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Dear reader,

Welcome to the latest edition of my newsletter which covers some of the highlights from July and August. It has been an extremely busy year and the summer seems to have gone by in a heartbeat.

Whilst it may have been quiet at Westminster during recess, work in the constituency must go on and my staff and I have been working hard to keep on top of the ever increasing amount casework and constituent enquiries.

Whilst Brexit continues to dominate the headlines, I believe it is important to acknowledge the important issues affecting the residents of Warrington South.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with anyone who may be interested. Anyone wishing to subscribe can do so by signing up on my website at https://faisalrashid.com/subscribe/

As always, your comments and feedback to any issues are always appreciated. If you would like to get in touch, you can now reply to this email and it will be picked up as soon as possible.

You can also complete the online contact form at https://faisalrashid.com/contactme or call the office on 01925 351010 and a member of the team will be happy to help.

Best wishes.
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Faisal Rashid MP, Member of Parliament for Warrington South

Latest News & Highlights

A quick summary of the latest updates and news.

Sankey Valley Park Update


Many of my constituents have contacted me about Sankey Valley Park and most recently, the condition of the canal. As a frequent visitor of Sankey Valley Park, I fully share residents’ concerns and believe that we must do all we can to ensure the park is maintained and enjoyable all year round.

I have continued to raise concerns with the Council and on 5th August, Warrington Borough Council issued a general response in relation concerns raised by the wider community, including the Save Sankey Valley Park Facebook Page.

You can view the Council's statement here:

https://www.warrington.gov.uk/news/article/2851/council-addressing-complex-canal-challenges

Further to the above, I have also been in touch with the Environment Services team and have some further details in relation to specific questions raised on behalf of residents.

CANAL WATER MANAGEMENT

Aquatic water plant control along the former St Helens canal section that runs through Sankey Valley Park presents a number of challenges not easily overcome as the decline in one type of weed provides opportunities for others to flourish.

WATER MANAGEMENT

The Authority working in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Dallam and District Community Angling Club has implemented a four point water management plan.

SUBMERGED AQUATIC WEED CONTROL

An inert, organic water dye was introduced in April 2019 between Bewsey Bridge and Sankey Way in an attempt to reduce light penetration to the canal bed and reduce the vigorous growth of submerged aquatic vegetation in particular hornwort. Unfortunately, this has been unsuccessful. Physical removal is extremely time consuming and beyond the resources of volunteers from the angling club.  Mechanical removal is very costly and either option will provide only temporary impact, the process is similar to mowing an underwater lawn but requires very expensive equipment.

EMERGENT AQUATIC WEED CONTROL

The canal has become inundated with a number of species of water lily. This plant although beneficial to wildlife in small quantities has developed significantly over recent years – physical removal is difficult and unless completely removed does not provide a long-term solution as the plant will regenerate with increased vigour from any small root pieces not removed. The council will be spot treating a number of the plants this year with an approved herbicide under licence from the Environment Agency. This will reduce the coverage, creating a central channel of lily free water between Sankey way and Callands Pool. The treatment programme will be sustained over a number of years and success monitored.  Applications will be undertaken towards the end of the growing season when nutrients are being reabsorbed by the plant as it naturally dies back for the winter. This is the most effective time to apply the herbicide as it is absorbed into the root.

SURFACE AQUATIC WEED CONTROL

Surface weed coverage continues to present a challenge – weed coverage experienced earlier in the year was predominantly Azolla. This non-native fast-growing plant has been successfully managed by biological control involving the introduction of a specific species of weevils that only eat the Azolla plant. A further population of weevils has been introduced this year.  Azolla is now scarce along the canal.

Wetlands reserve from Hospital Bridge

Azolla before weevil release

Azolla Before

 Azolla almost absent 3 weeks after

Azolla 3 Weeks After

Unfortunately, the habitat niche occupied by Azolla has been colonised by a native plant, duck weed. As the name suggest this plant provides a food source for British wildlife including wildfowl but grows very quickly covering the entire surface of open water.  There is no effective management of this plant, physical removal and / or chemical treatment provide only temporary respite as the species can reproduce rapidly from any individual plants left behind or untreated.  As the plant is native to the UK and forms a single layer over the water it is less detrimental to fish stocks. Its presence may help reduce significant dissolved oxygen spikes and troughs during a 24-hour period as the coverage will reduce light penetration.

