Monday, 29 February 2016

Let's stop the SNP & The Tories relaxing Sunday trading laws

I read in the press this morning the the SNP and Tories have done a deal to allow Sunday trading. I think USDA have made very clear points as to why we shouldn't. It may be convenient for us as shoppers but there are other considerations we should give greater weight to.

From: John Hannett
Date: Monday, 29 February 2016 09:02
To: Graham Jones
Subject: Sunday Trading

Dear Mr Jones,
Usdaw are extremely concerned at the Enterprise Bill amendment to devolve the power to set the hours of Sunday trading to over 300 Local Authorities.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Beat the winter asthma blues Help is just a call away

The Asthma UK Helpline is available on 0300 222 5800 from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, to provide independent and confidential advice about all aspects of asthma, including seasonal triggers.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Unsatisfactory reply from DCLG on UK application for EU flood relief funding.

The Government puts forward its case why they may not apply for EU financial help to help flooded areas. I am unsure as to whether this complexity is justified or not. If the funding is perverse then I the government have had previous occasion to amend EU rules around access to ensure that areas in the north for example do receive assistance intended for flooded areas. The cuts to local government funding has helped local authorities trying to deal with these issues.

Rossendale Free Press column - Friday 26th Feb (longer version)

Not a lot of people realise that Hyndburn, following the redrawing of and by Rossendale council of wards, particularly Greenfield ward in 2010 now extends to the River Irwell. It extends across it at Ewood Bridge. Hyndburn - or Haslingden and Hyndburn as I prefer to call it - also extends right down to Irwell Vale village and the farms before the village including the lane.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Sunday trading laws to hit retail workers USDAW

Dear Mr JonesUsdaw are extremely concerned at the Enterprise Bill amendment to devolve the power to set the hours of Sunday trading to over 300 Local Authorities.

A56 Rising Bridge Roundabout Improvement Scheme

As MP I have with others have campaigned for an upgrade to the A56 roundabout at Rising Bridge. I received this helpful news from Friends of Acre Village.

Hi all, Highways England have just emailed me this update below regrading the upcoming improvement works in Acre. Whilst residents in Rising Bridge, Sherfin, Stonefold and Acre are all really exited about these works, anyone using the roundabout is going to have to put up with a bit of discomfort whilst the improvement works are carried out.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

My Lancashire Telegraph column - Weds 24th Feb

What's going on at Ewood Park these days? My mecca and an essential part of my and my friends life since I first went in 1974.

I cannot recall thinner gruel than the last 5 years. I was coming back through Instanbul when we lost 5-1 last weekend to the Hammers. I was relaxing in one of those pubs in the new connected world which had every game, everywhere on every TV all at once. And I wasn't the only Rovers fan either!

As we watched the Rovers crash out of the FA cup we agreed it was indeed desperate times. Hard to recall a lower ebb for the club? Perhaps the end of Kidd regime but Souness quickly turned that squad around. Probably the Paul Shepstone era, season 1991 where we finished 19th, just 2 points above relegation from the championship and with the 3rd poorest goal difference. Two wins - away at Barnsley on the 23rd April and a 3-1 home victory against ironically West Ham four day laters saved us.

Supporting BBC and private initiative to help children learn computer programming.

@GrahamJones_MP: Delighted to support BBC #microbit To introduce basics of computer programming to all 11-12yr olds in UK schools.

Really important that the UK remains competitive in the world economy and our children are given the skills to compete.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Reply from DEFRA on flooding of the River Irwell

There are huge question marks over whether the government will fulfil its promises to those affected by floods.

There are two key issues. Will those uninsured be compensated for their loss in some way? The government says £5,000 will be available through local authorities. What about bridges, highways and public spaces damages?

Secondly flood defences. It would seem to me to be time to think about wider flood defence rather than just higher walls or reinforced banking.

Monday, 15 February 2016

My response on FOBTS/money laundering to ABB CEO Malcolm George

Dear Malcolm,

Thank you for your very speedy response to the question I tabled regarding potential incidents of money laundering in betting shops.

Diluting the 633 suspected incidents among data from across the whole UK economy does not diminish any concerns held about the existence of and potential for money laundering in betting shops. Your response on the 21st of January was unfortunately followed 7 days later by another major incident of money laundering in Liverpool using betting shops.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

EDM 1025, Speak Up For Libraries Campaign.

Dear Mr Jones,

I am writing to you to ask you to show your support for all public libraries by signing EDM 1025, Speak Up For Libraries Campaign. (I have signed it).

Over 100 UK libraries were lost last year, and at least 441 have closed in the past five years. Another 149 are currently under threat. Since 2010 there has been a 22% drop in the number of all staff (full time equivalent) employed in UK’s public libraries (figures are from 2010/11 to 2014/15), which at March 2015 stood at 18,028.

Carnegie UK Trust campaign to protect our libraries

Dear Mr Graham Jones MP

The Carnegie UK Trust has today published four new databases of examples that show public libraries’ impact on four policy areas: economic, education, culture and society. The databases accompany our leaflet-poster‘Speaking Volumes: The Impact of Public Libraries on Wellbeing’.

The database and leaflet are intended for use as an advocacy resource to support the case for the major contribution that libraries continue to make to our wellbeing.

We ask you to:
1.      Download the databases
2.      Share them with any of your colleagues, stakeholders or networks who you think may find it useful
3.      Get in touch with us via the online form if you would like to submit further examples of how public libraries impact upon these policy areas and on wellbeing.

