About

Built by Dave Cross.

Powered by Perlanet

Subscribe

Feed Subscribe
OPML OPML

Sources

The PM comes to Mansfield!

Ben Bradley (Mansfield)

To follow the Home Secretary, Transport Secretary, Housing Minister, Immigration Minister and Chief Whip visiting Mansfield, we finished the week with a visit from the Prime Minister!
It was a pleasure to be joined by the PM yesterday morning to meet residents of Millersdale Avenue. Great support on the doorstep and obviously a few shocked faces when they answered the door - not the first thing you expect on a Saturday morning!
Well and truly putting Mansfield on the map!

I’ve been working with brilliant local campaigners to get more Changing Places toilets installed in the Llanelli constituency.

These fully-accessible toilets with a hoist and changing bench are vital for many people with disabilities and health issues, so we absolutely must get one installed in Llanelli town centre.

Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved in the campaign.

Sunday 17 November

Bob Stewart (Beckenham)

Yesterday I started by joining friends for breakfast at the new Café Tiya in Croydon Road. Thereafter I went into Beckenham itself to join a street stall. We set-up the stall at Thornton’s Corner and also campaigned along the High Street.

People on the High Street were clear. The vast majority now want the whole matter of BREXIT resolved fast. However, increasingly, the matter of climate change is coming up too. It has made me review where my thoughts are on this very knotty problem.

More money for local schools

John Redwood (Wokingham)

I see there is a website suggesting I do not back more money for local schools. As readers of this site will know I have successfully campaigned for more money and support Conservative plans to set new higher minimum levels of funding. I will continue to press the case for further increases.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP campaign hub officially opened

Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)


Angus MacNeil SNP candidate in Na h-Eileanan an Iar officially opened the campaign hub in Stornoway this morning. 


The campaign hub at 8 Church Street, Stornoway, is the base for the SNP campaign in the islands and will be open Monday to Saturday for the duration of the campaign.  

Launching his campaign, surrounded by supporters, Mr MacNeil said:

“It has been a great privilege to represent the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar in Parliament and I hope to continue to do that after December 12th.

“I know that people are really fed-up with the situation at Westminster.  For Scotland, this Election is about choosing our own future – about what kind of country we want to be and about taking control of our own affairs. For the United Kingdom, the Election is about Brexit – breaking away from our European partners and exiting the free trade deals we currently enjoy.
“I hope to see as many people as possible in this short campaign and that you will again allow me to use my experience by representing you in Westminster by voting for me and for the SNP on December 12th.”

ENDS

Join Debbie Abrahams’ Campaign in Oldham East & Saddleworth!

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

Help re-elect Debbie Abrahams in Oldham East & Saddleworth!

This election is going to be critical for the country and millions of people are relying on us to deliver a Labour government. There is a lot at stake – but there are plenty of ways you can help to make sure we keep Oldham East and Saddleworth Labour!

You can help us win this election by joining the teams going out daily to speak to voters, phone canvassing, posting leaflets and even folding and stuffing letters in the campaign office. In any case, you’ll receive a warm Labour welcome!

The post Join Debbie Abrahams’ Campaign in Oldham East & Saddleworth! appeared first on Debbie Abrahams, Labour Candidate for Oldham East and Saddleworth.

Working together for a safer winter

Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Edinburgh’s Transport Leader is asking everyone to do their bit, where possible, to help make sure front paths and local streets and pavements are safe and walkable this winter.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour candidate for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed Labour’s new policy providing free broadband for all homes and businesses, calling it “transformative”.

In Lancaster today, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn set out plans to deliver fast and free full fibre-broadband for all by bringing parts of BT into public ownership and creating a new British Broadband public service.

This would include a massive upgrade in the UK’s internet infrastructure, delivering fast, secure, reliable internet connections for everyone and putting an end to patchy and slow coverage, boosting 5G connectivity across the country.

The roll out will begin with communities that have the worst broadband access, including rural and remote communities and some inner city areas, followed by towns and smaller centres, and then by areas that are currently well-served by superfast or ultrafast broadband.

The plan will be paid for through Labour’s Green Transformation fund and taxing multinational corporations such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, and save the average person £30.30 a month.

According to research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a full-fibre broadband network could boost productivity by £59 billion by 2025; bring half a million people back into the workforce; and boost rural economies, with an estimated 270,000 people more able to move to rural areas.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“In the 21st century, use of the internet has changed from being a luxury to being an essential utility and far too many people are receiving a poor or overly expensive service.

 

“These are the kind of bold and ambitious plans that this country needs to meet the challenges of the 21st century and will transform the way that both businesses and families do things.

 

“It is right that the internet giants are taxed appropriately and providing free internet for all is a fair way of using the income from these taxes.”

Boris joins John for fish & chips at Papa’s

John Penrose (Weston-Super-Mare)

Boris Johnson visited John in Weston yesterday to discuss John’s priorities for Weston and the country ahead of December’s General Election.

Following his visit, the PM said: “This country is positive, enthusiastic and ready to get this thing done. Let’s move on, and make the UK the best place to live, work, start a business, raise a family, and retire.”

NHS needs Labour's £26bn rescue plan

John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne)

Today's NHS statistics reveal the Conservatives have ushered in the worst A&E crisis on record.

A&Es are overwhelmed and there's an ever growing queue of people waiting for treatment.

The Tories spent a decade cutting over 15,000 beds.

The figures show why patients desperately need Labour's rescue plan.

We'll end the Tory NHS crisis with a £26 billion real terms funding boost to provide safe quality care, recruit the thousands of staff needed, rebuild crumbling facilities and provide modern state of the art equipment.

We'll also:

  • Guarantee a greater priority for mental health
  • Introduce free prescriptions and car parking
  • Protect the NHS from Boris Johnson's sell out Brexit deal with Donald Trump
  • Increase NHS capital budgets to rebuild hospitals and community facilities
  • Restore a training bursary for nurses
  • Recruit 24,000 extra nurses and expand GP training places to 5,000





Epsom Hospital – What’s Really Happening

Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell)

Epsom Hospital – What’s Really Happening

The campaign to protect Epsom Hospital has been a great team effort over the past twenty years, with involvement from across the community and across the political spectrum. Without that effort we would have lost all our acute services to St Helier a long time ago.

For the past three years the leadership of the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust has been arguing that, because of the condition of many of the buildings at both Epsom and St Helier, during the 2020s there should be a brand new state of the art acute hospital built to serve the whole of the area it covers.

The Government has now agreed to provide £500m to build that new acute centre, as well as to upgrade other buildings at both Epsom and St Helier.

The local NHS is a long way from deciding how that money should be spent, and deciding on a location – though it is an open secret that they would prefer to build it adjoining the Royal Marsden at Sutton – which is situated close to the roundabout at the top of our section of the A217.

In the meantime, there are no major service changes planned at either Epsom or St Helier. The Trust’s plan for the years 2020-25 envisages all the key current acute services remaining on both sites.

We expect the consultation on how to spend the £500m and where to be held next year, and we will be campaigning vigorously for the main investment to be at Epsom, which is at the centre of the area covered by the Trust. Even after the recent land sale, independent analysis shows that there is space for this to happen.

Whatever the final outcome of all of this, Epsom will remain open, and with new investment is expected to have more beds than it does at present. But we think that a £500m investment in our local hospitals is a good thing, as we want the most modern NHS facilities for our area.

All this, though, is years away. Reports that both hospitals will be downgraded next year are inaccurate, and in fact would be impossible for the local NHS – it would cause chaos in other local hospitals which would not have the capacity to cope. And at a time when the NHS is set to receive an extra £400 million a week boost to its budgets, there would be no need for such a downgrade anyway.

The post Epsom Hospital – What’s Really Happening appeared first on Chris Grayling.

Voting for Stephen - Let him know here

Please take a moment to let me know what you think here
Sign up to my newsletter and click here if you would like to help me make a difference

Harriett delivers planning blueprint verdict

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire)

Harriett Baldwin has offered her views on the long-term development plan at its public exhibition in Pershore. read more »

Investing in our Armed Forces

Michelle Donelan (Chippenham)

Investing in our Armed Forces does not mean we have to sacrifice other much needed investments in things like education and emerging technology. In fact, while serving as your MP I have made the case that investing more in the Armed Forces means that we simultaneously train new engineers, designers and technical workers and give them an invaluable opportunity to gain experience in work. This is why I have been so insistent that the country that once built Spitfires out of old pots and pans ought to be building its ships and military equipment right here in the UK.

At the end of the last Parliament, my work paid off as we committed to a new order of Royal Navy Type 31 frigates that will be built here in the UK as part of the Prime Minister’s effort to reinstate the UK as a great shipbuilding nation. This will mean that a generation of young British engineers and skilled shipbuilders will have the chance to gain on-the-job experience and over 2,500 of them are expected to be hired as a result of this new order. If I am re-elected, I will push for even more skilled jobs to be created through new Armed Forces investment right here in the South West.

The post Investing in our Armed Forces appeared first on Michelle Donelan.

My nomination papers to be the Conservative candidate in Esher and Walton are in, and the election campaign is now in full swing. The Conservatives are offering a positive vision to get Brexit done, and unleash our full potential as a country. I hope you will vote Conservative on 12 December for three reasons:

1. We have a great Brexit deal agreed with the EU. We need the MPs elected to drive it through Parliament, so the UK can move on. This is the common sense and moderate way to deal with Brexit – giving effect to the referendum as a matter of democratic principle, and doing it with a deal so we continue our trade and cooperation with our EU partners.

2. We have a positive agenda to take the country forward: expanding infrastructure to create the jobs of the future and raise wages, tackling climate change at home and abroad, keeping taxes low and easing the cost of living, and using the tax revenue from a thriving free enterprise economy to put more police on the streets, invest in our precious NHS and level up schools funding.

3. I have championed Esher and Walton constituency and I am committed to making it an even better place to live – increasing school places and funding, getting NHS investment to our GP practices, getting more police on the streets of Elmbridge, safeguarding the Greenbelt, and supporting local groups helping the most disadvantaged in our communities.

You can follow my campaign on Twitter and Facebook, or feel free to drop me a line at dominic.raab@esherwalton.com.

Launching Our Campaign!

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

EVENNETT AND BROKENSHIRE OFFICIALLY NOMINATED

David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Yesterday (Monday 11th November 2019) Rt Hon Sir David Evennett and Rt Hon James Brokenshire were officially nominated to stand as parliamentary candidates representing the Conservative Party in the constituencies of Bexleyheath & Crayford and Old Bexley & Sidcup respectively.

Both candidates expressed how they were looking forward to campaigning over the next few weeks speaking to residents, listening to their concerns and promoting the Conservative’s positive message.

Graham Stuart looks to improve healthcare in Withernsea

Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness)

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Graham Stuart, has called for a meeting to address residents’ continuing concerns over healthcare provision in the South-East Holderness area if he is re-elected as MP for Beverley and Holderness.

The meeting would bring together the local Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS111, local councillors and Holderness Health – which provides GP services in the town – and would look to address the underlying causes of any present dissatisfaction.

Concerns centre around the way in which Withernsea’s 8-to-8 Centre, NHS111 and local GP services integrate; with complaints arising from some residents not being referred to the 8-to-8 centre despite their minor ailments or injuries being clinically appropriate.

Graham met with the Chief Executive of the CCG earlier this year, along with local ward councillors Lyn Healing, Paul Whitehead and Dave Tucker, in order to raise these concerns, at which the CCG attested that every complaint had been investigated thoroughly and that in the vast majority of cases, patients had been referred to the correct NHS setting.

The Withernsea 8-to-8 Centre was opened in April 2018 following the closure of the Minor Injuries Unit in the town, and was a concession in response to Graham’s campaign to highlight the desperate need for good, local healthcare provision – especially because of low levels of car ownership in Withernsea.

Commenting on the need for the meeting, Graham said: “It’s imperative that residents in and around Withernsea have good access to healthcare and that their needs aren’t pushed to one side just because they don’t live in bigger towns and cities like Beverley and Hull.

“It’s vitally important that people are directed to the 8-to-8 Centre when their injuries and illnesses are appropriate as it was an important concession when we lost the Minor Injuries Unit.

“While I was the local MP, we also agreed with the CCG that they would provide a free taxi service to the Urgent Treatment Centre in Beverley for those who need it. This needs to be asked for when you ring up NHS111 so I’d really encourage people to use this facility.

“The residents of South-East Holderness deserve as good a health service as anyone else, and it’s up to the healthcare providers to deliver this. That’s why I want to hold this meeting as soon as possible if I’m re-elected; we need to make sure that patients are being referred to the right services and that it’s done in a timely manner.”

