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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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MARCH 2016

The Budget has unfairness and failure at its core and will be huge let down for families across Leicester” says Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South

Wednesday March 16 2016

Commenting on the Budget, Jon said: “Time and again the Chancellor has delivered budgets which set targets and made commitments, and time and again he has missed them. Today’s budget is the culmination of six years of Tory failure.”

“He was supposed to eradicate the deficit by 2015, but he failed on that. He said he’s get Britain’s economy growing, but today growth forecasts have been significantly revised down. Debt as a proportion of GDP was supposed to fall every year, but he revealed today he’d failed on that with the debt to GDP ratio rising to 82.6% this year. Productivity growth has been revised down every year.”

“The more targets missed and promises broken by the Chancellor, the clearer it becomes that this is a recovery built on sand.”

  “Unfairness was another big theme today. While the Chancellor has pressed ahead with huge cuts in the Personal Independent Payment, costing half a million disabled people up to £150 per week, he has cut Capital Gains Tax for some of the richest individuals in our society. I'm extremely worried for what this will mean for people across Leicester who rely on support via the PIP.”

“Today’s budget shows that George Osborne has failed to deliver for people. Instead we need a government that will stand up for working people and create the high skill, high wage economy of the future, which the people of Britain so badly need.”


 

 
Jon speaking in parliament
Jon speaking in parliament
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Jon Ashworth MP criticises Minister on the closure of Leicester’s Passport Office

Tuesday March 15 2016

Following the announcement that the Passport Office in Leicester will close at the end of this week, Jon has written to the Minister of Immigration, James Brokenshire MP.

Jon said: “Having previously closed the Derby Office, and now the Leicester Office, this government is making it more difficult for people in Leicester, and the East Midlands, to get their first passport.”

People over 16 who are applying for a passport for the first time have to have a face to face interview. In Leicester there were around 14,000 appointments a year. at the Leicester office will now have to travel to Birmingham or Peterborough.

Jon commented: “With the closure of the Leicester office there are now no Passport Offices in the East Midlands. Local people may now have to take off work, and find the money for travel costs to Peterborough or Birmingham, for what is a 10 to 20 minute interview.”

 

“Some people may have to return to Birmingham or Peterborough for a second appointment if an interpreter is required. This did not happen with appointments at Leicester as it was an Interpreter Office.”

The Passport Office holds a licence to occupy the premises until September 2018 with an option to break the licence in September 2016.

However, according to the government, the date to cease interviewing in March 2016 has been set to enable staff to work with the Home Office career transition service and focus on finding alternative employment prior to the office being decommissioned later in the year.

 
Jon speaking in parliament
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Jon Ashworth MP opens the Annual Mental Health Summit

Friday March 11 2016

Jon Ashworth opened the fourth Annual Mental Health Summit which was held at City Hall.

The first two Mental Health Summits, in 2013 and 2014, were hosted by Jon. These were hugely successful and have continued in the following years to keep mental health on the local agenda for service users and agencies alike.

The theme of this year’s Summit is maintaining independence and capacity building.

Jon said: “Looking at what people can do within their community to keep well is important for people on a day to day basis, and for the NHS itself. As well as family and friends, there needs to be local facilities that are not specifically mental health services but nevertheless help to maintain people’s wellbeing. This has the potential to relieve some of the pressures on high cost crisis care.” 

Healthwatch Leicester provided oversight for the Mental Health Summit, as it has in previous years, and supported the lead organisation Leicester City Council. Other organisations attending the Summit included statutory partners and the Voluntary Sector Partnership all of whom have committed their support.

The guest speaker was Dr Julie Repper. Dr Repper is the Lead for Recovery at Nottingham Healthcare Trust, Associate Professor in Recovery at University of Nottingham and Programme Director for “Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change”.

 
Jon opening the Mental Health Summit
Jon commented: “I am pleased that the Summits have become an annual event, and I am especially grateful to Heathwatch Leicester for their support and oversight of the Summits.”

David Barsby, from Healthwatch Leicester, who is Chair of the Summit, stated: “Mental health remains one of the key priorities for Healthwatch Leicester and it is pleased to see all agencies involved in providing support to those experiencing poor mental health coming together to discuss future service provision.”
 
Jon opening the Mental Health Summit
“From 2016 – 2017 it is proposed that the way mental health services are commissioned and provided locally will change. It is important that there is a sustainable approach in the way support is provided, and that the services that help people maintain their independence are more suited to their needs.”


Photos show Jon opening the Mental Health Summit
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Jon Ashworth MP demands fairer funding for Leicester City Council in the Budget

Tuesday March 1 2016

Labour MP Jon Ashworth has called on the Chancellor to use the Budget in March to give Leicester City Council a fairer funding deal.

New figures revealed the unfairness of the Tory Government’s cuts to Leicester City Council. Since 2011 Leicester City Council will have lost £475.26 per household in spending power by 2020. In contrast, wealthier areas in the County will see much smaller cuts in spending.

Blaby will have lost only £27.90 per household in the same period with Hinckley and Bosworth seeing a cut of only £29.15 per household, and Charnwood a cut of £33.26.

Jon said: “It is extremely unfair that Leicester City Council is suffering cuts that are over 17 times larger than Blaby. Even comparing the City to the County, the City’s cut per household is over 6 times higher than those being faced by Leicestershire County Council.”

 
The County Council is facing a cut of £75.72 per household by 2020, which although will have an adverse impact of local services, is far lower than the figure of £475.26 facing the City Council.

Jon commented: “Councils have been cut to the bone since 2010 and while Government ministers said they would protect funding, research based on the Government’s own figures show they are cutting harder than ever but protecting the wealthiest.”

“The Tories promised to be a One Nation government but everyone can see they are taking from the poor to give to the rich like some kind of reverse Robin Hood. Local services are at risk thanks to decisions made by Tory ministers who hope people won’t see through their hollow promises.”
 
Jon speaking in parliament
Jon speaking in parliament
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