Category Archives: Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP welcomes huge step forward for Tidal Lagoons from Hendry Review

Richard with Charles Hendry

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons and Gloucester MP Richard Graham said that the Hendry Review of Tidal Lagoons gave the clearest possible recommendation for the government to move fast and develop this new global industry.

Richard said, “Charles Hendry said he had started a sceptic and ended a huge enthusiast for the opportunities in this sector. On the core issues of security of supply, decarbonisation, affordability and economic gain (jobs above all) his Review found strongly in favour of the UK being the world’s first mover of Tidal Lagoons – and he urged the government to get negotiations for a Swansea pathfinder moving as soon as possible, with an aim of seeing electricity generated from the Swansea Tidal Lagoon in 2022.”

The Hendry Review noted the huge public support for Tidal Lagoons, the importance of UK manufacturing, supply chains and tourism, and made over 30 recommendations, including the creation of new delivery body (Tidal Power Authority).

“This report gives the government the opportunity to move forward on domestically sourced, very low carbon generation from our greatest untapped source of energy – our tides. I will be inviting members of our All Party Group to write a further letter to the Chancellor giving our support for the recommendations and urging him to make a positive response before the Budget,” said Richard

Mark Shorrock, the Chief Executive of Tidal Lagoon Power said, “the Hendry Review has set the final piece of the jigsaw in place and we look forward to working with Ministers and Officials to bring this new industry to life. We really appreciate the work done by Richard and APPG members in putting tidal lagoons at the centre of Parliamentary debate.”

Charles Hendry said, “it is clear that tidal lagoons at scale could deliver low carbon power in a way that is very competitive with other low carbon sources. We are blessed with some of the best resources in the world, which puts us in a unique position to be world leaders. The costs of a pathfinder project would be about 30p per household per year over the first 30 years.”

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP welcomes changes to Openreach to improve broadband services

Richard Graham MP has welcomed the announcement that Ofcom will require Openreach and BT to legally separate. The announcement follows lobbying from over 100 MPs including Richard, who signed a letter to the Telegraph in January calling for the division.

Richard said, “many of my constituents have raised concerns about their broadband speed. Where I can help them to find a solution with providers I have done, but there needed to be a big shake up in the way that we handled broadband in this country to see faster progress. By separating Openreach, which handles the broadband infrastructure like the cables and cabinets, from BT, which provides the service, I think we are moving in the right direction to allow for more competition, better innovation and better service for my constituents.”

Richard has been working with BT and constituents to help those areas of Gloucester that have little to no broadband service. The Government is committed to a Universal Service Obligation (USO), so every home in the country will have access to broadband at a speed of 10Mbps as a minimum by the end of this Parliament.

 

NOTE TO EDITORS
Openreach is the part of BT Group that develops and maintains the UK’s main telecoms network used by telephone and broadband providers such as Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT Consumer. Openreach has obligations to offer the same products to all customers on the same terms.

Ofcom introduced this structure in 2005, and it has delivered benefits such as stronger competition. However, BT retains influence over significant Openreach decisions, and, in the view of Ofcom, has an incentive to make these decisions in the interests of its own retail businesses, rather than BT’s competitors.

In February 2016, Ofcom said that Openreach must become more independent from BT, and in July 2016 outlined proposals for how this might work. In November 2016 Ofcom ordered BT to separate legally from its Openreach division.

 

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP Richard Graham to demand action on CrossCountry Trains at Prime Minister’s Questions Today

2011-06-transport-minister-mike-penning-at-gloucester-stationRichard Graham will today be asking the Leader of the House at Prime Minister’s Questions today to ask CrossCountry to make a solid commitment to extra services to Gloucester.

The MP has been campaigning for a number of years for an increase in stops at Gloucester on services between Birmingham and Bristol. CrossCountry runs 63 intercity trains a day between Birmingham & Bristol of which only 3 stop at the city of Gloucester.

Formal talks with the Department for Transport on a new franchise for Cross Country concluded in September 2016. Richard Graham met with Rail Minister Paul Maynard in November to discuss possible extra services.

A letter from the Minister confirmed that CrossCountry had indicated that two additional calls each day could be possible from December 2017 but they subsequently told the department this would not be possible due to lack of capacity and that these might be delivered from December 2018.

CrossCountry released a public consultation on 31 October on December 2017 timetable changes in which they state “we were seeking to add some additional station calls at Gloucester in our Manchester to Bristol services from December 2017. It will not be possible to achieve this as there is not enough track capacity to accommodate these services at this time. It is possible this may be achieved in December 2018, and we will work with Network Rail to review the situation. We will consult affected stakeholders on this proposal nearer the time.”

Richard said, “The current situation is totally unacceptable. While we continue to improve station infrastructure & gear up for more and better London route services, Cross Country treats the City of Gloucester as a sort of rail leper – doing anything to avoid more than 3 out of 63 Inter City services a day stopping at the City of Gloucester. Whatever the technical issues of eg electrification at Bristol train operators simply should not be allowed to avoid cities in the way Cross Country has done on this service. It’s time for Ministers to demand change.”

Richard will press the Leader of the House on this today. He has also written to the Managing Director of CrossCountry and is speaking to Network Rail.

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

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

2011-rg-and-paul-james-running-in-tredworth-2

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.

park-road

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

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.

2016-05-16-helipebs-visit-4

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