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** Dear Constituent,
Hello and welcome to this week's edition of the Denton and Reddish weekly news.
Today marks 1 year since Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine. We continue to stand with our Ukrainian friends, and will do so until Putin loses this war, and is held accountable for his actions.
For the latter part of this week, I've been in Vienna for the Winter session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly ([link removed]) .
As a member of the Political & Security Committee of the OSCE PA I’ve spoken out against Putin’s illegal war and to express the United Kingdom’s full support for the Ukrainian people, government and armed forces in their fight for freedom and democracy.
Recently, it was reported that instances of criminal damage to shops, schools, leisure centres and businesses have increased by more than 30% over the last year.
These figures will come as no surprise to local people, who have felt the harsh reality of the rise in antisocial behaviour over the last 13 years. Stinging cuts to community police has meant that we now have around 1,000 fewer PCSOs in the North West, hamstringing local police services and damaging public confidence in the safety of their communities.
What’s worse, even when perpetrators are caught, we’re seeing a reduction in community sentences being handed out and applied. According to the Ministry of Justice, just 71,138 community sentences were given in 2021, that’s down from 189,333 in 2010.
These statistics are shameful and should be a wakeup call to a Government that has been asleep at the wheel when in comes to antisocial behaviour. It just isn’t acceptable that local people no longer feel safe where they live and are watching offenders get away scot-free time and time again.
I’ve always been a strong believer in clamping down on antisocial behaviour. That’s why I’m so proud to support Labour’s plans to prioritise tackling antisocial behaviour if elected at the next General Election. This includes creating mandatory antisocial behaviour police officers in every community, and reimposing ‘respect orders’ which would create a new criminal offence for repeat adult antisocial behaviour offenders.
We would also set up Community and Victim Payback Boards, which would see victims and community leaders getting a say on appropriate punishments and making perpetrators accountable to the community that they have damaged.
This would come alongside 13,000 extra neighbourhood police on Britain’s streets, including at least 10,000 more officers, PCSOs and specials.
I have worked closely with local police, and there have been some notable improvements. However, until we start seeing the Government take antisocial behaviour seriously, we are facing an uphill battle.
I’m confident that Labour’s plans would be a hugely effective at tackling the criminal behaviour which has become all too common in our communities.
So, my message to the Government is simple; either get a grip and make our communities safe again, or move out of the way and let Labour get on with the job.
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has backed Labour’s plans to invest in skills and jobs for the futures.
Gwynne has accused the Government of overseeing a “decade of decline”, which has seen the number of apprenticeships fall and economic growth stagnate.
The Labour Party has pledged to make skills a key plank of its plans for Government. It has committed to boost skills training, and create a new Taskforce called ‘Skills England’, which would drive forward a national mission to deliver the skills needed for the next decade.
Labour’s plan for skills would:
* Turn the Tories’ failed Apprenticeships Levy into a ‘Growth and Skills Levy’ enabling firms to spend up to 50% of their levy contributions, including current underspend, on non-apprenticeship training – including modular courses and functional skills courses to tackle key skills gaps. By reserving 50% of the Growth and Skills Levy for apprenticeships, we will protect existing apprenticeship provision
* Better align skills policy with regional economic policy and local labour markets by devolving combining and various adult education skills funding streams to current and future combined authorities
* Establish a new expert body, Skills England, to oversee the national effort to meet the skills needs of the coming decade across all regions, and ensure we can deliver our Climate Investment Pledge.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“Over the last 13 years, communities right across Denton and Reddish have been neglected by this Conservative Government.
I want to see a Britain where everyone has access to the training and skills they need to thrive.
That’s why I’m so proud to back Labour’s plans to invest in local people and the jobs of the future.”
Click here to read more of this week's stories ([link removed])
Andrew in Parliament
📺 WATCH: At the Winter meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly ([link removed]) , I speak about the UK's unwavering support of the Ukrainian people.
Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine must fail. Our Ukrainian friends and neighbours have shown extraordinary bravery in the face of such brutality, we must continue to stand by their side.🇺🇦 🇬🇧
📺 WATCH: We’ve just had an Urgent Question granted on the issue of water pollution. I raise the persistent problems along the River Tame where there are frequent discharges into the River.
While a lot of focus has been on sewage, in the Tame, we also have illegal chemical pollution too.
I ask what more the Environment Agency can do.
📺 WATCH: In an Urgent Question on the recent incidents in Knowsley, which were flared up by far right extremists online, I ask why the Government still hasn’t updated its counter-extremism strategy to cover online radicalisation (of any type) three years after the former Counter Extremism Commissioner recommended changes.
📺 WATCH: The Minister is set to announce another round of devolution for Greater Manchester with even more powers shifting from Westminster to the Mayor and Combined Authority.
I argue that with that shift in power there needs to also be a far greater focus on scrutiny and accountability of these powers by elected councillors. Seems the Minister agrees.
Andrew in the media
📰 READ: Today marks one year since Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine. My constituent Maria Romanenko has written an incredibly moving piece in the i newspaper.
Read the full piece here ([link removed]) .
In May, I'll be taking to the skies in a Wing Walk for 9-year old Florence. Florence has a rare life-limiting degenerative condition called #GM1 ([link removed]) . We're raising money for Florence and her family to make wonderful memories. If you can, please click below to donate.
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Andrew Gwynne . 139 St Annes Road . Denton . Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY . United Kingdom
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