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Jim Fitzpartick
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2014 November

28 Nov


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AXA road safety around schools

November 28, 2014 | By | No Comments

028 - AXA

  • AXA launches interactive map road safety tool – http://www.axa.co.uk/roadsafeschools/localroadsafetyindex/
  • Proportion of child road accidents has increased in the past three years
  • Cycling accidents amongst children sees proportionate increase to 13 per cent
  • Crowdfunding could be a solution to funding local road safety initiatives

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, has announced that he is supporting a campaign to reduce the number of accidents around schools in the UK and encourage local communities to help develop solutions to road safety issues in their area, based on new data published today.

The new figures, drawn from an analysis of more than 200,000 pieces of data from the Department for Transport, carefully analyse the specific problems faced by road users around schools – for example, a high prevalence of accidents involving cyclists, or people using mobile technology. It also analyses which age groups are particularly vulnerable to being involved in a road traffic accident.

68 per cent of all child road traffic incidents between 2008 and 2013 were found to have happened in the 500m around schools in the UK.  Although the past three years have seen the total number of accidents fall by nine per cent, from 265,152 (2008-10) to 241,008 (2011-13), six of the 11 regions in the UK have seen an increase in the proportion of accidents around schools in the past three years (2011-13), compared to the previous three (2008-11).

Following the publication of the data, AXA has also launched the first road safety crowdfunding campaign to enable local communities to source funds and help pay for the vital road safety initiatives identified as being needed around schools – helping to further reduce the number of casualties on the roads.

Anybody from a parent or local road safety officer, to schools, local campaigners, local authorities or businesses can use the service to pay for things like the printing costs following a school road safety drawing competition, funding a lollipop person or the funding of a pedestrian crossing.

A dedicated team at www.crowdfunder.co.uk will help every project get off the ground, offering ongoing help and guidance to reach their funding target. As part of the programme, AXA Insurance has committed an initial £10,000 which will be used to ‘match-fund’ the projects and get them funded.

Commenting, Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “Road safety in Poplar and Limehouse is an incredibly important issue. The number of road accidents in the UK, whilst falling, is still too high and we need to do all we can to support parents, schools and councils understand the risks and take steps to address them.  The AXA Local Road Safety Map is a vital tool in highlighting where the dangers are, and I warmly welcome the work being done by AXA to match-fund road safety initiatives. This funding not only encourages local communities to work together to bring down the number of accidents on their local roads, but also provides much needed resource when local authority budgets are under increasing financial pressures.”

James Barclay of AXA Insurance, commented: “Local road safety is high on the agenda of every household. Nobody wants to hear about any child or adult injured let alone anybody who is killed as a result of a road incident. We firmly believe that more understanding, and therefore a real understanding of the risk on our roads is vital to continue the fall in those affected by road incidents. That’s why we are hoping that the AXA Local Road Safety Map will aid locals, parents, schools, councils and interested parties in to doing small things that can make a very big, positive difference to our lives.”

Richard Owen, director of Road Safety Analysis, commented: “Compiling data and information is one thing, but putting meaning behind it and helping to develop ways in which more lives can be saved, is something very powerful.

“We believe that today’s launch and the data behind it builds on AXA’s initial work within road safety and we hope to see a further reduction in traffic casualties as a result.”

28 Nov


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Carers Rights Day

November 28, 2014 | By | No Comments

Local MP Jim Fitzpatrick spoke out on national Carers Rights Day to support Carers UK’s campaign urging people caring for ill or disabled loved ones to find out about the financial and practical support they are entitled to.

There are 9,485 of carers in Poplar and Limehouse and around 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK who provide care and support to family, friends and neighbours, saving the country an estimated £119 billion each year.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“Carers are fulfilling a vital role in our society, but too often they go without the support they need because they don’t know about the support available. We must all play a role in helping to identify and support people who are looking after ill, frail or disabled loved ones and making sure they get the right information and advice about the support they are entitled to as early as possible.”

Carers UK Chief Executive Heléna Herklots said:

“Caring can be tough and finding out about what support is available can feel like finding your way through a maze of information. It’s essential that carers are given information and advice to guide them early so they don’t miss out on vital support.

