Aylestone | Castle | City Centre | Clarendon Park | Crown Hills | De Montfort University | Evington Road | Eyres Monsell | Wycliffe | Gilmorton | Highfields
Knighton | Knighton Fields | Leicester University | Leicester Royal Infirmary | Saffron | Spinney Hills | St. Andrews | St. Matthews | St. Peters | Stoneygate
It's a busy schedule working as the MP for Leicester South. We try to make sure we keep everyone up-to-date with important issues, topics that affect constituents. We do this with regular updates on the website, including this page, where we highlight news items.
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Archive Television Broadcasts

MARCH 2015

Jon Ashworth attends SAFTAs

Friday March 27 2015

Jon Ashworth attended the SAFTAs at the Saffron Working Men’s Club.

The SAFTAs is an annual event organised by Saffron Community Health Alliance.

Jon stated: “I have attended The SAFTAs every year since I was elected MP for the area. It is a really fun evening and recognises the important role that volunteers play in the local community. Both the Saff and Eyres Monsell have a togetherness and a community spirit that cannot be bettered.”


The SAFTAs have received funding from Freemen and Eyres Monsell Ward Community Ward Funds, and local Councillors will be present on the night.



Jon presenting certificate with Councillor Cutkelvin
Councillor Cutkelvin commented: “It is a privilege to represent the Saffron area. The Estate has many unsung heroes who freely give their time for the benefit of others and makes the area a better place to live.”
Jon presenting a SAFTA with all four local Councillors. From left to rights Councillor Shelton, Cutkelvin, Cleaver and Palmer
Photo above left, Jon presenting certificate with Councillor Cutkelvin. Photo above,Jon presenting a SAFTA with all four local Councillors. From left to rights Councillor Shelton, Cutkelvin, Cleaver and Palmer
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Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, meets local people about a
lack of road crossing

Friday March 27 2015

Jon met with local people who are concerned about the roads around Nixon Court, specifically Putney Road near Homebase.

A student from the University of Leicester, Jason Morris, contacted his local Councillor, Patrick Kitterick. Jason, who uses a guide dog, had faced a lot of difficulties crossing the roads near Nixon Court.

Councillor Kitterick stated: “The difficulties faced by Jason on a daily basis when crossing the roads were so bad that his guide dog had to go for re-training as its confidence had suffered.”

Following an initial site visit a solution of putting in a Zebra Crossing on Putney Road has been suggested. Representatives of the Council’s Transport Department, University Estates, as well as Jason will be at the site visit on Friday.


Jon commented: “It is clear that something needs to be done on Putney Road. A Zebra Crossing would provide a safer route for the large number of students who use the route in general and for disabled students in particularly as Nixon Court is the designated accommodation for students with disabilities.”

The cost of installing a Zebra Crossing is around £30,000.

Jon said: “I hope that it can be agreed on Friday that the cost of the much needed crossing can be jointly met by the City Council and the University of Leicester.”

Jon with Jason Morris and Ludo, George Sfougaras, Gabi Witthaus and Mark Wills from the City Council
Jon with Jason Morris and Ludo, George Sfougaras, Gabi Witthaus and Mark Wills from the City Council
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Jon ashworth MP opposes decision to withdraw language GCSES and A-levels

Tuesday March 25 2015

Jon has spoken out in Parliament against decisions to withdraw GCSE Gujarati and A-Level Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, and possibly Urdu and Arabic.

The decision comes as exam boards have been assessing their provision of ‘lesser-taught’ languages at GCSE and A-Level, and will have a huge impact on Leicester.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that from all the Local Authorities in the country, Leicester has the highest proportion of Gujarati speakers: 36,000 people in Leicester speak the language.

The decision to remove the qualifications will affect children, young people and adults who study for them.

The withdrawal will also affect Bengali, Punjabi and possibly Urdu and Arabic speakers who study for A-Levels. Such courses are offered by community centres, Gurdwaras and Mosques around the city, and will affect everyone enrolled.


The decision to withdraw the qualifications will also mean loss of work for the language teachers.

Speaking in Parliament, Jon said: “In Leicester, these languages are not lesser taught – Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali and Arabic qualifications are sat by hundreds of students every year.”

Jon also made the point that withdrawing these qualifications will affect the country’s economic standing in the world: “If we want to expand trade, rather than getting rid of these qualifications, we should be encouraging schools to offer them, in addition to the madrassahs, temples and community organisations that currently offer them in Leicester.”

Jon confirmed that a Labour Government will save the withdrawn GCSEs.

jon ashworth mp
Jon speaking in Parliament

Jon Ashworth MP joins politics students at local university for question and
answer session 

Friday March 20 2015

Jon Ashworth MP visited the University of Leicester today to discuss politics and being an MP with politics students at the University.

The visit, organised by the University’s Politics Department, gave students an opportunity to learn more about the role of an MP, what work is entailed in both Parliament and the Constituency, and also gave them the opportunity to grill Jon on his views as the local MP.

The session had a particular focus on what work Jon does in the Constituency, fitting in with the students’ module theme.

Speaking after the event, Jon said: “I really enjoyed my session at the University of Leicester. I’ve done this Q&A before and I always get tough questions from students! It’s also useful for me to know what issues young people care about, and you can only find out by actually talking with them and listening to what they have to say.”


“At a time when young people are accused of being uninterested in and not engaged with politics, I think it’s great to see young people here in Leicester proving that charge wrong.”

Earlier this year it was revealed that in Leicester, 11,790 people dropped off the electoral register. As there have been major changes to student registration, it is very likely that a significant proportion of these lost voters are students.

Jon commented further: “It’s vital that students have their say in the political process. For many of these students, this will be the first election they’re eligible to vote in. The students I met today are clearly very politically engaged, and I just hope that Government changes to the registration system won’t deprive them of the opportunity to exercise that right.”

Jon taking questions from politics students
Jon taking questions from politics students
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Jon Ashworth MP visits Highfields food bank which he helped establish

Thursday March 19 2015

Jon visited Highfields Food Bank today which he helped to establish along with local agencies.

As the MP for the Highfields area Jon has initiated regular meetings of community organisations and agencies. It was at one of these meetings that the need for a food bank in the north of the Highfields area was raised.

Jon stated: “Working together in the community we soon realised there was desperate need for a food bank in North Highfields. That’s why my office, working with the Highfields Centre and the Race Equality Centre, established this food bank in the north of Highfields. The food bank opened at Wesley Hall in early 2014 and moved to the Highfields Centre in June 2014.”

Jon Ashworth led a bid to Spinney Hills Ward Community Fund for £1,000 in order to set up and start the food bank. Jon’s office has also secured donations from religious festivals (Vaisakhi), Unite the Union, local Mosques (Darus Salam, Masjid-e-Baitul Mukarram), community organisations (Leicester Welfare Trust) and Labour Party members.

The food bank opens fortnightly and assists around 14 to 15 families at every session with most referrals coming from locally based agencies.

Crucial to the success of the food bank is the role of the Race Equality Centre that recruits and trains the volunteers that run the food bank.

Jon stated: “Food banks shouldn’t be necessary in this day and age but sadly too many people across Leicester go hungry. However, I commend all those who have worked with us on setting up this food bank. This initiative started over 15 months ago and is still running, which is due, in no small part, to the work and commitment of the Race Equality Centre and Highfields Community Association.”

As well as being a driving partner in establishing, and providing on-going support for the Highfields Food Bank, Jon has secured donations for numerous food banks including the Linwood Food Bank, Gilmorton Food Bank, the Eyres Monsell Food Bank and Open Hands.
Jon with volunteers at Highfields food bank
Jon with volunteers at Highfields food bank
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Success as parking bays installed in Eyres Monsell following pressure from Jon Ashworth MP and local Councillors

Friday March 13 2015

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, visited Featherstone Drive, Eyres Monsell, following his successful campaign for parking bays installed on the street.

Jon was contacted in August 2012 by local resident Sarah Chalmers, who complained that the lack of parking facilities was affecting residents and becoming dangerous for disabled pedestrians. After visiting the site to inspect the problem for himself, Jon along with Councillors Palmer and Cleaver campaigned to have proper parking bays created on the road.

The City Council agreed, and residents are now successfully able to park their cars in the designated bays.

Speaking before the visit, Jon said: “I’m really pleased with the outcome of this campaign. When I visited Sarah and her neighbours back in 2012, it was clear that they were very unhappy with the parking situation. Cars were parked on the pavement and grass verges, which was very difficult for people with wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs, and pedestrians were being forced to walk on the road. It was clear that something needed to be done.”

“Now, following a successful campaign by me and the Eyres Monsell Councillors, I’m happy to say the residents of Featherstone Drive have their parking bays!”

Local resident Sarah Chalmers commented: “Jon Ashworth is a local MP for the local people and his team are always on hand to help and advise the community, no matter what the query is. Over the last few years Jon has helped the residents on Featherstone Drive by campaigning for more parking laybys which have now been installed and these have made such a difference to the safety of the road. Parking is an ongoing issue on the Eyres Monsell Estate and it is because of Jon that these matters are being dealt with.”

Councillor Rory Palmer also commented: “I’m delighted that we have been able to deliver these new parking bays on Featherstone Drive. It good to hear that residents are pleased with the outcome. Providing more parking bays is a top priority for us in Eyres Monsell and we have successfully delivered new bays in different parts of the area. We are now working to secure funding for even more parking improvements on the estate."
Jon with local Councillors Virginia Cleaver and Rory Palmer
Jon with local Councillors Virginia Cleaver and Rory Palmer
Click photo for enlargement
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