Jeff Smith

Standing up for Manchester Withington

News

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Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, has welcomed news that the National Lottery has invested almost £3 million in south Manchester’s heritage projects since 1994, and is encouraging community groups and constituents to apply for the Lottery’s First World War: then and now grants.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has opened applications for grants between £3,000 and £10,000 to undertake projects exploring the impact and legacy of the First World War beyond 1918.  

Whether looking at the role the war played in bringing about universal suffrage; the introduction of daylight saving; or the mechanisation of agriculture, there is a wealth of local stories waiting to be explored about life following the war.

Jeff Smith MP said: South Manchester has a rich history and I’m pleased to learn that thanks to the National Lottery local people have been exploring and enjoying that heritage.  

Just like many towns and cities across the UK, the Manchester we live in today was shaped by the First World War and so it’s great that people can make use of the money available from Heritage Lottery Fund to explore its legacy further.”

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, said: “Sadly, the ‘war to end all wars’ was no such thing and so it is right the events of the First World War should never be forgotten.  

We’ve been helping people across the UK explore an incredible array of stories from 1914-18, but the war had an impact beyond 1918 and we must recognise this.  The legacy of the First World War needs to be better understood and so we are encouraging people to come to us with their ideas for projects.”

The money is available through HLF’s community grants programme, First World War: then and now. More information can be found on their website here.

 

Jeff encourages applications for National Lottery First World War heritage grants of up to £10,000

Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, has welcomed news that the National Lottery has invested almost £3 million in south Manchester’s heritage projects since 1994, and is encouraging community groups...

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Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, has joined calls for the Government to address the crisis in our social care sector.

This week, Labour are highlighting the crisis in the social care sector after seven years of Tory/Coalition Government.  Since 2010, local authorities have seen their funding cut by £4.6 billion, leaving a social care funding gap of £2.1 billion by 2019/20.  Delayed transfers of care have doubled in the last three years, and there are now 1.2 million older people in England (1 in 8) living with unmet care needs

During the election, Labour promised an extra £1 billion of funding in 2017/18 and £8 billion by the end of the Parliament.  The Labour manifesto included an increase in the Carer’s Allowance, the extension of end-of-life care, and a pledge to end 15-minute visits.

Jeff said: “Labour has warned repeatedly of the growing crisis in social care. The competing pressures of an ageing population and chronic underfunding cannot go on.

In Manchester alone, we have seen our council budget cut by 43.4%, which has meant vulnerable people in our community not getting the care and support they need.

Theresa May must act now to make sure that councils like Manchester have the money to provide quality social care for all those who need it.” 

Jeff calls for more support for social care service

Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, has joined calls for the Government to address the crisis in our social care sector. This week, Labour are highlighting the crisis in the...

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Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has criticised the Government after NHS statistics published today showed the longest waiting times since 2007.

The number of patients waiting for routine surgery is now the highest for a decade as the NHS struggles to cope with increased demand without sufficient funding from the Government.

The figures also highlighted that the Government missed the 4 hour A&E target again in July. The target of treating 95% of patients within 4 hours hasn’t been met since July 2015.

Similarly, the target to ensure all cancer patients receive their first treatment within two months of being referred by their GP wasn’t met, nor was the target for 93% of patients with breast cancer symptoms to see a consultant within two weeks of being referred by a family doctor.

Commenting on the figures, Jeff said: “7 years of Tory Government has brought our NHS to its knees.

These targets were introduced by Labour in 1997 but have been routinely missed by successive Tory Governments.

You can’t hide from the statistics and until the Government gives NHS services and staff the funding they need, these targets will continue to be missed, with patients suffering as a result.”

New NHS Statistics show hospital waiting times at highest level for a decade

Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has criticised the Government after NHS statistics published today showed the longest waiting times since 2007. The number of patients waiting for routine surgery is...

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Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has backed a Labour report into diversity in the arts sector.

The report, published today, warns that the arts sector suffers from clear class divides, both in terms of those who work in the arts and those who view it.  The report claims that just 16% of actors come from working-class backgrounds and 42% of British BAFTA winners attended a fee-paying school.

Led by Labour MPs Tracy Brabin and Gloria De Piero, the report highlights the impact of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) as leading to a ‘systematic marginalisation of arts subjects, particularly drama’.

The EBacc measures students’ attainment across so-called ‘traditional’ subjects including maths, science, English, history, geography and modern languages.  It was introduced by the coalition government in 2010, but has been criticised for deprioritising arts subjects.

Commenting on the report, Jeff said: “This is an important inquiry exposing the dire lack of diversity in the arts sector.

We cannot ignore that the narrowing of the school curriculum is having a detrimental impact on the number of our students that see creative subjects as more than just a hobby.

I hope the Government listens to Labour’s report and makes sure that the arts sector remains open to people from all walks of life.”

Introduction of English Baccalaureate has contributed to ‘diversity crisis’ in the arts – Labour report

Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has backed a Labour report into diversity in the arts sector. The report, published today, warns that the arts sector suffers from clear class divides,...

Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has criticised the Government for refusing to fund the electrification of the train line between Leeds and Manchester.

Jeff said: “Only two years ago, the then Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that electrifying the Leeds-Manchester line was “at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse”

In recent weeks, not only have the Government cancelled the electrification of the line, but they have announced funding for the Crossrail 2 project in London. 

Transport infrastructure is crucial to tackling wider regional inequalities so if the Government wants to save the Northern Powerhouse project they should reinstate the electrification of the Leeds-Manchester Line, and bring forward plans for a Crossrail for the North.”

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Jeff criticises ‘unjustifiable’ decision to cancel electrification of Leeds-Manchester line

Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has criticised the Government for refusing to fund the electrification of the train line between Leeds and Manchester. Jeff said: “Only two years ago, the...

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"The Government must work towards a fairer and more humane asylum system" My letter to the Home Secretary

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Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, has welcomed a report from UK Music which calls for more support to be given to local music venues.

The report, entitled Wish You Were Here 2017, highlights the importance of live music to our economy and livelihoods.  Music tourism generates £4 billion to the economy, with 30.9 million people attending either a UK festival or concert over the last year (12% increase on the previous year).

The report also reveals that in the North West music tourism contributed £500 million to the regional economy, with 1.86 million music tourists visiting for gigs and festivals. Music tourism in the North West also supports 6256 jobs.

The report warns of the need to support local music venues through the impact of leaving the European Union and protect the industry as a whole.

Commenting on the report, Jeff said: “Having worked in the music industry before I became an MP, I know how important it is to our economy and our society.

Manchester has always been the beating heart of British music culture. 

The home of The Smiths, Joy Division, the Happy Mondays, the Hacienda and a whole host of other musical icons, our city has led the way in showing how local music venues can transform not only the fortunes of artists but also the city they live in.

With 1.9 million people visiting the North West last year for gigs and festivals, the Government must recognise the huge impact of the live music industry on our economy.”

New report calls for more support for local music venues after Brexit

Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, has welcomed a report from UK Music which calls for more support to be given to local music venues. The report, entitled Wish You...

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Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith recently met with the Matthew Ludlam Foundation and praised their street art projects around south Manchester.

The Foundation was set up in memory of Matthew Ludlam, a south Manchester resident, to raise funds for charitable causes.  One of Matthew’s passions was urban design and the Foundation is funding a street art project in west Didsbury entitled ‘Chasing Dreams not Dragons’ (see pictures).  The pieces were made by renowned street artist Mateus Bailon.

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Jeff said: “Great street art like the Chasing Dreams not Dragons pieces can revitalise urban areas and I hope we’ll see a lot more examples like this across south Manchester.

I’m looking forward to working with the Matthew Ludlam Foundation to find new spaces in south Manchester."

You can find out more about the Matthew Ludlam Foundation, and their street art projects, here.

Jeff backs the expansion of public art displays around south Manchester

Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith recently met with the Matthew Ludlam Foundation and praised their street art projects around south Manchester. The Foundation was set up in memory of Matthew...

