Last night during a debate on Manchester’s Metrolink system, Jeff paid tribute to the career of Councillor Andrew Fender, who will be standing down from Manchester City Council after the local elections in May this year.
Described by this article in the Manchester Evening News as Manchester’s “Mr Metrolink”, Andrew Fender has been a councillor since 1977 and has been a leading voice on transport across Greater Manchester since 1981.
In a career spanning 41 years on the Greater Manchester Council and Manchester City Council, Andrew has overseen many of the city’s transport developments, including leading the campaign for the Metrolink system which opened in July 1992. He also led plans to freeze bus fares, helping to stabilise falling passenger numbers, and helped revolutionise the road plan for the city.
During the debate on the Metrolink, led by Jim McMahon MP, other tributes were paid to Andrew Fender’s work.
Jim McMahon, MP for Oldam West and Royton, said:
“Councillor Fender has been a real transport inspiration for many people in Greater Manchester.
I have absolutely no doubt that without the time that he put in to transport in Greater Manchester—not just the tram system but the bus network, and cycling routes especially—it would not be as advanced as it is.”
Jesse Norman MP, Minister for Transport, said:
“I pay tribute to Councillor Andrew Fender for the work that he has done over the past 41 years. Opinion is divided in Manchester as to whether he should be regarded as Mr Metrolink, or just Mr Transport. Whichever it is, we congratulate him,”
Jeff said after the debate:
“Over more than four decades of public service, Andrew has played a central role in transforming our city.
Of course, he will be known to the region as the man who oversaw the creation of the Metrolink system and guided transport policy in Manchester for decades.
However, he is also one of the most popular and well-respected members of our community in south Manchester. He has been an outstanding Councillor for Old Moat, and I’m privileged to have worked closely with him for over 20 years.”
You can read more about Councillor Fender's career by clicking here.
Last night during a debate on Manchester’s Metrolink system, Jeff paid tribute to the career of Councillor Andrew Fender, who will be standing down from Manchester City Council after the...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has called on the Government to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles to increase recycling rates in England.
The scheme, similar to those in some EU countries and states in America, would add a small price to the cost of plastic bottles and aluminium drinks cans. The cost would be somewhere between 10-30p, depending on the size of the container, and would be refunded to the holder if the container is returned to a collection point.
The UK Government currently recycles under 40% of its plastic waste, falling to 10th in the European recycling table last year. Across Europe, countries have implemented Deposit Return Schemes (DRS), with the evidence suggesting that they can increase recycling rates quickly.
The UK Government is currently considering recommendations on a DRS from an independent working group set up as part of the Litter Strategy for England. Campaigners as Greenpeace are concerned that, due to industry lobbying, the bottles included in a DRS could be limited to those bought ‘on the go’ from kiosks and vending machines.
Jeff said: “We know that in this country, 15 million plastic bottles a day are not recycled and England lies 18th out of 24 developed nations in terms of the proportion of waste recycled.
Experience from across Europe shows us that implementing a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles boosts recycling rates.
The Government should look at the evidence and implement a deposit scheme for all bottles of all sizes.”
You can read Jeff’s full contribution here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has called on the Government to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles to increase recycling rates in England. The scheme, similar to...
Ahead of the statement, the Labour Party has highlighted areas where successive years of cuts to local government have had an impact.
Research published by the Labour Party over the last week on services provided by local government has found that:
- Last year over 72,000 children were taken into Local Authority care nationally
- The number of serious child protection cases had doubled in the last seven years, with 500 new cases launched each day.
- More than a million of our elderly people are living with their care needs unmet.
- Almost a fifth of specialist women’s refuges have been forced to close under the Tories and according to Women’s Aid, over 400 women, often with children, were refused a space at a refuge last year.
Commenting ahead of the statement Jeff said:
“Year on year cuts, brought about by this Conservative Government and the coalition before it, have left public services in Manchester stretched to breaking point.
Local Authorities across the country are set to lose 79% of the direct funding that they had in 2010 by 2020. In Manchester, that equates to a cut of £600 per household.
Theresa May’s Government is letting down the most vulnerable in our society and Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement does nothing to even acknowledge these issues, let alone act on them.”
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor to the Exchequer has said:
“I believe we are approaching a moment of real national crisis on this. Essential services simply cannot cope with the strain of spending cuts that have now stretched into their eighth year, with no end in sight.
The Chancellor has to rise to the occasion. If he cannot do the right thing and change course, he should stand aside for a Labour government that will.”
“Theresa May’s Government is letting down the most vulnerable” – Jeff responds to the Spring Statement
Ahead of the statement, the Labour Party has highlighted areas where successive years of cuts to local government have had an impact. Research published by the Labour Party over the...
It was great to meet residents in Didsbury last Saturday morning where I held a coffee morning at Didsbury Baptist Church. There was a good turn out and the residents raised a variety of questions which included both local and national issues.
- McDonald’s planning application in Didsbury
- Police/ crime
- EU Citizens rights
- Civil liability bill
- Education/speech languages / early education needs
- Labour Party issues
I hold coffee mornings once a month across the constituency see my website for an event in your area - http://www.jeffsmith.org.uk/coffee_mornings
It was great to meet residents in Didsbury last Saturday morning where I held a coffee morning at Didsbury Baptist Church. There was a good turn out and the residents...
This Saturday, Fairtrade community groups, traders, and a member of a Panamanian cooperative will come together to celebrate Chorlton becoming a ‘Fairtrade Zone’.
The event, taking place at St Clement’s Church Hall, will include stalls from Fairtrade businesses, information from local community groups who support Fairtrade, and a guest speaker from Panamanian Cooperative Cooperativa Bananera del Atlantico (COOBANA).
Marcial Quintero is a founding member of COOBANA, a banana growing co-operative set up in 1991 by a group of banana famers and workers. He will discuss how COOBANA was founded, how they avoided exploitation from large banana companies, and how the cooperative allows local people to control the profits they receive.
Jeff said: “The Chorlton community has a strong history of supporting the values of the Fairtrade movement, first gaining recognition as a ‘Fairtrade Zone’ in 2005.
It’s great to see that, thanks to the efforts of the Chorlton Fairtrade Steering Group and lots of others, the Fairtrade Foundation has given Chorlton that status once again.
To mark this achievement, it will be fascinating to hear from Marcial Quintero about the real difference the Fairtrade movement can make to cooperatives as far away as Panama.”
The event will take place from 2pm on Saturday 10 March at St Clement’s Church Hall. All the details can be found by clicking here.
This Saturday, Fairtrade community groups, traders, and a member of a Panamanian cooperative will come together to celebrate Chorlton becoming a ‘Fairtrade Zone’. The event, taking place at St Clement’s...
The Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform today called upon the Home Secretary to issue a licence for Alfie Dingley to get the prescribed medical cannabis he so desperately needs.
Six year old Alfie Dingley has a rare form of childhood epilepsy (PCDH19), which triggers multiple serious seizures. He was having at least 150 seizures a month and was in hospital about 48 times in the year beginning September 2016.
Since September 2017, when Alfie went to the Netherlands to receive oils derived from whole plant cannabis prescribed by a paediatric neurologist, Alfie’s seizures have reduced dramatically in number, duration and severity.
Alfie returned to England on Monday 12 February, but Alfie’s parents are prevented from bringing one of the medicines he needs into the UK because Cannabis is in Schedule 1 – for controlled drugs with no medicinal value. If the Home Office continues to refuse a licence for Alfie’s family to import the medical cannabis, his condition will deteriorate.
Jeff Smith MP, co-Chair (Lab.) of the APPG said:
“Granting Alfie a licence is a common sense decision the Home Secretary could make today to change this boy’s life forever.
“In Holland where this medication is available to him, Alfie would be in hospital for 15 days a year suffering seizures lasting up to a minute. In the UK, he will be in hospital for 150 or more days every year, suffering far more dangerous seizures during which he stops breathing, for almost a week at a time.
Bringing Alfie home and allowing him to get the help he needs will dramatically improve the quality of life for this 6-year old boy, but will also save time and money for the NHS.”
Alfie’s grandmother, Maggie, said:
“Alfie has gone from a death sentence to the prospect of a more normal life with school, friends and fun, in his own familiar home.
