Wigan chef tastes success with his curry recipes

Curry lovers, foodies and regular customers gathered in Wigan to celebrate the success of Chef Syeduz Zaman Kamran of The India Lounge Restaurant, who was selected to represent Britain at the Taste of Britain Curry Festival held at Slovenia.

Chef Kamran was part of the ‘Taste of Britain Curry Festival’ challenge in Ljubljana, Slovenia and he was among the ‘Magnificent Seven British Curry Chefs’ selected nationally by the UK based Curry Life Magazine.

Mr Zoeb Ali, Business Partner and the Restaurant Manager at the India Lounge, Vauxhall Road, Wigan, Lancashire, organised a celebration dinner in recognition of the achievements of his talented chef.

Over two hundred invited guests joined the celebration, including the Local Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Children, Lisa Nandy, who was there to congratulate the chef and his team.

MP Lisa Nandy said: “I congratulate Chef Kamran on this great success and I am very impressed by his accomplishments. His food is exceptional and I am very honoured to have been invited. Mr Kamran is an excellent Chef and he did all of Wigan proud by being selected to represent our British curry at this festival.”

The aim of the festival is to showcase the ‘Taste of British Curry’ and the work of some of the most creative British Curry Chefs.

Chef Kamran said: “It was a great experience. Cooking is my passion and the whole experience gave inspired me.”

Photo Chef Kamran, Lisa Nandy MP and Mr Zoeb Ali, Restaurant Manager, India Lounge.

June 12, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment


Wigan MP Lisa Nandy was involved in a political heave-ho of a different nature when she took part in Macmillan Cancer Support’s 26th annual Parliamentary Tug of War last night.

Making her Tug of War debut, Lisa was joined by fellow MPs Gloria De Piero and Caroline Dinenage as they pitted their strength against the might of the Macmillan Nurses at the charity event, which raised over £100,000 to support people affected by cancer.

Keen to reverse last year’s defeat and recover all-important bragging rights, despite a valiant display of brawn the Macmillan team proved a force to be reckoned with and took home the title.

After doing battle Lisa said: “I really enjoyed taking part in Macmillan’s Parliamentary Tug of War; sadly we were well beaten by the nurses, but we’ll be back next year to avenge the defeat!

I was delighted to have the chance to support such a worthwhile cause, the work that Macmillan does is outstanding and the money raised will help support some of the two million people living with cancer.”

The event attracted a host of colourful characters with the BBC’s James Landale commentating on the evening’s matches. The pride of the Commons was salvaged as the MPs convincingly beat a Lords team and other contests saw tugs between rival city firms, the military vs emergency services and even a media pull between Westminster journalists and bloggers.

June 12, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Tables EDM To Celebrate Latics Victory

Following Wigan’s march to Wembley and their historic FA Cup Final victory. Wigan’s MP Lisa Nandy has tabled a House of Commons Early Day motion to invite politicians from across the political divide to recognise the Latics fantastic achievement.

The EDM sponsored by Lisa and supported by the Borough’s MP’s Yvonne Fovargue and Andy Burnham reads:

‘This House congratulates Wigan Athletic for their historic victory in the FA Cup Final, notes the significant efforts of the team’s players, the manager Roberto Martinez and the owner Dave Whelan in ensuring Wigan Athletic were triumphant, and thanks the people of Wigan for getting behind their club and for always believing, despite the odds, that victory was possible.’

Lisa said: “Since the Final I’ve been overwhelmed by the support the whole country has shown for the Latics’ victory. They played brilliantly and thoroughly deserved to win.

“The atmosphere at Wembley was just amazing. It’s only fitting to mark this historic victory with a national tribute giving thanks to everyone who made it happen, including the fans whose unwavering support has put Wigan on the map.”

Andy said: “Whatever the future holds, the Latics will forever now hold a place in football folklore after this incredible achievement.

“Just as impressive as the victory was the manner in which it was achieved. This side played with power, pace and pride throughout the competition – as I saw to my own cost at Goodison Park. In an era when money has taken over the game, it was refreshing to see players with pride in the shirt and connected to the community.

“It was great to see how the whole of the borough got behind them. I know I wasn’t the only person in Leigh celebrating when Ben’s header went in!

“The whole club, from the Chairman and Manager downwards, conducted themselves with class throughout and did our area proud. It’s is only right that the borough’s MPs should recognise the scale of the club’s achievement, and the benefits it will bring our area, by tabling this motion.”

