On the 30 year anniversary of bus deregulation, campaigners are calling on MPs to ‘take control of our buses’ by opposing the government ban on new public bus companies.
The government wants the Bus Services Bill currently being debated to include clause 21 which would stop English local authorities from setting up new municipal bus companies. The clause was defeated in the House of Lords but is expected to be introduced again in the Commons.
Since deregulation, fares have risen well above inflation and many routes have been cut. Fares in England (outside London) rose by 35 per cent above inflation between 1995 and 2013 and Bus mileage on local authority supported services in England outside London dropped by 12.3 per cent just in the last year.
While buses are privatised in most towns and cities across the UK, there are 12 local authority-owned bus companies, for examples in Edinburgh, Nottingham and Blackpool. In 4 of the last 5 years, local authority run buses have won Bus Operator of the Year at the Bus Awards. Municipal bus companies are common in other European countries such as Austria, France and Germany.
Jeff said: “Deregulation of the bus network has been a failure for Greater Manchester. While Oxford Road is one of the busiest routes in Europe with many different operators, some suburban areas are left without any service at all.
The Bus Services Bill is a promising first step towards the flexible and interconnected transport system Manchester so desperately needs. I welcome plans for London-style bus franchising powers for Manchester and across the country, but the Government must allow Local Authorities to play a leading role in designing a system to meet passenger needs."
Cat Hobbs, Director of We Own It said: "It's absurd that after 30 years of the failures of private bus companies, the government is ruling out new public ownership of buses.
It's time to take control of our buses and run them for people not profit. All councils should be not just allowed but encouraged to follow the lead of the public ownership success stories in Nottingham and Reading."
Daniel Zeichner MP, Labour’s Shadow Local Transport Minister, said: “Thanks to the damage done by deregulation, bus companies have been able to put profit above passengers for the past 30 years.
The Tories said deregulation would improve our buses but the proof has been in the pudding: rising fares, plummeting patronage and too many areas where pensioners have a bus pass but no bus. London rejected deregulation and has a much better service today.
Commercial operators can simply pull a route or service and stretched local authorities are left to pick up the pieces. With the Bus Services Bill soon to arrive in the House of Commons, Labour will be fighting to change that.”
On the 30 year anniversary of bus deregulation, campaigners are calling on MPs to ‘take control of our buses’ by opposing the government ban on new public bus companies. The government wants the...
Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, showed his support for women and men living with breast cancer this October by attending the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer’s (APPGBC) Reception in parliament.
More people are developing breast cancer than ever before – with 50,000 women and around 350 men diagnosed every year in the UK – and around 11,500 patients lose their lives to the disease each year.
The APPGBC reception was held in support of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to keep the issues that matter most to breast cancer patients high on the parliamentary agenda. The APPGBC also announced the launch of a new parliamentary inquiry into geographical inequalities in breast cancer services across England.
Currently, while breast cancer patients should receive the same high level of treatment across England, unfortunately this is often not the case. Many patients receive varying levels of care depending on where in the country they live, with inequalities throughout the patient pathway, from early diagnosis through to treatment and survival.
Jeff said: “The UK has some of the best cancer care institutions in the world, including the Christie Hospital in my constituency.
However there is too much variation across the UK so the APPGBC’s inquiry into geographical inequalities in breast cancer services is vital.
I’m looking forward to seeing the findings of the inquiry and ultimately finding ways to improve care for all patients, wherever they live.”
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“It was heartening to see so many MPs, peers, civil servants, healthcare professionals and patients come together to support those affected by breast cancer.
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month may have drawn to a close, but our work to save lives and to improve patients’ experiences across the country must now continue.
“We are so grateful to Jeff Smith for his continued support both for breast cancer research and for women and men living with this dreadful disease.”
Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, showed his support for women and men living with breast cancer this October by attending the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer’s (APPGBC) Reception...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has backed campaigns to encourage retailers and high streets to provide more seating for elderly people in public spaces.
