Graham said “Beverley residents tell me my monthly drop-in surgeries at The Cherry Tree Centre in Beverley are a useful opportunity to come and speak to me in confidence about problems they’re having with housing, benefits and neighbourhood issues. I welcome the chance to offer my help and advice and look forward to doing what I can to assist on Friday.”
Beverley and Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, is holding one of his popular Street Surgeries in Withernsea this Saturday, 14 November, between 10.30am and noon, outside Aldi. No appointment is necessary.
Graham said “I’m looking forward to catching up with my constituents in Withernsea on Saturday. If there’s a problem I can assist with I’d like to help if I can, and I look forward to exchanging views with residents on local and national issues”.
Reading is one of life’s great pleasures and with access to the Library there are endless subjects to learn about, and thousands of novels to borrow. As well as the Council’s libraries in Beverley, Hedon and Hornsea there are mobile libraries visiting 383 locations in our area. And Libraries are not just for borrowing books – they’re a great place to read the newspapers, or to use the free computers for hobbies or job searching.
East Riding Council has a consultation open until 21 December on how we wish to see the Library Service in future. Please take a few minutes to fill in the online consultation here: www2.eastriding.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/libraries-consultation/
Beverley and Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, has fully endorsed the idea of “Breakfast Clubs” as a means to helping members of the Armed Forces returning to civilian life.
Meeting with constituents Dereck Hardman from Ganstead and Andy Batty from Preston, Graham heard first hand of the success of the Breakfast Clubs throughout the UK and Europe. The idea of the Breakfast Clubs was conceived by Dereck. He and Andy, who is the Welfare Officer of the Club, served with the Royal Engineers for over a decade but on his return to civilian life Dereck found, like many others, ex-service personnel were often faced with difficulties in obtaining advice on how to cope with many everyday issues.
In 2007 Dereck set up the first Breakfast Club in Hull – BBC Barker’s Breakfast Club – and found it to be a popular meeting point for many ex-servicemen and women in the area.
Dereck said “We find these informal gatherings go a long way to helping veterans and former colleagues meet the challenges we all face on leaving the services. Our Breakfast Clubs have brought together many who face problems ranging from post-traumatic-stress disorder to family issues and housing. I am particularly proud that this whole international organisation, which has been built by veterans, for veterans, was started here in Hull. The idea quickly took off and we now have seventy four clubs in the UK and four more in Europe.”
Dereck feels that these Breakfast Clubs could prove to be a real asset in the future and is keen to invite individual re-settlement officers to visit the Hull club. “Making those leaving the forces aware of our Breakfast Clubs as part of their re-settlement programme would ease many with the transition into civilian life,” he added with conviction.
Graham said “I recognise there are many difficulties facing ex-servicemen on discharge, especially those with PTSD and other physical and psychological problems. I commend Dereck Hardman, Andy Batty and the BBC Barker’s Breakfast Club for their initiative and its on-going success.”
At a meeting on Friday 30 October, Graham Stuart MP, accompanied by East Riding Councillor David Elvidge, heard first hand from thirty residents of Priory Road in Beverley and surrounding streets what it has been like to live close to the Flemingate development construction site.
Becks Farr, who lives in Priory Road said “The parking situation has gone from terrible to intolerable in the space of weeks. Despite assurances made to the planning committee, Wilmott Dixon and Wykelands have failed to provide adequate parking for their construction workers and have made no attempt to address the issue. Another major concern shared by all residents is that neither fire engines nor ambulances would be able to access these streets under the parking mayhem.
“Noise and stress have become the norm and everyday living has become a nightmare. Building debris, paints and general rubbish is being dumped on pavements or deliberately strewn on once immaculate gardens.
“Several residents were granted permission to have kerbs dropped to enable parking directly in front of their properties, but days later these permissions were rescinded with no proper explanation provided by the Council.”
Steve Reed of Birchwood Garage on Priory Road said “I can’t get customers in and out of the garage, especially if it’s Transit vans or motor homes – the only way is if the customer comes before 7.30am when the construction traffic arrives, and after 6.30pm when they go. For six weeks I had construction workers parking in my garage car park and they often refused to move. The other morning there was a car parked across the junction. I’ve put up with the parking mayhem long enough. Wykeland and the Council should have thought of the parking problems before construction started, and it seems to have been totally overlooked.”
Following the meeting Councillor David Elvidge said “The residents have had to put up with a lot, and have done so with resignation until recently. I will be doing what I can to make sure life improves for them and will take up their complaints against the Council on their behalf. The Council will implement a controlled parking zone but given that a consultation has to take place first it’s unlikely to be in operation until May next year.
Graham Stuart MP said “At the meeting I heard the anger and frustration from residents at mud, dust, noise and general disruption which has made life unbearable. The residents are generally a tolerant bunch but they’ve been pushed over the edge. They told me the bins haven’t been emptied on occasion, carers have struggled to get down the road to look after the elderly, and the GP couldn’t park. I have made sure Council officers hear these very real concerns as actions need to be taken so residents can get back to normal life. The Council also needs to make sure it listens to the very real concerns of residents when making future changes to parking and one-way streets.”
Beverley & Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, will be on Newbegin, near the shops, in Hornsea this Saturday, 31 October, between 10.30am and noon, holding one of his regular Street Surgeries in the town. No appointment is necessary.
Graham said “I’m looking forward to my visit to Hornsea on Saturday to talk to any residents who wish to raise an issue with me, ask for my assistance, or who just want to have a chat. My Street Surgeries are a great way for people to let me know about what’s going on in the community and how I might help or to raise any problems they’re having with the Council or Government departments that they haven’t managed to sort out.”