We want the people who have the power to give him this gift to put themselves in the position of Alfie’s family, to think creatively and with open minds and to find a way forward. Above all we want compassion to find a way round inflexible rules.”
The Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform today called upon the Home Secretary to issue a licence for Alfie Dingley to get the prescribed medical...
Figures released today by the British Medical Association (BMA) show that most mental healthcare commissioners and providers don’t record the number of people waiting for specialist therapies. Freedom of...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has joined growing calls to protect the world’s oceans through the creation of a Blue Belt.
The campaign for a Blue Belt is calling on the UK government and its Overseas Territories to create a series of large protected areas of ocean around 7 of the 14 British Overseas Territories.
The creation of the Blue Belt would involve establishing a 500,000 km² fully protected Marine Protected Area around the South Sandwich Islands in 2018, establishing a fully protected Marine Protected Area in at least 50% of Ascension Island’s waters in 2019, and supporting the establishment of a locally-led marine protection regime throughout the waters of Tristan da Cunha and St Helena.
Jeff said: “The UK and its overseas territories have a responsibility to protect the vast oceans surrounding our shores.
These oceans are home to a diverse range of marine life and important ecological processes. Indeed, they contain the world’s largest coral atoll as well as a quarter of the world’s penguins.
By creating a Blue Belt of protected oceans, the UK can lead the world on ocean preservation and ensure these important and fragile environments are protected for decades to come.
I call on the government to work with the Overseas Territories to take these crucial steps as quickly as possible.”
You can find out more about the campaign here: https://greatbritishoceans.org/
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has joined growing calls to protect the world’s oceans through the creation of a Blue Belt. The campaign for a Blue Belt is calling on...
Today Jeff is supporting Time to Talk Day, organised by Time to Change, the national campaign to fight the stigma associated with mental health.
Each year, Time to Talk day brings together campaigners, politicians, charities, and the public to encourage people to be open about mental health.
Commenting on the campaign, Jeff said:
“Too often, it’s left to people with mental health problems to talk about mental health but it affects us all.
Too many people with mental health problems are still made to feel isolated, worthless, and ashamed. Conversations have the power to change lives, and maybe even save them.
I’d encourage employers, schools, and community groups to get involved and help to tackle the stigma associated with mental health”
You can find ways to get involved, and free resources on the Time to Talk Day website here.
Today Jeff is supporting Time to Talk Day, organised by Time to Change, the national campaign to fight the stigma associated with mental health. Each year, Time to Talk day...
A new report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research has revealed that almost £3 million was lost on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in south Manchester in 2016.
As a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs’, Jeff pledged his support to see the maximum stake reduced to £2 on these machines in order to limit the damage to gamblers and their families.
The highly addictive machines which have been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ allow punters to stake £100 every 20 seconds on electronic versions of casino games such as roulette, but in a low supervision high street bookmaker environment.
New research shows that FOBT problem gamblers could be imposing a cost of £1.5 billion on themselves, their families and their wider social networks. The report published by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), found that those on lower incomes or in deprived areas are the main beneficiaries of a reduction to a £2 stake.
Supporters of the campaign which includes the General Synod of the Church of England, 93 local authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health and politicians from all parties, have called on the Government to take action on these machine in order to protect the most vulnerable in the society.
Lending his support to the campaign for a stake reduction, Jeff said:
“The case for action on FOBTs is clear and I urge the Government to view this process as an opportunity to protect the most vulnerable members of our society from harm.
“These machines have had devastating effects on families, individuals and communities, causing unemployment, violence and in some cases even, suicides. This cannot continue.
“I am extremely concerned to hear that £2,820,232 was lost to FOBTs in south Manchester in 2016. The Secretary of State has a unique window of opportunity to cut the stake on FOBTs to £2, a level at which the harm to families and individuals is significantly reduced.
“I would urge anyone affected by these machines to respond to the Government’s consultation by visiting the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport website.”
The Government is seeking to reduce the stake on FOBTs from £100 to between £50 and £2, and has launched a 12 week public consultation on the stake options, which closes, midday on 23rd January.
A new report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research has revealed that almost £3 million was lost on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in south Manchester in 2016....