Graham Stuart to challenge Yorkshire Ambulance Service chiefs on continuing unacceptable performance

Graham with Yorkshire Ambulance Service Staff during a tour of Ambulance Stations in Beverley and Holderness

Graham with Yorkshire Ambulance Service Staff during a tour of Ambulance Stations in Beverley and Holderness

 

Graham Stuart MP will use a meeting in Parliament on Tuesday 2 February to ask tough questions of Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Chairman Della Cannings and Chief Executive Rod Barnes about the Trust’s continuing poor performance in rural areas of the East Riding.  Response times in Mid- and South Holderness have been a major concern for years and the latest data requested by Graham has revealed that:

  • Only 41.4% of emergency calls from the HU11 postcode (Mid Holderness) were responded to in the target time of under 8 minutes between January and June 2015, with lows of 37.5% in March 2015 and just 34.2% in June 2015.
  • Figures were also poor in HU12 (South Holderness), where only 54.6% of calls were answered in under 8 minutes between January and June 2015.
    By contrast, the response rate from January to June 2015 was 81.8% in HU19 (Withernsea), 75% in HU18 (Hornsea) and 73.5% in HU17 (Beverley) – in line with the national target for Ambulance Services to respond to 75% of emergency calls in under 8 minutes.
  • Response times have got worse in HU11 and HU12 compared to January-June 2014, when HU11 saw 53.2% of calls responded to in under 8 minutes and HU12 saw 56.3% of calls responded to in under 8 minutes.
  • Response times deteriorated to varying degrees in 4 of the 5 postcodes covering the Beverley and Holderness constituency in the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014.  Improvement only occurred in HU19.

These delays can have very serious consequences.  In October 2013 Graham’s constituent Ray Poole died of a heart attack in Hornsea after it took 15 minutes for the first help to arrive, and 28 minutes for an ambulance to turn up.  The Pooles live just 450 yards from their local ambulance station.

Graham has now requested the data for the second half of 2015, but he intends to grill YAS chiefs at Tuesday’s briefing for local MPs.  He said,

“It is unacceptable that response times in some rural areas of my constituency continue to trail so far behind the national target – and that they have got worse not only compared to the equivalent period in 2014 but even compared to 2012, when I started my campaign.  People in Mid Holderness in particular will rightly worry that they will not receive emergency care when they most desperately need it.

“It’s good news that response rates are in line with the national target in Hornsea, Beverley and Withernsea, but it’s clear there is much more to do to ensure a better service for everyone.  I have fought for changes to staff rostering and to call assignments so rural crews are more likely to return to their posts from Hull, but the scale of the problem in HU11 and HU12 remains stark.  It’s also concerning that the percentage of calls answered in under 8 minutes slipped in four of the five postcodes in the constituency between 2014 and 2015.

“I will make it crystal clear to Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s senior leadership that they must improve performance as a matter of urgency, and use the meeting to evaluate what plans they have to ensure there is a better story to tell for 2016 – and how credible these are.  We have to achieve a turning point as lives depend on this.”

Graham cuts the ribbon to launch the new Community Room at Hornsea Nursery School

g cutting ribbon

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley & Holderness, carried out the official opening of Hornsea Nursery School’s new Community Room, on Friday 22 January, ably assisted by pupils Leo, Tia, Jacob and Louise.

Hornsea Nursery School has recently built a new Community Room on its site. It provides an excellent new learning environment for their pupils aged between 2 and 4 years old. The school has invested £90,000 from its budget to create this new space. Capital for the build was raised through fund-raising activities, effective school budgeting and some financial support from the local authority.

Graham said “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to congratulate the school on this development and to have the honour of cutting the ribbon to open officially the new room. The Head, Clare White, showed me the new 3D Immersive Space and Sensory Experience, which is a great new addition to what the Nursery School has to offer. I could see how much the children enjoyed school with their enchanting performance of songs, story-telling and miming.”

 
Photo from left to right: Leo, Tia, Jacob and Louise

Graham champions local exporting drive

Graham with Matthew Hodgson and UKTI

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, met local exporter Matthew Hodgson of the Great Newsome Brewery last week to discuss the challenges he faces in the export market as a director of a small business.

Great Newsome Brewery is based in South Frodingham, near Beverley, and currently exports its beer to countries in Europe. They have also received expressions of interest from countries as far afield as China and South America, and would like to expand their exports.

During the visit, Graham gave his backing to the Government’s new initiative ‘Exporting is GREAT’. A representative from UK Trade and Investment, Stephen Noblett, was also in attendance to explain what support and guidance this new initiative can provide for businesses looking to expand into new markets.

Exporting is GREAT aims to inspire and support 100,000 additional UK exporters to sell their goods and services overseas by 2020. Launched in November 2015, the Exporting is GREAT initiative will run for five years and is designed to empower UK SMEs to take advantage of the global appetite for British products, skills and expertise in markets around the world. In partnership with major British businesses, the programme will support companies at every stage of their exporting journey – from identifying opportunities to winning contracts overseas. To find out more, anyone can visit www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk, where businesses can register their interest in real-time global export opportunities, as well as access expert advice, trade services, training and events.

