I'm pleased to see that my intervention in the chamber this week regarding the leaked Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report into #RBS Global Restructuring Group's (GRG) treatment of SME businesses has prompted the Treasury Select Committee to set a deadline for its publication. I will be comparing this to the non-redacted copy I have.
A few weeks ago GMB members at the Britvic factory at Carrow Road asked if I would accept one of their shares in the company - a proxy shareholder - and to speak for them at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
If, like myself, you’ve never experienced the world of so called ‘share-holder democracy’ then I can only describe my experience as confirmation that current corporate governance is at present a joke.Read more
This afternoon, I was in parliament to listen and contribute to the adjournment debate on Ambulance delays and the leadership of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Since I first publicised this in the chamber several weeks ago (https://goo.gl/fE2rWu), I’ve had people from across the country get in touch who’ve experienced similar failings in the Ambulance Service. This is a systemic crisis, and not the case of individual failures. It’s not just about blaming the managers, but also accepting that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Health bear responsibility.
Watch what I said in full HERE.
I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate everyone involved in what sounded like a terrific inaugural UEA Innovation and Impact Awards, which took place at the Sainsbury Centre last night. Norwich is a vibrant, innovative city with much to be proud of in regards to its pioneering research and enterprise, to which the University of East Anglia makes a huge contribution.Read more
I'm proud to be one of 162 cross-party MPs who signed Carolyn Harris MP's letter calling on the Prime Minister to show compassion and create a UK-wide children's funeral fund. Read the letter in full above.
This March, I'm supporting Keep Britain Tidy's annual national clean up: 'the Great British Spring Clean'.
Last year's campaign saw a staggering 70,000 wheelie binds of rubbish collected over one weekend. Over 300,000 people got involved cleaning their local streets, parks and beaches. This year's is set to be bigger and better still!
This should be a great opportunity for individuals, groups, families, schools, businesses or clubs to make a difference to their local community. Register here: www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean
We had some fantastic conversations with residents about the issues that matter to them. The local Labour councillors or myself will now be following up on any problems raised and suggestions of how we can improve the community in these areas.
Thanks to everyone who spoke to us on their doorstep, and to the activists who came along to help. If you want to join us next time, drop Norwich Labour Party a message.
Norwich Labour Party and many of its local branches have passed motions to support The Communications Union workers as they fight for their members' rights, and as a statement of our intention to stand in solidarity with them whenever needed.
Tomorrow, I'll be attending Britvic PLC's 2018 Annual General Meeting in London to seek answers from the board. I want to know:
▪️Why the didn’t the board review any of the alternative proposals to maintain operations at Norwich?
▪️Given that one of the Company’s four strategic pillars is to build trust and respect in our communities why did the company’s Independent Directors twice refuse invitations to meet members of the Norwich community?
▪️Is the board concerned at losing the Robinsons heritage and legacy and have they factored loss of that kind of goodwill into the accounts of the company?
It's only fair to the 200+ workers set to lose their jobs that these questions are responded to fully.
Local media asked me for comment on the Norfolk and Norwich hospital’s recently announced ‘deficit’ of almost £30m and the chief executive’s plea for help with debts from the Private Finance Initiative. Here’s what I said in full:
“As I've said before, PFI is like signing up for the worst credit card on the comparison site. The NHS has more than 100 PFI hospitals with an original cost of £11.5bn but with PFI we’ll end up paying almost £80bn for them. So I’m delighted that the next Labour government will end the thirty-year love-in with PFI.
But the reality now is that the Tories are using hospital deficits as a smokescreen for deliberate underfunding of our NHS and taking the axe to all the services which stop people ending up in hospital in the first place. Yes, it’s scandalous that the health service is paying £2bn a year and rapidly rising to the vultures of the PFI industry but even if that ended tomorrow the health service would still face a £28 billion Tory funding gap by 2020.
Rather than slinging good money after bad into the gaping jaws of PFI, what our NHS really needs more money for is extra nurses, doctors and GPs.”