Yvette Cooper MP

Working hard for Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford & Knottingley

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Recent Local News

Following the news that Ferrybridge Power Station is to close in 2016, Yvette Cooper MP said:

“This is awful news not just for the 170 people who are employed directly but also for the hundreds of contractors who are set to lose their jobs as well.

"I’m seeking urgent meetings with SSE and the unions to see what can be done, especially given that Ferrybridge hasn't reached the end of its natural life. We also need the best support for the workforce.

“But this is devastating for Ferrybridge and the area and comes on the back of job losses at Kellingley Colliery as well. There is no Government plan to support high skilled jobs - either supporting existing jobs or promoting new high skilled jobs for the future. Our community is being hit really hard and we desperately need more investment in skilled jobs for people in Knottingley and Ferrybridge.”

ENDS

Statement from Yvette on the news that Ferrybridge power station is to close in 2016

Following the news that Ferrybridge Power Station is to close in 2016, Yvette Cooper MP said: “This is awful news not just for the 170 people who are employed directly...

Normanton Town Council leader Carol Moran has called on people to keep up the pressure against cuts to GP services at a meeting with local campaigners and MP Yvette Cooper in a special meeting.

GP services at surgeries including Newlands and Queen Street surgery in Normanton are threatened with cuts after the Government announced plans to change the way GP contracts work, with a £3.8m loss to services across the Wakefield District.

The Town Council have been working with local surgeries and Yvette Cooper to fight these changes that could mean 38 fewer GPs or 95 fewer nurse practitioners across the District. A petition has already been submitted to Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group but now the campaigners want to go further and are urging people to sign before they take names to the Department of Health.

Yvette Cooper MP said:

“I’m really worried about the plans to cut our local GPs which is why we’re asking for people’s help. We just can’t afford to lose any more GPs or nurse practitioners, it already takes too long to get a doctor’s appointment - and it’s been getting longer. Last year 35,000 people across our area waited more than a week for a GP appointment and that’s just completely unacceptable.

“And there’s no wonder there is a national crisis in A&E if too many people can't get GP appointments so they end up at A&E and we’re seeing the knock on effect of that as waiting times go up.

“Instead of cutting back on GPs I think we need more doctors, Labour is campaigning for more GPs across the country. That's why we're calling for more money from a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2 million to be spent on 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 more nurses and more midwives too.

“We’re seeing signs that our campaign is making a difference and local health officials are looking at this again, but we mustn’t let up the pressure now, that’s why we really need people to support us by signing the petition and sending in letters. The Town Council are distributing letters for members of the public to sign and some surgeries have them as well and people can also sign online at my website at ww.yvettecooper.com/GP_Petition.”

 

Leader of Normanton Town Council Carol Moran said:

“Normanton Town Council are very worried about Government plans to cut local GP services. Just before Christmas the Council arranged a meeting which Yvette Cooper, our Member of Parliament and a representative of the Local Medical Committee to discuss our concerns. The meeting was very well attended showing how worried people in our community are.”

Town Council and Yvette call on people to sign petition against cuts to GP services

Normanton Town Council leader Carol Moran has called on people to keep up the pressure against cuts to GP services at a meeting with local campaigners and MP Yvette Cooper...

Yvette Cooper backs Five Towns Park in a letter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, asking him not to call in the plans for further review and to let developers begin works as soon as possible. 

Please reply to:
Constituency Office
1 York Street

Castleford
WF10 1RB
tel: 01977-553388

fax: 01977-559753

Email: coopery@parliament.uk

Website: www.yvettecooper.com

The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Department for Communities and Local Government

Eland House

Bressenden Place

London

SW1E 5DU

 

Dear Eric

Ref: Five Towns Park – New stadium and retail development – Lateral (developer)

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council Planning Committee has unanimously approved a planning application submitted by Lateral to develop a new Rugby League stadium for Castleford Tigers RLFC alongside a new retail development in a £135m investment in Castleford and the Five Towns area.

There is very strong local support for this development which has gone through considerable local consultation and partnership working with local communities to get the details right.

As you will appreciate it is particularly important for us to have a new stadium for the Castleford Tigers. The team are at the heart of the town and play a vital economic and social role in the town.

The provision of a new stadium is badly needed and has overwhelming public support. For well over ten years the club, Council and local developers backed by the community have been seeking alternative locations and investment for a new stadium. None of these other options has proved possible. So although the development is sited on green belt land, it is clearly justified by the exceptional need for this new sporting development. In addition the land involved is sandwiched between major motorways and already has a network of pylons across it. The land is not currently used for leisure and is not needed as greenbelt and the provision for a country park alongside the stadium and retail development provides a safe, green leisure space for the community to use.

 The developers, Lateral, have put in place a comprehensive Section 106 agreement and the Council has no outstanding concerns relating to it. It provides a charter to provide decent, well paid jobs go to local workers wherever possible, provide apprenticeships and tackles concerns about transport links. And it has the potential to deliver over 2000 new jobs and £135m of new investment in our area.

