Lisa Nandy meets Scouts at Labour Party Conference

Lisa Nandy MP met with dozens of Scouts from across the country at Labour Party Conference to hear what they had to say about issues that affect them.

The annual ‘Scout Speak Up!’ events have been created for Scouts to attend the conferences and are unique in the conference calendar.  They are entirely youth led, giving young people the opportunity to debate with politicians the issues that really matter to young people today.

Riona Kelly, an Explorer Scout said, “It’s great that young people have the opportunity to tell politicians what we think, and for them to listen. It is important that young people have a say, and events like today’s is a great step forward. As a Scout it is important for me to get involved and help inspire others to do so too.”

Issues discussed this weekend included raising the age at which young people can vote, tuition fees and how young people can ensure that their voices are heard by decision makers. Lisa was also told by the young people how Scouting enriches their lives and their local communities. Many talked about how the skills they’ve learned in Scouting have helped them to find employment and supported their applications to university and college.

Lisa Nandy said, “I really enjoyed the Scouts Speak Up! event during the conference in Manchester.  It was great to hear what young people had to say and to discuss the issues of the day with them.”

October 8, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Wigan libraries encouraged to apply for Arts Council grant

Applications are now open to Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts Libraries fund and libraries in Wigan are encouraged to apply. Over the next two and a half years, £6 million of National Lottery money will be invested in projects delivered by public libraries or library authorities working in partnership with cultural organisations involving all types of art/artistic activities including: music, dance, theatre, visual arts and literature.

The Arts Council wants the Grants for the arts Libraries fund to inspire ambitious and innovative partnerships between libraries and arts organisations that will encourage library users, and those living locally to get involved with arts and culture. By investing £6 million for public libraries to lead on artistic activities, the Arts Council are recognising the important role that libraries can play as centres of discovery.

Yes, libraries are places in which people develop a real love of books and can access information, but they are also at the very hearts of their communities. They can be exciting places in which you can encounter music, drama, sculpture, or any kind of art; somewhere that sparks an interest that might just become a real passion.

Public libraries can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000, covering activities lasting up to three years. The fund opens to applications today and will run until March 2015. Guidance notes for applicants can be found on the Arts Council website.

October 8, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Nandy responds to IPPR’s Frontline report

IPPR have today published a new report proposing to apply the Teach First model to meet the growing need for quality graduates in children’s social work.

In response to the report Lisa Nandy MP said:

“Labour welcomes the recognition in today’s report that good social workers are critical to an excellent care system.

Ministers need to wake up to the wider pressures on the system. Budget cuts and rising caseloads are creating a perfect storm for the most vulnerable.

There are a high number of unemployed social workers but a shortage of experienced staff. The Government must take action to relieve the pressures on social workers if they are to retain the best of the profession.”

October 4, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Shocking extent to which exploited young girls in Rochdale were ignored

Today’s review reveals the shocking extent to which exploited young girls were ignored when they asked for help from the authorities after enduring appalling abuse at the hands of adults.

Now that the perpetrators are behind bars, the priority must be to ensure that in future young girls are not left at such serious risk of harm either in Rochdale, or anywhere else.

This does not just include the police and social services. All agencies have a responsibility to work together to listen to children and keep them safe from harm.

September 27, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Survey shows Government must do more to protect neglected children

A survey released today by NSPCC and Community Care shows that increased pressures on social services mean that children who are neglected or at risk of neglect are unlikely to receive timely support. The findings show that almost 60% of professionals believe it is ‘quite’ or ‘very’ unlikely that local social services would take swift action to protect children who were being neglected. For emotional abuse the figure rose to 72%.

This is in stark contrast to physical and sexual abuse cases where over 90% of professionals said timely action was likely to be taken. The Government must put more effort into ensuring that children are also protected against neglect.

Government cuts have resulted in increased stress on social services, leaving social workers to deal with rising caseloads and having to raise thresholds for referral in neglect cases. This means that neglected children are less likely to receive the care they need before it is too late.

I fully support the British Association of Social Workers’ calls for more legal advice about how best to collate and present evidence in neglect cases and there needs to be further training on the signs of neglect and the long-term damage. The Government promised to “develop a social work system that provides high quality services from social workers that are well supported, and in whom the public feels confident” but it is clear their inability to follow up on this commitment is putting vulnerable children at further risk.

September 27, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Awareness is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers and founded by Lynn Griffiths who, along with her young family, was poisoned by carbon monoxide at home for over a decade.

Lynn had never heard of carbon monoxide before she was poisoned and was so concerned that other families could fall victim to this silent killer that she decided to do something about it. Lynn works hard to support those who have been poisoned while trying to raise awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide throughout the UK. However, Lynn believes she will be forced to wind the charity up at the end of the year due to a lack of funding.

The charity’s 7th National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes place from 19-25 November and Lynn urgently needs your support to make sure the message of Carbon Monoxide Awareness reaches everyone in Wigan.

Carbon monoxide remains the biggest cause of accidental death by poisoning here in the UK and any fuel burning appliance may produce carbon monoxide if incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or subjected to abuse or damaged.

Every year thousands of people from across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning others may continue to be unwittingly exposed to lower levels of this silent killer for years.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include: headaches; drowsiness; nausea; muscular aches; high blood pressure; tinnitus; dizziness; pins and needles; fainting; incontinence; chest pain; loss of consciousness.

Some of these symptoms can mimic many common ailments and can easily be confused with flu, a virus, food poisoning or simple tiredness.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and of the measures you can take to reduce the risks. These include:

  • Making sure all gas, oil, coal or wood burning appliances are serviced annually and your chimney is swept.
  • Installing Carbon Monoxide alarms in the correct place and in date.

5 million homes in the UK are at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning and figures revealed by the Department for Health suggested that every year 4,000 people are diagnosed with low-level poisoning. The actual number of people affected is thought to be far higher but remains undetected because of a lack of awareness and the effects of such poisoning can cost the NHS up to £178 million a year. Unless we raise awareness the long team health problems will continue to put pressure on the government’s health budget.

More information can be found on the Carbon Monoxide Awareness website and you can follow them on Twitter @COaware.


September 25, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment


Premier Foods, home to some of Britain’s best loved brands including Hovis, opened its doors at its manufacturing site, in Wigan last week,  to young unemployed people to provide them with an opportunity to gain pre-employment skills to help them into work.

The initiative is part of Feeding Britain’s Future – Skills for Work Week, a nationwide campaign organised by the Institute of Grocery Distribution, which has united the food and grocery industry in an effort to tackle youth unemployment.

Working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus in Wigan, Premier Foods ran a series of informative and practical workshops on CV preparation, completing a job application and interview techniques as well as chance to observe the food production process and speak to employees about their own job seeking experiences and current roles.

As Britain’s leading food producer, Premier Foods welcomes the opportunity to take part in the campaign and will be working with young unemployed people at ten of its sites across the country. 

Jane Robinson, HR Manager at the Wigan site, said: “This is an exciting campaign that is helping to mobilise the young unemployed in our area.  Our long employment history means that we aware of the challenges that the long-term unemployed are facing. We are looking forward to providing advice, support and training to young people who are struggling to find work.”

Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, said:  “I am delighted that Premier Foods’ Hovis Bakery in Wigan is supporting the Feeding Britain’s Future campaign which forms part of a national, industry-led campaign aimed at tackling the serious issue of youth unemployment. The pre-employment training they provide during the Skills for Work Week will help local young unemployed people in their search for future employment, with over 1 million young people out of work, this could not be more timely.”


September 24, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Wigan football teams encouraged to enter the Budweiser Club Futures Programme

Following the announcement from Budweiser that they will be investing £1million directly into grassroots football in the UK over the next two seasons as part of their FA cup sponsorship, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has encouraged local football clubs to apply for one of Budweiser’s Club Future grants.

Budweiser Club Futures will aim to ‘help clubs to help themselves’ by improving any part of their general facilities. As a long-standing supporter of football around the world, from the FIFA World Cup to the Copa America to the iconic FA Cup, Budweiser understands the importance of grassroots football in developing future heroes of the game, and the vital role football plays in bringing together local communities all around the world.

Eight grants will be available during the 2012/13 season, with a further eight grants available during the 2013/14 season. Within each season, one of the chosen eight clubs will win an additional £100,000 super grant – as voted by football fans from early next year through the official FA Cup and Budweiser UK Facebook pages.

Speaking about the initiative Lisa said:

“Football clubs across Wigan play a vital role in encouraging participation and creating opportunities for people to take part in grassroots sport. The Budweiser Club Futures campaign will allow for clubs to become more financially sustainable and encourage them to create a legacy to inspire future generations. I would urge all clubs who are eligible to apply for a grant today.”

Budweiser European Marketing Director, Iain Newell, said:

“We know the importance of non-league clubs to the future of the beautiful game and to local communities so we’re proud to be able to give these clubs a financial boost.  As a long-standing supporter of football around the world, Budweiser is committed to partnering with the communities where we live and work to support local clubs as they build their legacies.

The establishment of ‘Budweiser Club Futures’ also gives us the opportunity to work with the winning clubs to promote responsible drinking in the community. We will be bringing successful Responsibility programmes such as ‘Family Talk’ and ‘Designated Driver’ to these clubs as part of our dream to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World.”

September 18, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa Nandy visits local Access 2 Opportunities group

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy visited the Access 2 Opportunities (A2O) group run by Wigan Council youth workers at Ince Community Centre this week after she organised a trip to the Houses of Commons for the young people.

Lisa and the young people at the A2O group chatted about the difficulties of finding a job, politics and the daunting feel of the Houses of Parliament during the session.

The Shadow Children’s Minister said:

“The thing that young people come and see y about the most is without a doubt not being able to get a job.

“In the current economic downturn, this is affecting young people from all backgrounds whether they are leaving school, college or university and it is really dispiriting for them.

“I had a problem getting a job when I left uni as well and there were a lot more jobs around back then.

“The one thing I would say is don’t give up because you will get there eventually if you keep trying.”

In return the youth group members gave their opinions on the importance of expressing their views in life.

Group member Megan Bamber, 18, said:

“We get a lot of opportunities through this youth group, and there should be more opportunities in other areas like employment.

“It should be easier for young people to get jobs when you try your best at college and get the best grades you can.

“We are learning to try and get our point across about things like this now because if we can’t now then we certainly won’t be able to as adults.”

Lisa also urged the young people to challenge her and keep her on her toes.  She said:

“Regardless of what party you support and what you believe, challenge us MPs.

“We work for you and it is helpful for us when people say, come on what are you going to do about this.”

Youth worker Vicky Perry said:

“We encourage young people to think for themselves and to question things, and that is exactly what you have to do as an MP so it’s been great to have this session.

“This whole group have been on a journey from us youth workers meeting the young people out on the streets to having them in the group, hearing their views and asking questions.”

For more information on the A2O youth group contact Wigan Council’s Voice and Engagement Team on 01942 486237.

September 18, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy tries her hand at archery to promote school sport

Local Labour MP Lisa Nandy met with some of Team GB’s archery team and Archery GB, the governing body for archery in the UK, to try her hand at the Olympic sport.

The event took place on Speakers Green, next to Big Ben and Lisa was joined by a number of Parliamentary colleagues to celebrate the Sports Fellowship Partnership and to promote ‘Arrows’, a product which helps primary school children get involved in archery. ‘Arrows’ can be delivered by teachers and sports co-ordinators who have no formal archery experience or qualifications.

Lisa Nandy said:

“At a time when the Government is scrapping the requirement for schools to provide a minimum period of physical activity for school children, it is vital we encourage children to get involved in sport – that could be playing football in the park or trying something completely different like archery.

It was great to meet the people from Archery GB and fantastic to try a new sport. Although I have a long way to go before I reach their level, I did manage to hit the bull’s-eye on my final shot!”

Archery GB now has over 34 thousand members throughout the United Kingdom, and with the sports’ profile raising thanks to the Olympic and Paralympic tournaments, the sport is positively booming in popularity, with beginners’ courses fully booked all over the country.

September 17, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment