Sunday, 12 March 2017

Increased awareness of risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

I am delighted to support the baby charity The Lullaby Trust in urging local authorities to ensure health professionals in the North West receive the training and support they need to deliver safer sleep messages to all families. The call comes as part of Safer Sleep Week, the charity’s national campaign to raise awareness of SIDS (often referred to as cot death) and the lifesaving advice that parents can follow to reduce the risk of it occurring.

The national survey commissioned by charity The Lullaby Trust, found that 37% of parents in the North West are unsure of one of the most fundamental steps to reduce the risk of SIDS: sleeping a baby on its back for every sleep.

Evidence shows that babies who are slept on their back for every sleep are 6 times less likely to die from SIDS than those who sleep on their front or side.

Sleeping babies on their front was commonplace until the national “Back to Sleep” campaign in 1991. This campaign along with continued awareness raising of SIDS and safer sleep, by The Lullaby Trust, over the 25 years since, has led to a widespread change in how parents sleep their babies. As a result SIDS rates in the UK have reduced by 85% since 1991. However, the rates could still be much lower and research has shown, that if all parents followed safer sleep advice, the lives of many more babies could be saved.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Hyndburn Business Awards

​Hi Everyone!

The day has finally dawned and you can now nominate for Hyndburn Business Awards 2017.

As you can see there are three options when nominating:
  1. Stonehouse Logic Award: you can nominate your own or any other Hyndburn business for this Award. You can nominate as many businesses as you like. We get in touch with each business nominated and send them an entry form. On that entry form they choose which other categories they want to enter.
  2. Customer Friendly Business Award: you can only nominate other Hyndburn businesses for this category, in recognition of their superior customer service. If a business is nominated for this category they are automatically nominated for the Stonehouse Logic Award. They get a slightly modified entry form (with sections about their customer service).
  3. Pride of Hyndburn Award: this is a very special award for the people, clubs, associations, networks and societies that work so hard (and often as volunteers) to make Hyndburn a better place to live, work and visit. They don’t have a formal legal structure (not limited companies, partnerships, community interest companies or charities) but they are often extremely enterprising. This category has its own special entry form. 

Nominations can be made until April 18th. We will announce any nomination on our Twitter (@HyndburnAwards) and Facebook Page (@hyndburnbusinessawards). It would really help us spread the word if you could ‘favourite and retweet’ and ‘like and share’ as many of them as you can.

We will also be starting to update the news section of over the next few weeks, to keep everyone up to date with progress.

The first post shows you the flyer we are circulating around Hyndburn at the moment. 

Rob Carder
Enterprising People

The Chancellor should defuse the Universal Credit ticking time bomb says Usdaw

Shopworkers' trade union leader John Hannett has called on the Chancellor to use this week’s Budget to reverse the deeply unfair and damaging cuts to Universal Credit that were introduced by his predecessor.

Usdaw’s analysis reveals that a couple with children, both working in retail, earning just above the so-called ‘National Living Wage’, one working full-time and one part-time, would be £1,866 worse off on Universal Credit.

A worker on Universal Credit earning the National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour, takes home just £7.24 for doing an additional 4 hour shift. That amounts to £1.81 per hour, often barely covering their travel costs.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Universal Credit will plunge far more working families into poverty, which will be almost impossible to work their way out of. We supported the initial intentions of Universal Credit, to simplify benefits and improve incentives to work.  However, severe cost cutting has turned Universal Credit into a real threat to the incomes of low-paid working families.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Budget 2017: the Tories want to line the pockets of their rich friends again

Wednesday at the budget, the Tories want to line the pockets of their rich friends again.

They want to cut inheritance tax for the wealthy;
a tax cut on houses sold above £650,000.

This Osborne-era policy will cost £1billion to the Exchequer and almost none of that will come to Hyndburn.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

More Tory police cuts on the way

Last year we had the fiasco whereby the Government tried to fix police funding so certain areas benefited and others lost out, significantly. Lancashire was such a huge loser that hundreds of police officers would have to have been sacked. Lancashire was scheduled to lose a further £25m in the formula rejig on top of the deep cuts already imposed on every police authority.

Our Crime Commissioner wasted many hours over months trying to get to the bottom of this flawed method where the government refused to release the methodology. When he eventually did, it transpired the government had made huge mistakes and the formula was scrapped.

Just a small point here. Theresa May was the Home Office secretary of state overseeing all of this.

Now it's back.

I have written to the minster to ensure he knows the feelings of people in Haslingden and Hyndburn and Lancashire prior to latest gerrymandered formula. The cuts have gone to far.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Helping refugee's - Why we need a different approach.

Helping refugees

- It's time to think of all refugee's and not just the one's that fill our TV screens (eg. 490,000 DRC refugees as well as others)
- It's time to recognise that some camps are good, others are not up to standard
- It's time to look at the best camps and the economics of helping as many people as possible.
- It's time to recognise that the overwhelming number of refugees do not want to come to western Europe and need our help
- Recognise that the refugee crisis cannot be wholly solved in Europe

In early 2015, graphic images of makeshift boats sinking in the Mediterranean shocked us all. Aboard were small children and their parents, many of whom undertook the perilous journey in the hope of safety and security for their families. Pictures of their bodies, washed up on the shores of Greek beaches, were met with a national outcry and prompted demands for the UK to take swift action.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Good result - After my intervention, ASA cracks down on Rip Off auction sites

A good result.

The Advertising Standards Agency following my request last year began investigating penny auction sites.

These bogus rip off sites sell iPads for 30x their value by letting you believe you are in with a chance. You aren't.

They are making that much money they pay for their misleading adverts on the Sky News app for example.

They have written back to me having concluded their investigations and as a result they have laid down strict advertising standards for these misleading rip off sites.

Dear Graham

I hope you are well. You may have already seen this in the press today, but if not I wanted to alert you to the fact that today we have published the rulings for the six formal investigations we initiated last year.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Israel Settlements - My speech for this weeks debate

This week I was unable to get into the Israeli Settlements debate but here was my speech for interest. Posted because I receive quite a bit of interest on it.

If you have comments to me personally, please email


In the final weeks of the previous American administration – John Kerry made a remarkably bold speech.
It was a speech from a statesman at the end of an illustrious career – impassioned, informed and, above all, honest.