Without help and assistance carers can find themselves facing financial hardship, health problems, emotional stress and relationship breakdown. This has serious consequences for individuals and families and for employers and the UK economy as a whole.

This Carers Rights Day we particularly want to make sure that carers know about their new rights in the Care Act and the Children and Families Act coming in next year as well as changes to flexible working rights and benefits.”

Carers can order a free copy of our guide to carers’ rights and benefits called Looking after someone from Carers UK by visiting www.carersuk.org or calling Carers UK’s Adviceline on 0808 808 7777.

27 Nov


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP Backs Report Exposing Grisly Wildlife Cybertrade

November 27, 2014 | By | No Comments


A murky multi-million pound trade in wild animals and their parts is booming across online marketplaces, with questions being asked as to the legality of many advertisements offering endangered species for sale.

A shocking report released this week by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) shows how thousands of endangered species are bought and sold on the Internet, many advertised without any form of supporting documentation.

Wanted – Dead or Alive, Exposing Online Wildlife Trade reveals that, in early 2014, an intense six-week investigation found a total of 33,006 endangered wildlife and wildlife parts and products for sale via 280 online market places across 16 countries.

IFAW found the legality of almost 13 per cent – 1,192 – of the 9,482 advertisements investigated was sufficiently doubtful to warrant turning these over to law enforcers for further examination. However this may only be the tip of the iceberg as investigators were careful not to deluge enforcers with reports of potential wildlife crime. The IFAW investigation focuses on the ‘surface-web’, namely open-source websites commonly referred to as online marketplaces, where products are freely available to the public.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP is pictured at the parliamentary launch of the report, and said:

“I wish to commend the International Fund for Animal Welfare on producing this shocking report that shows the devastating effect of the online trade on wildlife across the world. I am offering my support for tougher measures and the strongest possible enforcement of the law to clamp down on this organised criminal activity.”

In the UK, websites hosted 1,087 online advertisements offering a total of 1,603 items for sale including ivory and suspected ivory, turtles, tortoises, owls, exotic birds, monkeys and parts and products from elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, alligators and big cats. The items were valued at more than £300,000. Over two-thirds of adverts were for wildlife parts and products rather than live animals.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said:

“Governments need to introduce stronger legislation that specifically targets online wildlife crime and must encourage and support their enforcement agencies in making sure wildlife cybercriminals are apprehended and prosecuted. We would like to thank Jim Fitzpatrick MP for his support in saving wildlife and combating international crime.”

IFAW’s investigation specifically targeted the sale of species listed on Appendix I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which regulates and restricts the trade in wildlife and their parts and products. Many of the 280 online sites monitored either didn’t ask customers to demonstrate that their trade met with national laws, or else the provisos were hidden to the extent that customers simply wouldn’t be aware of them.

21 Nov


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NHS Bill

November 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

023 - NHSs Bill

Today, Labour MP Clive Efford’s Bill on the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) received its second reading with 241 votes to 18.

It is now being decided by Government whether to let the Bill go to the Committee Stage.

The Bill will repeal some of the more controversial elements of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 supported by the current Coalition Government.

I supported the Bill in response to the overwhelming amount of emails I have received from my constituents in Poplar and Limehouse voicing their concerns.

If passed, the Bill will exempt our NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Treaty (TTIP).

This will mean our NHS will be legally immune from procurement or competition obligations, thus ensuring it is protected from foreign health care providers and remaining entirely our health service.

I am concerned that without the passing of this Bill, our NHS will be open to competition and private interests, particularly from US healthcare providers which may eventually lead to a wholly privatised health service in the UK.

It is also important to ensure the NHS is providing the best possible care in the best possible interests of its patients – us, and this Bill will seek to do this by repealing some of the worst elements of our existing legislature.

I believe supporting this Bill is the decent and right thing to do, it will ultimately put patients’ needs above profit which the NHS is not currently bound by law to do.

The Bill undoubtedly received a negative reception from the Tories; however, I am glad to say I voted to save the NHS from the clutches of private interests.

21 Nov


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Safer Streets

November 21, 2014 | By | No Comments


This week Jim Fitzpatrick Member of Parliament for Poplar and Limehouse visited the Campaign for Safer Streets exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall at Westminster.

The exhibition, created by transport charity Sustrans, gives MPs the opportunity to identify the challenges and solutions to making streets safer for everyone.

During Jim’s visit they had the opportunity to redesign a street, using a scale model to identify road safety issues for local residents and the best way to resolve them.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse commented:

“It was great to see how small, low cost changes to local streets could make a significant difference to the safety of all people using them. With a focus on making our streets and communities safer for everyone, we would see more pleasant and healthier places to live, work and play.”

Claire Francis, Head of Policy for Sustrans commented:

“Everyone wants to see our roads become safer, but we’ve still got a long way to go, particularly when it comes to our most vulnerable road users – children.

“Jim had to opportunity to look at new ways to redesign a street to make it safer and more pleasant for walking and cycling – I hope it was an inspiring experience he can take back to his constituency and work with colleagues locally and nationally to change their local communities for the better.”

In 2012, the number of children killed while walking or cycling on our roads was equivalent to over one primary school class, and the equivalent of over seven whole primary schools were seriously injured.

Sustrans Campaign for Safer Streets wants to see:

  • Long term investment by government to transform routes and support walking and cycling at the local level.
  • A national 20mph default speed limit in built-up areas to make everyone’s journey safer and mark a shift in policy.
  • Stronger duties and incentives to improve local walking and cycling networks and promote active travel.

21 Nov


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Ofsted Report

November 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

Following the publication of Ofsted reports into Sir John Cass School and six independent schools in Tower Hamlets:

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse:

“This is not good news for Tower Hamlets and is especially disappointing given how well our mainstream schools are doing generally.‎ More criticism from Central Government gives a bad and false impression of our Borough”.

Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow:

“It has taken a generation to transform schools and raise educational standards in Tower Hamlets for the better with massive improvements  in results. In the early 1990s, only 15% of students in the borough got 5 or more GCSEs, it is now above the national average at 64%.  However, the Ofsted inspection reports have raised important concerns that need to be urgently addressed. The focus must now be on ensuring these schools, working with the Local Education Authority, Ofsted and DfE, take the necessary action to ensure the best possible education is provided for all young people in Tower Hamlets.”

Cllr. Rachael Saunders, Labour Lead on Tower Hamlets Council:

“Many parents will be concerned about the education of their children in the light of this report. We will hold the council to account to ensure it now plays its part to address those concerns. The outstanding educational success stories of Tower Hamlets were built on young people, their families, teachers and communities coming together. That cohesion and sense of purpose must not be undermined as people respond to these findings.”

Cllr. Danny Hassell, a local councillor and Labour Group spokesperson on schools:

“The council must ensure that the issues in these schools are addressed as a matter of urgency.  We know that improvements in our community schools are a result of the council working with governors, teachers and parents.  The council needs to ensure all council run schools are delivering a broad and balanced curriculum and intervening early where needed.”

21 Nov


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Road Safety Week

November 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

022  Road Safety Week

Jim Fitzpatrick MP backs national Road Safety Week campaign urging road users to look out for each other to save lives

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, is backing a national campaign launched on Monday by road safety charity Brake, calling on road users to look out for each other to help stop the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen every day on UK roads and particularly to protect people on foot and bike.

The call comes at the start of Road Safety Week, coordinated by Brake, during which thousands of schools, employers and community groups will be raising awareness about road safety, and police across the country will be stepping up traffic enforcement to deter and catch drivers putting others at risk.

The look out for each other campaign is all about everyone, especially drivers, showing patience, consideration and responsibility towards other road users, especially the most vulnerable. To help avoid tragedy, Brake is particularly urging drivers to protect people on foot and bike by slowing down to 20mph in communities, looking longer and taking it slow at junctions and bends, and giving people plenty of room. People on foot and bike are also being encouraged not to take chances, and make sure they can be seen.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said: “It is unacceptable that five people die and 61 are seriously injured on UK roads every day. This is why I am glad to be supporting Road Safety Week, road safety is an important issue which needs more awareness. I myself have attended a number of Parliamentary receptions on this issue including Brake’s drop-in session for MPs in the Commons earlier this week. I have also signed EDM 462 in support of Road Safety Week and Brake’s ‘look out for each other’ campaign encouraging road users to look out for each other, acknowledging that roads are shared spaces which require mutual tolerance and respect. Thankfully, no postcodes in Poplar and Limehouse are included in the national top 10 postcodes for careless driving offences; however, it is still important to raise awareness of road safety and what better way to do this than supporting this Week.”

