Tuesday 25 October 2011

Winstanley Community Primary School

I was very pleased to be asked by the Head Teacher, Mrs Jones and Governors to officially open Winstanley Community Primary School new build extension earlier this month.

Friday 21 October 2011

Ex-Battery hens get the ‘Good life’ thanks to Lucky Hens Rescue

The biggest revival in hen-keeping since the Second World War is under way in Britain and leading the ‘good life’ in Wigan is LuckyHens Rescue run by Alison Thorpe with the support of her husband Dane.

I visited the rescue centre today see for myself one of the fastest growing activities in the UK.
Around 700,000 of us now keep hens, saving money in tough times by having our own supply of eggs.

The boom in grow-your-own fruit and vegetables has spilled over to keeping hens, which was common in Britain during the war when eggs were rationed.With the credit crunch still biting, the fun of keeping hens and the prospect of having freshly laid eggs for breakfast by simply popping out to the garden has become more appealing.

Alison Thorpe told me that when LuckyHens Rescue receive the hens they are often in a terrible state caused by the stress of living in cramped cages, unable to walk, spread their wings, perch, scratch for food or even enjoy natural daylight, everything a normal hen should be able to do.

Once the hens have settled into their new surroundings at LuckyHens Rescue they start to lay again. Hens are flock animals and it is important that when they join a new home that they are kept together in small groups.

LuckyHens Rescue are also developing links with the local community and schools and are working with Greater Manchester Police and the Youth Offending Team to provide educational activities for young people.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Bill to promote free debt advice

Yesterday, I introduced a 10 minute rule bill in Parliament to require fee charging debt management companies to inform potential clients of the availability of free advice.

The  Press Association and my speech in Hansard provide more information on the Bill.

Monday 17 October 2011

Wigan Business Expo Twenty11

The FSB champions small business owners
Following a successful inaugural event at the DW Stadium last year, the Wigan Business Expo was held at Leigh Sports Village on Friday, 14th October.

Over 1,000 companies descended on Leigh Sports Village to network, sell, buy and promote business in the Wigan Borough.

Congratulations to Wigan Council and the local Chamber of Commerce for organising the event. In the current difficult economic climate it is the businesses present at the Expo that will be the engine for the recovery and job creation.

Setting up and running a business can be a daunting prospect. But the spirit of entrepreneurship can lift people out of poverty, create wealth and put our economy back on track. That's why I was pleased to support the Federation of Small Business (FSB) 'Real Life Entrepreneurs' Pledge at the Expo.

Thursday 13 October 2011

A day of Judgement for this Tory-led Government!

In Makerfield there are nearly 11 people chasing every job. Across the Borough there are over 8,900 people claiming JSA. Our Borough now needs a change of direction from this Government.

Labour's 5 point plan for jobs and growth would get our area moving again. We need to get people back to work and off benefits, or the scar of unemployment will do long term damage. At the moment we are stuck in a vicious cycle, with more people on benefits and out of work the deficit is harder to get down.

Official figures reveal that 2,293 people are claiming JSA in Makerfield chasing just 219 vacancies across the constituency at Sept 2011.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Victims of Farepak collapse speak out

This morning I took part in an interview with Victoria Derbyshire - Radio 5 Live and the victims of the Farepak collapse.

Scroll to the 7 minute mark to listen to the interview in full which is available for the next 7 days on BBC iplayer.

Monday 10 October 2011

Labour's new Shadow Frontbench team

Ed Miliband's new frontbench team has been announced in full today and I am delighted that Ed has asked me to join the frontbench team in Parliament.

My new role will be working in the Opposition Whip's Office with Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton MP.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Wear it Pink and let's tackle Breast Cancer

This month I am joining forces with Breast Cancer Campaign to raise awareness of its biggest fundraising event, wear it pink day.

On Friday 28 October 2011 supporters in schools, colleges and businesses throughout the country are encouraged to don an item of pink in support of the campaign and each donate £2 to fund innovative world-class breast cancer research.

Last year hundreds of thousands of people took part to help improve survival rates for the one in eight women who experience breast cancer during their lifetime.

Every year in the UK, around 48,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women. Although it is rare, men can also suffer from breast cancer, with around 340 men diagnosed each year. I know people who have lost friends and family members to the disease and I would like to encourage everyone in Makerfield and throughout the country to support wear it pink on October 28, to raise valuable funds for breast cancer research.

To take part in the UK’s original and best pink day visit wear it pink and register to receive your free fundraising pack now.