Welcome to the latest edition of Denton and Reddish Weekly News.
On Monday, we reached the next stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, and as a result we welcomed back museums, cinemas, gyms and indoor hospitality! I would encourage anyone who can to go out and support our wonderful hospitality and indoor leisure businesses who have had such a tough time since the pandemic started.
Here is the roadmap out of lockdown. Let's make sure we stay responsible as we enjoy the slow re-introduction of our freedoms.
Roadmap out of lockdown ([link removed])
Take care and stay safe.
** Gwynne welcomes recognition of kinship carers in new School Admissions Code
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has today welcomed The Department for Education’s decision to revise the School Admissions Code in order to support more children in kinship care to access a school place during the school year. The new code will apply from September 2021.
Under the revised Fair Access Protocol, children being raised by kinship carers under a legal order, who struggle to get a school place during the year, will be supported to secure one.
The change follows concerns raised last year by the cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care, that some children being raised by relatives or friends, particularly those children who are not and have not been in the care system, are missing out on vital support to secure an appropriate school place.
There are more than 180,000 children across the UK raised in kinship care by relatives - including grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters or family friends - who step in to raise children who cannot safely live with their parents.
The new provision applies to children raised by a kinship carer under a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order. It also applies to children in the care system.
The charity Family Rights Group ([link removed]) provides the secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care and was secretariat to the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care.
Andrew Gwynne MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care, has welcomed the change:
“This change to the School Admissions Code now recognises that children raised in kinship care may need extra support to secure a school place.
“I’m pleased the government have listened to the concerns we raised through the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care.
“When a child comes to live with a kinship carer, when they can no longer remain at home, it is often in an emergency situation and it can be a struggle to arrange an appropriate school place that best meets their needs. The carer may also need to manage this alongside the needs of their own children. This important change should help make the practicalities of day-to-day life for kinship carers easier.
“However, we continue to encourage the government to go further to ensure support is not limited by legal order and that children in kinship care are eligible for the same rights to priority school admissions as looked after and previously looked after children.”
** Gwynne supports Hestia Safe Spaces and partnership with TSB
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has today given his backing to a partnership between the domestic abuse charity Hestia ([link removed]) and the high street bank TSB ([link removed]) which will see a Safe Space initiative rolled out to 290 TSB high street banks
Hestia is a domestic abuse charity that manages the rollout of Safe Spaces across the country for those seeking refuge from domestic abuse. Safe Spaces was initially developed during the pandemic in response to the rising numbers of domestic abuse victims trapped at home with their abusers. Expanding it to TSB branches will take the total to over 5,600 Safe Spaces nationwide. Other Safe Space partners include Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons and Well pharmacies, as well as hundreds of independent pharmacies across the UK.
All TSB branch colleagues have received specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse and will provide victims with access to the Safe Space in their branch.
The partnership means that the TSB Denton, Manchester branch, will provide a Safe Space for local people suffering from domestic violence.
TSB was the first bank to launch this partnership and has already successfully trialled the scheme across Hereford, Shropshire, and Worcestershire.
Hestia also provide Online Safe Spaces, providing a portal of information and resources on company websites for people experiencing domestic abuse.
The portal provides another opportunity for people experiencing domestic abuse to seek support and does not show up on browsing history. Online Safe Spaces are currently available on national websites including Royal Mail, Post Office, Thames Water and Network Rail.
You can access the portal by clicking on the Safe Spaces logo on participating websites.
Andrew Gwynne said:
"This is such an important initiative launched by Hestia and in conjunction with TSB.
Hestia data shows a near 40% increase in people trying to access specialist support during the first lockdown, and it is vital that businesses and communities provide Safe Spaces to those seeking refuge from domestic abuse.
I would encourage anyone who is seeking help to contact Hestia, or to utilise their Safe Space service."
Sue Harper, Head of Domestic Abuse Prevention at Hestia said:
"During the pandemic, self-isolation has given abusers a new method of control over victims making it very difficult for them to get the help they need. As restrictions ease, it’s vital that access to specialist domestic abuse support is readily accessible.
Businesses have a unique role in breaking the silence around domestic abuse. By providing a Safe Space in their banks, TSB will help us reach many more victims of domestic abuse, ensuring they get the specialist help and advice they need.
We hope many more businesses will follow their lead and support this scheme."
For anyone seeking information or urgent support Call Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline ([link removed]) for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247 or through the contact form or live chat service. If you are a male victim, you can access support through the Men’s Advice Helpline ([link removed]) on 0808 8010327. Other specialist support services ([link removed]) are available. If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.
** Gwynne condemns the government over child poverty figures, and pledges to do everything in his power to ensure that no child is left behind
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has today criticised the government after new research revealed that thousands of children are living in poverty in Denton and Reddish.
New analysis published by the End Child Poverty Coalition showed a sharp rise in child poverty in Britain in the last 5 years, with over 400,000 more children living in poverty after housing costs than in 2015.
Child poverty was rising sharply even before the Covid-19 pandemic, which is feared to have exacerbated the situation even further.
There are now 4279 children in Denton and Reddish living in poverty, an increase of 2.8% from five years ago. A staggering 29.2% of all children in the constituency are living below the poverty line, after housing costs.
Researchers combined data on child poverty published by the Department for Work and Pensions in May with information about local housing costs to build a detailed picture of child poverty across the country.
While the largest rise was seen in the North East of England where the proportion of children living in poverty has increased from 26% to 37% in just five years, child poverty has risen in every region of England bar the South East.
In a reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer appointed Wes Streeting MP as Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty, creating a post dedicated to addressing the rise in child poverty as part of Labour’s top team.
Andrew Gwynne has signed the new “No Child Left Behind” pledge launched today by the National Education Union which says:
“As a member of Parliament, I pledge to do everything in my power so that no child is left behind in Denton and Reddish’
I call for the development of a cross-Government strategy to eradicate the poverty faced by the 4.3 million children currently growing up trapped in poverty.
I will use my vote and voice in Parliament to try to stop an expected 730,000 more children being plunged into poverty by 2024.
We must value and invest in all our children, so they are supported to learn, succeed, and go on to have bright futures.”
Speaking after signing the pledge, Andrew Gwynne said:
"The child poverty figures released as part of this research are a shocking and disgraceful indictment of our government.
All we hear constantly hear from this government is rhetoric about levelling up. How on earth can we be levelling up when child poverty is rising, food bank use is soaring, and the attainment gap is widening?
I will always stand up for children in Denton and Reddish, and tackling child poverty is a top priority. That’s why I am proud to sign the National Education Union’s pledge to commit to do everything in my power to ensure that no child is left behind".
For more information on the #NoChildLeftBehind campaign, visit www.nochildleftbehind.org.uk
Read More of This Week's Stories ([link removed])
Andrew in Parliament
In order to speak in Parliament at the moment, you have to be selected in various ballots. Unfortunately, I wasn't as lucky with selections this week, but did manage to get a question in to the Transport Secretary following his statement on the government's railway reform plans.
📺 WATCH: The Transport Secretary has come to Parliament to set out his reforms to create ‘Great British Railways’ to manage the network. I ask what this means for rail devolution in Greater Manchester. 🚆
Andrew in the media
📰 READ: This week, I wrote in Left Foot Forward about 'levelling up', Tory cronyism, and why the government needs to change its plans if it truly wants to help communities in need of support.
You can read the full article here ([link removed]) .
Local author Leanne Brown has started writing a fantastic series of books to promote, help and raise awareness for mental health in children. Leanne wants to bring these books to schools, parents and organisations to help promote mental health in children.
You can find out more, including how to buy the books, on her website. ([link removed])
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Andrew Gwynne . 139 St Annes Road . Denton . Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY . United Kingdom
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