A number of constituents have got in touch with concerns about the future of ‘The Owl’ at Rodley.
This is a pub that has been working at the heart of the Rodley Community since the current landlord took over six years ago. It provides a home for local sports clubs and societies, raises money for St. George’s Crypt through the annual beer festival and supports local producers of craft beers.
In short, the pub does exactly what a good pub should do: runs at the heart of the community.
That’s why it is so disappointing to see that Gina and her family are leaving, after a dispute with the Pub Company owner.
"I will do all I can to make sure that the pub continues to be a central part of Rodley’s community.
18 pubs are closing every week. I don’t want The Owl to join that long list and will work with them to keep it right at the heart of Rodley."
Nationally, Labour have called on the Government to do more to support good local pubs. The Cross Party Business Select Committee has produced four reports in recent years, all calling for stronger regulation of the relationship between PubCos and licensees like Gina. We need a statutory code to guide and regulate the relationship between PubCos and licensees, and introduce independent rent reviews, open options and act as an independent monitor of the relationship.
Rachel has today written to the Department for Transport in support of a West Yorkshire bid to improve our cycling infrastructure.
The ‘Highway to Health’ bid will develop a cycling ‘superhighway’ running East-West across Leeds and connecting to Bradford.
In her letter Rachel outlined her support for the bid as a way of promoting cycling and making sure it was safe and accessible for everyone.
“I can’t wait for Le Tour to be on our doorstep. This bid is the perfect chance to make sure that when Le Tour passes through West Yorkshire, we build a legacy of safer and better cycling for the future.”
After three wasted years under the Tory-led Government, this week’s Queen’s Speech was another wasted opportunity.
This Queen’s Speech had no answers. This out of touch government is out of ideas. The economy has flatlined as a result of George Osborne’s failed plan, and it’s hard-working people who do the right thing who are footing the bill.
Even though one million young people are out of work, Cameron and Osborne’s priority this April was to cut taxes by an average of £100,000 for 13,000 people earning over £1 million.
What did you think about the Queen's Speech? Comment on Facebook
Labour has a clear plan for turning Britain around and getting us back facing the right direction. We’ve outlined an alternative Queen’s Speech that includes:
• A Jobs Bill to put in place a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee
• A Finance Bill that would kick-start our economy and help make work pay with a 10p rate of tax
• A Consumers Bill to tackle rip-off energy bills and train fares
• A Banking Bill that backs British business with a real British Investment Bank and new regional banks
• A Housing Bill that would take action against rogue landlords and extortionate fees in the private rented sector
• An Immigration Bill with economic measures that put an end to workers having their wages undercut illegally by employers exploiting migrant labour
Join the discussion at http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/
Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech was an opportunity for the Government to outline a positive agenda for jobs and growth, but it was an opportunity missed. We rebuild Britain by standing up for the many but this Tory-led Government only stands up for the few while living standards fall for everyone else.
A report released today shows that the number of cross-border legal disputes among families, referred to a UK judge who offers global assistance, has quadrupled in the last four years.
Rachel has been working with Naomi Button, a mother from Bramley whose six year old daughter Elsa Salama has been missing since she was taken by her father from an Egyptian holiday apartment in 2011.
Naomi has launched an international appeal to bring Elsa home, and is working with UK authorities to find her daughter after more than two years.
Please support her campaign by sharing it with friends and family on Facebook
You can read more about the case here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22358741
And watch Naomi’s interview on Sky News this morning here: http://news.sky.com/story/1085275/family-disputes-involving-brit-judges-on-rise
This Sunday is Workers Memorial Day. You can find details of what is being done across Yorkshire to mark the occasion below, and at http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-21912-f0.cfm#YH
Rachel is pictured planting a tree at Armley Mills in memory of victims of asbestosis in Armley two years ago. She spoke last year about the legacy of asbestos in the area, as well as the need to protect workers' rights today - an important message given the government's decision to pass the controversial 'shares for rights' scheme in Parliament this week.
Assemble with Trade Union banners outside Leeds Art Gallery, Headrow at 11:30 for a 12:00 start with a minutes silence, laying of wreaths and speakers from leading trade unionists, politicians and others.
The Barnsley Workers Memorial Day event will take place on Saturday 27th April 2013 at 12.30pm at the The Cenotaph outside Barnsley Town Hall, with speeches from a local MP, union representatives and health and safety officials.
There will be a minutes silence at the Workers Memorial at the back of Bradford City Hall in the garden of remembrance at 12 noon. Followed by a showing of Bhopali the film at 13:00 in the Bradford Resource Centre (17-21 Chapel Street, Little Germany, BD1 5DT). Free entrance all welcome.