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Jeff Smith has pledged to work alongside the leading charity Arthritis Research UK to represent the thousands of people in south Manchester living every day with the pain of arthritis.

Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability and pain across the country with 10 million people living with arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain. The pain, fatigue and lack of mobility caused by arthritis affects every aspect of a person’s life, making everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, travelling to work or getting out of bed extremely difficult.

As well as the personal impact, these conditions amount to the third largest area of NHS spending, with an annual budget of £4.8 billion, and are the cause of one in five working days lost in the UK.

Jeff Smith has pledged to support Arthritis Research UK’s Prevent, Transform, Cure manifesto in Parliament as an Arthritis Champion, which calls for:

  • Making arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions a public health priority
  • Ensuring people have timely access to health and care services that enable them to improve their musculoskeletal health
  • Ensuring people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions have fair and timely access to services that support them to be in work, including financial support
  • Protecting the UK’s position as a global leader in science and sustain the benefits of the life-science sector to the economy 

Speaking about becoming an Arthritis Champion, Jeff Smith said:

“I am proud to be a champion of Arthritis Research UK’s call for policies that will improve prevention of arthritis and cures for arthritis suffers.

This is a painful condition that has such a huge impact on all aspects of people’s lives in south Manchester.

We need to put these issues at the forefront of Parliament’s agenda.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of Arthritis Research UK, said:

“I’m delighted that Jeff Smith has become an Arthritis Champion. It’s imperative that we have the support of as many MPs and Peers as possible to stand up for the rights of people with arthritis.

“There needs to be a public health approach focusing on preventing arthritis, transforming services and finding a cure for the 10 million people affected by this devastating condition. It’s vital we work together to make life better for everyone affected by arthritis.”

Jeff Smith pledges to become an Arthritis Champion for south Manchester

Jeff Smith has pledged to work alongside the leading charity Arthritis Research UK to represent the thousands of people in south Manchester living every day with the pain of arthritis....

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Jeff Smith MP attended a Guide Dogs event at the House of Commons on 3 July to show their support for the campaign to end problem pavement parking.

At the event, the MP for Manchester Withington heard from guide dog owners how parked cars blocking the pavement force them to walk in the road, into the path of traffic they cannot see. They heard that some guide dog owners face these dangerous situations on a daily basis, risking their safety every time they go shopping or make the school run.

Research by YouGov for the charity Guide Dogs shows that 54% of UK drivers admit to parking on the pavement, with more than a quarter (29%) of those doing so a few times a month or more. More than half (55%) of these drivers do think about the impact on people with sight loss, but park on the pavement anyway.

Pavement parking particularly affects people with visual impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people. According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement, and 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parked cars.

Guide Dogs is campaigning for to make pavement parking an offence, except in areas where local authorities grant specific exemptions. This is already the case in London, but elsewhere across the country, councils struggle to tackle unsafe pavement parking because they can only restrict it street by street.

Jeff Smith MP commented: “No one should be forced to walk into traffic by cars parked on the pavement.

In some places, pavement parking is necessary, as long as drivers don’t put people at risk.  But in too many cases, it’s unnecessary and causes real danger.

I’m calling on the Government to end problem pavement parking across the country. Blind and partially sighted people should be able to walk the streets without fear.”

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented: “Pavement parked cars can turn the walk to work or trip to the shops into a dangerous obstacle course. It’s a nuisance for anyone, but if you have a visual impairment or a toddler in tow, stepping out into the road with moving traffic is just too big a risk.

Our research shows that most drivers who park on the pavement know that it can be dangerous for pedestrians, but many do so regardless. That’s why we need clear rules so that drivers only park where it’s safe.”

Jeff Smith says “it’s the end of the road for unsafe pavement parking”

  Jeff Smith MP attended a Guide Dogs event at the House of Commons on 3 July to show their support for the campaign to end problem pavement parking. At...

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