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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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SEPTEMBER 2011

Jon Ashworth MP visits the railway station to meet with taxi drivers

Friday September 30 2011

Jon Ashworth heard the concerns of local taxi drivers in light of the redevelopment of Leicester railway station.

Early this month the City Council's Planning Committee granted conditional approval to Network Rail's listed building consent application. As this has now been granted the internal alterations to the station's covered forecourt can now proceed.

Jon stated: “I understand that the alterations include the repositioning of the taxi pick up point and I have been approached by representatives of the local taxi drivers who are worried that this move will adversely affect their trade. I therefore visited the station to hear the concerns of the taxi drivers.”

Jon Ashworth will be meeting representatives of Network Rail and East Midlands Trains next week where he can raise issues on behalf of the taxi drivers and discuss the redevelopment.


 
Jon Ashworth MP with Gurpal Singh, Branch Secretary of the RMT Leicester & Rutland Branch

Above, Jon Ashworth MP with Gurpal Singh, Branch Secretary of the RMT Leicester & Rutland Branch, Photo right, Jon listening to taxi drivers at the railway station

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Jon Ashworth MP listening to taxi drivers at the Leicester City railway station

Jon Ashworth MP visited Leicester College to discuss its support for young people

Friday September 23 2011

Jon Ashworth visited Leicester College to hear how apprenticeships can help young people and reduce rising youth unemployment.

Jon Ashworth stated: “With unemployment, especially youth unemployment, increasing it is more crucial than ever that we do all we can to support young people move into work. I’ve already called on the Government to reverse its abolition of the Future Jobs Fund and to do more to invest in skills and apprenticeships.”

“If apprenticeships are to be a success in Leicester it is vital that more local employers are encouraged to recruit the young people. And at the same time, what was clear from my meeting with the Chamber of Commerce is that training and skills development has to be in areas that match the local job opportunities.”

“Youth unemployment has unfortunately risen in Leicester and given the state of the economy it may well continue to do so. I want to support local employers to engage with Leicester College to get more young people into work via apprenticeships.”


 
Jon Ashworth MP with Principal of Leicester College Maggie Galliers CBE

Above, Jon Ashworth MP with Principal of Leicester College Maggie Galliers CBE, above right, visiting the catering training area, below right, Jon visiting the construction training area

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Jon Ashworth MP visiting the catering training area
Jon visiting the construction training area
Jon Ashworth MP visits the Freedom Club
Friday September 23 2011

Jon Ashworth MP today visited the Freedom Club, which is a based at The Centre Project in the City Centre.

The Freedom Club is a youth club for unaccompanied minors who are seeking asylum in the UK. The initiative grew from the need for foster carers to have a place where the young people could meet others of their own age, and in 2009 the project expanded considerably.

Upon his arrival at the Project Jon was presented with flowers by Ahmed Paplzai, an Afghani who has been attending the Freedom Club for three years.

Jon stated: “I received a particularly warm welcome from members of the Club and the volunteers present. As well as playing table tennis and table football, I notice some of the young people receiving help with reading and writing, which was inspiring.”

The Freedom Club currently sees approximately 70 young people in a month, of whom around 95% are unaccompanied minors. However, in light of the government's cuts a key source of funding has been withdrawn with the result that there is now only one Youth Worker employed at the Project.

Jon commented: “I am extremely concerned that such a vital resource has had to reduce its service, and I truly hope that it will somehow be able to continue in the future.”



 
Jon Ashworth MP with the Director of The Centre Project Eric Waweru during a visit to the Freedom Club in Leicester South
Jon gave a brief talk on the work of an MP and answered questions from the young people.

As a result of this visit Jon's specialist immigration caseworker will hold a surgery at the Freedom Club on Friday 14 October so that the Home office can be contacted about the young people's outstanding asylum applications.
The Centre Project can be contacted on 0116 255 4013
or email: centre@central-baptist.org.uk

 

 

 

 
Ahmed Popalzai presenting Jon Ashworth MP with flowers, an Afghani custom, during a visit to the Freedom Club in Leicester South
Above left; Jon with the Director of The Centre Project, Eric Waweru. Above right; Ahmed Popalzai presenting Jon with flowers; an Afghani custom
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Jon Ashworth to help out on Sewa Day 22 September 2011

Thursday September 22 2011

Sewa Day is the international day of volunteering where people sacrifice their time and resources for the benefit of others and Jon Ashworth will be volunteering at the West Indian Senior Citizens Project in Highfields

Jon stated: “I understand that ‘Sewa' originates from the Indian language of Sanskrit and the concept invokes a spirit of community and selfless service for a just and fair society.

I am looking forward to doing my small part to help the elderly users of the West Indian Senior Citizens Project as part of the ‘Talk over Tea' initiative.”

St Philip's Centre, in partnership with Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh organizations, has organised ‘Talk over Tea'.

Jon commented: “'Talk over Tea' is a fabulous idea as it supports some of society's most isolated and vulnerable individuals whilst at the same time helping to bring people from different backgrounds together. The Project will also give people the opportunity to experience Indian culture through food, clothing and entertainment.”

Buddhist and Hindu Temples, several Gurdwaras (Sikh place of worship), Bobby's Restaurant and individual volunteers from the Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh faiths have joined in the cause. Volunteers will provide the usual menu of tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits but in addition, will serve a variety of Indian snacks and sweets. Cultural musical instruments such as dhol and tabla will be also demonstrated.

 
Jon Ashworth MP Jon talking with Mary on SEWA Day, Leicester South

Above, Jon talking with Mary.
Below, Jon with Sharen

Jon talking with Sharen at the SEWA event in Leicester South
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Jon Ashworth MP talking with Berneta Layne, Kitchen Manager of the West Indian Senior Citizens Project, Leicester South
Above, Jon talking with Berneta Layne, Kitchen Manager of the West Indian Senior Citizens Project. Below, Jon with Riaz Ravat, Faith Development Manager at St Philip's Centre, who organised the event
Jon talking with Riaz Ravat, Faith Development Manager at St Philip's Centre, who organised the SEWA event in Leicester South
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Jon Ashworth MP visits the CKI School of Martial Arts

Friday September 10 2011

Jon Ashworth MP visited CKI School of Martial Arts on Saturday 17 September to meet the members and present black belts to young people

CKI School of Martial Arts is a non-profit club that has been running for 20 years. The School provides karate and kickboxing lessons to over 1,000 students, and has won numerous awards including the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service to the Community.

Jon met with the Chief Coach and founder of CKI Ismail Saleh, and presented members, along with Councillor Dawood, certificates for achieving 1st Degree Black Belt.


 

Jon stated: “The value of CKI to the local community cannot be over-estimated. It promotes social cohesion and I hope that it is still providing lessons in 20 years time. Seeing so many young people taking part in the activities was very encouraging.”

The CKI School of Martial Arts is at 90 Evington Valley Road and can be contacted on 07808 277893.

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Jon Ashworth MP with Marve Cutkelvin (Co-owner of L&M Spray Finishes) and Clinton Gunn (Trainee Sprayer)

Jon Ashworth MP shows support for local businesses in Leicester

Friday September 10 2011

Leicester South MP, Jon Ashworth, spent Friday finding out directly how MPs can best support local business and entrepreneurs in Leicester South.

In the morning Jon visited L&M Spray Finishers, a local business that has grown over 10 years to employ 19 people locally.

This visit was followed by a lunchtime meeting of key local business leaders hosted by the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce. At this meeting, organised by Martin Traynor, the Group Chief Executive, Jon discussed with local business owners the current economic situation and took on board their perspective on the difficulties they are facing.

Jon Ashworth MP said: “With the economic climate looking increasingly gloomy nationally, it is absolutely vital we do all we can to support local businesses to grow and create jobs."

 

"Small and medium sized enterprises are the backbone of the Leicester economy and I want to listen to their views about what more I, as Leicester South's MP, can be doing to support them.”

 

Photos right taken during the visit to L&M Spray Finishers. Above, Jon with Marve Cutkelvin (Co-owner of L&M) and Clinton Gunn (Trainee Sprayer), below, Jon with employees of the company.

 

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Jon Ashworth MP with Marve Cutkelvin (Co-owner of L&M Spray Finishes) and Clinton Gunn (Trainee Sprayer)

Jon with employees of L&M Spray Finishes

Jon Ashworth MP asks David Cameron about effects of police cuts in Leicester

Wednesday September 7 2011

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, uses his first question at Prime Minister's Question Time to raise the effect of the cuts that Leicestershire Constabulary have to make.

Speaking in the Commons for the first time at PMQs, Jon Ashworth made reference to the TV documentary shown earlier in the year depicting alleged crime and anti social behaviour on the Saffron Lane Estate in his Constituency.

He then asked David Cameron: “In his assessment would the Prime Minister expect crime and anti-social behaviour in [Saffron Lane] estate and across Leicester to increase or decrease following his cut of 200 Police Officers in Leicestershire's Force?”

 

Although the Prime Minister responded that he wants to see “anti-social behaviour go down” figures released earlier in the year from her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary demonstrate that between March 2010 and March 2015 it is proposed that there will be 214 fewer Police Officers in Leicestershire. Significantly, this number of 214 represents a cut of nearly 10% of Police Officers in The Leicestershire Constabulary.

Jon stated: “This was the first time I've had the chance to ask the Prime Minister a question at PMQs since my election 4 months ago. I am pleased I was able to ask him about the proposed police cuts that is causing so much concern to local people across Leicester South.

See also the Parliamentary page...

 
Jon Ashworth, on the beat recently with Police officers Sergeant Chauhan Sanjay and PC Tom Walkinshaw
Jon Ashworth, on the beat recently with Police officers Sergeant Chauhan Sanjay and PC Tom Walkinshaw
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Jon Ashworth welcomes Government U-turn on rules for free ESOL courses
Wednesday September 7 2011

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, welcomes Government U-turn on rules for free ESOL courses

The Government had announced earlier this year that from September only people on Job Seeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (work related activity group) would be eligible for full fee remission.

Following campaigns across the country, including Leicester which was lead by Jon Ashworth MP, the Further Education Minister, John Hayes, recently announced that colleges would be given “some local discretion” to provide free ESOL courses to students on other benefits.

As part of the campaign against the Government's plans, Jon Ashworth visited ESOL classes in Leicester, took part in a public meeting and raised the issue in the House of Commons.

Following the Minister's announcement, Jon commented: “I am pleased that the Government has listened to me and other campaigners. The plans to severely limit full fee remission would have particularly reduced the number of students able to take ESOL courses in Leicester.”

 

 
“The plans would have greatly reduced the number of women able to access ESOL classes and would have disproportionately hit Leicester with its diverse communities.”

Following the granting of “local discretion” colleges can offer full fee remission to people on other benefits, such as Housing Benefit and Income Support, as long as they can show that they want to enter employment.

Jon stated: “No additional funds are being provided by the Government to colleges to meet the demands of the communities in Leicester and some Government clarification is still required. For example, it is currently unclear if people in receipt of Working Tax Credit be eligible for fee remission.”

“Nevertheless, this local flexibility will allow people already studying to continue with their ESOL courses and new learners to take ESOL classes. I have already been contacted by one of the colleges providing ESOL courses in Leicester where enrolment this year is far better than anticipated before this change.”
 

Photos taken when Jon visited the ESOL at the Highfields Centre in 24 June to speak about the proposed government cuts.

Photos taken when Jon visited the ESOL at the Highfields Centre in June to speak about the proposed government cuts.
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