Anchor, the largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for older people, is launching a campaign following new research showing that many shopping centres are currently inaccessible for older people due to the lack of seating and resting areas.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the issue and encourage retailers, councils and shopping centres to ‘Stand up 4 Sitting Down’ and pledge to increase the amount of seating available.
Jeff said: “Ensuring that elderly people feel able to enjoy our high streets is important to our community and to our local economy.
We already have a great example of this in action locally through Southway Housing's Old Moat age friendly campaign, which has persuaded shops in Withington village to provide seating for older residents to use.
I support Anchor's campaign and I’m encouraging all local retailers to think about how they can make all our high streets more accessible.”
You can find out more about the campaign, and get involved, here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has backed campaigns to encourage retailers and high streets to provide more seating for elderly people in public spaces. Anchor, the largest not-for-profit provider of...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has signed a pledge to defend the UK’s countryside and wild places, and support UK action on climate change.
The pledge calls on the government to ensure strong environmental standards following the EU referendum vote. Dozens of our environmental rules in the UK, including those leading to healthier beaches, cleaner air, and the protection of marine environments and rare species, started life as European agreements.
Signed by over 85 MPs from across the political spectrum, the pledge calls on the Government to ensure that those EU environmental protections are replaced by equally strong UK standards.
Jeff said: “In the wake of the referendum it’s vital for us to reassert the importance of a clean, green and healthy environment – whether that is in South Manchester, across the UK or overseas. The UK can and should be a world leader in dealing with environmental issues.”
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, said: “People voted to leave the EU for a variety of different reasons but one thing is clear: it wasn’t a vote to weaken protections for our nature, wildlife and environment.
“By signing the Pledge for the Environment, Jeff Smith has shown that he understands how important it is that we help our wildlife and countryside to thrive and take a leading role in addressing climate change to create a better environment for us all.”
The full text of the pledge signed by Jeff can be found here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has signed a pledge to defend the UK’s countryside and wild places, and support UK action on climate change. The pledge calls on the government...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith visited The Oliver King Foundation at their launch event in Westminster to show support for their Restart a Heart campaign day.
The Oliver King Foundation was set up following the tragic death of 12-year-old Oliver King from a sudden cardiac arrest, to raise awareness about the need for defibrillators in public places. Jeff signed up to become a Defibrillator Champion at the event, pledging to work with his local community in Manchester Withington to place defibrillators in schools, parks, libraries and elsewhere.
Jeff said: “For every minute that passes following a cardiac arrest, the chances of survival decrease by 10% so this campaign to raise awareness of the difference defibrillators can make is very important.
I am pleased to become a Defibrillator Champion and I’m looking forward to supporting local schools in my constituency to fundraise and get lifesaving defibrillators in our area.”
Jake Morrison, Chief Executive of The Oliver King Foundation said: “We are delighted that Jeff Smith has signed up as a Defibrillator Champion. It is important that we spread awareness of the vital need for this equipment in our communities.
Our Members of Parliament have a great platform and connection in their constituencies to spread this message. We look forward to working with Jeff and saving lives for years to come.”
For more information please contact The Oliver King Foundation on 01517283470 or email email@example.com
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith visited The Oliver King Foundation at their launch event in Westminster to show support for their Restart a Heart campaign day. The Oliver King Foundation...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has joined with the members of the retail union Usdaw to call for an end to abuse in the workplace.
As part of the Freedom From Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff, Usdaw members are highlighting the problems faced by staff during Respect for Shopworkers Week, which runs from 14 to 20 November.
Jeff said: "Too often retail employees are confronted with violence, threats and abuse whilst serving the public.
It is really important we stand together and ask people to keep their cool and respect shopworkers, especially as we approach the busy Christmas shopping period.
We must give a clear message that abusing or assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable."
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: "We are grateful to Jeff Smith for supporting our campaign to keep our members safe at work.
