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Passenger Power

passengerpower-logoLabour will give greater control over bus services to communities in Warwickshire

Labour has launched a new campaign this week – called ‘Passenger Power’ about putting communities and passengers in control of local bus services. Labour will hand powers back to local communities in Warwickshire to save crucial bus routes.

Across England, over 1,300 bus routes have been cut since 2010. People living in rural areas in particular are seeing their bus services disappear. In rural areas, the number of miles of local bus services has dropped by a massive 23% compared to 2010.

At the same time bus fares are rocketing going up by 25% since 2010 and increase five times faster than wage growth. Continue reading

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The cost of Bedroom Tax

New figures show Bedroom Tax has cost low-income families over £1,200

David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s Bedroom Tax has cost thousands of low-income families an average of £1,260 since it was introduced in April 2013. The latest Government figures show around 500,000 people are being charged the Bedroom Tax, paying on average £14 a week. Two thirds (330,000) of those hit are disabled and 60,000 are carers.

The next Labour Government will repeal the Bedroom Tax. But because hundreds of thousands of families affected by the Bedroom Tax can’t afford to wait that long, Labour forced a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday 17 December. The Tories and Lib Dems again joined forces to keep this unfair penalty, and Rugby’s Conservative MP Mark Pawsey was among them. Continue reading

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Launching the TUC jobs week

The TUC’s decent jobs week runs from 15 to 21 December and is being marked by a series of events across the Midlands.
TUCjobsweek1Claire Edwards joined a street stall this weekend and handed out a Christmas card for the TUC highlighting the campaign supporting millions of people in the uk to :

  • Improve rights for zero-hour workers
  • The same decent employment rights for all
  • Equal pay for agency workers
  • Better enforcement of workplace rights for low-paid, vulnerable workers
  • Better access for all workers to union representation and collective bargaining

I believe passionately in trade unions as a force for good and wholeheartedly support the TUC’s campaign both during and after decent jobs week.

Too many people I speak to in Rugby and Bulkington are struggling to survive on short term contracts, zero hour contracts and insecure contracts of work. Surviving Christmas and the new year will bring a very stressful January and we need better rights at work and better rates of pay. For too long we have been told that labour must be flexible – but too much flexibility often means job insecurity and we all deserve better.

Joining a trade union is really important and I would urge everyone to check it out at:
tuc.org.uk/joinaunion

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Tackling the scandal of cancer patients denied life-saving treatment

The next Labour Government will make sure cancer patients get access to potentially life-saving drugs and treatment through a new annual Cancer Treatments Fund.

The problem with cancer policy under the current Government is that it prioritises one form of cancer treatment over others and places one group of patients ahead of another. This is indefensible when we know surgery and radiotherapy are responsible for nine in ten cases where cancer is cured. It is not right that 40,000 people every year who could benefit from radiotherapy are missing out.

That’s why we’ve backed Labour’s new annual fund which will build on existing provision to improve access not just to drugs but also to radiotherapy and surgery. Labour would also guarantee that any patient in receipt of a drug from the Cancer Drugs Fund would continue to be offered that drug.
Continue reading

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Welcoming the World Cup Winners to Rugby

Councillor Claire Edwards seconded the motion to confer the Freedom of the Borough of Rugby on the winning squad on Wednesday 10 December.
RW-1“I am delighted to be able to formally welcome members of the England Women’s Squad to Rugby, especially after winning the World Cup in such a thrilling tournament and final in Paris in August.   And particularly to congratulate a team of part timers who worked so hard and made real sacrifices to be able to play Rugby at international level representing their country. It’s particularly so when, unlike other sports and particularly male sports, you have achieved so much and held down full time jobs. Continue reading

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Our Pledge on the Economy

pledge1-1Ordinary people here in Rugby and Bulkington and across the country are struggling with the cost of living crisis and not feeling the economic recovery.

George Osborne and David Cameron would have you believe the economy was fixed but they have failed every test and broken every promise they’ve made on the economy. That’s why it’s left to the next Labour government to build the strong economic foundation we need by getting the deficit down and balancing the books in a fairer way. Continue reading

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Failed every test. Broken every promise

THE TORIES’ ECONOMIC RECORD IS ONE OF REPEATED BROKEN PROMISES

David Cameron and George Osborne have failed every test and broken every promise they’ve made on the economy.

They promised we’d be all in this together but then they gave millionaires a huge tax cut. They promised people would be better off but most people in Rugby and Bulkington are not feeling the recovery and working people are now £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories.

And this cost-of-living crisis is why the Chancellor had to admit that his key promise – to balance the nation’s books by next year – now lies in tatters.

Because wages aren’t rising and too many are stuck in low-paid jobs, the tax revenues we need to get the deficit down aren’t coming in.

Unlike Labour, the Tories don’t understand the fundamental link between the living standards of everyday working people in Rugby and Bulkington and Britain’s ability to deal with the deficit. George Osborne has now borrowed a staggering £219 billion more than he planned and the economy is set to slow down next year after forecasts for wages have been revised down again.

Yet the Chancellor still tries to claim that the economy is fixed and his plan is working. How out of touch can you get? What we needed in the Autumn statement this week was the better and fairer plan Labour has set out.

Labour’s plan will raise the minimum wage, expand free childcare for working parents, scrap the bedroom tax and cut business rates for small firms. We will balance the books in a fairer way, starting by reversing the Tories’ £3 billion a year tax cut for the top one per cent of earners.

Changing stamp duty to help people on middle and low incomes is welcome, but we also need to get more homes built and we need a Mansion tax to help save and transform our NHS. With an extra £2.5 billion a year on top of Tory spending plans we can get the extra 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs we need to help transform our NHS and save it from the Tories.

The Tories promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015 but with less money coming in because of their wrong economic decisions, they’ve broken their promise, failed their own economic test and its hardworking people who are paying the price. It’s time for an economic recovery for the many, not just a few.

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Pawsey is not backing local pubs

Labour’s Claire Edwards slams local MP for failing to stand up for local pubs

Last week MPs voted for a new cross-party clause to the Small Business Bill which offered new protections for local publicans against the predatory practices of large pub owning companies (known as pubcos) and supporting plans to give local pubs and landlords a better deal.

Following a report into the industry by the cross party BIS (Business, Industry and Skills) Select Committee, Labour campaigned alongside a broad coalition of groups including the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Business, CAMRA, FairPint and the GMB and UNITE trade unions to call for greater protection for local pubs and put a stop to unfair treatment and restrictive practices.

Several Tory and Lib Dems MPs voted for the amendments strengthening the Small Business Bill, but not Rugby’s MP. Continue reading

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Claire Edwards presses for safer pedestrian access at Rugby rail station

Claire Edwards presses for safer pedestrian access at Rugby rail station

Local residents who use Rugby rail station to avoid the notoriously congested Mill Road tunnel will still be able to do so once new barriers are built next year.

Currently lots of people find walking under the Mill Road tunnel from Brownsover toward Murray Road dangerous, dirty and noisy and often use the rail station tunnel as a clean and safe alternative.

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Claire Edwards with local campaigners and Shadow Minister Michael Dugher earlier in the year

Virgin, under its new franchise agreement for the West Coast Mainline, is installing new ticket barriers at the entrance to Rugby station – but thanks to intervention by Labour parliamentary candidate Claire Edwards and Rugby Rail Users Group, pedestrians will still be able to use the safer route as an alternative.

Claire explains:

“I had a very interesting and productive meeting with Virgin and they have shown me the plans for new barriers and reassured me that the barriers will be full staffed when in use and that staff will be able to actively allow pedestrians to use the station tunnel as a safe and clean alternative to Mill Road tunnel.

“I am really pleased that they are listening to rail users and local residents who have a number of concerns about the barriers. The fact that they will always be staffed when in use is a great reassurance. However Mill Road tunnel is still an eyesore, it regularly floods and causes real headaches when buses try to go through the single lane. I have written to the County Council and Rugby Borough Councils asking them to discuss solutions alongside Virgin. “

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