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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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AUGUST 2015

Jon Ashworth MP praises Leicester City CCG for ensuring that patients in Leicester will not lose out despite the Government’s broken promises on mental health

Tuesday August 25 2015

The Government is failing to honour its promise to ensure that local mental health spending increases across the country this year, new figures obtained by Labour reveal.

Following cuts in mental health spending, the Government stated that it was their clear ‘expectation’ that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) should increase spending on mental health in 2015/16 at least in line with each CCG’s overall allocation growth.

However, data obtained by Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, Luciana Berger, in a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests reveals that more than a third of CCGs are planning to reduce the proportion of their budget they spend on mental health in 2015/16.

Jon commented: “Fortunately, Leicester City CCG is not one of the CCGs planning to reduce the proportion of its budget that is spent on mental health this year. Our CCG has increased the proportion by nearly 1%.”

“Although a greater increase would have been welcome, Leicester City CCG spends well above the national average of 10% of its budget on mental health, with 17% committed for 2015/16.”

  In 2015/16 CCGs are planning to allocate just 10 per cent of their budgets to mental health, compared to 11 per cent in 2014/15. This is despite research which indicates mental health accounts for 23 per cent of the burden of disease.

Luciana Berger, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Public Health, said: “These figures show the Government have failed to honour their promises on mental health spending. At a time when experts are warning of a growing crisis in mental health, this is of grave concern.”

“The Government has repeatedly promised that the amount spent on mental health locally would increase in line with local CCG budgets. Yet they have failed to make this a reality and too many CCGs actually plan to spend less of their budget on mental health this year.”

“Ministers talk about equality between physical and mental health services all the time but they are not translating their rhetoric into reality.”

“While the Government fails to take the urgent action required to support our struggling mental health services, some of the most vulnerable patients are left suffering without the help they need.”
 
jon ashworth mp
Jon speaking in Parliament
 

Jon Ashworth MP presented certificates to adult learners at the Highfields Centre

Friday August 7 2015

Jon attended the Annual Adult Certificate Presentation Evening which has been held at the Highfields Centre for approaching 30 years.

Speaking before the event, Jon said: “I am pleased to be returning to the Highfields Centre to present certificates to some of the many adult learners who have studied there during the past year. I am pleased to see a wide range of courses and learning opportunities offered to the local community. Learning is not just about increasing employment prospects. It also gives people confidence who can then participate more fully in society.”

Nearly 1,000 learners have studied at the Highfields Centre over the last year. 150 learners will be awarded certificates, with the highlight being the Student of the Year award.

Priya Thamotheram, Head of Centre, commented: “We were delighted that our MP was in attendance to recognise and celebrate local adult learners’ achievements on the various nationally accredited courses they’ve been following over the last year and as such, it’s an important evening in Leicester’s learning calendar.

 
Jon speaking at the Presentation Evening
Photo, Jon speaking at the Presentation Evening, Photos right, Jon presenting certificates
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Jon presenting certificates
Jon presenting certificates

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, was Out and About in Highfields

Friday August 7 2015

After being in Eyres Monsell last week, Jon Ashworth MP was out and about in the Hartington Road area for another of his regular Roving Advice Sessions.

Jon was joined by local Councillors Hanif Aqbany and Mohammed Dawood.

Jon stated: “It is important that people see their MP and Councillors out and about. I met lots of people in Highfields this morning and will look into the maters they raised with me.”



 
Jon will be in different areas of the Constituency on most Fridays.
If you want Jon to visit your street and meet with local residents then contact his office on
251 1927 or email jon.ashworth.mp@parliament.uk
 
Jon with (left to right) a local shopkeeper and Councillors Hanif Aqbany and Mohammed Dawood
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Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, presented certificates at the Leicester Mammas Graduation event

Friday August 7 2015

Jon presented certificates to mothers from the local community who have completed the Leicester Mammas Breastfeeding Peer Support training.

Jon said: “It is fantastic that Leicester Mammas has trained up more local mums to help new mothers and their babies. Breastfeeding Peer Support is recognised as an important and effective service to help new mothers and families to understand the needs of their new baby and to breastfeed happily for as long as they want to.”

Leicester Mammas is a Breastfeeding Peer Support programme for families in Highfields and Evington. There are eleven mothers from the community who have breastfed their babies and have recently completed the training. They are now ready to volunteer to support mums and babies across the neighbourhood and will receive their certificates on Friday.

Breastfeeding Peer Supporters can give the encouragement, reassurance, and practical tips needed, mother-to-mother. Support and friendship from another mum can also make all the difference in helping to increase a mother’s confidence, and often these mothers go on to become Mammas themselves later on.


Sally Etheridge, the Project Lead, commented:

“The World Health Organisation and the Department of Health recommend that babies should receive only their mum's milk for the first six months, and that breastfeeding should continue for up to two years and beyond.”


 
Jon with Sally Etheridge

“This is the ideal way to ensure both baby and mum's health and well-being is protected, and gives the baby the very best start in life.”

In the past five years over 60 mothers have trained as Mamma Peer Supporters. Mammas can offer help in over 30 languages and are from all Leicester's faith groups and communities. Mammas has two helplines, offers home visits, provides activities and meetings for new mums and their babies, and works alongside midwives, health visitors and Children's Centres.

 
Jon with the Leicester Mammas old and new
Jon with the newly graduated Mammas
Photo above left, Jon with Sally Etheridge, photo above top, Jon with the Leicester Mammas old and new, photo above bottom, Jon with the newly graduated Mammas
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Jon Ashworth MP visits Highfields Food Bank

Thursday August 6 2015

Jon visited Highfields Food Bank which he helped to establish along with The Race Equality Centre and Highfields Community Association.

After initially being based at Wesley Hall, the Food Bank moved to the Highfields Centre in June 2014 and opens once every fortnight.

Jon stated: “Given this Government’s on going cuts and austerity measures there is increasing pressure on families with low incomes which has seen demand for the food bank growing. I am told there is at least one new referral at each session from local community organisations.”

The food bank recently received a large donation from Charnwood Primary School where the children had decorated boxes filled with food.



 
The donations from Charnwood Primary School
Jon commented: “It was an amazing donation from the pupils at Charnwood Primary and I know the donation will be well used in the local community. As well as thanking the school I want to thank the volunteers, The Race Equality Centre and Highfields Community Association for their dedication and commitment to the food bank. Without this there would not be a food bank.”

 
Jon with some of Highfields Food Bank volunteers
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Photo above left, The donations from Charnwood Primary School, photo above, Jon with some of Highfields Food Bank volunteers
As well as supporting the Highfields Food Bank, Jon has secured donations for numerous other food banks including Gilmorton Food Bank, the Eyres Monsell Food Bank and Open Hands.

Jon Ashworth MP visits The Work Club at The Highfields Centre

Thursday August 6 2015

Jon Ashworth MP called in at the Highfields Centre Work Club where he met with local people.

Jon was shown round the Work Club and introduced to local people by Aiyub Zamakda, Head of Adult Services at The Highfields Centre.

 
Jon said: “It was interesting seeing what people do at the Work Club. It was clear that they all want to work for the benefit of themselves, their families and the local community. I am a regular visitor to the Highfields Centre but this is the first time I’ve called into one of the Work Clubs.”
Photo shows Jon with Aiyub and a member of the work Club
 
Jon with Aiyub and a member of the work Club

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, calls on the Home Secretary to explain why Leicestershire Police did not to fully investigate all attempted burglaries

Wednesday August 5 2015

For three months, from March to May this year, Leicestershire Police did not fully investigate all attempted burglaries. Only attempted burglaries at even-numbered houses were investigated with scenes of crime officers.

Jon stated: “This trial scheme was completely ridiculous and haphazard. The residents of Leicester deserve better from their Police Force. But the real blame lies with the Tory Government for the cuts it has imposed on Leicestershire Police. In Leicestershire nearly 15% of officers were cut between March 2010 and September last year and more reductions are planned.”

Nationally, under the Tories 17,000 Police officers have been cut. This includes 8,000 frontline officers despite assurances made by Cameron in 2010 that the frontline would not be affected.

 

Jon commented: “I have written to the Home Secretary to ask whether she was aware of the scheme and if she, or one of her officials, signed it off.”

“I have also written to Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police to ask how he can be sure that vital forensic evidence was not missed at odd number houses, and now that the scheme has ended that there is a firm commitment that it will not be rolled out in the future. I have also asked how many attempted burglaries were not fully investigated as a result of the pilot scheme.”

 
Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, calls on the Home Secretary to explain why Leicestershire Police did not to fully investigate all attempted burglaries
Click photo for enlargement
 
 
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