Blog

 

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I recently met with Network Rail to discuss the ongoing works to improve the Bolton-Manchester line.

The next phase delivers long awaited upgrades to Bolton station. Work taking place includes: modifying existing platforms and canopies, remodelling tracks, upgrading signalling, installing overhead line equipment and building a new footbridge. The biggest change for passengers will be the revival of platform 5, which will improve the stations capacity and flexibility.

Unfortunately the scale of this work means that the station will have to be partially closed for a long time this summer.

I have received assurances that my constituents who use the Blackburn train line via Bromley Cross will still be able to travel in and out of Bolton.

However services onwards to Manchester/Preston ect will be replaced by buses.

This will be in effect on Sundays 23rd July, 30th July & 6th August and then every day from 12th-27th August while these improvement works are undertaken.

I appreciate that this will be inconvenient for people. If you experience any difficulty during this time regarding the information available to passengers or the effectiveness of the arrangements then please let me know. I will raise any concerns with Network Rail.

This work will bring us one step closer to the long over-due electrification of the train line and, hopefully, towards a better service.

Bolton train station closed this summer

  I recently met with Network Rail to discuss the ongoing works to improve the Bolton-Manchester line. The next phase delivers long awaited upgrades to Bolton station. Work taking place...

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I’d like to thank NHS England, who have taken the time to write to GPs with advice on how best to assist any local residents who may still be struggling to cope following the Manchester Arena attack.

I thought that I would share the content of their letter with you. The information may prove useful for anyone wondering if they should seek help from their doctor.

This NHS leaflet “Coping with stress following a major incident” is also available for those seeking further information.

The full letter is below:

 

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Mental health support following the Manchester Arena attack

  I’d like to thank NHS England, who have taken the time to write to GPs with advice on how best to assist any local residents who may still be...

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New figures show how English regions including Greater Manchester are being short-changed by Theresa May’s £1 billion deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). 

Northern Ireland residents are getting 22 times as much funding as Greater Manchester will through devolution, according to analysis by the House of Commons library.

Northern Ireland is to get an extra £244 per person every year, to be spent on services such as schools, hospitals and major transport schemes.

Meanwhile, the Government’s devolution deal with Greater Manchester provides the region with just an extra £11 per person each year.

The analysis, undertaken at the request of Labour MPs, shows how money for English regions is dwarfed by the cash pouring into Northern Ireland. This is in return for 10 DUP MPs pledging to support the Tories in the House of Commons.

This funding arrangement is simply unfair. Our infrastructure needs to be improved, our public services need to be protected. We should not be short changed just because the Tories need to have their Government propped up.

Our region could thrive with the right investment but the Conservatives have repeatedly shown that they refuse to deliver for us.

 

 

DUP deal compared to additional investment funding in devolution deals

 

         

 

DUP deal = additional £244 per capita

     

 

         

 

Devolution Deal

Annual amount (£m)

Population (m)

Per capita annual amount (£)

Per capita extra given to Northern Ireland (£)

 

West Midlands

36.5

2.8

13

231

 

Greater Manchester

30.0

2.7

11

233

 

East Anglia*

30.0

2.3

13

231

 

North East*

30.0

2.0

15

229

 

Liverpool City Region

30.0

1.5

20

224

 

Sheffield City Region

30.0

1.4

22

222

 

Greater Lincolnshire*

15.0

1.1

14

230

 

West of England

30.0

1.1

27

217

 

Tees Valley

15.0

0.7

23

221

 

Total

246.5

15.6

16

 

 

         

 

Sources: National Audit Office; Offi ce for National Statistics; Department for Communities and Local Government

Theresa May's DUP deal gives Northern Ireland 22 times as much funding as Greater Manchester

  New figures show how English regions including Greater Manchester are being short-changed by Theresa May’s £1 billion deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).  Northern Ireland residents are getting...

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The latest unemployment figures released today show that the Government is failing my constituents and that much greater investment is needed in Bolton.

There are now 2415 unemployed claimants in Bolton North East, 225 more than there were at the same time last year. 

Shockingly, Bolton North East now has the 31st highest number of unemployed claimants out of all 650 constituencies. For comparison, when the last Labour Government left office in 2010 the constituency was 113th

On the Tories watch we are falling further behind the rest of the country.

The Government are failing to support towns like Bolton to deliver more employment opportunities. We need to see investment into our transport network so that my constituents can access jobs across the region, and we need more good jobs here in Bolton.

Theresa May found £1bn to invest in Northern Ireland, I want to know where our investment is? Bolton residents shouldn’t be left to fall behind and I will be raising this with Government Ministers.
 

Key facts

  • The total number of unemployed claimants in Bolton North East constituency in June 2017 was 2,415. 

  • This represents a rate of 5.5% of the economically active population aged 16-64, the 31st highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) 

  • The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.5%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.5% between March and May 2017. 

  • The number of claimants in Bolton North East constituency is 225 higher than June 2016 and 20 lower than May 2017.

  • When the last Labour Government left office in May 2010 Bolton North East had the 113th highest JSA claimant rate.

Government neglect leaves Bolton behind on unemployment

The latest unemployment figures released today show that the Government is failing my constituents and that much greater investment is needed in Bolton. There are now 2415 unemployed claimants in...

I'm standing for re-election on 8th June. These are my pledges to you.

 

A high quality local NHS

I will continue to campaign for a fair funding deal for Bolton's NHS services. We need to cut waiting times at A&E and improve standards in social care and mental health.

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Secure and valuable employment

Bolton deserves a pay rise. I will push the Government to introduce a Real Living Wage for everyone that meets the cost of living and ban exploitative zero hours contracts.

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Let's get back on track

I will continue my campaign to end overcrowding on Bolton's trains.

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Investing in our future

Help for children and young families is the best investment we can make. I will work to protect Sure Start centres and local school budgets.

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Bolton comes first

I will always put the interests of the people of Bolton first. I have a proven record of voting in your interest even in conflict with my own political party.

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My Pledges - David Crausby

I'm standing for re-election on 8th June. These are my pledges to you.   A high quality local NHS I will continue to campaign for a fair funding deal for...

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Wages in Britain today simply do not match the cost of living. The gap between the richest and the poorest continues to increase and in-work poverty is becoming a major problem all across the country.

The Conservatives simply have no interest in helping those affected. Theresa May likes to talk about helping those who are “just about managing” but takes no meaningful action to address poverty pay.

£7.50 an hour is not a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living in Britain today. Those under 25 are entitled to less, even when doing the exact same job as an older worker at the same company. It is simply unfair.

I am delighted to see that Labour have committed to take on these challenges and provide much needed help for low-paid workers.

The introduction of a real Living Wage for all adults, increasing over time to match the recommendations of the Living Wage Foundation, would be a huge step forward. This should be at least £10 an hour by 2020.

Labour’s real Living Wage would give a pay rise to the 5.6 million workers who currently don’t earn enough to meet the cost of living.

Workers over the age of 25 would get a pay rise worth £2,500 a year. Workers aged 21-24 currently on the minimum wage will also see their wages rise by over £4,500 a year.

This is a bold but realistic plan to help working people in Britain.

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A real Living Wage

  Wages in Britain today simply do not match the cost of living. The gap between the richest and the poorest continues to increase and in-work poverty is becoming a...

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Investing in support for young children and families is smart policy. It helps to reduce child poverty, improves achievements in education, and reduces inequalities in ways that benefit a generation throughout their entire life.

I am proud of the work the last Labour Government did to create Sure Start, but this should have been just the beginning. Support for early years education should have grown and opportunities expanded to more and more families.

The Tories instead have taken a short term approach, stripping away funding bit by bit until centres close or have their services cut back. Labour has revealed figures through Freedom of Information requests that show more than a third of sure start centres have closed since 2010. That’s 1,240 fewer Sure Start centres since David Cameron first became Prime Minister.

It won’t save money in the long-run: addressing avoidable education, health or crime issues later in life will be far more expensive. A helping hand to young families today lifts all of up, but the Tories have taken that away.

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I was proud to open Oxford Grove Children's Centre in 2002. The Government should not be putting services like this at risk.

Every child deserves a Sure Start

Investing in support for young children and families is smart policy. It helps to reduce child poverty, improves achievements in education, and reduces inequalities in ways that benefit a generation...

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When George Osborne was the Chancellor for the Conservatives, he outlined a plan to cut Inheritance Tax to the point where a couple could receive a £1million home without paying anything.

The current Conservative Chancellor, Philip Hammond, did nothing to cancel this in the recent Spring Budget so, starting next month, the threshold for Inheritance Tax will rise from its current £325,000 per person to £500,000 by 2020.

This change is expected to cost the Treasury £1billion by 2021. This is money that could be invested in our long term future; transport, the NHS, early years education. Instead the cut will likely benefit 0.04% of people in England.

New research revealed by my colleague, Rachel Reeves MP, shows that this tax cut will strengthen the North-South divide. Money that could have helped address inequalities across the country will now be concentrated in a small number of households in London and the South East.

In 2015-16, of the 100 constituencies with the highest number of property sales over £650,000 (the current Inheritance Tax threshold for a couple) 96 are in London or the South-East.

The average sold price in Bolton North East was £125,000. We ranked 430 out of 573 constituencies in England and Wales with just 0.7% of homes sold for over £650k.

We should be looking to end the North-South divide, not cutting services in Bolton to give more money to the wealthiest families in London.

This policy once again shows that this Conservative Government have their priorities wrong. There so many better ways to improve our economy and raise living standards.

Inheritance Tax - A cut for the South

  When George Osborne was the Chancellor for the Conservatives, he outlined a plan to cut Inheritance Tax to the point where a couple could receive a £1million home without...

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This afternoon Parliament will discuss the ongoing problem of fuel poverty.

Four million households across the UK, including 4679 households here in Bolton North East, cannot afford to heat their homes properly.

Living in a cold home can have a hugely detrimental impact on people’s physical and mental health. It is estimated that the effects of cold homes costs the NHS £1.6 billion each year. No one in Bolton or anywhere else deserves to live in a damp and mouldy home.

The standard of our housing is central to this problem. Poorer families often find themselves in homes that are not well insulated and cost more to heat. Fuel poor households in the North West typically need to pay £352 more each year than their more affluent neighbours to sustain a warm home.

I was proud of the progress that the last Labour Government made in this area. Investment in insulation and boiler upgrade schemes helped so many families and this work should have been built on. Instead the Conservatives have ended much of the support that was available and made it much harder for people to access. The funding for insulation has been cut by 80%.

Labour continue to call for investment in energy efficient homes as a priority for infrastructure investment. It would create skilled jobs, improve public health, aid efforts to combat climate change, and put more money into the pockets of families who need it the most. It is a smart investment in our future.

Cold_Homes_Week_cropped_2.jpgSupporting Cold Homes Week 2015 in Parliament

 

No more cold homes

  This afternoon Parliament will discuss the ongoing problem of fuel poverty. Four million households across the UK, including 4679 households here in Bolton North East, cannot afford to heat...

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Labour has a proud history of standing up for workers’ rights and using the powers of Government to protect those rights in law.

I am proud to live in a country where people have a minimum wage, paid holidays, maternity and paternity leave, and time off when you are ill.

These are things many of us take for granted, but they were hard fought for over many years. Before I got into politics I remember negotiating with my employer at a local factory to provide a sick pay scheme, to prevent people having to literally work until they dropped.

A lot has changed since then, but new types of employment are putting those rights at risk. Just in the last few days there have been reports of workers being fined £150 a day for being ill. We must address the problem of false self-employment in the so-called “gig economy” and ensure basic rights for workers are not eroded.


What is false self-employment?

There are two broad classifications of work. If you are self-employed you own your own business. If you’re an employee then you work for someone else and they have additional responsibilities towards you as their employee.

False self-employment occurs when you are treated as a contractor even though you have little or no freedom. You are an employee of the company in all but name. It is used by some employers to evade taxes and take on workers without having to respect employment rights and entitlements.

Workers engaged in false self-employment miss out on rights such as:

•Paid sick leave

•Holiday pay

•Overtime rates

•Redundancy pay

•Travel allowances

•Pension contributions

•National Insurance contributions

•Employment protections

This is not a new problem. It has been prominent in the construction industry and I am proud of the work Labour has done in the past to try and address this. Unfortunately it is becoming a bigger issue across different types of work as new technologies allow for new models of employment.


The gig economy

The gig economy refers to employment where instead of receiving a regular wage from their employer workers get paid for the "gigs" they do, such as a food delivery or a car journey.

In theory this model should empower workers. You can have flexible hours, work when and how much you want to, receive an income from multiple sources, and balance work around other commitments in your life.

In practice though we have seen some employers take advantage of this by wrongly classifying workers as self-employed. They are not empowering workers, they are stripping away their security and their basic rights as employees.

There have been several high profile examples of these employment practices being questioned, including Hermes, Deliveroo, City Sprint and Uber. This business model continues to grow and will undoubtedly play a role in new emerging industries and the Government needs to take action now to stop workers falling into the false self-employment trap.

I have been questioning Government Ministers about false self-employment and I am pleased to see that they have launched a review to see how these issues can be addressed. I am concerned, however, that the main focus of the review is likely to be lost revenue for the Treasury, rather than the protection of workers’ rights.

I am keen to hear from any local residents who may have been affected by these issues.

Workers’ rights at risk

  Labour has a proud history of standing up for workers’ rights and using the powers of Government to protect those rights in law. I am proud to live in...

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