From Andrew Gwynne MP <[email protected]>
Subject Denton & Reddish Weekly Newsletter
Date November 19, 2021 5:04 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,
A very warm welcome to this week's Denton and Reddish weekly news.

I hope you've had a great week. As we edge closer towards Christmas there's lots of festive-themed events popping up across Denton and Reddish, scroll down to the Community Board to find out more!
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** Gwynne urges Government to tackle rising healthcare waiting lists

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has called on the Government to get a grip on rising waiting lists for healthcare in Tameside and Stockport.

The latest figures from the NHS show that at the end of September 2021, there were 36,466 people on the waiting list at Stockport NHS foundation trust, and 18,559 at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. In total, over 4,700 people had been waiting for more than a year for an appointment across the Tameside and Stockport trusts.

In March 2020, at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, there were 4,235,970 people on the NHS waiting list in England. Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. However, the pandemic had a devastating effect on an already-fragile NHS, with the national waiting list is now 37.7 per cent higher than it was before Covid-19 hit the UK (an increase of 1,598,451 people). The current figure means that just over 1 in 10 people in England are on the NHS waiting list (10.3 per cent).

The Government is yet to publish a detailed plan to address the vast NHS waiting list, with hospitals around the country already reporting unsustainable pressure and an inability to provide high quality care.

Gwynne has praised the hard work of staff at the Tameside and Stockport Trust’s, and stated that they have ‘worked miracles’ in the context of ‘chronic funding’, but has urged the Government to rapidly outline how it plans to address the waiting list crisis. Last week, Gwynne highlighted the shocking level of cuts ([link removed]) to local public health services over the last five years.

Nationally, the NHS is short of 100,000 staff, including 7,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses. In the Budget last month, the Chancellor did not set out a plan to recruit, train, and retain the staff needed to solve this waiting list crisis.

Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:

“I am incredibly grateful to the staff at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. They have faced chronic underfunding from this Government, and have worked miracles with incredibly restricted resources.

These waiting lists are evidence that the Government has simply not provided the necessary support to help the NHS get through the pandemic. If people across Denton and Reddish cannot receive timely care, there will be truly awful consequences.

The Government must urgently outline how it plans to tackle and bring down waiting lists. The people of Denton and Reddish need a proper plan, and local trust’s need a proper plan. We cannot afford to delay on this.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, added:

“We’ve heard serious warnings from hospital chiefs about the unsustainable pressure the NHS is under. These figures are confirmation of the dangerously lengthy waiting times patients are forced to endure and the scale of pressure on overwhelmed A&Es.

“The coming winter weeks are set to be the most challenging in history for the NHS. It’s now urgent Ministers fix the stalling vaccination programme, resolve the immediate crisis in social care and bring forward a long term plan to recruit the health care staff our NHS desperately needs, which Rishi Sunak has failed to provide despite imposing a punishing tax rise on working people.”

Source: NHS England Consultant-led Referral to Treatment Waiting Times Data ([link removed])
Population figure source: ONS Population estimates for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: mid-2020 ([link removed])

** Gwynne slams 'Northern Powerhouse' betrayal


Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has branded the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan a ‘total betrayal’ for communities across the North of England.

Yesterday, the Government unveiled its controversial Integrated Rail Plan to bring high speed train travel to the midlands and the North. Despite the Government pledging a high-speed line from Birmingham to Leeds and another between Leeds and Manchester, the Government instead proposed that its Northern Powerhouse Rail line will made up of half a new high-speed line, and the other half solely consisting of upgrades to existing infrastructure. The eastern leg of HS2 rail from Birmingham to Leeds had also been shelved.

This decision is despite the Prime Minister explicitly stating that he would ‘deliver’ on ‘his commitment’ to build a new line, and the pledge being a key component of the Government’s 2019 election manifesto.

Commenting on the new rail plans, Andrew Gwynne said:

“Make no mistake, this watering down of the so-called Northern Powerhouse Rail Line is a total betrayal to communities across the North of England. We were promised a completely new line. We were lied to. Simple as that.

This Government was elected because it promised to ‘level-up’ the North. You can’t move in Westminster without hearing the phrase being parroted by Government Ministers and spokespeople. Yet when it comes down to it, what do we get? Just more broken promises.

The Government is simply opting for the cheaper option here and hoping that we don’t notice that it bears no resemblance to the flashy pledges made by the PM in 2019 and earlier this year. Upgrading half of the line will not increase capacity and will not level-up the North. You can’t revolutionise rail on the cheap.