Yvonne said: “Victory against Man City at Wembley – will go down as one of the greatest Cup Final upsets ever, but it was no upset. Wigan were the better team because they played with real desire and belief. Their victory was no fluke and the players created a lifetime of memories for fans and gave our Borough global exposure. The team did us proud!”

June 4, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Nandy MP gets in the frame for Foster Care Fortnight

Wigan MP and Shadow Children’s Minister Lisa Nandy has put herself in the frame to encourage constituents across the borough to consider becoming foster carers to some of the area’s most vulnerable children.

Foster Care Fortnight, the annual awareness campaign run by the largest UK fostering charity the Fostering Network, is aiming to support fostering services across the UK in recruiting 9,000 new foster families to provide homes to the rising number of children coming into care.

This year the campaign runs from 13 to 26 May.

Lisa said: “We have a huge shortage of foster carers across the country and far too many children wait too long for a loving home. Foster carers come from all sorts of backgrounds and can make a massive difference for children. If you feel you might have what it takes, now is the time to put yourself in the frame.”

Robert Tapsfield, Chief Executive of the Fostering Network, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Lisa has put herself in the frame for Foster Care Fortnight.”

If you think that you have the skills to foster, find your local fostering service by visiting Visit the Fostering Network’s online gallery at see the full range of those who have put themselves in the frame for this year’s Foster Care Fortnight.

May 20, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Wigan’s A&E shines bright

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has criticised the Coalition Government for cutting nurses and putting patients’ lives at risk as figures show that major A&E units across the North West are struggling and have consistently missed their waiting times targets over the last six months.

Staffing shortages across the NHS have left A&E departments over-stretched and under severe pressure, with reports of ambulances queuing outside and patients left on trolleys for hours on end.

The North West has lost 1,105 nurses since May 2010 and data published by the new NHS England body shows that the target of 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours has been missed by A&E units across the region.

Bucking the trend was Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Hospital which met the target in 21 of the 26 weeks to April 2013. When contrasted with neighbouring A&E locations at Bolton (10 weeks) and Warrington (14 weeks) Wigan’s MP has paid tribute to the management and staff at the Royal Albert Edward Hospital in being the best performing A&E department during this period.

Lisa Nandy MP said: “It is completely unacceptable that people are queuing for emergency care in ambulances, waiting rooms and hospital corridors because of this Coalition’s sweeping cuts and chaotic reforms. This is a Government that simply cannot be trusted with the NHS.

“Despite Coalition Government attempts to swing a wrecking-ball through the health service, the people of Wigan are rightly proud that their hospital still has one of the best performing A&E Departments.

“It is a tribute to Wigan’s nurses, doctors and hospital staff that we have such a good local service and I have promised them I will fight to protect it in the months ahead.”

May 20, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Nandy MP calls on local schools to take part in My Money Week

Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, has called on local schools to take part in My Money Week (3 to 9 June), giving pupils the chance to learn more about money and personal finance.  Every primary and secondary school in Wigan is being given the chance to take part for free in My Money Week, which has returned for its fifth year thanks to a new partnership between national charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) and Barclays.

My Money Week will improve young people’s financial skills, knowledge and confidence through special lessons, activities and debates in schools and other settings across the UK.  Teachers in Wigan can order a free Activity Pack, developed by pfeg, full of creative and engaging financial resources and ideas for how to deliver financial education to young people, from the age of four up to 19.  Young people in Wigan can also take part in the ‘A-Z of Money’, a national competition challenging them to learn more about money through creative writing.

Lisa Nandy MP said: “I am delighted to lend my support to My Money Week, money and personal finance are a vital ingredient to our lives and understanding from an early age gives young people a better chance of staying out of the hands of pay day or doorstep lenders in the future. Sound money management skills will give young people a great start to their early life.”

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Lisa Nandy MP in promoting My Money Week this year, and I hope all schools in Wigan will seize the opportunity to take part through our free activity pack, advice and support.”

My Money Week 2013 will also raise awareness of Barclays’ flagship UK community programme, Barclays Money Skills, and provide opportunities for Barclays employees to share their financial expertise and skills with young people in teacher-led My Money Week activities in local schools.  In addition, this year will see extra resources targeted towards disadvantaged young people in both the school environment and the wider community.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO UK and Retail Business Banking at Barclays, said:  “It has never been more important for young people, particularly those who are vulnerable, to be able to access the support they need to learn about money. Having sound financial skills and being confident in managing money is critical to everyday living and achieving future goals.”

Teachers in Wigan can pre-order their free My Money Week Activity Packs at

May 10, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Workers Memorial Day

Mayday is International Workers’ Memorial Day and we marked it in Wigan with a piper-led procession through Mesnes Park and the laying of wreaths to remember those who have died or been seriously injured at work. Mesnes Park, which lies on the site of several mine shafts, was a fitting place to commemorate so many people who died or were injured in the mining industry.

Last year 173 people died at work in the UK – 25 of them in the North West, and every year over 20,000 people die prematurely because of work. Construction and agriculture have replaced mining as the riskiest industries in the UK. Thanks to better health and safety laws and better enforcement the number of people dying at work has thankfully fallen since the 1980s but the tragic reality is that far too many of these deaths are preventable.

That’s why Lisa has been working with other MP’s to protect our health and safety laws which are under attack. In recent years the Government has launched a ‘crackdown’ on so-called ‘red tape’, reduced health and safety inspections and taken away legal aid denying people justice.

The recent tragedy in Bangladesh, where hundreds of textile workers lost their lives when the building they were working in collapsed, shows what happens when capitalism is allowed to operate without proper regard for people’s lives. Many of those workers were making clothes for Primark, to be sold in Wigan and across the UK. Their deaths are a tragic reminder of the true cost of cheap clothes.

Thanks to decades of struggle by trade unions we have laws which prevent similar tragedies from happening here. We must never forget how important they are. Death and serious injury devastate families up and down the UK. We must defend the laws we already have and fight harder to see them enforced.

May 1, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa calls on Post Office to negotiate

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has called on Post Office Management to return to meaningful negotiations with postal workers to prevent disruption to services.

The Communication Workers Union has served notice for more strike action in the country’s network of 373 Crown Post Offices in a dispute over closures, job security and pay. Up to 4,000 staff have been involved in a half day of strike action on Friday 19th April, starting at 2.30pm, with further strikes on the horizon if Post Office management continues to refuse to negotiate.

Lisa said: “Many of my constituents are employed by the Post Office and are severely affected by this dispute. Thousands more will be affected by disruptions to postal services. The CWU has made it clear it is ready to hold meaningful talks with Post Office Management and they must take this opportunity to resolve outstanding issues and avoid further disruption to the service.”

April 26, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa tells NSPCC conference “We should do more to support the social work profession”

The Wigan MP told an NSPCC conference in London on Friday (19 April) that while she welcomes the government’s reforms of child protection, more action was needed to support social workers.

She revealed that Labour is considering various ways of boosting children’s social work although firm proposals and details about how they would be funded were not yet in place.

“I welcome the thrust of Eileen Munro’s reforms on social work but we should do more to support the profession,” Nandy said.

“The chief social worker post will do much to boost the profession, particularly given that so often when crises hit, it is the social worker that is attacked.

“But pay and conditions are really important.

“International studies show that working conditions in teaching and social work are the most important factors in boosting the status of the professions and bringing more good people into them”.

Nandy added that more needs to be done to support social workers once they are in post.

“The real challenge is not about attracting good quality people, but how you keep those people in social work,” she said.

“Turnover is a huge problem and burnout is a serious issue. Six out of 10 social workers consider their caseloads to be unmanageable.”

Nandy also hinted that a Labour government would widen the entry criteria for a proposed new programme for attracting top-level candidates to the profession.

She said that while she supports the proposed Frontline programme – a graduate fast-track scheme similar to Teach First – she fears it could miss potentially outstanding candidates.

“Many of the best social workers come from a background of needing the help of a social worker themselves, and might not have gone to the top universities,” she added.

“It is really important that you don’t exclude good-quality people because of that.”

This article first appeared in Children and Young People Now


April 23, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa flags up concerns about Cup Final

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has written to the FA to raise concerns about the arrangements for the forthcoming FA Cup Final.

In a letter to the FA’s Chairman David Bernstein Lisa said:

“Numerous Latics supporters have contacted me to express their dismay at the late kick off time of 5.15pm. This is likely to cause inconvenience and disruption, and may prove to be prohibitively expensive if fans are forced to stay in London overnight.

“Many Latics supporters will be heading to Wembley for the first time, and may well have difficulty getting home after the final whistle. In addition both of the teams are from the North West which may exacerbate the pressure on public transport.”

The MP said: “I have asked the FA why this decision was taken and what thought was given to the impact of the timing on the thousands of football fans who were looking forward to the game but may now be put off from attending. I have also sought assurances that arrangements will be put in place to ensure supporters who cannot afford to stay in London overnight or do not wish to, are able to get home after the match.”

Follow the story in the Wigan Evening Post Nandy blasts FA for late kick off time in cup final

April 17, 2013 By : Category : News 0 Comment