DOG DEATH AT HATCHMERE

The dog death at Hatchmere (as reported by Cheshire Live) relates to a blue green algal bloom – fortunately this type of bloom is rare in the Sankey canal and is currently not present in Warrington.   Blue green algae is known to be hazardous to animals and people if swallowed generally the situation is managed by signage and closing waters to water sport activity.

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

The council has limited resources to deliver grounds maintenance throughout the town. Routine vegetation management is undertaken as commensurate with the resources available.  Sankey Valley Park has benefited from capital investment over recent years. Projects have included play area refurbishment and significant woodland thinning to improve sight lines and open up views through the park. This work has had a positive impact reducing antisocial behaviour and improving public safety.

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Increase Funding for Sixth Form Education #raisetherate

Happy to support the Raise the Rate campaign and have co-signed the letter along with colleagues calling on the Chancellor to provide extra funding for post-16 education. Further Education providers in my constituency are struggling due to funding cuts to vital extra curriculum services such as careers guidance, mental health support and employability skills. These services are fundamental to making sure young people receive the best support and guidance whilst studying.

I will continue to press the government on this issue until we see some urgent action taken to address the concerns of local school leaders. #RaisetheRate

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Labour pledge to end rough sleeping within 5 years

Nine years of Tory failure on housing means that the number of people sleeping on the streets has doubled since 2010. Figures also show a rise of 80% of homeless children. These numbers are sickening. The Government are simply unwilling to help the most vulnerable and helpless in our society.

A Labour Government will end rough sleeping within 5 years by reserving homes for those who have history of homelessness. They will also build at least 100,000 affordable homes to rent and buy, including the biggest council house building programme in over 30 years.

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Faisal visits Warrington Hospital

I had a fantastic visit to Warrington Hospital recently. Thank you to everyone for making my visit so welcoming and informative. All the doctors, nurses and NHS staff are doing an excellent job despite huge funding cuts and increased demand.

We are in desperate need of a new hospital; some of the current buildings are over 100 years old and at a time where technology and medical research is growing rapidly, we need new fit for purpose facilities that are efficient, reliable and can cope with current and future demand. Without this, how can the NHS expect to give the best care to patients, without the vital resources they need in order to do so?

As Warrington South MP and Chair of APPG on Healthcare Infrastructure, I will continue to speak up for Warrington and the NHS and I will make it my mission to ensure that Warrington Hospital receives the investment it truly needs and deserves.
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Faisal Rashid MP Backs Calls For “Immediate and Total Ban” on Fracking Following Record Earthquake

Faisal Rashid MP has today (Tuesday 27 August) backed Labour’s demands to “immediately ban fracking”, following a record-breaking 2.9 Richter scale earthquake that hit Lancashire on Monday. The earthquake is significantly larger than the 2.3 magnitude earthquake that struck in 2011, following which fracking operations were suspended in the UK for seven years.

The tremor was recorded at about 08:30 BST and is stronger than those that forced oil and gas company Cuadrilla to suspend test fracking in 2011. Cuadrilla said it was investigating the tremor and said no fracking was being carried out at the time. The latest quake is the third recorded in less than a week.

Along with the fear, disruption and potential damage to property caused by fracking, the Committee on Climate Change has concluded that fracking on a significant scale is not compatible with the UK’s climate change targets.

A government report from 2015 concluded that fracking increases air pollution, with substantially higher impacts at the local level where activities are clustered. Fracking also generates large amounts of wastewater, which poses contamination risks to local ecosystems from spills and mismanagement.


Two shadow ministers have today written to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom demanding that she take action to stop shale gas extraction in the UK. Leadsom has previously dismissed criticism of fracking as “scaremongering” and called it the answer to Britain’s energy conundrum.

Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, said:

“These earthquakes are a cause for serious alarm. We need urgent action on fracking from the Government. They have been unwilling to stand up to big companies who want to profit from this industry at the expense of our planet. It is simply madness to continue fracking in the North West.

I am fully behind calls for an immediate and total ban on this dangerous, harmful practice. Local communities and campaign groups in the North West have long
been opposed to fracking – their concerns have been simply dismissed by the Government as “scaremongering”. I hope that a 2.9 Richter scale earthquake will finally bring them to their senses.