Beverley & Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, is holding a drop-in Surgery at the Cherry Tree Centre in Beverley this Friday, 30 October, between 2pm and 4pm. No appointment is necessary.
Graham said “My monthly drop-in surgeries at The Cherry Tree Centre are popular with Beverley residents who wish to ask my advice on problems they’re having with the Council or with Government departments like the DWP or the DVLA for example. I’m always happy to offer assistance where I can and find that I’m often able to help resolve issues for residents who’ve been battling on by themselves without success. If anyone thinks I might be able to help they should come down to the Cherry Tree Centre on Friday to see me.”
Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, has called for people who are terminally ill to be paid their higher Personal Independence Payment as soon as they receive their decision from the DWP. Currently, when someone claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) experiences a change in circumstances, this is treated as a new claim for PIP, with its new criteria. Their DLA payment therefore continues until a decision on PIP has been made and then a further 28 days after the last DLA pay day.
Graham is supporting New Clause 4, an amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill that is currently before the House of Commons. This amendment would enable claimants of DLA who are transferred to PIP due to terminal illness to receive their first PIP payment immediately after being transferred.
Earlier this year, Graham called a debate in Parliament to raise the cases of constituents who had experienced delays in receiving a date for their Personal Independence Payment assessment.
Graham said: “Terminally ill people should not have to wait almost a month to receive the extra money they need to meet the costs of their illness. This is exactly the time when disabled people need the money most, and they are not being given it. I have raised this issue with Ministers and am pressing them to find a solution to this situation.
“Under the current system, people who are moving from DLA to the lower PIP award are given time to adjust to the change in their financial circumstances. This is welcome. However the benefit of the higher PIP award is also being withheld from those whose conditions have deteriorated, especially the terminally ill, and that cannot be right.
“I support the Government’s reforms to disability benefits, as they have concentrated the help where it is most needed. The Government has already supported terminally ill people by fast-tracking their PIP claims and scrapping the need for them to do a face-to-face assessment. I hope they now change the rules, so that terminally ill people can also get their PIP award as soon as a decision has been made.”
Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has welcomed news of Yorkshire Water’s comprehensive action plan to tackle odours from its Saltend waste water treatment plant.
Following a recurrence of the stench from the plant this summer, protests by local people led to East Riding of Yorkshire Council issuing an abatement order to the company to compel it to address the long-running problem. Graham has campaigned for action to address the problem for many years, in conjunction with affected residents.
Yorkshire Water has today announced a £30 million action plan consisting of 50 different improvements to improve how the waste water that comes into the site is treated.
Responding, Graham said:
“Today’s announcement is great news for the people of Saltend and the surrounding area who have had to put up with horrible smells from Yorkshire Water’s plant on-and-off for years. They deserve huge credit for campaigning long and hard to get the changes they need and I’m delighted for them.
“Yorkshire Water have now acknowledged that the smells affecting local people are unacceptable and I’m pleased they have made this decisive commitment to bring it to an end – as well as promising a £75,000 community fund to thank residents for their patience.
“The investment announced today hopefully marks the final chapter of the Saltend stench – although the acid test will be to ensure there is no repeat of the smell next summer. It feels like a good day for the whole area.”
111 MPs have written an open letter to David Cameron calling on the Government to deliver school funding reform. The MPs, working on a cross-party basis, ask the Prime Minister to implement the funding formula proposed by the F40 campaign group, which would ensure fair funding based on pupil need.
Under the current system, the ten best funded areas of England will receive an average grant of £6,297 per pupil this year, compared to an average of just £4,208 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.
In their letter, the MPs say:
“It is widely acknowledged that the existing school funding model is a muddle and that funding for individual schools with similar pupil characteristics is arbitrary and unfair.
“At a time of spending restraint it is more important than ever that funding is allocated based on need. F40 has come up with a formula which would see the funding cake shared much more fairly.
“We believe this formula can help deliver a solution. We want the children in our schools to continue to have a broad range of subjects to study, good resources to use, well maintained buildings, reasonably sized classes and excellent pastoral support. Fairer funding is integral to all of this, and we urge you to deliver it.”
Those who have signed the letter include former Cabinet ministers Dominic Grieve, Caroline Spelman and Cheryl Gillan (Conservative) and Ben Bradshaw and Andrew Smith (Labour), Education Committee Chairman Neil Carmichael and Commons Speaker John Bercow, in his capacity as MP for Buckingham.
The MPs’ letter was coordinated by F40 Vice Chairman Graham Stuart MP, who chaired Parliament’s Education Select Committee 2010-2015. Graham said:
“The fact that so many MPs have signed this letter on a cross-party basis shows the strength of feeling in favour of school funding reform. This is about bringing an end to an arbitrary and unfair system – it’s not about rural versus urban, or Conservative vs Labour, it’s about bringing order from chaos. The Government deserves credit for promising to act and now is the time to deliver a rational, needs-based funding settlement.
“At a time when the Department for Education is considering its options, we want the Government to be in no doubt that our constituents deserve swift and comprehensive funding reform to deliver fairness for their children.
“The F40 group has campaigned tirelessly to raise the profile of this issue and has made sensible suggestions about how a new funding formula could be introduced. In the meantime our campaign is continuing with Parliamentary petitions being coordinated by F40 MPs with the help of local authorities and schools to let people have their say. We won’t rest until we have delivered fair funding for English schools.”
F40 Chairman Councillor Ivan Ould welcomed the MPs’ letter. Councillor Ould said:
“The campaign for Fair School funding is at a critical stage. I hope the Government will note this very substantial support for a fairer system and would urge all MPs who represent the 40 lowest funded authorities to keep up the pressure for change.”