#GoodMannersEmojis petition
Please sign our #GoodMannersEmoji petition and join the global call for new emojis to help identify, call out and discourage rude behaviour or bullying on social media platforms. By showing support you will help us persuade the Unicode Committee to have the emojis installed on every device manufactured. The campaign is supported by The Jo Cox Foundation, Hollaback and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London.
About the campaign
There are ways people can deal with the most extreme forms of cyber bullying and abuse on social media, from reporting a person, blocking, identifying and reporting Bots or going to the police. However, there is a considerable amount of lower level bad behaviour, especially on twitter, which is creating an aggressive and abusive atmosphere. This is particularly the case in political discourse. In the real world we have developed social norms to deal with this kind of bullying, but we have not yet established these online.
This is affecting politicians, but also others in public life. From school governors, to charity trustees and campaigners.
Anonymous abuse, impersonation, saying critical things about a person on social media and copying the subject in, are all examples of behaviours which are difficult to respond to. The absence of a way of responding to this poor behaviour is resulting in it going unchecked. It is becoming the norm.
Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP is working with The Iconfactory to develop some emojis to help identify, call out and discourage rude behaviour or bullying on social media platforms. The designs are friendly, non-confrontational and a little bit sassy. They can be used to notify someone that you think they have overstepped the mark, or others that there is an issue. Similarly, if you think one of your friends is guilty of bad behaviour you can send them an emoji privately to suggest they ought to calm down, much easier and more likely to happen than an awkward conversation. If someone has a lot of the emojis on their timeline, especially if they are coming from all sides of the political spectrum or debate, then it may cause them to think about their attitude online, or demonstrate to service providers that a person is a problem user.
Six emojis designs have been launched today together with a call for further ideas and requests of support. The emojis will then be pitched to the Unicode Committee to have them installed on all devices manufactured as part of the standard emoji menu.
Penny Mordaunt said,
“The limited way people can respond to disrespectful behaviour on social media is resulting in polite, sensible people becoming a silent majority on these platforms. This affects politicians but also many others in public life, from school governors to public servants to charity trustees. It is my hope that these new tools can help us all create the social norms that are so lacking online.”
Politicians and campaign groups cross the world are being asked to support the initiative. This includes the prospective presidential candidates in the United States and the leaders of each political party in the UK.
Early supporters of the initiative include the Jo Cox Foundation and Hollaback.
Sign the petition here

Dissolution of Parliament Disclaimer

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)

I’m not currently an MP, as Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election.

If you wish to contact me in my capacity as Independent Group for Change Candidate for Nottingham East my Email address is chris@theindependent.group

Open letter to Remain voters

Stewart Hosie (Dundee East)

On December 12th you have a chance to escape from Brexit, and to ensure Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s or any other UK Prime Minister’s.
After the last few years I can fully understand if you feel scunnered. Everyone is fed up with this Westminster mess. Scotland didn’t vote for this Tory government, and we didn’t vote for Brexit – but the Tories don’t care about Scotland and are dragging us out of the EU against our will. The Westminster system has shown itself to be broken. This isn’t some academic debate – Brexit will profoundly affect you, your family and your community. It will harm our economy and our living standards, and it will limit the opportunities of our young people. And it also poses a real threat to public services such as our NHS. And under Boris Johnson’s plan Brexit will not be ‘done’ – he hasn’t even started trade talks yet, so we face years of more Brexit wrangling with the very real prospect of a no deal crash-out because of hard Tory demands. Scotland is an enormously wealthy country, with human and natural resources that most other countries can only dream of. I believe that our best future would be as an independent country, though I understand that not everyone shares that view. But what I do know is that we can only realise our enormous potential as a nation if we escape from Brexit and decide for ourselves what kind of country we want to be. That’s why your vote in this election is so important. If we sit back and do nothing, our future will be decided for us by Boris Johnson and by governments we didn’t vote for. We must come together in this election and make Scotland’s voice heard - and the best way to do that is to vote SNP. In every seat in Scotland held by the Tories, it is the SNP who is in second place – so only the SNP can stop the Tories and deprive them of a majority. So my message to you is this. Don’t sit back and let the Tories decide your future for you - stand up and be counted. Vote SNP on December 12th to escape Brexit and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.- First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Disclaimer Notice

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

Disclaimer: During the General Election there are no MPs and I do not hold the office of MP for Aldridge-Brownhills. Any references to MP on this page predate the dissolution of Parliament.

I am not currently an MP, as Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election.

General Election 2019

Emma Reynolds (Wolverhampton North East)

Emma Reynolds has been the MP for Wolverhampton North East between 2010 and 2019. Following the dissolution of Parliament ahead of the general election on December 12, there are no MPs.

Until polling day on 12 December, Emma is Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Wolverhampton North East.

The post General Election 2019 appeared first on Emma Reynolds MP.

Local MP highlights the Help to Save scheme for working people on low incomes .

Help to Save is a new government saving scheme to support working people on tax credits and Universal Credit build their savings.

North Herefordshire and the Country decided in 2016 to leave the European Union. The UK is a democracy, and we must respect the result. As Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats failed to back our timetable to leave the... Continue Reading →

Dissolution of Parliament for the General Election 2019

Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire)

On Tuesday 29th October, the UK Parliament voted to hold a UK General Election on 12th December 2019. Accordingly, Parliament will be dissolved at 00hrs01 on Wednesday 6th November 2019.

During the dissolution period there are no Members of the UK Parliament.  Consequently, strict limitations are imposed on what I can and cannot do during this time and, as a Parliamentary Candidate, I will be unable to take any new cases forward.

Please be assured that my team and I will continue to work on existing cases in an attempt to have them resolved prior to the General Election on Thursday 12th December.  My constituency office will remain open from 10am – 12 noon and 2pm – 4pm Monday to Friday up to the day of the General Election.

Below is list of other possible contacts for any issues you may need assistance with.

Should you wish to contact me as a Parliamentary Candidate, please email me at info@drphilippasnp.scot

Regardless of the outcome of the election on 12th December, it has been a privilege to represent the people of Central Ayrshire for the last four and half years.

 

Contacts During Dissolution Period 

If you have an issue you would like assistance with, you may consider contacting your MSP in the absence of your MP until the result of the Parliamentary election is known:

 

For constituents in Prestwick and Troon
Ayr – John Scott MSP – Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

 

Constituency Office – 17 Wellington Square, Ayr   KA7 1EZ

01292 286251

Q2.01, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh   EH99 1SP

0131 348 5664  0131 348 5000

John.Scott.msp@parliament.scot

 

For constituents in Kyle
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley – Jeane Freeman MSP – Scottish National Party Constituency Office

01290 4258760

T3.23  The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh  EH99 1SP

0131 348 6745

Jeane.Freeman.msp@parliament.scot

 

For constituents in Irvine & Kilwinning
Cunninghame South – Ruth Maguire MSP – Scottish National Party Constituency Office – 14 Eglinton Street, Irvine  KA12 8AS

01294 276730

M4.13, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh   EH99 1SP

Ruth.Maguire.msp@parliament.scot

 

 

Emergency Telephone Numbers

 

NORTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL
Contact North Ayrshire Council for help with all general enquiries. Calls are directed to our Contact Centre where a Customer Services Advisor will assist you Housing Repairs – 01294 310000

 

Homelessness 0800 0196 500
Roads & Lighting 01294 310000
Trunk Road Repairs – Road & Lighting Faults (A78, A737, A738 0800 028 1414
Email contactus@north-ayrshire.gov.uk
Address can access social services, housing, registrations, council tax and benefits services at our Customer Service Centre, Bridgegate House, Irvine  KA12 8BD

 

SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL
Call 0300 123 0900 or use the out of hours / emergency phone numbers
Social Work 01292 267 675
Out of hours: 0800 811 505

 

In person or write to us   Visit one of our customer service centres or write to us at:  South Ayrshire Council, County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr  KA7 1DR

  

Other emergency contacts

 

Adult Support and Protection (Out of Hours Response Service) 0800 328 7758
Alcoholics Anonymous 0800 9177 650
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
National Grid National Emergency Service 0800 111 999
NHS24 111
Police Scotland In an emergency call 999 and for non-emergencies call 101
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service 999
Scottish Water 0800 0778 778
Scottish Power 0800 092 9290
The Samaritans 01563 531 313
Women’s Aid 0800 027 1234

 

The post Dissolution of Parliament for the General Election 2019 appeared first on Dr Philippa Whitford.

A number of constituents have been in touch with me following the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that legislation will be introduced to require voters to show photographic identification at polling stations in future elections. (The requirement does not apply to this election.)  Many say electoral corruption is not a widespread problem or that requiring voter ID is too draconian a measure.  I completely disagree.  Most law-abiding citizens in the Wycombe constituency would be shocked if they knew the extent of […]

IMPORTANT DISSOLUTION DISCLAMER

Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

This site was established when Catherine McKinnell was a Member of Parliament. As Parliament will dissolve after 6 November 2019 ahead of the General Election on 12 December 2019, there will be no Members of Parliament until after that date. Any reference to Catherine’s activities as an MP on this website during the dissolution period … Continue reading IMPORTANT DISSOLUTION DISCLAMER

Johnson’s revised deal is worse than May’s

Lesley Laird (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

I supported having an election not just because of the Brexit bind we find ourselves in but so we can bring an end to the intolerable levels of rising poverty, especially child poverty, resulting in deepening inequality and widening divisions in our country. However, I am not prepared to risk inflicting the disaster of a No Deal Brexit on our communities, jobs, public services and rights.

The No Deal option would not mean simply getting on with Brexit. It would mean the start of a whole new period of confusion and delay, but set against a backdrop of rising unemployment, further deindustrialisation and increasing deprivation across the UK. Unfortunately, this seems to be the course the Prime Minister is set on pursuing.

There is no mandate for No Deal, either in Parliament or in the country at large.

Boris Johnson’s revised deal primarily focuses on changes to the Northern Ireland backstop but sadly, is not a deal that I believe protects the Good Friday Agreement. Nor does it address any of the concerns I had with the previous deal, on issues such as: customs, our relationship with the single market, dynamic alignment with employment rights and protections, participation in EU agencies and funding programmes, and of course security and access to key agencies.

In so many ways the revised deal is now worse. It explicitly rules out a new customs union and a close future relationship with the single market. This has been a key demand of industry and trade unions.

It is also now explicit that there will be new trade barriers with the EU and additional checks at borders and paperwork on customs declarations required in relation to Northern Ireland at a cost to business of around £54 per declaration.  Provisions on services have not been improved and commitments on workers’ rights and environmental protections are now significantly weaker. There has also been no progress on the question of our future participation in security arrangements or agencies.

I believe this deal is therefore far worse than the deal previously rejected by Parliament.

It will undoubtedly pave the way for deregulation and privatisation while putting food safety at risk, cutting environmental standards and workers’ rights, and opening up our NHS to a takeover by private corporations particularly Trump like deals from the USA.   I believe this deal will unquestionably harm jobs, rights and living standards. I am therefore opposed to it and did not support it in Parliament.

The intent behind it too is a cause for grave concern.  In particular it proposes that matters normally set by Primary Legislation (by all of Parliament) can be approved or changed by an appropriate authority (a Minister) which is Secondary Legislation.  Taking us back once again to the concept of Henry VIII Powers.  It also appears to not pay due cognisance to the devolved settlements of Scotland and Wales.

However, Boris Johnson only set aside three days for its full scrutiny in the House of Commons – normally weeks or months would be allocated for legislation of such significance and with such huge consequences for our country and for future generations.  I believe this limitation on Parliament’s scrutiny of it is outrageous. On that basis, I voted against the timetable proposed by the Government.

The reasons people voted for Brexit cannot be ignored. We therefore need a Government that will deliver real change and transformative policies, ending austerity and investing in all parts of our country.

We now have a Brexit extension until the end of January and I believe this general election gives us the opportunity to remove this Government and this dangerous Brexit deal in order to let the people decide in a referendum. 

I support and will be campaigning for a Labour Government that will put the issue of Brexit back to the people with a credible Leave option versus Remain. I will be campaigning to remain in a subsequent referendum.

As your elected representative in Parliament, I have welcomed your views and comments throughout this process and would encourage you to continue to do so.  Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.

The post Johnson’s revised deal is worse than May’s appeared first on Lesley Laird.

Dissolution of Parliament

Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

I am not currently an MP, as Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election.

Emails to the chi.onwurah.mp@parliament.uk address may be received and read, however this email address is only being used to respond to urgent constituency casework.

My campaign contact number: 0191 691 1368

My campaign email: chi@newcastlechi.org

This week is Parliament Week, which marks a series of events being run across the country in partnership with schools and community organisations. Now in its ninth year, Parliament Week was created to try and build more awareness about how the institution works. This week the House of Commons has given a demonstration of this […]

Dissolution of Parliament

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

From midnight tonight, Tuesday 5th November, I will cease to be an MP, and instead will be a Parliamentary Candidate for the duration of the General Election Campaign.

The election will take place on Thursday 12th December 2019.

Thank you,

Ian Mearns

Parliamentary Candidate for Gateshead

Philip Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the average per pupil funding increase in each parliamentary constituency in 2020-21.

Visit to Fluenta Solutions

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon)

Jonathan visiting Fluenta Solutions at their new offices in Abbotsley to hear about their innovative environmental monitoring system.

Broadband Survey

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)

About You

 

Question 1: How satisfied are you with local broadband?

 

Question 2: What is your current broadband speed?

 

Question 3: What do you use your broadband for?

 

Question 4: Are Broadband speeds getting better or worse locally?

 

On a scale of 0-10 how do you rate the following areas of your broadband internet service? (0 = very poor, 10 = excellent)

012345678910
Customer
Service
Speed
Reliability
WiFi
Range
Value for Money

 

On a scale of 0-10 how do you rate the following areas of your mobile phone service?

012345678910
Customer Service
Speed of 3G/4G Data services
Reliability for 3G/4G Data service
Reliabiltiy for calls
Value for Money

 

Who is your broadband supplier?

Who is your mobile network supplier?

Please use this area for additional comments.

Dissolution Update Video

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

My final update video of this Parliament. It has been a pleasure and a joy to represent you these last four years. Our constituency is seeing much success with a boom in jobs and action to develop our high streets and protect our environment. But we have an incinerator to oppose, schools to support, roads to fix, high streets to revive, businesses to grow and hospitals to invest in – I look forward to talking to you all about these plans in the weeks to come. See you on the doorstep soon!

Dissolution of Parliament

Conor McGinn (St Helens North)

As Parliament has been dissolved, Conor is no longer the MP for St Helens North. Strict electoral rules mean that his constituency office will therefore only be dealing with urgent casework. If you need assistance with any issues such as benefits, debt etc. you may find help at St Helens Citizens Advice, please check their website to see what help they can offer: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ For council related issues, please contact […]


(Newspaper column as seen in the October 2019 edition of The Pigeon)

I’ve spoken before about my concern over the recommissioning of adult community health services in the region. Last month, Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) announced it had awarded a £1bn 10-year contract to deliver adult community  health services to a new provider – Sirona. Changing provider is a high risk move and I’m concerned about the impact of this on health services in Bristol South.   

One of my main concerns is what it will mean for South Bristol Community Hospital (SBCH). The CCG has acknowledged that the healthcare need is greater in Bristol South. We fought hard to get this important facility built in Bristol South in 2012. It has so much potential to deliver a whole range of services but seems to be under-used currently. I am determined to change this.  

I’ve spoken with people who have used the hospital and have heard lots of positive comments about the space, the staff and the treatment they receive and how easy it is to access the services.  

The Hengrove hospital currently provides care to about 32,000 patients annually in Bristol South. The SBCH, has an urgent care centre which is open daily from 8am to 8pm. No referral or pre-booked appointment is necessary: you can just arrive and be seen. For minor injuries and illnesses, there’s no need to go to the City Centre. The SBCH is easy to reach with good public transport links.  

The hospital offers a range of screening, physiotherapy, sexual health services and dental healthcare. It is also home to groups which support carers and older people. The building is just seven years old and still has that new feeling. There’s been investment into the grounds, with a garden and children’s play area created by hospital charity Above & Beyond.  

There is still work to be done. A 2016 HealthWatch report suggested adding a patient shop, making more use of volunteers and strengthening ties with the local authority with a view to being able to discharge people earlier.   

And, should there be funding for enough staff, SBCH hospital has the potential to be able to offer a whole host of new services. The University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, released its 2025 vision earlier this year. It proposes to deliver: ‘a future model of care for South Bristol Community Hospital as a vibrant local community health and care facility for the people living in the South Bristol locality’. That is something I really want to see.  

I will keep speaking up for first-rate NHS provision in Bristol South, and look forward to seeing SBCH better used. 

The issue of a lack of GP appointments is one that many local residents have raised with me. Across the Borough, too many people are having to wait weeks to get to see their local doctor or are forced to spend hours each morning on the phone trying to get an appointment for that day. Understandably, this is making people anxious and worried that they are not getting the care they need, when they need it. It’s also piling on the pressure on the out-of-hours service I-Heart and, in turn, on our Accident and Emergency Department at the Hospital.

General Election: Thursday 12th December

Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

A General Election has been called for Thursday 12th December 2019.

From Wednesday 6th November Alec will not be an MP, as Parliament will dissolve meaning there are no MPs until after the General Election. 

If you want to contact Alec over the election period you can do so at campaign@alecshelbrooke.co.uk. 

Alec is standing for re-election to continue serving fellow residents in Elmet & Rothwell.

Alec Shelbrooke’s 6-Point Plan for Elmet & Rothwell 

  1. Improving access to world-class healthcare 

In a recent survey of residents in Elmet & Rothwell, 85.7% of respondents said they’d had a positive experience when they recently used a local NHS service. This is positive news, however, Alec is determined to see this figure improve further so more people have a good experience of the NHS. That’s why Alec is helping to deliver a long-term plan for the NHS that will boost spending by £20.5 billion a year. This additional funding for local NHS services will deliver more nurses, better cancer care and an additional £2 billion investment in mental health support.

This injection of funding delivered by the Conservatives in Government means the NHS will receive an extra £400 million a week as promised. Alec has already secured a further £600 million injection into our local NHS, with new healthcare facilities meaning significantly modernised hospital buildings.

  1. 20,000 more police officers fighting crime

Backing the government’s new policing strategy with 20,000 additional police officers to tackle crime and keep us safe.

Serious and violent crime is low in our area but residents are right to be concerned about anti-social behaviour and cyber-crime, which often targets elderly and vulnerable people in our communities.

With the nature of crime is changing, we need to change the way we tackle crime. So, whilst we still need police officers on patrol and able to react to emergencies, we also need trained officers dealing with online crime and intelligence to beat serious organised crime.

  1. More good jobs and stronger wages

Unemployment in Elmet & Rothwell has reduced by over 50% since 2010.

Over 1,000 new jobs are created every day as businesses are feeling the benefits of economic growth and investing in jobs and skills again.

In 2010, Alec promised to make “jobs, jobs, jobs” the focus of his efforts as the local Member of Parliament for Elmet & Rothwell. Since then – by working closely with local businesses and banging the drum for investment in jobs and apprenticeships – we’ve seen unemployment in our area fall 60%.

This is welcome news for working families here in Elmet & Rothwell, but there’s still so much more to do to secure a better future for our region. At his re-election Alec committed to using his third term to continue fighting for investment into Yorkshire. Now he is supporting the government’s new National Living Wage of £10.50 per hour – a £4,000 pay rise for the lowest paid.

  1. The UK’s first Dementia Friendly constituency

By 2021, over 1 million people will be living with Dementia. In one way or another it affects all our families and  – as was the case for my own family – a lack of knowledge about how to deal with it often means the last few years of a loved one’s life aren’t always as happy as they should be.

That’s why Alec organised my Dementia Summit, bringing together those who know the most about Dementia care into one forum to make Elmet & Rothwell the UK’s first Dementia Friendly constituency.

Read Alec’s Dementia Directory here.

  1. More outstanding schools and academies

Here in Elmet & Rothwell we have some of the best performing schools and academies in Leeds and there are now more pupils in good and outstanding schools than ever before thanks to a record of amount of money now going into the schools budget.

Looking ahead, we’re investing even more money in local schools. A recent statement by the Chancellor announced a guaranteed minimum of £4,000 per primary pupil and £5,000 per secondary pupil.

To support working parents Alec supported Government proposals to introduce 30 hours of free childcare for young children.

  1. Campaign to strengthen workers’ rights

Alec is leading a national campaign to ban unpaid internships, a practice whereby employers take on young people for up to a year at a time for no salary.

Campaign group Intern Aware and a number of other Conservative MPs are backing Alec’s motion.

According to a YouGov poll, 43% of 18 to 24 year olds believe unpaid internships act or have acted as a major barrier to getting a job. Former MP and Poverty Tsar Alan Milburn’s 2012 report into social mobility found that over 30% of newly hired graduates had previously interned for their employer, rising to 50% in some sectors.

In the Commons, Alec argued that unpaid internships restrict social mobility as they aid young people from wealthy backgrounds who can afford to work for free, but restrict entry to the workplace for the majority of young people in the UK.

Alec drew reference to his own early employment doing manual work in engineering factories and as a kitchen and bathroom fitter as he explained why he thinks unpaid internships should be banned.

Alec’s motion called for an amendment to existing National Minimum Wage legislation to redefine the term “workers” and offer greater protections to young people entering the workplace. The motion called for a common sense approach to ensure than no work experience should last longer than four weeks without pay; at which point an individual should become an intern and be paid the National Minimum Wage as a minimum.

Most recently, Alec led a debate on workplace support for women suffering from endometriosis, a medial condition causing crippling pain and often leading to fertility problems.

 

The post General Election: Thursday 12th December appeared first on Alec Shelbrooke MP.

Westminster Diary – over and out

Richard Benyon (Newbury)

Last week was a week of ‘lasts’. On Tuesday evening I was summoned to the PM’s Commons office. He said some nice things about the importance of long-serving and loyal friends and the values of the Parliamentary party and he restored the Conservative whip to the ten of us who were there. He was keen […]

My View – Wrexham Leader Column

Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South)

Hard-hitting articles in last week’s Leader showed that more than 5,000 people in our county borough needed the help of the Wrexham Foodbank in the last year. That figure included nearly 2,000 local children. A staggering 2,474 food parcels were provided in our locality in the last twelve months.

Like many readers, I’m a big fan of the work of the Wrexham Foodbank. Their volunteers and staff are fantastic – and we are really lucky to have them in our area.

However, I’m concerned that since 2010 when David Cameron’s Government began their Austerity programme, so many people must rely on their services. There’s a massive difference between a local charity set up to help a few people who are down on their luck (that could happen at any time and under any Government) and a system that is vital to keep large numbers of people alive and fed on a regular basis. The existence of the latter is an absolute disgrace – and one of the reasons we see it here in the UK is because of how the Government has shaped our tax and Universal Credit systems.  

I spoke about this issue in the House of Commons during the recent debate on the Queen’s Speech. I voiced my concerns about Universal Credit, a cruel, expensive and poorly implemented system that’s had devastating impacts on many of my constituents. I’ve campaigned on this issue before when I called on the Cabinet Minister to hold a full review after a string of high-profile botches and complaints, something she eventually agreed to.

During my speech, I gave examples of bad practice experienced by people from our local area. I know of people from my constituency who have had terminal conditions but have been unable to access proper support because of how the system has worked against them. I know of seriously ill people who have had to go into debt because of long waits and administrative failures in a system that’s costing tax-payers multi-millions. And I know of decent local private landlords who’ve accepted tenants with serious health problems and addictions but who have ended up not being paid because the new Universal Credit does not allow them to be paid direct.

That is why in my speech I called for the total overhaul of the Universal Credit system. I’m glad more and more people and organisations, including the Labour Party, are calling for this to happen. It’s time we had a system in this country that rewarded hard work, provided fair play and didn’t cost a mega fortune to administer. Universal Credit fails on all these counts; it needs to be scrapped. 

The post My View – Wrexham Leader Column appeared first on Susan Elan Jones MP.

Following the announcement of Barclays’ closure of their branch in Welwyn village, a replacement cash machine has been installed in the village thanks to pressure from Welwyn Hatfield’s Member of Parliament Grant Shapps.

The loss of a cash machine in the village would have had a massively negative impact on the residents of Welwyn, as well as many of the area’s local businesses. Alongside local councillors and hard-working campaigners, Grant worked hard to find an alternative location for a cash machine.

When it became clear that the local branch of Tesco was the most suitable place for it, Grant held meetings between representatives from the supermarket and Welwyn Parish Council. An agreement was reached for Tesco to host the cash machine outside their branch on the high street.

Grant said of the new cash machine: “I am very pleased that people in Welwyn will continue to have access to cash. The loss of the Barclays branch is disappointing, but in retaining the cash machine we still have access to a vital resource. I will always fight hard to protect our facilities.”

Speaking of Grant’s work on this issue, Leader of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Welwyn West ward councillor said “Feedback on the new ATM has been very positive, and I am glad that everyone locally will still be able to easily access their cash. Grant’s work as the local MP on this was hugely important, and without his intervention we may never have achieved this.”

If there are any local issues you’d like Grant’s help with, you can contact him directly by email at grant@shapps.com, or by phone on 01707 262 632.

West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has said he’s ready to take on the Tories as voters are set to go to the polls in a snap general election on Thursday 12th December. The local SNP MP, who represents Clydebank, Dumbarton … Continue reading

The post DECEMBER SNAP ELECTION WILL BE CRITICAL TO SCOTLAND’S FUTURE appeared first on Martin Docherty-Hughes MP.

The Government has announced that it has cancelled the Chancellor’s November budget. Over the past decade of austerity the Conservative Party has starved local public services of cash and has consistently made a political choice to cut hardest the funding to cities, urban areas and the poorest parts of the country. 

The chronic underfunding of local council services, like care for the elderly, housing, and youth provision continues. The people of Nottingham have been hit hard by Conservative cuts. Compared to 2013 Government funding for local public services has fallen by £101 million per year. At the same time local schools in Nottingham have lost out on £71million, which equates to £496 per child. We’ve lost many hundreds of Police officers to Government funding cuts and community policing teams across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have been devastated. 

In his latest Spending Review, Conservative Chancellor Sajid Javid again raided the pockets of local council tax payers. He announced that £500million would be added to council tax bills nationally to stop councils going bankrupt, such has been the scale of Tory cuts.

While the Conservatives continue to be obsessed only with Brexit it seems that our towns and cities have yet again been forgotten. With the cancellation of the Chancellor’s budget and no end in sight of Tory austerity councils up and down the country will have no choice but to reduce local services even further. Faced with huge funding gaps to the tune of billions of pounds nationally, Council tax payers will once again find themselves paying more, for less.

Cllr Sam Webster,
Portfolio Holder for Finance
Nottingham City Council

The post Government Cancels Chancellor’s Budget Starving Local Public Services of New Cash appeared first on Nottingham Labour.

WHEN A SNAP ELECTION IS NOT THE DEMOCRATIC OPTION

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield)

The Prime Minister’s bid to call a snap General Election just before Christmas will not sort out Brexit as he claims and the way he is going about it is bad for democracy. Why do I say that? Last week Boris Johnson’s Government won a vote in Parliament to give his Withdrawal Agreement Bill a […]
RUSSELL AND O’HARA OFFER HELP TO THE COUNCIL , BUT ASK THAT THE COUNCIL BE “STRAIGHT” WITH LOCAL PEOPLE ABOUT BUDGET DIFFICULTIES AND CHOICES. Brendan O’Hara , the MP for Argyll & Bute and Michael Russell, the constituency MSP have issued a joint open letter to Argyll & Bute Council Leader, Cllr Aileen Morton, in … Continue reading ARGYLL & BUTE MSP AND MP JOINT OPEN LETTER TO CLLR AILEEN MORTON

Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

Last Thursday, the House of Commons voted to pass the measures outlined in the Queen’s Speech. The State Opening of Parliament, which took place the previous Monday, marks the opening of a new parliamentary session. The main part of the State Opening sees Her Majesty the Queen reading the ‘Queen’s Speech’ which set out a new domestic legislative agenda, from the government and also a number of bills they intend to bring forwards. 

Our man - An update about the M20

Damian Green (Ashford)

After spending last Saturday unusually in Westminster I had hoped to be able to write this column explaining what happens next in the Brexit saga. Sadly as I write nothing is yet clear, and I can only hope that we can see the route ahead by the time you are reading this.

Ageing Well Event 2019

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy)

Rushanara Ali MP and Anne Main MP have today called on the Government of Bangladesh to rethink proposals for the relocation of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char Island. The two MP’s jointly chair the cross-party parliamentary group on the rights of the Rohingya.

In August 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya were forced to relocate to refugee camps near Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh, after fleeing a brutal crackdown by the Myanmar military, which UN investigators declared was conducted with “genocidal intent”. Currently there are over 1 million people based in the over-crowded makeshift camps, who continue to live with extremely limited access to food, healthcare and shelter.

The Bangladesh Government has considered the relocation of some Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char island as a solution to this humanitarian crisis. They hope this will ease overcrowding too. Previously, they had been unable to convince any refugees to go to the island.

The plans have been publicly criticised by a number of humanitarian organisations who have expressed their concern as the silt island is susceptible to cyclones and flooding and is only accessible by boat. The UN has so far been denied the opportunity to conduct a technical and protection assessment of the island.

On 20 October, the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, Mohammad Abul Kalam, declared that Bangladesh will start the relocation process at the beginning of November 2019. This follows reports that Government officials have started compiling the lists of refugees who are willing to move, and that several thousand have already confirmed their acceptance.

Toby said:

“Parents are understandably angry and frustrated that their children are missing more vital days at school due to strike action. I have spoken to the Interim Director of Schools at Derbyshire County Council to express my concerns and urge for intervention to help resolve these issues.

I am sure everyone will agree that teachers have a right to work in a safe environment and the fact that they have taken this extraordinary action shows the scale of the problems that we saw at the school last term. A new behaviour policy has been introduced and I am hoping it will lead to the genuine change that parents, teachers and pupils can believe in so that the school can begin to rebuild confidence. Last year’s GCSE results were disappointing but not disastrous and there are new staff in place, so there needs to be a relentless focus on ensuring that every child at Hasland Hall is in a consistent, supportive and disciplined environment to maximise their potential.

I am aware that Ofsted have recently inspected and I will be looking with great interest at their findings. I have tried to speak to representatives from the NASUWT on a number of occasions and have been frustrated by their lack of engagement with me, though some teaching staff have given me their personal perspectives. It is difficult for me to comment on this week’s strike action as I have not heard their view on what their outstanding concerns are.

I will continue to pursue this and offer my services in trying to help to resolve the problems at the school and end the current industrial action.”

 

 

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.”

Jesse’s Hereford Times column

Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire)

I have always had heroes. Some famous, some little-known, none of them perfect, all of them human, all of them flawed, but all of them extraordinary to me:  people who have shaped the world around them for the good.