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Latchford Fancy Dress Littler Pick

Thank you to all the little superheroes and our excellent community volunteers in Latchford where they organised a Fancy Dress litter pick. It was my pleasure to support and encourage them. What a great way of bringing community together and teach our children how to keep our area clean. Well done to all involved 👍
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Back to 60 Campaign - Salford City Radio Interview

Last week, I spoke to Salford City Radio about my campaign to achieve justice for 1950’s women.

These women have had their state pensions deferred twice by stealth, for the meanest state pension in Europe – all under the false premise of equality and longevity. For most of their lives, 1950s-born women were paid less than their male counterparts. For the government to penalise them yet again – at the end of their professional lives – all under the guise of ‘equality’ is a cruel irony.

Equality is about justice – and I don’t think it is just or fair to penalise these women.

Follow the link below to listen to my interview.

https://www.facebook.com/FaisalRashidMP/videos/2322304314553199/

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Faisal writes letter to ASDA to support Warrington South workers

I have written to Asda about their plans to force hard-working staff in Warrington South to sign new contracts or risk losing their jobs. This is an awful way for the company to treat loyal, hard-working staff.

This week, I will be meeting with officials from GMB Union in Warrington South to demand a better deal for this dedicated workforce.

Sign the petition to stand with Asda workers here:https://www.gmb.org.uk/campa…/tell-asda-respect-your-workers
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Roving Surgery - Stockton Heath

On Saturday I held my latest roving surgery in Stockton Heath. I was supported by Cllr Jean Carter and Cllr Laurence Murphy. It was great to interact once again with my constituents, listening to their concerns and issues.
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Faisal attends Latchford Duck Race

It was great to support Latchford Duck Race this afternoon. Excellent work by Liz Taylor and all volunteers. I had such a great afternoon.
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DriveWorks Ltd awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise 2019!

It was great to visit DriveWorks last week to meet with the company Directors, Glen Smith and Maria Sarkar and to congratulate them and the DriveWorks team on being double awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2019. This is such a great achievement and it’s great for the team to have their hard work recognised in this way. I am looking forward to joining the team for the formal presentation of their award in September. Congratulations once again to all the team at DriveWorks Ltd!

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Warrington Guardian Column - Boris Johnson’s right-wing Government has no solutions for the problems facing our town

Just two weeks ago, Boris Johnson was elected to the highest office in the country by members of the Conservative Party, an electorate which makes up just 0.2% of the population. A tiny fraction of our society has decided that this man – a symbol of incompetence and arrogance – is fit to run our country and steer us through a Brexit crisis of the Tory party’s own making.

When I consider the issues which
most severely afflict my constituents, housing, education and healthcare are
the three which require the most urgent and comprehensive reform. On all three
fronts, the incoming Prime Minister offers none of the solutions which our
communities so desperately need.

From 1949-2017, the NHS budget grew
by an average of 3.3% in per-person spending. Since the Tories entered
government nine years go, this figure fell to 0.6% from 2010-2017, leading to
crises in waiting times, staffing, and social care. If the Government take us
out of the EU without a deal on October 31st – right before the
winter squeeze on NHS services – our health service will face catastrophe. Patients
will suffer shortages in medical supplies, equipment and staff as a result of
the radical decisions taken by an individual they had no say in electing.

Our housing market is facing a long-term
crisis of a similar scale. Under the Tories, average private rents have risen
by £1,900 a year compared to 2010. As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s record
on housing was dismal, wasting millions on failed schemes like ‘Boris Airport’
and the ‘Garden Bridge’. Nearly £1 billion of taxpayers’ money that could have
been spent on desperately needed social housing was wasted on vanity projects
which never even got off the ground.

Next month, nearly 5,000 school
headteachers are promising to walk out of their schools to take part in a mass
march on Westminster, highlighting the chronic underfunding of our children’s
education. Headteachers report having to close at lunchtime on Fridays because
they cannot fund a full week of teaching. The teaching profession is in crisis:
just 60% of teachers are still working in state-funded schools five years after
starting. Schools need a clear and concrete funding plan to turn this around.
During his leadership campaign, the incoming Prime Minister offered to solve
these problems with around £50m in extra funding for schools – just a 0.1% increase
in overall school spending.

On housing, education and
healthcare, Johnson offers nothing but rhetoric and bluster. In a time of
crisis, our country deserves better.

