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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 2017

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, attends Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Friday
September 29 2017

Jon attended the Coffee Morning at the Pork Pie Library, the biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer

The Coffee Morning has been organised by a local resident Christine Festorazzi.

People all over the UK host their own Coffee Mornings and donations on the day are made to Macmillan. The very first Coffee Morning was 27 years ago and since then, the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning has raised over £165.5 million for Macmillan. Last year alone the event raised £29.5 million across the UK.

Speaking before the visit, Jon said: “I went to Coffee Morning last year and I am looking forward to showing my support this year again. It is great to have such caring residents like Christine who volunteer their time for such an amazing cause. Campaigning for better cancer care is essential and invaluable.”

Macmillan provides medical, emotional, practical and financial support, not just to those facing cancer, but also for friends and family too.

The Coffee Morning at the Pork Pie Library started at 11am. As well as coffee and cake there were various stalls and activities for children.



 

 
Jon with volunteers at the Coffee Morning including Christine Festorazzi (left)
Christine Festorazzi said: “Our Coffee Morning is kindly supported by Tesco and Café Extra which are both on Saffron Lane, and Saffron Health Practice. It is my pleasure to organise this event. Anyone can pop in for a cup of hot drink and a slice of cake to support this great cause.”

Christine Festorazzi also organises a monthly Coffee Morning at the Pork Pie Library on the first Friday of every month from 10am to 12 Midday. Since November 2016 these monthly Coffee Mornings have raised over £100 for Macmillan.

 
Jon with Tracey Inchley from the City Council
Photo left shows Jon with volunteers at the Coffee Morning including Christine Festorazzi (left), photo above shows Jon with Tracey Inchley from the City Council
Click any photo for enlargement
For more information on the
World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
please go to
http://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/
 

Jonathan Ashworth MP opened the St John The Baptist Primary School’s Autumn Festival today and got gunged into the bargain! 

Saturday
September 23 2017
The school’s Parents, Teachers & Friends Association (PTFA) hold an annual Autumn Festival and it’s their main fund-raising event of the year.

Last year they raised over £6,000 and the money went on sports and play equipment for the infants and reading books for the juniors.

There was a full programme on the day with live music, bouncy castles, teacher gunging, loads of stalls, free children’s activities, the fabulous tombola, a brilliant barbecue, a bar, and, of course, loads of tea and lovely cakes.  

 

Jon opened the Autumn Festival at 11 am and then was gunged by the main stage. Speaking before the event Jon said: “I’m looking forward to opening the school’s Autumn Festival. It will be a fun day, although I’m not sure how fun it will be for me to be gunged - I had my arm twisted by one or two of the school’s pupils!”

Photo shows Jon getting gunged
Click photo for enlargement
 
Jon getting gunged
 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, is encouraging all A-level students in Leicester to take part in the Political Studies Association’s Schools’ Video Competition, now in its seventh year.   

Thursday
September 21 2017
The Schools’ Video Competition is a highlight in the PSA’s calendar of activities to engage young people in the
study of politics.

The annual film competition, sponsored by YouGov, is open to post-16 students who will be studying during the academic year 2017-18.

Jon said: “We cannot undervalue the importance of engaging young people in politics.  I’d encourage all local A-level students to take part in this competition and submit their ideas and videos. Good luck to all the Leicester students taking part.”

This year’s competition asks students to explore the question: “Fake News: Is this the end of facts?” Groups of students are invited to submit short videos on this subject, examining what fake news is, what effect it may be having on the political landscape and what it means for expert opinion and ‘factual’ knowledge. 

CEO of the Political Studies Association, Phil Sooben, said: “The high levels of political engagement displayed by young people during this year’s snap election demonstrates an increased interest in and awareness of current political issues.”

 

“This year’s Political Studies Association student video competition on ‘Fake News’ is a unique opportunity for A level students to add their voice to an important discussion which touches on the PSA’s mission to ensure political debate is conducted with the use of robust evidence and integrity.”

Shortlisted groups will be invited to Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster to discuss the ideas raised in their video with a panel of politicians, journalists and academics.  Previous jurors have included Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Victoria Derbyshire.

The winners of the Schools' Short Video Competition will receive their award at the PSA’s Annual Awards Ceremony in Westminster.  This year’s ceremony takes place on 5 December in London.  On top of this, the winning students get a week’s work experience with the YouGov political team during their school holidays.

Click website address below for full competition details for 2017 and how to enter
www.psa.ac.uk
 
 
Jon with College students
Jon with College students
Click photo for enlargement
Jon commented “It was clear from this year’s General Election that young people should be listened to. This competition not only gives young people the opportunity to put their views forward, but is a great way to develop new skills, explore their creativity and get in touch with contemporary political issues. The added training that winning teams get from YouGov makes this initiative ever more worthwhile.”

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, warns police are at “breaking point” as emergency calls surge 

Thursday
September 14 2017
Data obtained by Labour’s shadow police minister Louise Haigh MP reveals that 999 calls to Leicestershire Police
have surged this year.

Leicestershire Police, which covers a population of more than 1million, has seen an 18% rise in emergency 999 calls in just three years, taking over 144,000 calls in the year to June.

Other forces across the country are also dealing with unprecedented demand with an average 12.3% rise in emergency calls across the forces surveyed.

The head of the Police Superintendents of England and Wales warned on Monday of a “perfect storm in policing” with “fewer resources, reduced public services, new threats and a worrying increase in some types of traditional crime.”

Responding, Jon Ashworth MP said: “I am very concerned with the increase in 999 calls and especially the increase in calls relating to a person’s mental health. It is clear that underfunding of the NHS, specifically mental health services, is having an effect on the work of the police,”

“The police have a difficult job and they need the full backing of the Government. Increasing pay without funding to match will only lead to a cut in the number of officers.”

 

Pressure on officers has reached new highs with Ministers announcing that police officers would receive a 1% pay-rise in addition to a 1% one-off bonus to be funded out of police budgets.

Fears have been raised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council that without better funding the award would “inevitably” lead to a cut in the number of bobbies. Leicestershire Police have already lost a third of their officers since 2010.

Labour research released over the weekend revealed that the average police officer was now £6,000 per year worse in real terms as the pay cap left wages failing to keep pace with inflation.

Responding, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, Louise Haigh MP said: “These figures starkly demonstrate why the police have warned they are facing a perfect storm. Emergency calls have skyrocketed, the terror threat is unprecedented, and they are forced to step in to deal with mental health issues thanks to cutbacks elsewhere – all as officer numbers fall.

“It is no surprise that police morale is at rock bottom when the Tories have spent seven years asking them to do ever more while slashing their pay year after year.”

 
Jon speaking in parliament
Jon speaking in parliament
Click photo for enlargement
“Tory cuts have brought the police to breaking point. They must think again and give forces across the country the resources they need to tackle unprecedented demands on our police.”

“A Labour government would ease the pressure on overstretched forces by recruiting 10,000 extra police officers and lift the pay cap so our dedicated police officers are properly rewarded.”

Politicians wear it pink for breast cancer fundraiser

Tuesday
September 12 2017
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, poses in pink at Westminster to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research

Jon dressed in pink to lend his support to Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, which will see thousands of people across the UK adding a splash of pink to their outfits on Friday 20 October and raise vital funds for breast cancer research.

Jon is encouraging people in Leicester to join him and sign up to take part in the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser. The event, which takes place during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is in its 16th year and has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.

Jon was joined by fellow parliamentarians in Westminster this week to showed their support for the thousands of women and men affected by breast cancer each year, encouraging people across the UK to take part on wear it pink day.

Anyone can take part in wear it pink, which brings together schools, workplaces and communities. All you need to do is wear something pink, or hold a pink event at home, work or school, and make a donation to Breast Cancer Now. Whatever you do, you’re helping the charity achieve its aim that, if we all act now, by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live.

Jon Ashworth said: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. One in eight women will face it in their lifetime, and every year around 11,500 women and 80 men lose their lives to the disease. This is why I’m urging everyone in [insert place] to take part in wear it pink on Friday 20 October. It’s such a fun and easy way to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research, and help stop breast cancer taking the lives of those we love.”

Also in attendance was Sky News presenter and former Olympic gymnast Jacquie Beltrao. Jacquie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, is lending her support to wear it pink in the hope that thousands of people across the country will take part in the event.

 

Jacquie Beltrao said: “I’m very proud to support wear it pink; it’s a great excuse to dress up in pink and have some fun while raising money for a really important cause. I have had breast cancer myself and following my diagnosis and treatment have become incredibly passionate about raising awareness and funds for research.”

“Wear it pink has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now, which is incredible. The event raises funds for the charity’s world-class research, which will hopefully one day put a stop to this dreadful disease. That is why I’m asking people across the country join me, and the MPs who took part in Westminster, by adding a splash of pink to their outfits on wear it pink day and donating to Breast Cancer Now. I hope lots of people across the UK take part!”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said: “It is fantastic that so many MPs dressed up in pink at our Westminster wear it pink event and we are really grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm shown. We hope that by wearing pink, [insert name] will encourage his/her constituents in [insert constituency] to get involved in their local community and help us fund life-saving research this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

“Wear it pink is a wonderful opportunity for communities across the UK to come together and have fun, whilst showing their support for everyone affected by breast cancer. Simply by wearing something pink and donating, you’re raising funds for life-saving research and helping Breast Cancer Now reach our goal that, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live.”


 
Jon supporting Wear it Pink
Jon supporting Wear it Pink
Click photo for enlargement
To take part in wear it pink this October, please visit www.wearitpink.org for further details, fundraising ideas and how to register for your free fundraising pack.
wear it pink

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, visited The Friends Hub and took part in some sparring

Friday
September 8 2017

Jon visited The Friends Hub on Friday 8 September to meet with staff and young people.

Jon with Ismail and the young people from Majerz Boxing Club
 
Jon sparring with Ismail Yusuf
 
Jon sparring with Ismail Yusuf

The Friends Hub was established in January 2016 by Mr Ismail Yusuf to provide after school opportunities for young people and to prevent anti-social behaviour in the area.

The Friends Hub is based on 83a Bartholomew Street and currently offers boxing and table tennis sessions for young people between the age of 11 and 21.

Speaking after the visit, Jon stated: “The Friends Hub is a great idea. It is important for young people to be involved and stay active. It was good meeting everyone and I enjoyed my time sparring with Ismail.”

 

 

The boxing club, Majerz Club, runs sessions twice a week on a Monday from 7.00 to 8.45pm and Saturdays from 12 Midday to 1.15pm. Each session is usually attended by 10 to 12 young people who train and practice light sparring.

Table tennis sessions run every Wednesday and Friday evening and everyone is welcome who would like to learn or simply enjoys playing table tennis.

 

Mr Ismail Yusuf, commented: “As somebody who grew up in Highfields, I know how difficult it is to find after school activities for young people in the area. I wanted to give back to my community and setting up The Friends Hub is a good way to do it. I am very pleased that Jon Ashworth will visit The Hub and meet our young people.”

 

Photos above show Jon with Ismail and the young people from Majerz Boxing Club and Jon sparring with Ismail Yusuf

 

 
 
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