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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.
You can also visit archive news items shown in the menus below.
 
     
 
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MAY / JUNE 2015

Jon Ashworth MP slams government over paused Midland Mainline electrification

Thursday June 25 2015

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, has today slammed the Conservative Government’s decision to pause the electrification of the Midland Mainline.

The decision comes as a huge blow to the city, as Leicester will now likely lose out on vital economic investment and growth.

Speaking after the Government announced its decision, Jon said: “This is a huge slap in the face for commuters in Leicester and across the East Midlands. The Government has failed to deliver a fit-for-purpose rail network, and it’s local people that will have to suffer.”

The Transport Secretary will pause the electrification in order to get Network Rail’s capital costs under control. The Midland Mainline electrification was due to cost £800 million – a mere 2 per cent of the Government’s planned £42 billion of investment in HS2.

 

Speaking further, Jon said: “What I want to know is – why didn’t Ministers have the courage to make this announcement before the election?”

“My colleagues in the Shadow Transport Team have been warning for over a year that the Government wasn’t making progress on its transport policies, yet Ministers were happy to make promises they knew they couldn’t keep.”

“I’ll be campaigning strongly against this decision.”

 
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Jon Ashworth MP attends the launch of Art Beat in Clarendon Park

Friday June 19 2015

Art Beat, now in its second year, is a neighbourhood community arts festival organised by a team of local friends and residents.

Jon said: “It was good seeing so many people at the launch with the local community coming together including local traders.”

Art Beat is five days of music, dance, poetry, writing, and showcasing of what there is in the neighbourhood, and runs from 19 to 23 June. It takes place on the streets and local venues, such as pubs, cafes, church halls, schools, and sheltered housing in Clarendon Park.

The musicians, artists, writers and workshop leaders all give their time for free, with the publicity and running costs funded by grants from Castle and Knighton Ward Community Budgets and the sponsorship or subsidy of  local traders. 

To find out more visit the website at www.clarendonpark.net. 



 
Jon with David Oldershaw and Sue King, Co Chairs of the Festival Coordinating Committee
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Photo above, Jon with David Oldershaw and Sue King, Co Chairs of the Festival Coordinating Committee
 
Jon at launch of Art Beat
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Photo above, Jon at launch of Art Beat

Jonathan Ashworth MP celebrates Adult Learners’ Week with Leicester South winner at Festival of Learning Parliamentary event

Tuesday June 17 2015

Labour MP for Leicester South Jonathan Ashworth attended a Parliamentary reception at the House of Commons on Tuesday 16 June to congratulate Karen Scott, 47, from Leicester, on her national Adult Learners’ Week Award. 

Karen, in her role as a family learning tutor, works with people from all ethnic, newly-arrived and disadvantaged communities. She takes her pupils out of their comfort zones and introduces new experiences, opening many doors for them. Her remarkable tutoring achievements are being recognised with a Tutor of the Year National Award as part of Adult Learners’ Week, 13 – 19 June.

Karen has a down to earth and pragmatic approach to teaching. She has even introduced learners to contentious issues. For example, when working with a group of Sri Lankan women, she raised the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM). When it became clear that they thought FGM was common practice and not illegal, she was able to refer some parents to specialist support at the local Children's Centre.

Karen said: “Cancer, FGM, Domestic Violence are taboos that need to be broken, myths and fears that need to be discussed, bought out into the open and debunked and de mystified. Ignorance is very powerful - but education and knowledge is even more powerful.”

Catriona Kelly, Karen’s nominator, said of Karen’s teaching abilities: “Karen is a superb tutor.


 

Karen links introspective and isolated communities of mothers with the modern world, helping them: overcome challenges, build their aspirations and support them to help their children learn. It goes beyond English and Maths; she encourages them to change their lives for the better.”

Karen continues: “Teaching adults from deprived communities is a vocation, not a job. I instil in my students the same love of learning children have: the curiosity, the need to find answers, the driving force that propels people forward. Many move onto other courses and into employment or further education. I’ve even had two learners go onto level 4 qualifications - one to teach adults, and one onto a university accountancy course.”

Jonathan Ashworth MP said: “The work that Karen does is fantastic. It is invaluable in helping to make people feel part of society and part of our City. It was a pleasure to meet Karen and I hope she continues to break down barriers for isolated groups and encourage a love of learning in her students.”  

David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said: “The outstanding achievements of this year’s winners go to show the incredible impact that education can make at all stages of a person’s life. All of them have achieved tremendous things and I am sure that their enthusiasm and drive will act as real inspiration to future adult learners.”

 
 
jon ashworth mp learning

Adult Learners’ Week (13-19 June) celebrates the transformational power of lifelong learning through activities and events. Run by NIACE as part of the Festival of Learning, Adult Learners’ Week demonstrates the dynamic personal, social and professional benefits of adult learning.

The Festival of Learning, which takes place throughout May and June, will give individuals, families, communities and workplaces the opportunity to take part in activities and celebrate learning achievements. 

The theme of this year’s Festival of Learning is #lovetolearn to capture the fun and rewarding nature of learning a new skill. Share what you ‘love to learn’ on Twitter using the Festival of Learning hashtag #lovetolearn.

To find out more about what is happening and how you can get involved, please visit www.alw.org.uk.

 
 

Jon Ashworth MP opens O' My Buns! On Evington Road

Monday May 19 2015

O’ My Buns on Evington Road is the first UK site for the international café brand.

The brand has sites in Asia, the Middle East and The US, and has been brought to the UK by local businessmen Hanif Piranie and Fayyaz Jamal.

Speaking after the launch Jon said: “I am really pleased that a Leicester based company is successfully launching a major brand from the USA. The coffee and Karak Chai is excellent, and The Bun has a relaxing ambience.”

As well as the The Bun on Evington Road, there will be a branch in The Highcross with a factory unit already established in Hamilton that will deliver buns to sites across the country. There will initially be 50 jobs created for local people with the potential for many more.


 
Jon enjoying a Karak Chai and a Signature Bun
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Photo above, Jon enjoying a Karak Chai and a Signature Bun
 
Jon with (left to right) Agata Gruszka and Farheen Jaffer
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Photo above, Jon with (left to right) Agata Gruszka and Farheen Jaffer

Jon Ashworth MP calls for end to Rohingya boat-migrant crisis

Thursday June 4 2015

In a House of Commons debate that Jonathan Ashworth secured he urged the British Government to take action and help end the Rohingya boat-migrant crisis.

He highlighted the conditions that migrants are forced to endure by people-traffickers on their boats, and was critical of countries that turned away desperate Rohingya who arrived on their shores.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Jon said:

“The Rohingya people are often described as the most persecuted in the world. Those men, women and children were fleeing Burma/Myanmar to escape what have been described as apartheid-like conditions, hoping to reach predominantly Muslim counties such as Malaysia via the jungles of southern Thailand.”

“Yet many meet certain death; if they are not swallowed up by the south-east Asian seas, they are slung into mass graves when they eventually reach the Thai-Malaysian borders.”

Throughout early May there were almost daily reports of abandoned migrants found at sea. Between 10 and 15 May nearly 3,800 migrants were either rescued at sea, or turned away from the coast lines of Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia.

The recent Rohingya crisis has lasted three years now, with desperate Rohingya forced to flee Myanmar and take to the seas for refuge instead.



 

United Nations resolutions calling for human rights action have been ignored in Myanmar, and the country’s Government has dismissed reports of persecution as ‘fabrication’.

Jonathan called for international pressure to be exerted on Burma, and for UN access to the Rakhine state to be granted.

He said: “Is it not an absolute disgrace that when the UN adopts resolutions, as it did in December 2014, urging the Myanmar Government to grant the Rohingya full citizenship and calling for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to be opened in Myanmar without delay, the response of the Myanmar-Burmese regime is still to refuse even to acknowledge the Rohingya as an ethnic group, and then to say that reports of Muslim persecution are a ‘fabrication’?”

“I agree with the President of the United States when he says, rightly, that Burma/Myanmar should end this discrimination against the Rohingya.”

Click here to read the full text of Jon’s speech in the House of Commons.

 

Click here to view Jon's debate in the parliamentary broadcast on his Parliament page.

 
Jon speaking in parliament during the Rohingya debate
Jon speaking in parliament during the Rohingya debate
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Jon Ashworth MP welcomes the decision of Tesco not to proceed with its
Clarendon Park store

Monday May 19 2015

Today Tesco have decided not to proceed with their proposed store on Clarendon Park Road.

Jon said: “This is welcome news for the area and one that is line with the survey I undertook in early 2014 when I write to every resident within a kilometre of the site. Over 700 surveys were returned with approaching 90% of respondents opposed to the Tesco development in the area.”

The Planning Committee refused permission for the store in May 2014.




 

Tesco appealed this decision and the Inspectorate upheld two of the grounds for refusals, but rejected the ground concerning the chiller unit. Despite this partial victory Tesco have today decided not to proceed with the plans for a Clarendon park store.

Local Councillor, Patrick Kitterick, commented:

“I’m really pleased that the community campaign has succeeded. This is a victory for local people.”

 

Photo right, Jon with Councillor Kitterick and campaigners outside the building proposed for the store.
 
Jon
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