I pride myself on not being party-political about these things. If an idea is good, it’s good no matter which side of the House proposes it. Northern communities, including Denton and Reddish, have been promised a transformational Rail plan in some form since 2014. We have been ignored and been left waiting for far too long.

Had the Government stuck to its promises, I would have been the first to welcome it. Instead, I’m left with the all-too familiar feeling that yet again, northern communities have been swindled and taken for granted. It is incredibly frustrating and profoundly disappointing.”

** Gwynne calls on Government to do more to close Gender pay gap


Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has called on the Government to do more to close the gender pay gap, as new research by the Labour Party revealed that the gap in the North West will not close until at least 2070.

The analysis to mark Equal Pay Day shows progress on the gender pay gap has stalled significantly under Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, with ten million women across the UK now projected to work until retirement without equal pay – up from 8.5 million a year ago. A regional breakdown of the figures shows that the gender pay gap in the North West won’t close for another 49 years. It means an 18-year-old-woman entering employment in the region today will have to wait until she turns 67 before the gender pay gap closes.

Reacting to the figures, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Annaliese Dodds MP has accused the Conservatives of “failing an entire generation of women in the North West”. Gwynne has called the figures “an indictment of the Government’s lack of meaningful action”

While progress to close the gender pay gap has gone into reverse under the Conservatives, Labour has pledged urgent action to close it by:
* Modernising equal pay legislation to allow for equal pay comparisons across employers where men and women are carrying out comparable work.
* Enforcing the requirement to report and eliminate pay gaps, with employers required to devise and implement plans to eradicate these inequalities.
* Ensuring outsourced workers are included in employers’ gender pay gap reporting and pay ratio reporting.
* Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for firms with more than 250 staff, to mirror gender pay gap reporting rules.

The figures come as women continue to struggle with the hugely unequal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The gender pay gap increased by 13% between April 2020 and April 2021, when women were more likely to be furloughed, more likely to lose income to home-school, and more likely to work in sectors that are expected to see the slowest economic recovery from the crisis.

Commenting on the figures, Andrew Gwynne said:

“These figures are an indictment of the Government’s lack of meaningful action on tackling the gender pay gap.

It is frankly unbelievable that in 2021, we are still so far off from closing the gap and making sure that women are paid equally. How can we think it is acceptable that women in the North West will only see their pay reach the same level as men by 2070?

We need to modernise equal pay legislation and work with employers to ensure that we eliminate pay gaps. We cannot consign another generation of women to this injustice.”

Anneliese Dodds MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, added:

“The Conservative Government should be taking action to close the gender pay gap. Instead it’s standing by while progress has gone into reverse.

“It’s clear that the Conservatives are failing an entire generation of women in the North West. Labour would take urgent action to close the gender pay gap by giving women the ability to compare their salaries with men doing the same job in a different firm and forcing employers to bring forward plans to eradicate pay gaps.”

Read More of This Week's Stories ([link removed])
Andrew in the Constituency

** #FreedomFromFear campaign at Audenshaw Co-op 🛒
Today I visited Audenshaw’s Co-op ([link removed]) on Denton Road to meet with staff and regional managers, and Usdaw Union ([link removed]) reps to discuss the issue of attacks and abuse of shopworkers.

I support Usdaw’s #FreedomFromFear ([link removed]) campaign. Nobody working in retail (or any other job) should have to put up with abuse. I’ll continue to push for stronger laws in this area.

** Commemmorating Firefighter Wilfred McLaughlan
I had a lovely afternoon at the Tameside Wellness Centre ([link removed]) commemorating Firefighter Wilfred McLaughlan who died after sustaining life threatening injuries at an industrial fire at the Oldham’s Batteries factory in 1972. Sadly, the incident occurred just three days off his retirement.

A Fire Brigades Union ([link removed]) red plaque has been installed at the Wellness Centre (which is built on the Oldham’s Batteries site) after my constituent, and ex-firefighter, Graham Bowker, lobbied me at an advice surgery to see if we could get the FBU to install a memorial on site.

Thank you to all who came today, and to the FBU for making it happen.

** ❓ Question Time❓
I’ve had a great morning today at Reddish Vale High School ([link removed]) talking to pupils about my role as Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish and then taking some really excellent and challenging questions from them.

