I had no hesitation in accepting an invitation to attend The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (UK) event at the House of Commons recently and show my support for the campaign to end problem pavement parking.
At the event, I heard from guide dog owners how parked cars blocking the pavement force them to walk in the road, into the path of traffic they cannot see. I heard that some guide dog owners face these dangerous situations on a daily basis, risking their safety every time they go shopping or make the school run.
Research by YouGov for the charity Guide Dogs shows that 54% of UK drivers admit to parking on the pavement, with more than a quarter (29%) of those doing so a few times a month or more. More than half (55%) of these drivers do think about the impact on people with sight loss, but park on the pavement anyway.
Pavement parking particularly affects people with visual impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people. According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement, and 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parked cars.
Guide Dogs is campaigning for to make pavement parking an offence, except in areas where local authorities grant specific exemptions. This is already the case in London, but elsewhere across the country, councils struggle to tackle unsafe pavement parking because they can only restrict it street by street.
No one should be forced to brave traffic by cars parked on the pavement. I’m calling on the Government to end problem pavement parking across the country. Blind and partially sighted people should be able to walk the streets without fear.
Below is a picture of myself with Guide Dogs Volunteer, Richard along with puppy, Prudie.
I had no hesitation in accepting an invitation to attend The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (UK) event at the House of Commons recently and show my support for the campaign...
Special Measures - again! - It is hugely disappointing but, sadly, not surprising that North Lincolnshire and Goole Trust, that runs our local hospital, has got another poor Care Quality Commission Report. This is very bad news for local people. We are back where we were three years ago when the Trust went into special measures the first time. It really isn’t good enough. This is the hospital we all rely on when we need support. And this poor report is the third significant failure in recent weeks. The Trust had to admit it was not confident hospital referrals prior to October had been processed and was then put into special measures on financial grounds.
Every time I visit the hospital I meet amazing staff who are working extremely hard to deliver the best possible care to patients. The Trust is right to say sorry for not providing the right environment for these staff to speak up about their concerns. And the Trust is right to say sorry for letting patients and their families down. But words are not enough. It is crucial that urgent and effective action is taken immediately with support from the wider health community and other partners. It is not acceptable for the Trust to have a temporary leadership structure when it faces such huge challenges. It is absolutely essential that strong leadership is confirmed for the foreseeable future that can drive forward the changes necessary to deliver the high quality of care local people have a right to expect. Anything else is not acceptable.
Special Measures - again! - It is hugely disappointing but, sadly, not surprising that North Lincolnshire and Goole Trust, that runs our local hospital, has got another poor Care Quality...
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pancreatic Cancer has today welcomed news that Cancer Research UK will be investing £10m into a pancreatic cancer research project.
The funding will go to PRECISION Panc led by Professor Andrew Biankin at the University of Glasgow. This will be the largest ever single investment into the disease. The project aims to match patients to the right clinical trials for their particular tumour type, ensuring that they receive the most effective treatment for them. It is hoped that this personalised approach will result in more patients living longer with the disease, which currently has the lowest survival rate of the 21 most common cancers.
Just 5% of pancreatic cancer patients live for five years or more after diagnosis, a statistic that has hardly improved in 40 years. Without more research investment the disease is set to become the fourth biggest cancer killer by 2026.
Commenting, APPG Chair Nic Dakin, said: “The announcement of £10m of funding for PRECISION Panc – the biggest single investment into a pancreatic cancer research study – is a huge step forward for this disease which has historically suffered from an appalling lack of research funding. The investment will benefit hundreds of pancreatic cancer patients by helping them gain faster access to the best clinical trials for them.
Currently, there are very few treatments for pancreatic cancer. Research investments, like the one announced by Cancer Research UK today, are vital for ensuring patients have more treatment options now and in the future.”
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pancreatic Cancer has today welcomed news that Cancer Research UK will be investing £10m into a pancreatic cancer research project. The funding will go to...
Having seen me present my ten minute rule bill on careers guidance (access to schools), a retired teacher got in touch with me incredulous that the fabric of careers had collapsed so completely since he managed careers in a Manchester secondary school not so long ago. He described a former time when students had programmes of talks and visits as well as access to impartial careers advice that gave them the information to make informed decisions about their future. As he said all the focus on achievement and results only takes you so far without access to high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance.
But the sad reality is that careers has been neglected for the last six years in the chaotic landscape of provision encouraged by a Conservative government convinced that wasting public money on new post-16 provision in areas where there is no need will somehow incentivise higher achievement. We have university technical colleges, new sixth forms, studio schools and free schools whether we need them or not. And we are soon to have more selective free schools, in the form of grammar schools. All of this over capacity heightens provider competition for sixth form students. It encourages institutions to put barriers in the way of colleges speaking to their students in school about post-16 opportunities beyond the school gates.
Rapid changes taking place in the economy and the employment market – make careers advice and education absolutely critical. The vote to leave the European Union puts even more urgency into the need to ensure that young people and adults gain the skills needed for an economy to compete globally. That is why I welcome the government’s budget announcement to put more money into skills.
Colleges are well placed to upskill Britain’s workforce. They are essential for the government’s vision for better technical and professional education. However, if we are to fill the skills gaps and train young people to work across a range of industries, it is imperative that they are aware of all the options available to them at the age of 16, such as apprenticeships and technical education and training.
Careers advice is currently not working for many young people; too many are being encouraged to stay in the school sixth form without being aware of are other high quality options with colleges and other training providers.
What we really need is a renaissance in careers education, information, advice and guidance to return to the best practice that existed as a norm in many parts of the country just 10 years ago. There is still much good work going on with some outstanding practitioners giving young people the information they need to make the right decisions for themselves. But it is patchy. As students at my excellent local college, North Lindsey told me, drawing on their personal experience, it is not consistent. There is no entitlement for all young people to the impartial careers they should properly have.
My short bill attempted to take a small step in the right direction by putting a duty on schools to allow colleges and other post-16 providers the right to speak to their students about apprenticeships and other courses they provide. It should not be necessary to legislate to ensure young people have access to such information. Every school should be focused on the best interests of their students and conscientious about ensuring they have the support, guidance and information to make the best decisions for their future which in turn should deliver the skills and the jobs needed to power a post-EU United Kingdom.
Having seen me present my ten minute rule bill on careers guidance (access to schools), a retired teacher got in touch with me incredulous that the fabric of careers...
From time to time constituents report problems relating to broadband coverage in the constituency. Last week the House of Common’s Library published their most recent briefing on the Government’s superfast broadband policy for the UK. It sets out the current situation for broadband access and coverage in all areas of the UK, and how the roll-out of superfast broadband is being managed.
The publication of this report provides the opportunity to access the latest data on broadband access across the constituency.
Scunthorpe compared to the rest of the UK:
The table below shows a comparison between averages in the constituency and the UK as a whole.
Average speeds in the constituency are around 38% higher than the UK average and Scunthorpe was rated in the top 10% of constituencies and second-highest in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Despite this, Scunthorpe has a substantial minority of connections receiving the slowest speeds (under 2 Mbps).
Constituency-level data can sometimes hide variation in different areas in the constituency. The table below shows all data for all wards that are wholly or partly within the constituency.
Bottesford and Brumby have average speeds among the best wards in Great Britain – higher than around 98% of all wards. Even in Bottesford, however, a substantial minority are receiving the slowest speeds (under 2 Mbps). Ridge ward has the lowest superfast availability and lowest average speed in the constituency. Its superfast availability ranks lower than around 75% of other wards in the UK. It also has a higher percentage of connections unable to receive speeds of at least 10 Mbps than almost 80% of wards.
If you would like to raise any concerns or issues you have with internet access in the constituency or if there is anything I can assist you with please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office.
From time to time constituents report problems relating to broadband coverage in the constituency. Last week the House of Common’s Library published their most recent briefing on the Government’s superfast...