• Give Local Leaders more power
    The Coronavirus restrictions and disagreements over them have revealed how little Central Government either knows about regions outside of London or cares. The creation of combined Local Authorities with Metro Mayors such as Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham came with little extra money and few extra powers. Yorkshire has more people than Scotland, Greater Manchester is almost twice the size of Northern Ireland, Merseyside nearing the population of Wales. England is one of the most centralised countries in the world. In recent weeks Central Government has shown its contempt for the regions by not inviting relevant MPs, such as Lisa Nandy, to meetings because they don’t know who they represent, offering lower financial support than under full lockdown, ignoring the fact that Greater Manchester has been under the equivalent of tier 2 ineffectual lockdown for two and a half months. But they still don’t listen to local leaders, whether they be Labour, such as Andy Burnham or Conservative such as Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands. By signing you will be supporting local leaders in the North and Midlands of England to support their people.
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  • Provide furlough, loans and grants to Events Industry
    The Events industry has been hardest hit during the pandemic. Locked down since March they have seen none of the recent relaxing of restrictions that have enable other businesses to get back to work, and now the original furlough scheme is coming to an end, the industry faces approx 600,000 people unemployed and thousands of businesses collapsing as workers will not be eligible for the new winter scheme as they cannot work at all. We want the existing, simple meaningful furlough scheme to continue to support the Events industry, staff and Businesses
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  • Give NHS Staff and Key Workers a payrise not MP's
    MP's have not suffered on Universal Credit, been forced below the poverty line, had to borrow money, rely on credit cards to get by or worry that they might be evicted this year. However, many millions have. NHS Staff and Key Workers have been lauded as heroes by the government whilst also being stabbed in the back by them financially via cuts and empty platitudes. To give MP's a payrise is a direct and agregious insult to these selfless and vital people and we must show the government we won't stand for it.
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  • Return Democracy to South Tyneside
    The emergency legislation that allowed Councils to suspend holding meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic also enabled meetings to be held virtually to allow democracy to continue. Almost all councils are now holding virtual Full Council meetings. This enables all elected Councillors to represent the views of residents and for democracy to continue. South Tyneside Council is a notable exception. The last meeting of South Tyneside Borough Council was held in February 2020. There are currently no plans in place to hold a Borough Council meeting before February 2021 by which time the majority of those elected to represent the people of South Tyneside will have been silenced for a year. As Councillors for Beacon and Bents Ward we have repeatedly asked why we are the only Council that are not holding these meetings. Responses received to these requests have included we aren't able to organise a virtual meeting of this size, it would be too difficult for officers who wouldn't be able to see every Councillor on screen at the same time and some Councillors are not IT literate enough to participate in virtual meetings. These are not reasons they are excuses. Councils far larger than South Tyneside have been holding virtual meetings since six weeks after lockdown began; the government have held virtual meetings with hundreds of MPs taking part; and a trade union recently held a virtual conference in which over 700 delegates took part. We have also requested that all virtual meetings that are held and live streamed are recorded and published on YouTube so people can watch them when they finish work. We have been told this is too difficult to do but other Councils have done this for months. There is no legitimate reason why South Tyneside Council cannot hold Borough Council meetings and why they cannot record and publish all meetings. As Councillors for Beacon and Bents Ward we have been contacted by residents from our own Ward and from others who want to know why South Tyneside Council is trying to stifle democracy. We have been asked why we voted to introduce local restrictions. But the truth is that we, and the majority of Councillors across the Borough, have had no say in this decision. We are being asked about plans for the future, for reviving our town centre, and for rebuilding our economy. Again we have to say that we are being prevented from raising questions about these and other important issues because Borough Council is not meeting. The residents of South Tyneside deserve better. They deserve to be represented. They deserve to have their voices heard. And they deserve to see democracy return to our Borough. The Chief Executive has left and can only be replaced by Borough Council. Officers have been left without leadership and residents without a voice. This is not about Party politics. It's about doing the right thing, returning democracy to our Borough and working together to create a better future when the pandemic finally ends. Councillor Angela Hamilton (Labour Party) Councillor David Francis (Green Party)
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  • Stop the Westminster Power Grab on the Scottish and Welsh Governments
    The UK Internal Market Bill endangers the existence and viability of devolution. It would be a Westminster power grab, unacceptable to the Scottish and Welsh Governments. From a Scottish perspective, it directly contradicts promises of more powers that were promised in the event of a No vote in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum. What the Bill means is less powers. Much less. Clause 45 of the Bill states that certain provisions of the bill will have effect "notwithstanding inconsistency or incompatibility with international law." This is a position that should not be acceptable to those of us who treasure democracy and the rule of law, international or otherwise.
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  • Give MPs a Parliamentary Vote on a future US Trade Deal.
    A US -UK trade deal is likely to have a profoundly negative impact on the lives of people in the UK. Many regulations that have kept us and the environment safe will disappear along with animal welfare standards. A Trade Deal with the US will be in reality a trade deal between the U.K and ruthless multinational corporations that wield huge amounts of power. Most trade deals contain clauses known as ISDS clauses, (Investor State Dispute Settlement) clauses whereby governments can be fined millions of pounds if an investor's profits are reduced in any way and for whatever reason. Big business is likely to play a major but negative part in our lives in the future. Parliamentarians should be granted a final vote on the US trade deal; secrecy should be lifted in support of transparency and democracy.
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  • Tony Abbott is not fit to represent the UK in trade negotiations
    The government is due to make Tony Abbott a UK trade representative. But this man should not be representing the UK. He will go down in history as one of Australia's worst Prime Ministers. His only claim to fame will always be - now and forever - as the target of Australia's most unforgettable television moment of all time: Julia Gillard's famous misogyny speech. As Kay Burley on Sky News pointed out today "he's a homophobe and a misogynist". And as she rightly asked, is he a "fit and proper person to represent us, as far as trade is concerned, given the views that he holds?" Abbott also renounced his British citizenship to serve in the Australian parliament - do we really want someone who has renounced his British citizenship? There are so many brilliant and diverse candidates that could do this job brilliantly. Why have you chosen a man who believes women should be at home doing the ironing?
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  • Boris Johnson Wants to Put Himself Above the Law. Help Stop Him
    Boris Johnson is forming his own panel that will work to curb the influence of judicial reviews. We have to stop him. Judicial reviews are an important feature of our democracy that ensure our leaders are following the rule of law. They have recently been used to stop Johnson from shutting down parliament during the Brexit debates, which was ruled unlawful. THE JUDICIARY STOPS POLITICIANS FROM BREAKING THE LAW. IT MUST BE SAVED. Judicial reviews have been used to hold this government to account once, which is why they want to destroy them. Sign this petition to stop Johnson and his cronies putting themselves above the law.
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  • No cuts to NHS Jobs
    We need these staff members as they have expertise in support services to ensure that care can be delivered safely and effectively. Years of austerity and cuts have meant the NHS is now broken and needs to be rebuilt. In the NHS we need a massive recruitment drive that includes recruiting staff to work in support functions. We are demanding no cuts to NHS jobs.
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  • Enhanced scrutiny of political donations
    Too often policies and decisions are made where there turns out that the politicians involved have some form of connections which could lead them to be biased. For instance, scrutiny of MPs’ interests shows donations and gifts from fossil fuel firms and climate contrarians and that there is a pattern that conservative MP's are more inclined to accept these donations. Members of the public should be able to challenge MP's decisions to accept certain donations.
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  • Invest in Young People
    Measures announced by the Chancellor on July 8th were touted to support young people through the economic repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. It included a range of measures, but very few were aimed young people. The £2.1bn "kickstart scheme" which will provide 6 month work placements to those at risk of long-term unemployment was dwarfed by the £3.8bn stamp duty holiday for home buyers. This is not the way to support a generation that will likely bear the brunt of what may be the worst recession in a generation. Young people have a much less stable relationship with the economy and so are disproportionately affected by economic crises. Following the 2008 economic recession, youth unemployment peaked at over 22%, compared to 8% for the population as a whole. We need an ambitious government intervention to prevent it from being even worse with this crisis. A successful scheme would include measures to create entry-level jobs - not placements - for those coming out of education, support for renters who make up the majority of young people and programmes to support young carers, apprentices and others who have been ignored by previous announcements. We have the chance to prevent a lost generation if we act now with ambition. Invest in young people today!
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  • Free NHS parking indefinitely
    The government stopped charging NHS staff parking fees during the height of the pandemic. Now they're saying ‘it can’t go on forever’. We need a firm commitment to make absolutely sure our NHS staff won’t be charged as much as £40 a day on parking fees. Our NHS staff - who have sacrificed so much over the last few months - deserve better. So, let's send a clear message to Boris Johnson: you cannot charge our NHS staff for parking.
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