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Grahame Morris MP supports heart disease and stroke patients in Easington.

More than 11,900 people in Easington are living with cardiovascular disease ~ Last week Grahame Morris MP met with health experts to discuss the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Easington.

Latest figures show that there are 11,900 people living with heart disease and stroke in Easington.

Grahame attended an event in Westminster held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Heart Disease and met with experts from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to learn more about the levels of CVD locally, and ways to improve patient care.

They also discussed the progress the group had made on other issues such as heart failure, and inherited heart conditions.

Grahame said: “Cardiovascular disease is a devastating condition responsible for more than a quarter of all UK deaths, and it is the most common cause of hospital admission for people over 65 years of age.

“Politicians in Westminster and the British Heart Foundation are working to support people burdened by heart disease and stroke, and find new ways of improving care in Easington.. “It’s vitally important that we work together to ensure that people living with cardiovascular disease in Easington get access to the care and support they need.”


New figures highlight financial burden on taxpayer

There is a crisis of low pay in Britain’s older industrial areas, says a report released today.

Although there has been progress in replacing the jobs lost from industries such as coal, steel, engineering and textiles, too many of the new jobs pay low wages and too many are insecure and short-term.

The new report from the Industrial Communities Alliance highlights the extent to which pay in older industrial areas has fallen behind the national average and behind the levels in the most prosperous parts of the country

The report also exposes the alarming extent to which the government has had to step in to prop-up low-wage families though Tax Credits.

The research shows that across older industrial Britain as a whole, median earnings – that is, the pay of an employee in the middle of the local wage spectrum – are just 73 per cent of the London level for men and 63 per cent for women. This equates to pre-tax gaps of £184 a week for men and £182 for women.

Median earnings in many local authority districts across older industrial Britain are barely 60 per cent of the level in London.

The poorest-paid 10 per cent in older industrial areas earn less than one-third of median earnings across Britain as a whole.

None of these comparisons are distorted by high-earning bankers or other well-paid London professionals.

Far too many workers have therefore had to rely on Tax Credits and other means-tested benefits, such as Housing Benefit, to top up miserably low wages. Across most of older industrial Britain, Tax Credit payments average between £650 and £1,000 a year per adult of working age.

For many households, Tax Credits of well over £2,000 a year have become the norm. Looking ahead, however, poorer households face big financial losses as planned cuts to in-work benefits, announced in the last Parliament, are gradually implemented.

Cllr Terry O’Neill, National Chair of the Industrial Communities Alliance, said:

“The weakness of the economy in so many of our areas has made it easier for employers to recruit the workers they need and to get away with low wages. The newly-elected government should do more to outlaw unfair employment practices and should increase the minimum wage.

“But a lasting solution to the problems in our areas also requires serious efforts to rebuild the industrial base of the economy. Manufacturing is a high-value, high-productivity sector that offers the potential to deliver higher wages.

“Older industrial Britain is a big part of the country, accounting for around 30 per cent of the entire population. If the Prime Minister is serious about helping the people and places left behind, our communities need to be top of her list.”

Grahame Morris pledges to become an Arthritis Champion for Easington

Grahame has pledged to work alongside the leading charity Arthritis Research UK to represent the thousands of people in Easington living every day with the pain of arthritis.
Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability and pain across the country with 10 million people living with arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain.

The pain, fatigue and lack of mobility caused by arthritis affects every aspect of a person’s life, making everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, travelling to work or getting out of bed extremely difficult.

As well as the personal impact, these conditions amount to the third largest area of NHS spending, with an annual budget of £4.8 billion, and are the cause of one in five working days lost in the UK.

Grahame, who attended Arthritis Research UK’s annual Parliamentary reception, has pledged to support Arthritis Research UK’s Prevent, Transform, Cure manifesto in Parliament as an Arthritis Champion, which calls for:

Making arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions a public health priority
Ensuring people have timely access to health and care services that enable them to improve their musculoskeletal health
Ensure people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions have fair and timely access to services that support them to be in work, including financial support
Protect the UK’s position as a global leader in science and sustain the benefits of the life-science sector to the economy

Speaking about becoming an Arthritis Champion, Grahame said:

“I’m proud to champion Arthritis Research UK’s policy calls to tackle the prevention, transformation and cure of arthritis. We need to put the issues affecting people with arthritis at the forefront of Parliament’s agenda.
“I’m committed to making a difference. Together we can fight this painful condition that has such a huge impact on all aspects of people’s lives in Easington.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of Arthritis Research UK, said:

“I’m delighted that Mr Morris has become an Arthritis Champion. It’s imperative that we have the support of as many MPs and Peers as possible to stand up for the rights of people with arthritis.
“There needs to be a public health approach focusing on preventing arthritis, transforming services and finding a cure for the 10 million people affected by this devastating condition. It’s vital we work together to make life better for everyone affected by arthritis.”

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Grahame Morris encourages teachers to get involved with Parliament

The Parliamentary Education Service provides a wide variety of educational opportunities. It provides subsidies to support schools around the country making visits to Parliament and the free teacher training and teaching resources that are available; and have made it possible for schools around the country to access parliament.

Children at Ribbon Academy, Cotsford Junior school, Westlea Primary, Shotton Hall primary, Dene House Primary and Ropery Walk have used this service to learn about parliament and how it works. In addition, teachers from the region have accessed the teacher training services over the previous week through Teachers’ institute. Since it was launched in 2006, “Teachers’ Institute” has trained more than 600 teachers, from all parts of the UK, giving them skills and knowledge of Parliament to pass on to their students and fellow teachers.

Vicky Cathrine, a teacher from South Hetton Primary School in County Durham, was selected to take part in “Teachers’ Institute” in the Houses of Parliament. She applied to Parliament’s open call and was selected from more than 100 applicants to attend the three-day event in Parliament. Fully funded by Parliament’s Education Service, Vicky Cathrine got to participate in question and answer sessions with the Speaker and the Lord Speaker, and hear from parliamentarians of all parties about their work in Parliament.

Grahame Morris MP commented “I am delighted that Vicky Cathrine, a teacher from my constituency, is attending the Teachers’ Institute at Parliament. Teachers have so many opportunities to engage young people with Parliament and their democratic heritage, and I am sure that the students in South Hetton Primary School will benefit from Vicky’s experience.”

John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “I am proud that this excellent initiative continues to provide such an invaluable service. Better engagement and dialogue with young people is of fundamental importance to our democracy, and I am sure that the teachers attending will find the experience both useful and enlightening.”

This programme has been extremely well received, particularly by the primary schools in the area. It has not been used as successfully by the secondary schools, despite this, the visit subsidies, teacher training and teaching resources are available for secondary schools and they are encouraged to use these as much as possible. It provides opportunities for schools to visit and access resources that can enhance and develop teachers and students understanding of parliament.