Commenting on the visit, Graham said: “I would like to pay tribute to excellent local businesses like the Great Newsome Brewery that export their products overseas. By growing their businesses, they create new local jobs and help Britain to pay its way in the world.

“It can be particularly difficult to start exporting for the first time, with complex rules to follow and new markets to navigate. That’s why I’m delighted that the Government has launched a new initiative, Exporting is GREAT, which helps businesses like Great Newsome Brewery to increase their exports and gives other businesses the support they need to start exporting. I strongly encourage other local businesses who would like to sell their products in other countries to contact UKTI and take advantage of this great initiative.”

Matthew Hodgson, Director of the Great Newsome Brewery, said: “It was a good opportunity to sit down with Graham Stuart and discuss how a small business like ours can export and indeed grow what exports we already have. Graham, Stephen Noblett from UKTI and myself talked about the thirst for British beer in non-traditional markets which for many are less obvious, such as Latin America.

“The Great Newsome Brewery has already benefited from the expert advice of our local UKTI advisors and I think the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative will no doubt help drive the value of UK exports. If you are a small business with a modest budget and limited time to dedicate to it you may think that export is not possible but we are proof that it is.”

Mark Robson, UKTI regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We greatly appreciate Graham’s support for the Exporting is GREAT initiative and Matthew and Great Newsome Brewery epitomise the success that businesses can achieve by selling their products abroad in target markets.

“Exporting is GREAT is a five-year initiative and having been launched in November 2015 has already generated in excess of 4,750 applications for export opportunities. As the world becomes ever more globalised and digital, the potential for businesses of all sizes to reach out to new customers and lucrative new markets beyond the UK has never been greater. UKTI will continue to work with customers across the Yorkshire and the Humber region, including through Exporting is GREAT, to realise this potential.”

Holmpton all set to save lives with village defibrillator

Holmpton now has a defibrillator in the unusual location of the old telephone box in the village. Graham was very pleased to be invited to carry out the official opening of it last Saturday, 23 January.

Graham said “Thanks to everyone who turned out to see the new defibrillator on Saturday, and congratulations to the parish council for bringing it to the village with their hard work. There’s a free training course in the village in early March, and details are on the parish notice board.”

defib at holmpton - g carries out official opening 23.1.16

Graham pushes for progress on River Hull dredging

 

g with nigel leighton and andy mclachlan discussing flooding

Graham said: “Last Friday I met with the East Riding Council, the lead flood authority, to push for progress to be made on River Hull dredging, other channel clearance, and the removal of sunken vessels; these are issues I know are of great importance to my constituents. I’m pleased to report that there’s a massive amount of work being done behind the scenes to get all the necessary licences in place and the Council is working flat out on it.”

Picture : (L to R) Graham Stuart MP, Nigel Leighton, Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services at ERYC, Andrew McLachlan, Flood Risk Strategy Manager, ERYC discuss dredging at County Hall.

Graham wades into flooding issues this week

 

photoThis week, Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, is hosting the Flood Advisory Service roadshow trailer in Beverley. It will be parked in the car park of Tesco’s on Morton Lane in Beverley on Thursday 14th January between 10am and 7pm and on Friday 15th January between 10am and 2pm. For more information, you can visit their website on www.floodadvisoryservice.co.uk or call them on 0800 970 3950.

Graham said, “I have invited the Flood Advisory Service to bring their roadshow to Beverley this week. Anyone can visit the trailer, free of charge, to ask independent flooding experts about their flood risk and what steps they can take to mitigate it. They will have flood risk checkers on board, various flood mitigation products and Beverley’s flood history. I’ll be at the trailer between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Friday 15th January to do a Q&A with constituents. If anyone has any questions, or wants to speak to me about flooding, please come along then.

“Over the Christmas period, we have all seen the pictures of the devastating flooding in Cumbria, Dumfriesshire, Lancashire and other parts of Yorkshire. Many people in the East Riding have suffered in the past from flooding and have had to recover not only from the damage to land and property but, also, from the emotional trauma of the experience. It is a reminder of the need to have good flood defences in place in our own area. Just because we escaped the terrible flooding this winter, we cannot afford to be complacent.”

Also on Friday 15th January, Graham is meeting the Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council to discuss the implementation of the River Hull Flood Risk Management strategy and to see how these much-needed improvements are going to be funded.

Graham said, “In 2013 I formed and chaired The River Hull Advisory Board, comprised of local MPs, MEPs, councillors from East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council, Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, National Farmers Union, Natural England, Internal Drainage Boards and local communities. It was set up to ensure a joined-up approach to improving drainage and reducing flooding in the area. It produced its final strategy report in July last year when partners on the River Hull Advisory Board agreed to endorse a joint strategy to manage flood risk in the River Hull valley.

