September 2014

Johns Quarterly Newsletter September 2014

This is a selection of my constituency activities over the last 2 months.

Hayes FM 91.8

I host a weekly news and chat show on Hayes FM Monday 10am to 12 noon. I look at what’s happening in Parliament and discuss local and national political issues.

The show is broadcast on 91.8 FM and on the internet. Contact me if you have an issue you want aired on the show and also if you would like to become a Hayes FM volunteer, producing and presenting programmes

Barra Hall Horticultural 

As Chair of the Barra Hall Regeneration Committee, I helped organise the annual Barra Hall Horticultural and Craft Show. This popular event was supported by local residents who enjoyed an afternoon of music in the park. This was a tremendously successful culmination of Barra Hall Summer programme, co-ordinated by Ryan Lowder.

Harefield hospital

I spoke at the annual seminar organised by Dr Dalby at Harefield Hospital, bringing together experts, paramedics and patients to discuss the latest advances in tackling heart conditions.

Opening of New Garden at Botwell School

Along with the Deputy Mayor I opened the new garden at Botwell School. It was designed to highlight the importance of protecting our environment. The garden is not only beautiful but is an interesting educational resource. The children gave an impressive presentation on how we can tackle air pollution and climate change.

30th Anniversary of DASH at the Vinyl Factory

I spoke at the 30th Anniversary of DASH to congratulate all those who have supported and worked so hard to sustain this wonderful organisation over the last 30 years.I have worked with DASH since its inception in 1984. DASH has assisted thousands of people with disabilities in my constituency and is such an asset to our community.

St Mary’s Harmondsworth

I spoke at the launch of Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) at St Mary’s Church in Harmondsworth. SHE is the new community campaign to protect our community against the 3rd runway threat. I am confident we can beat off the 3rd runway once again. It was highly appropriate that we launched this campaign in the village that would be wiped off the face of the earth by the 3rd runway. We have to stand up yet again for our community.

Hillingdon Hospital Strike

I joined the picket lines outside our local hospital on Monday 13th October because I feel that our NHS workers have been treated disgracefully by this government. Effectively the Government is imposing a pay cut on our health workers at a time when the cost of living is continuing to rise. The work load on NHS workers has hugely increased and I am so proud of the way health workers have risen to this challenge but it cannot be right that their reward from Jeremy Hunt, the minister for Health, is to have their wages attacked.

Gurkha Association

I spoke & danced !!! at Hillingdon Gurkha Nepalese Association's celebration of Dashien. What a fantastic evening packed with young people. The association is going from strength to strength and making such a valuable contribution to our community.

The Kisima Project

I attended the Hayes Town Chapel on Sunday 19th for a briefing on the work of the Kisima Project which has been supported by the Chapel congregation since its inception. David and Catherine, teachers from the Kisima School in Kenya talked about their work. They said they were encouraged by the performance of the children who are achieving particularly high results. I was particularly pleased to hear that the student I had been sponsoring is now at university studying a BA Economics and Sociology course. We learnt how the school project now has its own farm to feed the children.

Opening of Grange Park School Library

I was pleased to open the Grange Park School Library on 20th October and applaud this wonderful achievement. The design of the library is really creative with wonderfully bright, exciting colours. I have watched the school grow over the years and observed how the children have benefited from the widest range of cultural activities.

Barnhill School visit

I visited Barnhill Community School on Friday 24th October to speak with the students who have been undertaking an innovative course in personal finance and financial studies.  Barnhill Community School are one of the few school to provide their students with these qualifications before they are introduced into the existing Citizenship and Maths curriculum. “It is extremely important that our young people have the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence they need to make informed financial decisions. I congratulate the staff at Barnhill Community School on their forward thinking and implementing this initiative ahead of its inclusion in the curriculum.” 

 

 

Below is a list of the interventions I have made on the floor of the House of Commons over the last couple of months. Please click the link below to take you to the debate set out in the Hansard.

