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Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has today (4th July 2016) tabled a Private Members Bill to toughen up the sentencing for animal cruelty crimes, following local case where the abusers of a pet bulldog avoided jail.

Andrew and Daniel Frankish from Redcar horrifically abused their pet bulldog, Baby, repeatedly throwing her down the stairs, stamping on her head, swinging her around and head-butting her. They filmed the attack and were seen and heard to be laughing. Baby’s injuries were so severe that she was put down three months after the vicious attack due to loss of the use of her hind legs.

The brothers avoided jail and were sentenced in March to 21 weeks in prison, suspended for two years and a tagged curfew for six months.

The case has received national attention with almost half a million people signing an online petition calling for their sentence to be reviewed.

Anna has previously written to the Justice Minister, Michael Gove, requesting an urgent review into sentencing for animal cruelty crimes. The Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP replied on his behalf to say that they did not have the power to refer this kind of case for review and that people who commit animal cruelty can be sentenced for up to six months in prison.

Anna has now used a parliamentary mechanism called the 10 Minute Rule which gives backbenchers an opportunity to bring forward draft legislation for debate. It is often so popular that MPs have to sleep out to reserve a place in the queue outside the Public Bill Office.

Anna said:

“All abuse of animals is completely unacceptable but the abhorrent acts committed by the Frankish brothers were especially cruel and the fact that they have escaped prison is very concerning.There is widespread disbelief at the leniency of the sentencing in this case and I fear it will persuade other animal abusers that the law is on their side.Currently, people who commit animal cruelty can face up to six months in prison, a fine and be banned from keeping animals for life. However the fact the Frankish brothers escaped prison despite the severity of their crimes, it is clear the current sentencing guidelines are not strong enough.I queued up through the night to secure this bill to bring it before Parliament and will be working with the RSPCA and other campaigners because we cannot let other abusers get away with mistreating their animals as Baby was."

The Bill has been co-sponsored by Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North. He said:

“I am delighted to support Anna's initiative which serves to ensure there are fair penalties for people who carry out horrendous attacks on defenceless animals.”

Redcar MP tables bill for tougher animal cruelty sentencing following Frankish brothers case

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has today (4th July 2016) tabled a Private Members Bill to toughen up the sentencing for animal cruelty crimes, following local case where the...

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British Steel employees at the company's Teesside Beam Mill (TBM) and Service Centre have been described as 'leading lights' in the steel industry by Redcar MP Anna Turley.

Anna was speaking on her first visit to the Lackenby site since the business was launched under Greybull Capital ownership earlier this month. Site managers met with the MP to explain British Steel's vision for the future and discuss ways in which local and national government can support the industry.

Anna addressed an audience of around 50 employees before taking part in a question and answer session. She then went on a tour of the Beam Mill and the associated Teesside Service Centre.

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Richard Sims, British Steel's Product Director for Sections and Special Profiles, said:

“At British Steel we would like to thank Anna for visiting. We are hugely proud of our business and the incredible products that we make. We were delighted to showcase this to Anna and let her meet the many people who make British Steel what it is. Anna showed a great understanding of the steel-making business and her pledge to continue supporting the industry, here on Teesside and further afield, is greatly appreciated."

Ben Cunliffe, British Steel Sales Director Sections, added:

"Having Anna visit the site and show such passion for British Steel was great to see.  "On Teesside we have produced, and continue to produce, steel for some of the most iconic building projects in the world. Our new business is not just about producing first class steel, it is about first class customer service so having the opportunity to demonstrate this to an MP was of huge benefit."

Anna said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to visit British Steel at TBM, as we all know, it has been a tough year for steel on Teesside but today I am delighted to celebrate the return of British Steel. Celebrating the safeguarding of some 700 jobs, celebrating a British company taking control of the site in an area with phenomenal strategic positioning, a shot in the arm to the industry of £400m and the return of a world renowned brand. I am hopeful that when the Government talk of supporting British produce, they put British Steel at Teesside Beam Mill at the top of the pile for procurement lists for government departments and local authorities. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the workers of British Steel for all they have done, putting in those extra hours, supporting our shared community and ultimately, for keeping steel making on Teesside.”

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Anna celebrates return of British Steel and describes employees as ‘leading lights’ in the industry

British Steel employees at the company's Teesside Beam Mill (TBM) and Service Centre have been described as 'leading lights' in the steel industry by Redcar MP Anna Turley.

Obviously as a supporter of the Remain campaign, I am disappointed about the result. It was not what I believed was best for the future of our country and our economy. But people have spoken loud and clear. I heard and understood the concerns, indeed the anger, people had throughout this process (and before) and the local result was not unexpected.

Now my priority will be to focus on helping to get best deal for Britain from Brexit. Now we have made this decision, we have got to try and stabilise the economy and build one that works for our region. We need to make sure that Brexit truly does liberate us in this region, as people have voted for, not do us further damage. Britain is a great country. Teesside is a great area. We have to pull together now to get the best deal. I will be going back down to parliament on Monday and will redouble my efforts to make sure the decisions made work for us. Thank you everyone for voting.

EU referendum Result

Obviously as a supporter of the Remain campaign, I am disappointed about the result. It was not what I believed was best for the future of our country and our...

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The great thing about today’s referendum is that everyone gets to have their say and each person’s vote counts the same as another's, but I wanted to set out why I personally voted to remain part of the European Union.'

For our region, the biggest issue at stake in this referendum is the local economy and thousands of skilled jobs reliant on Europe. Brexit will put these and Teesside’s recovery at risk.

Our area has been devastated recently by the closure of SSI and the loss of over 175 years of steel making. On top of job losses at Boulby Potash and Air Products, three thousand jobs were lost overnight at the works, with many more in the wider community – everyone from window cleaners to child minders has been affected in some way.

Some people have sought to channel the justified anger and sense of betrayal that we feel against Europe, but that would result in us ‘cutting off our nose to spite our face’ by hitting our remaining industries.

At the time the government said they couldn't intervene to save SSI due to European State Aid rules. We knew that wasn't the case, and even gained confirmation of this from the European Commission. The fact that the government is now discussing a state loan of hundreds of millions of pounds to stop Tata’s UK business closing shows that Europe was not the barrier. Our own government was.

The Tory government have also blocked the EU from implementing tougher action against cheap Chinese steel which would have given some protection to the UK steel industry. Then, following the closure of Redcar steelworks, refused to apply for support from the £500 million European Globalisation Adjustment Fund which is available to areas like ours which have been hit by large scale redundancies.

Europe did not refuse to help our area; our own government did.

I recognise the frustration people have with today’s economic pressures on things like jobs, wages and affordable housing. Our world is more globally linked than ever before, and in Redcar & Cleveland we have been at the sharp end when decisions made in China affected local industry. But leaving Europe will not make these problems go away. As frustrating as it is, we can't shut ourselves off from these challenges. In fact, we will have even less control over them if we leave Europe because they are issues best tackled by working with other countries.

We now have to rebuild our economy on Teesside. This means getting inward investment, growing small and medium enterprises and regenerating our area. In the Redcar constituency, we have two major assets which are vital to our economic recovery. Both the Teesport and Wilton International benefit hugely from access to the European Union.

Across our region, many more businesses like Nissan, Hitachi and Nifco benefit from open access to the European market. A vote to leave will mean several years of instability and uncertainty, with businesses delaying investment decisions or taking their work elsewhere. In fact, the North East Process Industry Cluster joined business leaders from across the region to say that leaving the EU would deter investment, threaten jobs and put the North East economy at risk.

There are many other projects, such as the Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park, which rely on EU funding, and many local businesses that rely on exports to the single market. Our region is a net recipient of EU funds and we are entitled to more European funds than any other English region. The European Social Fund alone paid £157million into the North East between 2007 and 2013, and we are due £726million from the EU over the next five years. Support we would not receive if a Tory government had control of the funding pot.

The EU has also kept people safe at work and protects our rights as a consumer. It protects paid leave (before EU membership we had no right to paid holiday), maternity rights and equal rights for agency workers. A Tory government in a Britain outside of Europe would soon get to work cutting back these protections.

We have a huge job on to rebuild our local economy and regenerate our area, but the EU has a vital role to play in this. Leaving would be a huge risk to take. We are far stronger and greater as a country by being in Europe and leading on tackling the problems we all face. I urge you to join me in voting Remain today.

Why I am voting to Remain in the European Union

The great thing about today’s referendum is that everyone gets to have their say and each person’s vote counts the same as another's, but I wanted to set out why...

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Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has come together with campaigners, heritage organisations, and academics to launch a bid to save Red Barns from disrepair and to bring the building back to life as a community resource.

The Grade II* listed building at the heart of Redcar is the former home of Gertrude Bell, the renowned twentieth century explorer, mountaineer, archaeologist and diplomat.

In her career Gertrude became highly influential to British policymaking and played a major role in establishing and helping to administer the modern state of Iraq. She was given an immense amount of diplomatic power for a woman at the time.

The building itself, designed by acclaimed 19th century architect Philip Webb, also has architectural significance as it is one of the most important remaining examples of Arts and Crafts architecture in North East England.

It was commissioned by Bell's father, Sir Hugh Bell, a local industrialist whose enterprise included a steelworks in Middlesbrough.

Red Barns, which has had many uses over the years including being a pub and hotel, has lain empty in recent years and fallen into a worrying state of disrepair.

Anna has launched a community campaign, including an application to the government’s Coastal Communities Fund, to purchase and renovate Red Barns to create a permanent museum and learning centre to help redevelop the local economy and attract tourism. She is keen to hear from anyone with thoughts and ideas on the campaign.

Anna said:

"Red Barns has huge significance to the local area and it is tragic that such a beautiful building with so much history has deteriorated into such a poor state.
Our proposal to save it and turn it into a museum and learning resource would allow a local venue for the display of exhibitions akin to the current Gertrude Bell display and Kirkleatham and help drive the growth of local culture and tourism.
We are in talks with the private owners who, whilst having planning permission to convert the building into flats, are sympathetic to the building's relevance to the community.
If anyone is interested in getting involved with this project, please do get in touch. We have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/saveredbarns/ where you can contact the team directly."

Local ward councillor Neil Baldwin, who first raised the idea of rescuing the building, welcomed the campaign:

"This fantastic building is in urgent need of repair and I wanted to do something to save it from further damage, regenerate the site and bring it back into use.
Recognising that this venture needed more clout, I met with Anna who was on the same page and has helped to drive the idea forward.
I hope we can see Red Barns restored to its former glory and provide a great facility for our area."

The campaign is currently engaging with various organisations to develop the proposal, including Newcastle University – Dr. Mark Jackson, Lecturer in Archaeology and manager of the Gertrude Bell Photographic Archive said:

“As a girl Gertrude Bell was educated at Red Barns – full of energy and determination fostered at home - she grew up to be a woman of considerable international influence. A great believer in the value of heritage for people, Gertrude worked tirelessly to protect ancient buildings and to establish museums and libraries. She and her family were true pioneers. Given its history and significance, it seems very fitting that we should all join with the community in Redcar to help restore the Bell family home for the future.”

Community bid to save former Redcar home of Gertrude Bell

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has come together with campaigners, heritage organisations, and academics to launch a bid to save Red Barns from disrepair and to bring the building...


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