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What would turn the world green?

John Redwood (Wokingham)

An extract from my book on the green revolution:

Governments this century have taken to meet together to discuss how they can close down a large number of carbon based industries in their jurisdiction and how they can write off the asset values of all those deposits of fossil fuels and of all those businesses that process them or rely on them to power their activities. It is true they meet full of hope that the replacements they offer will unleash an offsetting wave of new investment and jobs. The EU itself as one of the leading architects of the green revolution is preparing programmes and subsidy budgets to tackle left behind communities that used to rely on oil wells and coal mines, on petro chemicals and on traditional industries like cement, steel and ceramics with a high use of carbon based energy. The transition will be difficult and painful for some.

As we have seen , the car and food industries are central to the changes. The existing car makers may not succeed in changing over to making enough of the new electric cars and may watch as rivals emerge with the winning products. Agriculture will take time for many farmers to convert from animal husbandry to the new crops and to tree growing. Many jobs and thousands of traditional factories will be lost as investment hurries into the new fields and as the new jobs are created for those willing to train and change.

Governments tell us there is an avalanche of investment money wanting to go into the revolution. Many of the large quoted companies of the oil and gas and other traditional sectors are keen to sell on some of their fossil fuel assets and move into the new green areas, further impelling valuations of the new upwards. This will assist governments in their quest for the new paradigm.

Meanwhile the questions posed about security of supply by events  in September 2021 will need an answer. Governments need to tell us how they will fill the potential energy gap as we transition to a renewable system, and need to come clean on how they will raise taxes as fossil fuels run down and with that lose the heavy tax revenue they carry.

Above all the joint working of governments and companies needs to reveal the range of product and changes to lifestyles that will appeal and be willingly adopted and paid for by the public. Only if a top down revolution fires the popular imagination and becomes a bottom up revolution will the passage to a green future be possible. To succeed green products need to be cheaper and better than the products they wish to displace..

 

I am delighted to say that Build Back Green is now published and available. You can find it at:

 

BLAST OFF at Leicester’s Space Park

Liz Kendall (Leicester West)

Last week I had one of my favourite ever visits, to Space Park Leicester where I met with Professor Suzie Imber who ran a workshop teaching pupils from Queensmead Academy in Braunstone about physics with rocket experiments.

The space sector has huge potential to create high skill, high quality jobs in the UK, and the Space Park is bringing together the University of Leicester’s world leading research with manufacturing & business to harness this. Through workshops like the one I saw last week; the Space Park is inspiring young people to follow a path into a science career, and to gain the skills needed to fulfil this potential.

I will continue to do all that I can to support the Space Park and all the brilliant work they are doing.  

The post BLAST OFF at Leicester’s Space Park appeared first on Liz Kendall.

I was honoured to attend the 76th anniversary of the return of the Far East Prisoners of War commemoration in Town Quay park. In attendance was the remarkable Bert Warne one of the last surviving former POWs. cofepow.org.uk/the-fepow-story

The post The 76th anniversary of the return of the Far East Prisoners of War commemoration appeared first on Royston Smith MP.

Michael Gove, The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, tells John he’s so impressed with his Private Members Bill, and the assessment of the impact it would have on housing supply, that the Government would like to shamelessly rip off John’s ideas and take them for their own!

Philip Dunne plants cherry tree at Church Stretton School for BlossomWatch around National Tree Week

Council Leaders urge citizens to help limit Covid spread

Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Council leaders in Scotland's Capital have urged residents to continue and renew efforts to help limit the spread of the Covid virus following the emergence of the new Omicron variant in Scotland.

My Weekly Round-up

Christina Rees (Neath)

As a member of the Petitions Committee I attended our third oral evidence session as part of the Committee’s inquiry into Tackling Online Abuse. We heard from expert witnesses representing the Law Commission and from online platforms. Panel 1 was made up of Dr Nick Hoggard, Lawyer, and Professor Penney Lewis, Commissioner at the Law Commission. The Law Commission is an independent statutory body responsible for conducting consultations, research and proposing reforms to the law for Parliament to consider, with the aim of ensuring offences remain up to date and effective. Dr Nick Hoggard was the Lead Lawyer and Project Manager for the Commission’s recently completed review of online offences. Professor Lewis oversees the Commission’s reviews, including those of online abuse and hate crime, (still ongoing). These reviews have recommended changes including the creation of a new harm based communications and the extension of some hate crime offences to a wider range of protected characteristics. Panel 2 included: Theo Bertram, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy for Europe at TikTok; Katy Minshall, Head of UK Public Policy at Twitter; Rebecca Stimson, UK Head of Public Policy at Meta.

The Petition Committee members asked members of Panel 1 about their proposed law reforms, overlapping and interacting with existing law, and Panel 2 members were asked about their platforms’ community standards, enforcement, anonymity, and the effect of the Draft Online Safety Bill on enforcement.

As part of my virtual visits to schools in Neath, this week I joined the wonderfully inquisitive pupils of Blaendulais Primary School and their inspirational teacher. The children asked me a wide variety of questions about my role as the MP for Neath, including: my work in Neath and Westminster; working in London Monday to Friday; being a vegan; animal welfare; COP26; climate emergency; air pollution; littering; active travel; and many more. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from such knowledgeable children, who are our future.

As one of the events for White Ribbon Day – 25th November – I joined the Women’s PLP and heard from our guest speakers: Sophie Linden, Deputy Major for Policing and Crime in London; and Jess Phillips MP, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding. Sophie told us about the Mayor’s Violence Against Women Strategy, which is currently out for public consultation, and how MPs can get involved in this process. She also outlined the work that the Metropolitan Police is doing to restore the trust and confidence of women in the police post Sarah Everard. Jess told us about her work highlighting that many more cases of domestic violence are reported, but far less are prosecuted.

White Ribbon Day was founded by a group of men in Canada in 1991 who felt they had to raise awareness of and work towards an end to violence against women. People wore white ribbons to oppose violence against women. The event spread through the world and the UK branch was established in 2004, and has grown every year since.

This year, for White Ribbon Day plus the 16 days that follow, people in communities, organisations and workplaces must come together to say “no” to violence against women. The leading message this year is #AllMenCan after the murder of Sarah Everard brought women’s experience of men’s violence to the forefront of everyone’s minds. The White Ribbon Promise is to never commit, excuse, or remain silent about male violence against women.

I have been campaigning on White Ribbon Day for many years, which has been led in Wales by Joyce Watson MS for Mid and West Wales since 2007.

I was pleased to visit the Welsh Air Ambulance drop in at Parliament this week and to lend my support for the fantastic work that they do. Our Air Ambulance in Wales is partly funded by the Welsh NHS and partly funded by charitable donations. As of a year ago, Wales has a 24/7 air ambulance operation to ensure critical pre-hospital care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, covering the whole of Wales, from its bases in Caernarfon, Llanelli, Cardiff and Welshpool. Its critical care consultants and practitioners are highly skilled and deliver blood transfusions, anaesthesia, and emergency operations, using some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. In order to maintain this vital lifeline, the Welsh Air Ambulance needs to raise £8 million every year. You can find out how you can donate or help raise funds on their website.

This week the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism, which I chair, has launched a report around dignity in care. The report was produced by V for Life and highlights failures in care because individual philosophical or religious beliefs around food and nutrition are neglected. The number of vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians is growing all the time in the UK, with people becoming more knowledgeable about the impact of the food that they eat on their physical and mental health as well as the environment. The right to be fed according to religious or philosophical beliefs is enshrined in law, but in some care settings these beliefs are being ignored. We want to see change. You can read the full report here.

I was delighted to support the cross-party campaign to pass the Downs Syndrome Bill into law. It is only right that everyone is entitled to the healthcare they need, and is given the education they require to fulfil their potential. The Bill is intended to ensure that provision is made to meet the needs of people with Downs Syndrome and that local authorities are obligated to assess the likely social care needs of those with Downs Syndrome. No one should be excluded from society because the means are not in place to allow them to enjoy what society has to offer, to allow them to contribute in employment; Downs Syndrome should not be a barrier to a full and happy life. This Private Members’ Bill has Government support, and therefore should make progress through the Parliamentary legislative process.

I was also delighted this week to join with so many Welsh Labour MPs in support of Kevin Brennan MP’s Fix Streaming Bill. Streaming is quickly replacing radio as our main means of accessing our favourite music and musicians. However, legal protections for artists have not kept pace with the technological advancements. Performers and songwriters are simply not paid fairly for their work when music is streamed – we forget that their product is their income. Record labels, streaming platforms, and other internet giants exploit musicians and artists without fair reward and it is time to put a stop to that and ensure that everyone is paid fairly for their work. We realised during the lockdowns how important the arts are to all of us, but we have to recognise that importance with fair remuneration now.

I was honoured to be elected co-chair of the All Part Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Agroecology with Ben Lake MP, joining the existing co-chair Lord Teverson at its AGM. We discussed the forward work programme for the next few months, which included amongst others, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, ELMS, the Land Use Strategy, Tenant Farmers, and the Food Strategy. I look forward to hearing from guest speakers from this wide spectrum of stakeholders representing the Agroecology sector.

On 7th October 2021, the APPG on State Pension Equality for Women, co-chaired by Andrew Gwynn MP and Peter Aldous MP, put out a call for representatives from 1950s women’s groups to get in touch to present evidence on the finding of the recent PHSO report, and any evidence deemed pertinent to the APPG. Many written individual testimonies were also sent to the APPG. We heard virtual oral evidence from representatives of 1950s women’s groups, managed on a rotating zoom room, in a closed session for Parliamentarians. The oral and written evidence will form part of the APPG’s submission to the Ombudsman’s stage 2 investigation.

As a member of the Panel of Chairs, I chaired the Delegated Legislation Committee which discussed the Draft Double Taxation Relief and International Tax Enforcement (Taiwan) Order 2021. This draft instrument would bring into effect arrangements set out in a Protocol made by the British Office Taipei and the Taipei Representative Office in the United Kingdom in 2021, and would amend the existing arrangements signed in 2002, between the two territories for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital gains. The purpose of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) is to prevent income or gains being taxed both in the territory in which they arise and in the territory in which the recipient resides. The committee members debated the draft instrument, and it was not opposed by opposition parties, so it was passed without a division.

As always, if you have any questions or issues and want to get in touch, please do not hesitate to email christina.rees.mp@parliament.uk or call us on 01639 630152 – we are here to help.

Lee Anderson MP's Weekly Column

Lee Anderson (Ashfield)

Last week I arranged for myself and seven other Conservative MPs to meet the Prime Minister to discuss the ongoing illegal migrant crisis on the Channel. It was supposed to be a private meeting but within minutes of leaving his office my phone was constantly ringing. Yes, somehow the press knew the…

Covid Update: Omicrom Variant

Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

As many will now be aware, the first cases of the Omicrom variant have been detected in the UK. To help slow down and contain the spread of this new variant, the government is taking a necessary and responsible course of action. Face coverings will now be compulsory on public transport and in shops…
Basingstoke MP, Maria Miller, is encouraging everyone to have their say in the ongoing public consultation for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s 2022/23 budget.    Maria said: “It is so important that everyone take part in the current consultation, which is a fundamental aspect of our…

Crossing the Channel Illegally

Bob Stewart (Beckenham)

A tragedy occurred in the English Channel last week when 27 migrants died after the craft they were sailing in capsized. Many commentators on the left of politics rushed to pin the blame on the British government for its robust immigration policy, but this is utterly fallacious because the wicked…
Jerome Mayhew MP has stepped in to try and resolve issues in obtaining appointments at a local GP Practice in Taverham.  Residents have written to Jerome to describe their struggle in getting through the phone system at the Partnership in order to access appointments with their Nurse or GP.  Jerome…

Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

Last week saw the Health and Care Bill pass through the House of Commons and down the other end of the building to the House of Lords. I welcome the Bill, and I particularly welcome its aims and objectives to provide the best possible health and care to everyone in this country. However, to achieve…
George Freeman MP visits Mirus Aircraft Engineering in Hingham jon Mon, 11/29/2021 - 11:02

Asylum – we need to fix the system

Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

 

The Home Secretary says the Channel journeys are ‘unnecessary’, but the men, women & children climbing into unsafe boats clearly think otherwise. The lives, hopes, talents extinguished by the sea this week, could have been saved if we had safe, secure and fair routes into the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/chi.onwurah/videos/1237226060108205

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Weekly round-up #Working4Wycombe

Steven Baker (Wycombe)

What I have been up to this week #Working4Wycombe: Met with the International Trade Secretary to make representations on behalf of #Wycombe businesses Heard from #Wycombe GP surgeries about the introduction of link workers to support local people Stood against Islamophobia and raised the contributions of British Muslims in #Wycombe at a debate on Islamophobia Awareness Month in the House of Commons Formally presented a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of the Pine Trees Residents’ Association Raised […]

Speaking up for the victims of persecution

Brendan O'Hara (Argyll and Bute)

Preet Kaur Gill MP said, “Development has been worryingly dropped from the title of this important UK institution - but it is crucial that development and poverty eradication are not lost from its primary objectives.

"Labour has repeatedly called for the UK to use public investment to reduce poverty, create decent jobs and tackle global problems such as the climate crisis that affect us so much of this announcement is welcome.

“However, It is crucial that we are able to see the detail of the new strategy and scrutinise it properly at the earliest opportunity. It’s deeply disappointing therefore that Liz Truss has chosen to make this announcement to the media and not to Parliament.

“An expanded focus on climate change, green investment and infrastructure is welcome - and something Labour has pressed on for many years - not least given questions about the environmental sustainability of some of CDCs past and current investments. 

“We must also not see an apparent shift in focus to the Indo-Pacific to come at the expense of huge needs in other areas - for example sub-Saharan Africa - and not least given the huge and growing influence of China in that continent. Coupled with the huge cuts to aid - we cannot afford to take our focus away when opportunities for mutual partnership and development are equally great, and fragility and crisis growing in key countries such as Ethiopia.

“The BII must also ensure that transparency and human rights are at the core of its investment criteria going forward.

“It is hugely welcome to see a woman with significant relevant experience taking the reins. I hope BII will put women and girls equally at the heart of its investment strategy. I wish Graham Wrigley all the best for the future and to thank him for his dedicated and service and dialogue over many years.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  • 'Truss revamps British development finance institution to deliver jobs and clean growth' - GOV.UK
Standard (Image)
The Union Connectivity Review, published today and led by Sir Peter Hendy, has looked at transport infrastructure across the United Kingdom. Working closely with the devolved administrations, Sir Peter has looked at road, rail, air and sea links and has considered where future investment can be…
Failed Submission by Bassetlaw District Council   I am shocked, disappointed and outraged for the people of Worksop after discovering that the Government did not receive a Levelling Up Fund bid from Bassetlaw District Council and therefore missed out on £20 million in funding to regenerate our town…

John Lamont welcomes Cllr Rowley as new leader

John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

Commenting on Cllr Rowley's appointment as leader of Scottish Borders Council, John Lamont MP said: "I warmly welcome Cllr Rowley's appointment as leader of Scottish Borders Council. I am looking forward to working with him across the wide variety of issues on which the council and I collaborate. "…
During a Westminster Hall debate on International Men's Day, Blackpool South MP Scott Benton said: “No doubt [some] people will sneer and ask why we even need an International Men’s day.  The damning facts show that there are more male suicides; health outcomes are worse; and boys’ attainment in…
Earlier today the Secretary of State for Health updated the House of Commons on the new variants of Covid-19 that have been found in various countries abroad. It is absolutely right that he is taking these new variants seriously, however it is also important that we avoid the harms that would be…

Bury Times Column 25th November 2021

Christian Wakeford (Bury South)

In previous weeks I’ve spoken in-depth about the impact that Levelling Up is having in the Borough and in particular Radcliffe. With over £36 million being invested into regenerating Radcliffe through the creation of a new civic hub in the heart of the town offering community facilities, a library…

Giles and EamonnLiberal Democrat councillors in Kendal have got the ball rolling on a campaign to improve footpaths in the town.

At a meeting of Kendal Town Council's Environment and Highways Committee this week, Lib Dem Chair Eamonn Hennessy and Vice Chair Giles Archibald proposed to allocate £12,000 to fund an audit of local footpaths.

The committee have already earmarked £15,000 towards improving footpaths around Kirkbarrow.

The audit will look at the existing network of footpaths in Kendal, assess their current condition, find out who uses them, and what they use them for.

Lib Dem councillors will be surveying residents across the town in the coming weeks to find out which paths could do with being fixed and enhanced.

Eamonn said: "From kids walking to school, to residents walking to shops in the town centre, our footpaths are so important to connecting Kendal.

"Sadly many of them are not fit for purpose, which is why we as Liberal Democrat councillors are launching this campaign to fund upgrades and improvements to local footpaths."

Giles said: "We want to encourage active travel.

"We want to make it easier, safer and more attractive for people to walk around our town whether they are residents or visitors.

"We're proud of our town and want it to look the best it can."

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

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Towing and Trailer Safety, this week (Wednesday) called on the Prime Minister to fix the “chaotic mess” left behind by his Government following their ill-thought-out changes to trailer safety laws.

The Government previously announced plans to scrap the need for drivers to pass a test to pull a trailer between 750kg and 3,500 kg (known as a B+E test).  However, due to last-minute confusion in the Department for Transport the law needed to implement this change was not passed.  This left the UK in a legal limbo where laws simultaneously did and did not apply.

The Government has reintroduced legislation, despite organisations including the Association of British Insurers and the Road Haulers Association condemning the changes, which they believe will have negative consequences for road safety. 

 

Speaking after she had taken Boris Johnson to task at Prime Minister’s Questions, Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Towing and Trailer Safety, said:

“The Government needs to sort out the chaotic mess it has created. That’s why I demanded the Prime Minister live up to his promises to improve trailer and road safety. Failure to do so will leave grieving families, who have worked tirelessly to improve road safety, bereft.

“The Prime Minister trotted out the tired old lines that his reforms were to help alleviate the HGV driver shortage – but this is simply not the case.  The Government won’t even undertake a risk assessment on their plans so cannot show the impact they will have. All we do know for certain is that 30% of drivers who took the previous test failed and they will now be released back onto our roads.

“I’ve worked closely with ministers in the Department for Transport on this issue for more than half a decade. They know, as does everyone else, that these changes will  set us back nearly 20 years on road safety. The Prime Minister must take action to stop this from happening”.

The post Karin Smyth MP calls on the Prime Minister to act now before more lives are lost on our roads first appeared on Karin Smyth.

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish has today called for an urgent review into the trial Heaton Chapel Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme following receipt of a letter from the Chief Executive of North West Ambulance Service raising concerns about delayed response times in the area.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“Everybody wants to see safer low traffic neighbourhoods, and the concept of reducing rat-running and enhancing road safety for residents is an absolutely sound one.

 

However, concerns have been raised for some time about problems with ambulances being stuck at roadblocks. Every time I’ve raised residents’ concerns with the Ambulance Service, they’ve told me there wasn’t an issue. This has been really frustrating for residents who’ve been insisting there was a problem.

 

I welcome the fact NWAS has now investigated thoroughly and actually have recognised the residents’ concerns are well founded. This obviously raises issues for the service in how the delays weren’t being properly recorded in the first instance which led to incorrect information being circulated to both Stockport Council and to me as the MP.

 

However I’ve always said that Stockport should judge the success or otherwise of this trial on evidence, and the new NWAS advice is clear: the scheme is causing issues for the delivery of their service. The temporary measures are coming out next week but there absolutely needs to be an urgent investigation into these concerns before Stockport Councillors decide whether to install permanent features in Heaton Chapel. The NWAS information is a critical part of that, and I want and expect to see these concerns addressed to the residents’ satisfaction.”

The post Gwynne calls for urgent review of Heaton Chapel Low Traffic scheme after Ambulance concerns appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.

I spend a good deal of my time talking to local businesses, and therefore hearing about how they are managing in the period of recovery from the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. One specific sector which often has a different set of issues is farming. I met the Ashford NFU recently and as ever…

Dagenham Foodbank

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham)

Dagenham Foodbank Ione Thu, 11/25/2021 - 10:36

Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism 24 November 2021

Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire)

My husband and I spent 18 months as volunteers in Gaza in the early ’90s and have been running a breast cancer project between Scotland and Gaza for the last five years. I called for clarity on the position of small education and healthcare NGOs in Gaza.

Full text:

My hon. Friend will know that my husband and I spent 18 months as volunteers in Gaza in the early ’90s and have been running a breast cancer project between Scotland and Gaza for the last five years. My concern—I apologise for being late due to the change of time and my slow speed of running—is this. Do we not need clarity on the position of small education and healthcare NGOs in Gaza supporting the 2 million people there? The work that I and my volunteers do inevitably involves the Ministry of Health because that is who runs the hospitals. It is simply unavoidable. I am afraid this will send a chill when I am trying to recruit breast cancer specialists in Scotland to keep supporting this wonderful project.

The post Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism 24 November 2021 appeared first on Dr Philippa Whitford.

Article by Rhys Griffiths for the Folkestone & Hythe Express - published 24 November 2021 Further cash has been awarded to help support businesses and projects in the district's arts and culture sector which was battered by the pandemic. The entertainment and events industry was hit hard by the repeated lockdowns and government cash has […]

MP praises Northumberland's tree planting credentials

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Anne-Marie explains why tree planting is so important.
Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, recently met Jay Norris, Hornsea boy, who he nominated for the Kids Count Inspiration Awards for his outstanding dedication and commitment to keeping his local beach clean. The aim of the Kids Count Inspiration Awards is to recognise those individuals…

SOCIAL CARE ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE FROM THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT

Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

Catherine McKinnell, Member of Parliament for Newcastle North, has criticised Conservative social care proposals. On Friday, the Government released details of their social care cap, which will put a cap of £86,000 on lifetime social care costs. This means that people with modest assets risk losing all or most of their wealth if they need … Continue reading SOCIAL CARE ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE FROM THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT

Reverse Advent Calendar, please join my foodbank appeal

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

For the past couple of years I have run the Reverse Advent Calendar event to support local foodbanks, food pantry’s and community cafe’s in our local area. This year will be no different. As we draw into the winter months, time’s will get harder for many families, and I would ask anyone who can, to offer some support.

All the instructions are provided in the images above, and this year we are supporting the Yardley Wood Pantry based at Yardley Wood Baptist Church and the Spearhead Trust supported by The Active Wellbeing Society – they have asked for Christmas donations to be received by the 20th of December

We have heard from other organisations who have said January is a particularly difficult time for them, and are planning to run a similar event then, so please keep your eyes out for that.

You can check out my Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/stevemccabemp and comment on my post if you are taking part.

Angus MacNeil MP to meet HHP over housing concerns 

Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)

MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Angus MacNeil is to meet with the Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) in the coming weeks regarding concerns over housing on the islands.   

Commenting Mr MacNeil said:  

“At the recent Western Isles Fishermen’s AGM concerns were raised about the lack of housing in Leverburgh. Following that meeting I wrote to HHP raising the need for greater accessibility to housing in Leverburgh and in other areas and was delighted to learn from HHP that they are indeed conducting a feasibility study in Leverburgh.

“HHP tell me that they are currently researching and will reporting on the housing needs in Leverburgh with a view to building. I hope that they do go ahead and build in Leverburgh but I understand that they have to go through their procedures.

“It is right that HHP do their processes of diligence, but it is also right that voices in the community that probably instinctively know what is required, are given due weight as well. I am amplifying these voices and calling for houses to be built in Leverburgh to meet the needs of the community, businesses and all.” 

Evennett guests at Belvedere Tory Club

David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Yesterday evening (18 November), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, was the guest speaker at the Priory Conservative Club in Upper Belvedere. It was not a political event, and was instead a light hearted view of politics and Sir…

My latest editorial for the Telegraph & Argus, appearing in Wednesday 17th November’s edition

Just over a week ago, I attended the House of Commons to ask the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees Mogg MP, to grant a debate with a focus on funding and access to NHS dentistry. However, before I could ask this, the Leader of the House dropped the bombshell that the Prime Minister was to make a U-turn on his plans for a Tory-dominated committee to rewrite the House of Commons rules on standards.

Only the day before, I witnessed Government whips corralling Tory MPs through the voting lobbies to prevent a former Conservative Minister from being suspended from Parliament for lobbying on behalf of two firms he was working for.

In the words of John Major, former Conservative Prime Minister, “I think the way the government handled that was shameful, wrong and unworthy of this or indeed any government. It also had the effect of trashing the reputation of parliament.”

Throughout this parliament, I have seen first-hand how this government has put the political considerations of their MPs and friends above the needs of the general population, non-more so than throughout their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst the Tories may want us to think that Tory sleaze is old news, it’s clearly still alive and kicking for us all to see. It’s disappointing to see the government of the day treating my constituents in Bradford South, and others across the country, with such contempt. Seemingly, it’s one rule for them and their mates and another for the rest of us.

In recent weeks, I was also disappointed by the government’s response to questions raised in my speech on the Budget. I again asked the Chancellor about his plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and connectivity to and across the North. I have raised this question many times in Westminster and elsewhere, maybe as many times as the government has made announcements on it, but it would be hard going to match their record as they have made at least 60 but with extraordinarily little substance.

In the avalanche of leaks from the Treasury, I was hoping to hear some positive messages on NPR but sadly nothing was forthcoming. I then hoped the Chancellor would pull something out of the hat on Budget Day. He did no such thing. 

I know if the government had some positive news on NPR for Bradford, it would not be keeping it a secret. I am now hearing that the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) is likely to be published tomorrow.

The integrated rail plan was supposed to be about presenting a blueprint of how Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 and Trans-Pennine upgrades – three separate but integrated schemes – would be delivered in parallel.  Delivered in full, this could have provided up to 150,000 new jobs, halved journey times from Bradford to Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and York, and boosted Bradford’s economy by £30 billion over ten years. Instead, it looks like we will get a failure to deliver NPR, a watered-down HS2 and money to deliver Trans-Pennine route upgrades that are needed anyway.  This diluted version will not deliver the transformational change the North needs.

Lots of people right across the north voted Conservative for the first time at the last election, believing promises about levelling-up and investment in the North. Delivering NPR was one of the first things Mr Johnson promised on becoming PM.

I, for one, will not be doffing my cap and thanking him for short-changing Bradford and the North again – nor would my constituents forgive me if I took this easy course of action.

Returning to the rest of the Budget, alongside the Chancellor’s failure to promote economic growth in the North, he also failed to tackle the growing cost of living crisis and continued to place a massive tax burden on working people and businesses.

Sadly, it was an out-of-touch, high tax, low growth budget from an out-of-touch chancellor.

On a brighter note, the Menopause Bill, which I have been working on, moved another step closer to being enacted this month. 

Currently, it costs women hundreds of pounds every year to access hormone replacement therapy. This legislation will see these costs drastically reduced and as the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on osteoporosis and bone health, this is something I wholeheartedly support.

Women need to be properly supported around the time of menopause and this includes assessing their risk of osteoporosis and fractures, being given appropriate advice and any medication and treatment that they may need.

I am proud to both break the silence on the silent disease of osteoporosis and to break the taboo on talking about menopause.

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  • 75
    Bradford MUST have a Northern Powerhouse Rail stopJudith, alongside Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of the council and Tracy Brabin, candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor, has called for the Government to ensure there is a Northern Powerhouse Rail stop in the city centre. Representing all three of Bradford's Labour MPs, Judith said: "There is a world out there that…
    Tags: bradford, powerhouse, rail, northern, npr, leader, mps, government, news, local
  • 73
    A government in chaos, a country in crisisJudith's latest op-ed for the Telegraph & Argus Weds 13 October 2021: With winter almost upon us, we see the Government of our country in chaos and our country teetering on the brink of crisis with queues at the forecourts; empty shelves and energy prices skyrocketing. A basic principle of…
    Tags: government, bradford, will, prime, working, minister, news, local
  • 72
    Judith has spoken in the House of Commons to raise the case of a constituent unable to get a test for her 8-year old asthmatic son in Bradford, who had been advised to travel to Scotland to get a test. Speaking after, Judith said: The Government has promised a ‘world…
    Tags: bradford, government, people, commons, house, news, local
  • 72
    Judith urges Santander to rethink closure which will leave Bradford South with no banksJudith has said that banking provision in the constituency has been totally wiped out. "People will have to travel over three miles to get to a bank,” she said, adding that the bank has “failed to take into account the social costs to the local area of removing this vital…
    Tags: will, working, costs, local, bradford, people, news

Triple-Lock Pension

Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

HELPING OUR HOMELESS

Angela Rayner (Ashton-under-Lyne)

“Enough is Enough”

Nia Griffith (Llanelli)

“Enough is enough,” said local MP Nia Griffith as she joined shopworkers and their USDAW trade union reps in Llanelli’s Tesco store for Respect for Shopworkers week (15- 21 November) to highlight the growing problem of violence against shopworkers

 Nia Griffith MP explained:

“Bad behaviour towards shopworkers is not a new phenomenon, but it has reached epidemic proportions since the start of lockdown in March 2020.

I know that the overwhelming majority of people agree that there is no excuse for anyone taking out their frustration on shopworkers, but the fact of the matter is 9 out of 10 shopworkers have experienced verbal abuse, with 1 in 10 actually being physically abused. 

Behind these shocking statistics are real people. Mams and dads, sons and daughters, who are just doing their job and should not have to face any kind of abuse when doing so.

To tackle the problem, I really want to see the wording of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which is currently going through parliament, spell out that it is a specific offence to assault a shopworker, and make it more straightforward to prosecute and punish people who behave in this disgraceful way. Together with my Labour colleagues, I will be supporting this, but to get through Parliament, we need the Prime Minister and his Tory MPs to do likewise. 

That’s why I’m pleased to support USDAW’s Freedom From Fear Campaign and why we must do absolutely everything in our power to protect shopworkers and to instil respect for the work that they do – especially during Covid-19.”

Bill Wiggin MP has paid his respects to the fallen in Herefordshire this weekend, by attending a Remembrance service with local servicemen at the garrison in his Constituency. As well as taking part in a local service, Bill Wiggin MP... Continue Reading →

Dan Jarvis - Mayoral Salary Update

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

I was the only Metro Mayor elected without a devolution deal (and a salary) in place. I have split my time as best I can and as required by the demands of both roles, a bit like a government minister has to.

Throughout my term of office, I have worked tirelessly to represent the people and communities of South Yorkshire – working seven days a week and way beyond an average working week in order to successfully fulfil both roles. My time is organised around commitments and votes in Parliament, and relevant engagements in my capacity as Mayor and MP, splitting my week between Westminster and South Yorkshire.

Constituents Update – 10th November 2021

Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington)

At full council yesterday afternoon, Cllr Longford was asked what she would like to see from COP26 this week and what progress Nottingham has made on its carbon neutral ambition. The question came from Mike Edwards, Councillor for the Meadows.

In response Cllr Sally Longford said “I think we would all agree that the desired outcome for COP would be that agreement is reached to work together internationally to, secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. But we also need to adapt to protect communities and natural habitats, and to mobilise finance, particularly for communities at the greatest threat from the effects of climate change.”

Cllr Sally Longford will be attending COP26 this week as part of the Core Cities delegation, to showcase Nottingham’s response to the climate emergency and learn from cities around the world about what more we can do.

Cllr Longford also updated Full Council on significant progress in Nottingham toward its 2028 carbon neutral goal:

  • City CO2 emissions have reduced by 53% per capita since 2005, the most of any UK core city and
  • 45% of the Council fleet is now ULEV.
  • First in world to use purpose built electric bin wagons and over
  • 14,500 trees have been planted since 2019 with 50,000 by 2023.
  • 130 public EV charging points, with an additional
  • 81 recently installed at new Broadmarsh Car Park.
  • Since 2012, over 7,000 social and private hard-to-heat homes have been insulated and over 4,000 social housing properties now have solar panels.

“However I am far from complacent, there is much to do and we cannot do this on our own.” insisted Cllr Sally Longford.

“We need Government, private investment and other stakeholders to support our vital work. We have already had demonstrator projects in the city, but they need to be scaled up, creating jobs and achieving a just transition to a low carbon economy, where our more deprived communities can benefit from warmer homes, affordable energy and access to clean modes of transport.”

Last Saturday worldwide marches took place to demand international action on climate change. Cllr Longford attended, and spoke at, the event.

“I was honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the march alongside Lilian Greenwood, with a diverse group of people, on Saturday to stand up for Climate Justice and to speak at the rally in the Old Market Square.”

Councillor Longford wrapped up her answer by stating “We need the Government to take action, and truly commit to a net zero-carbon future.”

Information on Nottingham City Council’s Carbon Neutral goal can be found here – https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/media/2619917/2028-carbon-neutral-action-plan-v2-160620.pdf

The post Deputy Leader sets out aspirations for COP26 ahead of visit to Glasgow appeared first on Nottingham Labour.

Benefits of Distance Education

Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

Right now, the pros of distance learning in school are not at all obvious to thousands of teachers. It seems that distance education is nothing but inconvenience, a threat to discipline and academic performance. But it isn't: distance education has many advantages. 

Here are some of them.

 The opportunity to work with each student individually. 

1) Distance teaching technology helps to find a personal approach to each student. There are times when a shy child is shy to work actively in a classroom where twenty classmates are staring at him. 
But such a shy kid feels freer at a distance, asks the teacher questions in a chat room, and successfully completes tasks. And the teacher can choose additional tasks for such students, which correspond to their aptitudes, to maintain an interest in learning. 
Distance learning is a great chance to get to know your students better.

 2) Automate routine processes.

Simply put, technology can take over the most boring part of a teacher's job. For example, checking homework and compiling classroom statistics. On average, using technologies with automatic checking will save at least 1-2 hours per day, if not more. This system works very simply: the teacher goes to the site, selects a subject, class and topic, finds the appropriate assignment and sends a link to the students, and then just look at the same site to see how they did. 

 3) A chance to learn new technology. 

The high demand for teachers with distance learning experience is a reality. Knowing how to use interactive learning platforms, Google Docs, electronic workbooks, and video conferencing services increases your value in the job market and gives you a chance to find a part-time job at an online school (and there are many such schools, they are growing and in need of new personnel). But even more valuable are the skills to organize your time, work with students remotely, and be able to monitor and motivate them from a distance. If you can manage it now, by the next school year you can try your hand at online tutoring.

4) Game assignments. 

Distance learning involves a very active use of digital technology. Including gamified tasks: online games, quizzes, interactive tasks for ingenuity. Let us not forget that for any child the game is the most natural way to learn the world. And older students like these more dry tasks from the textbook. Games not only make learning fun - they help to evaluate progress and bring to school an element of healthy competition. Learning games are not part of the official curriculum, but we recommend that you dilute regular assignments with them. A child who enjoys learning will make more progress than one who is bored in class.

Minuses of Distance Education

1. Limited choice

Unfortunately, not everything can be learned remotely. In some cases, you cannot do without practical studies under the guidance of an experienced tutor. You can study history or literature remotely, you can become an excellent designer or programmer. But you cannot learn to be a pilot or a surgeon.

Perhaps that will change in the near future. One day, virtual reality technology will allow people from different parts of the world to participate in collaborative lab work. When that happens, the list of professions and skills that can be learned remotely will greatly expand.

2. Lack of face-to-face interaction
Face-to-face learning is not only valuable as a set of knowledge. An important element of offline learning is personal communication. While getting traditional higher education, a student spends several years simmering in the swirling cauldron of university life. He interacts with professors and classmates in an informal setting. These interactions can generate amazing ideas and dramatically change people's lives.

3. the absence of positive "side effects
The fact that distance learning gives a person a specific set of knowledge can be considered not only a plus, but also a minus. By studying remotely, a person deprives himself of many of the positive "side effects" of academic education.

For example, the process of taking notes on long lectures trains the speed of writing, develops mechanical memory, and teaches on the fly to isolate the most important fragments from the flow of information. All these skills are very useful in everyday life, but distance learning does not provide them.

The post Benefits of Distance Education appeared first on Berger.

  • More than 10 million people across the UK – including 1,552,387 across the Midlands – have now received a COVID-19 booster or third jab to protect themselves and their loved ones this winter.
  • Matt Warman is calling for vulnerable people in Boston & Skegness who have not yet come forward to do so as soon as possible to help build our wall of defence and keep people safe over the winter months.
  • The Conservative Government is making it easier than ever to get topped-up by allowing people to book their appointments five months after their second dose from Monday and making booster jabs available at walk-in centres without appointments.

Matt Warman has welcomed the news that 1,552,387 people in the Midlands have received their COVID-19 booster or third jab as the Conservative government continues to step up efforts to ensure that vulnerable people are fully protected against COVID-19 over the winter.

The latest figures show that more than 10 million people across the UK have received their COVID-19 booster or third jabs, ensuring the vital protection they have secured from their first two doses is maintained over the winter months.

A total of 10,062,704 people have received their booster and third jabs in the UK. 45,836,791 people have had two doses (79.7%) and 50,234,416 people have received one dose (87.4%).

Seven in 10 over 80s and three in five over-50s in England are already vaccinated with top-up jabs.

NHS England will be inviting another three million people who will become eligible for their booster next week. More than 13 million invites, including texts, letters and emails, have already been sent to eligible people in England so far asking them to book their booster online through the National Booking Service. The additional letters due to land next week will mean around 16 million invites have been sent in England since the NHS booster programme began.

The National Booking Service will be updated tomorrow (Monday 8 November) to allow those eligible for a booster vaccine – people over 50 and those most at risk of COVID-19 – to pre-book their jab five months after their second dose.

People will still receive their vaccine six months after their second dose, but the change will speed up the vaccination programme by allowing people to receive a jab the day they become eligible, rather than waiting for a convenient appointment.

People will also be able to book by calling 119 and can get vaccinated at hundreds of walk-in sites across the country six months after their second dose without an appointment. Those eligible can use the NHS online walk-in finder to locate the most convenient site.

COVID-19 booster vaccines have been delivered or booked in at every older adult care home in England where safe to do so, with almost nine in 10 care homes already visited.

Commenting, Matt Warman said:

“It is absolutely fantastic news that 1,552,387 people across the Midlands have received a booster dose or third vaccination, which will offer life-saving protection to them and their loved ones this winter.

“Those people, including everyone who has got their third jab in Boston & Skegness, are part of the ten million people across the country who have already received a booster jab. I would urge anyone who is eligible and hasn’t yet come forward to get a booster jab as soon as possible, by booking online or at one of our local walk-in sites.

We can all do our bit this winter to protect our loved ones and the NHS, and to stay ahead in the race against the virus, by taking up the offer of a vaccine as soon as we are eligible.”

Commenting, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“More than 10 million people across the UK now have the vital protection boosters provide, building our wall of defence and keeping people safe over the winter months. We know immunity begins to wane after six months, particularly for the elderly and at-risk groups, and booster jabs will ensure our most vulnerable are protected over the winter.

“It’s never been easier to get your top-up jabs now that those eligible can book in advance or visit hundreds of walk-in sites across the country.

“Please do not delay – get your vaccines as soon as you can to protect yourself and your loved ones this winter so we can keep the virus at bay.”

Notes to Editors:

The Conservative government is:

  • Rolling out the fastest vaccine programme in Europe, allowing us to live with the virus without significant restrictions on our freedoms. Almost nine in ten people aged 12 and over have now received a first vaccine dose – with almost eight in ten having also received a second dose. The latest data shows that vaccines have saved almost 130,000 deaths and prevented almost 250,000 hospitalisations. Public Health England, Coronavirus Dashboard, accessed 21October 2021
  • Securing two new ground-breaking Covid antiviral drugs, preventing the spread of the virus and bolstering our defence for the winter months ahead. We have secured 730,000 doses of two new ground-breaking antiviral drugs – which will help to prevent the infection from spreading and speed up recovery times for people. DHSC, Press Release, 20 October 2021
  • Securing a portfolio of 517 million doses of the eight most promising vaccines through our Vaccine Taskforce for the whole of the Union. We have secured a portfolio of 517 million doses of the most promising vaccines, including over 210 million doses of the Oxford-Astrazenca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being administered across the UK, as well as 20 million doses of the Janssen vaccine which be rolled out later this year. DHSC, Press Release, 28 May 2021; DHSC, Press Release, 7 May 2021.
  • Putting the NHS on a sustainable financial footing, so it is there for future generations. We will deliver around £12 billion a year in extra funding for our frontline health and social care across the UK over the next three years – a total of £36 billion. This is in addition to our historic settlement for the NHS in 2018, which will see its budget rise by £33.9 billion a year by 2023-24. Prime Minister’s Office, Build Back Better: Our Plan for Health and Social Care, 7 September 2021
  • Delivering the biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’s history, so that everyone can get the care they deserve. Over the next three years, will deliver the equivalent of around nine million more checks, scans and procedures – and elective activity will be around 30 per cent than it was before the pandemic. Once the NHS has recovered from the pandemic, activity should be ten per cent higher than under the NHS Long Term Plan. Prime Minister’s Office, Build Back Better: Our Plan for Health and Social Care, 7 September 2021

Oldham MP speaks out about NHS reorganisation plans

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

Debbie speaks out against the Health & Care Bill

I have spoken out against the Government’s plans to pass a new bill to reorganise the NHS in England.

As a long-time campaigner against NHS privatisation, previously resigning as Chair of Rochdale Primary Care Trust over concerns of the increase in use of private healthcare companies in the NHS, I am speaking out this time against the Government’s Health and Care Bill.

The action comes as a new poll by We Own It, the campaign for public ownership of public services, shows that 8 in 10 people want the Government to fix waiting lists and ensure that people can see their GPs face-to-face as their top priority, compared to just 2 in 10 who said reorganising the NHS should be a top priority.

The Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons on 14 July, is expected to enter the next stage of its passage on 9 November. The Bill will divide the NHS in England into 42 areas, called Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), each with its own budget and a board to oversee the delivery of health services for the area.

This is the wrong bill at the wrong time.

To introduce a bill like this when the Covid pandemic is far from over, and staff are on their knees, shows a lack of understanding of what’s needed. I’m also concerned that this re-organisation of the NHS is being used as an opportunity to extend the involvement of UK and international private healthcare companies.

The bill is proposing that private healthcare companies can become members of integrated care boards (ICBs) potentially procuring health services from their own companies, and this is entirely unacceptable.

Campaigners and trade unionists say the Bill will allow private companies to sit on the boards that oversee the new ICSs and make decisions about how the budget is spent. They also claim that by repealing Section 75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which required that all contracts be put through a competitive tendering process, the Bill will open the NHS to more crony contracts.

The new poll also shows that 70% of the public, including 70% of Conservative voters and 82% of Labour voters, say they are worried that the Bill would open the NHS to contracts being given out to private companies without scrutiny. 60% of those polled say they want the Bill to be amended to make NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts the default providers of all NHS services.

The Westminster protest was joined by more than 35 Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and SNP Members of Parliament. Organisers say further local actions are planned to take place in more than 100 constituencies, with local people dropping off letters to their MP’s offices asking them to oppose the Health and Care bill.

The protest was organised by We Own It and Just Treatment, a patient-led group that represents the voice of patients. It was also supported by Unite the Union, the British Medical Association, the National Pensioners Convention, and more.

Johnbosco Nwogbo, Campaigns Lead for We Own It, one of the key organisations involved in the action said: “This Bill will put on steroids the government’s unlawful contracting we’ve seen during the pandemic. With the Secretary of State for Health set to receive increased powers in this bill, Sajid Javid will be enabled to simply hand out contracts to party donors and friends without any kind of scrutiny”.

He added, “It’s clear that a lot of MPs are really worried about how this bill will change our NHS and open it to being used as a profit-making venture for profit-greedy private companies within it. We just hope more of them, including Conservatives, will speak out.”

Hope Worsdale, Digital Comms and Campaign Lead from Just Treatment, said: “All the patients we work with are deeply worried about the future of our NHS, so this week we took the fight against this dangerous Bill to right outside Parliament, and it was fantastic to be joined by so many MPs. This parliamentary support shows that our campaigning is working, and that we have people in the House of Commons willing to fight for the future of our NHS. We know that the government’s plans will fail patients across the country – so now we need even more people to get involved in ramping up the pressure on their MPs to reject the bill.”

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Emma Leads a Debate on Sewage Pollution in Whitburn

Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields)

Last week, I lead an important debate in Parliament on sewage pollution in Whitburn, an issue that many people in our town are rightly concerned about.

South Shields, like many other coastal towns across the country, takes pride in ensuring our beaches demonstrate the highest environmental standards to make it a place for everyone to enjoy. Yet raw sewage dumping at the Whitburn end of Seaburn beach and into the North Sea has caused problems for decades.

I thought it was important to remind the Government that the European Court of Justice ruled in 2012 that the UK had failed to fulfil its obligations and breached standards for treating wastewater in relation to the sewage dumping at this location. And that in 2020, the European Court of Justice found again that the levels of sewage dumping at Whitburn continued to breach standards.

As the sewage flows, our gorgeous beach is continually damaged. The wildlife and sea life that once inhabited our rock pools is disappearing. Dolphins and seals, regulars on our coastline, now swim through sewage soup and the seagrass meadows in the nearby River Tyne estuary are being ruined. This is wholly unacceptable.

In the nine years that I have been the MP for South Shields and part of this campaign alongside constituent Mr Latimer and the Whitburn Residents Forum, I have seen us stonewalled by various Departments, bodies, companies, Secretaries of State and Ministers who claim this sewage dumping is a figment of our imagination. It is not. We know that, because we live there.

Sewage has rightly been the topic of conversation in recent weeks after the Governments shameful behaviour voting down an amendment from the Lords on the Environment Bill that would have legally required water companies to take all reasonable steps to ensure untreated sewage is not discharged from storm overflows.

The Government has subsequently U-turned over the sewage amendment after fierce backlash from Labour MP’s, campaigners and the public, however, it is a disingenuous attempt to appease the public. If the Government really did care about sewage dumping, why have they sat back while knowing that Whitburn is continually being blighted.

I concluded my opening speech by pleading with the Minister Rebecca Pow to do once and for all what her predecessors have refused to, and outline what steps she is going to take to clean up our beach. The Minister came to the debate unprepared and failed to answer my questions but did subsequently agreed to meet with me.

You can read my full speech here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell)

Dear constituent

I am writing to you with an update about Covid and other local issues. If you are receiving one of these emails for the first time, it is because you have contacted me recently. I have been sending these updates throughout the pandemic to help provide information to people about what is going on locally. If you do not want to be included in further updates about the pandemic and other issues, please use the unsubscribe button at the bottom of this message.

Booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

A number of people have contacted me to say that they have been unable to organise booster jabs when they thought they should be receiving them. I have checked this and the trigger point for eligibility comes six months and one week after the second vaccine jab earlier in the year. So anyone who had their jab on May 1st would be able to get their jab from next week.

If you are eligible but have not yet received an invitation to book from the NHS, please use this link to do so.

Face-to-face GP appointments

Many people have also contacted me about the availability of face to face appointments with local GPs. I know that this has been a frustration for many people. But I should also say that both GPs and the NHS have been under enormous pressure in recent months and the level of demand for appointments of all sorts has been very high indeed.

For many people a virtual appointment is a much easier way to deal with a GP. But I have spoken to the leadership of the NHS in Surrey and they have told me that anyone who needs a face to face appointment should be able to get one.

Train services to London

For those of you who are commuters, I am stepping up pressure on the train companies and the Department for Transport to get back to a much closer to normal timetable. The Tattenham Corner direct trains have now been restored, and I have been promised that there will be a regular through service from Ashtead and Epsom to London Bridge in the peak by next May at the latest, though I am pushing for this to be earlier.

There remains a serious issue around the SWR services to Waterloo and I have asked for a further meeting with the company about what is happening. If you find yourself on a train which is very overcrowded and people are struggling to get on as it gets closer to central London, it would be very helpful if you could let me know.

The Chalk Pit Site Epsom

The controversial planning application for the Chalk Pit in Epsom is due to be heard by the County Council on the 17th November. I have also met the Secretary of State to discuss the performance of the Environment Agency on the issue, and there is now an investigation taking place to see whether they have taken sufficient action on the blight to local residents.

I will continue to do what I can to get the issue resolved.

Flooding issues in Nork & Tattenhams

Last Thursday I was at a meeting with councillors and local residents in Nork and Tattenhams and Surrey County Council about the flooding issue in the area. If you were not able to be there and your home is affected by the problem, please do get in touch and I will update you about the potential ways forward that were discussed.Future Mole Valley Local Plan

Mole Valley Local Plan

For those of you in Ashtead, the deadline to comment on the Mole Valley local plan is this coming weekend. I know that many people are very concerned about the scale of what is proposed by the Council for the area around Ashtead. If you want to comment, the link is here.

If you have any particular issues that you need to raise, please feel free to contact me.

Best wishes

Chris Grayling

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ARTICLE: How long can we survive shackled to Westminster?

Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

Government is all about making choices.

In his budget, the UK Chancellor had the opportunity to do the decent thing for millions of people affected by the combination of rising costs and income that fails to match it. He chose not to.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that inflation and higher taxes would dwarf any small increases for middle-wage earners and that low-income households will feel “real pain”.

They pointed out that families struggling on Universal Credit must endure a £20 per week and that the Chancellor’s adjustments won’t make up for that cut, even before national insurance rises come in the Spring. Another organisation, initially set up by the UK Government to monitor spending, said that the cost of living could rise at its fastest rate for 30 years. Inflation is set to soar over 4% – that has a massive effect on the ability of households to meet their living costs.

Here in the Highlands, we have the extra challenges of having higher transport costs and higher costs for energy and fuel.  In households across our communities, people no longer have to choose between food and heat – because thanks to this Chancellor and this UK Government,  they cannot afford to buy either.

In the spending review, the Chancellor chose not to invest in children who have the most difficult starts in life. He chose not to invest in sorting the mess created by Brexit – felt in every household in Scotland and across the nations of the UK. Instead, he chose to give a tax cut to his old pals in the city.

It seems there is no money to invest in tackling the fact that the UK has the worst poverty levels in western Europe. Still, there was money for encouraging more short-haul air travel – on the eve of the COP 26 Climate conference. There is also money for cutting tax on ships that will fly the British flag and multinational companies, like Amazon.

And, whilst any money for our region is welcome, let’s not fall for the small pockets of money earmarked for Highland projects. The money offered up is nothing compared to the EU money lost to the region, and it does not even come close to the £83 million still missing from the City Region Deal.

A Tory Chancellor at Westminster made his choices. Like every other Tory budget or spending review that came before – he made them for ideological reasons. To them, if anyone is poor, that’s their hard luck – they just have to try harder.

The fact is, those who are the poorest today have spent most of their lives governed by people who have no concept about what it is like to live without privilege. There is always money for contracts for pals, never for hard-pressed families. History shows us that the choices Westminster makes for us are never going to change. We need different choices to be made, to see fairness, justice, and hope for a better future.

Scotland will thrive without Westminster, but how long can we survive being shackled to it?

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

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

The post ARTICLE: How long can we survive shackled to Westminster? appeared first on Drew Hendry MP.

October 2021 Newsletter

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

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

  • Hunger strike and Urgent Question for Nazanin
  • Sir David Amess and violence against MPs
  • Climate Action Now
  • Save our nursery schools
  • Festival of the Girl
  • Reducing plastic waste
  • Opening a new research facility at the Royal Free
  • Supporting children and young people at home

Nigel’s October Newsletter

Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)

Subscribe to Nigel’s email newsletters here

Dear Constituent,

Welcome to my October email newsletter. It has been a busy but sombre month in parliament, as the Spending Review has been published in full and we celebrate the life, and mourn the death, of James Brokenshire MP and Sir David Amess MP.

Below you’ll find updates on the Budget, local Covid-19 case rates, a new charity in Langley Mill, more support for local pubs, an explanation on proposed amendments to the Environment Bill, and my view on a mayor for the East Midlands.

Autumn Budget & Spending Review

On Wednesday 27th October, the Chancellor released the Autumn Budget and Spending Review, revealing the Government’s plans for spending, taxes, and borrowing. Prior to its release, I expected to see some pretty alarming public finances as a result of the pandemic, and to be fair, we have seen some difficult numbers. The deficits for the last financial year and the current year total £500 billion, and we will still be running a deficit this year of about £130 billion.

However, despite the storm of the pandemic crashing over our economy, it is forecasted that the books will be completely balanced in the financial year after next. I could not possibly have expected that we could go from the economic tempest that was the pandemic, back to balanced public finances in less than a couple of years. This is a tremendous achievement. That we can even forecast that position demonstrates how successful the Government’s measures to save the economy have been over the past 18 months.

The success of these forecasts depends largely upon the growth of our economy. At the minute, the UK economy is growing faster than our major international competitors, more people are in work, and growth is up. However, uncertainty in the global economy means that this rate of recovery is not guaranteed. Therefore, we need to focus on what more we can do to increase the long-term trend in the rate of growth. That is why we need to make sure that the very welcome measures to increase investment, improve skills, and boost productivity are driven through and made to work.

Policies of particular interest to the residents of Amber Valley include:

. More money for local NHS services and schools;

. Increasing the National Living Wage by 6.6% to £9.50; 

. The end of the public sector pay freeze;

. A 5% cut to pub beer duty through a new Draught Relief, simplifying wider alcohol duties and freezing fuel duty;

. Cutting business rates by at least 50% next year for 90% of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses; 

. A reduction in the universal credit taper from the current 63p to 55p – allowing claimants who are in work to keep more of their benefits, ensuring that being in work pays more.

Speaking in the House of Commons on 27th October, I wholeheartedly welcomed the Autumn Budget and Spending Review. I believe it to be a hugely powerful budget that sets our country and economy in the right direction. It shows a welcome improvement in the public finances and delivers on many of the priorities of Amber Valley residents.

You can find the Chancellor’s statement in full here, and my speech in the House following it here

Local Covid-19 and Vaccination Update

558 Positive cases have been confirmed in Amber Valley over the last 7 days, that’s 433 cases per 100,000 people. This remains below the national average for England, which currently stands at 484 cases per 100,000 people.o

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in Amber Valley has been fluctuating since restrictions in England were lifted on 19th July, and as predicted, case rates began to increase considerably as we moved through autumn into the colder months. This led to some of the highest case rates we have seen in our constituency, with 157 people testing positive on the 4th October. However, despite some projections that case rates would continue to rise, they have actually been falling consistently throughout this month, so that the 7 day average for positive cases currently sits at 79.

Compared to last winter, hospitalisations relating to coronavirus continue to remain well below what we would expect, given the relatively high prevalence of the virus in the community. It is clear for the time being, that while health services in Amber Valley remain under some strain, owing in no small part to the unprecedented backlog in treatments, the risk of it being overwhelmed remains low. It is for this reason, therefore, that I do not support the introduction of so-called “plan-b” coronavirus restrictions at this time.

Our first line of defence against this virus continues to be our exemplary vaccination rollout, a terrific local and national effort. With everyone over the age of 50 being offered a booster jab, I urge anyone who is eligible to come forward and get jabbed. To protect themselves, our community, and our local health services.

As with the first doses of the vaccine, when you are eligible you should be notified by text, letter, or by your GP to arrange a booking. However, if you think you are eligible but have not been notified you can book the booster by calling 119 or online via the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/book-or-manage-a-booster-dose-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine/

Breast Milk Hub opening – Langley Mill

Earlier this month, I was honoured to open Lauren’s Milk Hub in Langley Mill. This new Hub will help provide donor human breast milk that can then be transported to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at hospitals across the East Midlands. It is an excellent addition to our local health networks as it will allow more sick and premature babies in the region to receive safe, screened donor milk.

Support for Local Pubs

On the 20th October I met with Emma McClarkin, Head of the British Beer and Pub Association, to sign a petition calling on the Government to lower draught beer duty ahead of the autumn budget. I am delighted that upon release of the budget, the Chancellor announced that tax on draught beer and cider will indeed be cut by 5%. The duty cut will bring down the cost of a pint by 3p, or as much as 25p for beer below 3.5% ABV.

The local pub is at the heart of many of our communities in Amber Valley, and is vital for creating jobs, boosting the local economy, and combatting loneliness and social isolation. In our constituency alone, pubs support 1,103 jobs and contribute £25m per year to the local economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially difficult time for pubs, and local owners and staff have made clear to me how precarious the past 2 years have been. 

Therefore, I am very pleased that the Government has continued to demonstrate its firm commitment to this most vital industry. With the lower duty on draught beer set to help our locals in Amber Valley thrive.

GP appointments

Many constituents have recently been in contact with me to raise concerns about access to GP appointments following the pandemic. I’m very grateful for the work of our GPs, and all our NHS, throughout Covid-19 and always, and so I raised this issue in the House with the Secretary of State during Health & Social Care Questions to see how we can support both GPs and constituents. I welcome the recent announcement of a £250 million winter access fund for GPs as a positive step, and I will continue to follow this closely.  

You can read the full debate here and the full GP plan here

Investment in the East Midlands

In Parliament on the 26th of this month, I urged the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, to make progress on devolution and additional investment in the East Midlands. Our region has looked with some deserved envy at neighbouring regions that have elected mayors and have successfully attracted more investment.

It is my firm belief that the East Midlands would benefit greatly from an elected mayor to represent the region on the national stage. However, in the meantime I also reminded the Secretary of State that Derbyshire stands ready for a county deal of investment and would appreciate being a pathfinder for this scheme. You can see my question and the debate in full here

Street Watch:

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

GDPR and privacy notice:

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

Get in Touch!

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

Twitter and Facebook

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

Yours sincerely,

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

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The Budget 2021

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out on behalf of the Government a budget that seeks to look to a more optimistic future as we move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst we have endured challenging times, the budget prepares a new economy with higher wages, higher skills and rising productivity which will deliver for all the residents of Aldridge-Brownhills.

Our ability to be able to successfully fight the Covid-19 pandemic was due to the enormous effort of our precious National Health Service. It was therefore extremely welcome news that there would be further investment in our NHS with a commitment to 40 new hospitals and the recruitment of 50,000 new nurses.

The budget once again reaffirmed our commitment to hard working families with a 6.6% increase in the National Living Wage equivalent of £1,000, and a tax cut for families on Universal Credit putting more money back in their pockets. Recognising the squeeze that so many families are feeling due to the increase in fuel prices the Chancellor scrapped the anticipated rise in fuel duty, saving families’ money at the pumps will be welcomed.

The Government’s priority as we move beyond the global pandemic is an ambitious programme of frontline investment to level up right across our country to close the gap between London and regions like ours. As independent commentators have observed our economy is fundamentally strong and whilst Covid-19 has had an impact on our economy, the Government stands on the side of families and businesses to support our precious public services and business community.

Public services are the People’s Priorities and at the heart of the budget was support for young people with an investment of over £500 million in youth services, 30,000 new school places for Special Educational Needs, a further £3 billion to help all pupils as part of the Covid-19 education recovery fund and a £4.7 billion of funding for education meaning per pupil funding will rise on average to £1,500 per pupil.

With sustained investment to deliver on key infrastructure projects, research and development and a commitment to greater productivity across the economy we will deliver on our ambition for Britain to be a global leader. With record investment in new transport projects the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street will receive more than £1billion for new transportation projects across our region to help level up our local areas and extend our economic reach. At the same time the new funding also represents a major step forward to realise my long held ambition to reopen a railway station in Aldridge.

A commitment to build 180,000 new affordable new homes with a £1.8 billion investment in brownfield development means we will get the homes we need in the right places. It will also mean that we can protect our precious Green Belt and truly live up to our ambition of a ‘Brownfield First’ approach to development.

This additional funding will be extremely important to all of us in Aldridge-Brownhills as we continue to work with Mayor Andy Street to stop speculative and unsuitable development on our precious Green Belt and Open Spaces.

Supporting businesses and High Streets is a key part of our economic recovery and I was pleased the Chancellor announced the long awaited review of Business Rates. I was also pleased that next year’s planned increases in Business Rates have been halted and that our Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Sector will receive a 50% discount, helping our High Streets and Village Centres through challenging times.