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific – people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, daily, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury. And there are wider consequences if we don’t look out for each other on roads – people afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles. That’s why, instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we’re asking all road users to look out for and protect each other, particularly the most vulnerable – that means drivers sticking to 20 or below in towns and villages, looking carefully at junctions, and being considerate. Ultimately, we’re all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.”

14 Nov


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP and E.ON team up to help Poplar and Limehouse residents get ready for winter

November 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

020 - Eon PR

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has met with representatives from E.ON at its ‘Getting ready for winter’ event to find out about the support available to help local residents and small business customers with their winter energy bills.

The event was held in the House of Commons where representatives from E.ON shared details about:

  • The Energy Companies Obligation which supports the installation of energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation in low-income households and in properties that have cavities that are harder to treat;
  • Practical debt advice including home visits and information for customers who can’t afford to pay their bills;
  • Smart meters which can help put people in control of their energy use, facilitate easier switching and bring an end to estimated billing;
  • E.ON’s Saving Energy Toolkit which allows customers to see how their home energy use stacks up compared to similar homes in order to see where savings can be made;
  • Support for smaller to medium sized businesses (SMEs) including the Energy Toolkit which offers sector-specific energy saving tools and advice and a dedicated energy efficiency helpline to help small businesses save energy.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, said: “There’s a huge amount of help available for people who are worried about their winter energy bills and it’s great that E.ON are doing this.”

Ruth Day, Head of Public Affairs at E.ON, said: “We know people are particularly concerned about their energy bills at this time of year. That’s why it’s really important we make sure people know about the help they may be entitled to, before the winter sets in. As well as holding this event, we’re also working with a number of like-minded organisations to spread the word, and are keen for anyone who’s concerned to get in touch and find out how we can help them.”

10 Nov


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Trustees’ Week

November 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

trustees week

Hundreds of events will be taking place this week as charities use Trustees’ Week as a time to thank the one million trustees across England and Wales for their time and dedication.

There are 310 voluntary organisations in Poplar and Limehouse that all rely on the dedication, energy and commitment of c. 1,700 trustees in order to support their beneficiaries.

Trustees are the people ultimately in charge of a charity. They make decisions that help charities achieve their aims and change their beneficiaries’ lives.

It is also a time to encourage more people to become trustees, as many voluntary organisations find it difficult to recruit new trustees. As many as one in five charities are looking for a new trustee.

Being a trustee allows you not only to make a difference to the lives of others, but to learn new skills, meet different people, and develop your career. Voluntary organisations are always looking for a range of skills and different backgrounds on their boards, as well as more young people. You can find out more about trustee vacancies in your local area through NCVO’s Trustee Bank, Charity Job and Do It.

07 Nov


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Homes for Britain

November 7, 2014 | By | No Comments

018 - Homes for Britainn

Housing is one of the biggest issues facing the country right now and one of the biggest burdens on family budgets.

Every day I hear from local people who are concerned about housing. Here in Poplar and Limehouse the average house price is now 9.5 times the average local wage. The result is that homeownership is becoming an increasingly distant ambition for many young people, while more and more families struggle to find a decent home at a price they can afford.

To create attractive, sustainable communities in which people want to live we need to make sure there are the right homes, in the right place, at a price that everyone can afford. Ensuring that people have access to good housing is a local issue, but it must also be a national priority.

That’s why in the run up to the General Election I’ll be representing the people of Poplar and Limehouse by supporting the Homes for Britain, a campaign calling for an end to the housing crisis within a generation.

If things continue as they are, the fear is that as a country we will not have enough of the right type of homes for our children to live in when they grow up. That’s why we must act now.

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