Grahame Morris MP pledges his support for Gas Safety Week

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Easington MP Grahame Morris has pledged his support for Gas Safety Week (19-25 September), to raise awareness of gas safety issues in East Durham.

This sixth annual campaign, coordinated by the Gas Safe Register, see organisations across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The campaign aims to remind the public to have their gas appliances checked, as we head into winter and begin to switch our heating on.

There are around 40 confirmed deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales every year and inspections conducted by the Gas Safe Register last year revealed that 1 in 5 homes in the East of England contained an unsafe gas appliance. At a recent All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group event Dr Andy Shaw presented new research which showed that while 78% of homes have smoke alarms shockingly only 9% have CO alarms and those in private rented properties are at a greater risk of CO poisoning.

In the report Carbon Monoxide: From Awareness to Action (2015), it was identified by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group that “the risk of CO being produced at levels dangerous to humans is relatively low”, when appliances are serviced regularly by a “competent person”. With 20 deaths and 1,000 gas-related injuries in the last three years, it’s vital that people make sure their gas appliances are safety checked every year by a registered engineer. Anyone working on gas appliances while not being Gas Safe registered, is working illegally.

Jonathan Samuel, managing director for Gas Safe Register, said: “We know from our own investigations that one in six gas appliances in the UK are unsafe, meaning far too many people are victims of preventable gas related incidents. It’s great to have the support of Mr Morris for Gas Safety Week 2016 so that we can work together to raise public awareness of gas safety and reduce the number of dangerous gas appliances lurking in the homes of the UK’s 23 million gas consumers.”

Follow these three simple top tips to stay gas safe:

  • Get all of your gas appliances safety checked once a year by a registered engineer and sign up to a free reminder service at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk
  • Make sure your engineer is legal and safe, by making sure they are registered with Gas Safe Register, the UK’s official gas authority. You can check by calling 0800 408 5500 or visiting www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk
  • Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue one, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.

To find out about dangers in your area visit www.StayGasSafe.co.uk and to find a Gas Safe registered engineer call 0800 408 5500 or visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

 

Grahame Morris MP is supporting Meningitis Awareness Week to help save lives

•Visit www.meningitis.org/maw2016 for information

g-morrisEasington MP Grahame Morris is helping to raise awareness of meningitis in East Durham during national Meningitis Awareness Week (19-25 September 2016) to ensure that people are aware of the symptoms, know to be vigilant and act fast.

Meningitis Awareness Week is run by Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF). The charity estimates that there have been on average around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. They are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs. Babies, toddlers and young adults are most at risk, however these diseases can strike anyone of any age at any time.

Symptoms of meningitis can develop rapidly. The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the well-known rash (which doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it), neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion. Although a rash is often the most well-known symptom, it is often a sign that the disease is advancing rapidly and it is therefore crucial not to wait to for it to appear before seeking medical attention.

MRF Chief Executive, Vinny Smith said: “We are so grateful to Mr Morris for raising awareness. MRF funds vital scientific research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia but there are still some forms of the disease which are not covered by vaccines so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms. We encourage everyone to be vigilant and to get medical help if you spot the symptoms.”

New university students are also being encouraged to get vaccinated against a type of meningitis that has been on the rise in this age group. The meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccine is available from the GP for those who are eligible. The vaccination programme covers all 14 to 18 year olds and 19 to 25 year olds starting university for the first time. Find out more here: http://www.meningitis.org/uk-menacwy

You can check that you know the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia at help to share the Meningitis Awareness Week campaign by visiting www.meningitis.org/maw2016 and using #MRFAwarenessWeek on social media.

For any questions about meningitis, septicaemia and vaccinations that can prevent the diseases call MRF’s free helpline on 080 8800 3344 or visit www.meningitis.org.

You Can Be That Nurse

Easington MP Grahame Morris is supporting Together for Short Lives’ new campaign, You Can Be That Nurse, which aims to encourage more nurses to work with children with life-shortening conditions.

Together for Short Lives is launching the campaign as evidence shows that a shortage of qualified nurses providing children’s palliative care in the voluntary sector, including children’s hospices, is having a negative impact on children with life-shortening conditions across the UK.

There are more than 50,000 children and young people in the UK who are expected to have short lives and the number is rising. These children have complex and unpredictable health conditions and rely on qualified children’s nurses with the right skills to provide palliative care and symptom management. Yet two thirds of voluntary services surveyed by UK charity Together for Short Lives reported that a shortage in nurses is resulting in a reduced offer of care to families: closing beds, reducing respite or affecting the continuity of care. Nurse vacancy rates in children’s palliative care voluntary sector is currently 10%, higher than the NHS nurse vacancy rate (7%). The charity’s annual vacancy surveys show the negative impact on services is increasing year on year – in 2014, 43% of respondents said they reduced the service offered to families as a result of vacancies, in 2015 this had increased to 65% reporting their vacancies were affecting the amount of care they can offer to families.

The You Can Be That Nurse campaign encourages nurses to work in the sector and help bridge the care gap. The above film features three nurses at different stages of their career in hospice, home and hospital. The film tackles some of the taboos around children’s palliative care by highlighting how rewarding these nursing roles can be; building strong relationships with families and providing holistic care right from the point of diagnosis through to end of life and beyond.

Time running out for local environment groups to apply for funding.

horden-parkThe Postcode Local Trust is now open for applications from local groups working to improve local ecology and habitats, encourage bio-diversity and benefit the wider environment. Groups can apply for funding ranging from £500 – £20,000.

If you are interested and would like more information on how to apply for funding please visit www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk.

Time is running out with the current application round closing on the 30th of September.

Grahame Morris MP calls on residents in East Durham to ‘Take Five’ to help prevent fraud

take-fiveEasington MP Grahame Morris is today supporting the launch of a major new campaign designed to tackle financial fraud.

The campaign – Take Five – aims to put consumers and businesses back in control with straight-forward advice to help prevent financial fraud and encourage people to take a moment. It is designed to remind people that it pays to “stop and think”.

Take Five is the first national campaign to be backed by all the major banks and other financial service providers across the UK.

Lending their support to Take Five, Grahame Morris MP said:

“Financial fraud can affect anyone and often has devastating consequences. With news that incidences of fraud are increasing, it’s time for action. That’s why the Take Five campaign is so important and I am proud to support it. I am urging everyone to take a moment and help take back control.”

Katy Worobec, FFA UK, said:

“The industry is already taking action on fraud, last year our members stopped £7 in every £10 of fraud taking place. However, we know that criminals are getting increasingly sophisticated in their tactics and that’s why we are launching Take Five. We want everyone to take a moment to pause and think to help stop fraud.”

The campaign is asking everyone to help protect themselves from financial fraud by remembering some simple advice:

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password – it’s never okay to reveal these details.
  1. Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine – people aren’t always who they say they are.
  1. Don’t be rushed – a genuine bank or organisation won’t mind waiting to give you time to stop and think.
  1. Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it.
  1. Stay in control – have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information.

Theresa May will fail working class children with her grammar school proposals.

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Theresa May’s plan to open new grammar schools reveals she cannot deliver the change Britain needs. Her Government will not stand up for working people, it’s the same failed approach that we’ve seen for the last six years.

May talks about social inclusion, but then plans to send us back to a time when a child’s life chances were defined by a test they sat at the age of 11. There is a big disconnect between the PMs words and her actions.

All the evidence shows that grammar school are not the key to social mobility, but the Tories are not willing to listen to the experts who have made it categorically clear that grammars will not help.

The facts are clear. Grammar schools won’t improve the lives of the many; they offer nothing to the hundreds of children in the Easington Constituency who deserve the best start in life.

Grammar schools have a woeful record on admitting the poorest children. They are skewed towards the better off, whose parents can afford to spend thousands of pounds for tuition. Even the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw warned any decision to open more grammar schools was a “profoundly retrograde step” that would damage the prospects of disadvantaged children.

The priority for our education system should be investment to raise standards not investment to create social exclusion. The Tories have overseen a school places crisis, the highest rate of teachers leaving the profession in a decade and over half a million pupils in super-sized classes. Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said these issues should be her priority, not harking back to a golden-age that never existed.

Labour is committed to an education system for everyone, not just a select few so as MP for Easington I will be opposing this plan every step of the way.

