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Articles about ‘Policy’

Calling for the end of child burial charges

Every year around 10,000 parents have to face the unimaginable grief of losing a child.

Nobody expects to bury their own child and when struggling to cope with the worst possible experience they will ever have to face, bereaved parents have the added worry of finding funds for a funeral they never expected to be planning.

No parent who has gone through the heartbreaking experience of losing a child should be left struggling to cover the cost of a funeral.

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Animal Welfare Round Up – January 2018

Welcome to my latest Animal Welfare Round-Up. This is a newsletter I regularly send out to update you on the issues that many of you get in touch with me about. My latest update covers the action I’ve taken on your behalf in the latter months of last year and the start of 2018.


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Statement on Carillion liquidation

Undoubtedly there is great concern regarding the impact that Carillion’s liquidation will have on people and businesses in the West Midlands. It is vital that an urgent assessment is conducted to assess the impact of Carillion’s liquation on our region. I have been in close contact with Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills, Brett O’Reilly and to consider what steps can be put in place to minimise the impact on Birmingham City Council and service users.

I fully support Councillor O’Reilly’s request for Government assistance in co-ordinating a response to mitigate the impact on residents and the local economy. The Government have serious questions to answer about why it continued to award Carillion contracts even after it became clear that Carillion were in serious financial difficulty and must do all that it can to ensure that employees, taxpayers and pension fund members are protected.

Rail fares rise again

This morning I was at Northfield Station to speak to rail users who are fed up by yet another increase in the price of fares on our railways.

Commuters told me of their frustration and anger as they have watched train fares surge as their wages have stagnated.

At the start of 2018, the Government and private train companies increased the price of rail fares by an average of 3.4%. This is the biggest annual increase in five years and fares have already gone up by 32% since the Conservatives entered Government in 2010.

The Government are failing to stand up for rail passengers. Labour would bring our railways into public ownership to make sure that passengers are put at the heart of decision-making on our railways and to provide the investment that our railways desperately needs.


Eye Tests Save Lives

This week is Road Safety Week, an invaluable initiative for keeping our roads as safe as possible, organised by the road safety charity Brake.

As part of Road Safety Week, I took part in an event organised by Vision Express and Brake to try out a simulator that replicates the impact of glaucoma on a driver’s field of vision in order to highlight the importance of regular eye testing for road safety.

Deterioration of eye sight can be gradual and often people won’t realise that their vision has deteriorated over time – in fact 40% of your vision can be lost without you even noticing.

Regular eye tests help to pick up changes in sight to ensure that problems can be treated to help prevent a deterioration in eye sight. Across the UK, over 2 million people are living with sight loss, 50% of which is preventable and could be addressed through regular eye check-ups.

It is a similar case for glaucoma, the single biggest preventable cause of sight loss – half of people living with glaucoma are undiagnosed – yet this could immediately be detected by an eye test.

Eye tests really do safe lives. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties in the UK a year.

Every person killed or injured on our roads is one too many. We all have a responsibility to identify what more we can do to make the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads a reality.

Over 1.5 million licence holders have never had an eye test and all drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they regularly get their eyes tested.

The NHS recommend that you should get your eyes tested every two years, and more often if advised. Not only does an eye test check whether you need glasses, it can also identify a number of underlying health conditions, and makes our road safer for everyone.

You can find out more about road safety week here –