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  • Jul 10, 2014:
    • Pond Park cleaned up! (Lynne Featherstone)

      Pond Park has been cleaned up after intervention by Lynne Featherstone MP

      Hooray - the old pond area in pond park has been cleaned up after local residents and I made complaints to the Council. Now we will push for repairs to the pond area, to make it safe and attractive again!

    • Annette Brooke MP supports Mid Dorset and North Poole campaign for every child to join local library and share love of reading (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette at the Summer Reading Challenge event in Parliament. Local MP Annette Brooke is supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to join their local library and take part in this year's Summer Reading Challenge - the UK's largest reading for pleasure promotion for primary school children. Research shows the Summer Reading Challenge increases children's reading range and their enjoyment of reading significantly. It builds confidence and independent reading, while preventing the dip in children's literacy levels during the long break from school. A unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK, the Summer Reading Challenge got a record 810,000 children reading in the summer holidays in 2013. With the support of local MPs, libraries, schools and a host of well-known children's authors including Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo, even more children aged 4-11 will be encouraged to join the library and complete the challenge this year. Children will also be encouraged to share their love of reading by recommending a book to friends, family and carers with a campaign called 'pass-it-on' this year. The campaign is intended to inspire them to share their reading choices. It is endorsed by the new National Curriculum, which suggests that pupils should be "recommending books that they have read to their peers, giving reasons for their choices." Annette Brooke MP said: "I hope parents, grandparents and carers in Mid Dorset and North Poole will take their children to the library to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. It's free, inclusive and makes reading fun - a vital ingredient in building literacy. Last year 2676 children in Poole took part in the Challenge. I hope we can increase that number this year and show local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community." Each year the Challenge uses a new theme to inject fun and creativity into reading. The 2014 theme is "Mythical Maze", illustrated by award winning Sarah McIntrye. Children sign up at the library and receive a mythical maze poster. As they borrow and read library books over the summer, children collect stickers of mythical creatures to complete their poster and discover facts about the creatures as they go. It's a highlight of the holidays for thousands of children and families. Follow the Summer Reading Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SummerReadingChallengeUK Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Local Lib Dems slam plans to charge residents for bin collections (sarahteather)
      Local Liberal Democrats have today spoken out against Brent Council plans to charge residents for waste collections. If the Labour-run Council's proposals are approved, residents will be charged £40 a year for their green waste to be collected. Green waste includes items such as grass trimmings. At the moment, the cost of the fortnightly green bin collections is included in residents' council tax bills. Residents who do not pay the new fee will have their green bins taken away completely. A final decision on the proposals is due on 21st July. Commenting, Lib Dem MP for Brent Central Sarah Teather said: "The Council's proposals are bad news for residents and bad news for the environment. "Hard-pressed families will wonder why they are being asked to pay an additional charge just to have their rubbish collected. Charging for green waste collections will also harm the environment, as green waste will end up in grey bins and won't be recycled. "I urge the Council to look again at these plans." Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Brent Central, Ibrahim Taguri, said: "While the Council's proposals are troubling, they're certainly not surprising. This is what we've come to expect from Labour, imposing stealth taxes on hardworking residents for basic services. "Actions like this just highlight the need for transparency to keep the Labour-controlled council to account. "I sincerely hope the Council will reconsider this proposal." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill (Lynne Featherstone)

      There is a great deal in the news this morning about the proposed Data Retention Bill. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and my colleague Julian Huppert MP have been out in the press explaining what is happening and why.

      A number of residents have understandably already contacted me asking for further information. Here is an update…

      A recent European Court of Justice judgement has changed the obligations of companies to keep information on communications (in short - the Court threw out the Data Retention directive, meaning companies are no longer obliged to retain certain types of data).

      If companies were to start deleting this data, our police security services may no longer be able to retrieve information from the communications and data of terrorists or other dangerous individuals.

      All three main parties (Lib Dem, Conservative, Labour) have come together to agree an urgent Bill, that will oblige companies to continue to retain the data, and keep the powers that the security services and police already have.

      I remain, as do my Lib Dem colleagues, against any expansion of surveillance powers. Some people want to use this situation to bring back the appalling Communications Data Bill - the Tory plans dubbed the Snoopers' Charter - but I can guarantee that this will not happen. The Lib Dems blocked that already last year, and we would do so again.

      As Julian Huppert has recently said - "We must keep our country and citizens safe, but not by eroding our civil liberties…We need legislation to allow communications data to be available, but not to store more than is already allowed".

      The Data Retention Bill will be a stop-gap, and built into it is an end date of 2016. There are also a number of other safeguards, including a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, restrictions on the number of government bodies that can access the data, and the introduction of annual transparency reports. These are all extras negotiated and secured by the Lib Dems in Government.

      The Lib Dems are also campaigning to bring legislation on digital issues into the 21st century through schemes like our Digital Bill of Rights motion.

      The current situation is not perfect - frankly at present there is no perfect solution. But, to repeat, this Bill will not expand data retention powers, and this is thanks to Nick Clegg and Lib Dem Home Office minister Norman Baker - who negotiated doggedly for this and for the extra safeguards mentioned.

      The Lib Dems in government have a proud record on civil liberties - scrapping ID cards, ending 28 day detention, and curtailing stop and search. If we were in power on our own we would have done more, but we will keep pushing to ensure the UK is the world leader on civil liberties, whilst also keeping the country as safe as possible from threats.

  • Jul 9, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Questions Minister on Growth Deals (middorsetlibdems)
      On Monday, Annette Brooke raised local issues during a Ministerial Statement from Cabinet Office Minister Greg Clark MP about Growth Deals and the Government's plans. The Growth Deals are designed to build on the success of city deals. The Chancellor has committed at least £2 billion a year, for at least six years, of resources previously controlled by Whitehall departments to be devolved to local communities, local business and civic leaders across England, where they can get better value for money and make a bigger impact. The Minister stated "No longer will Whitehall monopolise decision making and shut out the role of local economic leadership". Across all 39 deals as agreed so far, more than 500 projects will be funded by the local growth fund in partnership with local councils and private investors allowing the creation of thousands of jobs and thousands of homes. Some of the improvements for Dorset include unlocking transport around Bournemouth Airport, investing in the port of Poole and investing in skills in Dorset to ensure that its growing businesses can attract the people they need to meet the demands of their growing order books. Annette congratulated the Government on its important step towards devolution and local decision making. She also welcomed the contribution to Dorset, saying it "will enable it [Dorset] to build on its already great strengths with its mixed economy". Annette questioned Greg Clark MP, asking if the Government would be able to support any partnerships in the country that run into obstacles in making proposed investments. She finished by saying "I want to see action, not just words" in putting this plan into motion. Greg Clark MP responded by saying Annette was absolutely right, and that a pipeline has been established to ensure if there is a delay in any particular project, another will be ready to take its place and be implemented. He also believed Dorset had a huge contribution to make. Of particular interest will be a new visitor attraction called Jurassica, which will highlight the great strengths of the Jurassic coast. Hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140707/debtext/140707-0002.htm#14070759000443 Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 8, 2014:
    • ANNETTE BROOKE MP BACKS CANCER RESEARCH UK'S AMBITION TO SAVE MORE LIVES (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette at the Cancer Research UK event in Parliament. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, joined Cancer Research UK scientists in Westminster to find out more about the charity's inspiring new plan to accelerate progress and help save more lives in the South West. She was there to find out the part she could play in helping to achieve Cancer Research UK's ambition that within 20years three in four of all cancer patients diagnosed will survive at least ten years. She had the opportunity to participate in interactive experiments with cancer researchers, learning about the biology of cancer and cutting-edge work to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. There have been major advances in the fight against cancer over the last 40 years and Cancer Research UK's work has been at the heart of that progress. Two in four people diagnosed with cancer today in the UK will survive their disease for at least ten years, compared to just one in four in the early 1970s. In the South West, this means that around 15,000* people each year can now expect to survive the disease for at least ten years. But despite the successes, Cancer Research UK believes much more can be done to help more people in the South West and across the UK beat cancer sooner. Annette found out about what the Government can do to improve early diagnosis and ensure that all patients get the best treatment possible. She said: "The good news is that there have been significant steps forward for cancer patients. More people are surviving the disease and living longer and Cancer Research UK's work has been at the heart of this progress. "But there is more to be done to help people beat cancer. I wholeheartedly support Cancer Research UK's aim to improve survival through the earlier diagnosis of cancer and greater access to the best treatment possible." Sara Osborne, Head of Policy at Cancer Research UK said: "It's great to have Annette's support to highlight the vital role MPs and their constituents can play in helping to tackle all cancers. "We must not underestimate the devastating impact that cancer has on the lives of those with a cancer diagnosis and their families. "As more people are diagnosed with the disease, it's essential that we speed up our progress. We know that early diagnosis and access to the best possible treatments saves lives. We need the public and MPs to get behind us and help make our ambition possible. In the next two decades we can, and will, transform the outlook for cancer patients." For more information on how to get involved in Cancer Research UK's campaigning work, visit cruk.org/campaigns. Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 7, 2014:
    • Advanced Manufacturing Hub follows MP's call in Parliament (Lorely Burt)
      STANDING UP FOR OUR AREA: Lorely speaking out in the Commons Chamber The government will fund an Advanced Manufacturing Hub for Greater Birmingham and Solihull following a call in Parliament by local MP Lorely Burt. Cabinet Office Minister Greg Clark agreed to consider providing funding in response to a question in the Commons Chamber by Mrs Burt in March. The government's new Local Growth Deal with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership commits £2 million of government money to support a 20-hectare Advanced Manufacturing Hub. Mrs Burt said, "I am grateful to the minister for taking on board my representations back in March. The West Midlands, as I said at the time, really is the advanced manufacturing capital of the UK. "I am delighted the government is recognising this with proper support and I congratulate the Local Enterprise Partnership for negotiating a great deal for our area." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Roads, rail and planes - government money to benefit Solihull (Lorely Burt)
      Solihull will benefit from better local transport and an aviation engineering centre at Solihull College, thanks to the Local Growth Deal announced by the government. The £357 million deal includes: £2 million for an Aviation Engineering Training Centre at Solihull College, providing training for 145 people and creating six jobs £50 million to improve the A45 link between Birmingham City Centre and Birmingham International Airport £2.7 million to improve highways - 11 projects in Solihull and seven in Birmingham - creating 198 jobs £10 million to improve Birmingham Snow Hill Station, which links to Solihull Station and Olton Station Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt has welcomed the deal, saying, "This growth deal is a great deal for our area. "I have been banging the drum for years saying the West Midlands needs and deserves world-class infrastructure to match our world-class manufacturers and other businesses. "These are exactly the sort of projects we need and I hope they will make a real difference." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • MPs set to debate hospital car parking (Lorely Burt)
      Lorely speaking up in the House of Commons Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt is backing a call by over 100 MPs for a debate in the House of Commons on hospital car parking charges. Mrs Burt has officially lent her support to a call for a General Debate in the Main Chamber of the House of Commons. An application has been made to the Backbench Business Committee for a 90-minute debate, which Mrs Burt hopes will take place no later than September this year. Mrs Burt said, "We all want low parking charges and it's especially important to avoid large, sudden increases like we have recently seen in Solihull. "Hospital users across the UK are being hit with big increases in parking charges so it's right that MPs are recognising the problem. "I am pleased to back calls for a debate in Parliament and I hope to attend and speak out." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • £250 Carer's Bonus for 3,000 "unsung heroes" in Solihull (Lorely Burt)
      NEARLY 3,000 carers in Solihull would receive a bonus worth up to £250 a year under a Liberal Democrat government, it has been announced. The no-strings-attached Carer's Bonus would help more than one million people who look after disabled loved ones. The annual payment would help full-time carers get a bit of extra help and recognises the invaluable contribution they make to society. In total 2,940 carers in Solihull would benefit from the Carer's Bonus. Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt said, "Carers are Britain's unsung heroes. Up and down the country behind closed doors, you'll find a hidden army of carers doing amazing things every day. "These are people who deserve our support even in straightened times, which is why the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a Carer's Bonus to give them a little extra help. "It's completely up to the carers themselves how they spend it - it's a no strings attached bonus from a party that is grateful for the superhuman work they do." The bonus would be worth £125 at the start of the next parliament and would rise to £250 a year by 2020, with around 1.1 million people eligible. The annual bonus would be available to anyone who receives the Carer's Allowance or the Carer's Premium. The pledge follows a number of measures introduced by the coalition government to support carers. Successive Liberal Democrat Care Ministers Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb have led the work to better provide for Britain's unsung heroes. In government the party has secured £800 million to fund short breaks for disabled children and their families. Around £400 million has been set aside to support carers to take breaks from caring responsibilities. While £3 million has been allocated to improve awareness and understanding about carers among health workers. Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • MP slams 'kick in the teeth' fast-food decision (Lorely Burt)
      OPPOSED: Lorely Burt campaigning with Lib Dems to stop the KFC application Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt has attacked a decision to allow on appeal a new Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food store on Stratford Road. Following a campaign by residents and local Lib Dem activists, council officers rejected the proposal, but it has now been overturned on appeal. Mrs Burt said, "The decision to approve this new KFC on appeal is a kick in the teeth for local residents who fought hard to get it stopped. "I feel very disappointed and concerned about the siting of this fast-food store near to a local school. "Parents are under pressure to give their children fast food, but with obesity rising in this country it is really important that we do not put temptation in their way. "There is also a big concern about traffic and vehicle noise around that site when there are local homes so close to the site. "Local residents, parents and their kids deserve better." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Tackling violence against women and girls (Lynne Featherstone)

      I am the ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas. I recently updated the house on my work in this area. Here is a copy of the statement:

      I would like to update the House on my work championing the issue of tackling violence against women and girls internationally, building policy coherence across Whitehall and pushing for as much progress as possible towards our goal of ending all forms of violence.

      The concerning abduction of over 200 school girls in Nigeria in April and the recent gang rape and murder of girls in India are a sharp reminder of the low status of women and girls globally and the terrible injustice and violence faced by so many.

      The UNMISS human rights report on the conflict in South Sudan, published on 8 May 2014, presents grim evidence of how the conflict has exacerbated the vulnerability of women and children. All parties to the conflict have committed acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence against women with impunity. The ability of survivors of sexual violence to receive services in this environment has diminished, leaving most incidents unreported.

      I am proud to say that the UK is supporting the International Rescue Committee in South Sudan to conduct outreach and support services to survivors of gender-based violence.

      Since my last statement the UK has refreshed our cross-government action plan, "A call to end violence against women and girls", which sets out an ambitious agenda for the year ahead, including how we will continue to bring international and domestic work on violence against women and girls closer together.

      The International Development (Gender Equality) Act came into force on 13 May. This Act, strongly supported by the Secretary of State for International Development, makes it law for the UK to consider gender equality before it provides development assistance, and the differences in gender-related needs for its humanitarian support. This puts our existing commitment to delivering important outcomes for girls and women-including a reduction in violence-on a statutory footing.

      In May I had the great privilege of speaking at DFID Mozambique's summit on ending child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). This is a huge issue in Mozambique, where one in two girls is married before her 18th birthday. CEFM is a global issue that has a significant negative impact on girls, their families, communities and countries.

      On 10 to 13 June over 120 country delegations, over 80 Ministers, and around 1,700 delegates including eight UN agency heads, presidents and prosecutors from the ICC and international tribunals, civil society, and over 300 sponsored delegates, including from conflict-affected countries, among them a number of survivors, came together at the global summit to end sexual violence in conflict hosted by the Foreign Secretary and UN special envoy, Angelina Jolie.

      I was proud to be part of the summit and to formally launch "What works to prevent violence" DFID's new research and innovation fund. I spoke on the panel with leading experts to highlight the need to invest in work to understand and address the root causes and social norms which underpin many forms of violence-both in times of peace and in conflict.

      I also participated in the ministerial round table on hidden victims to highlight the issues of domestic violence, female genital mutilation (FGM/C) and CEFM which are often exacerbated in conflict. The Secretary of State for International Development chaired a ministerial round table on the call to action to protect women and girls in humanitarian emergencies and jointly launched the UK's new national action plan on women, peace and security with the Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary.

      The momentum will continue over the summer. In July, the UK Prime Minister and UNICEF will co-host a Girl summit on female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage. The summit aims to support southern leadership on these issues and to further rally a global movement to end the practices for all girls, within a generation. I know that many in the House will have an interest in these issues, given the impact they have in the UK as well as internationally.

      A youth event will be held at DFID on 19 July with 170 attendees, made up of young people, including several nominated by Members of Parliament, several from developing countries, a youth panel and other attendees nominated by partners.

      A social media campaign has also been launched this week. The campaign aims to receive pledges of support from people across the UK, reaching beyond the usual network of development organisations and civil society supporters. The action focuses around "play your part"-we are asking people to play their part in ending these harmful practices through pledging support and spreading the word.

      In the coming months, I will visit more of our programmes overseas so that I can see in practice how our commitments to this agenda are being implemented.

    • Sarah Teather to chair parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention (sarahteather)
      A cross-party panel of parliamentarians will hold an inquiry into the use of immigration detention, it was announced today. The inquiry, which will be chaired by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, will examine the use of detention in the UK immigration and asylum systems, with a particular focus on the conditions within detention centres, the impact on individual detainees and their families, the wider financial and social consequences, how detention is used in other countries, and the future role of detention within the immigration system. The inquiry, which will be jointly run by the APPG on Refugees and the APPG on Migration, will hold several oral evidence sessions in parliament. The panel invites written evidence from interested groups and individuals, including those who have experience of being detained for immigration purposes. The members of the panel are: Sarah Teather MP Paul Blomfield MP David Burrowes MP Caroline Spelman MP Jon Cruddas MP Julian Huppert MP Richard Fuller MP Baroness Lister Baroness Hamwee Lord Ramsbotham Lord Lloyd of Berwick Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, panel chair Sarah Teather said: "I am very pleased that we are launching this inquiry today. In the light of several high profile incidents within detention centres, including sexual abuse and deaths, there is a clear need for parliamentary scrutiny of how and why we detain people for immigration purposes." Chair of the APPG on Migration, Paul Blomfield MP, added: "This is an important issue and this inquiry is very timely. I hope that we will receive evidence from a wide range of individuals and groups, including those who have been detained themselves." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 5, 2014:
    • Ed Fordham and Russell Eagling get married (Lynne Featherstone)

      I'm off in a minute to Ed and Russell's wedding breakfast - and it's a bit of a do!

      So I just want to publicly wish them both all the happiness in the world. Ed has been and is an amazing campaigner for LGBT rights - and so for me to be at their wedding is super special.

      May they live happily ever after!

  • Jul 4, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Supports Royal Mail's Dog Awareness Session At Westminster (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke MP has backed Royal Mail's annual Dog Awareness Week, attending a special drop in session at Westminster. Around 70 MPs attended the session, supported by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Dogs Trust, with Royal Mail Group's Safety Director. This provided MPs tips on how to react around dogs There were 15 attacks recorded across the Mid Dorset and North Poole constituency from April 2013 to April 2014 Royal Mail has published new figures that has revealed over 3,300 postal workers were attacked by a dog between April 2013 to April 2014 - an 8 per cent increase on the previous year* Politicians also face the risk of being attacked by a dog when out canvassing and leafleting. Members of Parliament and Royal Mail are calling for responsible dog ownership and are appealing to dog owners to keep animals under control Annette at the event in Parliament Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, attended a drop-in session at Westminster, supported by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Dogs Trust, with Royal Mail Group Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability, Shaun Davis. Around 70 MPs attended and the session provided them with advice on how to react around dogs when out in their local areas. This forms part of Royal Mail's wider campaign to reduce the number of dog attacks on postal workers and to encourage responsible dog ownership during Dog Awareness Week which runs to the 4 July. However, postal workers are not alone in facing the risk of being attacked by a dog while carrying out their jobs. Politicians and volunteers may also encounter dogs when out canvassing and leafleting in their local areas. Annette Brooke MP is working with Royal Mail in encouraging dogs owners to play their part in reducing the number of incidents. Annette Brooke MP said; "I am pleased to have attended the session at Westminster where I learned and shared tips on how to protect myself and my colleagues from dog attacks when out canvassing in Mid Dorset and North Poole. "Dog attacks are a significant issue faced by postal workers, members of the public and indeed by myself and my colleagues when out leafleting. Royal Mail, CWU, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Dogs Trust are doing a fantastic job promoting responsible dog ownership and I fully support this important campaign". There were 15 attacks recorded across the Mid Dorset and North Poole constituency from April 2013 to April 2014. Royal Mail has published the results of a survey of MPs and Assembly Members about their personal experiences of being bitten by a dog. The survey found that politicians face similar risks of being attacked by a dog to postal workers when out canvassing or delivering leaflets. Just over half of the near-50 respondents revealed they had an incident with a dog. Dog attacks on the rise Dog attacks are a significant hazard faced by postmen and women on a daily basis. On average around nine postmen and women a day are attacked by dogs across the UK with over 3,300 attacks taking place from April 2013 to April 2014, some leading to a permanent disabling injury. The number of attacks has risen by 8 per cent nationally since 2012*. The campaign is being held in partnership with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and has received support from a wide range of organisations and animal charities. This includes Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, National Animal Welfare Trust and the National Dog Warden Association. Shaun Davis, Royal Mail Group Director of Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Sustainability said; "We're pleased that Annette is lending her support to our important campaign. "As we've seen from our survey, postal workers are not alone in facing dog attacks - politicians experience the same risk of being bitten by a dog every time they canvass or deliver a leaflet through someone's door. Nobody should face this hazard whilst simply trying to do their job. "Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers. We appeal to owners to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature. It can also be simple things that help - for example just making sure the dog is kept inside when the postman calls." Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Lib Dems promise Carer's Bonus of up to £250 for Britain's "unsung heroes" (middorsetlibdems)
      Carers will receive a bonus worth up to £250-a-year under a Liberal Democrat government, it has been announced. Locally, 1770 carers in Poole will be eligible for the bonus, with 1060 carers in East Dorset and 560 in Purbeck also receiving it. The no strings attached Carer's Bonus will help more than one million people who look after disabled loved-ones. The annual payment will help full-time carers get a bit of extra help and recognises the invaluable contribution they make to society. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Carers are Britain's unsung heroes. Up and down the country behind closed doors, you'll find a hidden army of carers doing amazing things every day. "It is estimated that six in ten of us will at some point in our lives find ourselves caring for someone else - an elderly relative, a sick child, a friend who needs our support. "These are people who deserve our support even in straightened times, which is why the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a Carer's Bonus to give them a little extra help. "It's completely up to the carers themselves how they spend it - it's a no strings attached bonus from a party that is grateful for the superhuman work they do." The bonus would be worth £125 at the start of the next parliament and would rise to £250-a-year by 2020, with around 1.1 million people eligible. The annual bonus would be available to anyone who receives the Carer's Allowance or the Carer's Premium. Liberal Democrat Care Minister Norman Lamb added: "We know how hard carers work and that one of the most important things to them is getting a break every now again. "It is why the Liberal Democrats will introduce this Carer's Bonus if we are in government again after the General Election. "But it's not for us to dictate to them what they do with it - carers know best how to spend the money in the way that will most benefit them and the people they care for." The pledge follows a number of measures introduced by the Coalition Government to support carers. Successive Liberal Democrat Care Ministers Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb have led the work to better provide for Britain's unsung heroes. In Government the party has secured £800 million to fund short breaks for disabled children and their families. Around £400 million has been set aside to support carers to take breaks from caring responsibilities. While £3 million has been allocated to improve awareness and understanding about carers among health workers. Former Care Minister Paul Burstow MP said: "Carers are the backbone of our health and care system. "In my work developing the party's response to the challenges and opportunities of our ageing society, I have been determined that we do more to support carers. "The Carer's Bonus recognises the contribution carers make day in day out. I am delighted Nick is signalling carers as a priority for our party." Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 3, 2014:
    • 5,000 carers in Cardiff to receive Carers Bonus under Lib Dems (Jenny Willott)
      5,010 carers in Cardiff will receive a bonus worth up to £250-a-year under a Liberal Democrat government, it has been announced. The no strings attached Carer's Bonus will help more than one million people across the UK who look after disabled loved-ones. The annual payment will help full-time carers get a bit of extra help and it recognises the invaluable contribution they make to society. Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central Jenny Willott said: "I know how tirelessly carers work in my constituency. From talking to those with experience of caring, I know that one of the most important things to them is getting a break every now and again. "That is why the Liberal Democrats will introduce a Carer's Bonus if we are in government again after the General Election next year. "We will not dictate to carers what they do with it - Liberal Democrats believe people should be free to choose how to spend their money in the way that will most benefit them and the people they care for." Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Carers are Britain's unsung heroes. Up and down the country behind closed doors, you'll find a hidden army of carers doing amazing things every day. "It is estimated that six in ten of us will at some point in our lives find ourselves caring for someone else - an elderly relative, a sick child, a friend who needs our support. "These are people who deserve our support even in straightened times, which is why the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a Carer's Bonus to give them a little extra help. "It's completely up to the carers themselves how they spend it - it's a no strings attached bonus from a party that is grateful for the superhuman work they do." The bonus would be worth £125 at the start of the next parliament and would rise to £250-a-year by 2020, with around 1.1 million people eligible. The annual bonus would be available to anyone who receives the Carer's Allowance or the Carer's Premium. Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Pack your free Euro Health Card says Jenny Willott MP (Jenny Willott)
      With the holiday season on the horizon, Cardiff Central, Liberal Democrat MP, Jenny Willott is warning local residents about scam websites that charge for European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC). She is reminding people they can get the card for free and don't need to pay for it. The EHIC is a free card that replaced the old E111 forms in 2004. The cards entitle people to free or significantly reduced charges for government run healthcare in any country in the European Union. However, unofficial websites will charge if you apply through them. The Coalition Government is taking action to tackle these sites by working with Google and other search engines to identify and close advertisements that are misleading. Jenny Willott, who was Employment Relations Minister, covering Jo Swinson's maternity leave, recently announced extra funding for the National Trading Standards Board to help investigate the companies behind these sites. Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said: "European Health Insurance Cards should be free of charge and it is really important that people remember this. If you are being asked to pay for your EHIC, you are not on the official website. "The card could help significantly reduce the cost of basic medical treatment or prescriptions if you have an accident or fall ill on holiday. However, your EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance, so when travelling within Europe, you need to have both. "I would urge all those preparing for holidays to make an official application at www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card or by calling: 0300 3301350, so you don't pay out for something that's free." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • The sincerest form of flattery… (Lynne Featherstone)

      The Labour leader recently made a speech supposedly announcing his party's plans for a localism agenda. The speech was interesting because every suggestion made by Mr Milliband is already being put in place by the Lib Dems in Government!

      The 11th hour conversion to Lib Dem policy is an unexpected move by Ed Milliband, but it is good to hear he has seen sense.

      Here is a breakdown of just a few of Labour's "new" policies, compared to those the Lib Dems have already implemented:

      Apprenticeships

      Labour Opposition: Increase the number of apprenticeships (despite describing half a million apprentices as 'deadweight')

      Lib Dems in Government: Led by Vince Cable and Gordon Birtwistle, the Coalition has created 1.8 million apprenticeships since 2010.

