Category Archives: Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: New government supported housing proposals follow Gloucester MP’s report recommendations

 The government’s latest proposals on Supported Housing broadly adopt the recommendations in a joint select committee report co-chaired by Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham in May this year.

 Local Government Minister Marcus Jones announced new measures to provide ring fenced funding certainty for this important sector housing over 700,000 people nationwide, dropping earlier proposals to use the Local Housing Allowance as the starting basis.

 Richard said, “supported housing covers many people’s needs: including the elderly and frail, and those with severe learning difficulties or mental health issues. But there were both cost and quality issues with the old system and these changes address both.

 The government announcement extends the current funding structure until 2020 and then guarantees local authorities the same amount to be re-distributed through county councils – and the details of how to deal with increased demand and inflation will be sorted after this consultation. At the same time a new body will make sure that the supported service does live up to its name and the support is there.

 I worked with Labour MP Helen Hayes on this cross party committee report to outline recommendations for this complicated sector and am pleased the government has listened. There are still issues to be discussed, like how ‘short term housing’ will be structured in ways that protect Women’s Refuges, and I’m interested to listen to charities on this. But I welcome this week’s announcement and the support this will offer my older and more vulnerable constituents.”

 Boris Worrall, Chief Executive of Rooftop Housing Group said, “We’re pleased that the government has listened to the concerns about the proposed cap on the Local Housing Allowance by ring fencing funding for supported housing. This provides us with greater security so that we can continue to build more homes for vulnerable and older people in Gloucester and across the country.”

 Local Government Minister Marcus Jones said: “This government is committed to boosting the supply of new homes, and helping people to live independently and with dignity for as long as possible. This is why we are giving the supported housing sector the certainty of funding they need to get building new homes. These reforms will deliver quality and value for money, funding certainty for the sector and give local areas a greater role in commissioning services.”


 The announcement includes a ring-fenced grant to local authority by April 2020 which will give local areas a bigger role in providing short term and emergency housing and a National Statement of Expectation setting out how local authorities should plan effectively for provisions in their area.

 A consultation on the detailed implementation of the flexible model for supported housing will run until the end of January 2018. Last week (25 October 2017) the government also announced that the Local Housing Allowance rate will not be applied to the social rented sector.

 The supported housing sector support provides homes from older renters. It also provides a home for other vulnerable groups such as people with learning disabilities, mental ill health, homeless people and victims of domestic abuse.


PRESS RELEASE: City MP:  “a giant step forward” to clamping down on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals  


Richard with Minister Tracey Crouch

Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham said today’s announcement on a consultation on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, including an option to cut the maximum stake from £100 to £2, is “a giant step forward to reducing the risks to gamblers and their families, and a success for those of us who campaigned on the issue”.

The Sports Minister has launched a 12 week consultation on options to reduce the maximum stake from £100 to between £50 and £2. A package of measures will also be introduced to strengthen protections around online gambling and gambling advertising to minimise the risk to vulnerable people and children.

Richard Graham said, “I was influenced by the experience of my constituent Hussain Vorajee who became a gambling addict on FOBTs. It almost destroyed his life, and while of course everyone must take personal responsibility the government can help by reducing the maximum stake and protecting the vulnerable.

There are others who will have lost a lot of money and damaged the stability of their family lives who haven’t come forward – and I encourage all my constituents to help them too by supporting the £2 option in the consultation (as I will be doing). The more of us who support this the more likely it is that we’ll get the right result. So please click on”

Gambling Minister Tracey Crouch said: “It is vital that we strike the right balance between socially responsible growth and protecting the most vulnerable, including children, from gambling-related harm. Given the strong evidence and public concerns about the risks of high stakes gaming machines on the high street, we are convinced of the need for action. That is why today we have set out a package of proposals to ensure all consumers and wider communities are protected.”


The package of measures taking effect include:

  • The Gambling Commission will consult on changes to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice next year to raise standards of player protection for online gambling.
  • Gambling industry groups will draw up a major two year responsible gambling campaign. The campaign will have a budget of £5 to £7 million per year funded by gambling operators, with airspace and digital media provided by broadcasters.
  • New advertising guidelines will be drawn up by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) to ensure that the content of gambling adverts does not encourage impulsive or socially irresponsible gambling.
  • The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) are strengthening the code on responsible gambling advertising to require operators to ensure gambling content and channels cannot be accessed by under-18s via social media
  • Gambling operators should step up on funding for research, education and treatment. If not, government will consider other options, including introducing a mandatory levy on gambling operators.


PRESS RELEASE: Glosterpreneurs lead the SW for business productivity

Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham said recent research shows business productivity among SMEs is higher in Gloucester than anywhere else in the SW of England. “39% of our work force are in SMEs: the turnover in Gloucester SMEs is up 147% and productivity up 120% over the last four years. It’s an achievement all Glosterpreneurs should be proud of.”

The City MP added that this trend of SME growth should continue: “Gloucester’s relatively affordable property – much cheaper than Bristol or Cheltenham – makes our city a great place to set up and grow a new business, alongside good schools and easy access to the rest of the country.”

Other key findings in the Sage report are the links between local factors and higher productivity: and especially educational attainment (share of the local population with NVQ4+ level qualifications), good transport connections and levels of SME exports. Richard noted that the growing number of higher apprenticeship qualifications, including from the new Nursing Associate course, all help Gloucester’s position.

“What we can build on,” Richard noted, as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, “is our level of exports, which are focused on a number of great successes and their supply chains. That’s also why I’ve invited the Minister from the Department for International Trade to visit Safran today and meet some of their sub-contractors and others in aerospace to highlight opportunities.”


The State of Small Business report was published on Monday 23 October.


PRESS RELEASE: MP welcomes International Trade Minister to Gloucestershire to promote Aerospace exports

Richard Graham MP has today welcomed the Minister for Investment Mark Garnier MP to Gloucestershire to meet with local aerospace companies and discuss exports. Safran hosted the visit with local aerospace companies including Poetons, GE Aviation and Twyver joining the discussion, with the Minister taking questions about post Brexit trade.

Richard said,

“Now that we’re leaving the EU it’s more important than ever that we support our strong local exporters like our aerospace contractors such as Safran and GE Aerospace and I’m delighted to work closely with all.

Gloucester has some excellent aerospace businesses that are already sending their work abroad and so I’m glad that the Minister could join us today to hear about their work and share his insight into what more we can do.”

Safran Landing System’s Managing Director Chris Wilson said:

“Here in Gloucestershire we have a world leading company. Safran Landing System’s UK business has a unique capability with its total process from initial design to final aircraft integration, in service support and MRO, together with Research and Development.

It is therefore critical that we retain those skills which we have locally, in the region and in the UK. We do everything we can to increase our competitiveness which is why the support from Government, through the likes of the AGP, DIT and BEIS teams, with lobbying, skills development, investment and funding initiatives is so important.”

Minister for Investment, Mark Garnier said:

“UK goods and services are in increasing demand across the world, with the aerospace industry bringing billions into our economy every year. Safran’s work in developing quality engine equipment and landing systems is crucial to the success of the industry and in maintaining jobs.

As an international economic department, we will continue to support businesses in making the most of opportunities through our aerospace trade missions and presence at international air shows.”

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP asks Minister to tackle Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Richard Graham MP has met with Minister Tracey Crouch to support calls for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to face stricter regulations. Richard urged the Minister to consider reducing the maximum stake on a single bet from £100 to £2: “I can see no benefit to anyone from having such high stakes”, said Richard.

In October 2016 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced a review of gambling machines and social responsibility measures including looking at FOBTs. The government has pledged to publish its findings soon in response to campaigners who want to see the maximum stake aspect in particular addressed.

Richard said, “local resident and taxi driver Hussain Vorajee has spoken to me both about his gambling addiction and the wider issue of the severe social impact these FOBTs can have on families. Fixed Odds Betting Terminals allow people to put £100 every 20 seconds into this machine, with the average user losing £1,200 a year. Some customers don’t have much money and the shops are often in poorer areas, adding to the issue.

There are choices involved: no one is forced to gamble, but gambling can become an addiction and we should help those addicted or likely to be addicted. It’s time to be responsible about gambling and that’s why I’ve asked the Minister to have this stake reduced.”

Hussain Vorajee wrote to Richard with his concerns over machines. He said, “I’m pleased that Richard has agreed to take up this cause. Gambling addictions can ruin lives, as I know, and these machines should be better regulated.”


Fixed Odd Betting Terminals are electronic machines, sited in betting shops, which contain a variety of games, including roulette. Each machine accepts bets for amounts up to a pre-set maximum and pays out according to fixed odds on the simulated outcomes of games.

The Gambling Act 2005 regulates gambling in Great Britain. The Act classifies FOBTs as B2 gaming machines. Up to four machines can be sited on betting premises. The maximum stake on a single bet is £100, the maximum prize is £500. There are 34,388 B2 machines in Great Britain (Gambling Commission statistics, May 2017). The gross gambling yield from B2s was £1.8 billion.

A survey by the Gambling Commission found that a third of the 1.45 million people who used the machines were at risk of becoming addicts.

Richard recorded a video on this issue:

Below photos show Richard at a Responsible Gambling Week reception in Parliament and with Hussain Vorajee.


PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP says pans for more social housing should “rocket boost estate regeneration in Gloucester”

Gloucester MP Richard Graham has welcomed announcements from the Prime Minister to create a ‘new generation of council houses’.

During her speech at Party Conference Prime Minister Theresa May outlined plans to increase the affordable housing budget by £2 billion to more than £9 billion, encourage councils as well as housing associations to bid for this money and allow homes to be built for social rent well below market levels in areas where the need is greatest.

The Prime Minister said, “whether you’re trying to buy your own home, renting privately and looking for more security, or have been waiting for years on a council list, help is on the way.”

Richard welcomed the announcements saying, “Gloucester has the 7th highest housing stock growth of any city in the UK. I have supported both the concept of more social housing and putting it into practice – including work being done on Black Dog Way, St Aldate’s Church and in Tredworth on the old Norville Site. More needs to be done and that’s exactly what Gloucester City Homes, both councils sand I are looking for with the Estate Regeneration plan in Matson and Podsmead. The Prime Minister’s announcements should help rocket boost what we want to achieve in Gloucester.”

David Orr of the National Housing Federation also welcomed the news stating, “Today’s announcement is a watershed moment for the nation. In the aftermath of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the Prime Minister said that we as a nation have not paid enough attention to social housing. Today, she is right to make a bold break with the past and commit to building the homes we need most – genuinely affordable homes for those on the lowest incomes.”


The government’s announcement built on a £10 billion extension to Help to Buy and new protections for people renting from a private landlord announced on the Andrew Marr Show.

Proposals were also outlined in the Housing White Paper published earlier this year to ensure councils release sufficient land for housing and give them new powers to require developers to actually build homes once they’ve been given planning permission to do so.

Richard visiting the Black Dog Way construction site with Project Manager Les Fryer. The site will deliver around 98 new flats with a mixture of general needs rent, shared ownership and flats for people with learning disabilities.



First wave of City Protection Officers deployed


The first set of City Protection Officers (CPOs) will be out patrolling Gloucester city centre as part of a group funding scheme where Gloucester BID has been match funded by the Gloucester City Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office raising £650,000 in order increase safety and cleanliness in the city centre.

The CPOs will act as a security blanket for the city, providing a highly-visible uniformed presence that will contribute to improving community safety for businesses, their staff, customers, residents, and visitors to the city. They will provide cover for 152 hours per week, operating seven days a week, 362 days of the year. The CPOs will be Security Industry Authority (SIA) approved, first aid trained and have experience of security work in the city. The CPOs will be working closely with the City Policing Team, the City Council, local security officers and the local businesses to work towards a safer and more secure city.

Nick Brookes, Chair of the Gloucester BID said:

“Helping the city to be a safe, secure and welcoming place has been one of the key focuses of Gloucester BID and is what businesses have asked the BID to deliver. It is fantastic to have been able to work with City Safe, Gloucester City Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office to deliver the CPOs so quickly. The highly visible CPOs will be linked through radio and cell phones allowing BID Members and BID voluntary members to get assistance with incidents.  I think this is a real win for the city and another positive step to making the City a safer cleaner place for people to visit shop and do business.”

Some of the duties the CPOs will include:

  • Tackling low-level anti-social behaviour during the early evening in support of businesses.
  • Referring street beggars, street drinkers and rough sleepers to relevant authorities.
  • Report on and when appropriate deal with graffiti, damage, fly-tipping and when levels of cleanliness are below standard.
  • Responding to minor incidents reports as directed by police CCTV, City Policing Team or as requested by business.
  • Submitting incident and intelligence reports to City Safe.

Martin Surl, the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner said:

“The idea of having City Protection Officers is now well established elsewhere and research shows that working in partnership with the police, local business, local authorities and other stakeholders, they can make a major contribution towards safety and security. I understand why they can have a role to play in Gloucester, but it is also a delicate one of which enforcement is only a part. It’s just as important they are good ambassadors”.

The project has been a collaborative effort between Gloucester BID, The Police and Crime Commissioners Office, City Safe and the Gloucester City Council to help residents, visitors and workers of the city feel safe and proud. The CPOs are now out patrolling the city and are the first phase of the collaboration to bring about more improvements to Gloucester.

Councillor Jennie Watkins, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Communities & Neighbourhoods said:

“Improving the environment of the City Centre for businesses, residents and visitors is a council priority. The introduction of the City Protection Officers will be key to achieving this aim and we are delighted that we have been able to work together with the BID and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office to deliver this shared vision”

Steve Wood, Local Policing Inspector said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Gloucestershire Constabulary to work alongside another new partner as we continue to focus our efforts on keeping our communities’ safe from harm.  We welcome the introduction of the City Protection Officers who I’m confident will be a positive addition to the city of Gloucester.”

For further information contact Gloucester BID at:

PRESS RELEASE: MP says Gloucester employment success has overtaken 130 other constituencies

According to City MP Richard Graham, Gloucester’s unemployment has fallen faster than 130 constituencies since June 2010.

“The figures show,” said Richard, “that not only are many more people are in work and many less people unemployed than in 2010, but also that we’ve risen from 253 to 383rd in the relative league table of unemployment by constituency”.

The MP highlighted that Gloucester has overtaken other cities like Bristol and Lancaster since 2010. “We were in the third quartile and now we’re firmly in the top half of the league. That’s where we want to be, and with cyber, manufacturing, retail and university growth alongside steady financial services, nuclear and health and care sectors at the moment Gloucester has a good spread of job opportunities.”

Richard added that with employment levels now at 40 year highs it was important to help the long term unemployed, including those with disabilities, into work.


The ranking is out of 650: the top rated constituency (number 650) indicates the lowest number of JSA and Universal Credit claimants meaning the lowest levels of unemployed.

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP welcomes extra school funding for Gloucester

Gloucester MP Richard Graham has welcomed the Education Secretary Justine Greening’s announcement on a new fair funding formula that will increase funding for Gloucester schools by 3.6%.

The Education Secretary made a statement outlining her response to the consultation on the new fair funding formula for schools on Thursday, publishing illustrative figures for schools across the country up to 2019-20. She accepted recommendations made by MPs including Richard to introduce a minimum level of funding per pupil (£4,800 for secondary school pupils and £3,500 for primary school pupils).

Richard said, “I’m delighted that the Education Secretary has listened to the views of schools, parents, teachers and MPs and introduced a minimum per pupil funding level. I met with the Education Secretary to discuss the initial plans, and she took on board our recommendations which will see all schools in Gloucester benefit.

We’re spending more on schools than ever before, in particular on pupils from deprived backgrounds as we should. So I welcome this announcement and hope it reassures the many parents who wrote to me on this issue.”

The proposed National Funding Formula aims to address historic imbalances where a student with the same needs (e.g. free school meals or from a deprived background) can attract some £500 more depending where the student goes to school.

The government pledged to introduce the national formula, and while the initial plans offered extra support for pupils with additional needs or for deprived backgrounds, MPs raised concerns about basic funding levels. This week’s announcement confirms a basic level of funding that gives every school in Gloucester an increase, with some getting over 9% extra per pupil.

The proposals will come into full force in 2019-2020 after a transitional year in 2018-2019. Find out more:

PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP elected as member of Brexit Select Committee

Richard Graham MP has been elected by Conservative MPs to join the Select Committee for Exiting the European Union. Richard will be one of 21 Members of Parliament on the Select Committee, chaired by Labour’s Hilary Benn, which examines government policy on Brexit and its implementation and departmental administration and spending.

Richard said, “This is the key issue for at least the next 18 months and I’m delighted to have been elected. Brexit is neither the best thing since sliced bread or a great disaster in slow motion. It’s a national decision to be pursued and delivered successfully and I’m looking forward to playing my part in that on the committee. I showed when on the joint Select Committee examining the collapse of Bhs that I look at all issues objectively, and without fear or favour, and I’ll do the same here.”


The full list of Conservatives elected is:

Peter Bone, Chris Chope, Stephen Crabb, Jonathan Djanogly, Richard Graham, Andrea Jenkyns, Jeremy Lefroy, Craig Mackinlay, Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Whittingdale.

Richard recently wrote an article for Conservative Home outlining his views on the media coverage of recent Brexit negotiations, see:


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