[24/03/2015 | No comment]

Cross it outWe’re making real progress in the fight against cancer – survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. Cancer Research UK are at the forefront of this battle, raising awareness, developing new and better treatments and improving care.

I recently visited one of the charity’s pioneering research centres at the University of Leicester. I saw how the study of proteins has the potential to unlock new treatments that are much more targeted than conventional therapies. I also heard Margaret Chandler’s story. She beat cancer and is now campaigning for quicker diagnosis and better emotional and practical support for cancer sufferers.

Labour’s guarantee of cancer tests and results within one week will make a real difference. I’m also supporting Cancer Research UK’s Cross it Out Campaign to put the fight against cancer at the top of the agenda as we go into the General Election.Cancer

[24/03/2015 | No comment]

Pledge CardLast Saturday, I joined Ed Miliband, the rest of the Shadow Cabinet and thousands of activists from across the country to launch Labour’s five pledges for the general election:

  1. A strong economic foundation: Balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS. None of our manifesto commitments require additional borrowing.
  2. Higher living standards for working families: Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8 and provide 25 hours free childcare a week.
  3. An NHS with the time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. We will join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.
  4. Controls on immigration: People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years and we will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
  5. A country where the next generation can do better than the last: Tuition fees reduced to £6,000, an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and smaller class sizes for 5, 6 & 7 year-olds.


[22/03/2015 | No comment]

I was delighted to join Father Martin Hardy and the congregation at St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Beaumont Leys Lane for the annual St Patrick’s Day Mass. This event is always a highlight in my calendar each year. We reflected on the foremost patron saint of Ireland and celebrated the huge contribution the Irish community makes to our city, country and the world. And of course, St Patrick’s Parish wouldn’t be St Patrick’s Parish without a spot of céilí dancing.

[22/03/2015 | No comment]

Alongside local Councillors. Annette Byrne, Harshad Bhavsar and Vijay Singh Riyait, I’ve been working with residents in Mowmacre to get Biffa to clean up its act and end the horrible smells that often come from their recycling plant.

At our last public meeting in December, Biffa promised to build new chimney stacks, which is something we’ve been demanding for a long time. I held a follow up meeting this month to ensure they fulfilled this commitment. I’m pleased to report that the work has been carried out, alongside other improvements and staff training top make sure the doors to the plant remain closed. I welcome this progress but will reserve judgement until the summer months, when the problem tends to get a lot worse. I’ve I’m re-elected after May’s General Election, I’ll be organising another public meeting in the summer to ensure that this problem is resolved.

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