Jon Trickett

Hemsworth Labour

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Last Friday I was honoured to be part of a celebration for Sgt Percy Boffey and LAC Albert Robilliard who have recently been awarded the Legion d’honneur by the French Government for their valiant service in the Second World War.

I would like to thank these men who went above and beyond the call of duty to protect our freedom and democracy and that of future generations to come.

Unfortunately, Sgt Percy Boffey was unable to attend the event due to ill-health. A member of his family came to the celebration on his behalf and I would like to wish him a swift recovery.

I would, also, like to mention Lance Corporal Colin Lockwood who sadly passed away before he could receive his Legion d’honneur medal. We should remember the role he paid in fighting to defend the world against fascism and tyranny and thank him for his selfless service.

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Legion d'honneur Celebration

Last Friday I was honoured to be part of a celebration for Sgt Percy Boffey and LAC Albert Robilliard who have recently been awarded the Legion d’honneur by the French...

Last Saturday I was invited to meet with Unite members from Yorkshire and the North East to discuss the cuts to local government and devolution.

Local councils are being forced to make cuts because of Tory government policy and I spoke about the damage these cuts are having in the North of England. Labour is strongly opposing these cuts. Labour councils are also working very hard to try to protect the people they represent and we all should commend them in this difficult task.

The reality on the ground is that councillors now find themselves in a horrible position whereby they are being forced to cut the services that they were elected to protect.

Some people have advocated the setting of illegal budgets. Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and I released a letter on this topic before Christmas. In it we said that under the 1992 Local Government Act councils have to set legal budgets. If a council fails to set a legal budget, senior council officers have a legal duty to make cuts regardless of the position of elected councillors. We feel that this would be a far worse outcome than Labour councillors deciding the priorities difficult though this is.

I believe that what Labour and unions such as Unite should be doing is highlighting and challenging the impact that these cuts are having on people. I’m pleased that I left Saturday’s meeting with an agreement to continue to work with local unions to build a wide movement against austerity and more cuts.

The union members I spoke to argued strongly that George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse was not real devolution. If we are not careful it will just delegate cuts rather than the devolution of meaningful power. Labour council leaders have a difficult job to do in negotiating what concessions they can get from government. Labour Groups have to decide on whether or not to sign up to devolution deals. Weighing up carefully whether or not it’s in the interests of local people to do so.

Ultimately George Osborne's Devolution settlement will not endure. Our responsibility as a Party is to come up with a better plan which will devolve real power to the North and unlock the region’s economic, social and cultural potential.

I enjoyed the meeting on Saturday. I believe in the work that unions carry out so it’s always a great honour to be invited to speak at such an event. As representatives of workers, trade unions see the impact this government’s policies are having on a daily basis. I will try and do my best to represent those concerns in parliament.

 

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Meeting with Unite

Last Saturday I was invited to meet with Unite members from Yorkshire and the North East to discuss the cuts to local government and devolution. Local councils are being forced...

On Friday I met residents of Havercroft and Ryhill to discuss the problems they are having with bus services in the area, along with Councillors Maureen Cummings, Faith Heptinstall and assistance from Albert Manifield. I was informed that Arriva have readjusted their 193, 194, 195 and 196 routes from Havercroft and Ryhill missing out Cow Lane which has left workers, shoppers and schoolchildren stranded.

I was told of one elderly man who has fallen twice in the middle of the road because he’s been forced to walk all the way to the end of the village to catch the bus. This is unacceptable and shows the desperate need for a replacement route through the villages.

We discussed the residents’ concerns with a representative from Metro who agreed that, while Arriva maintain the route is not commercially viable, there is a social need for a replacement route and would look into putting out a contract for such a service.

It is clear that this issue is affecting the everyday lives of many people in the area; our residents rely on bus services with an average of 65 journeys per head per year in the Yorkshire area.

Whether it be workers having to walk an hour down country lanes to get to work or elderly residents being forced to walk to the other end of the village, the reduction of bus subsides by 27% since 2010 is clearly undermining the social and economic activity of this area.

It is yet another example of how Government policy is making life more and more difficult for our communities.

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Bus Services In Havercroft and Ryhill

On Friday I met residents of Havercroft and Ryhill to discuss the problems they are having with bus services in the area, along with Councillors Maureen Cummings, Faith Heptinstall and...


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