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Kerry McCarthy
Kerry McCarthy
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Showing records 51 to 60 of 1621

- 28 March 2018
I recently asked the Minister what steps he will be taking to prioritise local and organic food in public sector procurement. The Minister’s reply was less than useful, which is unfortunate as there is a huge opportunity to leverage the billions of pounds worth of food and drink used by the public sector to provide opportunities for British food and farmers. It’s a step forward that the new ‘Balanced Scorecard’ guidelines have been introduced for central government departments – however this urgently needs to be rolled out to all public sector bodies as well as hospitals and schools. I recently wrote a letter to Michael Gove on this issue, and I have submitted several Parliamentary Questions. France and Brazil are two of several countries who have been able to make progress on this: in France 50% of public sector procurement of food must come from organic or local farms, and in Brazil at least 30% of food for school meals must come from local or family farms, so why can’t we do t
- 22 March 2018
Households in Bristol are being invited to declare their outside space a #PesticideFreeZone, by local campaigners, Pesticide Safe Bristol Alliance. You can sign their pledge to show your support for wildlife-friendly gardening, and help them reach their goal of signing up at least 1,000 gardens across the city.
- 21 March 2018
Kerry McCarthy 21 March at 15:47 · On Monday I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on access to the drug Orkambi for people with cystic fibrosis. This is an issue close to my heart as my own niece suffers from this life-limiting illness. A number of constituents have also been in contact with me to tell me about their children, grandchildren and friends’ children who could benefit from this new drug. There is huge public support for this - the petition reached 100,000 signatures in its first 10 days - and this was reflected in the number of MPs who turned up for the debate. Orkambi has the potential to help forty percent of CF sufferers, but the Government is refusing to fund the drug on the NHS as it does not deem it cost-effective. We must not look at the issue of funding new drugs as a crude mathematical calculation but at what it means for people’s lives. We need to see action from the Minister for Health and Social Care on access to Orkambi now, as CF sufferers do not have
- 20 March 2018
I am supporting the I Love You Enough road safety campaign to end distracted driving by giving young people a voice to ask their parents to make a pledge to never touch their mobile phone while driving. Distracted driving, especially mobile use, remains a major problem despite recent changes in law.
- 15 March 2018
Bristol and Bath go head-to-head with 64 cities in international race to find the most urban wildlife
- 15 March 2018
I greatly welcome RSPB Love Nature’s news that the number of songbirds illegally trapped and killed in Cyprus has declined. From a peak of 880,000 birds killed in 2016, it fell to roughly 250,000 in 2017 – but it is obviously still totally horrendous that a quarter of a million beautiful birds are being slaughtered in this way.
- 13 March 2018
Last night the Prime Minister gave an urgent statement to Parliament on the recent poisoning in Salisbury, where she said that it was highly likely Russia was responsible for the attack. She will be making a further statement to the Commons tomorrow. The seriousness of this cannot be overstated. Sergei Skripal and his daughter were exposed to a nerve agent and are still in a critical condition, and more than 20 people have now had to seek hospital treatment after coming into contact with them, including the police sergeant Nick Bailey who rushed to their aid. I stressed to the Prime Minister that there are many decent Russians bravely speaking out against Putin’s regime, and asked what support we can give to them. I have long had an interest in Russian issues; I studied Russian at university, have visited Russia many times, and am Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Russia. In 2012 I visited Moscow to attend the trial of members of the protest group Pussy Riot. A s
- 09 March 2018
I am pleased to add my name in support of amendments to the forthcoming Financial Guidance and Claims Bill (FGC) tabled by my Labour colleague Luciana Berger, which would provide crucial support to tens of thousands of people with mental health problems. One of the functions of the FGC Bill is to pave the way for the creation of a Breathing Space debt respite scheme, which would give people who seek debt advice a six week break from fees, charges or collections activity, providing an opportunity to get on top of their finances before they spiral out of control. While I welcome this initiative, it does not go far enough to protect the thousands of people in mental health crisis who are too unwell even to seek debt advice. New analysis of national data by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute estimates that 23,000 people in England were struggling in problem debt last year whilst in hospital for their mental health. These amendments would extend the scheme to everyone in receip
- 08 March 2018
International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to celebrate the success of women in all walks of life. However, 100 years after some women received the right to vote, there is still much to be done to improve gender equality both in Britain and around the world. The recent #metoo campaign has highlighted the shocking prevalence of sexual harassment that women from all walks of life face in their professional and private lives, and gender-based violence is still, sadly, very much part of too many women’s lives. Many women still face discrimination in the work place, as this Guardian article on gender pay gaps demonstrates. Gender discrimination of any kind has no place in 21st century society,and today is about saying that loud and clear.
- 05 March 2018
This morning, Theresa May gave a speech on housing in which she said the lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest problems we face. This comes from a Government which has overseen the lowest levels of housebuilding since the 1920s, despite a nationwide housing crisis. Housing lists are vastly oversubscribed, and home-ownership is but a pipe dream for so many. May is also wrong to blame local authorities for low-levels of house building, as councils who do want to build housing are hamstrung by a range of rules, whereas the Government is not. Councils don’t keep all the money from council houses sold under Right to Buy, and a significant amount of the money goes back to the Treasury with each sale. Councils are also unable to borrow in order to fund house-building. Despite this, Labour-run Bristol City Council is set to smash its 2000 homes a year election promise, with 3,500 homes forecast to be built in 2020, of which 1000 will be affordable. When it comes to sorting out
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