Keep up to date with the latest news from around Denton & Reddish
This week in Denton & Reddish
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** Dear Constituent,
A warm welcome to Denton and Reddish Weekly News!
We've seen some absolutely appalling scenes in Ukraine over the last few days. There is one key message from residents across Audenshaw, Denton, Dukinfield, Heaton Chapel, Heaton Norris and Reddish - and that is that Tameside and Stockport stands with the people of Ukraine at this troubling time.
** Gwynne encourages kinship carers to share their experiences
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is calling on kinship carers to take part in a pioneering new survey.
Kinship care is where children whose parents are unable to look after them are cared for by other relatives. Gwynne is himself a kinship carer for his grandson Lyle, and also sits as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kinship Care.
The APPG is currently holding an inquiry into legal aid access for kinship carers, and aims to use survey responses to better understand the experiences of kinship carers, as well as where policy interventions are most necessary. At the moment, kinship carers are unable to access free, independent legal advice and representation when considering taking on the care of a child who cannot safely remain with their parents.
Last week, Gwynne spoke passionately about his own experiences in a debate in Parliament, and has long called for better support and recognition for kinship carers.
Commenting on the survey, Andrew Gwynne said:
“Kinship carers step in to avoid a child from remaining in, or entering into, the care system. They provide a safe and loving home for a child within their family network.
However, as I understand first hand, they are often having to navigate a complex legal system without proper support. Many end up in substantial debt as a result and suffer extreme financial and mental stress.
This inquiry aims to find out more about what other Kinship carers are going through, and give policy makers the tools to make better decisions that work for families up and down the country.
I’d encourage any Kinship carers to share their stories.”
Those wishing to take part in the survey can do so by visiting: [link removed]
** The longer we give the Tories, the longer we will wait - my weekly article for the Tameside Reporter
Data recently released by the NHS has revealed that 6 million people are currently on a waiting list. This represents a shocking one in nine of the population.
Despite these awful figures, the Government has shown no signs of getting to grip with the scale of the problem.
Last week, the Health Secretary stood up in Parliament and declared that waiting lists will continue to rise for the next two years. He claimed that the Government had a plan to deal with the crisis but offered zero solutions on how to address the staffing shortage in the NHS – which experts recognise as one of the primary causes of the health backlog.
The Government has been keen to blame COVID as the source of the NHS’s woes. However, the fact is waiting times were already soaring prior to the start of the pandemic. Under the Tories, waiting times have climbed to record highs, and systematic neglect and underfunding has left the NHS stretched like never before.
In Tameside, there are over 18,000 people on waiting lists, and over 35% of those are currently waiting more than 18 weeks to be seen. That is totally unacceptable, and will no doubt be cause for great concern for many individuals and families across the Borough. How on earth can the Government claim to be ‘levelling-up’ when people in Tameside aren’t getting the care they need?
A Labour Government founded the NHS, and only a Labour Government can rescue it after years of Government mismanagement. We need a proper plan to tackle the workforce crisis, and must prioritise recruiting, training, and retraining the staff we need. NHS staff are heroes, and work wonders, but cannot be expected to keep the health service afloat without the requisite support.
The pandemic has shown that if we do not prioritise and protect our NHS, we leave ourselves really vulnerable. The NHS was almost totally overwhelmed by COVID-19, and only managed to get through the worst days of the pandemic because of the dedication and sacrifice of NHS staff.
We must never put NHS staff in that position again.
When Labour left power in 2010, NHS waiting times had dropped, public satisfaction was increasing, and hospitals were staffed at record numbers. It is so frustrating to see all that great work undone in such a short space of time.
Things need to change. The truth is, the longer we give the Tories, the longer we will wait.
I would encourage anyone in Tameside, who isn’t already part of a union, to join so that you have the protections in employment that you deserve. You can do so by visiting the TUC website, and there’s a brilliant tool which allows you to pick the union that works best for you.
We are stronger together, and unions give working people a powerful voice to change and improve the future.
Read more of this week's stories ([link removed])
Andrew in Parliament
📺 WATCH: At Defence Questions I asked Ministers to do the right thing and recognise the sacrifices of Britain’s Nuclear Test veterans. It’s shameful we are now the only atomic nation with no official recognition.
I’ve supported the Daily Mirror campaign to put this right.
📺 WATCH: In Westminster Hall, Andrea Leadsom MP has secured a short debate on kinship care. As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care I speak about the financial challenges and legal labyrinth that family members struggle to navigate to become kinship carers.
📺 WATCH: At Women and Equalities Questions we have a question about violence to women and girls. I ask why the Government is seeking to overturn a Labour amendment which would make misogyny a specific hate crime. The police have called for it. The Minister’s reply beggars belief.
📺 WATCH: On a question on moving civil servants out of Whitehall and into the nations and regions of Britain, I make the point that we also need greater diversity for those top level jobs, so our civil servants better represent the make-up of our country.
📺 WATCH: We have another Urgent Question on the Post Office Horizon scandal.
I again pay tribute to my constituent, Della Ryan ([link removed]) , the former sub-postmistress at Dukinfield, who was wrongly accused of theft by Post Office Ltd. because of faults with the Horizon system. I ask about how we bring those civil servants involved in perpetuating this scandal to justice.
📺 WATCH: At Business Questions I ask the Leader of the House when he expects the Second Reading of the HS2 Bill. Hidden in the Bill is a proposal to sever and mothball the Ashton Metrolink line during construction of HS2. No answer from the Leader of the House, and no offer to get the Tameside MPs a meeting with the Transport Secretary either. 🚃
📺 WATCH: Today the Government has announced big changes to the Higher Education sector including possible changes to the entry requirements to universities. I use my own example as why we must not inadvertently lift up the ladder of opportunity for the next generation.
Andrew in the constituency
** Tree planting in Jet Amber Fields 🌳
We’ve had a great morning out today on Jet Amber Fields planting 200 saplings with the assistance of Tameside Council ([link removed]) ’s Greenspace Officer, John Courtman.
The event was organised by the Friends of the Tame Valley ([link removed]) (which I am secretary of) and the trees were kindly donated by City of Trees ([link removed]) for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
A mix of Oak, Rowan, Hawthorn and Hazel trees were planted. Thanks to all the volunteers who came along to help. A brilliant effort all round! 💚
** Hats off to Denton 🎩
🎩 Last Friday, I had a brilliant sneak peek at #HatsOffToDenton ([link removed]) - there’s 5 giant hats and 10 smaller community hats dotted around the town centre commemorating our hat making heritage and the best of our town!
Well done to Tameside Libraries and Culture ([link removed]) and all the local artists, schools and community groups involved. It’s going to be brilliant! 👏🏻
Andrew in the media
📰 READ: Thanks to the Daily Mirror for covering my question on Nuclear Test Veterans. We urgently need to recognise the sacrifices of these veterans who have been ignored for far too long.
You can read the full article here ([link removed]) .
🎩 To find out more about the fantastic 'Hats Off To Denton' trail click 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])
Our mailing address is:
139 St Annes Road
Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY
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Andrew Gwynne . 139 St Annes Road . Denton . Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY . United Kingdom
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