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Jim Fitzpartick
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Tower Hamlets

01 Dec

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Charity Commission launches inquiry into Island Health Trust

December 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

The Charity Commission announced today they have begun an inquiry into Island Health Trust, which governs the Island Health Centre, a clinic on the Isle of Dogs. Concerns were raised when GPs at Island Health saw their service charge hiked, despite the Trust holding assets worth around £1.3 million. Public accounts also show the chair of the charity was paid nearly £180,000 in consultancy fees by the NHS in 2014/15.

The Commission stated they’ve been:

“Monitoring the charity’s governance and financial administration since February 2017 after concerns were raised regarding the use of the charity’s funds and potential private benefit to one or more trustees.

“The Commission’s enquiries confirmed that a consultancy company, solely owned by a trustee of the charity, received significant benefits from the charity relating to a strategic development project.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I’m encouraged by the Charity Commission’s decision to open an investigation into Island Health Trust. The inquiry follows months of meetings with the Commission, local Councillors and residents as well as writing to the Department of Health on the issue. It’s only right the Trust is held to account.

“I’m sure the news will be welcomed by residents and patients on the Isle of Dogs, who’ve been calling for transparency as well as the protection of local health services.”

You can read the Charity Commission’s full statement here.

31 Jul

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Jim Fitzpatrick reveals impact of Child Poverty in Tower Hamlets

July 31, 2017 | By | No Comments

15,760 children will go hungry in Tower Hamlets over the summer holidays as they will not be able to access the free school meal they were entitled to during term time.

Across the London there will be a total of 212,238 children going hungry without their free school meal, and a total of 700,000 children growing up in poverty will be at risk of going hungry over the summer.

New Trussell Trust data shows increasing reliance on food banks during the summer, with 47% of food parcels that went to children going to primary school aged children.

Across London, hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of going hungry over the holidays. There will be a total of 700,000 children at risk of going hungry this summer across the city, as they are growing up in poverty and their families may not have the money they need to make sure the children are fed.

Real wages are falling in real terms as inflation rises, which will leave more children at risk of going hungry.

Commenting on the statistics Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“It is unacceptable that in 2017 so many children are at risk of going hungry in our community. The last Labour government I was a part of lifted 1 million children out of poverty- one of our proudest achievements. Our ambitious plan was to eliminate child poverty by 2020 but instead, under the Tories, it’s at a seven-year high.

“Tower Hamlets is the worst affected area in London- over 15,000 children will no longer receive the free school meal they were eligible for during term time.

“Labour showed what can be achieved and only Labour will do what is required. Every child deserves to be well fed regardless of their background, and we will introduce a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour to ensure that every family is able to make ends meet.”

20 Dec

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Leasehold Reform Debate

December 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

Sir Peter Bottomley and I secured a backbench business debate in the House of Commons to discuss leasehold reform.

There are over 4 million leaseholders across England and Wales and tens of thousands in Tower Hamlets. At the debate, I raised the concerns of residents from two large private sites, Canary Riverside and West India Quay, both of which are controlled by John Cristodoulou under the Yianis Group and leaseholders in former council owned homes which were purchased under right-to-buy legislation. Problems of service charges, refurbishment costs and inaccurate billing have plagued the former social sector homes. Sadly these are only a few examples of the many problems faced by leaseholders across the country.

Please follow the links to watch or read the debate in full.

For more information and help, please head to Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.

15 Dec

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Westminster Hall Debate: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

December 15, 2016 | By | No Comments

I took part in the EFRA debates in Westminster Hall. Following reports from the committee and the government response debates were held on the following topics…

Air Quality: I again raised the issue of the Enderby Wharf cruise ship terminal and the decision to allow Greenwich council to approve the project despite the effect on air pollution it would have on residents of Tower Hamlets and much of London.

You can watch or read the debate in full and for more information please click here.

Greyhound Welfare: I spoke about the need for more to be done to improve standards at kennels and called on the Government to release data on track injuries. Much has been achieved in improving greyhound welfare but an estimated 3000-4000 dogs are still being euthanised every year.

You can watch and read the debate in full and for more information please click here.

21 Nov

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Two weeks left to report issues for ‘Clear Up’ project

November 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

The council is taking steps to improve how it works and ensure it is more transparent, following the introducing of government-appointed commissioners almost two years ago.

An independent ‘Clear Up’ team has been set up to deal with any outstanding allegations of impropriety or serious concerns residents or staff might have for the period from October 2010 to June 2016.

More information about the team’s work can be found here.

And there are now just two weeks left for people to come forward with their concerns.

James Richardson, a secondee to the Council from the Civil Service, has been appointed as the ‘Clear Up’ Project Manager and is overseeing the team which aims to encourage people to identify any issues during this timeframe which have not yet been looked into.

James said: “This is a completely independent process, and where possible we will be seeking to protect the anonymity of those who want to come forward.

“As well as giving residents, partners and external stakeholders a chance to raise specific concerns, there is also the same opportunity for staff, so I would urge anyone with any outstanding issues to raise them by 8 December.”

Allegations for investigation by the Clear Up team have to be submitted before this date. After the 8 December, any issues should be raised through the council’s usual whistleblowing process.

To submit an allegation you can:

Allegations should be as specific as possible.

For more information about the Commissioners and their roles, you can visit the council’s website: towerhamlets.gov.uk

28 Sep

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP shows support for National Air Ambulance Week

September 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

NAAW ran from 19th to 25th September- an initiative created by the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) and celebrates the work of local air ambulance charities, giving them a national voice and an opportunity to promote the work they do at a local level. Together, the UK’s air ambulance charities raise £120 million a year, operate 37 helicopters, have a volunteer network of over 2,500 people and are one of the most exciting and innovative group of organisations in the UK.

London’s Air Ambulance treats on average five critically injured people in London each day, performing medical interventions at the roadside which are normally only found in a hospital emergency department. Barts Health NHS Trust provide the doctors and some financial support and the London Ambulance Service provides the paramedics and the emergency infrastructure to dispatch the service. The charity relies heavily on voluntary donations and has a world class reputation for delivering clinical innovation and excellence at the roadside. Since its inception 28 years ago, London’s Air Ambulance has treated over 35,000 patients.

The MP for Poplar & Limehouse said:

“I am proud to support London’s Air Ambulance. They provide a unique service to London by bringing the hospital to the patient.  In the first 6 months of the year alone 39 people in Tower Hamlets have already been treated by London’s Air Ambulance.”

Charles Newitt, Interim CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, said:

“National Air Ambulance Week is the ideal time to release our new infographic with data from the first 6 months of this year. It serves to highlight the work that we do, all across London, all day, and all year. We want everyone in London to know that we are there for them, should they need our help and that as a charity we can’t operate without the donations of those that live and work in London.

“National Air Ambulance Week is a week when air ambulance charities across the UK rally together to raise awareness and funds in their local communities. I am urging people to get involved during National Air Ambulance Week in any way you can to support us. Your support is vital in saving lives.”

21 Sep

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Westminster Hall Debate: Enderby Wharf development in Greenwich

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

enderbywharfdebate

I spoke about the development and it’s impact on the air quality for the local community. You can read the full debate or watch it here.

07 Jul

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Draft Electoral Registration Pilot Scheme (England) Order 2016

July 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

committee

Second Delegated Legislation Committee

Monday 4 July 2016

Read in full here

Or watch here

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab)

The Minister and I have debated the anomalies in Tower Hamlets before, where there have been accusations of electoral fraud and so on. How will the Electoral Commission accommodate those anomalies into the overall scheme of things to make sure that the results are not skewed and that they provide a result that is of benefit to local authorities in understanding the best way to go forward?

John Penrose

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. We have debated this in the past, and the only point on which I disagree with his comments is that we are now ​talking not just about accusations of electoral fraud, but about actual convictions. The situation is a great deal worse than people might otherwise think.

Jim Fitzpatrick

I was not defending them.

John Penrose

I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman was not defending them at all; he is pursuing the need to improve things. The answer to his question is that, because we are trialling these different ideas with control groups—it is not quite a randomised control trial, but it is the closest we can get to a genuinely scientific method in these situations—we should be able to compare places in which they have and have not been tried. The differences will be readily apparent and will be auditable and accessible to those elsewhere in the country, if we go ahead with the idea of an online academy.

The hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood asked what would happen if somebody’s email address was out of date, and whether they would get no contact from the local electoral registration officer as a result. I mentioned in my opening remarks that the initial household notification letter in these trials will be sent by post and will land on the doormat at a physical address. Follow-ups can then be done online or in some other way, but the initial contact will still happen by post.

In the two areas where the trials will be backed up by local council data, if there is no follow-up contact and the local electoral registration officer knows, for example, that someone is on the council tax database but is not responding in a particular area, they can then focus their resources and efforts on that address because there is likely to be somebody there who is not responding and is not registered. Incidentally, it may be that somebody is not responding because they are not a legitimate voter—they might be a foreign national and therefore ineligible to vote—but it is important for the electoral registration officer to pursue that point to a satisfactory resolution if they know from other records that somebody is there.

I hope that has answered the points we have been dealing with and reassured everybody, and that we can therefore approve the draft order forthwith.

28 Apr

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Elections: Tower Hamlets:Written question – 33188

April 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

Q

Asked by Jim Fitzpatrick

(Poplar and Limehouse)

Asked on: 08 April 2016

Ministry of Justice

Elections: Tower Hamlets

33188

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions his Department has had with Chief Crown Prosecutors on the decision not to prosecute any individuals for suspected electoral and financial fraud committed in Tower Hamlets during the mayoral election there in 2014.

A

Answered by: Andrew Selous

Answered on: 18 April 2016

The Ministry of Justice has not had any discussions with Chief Crown Prosecutors on this matter.

Decisions on whether to charge or to prosecute individuals suspected of electoral and financial fraud in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets are matters for the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service. I refer my Honorable Friend to Mr. Marcus Jones’ response to Parliamentary Question 29350.

22 Apr

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP