Sunday, 19 June 2016

My Rossendale Free Press column.

The big day is almost upon us. As your MP I will vote to Remain in the EU and here are my personal reasons.

Firstly this is about our children, their future not ours and they are voting 3:1 to Remain. This is their future we are voting on and they are the ones that will have to live with the consequences.

Whilst older voters in Halsingden and Hyndburn have been clear to me, they want to leave another group of important people in our area have over a long period spoken of the negative consequences of leaving. They are the local companies which export to the EU.

Friday, 17 June 2016

My Ob column - Sound reasons to Vote Remain

Last night I attended the inaugural Hyndburn Business Awards and a big thanks to Enterprising People of Clayton for making it happen. the stunningly refurbished Town Hall was packed to the rafters with great businesses and a tremendous atmosphere. Hyndburn Labour is pro-business and this is another piece in that jobs and employment jigsaw but more about that at the end.

The one dark cloud of the evening is the fear amongst Hyndburn’s exporters last night that we are going to vote to leave the EU and the negative impact it will have on their business. Each constituency including Hyndburn exports on average on £360m worth of goods to the EU every year. A lot of Hyndburn jobs are directly dependent or interdependent on that export work.

Here’s the plain truth in numbers and an easy to digest logic;

£100 billion (12 times our EU contribution) has been wiped off the FTSE 100 shares in just 4 days. £ trillions of pounds are at stake in the referendum. FTSE shares are pensions companies and shareholders panicking. The £ is falling on the worry of a Brexit and here’s why they are right to worry;

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Donors in Hyndburn are encouraged to give safely this Ramadan

I recognises the huge generosity of Muslims during Ramadan (6 June to 5 July) and wants to remind donors of how to ensure their money gets to the good causes they want to support.

Whilst many charity collections and collectors are genuine, unfortunately there are occasions where the name and work of charities is abused.

To protect their donation and the charities they wish to support, the Charity Commission is encouraging donors to take small steps such as;

1) Checking the register of charities and the identity and licence of charity collectors before donating. Find a charity - register of charities.
2) Making sure the organisation has an official bank account so money can be traced to its usage.

The guidance relates to all types of fundraising and charitable giving, including giving to telephone appeals, television advertisements, and street fundraising. Please see the full list of tips.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

EU help for Accrington Pals commemorations

The EU are again trying to help our very own Accrington Pals reenactment group cut through red tape.

The Pals reenactment group contacted me having been told they can't take replica guns to France for the 1st of July celebrations.

I wrote to French Ambassador on their behalf and he said that was untrue. They could and was helpful in facilitating the licences required.

Then the reenactment group were told that they could take the rifles but not bayonets by the UK Home Office.

The EU have recently passed a directive which allows for bayonets to be used on such occasions but the UK Home Office are refusing to abide by the EU directive which has disappointed the group to say the least. I would question whether the Home Office are acting without a legal basis.

Here is the latest update I have received.

"Just to let you know Graham, at the moment we will not be allowed to take our rifles and Bayonets to France for the SOMME 100 Commemorations. The Home office have ignored the spirit and intent of the New EU Firearms Directive and are stating categorically that we must have our current legally deactivated weapons upspecced to EU standard with an EU certificate before we can take abroad. So Accrington Pals will be armless! 😞"

Thursday, 9 June 2016

My LT Column: Love Haslingden

In 2009, I rocked up at a place that had fallen out of love with itself. I’d been selected as the parliamentary candidate for Haslingden and Hyndburn.

Knocking on doors in Haslingden it became evident that community confidence had collapsed. No British Legion. No town centre forum or Chambers of Commerce. No local council meetings. In short, there was little civic society. Door and after door residents told me of their despair at the fall of their once proud town.

Something had to change.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

This Saturday: Accrington Food Festival

This weekend's Accrington Food and Drink Festival will bring flavours from across the world to the heart of the town.

(Press release) Let your taste buds travel with over 75 stalls of the finest food and drink from France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Malaysia, Nigeria, India - and beyond!