Happy St George’s Day! One of the things which always struck me about our patron saint St George is his fight against the dragon. It seems to me that the...
Lots of people struggle with low pay and spiralling costs of living. I meet many who can't make ends meet and cannot support themselves or their families.
This has got far worse under the Tories - the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows there are now 19 million people living below minimum income standards nationally. In Yorkshire, this has jumped to 1.7million people - that one in three of us not managing.
The Labour Party will do everything it can to change this. We have designed and costed plans to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour.
It will mean 5.6 million workers across the country will receive a pay rise – and the areas that will benefit more are those outside of London and the South East like ours.
A higher minimum wage will increase the amount of money in the area – supporting local the local economy and growing our businesses.
Our area has seen decades of under-investment, so people here are paid less than places in big cities or down south. In Parliament I have pushed for more investment in places like ours. Instead, the Tories' dishonest "Northern Powerhouse" agenda has just devolved austerity, and they cannot think beyond the big cities.
In Parliament I will push for higher wages - as well as better jobs round here.
Lots of people struggle with low pay and spiralling costs of living. I meet many who can't make ends meet and cannot support themselves or their families. This has got...
Speaking in the House of Commons following the publication of the report “Lessons still to be learned from the Chilcot Inquiry” by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Jon Trickett MP, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:
On Iraq, The British Cabinet, the overwhelming majority in the House, much of the media, three select committees, the civil service, the MOD and the security services all came to the same false conclusion, resulting in a disastrous military adventure and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
Subsequently there has been the predictable procrastination, prevarication and obfuscation which has failed to reveal the truth to the British people.
The select committee is clear that the Chilcot report has failed to allow them to answer the central question as to whether parliament was misled, leaving a gaping chasm in the credibility of the British establishment.
What a damning judgement.
I welcome the various recommendations in today’s report. But they are timid.
Does the chair agree with me that it will require root and branch trans formative change of our whole political structures and culture before we can honestly say that there will never be such a failure again?
Speaking in the House of Commons following the publication of the report “Lessons still to be learned from the Chilcot Inquiry” by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Jon...
URGENT UPDATE – RELOCATION OF CROFTON HS2 INFORMATION DAY
I have been informed that HS2 have changed the venue for the upcoming Information Day on the 20th of February. It was due to be held at the Crofton Community Centre but has now been relocated to the Cedar Court Hotel on Denby Dale Road in Wakefield.
I am utterly appalled at this deliberate attempt to alienate Crofton and surrounding communities from the HS2 project. It seems HS2 are running scared of the clear outrage that people in our area feel towards the proposals and the way the development process has been handled by HS2 and the Department for Transport. In fact it appears the Information Day being held at Burntwood Court Hotel with no easy bus links and was also incorrectly advertised to start at 12pm rather than 11am causing difficulties for those without transport.
HS2 Ltd are a total shambles – they couldn't sell a flat cap on Barnsley Market on a cold Saturday morning let alone build a railway.
As a result of an urgent conversation today with the Minister for Transport, I have been given firm assurances that HS2 has agreed to hold two further events in Crofton in the future. I will be sure to update residents with developments when I receive them.
In the meanwhile the full details for the new venue are listed below and there is information regarding a free shuttle bus service which will be available for those without access to transport attached to this post:
Venue: Cedar Court Hotel, Denby Dale Road, Calder Grove, Wakefield, WF4 3QZ
Date: Monday 20 February 2017
Time: 12pm – 8pm
URGENT UPDATE – RELOCATION OF CROFTON HS2 INFORMATION DAY I have been informed that HS2 have changed the venue for the upcoming Information Day on the 20th of February. It was due...
Many of you have contacted me about the future of the Green Investment Bank. Here's my view:
This government is pursuing yet another disastrous policy, the proposed privatisation of the Green Investment Bank (GIB).
The GIB has proved to be successful in public hands.
It has funded innovative technology to fight climate change and created export opportunities for a decarbonising world. In public hands, the GIB can play an important economic role, helping to drive innovation, green energy and infrastructure in the UK.
The Government should think again and stop its proposed sale.
The Australian bank Macquarie, which is believed to be the preferred bidder for the GIB, reportedly has a track record of breaking up companies and selling their profitable assets. The Government has also confirmed that 11 new companies have been set up within the GIB to enable the introduction of private finance into a number of GIB assets.
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee is worried that this restructuring would enable a new owner of the GIB to break up the company and sell off its most profitable assets.
I believe the Government should have a rethink that and ensure that the green purpose of the GIB is protected.
Many of you have contacted me about the future of the Green Investment Bank. Here's my view: This government is pursuing yet another disastrous policy, the proposed privatisation of the...