"Often, in the course of their duties, shopworkers are expected to deal with tense and difficult situations. Unfortunately these can escalate to verbal abuse and assault. Over 300 shopworkers are assaulted every day and it is time to say enough is enough.
Parliament has placed the legal obligation on shopworkers to enforce the law in relation to age restricted sales and Parliament must also ensure that the law also protects shopworkers who are doing their job. Politicians and members of the public must work together to ensure that shopworkers get the respect they deserve."
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has joined with the members of the retail union Usdaw to call for an end to abuse in the workplace. As part of the Freedom...
In a debate in parliament, Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith pressed the Government to bring delays at the Disclosure and Barring Service under control.
Over the last year, many of those working in education, healthcare, social services and other sectors have been forced to postpone or reject employment as a result of severe delays in receiving their DBS certificates.
The Disclosure and Barring Service works with police forces across the country to check the criminal record of any applicant. However, with many forces dealing with severe cuts to staff numbers, they are struggling to cope with the caseload.
In his speech, Jeff raised the case of Manchester Withington constituents who have lost work as a result of delays.
Jeff said: “Delays in DBS certificates are not just an administrative problem, they can force people to turn down paid work or lose an income they have relied upon.
Many of the problems are due to delays at the police stage, so the Government need to help the police get a grip on the problem.”
You can watch Jeff’s full speech on the House of Commons website here.
In a debate in parliament, Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith pressed the Government to bring delays at the Disclosure and Barring Service under control. Over the last year, many of...
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), working with the utility company E.ON, have a free/subsidised boiler and insulation offer for low income households.
Greater Manchester residents who own or privately rent their property, and also claim certain benefits, are eligible for a free or subsidised boiler and insulation. The scheme is supported by all 10 Greater Manchester Councils and the NHS.
Residents can call the E.ON Freephone 0800 508 8008 to see if they qualify for this offer, as well as checking if they are eligible for help towards energy saving home improvements.
Commenting on the scheme, Jeff said: ‘We know that more than 1 in 10 homes struggle with fuel poverty in this country so schemes like this are so important.
It’s worth giving E.ON a call just in case, you could find that you qualify for a subsidised boiler and continuing support with reducing your energy bills in the future.’
Find out more about the scheme by calling 0800 508 8008 or visiting E.ON’s website here.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), working with the utility company E.ON, have a free/subsidised boiler and insulation offer for low income households. Greater Manchester residents who own or...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has unveiled a new mosaic at Chorlton Central Church to celebrate the completion of new community facilities at the church, and to mark the retirement of Reverend Bob Day.
The mosaic was created by local artist Tracey Cartledge with the help of many local residents and members of the church community.
One of the features of the design is that it celebrates the major faiths of Manchester with their symbols around the perimeter. The dove of peace, the design emphasises, is for all to aspire to, whether or not they have religious belief or not.
Jeff said "This is a really beautiful addition to the church and the local streetscape on Barlow Moor Road. Following the opening of the new church hall and glass wall last year, it's the final piece in the jigsaw of the new facilities at Chorlton Central Church.
I'd also like to pay tribute to Bob Day for his years of service to the local community at the church, and wish him a happy retirement."
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has unveiled a new mosaic at Chorlton Central Church to celebrate the completion of new community facilities at the church, and to mark the retirement...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith joined 180 MPs from all parties who submitted petitions to parliament from their constituents on behalf of the Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign.
These petitions call for transitional arrangements to be put in place for all women born in the 1950s who have borne the burden of the changes to the State Pension Age.
Jeff said: ‘These women planned for the future and have been let down by this Government, who changed the rules with little notice or support.
The number of MPs representing their constituents by submitting a petition shows that this is not about party politics, but about ensuring that those women affected get a fair settlement.’
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith joined 180 MPs from all parties who submitted petitions to parliament from their constituents on behalf of the Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign. These petitions call...