As a Government we are focussed on ensuring that we have Higher Skills, Higher Productivity and Higher Wages focussing on the ‘People’s Priorities’. The Budget represents our commitment to level up right across the whole United Kingdom delivering on our promises to the British people and all of the hard working families of Aldridge-Brownhills.

 

Rushanara Ali MP in the media discussing the budget

Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)

On Monday 25th October and Tuesday 26th October, Rushanara Ali MP appeared on BBC Newsnight and Sky news to discuss the Chancellor's upcoming budget. 

GP Access Debate

Joy Morrisey (Beaconsfield)

Joy Morrissey MP led a debate in Wesminster Hall on access to GP surgeries both during and after the Covid pandemic. She spoke of her own experience as well as sharing those of several constituents.  Watch the full debate here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/a3334a61-a7ff-4701-b830-6da0a2edf…

End Fire and Rehire

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

End Fire and Rehire David Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:02

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps visits Arla distribution centre, where 1/10 of all milk sold in the UK travels through.

It was a chilly constituency Friday for Mr Shapps, as he was invited to tour the 235,000 square foot refrigerated distribution facility, which sees 520 million litres of fresh milk pass through it each year.

Opened in 2013, the facility operates 24/7, 364 days a year, delivering brands such as Cravendale to stores around the country, to retailers like Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s. The centre employs a team of 500 people, 60% of which are Welwyn Hatfield residents.

Prior to the tour of the distribution centre, Mr Shapps sat down with Ash Amirahmadi- Managing Director of Arla Foods UK- and other members of the local team to discuss the challenges and pressures facing the company, and food distribution more widely, during the covid pandemic.

At the centre of discussions was the HGV driver shortage. At Arla, HGV salaries have been going up to meet demand for drivers- with annual salaries of £50,000-£70,000 depending on shift pattern.

A spokesperson of Arla Foods said: “We were delighted to welcome Grant Shapps to Arla Hatfield. We had a very constructive and positive discussion about our cooperative and the wider dairy sector with him, both as our local MP and as the Transport Secretary. We look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future.”

Mr Shapps said: “It’s been really great to come to Arla, and hear first hand how businesses with a presence in my own constituency have been reacting to the international HGV driver shortage, as well as how the company has adapted to doing business post-covid.

“I commend Arla for their commitment to improving pay and conditions for HGV drivers. Increases in pay, starting a driving academy to train new drivers, as well as a programme to rehabilitate former prisoners to drive lorries and improvements to their facilities- all of these things will help make driving an HGV a more attractive career choice for those looking to get into the industry. Our plan seems to be working, with 1,000 provisional HGV licenses being applied for each day- that’s 3 times higher than before the pandemic.

“As Transport Secretary, I’ve put together a list of 25 separate measures to help ease the pressure on businesses like Arla- including increasing driving test capacity at the DVSA to clear the covid backlog, making those tests faster by stream-lining them and getting the army in to take on some of the strain in the short-term.

“These measures, combined with the hard work of the food distributors I’ve met today, will keep our supplies stocked as the global economy gets back up and running.”

Newcastle United Football Club Update

Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East)

Catch up

Graham Jones (Hyndburn)

Covid Ongoing

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

Obviously all our lives have changed for the better as the pandemic recedes and the vaccine rolls out. However it is worth keeping an eye on the rules, regs and guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Visit my Facebook page

Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

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

England team’s unity and humility help nation dream again

Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire)

It is hard to adequately capture the mood in England at present, as the nation contemplates the latter stages of the Euro 2020 football tournament. This is heady territory for football fans here. Despite the modern origins of the game being in England, and the country’s worldwide reputation, the…

Steve Reed has asked Croydon Council to listen to local people over the future of South Norwood Library.  The library’s future is uncertain because the Conservative Government has cut funding to Croydon by 70% and pushed it into a financial crisis.

Local MP Steve Reed has spoken to residents and campaign groups who are fighting to save the library.  He’s now written to the Council asking them to consider how closing the library will affect the areas poorest residents who may not have access to WiFi or quiet spaces for learning or reading at home.  He’s also asked the Council to fully involve the local community before taking any decisions.

Steve Reed said: “Croydon Council is faced with some really difficult decisions after ten years of Conservative funding cuts.  But they do not have to go it alone. Now more than ever people want a say over what happens in their area. The Council should harness this enthusiasm and work with residents to come up with plan that could protect library services for South Norwood.”

You can see the full letter here.

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

  • Steve Reed
    Steve Reed Member of Parliment for Croydon North

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

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

The post Steve Reed calls on Council to work with residents to save South Norwood Library appeared first on Steve Reed MP.

New GP Surgery Back on Track for Shifnal

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)

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

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

Commenting, Mark Pritchard MP said:

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

COVID-19 Advice and Assistance

Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

Alec urges all constituents to book their COVID-19 vaccination or access the NHS Test & Trace system if you have symptoms.

Vaccine

The UK medical regulatory agency has approved a number of vaccines for COVID-19. The Government has organised the largest nationwide vaccination programme in history, with all adults now eligible to book a vaccine. You can book your vaccine online here.

Testing

Anybody with symptoms can book a test. To book a test click here.

Help from Alec

If you have a unique issue to raise with Alec that is not covered in the information above, please get in touch at alec.shelbrooke.mp@parliament.uk or via 01937 589 002.

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

Brexit Deal or No Deal

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

I wanted to take a moment to explain my reasoning behind abstaining from the vote in Parliament on Wednesday (30/12) as the Governments’ Brexit deal returned to the House of Commons.

From the outset, I have sought to respect the decision of the referendum in 2016 and have been happy to work with colleagues in Parliament to deliver a compromise between those 16 million people who voted to remain in the EU, and the 17 million who voted to leave with the myriad of different options that would entail. It has become clear to me over the last 4 years that many people who voted to leave the EU in Gateshead, did so for very different reasons and with very different expectations of our future relationship ranging from close alignment like Norway, to what has now been termed a hard Brexit, essentially no formal trading relationship with the European Union, operating on basic WTO rules instead. I was re-elected to represent Gateshead at the last General Election on the pledge to respect the result of the referendum and to negotiate a deal that would meet the 6 key tests.

It would seem that successive Conservative Prime Ministers have seem set on rail-roading their respective deals through Parliament without proper scrutiny our accountability, and this week is no different. It appears to be the case that the Government may have sought to hold out for demands within the negotiations that they knew could not be agreed, around fishing quotas as an example, knowing that once these demands were dropped a deal could be agreed between both sides. They have then sought to drop these demands as Parliament goes into recess for the Christmas period, and bring back a deal of some 1200 pages for 5 hours of debate at 3 working days’ notice; 48 hours before the UK would end the transition period with no deal if this was not agreed.

The deal itself does not satisfy the 6 key tests I was elected on, and the way in which the Government appear to have manipulated the Parliamentary calendar to force MP’s into a vote quite literally between this deal or no deal, brings great shame on any type of Parliamentary Sovereignty. What we now have in the UK is Government sovereignty without proper input or scrutiny from democratically elected Members of Parliament.

To this end, I found that while a deal, even this deal, is better than a no deal, I could not in good conscience vote in favour of a deal which did not satisfy the key tests in the manifesto on which I was elected, and in essence to vote to help the Government extricate themselves from a mess entirely of their own making. It is the Government who have sought to negotiate this deal alone, it is they who have forced the timetable for approval and who have removed any Parliamentary Sovereignty and scrutiny from the timetable and it is the Government who must be judged on the success or failure of this deal.

As a local resident of Gateshead for over 40 years, I absolutely hope that this deal goes far enough to safeguard jobs and livelihoods of families across the North East. I also hope that this does not lead to shortage of supplies or price increases. This affects us all, and in many ways I do not wish the Government deal to fail to protect us from any negative consequences of it. However, with the way the whole process has been manipulated to force MP’s into a corner, and with the deal not meeting the 6 key tests set out in the manifesto on which I was elected, I could not see fit to vote in favour.

This is the Conservative Government’s deal, their deliberate mismanagement has brought it to Parliament, on a timetable manufactured by them, with no time for appropriate scrutiny, it’s their deal and they should own it!

I hope this sets out my reasoning, as ever please do get in touch should you have any further questions.

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.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THESE PROPOSALS

Why is this being done?

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

Is St Helier closing?

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

Is a new hospital being built?

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

Is St Helier getting an upgrade?

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

Who developed these proposals?

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

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

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

Will we still use St Helier?

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

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

What about bed numbers?

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

What about A&E?

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

What about maternity services?

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

Where will children services be provided?

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

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

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

Where will the new hospital be built?

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

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

A&E 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...

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Reflecting on Defeat

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield)

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

Compensation package for Waspi women

John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have a historic debt of honour to them.