal hunting, including 400 cases of a hunt been seen chasing a fox, involving 122 hunts, across 50 counties in the UK. The UK Government has refused to strengthen the law, but police cannot enforce it because it is not fit for purpose. The UK Government allows hunting on its Ministry of Defence land, granting 22 licences for “trail” hunting in 2022. In January 2023, the Scottish Government passed Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act to close loopholes in the law exploited by Scottish hunts, and bans “trail” hunting. Calculus Polling in 2022 found 78% of British voters support strengthening the hunting ban, 71% in rural constituencies, of which 87% are Labour voters, 81% Liberal Democrat voters, 71% Conservative voters. The LACS is calling for the Hunting Act to be strengthened by removing exemptions, banning “trail” hunting, and introducing custodial sentences.

I joined representatives from the Youth Sport Trust to support National Schools Sports Week, which will take place from 19-25th June. National Schools Sports Week aims to address the fact that less than half (47%) of all young people across the UK are active for at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day as recommended by the Chief Medical Officers. The campaign will see activities take place across the UK to “play for fun-play for 60” which is so important when children’s wellbeing is in decline, obesity and type 2 diabetes cases are rising. The schools in Neath that have already signed up to support this very worthwhile initiative are Cwmnedd Primary and Llangatwg Community School, but I am proud to support this fantastic campaign that helps young people experience the benefit of PE, Sports, and play, and I’m looking forward to working with schools and parents in my Neath constituency to take part and reach their full potential. As a former Welsh Squash International and former Development Officer and National Coach for Squash Wales I realise the importance of taking part in sport to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

The APPG for Sport held a Community and Social Sport event to promote the Annual Report for the Sport for Development Coalition 2022-23 #OpenGoal. The room was packed full of sport and community representatives, including some from Wales. The chair of the Coalition Andy Reed OBE, appointed in 2020, introduced the report, emphasising that sport and physical activity have a big part to play in building a fairer, more equitable, and sustainable future, and there is a generational crisis involving substantial health, economic, and societal impacts. The report aims to demonstrate the value of targeted sport-based interventions being delivered within communities in the greatest need of levelling up. As a former Welsh Squash International and former Squash Wales National coach, I pledged my support to the very commendable aims of the Coalition to use sport to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

The main business in the Chamber on the penultimate day before recess was the Lords sending their Amendments back to the Commons after the MPs had previously disagreed with their Amendments to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill known as “ping-pong”. We voted on 4 Amendments that the Lords sent back and the UK Government won all the votes again, after instructing Conservative MPs to disagree. Lords Amendment 1 was about Joint Committee scrutiny of the sunset schedule, and the UK Government won by 298-216 votes. Lords Amendment 6 to which the Commons previously disagreed because the retention of anything which is retained by EU law by virtue of section 4 of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 would be inconsistent with the principle of supremacy of EU law, was defeated again by 296-215 votes. Lords Amendment 15 to which the Commons previously disagreed because the Commons do not consider this amendment necessary in order to maintain environmental protection or food standards was defeated again by 294-217 votes. And Lords Amendment 42 to which the Commons previously disagreed because the Commons consider the scrutiny procedure imposed by the Lords Amendment to be inappropriate was defeated again by 294-217 votes. The Bill has been “ping-ponged” to the Lords again for their consideration after recess on Tuesday 6th June.

Back in Neath, at the end of my week, I called into St David’s Church to support the volunteers at the Saturday morning shop, and watched our highly skilled flower arranger Rosemary preparing the church for up and coming services. I also called into St Thomas’s Church to see the fantastic exhibition of weddings past and present organised by Neath Mothers’ Union (NMU). Many members of NMU and church had lent their wedding gowns, memorabilia, photographs/albums, and the Parish Marriage Records were on display.

Lee Anderson MP's Weekly Column

Lee Anderson (Ashfield)

Knowing your child must go into hospital for a complicated and life changing operation is a very worrying time indeed for parents. This is a situation an Ashfield family finds themselves in. They are off to London this month where their son will have such an operation, this has meant there will be…
I understand the frustration the continued closure of the driving test centre is causing. I share that frustration. Constituents are routinely writing to me requesting an update on its planned reopening, illustrating the reasons I believe it is essential we have a functional driving test centre in High Wycombe. As many of my constituents know, we have, of course, been here before. Twice now, I have worked with key stakeholders in our area to save the driving test centre in […]

MacNeil calls for immediate Lochboisdale ferry solution

Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has suggested a solution to Calmac to the Lochboisdale ferry situation.

Commenting on the bad news that the Lochboisdale ferry will not be running for the month of June, Mr MacNeil said: “The loss of the Lochboisdale sailing is particularly difficult given the issues over recent months and especially right now as we are in June in the mid-summer period.

