Graham has an excellent track record of leading successful campaigns with groups and individuals across the constituency. Below are Graham’s current campaigns and recent success stories. If you have a campaign you think Graham can help with or if you would like to help Graham with a campaign then please contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Our MIUs
Graham is fighting to save the Minor Injuries Units in Hornsea and Withernsea from the threat of closure – helping to coordinate successful rallies in both towns during the spring and summer of 2016 (pictured, below).
Working closely with the Hornsea Hospital League of Friends and the Withernsea and District Health Forum, Graham has organised a petition which has secured the support of many thousands of people across Beverley and Holderness. He has been in close contact with the East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group to emphasise why the MIUs are of real value to the communities they serve and also spoke out against the closure proposals at a special NHS stakeholder event in Beverley. The campaign will continue when the CCG publishes its formal plans later this year.
HEART (Holderness Emergency Ambulance Response Times)
In 2012 Graham revealed that Ambulance Response times in Holderness were way below the national average. Graham continues to work with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, The British Heart Foundation, Community First Responder Teams and Parish Councils to improve the availability of early emergency care in Holderness. This includes the provision of community defibrillation machines and training for residents to use them.
In 2013 Graham presented the HEART Petition (calling for better emergency response times in Holderness), signed by over 700 residents, to the chief executive of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. As a result YAS made adjustments to its working practices and stationed more ambulance teams in Beverley and Holderness. Crews now return to their stations after they have completed a call, instead of staying in Hull as previously happened. Graham continues to raise concerns and to press for higher standards.
As part of his HEART Campaign, Graham wants to see Public Access Defibrillators in every community in Beverley and Holderness, with as many people as possible trained in how to use one and everybody knowing where they are. A couple of years ago Graham cycled around Holderness, visiting rural villages to find out if they had their own defibrillator and where it was located.
Since then, many communities have taken Graham up on his challenge and now have life-saving Defibrillators ready to save lives. Graham is encouraging the parishes that don’t have a defibrillator yet to begin a project to get one installed. Graham has produced a basic ‘How To’ guide on getting a defibrillator for your village and the Community Heartbeat Trust have made a recommendation on the best type of defibrillator to get.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service provides a map, regularly updated, which shows where defibrillators are and, just as importantly, where there isn’t one yet. You can view the map here http://ow.ly/Y41dO
Defibrillator Locations in Beverley and Holderness that Graham knows about:
Aldbrough – Aldbrough School
Atwick – The Black Horse
Beverley – St Mary’s Church
Beverley – Leisure Centre
Beverley – Cherry Tree Centre
Bishop Burton – The Altisidora
Burton Pidsea – Black Bull
Coniston – Blacksmiths Arms
Easington – Community Centre
Fitling – Westfield Country Park
Garton Grimston Great Hatfield – Wrygarth Inn
Hedon – Town Hall
Hedon – Holderness Grange
Holmpton – old telephone box
Hornsea – Floral Hall
Hornsea – Golf Club
Hornsea – Town Hall
Hornsea – Ex Servicemen’s Club
Hornsea – Secondary School
Hornsea – Whiteheads Fish and Chip Shop (available when shop is open)
Paull – Village Hall
Preston – Community Hall
Roos – Primary School
Skirlaugh – Duke of York Pub
Walkington – 21 East End
Wawne – Village Hall
Withernsea – Withernsea High School (available when school is open)
Rural Fair Share
Graham is an active supporter of the national Rural Fair Share campaign to encourage the Government to address the ongoing disparity in funding between rural and urban areas, having led the group for several years. The campaign brings together over a hundred Members of Parliament from all parties, along with organisations, community groups, and individuals concerned about the welfare of rural communities. According to research by the Rural Services Network, rural residents earn less, on average, than those in cities, pay council tax which is £80 higher per head, and see urban areas receive government grants around forty five per cent higher per head than those in the countryside. This means people in the country earn less, pay higher council tax and then receive substantially less money for services, which are widely accepted as being more expensive to deliver in rural areas. The Rural Fair Share campaign’s petition for change totalled over 19,000 signatories from 119 constituencies. This fantastic response illustrates that people all across the country are united in demanding a fairer deal for our rural communities. Graham’s campaign saw the Government introduce a dedicated Rural Services Delivery Grant to help meet the additional costs of delivering services in sparsely-populated rural areas. In 2016/17, this will be worth £80.5 million. Following pressure from the Rural Fair Share Campaign, the Government has also committed to a fundamental review of the needs assessment for local government finance.
