News from Hazel Labour MP for Salford & Eccles VOL U ME
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Hazel says BILL A ‘MISSED OPPORTUNITY’ Hazel accused the Government of showing a lack of ambition in its new Care Bill during a Commons debate on the legislation. The Bill aims to improve support for carers and brings in a £72,000 cap on the amount people will have to pay to fund their social care. But few people have that amount in savings, meaning many will still have to sell their homes. Hazel said the Bill did not go far enough in integrating the NHS and social care - which could ease pressure on hospitals by ensuring the right community care is available to enable patients to be discharged sooner. She said it was wrong that only people with ‘substan tial needs’ would be eligible for care in the future. And she added that ‘zero hours contracts’ for carers - who were sometimes expected to complete home visits in just 15 minutes - were a ‘disgrace’. Hazel praised the track record of Salford social enterprises including Social adVentures and Unlimited Potential for their care in the community schemes and said such innovation would be crucial in the years ahead.
Clare’s Law can save lives
Hazel is pictured outside Downing Street during the campaign for Clare’s Law with Clare’s father, Michael Brown (left of Hazel) and local journalist Michelle Livesey (right of Hazel).
Hazel has welcomed an announcement that the Clare’s Law Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is to be rolled out across the country. The scheme allows people to apply to police to find out if their partner, or the partner of a loved one or friend, has a history of domestic abuse (Right to Ask). It also gives police and other local agencies the power to pro-actively disclose such a history where they fear someone may be at risk. (Right to Know). Following year-long pilot schemes in four police force areas – Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Gwent and Nottinghamshire – the Home Secretary Theresa May has now announced that Clare’s Law will be extended nationwide. The announcement follows a campaign involving Hazel, local radio journalist Michelle Livesey and Michael Brown, the father of her constituent Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner George Appleton in 2009. Clare, from Salford, was unaware that Appleton had a history of domestic abuse, and her father believes that had she done so she may have ended the relationship before things spiralled out of control. During the campaign to introduce Clare’s Law, a petition was handed in at 10 Downing Street and Hazel met the Home Secretary with Michael Brown. She also arranged a parliamentary launch of the campaign. The pilots, which were announced by the Government on the back of the campaign, ended in September. In Greater Manchester, police have received 146 applications for information, leading to 81 disclosures that someone has a history of domestic abuse. In Salford, there have been 22 applications and 11 disclosures. Hazel wrote to Theresa May welcoming the results and calling for the scheme to be extended across the country. Hazel said: “Not all potential victims will make the decision to end their relationship, but they will be empowered to make that call, and will now know that they could be at risk. If Clare’s Law helps just some of these people to avoid a life of torment and despair at the hands of an abusive partner, or even the tragic fate of my constituent Clare, it will have been well worthwhile.”
City’s role in dementia war Activities which are helping to improve the quality of life for people with dementia in Salford could make a difference around the world.
Welcome for paid interns Hazel welcomed a new intake of 10 paid interns to Parliament at a special reception. She launched the cross party Speakers’ Parliamentary Placement Scheme in 2011 in conjunction with the Social Mobility Foundation after becoming concerned that some MPs were using unpaid interns in their London offices. Hazel feared that this meant that only people from better off backgrounds could afford to do internships in the House of Commons. Under the scheme, interns are paired with an MP and help with tasks including research and administration in their London office for nine months. The interns are paid and also receive support with accommodation costs. Of the nine interns who took part in the 2012/13 scheme, six now have permanent jobs, four with MPs, and one has returned to full-time education. Sarah Linney, 21, who is doing her paid internship with Hazel, said: “It is not an over-statement to say that the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme has changed my life. I didn’t believe that someone like me could have an opportunity like this, coming from a working class background, not being an Oxbridge graduate and not having the right connections.”
That was the message from Hazel to international health ministers at a G8 summit into the condition held in London on December 11 in order to agree a new international approach to dementia Hazel speaking at the G8 summit research. Ms Blears, the Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, spoke of the value of activities like singing, art, drama and reminiscence sessions, which take place at the Poppy Day Centre in Swinton. The centre, which is part of the Humphrey Booth Resource Centre, is one of 10 national demonstration hubs for those with the condition. Hazel said its activities were making a real difference to the lives of local people with dementia - including her mum Dorothy. But Hazel, who is vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, told the panel of health ministers that such provision was not available for people with dementia in other areas. She said that could change if money is invested in research which proves the benefits of such activities for people’s well-being. “If we can show the people who commission these services evidence of what works and why, they can then be confident that if they spend their money on these things it will make a real difference to people’s lives,” said Hazel. She also urged the Prime Minister never to forget the people who mattered most – those who have dementia, their families and carers. “All the research should be based upon the views and stories of those who are at the centre of things, and know better than anyone about the impact of dementia,” she said. Hazel, who was the only MP at the summit who is not a serving minister, added after the event: “I want Salford to play an important part in this global war on dementia and I am proud of the work we are doing around dementia through initiatives like the local Dementia Action Alliance and the University of Salford’s new Institute for Dementia. “The Government pledged to double the money it spends on dementia research by 2025 and while this is a step in the right direction, it will still be way behind the amount going into cancer. “The UK will be looking at new ways of increasing the money available for research and I am already working hard with partners like the University of Salford in this respect.” Hazel also welcomed a commitment to try and find a cure for dementia by 2025, or at least a drug which slows the progress of the condition and improves people’s quality of life. Ministers will meet again in the US in February 2015 to review progress.
In the constituency
Scheme helped long-term unemployed Staff at Tesco Pendleton who were unemployed until a year ago told Hazel how they had benefited from a scheme to help people back into work. Ahead of the supermarket opening in November 2011, Hazel encouraged managers to do everything they could to support local people who had been out of work for some time More than 50 jobseekers who were long-term unemployed took part in a Regeneration Partnership programme and were given extensive training and a job. And 97 per cent of them remain at the store more than one year on. Some of them spoke to Hazel about their experiences after she was invited to the store to mark its first birthday. Many have now experienced different roles and learned new skills on everything from the fishmonger stall to the bakery. Hazel said: “It was inspiring to
Hazel is pictured chatting to some of the staff
hear from staff about their journey from long-term unemployment to becoming dedicated and highly valued members of the Tesco team. “They have learned new skills along the way and the 97% staff retention rate is testament to the support and encouragement they have received.
“I have been campaigning for some time for local firms and social enterprises to put something back into the community. “Helping unemployed people back into work while teaching them new skills is a fantastic way of doing that and I want to see more major employers following Tesco’s example.”
Hazel helps pupils learn about blindness Hazel was blindfolded by pupils from St John’s CE Primary School in Irlam o’ th’ Height as part of a special day of activities to learn about the challenges faced by blind people. She attempted to navigate an obstacle course by following instructions from eight-year-old Ben Williams. The pupils were taking part in Bright for Sight, a campaign to raise awareness of blindness run by Henshaws Society for Blind People. Activities included making blindfolds and glasses, trying to guess different types of food through smell and touch, and listening to stories about how blindness has affected people’s lives. Hazel presented selection boxes to the children with the brightest smile, clothes and home-made glasses.
various activities but had also learned a lot about the challenges faced by blind people.
She said: “The children were a delight. It was clear that they had not only enjoyed taking part in the
“I hope other schools and firms will take part in this fantastic campaign.”
Hazel with the pupils to whom she awarded prizes.
Press PAGE 4
The Times: On Clare’s Law: Hazel Blears, the MP for Salford and Eccles, who campaigned with Mr Brown (Clare’s dad) for the introduction of the law, said she was delighted that the scheme was to be introduced nationally. “Clare’s Law has the potential not only to change people’s lives for the better, but also to save lives,” she said. Salford Online: After welcoming a new intake of paid interns to the House of Commons, Hazel said: “I believe passionately that nobody should be denied access to valuable opportunities like this on the basis of wealth. But it is not just politicians who need to do more to ensure equality of opportunity for everyone – all employers have a responsibility to do so and that is why I am campaigning to make unpaid internships a thing of the past.” The Guardian: On her support the Salford Dementia Action Alliance, Hazel said: "The shocking fact is that one in three of us will get dementia – every single family will be touched by it. I'd like to see not just more awareness but a positive willingness to go that extra step. Whether they are going shopping, to the bank or to the swimming pool, people with dementia should be treated with respect, with dignity and above all with warmth because they are valuable and loved human beings."
Community Committees Ordsall and Langworthy Community Committee: 6.45pm, Tuesday January 14 - in Langworthy, venue to be confirmed. Claremont and Weaste Community Committee: 6.30pm, Tuesday January 14 - All Hallows Business College, Weaste Lane. Swinton and Pendlebury Community Committee: 6.15pm, Tuesday January 14 - Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road. Eccles Community Committee: 2pm, Tuesday 28 January - Eccles Gateway. “I would like to wish everyone in Salford and Eccles all the very best for the New Year- see you in 2014!” Hazel
Ask Hazel If you need advice or have an issue you want to share with Hazel please get in touch
Hazel Blears MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA
Hazel Blears MP 201 Langworthy Road Salford M6 5PW
Phone: 0161 925 0705
Fax: 0161 743 9173
E-mail: email@example.com Promoted by Ray Mashiter on behalf of Hazel Blears MP for Salford and Eccles. Printed by Ray Mashiter, all at 201 Langworthy Road, Salford M6 5PW