Barbara Keeley MP

LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

News

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I know that residents are exasperated with the constant traffic congestion which drivers have been and are experiencing on the A57 driving to and from Irlam and Cadishead.

I have been following this situation closely. I am doing what I can to address this situation with the City Council, who are the Highways Authority responsible for the local road network.

I have raised this issue directly with Jim Taylor, Chief Executive of Salford City Council, a number of times over the past weeks. I have raised a formal complaint with him in writing about the way the recent roadworks on the A57 have been handled. This week I have also sent a follow-up letter to Jim Taylor and to the City Mayor, Paul Dennett, expressing my strong concerns about the delayed opening of the bridge and other issues that local residents have raised with me.

Today I have spoken to Ben Dolan, Strategic Director of Environment and Community Safety at Salford City Council, and asked for an update.

I understand that the Council is still locked in discussion with Peel Holdings about the opening of the new road and the lifting bridge. I understand that Peel are still asking for the Council to take over future liabilities for the lifting bridge, which the Council are not prepared to do.

During my conversation with Ben Dolan I asked him whether there was any intention to close the slip roads onto the M60 at the Peel Green Roundabout (Junction 11). He told me that there is no intention or plan to close the slip roads off the A57 at that roundabout.

I have asked Salford City Council to release a bulletin on these matters as soon as possible.

Update on the roads and traffic congestion issues on A57

    I know that residents are exasperated with the constant traffic congestion which drivers have been and are experiencing on the A57 driving to and from Irlam and Cadishead....

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Barbara has today written to Jeremy Hunt, following the judgment of Sir James Munby in the case of the young person referred to as X, calling on the Health Secretary to take personal action today to ensure the allocation of a supportive and safe placement for the young person X.

In the letter, Barbara urges Jeremy Hunt to take heed of the ‘scathing words in this judgment’ and take immediate action to deal with the shortcomings in our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. To achieve this, Barbara calls on the Government to announce extra funding for those services and commit to ring-fencing funding both for CAMHS and mental health services more generally.


Full text of the letter:


Dear Jeremy,

I am writing to you following the judgment of Sir James Munby in the Family Division of the High Court on 3rd August in the case of the young person referred to as X. The scathing words in this judgment stand as a warning of the need for urgent action to improve the care available for children and young people in a mental health crisis.

The judge said:

“What this case demonstrates .. is the disgraceful and utterly shaming lack of proper provision in this country of the clinical, residential and other support services so desperately needed by the increasing numbers of children and young people afflicted with the same kind of difficulties as X is burdened with…

“If this is the best we can do for X, and others in similar crisis, what right do we, what right do the system, our society and indeed the State itself, have to call ourselves civilised? The honest answer to this question should make us all feel ashamed…

“If, when in eleven days’ time she is released from ZX, we, the system, society, the State, are unable to provide X with the supportive and safe placement she so desperately needs, and if, in consequence, she is enabled to make another attempt on her life, then I can only say, with bleak emphasis: we will have blood on our hands”

On Monday of this week you defended your Government’s performance on mental health services by saying “Look at our record”. The judgment in the case of X allows us to make that examination and it finds current services seriously wanting.

There have been many reports warning of the current weaknesses of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. In a report in May 2016, the Children’s Commissioner reported that: “of particular concern were some of the 3,000 children and young people we heard about who were referred to CAMHS with a life-threatening condition (such as suicide, self-harm, psychosis and anorexia nervosa), of whom: - 14% were not allocated any provision; - 51% went on a waiting list; - Some waited over 112 days to receive services.”

In October 2016, you said that CAMHS: “is possibly the biggest single area of weakness in NHS provision at the moment” and that there were “too many tragedies”.

Sir James Munby has expressed his fears about the worst potential outcome in this case. We must also be aware of other similar and pressing cases.

I urge you to take personal action today to ensure the allocation of a supportive and safe placement for the young person X. I further urge you to make plans to deal with the shortcomings so clearly identified in our CAMHS services and to announce both extra funding for those services and plans to ring-fence funding both for CAMHS and for mental health services more generally.

As Sir James Munby has said, if the current state of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is the best we can do, what right does the State have to call itself civilised?