It’s always great to engage with the next generation of voters on school visits. They’ve some really interesting views on key issues. The future it theirs! 👏🏻

** Remembrance Sunday
On Sunday, I attended four Remembrance Sunday services in my constituency and was represented at four others.

A huge thank you to the fantastic crowds at Denton, Thornley Park and Dukinfield.
And thank you to Holly McCormack ([link removed]) for laying my wreath at Reddish, Councillor Oliver Ryan ([link removed]) for laying my wreath in Audenshaw, Councillor David Wilson ([link removed]) for laying my wreath
in Stockport, and Councillor Claire Reid ([link removed]) for laying my wreath at Haughton Green.

For our tomorrow they gave their today.

** Friends of the Tame Valley 🍂
On Saturday, it was great to get out and about on a community litter pick with Friends of the Tame Valley ([link removed]) .

We are a great group of volunteers caring for our beautiful countryside park.

On Saturday we went down to Mill Lane, Haughton Green, to remove litter and flytipping from the Upper Haughton and Whittles Meadows.

Thanks to all who came and helped, including Councillor Allison Gwynne ([link removed]) , Councillor Jack Naylor ([link removed]) , Councillor Claire Reid
([link removed]) and Councillor George Newton ([link removed]) . 👇🏻

** Knitting and Nattering 🎅🏻
Thanks to Denton’s Knit and Natter for inviting me and Councillor Allison Gwynne ([link removed]) to open their Christmas Fair at the Carter’s Arms on Stockport Road on Saturday.

Over the years they’ve raised lots of funds for local good causes and charity. Please support them if you can! 🎄 🎁

** Citizen's Awards to two local heroes 🌟
Last weekend, I was privileged to give two Citizen's Awards to two local residents who have gone above and beyond.

The first was six-year-old Eva from Audenshaw. Eva was really moved by the plight of Afghan refugee children and wanted to do something to help.

She did a sponsored swim to raise funds to buy bi-lingual books, gifts and other things she thought that children would like to help them settle into their new homes at what must be a really scary time for them. Despite having only completed her 5m in June this year, she managed to swim a magnificent 144m.

Eva’s family are rightly very proud of her fundraising efforts and her thoughtfulness.

The second took place on Sunday at the end of the Denton Service of Remembrance, after the Mayor’s representative had closed proceedings. I had the great pleasure of presenting a surprise Citizen’s Award with Councillor Brenda Warrington ([link removed]) and Councillor Vincent Ricci ([link removed]) to the amazing Josie Neal.

Josie has been a member of the Royal British Legion ([link removed]) for over 50 years, Standard bearer for 32 years, and the Poppy Organiser for Denton for the last 6 years.

What service and dedication - and extremely well deserved. Thank you Josie! 👏🏻
Andrew in Parliament
📺 WATCH: So after a week of leaks, yesterday the Integrated Rail Plan was released - a massive downgrade of the promised Northern Powerhouse high speed link from Liverpool to Leeds and beyond. It’s a betrayal.
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📺 WATCH: At Attorney General Questions there is a question on the appalling conviction rate for rape crimes. I ask the Solicitor-General what funding and support is available beyond the £125m for refuge accommodation announced in the Budget.
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📺 WATCH: After a dreadful fortnight for Parliament, we are putting to a vote a ban on second jobs for MPs.

I make the case that doing the job properly is a full time job in itself. The Tories disagree and vote down our motion.
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📺 WATCH: In the second session of the Home Affairs Select Committee we have the Minister responsible for Afghan evacuees before us.

I ask her about numbers, accommodation and the support for child evacuees.
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📺 WATCH: At today’s first session of the Home Affairs Select Committee we have Home Office Minister Tom Pursglove before us about illegal Channel crossings.

The Minister seemed unwilling to tell us how much money has been paid to France so far (Despite the rhetoric and bluster from the Home Secretary, and record numbers still arriving in Britain, it seems the majority has been paid).
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Andrew in the media

** Rail Betrayal

📰 READ: Thank you to the Tameside Reporter for covering my reaction to the extremely disappointing decision by the Government to backtrack on its promised 'Northern Powerhouse' Rail. Read the full story here ([link removed]) .

** Remembering Wilfred McLaughlan

📰 READ: Thanks also to the Tameside Reporter for covering the unveiling of the plaque in memory of firefighter Wilfred McLaughlan at Tameside Wellness Centre. You can read the full story 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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