UPDATE ON HS2 INFORMATION DAY - 16TH FEBRUARY
I am pleased to announce after meeting with HS2 representatives and expressing my strong concerns about the inaccessibility of Burntwood Court Hotel for the HS2 Information Day on the 16th February, that a shuttle bus has now been arranged for residents in nearby towns and villages.
It is important that as many people as possible attend the Information Day and express their concerns about the proposals for our area. Please share this shuttle bus schedule with anyone who you think may need to use it to attend the event.
UPDATE ON HS2 INFORMATION DAY - 16TH FEBRUARY I am pleased to announce after meeting with HS2 representatives and expressing my strong concerns about the inaccessibility of Burntwood Court Hotel...
This week is #heartunions week when we take the chance to thank trade unions and union volunteers for all their hard-work in fighting for better conditions for everyone in the workplace.
We can never forget that the working rights we enjoy were gained through the efforts and struggles of our trade union movement; two day weekends, paid holidays, 8 hour working days, and the minimum wage. We are all better off because of the determination of these proud organisations.
This continues today – unions are fighting against modern workplace issues like bogus self-employment, where workers are unfairly denied rights. They fight against rogue bosses, firms that pay below minimum wage and stand up for individuals’ rights at work.
Now, as this Tory Government continues to attack trade union rights, we must continue to support our unions and raise awareness of their relentless efforts to protect our working rights.
If you’re not a member of a union, do join one. They’re just as needed today as they were when they were founded.
This week is #heartunions week when we take the chance to thank trade unions and union volunteers for all their hard-work in fighting for better conditions for everyone in the workplace. We...
I believe the humane treatment of animals is the benchmark of a civilised society. I welcomed the ban on fur farming in the UK and the 2006 Animal Welfare Act which put into law the most fundamental piece of animal welfare legislation for nearly a century.
But the Government needs to do more at home and abroad to improve animal welfare standards. National governments have a duty to work together to fight animal cruelty across the world. Progress has been made on this front, for example, Denmark, the world’s largest mink fur producer, is currently in the process of phasing out fur farming, and the Netherlands has recently banned the farming of foxes and chinchillas, so it seems clear to me that other countries find the practice abhorrent too. I want Britain to be setting the bar internationally for the protection of animals - especially when it comes to the fur trade.
Beyond this, the Government has said that current arrangements for our environment will remain in place until we leave the EU. But I am concerned many environmental protections are at risk. Despite repeated questioning by Opposition MPs, the Government has failed to set out which environmental protections and regulations it will retain after Brexit. I believe the Government needs to set out whether it remains committed to the current, hard-won, animal welfare and environmental protections and what more they will do to show leadership in this area.
I am a long-time supporter of a number of animal welfare charities and campaign groups and I support all the fantastic work they do protecting animal welfare. I will follow this issue closely and will continue to speak out against animal cruelty.
The Government must commit to protecting wildlife to the highest standards after we leave the EU and must lead to stop the cruel and inhumane fur trade.
The humane treatment of animals is the benchmark of a civilised society – I’m proud to support #FurFreeBritain
I believe the humane treatment of animals is the benchmark of a civilised society. I welcomed the ban on fur farming in the UK and the 2006 Animal Welfare Act...
There’s a huge lack of investment in transport in the North – and our patch is seeing the worst of it. The Government forced through savage funding cuts to local councils for subsidies previously used to provide bus services. Routes up and down the country have had to be cancelled. In our area, few buses had large subsidies, but we are also seeing essential bus services cut where not profitable.
And now we’ve heard that the number 30 bus route will be cancelled because it’s no longer profitable. It’s a huge source of concern for people in Thorpe Audlin who have very limited access to public transport.
This is the latest in a string of closures. We’ve also found out the numbers 29 and 48 are going to be closed. We’re losing services because they’re no longer bringing in money to the private companies that run them.
The removal of these services could leave many local residents stranded from local shops, services and relatives. This is typical of this Government’s approach to public transport allows providers to put profit above people.
I have already raised concerns about the bus routes with West Yorkshire Combined Authority. As a result, they are now exploring avenues to ensure the continuation of the routes in some form to protect local people – but it won’t replace these essential services in exactly the same form. I’m grateful for all their hard work. They are trying their best so we aren’t stranded.
And in parliament I will fight so areas like ours still get the services they need. We deserve these essential public services – regardless of the Government’s agenda and whether private companies can make a profit out of us or not.
There’s a huge lack of investment in transport in the North – and our patch is seeing the worst of it. The Government forced through savage funding cuts to local...