Given the level of public interest in this case, I will be making this letter public.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Keeley MP
Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health

Barbara calls for urgent action to deal with shortcomings in mental health provision

Barbara has today written to Jeremy Hunt, following the judgment of Sir James Munby in the case of the young person referred to as X, calling on the Health Secretary...

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Barbara is calling on the Government to do more to support and recognise the vital contribution of unpaid family carers.

To mark Carers Week 2017 Barbara attended an event in Parliament to celebrate the contribution made by nearly 11,000 carers across Worsley and Eccles South who currently provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or older family member or friend.

During the event Barbara spoke to a carer, Olga Budimir, and to Kate Hall from Nutricia about the difficulties of balancing work and caring and about the need for carers' leave. Barbara pledged to keep up the pressure on the Government to provide the help and support that many carers urgently need.

Barbara said:

“Carers Week is a good way to raise awareness of the challenges that unpaid carers face every day. Many unpaid family carers are finding that they have to fight to get the support they need for the person they care for, and for themselves. They should not have to battle for this help.

“The Conservative Government’s repeated failure to recognise the vital contribution of our unpaid carers is unacceptable. Many carers do not know where to turn for the help they need. Many are facing financial hardship and are living in poverty due to a lack of financial support. They should not have to do this. They should be supported in their caring role.”

“Three out of five people will be carers at some point in their lives. It is vital that the Government acts now to provide the help and support that our unpaid carers need and deserve.”

Barbara calls on the Government to recognise the crucial role of carers

Barbara is calling on the Government to do more to support and recognise the vital contribution of unpaid family carers. To mark Carers Week 2017 Barbara attended an event in...

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Barbara is calling on the Government to take urgent action to protect local home-owners who own their home as leaseholders and are finding they are being " stung" by the terms of their lease.

New government statistics show that there are four million leasehold dwellings in England.

Owners who own their home as leaseholders have no protection from soaring ground rents and unfair charges imposed for consent to carry out home alterations. They can also face steep increases in the purchase price of freeholds.

Barbara is campaigning for action to help local home-owners affected by the leasehold scandal. She has joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold Reform to raise local concerns. Barbara is calling on the Government to reform the system so that unfair practices are stopped, as Labour has now pledged to do.

Barbara said:

“The Government’s new figures show the extent of leasehold ownership in England. Owners who own their home as leaseholders are unprotected and the way that many are being treated by developers and management companies is completely unacceptable. A number of constituents have contacted me to tell me how they are being affected and about the anger and distress they feel.

“Labour wants to end these deeply unfair practices. When we were in Government we gave leaseholders more protection but it is clear that problems with leasehold continue. Urgent action is needed to help those affected.

“Labour would give leaseholders security from unfair 'ground rents' and end the routine use of leasehold ownership in new housing developments. We would cap rising charges that leaseholders have to pay to rule out the large rises that have hit some new home-owners and give leaseholders security against unforeseen rises when they come to sell their home.

“We need to see real action on this issue as soon as possible. I am calling on the Government to reform the system, as Labour has pledged to do, so that these unfair practices stop.

“If you live in Worsley and Eccles South and are one of the households affected, please let me know by sending me an email through my website here."

Barbara calls on the Government to end leasehold scandal

Barbara is calling on the Government to take urgent action to protect local home-owners who own their home as leaseholders and are finding they are being " stung" by the...

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Transport for Greater Manchester is working with the Royal Horticultural Society on a community project called ‘Bus Stop Boulevard’. The bus shelter garden design competition is open to communities, businesses, designers and groups based in Greater Manchester and is aiming to inspire people to start growing and to celebrate local communities. Barbara is encouraging people from across Worsley and Eccles South to take part in the competition.

The community project is free to enter and the successful designs will be given a bus stop at the show to decorate and transform as part of the 'Bus Stop Boulevard’ and will receive a £500 grant towards their shelter's design and creation.

Barbara said:

“The ‘Bus Stop Boulevard’ community project is a great opportunity for local people to work together to develop some really interesting designs that could be produced and put on display for thousands of visitors to see during the nationally renowned RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

“I hope that community groups, businesses and designers from across Worsley and Eccles South will take part in the project and by doing so help to inspire others to start growing in their communities.

