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2013 Archive

You can see earlier press appearances and speeches here:
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View the Parliamentary achive here:
| 2008 | 2009 | 2010

Mental Health in Knowsley
19 Dec 2013
NHS mental health workers in Knowsley recently took part in ‘Movember’ - an annual month-long event in which men are encouraged to grow moustaches to raise awareness of testicular and prostate cancer and male mental health. 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provide specialist mental health, learning disability and community services based in the North West of England.

When talking about mental health, Paul Campbell, Consultant Clinical Psychologist for the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:
‘If you or someone else has noticed a change in your mood or behaviours; alterations in your sleep patterns, or believe that you are drinking or using stimulants more frequently than usual, it could be that these are the early signs of a mental health issue like anxiety or depression so please speak to your GP. He or she can help you to decide if our service is right for you and support you through our ‘opt-in’ referral system.”

For further information on the services that Knowsley Primary Care Mental Health can provide, click here.

Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill

17 Dec 2013
A number of constituents have contacted me about the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement’s report on Non-Party Campaigning Ahead of Elections, a Consultation and Recommendations relating to Part 2 of the Transparency in Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.

I welcome the report from the Civil Society Commission on part two of the Lobbying Bill. The Commission’s recommendations are wide ranging, and many of them would help to remove some of the worst excesses of this gagging bill. Labour will be working closely with the Commission and with all concerned charities and campaigners from across the UK as this Bill goes through its next stages in the Lords. In its current form, Part two of the Bill increases the regulation of charities and campaigners in the year before the election and restricts their activity, it makes lobbying less transparent and ultimately, it gags charities and campaigners, while failing to address the real ‘big money’ in politics.

There has been no consultation on the Bill and it has come under sustained criticism from political and constitutional experts and the voluntary sector. The Government are rushing this through Parliament so that charities and campaigners will be hit before the next election. This is a wasted opportunity for political reform.

I will be supporting Labour’s amendments and I’m hopeful that they will achieve the effect that they are seeking.

Alzheimer's Society Campaign
17 Dec 2013
I fully support the Alzherimer's Society Campaign which called for the G8 to step up and tackle dementia. To read more about their campaign, click here. The G8 Dementia Summit Declaration can be found here.

Energy Bill Revolution
3 Dec 2013
I fully support the Energy Bill Revolution campaign for warm homes and lower bills. Energy bills are causing immense financial hardship, with one in five households struggling to heat their homes. To find out more about the Energy Bill Revolution campaign, click here.

Cardiac Risk in the Young: Book Launch
3 Dec 2013
I was delighted to attend a parliamentary reception for the charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), where a new book, “Young, fit and suddenly diagnosed with a life threatening condition…”, was launched. It features 10 essays from young men and women who recount their own experience of being diagnosed with heart conditions. CRY support bereaved families, who have been affected by sudden cardiac death, and also work with the growing numbers of young people who have been diagnosed with potentially fatal heart conditions. The diagnosis of a heart condition can be frightening, however, this book provides young people with the reassurance, from those going through a similar experience, that their lives are not over, they are often only just beginning. For further information on the work CRY do, please click here.

Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week
26 Nov 2013
As part of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness week, I have pledged my support to improve the detection and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation in order to prevent 7,100 strokes a year. Atrial Fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance encountered by doctors and is associated with deadly and debilitating consequences including heart failure, stroke, poor mental health, reduced quality of life and premature death. There are an estimated 1.5 million sufferers in the UK and the condition costs the NHS £1.8 billion per year. Pulse checks are the easiest and most effective method to detect AF, and as part of AFAware week I had my own pulse checked in Parliament. For further information about the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Atrial Fibrillation, the AF Association or to find out how to get involved with AFAware week, please click here.

Opposition Day Debate: Bedroom Tax
13 Nov 13
In a debate yesterday about the Bedroom Tax, I gave a speech which highlighted the impact that this unfair policy has on people's lives - read my speech in Hansard. Unfortunately, the Government defeated Labour's motion. Click here to see a full breakdown of the vote.

'Knives Wreck Lives' campaign

11 Nov 13
I'm pleased to be supporting Juice FM’s ‘Knives Wreck Lives’ campaign running 11th - 17th November, which draws attention to the wide-ranging impacts of knife crime.

Knife crime can involve people of all ages. The impacts of knife crime can be devastating and many victims can be affected emotionally, physically and psychologically. If you have been affected by knife crime, please contact Merseyside Police or Victim Support. If you would like further information about Juice FM’s 'Knives Wreck Lives' campaign, click here.

'Stop the Growing Divide' campaign
11 Nov 13
I support the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) campaign which calls on the Government to stop the growing divide between the more prosperous and weak economies that its current policies are driving. We ask the Government not to turn its back on those towns and cities that have made this country wealthy but to help regenerate such areas before the impacts of current policies become irreversible. We ask the Government to provide a rational measure of the holistic impact of their policies on cutting funding and welfare payments and to engage meaningfully with those most affected to deliver a method for redressing the current growing unfair imbalances. To sign the petition, click here.

Usdaw's call for shoppers to 'keep your cool' and not abuse shopworkers
11 Nov 13
I fully support Usdaw's campaign for respect for shopworkers as part of the Freedom From Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff. Too often retail employees are confronted with violence, threats and abuse and it is really important we stand by together and ask people to keep their cool and respect shopworkers. Usdaw's campaign was launched the day after the Government blocked a Labour amendment to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which would have introduced a specific additional offence of assaulting a worker serving the public.

Pilot Badger Cull
16 Oct 13
I have signed Early Day Motion 299 which calls on the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to bring the matter before the House before any decision on a wider roll-out of a pilot badger cull is taken, and that such a matter should be subject to a vote of the House.

Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill
15 Oct 13
I have throughout its parliamentary stages voted against the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.

My reasons for doing so include:
- It makes lobbying less transparent;
- The Bill gags charities and campaigners, which in an open democracy is unacceptable;
- It fails to address the critical issues of how large poltical donations, whether from wealthy individuals or companies - taints our politics

Diabetes UK Campaign

25 Sept 13
I am supporting the new campaign by Diabetes UK that aims to reach the 7 million people in the UK who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke and can have a devastating impact on both the people affected and their families.

It is very important that people in Knowsley are aware of the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes, which include being over 40 (or over 25 if you are from a South Asian background); being overweight or having a close family member with diabetes.

I am urging people in Knowsley to take a risk assessment if any of these risk factors apply to you as in most cases it is possible to prevent or delay the onset of the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can get risk assessed online at www.diabetes.org.uk/riskscore, by visiting a pharmacy or by going to your GP.

Diabetes can shatter lives and families so getting checked is one of the best things you can do for your health and for your family.

Employment Practices
28 Jun 13
I've been working with fellow MPs, Luciana Berger and Alison McGovern, to research the impact of zero hour contracts and other precarious employment practices. We found convincing evidence that these contracts are used by some companies to evade their responsibilities and we have drafted a code of practice to improve employment stability, conditions and fairness. Read the executive summary and the full report.

Labour and a new Europe
24 Jun 13
Why an EU referendum is necessary

Proposed Closure of Goodrich Aircraft parts factory, Huyton
1 May 13
Following the announcement by UTC Aerospace Systems (UTC) of the closure of the Goodrich factory in Huyton, George Howarth has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable, asking for his officials to join forces with Knowsley Council in an effort to find ways to pressure UTC’s senior management to reconsider their proposal to close the Huyton factory by the end of 2014.

Mr Howarth referred to a letter from the Business Secretary circulated on 19th March 2013 which referred to a £1.6B to “...back [the government’s] industrial strategy”. He also pointed out that aerospace was highlighted in the letter as “... the first strategy [the government] will support.”

In his letter to Vince Cable, Mr Howarth asked him to “...work together with Knowsley Council to see what support might be available to maintain this factory, which is a very important part of our local economy."

Mr Howarth has also spoken to Knowsley Council and Unite, the worker’s trade union. Knowsley Council are due to meet UTC next week to explore what can be done to keep the Huyton factory going. He concluded:

“It is too early to say whether the efforts of Knowsley Council, Unite and myself will work. What is clear, however, is that there is strong backing for this highly skilled workforce from Unite, the Council and myself and we will do everything we can to save these jobs.”

The potential closure of the Kirkby campus of Knowsley Community College
3 Apr 13
I strongly believe that the College has got this wrong.

Kirkby and Huyton deserve to have further education facilities and this decision is based purely on the College’s assessment of the financial decision.

I believe that there is a viable educational future for the Kirkby campus with or without the involvement of Knowsley Community College and I am aware that other educational bodies would be keen to take it over. I have contacted the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, and the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, seeking their support for the College to be kept open, even if it means another educational body taking it over.

Last night, I attended a public meeting in Southdene Community Centre and supported calls for any decision about the Kirkby campus to be delayed for three months to enable people to have meaningful input.

Update – 8 May 13
In my original post of 3 Apr, I included links to reports by KPMG reports into the potential closure. I have now taken those reports off this website for the time being. It is no longer relevant as College governors are now looking at ways in which the Kirkby campus can be retained. Knowsley Council are assisting them in this. If it becomes relevant again, I will put them back here. However, should any constituent wish to see copies, please contact my office and we will provide them.

Joining other MPs to investigate zero hours contracts
18 Feb 13
In conjunction with fellow Merseyside MPs - Luciana Berger MP & Alison McGovern MP – today, we have launched an investigation into the impact of zero hours contracts.

The expression "zero hours” contract is colloquial term for an employment contract under which the employee is not guaranteed work and is paid only for work carried out. Currently, many well-known companies – mainly though not exclusively through agencies – are employing people on either zero hour, casual, ‘rolling’ or short-term contracts in order to evade employment rights.

Many see hours of work cancelled at the last minute, or are forced to work longer hours which impact on childcare arrangements. Fluctuating hours can cause problems for people claiming Tax Credits, often resulting in huge overpayments which need to be repaid to HM Revenue and Customs. In Nov 2012, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) stated that under-employment had risen by 47% - one million extra people- since 2008, with young people and low paid workers more likely to be affected than other workers.

We are launching this investigation to find out people’s experiences and we hope to use the results to highlight the range and scale of the problem to Government and to develop a code of practice for responsible companies to sign up to.

This purpose of this survey is to collect information about young people in the Liverpool City Region. We are particularly interested in finding out more about those employed on zero-hours contracts, casual, ‘rolling’ contracts, through employment agencies or as interns. To complete this survey please click here.

All responses will be treated in confidence as regards the names and personal details of the respondent. We would, however, unless respondent specifies otherwise wish to publish the names of firms and/or agencies using such practices.


You can see earlier press appearances and speeches here:
| 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011
I 2012 I 2013 I 2014 I 2015 I 2016 I 2017 I 2018

View the Parliamentary achive here:
| 2008 | 2009 | 2010

To search Hansard for more examples of George speaking in Parliament, please click Here.

Early Day Motions::

As well as making speeches and asking questions in Parliament, you can view the Early Day Motions (EDMs) George has signed. EDMs draw attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrate parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view. You can find out more from the House of Commons advice sheet.



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©2007-19 Rt Hon George Howarth MP for Knowsley