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I have been campaigning for some time for food hygiene ratings to be displayed on the doors of takeaways and other food outlets across England. At the moment the system is voluntary and often only those with high ratings will display the sticker.

The display of ratings is already compulsory in Wales. In Northern Ireland they have gone even further and from next year businesses which offer online food ordering will need to publish their ratings online so that they can be seen before an order is placed.

You can find more information about my work so far here, but in summary the Government previously suggested they might be supportive but needed to wait for evidence from Wales before setting a timetable for action.

In response to a series of further questions in Parliament the Government has finally revealed a timetable for new regulations to take effect in England.

Steve Brine MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care said: “The FSA is exploring how a statutory scheme could be delivered in England, including display of ratings on online food ordering platforms, as part of their work to deliver a new model of regulation for food businesses – the Regulating Our Future programme, which is expected to have changes to the regulatory system in place by 2020.”

I am pleased that we are finally seeing progress when it comes to food hygiene ratings, this is a victory for common sense. The public have the right to make informed choices about where they buy and eat food.

Government sets timetable for new food hygiene rules

I have been campaigning for some time for food hygiene ratings to be displayed on the doors of takeaways and other food outlets across England. At the moment the system...

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Earlier this week I wrote about the problems of fuel poverty, and how poor standards in housing are a contributing factor.

My questions to Government Ministers revealed that the number of homes with low energy efficiency ratings has increased in the private rented sector since 2010.

I submitted further questions to Ministers about incentives for landlords to make homes more energy efficient and there is an important deadline approaching.

This April regulations will come into force that prohibit the renting of properties with energy performance certificates below band E.

If these homes are upgraded it would be a huge boost for hundreds of thousands of tenants. The Government’s own figures estimate the annual energy bill savings for a household moving from band G to E would be £990. For a band F household moving to E the saving would be £510.

However, I’m concerned about the Government’s approach to this. The regulations could allow landlords a five year exemption if there are not adequate energy efficiency policies to fund improvements. Landlords could use the Government’s own failings as a loophole to get out of fulfilling their responsibilities to tenants.

A report by Parity Projects indicates that 70% of these homes could be brought up to an E grade for less than £1000, but these exemptions could leave us with both the Government and landlords each refusing to invest while blaming the other.

I wrote to the Secretary of State before Christmas to highlight these concerns on behalf of my constituents. If the Government is serious about tackling fuel poverty it should follow through on this initiative and not let landlords off the hook.

Don’t let landlords get out of energy efficiency obligations

Earlier this week I wrote about the problems of fuel poverty, and how poor standards in housing are a contributing factor. My questions to Government Ministers revealed that the number...

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The TUC's Great Jobs Agenda sets out that all workers should:

  • be paid fairly
  • work in a safe and healthy workplace
  • be treated decently
  • have guaranteed hours
  • have their voice heard in the workplace
  • have the chance to progress at work.

The aim of the agenda is to unite workplace and political representatives around a common set of objectives to improve the quality of jobs.

I have signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament to highlight the Great Jobs Agenda and call on the Government to improve workers’ rights in law.

Too many people are stuck in jobs where they are treated poorly. They have no stability, low wages, no opportunities to develop their talents and they’re scared about what might happen if they speak out.

I think the Great Jobs Agenda is a positive starting point to improve workers’ rights and turn those rubbish jobs into great jobs.

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For more information on the TUC Great Jobs Agenda visit: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/great-jobs-agenda.pdf

Making more jobs into great jobs

The TUC's Great Jobs Agenda sets out that all workers should: be paid fairly work in a safe and healthy workplace be treated decently have guaranteed hours have their voice...

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