Anna Turley MP

Fighting back for Redcar

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Hello everyone. Here is a roundup of just some of the things I have been doing in Parliament and in the constituency since my last post. I like to try and keep in touch as much as I can! I’ll try and do these fortnightly from now on.

On Monday 15th June I met with Tata Steel in Parliament to talk about their plans to create a separate business for their Long Products division. There were also Education Questions that day on a range of issues from protecting Sure Starts to providing more apprenticeships.

In Treasury Questions on Tuesday 16th I asked George Osborne if he has assessed the impact of EU withdrawal on the North East economy and the Northern Powerhouse. Our region is a net beneficiary for EU investment and many of our manufacturers like Nissan and Hitachi depend on easy access to European markets – despite this the Northern Powerhouse Minister has said he would vote to leave, playing fast and loose with economic growth in our region!

Later I met Linda and Sonia, constituents who have both sadly lost loved ones to Motor Neurone Disease to hear about their experiences. Ensuring sufferers of the condition get the right care is so important, as is supporting their families and carers.

Wednesday 17th I attended the AGM of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Steel. Here we got an overview of the current market conditions for steel and what steps the government should be taking to support British steel-making. I then headed out to Nuneaton for the Question Time debate on the Labour Leadership. Unfortunately this meant I missed a reception about the protection of bees from pesticides, but my commitment is just as strong! Thursday there was a debate and votes on the European Referendum Bill.

Friday 19th I spent most of the day interviewing for office staff. I’m delighted to say I have my whole team ready now – I’ll do another post introducing everyone soon.

I then met Ensus who operate one of Europe’s largest bioethanol plants at Wilton but who are struggling due to adverse conditions across Europe, and our government’s failure to implement amendments to the EU Renewable Energy Directive.

In the evening I went to the wonderful Grenfell Club in Redcar to join them on in learning disability week for disco, karaoke and pool – what a fun night!

Saturday I was at Redcar Central Library supporting constituents with a wide range of individual problems at one of my regular advice surgeries.

Monday 22nd I was in the Chamber for DWP Questions. It felt like a parallel universe because Ian Duncan Smith was claiming that the Tories have protected the most vulnerable in welfare reform, despite the fact that we have seen in our own area that the most vulnerable have been hit hardest by things like the Bedroom Tax. He still refused to give any indication of where the Tories £12billion welfare cuts will fall.

Later I attended a reception with the Federation of Small Business to hear about their priorities and concerns and met some local business representatives from our area.

On Tuesday 23rd, it was interesting to meet doctors doing research funded by the British Heart Foundation to help fight heart disease. It is vital the government and the public continue to support our brilliant scientists with funding and donations.

I also met York Potash to hear about the plans for the forthcoming potash mine near Whitby that will have a processing factory on Wilton, export from Teesport and will provide over 1000 jobs to our area.

Wednesday 24th I was in the chamber most of the day. In an NHS debate it was highlighted that 1.4 million people were waiting more than 4 hours in A&E. The Tories are trying to scrap the weekly target because they have missed it 100 weeks in a row!

Later I asked the Home Secretary Theresa May to call a halt to all front line redundancies in UK Border Force given that we are seeing redundancies at Teesport at a time when there is increased pressure on border security.

Friday 26th I started the day at Wilton, speaking to protestors at the gate about their Pay The Rate campaign – we need to stop nationally agreed pay rates and terms and conditions being undercut. I intend to take this issue further so that we can ensure proper rates are paid.

I then went to Sacred Heart school to present the Ushakov medal, one of the highest Russian state awards for bravery and courage, to constituent John Ramsey for his service in the Arctic Convoys during WW2.

The next stop was New Marske Primary where I spoke to KS2 pupils as part of their careers week. They asked some great questions and there were definitely a few budding politicians in the room.

The final visit of the day was to St Peter’s in South Bank whose students made it to the national final of a prestigious mock trial competition. I was delighted to visit the school and congratulate the team for their hard work.

Last Saturday I attended the Armed Forces Day event in Redcar High Street where everyone looked resplendent with their flags and medals. Thanks to servicemen and women past and present for your bravery and sacrifice.

This week…

On Monday I was in the chamber for Communities & Local Government Questions. I asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government about the Troubled Families programme, whether there has been an increase in the number of families on the programme and if an assessment has been made of the impact of welfare and local authority funding cuts on disadvantaged families.

On Tuesday I had my question called in the ballot for Business, Innovation & Skills Questions. After the Secretary of State had answered my 'tabled' question about the effectiveness of the Government’s strategic support for industries and sectors, I took the opportunity to ask a supplementary about the undercutting of nationally agreed terms and conditions on industrial sites in the constituency.

Wednesday I was at the launch of plans by Teesside Collective for a carbon capture and storage facility on Teesside. The scheme will create thousands of jobs on Teesside and reduce the carbon footprint of our industries too.

Again I had put in for the ballot for Prime Ministers Questions, but no luck in the draw yet. I will keep trying every week! As usual David Cameron was his slippery self, and deeply offensive when he referenced the Jurassic World movie when replying to proud Labour veteran Denis Skinner MP.

I later attended the debates on child poverty where Labour challenged the Tories’ attempt to hide their failure on reducing child poverty behind changing the way figures are collected. That was followed by a debate on Equal Pay for women. In Redcar half of women are on less than a living wage.

On Thursday I found out that I have been successful in getting elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee which will hold the government to account through inquiries and reports on issues relating to the work of the Home Office, including crime and policing, immigration and counter-terrorism.

Sorry it is quite a long post but I wanted to keep you updated on some of the work I have been doing over the last few weeks. Busy times! Please do let me know your issues of interest and things you would like me to raise in Parliament, campaign on either nationally or locally, events you would like me to attend, or problems I can help you with.

Round up of what I have been doing

Hello everyone. Here is a roundup of just some of the things I have been doing in Parliament and in the constituency since my last post. I like to try...

Redcar Labour MP, Anna Turley, yesterday asked local government minister Greg Clark about the Troubled Families programme and whether cuts to welfare and local government had exacerbated the problems faced by disadvantaged families.

In a Communities and Local Government debate in the House of Commons Anna asked:

“What has the increase been in the number of families who have met the troubled families assessment criteria since the programme began?

“Has the Minister made any assessment of the impact of his Government’s £12 billion of welfare cuts and of his swingeing local authority cuts on already struggling families who need joined-up local support?”

In reply Mr Clark made reference to a statement made by the Prime Minister last week in which he claimed ‘almost all of the 117,000 families which the programme started working with have now been turned around’. However Mr Clark did not respond to Anna’s question on the impact of cuts to support for disadvantaged families.

Jonathan Portes, head of the National Institute of Social and Economic Research, has questioned the validity of the government’s assertion on the success of the programme given that the findings of the official evaluation are yet to be published.

In her time working at the Cabinet Office under the last Labour government Anna helped to develop the successful forerunner to the Troubled Families Programme and so is passionate about tackling social exclusion. She will continue to hold the government to account on the support available for disadvantaged families.

Anna questions government minister on cuts to support for struggling families

Redcar Labour MP, Anna Turley, yesterday asked local government minister Greg Clark about the Troubled Families programme and whether cuts to welfare and local government had exacerbated the problems faced...

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WW2 Arctic Convoys veteran, John Ramsey, was today presented with two Russian medals by Anna Turley, Labour and Co-operative MP for Redcar.

With an audience of history students at Sacred Heart School, John was presented with the Ushakov medal, one of the highest Russian state award for bravery and courage. He has also received a special 70th Anniversary medal.

John campaigned over a number of years for the Arctic Convoy veterans to receive the recognition that they had been offered by the Russian Government.

Between August 1941 and May 1945 78 convoys delivered much needed war supplies to the Soviet Union. More than 3,000 men died during the maritime campaign that Winston Churchill called the "worst journey in the world" due to the constant threat of German attack and the severe cold conditions.

The Russian Embassy wrote to survivors in May 2012 informing them it intended to award them with the Medal of Ushakov as a symbol of the country's gratitude. However, the move was initially blocked by the Foreign Office as it broke rules preventing British soldiers from receiving foreign medals for acts which happened more than five years ago.

In 2013 John and his fellow seamen received a British campaign medal, the Arctic Star, in recognition of their role. However, John did not stop campaigning and the British Government has now agreed that the war heroes can accept the honours that the Russians have wanted to present for decades.

Speaking after the event, Anna said:

“It was an honour and a privilege to present John with his new medals - a real Redcar hero. It is great to see him and his fellow navy men receiving full recognition for their bravery. Many of the freedoms we enjoy today are ours to enjoy because of the sacrifices of John’s generation – we owe them so much.

“I hope the students from Sacred Heart and other schools with whom John has shared his experiences over the years, are inspired by his bravery to do great things.”

Redcar Arctic Convoys veteran receives highest Russian honour

WW2 Arctic Convoys veteran, John Ramsey, was today presented with two Russian medals by Anna Turley, Labour and Co-operative MP for Redcar.

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This week Anna Turley, Labour and Co-operative MP for Redcar, showed her support for UK medical research by joining British Heart Foundation (BHF) scientists and heart patients to hear how research is helping to save and improve the lives of the millions of people affected by heart disease. 

In Redcar constituency there are more than 12,000 people living with heart and circulatory disease, and seven million people across the UK. It causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK.

At an event in Westminster, Anna spoke with heart patients and BHF-funded researchers to learn more about the latest research projects, the hope they offer to people with heart conditions and why government support is vital.

 

Anna said:

“It was a really interesting event, particularly hearing from heart patients about their experiences living with the condition. Heart disease is a devastating condition that affects thousands of people across Redcar – finding new treatments is vital to improve their quality of life.

With the public’s support, charities like the BHF are able to fund some of the world’s leading researchers, who work tirelessly to find the next major breakthrough that could help save more lives. However, in addition to charity funding, they rely on Government support towards some of the indirect costs of research, such as heating and electricity in laboratories.

 “If we are to continue making great strides in heart research it is important the public and the Government support our brightest scientists.”

 

The government’s science budget is currently protected from cuts to expenditure but only until April 2016. Any cut to science spending would put future and current research projects that could help save more lives at serious risk.

 

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the BHF, said:

“Any cut to science funding would be extremely damaging to our life saving research and the fight against heart disease.

“Through our research we’ve helped make great progress over the last 50 years to reduce the number of deaths from heart disease by more than 50 per cent and improve the lives of people living with it.

“This year alone our researchers have developed a highly sensitive blood test that could double the detection rate of heart attacks in women. And recently our researchers have improved our understanding of how we may be able to regenerate the heart after a heart attack bringing hope that one day there will be a treatment for severe heart failure.

“Much more research is needed if we are to continue helping the millions of families across the UK deeply affected by heart disease, and this can’t be done without strong Government support.

“The Government urgently needs to secure the future of medical research by maintaining the current ring-fence and committing to future increases.”

Find out more about the vital work carried out by our researchers at https://www.bhf.org.uk/research

Anna supports heart research to save lives

This week Anna Turley, Labour and Co-operative MP for Redcar, showed her support for UK medical research by joining British Heart Foundation (BHF) scientists and heart patients to hear how...

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Local constituent, Samantha Taylor has won a national award in Vocational Qualifications for her Healthcare Support Services at James Cook Hospital.

After the completion of the PROSPECT training programme with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, she is now a member of the Therapeutic Care Administration Team at the hospital.

Samantha is now involved in developing a new initiative that is supporting some of South Tees Hospitals’ most vulnerable patients. Over the last year, Samantha has rapidly expanded her role, she has now created a community network of almost 600 Therapeutic Volunteer Assistants (TVAs) to help improve patient care.

Anna met Samantha in Parliament to congratulate her on receipt of the award and to give her a tour of the estate.

Anna said:

“I was delighted to meet Samantha and to tell her how proud we all are of her achievements and commitment to improving the care given to vulnerable patients. Samantha is a bright young lady, and a role model for other young people." 

Redcar health worker wins national award

Local constituent, Samantha Taylor has won a national award in Vocational Qualifications for her Healthcare Support Services at James Cook Hospital.


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