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11 Dec

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Politicians feline festive at Cats Protection’s Westminster reception

December 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

More than 60 MPs and peers joined Cats Protection at its annual Christmas parliamentary reception to celebrate the charity’s work speaking up for cats, held at the House of Commons. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat charity, helping around 190,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 voluntary-run branches and 34 centres.

The charity’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said:

“Cats are one of the nation’s favourite pets so it was wonderful to welcome so many politicians to our Christmas Reception. Our annual reception is our way of saying thank you to our elected representatives and to the many other animal welfare charities and professional organisations we work with.

“It has been a busy year with our major campaign on kitten sales, our 2022 Agenda for Cats launched ahead of the General Election, and our petition calling for licensing of air guns in England and Wales in line with the new licensing regime in Scotland.

“More than 47,000 supporters joined us in calling for better regulation of commercial kitten sales. We have also received over 75,000 signatures for our air guns petition and are delighted the Government has announced it will be reviewing air gun licensing. Sadly, air guns are frequently used to deliberately inflict harm and suffering on cats.

“All this shows that there are a lot of people who want to see real change to improve how cats are treated in the UK. It’s heartening that so many politicians came along to our reception to support Cats Protection.”

To find out more about Cats Protection’s advocacy work, please visit their website.

11 Dec

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Local MP helps dog welfare charity in fight against Puppy Smuggling

December 11, 2017 | By | No Comments


Jim Fitzpatrick MP highlights plight of smuggled puppies imported to fuel the Christmas puppy trade

Last week Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity – invited a host of MPs and Peers, including Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse to its annual House of Commons reception, where the charity – who coined the famous slogan – ‘A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’ asked MPs for their support in the fight against Puppy Smuggling.

Dogs Trust has been investigating the problem since 2014, and through three undercover investigations has found that unscrupulous breeders take advantage of, and profit from issues with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). As a result, underage puppies are being illegally imported into Great Britain from Central and Eastern Europe, and sold to unsuspecting members of the public.

Over the last few months, nearly 100 dogs were seized by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) at the borders, as dealers take advantage of the increased demand for puppies in the run up to Christmas. Dogs Trust has found that of the puppies who do survive the appalling conditions they are forced to travel in, many require emergency treatment – with dehydration and malnutrition among the horrific conditions they suffer from as a result of travelling for thousands of miles in cramped conditions, with no food or water.

Thanks to quick intervention and expert care from the Puppy Pilot scheme, Dogs Trust has been able to save 94% of the puppies coming into care. 6% sadly passed away. Dogs Trust has also seen examples of heavily pregnant dogs coming into Great Britain, showing that breeders are stooping even lower to flout the system, with no regard for the welfare of the mum or her puppies.

Dogs Trust has warned that although there is a rise in puppies illegally imported during the festive season, illegally imported puppies is a huge issue all year round. The organisation has issued advice to help anyone thinking of buying a puppy, to know what to look for, in a bid to stop buyers unwittingly fuelling the trade. The charity has also issued a plea to anyone thinking of getting a dog, to do their research or consider re-homing instead.

During the event, MPs were invited to take part in a photo opportunity, showcasing the horrendous conditions puppies are smuggled in, with Dogs Trust reporting extreme cases of puppies smuggled in baskets covered with cling-film and crammed in suitcases.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I’m very pleased to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the plight of illegally imported puppies, who suffer the most harrowing of journeys at the hands of these unscrupulous dealers.

“It’s imperative that the Government takes immediate action by enforcing proper checks at the ports and on-the-spot fines to deter these breeders and dealers, as well as introducing revised legislation as a priority when the UK leaves the EU. We really hope this will help to effectively regulate pet travel.”

Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO, said:

“It’s a shame that we still have to remind people of our slogan, ‘A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’ nearly 40 years on from its creation. We always encourage responsible re-homing, but as we’ve seen, dealers will go to great lengths to dupe innocent people, making it increasingly difficult for people to spot an illegally smuggled puppy.

“Over the next 12 months, we will continue to push for proper enforcement at UK borders. We will also continue our Puppy Pilot scheme, which rescues puppies seized at borders, funds their quarantine and re-homes them responsibly. So far, this scheme has saved more than 600 puppies.

“We can’t thank Jim Fitzpatrick MP enough for his support, and we look forward to continuing to work together to tackle this issue, and make some much needed improvements in 2018 and when we leave the EU.”

11 Dec

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP calls on all primary schools in Poplar and Limehouse to sign-up to Premier League Primary Stars to help support their teachers and pupils

December 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick attended an event in Parliament focused on the Premier League’s national primary school programme, Premier League Primary Stars, which draws upon the excitement of the Premier League and young people’s interest in football to help inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills.

