Mary accepted an offer from Richard Potts of NFU County Adviser for Northumberland and North County Durham, to meet with farmers at Burradon House Farm this week, to listen to their concerns and discuss, amongst other things, Crop Protection Products, Supermarkets, and the Common Agricultural Policy.
(left to right) Will Younger, Mary, Mark Vickers, Fred Ryle, David Robson and John Younger.
Mary calls for an end to “game of chance” bus service for blind people
Getting off at the right bus stop is like “playing a game of chance”, says guide dog owner Linda, about her experiences navigating the bus network without sight.
Mary got a chance to experience for herself why people with sight loss need audio-visual announcements (AV) on buses, through playing a memory game, at the Labour Party Conference this week.
AV is essential for people with sight loss to live independently, yet only one fifth of the UK’s buses have AV. Without AV bus passengers with sight loss have to ask the driver to remember to tell them when they have reached their stop.
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I was delighted to attend the launch of the Later Life Ambitions this week (02.09.14) where I joined over 150 people at House of Commons to hear about the pressing need to listen to the voice of pensioners in the build-up to the next election.
By 2030, there will be almost 13 million people in later life - aged 65 or over. Later Life Ambitions brings together the collective voices of over a quarter of a million pensioners and sets out a ‘manifesto’ for the future that takes into account the aspirations of today’s pensioners, but also looks to the next generation of older people.
At the event, I pledged to listen to and express the views of pensioners in my constituency, and to consider the policy recommendations in the Later Life manifesto.]
The campaign organisers, the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, the Civil Service Pensioners’ Alliance, and the National Association of Retired Police Officers Association, are hoping that members of the public will become involved in the campaign as it progresses and are asking people to sign up to their pledge via the website www.laterlifeambitions.co.uk and by following their twitter feed @laterlives. You can also take part in an online survey or submit experiences or views via post or email.I am committed to supporting pensioners inNorth Tyneside and look forward to supporting Later Life Ambitions in the months ahead, I hope that you will also want to get involved.
Mary heralds bright future for women’s rugby
Mary met the recently crowned World Champions in the Women’s Rugby World Cup, and learnt about plans to encourage more women and girls to follow in their footsteps.
England beat Canada in the final in Paris earlier this month, in the best attended and highest profile
World Cup to date. The tournament and England’s stunning victory has widely been seen as a game-changer for women’s rugby.
The RFU, the governing body of English rugby, has today launched a nationwide strategy to encourage 100,000 women and girls to get involved in rugby. The RFU is seeking to capitalise on the enthusiastic support England received during the tournament and ensure that rugby clubs throughout the country are ready and able to receive a new generation of females inspired by the triumphs of England. The RFU will be targeting work in 200 community rugby clubs across the country, including my constituency ni North Tyneside.
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"A charity that seeks to place life-saving defibrillators across the North East could be in line for a life-boosting injection of £50,000 in a competition with other charities organised this weekend.
Mary said: "North East Hearts with Goals Raising does great work in spreading life-saving equipment and could do with this donation. But people have to vote for them. Please spare a minute. It may save your life or that of a friend later."
The shortlisted charities were then selected by an expert panel of judges including TV housing expert Phil Spencer.
Voting is free and open to all UK residents who can vote via http://www.comparethemarket.com/neighbourhoods/great-british-switch
Mary votes against hated Bedroom Tax
Today Mary joined other Labour MPs to vote against the hated Bedroom Tax during a debate in parliament.
The Bedroom Tax has caused hardship for hundreds of thousands of people across the country, costing low-income families an average of £700 a year. Two thirds of those hit by the Bedroom Tax have disabilities and 60,000 are carers. In the North East alone over 36,986 people have been affected.
The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly joined the Tories to keep the Bedroom Tax in place and have previously resisted any attempt to protect people from it. Yet today the Liberal Democrats joined Labour in voting against their own policy in Parliament.
Thanks to the support of Labour MPs the vote was won. Unfortunately this vote will not abolish the bedroom tax, as Labour will do if elected next year, but it is a step in the right direction and a glimmer of hope for many.
