From Andrew Gwynne MP <[email protected]>
Subject Denton & Reddish Weekly Newsletter
Date July 23, 2021 2:50 PM
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Keep up to date with the latest news from around Denton & Reddish

This week in Denton & Reddish
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** Dear Constituent,

Welcome to the latest edition of Denton and Reddish Weekly News. I hope you have enjoyed your week and managed to keep cool in this roasting weather!
On Monday, all remaining lockdown restrictions were lifted. Covid, however, hasn't gone anywhere, so please do keep safe and sensible!
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** MPs respond to Ombudsman findings on 1950s women's pensions

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish and Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney have responded as co-chair’s of the All-party parliamentary group on State Pension Inequality for Women to the findings of the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman’s (PHSO) investigation into Women’s State Pension age communications.

The PHSO report finds failings in the way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) communicated changes to women’s State Pension age. The PHSO found that from 2005 onwards, there were failings in the action taken by the DWP to communicate the State Pension age. It also states that the DWP “failed to make reasonable decisions based on the information available to it”.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“This report is a landmark moment in the ongoing fight for 1950s women to receive justice, and a vindication of what campaigners have been saying for years. The PHSO has conducted a thorough investigation of a number of complaints and found that there were failings in the actions of the DWP in communicating changes to State Pension.

The DWP must urgently address these findings, and advise 1950s women what actions they will take to right the wrongs committed by successive Governments. For too long 1950s women have been ignored, and this must change.”

Peter Aldous said:

“I am very grateful to the PHSO for considering these complaints, and for publishing such detailed findings.

We must now see a cross-party effort to sort this problem out. This issue is bigger than any administration and has been raised repeatedly over the last 25 years. The PHSO findings must now be scrutinised by the DWP and parliament, and then we must set out about compensating women for this injustice.”

** Cross-party political and business leaders call on Boris Johnson to commit to investment in Greater Manchester

In a letter to the Prime Minister Greater Manchester’s Mayor, parliamentarians, council leaders and business and trade union voices have called on Boris Johnson to commit to investing in the education, skills and jobs Greater Manchester needs to level-up and to bridge the gaps left by the pandemic.

The letter has been sent by the Greater Manchester Westminster Group, formerly the Greater Manchester All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). After none of Greater Manchester’s Conservative MPs agreed to be involved in the APPG the group had to disband. Under the rules for All-Party Parliamentary Groups there needs to be at least one member of the Governing party sitting on the APPG for it to be official.

The new Westminster Group, made up of Labour MPs, Liberal Democrat and independent peers, continues to work on behalf of the region’s residents.

Former APPG Chair Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“It is extremely disappointing that no Greater Manchester Conservative MP was prepared to work on a common agenda to urge the Prime Minister to level-up and to do the best for the people of Greater Manchester.

For Greater Manchester to effectively level-up, and bridge the gaps left by the pandemic, we must see a commitment from Government to invest in the education, skills and jobs required. I hope the Prime Minister implements the recommendations of this cross-party letter.”

** Gwynne welcomes news of benefit reform for terminally ill people

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed the news off a reform of the benefit system for terminally ill people after three years of campaigning alongside national charities.

In response to the Scrap 6 Months campaign led by the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Marie Curie and supported by campaigners across Greater Manchester, the Government has pledged to make it easier for people with a terminal illness to get fast-track access to financial support.

Crucially, it has said it will scrap the rule which stipulated that people must prove they have six months or less to live before receiving fast-track access to the benefits many desperately need. Under the new rules, people will now be able to apply for benefits using the Special Rules for Terminal Illness if their health professional says they may die within 12 months.

Like many terminal illnesses, motor neurone disease (MND) is difficult to predict and many people diagnosed with the disease are unable to access the fast-track process for claiming benefits leaving them struggling financially at what is already an incredibly difficult time.

Campaigner and Local MND Branch Chair Greg Broadhurst joined the campaign from its formal launch in 2018 and worked closely with MP’s across Greater Manchester over the last four years, following the initial news of devolved changes in Scotland.

Greg Broadhurst said today:

"I welcome the news of the changes, which have followed a long campaign. We hope the changes will make a considerable difference and ease the previous difficulties we have seen before for families dealing with Motor Neurone Disease.

I wish to thank the supportive MP’s, right across Greater Manchester, for their help and support for the campaign. We are incredibly grateful for the cross party support, and the time they have invested in working with us. While the announcement is welcomed, there must be no delay in implementing changes, so no one else has to wait for the vital financial support they need."

Andrew Gwynne said:

"I’m so pleased the ‘scrap the six months’ campaign has been successful.

The measure was so cruel by barring so many terminally ill people from fast track access to benefits at just the point in their lives they needed that support so much. I’m grateful to MND, Marie Curie and other health charities for the work they’ve done to win this battle.

Common sense prevailed because of them."

Read More of This Week's Stories ([link removed])
Andrew in the constituency
Today is the centenary anniversary of the official unveiling of the Denton Cenotaph in Victoria Park. It commemorates 379 men from Denton and Haughton who fell in the Great War.

The memorial was unveiled by my predecessor, Austin Hopkinson MP, so I was delighted to be invited by Councillor Brenda Warrington ([link removed]) to say a few words and to lay a wreath.

A big thank you to Tameside Council ([link removed]) and to Tameside Armed Services Community ([link removed]) for organising the event, including producing the history boards on some of the people mentioned on the memorial.

And a massive well done to the children of Russell Scott Primary School ([link removed]) for making 379 clay poppies, each one representing a person named.

The poppies and information boards will be on display until 5pm and then kept in safe storage to be used for Remembrance Sunday each year.

I had a fantastic morning last Sunday with Team Denton West ([link removed]) and local residents to walk through some ideas for establishing a new Friends Group to help extend the Tame Valley, and opening up access to Reddish Vale and beyond, almost to the heart of Denton town centre.

If you want to get involved, please see the contact details in Councillor Brenda Warrington ([link removed]) 's post.

On Sunday afternoon I joined the Team Denton West ([link removed]) Councillors and the Friends of the Horses Field in Dane Bank to celebrate 30 years since they formed to successfully see off the sale and development of grazing land on the Denton and Reddish border.

The afternoon would have normally been their annual open day, but instead, the Mayor of Tameside, Councillor Janet Cooper, came down to thank all the volunteers and residents in the Friends Group. Later on in the year there’ll be a special tree planting ceremony to mark the milestone.

I’ve worked closely with the Friends for all the 25 years I’ve represented the area, firstly as a Councillor and then as the MP. I’m incredibly proud that Councillor Brenda Warrington ([link removed]) , Councillor Mike Smith ([link removed]) and Councillor George Jones
([link removed]) have succeeded in getting the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to include Horses Field in the Green Belt in the future.
Here’s to the next 30 years! 👏🏻

Andrew in Parliament
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📺 WATCH: Peter Aldous ([link removed]) and I, as co-chairs of the APPG on State Pension Inequality for Women, ask the Leader of the House of Commons when we can expect action following the Ombudsman’s findings of maladministration in respect of 1950s-born women and their state pensions. From his answer to my question, you’d think the Ombudsman hadn’t found fault at all. I’m not surprised they want to avoid scrutiny.🐝
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📺 WATCH: We have questions to the Electoral Commission, an odd quirk that means my friend Chris Matheson ([link removed]) gets to answer questions on their behalf. I ask what the EC will be doing, in the event that mandatory voter identification is introduced, to ensure voter participation in elections isn’t suppressed.
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📺 WATCH: We had the Home Secretary Priti Patel before the Home Affairs Select Committee, an important part of the scrutiny process. I ask about the new immigration proposals. The Home Secretary is strong on rhetoric but fails to explain how in practice it will work. In the end, all we got was waffle.
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📺 WATCH: We’ve just had a non-statement from the Health Minister. I suspect she had an announcement on pay and it got pulled at the last minute. I asked about growing problems in constituents getting GP appointments in Denton and Reddish.
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📺 WATCH: The House rises for Summer Recess tomorrow evening. The DWP Minister should have the courtesy to come to the House to answer MPs’ questions on the Ombudsman’s report into the 1950's women's pension injustice.
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📺 WATCH: The Health Minister came to the House to update MPs on “Freedom Day”, of course the Health Secretary is isolating with COVID. I ask about #LongCovid which will be the next big crisis. I don’t think the Minister understands the need for joined-up policy on this. It isn’t just a health crisis. It’s an employment and social security one too.
Andrew in the media

** MP Gwynne to zip wire to raise more funds for Florence - Tameside Reporter

📰 READ: I'm grateful to the Tameside Reporter for covering my upcoming charity zip wire for Fundraising for Florence ([link removed]) 🌸 .

To read the full article click here ([link removed]) , and to sponsor me on my zipwire for Florence click here ([link removed]) .
Community Board

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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