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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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SEPTEMBER 2016

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, on the streets in St Andrews

Friday September 30 2016
Jon visited St Andrews Estate to meet members of the Tenants and Residents’ Association and to see for himself the issues faced by local residents

Jon said: “It is important that I see what is happening in all areas of my Constituency. Having spent time in Aylestone and Saffron the last few weeks, I will go on a patch walk this Friday in St Andrews.”

“I was particularly interested to see for myself any changes since the Royal Infirmary introduced the non-smoking exclusion zone around the hospital. I worked closely with the residents’ Association and the hospital on the issue of hospital staff smoking and littering in St Andrews and how it could be resolved.”

Jon was joined in St Andrews by Darryn Kerr, the Hospital Trust’s Director of Facilities. There was also the local Councillors, City Warden, Housing Officer, and a Highways Officers who will answer any questions on traffic and residents parking.

Angie Beale, Chair of the Tenants and Residents Association, who accompanied Jon on Friday, stated: “It was fantastic to see Jon around St Andrews, and giving people the opportunity to meet and talk to their local Member of Parliament.”

Councillor Shelton commented: “As a local Councillor improving the local area is a priority. The new Tiger's mural is just one example of the work Councillor Cutkelvin and I have done in the area.”


 
Jon with Angie Beale and Councillors and officers,
Jon and Angie discussing the proposed development of the pocket park
Photo above top, Jon with Angie Beale and Councillors and officers, photo above bottom, Jon and Angie discussing the proposed development of the pocket park, photo right, Jon with Councillor Shelton
Click any photo for enlargement



 
Jon with Councillor Shelton

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, drops in for a coffee and a cake with a difference

Friday September 30 2016
Jon with a coffee and cake
Jon talking with Hazel Nash
  Today, 30 September, Jon called into 6 Degrees Coffee Shop on London Road for a coffee and a cake with a difference.
 

Jon stated: “6 Degrees Coffee House is run by the Open Hands Trust to help fund the work it does to meet the needs of local people. The Coffee House has now been open for about six months and I wanted to show my support to this brilliant initiative.”

The Open Hands Trust was established in 2006 and helps support people in financial difficulty by helping to provide for their basic needs of food, clothes and furniture through open sessions, a food store and evening meal at their Compassion Centre in Highfields.

In addition to all profits going to the work of Open Hands Trust, 6 Degrees provides work placements for participants on the Revive mentoring programme that is run by Open Hands Trust to help people gain more employability skills.

Jon commented: “Since being elected as the local MP I have supported the Trust in its much needed work. I encourage anyone to call into the Coffee House near the junction of University Road and London Road. Not only will you a have a delicious sandwich or cake but you will be supporting a brilliant organisation and helping people to find future work.”

 

6 Degrees Coffee House is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and on Saturday from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The Coffee House has also recently introduced a takeaway menu. It serves St Martins Roaster coffee and has a delicious range of locally supplied quality cakes and sandwiches.

Hazel Nash, 6 Degrees Coffee House Manager, stated: “As a charity, Open Hands has traditionally mainly relied on successful grant applications to fund its work. 6 Degrees Coffee House is a way to begin to put the Trust on more stable footing with a secure long term source of funding.”

“At 6 Degrees we have a heart for the community, whether that be with our customers or through social mission so please do pop in, and support a great cause at the same time’

 

 

Photos left, Jon with a coffee and cake, and Jon talking with Hazel Nash
Click any photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, calls into the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning 

Friday September 23 2016
Jon popped into the Coffee Morning at the Pork Pie Library which was organised by local resident, Christine Festorazzi, and opened by Councillor Bill Shelton

Jon said: “It is fantastic that Christine has given up her own time to organise a Macmillan Coffee Morning this Friday. The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer, and I often call into this important annual event to show my support for the amazing work that Macmillan do.”

The first ever Coffee Morning was in 1990 and since then Coffee Morning has raised over £138 million for Macmillan. Last year alone, the World’s Biggest Coffee morning raised a staggering £25 million.

Jon commented: “One in three of us will get cancer, and it will be one of the toughest things we’ll ever have to face. The work that Macmillan do to provide medical, emotional, practical and financial support, as well as campaigning for better cancer care is absolutely invaluable.”

There are now 2.5 million people in the UK living with cancer. As well as making sure that no one faces cancer alone, Macmillan is there for the friends and family of those with cancer.

At the Pork Pie Library Coffee Morning as well as refreshments there will be activities for children including animal mask colouring, storytelling and name the teddy bear. For adults there are bingo, raffle and a tombola as well as many other fundraising events. The Macmillan Coffee Morning runs from 11am to 1pm.

Christine Festorazzi said: “The Coffee Morning is the first event to take place in Saffron as part of the 2016 national fund raising campaign.”


 
Councillor Shelton opening the Coffee Morning with (left to right) Christine and Tracey, the Centre Manager
Jon with all the volunteers including Christine

Christine Festorazzi continued “I have been an active MacMillan volunteer for over a year and I’m passionate about the work of MacMillan Cancer Support. Like many people, I have been personally touched by the desperate plight endured by cancer sufferers and I want to make sure people are made aware of the work of MacMillan and the significant difference MacMillan can make to the individual cancer sufferer and their families.”

For more information on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning please go to
http://coffee.macmillan.org.uk
 
 
Jon with coffee and cake
Photos. Left top,: Councillor Shelton opening the Coffee Morning with (left to right) Christine and Tracey, the Centre Manager, left bottom, Jon with all the volunteers including Christine, above, Jon with coffee and cake
Click any photo for enlargement
 
 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, attends the UCU lobby of university council and supports the Vaughan Centre

Friday September 16 2016
Jon speaking at the UCU Lobby
Jon speaking at the UCU Lobby
  Following a consultation the University’s Leadership Teams recently recommended the closure of the Vaughan Centre alongside 150 redundancies
 

At today’s University’s Council meeting it will be asked to approve the Leadership Teams’ decision to close the Vaughan Centre, along with recommendations to facilitate the University’s planned ‘institutional transformation’ which will result in more redundancies. The University and College Union are opposed to both of these objectives.

Jon stated: “This is the last roll of the dice to save the Vaughan Centre. I objected strongly to the proposal to close the Centre and last month I accepted a petition signed by nearly 3,000 people opposed to the closure.”

“The Vaughan Centre is an invaluable resource for the whole of the City and beyond, and we must fight to save it. Please come along this Friday to show your support for the Vaughan Centre and what it means to our City.”

The Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning is the only provider of face-to-face, part-time, evening, certificated, Higher Education in the region. It offers a range of specialist courses in subjects including Counselling, Creative Writing, Drug and Alcohol Counselling, Global ecology and Arts and Humanities.

 

Rob Greenhill, from the ‘Save the Vaughan Centre’, said: “Today’s Lobby was an opportunity for people to show the strength of local feeling about the proposed closure of the Vaughan Centre. Leicester has a tradition of Adult Education stretching back over 150 years which will be ended if the Centre is closed.”

“The Lobby was really well attended with lots of banners and messages of support for the fantastic Vaughan Centre.”

 

 

You can find out more about the Save the Vaughan campaign at
https://savevaughan.wordpress.com
or you can email Rob Greenhill at
rajg10538@yahoo.co.uk
Photos left, Jon speaking at the UCU Lobby
Click any photo for enlargement
         

Jon Ashworth, MP dismayed at the government’s u-turn on community pharmacy funding

Thursday September 15 2016
On 5 September the Pharmacy Minister, David Mowat MP, announced that the proposed £170 million community pharmacy funding cut will not be implemented this October.

Referring to the consultation on the proposals set out by the Government in December 2015, the Minister told delegates at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference that he would “take time to make the correct decision” and would have an ongoing dialogue with the sector about the way forward.    

Jon stated: “It appeared that the new Minister was taking a pause to reflect on this massive cut to a key part of the Heath Service, but just over a week later his Department is sending out letters saying that a new funding package will be announced in mid-October and brought into force this December.”

“This does not appear to be taking time to make the correct decision nor allowing time for dialogue with Community Pharmacies.”

Jon has worked closely with Leicestershire Community Pharmacies Committee and local community pharmacies to campaign against the proposed £170 million cut, which represents 6% of the budget.


 

Jon commented: “I have seen at first hand the tremendous work that Community Pharmacies do when I visited Moin’s Chemist and Wellbeing Centre earlier this year. It makes no sense to close such valuable community facilities at a time when GPs and hospitals are already under increasing pressure due to the Government’s reforms to the NHS.”

“I have today written to the Minister to express my shock at this U-turn, which is causing great uncertainty among Community Pharmacies and their patients, and to urge him to take time to consult and engage with the pharmacies.” 

Ms Luvjit Kandula, Chief Officer, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Pharmacies Committee, stated: “New evidence has come to light that community pharmacies contributed a net value of £3 billion to the NHS, public sector and wider society in 2015 based on a report published by PriceWaterhouseCoopers commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.”

 
Jon discussing the importance of Community Pharmacies with Ms Kandula and Moin

“The report demonstrates the value that community pharmacies add and as the Department of Health re-enters negotiations, we urge them to re-consider the proposals and funding cuts before announcing the expected outcome in mid-October to enable us to continue supporting patients in our local community.”

 

Photo: Jon discussing the importance of Community Pharmacies with Ms Kandula and Moin
Click photo for enlargement

Politics goes pink for breast cancer awareness

Monday September 12 2016
Jonathan Ashworth MP stands out in pink for families affected by breast cancer and in aid of Breast Cancer Now

Jon has shown support for women affected by breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging his constituents to take part in the UK’s biggest, brightest and pinkest fundraiser, wear it pink, on Friday 21 October.

wear it pink is back for its 15th year, calling on supporters across the country to add a flash of pink to their wardrobe for the day and raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

Jon said: “50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, and sadly around 11,500 women and 80 men will lose their lives to the disease. Together, we must put a stop to this.”

Jon joined fellow Parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Westminster to encourage people across the UK to get involved and help Breast Cancer Now towards their ambition that, by 2050, everyone that develops the disease will live.

Jon commented: “Through cutting-edge research, Breast Cancer Now are tackling the disease from all angles to ensure that, by 2050, everyone that develops the disease will live. But we all need to join forces and act now, and in wear it pink there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.”

“I’m fully committed to standing up for the women and families affected by the disease in Leicester and I am very proud to take part in wear it pink. I hope everyone in the local community will join me by wearing it pink on Friday 21 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”


 

“Sign up to wear it pink on Friday 21 October to support Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.”

wear it pink
raises close to £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer, and this year it’s going to be pinker and more fun than ever before. Anyone can take part, whether at work, at home or at school. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate what you can.

When you join the hundreds of thousands of people who take part in wear it pink, you become part of a collective force of scientists, supporters and people affected by breast cancer, passionate about putting an end to deaths from the disease.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now said: “It’s wonderful to see so much parliamentary support for wear it pink. It’s a great opportunity for friends, co-workers and families across the UK to have some fun, wear something pink and show their support for those affected by breast cancer.”

“Far too many women are still losing their lives to this dreadful disease. On Friday 21st October, every cake baked, every feather boa or pink tie worn and every laugh shared will help us create a future where no one dies from breast cancer.

“We will all be standing together, with colleagues and friends, to stop breast cancer taking the lives of the people we love – and we very much hope you’ll join us.”

 
Jon wearing it pink
Jon wearing it pink
Click photo for enlargement

 

For more information, or to register for wear it pink and receive your fundraising pack, visit
www.wearitpink.org
 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, spends the afternoon in Saffron

Friday September 9 2016
Pat, Jane, Councillor Shelton and Jon on Bloomfield Road
Photo shows Pat, Jane, Councillor Shelton and Jon on Bloomfield Road
Click photo for enlargement
 
 

Jon met with local agencies at the Saffron Resource Centre to hear first-hand what is happening in the area and the difficulties local residents are facing.

Jon said: “From listening to the agencies that work in the local area it is clear that this Government’s policies are having many adverse effects in Saffron and Aylestone. The rolling out of Universal Credit is clearly a big issue, as is the lack of support for people who want to move into work but require long term intensive support.”

After the meeting at the Resource Centre, Jon and Councillor Shelton were out door knocking in the area meeting people and taking up their issues.


 
Councillor Shelton said: “I am regularly out with Jon in Saffron and the surrounding areas. Door knocking is important as I get to meet many of my constituents who do not normally turn up to my advice sessions.”


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 Ashworth MP, and local councillor Adam Clarke, visit play area following successful campaign to make it safe

Friday September 9 2016
Jon and Councillor Clarke were at the play area to meet with parents and young children

In January 2015 Jon and Councillor Clarke visited the then relatively new play area to accept a petition from local residents concerned with the condition of the new play area and to see the area for themselves.

Jon said: “It was clear when Councillor Clarke and I visited in January last year that it was very unsafe for young children as there was no fence, or barrier, between the play area and the river. Over the last 18 months myself and Councillor Clarke have encountered many difficulties in resolving this very serious problem, but by working together in July Greenbelt installed a fence around the water’s edge.”

“There were initial safety concerns with the fence when installed, but these were soon sorted out and the play area was safely fenced for the majority of the school summer holidays”

Parents Katie Sone and Rebecca Wooster, both of Aylestone, led the petition raising safety concerns at the Park which was presented to Jon and Councillor Clarke last January.

Councillor Clarke stated: “I’m very grateful to local parents, particularly Katie Sone and Rebecca Wooster, for bringing this matter to my attention. The risk of children falling into the canal was too great to ignore.”

 
Rebecca Wooster, Councillor Clarke, Jon and Katie Sone at the recently installed fence,

"Because the play area is managed by a private company my powers as a local Councillor were somewhat limited, but by working closely with Jon Ashworth MP, together we were able achieve this successful outcome.

Various issues arose over the past 18 months when the local MP and Councillor were keeping their pledge to make it a safer play area for young children. This was complicated by the fact that the privately owned Aylestone play area was developed by Bloors Homes Midlands as part of the planning consent for the Otters Bank development, but it is managed by Greenbelt and there were also planning matters concerning the City Council that required clarification.

 
Jon and Councillor Clarke with children and their parents at the play area with fence in the background
Rebecca Wooster, who led the petition, commented: “This play area is popular because it’s the only one close to Granby Primary, but it’s caused a lot of anxiety for local parents since it opened. It’s very worrying and extremely disappointing that this play area was built without basic attention to child safety.”

“Children need safe spaces to play and it’s a miracle that a serious accident never occurred.  However, I’m thrilled that it’s finally sorted and would like to thank all involved in the campaign.”
Top photo left, Rebecca Wooster, Councillor Clarke, Jon and Katie Sone at the recently installed fence, top photo right, Jon and Councillor Clarke with children and their parents at the play area with fence in the background
Click any photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, co-signs letter to M&S on its pay and pension proposals

Tuesday September 7 2016
Today, the Chief Executive of M&S received a letter signed by over 70 Labour MPs, including Jon

Jon stated: “It is a disgrace that M&S, a flagship of the high street, is proposing to severely cut its staff Sunday pay, Bank Holiday pay and unsocial hours pay. This will result in some staff losing up to £6000 a year. This is in addition to the cuts to the company’s pension scheme that will affect up to 11,000 of the 70,000 workforce.”

In today’s letter to the Chief Executive of M&S, the MPs acknowledged that the compensation package for staff has been extended. The company’s transitional payments have also been amended in light of the Labour MPs’ campaign, which was led by Siobhain McDonagh MP.

However, Jon commented: “Despite these changes, what is clear is that the longstanding and loyal staff of M&S deserve far far better from the company.  Imagine being told that even if you work longer hours to make up the difference in your pay cut you will earn no more money in three year’s time than you do now. This is a disgrace. There is no way that gas, electricity, rent and travel will be the same in 2019/20 as they are today.”


 

“My colleagues and I also raised our concerns over the coercive way in which these proposals have been presented to staff. We understand that staff have been told that the consultation is now closed, the decision is made and if they do not sign the new contracts they will soon receive then they will forfeit their transitional payments.”

“Such practices are beyond the pale, and we have asked what will happen to staff who do not sign their new contracts.”

Siobhain McDonagh, Jon and their Labour colleagues have requested a meeting with Steve Rowe, the Chief executive, to discuss these matters.

Click below top read the letter sent to
the Chief Executive of M&S
Click here to read...
 
 
Jon speaking in the House of Commons
Jon speaking in the House of Commons
Click photo for enlargement

 

Jon Ashworth MP welcomes government’s announcement on
community pharmacy funding

Tuesday September 6 2016

Yesterday, 5 September, the Pharmacy Minister, David Mowat MP, announced that the proposed £170 million community pharmacy funding cut will not be implemented this October.

Jon stated: “It is great news that the recently appointed Health Minister has decided not to proceed with this massive cut to funding. I visited Moin’s Chemist and Wellbeing Centre back in July to see at first hand the important work that community pharmacies undertake in Leicester.”

“I have written to the Government on more than one occasion to express my concerns that a cut of £170 million, which is 6% of the budget, would be devastating for Leicester and would see the closure of around 60 community pharmacies in the City.”

It had been expected that the funding cut would be implemented through changes in the October Drug Tariff, but the Minister said in a recorded statement to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Annual Conference that “we are not now going to be in a position to do that.”

Referring to the consultation on the proposals and policies set out by the Government in its letter of 17 December 2015, Mr Mowat said:

“I think it is right that we spend the time, particularly me as an incoming minister, to make sure that we are making the correct decision and that what we do is going to be right for you, is going to be right for the NHS and right for the public more generally.”

 
Jon speaking in parliament

Jon commented; “I am pleased to see that the Health Minister is reconsidering the plans announced under David Cameron, but this is by no means the end of the road. I will continue to work closely with Leicestershire Community Pharmacies Committee and local community pharmacies so that the Government does not re-introduce the cuts later in the year.”

No further details on what the Government will do about community pharmacy funding were given by the Minister yesterday.

Ms Luvjit Kandula, Chief Officer, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Pharmacies Committee, stated: “The community pharmacy profession are delighted that the funding cuts have been delayed.”


Top photo left, Jon speaking in parliament, top photo right, Jon with Ms Kandula and the team at Moin’s Chemist and Wellbeing Centre in July this year
Click any photo for enlargement
 
Jon with Ms Kandula and the team at Moin’s Chemist and Wellbeing Centre in July this year
“In our area, local pharmacists, teams and Leicestershire Community Pharmacies members have been working tirelessly since the announcements to engage with local MPs and patients to raise awareness. Nationally, more than 2 million were collected by pharmacists and teams to support the funding cuts petition demonstrating the strength and unity of the profession.”

“We hope the NHS will reconsider the proposed funding cuts and ensure that community pharmacists can instead be leveraged better to deliver improved patient care and support the implementation of the five year forward view.”

Jon Ashworth MP accepts donation from Darus Salam Mosque for the
Highfields Food Bank

Friday September 2 2016

During Ramadhan Darus Salam Mosque in Highfields, and the Bangladeshi Youth & Cultural Shomiti, raised funds for the Highfields Food Bank.

The Highfields Food Bank was established by Jon along with The Highfields Centre and The Race Equality Centre in early 2014.

Jon stated: “I am very grateful to Darus Salam Mosque and the Shomiti for raising these much needed funds for the Highfields Food Bank. Such donations enable the Food bank to help individuals and families in the Highfields area.”

The Food Bank is open every Thursday afternoon. An individual or family requiring support needs to be referred by an agency such as a school, health visitor and Children Centres.

 
Jon with Councillor Dr Chowdhury and Mr Maznu Bashir, the Committee Chair of Darus Salam
Photo above, Jon with Councillor Dr Chowdhury and Mr Maznu Bashir, the Committee Chair of Darus Salam, photo above right, Jon thanking the congregation for their kind donation  
Click any photo for enlargement
 
Jon thanking the congregation for their kind donation
If any agency wishes to make a referral to
the Highfields Food Bank please call Jon’s
office on 251 1927 or email
jon.ashworth.mp@parliament.uk

Jon Ashworth MP was out and about in Aylestone on one of his regular roving advice sessions

Friday September 2 2016

Over the last few weeks Jon has been door knocking in Aylestone, Eyres Monsell and Saffron Lane and today he was back in Aylestone with local Councillor, Adam Clarke.

Jon said: “It was good being back in Aylestone and meeting local residents. As I always say it is important to be meeting people all year round, and not just at election time. Various issues were raised with me and my office had already contacted the City Council by the end of the day.”

 
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
Photo shows Jon with (left to right) Pat, Councillor Clarke, Councillor Shelton and Karen’
Click photo for enlargement
 
Jon with (left to right) Pat, Councillor Clarke, Councillor Shelton and Karen
 
 
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