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22 Nov


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AFAware Week

November 22, 2013 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP Pulse Check

I am delighted to support the ‘Detect and Protect’ campaign for AFAware Week (24th – 30th November). Atrial Fibrillation is a condition that affects a lot of people and more needs to be done to promote awareness about detecting and treating AF patients.

Not only is it important that AF is identified through the use of a simple pulse check, but it is crucial that following this diagnosis patients receive the most appropriate treatment for them.  It is estimated that by doing so, 7,100 strokes can be prevented each year.

More information on this great campaign here: http://www.atrialfibrillation.org.uk/campaigns/afawareweek.html

22 Nov


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Question Time at St Paul’s School

November 22, 2013 | By | No Comments

St Pauls School

Very nice thank you card from year 6 pupils of St.Paul’s School after Question Time this morning.

12 Nov


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Save Lloyd and Leila

November 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

Lloyd and LeilaUnfortunately Stepney City Farm can no longer keep the popular cows known as Lloyd and Leila.

I am asking the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to allow these animals to go to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk where they will have a permanent home.

You can sign the petition here: http://hillside.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4c95cca2af7aa16d5d44b5a9e&id=a82f6215fd.

12 Nov


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Access to Medical Technology

November 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

Access to medical technology is not possible for many people who need it in Poplar and Limehouse, and that’s why I signed a pledge to improve patient access to medical technology last week.

The pledge is being organised by the Medical Technology Group, a coalition of patient groups, research charities and medical device manufacturers, which is committed to increasing patient access to high quality, life-improving medical technologies to all who need it.

Medical technologies can be very effective for patients with a range of conditions, helping them return to work, care for loved ones, or enabling them to be looked after at home. They can also save the NHS money by reducing the number and length of stays in hospital.

08 Nov


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150 years of Football

November 8, 2013 | By | No Comments

UntitledLast week The Football Association celebrated its 150th anniversary and, with the First Round of The FA Cup approaching, I took the opportunity to get my hands on The FA Cup.

Football has come such a long way since that first meeting back in 1863 which created the first laws of the game.

Today it plays a huge part in the lives of millions across the country and it’s great to see so many people in Poplar and Limehouse enjoying the game.

In England there are seven million players of all ages and backgrounds who regularly play the game, as well as 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 referees. 

As the first round of the FA Cup kicks I know football fans up and down the country will be keeping a close eye on results and dreaming of the final at Wembley in May next year.

08 Nov


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Poppy Appeal

November 8, 2013 | By | No Comments

DSC_0096I’d like to say a big thank you to constituents and Wharfers who bought poppies from volunteers across the Canary Wharf estate this week. Everybody was very generous and their donations will go a long way to help the Royal British Legion.

30 Oct


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Britain Cares

October 30, 2013 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MPLast week I joined double Gold medallist wheelchair athlete Hannah Cockroft and Paralympian Sam Ruddock at an event in Parly to learn how important the issue of good social care is to my constituents.

The event, organised by disability charity Scope, was part of its ‘Britain Cares’ Campaign, which is calling on the Government to ensure that over 100,000 disabled people do not lose out on vital social care support which enables them to live independent, fulfilling lives http://www.britaincares.co.uk/.

While the debate on social care has focussed on the demands of an ageing population, one third of social care users are working age disabled people.

So far almost 30,000 people have contacted their MPs in support of ‘Britain Cares’ campaign, and last week I viewed a fantastic art installation of the hundreds of ‘I care’ photos sent in from people around the UK.

As the Government’s Care Bill enters the House of Commons for the first time, all MPs must remember that one third of social care users are working age disabled people. This support is what enables them to wash, dress and get out of the house.

It is crucial that the Bill goes as far as possible in creating a care system that supports disabled people to live full and independent lives.

16 Oct


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Breast Cancer is not Yesterday’s Problem

October 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP (3)This week I backed Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s call to make the issue of access to drugs a top priority, and help put breast cancer back on the agenda.

The charity has called on the Government to bring about a new focus on breast cancer, with a priority of introducing an equitable system through which effective new treatments are routinely made available to patients.

Breast cancer is not yesterday’s problem; thousands of women in the UK are living with a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, with incredibly limited treatment options. Research is developing treatments that can give women at the end of their lives more good quality time with their loved ones; we have a responsibility to ensure that there is a system that allows these pioneering new drugs to reach patients who will benefit from them.

In the UK, 12,000 women are still dying every year from breast cancer. That’s why I’ll be writing to the Prime Minister to urge him to take the lead on this issue, and help improve the lives of the thousands of women who are still affected by this disease.

19 Sep


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Wear it Pink

September 19, 2013 | By | No Comments


This year I will be taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s biggest (and pinkest) fundraiser, Wear it Pink Day.

Over the last 10 years wear it pink has raised a £23 million and on Friday 25 October 2013 people will come together in schools, colleges and businesses throughout the country to raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Campaign’s lifesaving research.

Most people have been affected by cancer in some way or another. Every year in the UK around 50,000 women and around 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly 12,000 women and 80 men die from this disease.

This is why we need to support Breast Cancer Campaign’s fundraising efforts so they can continue to fund research which will one day lead to a cure. So join me, wear something pink and donate £2, it’s really as simple as that.


03 Sep


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September 3, 2013 | By | No Comments

I would like to thank everyone who helped out with my #GetBritainCycling speech. Here’s what I said in the debate yesterday. Everyone who submitted comments by email or on jimfitzpatrickmp.org will receive a full response this week.

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab): It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mike Thornton). I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley North (Ian Austin) and the hon. Member for Cambridge (Dr Huppert), the co-chairs of the all-party group, of which I am a member, on the report. It is sponsored by The Times, which I congratulate too. I should declare that The Times is still in Wapping in my constituency, so there is a little bit of self-interest there. Other national newspapers—The Guardian and The Independent—have been trying to catch up and are supporting the campaign. My comments will be made as a Londoner and as a London cyclist, and will not necessarily reflect issues in other parts of the country.

I invited my constituents, through the social media of Twitter, Facebook and the East London Advertiser,to contribute to the debate by raising issues that they thought I might want to mention. I was staggered by the response—more than 50 people e-mailed or tweeted issues that are of importance to them. I am very limited for time and cannot name them all, but I will list some of them. Before doing that, I want to thank the cycle firms in my constituency, in particular Bikeworks, a social entrepreneurial group that does great work and made a running repair to my bike in half an hour last Wednesday morning to get me back on the road, and also Halfords and Evans, which are national organisations that support cycling in Tower Hamlets and in the community.

I will run through the list of issues raised by my constituents: keeping cycle routes clear when there are roadworks and parking problems; cycle superhighways not being up to the necessary standard—my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Rushanara Ali) raised the incident of the Aldgate East fatality—with just a coat of paint on a road and nothing more; and lower speed limits, an issue raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley North. Cycle training and education in schools was mentioned by several hon. Members. That is critical. I am doing an Industry and Parliament Trust Fellowship on logistics. I spent some time with TNT, which trains its postal delivery people to ride bikes. When they have down time, they partner local schools to train the kids there. If TNT can do it, the question to the Minister is this: is Royal Mail doing it? There must be other companies out there that could contribute, too.

Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): Royal Mail is doing that. It has a cycle workshop in my constituency, which maintains 500 bicycles used by the Royal Mail in the Greater York area.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the extra time he has given me; I knew that somebody would respond positively on behalf of Royal Mail.

Questions have been raised about HGVs and the fear factor, a road deaths investigation board and improved statistics on serious injuries and fatalities. The Home Office and the Department for Transport have always resisted a fatalities inquiry board for road traffic fatalities because there are just too many of them, but we have to raise the bar and look more seriously at investigating more thoroughly the fatalities on our roads.

2 Sep 2013 : Column 83

Other issues raised include: congestion charging and road closures to force traffic to surrender more space to cyclists; advanced stop areas; earlier green lights for cyclists; blitz enforcement of transgressors—whether car drivers or cyclists—in advance areas; cycle storage; and mandatory helmets. I know that many people are opposed to making helmets mandatory. I am in favour, but it is not going to happen. The evidence against it coming from Australia and America is somewhat time-limited. If we get our kids using helmets in schools, they will graduate into wearing them.

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): No one who is favour of cycling should be against encouraging people to wear helmets, but will my hon. Friend accept that the overwhelming evidence—not just in Australia, but from all over the world—is that where cycle helmets have been made compulsory the impact on cycling has been negative, and therefore the overall public health impact has been negative?

Jim Fitzpatrick: I hear what my right hon. Friend says and there is a cultural question here. I am sure we all watched the 100th Tour de France this year. All the way down the decades of historic footage, none of the cyclists were wearing helmets. Every Tour de France rider now wears a helmet. That is professional leadership. They are in the game of minimising and mitigating risk, and they give a lead to all cyclists.

Dr Huppert rose

Jim Fitzpatrick: If I have time at the end I will certainly give way to the hon. Gentleman, but I want to get through the points raised by my constituents.

The last two negatives raised related to fatalities and punishment to fit the crime. We all hear tragic stories from constituents about punishments that do not fit the crime. On the conversion of wider pavements, Boris Johnson certainly has that in London, particularly on the Embankment.

What I find fascinating is the counter-culture that comes through from my cyclist constituents. They complained about bad cycling behaviour and said that the cycle demographic in our country is mainly young, white, aggressive and male. That is why we do not “go Dutch” and why many people are put off cycling: they see a race track and do not want to join it. We need to address that problem, and the only way we are going to do so is through enforcement against those who cross red lights and pedestrian crossings.

People complained about cyclists who disregard the rules by wearing earphones; running red lights; crashing pedestrian crossings; not signalling whether they are turning left or right; not warning when they are overtaking; riding on pavements; using mobile phones; speeding on the Thames path; not ringing to alert pedestrians or other cyclists that they are overtaking on tow paths; swearing at pedestrians—some cyclists, like some drivers, think that they are entitled to a free run at the road; not dismounting in foot tunnels; not having lights; not having bells and not wearing high-visibility clothing. Cyclists are not perfect. We have to give a lead to

2 Sep 2013 : Column 84

cyclists to say, “We should show a better example in the way we behave, to ensure that drivers behave in the way we want them to.”

In conclusion, my wife Sheila and I visited Amsterdam and Copenhagen recently. There is less racing, more sensible cycling and a much wider demographic; there is a different culture. We must have that more varied cycling demographic in our country. My hon. Friend the shadow Secretary of State recently asked two questions of the Government. First, why do we have annual road and rail budgets to 2021, but not one for cycling? Secondly, why do we not have cycle safety assessments, similar to economic and equality impact assessments, for all road schemes?

My final question is about something that is raised in the report—I am not quite clear about the Government’s response—which said that we should have champions.

Dr Huppert: The issue with cycle helmets is that although they might save some lives, the countervailing loss of life from people not cycling and being less fit massively outweighs that. Indeed, one academic analysis suggested an extra 250 or so deaths a year net.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I am grateful for that intervention. That discussion needs to be had, and I am happy to ensure that we are raising it tonight.

My final question to the Minister is this. The report says that we should have national, regional and city champions. It is not clear from the Government’s response whether he is the national champion or not. If he is not, he should be. When will he recruit his regional and city-wide teams?

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP