Fire Safety Project

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The Age UK Barnsley Fire Safety Project funded by Stronger, Safer, Communities Reserve is in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and Age UK Rotherham.

The aim of the project is to:-

  • Reduce the risk of fire in the home and the impact of home fires faced by older people especially (but not exclusively) those in some of the most vulnerable, harder to reach and higher risk categories (ie over 80, isolated and with little or no support/communication/contact).

This will be carried out through:-

  • Recruit and train people willing to become Community Fire Satety Champions. Once the Fire Safety Champions have completed their training, the aim is for them to go back into their local community and feedback this training to people through short talks and presentations so they are aware of fires and therefore reducing the risks of fires at home.
  • Home Fire Safety Checks by community based staff across all our services and Fire Safety Assessors, carrying out fire safety risks in the home, signposting/referral for support.
  • Further signposting/referrals to South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue for additional assessments and fuller package or measures to reduce risks and impacts of fire and for more detailed expert assessment and device fitting.
For more details or to register your interest please call: Age UK Barnsley (01226) 776820 or email enquiries@ageukbarnsley.org.uk

 

The whole nation will grieve for the dead of Manchester – Corbyn on terror attack

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This is the full statement published Jeremy Corbyn following last night’s terror attack in Manchester.

I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester last night. My thoughts are with families and friends of those who have died and  been injured.

Today the whole country will grieve for the people who have lost their lives.

I have spoken with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, who has fully briefed me on the operational response in the city.

I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their bravery and professionalism in dealing with last night’s appalling events.

I have spoken with the prime minister and we have agreed that that all national campaigning in the general election will be suspended until further notice.

Source: http://labourlist.org/2017/05/the-whole-nation-will-grieve-for-the-dead-of-manchester-corbyn-statement-on-terror-attack/

What did Jeremy Corbyn actually say about the IRA this weekend?

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Today’s newspapers have covered extensively Jeremy Corbyn’s Sky News interview in which he was pressed over his meetings with members of the IRA. The stories range from “Corbyn’s kick in the teeth for IRA victims: Labour leader refuses five times to unequivocally condemn IRA”, in the Daily Mail, to the more caveated “Corbyn pressed over IRA comments”, on BBC News online.

Readers can make their own mind up so here is the full transcript of that section of the discussion from Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

Sophy Ridge: I am interested in the kind of issues of your character, your personality because you’re asking people to vote for you to be the next Prime Minister of the UK.  I just want to show you this editorial, now this is taken from the Labour Briefing magazine back in December 1984, were you general secretary of the editorial board at the time when that was published?

JEREMY CORBYN: No, I wasn’t even a member of the editorial board.

SR: You weren’t a member of the editorial board? Because according to parliamentary profiles by Andrew Roth, an authoritative …

JEREMY CORBYN: Andrew Roth has a wonderful reputation for having the most inaccurate parliamentary profiles known to anyone.

SR: So you were not a member of the editorial board of that magazine in December 1984, categorically not?

JEREMY CORBYN: No.  I read the magazine, I wrote for the magazine but I was not a member of the editorial board.

SR: Okay, what it says in the article just in the wake of the Brighton bombing, an attack by the IRA of course intended to kill Margaret Thatcher, which killed five people, “the British only sit up and take notice when they are bombed into it.”  How does that make you feel knowing you wrote for that magazine?

JEREMY CORBYN: I didn’t agree with it, I don’t agree with that position. I’ve always wanted there to be peace in Ireland, I’ve always wanted there to be an accord and eventually in 1994 a ceasefire was agreed.  That one disappeared but a second ceasefire came in 1997.  I’ve always wanted there to be peace and I really welcomed the Good Friday Agreement and all the achievements it has made since then.

SR: So why did you continue to write for that magazine then?

JEREMY CORBYN: I wrote for the  magazine on many issues because it’s a magazine which reaches a number of people within the Labour party and the Labour movement.  There are many things in many papers and many magazines with which I profoundly disagree, does that mean I don’t engage?  There are programmes on your station that I don’t really agree with and you probably don’t agree with them either, isn’t that what open debate and journalism is about?  Sometimes listening to people that you don’t agree with does you good.

