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Job Losses at Betfred

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has issued the following statement regarding the announcement of job losses at Betfred:

“Today’s announcement of job losses at Betfred is deeply disappointing. It comes only a few years after the company bid to take over the Tote, during which time they were keen to express their strong support for Wigan and the staff based here.

“Many of the staff at the site have worked for the Tote for many years and have been the backbone of the business. For the company to refuse to honour the terms of their original contracts is a betrayal of hardworking staff who deserve better. The workforce have my full backing as they consider the options available to them, including legal action.”

ENDS

November 20, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Britannia Hotel: Update

The Wigan Evening Post reported last week that the Britannia Hotel in Standish is being used by Serco to house asylum seekers while their claims are being processed by the Home Office. Serco are a private company who the Government pay to find accommodation for people while their application for asylum is being decided.

The use of hotel accommodation by Serco is both surprising and troubling. Hotels are an inappropriate place to house refugees who have fled torture and persecution, isolating them from the community in which they are hoping to integrate. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work while their claims are being investigated and they are given a very small allowance, around £5 a day, to spend on food and items like washing up powder, soap and other essentials. There are no cooking or laundry facilities in hotel rooms and so getting access to a hot meal and washing clothes are often difficult for refugees housed in hotel accommodation, and can become very overcrowded.

Back in July the Council raised concerns with me about the use of inappropriate accommodation by Serco and the Home Office. In response I wrote to the Home Secretary and I have had to write several times since in order to get a response that addresses the situation in Standish. I asked her to consider the unsuitability of this accommodation for refugees and the importance of involving the community in any decision to use the Britannia Hotel as a temporary facility for asylum seekers. The Immigration Minister, in his most recent reply, has still not addressed these concerns and I have been forced to write again. I am deeply unimpressed by their slow and casual response.

In their response, Serco have told me they are not spending additional public money on housing asylum seekers at the Britannia and are using their existing Home Office funding to do so. They have not provided me with any further information about whether they consider this accommodation to provide good value for money, nor to explain why they have not made any effort to discuss this with the local community.

Neither Serco, nor the Home Office, consulted the Police, local residents or local MPs before the decision was taken to use the Britannia Hotel. They did not contact local charities either, even though charities like SWAP do so much work supporting new arrivals in Wigan. I have been in touch with all of these agencies, and local residents, and asked that Serco meet with us to address these concerns.

Throughout this process there has, to my knowledge, been no attempt by Serco or the Home Office to communicate with the public. Meanwhile a group of people online have tried to claim that there are economic migrants at the hotel, that they have broken into a church and that they have committed other crimes. The Police, and the Methodist Church in question have confirmed that these allegations are completely untrue.

It is sad to see far right groups try to exploit vulnerable people for their own political ends. Those same groups have also used the recent terrorist attacks in Paris to try to whip up hatred towards people seeking safety in the UK. They do not want the public to know that the refugees fleeing Syria are running from the same murderous group of people that attacked and killed 129 people in Paris at the weekend. ISIL are our common enemy, and we must unite to oppose and defeat them, not attack their victims.

November 18, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Honoured to Pay Respects on Remembrance Sunday

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has said she was honoured to join the crowds of people paying their respects on Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in Wigan. Speaking about the huge turnout, Lisa said:

“It was a real honour to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Wigan yesterday to mark Remembrance Sunday. Every year it’s moving to see hundreds of people turn out to show respect and gratitude to the men and women from Wigan who have given their lives in war. Thank you to everyone who came along.”

November 9, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa’s Speech to Labour Party Conference

Conference, it’s a pleasure to address you this morning in my first speech to Labour Party conference.

And what an honour to follow in the footsteps of a fearless champion for consumers and the environment – Caroline Flint.

I start this job at a time when the stakes could not be higher.

Energy is the backbone of our economy.

How we source and fund our energy determines the jobs we do, the lives we can afford to lead, and the success of our businesses.

But it is also one of our greatest challenges.

Affordable, reliable energy matters to working people here and across the world. But the pollution caused by our existing energy system poses one of the greatest risks to our health, our wellbeing and our collective future.

The transition to clean energy is one of the biggest challenges this country has ever faced.

It’s comparable in scale to the industrial revolution.

And it requires the same shared determination and collective will to act that helped us to rebuild Britain after the war.

It demands that we draw on the creativity, innovation and talent that Britain has to offer.

But it also demands leadership.

With our historic global ties, our dynamism and our expertise, it’s a leadership Britain is uniquely placed to offer. But instead, our ministers are failing our people at home, and they’re trashing our historic legacy of international leadership.

Only this week Al Gore said:

“It is time for the UK government to honour and live up to that legacy, and return to its global leadership position, domestically and abroad.”

Conference, he’s right. It is a British legacy.

And it’s a Labour legacy.

And I am not prepared to let it go without a fight.

Because it was John Prescott who, in his own unique way, banged heads together at Kyoto to create the world’s first legally binding climate treaty.

And it was Ed Miliband who worked patiently through set back after set back to push for a new global climate change deal fit for the challenges we now face.

And now here we are, at this critical moment in history, where for the first time the world’s largest economies are on threshold of an agreement.

The Paris Summit in December can be historic. It can give an absolutely transformational signal to investors and businesses around the world that the age of polluting energy is over, and that the transition to a new, clean, energy model is inevitable, irreversible, universal.

Paris can build on Labour’s Climate Change Act and return us to the negotiating table every five years, increasing our efforts, until the job is done.

Conference we should be proud that the UK and its Labour Government helped build the road to Paris.

But this part we’ve played, as a global force for higher ambition, is in danger of becoming the story of our past, not the story of our future.

Under David Cameron, Britain’s influence abroad has diminished quicker than at any period in living memory.

It’s left us relegated to the margins of the global conversation, while others set the agenda and the pace.

Their refusal to look outwards has undermined our ability to tackle shared global challenges. From climate change to the movement of refugees it is co-operation not isolation that will allow us to shape and own the future.

Other nations are already investing in the future.

In China, the government is taking bold steps to reduce dirty coal and invest in renewable energy because its billions of citizens urgently need an end to chronic air-pollution.

In India, the government is pioneering clean tech innovation using solar energy to connect millions of people to light and power for the first time.

George Osborne insists our economic future lies in trade with these countries – and yet he has turned his back on our own wind and solar industries.

But what if we could build a new clean energy system that would reduce our dependence on imported fuel, create the skilled, well-paid jobs we so badly need, and bring down sky-high energy bills?

It would mean a dramatic change of course.

The actions of this government have left the poorest households in Britain paying six times more of their disposable income on green taxes than the richest.

This is a national scandal.

But Conference, don’t let them tell us we can’t heat our homes and protect the environment.

Of course we can.

By minimising the costs of going green, sharing those costs fairly, and capturing the industrial benefits to improve the lives of working people.

The guiding principle of our energy plan is the pursuit of social justice.

The Tory manifesto promised to “cut carbon emissions as cheaply as possible.”

But what have they done instead?

Ruled out using more of the cheapest low-carbon power available to us, from wind farms, even where there is strong local support.

Pulled the rug out from under the British solar industry just at the moment that solar power is on the cusp of offering cheap, subsidy-free energy.

Wasted billions on an energy efficiency plan that failed to insulate the homes of our pensioners and poorest families.

And negotiated a deal that will leave us paying over the odds, for decades, to subsidise Chinese and French companies for a nuclear power station on course to be the most expensive ever built anywhere in the world.

It’s been estimated that it will cost bill payers more than the 2012 Olympic Games, Heathrow Terminal 2, and Cross Rail combined.

All of this less than six months since David Cameron promised he would “keep bills as low as possible.”

Conference the Tories’ energy policy isn’t just putting the security of household budgets at risk, but our economic security too.

Our green economy has been outstripping the growth of the UK economy by a factor of more than three to one.

