Latest Stories

Transport chiefs have failed to do more to tackle bus, train and tram accessibility for blind and partially-sighted residents in the region. 

Bolton blind left behind by ‘London-centric transport system'

Transport chiefs have failed to do more to tackle bus, train and tram accessibility for blind and partially-sighted residents in the region.  Read more

New Community Law Centre is to provide free legal advice and representation for the people of Greater Manchester, but they need your help.

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Greater Manchester Law Centre

New Community Law Centre is to provide free legal advice and representation for the people of Greater Manchester, but they need your help. Read more

I'm very concerned about findings in the recent Save the Children report showing that boys are nearly twice as likely to fail to meet expected standards in early language development as girls. 

The evidence shows that many of these boys will struggle to catch up and that they’re much less likely to do well at school, a pattern of underachievement which continues to GSCE level. 

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In Bolton, South East only 71 percent of children achieved the expected standards of speech and language skills at age five last year – well below the national average of 80 percent. There is also evidence of a significant gap in performance between boys and girls at this age -  with 65 percent of boys and 78 percent of girls achieving the expected level of speech and language at age five. This represents a 13 percentage point gap which again puts Bolton South East in poorer position than the national average of 11 percentage points.

We know that strong early development is an essential component of a child’s life chances and it is concerning that any children should be failing to meet the expected standard. But I am particularly shocked to learn that 290 five year old boys in Bolton were already behind when they started school – if they had performed as well as the girls, 109 more boys would have met the expected standard. Falling behind in this way is likely to have long-term consequences for their school attainment, their earning potential and opportunities in later life.

Today I have written to new Education Secretary, Justine Greening calling on her to invest more in children's early years.

Boys in Bolton falling behind

I'm very concerned about findings in the recent Save the Children report showing that boys are nearly twice as likely to fail to meet expected standards in early language development as... Read more

In the UK, we waste over 15 million tonnes of food each year. In a country where thousands are reliant on foodbanks to access adequate food, and in a world where the emissions associated with food production are contributing more to climate change than all forms of transport combined, it is simply unacceptable that good quality produce is not valued, donated and eaten, but is instead sent to landfill.

I was delighted to visit the Bolton Common Wealth Café who run a 'Pay As You Feel' Cafe using surplus food. The cafe is part of the wider The Real Junk Food Project network and I am pleased to pledge my support to tackle food wastage in our communities.

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Tackling Food Wastage

In the UK, we waste over 15 million tonnes of food each year. In a country where thousands are reliant on foodbanks to access adequate food, and in a world...

Bolton’s Logistics North is nearing completion with big name organisations beginning to move onto the site securing many jobs and opportunities for Bolton people. 

Growing manufacturing base in Bolton deserves praise

Bolton’s Logistics North is nearing completion with big name organisations beginning to move onto the site securing many jobs and opportunities for Bolton people.  Read more

Local politicians to team up with Tesco for charity bag pack

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Charity Fundraising Event for the Luke Whittaker Memorial Trust

Local politicians to team up with Tesco for charity bag pack Read more

This morning I asked the Foreign Secretary to intervene in Indian-administered Kashmir, where 30 people have been killed, hundreds injured, and a growing death toll. The violence is the worst seen in the region for years. I have been contacted by a number of worried constituents who have family and relatives in the region. 

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Escalating violence in Kashmir

This morning I asked the Foreign Secretary to intervene in Indian-administered Kashmir, where 30 people have been killed, hundreds injured, and a growing death toll. The violence is the worst... Read more

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Today I asked the Prime Minister Question what immediate assurance he could give me that our world-leading and international research will be protected in light of the UK leaving the EU. And how will the UK government commit to replacing any income lost as a result of universities not being able to access EU sources of funding, given that this was promised during the Vote Leave campaign.

Protecting British Universities after Brexit

  Today I asked the Prime Minister Question what immediate assurance he could give me that our world-leading and international research will be protected in light of the UK leaving... Read more

 

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With very little sign of progress it is clear that the Government has failed to prepare for Brexit and must act urgently to end uncertainties, especially for our universities and the many EU nationals working in our country, contributing.

Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP accepted the invitation to take questions from the Foreign Affairs Committee, which I sit on.

Mr Letwin is the Minister responsible for Government Policy and I asked him about the implications of leaving the EU, both for those living in the UK currently and Brits living abroad. 

 

No preparation for Brexit

  With very little sign of progress it is clear that the Government has failed to prepare for Brexit and must act urgently to end uncertainties, especially for our universities... Read more

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Since the results of the referendum there have been deeply worrying reports of a rising tide of racial hate crimes in communities through out the UK. I received an overwhelming number of emails from constituents, tweets, videos, and media reports of serious racial abuse and hate crimes targeted against immigrant communities.

“Go home Polish vermin” posted through the letterboxes of Polish residents in Cambridgeshire.

Young Muslim school girls were cornered and intimidated - “get out, we voted leave” and ‘I can even give you a suitcase’

Signs urging the government to ‘stop immigration and start repatriation’, and ‘this is England, we are white, get out of my country.’

I am seriously concerned by the deep divisions that have been created or indeed have become more apparent following the referendum campaign. 

On Tuesday 5th July I led an adjournment debate on this subject to call on the government to do more to address the deeply damaging divisions and work with Policing authorities and community cohesion groups, to prevent the continued and unchecked growth of such bigotry spiraling into more serious and horrific crimes.

I urged the government to intervene, beyond the news headlines, and make a real commitment to tackling the poisonous, hateful rhetoric which was used by some politicians, and some in the media.

I must be clear that this debate is nothing to do with those who voted to 'Leave', however, it is intended to highlight this deeply divisive issue of hate crime in our communities, initiated by a few.

Rise in Race Hate Crimes since the EU Referendum vote

  Since the results of the referendum there have been deeply worrying reports of a rising tide of racial hate crimes in communities through out the UK. I received an... Read more

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