PRESS RELEASE: MPs and Councillors secure urgent resurfacing works on M5

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After complaints of excessive noise pollution from local residents close to Junctions 11A and 12 of the M5, Gloucestershire’s national and local representatives have worked together to secure agreement from the government to resurface part of the M5.

The MPs for Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury have worked with Councillors Keith Pearson and Andrew Gravells and Road Minister John Hayes MP on bringing forward the work a full year earlier than expected, starting in March 2017.

Cllr Andrew Gravells for Abbey, said: “It was good to have the support of Richard Graham, and I’m so pleased that after all our hard work and campaigning for this, the project to produce a quieter M5 will now begin as soon as next March. This is great news all round.”

Cllr Keith Pearson for Upton St Leonards, said: “Having been involved for over 14 years with this issue of noise in Upton St Leonards, I am extremely pleased that this work has been seen as important enough to bring forward earlier than originally planned. I thank the Roads Minister John Hayes and all the other MPs who have helped to get the issue resolved, the residents will be delighted I am sure.”

Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester, said: “I was very happy to arrange this meeting with the Roads Minister and am grateful for his help for residents in all three of our constituencies.”fullsizerender

 

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP urges NHS England to protect two key pharmacies

Richard Graham MP has written to NHS England to urge them to include Matson Pharmacy and Rowlands Pharmacy (Alvin Street) in a review that protects pharmacies in poorer areas.

The City MP reviewed both the new policy and specific proposals recently with Local Pharmaceutical Committee Chair Andrew Lane and Manager Andrew Kings from Lloyds Pharmacy in Abbeydale.

“We had a good discussion and in general I think the government’s proposals make economic sense – both saving money and upgrading pharmacies, while protecting several pharmacies in Gloucester either in poorer areas or far from others. But I would also like to see the pharmacies in Matson and Alvin Street protected through the Pharmacy Access Scheme,” said Richard, “and have advised both pharmacies to apply to NHS England. Meanwhile I’ve written to the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England to highlight my concern about these two pharmacies.”

NOTE:

Following recent growth, 40% of pharmacies are now in clusters of three or more meaning that two-fifths of British pharmacies are within 10 minutes’ walk of 2 or more other pharmacies. The community pharmacy budget has also gone up by 40% over the last decade. Pharmacies currently receive between £23,278 and £25,100 per annum depending on the number of prescriptions just for being pharmacies.

There are 4 pharmacies already given ‘green’ or protected status in Gloucester, which get a guaranteed fixed NHS payment of about £2,900 a month in 2016/17 and about £1,500 a month in 2017/18. These are: Badham Pharmacy Kingsway, Lloyds Pharmacy Tuffley, Tuffley Pharmacy and Lloyds Pharmacy (Sainsbury’s) Barnett Way.

For more information on the pharmacy changes see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-pharmacy-reforms

PRESS RELEASE: Indonesian visit highlights county opportunities

Amb Rizal and Richard with local businesses

Amb Rizal and Richard with local businesses

Indonesian Ambassador Dr Rizal Sukma said after visiting Gloucester with MP Richard Graham that he saw real opportunities for more partnerships between Gloucestershire and the largest nation of South East Asia.

“I was impressed by the international focus of Queen’s Award winners like Fluid Transfer and Prima Dental,” said Ambassador Rizal, a former Chevening scholar at the London School of Economics, “and our investment agency (BKPM) is here to help identify the right partners for Gloucestershire investors. The success of the Fluid Transfer – PT Aweco partnership is a model of what can be done.”

University of Gloucestershire Vice Chancellor Stephen Marston, who hosted the Ambassador at the Growth Hub, confirmed the university had increased its footprint in SE Asia and was in talks with six universities in Indonesia.

“There is real potential for Gloucestershire to expand our co-operation with Indonesian universities in a number of ways, including joint point programmes at first degree and Masters level,” said Stephen Marston.

Richard, Stephen Marston, Amb Rizal and the Uni of Glos team

Richard, Stephen Marston, Amb Rizal and the Uni of Glos team

James Hygate, CEO of Green Fuels, said “this event was relevant because we plan to expand our existing market presence in Indonesia throughout SE Asia over the coming years, in line with a growing need for waste derived, sustainable biofuels. Indonesia is the first country to mandate renewable aviation fuel and this is an area where Green Fuels Research sees real potential.”

John Little, Managing Director of Fluid Transfer, said “it is very encouraging to see such a high delegation from the Indonesian Embassy come to meet with businesses in Gloucestershire. For this we have Richard to thank for organising such an opportunity. Fluid Transfer International has successfully completed several major refuelling equipment projects for existing airports that continue to grow and expand, in addition to equipping new airport developments to meet the ever increasing demand in air travel. This has been accomplished through our close ties with a local partner in Surabaya.’

Richard Graham MP also arranged meetings for the Ambassador with BAE and Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP): “we have great innovators in cyber and marine energy in our city and both are very relevant to Indonesia”, explained the City MP.

Wearing his hat as the PM’s Trade Envoy Richard works to help Gloucester businesses increase their exports and develop long term relationships with businesses in Indonesia and other SE Asian nations. “We’re making progress”, Richard concluded, “and visits like this should make a real difference.”

Richard and Amb Rizal at the Growth Hub

Richard and Amb Rizal at the Growth Hub

Richard’s View on the High Court Ruling

I’ve made it absolutely clear on national and local media and in the House of Commons that the people have spoken: we promised before the Referendum that their will would be implemented, and it will be. If the Supreme Court decides we need a parliamentary vote to trigger Article 50, then of course I will vote for that.

The issue is now about the terms of our withdrawal. It won’t be easy and we have a duty to make the best possible arrangements. I wrote before the Referendum that a decision to leave involved significant short term risk for possible longer term gains. That remains true: and we now have to mitigate the risks and take advantage of the opportunities as best we can. You can depend on me to play my part in delivering that.

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP welcomes Indonesian Ambassador to boost county trade & investment export links

City MP and Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Richard Graham is hosting Indonesian Ambassador Dr Rizal Sukma and Trade and Investment officials on Friday to meet Gloucestershire businesses and organisations like the University of Gloucestershire to boost business flows.

Richard said, “Ambassador Rizal is a former London School of Economics scholar with strong links to the President and a keen advocate of encouraging foreign investment. He’ll meet Gloucestershire businesses like Green Fuels and Fluid Transfer who already have business in the world’s fourth most populous country and others who could be there or have goals to achieve.

HE Rizal Sukma said, “I’m much looking forward to visiting Gloucestershire, home of leading energy, manufacturing and cyber with Richard, who has done a lot to build relations between our countries. President Jokowi’s government is the most open ever and ready to welcome the UK’s innovative and creative technologies.”

David Owen, CEO of GFirst, added “this is an excellent opportunity for Gloucestershire businesses to engage with Indonesia – a leading growth economy and a fast growing number of middle class consumers.”

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP urges residents to join him at Pudsey Fun Run in Kingsway

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Gloucester MP has urged local residents to join him at the Pudsey Fun Run in Kingsway on Saturday for Children in Need.

Richard Graham said, “I am absolutely not a Marathon Man. Just thinking about running a Marathon fills me with horror. I leave that to real men like City Council Leader Paul James. But I can run a mile – in fact probably 60,000 people in Gloucester could run a mile. And you don’t even have to run the whole mile of the Kingsway Fun Run if you don’t feel like it. You can run, jog, or walk for BBC Children in Need.

In fact I might even get Twiglet to run the first bit with me. She’s got four feet, which is an advantage, but she’s also 18, which for a dog is quite old – about 120 in human terms. So if she can do a bit of it then come on Gloucester!

See you at the Kingsway Sports Pavilion on Saturday the 19th November at 10am, with a Winston or a tenner to join in and support a good cause.”

Organiser Andy Jarrett said, “this event is thanks to the generous sponsorship of Michael Tuck Estate Agents and every penny raised will go to Children in Need. The first 140 entries will get a souvenir medal so I hope to see these go quickly!”

NOTE TO EDITORS

The entry fee is £5 for an adult and £10 for a family.

The race includes a diverse range of volunteers from Kingsway Parkrun, Kingsway Runners, Quedgeley Parish Council, and the Rotary Club of Severn Vale.

For further information do visit: www.KingswayPudsy.eventbrite.com

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP comments on local NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan

Richard Graham MP says NHS health plans for Gloucestershire show a welcome headline increase of NHS spending of £73 million (10%) over the next few years, with an important emphasis on extra primary care appointments, additional GPs, nurses and meeting A&E targets.

Richard said, “there is a lot of noise about government health ‘cuts’ which simply don’t reflect the reality of increased spending on the NHS. Overall funding of our local NHS has gone up 6.8% from 2014-15 to 2015-16 and will continue to rise during this Parliament. Of course demand rises too (thanks to our ageing population) and how we all deal with this is important. There are still far too many non-urgent cases brought to A&E.

Of course my constituents will want to look at the details. Chapter 6 of the plan (Gloucestershire Care Commissioning Group’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan) outlines how the NHS will engage and communicate with the public, including public drop-in events hosted via the NHS Information Bus. I hope my constituents will attend those in Gloucester.

