Category Archives: Press Release

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.”

PRESS RELEASE: Conservative Candidate for Gloucester comes out against cannabis

Conservative candidate Richard Graham has said that legalising cannabis would be bad for mental health and increases risks to school pupils.

Last week during Mental Health Awareness Week Theresa May confirmed that we have invested more in mental health than ever before, with an estimated £11.7 billion a year spent on mental health, and pledged to employ 10,000 more mental health professionals in the NHS by 2020. The Prime Minister also pledged that every primary and secondary school in England and Wales will have staff trained in mental health first aid. Meanwhile the Lib Dems have pledged to liberalise smoking cannabis for everyone over the age of 18.

Richard said, “the contrast is striking: Conservatives doing more to help with growing mental health issues, especially among the young, which can be made worse by social media pressures, and the Lib Dems propose something which mental health charities have repeatedly said would increase mental health issues.”

Richard added, “there would also be a social pressure risk to under age pupils in the company of over 18s to join in. I do not believe that legalising cannabis is going to help solve our growing drugs problem in Gloucester or elsewhere in the country.”

General Election Candidate 2017

Today is my last day as MP for Gloucester and from tomorrow I’m the Conservative candidate for Gloucester during the election until June 8th.
It has been a pleasure serving you, my constituents and employers, and I’ve replied to over 7000 issues raised by you over the last two years. I hope to continue trying to help constituents in trouble as the next MP for Gloucester.
My office will reply to urgent problems and casework issues that are sent to me throughout the election period.
If you’d like to know my views on issues please email richard4gloucester@gmail.com
Thank you for having me as your MP from 2010 – 2017 and I will campaign for your vote to continue.

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP leads committee urging government to look again at supported housing funding plans

City MP Richard Graham has co-chaired an influential joint committee of the Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government Select Committees as they urge the government to look again at plans for supported housing funding to ensure the sector is adequately supported and provision is boosted in a report published today.

Richard Graham MP, Co-Chair of the inquiry and member of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “Supported housing is deeply valued by those who live in it and contributes enormously to their independence and wellbeing. We support the Government’s aims to reform funding for this vital sector to ensure quality and value for money, protect and boost supply, and provide greater local control.

“But we are concerned that the proposals, as they stand, are unlikely to achieve these objectives. Our recommendations seek to improve the Government’s plans and ensure it delivers on our common goal of a sustainable, long-term funding solution for supported housing.

The Committees argue that a new Supported Housing Allowance, banded to reflect the actual cost of provision in the sector, should be introduced instead of the current Local Housing Allowance rate. The Committees note concerns that the Government’s proposed reform will damage provision in parts of the country and could lead to a serious shortfall in the availability of supported housing.

The Committees recommend grants to local authorities, which can commission accommodation and pay providers.

The report also calls a separate funding system for women’s refuges and urges the Government to work with Women’s Aid and providers to devise it. The Committee says it is essential that refuges are able to operate as a national network, unrestrained by local admissions restrictions.

The Committee found that the cost of provision is largely consistent across the country. Unless funding reflects this consistency the Committees are also concerned that providers will be put off investing in particular areas, creating a disparity between the supply of homes and services across the country.

The Committees argue that a Supported Housing Allowance would ensure tenants only require top-funding in exceptional circumstances. The Allowance would be calculated according to a formula made up of a fixed amount for provision, which is consistent between areas, and a smaller variable amount that reflect differences in land costs.

Central funding of the top-up should be guaranteed for at least the duration of the next Parliament to provide greater certainty. Funding levels should be regularly reviewed to ensure the top-up fund keeps pace with increases in the cost of provision and changes in local demand.

Helen Hayes MP, Co-Chair of the inquiry and member of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “Ministers must intervene immediately by scrapping the proposed Local Housing Allowance reform. The sector needs a far more suitable funding system that recognises the consistent cost of provision across the country and provides long term reliability.

“Supported housing caters for an incredibly diverse range of people, from long-term sheltered accommodation for older people to short-term emergency housing for those who have recently become homeless or are fleeing domestic abuse. The Government is right to consider alternative funding for emergency accommodation and we urge Ministers to also recognise the unique challenges of refuges with a distinct funding model.”

Other findings, recommendations and conclusions include:

  • Benefit restrictions that may be justified in the private rented sector should not be applied to those looking to leave supported housing so as to ensure people are not discouraged from do so.
  • The Government should ensure providers are aware that supported housing tenants claiming Universal Credit will not be worse off if they seek employment. A job should be seen as an important milestone towards independence and self-sufficiency.
  • The Government should establish a set of national standards to enable monitoring of the quality of provision in all supported housing in England and Wales, with a specific emphasis on improving the quality of life that tenants experience

NOTES

700,000 people live in supported housing in the UK, from older people and those with learning and physical difficulties, to survivors of domestic violence.

The Government acknowledges that supported housing saves in the region of £3.5 billion per year, through lower costs for the NHS, social care and criminal justice systems.

The system is facing considerable demand, with a reported 17,000 shortfall in supported housing places; a figure that could double within the next three years without Government intervention.

Further information is available on the inquiry webpage or on the Work and Pensions Committee and Communities and Local Government Committee websites

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP welcomes c£1 million for A&E services for Glos Hospitals Trust

Richard Graham MP says the c£1 million awarded to Gloucestershire Hospitals by the Department of Health will help ease the pressure on emergency departments before next winter.

Richard said, “Funding for the Gloucestershire NHS is rising year on year, but we all know that our A&E departments can get particularly busy in the winter and so all extra funds will help. Meanwhile we must all continue to use the GRH A&E only for genuine emergencies.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

The Department of Health has allocated £56 million of the £100 million A&E capital funding outlined in the spring Budget by the Chancellor, to ease pressure on emergency departments in time for next winter. Funding awarded at this stage is being allocated to 70 NHS hospitals, including both Gloucester Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital.

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester to learn from Oxford on homelessness and begging

Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham has invited Jonathan Clark, Chair of the Oxford Poverty Action Trust (OxPATs) to come and share their experience of supporting the homeless and combatting begging with key agencies, charities, faith and business groups in Gloucester tomorrow.

Richard said, “we have two separate issues on the streets of Gloucester: people who need help and people who need to clear off. It is impossible for residents and visitors to know how to differentiate, and we need to find a way for our city’s natural generosity to be most effective in helping those who need it most.

“Oxford created OxPATs in the 90s to help solve similar issues, and I think we will all benefit from hearing what they did and how, and learning from their experience. Our Police, agencies and charities are all doing great work. But the problem isn’t easy to solve and we may find another way to tackle this from OxPATs’ experience. This is what I hope tomorrow’s meeting will explore.”

PRESS RELEASE: MP says all of Quedgeley to benefit from new Kingsway GP surgery

City MP Richard Graham said that planning permission given yesterday for the new GP surgery in Kingsway was the ‘last planning hurdle, successfully jumped’ for Gloucester’s largest surgery and ‘will benefit every resident of Quedgeley’.

Richard has worked on this since calling on NHS Primary Care Trust CEO Jan Stubbings in 2007 with then Cllr Jackie Hall. ‘Ten years later,’ he noted, ‘we are almost at the stage of the spade in the ground. It has taken a very long time, but does means that work can now start on a building that will make such a difference to people’s lives’. The new building, which will take around 12 months to complete, will include ten consulting rooms alongside four rooms for treatments and minor operations.

Cllrs Richard Cook and Hannah Norman agreed that “The new surgery will relieve pressure on Quedgeley surgeries and provide a much improved service to Kingsway residents”

Wyndham Parry, Practice Manager at Rosebank Health, said:

“With several new housing developments anticipated in the area over the next few years and a growing population, the new surgery, which will be located off Rudloe Drive, will be ideally located to provide primary care services for the local area for years to come.

It will be very closely linked to the existing Rosebank Health Surgeries to ensure the right support and services are in place.

Our ambition is to create an attractive, modern, light and airy building which will be welcoming to both patients and staff and we will be excited to see this progress over the coming months.”

The development also includes training and meeting rooms, which will facilitate education and shared learning. These facilities will also allow other health and social care professionals and specialists to provide services for the local people.

Dr Jon Unwin, Senior Partner at Rosebank Health, said:

“We are really pleased and excited that our plans for a new, contemporary surgery are coming to fruition.

We look forward to all our patients, both old and new, benefitting from this new development.”

Property adviser GVA has been working with Rosebank Health on the delivery of the new surgery, including architectural services, site purchase and planning.

Richard Taylor, Senior Director at GVA commented:

“We’re delighted that the next step in the progress of this development has been achieved with the granting of planning consent. We’ve been working closely with the GPs to bring their vision to fruition.”

Director of Primary Care at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Helen Goodey said:

“The CCG has ambitious and exciting plans to improve and expand practices across Gloucestershire, and this development is really positive news for the local area.

The new premises will mean that patients can benefit from facilities that are fit for modern healthcare and will support the provision of high quality care.

The new surgery will also offer an attractive work environment for GPs and other members of the practice team.”

Note to Editors

Architectural proposals were shared with local residents in May 2016 at a drop-in consultation event at the Kingsway Sports Pavilion, which was also attended by GPs and practice team staff.

The CCG has already approved the development and provided the required funding.

Rosebank Health currently operates Rosebank Surgery and Severnvale Surgery, has seven GP Partners and employs 65 clinical and support staff.

Patients will be able to register with Rosebank Health, and can be seen at Rosebank Surgery, Severnvale Surgery or Kingsway Surgery.

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