Hazaras (Afghanistan and Pakistan) 1st September

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140901/debtext/140901-0004.htm#14090127000382

Non-league Football 4th September

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140904/debtext/140904-0003.htm#14090414000273

Sale of Puppies and Kittens

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140904/debtext/140904-0002.htm#14090413000701

Transport for London Bill (Lords) 9th September

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140909/debtext/140909-0003.htm#14090974001327

Transforming Rehabilitation Programme

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140909/debtext/140909-0001.htm#14090934000434

Ukrane, Middle East, North Africa and Security 10th September

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140910/debtext/140910-0003.htm#14091048000545

Select Committee on Governance of the House

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140910/debtext/140910-0004.htm#14091048000566

Iraq: Coalition against ISIL 26th September

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140926/debtext/140926-0003.htm#14092616000928

Ebola 13th October

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141013/debtext/141013-0001.htm#14101322000231

Oral Hormone Pregnancy Tests 23rd October

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141023/debtext/141023-0003.htm#14102384000714

Recall of MPs Bill 27th October

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141027/debtext/141027-0002.htm#14102723000472

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Welfare Reform (Disabled People) 28th October

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141028/debtext/141028-0002.htm#141028103001164

 

Written Questions I have asked recorded by the date the answer was received.

Jobseeker's Allowance: Young People 2nd September

Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps are taken against a claimant of youth rate jobseeker's allowance who leaves a traineeship before it was completed.

Answered by: Esther McVey

Youth claimant attendance and participation on a traineeship is voluntary so there would not be any sanction if they chose to leave the programme early. However, Jobcentre Plus work coaches interview anyone who does not complete their traineeship to establish why, and to determine the most appropriate next steps towards achieving their job goal.

 

Jobseeker's Allowance: Disqualification 5th September

Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many youth rate jobseeker's allowance claimants have been referred for sanction while they undertake a traineeship since August 2013.

Answered by: Esther McVey

Youth claimant attendance and participation on a traineeship is voluntary so there would not be any sanction if they chose to leave the programme early. However, Jobcentre Plus work coaches interview anyone who does not complete their traineeship to establish why, and to determine the most appropriate next steps towards achieving their job goal.

Revenue and Customs 5th September

Commons

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many HM Revenue and Customs staff worked in the Personal Tax (Operations) Directorate in July 2014; and what his forecast is of the number working in that Directorate in (a) October 2014, (b) January 2015, (c) April 2015, (d) July 2015, (e) October 2015, (f) January 2016 and (g) April 2016.

Answered by: Mr David Gauke

The department does not generally release staffing figures at a Directorate level.

 

Housing Benefit 14th October

Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will commission a review and recalculation of the shared accommodation rate to ensure that it reflects the real cost of rooms in shared houses.

Answered by: Steve Webb

The Department has no plans to review the way the Shared Accommodation Rates are calculated. The Rent Officer Services set the rates in line with the current DWP policy for uprating Local Housing Allowance and with reference to evidence of achieved rents in the local area.

In 2014/15, 56 out of the 192 Shared Accommodation Rates have been increased by 4%, in those areas where there is the greatest divergence between LHA rates and local rents.

 

Rolling Stock: Procurement 23rd October

Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of new jobs in the rail industry that will be created (a) directly and (b) indirectly as a result of the new rolling stock procured through the Intercity Express Programme for service on the (i) Great Western and (ii) East Coast Main Lines.

Answered by: Claire Perry

The Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains will be assembled at Hitachi’s newly built manufacturing plant at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham – creating around 730 permanent jobs in addition to jobs during the construction phase. Further jobs are being created in the construction phase of new and refurbished depots in support of the IEP. In addition, Hitachi Rail Europe also expects to grow its total UK staff from 200 to 1,800 within three years. Hitachi also expects to create hundreds more jobs in the UK manufacturing sector and wider transport supply chain as a result of IEP. Hitachi has already awarded 32 contracts to UK-based companies in relation to IEP.