Free Nazanin: Gabriella

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

The daughter of Richard Ratcliffe and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has returned to Hampstead and Kilbun after spending three and a half years in Iran. She was kept in the country following her mother’s arrest, and lived with her grandparents in Tehran. Throughout this time, she was separated from Richard and would visit her mother in jail whenever she was allowed to do so.

Today we held a press conference to mark Gabriella’s return. At the conference I said that it was truly heart-warming to see Gabriella reunited with her father after 1300 days in Iran, but also heart-breaking that she is now separated from her mother Nazanin.

Alongside Richard, I argued that Iran must end their hostage diplomacy and release my innocent constituent. Nazanin is at breaking point, and today’s bittersweet events are yet another reminder that she has been failed at the very highest levels of Government.

Emma was delighted to speak at the Social Workers Union Fringe event in Manchester at the end of last month. Prior to becoming an MP Emma was a child protection social worker and a Cabinet member for adult social services in her local authority. She is very proud of her profession and believes it is like no other.

In her speech Emma stated:

“There are over one hundred and forty-three thousand social workers in England alone. Each of those social workers as your excellent research undertaken with Bath Spa University showed, are working above and beyond their contracted hours amounting to an extra sixty-four days more per year than they are contracted for. 

This is a 46-hour week, in a physically, emotionally and mentally demanding job. It is little wonder that recruitment and retention rates are so abysmal.

I recall being regularly assaulted, punched, spat at, needing security escort and being held in victim support services.

Many people in the profession tell me that things are not getting better; things are getting worse. It is therefore vital that the Government support and value the profession, but they do not. 

The fact is that they, like most politicians don’t understand the profession and when something is misunderstood, they revert to type and seek to control and regulate it, such that social work and in particular child protection social work in England is in a stranglehold of excessive and debilitating state oversight more so than any other profession.

The problems I faced and what social workers face now are not of their own doing or by their own design.

It is therefore vital that the Government support and value the profession, but they do not.

Since 2010 the Government have certainly had our profession in their sights, children’s services, with their aggressive focus on reform of social work education, regulation, assessment and accreditation the clear message has been that the problems are with social workers themselves.

They have further stuck the boot in telling us that the best of our profession comes from Frontline and Frontline only, this drive towards what they say is raising the professionalism of children’s social work has not only led to a more prescriptive and tick box social work, devaluing that link between social workers and those they support, but it has also served to aid the Government’s overall agenda to rip the very heart and soul of social work apart – that political drive for social change.

The Governments whole approach to the crisis in children’s services is lacking in any cohesive, strategic or joined up vision and is consumed with short term measures that are not yielding any long-term positive changes, but so far have cost over sixty million pounds.  

The forcing of mainly Labour led Councils into Trust models that are little more than a rebranding exercise at a cost in excess of 17 million.  The national assessment and accreditation system proved grossly unpopular, which forced a U-turn on roll-out, while gifting £23 million to private companies.

The innovation programme has similarly bestowed £12 million on private consultancies, despite being time-limited and given only to certain local authorities, it not only pits local authorities against each other for funding but exacerbates the postcode lottery.

These changes have all took place against a backdrop of savage and unrelenting austerity, where social workers have suffered under years of the public sector pay freeze and local Government is being hollowed out and decimated, the drive from Government is one ideologically focussed on marketization and profit where everyone and everything has a price and their real value diminished. 

Action for Children recently reported that some 36,000 children had to be referred multiple times before they received statutory support to help them with serious issues like abuse, neglect and family dysfunction.

What this means is that children who are in a desperate state of help or protection are being subjected to further harm because of a lack of resources. That the most vulnerable children in our society are at further risk because of funding cuts is quite frankly shameful.

It is little wonder that in this desperate environment one in seven children’s social workers quit the profession in 2017.

I know that a Labour Government … are committed to looking strategically and holistically at children’s social care and stemming the tide of privatisation and outsourcing in the sector because we know that when profit becomes the driving force good social care suffers.

John McDonnell announced at Conference in September that we would strengthen trade union rights, introduce a real living wage and set up a working time commission to recommend better rights for workers leave.

Our approach is a clear move from the prescriptive, controlling resource poor environment, we’ve seen under the Tories to one where services and the people working within them or using them are treated with dignity and respect.

Despite this Government’s best efforts, the profession survives. Excellent social work happens every single day in all areas of our country. Children and adults are protected from harm and their lives are improved.

I want to thank you all for what you do.

I am proud to be a social worker.

I am proud to be with you here today and stand with your over twelve thousand strong and growing membership in this historic building.

I am not proud of our Government because their attacks on our profession are not only harming the workforce but leaving thousands of people without much needed support.

Let’s keep pushing for change and know you always have a friend in me.

There is an extraordinary Town Council meeting taking place on Tuesday 24th September in the Methodist Centre, Union Street at 7pm.

The meeting has been called for Town Councillors to consider and decide on whether they should support two proposals:

– Should the community support a Community Hall as part of the proposed new Leisure Centre Complex on Chapel Lane (opposite Lidl)

– Should the community support extending and improving facilities at the Town Pavilion at Wynhill playing field, where the Rugby Club is based, other community groups and individuals use for events.

The meeting is open to the public so please go along and have your say on the future of your community.

Labour MP Steve Reed has demanded more help for children with disabilities. Speaking in the House of Commons, he criticised the Conservatives for leaving services for children with physical and learning disabilities facing a staggering £1bn shortfall.

Steve asked the Government minister why they were refusing to help vulnerable children.

Steve said:

Children with special needs rely on help with speech and language and on counselling support, but the Children’s Commissioner has published research showing that the severe underfunding of those services is seriously damaging children’s lives and futures.

Even after the spending review we still face a £1 billion shortfall in special educational needs services by 2021. Given that the Government could so easily find £1 billion to bribe the Democratic Unionist party, will the Minister agree, here and now, to find the same amount to fully fund the services that the country’s most vulnerable children so desperately need?

Education Questions 9th September

We must properly fund support for children with special educational needs and disabilities - they deserve the chance to make the most of their lives.

Posted by Steve Reed MP on Monday, 9 September 2019
  • Steve Reed
    Steve Reed Member of Parliment for Croydon North

Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.

Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.

The post Conservatives abandon children with disabilities appeared first on Steve Reed.

Are you on the Stem Cell Donor List?

Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside)

The post Are you on the Stem Cell Donor List? appeared first on Mark Tami.

Made by @davorg / Last built: Monday 18 November 2019 04:34