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2015 January

29 Jan


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Local MP vows to help save 4,000 lives from bowel cancer

January 29, 2015 | By | No Comments

1511 Bowel Cancer

Jim Fitzpatrick MP attended a Westminster reception hosted by the charity Beating Bowel Cancer to support better outcomes for bowel cancer patients.

On 28th January, the Poplar and Limehouse MP joined other Members of Parliament, bowel cancer patients, and health professionals to hear about the charity’s plans to deliver significant improvements in bowel cancer survival rates in the UK, with the aim of saving 4000 lives during the next five years.

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but this doesn’t have to be the case; if caught early enough over 90% of those diagnosed can survive more than five years. That figure drops to just 7% if they are diagnosed at a late stage, so early diagnosis is vital.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, said: “We all need to work to keep bowel cancer high on the agenda to ensure that the disease becomes a rare cancer killer rather than the second biggest cancer killer in the UK within the life of the next Government. If I am given the opportunity to be in parliament after the election I vow to do all I can to reduce bowel cancer deaths in my constituency.”

Mark Flannagan, Chief Executive of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, said: “NHS England has announced that it wants to save 8,000 deaths from cancer over the next five years. Today’s event enabled us to outline the key policy priorities that need to be achieved if we are to save at least 800 lives from bowel cancer per year during the life of the next Government.

“We also announced that Beating Bowel Cancer will publish its own Five Year Forward View to cover the term of the next Parliament and we want it to be a challenge to do better for bowel cancer patients.

“We’re very grateful to Jim Fitzpatrick MP, for his interest in the issue and look forward to working with them in the future in order to improve outcomes for bowel cancer patients in Poplar and Limehouse.”

To find out more about bowel cancer please visit the charity’s website www.beatingbowelcancer.org or call their helpline on 08450 719 301.

29 Jan


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP warns of deadly Carbon Monoxide risk

January 29, 2015 | By | No Comments


Jim Fitzpatrick MP has urged Poplar and Limehouse residents to protect themselves against the deadly threat of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. New research from the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign has found that 16.4 million households in the UK could be at risk of poisoning they don’t have an alarm in their home which will warn them of the poisonous gas.

As carbon monoxide has no smell, colour or taste, installing an audible alarm that sounds when the gas is present is the only way to make sure you are protected. It can be produced by any fuel-burning appliance – such as a boiler, cooker or fire – which is faulty or doesn’t have adequate ventilation.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP is supporting the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign which encourages people to ensure they have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm and that they have all fuel-burning appliances serviced annually by a registered and qualified engineer.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said:

“Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Too many people are dying or suffering needlessly from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. That’s why I am urging every resident in Poplar and Limehouse to make sure they and their loved ones are protected by installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm.”

Lawrence Slade, Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! spokesperson, said:

“Our campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and we are urging people to protect themselves by purchasing an audible alarm. They are available at supermarkets, DIY stores high street shops or directly from energy suppliers. Importantly, they save lives.”

The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign recommends four simple steps to keep households safe:

1. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. It should meet European standard EN50291 (you can find this on the alarm and/or packaging). Carbon Monoxide alarms are a similar size to smoke alarms and only take a few minutes to fit

2. Have fuel-burning appliances serviced annually by an appropriately qualified and registered engineer

3. Don’t block ventilation and have chimneys swept at least once a year

4. Know the main symptoms: headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapsing and loss of consciousness and watch out for soot or yellow/brown staining on or around your appliance or pilot lights that blow out frequently

29 Jan


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP pledges support to Men United in the name of ‘Keeping Friendships Alive’

January 29, 2015 | By | No Comments

1509 Jim Fitz MP Prostate Cancer UK

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse has pledged his support to Prostate Cancer UK’s Men United campaign at a reception at the House of Commons, hosted by Luciana Berger MP – the Shadow Minister for Public Health.

The new campaign, which starts today (Thursday 29 January) with a nationwide television campaign, aims to ‘keep friendships alive’ by encouraging men to see their mates more and do something great together to help beat prostate cancer. The campaign launch coincides with a recent YouGov survey1 of over 2,000 men, conducted on behalf of Prostate Cancer UK, which revealed that 84 per cent of men believe that spending time with their mates is good for their health and well-being.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, whose reception speech revealed the organisation’s ambitious vision to get men across the UK the early detection, effective diagnosis and better treatments they need to beat this disease, said today:

“Over the past year, our movement for men – Men United – has caught the imagination, and a new zeal for change in men’s health – with more than 200,000 people signing up to pledge support. Men from all walks of life, from footballers to lawyers and politicians to plumbers, have formed a growing army, raising funds to find the answers for the future through research and supporting men now.

“Now entering its second year, we’re delighted to have the support of Jim Fitzpatrick MP to help us on our journey to ensure every man facing prostate cancer gets early detection, effective diagnosis and better treatments.