“In talks with various people, it has been suggested to me that the Loch Coruisk is moved to the Mull/Oban run together with MV Loch Frisa and MV Isle of Lewis making runs between the Barra runs as well as the MV Isle of Mull, based in Oban l being put on the Lochboisdale run with a stop in Craignure in the way in and out at least 5 days a week. This could be a possible solution.

“Obviously nothing is ideal, I will ask Calmac to look at the projected passenger numbers and expected traffic.

“There is also the added complication of a very welcome military exercise at Hebrides Range Uist, but this has caused a lot of military vehicles booked to go out through Lochboisdale, after the American military have been exercising in Europe’s largest rocket range.  

“Cancelling the Lochboisdale service might look simple, but there are other solutions.

“Particularly with the good weather, MV Isle of Lewis can be used causing mild disruption for Barra. One of the problems highlighted with MV Isle of Lewis in Craignure is that the pier is too short. Again this highlights the problem we have with Council-run piers and CMAL-owned piers, there is a real need to bring all piers under one umbrella so that the pier can be set for many types of boats and we have this type of resilience which would then make Mull more secure, if the Isle of Mull needs to be shifted and then the Isle of Lewis could serve them in all types of weather as the boat overhangs the pier by about ten metres.”I am urging Calmac to look at this and come back to us urgently as people are exasperated at current situation.”

London Road Level Crossing Update

Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

Barrier down time at the London Road level crossing has long been a cause of concern in Bicester. This is an issue which I have worked on since I was first elected, chairing meetings with previous administrations at the District and County Council, and meeting multiple Rail Ministers to discuss it…


Jerome Mayhew (Broadland)

FUNDING SECURED FOR QEH REBUILD The Health Secretary has announced the full rebuild of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn by 2030. This will hugely improve patient care, quality and outcomes as well as support the wider healthcare sector in Norfolk and is additional to the total rebuild of…

Commonwealth War Graves Week 2023

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

This week is Commonwealth War Graves Week.

Across Aldridge-Brownhills we have 44 graves, across 5 different cemeteries, that are covered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The Commission carry out excellent work to honour and care for the men and women of the Commonwealth who died in the First and Second World Wars. The CWGC ensure these individuals will never be forgotten, with over 2,500 war cemeteries and over a million burials at military and civil sites around the world. For individuals who have no known grave, they have built memorials to the missing as places of commemoration.

The work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission continues through their staff, supporters and volunteers who ensure that the stories of those who died are told. This year they invite us to DiscoverLearn and Remember about the lives of the 1.7million men and women of the Commonwealth commemorated by the CWGC.

Thank you to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and all those who volunteer locally.

You can find more information on their work here: https://www.cwgc.org/war-graves-week/

The new Executive

Alex Norris (Nottingham North)

Nottingham Labour confirmed today (22 May) at Full Council the political and civic leadership of the city, after securing an increased majority at the local elections. A total of 51 out of 55 councillors at Nottingham City Council, are now Labour. This gives us a strong mandate to implement the manifesto over the next four years and continue to fight for and improve the lives of Nottingham residents.

Councillor David Mellen will remain as Leader of the council, continuing the hard work of continuing the hard work of himself, Cllr Adele Williams, Cllr Sally Longford and all previous and current executive and backbench members. He is responsible for continuing devolution, strategic regeneration, development and work on the city’s ambitious plan to be carbon neutral by 2028, as well as promoting the vision of the council and supporting all of his Portfolio Holders in their work. There is much work to be done over the next term and the new executive will be key in achieving the goals Nottingham Labour want for the city.

Councillor Audra Wynter has been confirmed as the new Deputy Leader and she will have responsibility for the finance and HR portfolios. With a background in finance work, Councillor Wynter will ensure the council remains on track in delivering a balanced budget and sticking to the Medium-Term Financial Plan, while delivering high-quality services for residents.

Councillor Corall Jenkins will be taking over as Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services and Parks. She will have responsibility for key services such as bin collection and disposal, keeping our city’s streets clean and maintaining all of our wonderful parks.

Councillor Cheryl Barnard will remain as Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education. She will continue to be responsible for leading our children’s services, working with Ofsted to improve it where necessary, ensuring children’s safeguarding and working with academy trusts across the city on schools, ensuring attendance and working to reduce exclusions, so that all children get the best start in life.

Councillor Steve Battlemuch will be taking up the reins as Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth, Economic Development and Property. He will lead on skills and employment, ensuring that the workforce in the city is prepared for any changes in the way we work, and that the people of this city have the right opportunities. He will also oversee the management of the city centre, attracting investment and helping to ensure that Nottingham is promoted nationally and internationally to business and tourism.

Councillor Jay Hayes has been confirmed as the new Portfolio Holder for Housing. He will lead on managing the council housing service, student housing, private rented properties and areas such as selective licensing and homelessness. Housing is incredibly important, all those who live in the city deserve to have a property that is safe, secure and that can be called home, whether they rent in the private sector or have social housing.

Councillor Sajid Mohammed will lead as Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion. This covers areas such as community protection, domestic violence work, licensing, taxi strategy and more. It is so important that Nottingham is a safe place to work and live in. Councillor Mohammed with many years of experience of community work and as director of Himmah will bring the required expertise to lead in these vital areas, and he will also lead on refugee and asylum seeker work, to ensure that Nottingham is a welcoming city for all, and that those vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers can integrate and make new lives in Nottingham.

Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis will continue as Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture. He will ensure that we continue to offer an outstanding events programme. He will also oversee the reopening and flourishing of the Castle, the continued running of Wollaton Hall and Newstead Abbey as well as leisure centres, markets, libraries and community centres across the city. Access to cultural events and key things like libraries and leisure centres is so important for allowing the people of the city to thrive and create.

Councillor Linda Woodings will also remain as Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health. She will continue to work on Public Health and Wellbeing, tackling health inequalities and working to reduce smoking prevalence, working on mental health and generally improving the health of residents in the city. She will also lead on independent living. All of these will help to improve the quality and length of life for residents in the city for years to come.

Finally, Councillor Angela Kandola will be taking over as Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Planning. She will oversee public transport such as buses and the tram. She will also lead on greener transport such as cycling and cycling links in the city, ensure highways are correctly managed and repaired as well as the Workplace Parking Levy to help increase public transport usage.

This is just a short summary of the responsibilities that the Executive will have for the next year. They will bring both their expertise and new views to help ensure that there is strong and effective political leadership at the council. This will continue both our journey with the Improvement and Assurance Board but also enable us to bring in the pledges that we made to the residents of the city in our manifesto in the May local elections.

Southampton Jobs Fair

Royston Smith (Southampton, Itchen)

Please share with friends and family. There will be a Jobs Fair at St Mary's Stadium on the 16th of June 10am -1pm. There will be over 30 companies recruiting and hundreds of jobs available.  The Jobs Fair is free to attend for those looking to gain employment and suitable for any ages. No registration is required.

The post Southampton Jobs Fair appeared first on Royston Smith MP.

Grant Shapps, the local MP for Welwyn Hatfield, visited Peartree Primary School in his constituency and met with staff and students.

During his visit, Mr Shapps caught up with the staff of Peartree and learnt all about their plans for transformation over the next few years. Thanks to the Conservative Government’s School Rebuilding programme, Peartree was a beneficiary of the programme which is backed by £1.8 billion of government funding over this financial year.

Mr Shapps was thrilled to see that Peartree had benefited from this funding and looks forward to seeing their transformation. In the past, Mr Shapps helped free up playground space at Peartree by getting a disused Victorian loo block removed which has helped generations of pupils enjoy a little more open space.

Mr Shapps also met with student members of the school council who asked him an array of questions about his career, local issues and his life as the constituency’s parliament member. The members of the school council are aged between five and eleven and are elected by their classmates to give them a voice in Peartree School’s vision, projects and events.  

Mr Shapps commented on his visit and on his time with members of the school council:

“It was a pleasure to catch up with staff and visit pupils at Peartree School last week. The children are clearly enjoying their time there very much, and it was really helpful to get an insight from Miss Hardy and her team as to how everyone’s getting on. Plus, I enjoyed a brilliant sit-down with the School Council – they really put me through my paces with their questions.”

Megan Hardy, the Head of School at Peartree, thanked Mr Shapps for visiting and meeting with the staff and students:

“It was a pleasure to show Mr Shapps around Peartree and to talk to him about our plans for the school’s transformation over the coming years.”

She continued:

“The children were really excited to meet their MP and they came up with plenty of interesting questions to ask him. They were very inspired by his visit, so we may even have a future prime minister among us!” 

Mr Shapps thanks Peartree for having him visit and wishes the staff and students all the best for the future.

The post Peartree Primary School Student Council Members Meet with Local MP appeared first on The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP.


Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

Catherine McKinnell, Member of Parliament for Newcastle North, has shown her support for people living with diabetes in Parliament alongside Diabetes UK.  Diabetes UK’s new “Diabetes Is Serious” campaign, highlights the challenges facing the five million people living with diabetes in the UK. The report includes shocking new figures showing that there were 7,000 excess deaths connected … Continue reading CATHERINE BACKS CALLS FOR IMPROVED DIABETES CARE

April newsletter

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Nigel’s May Newsletter

Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)


Dear Constituent,

Welcome to my latest email newsletter to provide you with some updates on what’s been happening both in Parliament and around Amber Valley. Below you’ll find an update on some of the things that have been progressing through the Houses in London as well as some of the local visits I’ve been on. 

Illegal migration bill update:

The main piece of legislation that has been going through the House of Commons in the last few weeks is the Illegal Migration Bill. I’ve heard from a number of constituents with a diverse range of views on this topic. On the 26th of April the bill completed its remaining stages in the Commons and is now moving through the House of Lords, before it will return to the Commons for a final review.

This Bill is set to enhance the powers of the Government to tackle illegal migration, including the ability to remove illegal migrants from the UK to safe countries, new ways to determine ages of migrants without formal identification, additional protections for child migrants, and tougher sentences for those found guilty of people smuggling. The Bill was also amended during its remaining stages to include the Government’s commitment to review the safe and legal routes that are available.

It is clear that we need an asylum system that does work for those families truly in need, but is also tough on those who are trying to exploit the process to gain entry to the UK and on human traffickers who are exploiting vulnerable people and worsening the crisis. The new bill tackles the latter problems, while leaving open safe and legal routes for those in need.

Sewage & storm overflows update:

Another key development in Parliament was new plans to further increase water quality targets and reduce sewage being released into our waterways.

The Government has announced its plan to enshrine the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, published last August, into law through the Environment Act. This will make its target to reduce storm overflows legally binding. The Government’s Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, published in August 2022, set out stringent targets to protect people and the environment and is backed up by up to £56 billion capital investment, which is the largest infrastructure programme in water company history.

Further, the Government is now consulting on proposals for unlimited fines to be imposed on water companies that break the rules. More than £142 million has already been levied in fines since 2015 and I am aware that money from fines and penalties will now be channelled back into the environment.

East Midlands APPG:

Outside the Chamber, the focus seemed to be local issues over the last few weeks, and we had another meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the East Midlands. This group brings together MPs from across the Chamber to discuss issues that are especially important to our region.

The most recent meeting was on the future of Infrastructure in the East Midlands. We heard from the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and East Midlands Councils on infrastructure in our area and the need for infrastructure investment to fulfil our environmental commitments, to make it easier for people living here to travel and get to work, and to encourage businesses to move here.

Moving forward, we will continue to push for our region to receive funding in the future, by collecting evidence on the wider benefits of infrastructure projects to the local economy and local businesses and use this in future proposals for funding.

Ferrero sustainable palm oil event:

I was also able to welcome Ferrero, who own the Thornton’s factory in Somercotes, to Parliament. They hosted an event alongside Chester Zoo and the Orangutan Land Trust on Sustainable Palm Oil, where they discussed the damage palm oil farming has inflicted on jungles and local habitats of orangutans around the world. While many food producers have moved away from palm oil for these reasons, the same problems of deforestation and habitat destruction continue to persist regardless of the plant used.

Because of this, Ferrero highlighted the use of certified sustainable palm-oil to that avoids these poor practices by working with local wildlife experts, stopping further deforestation for farming land, and reducing the impact on the environment.

It was great to hear from a business that operates locally in our area that is tackling global issues and to talk to the charitable organisations that were supporting these efforts.

Amber Valley Borough Council elections 4th May 2023 & Parish/Town Council elections:

On the 4th May 2023, elections were held for Amber Valley Borough Council. For the first time in a long time, elections were held for all 42 councillors over 18 wards (rather than the previous recent system of electing a third of councillors each year).

As a result of the election, the Labour Group took control of the Council and have 26 councillors. 

Congratulations to all who were elected and I look forward to working with the new Borough Council where needed and holding them to account where necessary too. 

You can find your borough councillor here

All the parish and town councils in Amber Valley were also up for election. You can find the results of these here.

Access to Cash – Nationwide Heanor:

I know for many constituents a key concern has been the closures of bank branches in our area.

Although banking is increasingly moving online, in-person branches are still relied upon by many in our communities and are staples in our high streets. People need access to bank branches so that they can speak to someone in person about their accounts and finances.

I was able to visit Nationwide in Heanor to discuss this issue and was reassured that they understood the important role they play on our high streets and intend to stay open for the foreseeable future.

I was also able to discuss the work they are doing to help vulnerable people more broadly, including their cost-of-living helpline, fraud prevention and work to teach useful financial skills to young people.

I’ll continue to support maintaining access to bank branches and cash in our communities and town centres.

Christopher Nieper Foundation visit:

In Alfreton I joined Robert Halfon, the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, in a visit related to the Christopher Nieper Education Trust. The Trust was set up to allow David Nieper Ltd to invest in local education and help young people into long-term, rewarding employment.

We visited David Nieper Ltd and met with Dr Hobbs, the Headteacher of David Nieper Academy, others who are supporting the work of the Trust and met with a student to do an interview for the Spirit of Alfreton.  

Local primary school visits:

I have also able to visit both Mundy Junior School and Heage Primary School to speak to teachers and school leaders about funding.

With schools also being hit with high energy bills, there was concern that planned increases to teacher’s salaries and additional provisions for students would not be fully funded if prices for heating stay high. I was able to talk to teachers about the worry this is causing.

It is only right that any increases to staff pay are properly covered by increased investment into schools and it is important that the Government has contingency plans and funding in place to reassure schools that they will be supported should energy bills stay high.

Windows for Ukraine:

I also took part in a visit to CPR Manufacturing in Alfreton, who are supporting a project called Windows for Ukraine. Cromwell Polythene is manufacturing polyethylene film used to make effective temporary windows as part of a project called Insulate Ukraine. The company have donated some of the film being used, which is an alternative to glass and insulates homes better than double-glazing. The local business usually manufactures bin liner products.

Collis engineering visit & 5G masts:

To look at their new 5G masts I’ve also been to see Collis Engineering Ltd. They’re manufacturing a new mast and tower system to support the rollout of 5G and which has a high headload capacity, meaning several operators can share the same structure and system. Collis are an important local employer and it was good to learn more about this innovation that is being manufactured right here in the heart of Amber Valley. 

I know that access to telephone and broadband signal remains an issue for many residents, so hopefully this innovation will help with that, and I’ll continue to pursue solutions for areas where there are concerns or problems.  

Street Watch:

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

GDPR and privacy notice:

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

Get in Touch!

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

Twitter and Facebook

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

Yours sincerely,


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

The post Nigel’s May Newsletter appeared first on Nigel Mills MP.


Angela Rayner (Ashton-under-Lyne)

Time To Put Children First

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

I visited Kings Heath Boys School last week which has just had a fine Ofsted report reflecting real progress achieved under four years of the current Head’s leadership.

It’s only by providing good schools that we can equip our children and grandchildren for the future. There’s always been a link between poor areas and school success. Labour understands this. In the 60s and 70s the Wilson government created Educational Priority Areas and after 18 years of Tory rule, the last Labour government introduced Education Action Zones to once again boost the chances of children from poorer backgrounds.

It’s by working with parents and carers and putting schools at the centre of communities that we build the solid foundations from which children succeed. Over 13 years of Tory rule, we’ve seen teachers abused and experts ridiculed and an attempt to return schools to teaching models experienced by too many government ministers, in private schools, over the past 50 years. It’s not structures like free schools or academisation or gimmicks about a smattering of Latin that matter. We need support for parents and programmes to attract the best teachers to disadvantaged areas.

Almost every successful person has a story about the teacher who influenced their direction and put them on a path to success. We need to rediscover an ambition and love for education.

At Kings Heath Boys they’re not planning to rest on their laurels but open up choice and opportunity by changing to an intake of boys and girls. We’re blessed with several outstanding schools in south Birmingham, they do a remarkable job despite squeezed budgets, teacher retention problems and children’s mental health issues. These are all things the government should be addressing.

I hope the local community will get behind plans for Kings Heath Boys which will give more children a chance to attend a school that’s best for them. I’m hungry for a Labour government that treats teachers with the respect they deserve and puts our children first.

It’s time to focus on a system where the talents of every child can be nurtured and where their achievements are the priority.

HMRC and scam tax rebates

Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire)

📍 A constituent of mine discovered in November that HMRC had handed over £972 to the company MortgageSmiths, who took almost half of that in commission fees.

As he hadn’t commissioned this company in the first place, he demanded to see the application form, which was such a poor forgery that both his and his wife’s signature were clearly in the same handwriting.

With the government repeatedly warning the public not to fall for financial scams, it’s incredible that the HMRC fell for this one.

So can we have a Treasury statement, so we can understand the extent of this problem, what’s being done to prevent it in the future, and when constituents like mine will actually get their money from the HMRC.

Government response:
Well, I thank the Honourable Lady for raising this case. I’m very sorry to hear that.

She may of course wish to raise it at Treasury questions on the 9th of May.

But given this is a sizable chunk of money for them to be out of pocket with, I will certainly raise this today with HMRC and ask them to contact the Honourable Lady with regard to this case.

The post HMRC and scam tax rebates appeared first on Dr Philippa Whitford.