SR: Now your associations during the 1980s, which I accept is a long time ago, have clearly come under scrutiny recently and time and time again it does appear as though you backed people who opposed the British forces.  You were arrested at a demonstration in support of an IRA terrorist in 1986, you were a regular at IRA linked Troops Out rallies, you didn’t support the SDLP who were trying to pursue a united Ireland through peaceful means so how can you say you were trying to talk to all sides of the agreement when it does appear there is one clear side that you were backing and that is the hard line Republicans?

JEREMY CORBYN: I worked with colleagues in parliament in the SDLP and the Labour party, I visited Northern Ireland on a number of occasions, I met people from right across the spectrum, I went on delegations with the Northern Ireland Committee of the parliamentary Labour party.  I represent a constituency which has a very large number of Irish people living in it and I pointed out that the Prevention of Terrorism Act was counter-productive and was criminalising large numbers of wholly innocent Irish people. I took up the cause of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six who were grotesquely misjudged by British courts and eventually were freed on the decision of the high court in Britain and I wanted to bring about peace in Ireland.  You have to talk to people with whom you don’t agree and I did.

SR: If you have to talk to people with whom you don’t agree, can you talk of any extremist Loyalists then that you spoke to?

JEREMY CORBYN: I met numbers of Loyalists in visits to Stormont and other places and discussions with them and their views about how things could come about because fundamentally the peace in Ireland came about because of the preparedness to talk, because of the Hume-Adams accord, because of what happened after that with the Good Friday agreement.

SR: So can you condemn unequivocally the IRA?

JEREMY CORBYN: Look, bombing is wrong, of course all bombing is wrong, of course I condemn it.

SR: You are condemning all bombing but can you condemn the IRA without equating it to …?

JEREMY CORBYN: No, I think what you have to say is all bombing has to be condemned and you have to bring about a peace process.  Listen …

SR: But do you condemn the IRA?

JEREMY CORBYN: Wait a minute, can you allow me to finish please?  In the 1980s Britain was looking for a military solution in Ireland: it clearly was never going to work, ask anyone in the British Army at that time.  Therefore you have to seek a peace process.  You condemn the violence of those that laid bombs that killed large numbers of innocent people and I do.

SR: But can you condemn the IRA, who were responsible for …

JEREMY CORBYN: I just condemned all those that do bombing, all those on both sides.

SR: If you let me finish as well after I let you finish that would be appreciated.

JEREMY CORBYN: All those on both sides that laid bombs.

SR: But can you condemn the IRA who were responsible for 60% of the deaths during the Troubles with the British security services who were responsible for 10%?

JEREMY CORBYN: And there were Loyalist bombs as well which you haven’t mentioned.

SR: Yes, 30%.

JEREMY CORBYN: There were Loyalist bombs as well.  I condemn all the bombing by both the Loyalists and the IRA.

SR: But can you just say …

JEREMY CORBYN: Wait a minute, I don’t quite know what point you are trying to make here.  Those of us who wanted peace in Ireland worked very hard for it.  That Labour government in 1997 worked very effectively to achieve that.  It was the Thatcher government that was going in after the collapse of Sunningdale that went very much in the direction of a military solution which clearly didn’t work, hence we eventually got the agreements and the ceasefire which was painstakingly got there but the fundamentals of the accord are that you actually recognise the traditions, all the historical traditions of Ireland, both the Unionist and the Nationalist traditions.

SR: So you don’t believe you did anything wrong and that you have nothing to apologise for?

JEREMY CORBYN: I represent a constituency that had many people who had been criminalised under the PTA.  I represented people who had been wrongly put in prison for a very long time for crimes they did not commit.  I recognised that you had to bring about a peace process in Ireland, I did my best to assist in that process and that is the way you bring about peace anywhere in the world and later on, after the Good Friday agreement, the Northern Ireland Process became a bit of a model around the world – Martin McGuinness travelled a great deal as did those from the Unionist side as well, to other parts of the world to help try and promote that kind of peace dialogue.

SR: So John McDonnell who has apologised for some of the comments you made, you don’t believe you have anything to apologise for in any of the associations or decisions you made?

JEREMY CORBYN: I’ve told you what my principles behind it were, you are very well aware of what I was doing during that period and I think we’ve achieved a much better place in Ireland.  A lot of people made a lot of contributions to that, Unionists, Republicans, MPs from all parties in Britain, political parties of all shapes in Stormont made a contribution to that so Northern Ireland, and indeed the whole of the island of Ireland, is in a much better place as a result of it.  The Troubles were a terrible period.

SR: Yes, I think no one would certainly disagree with you on that point.

JEREMY CORBYN: And I’ve talked to people in the Army, soldiers who were there at the time, they would agree as well.

Source: https://labourlist.org/2017/05/what-did-corbyn-actually-say-about-the-ira/

It’s time to face the truth that our NHS is in mortal danger

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Dr Mike Galsworthy

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We’ve had the lies, now let’s fund our NHS

The two top issues of the General Election – Brexit and the NHS – are entwined. The fact that Brexit is dire news for the NHS is slowly starting to drip into public awareness. But a slow drip is not enough.

There’s a General Election on. We need to turn the fire-hose full-blast. Vote Leave won the referendum debate in no small part by pairing its Brexit vision with something that impacts on the lives and hearts of Brits: the NHS.

It was devastatingly effective. But it was cynical and false. The experts knew Brexit was bad for the NHS, but struggled to be heard as they issued the warnings that we are now seeing materialise. Brexit not only drastically exacerbates the NHS’s current problems, it also presents an existential threat in the form of a US-UK trade deal. Those who love the NHS and see where this is headed must arm themselves with the arguments and drive the message with a ruthlessness to match the Vote Leave campaign.

Experts versus politicians in the referendum campaign

In April 2016, while 75% of NHS hospital leaders thought that Brexit would be bad for the NHS, the UK public thought Brexit would be good for the NHS in a 32% to 14% ratio. Any national cognitive dissonance on the issue could be solved by jettisoning the importance of experts. Additionally, the colourful trash propaganda pouring out from the breadth of the Leave campaigns reached demographics of the country where experts cannot reach.

It was not just the ‘£350m a week’ red bus. Remember also the 75m Turks who would soon be walking into this country to use our NHS? Remember the ‘Save Our NHS’ flyers that Vote Leave put out? Their fake NHS logos in the top corner to make them look like official literature? Add to this the tabloids with years of ‘immigrants strain our NHS’ rhetoric now hitting crescendo on the front pages.

Finally, Vote Leave wheeled out Lord (David) Owen to warn of the dangers to the NHS of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US, parading him as a Labour ex-Minister for kudos. Incidentally, Lord Owen had not been Labour since he abandoned the party at the beginning of the Thatcher era. As to his argument, many EU countries had already insulated their health services from TTIP by the time of Lord Owen’s intervention – rendering his claims obsolete. Lord Owen (where is he now?) was an odd addition alongside a raft of prominent Leave campaigners, like Douglas Carswell, Aaron Banks, Matthew Elliott, Daniel Hannan and Paul Nuttall, who had overtly proposed the privatisation of the NHS. These wolves put on sheep’s clothing to infiltrate their chosen flock.

On the other side, The Lancet, British Medical Journal, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Midwives warned about Brexit impact on UK healthcare. As did Genetic Alliance UK, which represents more than 180 patient groups. The chief executive of NHS England also warned about Brexit on broad economic grounds, saying “when the economy sneezes, the NHS catches a cold”. So did 71 former leaders of the UK’s Medical Royal Colleges and British Medical Association, saying: “It is Brexit that is the threat to the NHS.” A further 200 leading health professionals wrote a letter to the Times saying “Brexit should carry a health warning”. The reasons behind these warnings are now proving themselves true. They are set out here…

Staffing

In the April-May 2016 survey by NHS Providers, 75% of 45 hospital leaders predicted a Brexit would be detrimental to the NHS, with 80% predicting it would damage staff hiring. This is what we’re now seeing, with a reported drop of 92% in EU citizens registering as nurses in England from July to December 2016. Another poll by the General Medical Council (GMC) found that 60% of EU doctors in the UK are considering leaving, with 91% of those saying Brexit is a factor in that decision. Alongside the likely loss of rights and protections for EU citizens, there is the salary drop associated with a falling pound, a feeling of being less welcome, pervasive, widespread philosophical objection to the choice to leave the EU – and also the general mismanagement and austerity of the NHS deteriorating the working conditions. This means it is also harder to attract new staff from the EU. A leaked government report in March 2017 predicted a staff shortage of 26,000-42,000 by 2025, with Brexit cited as a major factor. The NHS is already hugely understaffed and training new doctors takes more than seven years. Therefore, making the UK unattractive to foreign doctors, nurses, other NHS staff and social care workers hurts right now. Next winter could be very grim.

Finances

The NHS is colossally underfunded by tens of billions of pounds and entering crisis. Compared to France, Germany, Sweden, and others, which fund their healthcare to 11% GDP, the UK is on 8.5%. Most NHS Trusts used to be in surplus, but now two out of three are in debt. The NHS is now in continual financial crisis, with impacts from cyber attacks to severe winter emergencies and GPs being forced to charge patients for preferential treatment in places. If Boris Johnson had been serious about his pledge of support for the NHS, he could have made it a condition of his appointment as Foreign Secretary. He didn’t. Neither did he or other lead Brexiteers push it into either the budgetary agenda or Article 50 conditions. The Autumn Statement offered no help for our NHS. Not even a mention. But for Brexit, the Chancellor could find money – borrowing £58.7 billion more for the ill-advised adventure.

Just the falling pound will push up NHS supply costs by hundreds of millions of pounds each year as about half of NHS supplies come from outside the UK. The infamous £350m a week figure on the bus was not only a lie, but moot. Our net contribution to EU is a tiny sliver of taxpayer expenditure. Even if we did stop paying contributions after two and half years, firstly that’s too late for the NHS’s current Brexit crisis, and secondly the negative bureaucratic and economic impacts will have already swallowed the “free” £100m a week many times over. Just the Brexit borrowing bill is £245m a week over the next five years.

Care in other EU countries

Brexit – and particularly a Brexit without a deal – is set to impact UK citizens living in the EU and UK citizens travelling in the EU. There are around 190,000 people in receipt of British pensions currently living in other EU countries such as Spain, Ireland, France and Cyprus, who depend on reciprocal arrangements for their healthcare. The UK pays out about £650m per year for care provided to British people in other countries of which about £500m is on pensioners. Given that the average cost of treating pensioners elsewhere in the EU works out to about half the cost of similar treatment within the UK, then we’re looking at an annual saving of £500m on the pensioners alone. Imagine not just the extra cost, but also extra burden, should some stay in or return to rainy Britain. Yet already we have surveys showing that because of Brexit, pensioners are now less likely to move out to those healthier climes. A falling sterling from a Hard Brexit would make life more costly for our expats already out there on UK pensions too.

For Brits wanting to travel, the European Health Insurance Card arrangement is invaluable. Guaranteed health insurance across the continent, with our governments covering the costs, makes for an equitable system. Without it, UK citizens with chronic conditions may find themselves forced to purchase expensive insurance every time they travel. The UK Government may crow that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, but this is emphatically not the view of people who depend on reciprocal healthcare arrangements at the moment.

Medical innovation and research

The UK has benefited enormously from hosting the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which hosts 890 staff, draws thousands of experts for visits and conferences and is flanked by attendant medical innovation industry which likes to stay close. The EMA is now leaving London, with a feeding frenzy from other European cities keen to host the medical regulations powerhouse.

It’s not just the financial considerations in hosting a hub of medical expert activity – it’s also the self-imposed restrictions of the UK giving up the driving seat of pan-European healthcare innovation policy. Worse, it could mean leaving the European system of medicines licensing, leading to the exclusion from the EU’s single process for authorising medicines. In Switzerland and Canada, which have separate approval systems, medicines typically reach the market six months later than in the EU.

With research, some 17% of university science contracts come from the EU. These are not replaceable by UK funds, because the majority of them are related to the EU’s big multinational schemes on which UK entities often lead. Although the UK can pay to play from outside the EU, without MEPs or Council representation we would have no policy voice. Further, unless we accept Freedom of Movement, we’d be in the same place as Switzerland was when it did not accept Freedom of Movement – namely, not allowed into certain research schemes and not allowed to lead the multinational consortia. That would be a hammer blow to our world leading health and medical research.

Welcome, Trumpcare

In case you had not noticed, US healthcare is currently in an appalling state with private interests locked into control of the national politics on health. The result is a hugely inefficient system with deep corruption, millions of families with no coverage and bankruptcies over medical bills being a daily event. This US profiteering system wants to get a piece of the UK and its £116bn per annum NHS. During the TTIP negotiations, Nigel Farage was keen to warn that staying in EU could lead to ‘privatisation by the back door’ for the NHS because of these companies. While the other EU countries protected their healthcare systems, our own government were keen to push through TTIP with no amendments. Now that the UK has peeled away from the protective herd and is desperate for a US-UK free trade agreement, our neoliberal-leaning government would likely happily yield to the slick promises of US pharma and healthcare companies that have saturated their own market and are looking to the UK as a gateway to Europe. They are certainly preparing as we speak. All that is needed is a broken NHS for privatisation to ‘save’. Political and business smooth talk will soon infect the media with a ‘debate’ on whether the free market can ‘help’ our predicament, even though our own UK experts overwhelmingly have concluded that the NHS is the cheapest and fairest model available.

So what to do?

With the latest cyber-attacks attributed to NHS underfunding, the health service has overtaken Brexit again as the lead issue in this General Election. We need to spread the message far and wide that our NHS is now breaking from Brexit and is under mortal threat from the aggressive neoliberal agenda. Tell your family and friends, read up on it, write to your local papers and national papers. Get out on the streets with the activists, knock on doors, make your own flyers, tweet it and Facebook it. The direction of travel is clear… and acquiescence is not an option.

Dr Mike Galsworthy is programme director of Scientists for EU and co-founder of the Healthier in the EU campaign (healthierin.eu)

Source: http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/it-s-time-to-face-the-truth-that-our-nhs-is-in-mortal-danger-1-5027704

LGBT 2017 General Election Pledges

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This general election comes at a critical time for our country and for the LGBT community. This year marks 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised yet with the rise of LGBT hate crime, an NHS in crisis and a Tory Party intent on a hard Brexit we cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to protecting our hard fought for rights and freedoms.

We want a Britain where no LGBT person is held back or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and we want a world where LGBT people can live free from persecution. This is why we have focused our election pledges around the three key ares of Health and Wellbeing, Education and Justice.

Justice at home and abroad for the LGBT Community

  • Create an International LGBT envoy to promote and encourage LGBT equality across the world, who won’t be afraid to speak out against violence and discrimination in places like Chechnya.
  • Change the protected characteristics within the Equality Act to include gender identity, which will increase current protection and include non-binary and other gender variations.
  • Extend anti-discrimination law to prevent community discrimination to ensure all are equal before the law and an LGBT hate crime is treated as an aggravated offence.
  • Put in place mandatory training for the police around homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes and encourage third-party reporting

Education to drive acceptance and understanding

  • Develop an inclusive and age-appropriate system of Sex and Relationship Education that will be compulsory for all children within all state-funded schools.
  • Equip teachers to tackle homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying in schools and to take a zero-tolerance approach.

Focusing on LGBT health and wellbeing

  • Reduce waiting times for access to hormone treatment to 6-9 months.
  • Ensure continuing professional development for doctors and medical professionals in best practice surrounding gender identity treatments and the treatment of LGBT people generally.
  • Instill a zero-tolerance approach for prejudice towards LGBT people within the National Health Service.
  • Work towards universal provision of PrE

Source: http://www.lgbtlabour.org.uk/2017_general_election_pledges

Election campaigning to be halted for an hour in Jo Cox tribute

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Parties to pause campaign to visit community projects in mark of respect to Labour MP murdered last year

The leaders of all the main political parties will stop campaigning for an hour on Sunday in memory of Jo Cox, the Labour MP murdered in her Yorkshire constituency a year ago.

Party leaders will halt political activity and instead visit community projects. The parties have asked all their candidates to do the same.

Jeremy Corbyn is due to visit a project in Liverpool, while Tim Farron will take part in a picnic in Kendal. The one-hour pause will be at a time of each candidate’s choosing.

In Jo Cox’s former constituency of Batley and Spen, the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green candidates will attend a farmers’ event to raise money for a baby care unit. Before she became an MP, Cox worked in the charity and aid sectors.

Her widower, Brendan Cox, said that the break would send a positive signal. “Doing so in such a coordinated way will, we hope, send a powerful message that, whatever our political disagreements, we really do hold more in common and show a united front against hatred and extremism. in all its forms.”

After polling day, tens of thousands of community get-togethers are being held all over the country on 16, 17 and 18 June to mark the first anniversary of Cox’s death.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/20/election-campaigning-halt-memory-jo-cox-labour-tribute?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

No Fracking in Barnsley Update

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The fight against fracking in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire continues.

Ineos have launched their first application in the UK for a well at Marsh Lane near Eckington and are preparing to submit another at Harthill, near Rotherham. Ineos have also announced that they intend to start seismic surveys in the Worksop area very soon.

The General Election campaigns continue with Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and the Yorkshire Party all pledging to stand against fracking. The Tory manifesto of course contains a promise to pursue fracking even more vigorously, changing planning law to make it easier for fracking companies. See below for our Barnsley Candidates Election Guide.

So far Barnsley has been spared the attentions of companies such as Ineos, with most of the action to date being concentrated on the area to the south of Sheffield and Rotherham. However, it won’t be long until our turn comes, so it is important that we keep spreading the awareness to our friends, family and neighbours, and keep writing to your councillors. Why not also drop your local parliamentary candidates a line yourself and make sure that fracking is an issue in the forefront of their minds over the coming weeks.

General Election Guide 2017: What are local candidates’ views on fracking?

We contacted every candidate standing in the four Barnsley constituencies and asked them to supply us with a statement of their views on fracking.

The replies so far have been published on our website. Please revisit the page often, as it will be updated when new information becomes available.

http://nofrackingbarnsley.org/news/what-are-local-candidates-views-on-fracking

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Frack Free United

Frack Free United is a nationwide network of residents and campaign groups wanting to put fracking on the political agenda for the upcoming local and national elections, and to help stop fracking in England. You can find out more and sign up at www.frackfreeunited.org

Do Your Street
Frack Free South Yorkshire have produced a highly informative four page flyer, debunking the myths that the fracking industry likes to peddle. If you can help to deliver the flyer to houses in your street in Barnsley, please contact us at nofrackingbarnsley@yahoo.com. Elsewhere, please contact doyourstreet@gmail.com.

Sign our petition
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-barnsley-frack-free

No Fracking in Barnsley : Keep in touch
Website: http://nofrackingbarnsley.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NoFrackingBarnsley
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NoFrackBarnsley

Firefighters welcome Labour manifesto commitment to increase frontline numbers

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The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warmly welcomed commitments made in the Labour Party manifesto for greater investment in the fire and rescue service.

The manifesto, published today (16 May), confirms that Labour will recruit at least 3,000 new frontline firefighters, give fire services in England a statutory duty to tackle flooding and guarantee that Police and Crime Commissioners will not be given control over fire services.

Labour will also abolish the public sector pay cap that has meant firefighters are on average £2,000 worse off than they were in 2010. The manifesto also sets out plans to repeal the Trade Union Act that will mean less bureaucracy for unions trying to represent their members.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “There are clear dividing lines for who to vote for in this election. Labour will invest in firefighters in order to keep people safe, whereas the Tories will continue to cut and decimate our service, putting public safety at risk.

“Having 3,000 more firefighters on the frontline is a promising start, and we welcome their commitment to review staffing levels across the service as a whole.

“Fire deaths have risen for the first time in 20 years since the Tories came to power, and response times to emergencies are getting slower. The service is in crisis and the Tories don’t have a plan to save it. Labour are the safe pair of hands who will deliver a properly resourced fire service to protect public safety.”

Source: https://www.fbu.org.uk/news/2017/05/16/firefighters-welcome-labour-manifesto-commitment-increase-frontline-numbers

The Guardian – From Orgreave To Hillsborough

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Great article in The Guardian today:

The scandal of Orgreave

As home secretary, Theresa May championed inquiries into past police abuses such as those committed at Hillsborough by South Yorkshire police. But she has refused calls to investigate the roots of that disaster – the violence of that same force against striking miners five years earlier.

Read the full article here

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Source: https://otjc.org.uk/the-guardian-from-orgreave-to-hillsborough/

Calls for a Public Inquiry Into Orgreave Intensify

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The OTJC Steps Up Its Campaign: Anniversary Event Planned at Orgreave

The issues raised by the conclusions to the Hillsborough inquests last Tuesday continue to make headlines a week later.  Andy Burnham, the Shadow Home Secretary, in his powerful Commons statement last Wednesday said, ’I promised the families the full truth about Hillsborough. I don’t believe we will have that until we have the full truth about Orgreave.’

The South Yorkshire Police, he continued, ‘used the same underhand tactics against its own people in the aftermath of the miners’ strike that it would later use with such deadly effect against the people of Liverpool.’

He referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission report on Orgreave, published in June 2015, and noted that part of the report had been redacted. ‘It has been put to me that parts of this contain evidence of direct links between Orgreave and Hillsborough,’ he said. ‘This is a time for transparency not secrecy, time for the people of South Yorkshire to have the full truth about their police force. So will the Home Secretary now accept the legal submission from the OTJC and set up a disclosure process?’

In the wake of the IPCC report the Home Secretary met with members of the OTJC in July 2015 and, at her request, presented its evidence for a public inquiry to her in mid-December 2015. A response was expected by March this year. When we asked about progress on this, we were told that the evidence was still being examined.

In the wake of the Hillsborough verdicts the OTJC believes urgent priority needs to be given to the Home Secretary reaching a decision on the public inquiry.

OTJC Chair, Joe Rollin, said, ‘Hope and expectations are running high in mining communities that we will finally get justice for Orgreave, now that the jury has delivered justice to the Hillsborough families and survivors.  Orgreave remains an essential part of the background to Hillsborough and it is imperative that it is fully investigated if trust in the police is to be rebuilt.  We are now waiting to meet the Home Secretary for the second time and urge her to decide that there must be a full inquiry into Orgreave.  We also call on the IPCC to disclose an un-redacted copy of its report into Orgreave so that the public can understand the full scale of its findings.’

The OTJC is now mounting an imaginative social media campaign calling for this, and organising a public event at Orgreave on Saturday 18 June at 5.00pm. Speakers include Michael Mansfield QC, Henrietta Hill QC (who played a key role in preparing the OTJC evidence) and ASLEF President Tosh McDonald. The venue is The Old Bridge, Orgreave Lane, Sheffield S13 9NE.

Source: https://otjc.org.uk/