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Jim Fitzpartick
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14 Oct

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Tower Hamlets – Highest Child Poverty Rate in the UK

October 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

According to figures released by the End Child Poverty Campaign, Tower Hamlets has the highest child poverty rate in the UK with 49 per cent of our children living in poverty.

I wrote to Mayor Rahman just last week regarding this issue and raised my concerns over an analysis showing the four wards with the highest poverty indices in Tower Hamlets being in receipt of the lowest grant support.

I have yet to receive a response to my correspondence but I know that Labour has been working tirelessly in Tower Hamlets to improve the lives and wellbeing of its children, including Labour’s campaign for free school meals for primary school pupils which began this September.

I have also been in close contact with the End Child Poverty campaign and have written to the Children’s Minister and Shadow Minister for Education regarding this issue, asking for a ‘roadmap’ to reducing child poverty and further information on Labours’ plans to ending child poverty by 2020 respectively.

10 Oct

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‘Give Someone a Start’

October 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

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As Lord Sugar starts his search for another new ‘Apprentice’, a group of long-term unemployed people from east London are hoping valuable work experience gained at Thames Water will help them get hired.

Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick, spoke to the candidates who successfully completed the three-week programme called ‘Give Someone a Start’ at a presentation held at the East London Business Alliance offices in Tower Hamlets on Friday.

The scheme, first developed by London’s water supplier in 2012 and supported by the government, aims to give long-term unemployed people a foot-up on the career ladder. It shows them what employers are looking for while also equipping them with practical skills and hands-on experience in a real workplace, including one of Europe’s biggest sewage works in Beckton.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Often it is a lack of experience, rather than a lack of ability, which prevents people from stepping onto the career ladder. Thames Water’s Give Someone a Start programme is providing workplace experience that will help participants show potential employers what they are capable of. I wish them well in their future endeavours.”

Thames Water education manager Paul Hampton added: “Give Someone a Start is a valuable scheme giving unemployed people a taster, or in some cases, a reminder of what it’s like to be in the workplace.

“We employ more than 4,500 people at Thames Water so have a huge amount to offer in the way of advice and experience. We’re very proud of this programme which has proved in the past gets results and, most importantly, people into work.”

During the three weeks with Thames Water, participants from Islington, Stratford, East Ham and Walthamstow worked alongside staff in a range of roles at various locations across the east of the city. They were also given tips on interview techniques and CV writing and took part in a workshop to sharpen-up their IT skills.

A presentation event was held on October 3 to mark the end of the east London programme, where certificates were presented to participants by Mr Fitzpatrick and Thames Water’s Ken Oakley. They also had one-to-one sessions with the programme leaders to get feedback on how they performed and advice on next steps to get into work.

Davin Chaggar, Programme Manager, Employment and Skills at ELBA, said: “ELBA is proud to be working in partnership with Thames Water on the east London leg of their work experience programme. We have supported the scheme by providing links to jobseekers from our local boroughs including Hackney, Islington and Newham, as well as delivering fun, exciting and impactful training.

“One of our key objectives is to promote careers in science, technology, mathematics and engineering which makes Thames Water a perfect corporate partner for us.”

The east London scheme is the first of four that Thames Water will be supporting in the next eight months. The others will be in west London, Reading and Swindon.

09 Oct

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Marner School

October 9, 2014 | By | No Comments

Following negative press coverage of Marner School in the Sunday Times on the 28th September, including questionable claims which have been proved wrong, an Ofsed report has just been released that will reassure local parents.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP said:

“Marner is a great local school.  None of us are complacent about protecting our young people, but I know the school well, and the Ofsed report backs me up – they do a good job, and parents should feel reassured that they can trust the teachers there”.

Cllr Helal Uddin, a local councillor said:  ” I know Marner school well, and I know that they take their responsibility to community cohesion very seriously.  I am glad that the Ofsted report demonstrates what we already knew, that there is no space given to those who might seek to divide our community”.

Cllr Danny Hassell, a local councillor and Labour Group spokesperson on schools said:  “We are proud of the track record of Tower Hamlets schools – it was a Labour council working with a Labour government that brought together local people, parents, teachers and young people to transform educational attainment in our part of the east end.  We in the Labour Party will continue to work with parents, teachers and communities to continue that story of success.  Moreover we will not allow our schools – and our communities – to be stigmatised.  The manner of the briefing against Marner school was unjustified”.

