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17 Jan

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

January 17, 2018 | By | No Comments

This week Poplar and Limehouse MP, Jim Fitzpatrick signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

Saturday 27th January will mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘The power of words’.

After signing the Book of Commitment, Jim commented:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Poplar and Limehouse and across the country to reflect on the Holocaust.

“The Holocaust was one of the most horrifying chapters in history, paying tribute helps ensure we don’t forget the past. As this tragedy moves from living memory, it becomes ever more important we all remember the victims and survivors.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“The Holocaust did not start in the gas chambers but with hate filled words. Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance.

“We are very grateful to Jim Fitzpatrick for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.”

17 Jan

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Jim Fitzpatrick backs Labour legislation to protect renters from homes unfit for human habitation

January 17, 2018 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, is backing a Bill introduced by Labour MP Karen Buck this Friday 19 January which will give renters a new legal right to ensure their home is ‘fit for human habitation’.

The new legislation, long campaigned for by Labour, could help renters in 147,000 dangerously unfit properties in London.

Nationally, there are over one million rented properties containing the most serious ‘category 1’ hazards, including homes that have unsafe electrics, vermin infestations, or aren’t fire safe.

The Labour Bill will give tenants new legal powers to enforce their right to a decent home by taking their landlord to court if the property they live in is not fit. This is a particularly important for council tenants such as those who lived in Grenfell Tower, because it is councils who are notionally responsible for enforcing standards, but local authorities can’t enforce against themselves.

This change in the law has been backed by Labour previously and was included in the Party’s June manifesto but has been blocked by the Tories on two previous occasions. However, following a Labour campaign, the government now say they will support the legislation.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home yet we have 1 million homes in England unfit for human habitation, it’s right this Bill receives government backing.

“What happened at Grenfell Tower last year was sadly only one example of many preventable tragedies – it’s time legislation was introduced to protect people in their homes.”

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP said:

“Our homes are at the centre of our lives but at the moment renters too often don’t have the basic rights that we take for granted in other areas.

“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer, and decisions made by Conservative Ministers have made it easier for bad landlords to let unfit homes. As a result, too many people are forced to put up with downright dangerous housing.

“After the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it’s even more important that we ensure all homes are fit for human habitation.”

18 Dec

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP signs the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter, to support and protect any of their employees who become terminally ill

December 18, 2017 | By | No Comments

Since its launch in April 2016, The TUCs ‘Dying to Work’ Voluntary Charter now protects over half a million employees with companies such as Legal and General, Santander, Co-Op, Carillion, Rolls Royce and the Royal Mail joining E.On and signing up along with a number of public sector bodies including NHS trusts, police authorities and many local authorities.

The Dying to Work campaign was set up following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. The campaign is calling for a change in the law to prevent the same thing happening to other working people.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“It’s shocking to think that if people with terminal illnesses are dismissed or forced out of their jobs that their loved ones will lose the death in service payments that they’ve earned.”

“I’m proud to have supported the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter to protect my employees and I’d like to encourage businesses in Poplar and Limehouse to do the same.”

The campaign has also been endorsed by a number of trade unions and charities, including The National Council for Palliative Care, Hospice UK, Breast Cancer Care and Second Hope.

TUC Deputy General Secretary, Paul Nowak, said:

“Serious illness is tough enough without having to put up with extra hassle at work. Everyone can surely agree that terminally-ill workers deserve protection.

“That’s why unions, MPs, employers and charities are coming together to ensure that workers get the support and protections they need when times are toughest.”

This broad support was demonstrated in a recent Survation poll of over a thousand people which found that 79% of respondents support a ‘protected period’ for terminally ill workers where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition with only 3% opposing it.

15 Dec

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Fitz Weekly – 15 December 2017

December 15, 2017 | By | No Comments

Click here to check out the new edition of Fitz Weekly- the best way for constituents in Poplar & Limehouse to keep up to date.

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.”

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.

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

27 Oct

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Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, supports firefighters at Westminster

October 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, met firefighters in Westminster to recognise and celebrate the invaluable work firefighters do keeping our communities safe.

‘Love Your Firefighters’, hosted by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), was attended by more than 60 MPs, who met firefighters and union officials.

MPs were asked to support investment into the fire and rescue service by FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack. He urged the MPs to take the message back to their constituencies that the maintenance of a world class, professional fire and rescue service is something all political parties should support.

Matt Wrack said:

“It was a privilege to have so many MPs from across the spectrum here with us to celebrate the work of our members. We want support for firefighters and our fire and rescue services from all politicians. We would urge MPs from all parties to get behind their firefighters now and support the invaluable work they do in their communities, keeping us all safe.”

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“It was an honour to have the opportunity to meet some of the professional firefighters who do such invaluable, challenging work.

“Firefighters who responded to the Grenfell Tower fire had their training and professionalism tested to the limit. All members of parliament should support our fire and rescue services, in the interests of both public and firefighter safety.”

Two films were shown at the event. Operator won the Bafta short film award last year (2016) for its depiction of a control room operator taking an emergency fire call. The Firefighters’ Dilemma was made this year to convey the stress fire crews are under when they turn out to a fire if they have to wait for a second fire engine before entering the premises due to service cuts.

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