The joint trade unions at BAE Aerospace in Brough will be holding a minute's silence on 29th April to remember those who are dead. They are also running bucket collections across the site to raise money to purchase a bench to be placed in the site's memorial garden in remembrance of Gary Whiting who tragically died in a workplace accident.
15:00 at the Workers Memorial in the Pier Gardens Alexandra Road Cleethorpes. Service Conducted By Rev Paul Hunter.
13:00 at the Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Nunn's Corner Grimsby. Service to be conducted By Rev Mary.J.Vickers Industrial and Urban Chaplian.
10-00am at the Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Pelham Road Immingham. Service Conducted By Rev Mary.J.Vickers Industrial and Urban Chaplian.
At 12.30 there will be a ceremony at the Workers` Memorial Tree which is situated in front of the Sheffield Town Hall. It will be opened by the Lord Mayor.
Please find below the April 2013 Monthly Report from Rachel's office. Top stories this month include ongoing issues surrounding the LGI Heart Unit and Labour plans to curb pay-day lenders.
A scheme which could cut the hefty cost of electricity and gas for people in Leeds by £115 a year has been launched by the city council and neighbouring local authorities.
Called ‘Community Energy’, the new website allows citizens to register their details and the current cost of their energy bills. The organisers will then strike a bargain with the energy companies to provide cheaper electricity by selling in bulk to everyone taking part. People who’ve signed up will receive an offer from the scheme for the new, cheaper rate for their energy, and can take part in the collective switch if they want to, or stick with their current supplier.
So far 5,500 residents have signed up to the scheme, which is completely free and simple to use. The popularity has meant the deadline for applying has been extended to midnight, Wednesday 1st May, after which no more registrations will be accepted. Householders would typically save £115 per year on their bills.
Leeds City Council, alongside other Yorkshire councils, has launched the scheme with the aim of offering some help with the rising cost of living. Rapidly increasing energy and food costs coupled with Government cuts to benefits threaten to push many Leeds people into hardship.
Labour’s Energy spokesperson Caroline Flint has supported collective switching, saying “If the energy companies want our business they need to name the price. Stand together - buy energy together”.
Leeds residents can sign up at https://communityenergy.whichswitch.co.uk/ or by calling 0845 450 2581 – but only until the 1st of May.
Rachel has signed a letter from Yorkshire and Humber MPs to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee, calling on it to investigate the circumstances around the extraordinary suspension of surgery at Leeds Children’s Heart Unit over Easter.
The decision to suspend surgery at short notice, a day after the High Court had ruled in favour of the Heart Unit, cast a huge shadow over the unit and left patients and their families having to travel further for operations.
The campaign to keep the unit in Leeds has been tremendous, and raised serious questions about the process of the ‘Safe and Sustainable’ review.
It is vital that we continue to campaign for the long term future of children's heart surgery in Leeds, and also seek answers about why the decision was taken and the way the information about it was handled.
You can read Monday's debate on the suspension of surgery in the House of Commons here.
Of all the benefit changes being introduced the 'Bedroom tax' is one of the most controversial policies. Unfortunately, information regarding exactly how the tax will affect people who receive housing benefits has been hard to come by. Leeds City Council has created online booklets to explain what the 'Bedroom tax' is, how it will work and who will be affected by the changes. If anyone is worried about the impact of any of the benefits changes we strongly recommend reading the information provided by Leeds City Council.
If you want to read any of the booklets please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Housing-Benefit-Changes.aspx and click on 'downloads' at the bottom of the page.
Plans to give Leeds and other councils around the country the power to curb the increasing number of payday loan shops were announced by Ed Miliband in a speech on Monday.
In recent years many shopping streets in Leeds have seen increasing numbers of payday loan and betting shops. But even though local people may object to having a multitude of legal loan sharks on their doorstep, at the moment there’s nothing councils can do to stop them moving in to former bank premises, for example.
However, these new powers would allow local authorities to refuse planning permission for certain businesses that local people say they don’t want on their high street.
Rachel said: “Armley Town Street is littered with payday lenders, charging interest rates of over 1,000 per cent and engulfing people in debt.
“That’s why Ed Miliband’s policy, giving power to local councils to act when new payday lenders open, is so important.
“It would give local councils the power to shape streets like Armley Town Street with the interests of the community at heart.”
“Working alongside local credit unions and effective local campaigns to tackle loan sharks, this could make a huge difference to families struggling to meet in Leeds West.”
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