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Labour will rebuild the NHS

Over the weekend the Government announced plans to invest £1.8bn into the NHS. After years of Tory cuts, this is not an extra boost, it is merely a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of funding the NHS will need in order to repair the damage already created by this Government.

A Labour Government promise to invest properly into the NHS! It is a vital service that can no longer be neglected.

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Walton Hall and Gardens Nominated for Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park 2019

Delighted to learn that Walton Hall and Gardens has been nominated for the Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park 2019! I love going there with family and we always have an amazing time.

Fields in Trust is a UK-wide charity that legally protects parks and green spaces in perpetuity. The UK’s Best Park Award recognises the role that parks play in our communities, supporting mental and physical health and bringing people together. It is a fantastic achievement that Walton Hall and Gardens has been nominated, so I urge everyone to support our local community and vote!

Walton Hall and Gardens is an exceptional place for the whole community. It has something to offer everyone, providing people with the chance to get outdoors and have fun. With the fantastic park, free zoo, the Heritage Café, the beautiful gardens to walk through and the number of activities/events which take place throughout the year, it really is a good day out for all to enjoy.

To cast your vote, follow the link: http://www.fieldsintrust.org/…/nort…/walton-hall-and-gardens
You have until 12pm on Monday 19th August.

#Loveyourlocalpark 🌲 #LoveWaltonGardens
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Warrington South MP expresses sadness at news local midwife-led service set to close

Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, has expressed his sadness at the news that One to One (North West) Limited service will go into administration at 5.00pm on Wednesday 31st July 2019.

Since hearing news of the
closure, Faisal has been liaising with NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning
Group to ensure that action is being taken to support those women affected.

One to One have held a contract to provide midwifery-led community services in Warrington since 2016. 

Faisal Rashid MP said:

“I was sorry to hear the news
that One to One (North West) Limited are unable to continue to operate as a
provider and that it will go into administration at 5.00pm on Wednesday 31st
July 2019.


“The One to One midwifery-led
service has been valued tremendously locally and I know that its loss will be
deeply upsetting for many.


“The provision of high-quality
midwife-led care is invaluable, and I know that this news will come as a blow
to those women who receive care and support currently and for those who have
previously used the service.


“NHS Warrington CCG have
informed me that all actions are being taken to ensure that the care of all
local women who are currently registered with One to One Midwifery is
transferred safely and smoothly to a new provider of care and that the welfare
of those women remains to be paramount.


“The CCG have taken immediate
action and all women affected are being contacted directly by a dedicated team
to make arrangements to transfer their care to an alternative provider.
The team can also be contacted by any women who are concerned on 0151 604
7688/9 (9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday).”


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Timetable set for town’s swing bridge works following local MP’s intervention

Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, recently met with Peel Ports Chief Executive Officer Mark Whitworth and Strategic Projects Director Gary Hodgson to discuss how soon work on the town’s three swing bridges would begin.

Faisal has been repeatedly pressing
Peel Ports and Warrington Borough Council for action, most recently calling on
them to work cooperatively to ensure work could begin as quickly as possible.

During their meeting, both Mark
Whitworth and Gary Hodgson made it clear to Faisal that Peel Ports remained
committed to carrying out the work on the three swing bridges and said that the
delays had been caused by concerns on the possible disruption of the new Centre
Park Link.

Mark Whitworth confirmed at the
meeting that Peel Ports would be putting the work on the first bridge out to
tender in September of this year. Work on the first bridge will then begin in
summer 2020 (exact timings will be agreed with Warrington Borough
Council). Work on the subsequent bridges will follow but timing will be
dependent on other road schemes that need to be completed in the area, again
timings will be agreed with the Council’s transport team, but the objective is
to complete one bridge each year.

At the meeting, Peel Ports
confirmed that during each period of works the bridge being painted and
maintained would need to be fully closed. However, they also said that they
would be working with the Council to mitigate the impact of the closures.

Faisal Rashid MP said:

“I am pleased to hear that we
finally now have a start date for the works. This issue has been going on for
several years and the work is long overdue.


“The painting and maintenance
of each of the swing bridges will make a big difference to these gateways into
our town.


“Given the length of time we
have had to wait for action, I appreciate that some people will remain
sceptical until the work begins. But I want to reassure residents that I will
be working hard to ensure that Peel Ports deliver on their commitment to
Warrington South.