Rushanara Ali MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said;

“We all welcome this report which shows the effectiveness of safeguarding in Marner School. There is no greater responsibility in schools than this. Moreover, it is absolutely right that Ofsted should investigate all cases where concerns are brought forward.”

“However, the way in which allegations have found their way into the press has been unacceptable. Pupils and parents have had to deal with what has become a culture of fear created by the tone of unsupported accusations.”

“We must learn lessons from this incident. Quick and effective measures must be put in place to deal with reports of wrongdoing – without investigations becoming sensationalised and distracting from the excellent work of our local schools.”

08 Oct

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Concerns about grant distribution in Tower Hamlets

October 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

A recent analysis by “Love Wapping” reported that there has been an uneven distribution of grant monies in Tower Hamlets over the last four years.

What is more alarming is that the four wards with the highest poverty indices are reported to be in receipt of the lowest grant support.

This includes East India and Lansbury which according to the council’s own figures, has the highest child poverty rate in Tower Hamlets at 54 per cent, yet organisations located here only received 4.6 per cent of all grants.

Similarly, Bromley by Bow has 52 per cent of children living in poverty and Mile End East has 51 per cent yet their percentage of grants was 2.3 and 3.74 per cent respectively.

As a result of this report, I have written to Mayor Rahman raising my concerns and asking for confirmation of the accuracy of this information.

I have also asked him to indicate what actions his administration will be taking to rectify this anomaly, if at all.

01 Oct

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Should we lower the UK’s voting age?

October 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

DSC_0042[2]I was delighted to be joined by Callum and Alice from Bishop Challoner today in Westminster. The three of us had a spirited discussion regarding the UK’s voting age and I was happy to have assisted them in the collation of their joint report with the BBC.

30 Sep

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“Ask your MP”

September 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

Myself with Vanessa Feltz

Today I faced the hotseat as I joined Vanessa Feltz on BBC London 94.9 for an hour of “Ask your MP”. It was a great opportunity to talk about some of the wonderful developments in Poplar and Limehouse as well as answering some of your questions directly.

If you didn’t get the chance to tune in, have no fear! Click on this link and forward to 02:01:50.

17 Sep

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Improving cancer survival rates with earlier diagnosis

September 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

I recently highlighted the importance of improving earlier cancer diagnosis as a means of increasing one-year cancer survival. In Tower Hamlets, only 65% of people with cancer will live for a year after diagnosis.

At the moment, the UK lags far behind its international and European neighbours in cancer survival. We know that early diagnosis of cancer leads to better survival rates for patients. The one-year cancer survival rates will highlight areas where improvements need to be made. I have written to the Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning group for an update on initiatives to encourage earlier diagnosis, and look forward to working with them on behalf of local cancer patients. By matching Europe’s best survival rates, the Government estimates that the NHS in England could save 10,000 lives a year. This should be our aim: to give people in our area the best chance in their fight against cancer.

15 Sep

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Mencap’s ‘Hear my voice’ campaign

September 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

Myself with Aaron, a Mencap Young Ambassador

Myself with Aaron, a Mencap Young Ambassador

 

I was delighted to attend the launch of Mencap’s Hear my voice campaign in the House of Commons last week. The new campaign is about empowering people with a learning disability and their families to make sure their voices are heard by their local MPs and candidates in the lead up to the May 2015 General Election.

People with a learning disability and their families are as much a part of our society as anyone else and deserve to have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them. I am listening and I hope that many more MPs and potential candidates will do the same by getting on board with Mencap’s Hear my voice campaign.

10 Sep

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Dairy All Party Parliamentary Group Launch

September 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

I attended the launch of the new Dairy All Party Parliamentary Group in Westminster today and was thrilled to be part of an important committee which considers all aspects of the dairy sector. I am aware of the many issues concerning the industry and look forward to providing my assistance as well as representing the interests of those related. It is evident that the UK government currently supports various schemes relating to the dairy sector, however, I am certain more can be done and will be done with the effort of this committee.

08 Jul

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Today I took an HIV test at ‘Halfway to World AIDS day’ event in Westminster.

July 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

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Today I was one of the record number of legislators who took an HIV test at a ‘Halfway to World AIDS day’ event hosted by the Halve It Coalition and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS. MPs and Peers took a test administered by clinicians from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in an act of solidarity with all those living with HIV across the world every day of the year, and in demonstration of the UK’s policy commitment to HIV testing. During the event members of the Halve It steering group, including leading HIV clinicians and CEOs of patient and policy organisations, spoke with parliamentarians about HIV testing and related sexual health issues. 

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP