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Graham Stuart leads the charge for fairer school funding

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart today led a major Parliamentary briefing to make the case for fairer school funding to the Minister, Sam Gyimah MP, at which the Minister confirmed the Government intends to deliver major reform in this area over the course of this Parliament.

The meeting, chaired by Graham in his capacity as the Conservative Vice Chairman of the f40 Group, was attended by dozens of MPs and their staff on a cross-party basis. Following a presentation from f40 Chairman Councillor Ivan Ould, officials from the f40 Group set out the case for a fairer school funding settlement in detail, highlighting research showing that the ten best funded areas on average received grants of £6,300 per pupil this year, compared with an average of just £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.

Graham emphasised to both the Conservative and Labour MPs who attended how important it is that progress is made on this issue, and set out a campaign plan including a coordinated programme of Parliamentary petitions to raise the profile of the issue. His call for action was echoed by MPs from across the country.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare Sam Gyimah told the meeting that the Government is determined to deliver its manifesto promise to create a fairer school funding settlement and encouraged f40 MPs to keep up the pressure for change.

Graham with Education Minister Sam Gyimah

Graham with Education Minister Sam Gyimah

Graham Stuart said, “I was delighted that the Minister attended today’s meeting and gave such positive signals that fairer school funding will finally be delivered after a campaign that first started almost two decades ago. Ending the situation where children lose out owing purely to where they live is something I am determined to bring about and it is now an important priority for the Government.

“Winning acceptance from ministers that the current funding situation for schools is unfair and unsustainable has been a big step forward, but we now need to see that goodwill translated into action. Around 60 MPs and their representatives attended today’s meeting, sending a clear message that we are pleased that the Government is listening but also impatient for action on behalf of our constituents.

“I will launch a petition for Fair School Funding across Beverley and Holderness this summer and I hope as many parents and local people will sign up as possible to make our voice heard loud and clear: it’s high time for pupils in East Yorkshire to get the education funding they need and deserve.”

Graham Stuart and Diana Johnson welcome new flood risk strategy for the River Hull

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Local MPs Graham Stuart and Diana Johnson were today celebrating the adoption of the new River Hull Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Over the last two years professionals from East Riding and Hull City Councils, the Environment Agency, Beverley and North Holderness Internal Drainage Board and Yorkshire Water have worked with experts to develop a detailed understanding of drainage and flood risk.

The new strategy, which includes removing sunken vessels, raising river banks at certain points and upgrading pumping stations, amounts to a £45 million package designed to protect Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Graham Stuart, the MP for Beverley and Holderness, who chaired the River Hull Advisory Board that decided the new strategy, said: “This strategy is the result of over two years’ hard work by everyone involved.

“Maintaining the existing river defence systems is critical for Hull and the East Riding, as failing to make this continued investment may result in flood damage estimated at £3.4 billion.

“I am tremendously proud of how everyone has come together to produce a robust strategy that will help reduce the risk of flooding significantly. I want to pay tribute to the unseen contribution of so many officers across the agencies involved for working together so effectively. I would particularly like to thank the Community Liaison Group led by Martin Voase for their input in developing a strategy which will protect homes and businesses across north Hull and the East Riding.”

Diana Johnson, the MP for Hull North, said: “I’m delighted to see Hull City Council working hand in hand with East Riding Council to protect my Hull North constituents from the range of flooding risks we face, so that the flooding we saw in 2007 – and more recently in 2013 – becomes much less likely.

“All MPs, including both Graham and myself, will continue to work together to ensure that we get the action needed to make the Humber area safer.”

Graham Stuart welcomes “defining Budget” with working people at its heart

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Graham Stuart has welcomed the Summer Budget, calling it a “defining” moment for the Government.  Key measures in the Budget included:

  • A new National Living Wage: The new National Living Wage will mean two and a half million people get a direct pay rise.  Those currently on the minimum wage will see their pay rise by over a third this Parliament, a cash increase for a full time worker on the minimum wage of over £5,000.
  • Changes to the personal allowance for income tax: There is further support for working people with an increase in the tax-free personal allowance so someone will be able to earn £11,000 before paying any income tax at all.  The Government will also raise the 40p rate to £43,000, lifting 130,000 people out of this higher tax rate.
  • Cutting tax on business to secure growth, with Corporation Tax reduced to 18 per cent: The Government has already taken this rate to the lowest in the G20 and aligned it for large and small businesses.  Corporation tax will now fall to 19% in 2017 and 18% by 2020, helping businesses to hire and create more jobs.
  • Extending the Employment Allowance to £3,000 – cutting the jobs tax for firms. From 2016 the Employment Allowance will rise 50 per cent so a firm will be able to employ 4 people full time on the new National Living Wage and pay no national insurance at all.
  • Commitment to strong defence: The Budget commits to meeting the NATO pledge to spend 2% of our national income on defence – not just this year, but every year of this decade.
  • Investment in transport: The Chancellor confirmed that all money raised from vehicle excise duty will go into a special fund for investment in roads.
  • Investing in skills: The Government will introduce an apprenticeship levy on large firms to fund three million more quality apprenticeships.  Firms that offer apprenticeships can get more back than they put in.  The money will be directly controlled by employers and ministers will work with businesses on how to do this.

Graham Stuart MP said, “This is a defining moment for the Government – a landmark as we move to a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare economy.  The new National Living Wage will make a huge difference to the quality of life of millions of people.  We can afford it thanks to the tough decisions this Government has made since 2010 – with the conditions for growth restored and corporation tax cut, people deserve a pay rise.

“There is further good news for families as the personal allowance for income tax rises to £11,000, while the threshold to pay the 40p rate goes up to £43,000.  With the OBR estimating that almost a million more jobs will be created over the next five years, the economy will continue to strengthen.

“The wider context of this Budget is that the Conservatives continue to control spending so that we can keep bringing the deficit down.  It is only by doing this that we can reward work, protect the elderly, the vulnerable and the disabled and maintain key commitments – including that to a strong defence.  This is a Budget to steer Britain through to better times ahead.”

Graham Stuart MP celebrates school sport with pupils at Middleton Primary School

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, joined children at Middleton-on-the-Wolds Primary School at the end of National School Sport Week 2015 to celebrate school sports. At their prize ceremony, Graham handed out certificates for those who had completed five hours of sport in the previous week. After watching the children play sport, he spoke to pupils from all age groups on the importance of exercise.

National School Sport Week, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a celebration of PE and school sport, designed to inspire and engage young people in sporting activity. Since its inception in 2009 over 10 million young people and 26,000 schools have taken part, with thousands of events taking place in schools across the country. The theme of the Week this year is ‘Give me 5!’ with schools encouraged to pledge that all their young people will complete at least one hour of physical activity every school day.

To maintain a basic level of health, experts recommend that young people take part in one hour of physical activity every day, yet currently only 21% of boys and 16% of girls meet these guidelines. Evidence shows that taking part in high quality PE has significant positive impacts on young people’s lives, with the UK’s Chief Medical Officer stating that physical activity not only improves physical health and mental well-being, but boosts concentration and builds key social skills.

Graham celebrating with victorious Middleton pupils

Graham celebrating with victorious Middleton pupils

Graham said: “It was a pleasure to visit Middleton Primary School to see the sporting action first hand and hear the pupils’ enthusiasm for sport in their school. National School Sport Week is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at new sports and to encourage active, healthy lifestyles from an early age. Evidence shows that active children are not only healthier but are able to concentrate better in lessons, and have higher self-esteem and confidence. I hope all the children who took part learnt the benefits of exercise and continue to be involved in sport both at school and later in their adult lives.”

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “At the Youth Sport Trust we believe PE and sport has the power to unlock young people’s potential, helping them to be healthy and happy, succeed in life and contribute to society. It is fantastic to see Graham supporting National School Sport Week 2015 and wonderful to see so many young people taking part in sport at school.”

Breakthrough as Prime Minister confirms extra £390m to close the funding gap for schools will be baselined for future years

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness and Conservative Vice-Chair of the f40 campaign group for fairer educational funding, has said he is “delighted” by the Prime Minister’s response to his question at PMQs today. Mr Cameron confirmed Mr Stuart’s request to commit to incorporate the additional £390 million awarded for England’s lowest funded local authorities in 2015-16 into baseline funding for future years. This is the first time the Government has formally confirmed its manifesto pledge to make this extra funding a permanent part of the school funding settlement.

The current method for allocating school funding is flawed and unfair to pupils in both rural and urban areas. The ten best funded areas average received grants of almost £6,300 per pupil this year, compared to just £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.

The issue is of particular concern for Mr Stuart as East Riding of Yorkshire Local Authority, which covers Beverley and Holderness, is the lowest funded in the country when it comes to education.

The Conservative Manifesto committed to introduce fairer schools funding as well as to “baseline” the extra £390 million a year awarded to the least well-funded local authorities in 2015-16 into the school funding settlement.

Mr Stuart asked the Prime Minister, “Yesterday the National Audit Office called for the introduction of a fairer funding formula for English schools, so that – I quote – funding is ‘related more closely to pupils’ needs and less affected by where they live’.

“Can he confirm from the Dispatch Box that the additional and very welcome £390 million awarded last year as a first step towards fairer funding will be incorporated into baseline funding for future years?”

In his response, the Prime Minister stated that it is unfair that schools in some areas receive over 50% more funding than schools in others, and pledged that the Government’s manifesto commitments will be observed in full.

Graham added, “I am delighted the Prime Minister has publicly confirmed that the manifesto pledge to baseline the extra £390 million for future years will go ahead.  This is an important breakthrough for poorly funded local authorities and a milestone on the road to fairer funding.”

Graham Stuart MP pledges action to tackle Ovarian Cancer Postcode Lottery

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Graham Stuart pledges support to Target Ovarian Cancer

Graham Stuart pledges support to Target Ovarian Cancer

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, has signed up to a new campaign to end the ovarian cancer postcode lottery, launched by national charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

 

Mr Stuart pledged his support for the new campaign in parliament after Target Ovarian Cancer released a new report highlighting the regional differences between survival rates of ovarian cancer, awareness and participation in clinical trials.

 

Graham said, “Several constituents contacted me movingly with stories about their own experiences of ovarian cancer and I was delighted to attend the Target Ovarian Cancer event.  More needs to be done to ensure that all women with ovarian cancer get the support and care that they need, regardless of where they live.

 

“I am pleased to have become a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ovarian Cancer and hope the Group will make progress in pushing this issue up the agenda and delivering better outcomes.”

 

Annwen Jones, Chief Executive for Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Whilst cancer doesn’t discriminate by address, this new report clearly shows that women with ovarian cancer are facing a life-altering postcode lottery. Women with ovarian cancer should be able to access the best standards available, no matter where they live in the UK.

 

“This is why we’re launching The Ovarian Cancer Postcode Lottery report today and calling on all MPs to make sure that women with ovarian cancer are getting access to the best treatment and care possible. We need to stop women needlessly dying because of where they live.

 

“The most important thing is that women know what to look out for. That is why we need a national awareness campaign so that every woman knows the key symptoms which are having a bloated tummy or tummy pain, needing to wee more often/urgently and always feeling full.”

MP and Police & Crime Commissioner on duty in Withernsea on Saturday 4 July for a special Neighbourhood Policing Street Surgery

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley & Holderness, will be in Withernsea on Saturday 4 July between 10am and noon, together with Matthew Grove, the Police and Crime Commissioner, to talk to residents about their neighbourhood policing concerns. The MP and Crime Commissioner will be outside Aldi on Queen Street/Station Road between 10am and noon, and no appointment is necessary.

 

Graham said, “Councillors Arthur Hodgson and Lyn Healing raised with me their concerns about police response times in the town and surrounding area, following several incidents where residents say the Police took too long to arrive. It’s an absolute priority for me to make sure my constituents have confidence that when they make a call to the Police for assistance they know the Police will be quickly on the scene. So I’m pleased that the Police and Crime Commissioner will be in Withernsea with me on Saturday 4 July, together with Councillors Hodgson and Healing, so we can address any worries residents have.”

 

Councillor Arthur Hodgson said: “The police have said that:

  1. A disturbance that took place outside The Pier has been viewed on CCTV, it lasted 5 minutes, and was between two people, with six others watching but some fourteen people nearby, but only two were fighting.  There have been no reports of assault. After a minute or so, people moved in to break the two of them apart. This took the Police some 30 minutes to attend.

 

  1. An elderly lady was attacked late at night in the street and investigation is continuing. It is being overseen by a Detective Sergeant and it took twenty two minutes for Police to attend.

 

  1. An attempted burglary incident that took place six months ago was not a burglary: it was a drunken foreign male trying a door handle.  The Police advice was that it would take one hour and forty minutes to attend.

 

“These Police response times are far too long. A Town like Withernsea with some 6,000 people and maybe three times that during the summer season needs better policing that this, given that our area is one of the busiest for Police activity.”

 

Councillor Lyn Healing said: “I want to reassure residents of Withernsea and South East Holderness that we Councillors do take your concerns very seriously and we will work with Graham Stuart MP and the Police to reach a satisfactory outcome.”

Queen’s Speech sends a “powerful message of social justice”

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Graham Stuart MP has described the Queen’s Speech as sending a “powerful message of social justice”.

The Government announced a programme to increase job creation, improve public services, extend home ownership and bring the national finances back under control.

Graham said, “The Queen’s Speech builds on the progress made over the last five years and sets the stage for Britain to move to the next stage of the recovery.  People across Beverley and Holderness will be delighted that there will be no increase in personal taxation while working families will benefit from greater access to childcare.

“There is particularly good news when it comes to housing.  Extending the Right to Buy to the tenants of Housing Associations will bring home ownership within the reach of 1.3 million more families.  Councils will be required to sell high-value council houses and put the money into building affordable homes, while 200,000 discounted Starter Homes will be built for young first-time buyers.

“School reform will continue to ensure all schools offer their pupils a high quality education, while the Government will continue increasing spending on our health service, by at least £8 billion a year by 2020, and create a genuinely seven-day NHS.

“There will also be some important constitutional changes to promote basic fairness in our democracy, including ensuring English MPs have a veto over matters only affecting England, as I have called for through my Fair Votes For All campaign, and holding an in-out EU referendum by the end of 2017.

“Together, these measures send a powerful message of social justice and I look forward to working with ministers to deliver these changes – and a better, stronger and fairer Britain.”

Graham Stuart Re-elected

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Graham Stuart has been returned to represent the constituency of Beverley and Holderness with a majority of 12,203 over nearest rival Labour.

Hustings in Beverley and Holderness

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Friday 17th April 2015: Hustings – North Holderness Churches Together, Hornsea Town Hall 7.30pm

Tuesday 28th April 2015: Hustings – Beverley Minster 7.30pm

Wednesday 29th April 2015: Hustings – Withernsea Methodist Church 6pm

Thursday 30th April 2015: Hustings – St Augustine’s Church, Hedon 7.30pm