Mary said, “David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s cruel and unfair Bedroom Tax has hit the poorest and most vulnerable in our community.
“Despite the clear evidence that the Bedroom Tax is causing misery, hardship and forcing thousands to rely on food banks, the Lib Dems and Tories have voted again and again in favour of it. If this government won’t ditch the Bedroom Tax, then the next Labour government will.”
Labour’s shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves MP said, "The Lib Dems voted with the Tories for the Bedroom Tax. There wouldn't be a Bedroom Tax if it wasn't for the Lib Dems. The only way to cancel the Bedroom Tax is to elect a Labour government next year."
Mary backs Duchenne Awareness Day
Another key concern is access to emerging treatments. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive condition and so time is against patients and their families. The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is working to make sure that if a treatment comes through it is not held up because of slow processes or lack of funding.
An international awareness and action day has been backed by MPs and campaigners for those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare muscle-wasting condition affecting around 2,500 people in the UK.
Mary said: “The numbers may be small but the suffering is huge. About 100 children – almost always boys – are born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in Britain each year. Most use a wheelchair by the age of 12 and experience life-threatening health complications by their late teens. Few live to see their 30th birthday. Hope is on the horizon with promising treatments being trialled.”
Mary added: “our all-party parliamentary group is very focused on making sure that boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy get the care and support they need. Unfortunately, in some areas of the country, patients and families experience poor standards of care, particularly when once they reach adulthood. This isn’t good enough and I will continue to raise the issue in Parliament.”
International Duchenne muscular dystrophy Awareness Day can increase public understanding, boost support for further research, and highlight the need for proper care and support.
Mary has frequently pressed Ministers on the need for excellent specialist services for boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, most recently in a Parliamentary Question to the Commons Leader William Hague on 4th September.
She has also backed the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s work aimed at ensuring faster access to potential treatments, including meeting with Health Ministers to stress the urgency facing families.
Mary pledges her support to Blind Veterans UK's No One Alone Campaign
Blind veterans in North Tyneside or nationwide will not have to battle blindness alone according to a pledge from a Tyneside MP.
North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon, who attended a Commons reception organised by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women, has pledged to “do all I can to raise awareness of the charity’s vital support and services, and to highlight its recruitment campaign to reach more veterans eligible for its support.”
Mary Glindon MP added: “No One Alone is the name of this campaign and could affect nearly 70,000 veterans with vision impairment who could be eligible for support but are not currently receiving it.”
The event also saw the launch of Blind Veterans UK’s ‘Living the Pledge’ report which set out the difficulties faced by veterans, and called on MPs, local authorities and NHS healthcare professionals to improve referral pathways to the charity so that veterans are automatically signposted to support.
Barry Porter, Blind Veterans UK’s Interim Chief Executive, said: “It is fantastic that so many MPs and key figures attended the event and have pledged their support to ensure that blind ex-Service men and women can enjoy a life beyond sight loss. This event is crucial in helping us spread the word about Blind Veterans UK’s vital work. We want every MP, health networks and local authorities in the UK to consider what can be done to improve the way veterans are referred to the charity, so that we can ensure every vision impaired veteran gets the support they need and deserve.”
If you are, or know of, a veteran with severe vision impairment and would like more information about Blind Veterans UK’s free, lifelong support visit www.noonealone.org.uk or call freephone 0800 389 7979.
Blind Veterans UK
Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan’s) is a national charity that believes that no-one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone. It provides blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women with lifelong support including welfare support, rehabilitation, training, residential and respite care.
The charity needs £100 million over 5 years to provide lifelong support to blind ex-Service men and women. Find out more at: www.blindveterans.org.uk, and follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/blindveteransuk and on Twitter at: twitter.com/blindveterans. ______________________________________________________
First World War Centenary
Emily and Libby, along with their father Jonathan, very kindly laid the wreath on behalf of myself and North Tyneside Councillors.
View the picture.
Mary welcomes Wallsend St Peter’s Church of England Primary School to live coding event at the Houses of Parliament
Mary was taught computer coding skills by pupils from St Peter’s this week, when they attended the Girls Get Coding event at the Houses of Parliament.
The event, organised by PICTFOR, the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum in conjunction with e-skills UK, brought more than a hundred girls from around the country to the historic surroundings of the Palace of Westminster. The girls had been practising their coding skills, ready to teach their MPs the basics of this vital skill. Three students from [school] were selected to take part, and enjoyed showing [name] and other parliamentarians how to get ahead in programming.
“I loved learning to code with the pupils from St Peter’s said Mary “They were full of enthusiasm and made excellent teachers. I know how important it is that all school students learn computer programming, and it was a great opportunity for me to brush up my own skills. It’s particularly important to encourage girls to make the most of technology, so I was delighted to support Girls Get Coding and meet the students.”
Girls Get Coding is generously supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and forms part of the government's Your Life campaign to encourage more young people, and girls in particular, to consider careers in science and technology.
Public Sector Strike
No one likes strikes, particularly low paid workers whose wages are docked. And those who devote their lives to serving the community know that their actions will inevitably affect their friends and neighbours. Those on strike are dedicated but desperate. Some of them are not even getting 1% pay rises and their take home pay is being cut by higher inflation.
But there is no point in having the universally acknowledged right to strike if it cannot be used when absolutely necessary. I stand with the strikers and hope that their grievances can be resolved urgently.
Mary on board with Guide Dogs Talking Buses campaign
Mary Glindon MP showed her support for a campaign led by the charity Guide Dogs to make travelling by bus easier for people with sight loss.
The MP for North Tyneside went to a reception at the Houses of Parliament on 2 July in support of Guide Dogs’ campaign to make sure all new buses have audio visual (AV) next stop announcements, which are vital for blind and partially sighted bus travellers.
The reception, which was addressed by Bus Minister Baroness Kramer, highlighted how announcements enable blind and partially sighted people to understand their location, and prevent them from missing their stops.
AV systems are only fitted to around one fifth of the bus fleet nationally, with the overwhelming majority of these buses operating in London.
Guide Dogs is calling for the Government to require all new buses be fitted with AV, as currently bus operators are under no obligation to include this technology when upgrading their fleet.
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Mary shows support for patients with Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU), a distressing skin disease that may affect up to half a million people in the UK
- Mary Glindon MP shows support for patients with CSU, a distressing skin disease that may affect between 318,000 and 630,000 people in the UK.1,2
- New survey shows that one in four miss work every month, while nine out of ten say their sleep is affected by CSU
- Over half wait one year to see a specialist.3
- CSU is a distressing and severe skin condition which can result in cosmetic disfigurement.2 It is characterised by severe, chronic itching and hives (or wheals) on the skin which spontaneously occur for more than 6 weeks, with many people suffering for a number of years CSU is unpredictable and symptoms often re-occur without an obvious stimulus.2
13th June, 2014 – Mary Glindon MP attended a parliamentary event to pledge support for patients with CSU, as a new report published today, highlights the significant distress that the disease causes.
The Wheals of Despair report - created by a multidisciplinary group including hospital specialist consultants, primary care professionals and Allergy UK, initiated and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited - encourages the urgent re-evaluation of the current approach towards CSU and highlights the importance of its prioritisation in the minds of healthcare professionals and the NHS.
John Baron MP: 2RRF Honour Guard marches off the square
MP slams MoD Reservist plans
Today saw the last Fusilier Honour Guard outside No 10. Since February 2013, ex-members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have paraded outside the gates of No 10 to coincide with the Cabinet’s weekly meeting. The former soldiers have been marking their disagreement with the MoD’s plans to disband 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF) as part of the Coalition Government’s Army reforms. This is despite 2RRF being one of the best-recruited units in the British Army and the battalion having seen continual action over the past decade.
However, in light of the fact that it seems the disbandment will unfortunately go ahead, a decision has been taken that the Honour Guard will cease today. Representatives from the media attended the final guard, which took place outside the Downing Street gates at 10.00am.
