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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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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, is ‘Giving The Gift Of Play’ this Christmas with The British Toy and Hobby Association

Tuesday
December 12 2017
Jon Ashworth MP recently attended the British Toy and Hobby’s Association’s (BTHA)* ‘Giving the gift of play’ Parliamentary event to show support for the thriving British toy industry
Jon with Terry Watts from Toys on the Table
Photo left; Jon with Terry Watts from Toys on the Table
Click photo for enlargement
 

In collaboration with the BTHA, Jon will be donating a selection of toys to Toys on The Table and giving the gift of play for local children at Christmas.

Today, Jon handed over the gifts to Toys on The Table at his Constituency Office on Charles Street.

As the official organisation representing manufacturers for Britain’s £4.2 billion toy industry, the BTHA event brought together member businesses based across the UK, 35 MPs and peers and wider industry stakeholders to celebrate the growth of the sector and the important contribution of quality, safe toys to the fabric of our UK society. The toy industry employ 51,000 people and contribute £1 billion to the UK Treasury and raised awareness of this significant economic contribution.

Jon said: “I was absolutely delighted to join the BTHA in Parliament and support them to give the gift of play to local children this Christmas. I appreciate their efforts to provide Toys on the Table with gifts at this festive time of year. The large donation of toys and games includes Tell the Time, Jungle Rugby, a Food Truck, cuddly toys and loads more.”

 

“Since becoming the Member of Parliament for Leicester South I have supported Toys on the Table. Every year this charity does an incredible job for children in Leicester and Leicestershire. A small gift or toy can make this holiday season even more special, especially for the little ones. I strongly encourage everyone to donate funds or gifts to Toys on the Table.”


New gifts or funds for Toys on the Table
can be dropped off at various collection points including BBC Radio Leicester, Leicester Mercury, Yorkshire Building Society and all branches of Santander.
Further collection points can be found at http://www.toysonthetable.org.uk/
 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, signs TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ charter

Tuesday
December 12 2017

In Westminster, Jon made a commitment, by signing the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter, to support and protect any of his employees who become terminally ill.

Since its launch in April 2016, The TUCs ‘Dying to Work’ Voluntary Charter now protects over half a million employees with companies such as Legal and General, Santander, Co-Op, Carillion, Rolls Royce and the Royal Mail joining E.On and signing up along with a number of public sector bodies including NHS trusts, police authorities and many local authorities.

The Dying to Work campaign was set up following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. The campaign is calling for a change in the law to prevent the same thing happening to other working people.

Jon said: “It is shocking to think that if people with terminal illnesses are dismissed or forced out of their jobs that their loved ones will lose the death in service payments that the employee has planned for and earned through a life-time of hard work.”

“That is why I am proud to have signed the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter to protect my employees and I will be encouraging businesses in my constituency to follow suit and sign up to the TUC’s voluntary charter.”


 

Jon commented further: “In addition, I hope something will soon be done to ensure that every individual with terminal illness will receive the protection and support they deserve.”

The campaign has also been endorsed by a number of trade unions and charities, including The National Council for Palliative Care, Hospice UK, Breast Cancer Care and Second Hope.

Paul Nowak, TUC Deputy General Secretary said: "Serious illness is tough enough without having to put up with extra hassle at work. Everyone can surely agree that terminally-ill workers deserve protection.”

"That's why unions, MPs, employers and charities are coming together to ensure that workers get the support and protections they need when times are toughest."

This broad support was demonstrated in a recent Survation poll of over a thousand people which found that 79% of respondents support a ‘protected period’ for terminally ill workers where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition with only 3% opposing it.

 
Jon with Jacci Woodcock and Lee Baron, TUC Midlands Regional Secretary
Photo: Jon with Jacci Woodcock and Lee Baron, TUC Midlands Regional Secretary
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, and Unite the Union supporting local food banks

Tuesday
December 12 2017
Since 2012 Unite the Union has been organising donations for local food banks across Leicestershire. This year Unite’s Leicestershire and Rutland Area Activists Committee arranged donations for eight food banks in the City
Jon at the Saffron Christmas Celebration
 



 

Previously Unite has donated food supplies, but this year it is making a financial donation to local food banks. Open Hands, Highfields Food Bank, Gilmorton Food Bank, The Zynthiya Trust, Braunstone Food Bank, Morton and Northfield Tenants and Residents Association Food Bank, The Peace Centre and The City of Sanctuary will each receive over £250 via Jon’s office.

Jon said: “The number of people who depend on local food banks is very worrying. I am pleased I could assist food banks across the City to receive funding from Unite. I urge everyone to think of those who will find this time of year very difficult and donate to a local food bank or a local charity.”

“The food bank can provide those in need with essential provisions such as milk, rice and beans. I want to thank Unite for supporting our food banks and helping to make the festive season easier for those who rely upon them.”

Photo left; Jon at the Saffron Christmas Celebration
Click photo for enlargement
 

Paresh Patel, Regional Coordinating Officer, Unite the Union commented: “Whilst it is not a large sum of money, we very much hope that our donations will go some way in supporting the organisations to buy items which will support those many people who are in need.”



If you want to donate to the above food banks please contact my office or go to:
openhandsleicester.org.uk/donations.php
https://leicester.cityofsanctuary.org/donate
http://b-inspired.org.uk/index.php/contact-us
https://zinthiyatrust.wordpress.com/contact/
 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, opens Saffron Christmas Celebration

Friday
December 8 2017

Jon officially opened the Saffron Christmas Celebration event at the Kingfisher Centre

The event was organised by local residents with help from local Councillors Elly Cutkelvin and Bill Shelton. Every year this event brings together the community for an evening of fun and entertainment.

Speaking before the event, Jon said: “This annual celebration has been a great success in Saffron over the past years and I always enjoy being a part of it. I have no doubt that people will have a great time at this Christmas Party and I look forward to meeting local residents.”

“I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”


 

The event is funded by the Saffron Ward Campaign Fund and local organisations and businesses. There were lots of different activities for children including meeting Father Christmas who gave out presents to local children.

May Jones, one of the organisers of the event, commented: “Saffron Christmas Celebration has always been a great success. Events like these bring people together and build strong communities. The celebration would not be possible without local Councillors Elly and Bill, and a huge thank you to Jon for opening the event.”

 
Photo: Jon at Saffron Christmas Celebration with Councillors Elly Cutkelvin and Bill Shelton
Photo: Jon at Saffron Christmas Celebration with Councillors Elly Cutkelvin and Bill Shelton
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, supports ‘Making Christmas Special’

Friday
December 8 2017

Jon visited the Royal Infirmary to support the Making Christmas Special campaign and met some patients to deliver his gifts.

This year University Hospitals Leicester in partnership with Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland, and a new partner, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, are encouraging people to donate a Christmas present for one of the older patients who due to ill health will not be able to spend Christmas at home with their loved ones.

Jon said: “I regularly support Leicester’s Hospitals’ ‘Making Christmas Special’. It is a fantastic initiative, involving the Volunteers Service and Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland that makes a huge difference to older patients who, sadly, will be too ill to leave hospital this Christmas.”

“I was pleased to donate a selection of gifts to George who was on Ward 41.”






 

Last year this campaign was a massive success with local people donating 1300 bags of gifts ensuring that every single one of the older patients received a gift on Christmas Day.

Anyone can contribute to this campaign by leaving presents at the main reception of any of the three hospitals in Leicester, or you can also take your gift to any Age UK shop or resource centre in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

 

 
For more information, please click below
 http://bit.ly/1SiTzkL
 
Jon with (from left to right) Tony Donovan, Executive Director Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, Ballu Patel, Non Executive Director of the Hospital Trust and 91 year old George
Photo: Jon with (from left to right) Tony Donovan, Executive Director Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, Ballu Patel, Non Executive Director of the Hospital Trust and 91 year old George
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, encourages care workers
in the city to get a flu jab

Thursday
November 23 2017

As part of the NHS national flu immunisation programme community pharmacies along with GPs offer NHS flu jabs to eligible patients. The programme was updated earlier this week to include all care home and domiciliary care workers

Jon stated: “With the pressures that will face the NHS this winter, it is important that as many care workers are vaccinated which will help to respond to pressures on frontline services.”

“Care home and domiciliary care workers only need to provide some form of evidence, such as a staff ID badge or payslip, to get their flu vaccination at a community pharmacy of their choice.”

As with all community pharmacy flu vaccinations, the patient’s GP practice will be notified in the usual way when a care worker has been vaccinated.


 
The definition of care home and domiciliary care workers encompasses all health and social care staff (aged 18 years and over) that are employed by a registered residential care/ nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza, meaning those patients/clients in a clinical risk group or aged 65 years and over.
 
There is a template letter available that care agencies can print on their letterhead to give to eligible staff to get their flu vaccination at a community pharmacy or their GP. Click below for the letter;
Click here for the Template Letter
 
Jon with Sumaiya Panchbhaya just after he had his flu jab
Photo: Jon with Sumaiya Panchbhaya from Yakub Chemist just after he had his flu jab
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, supports National HIV Testing Week

Friday
November 17 2017
Jon visited local sexual health charity, Trade Sexual Health, to show his support for National HIV Testing Week
(left to right) Veronica Nall (Director: Strategy at Trade Sexual Health), Debbie Laycock (Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust), Caro Hart (CEO of LASS), Jon, Ken Coney (Board member, Trade Sexual Health), Wlad Jagiello (Health Promotion & Volunteer Coordinator, Trade Sexual Health), David Rowlands (Board member at LASS), Salim Khalifa (Director: Operations at Trade Sexual Health)
Photo: (left to right) Veronica Nall (Director: Strategy at Trade Sexual Health), Debbie Laycock (Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust), Caro Hart (CEO of LASS), Jon, Ken Coney (Board member, Trade Sexual Health), Wlad Jagiello (Health Promotion & Volunteer Coordinator, Trade Sexual Health), David Rowlands (Board member at LASS), Salim Khalifa (Director: Operations at Trade Sexual Health)
Click photo for enlargement
 



 

New figures released by Public Health England in October 2017 revealed that a decline in new HIV infections but late diagnoses remain high.

Organised by Terrence Higgins Trust and Trade Sexual Health, Jon Ashworth MP met with volunteers and staff to discuss the importance of normalising testing and busting stigma.

National HIV Testing Week, which runs from 18th to 25th November, is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England. The week encourages people to take a painless, simple and quick HIV test, particularly those from the groups most at-risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men and black African communities.

Jon said: “I was delighted to visit Trade Sexual Health in Leicester and raise awareness of the importance of testing for HIV. As I found out – testing is free, fast and simple, and it’s one of the best weapons we have to stop the spread of HIV.”

Trade Sexual Health are offering rapid HIV testing every day during HIV testing week, starting from Saturday 18th November. They have also organised a range of outreach activities in the local clubs and bars and visiting local universities and schools to promote and raise awareness about HIV testing.

 

Wlad Jagiello, Trade Sexual Health, commented: “We’re delighted that Jon Ashworth has taken the time to visit Trade Sexual Health and learnt just how quick and easy it is to be sure of your HIV status and support this campaign for National HIV Testing Week 2017.”

“Today, if you test positive, effective treatment means you can live as long as anyone else, and medication reduces the amount of virus in your blood to such low levels that, you cannot pass on HIV.”

Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Early testing and diagnosis are key to combating this epidemic and we need to remove the stigma around HIV testing. There are now a range of testing options available, from postal tests, to GUM clinics, community sites and home testing.”


Find out more about
National HIV Testing Week at
www.startswithme.org.uk
 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, accepts petition against the closure of Lloyds Pharmacy in St Matthews

Friday
November 17 2017
Jon, along with local Councillor Mohammed Dawood, accepted a petition signed by local residents opposing
the decision of Lloyds Pharmacy to close its branch on St Matthews

Jon said: “The pharmacy on Malabar Road is the only community pharmacy on the St Matthews Estate. The opposition to the decision of Lloyds to cease trading is clear from the number of people who have signed the petition.”

“Given the need for a local community pharmacy I hope that a buyer can be found to take over the store on Malabar Road. If not, I fear for the increased pressures on already stretched local GP services.”

Jon accepted the petition from Jean Williams, Chair of the St Matthews Residents and Tenants Association, along with people from the Estate.

Simon Johnson, Chair of St Matthews Big Local, said: “As a community organisation we are very concerned about the potential loss of such an invaluable local resource. The pharmacy is used by people across the Estate and it is vital that it remains.”



 

Since last summer Jon has campaigned against the Government’s cuts to the Community Pharmacy budget, but despite opposition from MPs on both sides of the House of Commons the Government pushed ahead with a massive funding cut at the back end of 2016.

At the end of last month Lloyds Pharmacy parent company, Celesio UK, announced that it will cease trading in 190 branches across England through a combination of store closures and divestments. Three of the branches are in Jon’s Constituency of Leicester South.

Councillor Dawood commented: “As a Councillor for this area I am concerned that St Matthews will no longer have a local pharmacy and this will have a massive effect on the residents.”

 
Jon and Councillor Dawood accepting the petition from Jean Williams with people from St Matthews
Jon and Councillor Dawood accepting the petition from Jean Williams with people from St Matthews
Click photo for enlargement

After the event Jon wrote to the Chief Executive of Lloyds Pharmacy enclosing the petition to raise his concerns about the possible loss of a community pharmacy.

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, supports Barbuda Rise and the local community

Friday
November 17 2017
Today Jon showed his support for Barbuda Rise and the local Barbudan community

Jon has previously met with representatives of The Barbuda Rise Association which is a non-profit organisation comprised of a collective of Antiguan and Barbudan descendants. The goal of the organisation is to raise £50,000 to help in the rehousing, rebuilding and the eventual return of displaced Barbudans who were forced to seek refuge in their sister island, Antigua, after Hurricane Irma damaged over 95% of their homes.

Jon has already supported a fundraising dinner that raised just under £1200 for this important cause. At a recent meeting Jon was told of a members of the community who have purchased barrels to send to Antigua in time for Christmas.

Jon said: “The work of Manny Griffin and his family and friends to help people in Antigua is amazing. As their local MP I wanted to show my support for them. They have bought a few barrels that were filled with gifts for their relatives in Antigua.”

 

In the New Year, Barbuda Rise will be sending aid, materials and barrels for the wider community using donations raised.

Manny Griffin, from The Barbuda Rise Association, commented: “The Island is in desperate need of assistance and there are a number of ways people in Leicester can support this cause. Barbuda Rise has a GoFundMe Barbuda Rise page were you can pledge funds and there is also a Facebook page where you can find information about events.”


Click here to visit
GoFundMe
Barbuda Rise
 
Click here to visit Facebook page
 
 
 
Left to right Siddiq Musa (KPMG Partner), Mr Speaker (Patchwork Patron), Jon Ashworth MP & Sir Martyn Lewis (Patchwork Patron)
 
Jon with (left to right) Robert Griffin and Manny Griffin with two of the barrels to be sent for Christmas
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, wins Labour MP
of the Year Award

Wednesday
November 15 2017

Mr Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP and Patron of the Patchwork Foundation, announced the winners of the MP of the Year Awards 2017 sponsored by KPMG at Speakers House on 15th November 2017

The award is for those MPs who have represented and work well with underrepresented, deprived and minority communities across the country.

Jon said: “I am honoured to be the Patchwork Foundation Labour MP of the Year. So many of my colleagues work hard to represent communities that are often excluded from the political process. I represent a very diverse Constituency but I try my best to ensure that all the different communities are assisted or given a voice. I promise to continue to work hard for all the people of Leicester South.”

 

Labour Party Leader Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP said: “I congratulate Jon Ashworth MP and all the 2017 winners of the Patchwork MP of the Year awards.  The Patchwork Foundation works all year round to ensure young people from deprived and minority communities believe in themselves and understand the power they have to take part in our democracy.”

“I know Labour MPs really appreciated the work Patchwork activists did during the general election and I was delighted to thank Patchworkers personally after my Leader's speech at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.”


 
Jon with the Patchwork Award
Siddiq Musa, KPMG Partner said: “KPMG is delighted to sponsor the Patchwork MP of the Year Awards for the fourth consecutive year. We fully support the Foundation’s drive to engage under-represented, deprived and minority communities with politics.  The vote to leave the European Union brought into sharp relief regional inequalities which exist across the UK. These inequalities are felt most by young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

“As a firm, KPMG is committed to tackling social mobility. Our strong regional and national presence allows us to lead this debate in the business community."


 
Left to right Siddiq Musa (KPMG Partner), Mr Speaker (Patchwork Patron), Jon Ashworth MP & Sir Martyn Lewis (Patchwork Patron)
"By using our convening power and influence, we work collectively with other sectors to address the critical social issues facing the UK today.  It is crucial that as a Firm, we open up access to high-quality employment opportunities, and, that government, business and the third sector work together to strengthen the link between education and employment, ensuring that every young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
Photo above left, Jon with the Patchwork Award, photo above right, Siddiq Musa (KPMG Partner), Mr Speaker (Patchwork Patron), Jon Ashworth MP & Sir Martyn Lewis (Patchwork Patron)
Click any photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, astounded by the Department of Health’s response to the closure of community pharmacies

Friday
November 10 2017
Since last summer Jon has campaigned against the Government’s cuts to the Community Pharmacy budget, and on
26 October Lloyds Pharmacy parent company, Celesio UK, announced that it will cease trading in 190 branches across England through a combination of store closures and divestments.

Jon said: “Despite the protests from MPs on both sides of the House, the Government pushed ahead with a massive funding cut at the back end of 2016. Even though its own Pharmacy Minister at the time feared that the cuts could see as many as 3,000 closures the Government continued with cuts of over £110 million.”

“Now we have a major player pulling out of nearly 200 community pharmacies across England including three in my own Constituency of Leicester South.”

The Managing Director of Celesio UK, Cormac Tobin, put the decision down to “changes to government policy on reimbursement and retrospective clawbacks over the past two years”.

 

Jon commented: “Despite this dramatic development the Department of Health’s view is that these closures only represent just 1.6% of the total and that the Pharmacy Access Scheme will help ensure patients will still be able to access a pharmacist.”

“This lack of concern from the Department of Health is astounding. Apart from the many issues surrounding the effectiveness of the Pharmacy Access Scheme, if a major chain like Lloyds is closing pharmacies because of the cuts what will happen with other providers, especially the small businesses, in the future?”

“I will be visiting one of the pharmacies ear marked for closure by Lloyds that is based in my Constituency next week where I will meet with the local community that could lose a valuable resource.”

 
Jon speaking in parliament
Jon speaking in parliament
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, supports firefighters at Westminster

Thursday
November 2 2017
Jon recently met firefighters in Westminster to recognise and celebrate the invaluable work firefighters do keeping
our communities safe.

‘Love Your Firefighters’, hosted by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), was attended by more than 60 MPs, who met firefighters and union officials. 

MPs were asked to support investment into the fire and rescue service by FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack. He urged the MPs to take the message back to their constituencies that the maintenance of a world class, professional fire and rescue service is something all political parties should support.

Jon said: “It was an honour to have the opportunity to meet some of the professional firefighters who do such invaluable, challenging work.”

“Firefighters who responded to the Grenfell Tower fire had their training and professionalism tested to the limit. All Members of Parliament should support our fire and rescue services, in the interests of both public and firefighter safety.”


 

Two films were shown at the event. ‘Operator’ (bit.ly/2dtilVA) won the Bafta short film award last year (2016) for its depiction of a control room operator taking an emergency fire call.  ‘The Firefighters’ Dilemma’ (bit.ly/2sek2dr) was made this year to convey the stress fire crews are under when they turn out to a fire if they have to wait for a second fire engine before entering the premises due to service cuts. 

Matt Wrack said: “It was a privilege to have so many MPs from across the spectrum here with us to celebrate the work of our members. We want support for firefighters and our fire and rescue services from all politicians. We would urge MPs from all parties to get behind their firefighters now and support the invaluable work they do in their communities, keeping us all safe.”

 
Jon at the ‘Love Your Firefighters’, hosted by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU
Jon at the ‘Love Your Firefighters’, hosted by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU
Click photo for enlargement

 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, calls for road safety measures in Saffron

Thursday
November 2 2017
Jon has contacted the City Council regarding speeding in The Fairway and Windley Road area of Saffron Lane

Jon accepted a petition from local resident, Mrs Donna Johns, who almost became a victim of speeding traffic as a car crashed into a tree outside her home and flipped onto its side.

The petition, which Jon forwarded to the City Council, has been signed by about 200 local residents who are very concerned about speeding traffic and demand urgent action.

Jon stated: “It is shocking what has happened outside Mrs John’s home, but we cannot wait for a disaster to happen. I have asked the Head of Traffic Management at the City Council to look into this as soon as possible and consider the suggestions made by local residents.”

 

“It is clear from the comments of those who signed the petition that the situation is worrying and local residents do not feel safe.”

A number of residents expressed their concerns over safety given the accidents that have happened and the risk that children will get injured by speeding vehicles.

Mrs Dona Johns, local resident, commented: “Many of my neighbours are very concerned about the speeding traffic on The Fairway and Brookfield Rise. The strength of local feeling can be seen by the number of people who signed the petition. I hope the Council can do something to slow the traffic before someone is seriously injured.”

 
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box in Parliament
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box in Parliament
Click photo for enlargement

 

 

 
 
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