“I will also be working to
ensure that Peel Ports and Warrington Borough Council work together to find
suitable solutions to any disruption that could be caused by the bridge
closures – mitigating any impact and ensuring that the work is carried out as
quickly as possible.


“I will continue to pursue this
issue until the work is completed. However, I am encouraged that both parties
remain committed to delivering on these works and that there is an end in
sight.”


Councillor Russ Bowden said:

“We welcome this decision by
Peel Ports as we have been working with Peel for the past 2 years on the clear
timescales. We will work closely with Peel and other partners to
ensure that the bridge enhancement project is completed efficiently and with
minimum disruption.”


ffffffff

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Faisal signs Youth Friendly MP Charter

Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, has signed the Youth
Friendly MP Charter to demonstrate his commitment to supporting all young
people in his constituency to fulfil their potential.

Young people are nearly three times more likely to be
unemployed than any other age group and the UK’s percentage rate of young
people out of work remains much higher than in some other countries. Locally,
according to recent ONS figures, 1,100 16-24-year olds in Warrington South were
unemployed between January and December 2018.

In signing the Charter, Faisal has pledged to support five
key principles of youth employment in Warrington South:

Youth Voice – listening to young people in order to
understand their barriers and challenges to employment and working to help them
to overcome these challenges.

Developing Young People – supporting quality learning
and development opportunities for all young people in Warrington South,
advocating education and training pathways that meet the needs of individuals.

Creating Opportunities – Supporting good quality
youth employment in Warrington South and recognising those Youth Friendly
Employers that are leading the way in offering quality early careers, work
experience and employment opportunities to young people.

Recognising Young Talent – Celebrating the important
role young people play in our local economy as employees, apprentices, and
graduates, and their role in the local community through social action and
volunteering.

Fair Employment – Helping to ensure that young people
are treated fairly in the work they do.

Faisal Rashid MP said:

“As a youth friendly MP, I am absolutely committed to
helping to address the barriers that many young people face in trying to find
employment.


“The future of our country depends on how well we are
able to equip younger generations to face the challenges ahead. Sadly, nine
years of Tory Government have been nine long years of failing to invest
properly in our young people.


“It is vital that our local youth groups, parents, employers and government are working together to create a place where all young people can fulfil their potential. I will be doing what I can to support this work and empower young people in Warrington South.”
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Faisal Rashid MP backs ‘damning’ Disability Benefits Consortium report at parliamentary launch

Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, recently attended the parliamentary launch of a report from the Disability Benefits Consortium, which considers the impact of welfare changes on disabled people.

According to the new research, changes to the welfare system
over the past ten years have left disabled adults four times worse off
financially than non-disabled adults. While many people who receive welfare
support have experienced cuts of an average of £300 as a result of changes to the
welfare system, disabled people have typically lost around £1,200 per year.

The research has been funded by the Three Guineas Trust and
conducted by the University of East Anglia, the University of Glasgow and
Landman Economics. It is the first comprehensive study looking specifically at
the cumulative impact of welfare changes on disabled people.

The research also found that the more disabilities a
claimant has, the more liable they are to lose out. To cite one example, an
individual with six or more disabilities loses over £2,100 each year on
average, whereas someone with one disability loses around £700 each year.
Households with one disabled adult and one disabled child lose out the most,
with average losses of over £4,300 per year.

The report concludes that the welfare system must be
reformed so that it takes a more personal and tailored approach to provide
greater support to disabled people so that they can be free from poverty and
despair, and live truly independent lives.

Faisal Rashid MP said:

“This report is a damning indictment of the state of the
welfare system under the Tories. The system is simply not fit for purpose.


“I am deeply concerned by the effect of Government
policies on disabled people. The UN has said that the Government’s social
security reforms have led to “grave and systematic violations” of disabled
people’s rights.


“These failures mean that people with disabilities are
not just losing money – they are losing access to transport, personal
independence, and in some cases their jobs. This is totally unacceptable.


“Thousands of disabled people have been forced to undergo
stressful, poorly designed Personal Independence Payments and Work Capability
Assessments. Disturbingly, the sanctioning of people who are ill or disabled
has also been linked to deaths, including suicides.


“We must transform our welfare system from one that is too often demonising disabled people to one that is supportive and empowering.”
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Warrington Guardian Column - The NHS

When the NHS first came into being 71 years ago, the government sent a leaflet to every household in the country with the simple message: “It will relieve your money worries in time of illness.”

The birth of the NHS completely transformed people’s lives, providing universal healthcare for all on the basis of need, free at the point of use.

But as we reflect on the achievements of the past we must also look to the future to ensure there is no erosion of the guiding principles which underpin our most cherished institution.

We have known for some time now that rationing and privatisation are creeping into our NHS, exploiting the gaps created by the Tories’ nine years of cynical mismanagement and fragmentation of the healthcare system. They have imposed the biggest funding squeeze in its history and deliberately pushed services to the brink.

Recently, Halton Clinical Commissioning Group proposed to award Halton's urgent care contract to a private company. The strong views of local politicians and the public have thankfully compelled the CCG to think again.

I was extremely concerned by the recent publication of a ‘price-list’ for common surgical procedures offered by Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS trust.

Our hospital trust offered ‘My Choice’ as a menu of self-funded treatment for those who are struggling with conditions that have now been categorised by NHS England as ‘restricted’ because they have ‘low or limited clinical value’.

But if these procedures are clinically necessary, shouldn’t they be offered on the NHS? If not in factclinically appropriate, is it right that patients could be offered treatment privately, using NHS staff and placed on NHS waiting lists?

The decision to call this programme ‘My Choice’ for what was essentially an offer of NHS care in an NHS hospital is deeply insulting for anyone who believes in the principle of the NHS being free at the point of service.

There’s a growing sense that people who can afford it could choose to ‘pay their way out of pain’ and we need to know whether our local health commissioners are in effect rationing some common elective procedures by raising the thresholds for eligibility, in the hope that people will start to self-fund.

It is a relief that following calls from campaigners, myself and my Labour colleagues, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust have paused the ‘My Choice’ programme - for the time being.

In the face of these uneasy signs I want to reassure local people that I will always fight to preserve an NHS which is free at the point of use and speak out against those who seek to dismantle our most cherished national institution.

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We must protect our NHS from privatisation

We need to protect our NHS at all costs! With the new Prime Minster announced earlier today, the prospect of a no deal Brexit is still a possibility.

People all over the UK rely on free healthcare and without the amazing service the NHS provide, millions of people would be left vulnerable and forced to pay thousands for life saving procedures.

We cannot allow Boris Johnson to put our NHS up for sale in future trade deals. Labour will fight to stop Donald Trump getting his hands on our NHS.

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Stretton Walking Day

Once again excellent service before Stretton Walking Day with the new Rose Queen and then as always we had a lovely walk. It’s my pleasure to join the community and take part every year.
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Faisal attends 'Step out for Stroke' event

Recently I supported the Stroke Association who are doing some excellent work in our communities and helping those who are affected by stroke. Thank you for all your hard work!
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Faisal asks the Government to introduce an Independent Housing Regulator for tenants.

Two years on from the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and the Government have made nowhere near enough progress to prevent this from happening again. Typical of a Tory Government to bury their head in the sand and pretend everything is ok.

After voices of concerns from my constituents, I have written a letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, calling on the Government to introduce an Independent Housing Regulator for tenants.

I fully support the work Grenfell United are doing to push the Government to allow social housing tenants to have more rights and protections, too many people are still being let down by this Government. 272 tower blocks in the UK are still covered in the Grenfell-style cladding, this is SHAMEFUL! No one deserves to feel unsafe in their home.

My thoughts go out to all of those who are still affected by the tragedy and I will continue to fight on this issue to bring them justice.
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Faisal urges the Government to invest more in e-bikes

E-bikes offer huge benefits for our health, wellbeing and the environment. I would encourage anyone to think about using them as an alternative mode of transport.

Today at transport questions, I asked the minister what steps the government is taking to promote their use. I want to see government funding made available to promote e-bikes and support UK green businesses.

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Faisal speaks about Children and Mental Health Services

Yesterday I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on Children and Mental Health services.

On average, children and young people must visit their GP three times before they get a referral for a specialist mental health assessment. They have to wait more than six months for treatment to start.

Not enough has been done to address the inadequacy of funding for services, or to reduce the number of children who don’t have access to mental health support at all.

The Government guaranteed that it would protect the healthy pupils fund – only to cut it by three quarters. This money was meant to ensure our schools were accessible to disabled children, to address mental health needs and promote a healthy start in life for all.

It is absolutely unacceptable that the fifth largest economy in the world can fail its most vulnerable children in this way.

