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10 Mar

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Fitz Weekly: 10 March 2017

March 10, 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.

03 Mar

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Fitz Weekly: 3 March 2017

March 3, 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.

02 Mar

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP swears to take on mental illness

March 2, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick has pledged to take on the unacceptable lack of progress in tackling young people’s mental health. The Member of Parliament for Poplar and Limehouse joined MPs from all parties in swearing to tackle mental illness at an event in Westminster.

New figures from mental health research charity MQ show that four in 10 (42%) people in the UK have come to believe that mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are now an inevitable part of life, such is the lack of understanding and action around mental health.

84% say that not enough is being done to tackle mental illness for the future. And 68% of parents believe that having more education about mental illnesses could prevent suffering for future generations.

Three children in an average class are affected by a diagnosable mental illness. But many are waiting a decade between experiencing their first symptoms and getting help. Only a quarter of young people referred to services receive appropriate care.

Overall only £8 is spent on research per person affected on mental health in the UK, which is 22 times less than per person for cancer (£178) and 14 times less than dementia spend (£110).

And despite 75% of mental illness starting before the age of 18, less than 30% of the total mental health research spend is focused on children and young people. As a result, the majority of mental healthcare resources are not designed or developed for young people, leading to poor treatment outcomes in young people and hindering prevention efforts.

Jim said:

“Mental illness should not be seen as a day-to-day part of life. The current state of mental health treatment would simply never be accepted for a physical condition- we need parity. Through research we can get to grips with this growing crisis in young people’s mental health – and build progress towards much-needed hope for everyone affected.”

Swear to take on mental health. Search #WeSwear on social media or visit: http://www.mqmentalhealth.org/we-swear for further information as to how you can help.

01 Mar

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People with Arthritis need more support to work, says MP

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has called on the government to provide more support for workers with arthritis to help close the ‘arthritis employment gap.’

Arthritis is the number one cause of pain, disability and working days lost, according to Arthritis Research UK, which highlighted the issue to Jim at a recent parliamentary briefing. Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions like back pain affect one in six of us.

Musculoskeletal conditions cause pain, stiffness and fatigue that can make every day work tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, and typing difficult. They are the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK, causing 32.4 million sick days each year.

Only 60% of working age people with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 80% among those without a health condition or a disability. This ‘arthritis work gap’ means that 600,000 people with arthritis are currently missing out on the opportunity to work.

Now, following the Government’s Improving Lives consultation on employment support for disabled people, Jim is calling on the Government to ensure that people with arthritis have the support to stay at work for longer:

“It’s clear how enormous the impact of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions is on our local communities. 30,975 residents are living with back pain, a leading cause of sickness absence, in Tower Hamlets right now – 11% of local people.

“The ability to work is something that we often take for granted, but I’ve learnt today that for those living with arthritis this can be difficult. But with the right support and flexibility many people are able to work.

“That’s why I’m supporting Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Work Matters to Me’ campaign, putting this vital issue on the map. The Government must ensure that there is a level playing field so that people with arthritis who are able to work have the right support to remain and return to work.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer at Arthritis Research UK, said:

“I’m delighted that Jim is supporting our campaign to give people with arthritis the freedom from their condition in employment, enabling them to live their lives to the full.

“The current situation for people living with the daily pain of arthritis is untenable. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain are the number one cause for workplace sickness absence in the UK.

“Our retirement age has increased and we’re an ageing working population, so even more people are going to be living with the pain and unpredictability of arthritis, and face an uncertain working future.

“But with the right kind of support and job; work can benefit your mental and physical health as well as your financial position.

“We need to see Government action to address the employment needs of people with long term conditions such as arthritis, so that they have the right support and opportunity to maintain their freedom and quality of life.”

To find out more about working when you are living with arthritis please visit our website at http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-and-daily-life/work-and-arthritis.aspx

01 Mar

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP puts Poplar and Limehouse’s heritage on the map

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Event in parliament reveals the impact of National Lottery investment in Poplar and Limehouse and its position on the RSA’s Heritage Index.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, attended an event in Parliament hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to learn more about the impact of National Lottery investment in his constituency and where it ranked on the RSA’s 2016 Heritage Index.

Produced in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Heritage Index is an annual index that combines over 120 metrics, from historic buildings to local delicacies, revealing which local authorities are best at using heritage to foster a distinctive identity – and which could do better.