Graham has campaigned hard to get funding to improve broadband in East Riding. In September 2012 Graham spoke at a debate in Parliament on broadband in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. During the debate Graham highlighted the desperate need for broadband provision to support rural businesses. East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been awarded Funding from Broadband Delivery UK and the European Regional Development Fund to deliver a super fast broadband network across the county. This project is being delivered in phases. More information about where and when a better broadband service will be available can be found on the Broadband East Riding website http://broadband.eastriding.gov.uk/.
Graham is encouraging broadband users in Beverley and Holderness to express their views on how the service can be improved direct to the regulator Ofcom via the #FixBritainsInternet campaign.
Ofcom is currently holding a public consultation on how to reform Openreach, which operates the under-performing national broadband network. Options on the table include separating Openreach from its parent company BT – something Graham has been campaigning for in a bid to raise standards.
Despite Openreach receiving billions from other broadband providers and taxpayer subsidy, around 5.7 million people in the UK have internet connections that still do not reach Ofcom’s minimum speed of 10Mbps, of whom 3.5 million live in rural areas like Beverley and Holderness.
Decent broadband access is a key utility for modern homes and businesses yet Openreach has failed people in areas like the East Riding for far too long. Earlier this year Graham joined over one hundred fellow MPs in calling for Openreach to become an independent company rather than an arm of BT, with a view to opening up the fusty broadband market to the fresh air of proper competition. He believes this would be in both the national and the consumer interest.
The #FixBritainsInternet campaign is now allowing residents and businesses in Beverley and Holderness to have their say on what they think should happen. You can tell Ofcom what you think by going tohttp://www.fixbritainsinternet.co.uk/page/speakout/fix-britains-internet and Graham hopes lots of people will take five minutes to do so – it could save them a lot of time in the future.
Combating flood risk from the Humber and the River Hull
Graham is working with other MPs from across the Humber region to lobby Government for additional funding for the delivery of the Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy. A copy of the strategy can be found here Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy.
Graham also chairs the River Hull Board, which brings together experts and local politicians on a cross-party basis to oversee the delivery of the River Hull Integrated Catchment Strategy. Key aspects of the programme include removing sunken vessels to improve water flow, raising the river banks at key points and upgrading a number of pumping stations. The biggest project will involve modifying the use of the Tidal Barrier in Hull.
Fairer Funding for Schools
Graham has campaigned for fairer funding for schools in the East Riding ever since his election and in 2014 he helped to secure £1.8 million a year more for local schools, which marked a milestone on the road to ensuring children in Beverley and Holderness are funded properly. In 2015-16 Graham served as the Parliamentary lead spokesman for the national F40 campaign, which represents the worst-funded local authorities (www.f40.org). During this time, the Government committed to introduce a new national funding formula based on pupil need rather than historic political choices. This will begin to come into effect from 2017-18 and should make a substantial difference to East Yorkshire schools. Graham will continue to make the case for a fair deal for local schools until the new system is securely in place.
Stop the Saltend Stench
Graham works with local campaign groups to help prevent further outbreaks of foul smells from Yorkshire Water’s treatment plant at Saltend, which processes 40 million gallons of sewage and industrial waste every day. For many summers the site struggled to handle the extra pressure which arises during the pea season, leading to residents being unable to sit outdoors or even open their windows. Graham has taken the matter to senior management at Yorkshire Water and in 2011 this pressure led to a new £3.5m odour-control unit being installed (pictured). However outbreaks continued and in 2015 Graham joined local people in calling for East Riding of Yorkshire Council to issue an abatement order to the company to compel it to address the problem, which was subsequently served. That autumn Yorkshire Water announced a £30 million action plan consisting of 50 different improvements to improve how the waste water that comes into the site is treated. Graham gave evidence to a special review panel commissioned by East Riding Council to consider next steps and has backed its recommendations for change in a letter to ministers. He continues to monitor the situation closely.
Humberside Must Go – Graham led a long running campaign to get rid of the name ‘Humberside’ from addressing information that is sold to businesses by Royal Mail. Graham’s constituents are from Yorkshire and don’t like to be addressed using the former county name of ‘North Humberside’.
Graham campaigned hard with Royal Mail to get the former county name removed from the Postcode Address File but Royal Mail weren’t for moving so Graham invited his constituents to join him in direct action, producing stickers for residents to use to return unwanted, wrongly addressed mail. In September 2014 the Royal Mail contacted Graham to say that the former county name had been removed from the Postcode Address File. As businesses update their databases the word ‘Humberside’ should begin to disappear from mail in Beverley and Holderness and beyond.
English Votes for English Laws
Under the Coalition Government, Graham led a Parliamentary campaign in support of English votes for English issues and collected thousands of petition signatures in 60 constituencies. Whether it is setting our taxes, funding our local government or deciding the future of our schools, NHS and welfare system, English voters expect issues which only affect English voters to be voted on solely by English MPs.
This is a fundamental issue of fairness for all the people of the United Kingdom. Just as the people of Scotland have more power than ever before over their affairs, so it follows the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland must have the opportunity to have a bigger say over theirs.
The Conservative Government elected in 2015 legislated to introduce English Votes for English Laws and this system is now in effect in Parliament.
River Hull Advisory Board
Graham set up the River Hull Advisory Board, which developed a strategy for the management and maintenance of the River Hull. The board included representatives from The National Farmers Union, The Environment Agency, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Natural England, The Internal Drainage Boards, Yorkshire Water and the local community.
The £45 million River Hull Integrated Catchment Strategy was adopted in summer 2015. The adoption of the strategy was reported here.
Graham now chairs the River Hull Board, which had its first meeting in summer 2016 and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the new strategy.
Flood Insurance Petition – In March 2013 Graham launched a petition to urge the Government to negotiate with the Association of British Insurers to find a successor to the Statement of Principles to ensure that home flood insurance remains available and affordable.
Councillors Mike Bryan and John Dennis, alongside National Flood Forum Representative Ron Smith and local resident Les Diment handed the petition into No. 10 Downing Street at the end of March with over 600 signatures.
Since the petition, the Government has announced the introduction of FloodRe, which is a not-for-profit reinsurance scheme that provides affordable home insurance against flooding in very high risk properties. More information about the scheme can be found here. FloodRe
The Caravan Tax Campaign – In May 2012 Graham led constituents and other MPs from across the country to secure thousands of names from 64 constituencies on a petition against the introduction of VAT on the sale of static caravans. At the end of May the Government announced that they were to scrap their original proposal in favour of a 5% tax.
Humber Bridge Tolls – MPs from across East Yorkshire joined forces in a long running campaign to reduce the price of the Humber Bridge road toll which was the highest in the country and considered to be damaging to the economy. At the end of March 2012 the Chancellor announced that the toll was to be halved with the Transport Secretary visiting the bridge in April to launch the reduced tariff.
Beverley Southern Relief Road – At the end of 2011 Graham met with the Minister for Transport repeatedly to champion the development of the Beverley Southern Relief Road. Support for the project was announced in December 2011. The road is now open.
HOTI (Holderness Opposing the Incinerator) – Graham led a successful campaign against a proposal to build a waste incinerator at Saltend.
Saving the Beverley Pasture Masters
The Pasture Masters are a tradition almost unique to Beverley and play a vital role in the stewardship of the town’s common land. Under the 1836 Pasture Act, Pasture Masters are elected annually from the Freemen of Beverley – but Freemen had to be born in the town and be male, which was both unfair and risked leading to the tradition dying out. Graham led efforts in Parliament to change the law and now women can become Pasture Masters while the catchment area for Pasture Masters has been extended. Sarah Walker made history by becoming the first woman elected in 2011.