Thank you.

With best wishes

Dr Jenny Peachey
Policy Officer
Carnegie UK Trust
Tel: 01383 721445
Direct Dial: 01383 749756Mobile: 07725697308
Twitter: @JennyP_Carnegie and @CarnegieUKTrust 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Chairs report: ‘Future of the Broadcast Media’ - PLP Culture, Media and Sport Departmental ‎Committee

Last month the new Culture, Media and Sport Departmental ‎Committee, met to discuss the ‘Future of the Broadcast Media’, including the issues of Channel 4 privatisation and the renewal of the BBC Charter. We were joined by:

Daniel Wilson – BBC Head of Policy
Ali Law – Sky Head of Policy
Dan Brooke – Channel 4 Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

I was delighted the Shadow Secretary of State was in attendance. As a result of that meeting I have written to the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outlining the major areas of concern for Labour MPs. The summary of which is below. The key point raised was the unhelpful attacks on the BBC at a time of Charter renewal in effect helping Tory critics of the organisation who wish to see it undermined.

Graham Jones MP
Chair of DCMS PLP Committee

Friday, 12 February 2016

Roots to Prosperity Woodland Productivity Task

Dear Mr Jones, We had our Roots to Prosperity launch reception last week in Parliament, where the Roots to Prosperity Woodland Productivity Task Group launched three themed prospectuses demonstrating the investment opportunities for productive woodland creation in Northern England. I have attached the prospectuses to this email for ease of reference.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

In for a pound - The relationship between staff wages and Ofsted grades in group-based childcare provision

Dear Mr Jones,

I am delighted to be able to share with you the Family and Childcare Trust's report In for a pound. This looks at the relationship between levels of staff pay and the quality of childcare and is the first in a series of short reports looking at quality in childcare which we are publishing over the next few months. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Tories hand £millions to wealthiest councils – but there’s only cuts for Hyndburn

The £300m Local Government handout to Tory councils and Tory marginals is a stitch-up. The Chancellor has handed hundreds of millions of pounds to the wealthiest Tory councils to ease the pain of spending cuts – but offered nothing to Hyndburn and what it has offered to Lancashire has been clawed back through back door education cuts.

See previous also.

The extra funding for Lancashire of £1.108 m is offset by an Education Service Grant which is £1.177m less than expected.

Hyndburn has suffered some of the very highest spending cuts since 2010 (4th), but has received nothing at all in today’s announcement. Meanwhile, leafy Surrey – one of England’s wealthiest shires – today gets a hand-out of £24m despite suffering far fewer cuts in recent years.

Absolutely scandalous. 83% of extra £300m to local gov goes to southern Tory shires

Under pressure from Tory backbenchers, David Cameron has 'found' £300 million to relieve the worst problems in local government. Southern councils have faced little or no cuts with some receiving an increase over the last 5 years. Yet 83% of the £300m will go to southern Tory shires.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

I have signed EDM 1081 in opposition to scrapping of the NHS Bursary

The Government is planning to scrap the NHS Bursary for students of nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects, which will see all non-payable student support for these students abolished and tuition fees of over £9,000 applied to their courses. This will see nurses, midwives and allied health professionals starting their careers with debts of around £51,600.

The Government consultation response on Sunday trading is a whitewash says Usdaw

I fully support USDAWs campaign to 'Keep Sunday Special'.

Whilst it is great for consumers to shop on Sunday it is worth remembering that staff will have to give up two days at weekends.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Lost trophies. 1 found!

Accrington champion Billiards Trophy has been found. There is a real
opportunity to have this Trophy refurbished and possibly played for again.

There's still remains a lot more missing trophies. Can you help?

Hyndburn has a round history and over the years many historic trophies have been lost or stolen. Some were taken without the Councils authority from the basement of the Town Hall in the 70s and 80s. Presumedly to sell. Many of these were allotments and other societal trophies from organisations that packed up many years ago.

Friday, 5 February 2016

DEFRA response on high numbers of dangerous dogs put down in Hyndburn

Graham Jones MP (@GrahamJones_MP) Unsure whether this DEFRA response on dangerous dogs is a step forward or not?

I have written previously about dangerous dogs and particularly my sadness at the numbers who are being put down because of bad owners and greedy breeders.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Fwd: Football Foundation Quarterly Briefing - January 2016

I thought this would be worth posting as people are always interested in where they can get funding from.

Quarterly Briefing from the Football Foundation – January 2016

Please find our latest grassroots investment briefing below, for your interest.

This details the total investment directed into the grassroots by the Football Foundation on behalf of our core funding partners - the Premier League, The FA, and the Government / Sport England - and our other key partners, such as Barclays and the Mayor of London/Greater London Authority.

Since our launch in 2000, we have awarded more than 14,000 grants worth £546m towards community sports projects. We have used this to attract a further £772m in partnership funding, making a total investment of £1.3bn into the country's grassroots.

This brief also covers some of the key outcomes resulting from this investment. Last season, for example, there was an average increase in football participation of 7% at facilities that we had invested in, and an average increase of 8% across all sports at those sites.

If the briefing does not display below properly you can click here to view it on our website.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Visiting flood hit village Irwell Vale

Having visited Irwell Vale village not long after the water receded, it is clear that not enough has been done to prevent a repeat of the 2012 floods (evidently). The Government haven't done enough despite promises to do so. Lancashire County Council are renovating the bridge and have put in a temporary bridge to allow access to the village.