“The competition is free to enter and the successful designs will be given a budget to create their own show garden at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, which is taking place on the 19th-23rd July 2017. More information about the competition is available here. To enter complete the application form, which is available here. The deadline for entries is Monday 24th April 2017. I wish everyone taking part the best of luck and I look forward to seeing the successful entries.”

 

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Barbara encourages local people to get involved in the ‘Bus Stop Boulevard’ project at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Transport for Greater Manchester is working with the Royal Horticultural Society on a community project called ‘Bus Stop Boulevard’. The bus shelter garden design competition is open to communities, businesses,...

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Barbara has called on the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to take action to help critically ill 70 year old constituent, Malcolm Munroe, who has been in hospital in Dubai since suffering a stroke in December 2013.

As a result of his illness and hospitalisation Mr Munroe’s Dubai-based business went into liquidation. In 2014, a court case was brought against Mr Munroe over debts owed to creditors and he was sentenced to three years imprisonment in Dubai. In 2014 Barbara wrote to the then Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, to raise Mr Munroe’s case and to ask for action.

Mr Munroe’s family say that he would be unable to serve his prison sentence, as he can only just move his head, is fed through a tube and is permanently connected to an oxygen tank

Mr Munroe recently turned 70 and is still critically ill and receiving treatment at a hospital in Dubai. Due to the risk of arrest by association, Mr Munroe’s wife and sons have not been able to visit him in hospital in Dubai for the last three years.

Barbara has again taken up the case with the current Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, and has asked him to review the case as a matter of urgency.

Barbara said:

“This case is very worrying. My constituent, Mr Munroe, is critically ill having suffered a major stroke in Dubai. He is 70 years old and as a result of his illness is now very frail. He remains alone in a Dubai Hospital, as his family have been prevented from visiting him.

“My constituent’s family want him to be able to return home for the continued medical treatment he needs and to re-join his wife and sons in the UK”.

“I have written to the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, to raise Mr Munroe’s case as a matter of urgency. I have asked him to take all action available to him through diplomatic channels to urge the UAE to grant clemency to Mr Munroe.”

“I hope that the Foreign Secretary can take action so that Mr Munroe can be treated back in Salford with his family by his side.”

Barbara calls on Foreign Secretary to take urgent action to help critically ill constituent stranded in Dubai

Barbara has called on the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to take action to help critically ill 70 year old constituent, Malcolm Munroe, who has been in hospital in Dubai since...

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Barbara has called on the Government to confirm whether or not a special deal was done for Surrey County Council, which may have led to the local authority calling off a Referendum for a 15 per cent increase in council tax to pay for social care at the last minute.

During Prime Minister’s Questions it was suggested that the Leader of Surrey County Council may have been communicating with officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government who had been working on a solution that would avoid the need for the referendum.

Barbara has called on Government Ministers to say whether or not a deal had been offered to Surrey which resulted in the authority calling off the referendum and she asked whether the same deal would be offered to all local authorities, not just the Tory-run authorities, to help solve the social care funding crisis.

Commenting on the revelations at Prime Minister’s Questions on social care funding and Surrey Council’s plans for a Referendum, Barbara said:

“Salford City Council has seen brutal cuts of over 40% to our budgets since 2010. The Tory Government has forced the council into both a squeeze on adult social care budgets and increases in council tax to pay for social care. Salford is set to lose a further £2.3million from social care in the next year, due to the way that the Government is clawing back money for social care from the new homes bonus.

“Surrey County Council is one of only a few authorities in the country to have been able to increase its social care spending, as cuts there have been 28% rather than over 40% for Salford. Last year the Government made an extra funding settlement of £300 million, of which 83% went to Tory authorities. Doing any sort of deal which just favours Tory authorities is clearly not acceptable.

“Tory Ministers must come clean now and answer questions as to just what they said or promised to Surrey County Council to get them to call off the Referendum on raising council tax by 15% to pay for adult social care. Any deals to help social care funding have to be offered to all councils.”

Barbara calls on Ministers to “come clean” following Surrey Council social care revelations

Barbara has called on the Government to confirm whether or not a special deal was done for Surrey County Council, which may have led to the local authority calling off...