“Before the Christmas break, I spoke in a debate in Parliament about the need for a comprehensive Humber flood strategy. I asked the Secretary of State for a meeting and, as a result, will be attending a Humber flooding roundtable later in the year with flooding ministers at DEFRA, other local MPs and representatives from the Environment Agency. I am looking forward to the opportunity to impress upon him that all possible measures must be taken to ensure that our area is resilient to flooding.

“While it will never be possible to safeguard ourselves entirely from the effects of heavy rainfall, it’s important that the Government, the Council, the Environment Agency, and individual homeowners take all possible steps to make properties in our area more resilient. I will be campaigning hard over the coming year to make sure everyone plays their part in protecting homes in Beverley and Holderness from destructive flooding.”

Note:

You can read what Graham said in the debate here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151215/debtext/151215-0001.htm#15121532000001.

Countryside Boost Follows Graham Stuart’s Fair Share Campaign

The grant set up to help rural authorities deliver services in the countryside has been given a massive increase in the government’s local government finance settlement announced yesterday. This breakthrough follows years of effort by Graham Stuart, the Beverley and Holderness MP and founder of the Rural Fair Share Campaign. He led a delegation of dozens of rural MPs to meet with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government just weeks ago and has built cross-party consensus in Parliament through a succession of debates, meetings and briefing papers.

The Rural Services Delivery Grant, which provides additional resources to councils in rural areas to meet the additional costs associated with sparse populations, will increase from £15.5 million in 2015/16 to £65 million in 2019/20.

This follows years of cross-party campaigning from Graham and other members of the Rural Fair Share Campaign to close the funding gap, which sees urban areas receive on average 45% more funding per resident than rural areas.

Commenting after the statement, Graham said: “The increase in the Rural Services Delivery Grant is good news. It’s the most significant increase we’ve seen yet, and I’m grateful to the Secretary of State for listening to the concerns of rural MPs from all sides of the House. I am pleased that he recognises the unfairness of the current system, which sees poorer, older, and more heavily taxed rural residents receive fewer local government services.
“It’s disappointing that the Government hasn’t committed to the full £130 million which our campaign has asked for, and that next year’s increase will only see the grant increased to £20 million. There’s a long way to go yet, and we will be campaigning to improve the deal further before the vote in the House of Commons in February.”

In response to Graham’s question in the Chamber, Greg Clark said: “I pay tribute to my honourable Friend, who has been a persistent and effective campaigner, drawing attention to the special costs that the most sparse rural authorities face in providing services. We have gone a long way, based on the evidence we have seen, to address those needs. I and my colleagues will be happy to meet my hon. Friend and other colleagues to discuss how it will work out in practice.”

Graham calls for a rural fair share in article for Daily Telegraph

Graham Stuart MP has written an article for the Daily Telegraph online edition, in which he calls for fairer local government funding for rural areas. The article can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/countryside/12041187/Stop-robbing-our-countryside-to-pay-for-the-cities.html

Meet Graham at the Cherry Tree Centre in Beverley this Friday 18 December

 

slide-03Beverley and Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, is holding one of his regular drop-in Surgeries at The Cherry Tree Centre in Beverley this Friday 18 December, between 2pm and 4pm.

Graham said “If any of my constituents have a problem they’re worrying about that I might be able to help with, they can come to see me on Friday and I’ll do my best to resolve the issue for them before Christmas.”

Graham Stuart calls on Government to give rural councils what they’re owed

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness and Chairman of the Rural Fair Share Campaign, this week led a delegation of MPs to meet the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, about local government funding for rural areas. This follows sixty MPs from different parties co-signing a letter to Greg Clark in October, which called for a fairer distribution of the local government funding settlement for rural areas.

Under this year’s settlement, urban councils receive around 45% more funding per resident than their rural counterparts. At the same time, rural residents pay on average £81 more in council tax.

The Rural Fair Share Campaign is calling for £130 million to be redistributed to rural councils in the forthcoming Local Government Finance Settlement. This is the amount the Government still owes rural local authorities after it agreed to alter its funding formula in 2012 and give greater weighting to sparsity.
Graham Stuart MP 2
Speaking after the meeting, Graham said: “I was pleased to lead a group of rural MPs to see the Secretary of State this week and to make clear to him that the current settlement is not fair on our rural constituents. Rural people on average earn less, pay more in tax and yet receive fewer services than those that live in cities.

“Rural councils have been given a raw deal for years. At a time of public spending reductions, it is more important to have fairer funding, not less, as rural councils are starting from a lower level of service provision.

“I am grateful to the Secretary of State for giving his time to meet rural MPs and to discuss this vital issue. I now call on the Government to deliver a substantial increase in the funding for rural councils in the upcoming settlement, so that the continued unfairness on rural areas can be tackled.”