Analysis of this year’s index reveals that places which do most with their heritage have a higher quality of life (ONS well-being measures) than areas which have low levels of activity. As well as inherited physical assets such as battlefields and castles, the index measures new forms of heritage activity like community initiatives and volunteering. Jim Fitzpatrick MP discovered that Poplar and Limehouse sits in the 86th position overall in England, but that there is potential to make more of its heritage.

Jim said:

“It was great to attend this event and hear more about Poplar and Limehouse’s heritage assets and how they are being used by the community. I would urge constituents to think about the local heritage where they live, and think about how they could apply to HLF to undertake a project to explore it further.”

This event was part of National Lottery in Parliament, an exhibition to raise awareness among politicians in Westminster of the National Lottery funding available to its constituencies and demonstrate how National Lottery players’ money is changing people’s lives and improving the nation’s wellbeing.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said:

“Heritage is at the heart of what makes a place distinctive. The Heritage Index is a vital tool which is helping communities to better understand that heritage and tap into its vast potential. Securing National Lottery funding is one way of helping to fulfill that potential and it’s been making a difference to local communities across the UK for over 20 years.”

Since The National Lottery started in 1994, the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded over £30 million to almost 90 projects in Poplar and Limehouse.

Find out more about the Heritage Index 2016 at the RSA’s here: www.thersa.org/heritage and here http://bit.ly/RSAHeritageIndexdata. Find out more about accessing National Lottery funding for heritage projects at www.hlf.org.uk

01 Mar

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP joins Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to demand tougher punishments for animal abusers

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick is backing a new campaign by leading animal welfare charity, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, to call for tougher punishments for people who abuse and neglect animals.

England and Wales’ unacceptably low punishments for animal abusers are some of the weakest in the Western world. Battersea has launched a major campaign calling for the maximum sentence for severe animal cruelty offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be raised to five years in prison, which is common elsewhere.

Under the current law in England and Wales, the strongest sentence for even the most depraved cases of animal cruelty is just six months in prison – the lowest such sentence in Europe, the United States and Australia. Prison sentences for offences such as fly-tipping or theft are much higher.

Attending the launch of the campaign in the Houses of Parliament, Jim pledged his support to increase sentences for animal abusers.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP said:

“It is unacceptable that people can abuse and neglect animals and get away with such a small penalty. Battersea’s research shows England and Wales have the lowest sentences for cruelty across 100 countries and states worldwide. Six months in prison is neither a punishment nor a deterrent when it comes to some of the most serious offences. I’m standing up for animals by supporting this campaign and calling for tougher penalties.”

Like many animal welfare charities, Battersea cares for the victims of cruelty and neglect, with many making remarkable recoveries under the care of the charity’s Veterinary team. These include Tiger, a tabby cat brought into Battersea on 25 January. Concerned about his condition, the Veterinary team rushed him into X-ray, where it was discovered he had been shot in the head at close range with an airgun. Two metal pellets were found lodged in his skull and, had they been any closer to his brain, would have proven fatal. During a delicate surgery, Battersea’s highly-trained staff were about to carefully remove the pellets without causing further damage and Tiger has recovered well from his terrible ordeal.

Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive, said:

“It isn’t acceptable that our courts are unable to hand out tougher sentences in such extreme animal cruelty cases, yet the likes of fly-tipping can result in prison sentences of up to five years. Let’s get this into proportion and let the punishment for abusing animals truly fit the crime.”

01 Mar

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Disability benefit cuts

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

In the House of Commons I raised a question to the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions on the Mental Health comments made by a Government Minister.

Click here to watch my question.

28 Feb

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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: Food waste oral evidence session

February 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

The EFRA committee held its fifth evidence session on food waste with representatives from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

You can watch the session in full or to learn more click here.

27 Feb

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Flood debate

February 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

I took part in a debate in the House of Commons to argue the case that the Fire and Rescue Service needs to be able to maintain the staff and equipment necessary to continue to play a prominent role in dealing with floods, preparing for them and mitigating them. I believe in order to achieve that, they need recognition in law.

Since 2010 the Government has cut 7,000 of all jobs from the Service. These numbers are very worrying.

You can watch or read the debate in full.

24 Feb

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Fitz Weekly: 24 February 2017

February 24, 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.

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP