Westminster Diary

More than four in 10 Britons live in homes that do not reach acceptable standards in cleanliness, safety and space, housing charity Shelter says.

Shelters new Living Home Standard considers affordability, neighbourhood, stability and living conditions - and the charity asked 1,691 adults about their homes.

Shelter concluded affordability was the biggest problem, and said people should "thrive" in homes, not just "get by".

The government said a priority is doubling the affordable housing budget.

Shelter and Ipsos MORI developed the Living Home Standard through a series of workshops and surveys with the public, with support from British Gas.

The measurement of homes meeting the standard was calculated based on results from a survey of 1,961 adults across the UK.

Each of the five elements in the standard is measured according to certain criteria - for example, the essentials of "space" include having sufficient bedrooms for the household and space for the whole household to spend time together in the same room.

The five elements are:

§  Affordability: Factors cited included how much was left for essentials, savings and social activities after paying for rent or mortgage

§  Decent conditions: Words like "safe", "warm" and "secure" were among the words used by the public to describe what makes a home meet this criterion

§  Space: Adequate space was felt to be crucial for wellbeing, especially mental and social wellbeing

§  Stability: Stability was often described as the extent to which people felt they could make the property they lived in a "home"

§  Neighbourhood: Living in an area where people felt safe and secure was considered particularly important. People also wanted to be close enough to work, family and friends and the services they need

Other aspects included having outdoor space, and enough space for children to study and adults to work. The Living Home Standard is different to Labour’s Decent Homes Standard introduced in 2005.

Clearly we need to take action as soon as possible on this and I will support all the work being done to achieve it.

Housing Standards Bill

More than four in 10 Britons live in homes that do not reach acceptable standards in cleanliness, safety and space, housing charity Shelter says. Shelters new Living Home Standard considers...

The growing commercial market is resulting in kittens being bred in poor welfare conditions, with many being sold desperately unwell, leaving new owners with hefty vet bills.

With kittens being sold for anything from £50 to several hundred pounds - often too young to be separated from their mother - the charity is calling for urgent action to update the law on pet sales and clamp down on those who put money before basic welfare.

The law relating to the selling of cats and kittens dates back to 1951 and is no longer fit for purpose. The way pets are sold has completely changed since the 1950s, and far fewer cats are sold in pet shops. The commercial market today chiefly operates through home-based breeders placing advertisements on classified websites that sell everything from fridges to felines.

 The commercial breeding and sales of cats and kittens is a growing problem, and updating pet vending laws would be a huge step towards safeguarding feline welfare so we welcome the current DEFRA review of animal establishment licences. 

I believe the Government need to bring in regulations which would ban the sale of kittens under eight weeks old, regulate repeat breeding from the family cat and define commercial cat sales. Current legal loopholes which allow breeding for sale to take place unscrutinised, usually from domestic premises also needs to be closed.

I will of course write to DEFRA on this matter.

Change the law to protect kittens bred for sale

The growing commercial market is resulting in kittens being bred in poor welfare conditions, with many being sold desperately unwell, leaving new owners with hefty vet bills. With kittens being...


Flu.jpgSefton Central MP Bill Esterson took part in Westminster Flu Day to help raise awareness of the seriousness of seasonal influenza and encourage those eligible for the free NHS flu vaccine to do make an appointment. Every year, an estimated 12, 000 people die from seasonal influenza in England and Wales, and is the most frequent cause of death in pregnancy. 

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you are 65 years or older; pregnant; living in a long-stay residential care home; receive a carer’s allowance or are a main carer for an elderly or disable person or are a front line health and social worker. 

The Labour MP said “Receiving the vaccine is such an easy way to avoid such a severe illness, I really do urge all of my constituents who are eligible to make an appointment. The event in Westminster highlighted particularly the importance of carers, those looking after the needs of our most vulnerable, to receive a potentially life saving vaccination. I’d like to thank the Royal College of Nursing and Carers Trust, the ABPI Vaccine Group and the Department of Health in raising awareness of such an important matter.”

Westminster Flu Vaccine Day

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson took part in Westminster Flu Day to help raise awareness of the seriousness of seasonal influenza and encourage those eligible for the free NHS flu...

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Labour MP Bill Esterson attended a Park Run event in Westminster last week in preparation for starting the local run in Crosby on 1st
October. The Labour MP has been asked to attend the Crosby run at Crosby Leisure Centre in celebration of the organisation’s impressive 12th Anniversary.

Formed in West London in 2004 with a handful of volunteers, Park Run has now expanded nationwide boasting more than one million members and 130,000 volunteers.

Park Runs are free, weekly, timed events which are accessible to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. On Saturday’s the organisation hosts 5k events, and on Sundays a Junior Parkrun of a more modest 2k is held.

Bill Esterson MP said “It is amazing to see the hard work these
volunteers put in to making their area a happier and healthier place. I am delighted to have such volunteers in my constituency and look forward to celebrating Park Run’s anniversary on 1st October. I would encourage those from across the constituency to come to what promises to be an enjoyable day.”

Labour MP celebrates Park Run anniversary

Labour MP Bill Esterson attended a Park Run event in Westminster last week in preparation for starting the local run in Crosby on 1stOctober. The Labour MP has been asked to... Read more

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Sefton Central Labour MP, Bill Esterson commented on the news that Concentrix would not have their contract for managing parts of the social security system renewed by the government.

Bill Esterson MP welcomed the news that the firm’s contract was being cancelled. However, Mr Esterson said that with 18 months still to run, those people facing hardship through the cuts being imposed by Concentrix would still suffer as a result. He said the government had a responsibility to make sure that people who need tax credits to survive were paid on time. 

Sefton Central constituents unfairly treated by Concentrix

Sefton Central Labour MP, Bill Esterson commented on the news that Concentrix would not have their contract for managing parts of the social security system renewed by the government. Bill Esterson MP... Read more

Today in Parliament Labour will be moving a Motion on Sustainable Transformation Plans, which could decimate the NHS. It reads:

‘That this House notes with concern that NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans are expected to lead to significant cuts or changes to frontline services; believes that the process agreed by the Government in December 2015 lacks transparency and the timeline announced by NHS England is insufficient to finalise such a major restructure of the NHS; further believes that the timetable does not allow for adequate public or Parliamentary engagement in the formulation of the plans; and calls on the Government to publish the Plans and to provide an adequate consultation period for the public and practitioners to respond’

 

Bill Esterson on NHS Transformation Plans

Today in Parliament Labour will be moving a Motion on Sustainable Transformation Plans, which could decimate the NHS. It reads: ‘That this House notes with concern that NHS Sustainability and... Read more

Bill2.jpgLabour's Bill Esterson was one of 70 MPs who signed a letter sent to M&S boss Steve Rowe calling for the company to not cut employees pay to offset the National Living Wage.

 

The campaign, which aims at ensuring fairness in implementing a National Living Wage, has seen some positive changes since Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh named and shamed M&S during Prime Minister's questions in June. 

However, the company have not yet addressed the affect on employees pensions and are still implementing a pay freeze. This would mean an employee currently working for the chain would have to work more hours for the same pay in 2019. 

Bill Esterson MP signs letter to M&S

Labour's Bill Esterson was one of 70 MPs who signed a letter sent to M&S boss Steve Rowe calling for the company to not cut employees pay to offset the... Read more

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On Tuesday (5th) in Parliament, Peers and MPs attended a drop-in session to meet the Every Child Leaving Care Matters (ECLCM) team and sign their petition to stop discrimination against children in residential children's homes and support all children and young people in care to 21 years of age.

Three years ago the government announced children in foster care would be allowed and supported to remain with their foster carers until they are 21 years old. Yet this did not include children and young people in children’s homes, even though they often care for the most vulnerable and disadvantages young people who may be unable to choose not to be fostered.

Since then, the ECLM team have campaigned to end the two tier system which they believe would create an underclass of children in care who have to leave care at 18. They were consulted by Sir Martin Narey in the course of his review into residential care and put forward proposals for children in residential care to stay in touch or stay close to the primary care staff they had grown to trust.

Bill Esterson MP pledges support for campaign to treat all children in Care equally.

On Tuesday (5th) in Parliament, Peers and MPs attended a drop-in session to meet the Every Child Leaving Care Matters (ECLCM) team and sign their petition to stop discrimination against children... Read more

Bill Esterson MP took part in the Land Registry Debate, arguing against Osborne's plan to privatise the sector, previously claiming the Government do not understand 'the difference between quick cash and long-term economic stability'. In the chamber the shadow minister for Small Businesses said:

Bill Esterson speak against privatisation of Land Registry

Bill Esterson MP took part in the Land Registry Debate, arguing against Osborne's plan to privatise the sector, previously claiming the Government do not understand 'the difference between quick cash... Read more

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Since Jo Cox was murdered, like MPs across the country, I have had many emails, texts, Tweets and Facebook messages from people to express condolences, support and love. I have also had people stopping me to show their support for Jo’s family and for my family. I thank you all for your words of comfort. It is really important to say that such sentiments have been the overwhelming reaction of the wonderful people of our country, as we all try to respond to Jo’s death.

Sadly there is another reaction to what happened to Jo. A very sinister reaction. It comes from a small number of people. A man screamed at me this afternoon. He told me I was a disgrace and that I had destroyed his community. Apart from having no idea what he meant, I tried to remind him that my colleague had been murdered, that a mum of two small children had been killed and that his behaviour was completely out of order. He just ignored what I said and continued to be extremely abusive at me. It appears that he has previously been abusive to a local councillor several times.

In my constituency, there are groups who have Facebook pages on which people have written, that local politicians are “deceitful”, “corrupt b******s,” “lying scum”, “self-serving b******s”, “leeches” and “two-faced lying b******s,”. Meanwhile, my staff have been threatened by someone who says he will come to my office with a baseball bat. Twice, constituents have shouted at me in the street and then started shoving me in the chest.

 And yet what I describe is as nothing compared to what some of my colleagues around the country have experienced, especially threats against women and vicious racism, which is all too common. And that’s before mentioning those threatened with rape and death.

Response to Jo Cox MP Murder

Since Jo Cox was murdered, like MPs across the country, I have had many emails, texts, Tweets and Facebook messages from people to express condolences, support and love. I have... Read more

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