Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Launch of the Hyndburn Advice Network

With funding from the Big Lottery, a partnership has been created between Age UK Lancashire, Hyndburn CAB, HARV, Lancashire Women’s Centre, Maundy Relief Trust and Scaitcliffe Community Centre.  In addition we have representation from Hyndburn Borough Council as Councillor Kerry Molineux is on the Project Board.

The overall aim of the Hyndburn Advice Network (HAN) project is to improve the level and quality of advice for the people of Hyndburn.  The key partners are working together with the wider advice and information community to improve the level of provision available and the referral process between groups.  Hyndburn CAB is the lead organisation and has a project team comprising:

Jill Myers - Project Co-ordinator
Catherine Haseley - Generalist Outreach Adviser
Rachael Brodie - Volunteer Recruitment and Development Worker

To help promote the project and give Clients easier access to advice and support, a website has been developed that will go live on Monday 20th October 2014. The website provides information for Hyndburn residents in an easy to read format with links to external websites for further detail on specific topics.  It has up-to-date news items as well as more detailed Big Issue pages. 

A directory of local advice, information and support services, the Hyndburn Handbook can be accessed via the site.  You will find that your organisation has been listed in this directory with a clear link to your own website.  The subject areas have been identified from your site.  If you would like us to change these or edit your details please contact Jill Myers, the Project Co-ordinator to discuss this.  She can be contacted on 01254 304122 or

Catherine holds advice sessions at each of the partners’ venues and Rachael helps partner organisations identify their training and development needs for both staff and volunteers.  We are increasing the skills and knowledge of staff and volunteers working for key partners through targeted training.

Client referrals are made between the key partners and we are hoping to extend this process to include other agencies. In the longer term we are aiming to establish a network of advice and information agencies, both statutory and voluntary, that will continue to work together after the lifetime of the project.  This network will ensure that a Client’s needs are addressed effectively by making appropriate referrals with the provision of services by many different agencies appearing seamless to the Client.


Friday, 17 October 2014

Putting football fans back at the heart of how the game is run

For many of us, football clubs embody the meaning of community spirit: sticking together, staying loyal come rain or shine and through the highs and lows.

Today, Labour is announcing plans to put football fans back at the heart of how the game is run – will you tweet your support?
Share on Facebook instead

For too long, the game has taken our loyalty for granted. Owners have treated fans as cash cows. They've hiked ticket prices, loaded clubs with unmanageable debt, and even moved the grounds far beyond their local roots, all without any consultation.

As a Co-operative Party MP, I've worked for many years to ensure that fans, and the supporter's trusts that represent them, have a much greater say over how their clubs are run.

Today Labour Shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford MP has promised that under a future Labour & Co-operative government, supporters trusts will have the right to:

  • Appoint up to a quarter (and at least two) of the Club's directors
  • Buy up to 10% of shares when a club changes ownership

As members of the Co-operative Party, we should be hugely proud of our role in putting fan ownership on the agenda. It's just one of many ways that we're ensuring that co-operative and mutual principles are at the heart of the next Labour government – so let's make sure we shout about it.

Tom Greatrex MP
Labour & Co-operative
Rutherglen and Hamilton West 

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Why should people pay to call the Police on 101

How many people are aware that when they dial the police on the new 101 number they are paying 15p per call? Whilst the government says this is to act as a deterrent against it being used inappropriately, the 999 number remains free. Dialling the police is more often to report criminality or suspected criminality. Placing a charge on civic duty whilst offering a free service isn’t logical. In fact in the last conversation I had with my Chief Super-Intendant he made the point that ridiculous calls are made through to 999.

From: Written Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Sent: 15 October 2014 16:09
To: JONES, Graham
Subject: Written answer to your WPQ 209287 received from the Home Office

The Home Office has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (209287):

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many complaints have been received on the charge for using the 101 non-emergency police number in the last three years. (209287)
Tabled on: 10 October 2014

Mike Penning:
The Department has received 49 complaints about the charge for using the 101 police non-emergency number in the last three years.
Research by Ofcom shows that a small fixed charge does not deter people from calling the service and reduces the likelihood of it being used inappropriately.
The latest Crime Survey (published July 2013) shows that use of the 101 number has increased since 2011.

The answer was submitted on 15 Oct 2014 at 16:08.

Fwd: You won't believe what they said about disabled people:


The cruelty of this is almost hard to believe.

David Cameron's welfare minister has been recorded saying that some disabled people — and this is a word-for-word quote — "aren't worth the full wage". That's the *minimum* wage.

