Author Archives: Richard Graham

EU Citizens in the UK

Richard visiting Safran (a French company) in Gloucester with then-Defence Minister Philip Dunne MP

I know there are lots of of my constituents who are EU citizens and are worried about their future rights in the UK.

The Prime Minister laid out yesterday the specifics of our government’s offer to the EU on resolving this and the rights of British citizens in the EU, and I thought it would be useful to share with you this brochure which lays out the details in Q&A form.

The main difference in the UK and EU positions on rights for EU citizens here is whether they have recourse to the European Court of Justice or the Courts in the UK (as British citizens will).

In my view it would be absurd to have people living here with different legal rights – we wouldn’t expect British citizens living there to be subject to our laws rather than European laws -and I hope the EU can understand that.

But otherwise I believe that this package should be very reassuring to any EU citizen living and working in the UK, and their employers (like the NHS but also our University, Glos College and many businesses).

If anyone has any queries do e mail me on richard.graham.mp@parliament.uk.

 

Click to view document.   

Response to constituent queries on the DUP

Some constituents have contacted me about the government’s cooperation with the DUP.

The Prime Minister is finalising a deal very different from the coalition agreement previously in place with the Liberal Democrats.

The DUP will support us on specific key issues such as the budget and will help provide the stability and certainty the whole country needs as we embark on Brexit and beyond.

Several people have raised concerns about the impact of any deal on areas such as eg. English laws on abortion, gay marriage etc. These issues are ‘devolved’ i.e. decisions for Northern Ireland Assembly and so have no impact on our laws here.

Personally, I will continue to promote an equal rights agenda. I supported the Conservative Bill in Government for same sex marriage and earlier this year ‘Turing’s law’ to remove historic convictions for consensual acts. As I work with colleagues to govern in the national interest we’ll continue to promote and champion the equal rights we believe in.

The DUP and us have a similar practical approach to settling the border issue with the Republic of Ireland after Brexit, making sure that there is as little disruption as possible. And we shared the conviction that a Corbyn led government, in coalition with those who would bring down the Union (the SNP), would be a disaster for all of the UK.

Governing in the national interest means leaving the EU in a way that works for the whole country. It means building on our economic record of more jobs, cutting the deficit and investing more in public services like the NHS; and tackling the social issues like mental health, housing, and proper technical education for young people.

My own plan, with our University and NHS Trusts, for a Health University Technical College in Gloucester are a key part of this.

I am confident that an agreement will be reached soon and expect a formal announcement with more detail at that time

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP responds to ‘worrying’ OFSTED Report

City MP Richard Graham says the recent OFSTED report on the county council’s children’s services is ‘worrying’ and that the council is right to have made immediate changes. “What matters now is how quickly the council can implement the OFSTED recommendations and turn the service around.”

Richard said that “my office has had concerns about a few individual cases in the past, but these have been resolved after investigation. I welcome the statement by the Chief Executive outlining the actions he has taken to reform the management of this critical service and the appointment of someone with relevant experience as Cabinet member to oversee the improvements needed.

Meanwhile I will be looking at any outstanding cases to see whether there is more that can be done to safeguard individuals and if any constituent has issues to do with safeguarding children that they wish to bring to my attention I hope they will do so as soon as possible. Please email me on richard.graham.mp@parliament.uk or ring 501167 for a surgery appointment.”

NOTES:

The report ranks the council’s Children’s Safeguarding as the lowest ‘inadequate’ rating.

Not all of the report is negative: council work on adoption, for example, receives praise

The full OFSTED report here: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/gloucestershire

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP says city’s latest low unemployment figures highlight business resilience

City MP Richard Graham said today’s unemployment figures which show a 60% drop in Gloucester and over 70% drop for youth unemployment in the city since their peaks show that Gloucester businesses are continuing to recruit, and are backed by the latest ICAEW measure of business confidence which has turned positive for the first quarter in a year.

“Business confidence is incredibly important because it tries to capture whether business is likely to go on investing, and growing and taking on more staff. Across our city at the moment there are different building sites and applications pending planning approval, which is another good indicator of business activity and investment. As we enter difficult negotiations with the EU our business resilience and confidence in a sensible outcome is vital to a successful economy. Government investment in our infrastructure and support for our regeneration is equally important to Gloucester – and I am already having informal discussions with Ministers on aspects of that”.

Richard also highlighted the importance of the Apprenticeship Levy for this year’s school leavers and older employees looking to up skill or change career: “The new levy means more money coming to fund apprentices’ training and will make good economic sense for all organisations, and I know that eg the county council, the Hospitals Trust and private businesses alike will be hiring many more apprentices. The government has also helped businesses by abolishing employers’ National Insurance contributions for under 25 year old apprentices.”

KEY ISSUES: Health, Education and Skills

Health

We all want to give our Health Service more money. Only the Conservatives can credibly afford to do so, while making sure we never again have the scandals of the Mid Staffs Hospital cover up. Our NHS should be supported: and be accountable.

We will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years, an increase in real funding per head of the population for every year of the Parliament. Funding has also gone up in Gloucestershire year on year since 2010.

We’ll introduce the first new Mental Health Bill for thirty years, and prioritise protecting the 140,000 staff in our NHS during EU negotiations.

We’ll invest in medical training for 1,500 students a year and upgrade primary care facilities and hospital buildings. The GRH has a capital expenditure bid in at the moment which would be one of my early projects to pursue if re-elected.

At the same time as treating anyone from anywhere who needs A&E treatment, we will recover the cost of medical treatment from people who are not resident in the UK and ensure no new NHS numbers are issued until eligibility has been verified.

In implementing the NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, we will support GPs to innovate and aim to ensure everyone can get routine weekend and evening appointments in their GP/nearby surgery by 2019.

And locally I will continue to volunteer every year in our Gloucestershire NHS, remembering always that they saved my life and look after four generations of my family.

Education and Skills

As the son and sister of teachers I know what a difference good teaching makes.

So I’m delighted we will give an additional £4 billion funding to education, and fine tune our Fair Funding Formula – which will help MANY schools in Gloucestershire – so that NO school will be worse off.

In my first term as your MP I was pleased to secure funding for the Gloucester Academy, which now has one of the county’s most respected Heads, and big facility improvements at many other schools since. I’ve also seen great improvements in local Ofsted ratings.

The Education Secretary supports my views on increasing both the number of local pupils and pupils on free school meals at our grammars.

There will be no more grammars in Gloucestershire but I am determined to bid successfully for a new Health University Technical College here in Gloucester – with the full support of all of our NHS Trusts and the University of Gloucestershire.

I committed in 2015 to help our University relocate their Business School here and develop accommodation in Blackfriars – both are happening for a September 2018 opening.

I also committed to helping our University offer nursing degrees and run a pilot scheme for nursing associates to home grow our skills and nurses.

In 2011 I was one of the first MPs to hire my own apprentice, and hosted many Jobs/Apprenticeship Fairs to push this – since 2010 we’ve had 7,000 new apprenticeship starts, the highest in the county.

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