But just this month, the head of the CBI warned that “from the roll back of renewables to the mixed messages on energy efficiency, these changes send a worrying signal about the UK as a place for low-carbon investment.“

Last month we learned that for the first time ever the UK no longer ranks among the top 10 countries in the world to invest in clean energy.

A British industrial success story deliberately put at risk by a Chancellor pandering to his backbenchers even when skilled British jobs are on the line.

Family security. Economic security.

And now we face an energy security crisis.

This winter British energy reserves will be at such low levels we could be forced to buy in emergency supplies.

Once again families and businesses ripped off because of energy decisions beyond their control.

Well we want to put people back in charge.

But Jeremy and I don’t want to nationalise energy.

We want to do something far more radical. We want to democratise it.

There should be nothing to stop every community in this country owning its own clean energy power station.

Across the country schools are already taking the initiative and going solar. Generating power and heat for their own use.

With the right support, community-based energy companies and cooperatives could be a new powerhouse, and a path to a more secure energy future.

Labour in local government is already leading the way, effectively bypassing the big six entirely.

Labour leaders in Nottingham have created their own city energy company to cut bills and go green.

Oldham is spearheading collective switching schemes.

Cardiff is rolling out cutting-edge smart technologies to cut demand because the cheapest power is the power that isn’t used.

Your new frontbench team – Alan Whitehead, Barry Gardiner, Clive Lewis, Harry Harpham, Bryony Worthington, John Grantchester and I, are determined to work with other towns and cities to follow the lead these trail blazers have established.

To work with our local government leaders to push for a clean energy boom in our great cities.

Because our city and county regions can lead the world. They can point the way towards a safer, brighter, more secure future. To be the light on the hill for all of us who care about the cost of our energy – to our family budgets, our businesses and our environment.

Let’s not wait for this government. Because let’s face it, we’d be waiting forever. Let’s seize the initiative and put power into our own hands.

The transformation of the way our world powers its economy – how we turn on every light, how we drive every car, how we heat our homes and keep our phones and computers running – is already one of the great stories of human endeavour.

We want it to be a story people across Britain can be proud of.

We want the names of British inventors and companies stamped on wind-turbines, solar panels, and electric cars.

We want our people to own a stake in this future, and to feel proud of the contribution they have made towards the safety and wellbeing of our children, and the health of our planet.

We want secure, affordable, energy, designed, built and owned by the people of our country, drawing on inspiration from around the world.

Conference, at this historic moment, let’s change the story the Tories are writing.

Let’s make this a Labour story, a British story. Of how we can be leaders, innovators and own the future. And most of all, let’s tell it together.

October 6, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Appointed to the Shadow Cabinet

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has been appointed as the new Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary. Speaking about her appointment, Lisa said:

“I am hugely looking forward to working alongside my colleagues in the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Climate change, fracking and high energy bills matter hugely to people across Wigan and it’s a privilege to be able to give them a national voice.”

September 15, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Launches Petition Demanding Government do More to Help Refugees

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has launched a petition calling on the Government to “stand up for Britain’s long tradition of helping refugees fleeing war”.

You can sign the petition by clicking here.

September 15, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Pay As You Feel Cafe Issues Call For Volunteers

Fur Clemt serves up over 1,000 meals in first month at new home

The Fur Clemt cafe has issued a call for extra volunteers after serving over 1,000
people in a month. Fur Clemt was first set up last year in Wigan Town Centre,
offering a wide range of hot, nutritious meals on a pay as you feel basis and is a
collaboration between The Brick, Food Positive and Wigan Parish Church as part of the Transforming Wigan Project.

This year, the project is at Central Park on Montrose Avenue after being given a
home by the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation. The café has already handled over 1,660kg of food, donated by suppliers, which would otherwise have gone to landfill.

All of the staff at Fur Clemt are volunteers and the project simply could not run
without the help it gets from members of the community. Ann Fairhurst was
involved with the project from the beginning and is helping to manage the project
this year.