John Baron MP said,
“The Honour Guard has been integral to our campaign to save 2RRF. It is a great testament to the passion felt by Fusiliers that it has been maintained for so long and in all weathers. Whilst deeply disappointed with the decision to axe 2RRF, we take comfort from the strength of the Regimental Association and the fact the Regiment will continue in 1RRF and 5RRF.”
“The misguided plan to replace 20,000 Regulars with 30,000 Reservists will produce unacceptable capability gaps and false economies. We should be strengthening our Armed Forces, particularly at a time of growing uncertainty.”
Col (Rtd) Ian Brazier, Chairman of the Fusiliers Association, said,
“The Fusiliers Association has proudly maintained an Honour Guard at the gates of Downing Street in order to remind the Government that we do not accept the way 2RRF was ‘substituted’ into disbandment. The deeply flawed Army 2020 plan, combined with almost non-existent recruitment, is disastrous for Britain. The Secretary of State for Defence betrays a woefully inadequate grasp of military issues and seems to be labouring under the illusion that the British public believes that cuts mean progress.”
A delicious homemade scone, a freshly made sandwich and two reviving cuppas were the order of the day when North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon and Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn popped in to a new cafe quickly that's rapidly establishing itself in the heart of its community.
During their visit to Cafe Oxford, the pair chatted with many of the customers enjoying tasty home cooked meals and talked to owner Denise Marshall about her ambitious plans for the newly-opened business.
Based in the busy Oxford Centre in Longbenton, the cafe opened its doors four weeks ago and is already establishing itself among local people as 'the place to go' for a warm welcome and good quality food.
Denise said: "I provide catering services to lots of corporate clients in big businesses but I've always had a passion to open my own cafe serving a community like this. The Oxford Centre is perfect because it's so busy with all the various services including the doctor's, the library, the meeting rooms, the crèche and even people taking part in Zumba classes in need of revitalizing!
"There's a tremendous buzz about the Cafe Oxford and I'm really delighted that we're meeting the needs of customers of all ages as well as the staff who work within the centre - whether they want a full English breakfast, a snack, lunch or even afternoon tea we cater for everyone's tastes and make sure they get a very warm welcome. A visit to the Oxford Cafe is not just about the great food, it's about meeting friends and being part of a real community."
Denise is so determined to keep the cafe local that she sources all her produce from farms, bakeries and meat suppliers in the area. All the soup, scones, sandwiches, cakes, snacks and hot lunches are made on the premises by Denise and her Manager and Cook, Dawn McNaughton. She also employs a team of local residents to keep the cafe running smoothly.
This community local initiative has been warmly welcomed by the MP and the Elected Mayor.
Norma said: "Although it's only been opened a short time we've heard so many good things about Cafe Oxford that Mary and I decided to pop along and try it for ourselves. And we certainly weren't disappointed ... the food is wonderful, all home cooked and very reasonably priced - and the welcome is second to none.
"Denise and her team make everyone feel so special; they are trying so hard to make everything perfect and have firmly established Cafe Oxford at the centre of this community. I wish them every success and I'm looking forward to popping in for more of Denise's delicious scones!"
Mary Glindon MP added: "The Oxford Centre is already well loved and a popular part of the local community, but this café adds another dimension to make it extra special. Everyone likes a natter over a cuppa and this is a very inviting place to spend some time, with some brilliant home cooking!"
Mary helps charity search for Superheroes
The charity Anthony Nolan is searching for more local heroes in North Tyneside to join their bone marrow register in the fight against blood cancer. This search is underway as the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register has been mapped across the UK by local area for the first time.
The charity has revealed today that, in North Tyneside there are more than 746 selfless people willing to donate their stem cells, or bone marrow, to save the life of a stranger. More than 525,000 people are currently on the Anthony Nolan register and the average per constituency is 796.
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Bring Back Our Girls
"We, as female MPs, stand with women worldwide in condemning in the strongest possible terms the sickening crimes being perpetrated against schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. The brutal treatment of girls seeking an education – a right we take for granted for our daughters – demonstrates the cruelty and immorality of this group.
We welcome the work the Government has done already and support continuing work with the Nigerian authorities and international partners to help bring an end to this heartbreaking situation and reunite these girls with their families as soon as possible.”