Premier League Primary Stars is open to all primary schools across England and Wales where they can access completely free teaching resource packs covering PE, English, Maths and PSHE for children aged 5-11. Real life examples from football provide lesson content, videos and fun activities to enhance children’s understanding and interest across the curriculum.

All 20 Premier League clubs and 74 EFL and National League clubs have signed up to deliver Premier League Primary Stars. Having reached the original target of 10,000 schools 18 months earlier than expected, the Premier League have announced a new target of signing up 15,000 schools by May 2019.

18 schools have already signed up in Poplar and Limehouse and are benefiting from the initiative. Jim is encouraging all primary schools to sign-up and make use of the free resources available to them. All schools need to do is visit plprimarystars.com and register to begin accessing the resources.

Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the Premier League said:

“The Premier League and our Clubs are committed to using our reach and ability to inspire children to support them in their learning whether that be PE, PSHE or Maths and English. The need for and interest in Primary Stars has been huge and we have had an incredible response to the programme to date. With more Clubs on board, we are committing even more resource to develop content and will continue to evolve and develop the programme to fit the needs of the teachers and pupils.”

08 Dec

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Fitz Weekly – 8 December 2017

December 8, 2017 | By | No Comments

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01 Dec

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Fitz Weekly – 1 December 2017

December 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

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01 Dec

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Charity Commission launches inquiry into Island Health Trust

December 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

The Charity Commission announced today they have begun an inquiry into Island Health Trust, which governs the Island Health Centre, a clinic on the Isle of Dogs. Concerns were raised when GPs at Island Health saw their service charge hiked, despite the Trust holding assets worth around £1.3 million. Public accounts also show the chair of the charity was paid nearly £180,000 in consultancy fees by the NHS in 2014/15.

The Commission stated they’ve been:

“Monitoring the charity’s governance and financial administration since February 2017 after concerns were raised regarding the use of the charity’s funds and potential private benefit to one or more trustees.

“The Commission’s enquiries confirmed that a consultancy company, solely owned by a trustee of the charity, received significant benefits from the charity relating to a strategic development project.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I’m encouraged by the Charity Commission’s decision to open an investigation into Island Health Trust. The inquiry follows months of meetings with the Commission, local Councillors and residents as well as writing to the Department of Health on the issue. It’s only right the Trust is held to account.

“I’m sure the news will be welcomed by residents and patients on the Isle of Dogs, who’ve been calling for transparency as well as the protection of local health services.”

You can read the Charity Commission’s full statement here.

24 Nov

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Fitz Weekly – 24 November 2017

November 24, 2017 | By | No Comments

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17 Nov

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Fitz Weekly – 17 November 2017

November 17, 2017 | By | No Comments

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13 Nov

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MP supports Usdaw’s campaign to protect shop workers from violence, threats and abuse

November 13, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has joined with members of the retail union Usdaw to campaign for respect for shop workers as part of the ‘Freedom From Fear’ Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff.

Attending a campaign event in the House of Commons, Jim pledged to support greater protection for shop workers and other public facing workers whilst they go about their jobs.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse says:

“No one should be confronted with violence, threats and abuse in the workplace. We must stand together and ask people to respect shop workers.

“The numbers show that the human cost of retail crime is growing, with a 40% increase in offences involving abuse or violence against shop workers.

“I’ll continue to campaign with Usdaw for a change in the law to ensure that proper punishments are given out – assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.”

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary says:

“Often, in the course of their duties, shop workers are expected to enforce the law, whether that is preventing under-age purchases of products like knives, tobacco or alcohol, or detaining shoplifters until the police arrive, they can be put in real danger. Parliament has given shop workers the duty to enforce the law, so Parliament should provide the necessary protection.

“I have been shocked by the leniency of some of the sentences for assault of workers. Around 200 shop workers are assaulted every day and it is time to say enough is enough. The Government must act to address this issue and act quickly.

“I’ve been very disappointed to see Tory and Liberal MPs, on five occasions combine to block this measure when proposed by Labour. The Conservative record on tackling retail crime shows that since 2010 there are 20,000 fewer police and a steady increase in shoplifting rising 8% this year, but the number of shop thieves going to court dropping by a quarter.”

Shop workers in Poplar and Limehouse can take part in Usdaw’s survey of violence and abuse against retail staff here: www.usdaw.org.uk/respectsurvey

03 Nov

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Fitz Weekly – 3 November 2017

November 3, 2017 | By | No Comments

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