      Rates

      Labour Opposition: Move towards keeping rates locally.

      Lib Dems in Government: We've reformed rates to ensure that Local Authorities keep a proportion for the first time in 20 years - meaning they have direct control of 80% of their budgets rather than 50%.

      Businesses

      Labour Opposition: 25% of government procurement contracts to go SMEs

      Lib Dems in Government: This is already government policy, up from the 6.5% under Gordon Brown.

      Education

      Labour Opposition: Create new University Technical Colleges (UTCs).

      Lib Dems in Government: Since 2010, 45 new UTCs have opened, allowing 27,500 students to train as engineers and scientists.

      Innovation

      Labour Opposition: Expand Catapult Centres for manufacturing and cell therapy

      Lib Dems in Government: Catapult Centres, brought in by Vince Cable, give scientists, engineers, and businesses a place to work together on late stage research. These are extremely successful and will be expanded with two new centres and £7 million further funding.

      So, yet again, Labour are adopting ideas from the Lib Dems just like they have with tax cuts for low earners, voting reform, and decarbonisation.

      They've even admitted they would have made the same spending cuts if they were in Government after the last General Election!

      They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery….

  • Jul 2, 2014:
    • Local MP Sarah Teather welcomes action against zero-hours contracts abuse (sarahteather)
      Local MP Sarah Teather has today warmly welcomed the announcement by the Liberal Democrats to crackdown on the abuse of zero-hours contracts. Over the last decade, there has been a steady rise in the number of workers employed on zero-hour contracts. While the flexibility they offer can be useful to some employers and workers, concerns have been raised that they have been misused by employers. Last year, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable ordered a review of zero-hour contracts to better understand the impact they are having. This not only found that there were more zero-hours contracts being used than previously thought, it also exposed some serious abuses, particularly around exclusivity clauses. These prevent people from working for another employer, despite offering no guarantee of work. In reaction to these findings, the Liberal Democrats have announced a crackdown on the abuse of these contracts. The ban on exclusivity clauses is set to benefit the 125,000 zero hours contract workers estimated to be tied to an exclusivity clause, allowing workers to look for additional work to boost their income. Sarah said: "I'm really pleased that my Lib Dem colleagues are tackling exclusivity clauses. It's clearly unfair that a worker may receive zero hours of work but is unable to work for another employer. "I believe that flexibility is important in today's economy and that is provided by zero-hours contracts. But it's also important that we work hard in regulating these contracts to prevent abuse and that is what the Lib Dems are doing." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Park Home Owners Rally Against 10% Commission on Sale of Homes (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette and Sonia McColl with other campaigners at the rally. This afternoon, Sonia McColl, organiser of the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign, and Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, presented a petition to Downing Street with over 30,000 signatures on it. The petition is calling for a full debate to review the 10% commission charge that is currently payable to a park operator on the sale of a residential park home. They were joined by over 120 protesters who rallied outside Parliament and then marched to Downing Street to demonstrate while the campaigners delivered the petition. Annette called and spoke in a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament on the issue in May. She stated that "we need transparency on what the various payments are being used for, and we need to ensure that there is no further exploitation of park home owners". The rally was followed by a meeting in Parliament where the campaigners from all over the country were joined by MPs to discuss the issue. Commenting, Annette said: "Over 120 elderly park home owners from across the country including Dorset have come to London to protest because they feel very strongly that they are being robbed. You don't have to pay the 10% commission on the sale of any other property on top of estate agent fees. It is something that needs looking at carefully. Good site owners need a return on their capital to stay in the industry. We are calling for an economic study of the Park Homes industry, and most of all we need transparency so Park Home owners know where their money is going." Annette with Sonia McColl and other campaigners delivering the petition to Downing Street. Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 1, 2014:
    • Jenny Willott encourages local residents to apply for Home Improvement Fund (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, is encouraging local residents to install energy-saving home improvements, under the Coalition Government's Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), and claim up to £7,600 back. The GDHIF is a new scheme open to all householders, landlords and tenants in England and Wales who want to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The scheme helps pay for a range of measures such as solid wall insulation and new boilers if people get at least two eligible Green Deal energy efficiency improvements. Up to £120 million is available this financial year. More than 800 companies have signed up to offer GDHIF and since the start of June almost 3000 applications have been made. Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said: "The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is open to everyone, but it is a time-limited offer so I would encourage all those who may be interested to act now. "If you install solid wall insulation, you could get up to £6000 back and if you have moved house in the last year you can get an extra £500. The fund can also pay £100 towards the cost of a Green Deal Assessment. "While the weather is good, Summer is the perfect time to make changes to your home. This money will help people to take control of their energy bills and have a warmer, greener home." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Sarah takes action to protect private renters (sarahteather)
      Local Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather has today announced she is going to table a Private Members' Bill to stop retaliatory evictions. Every year, backbench MPs can enter what's known as the Private Members' Ballot. Sarah was one of 20 MPs selected in this year's ballot, which took place earlier this month. Sarah's Bill would stop retaliatory evictions - preventing landlords evicting tenants who make a complaint about repairs or poor conditions in their homes. This follows a long campaign by housing charity Shelter. In the last year alone, 213,000 people have been evicted or served with an eviction notice after complaining to their landlord about a problem that was not their responsibility. 12 per cent of tenants have not asked for repairs because they fear eviction. This is a particular problem in Brent. There are 33,000 private rented properties in the borough, and Sarah's constituency of Brent Central has one of the highest numbers of private renters in the country. Commenting, Sarah said: "It's completely wrong that some rogue landlords evict tenants simply because they ask for repairs to be carried out. "Everyone should have somewhere comfortable and safe to live. But all too often, tenants put up with things like damp, dangerous electrical fittings and mould because they are too scared to complain. "This bill could make a real difference to 1.3 million renting families in England. I hope my colleagues in Parliament get behind it and turn it into law." Campbell Robb, Shelter's chief executive said: "This Bill is a fantastic opportunity to put an end to unfair evictions, and we're thrilled that alongside Sarah Teather, politicians from all parties are committed to this. "No one should have to live in a home that is a danger to their health and well-being, let alone live with the fear of being thrown out if they complain to their landlord. "With over 200,000 people having faced unfair evictions in the last year alone, it's great that politicians are starting to take a stand for England's nine million renters." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Sarah Teather slams Government's residence test for legal aid (sarahteather)
      Sarah Teather has today slammed plans to introduce a residence test for legal aid, saying that she is "ashamed" of the Government. The plans will deny recent migrants from accessing legal aid for civil cases, including clinical negligence, unlawful removal of children and provisions for children with Special Educational Needs. Speaking in a debate in parliament, Sarah said that the residence test will have a far reaching consequences for vulnerable individuals, and will leave women who are victims of sexual abuse without legal assistance if they do not meet the test. The criticisms come the day after a report published by the Joint Committee on Human Rights said that the test would inevitably lead to breaches of children's rights by denying them access to justice. As the plans are being introduced through Secondary Legislation, there will be no opportunity for Members of Parliament to amend the plans and a vote is expected next week. Commenting on the plans, Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent Central, said: "I am ashamed that the Government is introducing regulations that will prevent people from accessing the justice system purely because of their immigration status. The residence test will leave some of the most vulnerable people in our society with no way of challenging wrong decisions or seeking redress when they have been harmed. "Minsters have claimed that the test will save money but have been unable to say how much, despite being asked repeatedly. The reality is that the Government is trying to look tough on immigration by stopping people accessing the justice system just when they need it the most. "Instead of ploughing ahead with a damaging policy in the pursuit of popular sound bites, the Government should listen to the numerous serious concerns that have been raised and drop these plans immediately." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • An extra £2,000 for working families (Lynne Featherstone)

      Since entering Government, my Lib Dem colleagues and I have worked hard to make the childcare system fairer for working families.

      Couples and single parents should not be forced to give up work to look after children because of the costs of childcare - and more generally people shouldn't have to choose outright between a career and a child.

      That's why we recently announced that working families will get up to £2,000 a year tax free childcare, from Autumn 2015.

      Parents will be given vouchers for any Ofsted regulated childcare in England. In Haringey alone it is estimated that 8,340 families will benefit from the new scheme.

      This is another boost for children and their parents, to work alongside the other changes guaranteed by the Lib Dems.

      These include supplying 15 hours a week free childcare for 2, 3, and 4 year olds, introducing free school meals for infant school pupils, and the Pupil Premium - providing schools with £2.5 billion extra a year.

      In tough times we need to ensure that families are given the support they need to help children thrive. The schemes brought in since 2010 have been put in place to provide a more equal playing field for all children and their families.

      At school, teachers are getting extra funding to help the most vulnerable, and the administrators can now provide nutritious meals. At home, with the cost of childcare reduced, parents can feel secure in the knowledge that they will be better off in work and their children will be provided for.

      These changes are making the country fairer, and they would not have happened if the Lib Dems hadn't entered Coalition in 2010.

    • Lib Dem manifesto plans to benefit thousands of pensioners in Cardiff - Jenny Willott MP (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP, for Cardiff Central has welcomed the news that under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans for the General Election, pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next parliament. Announced by Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrats will guarantee in law that in each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%. These changes would mean the state pension will be worth at least £131-a-week by 2020, up from just £97.65 four years ago. The basic state pension has already risen each year since 2010 thanks to the Liberal Democrat's triple lock guarantee, which was a key demand of the Party in the Coalition negotiations. As a result the state pension is £440 higher per year in 2014-2015 than it would have been had it increased in line with earnings since the start of this Parliament, and it is worth over £800 a year more in total. By committing to guarantee this into law, the Lib Dem pledge is expected to benefit 45,552 pensioners in Cardiff. Jenny Willott MP said: "The Liberal Democrats are committed to making society fairer by providing pensioners with a decent income when they retire. For too long the state pension has been in decline. In Government the Lib Dems have already implemented every year our manifesto promise of a 'triple lock', so the state pension is already a higher share of the national average wage than at any time since the early 1990s. "However, by promising to put into law that each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%, the Liberal Democrats are proving that we want to give pensioners in Cardiff and across the UK more certainty that their pensions will continue to rise in future." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 30, 2014:
    • Jenny Willott urges holiday makers not to travel uninsured (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, is warning constituents about the dangers of travelling uninsured as this summer's holiday season approaches. Jenny Willott is supporting a campaign by the travel association ABTA and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), urging holiday makers in Cardiff to ensure they are properly covered for travels abroad. Research from ABTA and the FCO shows that travelling abroad uninsured can cost thousands if a trip goes wrong and in many cases family members are left to pick up the pieces. A recent survey revealed that one in five (20%) of people in Wales travel abroad uninsured, and a quarter (25%) of people in Wales think that a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) acts as a full insurance policy when holidaying throughout Europe. Over 1 in 10 (11%) of people surveyed wrongly presumed that all of their treatment costs would be covered by the UK Government if they had an accident or fell ill while overseas. In recent cases holidaymakers who were not covered paid £500 to treat a sprained ankle in Corfu, £15-20,000 for a scheduled flight, stretcher and medical escort from Australia and £40,000 to treat a broken leg in the USA. Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said: "We all look forward to a well-deserved summer holiday. However, medical costs from uninsured accidents abroad can be extortionate. In addition, the added worry over a sick or injured relative means that travelling uninsured is just not worth it. In a lot of cases people think getting ill or having an accident won't happen to them, but it can so it's best to be prepared for all eventualities. I urge all of my constituents to take out appropriate travel insurance this summer so they are not presented with large bills if things go wrong." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Letter to the South Wales Echo on Lib Dem pensions triple lock guarantee (Jenny Willott)
      Dear Editor, The Liberal Democrats want to build a stronger economy and a fairer society for all ages. At the last General Election the Liberal Democrats promised to introduce 'the triple lock guarantee', which re-established the link between pensions and earnings. It was a key promise when we negotiated with the Conservatives to set up the Coalition Government, and we have now delivered it in Government. As a result pensioners in Cardiff are guaranteed an annual rise by whichever is the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5%. Thanks to the Lib Dem 'triple lock' the state pension is £440 more per year now than if it had increased in line with earnings since the start of this Parliament. The Liberal Democrats have now promised to make this 'triple lock' law, to protect pensioners in the years ahead. For too long the state pension has been left to decline by both Labour and Conservative governments. The Tories broke the link with earnings in 1980 and in 2000 Labour gave pensioners an insulting 75p rise. Liberal Democrats in Government have changed all of this, and by making the 'triple lock' the law we are securing a fair future for Britain's pensioners. Yours sincerely, Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 29, 2014:
    • Sarah Teather wishes her constituents Ramadan Mubarak (sarahteather)
      Local Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather has today wished her Muslim constituents Ramadan Mubarak as they begin a month of fasting, prayer and charity. Sarah said: "I send my warmest wishes to my Muslim constituents. "Ramadan is an important time in the Islamic faith - one marked by self-sacrifice, generosity towards others, and reflection on the plight of those in need around the world. "I wish all of my Muslim constituents a peaceful, enlightening and blessed Ramadan." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 27, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Congratulates Teaching Award Winner at House of Commons (middorsetlibdems)
      Carly Jones of The Purbeck School in Wareham attends a prestigious reception to celebrate winning a Pearson Teaching Award in 2014 Annette with Carly and her award at the reception in Parliament. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole met with Carly at the Pearson Teaching Awards at the House of Commons on Tuesday 24th June to honour all those who have won a Silver Teaching Award in 2014. Carly was honoured at the event which was held to celebrate exceptional teachers from across the UK. She won her trophy in the category, The Award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year, after being shortlisted from a record number of over 20,000 nominations made by grateful pupils, past and present, parents and colleagues. She will now join 59 fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards at London's Guildhall on 26th October, where 11 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Award. The ceremony will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC. Annette said: "It was wonderful to be able to celebrate this wonderful achievement with Carly at the House of Commons. To be chosen from so many nominations shows how exceptional Carly is, and I wish her the best of luck for the UK finals." Rod Bristow, President of Core Markets at Pearson, said: ""Everyone can remember a teacher who inspired and challenged them so it's important to say thank you. It is great teaching that makes the biggest difference to learning and that's why great teachers must be recognised". Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Annette Brooke MP urges quick introduction of Meningitis B vaccine (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke MP is calling on the government to publish details of when a new Meningitis B vaccine will be given to all babies on the NHS The call comes 100 days (29th June 2014) after the Department of Health announced that the vaccine is being recommended for inclusion in the National Immunisation Programme. Annette attended a briefing hosted by UK charity Meningitis Now at the House of Commons this week, to mark the upcoming 100 day anniversary and acknowledge the role MPs played in the Beat it Now! Campaign to bring in the vaccine. She said: "One of our greatest responsibilities is ensuring that our young people have the healthiest starts to life, which is why I backed the Beat it Now! vaccine campaign. "We have an opportunity to prevent a disease which kills or maims many in the UK and we need to keep it high on the health agenda. "We need to ensure the quick introduction of the Meningitis B vaccine and make it available to all babies on the NHS without delay." Meningitis Now also used the reception to outline its policy priorities for the coming year, including promoting early diagnosis; funding research into prevention and helping shape national policy on after-care. MPs met with Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman MBE, who began the meningitis movement in the UK after losing his son Spencer to the disease in 1982. He said: "I want to thank Annette for her continued support with the introduction of the vaccine and for taking time to meet people personally affected by meningitis." Meningitis Now launched its campaign to bring in the B vaccine in January 2013. On 21st March this year, the Government announced that its vaccine committee - the JCVI - had recommended the vaccine for inclusion in the national immunisation programme, subject to price negotiations with vaccine manufacturer Novartis. No further detail has been published by the Department of Health on the negotiations, the timetable for introduction or plans for roll-out. Meningitis Now will continue its Beat it Now! campaign until the vaccine is introduced. Join the campaign at www.MeningitisNow.org/beat-it-now Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Straight Civil Partnerships (Lynne Featherstone)

      The Government announcement that there will be no change to civil partnerships because the consultation did not present a united voice in favour is not a surprise.

      However - it is Liberal Democrat policy - and it will be in our manifesto!

    • Willott welcomes historic milestone for women on company boards (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central and Minister for Women and Equalities, has welcomed the news that there are no longer any all-male boards amongst the UK's top companies. Yesterday the mining and commodities trader Glencore appointed Patrice Merrin, a Canadian former mining executive, as an independent non-executive director. The move comes after years of political pressure. Lord Davies, the former trade minister, set a target in 2011 for 25% female representation at FTSE 100 companies by 2015. At the time, 21 of Britain's top public companies had all-male boards but by March this year Glencore was the last. Jenny Willott MP said: "The decision by Glencore to appoint a female director means that the era of all male-boards in FTSE 100 companies is finally over. This is an important step forward and I am pleased that the Coalition Government is at the forefront of promoting equality in the workplace. "It is imperative that the management of companies reflect the diversity of the population, not only in terms of fairness but because it makes good business sense. There are now more women in work than ever before, women on every board in the FTSE 100 and this Government has introduced shared parental leave and extended flexible working. More progress still needs to be made but I welcome this historic milestone." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 26, 2014:
    • Jenny Willott urges retailers to help end supply chain abuses (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central and Employment Relations Minister, has announced that she has asked the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to produce recommendations on the steps that retailers can take to help eradicate human rights abuses in their supply chains. The BRC has agreed to work with its members to produce guidance. As Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs Jenny Willott has taken the lead on encouraging corporate social responsibility and supply chain transparency. Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said: "Following the disaster last year at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, and scandals involving horsemeat and prawns, there is clear consumer demand for companies to be more open about their suppliers and sources. "Our polling shows that shoppers take ethics seriously when deciding what to buy and from where. "The Liberal Democrats in Government have put these issues at the top of the agenda. British businesses can have a huge influence on the society around them and overseas their efforts are equally vital. "The BRC work will now bring advice for retailers together in one place and help to drive up standards. It is essential that corporate social responsibility is at the forefront of every company's business strategy. The Government is committed to supporting responsible business both across the UK and abroad." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Willott calls for lessons to be learnt from Savile saga (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, has commented following the publication of reports investigating the allegations of sexual abuse and improper conduct by Jimmy Savile in NHS hospitals, which include an investigation into Cardiff Royal Infirmary. Jenny Willott MP said: "We have all been appalled by the accounts of truly horrific abuse by Jimmy Savile, but it is also shocking that he was able to get away with these seemingly blatant offences over an extremely long period of time. I want to express my deepest sympathy to all those who have suffered as a result. "Clearly nothing will be able to right these wrongs, but we must make sure that lessons are learnt and nothing like this can ever happen again in our hospitals. I hope times have changed and we now take much better care of the young women and girls in the care of the NHS." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 25, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP raises funding for short breaks for severely disabled and terminally ill children with the Prime Minister (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette with Vikki Slade, prospective Lib Dem candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole, former Care Minister Paul Burstow MP and Martin Edwards, Chief Executive of Julia's House on a recent visit to the hospice. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, questioned David Cameron during today's Prime Minister's Questions; asking about prioritising funding for short breaks for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. Short breaks are an important part of providing palliative care and supporting these children and their families. Annette also mentioned the research local hospice Julia's House and Bournemouth University are carrying out jointly into the impact of short breaks on family relationships. It is thought that the pressures of caring for a severely disabled and terminally ill child is a significant contributing factor to the break-up of parents. The hospice hopes that through this project, a firm evidence basis will be established in order to secure more funding for short term breaks in the future. The preliminary results from the research should be published in the autumn. David Cameron responded by commending the brilliant work of hospices, remarking on how much of a life-saver they are for any family bringing up children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. He then went on to mention the Coalition Government's commitment of over £800 million for local authorities to invest in short breaks for disabled children and saying the research of Bournemouth University may well help inform any future work in the area. Annette said: "I welcome the support of Prime Minister David Cameron and I am pleased to hear about the funding already in place for short breaks. I will continue to support the hard work of hospices like Julia's House; the incredible help and assistance they provide families in the most difficult of situations should never be underestimated and we must do all we can to ensure that the excellent care they provide can continue." Full question: Annette Brooke (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (LD): Julia's House, a wonderful children's hospice in my constituency, is currently carrying out research with Bournemouth University into the impact of short breaks on family relationships. Will the Prime Minister give higher priority to the funding of short breaks as an invest-to-save measure? The Prime Minister: I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend about this issue. Any family bringing up a severely disabled child knows that finding one of these hospices-I will never forget finding Helen House in Oxford, which was actually the first children's hospice, I think, anywhere in the country-is a complete life saver as they carry out brilliant, brilliant work. That is why we have committed over £800 million for local authorities to invest in short breaks for disabled children, and I am sure that this research by Bournemouth University will help inform our work in the future. Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • London bounces back! (Lynne Featherstone)

      The most recent statistics are out, and they show yet another dramatic fall in unemployment. From February - April this year, 46,000 extra people were employed in the capital alone.

      103,000 people have found work here in total since April last year.

      London really is bouncing back!

      Nationally, the numbers are just as good. Across the UK the increase in employment averages out at 1.6% (2.8% in England). That means, since the same time last year, 445,000 men and 315,000 women have found a job in the UK, the great majority of them full time.

      The numbers are clear: there are now more people with a job than there ever have been.

      In terms of percentages, as a nation we are now only 0.2% away from the record for lowest ever level of unemployment - set back in 1974.

      When Gordon Brown and Labour left office in May 2010, unemployment was at its highest since 1994 (which is the last time the Tories were in Government on their own). Labour also managed to preside over the lowest levels of economic activity since records began in the same year.

      With wages also going up too, the recovery is significantly more stable that it would be had we let either of the other parties go it alone. There still a lot of hard work to do, but we are getting there.

      The last two crashes were caused by Conservative and Labour-only Governments and I am proud, as a Lib Dem, to be helping to get the country back on its feet.

  • Jun 24, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP commits to help children who need palliative care (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette at the event in Parliament. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole has pledged her continued support for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions at a Westminster event held by children's palliative care charity Together for Short Lives. The event took place last week during Children's Hospice Week (13-20), the national awareness and fundraising week for children not expected to reach adulthood and the services, like children's hospices, that support them. Annette met with Anna Gill OBE, a parent carer of a young person with a life-limiting condition, in addition to representatives from Together for Short Lives, the charity behind Children's Hospice Week. She agreed to write to the local clinical commissioning group and local authorities to ask what action they are taking to integrate services for children who need palliative care. Annette also committed to asking health and social care commissioners how they were funding palliative care services supporting children with life-limiting conditions - and their families - in Mid Dorset and North Poole. Annette said: "Providers of children's palliative care, like Julia' offer a vital lifeline to families. Yet commissioning of services, particularly from the voluntary sector, is patchy and inconsistent. Well commissioned and co-ordinated palliative care helps families make to the most of their time together and enables services to develop to meet their needs. "It is essential that health and social care services work together to ensure that services are joined up and funded fairly and sustainably by the NHS and local authorities to ensure that the excellent care they provide can continue." About Together for Short Lives Together for Together for Short Lives is the leading charity for UK children's palliative care. We support those who help, love and care for children and young people who are unlikely to reach adulthood. We work with children's hospices and a range of other services across the country to ensure that every child, young person and their family has the best possible care and support whenever and wherever they need it. From the moment of diagnosis, for whatever life holds, we help to ensure families make the most of their precious time together. Visit www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk for more information. About Children's Hospice Week Children's Hospice Week (13-20 June) is the UK's only awareness raising and fundraising week for children with life-limiting conditions and the services, like children's hospices, that support them. The week is co-ordinated by national charity Together for Short Lives working alongside your local children's hospice. For more information visit www.childrenshospiceweek.org.uk Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 20, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP pledges to tackle prostate cancer inequalities (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette at the event in Parliament. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole has pledged to support Prostate Cancer UK in its drive to eradicate the injustices faced by men with and at risk of prostate cancer in Mid Dorset and North Poole. Despite being the most common cancer in men, those affected by or at risk of the disease continue to face a number of injustices, particularly when it comes to awareness of risk and access to treatments, information and support. Prostate Cancer UK has launched a report outlining five key injustices faced by men with or at risk of prostate cancer. The charity is calling on the government to take prostate cancer seriously by tackling the inequalities around awareness, age and ethnicity, and ensuring that all men gain access to the best possible treatments and information, regardless of where they live. Annette met men living with and beyond prostate cancer at a campaigning event held at Westminster this week to discuss the issues in more depth and to show her support for the charity's calls. She commented: "Prostate cancer kills one man every hour but men and their families continue to face an uphill struggle on a number of fronts, from awareness of risk, through to gaining access to vital support, information, or world class treatments. Together with Prostate Cancer UK I want to ensure that all men in my constituency are armed with the knowledge of their risk of prostate cancer, and that those living with it have everything they need to tackle the disease head on and have quality time with loved ones." The report - 'Men United v Prostate Cancer, Five inequalities, five solutions' - comes as part of the second wave of the charity's Men United campaign which has built an urgency around prostate cancer and has seen nearly 200,000 people sign up to join the fight against the disease since January 2014. Dr Sarah Cant, Director of Policy and Strategy at Prostate Cancer UK, said; "For too long men with or at risk of prostate cancer have been dealt a series of unjust deals. Four in five men at higher risk of the disease don't know it - meaning that they could miss out on being diagnosed at an early stage when the disease is most treatable. And for those men living with prostate cancer, the quality of care that they receive is still all too often dictated by their post code. Throw into the mix further inequalities surrounding access to treatments and information, and it's clear that men with prostate cancer are not getting all the support that they vitally need. "This isn't good enough and men deserve much better. Since the launch of our Men United campaign we have seen huge public will to work together as a force for change. We're delighted that Annette has pledged to play a role in abolishing these inequalities by helping to tackle the injustices that men and their families." Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can call Prostate Cancer UK's confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org. The helpline is free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays. Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Letter to the Western Mail on hidden fees and charges (Jenny Willott)
      Sir, As Consumer Affairs Minister I want to see empowered, savvy shoppers who know their rights, shop around for the best deals and drive competition. So I'm really pleased that we have just brought in a major new set of consumer rights, giving online shoppers greater protection against hidden fees, charges and other pitfalls. Consumers can no longer be charged high fees for buying online with their debit or credit cards and the "cooling off period" has gone from seven to fourteen days during which they can cancel an order and receive a refund without giving a reason. Those buying music, films and books in digital format can also use the cooling off period for the first time, up until the point any download starts. The Directive also bans all hidden fees and charges, so sellers will have to tell customers about any extra amounts before they place an order. Retailers are already banned from charging card fees that exceed the actual cost of processing a payment and companies operating a helpline will be banned from charging more than the standard rate for calls about something the consumer has bought. There will also be a ban on pre-ticked boxes in online purchases, so traders can't hide charges by having a pre-ticked box buried in the small print. This is really important progress in protecting consumers, particularly with increasing numbers of us shopping online. Of course, it is essential not only that we keep our consumer protection laws up-to-date, but also that people are aware of these rights. While Government research shows consumers are generally pretty good at this already and know the law, things could be clearer. That's why I have been taking the Consumer Rights Bill through Parliament to make rights simpler for both consumers and businesses. This will give people more power to challenge bad practice - important for us all as shoppers, but also so that companies which are doing the right thing aren't put at a disadvantage by rogue businesses acting irresponsibly. Yours faithfully, Jenny Willott Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 19, 2014:
    • Haringey Council in (another) mess of their own making (Lynne Featherstone)

      Hornsey-Depot-265x360The controversial plans for Hornsey Depot have been challenged and halted - leaving Haringey Council with a £15m hole in their budget.