Member of Parliament for Beckenham, Bob Stewart, has welcomed the announcement that 3,468 extra police officers have been recruited for the Metropolitan Police since September 2019, bringing the total number of officers up to 35,411.   The recruitment drive is part of the Government’s Beating Crime…

Social Security Health Assessments System Has Contributed to the Deaths of Claimants

The cross party Work and Pensions Select Committee responsible for scrutinising the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) policies, has published a damning report on the Government’s health assessments system which is used to screen whether sick and disabled people should have access to vital social security payments.

These payments provide financial support to a working age person who is unable to work because of their health condition or disability; the assessment for this is the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and is for either Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit Limited Capability to Work. In addition there is also the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment process to access support to cover the extra costs disabled people face because of their disability which are estimated at over £580 a month on average; this is for the Personal Independence Payment.

The report exposed the detrimental impact of the assessment process itself on the health and well being of claimants.

Giving evidence to the Committee, Professor Ben Barr, from the University of Liverpool, was asked about research he carried out in 2015 which looked at the impacts of the WCA as claimants were reassessed to move onto Employment Support Allowance. His analysis estimated that across England, the WCA had caused an additional 600 suicides, 300,000 additional cases of mental health problems and a large rise in the prescribing of antidepressants over a nine-year period.

“We looked at whether it could be explained by other factors or other economic trends, but there was quite a unique pattern in the increase in mental health problems, and the most likely explanation was that it was due to the reassessment process”, he told the committee. He said it is difficult to assess improvements since this study as “there are no systems in place” to monitor the impact of the health assessments and the potential adverse outcomes.

A survey by the University of Kent last year found half of claimants who have been through the WCA process said it made their mental health worse. Dr Ben Baumberg Geiger, who led the research, told the committee: “It is not sufficient to say that this is a historical problem and that everything is fine now. If there was more transparency, it would be easier to know a bit more about it, but the evidence suggests that there are still major problems with the WCA that could lead to an increased risk of poor mental health.”

Debbie Abrahams the Member of Parliament for Oldham East and Saddleworth and a Member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee said:

“The evidence is clear – the current system is not fit for purpose. The DWP’s own figures show that 274 people a month die 6 months after being found fit for work and 60 people a month die 3 months after having PIP refused. These are poorly people not the shirkers and scroungers that some Conservatives refer to when discussing social security claimants.

“We heard evidence during the inquiry that when people were being reassessed between 2010 and 2013, there were 600 additional suicides. In 2020, National Audit Office has said that the claimant deaths that the DWP had investigated were the tip of the iceberg. The current approach is contributing, directly and indirectly, to the physical and mental health harm of claimants.

“Last year the Equality Watchdog, The Equality and Human Rights Commission, issued a Section 23 order against the Department of Work and Pensions over their discriminatory treatment of disabled claimants.

“The Government itself has effectively acknowledged a different approach is needed when they announced that they would abolition the Work Capability Assessments, something I have been calling for years, but the detail of the future process is too opaque and doesn’t provide reassurance. Given it will take place several years to replace, what happens until then?

“I remain deeply concerned about these health assessments but also about the punitive nature of the sanctions regime, introduced in 2012 and, once again, on the rise.

“I believe it is these social security policies, as well as the inadequacy of the social security support especially for working age people, and the dehumanising culture that claimants too often experience that collectively contribute to the adverse health effects is the It is so detrimental to vulnerable people especially, but to all people as well.

“Given the failure of the Government to make many of the changes recommended in our predecessor Committee in 2018, I hold little hope in them taking on board the improvements set out in the report.”

Feel strongly about this article?

The post Social Security Health Assessments System has Contributed to the Deaths of Claimants appeared first on Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.

Local Update

Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell)

Dear constituent

I am writing to you with an update on a few local matters.

First of all, for those of you intending to vote in the local elections in May, a reminder if you did not know, that you will need to take photo ID with you to the polling station. This is part of a new approach to avoid people impersonating someone else by voting in their name.

There are details on Council websites for Epsom and Ewell, Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead and what to do if you do not have a suitable form of ID.




Stoneleigh Railway Crossing

For those of you living in the Stoneleigh area, work is due to start soon on the new step free crossing over the railway at the station. I hope this will make things much easier for people with mobility issues, not to mention small children in buggies or heavy shopping bags.

This is a timetable for the planned work.

One Day Travel Cards

Transport for London has just announced that it is planning to scrap paper one day travelcards from outside London, which is likely to affect many people in our area. I will be lodging an objection to this, particularly as it is happening at the same time as the proposed ULEZ. If you want to find out more, they have published details at


Although the feedback form on this site is pretty limited, I would encourage you to share any opinions about the proposal via the link.

Veterans Group

In the last bulletin I gave you details of the support for veterans in Epsom and Ewell. I have been asked to remind those living in Mole Valley about the veterans hub for those living in the district, which is also providing valuable support locally. You can find out all the details at


With best wishes

Chris Grayling

The post Local Update appeared first on Chris Grayling.

St Helens Mobile Pantry

Conor McGinn (St Helens North)

The famous black door of Number Ten Downing Street was the backdrop this week for a visit from Boston and Skegness sixth formers. The students, who in November had participated in the inaugural William Waynflete debate competition organised by Matt Warman MP, enjoyed a tour of the Houses of Parliament before their visit to Number Ten. The day was rounded off by a Q&A session with Matt and the competition judges as well as guests from Parliament including House of Commons Library Director of Research Edward Wood. The panel passed on their careers advice as well as explaining some of the opportunities available in politics besides being an MP.


Speaking after the visit Matt Warman MP commented ‘I was keen to establish a debating competition to encourage students to think deeply about some of the issues facing our society and, crucially, to equip them with the skills to consider both sides of a complex argument. Today’s visit to the home of modern democracy was an excellent opportunity to see those skills in action with students having the chance to observe opposition MPs challenging Ministers at the despatch box. I look forward to next year’s programme and on a broader note, am always happy to welcome schools in my constituency to Parliament.’


Chair of Governors at Boston High School Lisa Smith who accompanied the visit said ‘This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to see democracy in action – and to be inspired by the opportunities for careers in parliament. We are grateful to Matt for arranging the debate competition and the visit and look forward to defending our winner’s trophy next year!’


What is the Impact of Distance Learning in Education

Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced many schools and educational institutions to move to a distance learning model. This has had a significant impact on the way education is delivered. Some of the impacts have been positive, while others have been more negative. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key impacts of distance learning in education. We’ll also look at how this new model is likely to evolve in the future.

Define distance learning and its purpose in education

Distance learning is a form of education that takes place between an instructor and students who are not interacting in the same physical location. Distance learning courses typically take place online, where students can access course materials and engage in remote lessons with their instructors from the comfort of their own homes. The primary purpose of distance learning is convenience: it gives students the opportunity to pursue studies at any time, from virtually anywhere. Distance learning also allows students to fit an education into otherwise busy lives. Students who may be unable to enroll in campus-based schooling due to geographic obstacles, health issues or obligations such as employment or family care duties all benefit from being able to receive instruction, interact with peers and complete coursework remotely with distance learning courses.

Describe how distance learning has changed over the years

Over the years, distance learning has evolved from a simple pen pal type of correspondence to a complex online system. Instead of having to wait weeks for someone to return a single letter, now students can communicate almost instantly with teachers and fellow classmates as well as access curricula and educational resources provided by their school. This shift in technology allows instructors to deliver lessons through virtual classrooms, use interactive technological tools such as quizzes and videos to engage their students, and offer new ways for pupils to demonstrate their mastery of material. Despite its advantages, the growth of distance learning still faces challenges such as lack of face-to-face interaction between teachers and students, high levels of student motivation required to succeed in an online course, security issues associated with personal data sharing over the internet, and lower access by underserved communities due to cost or a lack of available technology resources. The field of distance learning is ever growing though, offering increased opportunities for those seeking alternative ways to receive their education

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning

Distance learning has come a long way since its inception and can offer an excellent alternative to standard coursework writing. In many ways, it is more convenient than traditional studying, as students are able to fit coursework into their daily lives without having to take time off for commuting or attending lectures. Furthermore, distance learning can be particularly useful for learners who have trouble fitting into the traditional classroom setting or who struggle with certain course topics due to lack of face-to-face instruction. However, distance learning also has some drawbacks; most courses require students to have significant levels of self-discipline in order to stay motivated while juggling their coursework with other commitments, and often times course instructors may not be easily accessible if struggles arise during coursework writing. Nonetheless, with proper motivation and preparation distance learning can be great tool for those seeking educational options.

Offer examples of successful distance learning programs

Distance learning programs have become increasingly popular in recent years as educators and learners alike explore new ways to bridge the gap between traditional education and modern technology. Successful distance learning programs can be seen across many different sectors, whether for academic purposes or for professional development. For example, online universities like Open University offer degrees and courses in a variety of different disciplines, allowing learners to complete their degree in an unprecedented amount of time compared to traditional brick-and-mortar universities. Professional organizations like Toastmasters utilize video conferencing tools to offer staff seminars and other training sessions without having to send staff members out of town. These distance learning solutions save organizations time and money while still managing to deliver quality services and instruction.

Summarize the impact of distance learning in education overall

The introduction of distance learning in education has profoundly impacted education overall. Through the use of digital tools, teachers have been able to reach more students and expand their classroom across geographical boundaries. Additionally, it has increased access to educational materials as well as leveled out the playing field among different socioeconomic backgrounds. Distance learning has allowed schools to create innovative ways of teaching and engaging with students. It not only gives teachers the ability to interact directly with students but also provides ways for students to collaborate and connect with their peers from around the world. All in all, distance learning has shown itself to be a powerful tool that can help students receive a better education no matter where they are located or their financial situation.

Though it has been around in some form since the 19th century, distance learning has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. This is largely due to advances in technology that have made online education more accessible and affordable than ever before. While there are many advantages to distance learning, such as increased flexibility and the ability to learn at your own pace, there are also some disadvantages to consider. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the right program for you. But with careful research and planning, you can find an online education option that meets your needs and helps you achieve your educational goals. Are you considering pursuing a degree through distance learning? What are some of the factors you’re taking into consideration?

The post What is the Impact of Distance Learning in Education appeared first on Berger.

Berry Bros & Rudd New Warehouse in Andover

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

It was fascinating to visit the vast new Berry Bros warehouse in Andover recently. This family owned business is one of the world’s oldest and biggest wine merchants and they have just opened a spanking new multi million pound facility on the Andover Business Park.

While much of their business is selling wine, most of it is helping wine buyers and collectors look after their stock, and the warehouse is where it is all stored. As I was shown round, I marvelled at the famous names on the shelves: Lafitte, Latour, Petrus etc.

The Warehouse is chilled to 12 degrees throughout, but happily due to solar panels on the roof, will be carbon neutral.

It’s a great vote of confidence in Andover and in the UK wine industry which I hope will continue to lead the world, with possibly the biggest collection of fine wines on the planet, here in North West Hampshire.

Dan Jarvis MP: Statement Regarding Sentencing

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

I was deeply concerned to read the decision taken by the Court in this case.

Given the very serious nature of the crimes committed, and that the perpetrator pleaded guilty to all 10 offences, I find it very difficult to understand how he was not deemed a serious threat to the public and remanded in custody.

I will be urgently raising these concerns with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General’s office.

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?

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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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Tawaran Promosi

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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.

Backbench Business Committee

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

My article in House Magazine

End Fire and Rehire

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

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

Visit my Facebook page

Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

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

New GP Surgery Back on Track for Shifnal

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)

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

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

Commenting, Mark Pritchard MP said:

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

New Hospital in Sutton Confirmed

Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)

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

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

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

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

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


Why is this being done?

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

Is St Helier closing?

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

Is a new hospital being built?

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

Is St Helier getting an upgrade?

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

Who developed these proposals?

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

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

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

Will we still use St Helier?

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

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

What about bed numbers?

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

What about A&E?

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

What about maternity services?

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

Where will children services be provided?

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

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

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

Where will the new hospital be built?

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

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

A&E at The Royal Glam

Chris Bryant (Rhondda)

A&E @ the Glam – Strength in Unity

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Please wait...

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

Reflecting on Defeat

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield)

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

Compensation package for Waspi women

John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have a historic debt of honour to them.

Lisa reselected by Wigan Labour

Lisa Nandy (Wigan)

Lisa Nandy MP

Wigan Constituency Labour Party have reselected Lisa Nandy MP as their candidate for the next General Election.

At meetings held over the last fortnight, members in all of the branches that make up Wigan Labour Party voted overwhelmingly to reselect Lisa. All affiliated organisations, including Unite the Union, the Communication Workers’ Union, GMB, Unison and Usdaw, also voted to reselect.

Lisa said:

“I’m grateful to Labour members in Wigan for choosing to reselect me so overwhelmingly. Being the Member of Parliament for Wigan is the privilege of my life, and I couldn’t do it without the members who turn up year in, year out and in all weathers to campaign for the Labour Party. With a General Election looking likely, we will be out once again fighting for every vote and to put an end to the damage inflicted on Wigan by this reckless Conservative government.”

Wigan Constituency Labour Party said:

“We’re delighted to have reselected Lisa Nandy as our candidate for the next General Election. For 10 years Lisa has worked tirelessly to represent Wigan in Parliament, fighting for constituents hit hardest by this Conservative government’s brutal cuts and ensuring that Wigan’s voice is heard on the national stage. The overwhelming level of support Lisa received from local party members is testament to that work. We’re proud to have Lisa as our MP and we’re ready to fight and win the next General Election together.”

The post Lisa reselected by Wigan Labour first appeared on Lisa Nandy MP.

Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)

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

MP meets South Downs farmers

Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs)

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

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

Mhairi Black (Paisley and Renfrewshire South)

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

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

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

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

Commenting, Mhairi Black said:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On being a woman in politics

Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Made by @davorg / Last built: Friday 09 June 2023 15:27