 In addition the developers have designed a £1.35m growth fund for Castleford and Pontefract town centres and are working with the WMDC to explore ways to further minimise the impact on these historic town centres. Neither town centre business bodies have raised objections. Wakefield Council has given full consideration to all the local and national planning issues before coming to a decision.

The new stadium will add to the stock of high quality stadia among Rugby League clubs. This can only be of benefit to the wider game and is important for the development of Rugby League in the long term. After many years of delays we are keen for progress to be made as quickly as possible, and not be held up by further planning stages.

For these reasons I am writing to strongly urge you as the Secretary of State not to call in this application.

 Thank you for considering my views

Yours sincerely

 

Yvette Cooper MP

Yvette says Yes to Five Towns Park

Yvette Cooper backs Five Towns Park in a letter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, asking him not to call in the plans for...


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Recent Law & Order

In response to news Hampshire Constabulary have agreed a £20,000 out-of-court settlement with a rape victim after officers failed to investigate her complaint properly and arrested her, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said:

“For a rape victim to be threatened herself with prosecution after asking the police to help is truly dreadful. This case shows far too little has been done to make sure victims get the help and support they need.

“Once again we have seen a victim judged rather than believed - and poor investigation of a very serious offence. And it isn't the only case. Over the last five years we have seen an appalling drop in rape prosecutions and convictions even though the number of reported cases has gone up. 

“The Government has done nothing to tackle this "culture of disbelief" in many police forces, and instead the specialist officers needed to deal with sexual offences are being cut back. There is now a desperate need for higher national standards in dealing with these serious sexual offences. And we need urgent assurances that more specialist teams will not be cut in the next Home Office budget cuts.

“It is extremely important and very welcome that the victim in this case has been able to hold the police to account and get further justice and compensation as a result of the Human Rights Act. The Government must not undermine human rights protection for vulnerable victims of crime.”

ENDS

Statement on Hampshire Constabulary compensation to rape victim

In response to news Hampshire Constabulary have agreed a £20,000 out-of-court settlement with a rape victim after officers failed to investigate her complaint properly and arrested her, Shadow Home Secretary...

STATEMENT

 CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Mr Speaker, an estimated 600 British citizens have now travelled to join the conflict in Syria – from extremists with a terrorist history to fifteen year old school girls.

The whole house will share a revulsion at the barbarism of ISIL, a determination to tackle extremism, and strong support for the vital, and unsung work of the security services and police to tackle the threat here and abroad.

The House has recently supported further legislation to tackle the terrorist threat. But there are a series of specific areas where we need answers about Government policies and decisions.

First the handling of a West London network of terror suspects.

In 2011 court papers describe a network including three individuals relocated on control orders, ten other named individuals and further unnamed individuals based in West London, involved in the “provision of funds and equipment” to terrorism and “the facilitation of individuals’ travel from the UK” to join terrorist-related activity.

The Home Secretary’s decision to abolish control orders and cancel relocations was implemented in 2012 so no one could then be relocated despite the continued police view that it was one of the best ways to disrupt terrorist networks.

One of those who had been relocated absconded in a London black cab.

Another associate absconded wearing a burka

And other men from the network have been reported in the media as subsequently leaving for Syria and becoming involved in brutal violence.

The Home Secretary has finally restored the relocation power within the last few weeks.

So can she tell us.

Does she believe that her decision to remove relocation powers made it easier for this West London network to operate, recruit and send people to Syria?

Will she ask the Independent Terrorism Reviewer or the Intelligence and Security Committee to now look at the details of this West London network, and whether Government policy made it easier for them to operate.

Mr Speaker,

We also need to know about Government policy to prevent young people and children travelling to Syria in the light of the distressing story of three schoolgirls who have travelled there from East London.

I have not had a reply to my letter last Wednesday.

Can she tell us:

Did the Government have an agreement in place with the airlines to raise alerts over unaccompanied minors travelling on known Syrian routes.

If not, why not, and will she put one in place now?

The girls flew out on Tuesday. They did not leave Istanbul bus station until late Wednesday. It is reported that the police contacted the London Embassy on Wednesday. But when were the Istanbul authorities alerted and when were checks made at the main airports, train and bus stations?

One pupil from Bethnal Green Academy is reported to have left for Syria before Christmas, and it is known that recruitment takes place through friendship groups and social media.

So what training and support was given to the teachers and parents of other children at Bethnal Green Academy to prevent further recruitment, grooming and radicalisation? And what community led Prevent programmes is the Home Office supporting in Bethnal Green?

ENDS

Urgent Question on the Government’s counter terrorism policy

STATEMENT  CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY Mr Speaker, an estimated 600 British citizens have now travelled to join the conflict in Syria – from extremists with a terrorist history to fifteen year...

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Wednesday 14th January 2015

Mr Speaker.

The attacks last week demonstrated the savagery with which terrorists seek to divide us.

