Jim Fitzpatrick MP joined electricity network, UK Power Networks, at a event in the House of Commons to launch a new pack to help vulnerable customers in the event of a power cut. Jim is also encouraging residents in Poplar & Limehouse who may need extra support in a power cut to sign up to UK Power Networks’ free Priority Services Register.
The Priority Services Register enables UK Power Networks to identify and help customers who may need additional support in a power cut as older or disabled people, customers with dementia or families with young children.
The new pack contains helpful items including a plug-in-the-wall torch that automatically switches on when there is a power cut, a glow stick and a storage bottle where people can keep vital personal and medical information in the event of an emergency.
There are 3,675 people in Poplar and Limehouse who are already registered but Jim believes that number should be higher. New research has revealed, for example, that only one in six people, (including one in eight over 80 years old) know about the Register.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP said:
“I’m sure every one of us knows somebody who could benefit from being on the Priority Service Register, whether it’s a friend, relative or neighbour. It’s important to be prepared in the event of a power cut. I’d like to urge my constituents to sign up for this free help.”
UK Power Networks chief executive Basil Scarsella said:
“Although we have reduced the number of power cuts by over 40% since 2010, if there is a power cut then being on the Priority Services Register means our dedicated team know who they need to contact to provide tailored support. Events like today’s reception are an important way of raising awareness about the register and the extra support we provide to vulnerable customers.”
I showed my support at an event in the House of Commons sponsored by Carolyn Harris, Labour MP for Swansea East and organised by CLIC Sargent and Fair Funerals.
One in seven people who organised a funeral in the past four years admitted it caused them serious financial concern. With funeral costs doubling in ten years, too many people can’t afford a respectful funeral when someone they love dies. The campaign is calling for a national fund to ensure that families don’t have to worry about trying to meet the cost of their child’s funeral, and local authorities have a fund to draw from to meet some of their funeral costs.
Applying for grants and shopping around funeral directors is incredibly difficult when you’re struggling with grief. Grieving parents are particularly vulnerable. The death of a child is something that parents are completely emotionally and financially unprepared for. All too frequently, the cost of a funeral imposes a crippling and unmanageable financial burden on bereaved parents, during what is an already impossible time.
I was grateful of the opportunity to hear from families who’ve been affected by the prohibitive cost of paying for a funeral, as well as representatives from CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and Quaker Social Action who directly support people in funeral poverty and run the national Fair Funerals campaign.
The EFRA Committee (of which I am currently Acting Chair) held its fourth oral evidence session for its Rural tourism in England inquiry. Witnesses discussed the challenges in balancing environmental issues with expanding rural tourism.
You can watch the evidence session in full and to learn more please click here.
This week 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.
Friday 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 ‘How can life go on?’
After signing the Book of Commitment, Jim commented:
“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.”
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:
“Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to Jim 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.”
Members of the EFRA committee visited the FoodCycle centre in Hackney as part of our food waste enquiry.
FoodCycle is a national charity that combines volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces to feed people at risk of food poverty and social isolation. Thanks to all the volunteers and guests for a very informative visit.
The EFRA committee (of which I am currently acting chair) heard from supermarkets, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and the Food and Drink Federation in the third evidence session of its food waste in England inquiry.
10 million tonnes of food waste was thrown away last year alone, valued at £17 billion but 60% could have been avoided.
You can watch the evidence session in full or to learn more please click here.
Angela Smith MP hosted a drop in session on Greyhound welfare with welfare members of the Greyhound Forum.
MPs this week attended a House of Commons event organised by a number of animal welfare organisations to discuss the grave and pressing need to improve Greyhound welfare in the UK. 19 MPs, including Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, attended the session in Westminster, hosted by Angela Smith MP together with the welfare members of the Greyhound Forum, in support of stronger regulation to protect racing Greyhounds. The Forum’s nine welfare organisations united to share their disappointment over the Government’s inaction to amend the 2010 Regulations to the detriment of the welfare of racing Greyhounds involved in the sport. The welfare members are calling on the Government to take the following actions:
Publish essential welfare data relating to injury, euthanasia and rehoming numbers as soon as possible.
Extend the 2010 Regulations to cover trainers’ kennels.
Apply greater pressure to bookmakers to ensure they invest a fair reflection of their profits into welfare.
Welfare organisations believe that approximately 3,500 Greyhounds are unaccounted for every year in the UK, but as statistics are not currently published by the industry the true scale of the problem is difficult to assess.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP said:
“Animal welfare is an important issue amongst my constituents and as an animal lover myself believe it is essential that welfare is prioritised in the industry. I was interested to hear the concerns surrounding the industry and along with the welfare members of the Greyhound Forum I’m calling for more to be done to safeguard Greyhound welfare.”
Clarissa Baldwin, Chair of the Greyhound Forum explains:
“We are delighted to see the support of so many MPs. It goes to show that Greyhound welfare is high on the agenda for MPs and their constituents. As so many of us consider ourselves a nation of animal lovers it’s outrageous that so little is being done by our Government to ensure that welfare in the industry is prioritised. The welfare members of the Forum are calling for regulations to be amended to require the publication of essential welfare data relating to injury, euthanasia and rehoming. The Government will rely on a non-regulatory agreement with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain to publish statistics from 2018. We also see no justification for the data not to be published until 2018. We hope MPs will work with us to put pressure on the Government to treat the grave issue of Greyhound welfare with the urgency and severity it deserves.”