In fact, he even suggested that they should be able to work for £2 an hour. That's right — £2 an hour.

To even contemplate something so backward, so ignorant...if we hadn't seen this so many times before, it would seriously beggar belief.

If you believe as I do — and as Labour always will — that disabled people are as worthy of fair pay as anyone, help us make sure the Tories can't get away with this — share now:

Share on Facebook

Tory minister - some disabled people are not worth the full page

Just when you think they can't sink any lower...


Kate Green MP
Labour's Shadow Minister for Disabled People

Friday, 26 September 2014

My notes on going to war..

Setting off at 4.40am to head of Parliament to vote on whether the UK should take military action in the Middle East again.

I have received correspondence requesting I vote both against and for I respect those views: that we must take action and that no good can come of it. My view is that the proposed action of military airstrikes in Iraq only is a policy of partial containment and in that repeat leaves questions about long term solutions unanswered.

Enough has been written about the barbarism of ISIL not to repeat it here. Enough to persuade some that action is necessary.

My own additional worry is the healthy financial state of this terrorist collaboration. $hundreds of millions of dollars from ransom (est $125m), racketeering, extortion, illegal taxes, theft and sale of valuable items, the biggest every bank robbery ever ($145m) from the banks in Mosul and $2 dollars a day in black market oil sales.

This is not a just terrorist organisation running a counter insurgency with bombs and guns. It is far ore than that.

I have always believed that the west was wrong to go into Iraq and create a vacuum wrong to leave it for the same reason and we are paying the price of both decisions. In between and to add to the problems, the military top brass and political decision makers showed a complete lack of understanding of civic society and how to run it.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Labour has to liberate the working classes from the dead hand of the state UPDATE

Returning from Conference I'd like to thank LabourList for allowing me to share a platform to discuss the issue of Working Class representation. It caused some commentary for my comments on Union selections but this was a misrepresentation of the wider points I made.

Whilst unions have their chosen candidates, often not drawn from the membership but from their staff, there should be huge recognition for the recent mentoring programme they have been involved in helping to build up the confidence and abilities of ordinary people who may well have not climbed over the barriers to selection.

A few weeks ago I wrote this article on the importance of working class political representation.
Labour List article

So much has been written about Labour’s problem in reaching out to working class voters and crucially in working class areas. In particular, UKIP’s appeal to parts of this voter segment which has stimulated significant comment.

Is this a new problem for Labour or one that has existed for a long time?

A couple of years ago, Owen Jones made a stark point when he highlighted the fact that 50% of C2 voters (lower working class people) voted Labour in 1997, whilst just 29% of C2 voters voted Labour in 2010. In the same time period, Labour’s vote share amongst DE’s (temporary or long-term unemployed, disabled, very low income) fell by 19% to just 40%.

Did the Blair government and New Labour get it wrong calculating they could always ‘bank’ working class votes whilst appealing more to the right? It seems so. As Ed Miliband put during the Labour leadership election: “if we had enjoyed a 1997 result in 2010 just among DEs, then on a uniform swing we would have won at least 40 more seats and would still be the largest party in parliament.” From this, he concluded, Labour faced “a crisis of working-class representation”.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


I've spoken to many people in Hyndburn who have told me that they are struggling to cope with the hated bedroom tax, introduced by the Tories and Liberal Democrats in Westminster. In the North West alone over 75,411 people have been affected – by far the highest of any region in the country.

This is a policy that unfairly hits hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities or who are carers, and it threatens to cost more than it saves which is why the next Labour government will abolish it.

The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly backed the Tories to keep the Bedroom Tax in place and have refused to join previous Labour attempts to scrap the policy. Yet recently the Liberal Democrats joined me and other Labour MPs by voting against their own policy in Parliament.

Unfortunately this vote will not abolish the bedroom tax, as Labour will do if elected next year, but it is a step in the right direction and a glimmer of hope for many.

The Labour Party has been clear and consistent in its opposition to the Bedroom Tax. It is an unfair and unworkable policy that causes misery to hundreds of thousands of people by forcing them out of their homes, most of whom have nowhere else to move to.

I'm glad the Liberal Democrats voted with us today but sadly it's come too late for the thousands of people who've been forced into debt as a result of the Bedroom Tax and thousands more who have been forced to rely on food banks to survive. The truth is you can't trust a word that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats say.

The only sure way to get the Bedroom Tax repealed will be to elect a Labour government next year.