I want to see every child get the best possible start in life – that is why I am urging the Government to provide real leadership, concrete solutions and properly funded services. At present they are failing children and young people on all three fronts.

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Faisal supports 'Safe Staffing Save Lives' campaign by RCN

It was great to catch up again with the Royal College of Nursing in Westminster today. Nurses are the heart and soul of our NHS - I fully support their calls to invest more in nurse training and education. #safestaffingsaveslives

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Stockton Heath Walking Day

Every year I enjoy Stockton Heath Walking Day. The weather was very nice and many residents took part. A great day! 
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Faisal speaks up about the retail crisis

I recently took part in a debate on the future of the UK retail industry. The retail industry is suffering heavily at the moment, especially with job losses. 74,000 jobs have been lost over the course of 2018, and town centre vacancy rates rose to 10.2% in April 2019.

Usdaw Union have called for urgent action to ‘Save Our Shops’ and have proposed a comprehensive and co-ordinated industrial strategy. I support these proposals and urge the government to do more to revitalise our high streets.

You can read USDAW’s full Industrial Strategy for Retail here:http://bit.ly/30x47HI

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Faisal joins Heritage Cafe in celebrating it's first year anniversary

Congratulations to Heritage Cafe at Walton Hall and Gardens who recently celebrated their first year anniversary. I was delighted to join them and members of the public for a joyous evening of celebration. Amazing hospitality and excellent food, I would recommend anyone to visit this wonderful establishment.
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Faisal visits Bridgewater High School to discuss Hate Crime

I had a lovely visit to Bridgewater High School recently. I took part in an engaging discussion about hate crime and answered questions put together by students.

In Warrington, between April and December 2018, recorded hate crime offences increased from 236 to 315. These figures are alarming... we must start to teach how to stand up against hate crime from an early age if we want to see a decline in these offences!

Thank you to staff and students at Bridgewater High School for such a pleasant visit.

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Faisal welcomes Labour's new leasehold plans

I am delighted that The Labour Party have announced new plans which would bring justice to my constituents affected by the leasehold scandal. Proud to support these policies - time is up on excessive ground rents which rip off hard working people! #justiceforleaseholders
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Faisal Rashid MP meets with the Royal College of Nursing to discuss the NHS staff crisis

I recently met with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to discuss the NHS staff shortage crisis. I was eager to learn directly from NHS staff about the issues affecting them.

Years of pay freezes, removal of the nurse bursary and the Government’s failure to invest in and plan appropriately for the workforce has resulted in more than 100,000 vacancies across the NHS. This has put patient safety at risk and resulted in poorer standards of care.

According to a survey of its members conducted by the RCN in 2017, 53% of respondents reported that care was compromised on their last shift, whilst the same figure reported that they felt upset that they could not provide the level of care. It is shocking to see that NHS staff feel this way.

Not only is staff retention an issue, but the number of nurses engaging in training has also had an impact on NHS staffing levels. The bursary was scrapped for undergraduates in 2017, which consisted of a non-means tested grant of £1,000 per year and a means-tested bursary to help with living costs (up to £3,191). I believe the scrapping of the nurse bursary has had a devastating impact on attracting new staff to the profession.

In Wales, the Nurse Staffing Levels Act received Royal Assent in March 2017. This placed conditions on health care providers to ensure that there was an appropriate staff to patient ratio. I will be calling on the Government to introduce similar legislation in England in the coming weeks and months.

Earlier in the year, I called on the Government to reinstate nurse bursaries. The Government responded and informed me that they will not make any plans to reinstate the bursaries. Instead, they explained that they aim to create 5,000 additional training places. However, the lack of bursary has made the profession less attractive and we have seen the crisis worsen.

I will continue to put pressure on this Government to provide the NHS with the funding and staff it needs for the future.

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Faisal wishes the NHS a Happy 71st Birthday

Happy 71st birthday to our NHS and a big thank you to every single NHS worker.

It’s been there for our families and friends for generations, free at the point of use – we will always fight to keep it that way.

Just a fortnight ago, I was campaigning to prevent the creeping privatisation of Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Trust.

It is now more important than ever to stand up for our NHS and I will keep up that fight for every one of my constituents.

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Sent on behalf of Faisal Rashid MP, 1 Wilson Patten Street, Warrington, WA1 1PG

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