“By joining Men United people will get to see their mates more, do something great together and help us beat prostate cancer. Whether it’s big or small, signing a petition or running a marathon, doing it together is what really matters. We know what starts with a quick ‘hello’, a chat in the pub or a barbecue with mates, can end with a nationwide army of men – ready to fight for their friends, themselves and men everywhere.”

Jim Fitzpatrick MP also met with Errol McKellar, a mechanic who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010 and has since dedicated his life to raising awareness of the disease and encouraging men to spread the word. Through Errol’s awareness raising efforts, 24 men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and have undergone treatment.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP said; “I am honoured to be supporting Prostate Cancer UK’s latest drive to encourage more men to join Men United in the name of men’s health and to ‘keep friendships alive’. Seeing our friends is good for our health and well being and with 1 in 8 men in the UK facing a prostate cancer diagnosis, men never know when they might need a friend to lean on, or be there for a friend who’s received the bad news. Investing in our friendships and being there for our mates is so important and I am wholeheartedly behind this campaign.”

For ideas of how you can spend time with your mates and ‘Keep Friendships Alive’, people are being urged to search Men United, and sign up.

A preview of Prostate Cancer UK’s new Men United TV advert can be viewed here: http://prostatecanceruk.org/get-involved/men-united

29 Jan


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Infrastructure Bill

January 29, 2015 | By | No Comments

The strong economic foundations our country needs depend on good quality infrastructure. People here in Poplar and Limehouse want access to good housing, affordable energy, fast broadband and mobile connections and a transport system that provides connections to jobs, opportunities and friends and family. This infrastructure is vital for our economy and our quality of life.

The UK faces huge infrastructure challenges over the next few decades. Our population is set to rise to 73 million in 20 years, there is a chronic shortage of affordable homes and our energy, road and rail networks are struggling to cope. But the Government’s Infrastructure Bill, which MPs debated at Report Stage on Monday 26 January 2015, was wasted opportunity. Crammed full of piecemeal measures it was not what our country needs to face the future with confidence.

The Tories didn’t even want to give Parliament the time to discuss it properly. It is a sign of their approach to infrastructure that they gave a Bill containing reforms on roads, fracking, energy, housing, property searches and planning for community pubs just a few hours of debate on Monday. Thankfully Labour’s Shadow Transport, Environment and Climate Change, and Local Government teams used that time to push for badly needed improvements.

With eight of ten homes still reliant on gas for heating, shale gas may have a role in improving our energy supply and reducing carbon emissions in the future. But I know many people in Poplar and Limehouse have serious concerns about the environmental and safety implications of fracking. Labour have always said that shale gas development cannot go ahead unless there is a robust regulatory regime in place. But the Tories and Lib Dems repeatedly ignored people’s genuine and legitimate concerns over shale gas and seemed prepared to plough on at any cost.

So Monday’s vote on fracking regulation was a huge u-turn by the Government and a huge victory for Britain’s environment. Thanks to Labour’s amendment shale gas developments will now be prevented unless the proper safeguards are implemented. And it will be banned outright in national parks and other protected areas.

Labour also ensured the Government backed down from half-baked reforms to mobile communications infrastructure, got a commitment to increase apprenticeships and training in the construction sector, and helped secure a legal obligation to support walking and cycling in the future too.

But the Government’s Bill goes nowhere near to delivering the infrastructure we so badly need. The Tories have presided over the UK’s lowest housebuilding levels since the 1920s but failed to back our proposals to free up more land for development. Their Bill has watered down the commitment to reduce carbon emissions in new homes and failed to address urgent air pollution problems caused by road traffic. Our roads face a pothole epidemic but this Government think a top-down reorganisation of the Highways Agency is more important than fixing Britain’s broken roads.

There is a gulf between the Tories rhetoric on infrastructure and their record. A Labour Government will build 200,000 homes year by 2020 and decarbonise our power sector by 2030. As recommended by the Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority Sir John Armitt we would set up a National Infrastructure Commission to better plan and deliver the transport, housing and energy schemes for people in Poplar and Limehouse in line with our climate change targets. Labour will deliver the long-term approach to infrastructure that the UK so badly needs.

27 Jan


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Labour passes council motion calling on the Docklands Sailing Centre to be protected

January 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

At a meeting of Tower Hamlets Council (21st January 2015), the Labour Group proposed and passed a motion calling for the Docklands Sailing Centre to be protected from the consequences of property development – some of which may prevent the continued use of the Millwall Docks for use by the Docklands Sailing Centre Trust.

Open spaces are under increasing pressure to meet the needs of our growing population; it is important to protect them for current and future generations. Sailing and other water sports require stable and predictable wind conditions and the shape and height of buildings matter enormously when alongside water used for sailing.