      It's another example of the Labour-run council failing to listen to residents and opposition councillors - with disastrous results.

      Along with many residents and the Haringey Lib Dems, I raised concerns that the Hornsey Depot application was deeply flawed.

      That's why so many residents objected, and that's why the Lib Dem opposition councillors voted against the application.

      But instead of listening to concerns, local Labour councillors ignored our pleas and ploughed on regardless.

      This has now prompted a Judicial Review of the plans, which could delay the development for a long time to come.

      It's also created a financial mess. Haringey Labour prematurely factored £15m from the sale of the Hornsey Depot into their budget, to 'underpin' the council's capital for projects like new school buildings. So now they have a £15 million gap in their budget.

      Banking on money that isn't assured is the height of risky planning - and sadly, it will be local residents who suffer the consequences now the money isn't available!

      And Haringey Labour only have themselves to blame. If only they had listened from the start and taken a short time to agree an application that is both suitable and acceptable to residents - this could all have been avoided.

      Once again, Haringey Labour have proved that they simply cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of the residents of Haringey.

  • Jun 17, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Questions Minister on encouraging reading for enjoyment by children (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, questioned the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Elizabeth Truss MP yesterday in the Commons; asking what is being done to encourage the enjoyment of reading by children. Annette mentioned the improvements shown through phonics tests for six-year-olds, but asked what action the Minister would take to ensure that we are stimulating the enjoyment of reading. Ms Truss responded by highlighting that the number of children reading for enjoyment is increasing and mentioned the Summer Reading Challenge which is helping to further stimulate enjoyment of reading in children. Annette welcomed the Summer Reading Challenge, which is a great scheme, particularly for those children with families that often attend the library. But she was disappointed not to hear of more schemes which would be accessible for all children. "When the phonics test was first introduced, leading children's authors asked for schemes to sit alongside the test which would stimulate the enjoyment of reading. The test was introduced in 2012 and so I hope to hear more of what the Department has planned soon." Full question: T6. [904229] Annette Brooke (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (LD): We are in the third year of phonics tests for six-year-olds, and I understand that the tests have shown an improvement in decoding skills. What action will the Minister take to ensure that we are stimulating the enjoyment of reading? The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education (Elizabeth Truss): Last year's results from the progress in international reading literacy study-PIRLS-showed that the number of children in this country who are reading for enjoyment is going up; it has resumed considerably over the past few years. We have fantastic schemes to encourage students to read, such as the summer reading challenge. This year's challenge is the mythical maze, which will challenge children to find their way around a labyrinth and introduce them to fantastical creatures from the world of legend and mythology. Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 16, 2014:
    • Willott welcomes Queen's Speech measures to make life easier for Cardiff's small businesses (Jenny Willott)
      Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, Jenny Willott, has welcomed the announcements in the Queens Speech to support small businesses - including the Small Businesses Bill and the National Insurance Contributions Bill. The Small Businesses Bill will seek to undertake measures such as faster company registration, improvements to public sector payment, and measures to support business cash flow such as action on late-payment terms for smaller suppliers and increased scrutiny of unnecessary regulation. The National Insurance Contributions Bill will simplify the collection of NICs for the self-employed, who currently have to navigate two different processes for two separate classes of National Insurance Contributions. These proposals have been welcomed by organisations such as the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses, who have said these moves from the Government reflect the growing recognition of the role small businesses have to play in driving forward the economy. Commenting Jenny Willott said: "Our economy in Cardiff is hugely reliant on the small and medium-sized enterprise work force, so I'm really pleased that the Coalition Government is introducing these significant measures to make life easier for smaller businesses. In particular the proposals to encourage prompt payment will benefit SMEs, which are often very seriously challenged by cash-flow problems as a result of late payments. "There will also be reforms in the National Insurance Contributions Bill which will simplify national insurance for self-employed people, whilst also protecting public money by tackling avoidance." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 15, 2014:
    • Still liberal - still radical - still the good guys (Lynne Featherstone)

      It was good to hear Nick begin to set out our real narrative - not the one written for us by other parties.

      He said in a speech on Monday: "We may be the smaller party, but we have all the biggest ideas," crediting the team who have brought so many good things into the coal - including:

      • Ground-breaking pensions reform - Steve Webb.
      • Dragging maternity and paternity leave into the 21st Century - Jo Swinson and Jenny Willott.
      • Getting our schools motivated to stop the poorest children from falling behind - David Laws.
      • Putting infrastructure front and centre of the Coalition's economic strategy - Danny Alexander.
      • Equal Marriage - Lynne Featherstone.
      • The world's first ever bank devoted to green investment - Vince Cable.
      • The biggest ever investment in renewable energy - Ed Davey.
      • An £800 tax cut for millions of ordinary people - every Liberal Democrat who ever campaigned for it.

      And there is much more obviously. For example - one thing I will be forever proud of in my national work is my campaign on FGM. Of course it is now talked about on a daily basis (and on this I also have to thank the media particularly the Evening Standard) but hardly known about a year and a half ago when I came to the Department of International Development and said 'we are going to campaign on FGM'. Working with all those campaigners who had campaigned tirelessly for years with no take up - now I would work with them to make sure that ending the cutting off of girls' genitals was at the top of the political agenda. And now it is.

      Even the Prime Minister has now recognised how important this is and chosen this as the subject of our Development World moment in July on FGM and Child Early and Forced Marriage which he will be hosting.

      The economy was the reason we went into Coalition - and that is looking really good as are the employment figures. And make no mistake - without LibDems - that would not have happened. But the list above just shows how effective we have been at delivering our fair, green and liberal agenda - even in a Coalition.

