Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Supporting the Dying to Work Campaign

Time to secure employment rights for terminally ill workers who can suffer discrimination as they face the battle against their deteriorating illness.

Read Jacci's story at: dyingtowork.co.uk/our-campaign/

Cheap booze leading to ill health

Dear Mr Jones, I am writing to draw your attention to the problems associated with cheap, high strength alcohol products such as white cider, and to ask for your support as we call on the Government to take action to protect our most vulnerable communities in next year’s spring Budget.

We have produced a short video, which we hope will be of interest, summarising the scale of the problem, and laying out the policy solutions.

Also attached a recent report from the Alcohol Health Alliance, which revealed the shockingly low prices of many drinks. Incredibly, large bottles of strong white cider, containing as much alcohol as 22 shots of vodka, were found on sale for as little as £3.49. Such products are drunk almost exclusively by underage and dependent drinkers and have a devastating impact, with over a million hospitalisations and 23,000 deaths each year in England due to alcohol.

The system of taxation on alcohol, branded “a mess” by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, currently contributes to this problem. The structure of cider duty in particular perversely incentivises the production of stronger alcohol, supporting the high strength cider market. Furthermore, successive real term cuts in alcohol duties since 2012 will cost the Treasury a total of £2.9 billion in the five years to 2018.

Stop discrimination against disabled people #AccessAllAreas Bill

I visited a Guide Dogs event in Parliament on 16th November to show his support for taxi and minicab drivers receiving disability equality training when getting their licence. A Private Member’s Bill that sought to introduce such training was debated on 18th November but was not voted on due to a lack of time.

Lifestyle Mag launched for Hyndburn


Business and council officials have welcomed the launch of a brand new glossy magazine for Accrington.

Councillor Clare Cleary and Tracy Leeming, Marketing Manager of Oswaldtwistle Shopping Mills, are supporting the publication which is produced by Scott Dawson Advertising.

Accrington's LIFE:STYLE Magazine, as a pilot scheme, will be distributed throughout the borough and published twice a year.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2016

_Users_lpaskins_AppData_Local_Temp_tmp153F_files_image001.jpgDear Graham Jones MP,

I am writing to you on behalf of United European Gastroenterology (UEG), regarding World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2016. UEG are working with Pancreatic Cancer Europe (PCE) to raise awareness of the fight against pancreatic cancer, the risks and clinical symptoms.

Pancreatic Cancer is set to become the 3rd biggest cancer killer in Europe, the number of people dying from pancreatic cancer in Europe has increased continually over the past 40 years. The median survival time for someone diagnosed with the disease is only 4.6 months. These worrying statistics highlight a need for a revolution in pancreatic cancer diagnoses, awareness and treatment.

The video ‘Pancreatic Cancer: Stuck in the 1970s’ is available to watch here https://youtu.be/NhQMyCg0LFA It would be of great help if you could spread the word to your constituents, feature this on your website or any social media platforms – to raise awareness of the risks and symptoms and help tackle this killer disease.

Thunderclap campaign, which can be done using this link: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/49796-pancreaticcancer-lost-in-time

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Cavity wall insulation problems? Poor installation? Causing damp?

Two constituents have approached me about failing cavity wall insulation fitted a while back when little was known about the products, the process and the consequences.

Since then I have picked up a point of contact for constituents who are experiencing the same problems and have tried to help those affected.

CIVALLI - Cavity Insulation Victims Alliance
founder of CWIVA who sent me a letter which is attached.http://www.civalli.com/


Monday, 14 November 2016

Cross Party EDM opposing Gov't privatisation of Channel 4

I have campaigned against Channel 4 privatisation (and other public asset sales) and will signing a cross party EDM this week in Parliament opposing Channel 4 sell off ahead of the Autumn statement.

The Government must not be allowed to sell of Channel 4 or other national infrastructure assets. Besides which how do you value an asset that is not for profit? (other than make it make a shareholder profit at the expense of spending on programming).

I also oppose the sell off of the Post Office, NATS, OS and the Land Registry as mentioned in the EDM.

"That this House notes that the new government appears rightly ambivalent about selling off profitable national assets – no final decisions have been made about privatising the Land Registry and Channel 4 while plans are at an early stage for selling off the public stake in National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and introducing private sector capital into Ordnance Survey; welcomes the publication of the report by We Own It and the New Economics Foundation ‘Future profits vs short term cash: What’s at stake in the Great British sell off’; notes the conclusion of this report that selling off profitable public assets means we lose out in the long run on future revenue; notes that within 10 years the British public will be losing money as a result of the Royal Mail privatisation; notes that the Land Registry sale would lose us money in 25 years’ time and for NATS we would lose out in just seven years; is proud of our successful, innovative public assets; believes they are important to the future of our country; and calls on the government to confirm in the Autumn Statement that the national treasures mentioned above will stay in public hands."

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Government response to my petition on library closures.

I recently presented in Parliament a petition and including my online petition to stop the tragic claver of Lancashire's libraries and museums. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/120792

The Secretary of State has finally replied and following interventions by Lancashire MPs, the Government is looking into the matter and has written to Lancashire County Council.

The Governments response is below.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Respect for Shopworkers Week

I am delighted to support Usdaw's campaign to protect shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse

Members of the retail union Usda are campaigning for an end to abuse in the workplace. As part of the Freedom From Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff, Usdaw members are highlighting the problems faced by staff during Respect for Shopworkers Week, which runs from 14 to 20 November.

Too often retail employees are confronted with violence, threats and abuse whilst serving the public. It is really important we stand together and ask people to keep their cool and respect shopworkers, especially as we approach the busy Christmas shopping period.

The A56 and M66 update form Highways England

Three issues.
1. Speeding, ice, central reservation on Accrington bypass (A56)
2. Rising Bridge Roundabout (I fixed the A56 lights previously)
3. A56 to M66 junction and turn just after Tesco's Haslingden

Here is Highways England update on all 3.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Transport for the North parliamentary meeting

I mentioned I had met with David Brown, Chief Executive at Transport for the North (TfN) to discuss plans for future investment in IEast Lancashire, notably the M65 as well as recently submitted proposal to the Department for Transport to become a statutory Sub-national Transport Body.

Since its inception in 2014, TfN has been working together with local authorities and stakeholders to allow the North to speak with one voice on the big decisions to benefit the region as a whole.

In March 2015 TfN unveiled its vision to help build the Northern Powerhouse by transforming connectivity with a host of transport improvements. I have remain a huge sceptic of the Governments intention to invest in the North. http://bit.ly/2f1ZBL0 The Government says it is committing to investing £13 billion on transport projects across the North and I believe the M65 should be one of those projects.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Standing up for publicly owned bus companies

On the 30 year anniversary of bus deregulation, I along with my Labour colleagues are backing the campaign to ‘take control of our buses’ by opposing the government ban on new public bus companies.

The government wants the Bus Services Bill currently being debated to include clause 21 which would stop English local authorities from setting up new municipal companies. (1) The clause was defeated on Monday in the House of Lords but is expected to be introduced again in the Commons. We Own It asked MPs to show they support bus passengers and oppose the clause by taking part in a photoshoot on Wednesday 26th October. (2)

On the 30th anniversary of bus deregulation, We Own It is also asking bus passengers to send their 'bus selfies' and explain why they want public ownership to be an option for local authorities.