The murderous intolerance and bigotry they pursue aims to spread fear, but also to sow the division they believe exists. Us against them.

Paris has not let the terrorists win.

The French police have been praised for the action they took.

Charlie Hebdo is being published today.

Faiths have united, abhorring the Anti-Semitism and grieving for the victims of the attack at the Kosher supermarket.

Muslims across the world have, of course, condemned an attack which is not Islamic and is not in the name of their religion.

The brother of the French Muslim police officer Ahmed Merabet has said, “my brother was killed by people who pretend to be muslims, they are terrorists, that’s it.”

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition attended the Unity Rally in Paris along with the Prime Minister.

I joined people in Trafalgar Square on Saturday raising pens in solidarity with the Je Suis Charlie cause.

In the attack the terrorists targeted other peaceful religions.

They targeted writers.

They targeted those whose job it is to keep us safe.

In other words they attacked both our liberty and our security.

The response of democratic governments everywhere to these sorts of attacks should be to defend both. Government need to keep people safe so we can enjoy our freedoms.

Let me turn to the specific issues in the Home Secretaries statement.

I am concerned by the rushed way in which the Home Secretary has made the statement today. I did not see the statement before coming to the House.

I welcome the action taken by our intelligence agencies and police to support the authorities in Paris and pay tribute to the work they do to keep us safe.

As the Home Secretary has said, the Government has a Counter Terrorism Bill going through Parliament right now, which we have supported and will continue to support.

Which restores the relocation powers for serious terror suspects that she abolished four years ago as we called for.
 

Questions

The agencies have pointed to the threat posed by the estimated 300 returning from conflict in Syria.

Can she tell us whether any of those estimated 300 have been prosecuted?

Can she confirm that none of them are currently subject to TPIMs, even though these powers are supposed to be for dangerous suspects whose activity needs to be restricted to keep us safe.

Can she tell us whether the security service and police are reviewing all those cases to see whether TPIMs could help – especially with relocation powers restored.

What is also being done about other known extremists who were previously on TPIMs?

Can she tell us how many of the estimated 300 have engaged with the Channel programme and does she agree that we should now make that compulsory for everyone returning – something the current Counter Terrorism Bill does not do.

On the issue of access to dangerous weapons and firearms she will know that there has been concern about reduced customs and border checks. What action is she taking to increase border checks for weapons?

On Communications data technology is changing all the time. And that means the law needs to keep up – both in terms of the capabilities of the agencies to get the vital intelligence we need, and in terms of the oversight we need

In July Parliament supported emergency legislation to ensure the agencies and police could maintain vital capabilities

This month the Commons supported extending those powers to ensure IP addresses are covered not just phone numbers

And in July all parties agreed to support a review by David Anderson, the independent counter terror reviewer, into the oversight and powers needed to keep up with changing technology.

The previous Communications Data Bill was rejected three years ago by the joint committee established by the Government to scrutinise it because it was too vague, too widely drawn and put too much power directly into the hands of the Home Secretary. They recommended that new legislation be needed to be drawn up in a far more limited way, and that the Government needed to provide more clarity and evidence about what changes they needed.

Since then the Home Secretary has not come forward with any revised proposals to me or anyone else in this House, she has not attempted to get agreement in Parliament to revised proposals, even though we have said we were happy to discuss details with her. Given the urgency she now says there is can she tell us why she has not done so?

In July she was happy to agree to the review by David Anderson which is due to report before the election, now she doesn’t even mention it. This is an extremely important issue where the detail matters. Detail on the powers that are needed, details on the safeguards and the oversight that are needed.

We believe the agencies and the police do need to get intelligence to keep us safe and so need safeguards and strong oversight to prevent abuse.

I would strongly caution her and the liberal democrats against setting up a caricatured argument between them about security on the one hand and liberty on the other.

We need to protect both in our democracy.

The terrorists on that first day in Paris targeted both writers and police officers – the embodiment of free expression and the embodiment of state protection. We need to protect both and we can do both and we should have a responsible debate about the precise proposals they need.

Most important though is to stop people being drawn into hatred in the first place. In the end the best defence against hatred is strong and cohesive communities. She will know our long standing concern however that community led programmes within Prevent have been reduced from £17m to £3m – yet it is more important than ever that community organisations are actively working to prevent young people being drawn into extremism, supporting parents, challenging the spread of hatred, and challenging on social media too. Will she now work with local government to strengthen community activities to challenge extremism.

Can she also tell us what action is being taken to challenge all forms of extremism in Britain, including working with the Community Safety Trust on challenging anti-semitism.

Terrorists try to silence us, to cow us, and to divide us. Paris has shown as millions marched and as we stood in solidarity with them, we will not be silenced, we will not give into fear, and must not give in to division. We will defend our democracy.

And we know that we are stronger if we do so together.

Statement in response to Government reaction to terror attack in Paris last week

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY Wednesday 14th January 2015


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