  • Jun 11, 2014:
    • ANNETTE BROOKE MP SIGNS PLEDGE TO SUPPORT SPECIALIST HEART FAILURE SERVICES (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette signing the pledge in Parliament. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole yesterday signed a pledge at the Heart Failure Parliamentary Reception, organised by the British Society for Heart Failure in the House of Commons, to work with clinicians and NHS managers to maintain financial and human resources for specialist heart failure services for patients in the Mid Dorset and North Poole constituency. A patient diagnosed with heart failure can have a worse prognosis than if they were diagnosed with most cancers, including breast and prostate.1,2 Treatment by a specialist heart failure service and the use of modern therapies can have a remarkable impact on a patient's chance of survival.1-2 This strategy is endorsed by NICE guidelines and quality standards.1,3 Despite this, access to heart failure specialists and the impressive services they are able to provide, is inconsistent across the UK leading to significant variation in care and outcomes.2 Despite clear national policies on the management of chronic heart failure, including a NICE guideline1 and Quality Standard,3 heart failure patient care is currently inconsistent across the UK and many areas do not have a specialist heart failure service.2 This has resulted in significant variations in survival and hospital admissions across the country with many patients not receiving specialist input to their care or optimal drug management.2 With heart failure rates due to rise over the next 20 years, the burden on NHS resources could become unmanageable unless all hospitals across the country follow the recommended national guidelines.1-3 Annette Brooke MP said "I have today pledged to work with local heart failure clinicians and the NHS to understand and support them in providing all heart failure patients with rapid access to specialist services. Heart failure services significantly improve the outcomes and quality of life for heart failure patients whilst also saving money for the NHS, which we can then invest in other health priorities locally." Professor Andrew Clark, Chair of the British Society for Heart Failure, said "Giving heart failure patients access to a specialist heart failure service not only results in less time spent in hospital and a better quality of life for the patient but it also saves the NHS money." The British Society for Heart Failure, the UK's professional organisation dedicated to optimising the care of heart failure patients, believes that access to a specialist heart failure service for all patients would lead to better patient outcomes and a more efficient use of NHS resources. There is strong evidence that having an effective multidisciplinary specialist service for people with chronic heart failure can give patients a better chance of survival, reduce the pressure on hospital beds and costly acute admissions, help to reduce recurrent hospital stays by 30-50%, improve patients' quality of life and keep younger patients in employment.2,4,5 -ENDS- References 1. NICE CG108 August 2010. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/13099/50514/50514.pdf last accessed June2014. 2. National Heart Failure Audit 2013. Available at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/nicor/audits/heartfailure/additionalfiles/pdfs/annualreports/NHFA13medium.pdf. Last Accessed June 2014 3. NICE Quality standard: Chronic heart failure. 2011. Available at http://www.nice.org.uk/media/D6F/93/CHFQualityStandard.pdf last accessed June 2014 5. The Development and Impact of the British Heart Foundation and Big Lottery Fund Heart Failure Specialist Nurse Services in England Final Report April 2008 available at: http://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/view-publication.aspx?ps=1000625last accessed June 2014 . 6. Heart Failure Nurses Services in England: Executive summary Available at: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk//media/Files/Research%20Documents/er_eval_heart_failure_exec_summary.pdf?la=en-GB last accessed June 2014 Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 10, 2014:
    • ANNETTE BROOKE MP SUPPORTS CAMPAIGN TO HELP SAVE THOUSANDS OF DOGS EACH YEAR IN UK THROUGH MICROCHIPPING (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette at the Chip It, Check It event in Parliament. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole highlighted that over 8,000 dogs euthanised each year because their owner cannot be found could be saved if dog owners 'Chip it, Check it'. Annette highlighted the importance of microchipping and checking contact details are up to date as part of the Kennel Club's National Microchipping Month during an event in Old Palace Yard, Westminster. The event launched the new 'Chip it, Check it' education campaign intended to inform the public about the change in law from April 2016 and was supported by Members of Parliament and animal welfare organisations. Regulations due to be laid shortly as secondary regulations under the Animal Welfare Act, will place a requirement on owners to have their dogs microchipped and registered on one of the databases available. Owners will also be expected to be responsible for ensuring the information is kept up to date in order to have the best chance of reuniting them with their pet. Speaking about the event, the Mid Dorset and North Poole MP said "In the countdown to compulsory microchipping, National Microchipping Month is an ideal reminder for local people to 'Chip it, Check it' - to get their dogs microchipped or if already chipped, check their contact details are up to date on the microchip database." The Kennel Club has always been dedicated to reuniting dogs and owners through its reunification database Petlog, the UK's largest lost and found database for microchipped pets, and holds National Microchipping Month each June to educate those involved with dogs on the benefits of microchipping. Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko commented: "The introduction of a requirement to permanently identify a dog through compulsory microchipping will go a long way towards improving the current situation surrounding stray dogs by reducing the need for unidentified lost dogs to be rehomed or sadly euthanised. The Kennel Club views regulation as a positive step forward for responsible dog ownership and thanks Annette for her support in promoting dog welfare". National Microchipping Month runs throughout June. For more information go to www.nationalmicrochippingmonth.org.uk Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 9, 2014:
    • Brent Central MP Sarah Teather supports young entrepreneurs scheme (sarahteather)
      Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central, Sarah Teather, has today encouraged Brent's bidding entrepreneurs to enter a scheme to find the top businesses of tomorrow. Last month, Lloyds Bank launched their 2014 Enterprise Awards to celebrate and recognise the top businesses of tomorrow. These awards allow for university students and graduates of less than five years that have founded a business to enter a competition with substantial prizes. Winners of the heats for Best Start-up, Best Digital and Best Enterprise will each get the opportunity to have one-to-one local business mentoring and will be awarded cash prizes of up to £5,000. The grand final is on 15th October and the prizes will be: Expert legal advice through LawNet for all final winners Overall Best Start-Up: £10,000 Overall Best Enterprise: £50,000 Overall Best Digital: Spend time with leading industry digital market experts worth over £10,000 Senior Executive Mentoring Applications close on 23rd July 2014. To find out more about the awards or to apply visit http://www.lloydsbankenterpriseawards.com/ Commenting, Sarah said: "There are so many talented young people in Brent. This is a really exciting opportunity and so I encourage all budding entrepreneurs to enter. Good luck!" Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 7, 2014:
    • Ambulances set to return in August (Lorely Burt)
      GOOD NEWS: Lorely (pictured here with WMAS area manager Dean Jenkins) welcomes the news that ambulances are scheduled to return by August Double-Crewed Ambulances are set to return to Solihull this August. Double-Crewed Ambulances were withdrawn from Solihull last year and have since been operating from a base in Erdington, but ambulance managers agreed to return them following a campaign by MP Lorely Burt. The ambulances were due to return in January. However, the old ambulance station on Hermitage Road has been closed so a new site is needed. Negotiations with Heart of England Foundation Trust to base ambulances in Solihull Hospital are still ongoing. Local campaigning group Healthwatch Solihull had written to West Midlands Ambulance Service asking them to ensure the issue was dealt with at a board meeting on 27th May. However, it was revealed at a public meeting in Dorridge organised by Healthwatch that the decision was low on the board's agenda and the meeting concluded without discussing it. Dr Anthony Marsh, the Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service, has written to Mrs Burt to reiterate his commitment to basing Double-Crewed Ambulances in Solihull Hospital and stating his 'confidence' that ambulances will return by August. The trust plans for two 24-hour ambulances based at Solihull Hospital, eventually rising to three. Mrs Burt has written back to Dr Marsh, welcoming his commitment but expressing concern at the delay and requesting assurances that Solihull's Double-Crewed Ambulances will not be allowed to slip from the agenda in future. She has also written to Dr Mark Newbold, the Chief Executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust, asking him to give support to the plans. Mrs Burt said, "I thank Dr Marsh for his commitment to return our Double-Crewed Ambulances by August, and I will hold him to it. "Residents have the right to be frustrated with a process of removing and then returning our ambulances that has not gone smoothly. There has been a lack of clear information and little sense that a properly thought-out plan was in place. "I understand that some of these delays are caused by difficult negotiations with Heart of England Foundation Trust. "I'll be putting pressure on the foundation trust and the ambulance service to get their act together and really deliver this time." Sam Mills, Chair of Healthwatch Solihull, said, "It's fantastic news that a timeline has been established for bringing back our ambulances, which is what we all want to see happen. "We've got to ensure there are no more delays and that the ambulance service deliver on their promises this time and don't miss this new deadline." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 6, 2014:
    • Health minister visits threatened dementia ward (Lorely Burt)
      LISTENING: Lib Dem Health Minister Norman Lamb visited Ward 10 with local Lib Dem campaigners including Martin Hewings (yellow shirt) and Ade Adeyemo (yellow tie) Health Minister Norman Lamb visited Solihull Hospital to observe Ward 10, the dementia ward which local MP Lorely Burt is campaigning to save from closure. Along with local Lib Dems Councillor Martin Hewings and party chair Ade Adeyemo, the minister met staff and discussed plans to integrate specialist dementia care with physical healthcare. Plans to close Ward 10 in March were postponed following an intervention by local campaigners including Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt. It is now due for closure in July but when Lib Dem campaigners visited with Mr Lamb they saw a full ward with no evidence of winding down. Ward 10 provides specialist care and beds to patients who are in hospital with other ailments but also suffer from dementia. It offers patients activities to keep their minds engaged, including films, music, and dancing to old classics. Elmdon councillor Martin Hewings engaged one patient in a dance. Consultant Physician Dr Robert Wears, who manages Ward 10, said, "We are all very grateful for the interest shown in Ward 10 by local MPs, and we were particularly honoured to welcome the minister responsible for dementia care to our ward. "It is heartening to see that the valuable work we do is recognised, and we will carry on working hard to provide the best we possibly can to people in Solihull who depend on our services." Mrs Burt said, "I am grateful to Norman for coming to see for himself the amazing work staff at Ward 10 do for patients. "It's clear that no plan is in place to replace Ward 10 and I am fearful for the future of these very vulnerable people. "The deadline for closure, even though it was extended to July, is clearly unrealistic. I am calling for Ward 10 to be given one more year to wind down and switch to an integrated replacement service." Mr Adeyemo said, "As a local resident I am keen to make sure that everyone living in our area can access the best healthcare when they need it. "This is especially true for patients suffering with dementia and we must ensure that they get treatment that meets their particular needs." Mr Lamb said, "In government, the Liberal Democrats are championing better care and support for people with mental health conditions, and have legislated for 'parity of esteem' - complete equality - between mental health and physical health. I want to make sure that people with mental health problems get the support they need to continue to live safely and well-supported in the community. "In most circumstances, hospital is not the best environment for someone with a mental health condition. Most people would much prefer to be looked after properly surrounded by their friends and family, in the community. "However, when people with dementia need to spend time in hospital as a result of other health conditions, it is incredibly important that they receive care and support which recognises the special needs arising from their dementia. This needs to be the case across hospitals - and in other parts of our health and care systems. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to achieving this - it is important that local health organisations are able to find the best way to provide good care for the communities they serve. "Ward 10 at Solihull hospital was originally opened in the winter of 2012/13 to provide specialist flexible capacity. Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to use extra government funding for winter pressures to keep the ward operational throughout the 2013/14 winter for the same purpose. "I know Lorely Burt has campaigned hard on health issues for people in Solihull over many years. It is important that she has drawn attention to the need to ensure effective care and support for people with dementia when they are in hospital. I enjoyed the opportunity to hear from the hospital today what steps they are now taking to ensure that the right care continues to be available in future for people with dementia." The petition to save Ward 10 is available online for signing here http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-ward-10 Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 4, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Honoured to Second the 'Loyal Address' during State Opening of Parliament (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, was given the honour of seconding the 'Loyal Address' during the State Opening of Parliament today. It is parliamentary tradition that two backbench MPs are chosen every session to propose and second the speech made by the Queen. Annette was exceptionally proud to be the first female Liberal MP ever to propose or second the loyal speech. Annette used her speech to talk fondly of her constituency, touching on the diverse communities, the historic market towns of Wareham and Wimborne, and the incredible natural environment. Annette spoke with passion about her constituency's heathland, and the Great Heath Living Landscape Project saying it "is fantastic news for natural heritage, a huge range of common and extremely rare wildlife species, and tourism". Within her speech, Annette praised the legislation announced to extend further free childcare to the most disadvantaged 2 year olds and to introduce a Bill to help working families with childcare costs; underlining its importance as she stated "a child's life chances are so strongly influenced in early years". She also commended the action being taken to combat modern slavery, referring to her trip abroad to Moldova with UNICEF, to look at a country from where young girls were being trafficked. She said "it was a harrowing visit in more ways than one" and welcomed the inclusion of a Modern Slavery Bill and additional support for victims in the Queen's Speech, stating her pride in this Government's achievement of the 0.7% of GDP aid target. Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition paid tribute to Annette's kindness, hard work and dedication in their speeches which followed on from hers, with the Prime Minister remarking that she has "served with distinction" during her 13 years in Parliament and the Leader of the Opposition saying that she will be greatly missed after her retirement in 2015. Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Queen's Speech guarantees thousands of parents in Cardiff will get help with childcare (Jenny Willott)
      Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central Jenny Willott and regional AM for South Wales Central Eluned Parrott welcome a major tax-free childcare package which will help 9,440 families in Cardiff. In today's Queen's Speech it was announced that working families will get up to £2,000 to ease the cost of childcare as part of a scheme to be rolled out in Autumn 2015. It means a family with two children under 12-years-old could benefit by up to £4,000 a year. Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, said: "The announcement in the Queen's Speech provides a huge boost to hardworking families in Cardiff. This is something Liberal Democrats have fought for and are now delivering in Government. We are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society and this helps children get the best start in life." Eluned Parrott, regional AM for South Wales Central, added: "It was announced every infant in England will get a free school meal to help improve education attainment and child health. The Scottish Government have said they will follow suit and the Welsh Liberal Democrats believe the Welsh Labour Government should do likewise." The Queen's Speech outlines the legislative agenda for the Coalition Government over the next 12 months. Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 3, 2014:
    • Jenny Willott encourages Cardiff Girls to Get Coding (Jenny Willott)
      Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central Jenny Willott is encouraging primary and secondary schools in her constituency to participate in an exciting new initiative to encourage girls to learn how to code. Girls Get Coding is a chance for schools to showcase the technology skills of girls aged 10 - 12 to MPs and parliamentarians, on a fully funded trip to Westminster. Schools are asked to nominate themselves for the trip; around 35 schools from round the country will be chosen, and will each send three girls and one staff member to a special day in Parliament. The girls will demonstrate their coding skills, teach MPs how to do some simple programming tasks, and award a certificate to the MP they teach. Commenting Jenny Willott MP said: "As the Minister responsible for getting more girls studying STEM - science, technology, maths and engineering - subjects, I've been working really hard to challenge perceptions around what are often thought of as "girls' subjects" and "boys' subjects"; I'm now the first Welsh female MP ever to attend Cabinet so I can make sure these kind of issues stay at the top of this Government's agenda! "I want our young people here in Cardiff to leave school with the right skills to help them thrive in the economy of the future, and coding is going to be ever more important for many different career paths as we go forward. I really hope that schools in Cardiff Central will therefore make use of these free resources to benefit all their students, but particularly to encourage young girls to try a subject which they might not previously have considered." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Could you be a foster carer? (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, is encouraging her constituents to mark Fostering in Wales Day tomorrow (Wednesday 21 May), part of the Fostering Network's Foster Care Fortnight from 12-25 May. This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work that thousands of foster families do across the country, and to bust some of the myths around fostering. For example: • There is no legal minimum age to become a foster carer, though in general they will be 21+; • There is also no official upper age limit on being a foster carer; • Single people can foster as well as married or cohabiting couples; • There are many gay and lesbian foster carers; • Foster carers do not need to own their own home; • People don't have to be parents to foster. Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said: "Fostering a child can completely transform their life, so it is wonderful that Welsh people are the most likely in the UK to consider fostering in Britain. However, sadly there are still many children and young people who are without any sort of home or family life who need a foster carer. "I think lots of us have preconceived ideas about what kind of person can be a foster carer, maybe imagining all sorts of politically correct restrictions. In actual fact, what is really important is not your age or sexual preference but having the right skills and qualities to look after vulnerable children, many of whom may have suffered terrible abuse or neglect. "If you feel this is something you could do or if would like to learn more about the fostering process, please get in touch with your local council or an independent fostering agency." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Jenny Willott MP's 'money lessons' plan for local schools (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, is encouraging local schools to get involved in My Money Week 2014 this June, to boost young people's understanding of money management and personal finance. My Money Week offers an opportunity for schools to build on the financial education already being taught in schools across Wales through a dedicated week of activities for their pupils. Every primary and secondary school in Cardiff Central is being given the chance to take part in this year's My Money Week from 9-15th June for free - financial education charity, pfeg is offering teachers in Cardiff Central free online resources, advice and training to help plan their activities. My Money Week 2014 will be themed around current affairs, challenging young people to improve their financial skills, knowledge and confidence through topical lessons and activities on personal finance. Jenny Willott MP said: "We all need to be able to manage our money, whether that's budgeting to go on holiday or starting your own business; no young person should be leaving school without a basic understanding of personal finance. I am delighted to support this great initiative and would encourage every school in my constituency to get involved." Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), said: "Jenny Willott MP is absolutely right to call for all local schools to take part in My Money Week, which is a terrific opportunity to help pupils learn more about money in a fun and engaging way. We are delighted to have her support for what we hope will be an even bigger My Money Week in Cardiff Central this year." Schools and other organisations that work with young people in Cardiff Central can find out more about My Money Week at www.pfeg.org/mymoneyweek Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Cardiff Central unemployment falls again (Jenny Willott)
      The latest unemployment figures, released today, show unemployment falling for a further month in Cardiff Central. The number of people in Cardiff Central claiming Job Seekers Allowance has fallen by over 400 people year-on-year to 2,283. Commenting Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said: "Every single new job or person returning to work is something to celebrate, and I'm really pleased that we are starting to actually see, rather than just read about, the recovery. No one would deny that there is much more to do but today's figures are to be welcomed as an encouraging step in the right direction. " Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Jenny Willott MP and Eluned Parrott AM visit Energy Advice Project at SpeakEasy Advice Centre (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, and Eluned Parrott, regional AM for South Wales Central, met with representatives from British Gas and the SpeakEasy Advice Centre, who are working together to deliver The Energy Advice Project, offering fuel debt advice. Eluned and Jenny had a chance to see how the two organisations are working together to help people in Cardiff who are struggling to pay energy and other bills. Over 600 households have been helped in the first two years of the project. Over £60,000 has been awarded to clear gas and electricity arrears. Jenny Willott MP said: "It was an incredibly worthwhile visit to SpeakEasy to see the work they do with people struggling with fuel costs. Their Energy Advice Project, funded by British Gas Energy Trust, provides crucial advice and assistance to anyone experiencing fuel poverty." Eluned Parrott AM added: "I was pleased to hear about the work both British Gas and the SpeakEasy Advice Centre have been doing to help local people out during tough times." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 2, 2014:
    • Sarah Teather: Home Office ministers need to stand-up and take responsibility (sarahteather)
      Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather has today called on ministers in the Home Office to stand-up and take responsibility after a damning report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons into how deportations are undertaken. The report found that staff employed to remove detainees were using inappropriate control techniques and criticised the lack of training on the use of force. Some staff were also found to have behaved in a juvenile way, including making loud animal noises, as well as swearing loudly. Commenting on the report, which followed an inspection of a removal of 66 people from the UK to Pakistan, Sarah Teather MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, said: "This report highlights the depressing reality that lessons have still not been learnt from the tragic death of Jimmy Mubenga. It contains a litany of failings that resulted in human beings not being shown the respect they deserve and instead being treated as commodities. "It is deeply concerning that yet another review has found the Home Office wanting in this area. All individuals, no matter what their immigration status, must be treated with humanity and dignity - something the Government is currently manifestly failing to ensure. "Just what will it take for ministers to stand-up and take responsibility for the culture of those they directly and indirectly employ to do their work?" Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 27, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Hosts Dementia Awareness Conference (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke MP and Paul Burstow MP, former Care minister, addressing the conference. Around 80 people attended a Dementia Awareness Conference in Broadstone on Saturday 24th May, organised by Annette Brooke MP. Speakers included Jeremy Hughes, CE of the National Alzheimer's Society and Paul Burstow MP, former Care Minister. Presentations were given by representatives from Dorset's Clinical Commissioning Group and the voluntary sector. The challenges ahead for Broadstone include working towards a dementia friendly community, dementia friendly churches, and a dementia friendly shopping parade. Annette Brooke MP said: "we now have so much more work to do within our community but I felt that people were inspired to take action to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. It was staggering to learn that currently only about a half of the 800,000 sufferers in this country receive a formal diagnosis. So much can be done by raising awareness, for example, with taxi drivers and others providing transport. An example was given of the members of a ramblers' group becoming dementia aware and providing an opportunity for safe outside exercise for a dementia patient." Cllr and Lib Dem Candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole Vikki Slade said: "I was inspired by the concept of a social prescription signposting patients and carers to dementia friendly activities such as walking and scrabble playing." Cllr Vikki Slade, prospective MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, with Annette Brooke MP and Paul Burstow MP discussing ways forward following the dementia conference. Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Paul Burstow visits Julia's House with Annette Brooke and Vikki Slade (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke MP, Cllr Vikki Slade prospective parliamentary candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole, Paul Burstow MP and Martin Edwards, Chief Executive of Julia's House, exploring the facilities in the garden. Former Care Minister, Paul Burstow MP, visited Julia's House with Annette Brooke MP and prospective MP Vikki Slade on Saturday. Paul was incredibly impressed with both the vision and the provision of services which include both respite and end of life care for children and their carers. Paul said 'the facilities in the House are just amazing and I was most interested to learn about the research currently being undertaken by Bournemouth University on the benefits of frequent respite for the whole family.' Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 19, 2014:
    • Vince Cable describes College as "beacon" for apprenticeships (Lorely Burt)
      PROMOTING APPRENTICESHIPS: Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable praised Solihull College for their work on apprenticeships Along with a host of Midlands' employers and apprentices, Solihull College welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable to an apprenticeship event at the College's Blossomfield Campus on Thursday. The Business Secretary explained how, through the government's investment, that apprenticeships will "give young people a vision of a good career through vocational education". Mr Cable said Further Education has a crucial role to play and that Solihull College was a "beacon" for apprenticeships. The event, which was run in partnership with Solihull Chamber of Commerce, was held to dispel the myth that apprenticeships are only for manual type labour jobs. With the help of big business names such as Jaguar Land Rover, Morgan Motor Company and Virgin Media in attendance, the exhibition and range of speakers challenged the idea that choosing university is the best choice post-further education. Business Secretary Vince Cable MP echoed this important shift in perception, commenting, "I think we are beginning to change the psychology so that people see apprenticeships as an attractive career comparable to academic education and the FE sector has an absolutely crucial role to play." Lindsey Stewart, Acting Principal of Solihull College, said, "This event delivered the powerful punch we were looking for, to show as a College, our commitment to young people and the wide variety of apprenticeships we can offer. It was an absolute privilege to welcome both Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Vince Cable MP to the College and it was encouraging to hear the governments ongoing commitment to apprenticeships as choices for young people post-GCSEs continues to widen." Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg spent time walking around the exhibition speaking to delegates and apprentices, along with giving media interviews. When asked by the College about how he viewed the importance of apprenticeships, he commented, "You don't need your nose in a book to learn things... apprenticeships are catching people's imagination more and more... and it is becoming an increasingly recognised way of completing this difficult journey from education into work." Local MP Lorely Burt, who welcomed the government ministers to Solihull College, said, "Solihull College did a fantastic job last year working with me on my campaign to encourage local businesses to take on apprentices, designing bespoke training programmes. "Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to get young people earning and learning. "I'm very proud of Solihull College and its hard-working young apprentices who are investing in their futures." Following the departure of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable delegates networked and met with young people who were invited in to discuss apprenticeships. WELCOME TO SOLIHULL COLLEGE: Lorely welcomes Deputy PM Nick Clegg to Solihull College Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Fujitsu Apprentices Impress Business Secretary (Lorely Burt)
      YOUNG TALENT RECOGNISED: Fujitsu's apprentices with Vince Cable and Lorely Burt The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable, today visited Fujitsu's facility in Solihull for a roundtable discussion with the company's best and brightest, its apprentices. Dr Cable and Solihull MP met with nine apprentices from across the business to learn more about what attracted them to become apprentices, the skills they are learning and the opportunities it is providing them for a successful career. Fujitsu's Chief Operating Officer, Gavin Bounds, who chaired the roundtable said: "I was really impressed with how our apprentices presented themselves and the company to one of the most senior members of the Government. It was great to be able to showcase our young talent. Our apprentices make such a huge contribution to our company and are laying the foundations of really fulfilling careers. "The difference the apprentices make to the company speaks for itself, 100% of those who complete the scheme go on to find a permanent job with Fujitsu." After meeting the Fujitsu apprentices, Dr Cable said: "I want to see apprenticeships on an equal footing with academic education. This government is committed to creating a 'new norm' where young people either choose university or an apprenticeship when they finish school. "I was pleased to see that Fujitsu has a well-developed apprenticeship programme with bright, motivated young apprentices taking part. "This government has delivered a record investment in apprenticeships, which has seen the number in Solihull roughly double in four years. "I would encourage other businesses recruit some apprentices, as Fujitsu has done so successfully, and benefit from the excellent package of support available from the government." Since the beginning of 2012 Fujitsu has taken on nearly 200 apprentices throughout the UK, working in diverse roles across the business. Fujitsu offers a range of Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships over one to two years with the highest level providing the individual with a degree equivalent qualification. The scheme has a 96% completion rate with those who complete the scheme guaranteed a job. Solihull MP, Lorely Burt said: "It was a great pleasure to meet these enthusiastic young people, who came for from a very diverse range of backgrounds. They demonstrate how apprenticeships can be a win-win for everyone. "The apprentice gets to earn and learn with the probability of a full-time skilled job at the end. Meanwhile the employer gets an enthusiastic young worker, government support with salary and training costs, and ends up with a loyal, well-trained member of staff." Fujitsu is signed up to the Trailblazer Apprenticeships Scheme created by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and is helping to shape the future of this vital policy area which is so vital to the UK's economic future. Gavin Bounds added: "Fujitsu recognises the importance of supporting apprentices in this critical stage of their career. Not only do we provide them with technical and business skills that will lead to a permanent job, we also ensure they are properly paid. Fujitsu pays its apprentices over 50% more than the legal minimum wage set by the Government for apprentices. "An apprenticeship is a two way commitment, we expect that the young people involved in our scheme deliver value to our business and in return we develop them, train them and ensure they are appropriately rewarded and recognised for their efforts." Following the roundtable Dr Cable and Ms Burt went on a tour of the Solihull site where Fujitsu employs over 600 people. Much of Fujitsu's telecoms business is located at the site and the Solihull workforce support crucial clients such as the Home Office, Morrison, Virgin Media and the Home Office. Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 14, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Calls for Transparency in Charges Made by Park Home Owners (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole yesterday spoke in a Westminster Hall debate she had called, in light of a new petition against the 10% commission on the sale of park homes payable to site owners. The petition, organised by Annette's constituent Sonia McColl of the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign, calls for a reduction in the commission rate and has collected some 30,000 signatures from park home residents in 956 different parks across the United Kingdom. Annette will be accompanying Sonia and other campaigners when they deliver the petition to Downing Street in July, and Annette paid tribute to Sonia for her tireless campaigning on behalf of park home owners. At the start of the debate Annette welcomed the Mobile Homes Act 2013, stating that it "goes a long way towards rebalancing the rights of park home owners and site owners". She congratulated Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, on successfully leading his private Member's Bill on mobile homes through to enactment. In her speech Annette acknowledged that the issue of charges made to park home owners by site owners was a difficult and complex one. She accepted the need for fees in order for park operators to run viable businesses and to be able to maintain or improve their sites. However, Annette also noted that many park home owners argue that there has been little investment in their sites and that essential maintenance has not been carried out, posing the question as to why park operators are earning the commission. Annette stated that "the answer may lie in more transparency and accountability". Annette mentioned that many residents feel trapped in their homes and unable to sell because of having to hand over such a high percentage from the sale of their home to the park operator. She highlighted the plight of many elderly people who may need to move into a nursing home or some other form of residential care and, as a result of the commission, the amount they have to put towards their care is reduced. After assessing both sides of the argument, Annette called for a full and frank debate on the issue. She stated that "we need transparency on what the various payments are being used for, and we need to ensure that there is no further exploitation of park home owners". Equally, Annette said it is important to ensure "that the industry is viable and that responsible site owners have a viable business model". Annette suggested that good practice should be praised; good sites where residents are satisfied should be used as examples and comparisons. Annette concluded the debate by saying we "have achieved a lot in ending the injustices that were being suffered, but we cannot be complacent until all park home owners are treated fairly". She asked the Minister "to be prepared to look deeper into the matter to ensure that we get the right balance for site owners and park home owners." Ends To read the debate, please visit: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140513/halltext/140513h0001.htm#14051356000002 Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 13, 2014:
    • No crossing needed because 'drivers will be more polite' - council (Lorely Burt)
      STANDING UP FOR VULNERABLE: Lorely gathering signatures for her petition Solihull Council has defended plans to remove a pedestrian crossing because it believes it can 'encourage a high level of courtesy from drivers towards pedestrians'. The council's claim comes in response to a letter from Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt calling on the council to preserve the crossing on Poplar Road as part of its plans for Solihull Gateway. Mrs Burt jointly launched a petition to save the crossing with local charities including the Royal National Institute of Blind People. It is available online for signing here http://tinyurl.com/lypsp7n. Mrs Burt said, "I am very disappointed with the council's dismissive response. "It's clear once again that the council simply is not listening to local residents. With this attitude it could be only a matter of time before there is a serious accident. "A trip to the shops for a blind or partially sighted person can be a challenge at the best of times. Without the Poplar Road crossing, I fear these vulnerable people will lose the confidence they need to make trips into the town centre and use the public transport there which they depend on. "I want Solihull to be an inclusive place for everybody, including those living with disabilities. Unfortunately this response shows the council just doesn't get it." Rebecca Swift, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer, said, "The plans to remove this crossing are causing a great deal of concern for local blind and partially sighted people, who feel that their safety and independence will be threatened if this proposal goes ahead. "If this crossing is removed, the bottom line is that they will have to walk out in to the road without knowing whether they have been seen and whether traffic has stopped. This is an extremely frightening and potentially dangerous position to be in. "We urge the council to listen to the concerns of local blind and partially sighted people and to reconsider their plans to remove this crossing." In its response to Mrs Burt's letter, the council claims that: 'The aim of the project is not to make life more difficult for any of our residents, particularly those who have a physical disability, but to help make this part of the town centre safer for all pedestrians. I do accept, however, that removing a push button crossing may appear at first to be contrary to pedestrian safety. 'If removing the crossing was the only outcome of the scheme it would cause problems. However, this is only one aspect of the project which includes a number of changes that will help to promote a low speed environment that will encourage a high level of courtesy from drivers towards pedestrians.' Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 9, 2014:
    • JOB AD: Jenny Willott MP looking for Parliamentary Assistant (Jenny Willott)
      Jenny Willott is looking to recruit a Parliamentary Researcher for her London office. The successful candidate will have excellent communication skills, with good attention to detail and excellent spelling and grammar. A highly organised individual, they will be self-motivated and be able to work well in a small team. Location: London Salary: £23,000 PA Job Details: Undertake research on a range of subjects as directed by the MP Develop knowledge on specialist areas Draft proactive and reactive press releases and articles Deal with the media, including building proactive relationships Draft correspondence in response to constituent queries Write speeches and briefing notes as required Manage parliamentary diary Liaise with other relevant members of Parliament and their staff Liaise with Government departments, charities, campaign groups and businesses as appropriate Attend meetings in Parliament as appropriate Liaise with constituency staff to identify local issues for further Parliamentary work Deal with correspondence as necessary Keep records of all work and ensure information is easily available Oversee the direct work of interns Deal with visitors to Parliament, from the constituency and from relevant organisations Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members' Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members' Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. Closing Date: 9am, Tuesday 27th May 2014 Interview/Start Dates: Interviews will be held on Tuesday 3rd June 2014. How to apply: To apply please send a handwritten covering letter and your CV to: Jenny Willott MP 38 The Parade Roath Cardiff CF24 3AD Website: http://www.jennywillott.com Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 8, 2014:
    • Jenny Willott joins Asda panel to discuss mums' priorities for 2015 (Jenny Willott)
      Today (Thursday 8th May) Asda are launching their Mumdex Manifesto, a report examining the views and priorities of over 5,500 Asda mums as we hit the 'one-year-to-go' point before the May 2015 General Election. As part of the launch Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, is taking part in a panel debate in Parliament to discuss the findings of the report, joining Asda mums and representatives from the other main political parties. Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said: "I am delighted to be taking part in this exciting event and to have the opportunity to talk to mums about what really matters to them. We are finally starting to see signs that the economy is recovering after a really tough few years - for the first time in years real wages are rising in line with prices; unemployment is falling at the fastest rate in over a decade; and the proportion of women in work has reached 67.6%, the highest since records began. But of course what matters is not economists' statistics but how real people are actually feeling. As one of the few mums in Parliament with young children, I'm really looking forward to hearing from other mums about how they're finding things and what they would like to see politicians focusing on." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Brent named as one of the worst offenders for wasteful spending (sarahteather)
      Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has named and shamed Brent's Labour-run council as one of the worst councils in the country for wasteful spending. At the launch of the Liberal Democrats local elections campaign in London yesterday (6th May), Nick Clegg unveiled a dossier loaded with more than £500m worth of vanity projects and expense claims amassed by Tory and Labour- run councils. Brent features prominently throughout the dossier, "Tory and Labour Waste and Incompetence". The booklet's front cover image is a photo of one of the borough's six libraries that were closed by Labour in 2011. Brent Labour featured several times in a deck of cards highlighting some of the worst examples of council waste. Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Brent Central, Ibrahim Taguri, who attended the campaign launch commented: "Unfortunately for local people, Brent Council was the star of the show at the Liberal Democrats' local election campaign launch, with the £250,000 Labour spent keeping library buildings empty since 2011 featuring on the front of the campaign booklet demonstrating the worst examples of councils wasting money from across the whole country. "When all councils are facing tough budget decisions it is even more important that they don't waste money on vanity projects and gimmicks like Brent Council has done over the past four years. Only Liberal Democrat majority controlled authorities have consistently frozen council tax, kept all libraries open and cut out wasteful spending in order to maintain essential council services." Mr Taguri added: "There is a stark choice facing voters this May in Brent. Between Lib Dems working with the community to reopen libraries and clean up the streets or a wasteful Labour Party working for themselves and stripping the community of our assets." Local residents, councillors, campaigners and local newspapers have criticised the Council for a series of spending decisions over the past four years, including: £350,000 for iPads and iPhones for Council staff Millions of pounds for executive staff pay-offs, some of whom were later re-hired £98,000 on an opening party for new Civic Centre offices £12,000 on a hologram receptionist at the new Civic Centre £700,000 to resurface the road outside the Civic Centre with granite £1,200 for food for councillors after council meetings Local councillor candidate for the Dudden Hill Ward, Anton Georgiou added: "If elected on 22nd May, Liberal Democrats will stop wasteful spending, listen to what local people want and get back to basics. We know that criticising Labour's waste isn't enough to boot them out of power here in Brent - that's why Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners have put forward a positive 6 point plan to sort out our borough. "Brent Liberal Democrats want to restore the popular visitor parking scratchcards, freeze residents parking permit prices and make sorting out potholes a priority. Liberal Democrat councillors will also work to re-open community libraries to replace the 6 libraries closed by Labour, will keep on freezing council tax and crack down on litter, dirty streets and fly-tipping." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 6, 2014:
    • Explosion in Parliament (Lorely Burt)
      ONE FURTHER THAN GUY FAWKES: Lorely helps the Royal Society of Chemistry make an explosion in Parliament Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt has gone one further than Guy Fawkes and set off an explosion in the Houses of Parliament. Mrs Burt met the first scientist ever allowed to carry out explosive chemistry experiments in the House of Commons at an event held by the Royal Society of Chemistry in Parliament on Wednesday 30th April. Mrs Burt took part in some loud and colourful chemistry experiments performed by TV scientist Dr Hal Sosabowski from the University of Brighton. Mrs Burt witnessed the whizzes and bangs of chemistry first-hand as Dr Sosabowski showed off the science behind glow sticks, a liquid nitrogen shower and a flaming methane mamba of soap bubbles. They also discussed the importance of science to the UK economy. Mrs Burt MP said, "The chemistry demonstrations were very impressive - lots of different colours, flames and clouds of liquid nitrogen. It was really interesting to hear about how science can help our economic recovery and create jobs. "I hope that through displays like this, the Royal Society of Chemistry will encourage more young people to study science, especially girls, who are still under-represented." The Royal Society of Chemistry's President, Professor Lesley Yellowlees, said, "Britain is a world leader in science. The chemical sector alone sustains 500,000 jobs across the country. But over the last decades public investment in scientific research has fallen behind our international competitors. "We want to see a commitment from all sides of the debate to increase total government investment in research in the long-term to set Britain back on the path to science-fuelled growth." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Surgery boots out 82 year old after 33 years (Lorely Burt)
      SHOCKED: Lorely is calling on Green Lane and Sheldon Surgery to let May Jones, 82, stay Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt is calling on Green Lane & Sheldon Surgery to reconsider its decision to force 82-year old May Jones to find a new surgery after 33 years with the practice. Bosses at the practice in Castle Bromwich say Mrs Jones lives outside the catchment area, making the possibility of home visits an 'onerous condition' of her remaining with the practice. Mrs Jones says the drive takes seven minutes. Investigations by Mrs Burt's staff support Mrs Jones's claim. Mrs Jones was one of the first patients to register at the practice when it was set up. Mrs Burt and Lib Dem councillor Martin Hewings have separately visited Mrs Jones in her home and Mrs Burt has written to the surgery asking them to let Mrs Jones stay. Practice bosses agreed to extend her registration to the end of May but insisted they would not extend it any further. Mrs Burt said, "I think it's a heartless decision to ask May to leave, especially when, like May, she has been with a surgery for so long and never called a doctor out on her own account. "I understand there's no hard and fast rule so I urge the surgery should use its discretion to let her stay." Cllr Hewings said, "I was horrified to hear that after 33 years at the practice, they are now turning around and saying they don't want her as a patient anymore, particularly as she lives only seven minutes by car from the practice. "This to me seems cruel and mean." Mrs Jones said, "I can understand a surgery not wanting to take new patients from out of their area, but I have been at this surgery since the day it opened, over 30 years ago. "I trust my doctor and don't want to have to build a new relationship with a new doctor at my age." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • LOCAL LIB DEMS WELCOME TOUGHER POWERS TO ADDRESS BETTING SHOP CLUSTERING (Jenny Willott)
      Communities will get greater protection to prevent high streets being taken over by excessive numbers of bookies after tougher powers were announced to act on betting shop clustering. The Government has listened to repeated calls by Lib Dems and is consulting on plans to place betting shops in their own planning classification to stop them taking over empty shops without the need for planning permission. In future, betting shops will have to seek permission to open new premises. The Government is also proposing that betting firms make clear to councils how new premises will meet social responsibility requirements in relation to local circumstances. Anyone wishing to spend more than £50 on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) will need authorisation from betting shop managers. The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said the proposals will help areas desperate to protect high streets at risk of being over-run by betting shops. It will also help councils protect residents at particular risk of harm from problem gambling and FOBTs. Lib Dem Group Leader of Cardiff Council Judith Woodman said: "Communities and councils have consistently called for tougher powers to address problems caused by the proliferation of betting shops and FOBTs so I'm delighted that Lib Dems in Government are taking action. This will be a significant step in the right direction. I urge the Government to implement these changes urgently." Local Lib Dem MP for Cardiff Central Jenny Willott said: "The Lib Dems are not anti-bookies; we understand that betting shops can be an important part of local communities that create jobs for local people. However, I also know how concerned lots of people are by clusters of betting shops taking over their local high street. There are also fears that people can lose huge amounts of money very quickly through Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, and may end up turning to payday lenders and loan sharks to pay off debts or fund their gambling. I'm really pleased that the Government is listening to the concerns of local communities and standing up for our high streets." Liberal Democrat Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: "Across the country many people are concerned about the explosion in the number of betting shops in some high streets. We are determined to build a stronger economy and a fairer society with healthy and diverse high streets that aren't dominated by betting shops, this is why the government is now giving councils tough new powers to prevent the proliferation of betting shops in their area." Published and promoted by Cardiff Lib Dems, 38 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AD.Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 1, 2014:
    • Local MP Sarah Teather welcomes action on betting shops (sarahteather)
      Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather has today warmly welcomed the announcement that local communities are to be given more say over new betting shops. Under current rules, betting shops are in the same planning use class as banks and building societies, meaning a betting shop can open without the need for planning permission in buildings where banks have moved out. Over the last six years there has been a surge in the number of bookies that have opened new premises, with most estimates suggesting their numbers are up by a quarter. The 95 betting shops in Brent is the 8th most in the country. The Coalition Government has announced it will consult on plans to create a new planning use class for betting shops - meaning that local communities will get to decide on whether to allow a new betting shop in the same way as any other planning application. Action is also being taken help to tackle the highly sophisticated gaming machines - Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) - increasing taxes on them to ensure bookmakers pay a fairer share of their profits from these machines. The Gambling Commission will also consult on requiring these machines to present players with a choice to set limits on the maximum amount of time or money they want to spend before commencing play. The consultations will take place over the summer, and the new measures are expected to come into force in the autumn. Sarah said: "The increasing number of betting shops we have in our community is very concerning. In some areas of London there are now six bookies per square mile. "I'm therefore really pleased that the Government is planning to give local people the power to stop new betting shops. The action on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals is also hugely important, since FOBTs allow people to gamble up to £300 per minute. "Gambling can be highly addictive and often affects the most vulnerable in society, so I warmly welcome these steps." Commenting, Ibrahim Taguri, Liberal Democrat candidate for Brent Central, said: "One of the issues I get asked about the most on the doorstep is the increasing number of betting shops we have in Brent. Local residents and businesses alike are concerned that are a staggering 95 bookies in the borough. "Labour's Gambling Act 2005 allowed the proliferation of betting shops - many of which have high stakes roulette terminals - in poor areas. There's no doubt that this has had a profoundly negative impact on local communities. "The announcement of new powers for local communities to tackle the spread of bookies is yet more evidence that the Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Brent Central MP stands up for Brent schools (sarahteather)
      Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather has responded to the Government's consultation on fairer funding for schools. Last month, Lib Dem Education Minister David Laws announced an additional £350 million next year for the least fairly funded local areas. As part of this, Brent schools will receive a £13 million funding boost. At present, funding is based on historic levels of spending rather than on the actual characteristics of an area. According to Department for Education statistics, Brent has more children from deprived backgrounds and pupils with English as a second language than the London average. This means Brent schools face extra challenges but do not receive the funding needed to address them. The Department for Education is now consulting on plans to allocate extra funding based on a number of factors, including the number of deprived pupils and pupils with English as a second language. Sarah has submitted a formal response in support of the proposals. Commenting, Sarah said: "The consultation is a chance for the Government to hear why their changes are so important for areas like Brent. "For too long, the funding system has meant local schools have not received the resources they need, to the detriment of local children. "I have campaigned on this issue in Parliament for over 10 years, so I'm really pleased that the Government is making the system fairer." Published and promoted by Sarah Teather and Brent Liberal Democrats, 70 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, London NW2 4RAPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Apr 30, 2014:
    • Annette Brooke MP Raises Concerns on Cuts to Rural Bus Services in Dorset (middorsetlibdems)
      Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole made a speech during an adjournment debate on rural bus services in the House of Commons yesterday. In her speech Annette drew attention to her concerns for the cuts in rural bus services, stating that "we are at crisis point in Dorset" with some villages having to survive on only two bus services a week, with services that do not run at useful times throughout the day or with their bus service being threatened year on year. She highlighted some of the groups that are seriously affected by the cuts; workers who cannot use a car to commute, young people either searching for work, looking to take up apprenticeships or travel to local colleges, and parents and students stranded without safe routes to school; leaving many families and older people concerned as to whether they can remain rurally located as this uncertainty over bus services continues. Annette said she believes that there "must be a certain basic level of service to which people are entitled" and, in particular, that there is "a core service that we need for workers, students and apprentices so that they can access work or their studies, and so that everybody has a future.". She mentioned the current solution of a commercial service in Lytchett Matravers, following hard campaigning by many people, including councillors. She did, however, express concern as to how long the service will last, remarking that "nobody knows" causing "a great deal of uncertainty". To provide these basic services Annette called for longer-term planning. She stated: "We cannot go from year to year with people wondering whether they can stay in the village in which they have lived for many years". She also remarked on the need for parish councils to take the lead in decision-making and provision of services, the need for seminars to be available to show what can be achieved, and the need for the Government to present an overview to ensure best-practice in providing rural bus services is shared. Annette concluded by stressing the importance of providing continuity in rural bus services "so that people can be confident enough to plan their lives around using the bus service", and highlighted the significance of this topic by declaring that "by turning our backs on this problem, we are creating even more rural poverty". She concluded with a plea to the Minister to say "what leadership the Government can give to save our rural bus services and, at the same time, our rural communities." To read debate visit: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140429/debtext/140429-0003.htm#14042952001843 Published and promoted by Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats on behalf of Annette Brooke, 14 York Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8ETPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Apr 29, 2014:
    • MP condemns £150,000 library move (Lorely Burt)
      Shirley Library is set to close for the last time on 3rd May. A replacement library is set to open in the Parkhead development despite over 80% of users who responded to a council survey saying they opposed the move. Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt said, "Residents in Shirley will lose 15% of their library books because Conservative councillors, once again, have ignored their views. "The move to the new library will cost £150,000, money that could have been spent protecting valuable services elsewhere or supporting local businesses. "Unfortunately this is what residents have come to expect from a Conservative council that thinks it always knows best." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • "Give patients their say" - Burt (Lorely Burt)
      STANDING UP FOR LOCAL PATIENTS: Lorely meeting Dr Newbold, Chief Executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust, which runs Solihull Hospital Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt is calling on Heart of England Foundation Trust to consult patients and residents over proposals to close two wards at Solihull Hospital. Mrs Burt has met with Dr Mark Newbold, Chief Executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust, and written to him to request proper consultation on proposals to close wards 10 and 18. Plans to close Ward 10 in March were put on hold for three months following an intervention by local MPs. A final decision on its future is expected in June. Mrs Burt said, "I remain very concerned about the future of dementia services at Ward 10 and I am keen to maintain the pressure to make sure vulnerable patients are protected. "I am aware that Solihull Hospital needs to lose some beds because more patients are being treated at home, which is welcome. "However, their past record for consulting patients and residents has not always been exemplary. I have written to the Chief Executive of the Foundation Trust asking for a proper consultation and I look forward to his reply." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Apr 22, 2014:
    • MP and blindness charities launch joint petition on Solihull Gateway (Lorely Burt)
      STANDIING UP FOR LOCAL BLIND PEOPLE: Lorely gathering signatures for her petition Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt has joined forces with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Guide Dogs, and Action for Blind People to petition the council over its plans for Solihull Gateway. The charities believe the current plans for a 'Shared Space' in which pedestrians and traffic move freely together could endanger blind and partially sighted people. Lib Dem activists launched the joint petition with charity campaigners at a Guide Dogs fund-raising stall on Solihull High Street. They are calling for two crossings on Poplar Road to be preserved to make sure visually impaired people have safe places to cross. Residents can sign the petition online at http://tinyurl.com/lypsp7n. Mrs Burt said, "The plans as they currently stand pose serious risks for people with difficulty seeing. "I very much hope that Conservative councillors will listen to advice from local charities and live up to their responsibilities to vulnerable people in Solihull. "The last thing anyone wants is a preventable accident at the new Solihull Gateway development." Rebecca Swift, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer, said, "If the current proposal to remove this crossing were to go ahead, it would mean that many blind and partially sighted people would no longer be able to navigate this area of Solihull safely and independently. "We are calling on the council to keep the crossing and to ensure that Solihull town centre is as accessible and inclusive as possible." Published and Promoted by Claire O'Kane on behalf of Lorely Burt and the Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats, all at 81 Warwick Road, Solihull, B92 7HPPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY