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St George’s Day Success for Scouts and Guides

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said she was honoured to take part in the annual St George’s Day Parade in Wigan. Hundreds of young people from all over Wigan took part in the event which is organised by the scouts and guides associations to recognise the patron saint of England. There was a large turnout for the event with Wiganers braving the poor weather to share in the celebrations.

Speaking about the event, Lisa said “It’s an honour to be asked to take take part in these celebrations and it’s great to see so many young people turn out to mark the occasion. This was a special year for the cub scouts who were celebrating their 100 years anniversary and that made the event feel even more special than usual.”

The event was also attended by the Mayor of Wigan, Susan Loudon, and Wigan Central Ward Councillors, Michael McLoughlin, Lol Hunt and George Davies.

April 26, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

The Government’s top 10 u-turns on the environment

Its 10 years to the day since David Cameron posed with huskies on the Arctic ice and told reporters “When I think about climate change and our response to it, I don’t think of doom and gloom, costs and sacrifice. I think of a cleaner, greener world for our children to enjoy and inherit.”

So it’s pretty ironic that today Conservative MPs have voted to block wind farms, even where they enjoy strong local support. Shutting down all support for wind energy in Britain is just the latest u-turn from the self-proclaimed “greenest government ever.”

To mark ten years since his husky photo op, I’ve pulled together the Prime Minister’s top 10 green U-turns.

1. Privatised the Green Investment Bank without protecting its special green status

Ministers are currently seeking to sell off the bank and abolish the rules that would ensure all its investments are in green technologies. It could leave our “Green Investment Bank” free to invest in fossil fuels like fracking.

2. Scrapped zero-carbon homes pledge to ensure new homes are warm homes

New dwellings from 2016 will not have to generate as much energy on site through renewable sources, such as wind or solar power, as they would use in heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation.

3. Cut solar subsidies with more than 18000 jobs at risk

Subsidies for solar have been cut by 64% and tax relief for community clean energy projects has been abolished. The government has admitted this could lead to more than 18600 job losses.

4. Blocked any new wind farms, even where they enjoy local support

New onshore windfarms will not receive subsidies after 2016. Even wind farms that enjoy strong local support will effectively be blocked from going ahead.

5. Taxed renewables

£910m-a-year raid has been made on the renewable energy sector by imposing a carbon tax even on non-polluting projects. A major new tax raid on solar and home insulation is still being considered.

6. Taxed low-emission cars

Tax exemptions for low-emission cars have been scrapped.

7. Subsidised highly polluting diesel

Our cash is being thrown at highly polluting diesel generators through generous subsidies paid for through higher energy bills.

8. Broken a 10-year promise to invest in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology

The £1 billion fund to support cutting edge new technology that captures carbon emissions has been scrapped.

9. Stripped away safeguards to reduce the environmental risks of fracking and green-lighted fracking under National Parks

Ministers have u-turned on their pre-election promise to voters to stop fracking in sensitive parts of the countryside like National Parks, and near drinking water sources.

10. Slashed investment in home insulation

Investment in home insulation has been cut by more than half resulting in higher energy bills for millions of households.

10 years ago the Tories told us to Vote Blue, Go Green. What a sorry legacy they will leave.

 

(This article is replicated from a post on LabourList which can be viewed here)

April 21, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Changes to Rail Services ‘A Kick in the Teeth for Commuters’

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has labelled proposed changes to rail services in Wigan as “a kick in the teeth for commuters” and said she is working with other MPs in the region to make Arriva think again.

Arriva Rail North announced major changes to services from Gathurst and Appley Bridge into Manchester almost immediately after being handed a huge contract to run train services as part of the Northern Franchise for the next 9 years.

The proposed changes to rail services, which are due to take effect from December next year, have prompted an angry response from commuters in Wigan and Appley Bridge, with passenger groups stating that the proposals will leave many people in Wigan struggling to get to work on time and on a direct route. Passengers have also expressed concern as the official handover to Arriva was completed at almost exactly the same time as the company was removed from the Tyne and Wear Metro service for poor performance.

This is not the first time Arriva has run into such difficulties having recently lost the contract to run patient transport across Greater Manchester after being fined £1.5 million for misreporting performance standards and receiving 600 complaints in 2014 alone.

Wigan MP Lisa has said she is working with other MPs in the region, including the MP for West Lancashire and the MP for Southport, to make Arriva think again. Speaking about the disruption to passengers, Lisa said: “The decision to reroute the Southport to Piccadilly service to Victoria instead will cause huge disruption for commuters in Wigan who travel to Deansgate, Oxford Road or Piccadilly.  The majority of people use the line to get to Piccadilly and they will either have to travel to Victoria or change trains at Bolton, adding around 20 minutes onto an already long journey to work.

“The proposal is another kick in the teeth for commuters who have to brave expensive, overcrowded and irregular services every day. What’s worse, we are paying through the nose for it. The government handed Arriva over £1.79bn of our money to provide this service and Ministers told us it would ‘bring the Northern Powerhouse to life’.  The Transport Secretary said it would help the North ‘realise its economic potential’ and provide ‘a better service to customers’. Now our services are under threat, it seems he has very little left to say.

“The history of Wigan is inextricably linked to the railways. This town has played a vital role in building and sustaining our rail network. It’s part of our history, of working men and women, who have helped create the infrastructure that has built this country’s wealth. Instead of a service befitting of that proud history, rail passengers have had to put up with price hikes, overcrowding and ancient rolling stock that is not fit for purpose.

“Rail companies have to know they will be held accountable for the decisions they make and I will continue to work with the passenger groups and rail staff fighting to maintain properly staffed trains and stations and to bring rail services into public hands to ensure they are run for the people, not for private profit.”

April 12, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy urges local business to follow example of Kings Quality Foods

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has visited Kings Quality Foods, an accredited Voluntary Living Wage employer, to discuss the Voluntary Living Wage and why they signed up last year. Kings is well known in WIgan and has come a long way since the company’s humble beginnings on a stall in Wigan market over 100 years ago, to today’s new state of the art factory.

Managing Director John Hamer said: “Here at Kings we are more than happy to support Lisa’s campaign to urge local businesses in Wigan to sign up to the Voluntary National Living Wage. Over the last 18 months Kings has gone through rapid growth and transition. Our belief is that we couldn’t have done this without the dedication and hard work of our staff and they deserve a pay packet which reflects that. Times are tough and to be able to give our workforce a wage that they can live off, one which goes above the basic need, is something which is extremely important to us.”

Lisa Nandy MP said: “Kings Quality Foods is a great family business that prides itself on paying staff the living wage and treating them well at work. It’s so important for Wigan to have businesses like this who put money back into the pockets of working people and help to boost our local economy. Businesses like Kings Quality Foods who pay the living wage find it easier to keep good staff and boost productivity. I hope more local businesses and public services will follow their example and become an accredited living wage employer.”

March 30, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Nandy Demands ‘Fairer Funding for Wigan’

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has called on the Chancellor to use the budget in March to make sure Wigan gets a fairer funding deal after new figures revealed the unfairness of the Tory Government’s cuts to council budgets.

According to new Labour research, Wigan will have lost £363 per household in spending power by 2020. Meanwhile, wealthier areas will see an increase in spending after George Osborne handed hundreds of millions of pounds to wealthy Tory councils ahead of this May’s council elections.

The Tories have handed wealthy areas like South Cambridgeshire an increase of £14 per household while Wigan and other Greater Manchester councils suffer from yet more cuts.

Councils have been cut to the bone since 2010 and while Government ministers said they would protect funding, research based on the Government’s own figures show they are cutting harder than ever but protecting the wealthiest.

Lisa Nandy MP said:

“The Tories promised to be a One Nation government but everyone can see they are taking from the poor to give to the rich. Local services are at risk because of the decisions made by Tory ministers who hope people won’t see through their hollow promises.

“For all the Government’s talk of a Northern Powerhouse, the reality is more and deeper cuts in the North with services under threat.”

March 7, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Application for strip club denied

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has welcomed the decision to deny an application to open a second strip club in Wigan. The application had been filed for a premises on Rodney Street, just yards from an existing establishment on King Street. Lisa spoke out against the application and submitted an objection after being contacted by local people who were concerned at the prospect of another strip club operating in the town centre.

Speaking about the decision, Lisa said: “This welcome decision will come as a relief to many people in Wigan who have contacted me about anti-social behaviour on King Street and the surrounding area. It will help the Council’s ambitions of making Wigan Town Centre more family-friendly in the evenings and boosting the aspirations of girls in the Wigan Borough through their Believe In Her campaign.”

March 7, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Tories accused of ‘stitch-up’ as Wigan misses out on cash for councils

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has accused the Government of a stitch-up after the Chancellor handed hundreds of millions of pounds to the wealthiest Tory councils to ease the pain of spending cuts – but offered nothing to Wigan.

Wigan has suffered the third highest spending cuts in the country, with £110 million a year removed from its budget since 2010, but has received nothing at all in today’s announcement.  Meanwhile, leafy Surrey – one of England’s wealthiest shires – today gets a hand-out of £24m despite suffering far fewer cuts in recent years.

Tory MPs became alarmed when they realised their areas might soon see cuts similar to those imposed on the rest of the country.  They threatened to vote down the Government’s planned cuts until Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced a £300 million ‘transitional grant’.  The Government have refused to say where the extra money comes from.

Labour analysis shows that £255 million of the grant – 85% – goes to Tory councils. Areas where Labour runs the council receive just £17 million, despite suffering the harshest cuts since 2010 and having higher levels of deprivation.

Lisa Nandy MP said:

“This is a complete stitch up by the Tories to reduce opposition to cuts in their local areas. Wigan Council and other local authorities in the north have had the biggest cuts to their budgets but won’t get a penny of this money, while the wealthiest councils like Surrey and Oxfordshire will get millions. It shows just how little this government thinks of people in Wigan and makes a complete mockery of the Chancellor’s northern powerhouse and the Prime Minister’s claim that we’re all in this together.”

Steve Reed MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said:

“The Government is covering up where this money has come from and won’t explain why almost all of it is being handed to Tory councils just weeks before council elections across the country.

“Councils that have already been cut to the bone since 2010 are getting nothing but more cuts. The Tories have picked millions of pounds from taxpayer’s pockets to buy off their own MPs when faced with a rebellion in the House of Commons.

“This is a blatant misuse of public money in a shameless attempt to buy votes and buy off Tory MPs.”

February 11, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment on Wednesday, in doing so pledging her commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.

Wednesday 27th January marked the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

After signing the Book of Commitment, Lisa Nandy MP said:

“We must never forget the acts of inhumanity perpetrated by the Nazis, or be complacent about anti-Semitism and prejudice in Britain today. Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to teach our children about the atrocities that took place and tell the stories of the six million people who had their lives taken from them in death camps like Auschwitz. By taking the time to remember those who died and promoting a message of common humanity we reduce the chances of such evil acts being repeated in future.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“We are proud that Lisa Nandy MP is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. As we mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the concentration camps, it is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.

January 27, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Lodges Objection to New Strip Club on Rodney Street

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has lodged an objection with Wigan Council in relation to an application for a new strip club on Rodney Street. Lisa’s letter makes reference to a recent decision by Wigan Council to clamp down on alcohol licences in and around King Street due to persistent levels of anti-social behaviour and criminality.

Lisa’s letter to the council states: “I fully support the decision of Wigan Council to restrict the availability of alcohol licences and believe that a decision to grant a licence for a second sexual entertainment venue, with the ability to serve alcohol until 6am, would severely undermine the Council’s efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour and criminality in the town centre and place an unnecessary strain on police resources.”

The full text of the letter is copied below:

I am writing to object to the application for a sexual entertainment venue licence at 4-6 Rodney Street, Wigan. The basis for my objection is the location of the premises, near to an existing sexual entertainment venue, Baby Platinum, on King Street and the potential for an additional sexual entertainment venue to increase anti-social behaviour in an area of the town centre already under significant strain.

Since Baby Platinum has been in operation, there have been press reports of increased incidences of prostitution on King Street. I am concerned that the granting of a second licence for a sexual entertainment venue in very close proximity to Baby Platinum would further exacerbate this problem.

Wigan Council has recently introduced a Cumulative Impact Policy in the vicinity of King Street. This decision was taken in light of the significant level of anti-social behaviour persistently occurring on King Street and the surrounding areas. The premises for which the sexual entertainment licence is being sought already holds an alcohol licence so the Cumulative Impact Policy will be powerless to restrict the sale of alcohol.

I fully support the decision of Wigan Council to restrict the availability of alcohol licences and believe that a decision to grant a licence for a second sexual entertainment venue, with the ability to serve alcohol until 6am, would severely undermine the Council’s efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour and criminality in the town centre and place an unnecessary strain on police resources.

I would also like to object to the application to vary condition 30 (g) of the Council’s Sex Establishment Policy.

Prior to lodging this objection I sought advice from officers in Wigan Council’s Licensing Section who clarified that the Council’s Sex Establishment Policy rejects the premise of full nudity in sex establishments. Given that the Council felt this was important enough to make clear in the Sex Establishment Policy, I do not believe there is any justification for departing from it, whether for economic or other reasons.

I understand that the decision to grant a variation of the Council’s policy on conditions relating to permitted activities in sexual entertainment venues, specifically the requirement of condition 30 (g) for performers to wear a G-String at all times, does not create a precedent and that all applications must be judged on a case by case basis.

I am also aware that many other local authorities have rejected similar applications in relation to full nudity and I fully support Wigan Council in taking the same approach, as set out in its Sex Establishment Policy.

I would be grateful for a written acknowledgement that my objection will be formally lodged with the committee and I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Nandy MP

January 11, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy Slams Latest Rail Fare Rises

Labour call for renationalisation as Wiganers hit by 25 per cent increase since 2010

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has hit out at Tory Minister’s and train operators as new figures emerged showing that commuters are now paying an average of 25 per cent more for their train fares as the latest round of price increases came into force this week.

Figures show that the cost of an annual season ticket from Wigan to Preston has risen by £268 or 25 per cent since 2010. Lisa Nandy MP said: “This is another blow for passengers in Wigan who have been hit again and again by rail fare rises which have far outstripped any increases in people’s pay packets.

“Many people in Wigan rely on the railways and because of the Tory Government’s refusal to get a grip on the train companies people are now paying over £268 more every year. They will rightly wonder why they’re being asked to pay more for what is too often an unreliable, overcrowded commute on aging trains every day.

“Labour’s policy is to bring the railways back into public ownership so they can be run for passengers not profit. That means fairer fares, investment in a 21st century railway and giving passengers a stronger voice.”

January 6, 2016 By : Category : News 0 Comment