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Barbara is supporting the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which was recently launched in Parliament.

Jo Cox was determined to do what she could to tackle the loneliness crisis. In just over a year as an MP Jo had gathered detailed evidence about isolation in a number of different vulnerable groups. Through her work she met older people who had not spoken to another person in weeks, children in schools who felt alone despite having hundreds of online friends, and new parents who suddenly found themselves without their social connections at work. In January 2016, Jo formed a cross-party commission of organisations, campaigners and individuals to look at ways to tackle the issue.

Following Jo’s tragic death last June, the work of the Commission is now being taken forward in her memory. Working with 13 charities including Age UK and Action for Children, the Commission aims to shine a spotlight on the different aspects of loneliness and to look at positive ways to tackle the issues.

Barbara joined Jo’s parents, her sister and MPs from all parties at the launch in Parliament. Barbara is giving her backing to the work of the Commission and pledged to continue the work Jo started locally in Salford.

Barbara said:

“Tackling loneliness is a key issue. 1 in 5 people say they are always or often lonely, but almost two thirds say they feel uncomfortable admitting to it. It is an issue that affects people of all ages and yet too often it can go undetected as many people suffer in silence.

“I want to continue the work of the Commission on this important issue locally by looking at how loneliness is affecting people in Salford and at finding ways we can tackle the problem.”

Barbara backs Commission to tackle loneliness in Salford, in memory of Jo Cox MP

Barbara is supporting the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which was recently launched in Parliament. Jo Cox was determined to do what she could to tackle the...

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Barbara has expressed serious concerns following an investigation by the Health Service Journal and Disability United which reveals that NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are drawing up new restrictions governing care for older people and people with disabilities.

Worrying information, uncovered by the campaign group Disability United through a series of Freedom of Information requests, reveals that a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups plan not to fund care at home but to move patients into care homes on the basis of lower cost. Information obtained reveals that thirty-seven NHS clinical commissioning groups in England are introducing rules about paying for continuing care at home that could see up to 13,000 people moved into care homes rather than being cared for at home.

Nineteen CCGs, including Trafford CCG, said they may not fund care in a person’s own home if the cost is more than 10% above an alternative such as a care home placement. Trafford CCG’s “Choice and Equity” policy states that the CCG will be prepared to support a package of care which keeps an individual in their own home “provided the anticipated cost of providing care is not 10% more than the anticipated cost of a care package delivered in an alternative appropriate location such as a care home.”

National charities like Age UK, Independent Age and Marie Curie have expressed fears about the policies, which they say could force thousands of people to leave their homes or deny them the choice to return home after a hospital stay.

Barbara has spoken out against the proposals and said that it was critical that any decision about the future care of a patient be based on needs rather than on cost cutting.

Barbara said:

“It is deeply worrying that thousands of older people or people with disabilities could be forced to move into care homes against their will just because that is a cheaper option than living at home with care provision. Evicting older people from their homes due to decisions about the cost of their care is unacceptable.

“The Government’s failure to fund our health and social care services properly is leading to overstretched budgets. Rising demand for care means that Clinical Commissioning Groups are having to provide more care with constrained budgets. It seems that a number of CCGs are choosing to reduce costs by restricting choice by not funding care at home. This action will hit vulnerable and disabled people the hardest. It could also deny choice to people at the end of life.

“Health Ministers should be acting to address these challenges on the costs of care. I am calling on the Government to act to ensure that the NHS and social care has the funding it needs.”

Barbara calls for urgent rethink on cuts to funding for care at home

Barbara has expressed serious concerns following an investigation by the Health Service Journal and Disability United which reveals that NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are drawing up new restrictions governing care...

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I have responded to Salford Council’s Draft Local Plan consultation. Read my response here.
 
As with my response to the Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework consultation, I have objected to draft proposals to develop Green Belt land in Worsley and Eccles South. I have raised concerns about the impact that largescale development could have on the already intolerable levels of traffic congestion on local roads, on air quality and the strain that these developments could have on local services like GP practices.

Read Barbara’s response to Salford Council’s Draft Local Plan Consultation

I have responded to Salford Council’s Draft Local Plan consultation. Read my response here. As with my response to the Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework consultation, I have objected to draft...

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