Friday, 5 September 2014

Ian Swales MP supports reform of “Bedroom Tax”

MP for Redcar Constituency Ian Swales has today supported his Liberal Democrat colleague’s private members bill calling for further reform of the spare room subsidy, more commonly referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’.

The bill, put forward by Andrew George MP, proposed that those who are willing to move but cannot be found a smaller home would be exempt, as would disabled people who live in adapted properties or who need a spare bedroom.

The bill received a majority of support from MPs with 306 votes to 231. The bill will now progress to committee stage.

Commenting after the vote, Ian said:

“I voted against the so called bedroom tax when the legislation originally passed through the house. This wasn’t because I think taxpayers should continue to pay for spare bedrooms or because I ignored the needs of the millions of people on housing waiting lists or living in overcrowded accommodation as the Labour party seem to do. It was simply because I knew that in my constituency we did not have enough 1 and 2 bedroom properties to cope with the change.

“There were of course other issues with the policy and I have personally fought for the changes already made for disabled children, service personnel and foster carers. Today's Bill covers two major remaining groups, disabled adults needing an extra room and those willing to move who can't be offered a suitable alternative. Both of which are problems in my constituency.

“I was therefore pleased to support the Bill and congratulated my Liberal Democrat colleague, Andrew George, on bringing it forward. Whilst the Conservatives and Labour take opposite sides on this issue, the Liberal Democrats are the only party trying to achieve a fairer system for everyone.”

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Send a Missive2M&S campaign - email to Marks and Spencer

My reply to David Leach Government Affairs Manager at Marks and Spencer:

Send a Missive2M&S campaign


Thank you for your reply but you are simply repeating what I already know.

My point in writing was to say to Mr Bolland think again you have made the wrong decision. There is still time to change this round and do something to make your customers happy for once by staying loyal to Redcar. Letting Redcar down by closing the store may well lead to local customers closing online accounts with Marks & Spencer. Out of sight out of mind.

The weak performance of M&S is more likely to be down to your current range of women's clothing from what I learn from talking to local people. I fear you are making a dreadful mistake and I must urge the company once more to think again.

A final thought Yorkshire Trading Company took over from FW Woolworth and they are thriving in the town who will take over from M&S? Out of sight out of mind.

Regards

Chris Abbott

Councillor Chris Abbott
Newcomen Ward - Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
3 Rydal Avenue
REDCAR
Yorkshire
TS10 1JB

01642 487557

@chrisabbott1
chris_abbott@ntlworld.com

Send a Missive2M&S campaign - reply from Marks and Spencer

I have received the following response from David Leach Government Affairs Manager at Marks and Spencer:

Dear Cllr Abbott,

Thank you for your email to M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland regarding the closure of the M&S Outlet store on Redcar High Street. I have been asked to reply on his behalf.

You may be aware that we informed Ian Swales MP and senior officials from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council on 11th July that the consultation process had ended and that we would be proceeding with the closure of the store.

Unfortunately, the store is no longer commercially viable due to a combination of weak performance and the fact that significant investment is required to modernise the store. We are now continuing to discuss the closure with the store’s 44 employees, all of whom have been offered redeployment. The final day of trading will be Saturday 27th September.

We recognise you will be disappointed by this outcome but it’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly. We hope our customers in Redcar will continue to shop with us at nearby M&S stores and online at the M&S.com website.

Please contact me if you would like further information.

Kind regards,

David


David Leach
Government Affairs Manager
Marks and Spencer
Waterside House
35 North Wharf Road
London W2 1NW


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Send a Missive2M&S they need to think again about closing their Redcar store

I have launched a campaign urging local people to inundate Marc Bolland the Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer with letters and emails asking them ‘think again’ about closing their Redcar store.

Marks and Spencer is vital to Redcar town centre. People come into the town specially to go to Marks and Spencer. The decision to close the store has been a massive blow. It does not make sense at all at a time when the economy in on the up and we get the steel works back. The town really needs top stores to start coming in not closing down.

It is not to late, even though they have said the store will close on Saturday 27th September, there is still time for them to think again. They still have a ten year lease on the store. I am urging residents from far and wide to send a Missive2M&S by writing a few words to Marc Bolland Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer either by email or letter. We need to do everything we can to ensure town centre begins thrive again and it will not do that if we lose stores like M&S.

Dear Mr Bolland,

Missive2M&S

Redcar people have been loyal to Marks and Spencer for many decades. Major investment has just been made along the sea front, the steel works are back up and running, unemployment is falling and the economy is on the up.  Please think again about the decision to close the Redcar store.

Yours sincerely

YOUR NAME


Mr Marc Bolland
Chief Executive
Marks & Spencer
Waterside House
35 North Wharf Road
LONDON
W2 1NW

Friday, 1 August 2014

Yorkshire Day success at Redcar


Redcar High Street was packed today when Yorkshire Day fell on Market Day but this resulted in a bumper turnout for the annual reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity.

Actor/writer Chris Foote Wood appeared as Captain Cook to lead the proceedings. He was supported by Redcar’s John Curr as mighty Viking Sicga Draugluin who read the Declaration in Old Norse, one of the four languages used in the area since the earliest known written reference to the Ridings of York in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of 876. The others are Latin Old English and Modern English.

Mr Foote Wood read the Declaration in modern English to loud cheers from the assembled crowd.

The Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Carole Simms, attended the ceremony and said “Yorkshire Day can be celebrated in any way you see fit. You don’t have to be Yorkshire born to appreciate the county and to join in.”

As a tribute to the Tour de France in Yorkshire local Sustran Ranger Coordinator Keith Duncan rode in from Saltburn carrying the Yorkshire flag along with Phil Chisholm of Redcar. Steven Abbott and his son Matthew Abbott (17) rode in from Grangetown.


Ridings Society members with the aid of ladies from Redcar Ladies Lifeboat Guild raised £203.70 for Redcar Lifeboat from the sales of white roses. The Ridings Society raised £230.40 for its campaign fund from the tombola and £32 was raised for Yorkshire Air Ambulance from a cake raffle. Mrs Kelly Seaman (left) and Councillor Irene Curr are pictured with the locally made cakes which were donated.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Yorkshire Day at York Friday 1st August 2014

Members of the Yorkshire Ridings Society (YRS) will meet at Micklegate Bar at 11.15 am to lead the annual walk around the ‘Bar Walls’ of York carrying the Yorkshire flag.
The Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity will be read at the 4 Bars (Gate) starting at Micklegate Bar (West Riding) 11.39 followed by Bootham Bar (North Riding) Monk Bar (City) and Walmgate Bar (East Riding).
The time 11.39 am for the first reading coincides with the number of years since the first written reference to the Ridings of York in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles. Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity will be read in the four languages used in the area since that time. Latin, Old Norse, Old English, and Modern English.
The ceremonial party then moves on to St Helen’s Square for an afternoon of entertainment in cooperation with City of York Council. The Deputy Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Julie Gunnell, will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Modern English at 1pm and there will be a reading of Doreen Brigham’s popular poem A Song for Yorkshire by Mrs Judith Preston Anderson, President of YRS and YRS York member Mr Peter Hindle.
At 4 pm the Declaration will be made again by Henry Cryer (pictured above) the well-known Town Crier of Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham, who makes a special guest appearance.
The Yorkshire Flag presented to the City of York by the Yorkshire Ridings Society after it was registered by them in 2008 will be flown from the Mansion House on Yorkshire Day.
Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity 2014

Your attention please:

I, (reader’s name) being a (native of) and resident in the East/North/West Riding of Yorkshire
(City of York if within the walls) declare:

  • that Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York with these boundaries of one
    thousand, one hundred and thirty nine years standing;

  • that the address of all places in these Ridings is YORKSHIRE;

  • that all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshire
    men and women;

  • that any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the
    aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.

                           These declarations made this Yorkshire Day 2014

                           YORKSHIRE FOREVER!

                           GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Actor Chris happy to play his distant relative Captain Cook at Redcar

Writer and actor Chris Foote Wood, brother of top comedienne Victoria Wood, will be reading the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity at Redcar Town Clock this Friday, August 1st, Yorkshire Day at 11.39am. Mr Foote Wood plays a different character each year.

This is the fourth year in succession that Chris as led the Yorkshire Day celebrations at Redcar. Last year he was Charles Dickens, and this year it is the famous Yorkshire navigator and explorer, Captain James Cook.

“Research at the family history centre in Whitby shows that I am very distantly related to Captain Cook,” said Mr Foote Wood, “Cook, who was born in Marton, Middlesbrough, has no direct descendants as all his children died without issue.

“I am doubly pleased to be playing Capt Cook, who learned his trade at Whitby, as two of my direct ancestors, my great great and great great great grandfathers were both Whitby sea captains, a very prestigious position in the town. Each commanded a three-masted bark, exactly like HM Bark Endeavour in which Cook made the first of his round the world voyages.

“These ships, known as Whitby Cats, were originally built for the coal trade. They were strong and wide with a shallow draught, and ideal for close inshore work as well as sailing the oceans. I am so pleased a full-size replica of the Endeavour is berthed at Stockton.

“My only problem is that I am shortly to play Charles Dickens in my one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe with a beard, so Capt Cook, who is usually depicted as clean shaven, will have to be bearded on this occasion.”

6’8” John Curr of Redcar will appear as a mighty Viking and will read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Old Norse. Silk white roses will be on sale at £1 and all proceeds go to Redcar Lifeboat. This year the event will also be attended by the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Carole Simms. There will be stalls and attractions for all.

As a tribute to the Tour de France people will be cycling in from neighbouring towns carrying the Yorkshire flag.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Ian Swales Hails Economic Recovery

Liberal Democrats have helped to restore the UK economy to pre-crash levels, figures released today show.

The UK economy has grown by 0.8% over the last quarter, ensuring that the UK economy has now returned to the same level it had before the banking crisis in 2008.

Commenting, MP for Redcar, Ian Swales said:

“Today is a big day for Britain. The rescue is working and Britain’s economy is the same size as it was before the crash. This is fantastic news for local people. Things continue to improve and good news keeps on coming.

“Delivering this recovery is why Liberal Democrats took the brave decision to enter coalition in 2010 and I am proud that we have helped rescue the British economy and get it growing at the fastest rate of any major economy.

“Our area has received over five times more government investment per year than under the previous government and I remain focussed on pushing for more and continuing to build a stronger economy and a fairer society for my constituents. Things are really on the up!”