Grahame Morris MP calls for action to support local parks

horden-parkNew report from the Heritage Lottery Fund calls for collaborative national and local action to deliver new ways of funding and managing parks to avert a crisis

Easington MP Grahame Morris has backed efforts by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to galvanise support for the UK’s public parks.

Thanks to an investment of over £850m of National Lottery money, more than 800 of the UK’s public parks are in better condition, with improved facilities and renovated historic features. However, with park managers reporting an expectation of further budget cuts, the benefits of this investment could be lost as the risk of decline and potential facility closures continues to grow.

Grahame Morris MP said: “Our local parks are incredibly important to the people of East Durham, helping us relax, get fit, play and spend time with each other.   The Heritage Lottery Fund is right to highlight the challenges currently facing these treasured open spaces and I am pleased to support their call for concerted action to protect their future.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s new report, State of UK Public Parks 2016, finds that:

  • parks are more popular than ever after £850m of National Lottery investment
  • park use is rising whilst resources and skills available to manage them are declining
  • a downward trend in the condition of parks – predicted in HLF’s 2014 report – is set to continue
  • commercially driven approaches to income generation are increasing and new management models are showing encouraging results; and
  • careful management, better national and local partnership working and investment in new skills are needed to build expertise at a time when resources are limited.

HLF Chief Executive Ros Kerslake, who said:

“Put simply, parks are not a luxury. They are essential to our increasingly busy urban lives and thanks to National Lottery players they’ve never been in such great shape. But these are financially tough times and if we are to successfully halt the onset of decline in our parks and avoid wasting this investment, we need to come together now to find innovative and sustainable models of funding and maintaining these highly valued community spaces.”

HLF and Big Lottery Fund are committed to funding capital improvements to historic parks and supporting innovation, particularly around new models of finance and management.

The two funding bodies are now calling for continued commitment from local authorities and collaboration across the parks sector, business, park users and local and central Government to develop new ways to fund and manage parks.

More information is available at www.hlf.org.uk

An unfair, undemocratic boundary review

The Tories claimed they wanted to review constituency boundaries to make our democracy fairer — but they’ve used old data, and ignored two million newly registered voters.

Now, they’re spending time and taxpayers’ money on an unfair, undemocratic constituency review, rather than taking everyone into account. Sign now to call on Theresa May to rethink this review and ensure every voter will get their fair say:

boundry-review

They claimed they want to ‘cut the cost of politics’ by cutting 50 elected MPs, but anything they will save is dwarfed by the £34 million they’ve spent appointing 260 new unelected members of the House of Lords. This isn’t about what’s best for our country, it’s about what’s best for the Tories.

Join me and sign our petition now: I stand with Labour and demand the Government rethinks to ensure that no voter is left out.

Thank you for signing.

Apply now to the Aviva Community Fund

Applications for this year’s Aviva Community Fund are now open.

The Aviva Community Fund awards funding of up to £25,000 for local community projects across a range of categories such as supporting the elderly, health & wellbeing and community sport.

Last year over 430 separate projects received funding and this year Aviva Community Fund is bigger and better than ever with over 800 awards up for grabs.

I am encouraging community groups across East Durham to apply for funding.

Applications can be made until 11th October via this link and winners will be announced in January.

MP welcomes the opening of Cineworld at Dalton Park.

dalton-park-cineworldI am delighted that the £45 million Dalton Park phase two development is nearing completion as Cineworld welcomes their first movie goers today at the newly opened cinema.

The 1000 seat seven screen cinema will bring the latest Hollywood blockbusters to Murton and joins the newly opened food outlets and restaurants Pizza Express, Frankie and Benny’s, Prezzo and KFC.

The cinema and restaurant are a long awaited and welcome addition to Dalton Park bringing new facilities, businesses and employment opportunities to the area.

Later this year I look forward to the new hotel, pub and petrol station development as well as awaiting news on the food outlet.

While Morrison’s have signed a long term lease on the premises, they are carrying out a review of their business and store formats. Until the review is complete, they cannot confirm an opening date or their intention for the unit they are leasing.

I hope a decision will be made shortly, as Dalton Park continues to go from strength to strength. Nothing can hold back the excitement with the arrival of the new cinema, restaurants and shopping facilities which are opening at Dalton Park.

The completion of Dalton Park has been a long and arduous process, and we should celebrate that it is finally coming to fruition after a decades of hard work and campaigning.