Personally I’m pleased the plan sets out ambitions to deliver 7 day services in urgent care by 2021 and increase capacity by training more staff mainly in primary care and nursing workforce. This is exactly what I’ve been working with the University of Gloucestershire to deliver – Nursing Degrees, Nursing Associate higher apprenticeships, and also a new Health University Technical College here in Gloucester. I hope the next few months will show real progress on all of these ambitions – which will in turn help our NHS plans, and enable more of our county’s 50,000 health sector jobs to go to Gloucestershire students.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

A copy of the STP can be found here: http://www.gloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-stp/

The STP also sets targets for:

  • 5,000 extra primary care appointments per month
  • 65 extra GPs
  • 45 extra advanced/specialist nurses
  • Achieving the 4 hour A & E waiting time target

Gloucester MP welcomes resurfacing of road by War Memorial for Remembrance Sunday

Richard Graham MP and Westgate councillors joined Gloucestershire County Council and contractor Amey to look at the finished resurfacing of Park Road, beside the city’s War Memorial.

Richard said, “our county council promised to sort the very poor state of this road in time for our Armed Forces, veterans and cadets to gather this Remembrance Sunday – and it has.”

The city MP noted that, “in this 100th anniversary year of the Battle of Somme, where so many soldiers in the Glosters fought and died (and my grandfather was badly wounded), it’s good that the road looks as it does now.”

Richard also said the city council had prepared the garden and would sort the mindless graffiti recently added to the wall before Sunday’s ceremony: “I much appreciate both of our local authorities showing their respect.”

Vernon Smith, Cabinet Member for Transport, commented, “On Remembrance Day lets us all acknowledge the debt we owe to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. When Richard raised the condition of the road leading to the Gloucester War Memorial, we were only too happy to help resurface it. I have family serving in the armed forces, and many County Council and Amey staff are veterans. It was our pleasure to pull out the stops and get the job done in time.”

County Councillor for Westgate Pam Tracey added that she was pleased residents’ concerns about the road’s condition had been heard and improvements made.

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Cllr Vernon Smith, Cllr Paul Toleman, Gloucester MP Richard Graham, Darren Mizen from Amey & Cllr Pam Tracey on Park Road

Vote for a Park

barnwoodparkEveryone wants me to write about the latest twist in our Brexit saga, and I will – but first I want to ask you to do something even more unusual than voting for or against the EU: to vote for a Park.

One of the joys of Britain is that every town and city has a park: and some are very handsome. But we have one uniquely special. In fact it doesn’t really fit the urban model at all.

This Park has a gracious collection, especially of hardwood, trees beside a gentle duck filled brook and its own arboretum, where fabulous new and old trees are nurtured. There are wild spaces sometimes grazed by sheep: a miniature Gothic former chapel, now a temple to the body (or gym): a great water meadow stuffed with buttercups at the right time of year; and lovely views towards St Lawrence’s church that no-one could imagine are part of a cityscape.

‘In the Cotswolds’, pronounce friends confidently when I show them photographs from this haven and invite them to guess where they were taken.

But I am of course extolling Barnwood Park & Arboretum, Gloucester, in the last century once a private preserve, then part of a mental hospital (where poet Ivor Gurney amongst others was incarcerated), and for a generation now a people’s park.

Barnwood Park is yet another little known secret of our great city, close to Ermin Street (Hucclecote Road), the Roman road that still links Glevum (Gloucester) and Corinium (Cirencester) – and not really signposted at all. Park by St Lawrence’s, cross the road and walk 100 yards to your left and you’re there.

Today the park is tended by the council and a small army of dedicated and fiercely protective volunteers and we have the chance to give it (and them) deserved recognition. It’s been nominated for an award in the Best Park in the UK competition.

Normally when I get involved in awards it’s to support them for individuals, buildings or charities. And if I’m seeking a vote it’s in a General Election. This is the first time I’ve appealed to you to vote for a Park, which might result in an award.

Apart from this candidate’s great qualities, she won’t make any promises, won’t cause any scandals and will still be here in a hundred years, giving us all pleasure from her nature in a still troubled world. I rest my case.

So please join me and vote for Barnwood Park & Arboretum before Wednesday the 9th November here: http://www.fieldsintrust.org/bestpark/southwest.

Best regards

Richard

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP celebrates Gloucester exporter Helipebs receiving first Queen’s Award

Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham MP says that HRH The Duke of Kent presenting Helipebs Controls with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the first time shows how far the company’s exporting success has come since the financial crash in 2008: ‘this is a Phoenix like recovery for the Elmbridge based engineering company, based on quality and service’.

Helipebs Controls are to be presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise International Trade 2016 by HRH the Duke of Kent, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter on Wednesday 26 October at 2pm.

Richard first went round Helipebs in early 2007, later taking then Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles to visit. He said, “I saw immediately the potential for the business – they make the cylinder in every Dyson vacuum cleaner, parts for Jaguar Land Rover and testing equipment for Saffran Messier Dowty.”

The City MP, who is also the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to much of South East Asia, added “there is no higher honour for any business than being awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. What a great company we have tucked away on Sissons Road in Elmbridge – huge congratulations to Chairman Geoff, MD Andrew and all the team.”

The award was presented by HRH the Duke of Kent. Helipebs Controls have grown their overseas sales by 142% from 2013 to 2015 by extending their product range and servinga variety of industries across the world.

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