The school, social housing and park that form part of the Westferry Print Works application are welcome, but these should not be traded for the Sailing Centre. With sensitive design, the borough can have both the development and the Sailing Centre. Sustainable development is very important.

Key Facts

  • The Sailing Centre is used by 15,000 people every year
    • 8,000 of which are children
  • 9 young people training with national squads (6 from TH – possibility of a TH competitor at a future Olympics)
  • The Royal Yachting Association says the Docklands Sailing Centre is:
    • Number 1 sailing training centre in the UK
    • Number 1 youth sailing training centre in the UK
    • Number 1 sail racing centre in the UK

Cllr Dave Chesterton, of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:

“The Docklands Sailing Centre, secured in the 1980s after a long campaign by local people, is the jewel in Tower Hamlets Crown. The Sailing Centre, rated the best sailing training centre in the UK, is a charity that doesn’t require public grant funding.

Open spaces are under increasing pressure to meet the needs of our growing population; we must protect them for current and future generations. We need sustainable development to protect important assets such as the Docklands Sailing Centre.

That’s why we have called on the Council to exercise its powers as local planning authority, to ensure any development on the West Ferry Print Works site does not cause any detriment to sailing and use of the Millwall Docks from Docklands Sailing Centre.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar & Limehouse, said:

“The Sailing Centre is a hugely important community asset. It must be protected to allow it to continue to be used and enjoyed by all its members and supporters. Every effort must be made to allow it to survive and prosper and it’s to the credit of the Labour Group that it is leading in this regard.”

26 Jan


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Early day motion 730 – CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION WEEK 2015

January 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Session: 2014-15

Date tabled: 26.01.2015

I signed: 26.01.2015

Primary sponsor: Brooke, Annette

Sponsors: Fitzpatrick, Jim|Durkan, Mark|Sheridan, Jim|Champion, Sarah|Dodds, Nigel

That this House notes that 25 to 31 January 2015 is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which is aimed at raising awareness of the causes and symptoms of cervical cancer and improving prevention efforts; further notes that eight women are diagnosed with, and three women die from, cervical cancer every day, despite the fact that it is largely preventable through HPV vaccination and cervical screening; further notes that, although all women aged 25 to 64 are invited to a free cervical screening test every three to five years, over 20 per cent, particularly those from disadvantaged areas, do not attend for screening; asks that relevant community and age-specific information is made available to women about cervical cancer symptoms, prevention and related issues; recognises what it considers to be the excellent work of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in supporting women and their families; and asks hon. Members, clinicians and policymakers to join the fight to eradicate cervical cancer.

Link: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/730

26 Jan


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January 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Session: 2014-15

Date Jim signed: 26.02.2015

Primary sponsor: Winnick, David

Sponsors: Mitchell, Austin | Corbyn, Jeremy | Allen, Graham | Vaz, Keith | Cunningham, Jim

That this House is of the opinion that in the next Parliament the Chair and members of the Intelligence and Security Committee should be elected by hon. Members.


23 Jan


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January 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

Like many hospitals in England, services at the Royal London Hospital are struggling.

The NHS has been put under unprecedented levels of pressure because of the failings of the government, and the problems in A&Es demonstrates the scale of the Tory NHS crisis we face.

Attendances at hospital A&E departments across the country increased by 600,000 in the first four years of the Tory-led government and last week it was revealed that only 7 out of 140 hospital A&Es hit the target to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours.

The Tory NHS crisis in A&E has its roots in the Government’s cuts to adult social care, the abolition of NHS Direct, the closure of almost one in four walk-in centres and its disastrous decision to throw the NHS into the chaos of reorganisation.

David Cameron promised he’d protect the NHS but his Tory NHS crisis proves you can’t trust the Conservatives with the NHS.

This week in Parliament I voted to take action to save our NHS and deal with the Tory NHS crisis. Unfortunately we lost the vote thanks to Conservative MPs and a Prime Minister who refuses to take any responsibility, or even acknowledge that an NHS crisis exists.

Only Labour has the long-term plan to save and improve our local health service.

Firstly, we will invest in training and recruiting 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs to ensure that the NHS has the time to care for you and your family.

Secondly, we will ensure a binding waiting time guarantee to make sure everyone can get a GP appointment within a maximum of 48 hours. We will also guarantee that nobody will wait more than one week for a cancer test and result.

Thirdly, we will hire 5,000 more care-workers to join up services from home to hospital and ensure that the NHS is more efficient and care is better.

All of this will be paid for through fairer taxes on properties worth over £2 million, on hedge funds, and on tobacco companies. None of our manifesto commitments, including on the NHS, require any extra borrowing.

Building the NHS was one of our greatest achievements and we’re determined to protect it. Only a Labour government can ensure that the NHS will always be there for you and your family when you need it.

23 Jan


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Stay Safe: Choose a Registered Electrician Says Jim Fitzpatrick MP

January 23, 2015 | By | No Comments


MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick, recently attended a parliamentary drop-in session at Portcullis House to show his support for a Government backed register of approved electricians.

The Westminster event, held on January 21st, generated cross party interest and saw a number of MPs in attendance. It was arranged to boost political awareness of the RCPE register, which aims to improve electrical safety in the home.

Registered Competent Person Electrical (RCPE) makes choosing a competent electrician easier than ever before. Supported by a recognisable mark, user-friendly search facility and clear website, it lists all electrical firms registered to carry out domestic electrical work in England and Wales.

Commenting on the session, Jim Fitzpatrick MP said:

“Electrical hazards can prove fatal, so it’s vital my constituents and the general public are aware of the simple steps they can take to reduce risk in their homes. The most important of these is to choose a competent, registered electrician that is able to work safely to legally required standards. I fully support the initiative of Registered Competent Person Electrical in making this choice easy for the general public.”

All RCPE registered firms have demonstrated their ability to work safely to legally required standards and are regularly assessed by a Government-approved Scheme Operator to ensure their ongoing competence. Their registration also allows them to display the instantly recognisable RCPE mark.

Using the register and choosing firms that display the mark is designed to give the general public peace of mind when hiring an electrician to work in their homes.

To find out more about the benefits of using a Registered Competent Electrician and to search for your local registered electrical installer, visit www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/Benefits

23 Jan


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Local MP takes action to address worrying trends in the fight against cervical cancer

January 23, 2015 | By | No Comments


1507 - Cervical C

Local MP Jim Fitzpatrick has called for greater measures to be taken to help prevent cervical cancer, including strategies to prevent continuously declining rates of uptake for cervical screening, and continued promotion of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination amongst teenage girls.

Ahead of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which runs from 25th to 31st January, Jim Fitzpatrick MP recently attended a parliamentary event hosted by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, where declining year on year rates of cervical screening were discussed.

Eight women each day in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer, with three women losing their lives to the disease. The latest figures on cervical screening (smear test) uptake in England, published in November 2014 by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), showed that the numbers of women taking up their cervical screening invitation has dropped, resulting in over one million women missing out on a potentially lifesaving test in 2013/14. The statistics showed that screening uptake has fallen below 78% for the first time in over 20 years.

This is of particular concern for two key age groups. For women aged 25-29 who are screened every three and a half years, 36.7% did not attend screening – this means over one in three young women are potentially ignoring their first screening invitation. For those aged 50-64 invited every five years, 77% (a drop of 0.5% on last year) attended screening. Particularly worrying is the uptake for the 55-59 age group (74.8%) and 60-64 age group (73.2%).

HPV vaccination offers protection against the high risk strains of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancers. The latest figures from Public Health England showed that 28,000 girls aged 12-13 chose not to receive any of the three doses of the vaccine required for the best protection possible. Although the fact that the vaccine can now be given in two doses should increase uptake, it is important that girls understand that cervical screening will continue to be essential, as the vaccine only protects against 70% of cervical cancers.

In the Poplar and Limehouse constituency specifically, 58.9% of 25-29 year olds attended cervical screening within the last 3 years (compared to a national average of 63.2%). For 50-64 year olds, who are screened every five years, 72.1% of 50-64 attended their appointment (with 77% being the national average). In total, 26.1% of women aged 25-64 have not been screened within the last five years.

For HPV vaccination uptake, 83.9% of 12-13 year olds had at least one dose, with 82.3% receiving two doses and 75.6% receiving all three. These figures are below the national average for England (91.1%, 89.8% and 86.7% respectively). Optimum protection against the high risk strains of HPV is only achieved through receiving all of the suggested doses, which was three at the time covered by these figures. The vaccine is now available in two doses, which should increase overall uptake.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP said:

“Cervical cancer and its prevention is an important issue which directly impacts on the lives of many women and their families in Poplar and Limehouse. I was concerned to hear about the worrying figures for cervical screening uptake and that there are still girls choosing not to have the HPV vaccine. I have challenged NHS England, and London NHS Area Team in particular, which is responsible for screening and immunisation in Poplar and Limehouse, to develop an action plan to ensure that women and girls are aware of the symptoms and impact of cervical cancer and to increase uptake of cervical screening and HPV vaccination. I fully welcome the actions of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in their work to help prevent cervical cancer, and I am asking everyone to join them in the fight to eradicate this disease.”

Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, commented:

“Every day we see the devastating impact a cervical cancer diagnosis can have on both a woman and her loved ones. But to know that for those that delayed their screening before diagnosis, this could have been prevented, is tragic. It’s now time that we see increased investment in targeted awareness campaigns at a local level so that everyone has a clear understanding of the importance of both cervical screening and HPV vaccination in preventing cervical cancer.”

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