Speaking about the need for extra volunteers, Ann said:

“I grew up on a council estate and I thought I knew what was going on but it’s not
until you sit down with people and listen to their stories you realise just how hard
it is for people at the moment. We couldn’t survive without our volunteers and it is great to work with people who share our passion for the community and for
reducing food waste.

Shirley Southworth has been involved with the project from the outset, she added:

“We always need more voluntary support, so if anyone has some spare time and
would like to come down to help out, we would make them very welcome. We also
teach important skills to our volunteers which can help with job prospects so it’s a
win-win for everybody.”

Following a visit to the café last week, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said:

“At a time when many people in Wigan are going hungry, it is really inspiring to see so many people giving up their time to get stuck in and making a real difference. I would encourage anyone who is able to pop down and take a look for themselves.”

Anyone who wants to find out more about Fur Clemt and how they can get involved can call either Ann Fairhust on 07710 822824 or Shirley Southworth on 07727 057129.

August 27, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Nandy Calls for Real Reform of the Railways

The announcement that rail fares will rise again in January 2016 means that passengers in Wigan have been hit by a cost increase of 25 per cent since 2010.

The new fare rises will come into effect on January 2nd 2016. Figures released today show that the cost of an annual season ticket from Wigan to Preston has risen by £269 or 25 per cent since 2010.

Rail Minister, Claire Perry, was criticised last year after she said that passengers should “start to realise that they are paying fair fares for comfortable commuting.”

Overall passenger satisfaction has declined since 2010 and in some areas commuters have faced ‘stealth fare rises’ of up to 162 per cent.

Commenting, Lisa Nandy MP said:

“Passengers in Wigan are paying more and more each year to travel on increasingly overcrowded and unreliable trains. Out of touch Ministers may say that this is a fair deal for passengers but this is a world away from the services people in Wigan have to put up with.

“The cost of rail fares has risen much faster than wages and our railways need real reform to ensure the needs of passengers come first.”

August 20, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Statement on Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Following last night’s vote on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, Lisa has received a number of queries asking how she voted.

Lisa said “I am currently on maternity leave in Wigan looking after my 11 week old baby and for that reason I was not in Westminster for last night’s vote.

“I firmly believe the Welfare Reform and Work Bill is a bad piece of legislation that will make life harder for people in and out of work, and push more children into poverty.

“I am deeply opposed to attempts to change the definition of child poverty and when I return to Parliament after the summer recess I will be taking up this fight against a Government who have knowingly made choices that have left a quarter of all children in Wigan growing up in poverty.

“I would never support a measure that pushes more children into poverty and unless this government abandons its plans I will vote against this Bill when it reaches third reading.”

July 21, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa: Decision on Fox Hunting a Victory for Campaigners

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has expressed her gratitude to Wiganers following the Government’s decision to shelve a vote on repealing the ban on fox hunting.

Speaking about the campaign to save the ban, Lisa said she had been expecting a big response from Wiganers when the vote was announced but was amazed at the number of people who contacted her:

“Hundreds of Wiganers contacted me as soon as the vote was announced, and in the last few weeks I’ve had more people contact me about this issue than any other in five years, almost unanimous in their opposition to the attempt to reinstate hunting with dogs.

“The decision to postpone the vote is a victory for all of those campaigners but we cannot be complacent if we are to ensure this cruel and wicked sport is to be permanently resigned to the history books where it belongs.  If, as expected, Cameron tries again in the autumn, I’ll vote to keep the ban and I hope other MPs will too.”

The Government’s attempts to reinstate hunting with dogs is at odds with public opinion on the issue with survey after survey showing strong levels of public support for the ban in every region of the country.

Lisa said the Government had more important things to focus on and should drop any future attempts to repeal: “At a time when there are millions of families struggling to put food on the table here at home, when we need to be working alongside our international partners to tackle the threat of extremism both at home and abroad, Ministers should not be planning to give precious parliamentary time to repeal this cruel bloodsport, against the public’s wishes.”

July 21, 2015 By : Category : News 0 Comment