Chemists may be forced to close because of Conservative Cuts

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee faces cuts of 12% this year, with more to follow the year after

The new drug could provide a solution to the major problem of painkiller addiction
Experts have warned pharmacists could close

Chemists could be forced to close because of “damaging” Tory cuts, experts have warned.

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee faces cuts of 12% this year, with more to follow the year after.

Chief executive Sue Sharpe told the BBC: “It is madness and it is so damaging to the people who use pharmacies every day, it is so damaging to the NHS and it so damaging to social care because a lot of this burden will fall on the NHS in other places and on social care.”

In a letter to Department of Health, Ms Sharpe said they were facing cuts of £113million in the final three months of the current financial year with further cuts of £200 million (7%) in 2017-18.

Pharmacies get around 90% of their income from the money government pays for dispensing prescriptions, costing taxpayers £2.8billion annually. 

Pharmacies say they are expecting cuts of £113million

Previous plans for a £170million cut this year were delayed after two million people signed a petition opposing the change.

Earlier this year, the then health minister Alistair Burt suggested between 1,000 and 3,000 pharmacies could be closed after spending cuts,

Campaigning Labour MP Michael Dugher said: “For all their warm words on community pharmacies, including welcome moves to integrate community pharmacy into urgent care, ministers seem committed to push through a massive package of arbitrary cuts to chemists that could force thousands to close.

“Cuts to community pharmacies are bad for our local communities, especially for people living in more isolated villages and rural communities.

“But they are also bad for the NHS, which is already in crisis, and are a complete false economy as they will pile even more pressure on already overstretched GP surgeries and hospital A&Es.

Labour MPs say this will put extra strain on the NHS

“It’s not too late for Ministers to get back around the negotiating table with the industry and put a stop to these damaging cuts before it’s too late.”

Shadow Community Health Minister Julie Cooper said: “Local pharmacies are part of the life blood of communities up and down the country and many people depend on their local pharmacy.

“These budget cuts could be catastrophic for many of these already struggling pharmacies, and any closures would significantly increase the pressure on our already over-stretched hospitals and GP surgeries.

“The Department of Health needs an urgent rethink on this policy, and to reassure us that they are going to support, not cut, local community pharmacies.”

Insisting no final decisions had been taken, a Department of Health spokesman said: “We want to modernise the pharmacy sector - giving patients the best care by making the most of pharmacists’ skills.

Sue Sharpe CEO of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, “That’s why we are investing £112 million to deliver a further 1,500 pharmacists in general practice by 2020.

“We have worked collaboratively with the PSNC and have listened to their suggestions and counter-proposals over the course of many months.

“Ministers are considering a proposed package for the sector and no final decision has been taken, but we are committed to offering more help to those pharmacies people most depend on compared to others.”

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Labours 170 questions - one a day until Brexit...

Dear David,

At the Conservative Party conference last week, the Prime Minister announced that the government would trigger the Article 50 process before the end of March 2017.

After today, that gives a maximum of 170 days before Britain must begin negotiating both the terms of our exit from the European Union, and also our future relationship with our European partners on a host of issues, ranging from trade arrangements to law enforcement cooperation.

The Labour Party has consistently argued that, before embarking on those negotiations:

-the government needs to set out a clear plan of what it is seeking to achieve, and how it intends to accomplish that plan;

-that plan needs to be the subject of proper consultation with the devolved administrations, overseas territories, the Mayor of London’s office, and the Official Opposition; and

-the public’s elected representatives in Parliament should have the opportunity to vote on whether that plan is the right one to safeguard the country’s best interests post-Brexit.

None of the above is intended to stop the Brexit process from taking place, or to disregard the instructions we have been given by the British people. On the contrary, it is simply to ensure that we get the best possible deal for Britain, and one which reflects all the views of the communities that we as Members of Parliament represent.

It is also to ensure that, contrary to all public statements we have heard to date, the government actually has a clear plan of what it is intending to achieve, and that all members of the Cabinet with responsibility in this area subscribe to that same plan.

To that end, we have set out below a large number of unanswered questions about the government’s plan: 170 questions in total, across a wide variety of areas, to match the number of days after today before you must begin to present that plan to our European partners, according to your own self-imposed deadline.

If you are able to provide satisfactory answers to all these questions, just one per day from tomorrow until 31 March next year, it might give some confidence that the government is entering the Article 50 negotiations with a clear plan.

If not, it will reinforce the sense that the government is instead blundering into this process without a clear endgame in mind, repeating exactly the same mistake that the previous Prime Minister made with his ‘renegotiation’ of Britain’s EU membership last year: working to an artificial, self-imposed timetable; with a flawed Plan A of what he wanted to achieve; and no Plan B whatsoever.

As you yourself said in July: “The negotiating strategy has to be properly designed and there is some serious consultation to be done first. This is one of the reasons for taking a little time before triggering Article 50.” And yet, tomorrow we will be just 170 days away from the PM’s deadline for triggering Article 50, and there is still no sign of this negotiation strategy, or the plan it is intended to deliver.

Nor is it good enough to refuse to disclose the government’s plan, as you have done previously, on the grounds that it must be kept secret. As the Director-General of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, said last week: “The government’s desire to play its negotiating cards close to its chest must be tempered by clear indications on how we will trade with the UK’s most important partner and how firms will be able to employ the people needed to drive growth.”

Speaking this week, the Conservative chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, said: “British interests will be best served by an early and full and detailed explanation from the government of what its negotiating position is before it embarks on those discussions. What has never been discussed in any depth is what we arrive at.”

I would also urge you to reflect on the words of the Japanese government in its open letter to the UK government, published before the recent G20 summit in China:

“Uncertainty is a major concern for an economy; it evokes a sense of anxiety, causing volatility in markets, and results in the contraction of trade, investment and credit. What Japanese businesses in Europe most wish to avoid is the situation in which that they are unable to discern clearly the way the BREXIT negotiations are going, only grasping the whole picture at the last minute.

“It is imperative for the UK and the EU to regain the confidence of the world and ensure their unwavering competitiveness by increasing the predictability of the BREXIT process, ensuring the outcome is free of unpleasant surprises and reducing the risks emanating from uncertainty. From this perspective, we strongly hope that the UK and the EU will present to the world the whole picture of the BREXIT process as early as possible.”

It was quite right that the official UK response to that letter was to say: "It's not unhelpful to…have some of our trading partners setting out some of the issues they are looking at and the types of concerns or issues that they would want to be addressed. This is all more information that helps to inform our thinking on what is the right deal for Britain".

However, to do that thinking in private while refusing to share the UK’s plan in public ignores the basic essence of Japan’s appeal, and creates further and deeper uncertainty as Japanese companies investing in Britain, and other major players in this process both at home and abroad, begin to wonder whether there is any plan at all.

We hope you will resolve that uncertainty as a matter of urgency by providing answers to all the questions set out below, and the many others that have been raised with your department, and to do so in good time before 31 March next year.

Finally, given you have consistently spoken up throughout your career in a highly principled way about the importance of Parliamentary sovereignty, we hope you will reflect again on the decision to deny the country’s elected representatives the opportunity to debate and vote on the government’s plan for Brexit before Article 50 is triggered.

Again, this would not be for the purpose of blocking the Brexit process, but simply to ensure that process will lead to the best possible outcome for Britain, and that the government’s proposed plan will deliver that outcome.

As the former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has said: “The idea that a government could take a decision of such massive importance without parliamentary approval seems to me to be extremely far-fetched.”

We hope you will listen to Dominic, and stay true to your principles, rather than following the edicts of an increasingly authoritarian Prime Minister, who seems intent on repeating her predecessor’s mistakes, whatever the calamitous results.

Yours sincerely,

Emily Thornberry
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

Keir Starmer
Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Free movement of goods and services

We are assuming that the government has considered the following options for its continued postBrexit
trading relationship with the European Union:

(i) maintaining full membership of the Single Market, as at present;
(ii) negotiating UK terms for membership of the European Economic Area;
(iii) negotiating UK terms for membership of the European Free Trade Agreement;
(iv) negotiating a Customs union with the EU;
(v) negotiating a bespoke, bilateral free trade deal with the EU;
(vi) adopting a unilateral free trade policy with all trading partners; and
(vii) reverting to WTO rules for future trade arrangements, including the imposition of tariffs.

In that light, please answer the following questions:

1. Which of the above options has the government definitively ruled out, which does it still have under consideration, and which does it regard as its preferred option(s) for the negotiations?

2. Of the options it is still considering, would any oblige the UK to continue abiding by Single Market regulations, and implementing new ones, despite being unable to influence their content?

3. Of the options it is still considering, would any involve the European Commission continuing to police and enforce the UK’s compliance with Single Market regulations?

4. Of the options it is still considering, would any involve the UK continuing to make net contributions to the European Union budget?

5. Of the options it is still considering, would any involve the retention of ‘State Aid’ restrictions on the ability of the government to intervene to support particular industries or regions?

6. Of the options it is still considering, which does the government believe could come into force immediately upon Britain’s exit from the European Union (i.e. no later than the end of March 2019), and which does it accept would take longer to negotiate?

7. Of the latter options above, is it the government’s intention to negotiate transitional arrangements for continued access to the Single Market while any longer-term negotiation is concluded?

8. Does the government accept that any such transitional arrangements would require the UK to continue making a sizable contribution to the EU budget for an indefinite period post-Brexit?

9. Does the government accept that any such transitional arrangements would require the UK to be bound by current and future Single Market regulations and their enforcement by the European Commission, for an indefinite period, while being unable to influence their content?

10. If it does not intend to negotiate transitional arrangements, does the government intend that – during the delay between Britain’s departure from the European Union and the negotiation of one of the options set out above – the UK would revert to WTO rules for its interim trading regime?

11. On what timescale does the government envisage securing independent representation at meetings of the World Trade Organisation, and how will the UK be represented in these meetings if there is any gap between Britain exiting the European Union and securing a ‘seat’ at the WTO?

12. In the event that there are ‘transitional arrangements’ whereby the UK retains access to the Single Market while negotiating a longer-term trade deal, who will represent the UK at meetings of the WTO during that interim period, and how will the government ensure UK interests are protected if we are still being represented by the EU? Specifically, in relation to Options (v)-(vii), if those are still under consideration:

13. How would the government ensure that any bespoke free trade agreement with the EU would include continued free trade in: (i) services; and (ii) agricultural and fishing products, and how likely does it believe it to be that EU member states will accept that?

14. How would the government avoid the imposition of ‘rules of origin’ tests on UK exporters to prove that third-country products are not transiting through the UK to avoid paying EU tariffs?

15. What assessments have the government made of the impact of re-introducing customs checks and/or tariffs on cross-border supply chains within the manufacturing sector, and will the government publish those assessments?

16. Specifically, in relation to Option (vii), what assessments have the government made of the impact of each individual product tariff on the UK manufacturers who sell those products, and will the government publish those assessments?

Free movement of people

17. Given that the Prime Minister has said continued free movement will not be part of any postBrexit deal with the EU, and has also ruled out a points-based immigration system, what system does the government now intend to introduce to manage migration from the EU to the UK?

18. What assessment has the government made of the fiscal impact of the different options it has considered for managing migration from the EU to the UK, and will it publish that assessment?

19. Will the system for managing future migration from the EU to the UK be the same as applies to citizens from other countries around the world, or does the government intend to negotiate a bespoke arrangement through the Article 50 process?

20. What assessments have the government made of the impact on different sectors (e.g. the NHS, agriculture, food production, etc.) of imposing the government’s new system for managing migration from the EU to the UK, and will the government publish those assessments?

21. Will the government consider introducing special post-Brexit migration arrangements for those sectors that are most heavily dependent on EU migrant workers?

22. Will the government also consider applying regional variations in post-Brexit migration arrangements so that different parts of the UK can agree bespoke arrangements with the government related to the different levels of EU migrant labour that they require?

23. What assessment has the government made of the viability of applying such regional variations in the migration system, and will they publish that assessment?

24. What agreement will the government seek to negotiate in relation to the continued ability of UK citizens to live, study, work or retire elsewhere in Europe without restriction, as they can at present?

25. Does the government stand by the recent remarks of the Secretary of State for International Trade that the future status of EU citizens currently living in the UK is a “negotiating card” to be played during the Article 50 process, or does it believe such language is inappropriate?

26. In that context, when will the government give a legally-binding guarantee that citizens of other EU countries currently living, working and using public services in the UK will have their rights to continue doing so entirely unaffected by Britain’s departure from the European Union, with reciprocal guarantees for UK citizens currently living elsewhere in Europe?

27. How does the government plan to ensure that UK citizens who own properties, businesses or other assets in other European countries are protected from punitive or discriminatory treatment (e.g. special taxes) once Britain leaves the European Union?

28. If the government believes that reciprocal agreement(s) will need to be reached to protect the rights of those UK citizens, does it believe that those will need to be bilateral agreements with individual member states, or a blanket agreement with all EU members secured as part of the Brexit process; and if it is the former, on what timescale with this be pursued?

29. Following Britain’s departure from the European Union, will UK citizens wishing to visit other European countries as tourists have to obtain visas in order to do so, and if so, how much will this add to the cost of a holiday to Europe for a family of four?

30. If EU citizens are also required to obtain (and pay for) visas to visit the United Kingdom in future,
what assessment has the government made of the impact of those extra costs on the UK tourism
sector, and will it publish that assessment?

31. What additional staff and resources will be required for UK embassies and consulates located in other European countries to process visa applications from EU citizens wishing to visit the UK, and on what timescale will those extra staffing and resourcing requirements be met?

Structural funding

32. What calculation has the government made of the amount of European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund payments that the UK would expect to have been allocated in the 2021-27 funding tranche, which will be announced for the rest of the European Union in 2018?

33. What calculation has the government made of how those ERDF and ESF allocations would have been distributed around the regions of the UK between 2021-27, if the standard formulae for calculating those distributions were used?

34. How does the government plan to make up the shortfall in funding for those regions resulting from the loss of the ERDF and ESF allocations they would have received, into the 2020s and beyond?

35. What assessments have the government made of the impact on those regions if it fails to make up that shortfall in funding, in terms of job creation, business activity and infrastructure projects foregone, as well as the loss of programmes to fund social inclusion, transport links, etc., and will it publish those assessments?

36. If it is the government’s intention to develop a replacement system of regional funding for the long-term, can it confirm that this system will retain the seven-year tranche structure, which allows long term projects to flourish, and ensures the impact of grants can be properly assessed before they are renewed?

37. If such a replacement system is introduced, will the government confirm how this will be administered, and – if that falls to the current Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) network – will the government take action in response to the March 2016 NAO report on the understaffing and under-resourcing of LEPs before handing them this key responsibility?

38. Will responsibility for determining the rules governing any replacement system (including the qualifying criteria for projects) be left to the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after these are no longer determined uniformly by Europe, or will this responsibility be centralised in the Westminster government?

Agriculture and Fisheries

39. How does the government propose to replace and reform for the long-term the current system of direct payments for farmers funded through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?

40. Will that replacement system retain the contribution of additional support to younger farmers, will it retain qualifying criteria related to standards of environmental protection and animal welfare, and will it scrap the ‘three-crop rule’ that applies under the current CAP system?

41. How does the government propose to replace for the long-term the funding currently provided for the stimulation of the rural economy through the EU’s Rural Development Programmes?

42. How does the government propose to replace for the long-term the funding currently provided by the European Union for agricultural research programmes?

43. Will the government guarantee that regulations currently enforced under the Common Fisheries Policy will not just be enshrined in UK law through the ‘Great Repeal Bill’, but will be retained for the long-term to give long-term certainty to the fishing sector over future policy?

44. How does the government plan to ensure that current reciprocal access arrangements for fishing within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of other Member States are maintained once the UK leaves the European Union?

45. Will the government also seek to negotiate accompanying reciprocal access agreements with Norway and other third countries, and ensure that these are ready to take effect immediately that the UK leaves the European Union?

46. How does the government intend to make up the shortfall in funding for the fishing sector currently derived from the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund, once Britain has left the EU?

47. Will responsibility for determining the rules governing the payment of (and qualifying criteria for) agricultural subsidies be left to the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after these are no longer determined uniformly by Europe, or will this responsibility be centralised in the Westminster government?

Northern Ireland

The government has already confirmed that the Common Travel Area between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, which predates both countries’ membership of the EU, will be maintained postBrexit, but taking that as read, please answer the following questions:

48. Will the government guarantee that there will be no re-introduction of customs checks on the Irish border, similar to those that existed before the Maastricht Treaty in 1993?

49. How will the government enforce its proposed new system for managing migration from the EU if EU migrants can travel to the Irish Republic as they do at present, and then travel on into the United Kingdom via the Irish land border?

50. Will the government confirm whether – and how – the position on these matters would change if the Irish Republic was to become a member of the Schengen agreement, making travel between the rest of the European Union and Ireland much easier?

On other issues specific to Northern Ireland:

51. What specific assessment has the government made of the impact on the Northern Irish economy of its proposed future arrangements for trade with, and migration, from the European Union post-Brexit, and for its continued ability to attract foreign direct investment?

52. Will the government guarantee that any shortfalls in funding for Northern Ireland beyond 2020 arising from the loss of (i) Structural Funds; (ii) Common Agricultural Policy payments and programmes; and (iii) the PEACE programme will be made up in full from central government revenues, given the region’s heavy dependence on that funding for future peace, development and prosperity?

Employment Rights

53. Will the government guarantee that all existing employment rights underpinned by EU legislation will not just be fully transposed into UK law through the ‘Great Repeal Bill’, where they are not already, but will also be retained for the long-term, with none of the ‘watering down’ at the expense of workers for which some business groups and Leave campaigners have previously lobbied (e.g. in relation to TUPE rights, the Working Time Directive, health and safety regulations, and the rights of part-time and agency workers)?

54. Will the government guarantee that no existing employment rights will be put ‘on the table’ when it comes to: (i) negotiating trade deals with third countries in the future; or (ii) seeking to incentivise multinational companies to invest or become/remain headquartered in the UK?

55. Will the government commit to enshrine in law those protections for workers that currently derive not from EU legislation, but from judgements of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), for example their recent decision that the calculation of workers’ entitlement to holiday pay should include earnings from bonuses, commission and overtime payments?

56. Will the government give specific guarantees that employment rights for women that derive from EU legislation and ECJ rulings in relation to equal pay, pregnancy, maternity and protection against discrimination will be retained in full for the long-term after Britain’s exit from the EU?

57. Will the government rule out any plans to revive the proposal contained in Adrian Beecroft’s 2011 ‘Report on Employment Law’ to place a cap on the level of compensation that can be claimed in cases of workplace discrimination, which would currently be disallowed under EU law?

58. Will the government undertake to match any future, post-Brexit proposals agreed by the European Union to extend employment rights, to ensure that individuals working in Britain can enjoy all the same protections as workers employed in other European countries?

The Environment and Climate Change

59. Will the government guarantee to maintain current environmental standards in relation to clean bathing water, the protection of rare birds, the protection of habitats threatened by major infrastructure projects, and the cleanliness of rivers and lakes?

60. Will the government guarantee that the status of the UK’s 652 Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas will remain legally-protected after Britain’s exit from the EU?

61. Will the government guarantee to make up any post-2020 shortfall in funding for flood defences and flood relief arising from Britain’s departure from the European Union, and loss of access to relevant EU funding programmes?

62. Will the government seek to remain a part of the EU Emissions Trading System, and if not, how will it replicate the impact that membership of the EU ETS has on the UK’s ability to comply with its legally binding carbon budgets?

63. Will the government ensure that the Paris Agreement on climate change, including the goal of net zero emissions, is ratified as quickly as possible to ensure that the EU is able to ratify the deal as a bloc prior to Britain’s exit from the European Union?

64. Will the government remain committed to meeting the requirements and achieving the targets set out in the 2030 EU Climate and Energy Framework, even after Britain leaves the EU?

65. Will the government seek to remain part of the European Union negotiating bloc for future negotiations on climate change, and if not, what bloc will it seek to join?

66. Will the government guarantee to implement the plans it has submitted to the European Commission to meet the EU-agreed limits on pollution levels in major conurbations, including London, Manchester and Leeds, regardless of Brexit?

67. What assessment has the government made on the impact of any departure from the Single Market on access to imports of natural gas and electricity, and by extension on: (i) the security of the UK’s energy supplies; and (ii) the UK’s carbon emission targets?

68. Is the government still committed to meet its renewable energy targets under the EU 2020 agreement, and if not, what alternative targets – if any – is it seeking to meet?

69. Will the UK remain part of the EU Energy Union after leaving the EU?

70. In the absence of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, what entities will be responsible for ensuring that the government complies with its own environmental regulations, and for taking legal action against the government when it fails to do so?

71. How does the government intend to make up the shortfall in current and future energy infrastructure investments, once EU investment in these projects (currently worth more than €2bn) is lost?

Law enforcement and security

72. Will the UK remain a full member of Europol after Britain leaves the European Union, and if not, what assessment has the government made of the impact of losing current Europol cooperation arrangements on law enforcement within the UK?

73. Will the UK’s law enforcement authorities still be able to directly access: (i) the Europol Information System; (ii) the Secure Information Exchange Network Application; (iii) the Passenger Name Records system; (iv) the Prüm database; (v) the European Criminal Records Information Service; and (vi) the Schengen Information System, and with no break in their ability to do so if access to these databases is still being negotiated at the time the UK leaves the European Union?

74. Will the UK remain a full participant in the Eurojust system, with no diminution or delay in our continued access to the judicial cooperation arrangements it provides?

75. What extradition arrangements will the UK reach with the EU to replace the current European Arrest Warrant agreements?

76. How long does the government expect it will take for the above arrangements to be negotiated, judging by comparable agreements that have been negotiated with other third countries?

77. What will happen in the event of any delay between Britain’s exit from the European Union and the above arrangements coming into force?

78. How long does the government expect it will take to negotiate a Mutual Legal Assistance agreement with the EU, and what will happen in the event of any delay between Britain’s exit from the European Union and that agreement coming into force?

79. How does the government plan to replace the current ‘Securing Victims Rights’ scheme for victims of intentional violent crimes to secure compensation for crimes committed in other member states?

80. How does the government plan to maintain the civil justice cooperation measures currently deriving from the Lugano Convention once Britain has left the European Union?

81. Assuming that the ECJ follows the Advocate General’s preliminary finding in the case brought by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on the legality of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, will the government abide by that ruling, and revise the Act accordingly, notwithstanding the Brexit vote?

82. When doesthe UK government intend to enshrine the provisions of the Network and Information Security directive into UK law, and can it confirm that this will take place before Britain leaves the European Union so that there is no difference in the regulation governing UK-based digital service providers when offering services within the UK or in the rest of Europe?

83. Will the government guarantee that future UK data protection standards will be equivalent to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation framework starting in 2018?

Foreign and Defence Policy

84. How does the government intend to maintain the UK’s influence in the development of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) after Britain leaves the European Union?

85. If the UK will have no influence on CFSP post-Brexit, what assessment has the government made of the impact this will have on the UK’s broader influence throughout the world and the government’s ability to pursue its foreign policy objectives?

86. How does the government intend to maintain the UK’s participation in joint operations and initiatives taking place under the umbrella of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) after Britain leaves the European Union?

87. Does the government believe it will still be possible for the UK to retain a leadership role on joint CFSP operations (such as Operation Atalanta against piracy off the Horn of Africa), even after leaving the European Union?

88. Will the UK be obliged to leave the European Defence Agency after leaving the European Union, and if so, what plans does the government have to negotiate an agreement with the EDA enabling the UK to continue participating in its research and technology projects?

89. What assessment has the government made of the risks that, without the UK’s restraining influence, measures that we have long opposed at EU level – such as the establishment of an EU army – are more likely to come to fruition, and how does the government intend to deal with such risks in future?

90. Does the government intend to negotiate continued involvement for the UK in the work and future missions of the European Space Agency, even after Britain leaves the European Union, potentially through securing Associate Member status, similar to Canada’s?

Financial Services and Accounting

91. How does the government plan to ensure that the UK-based banking sector retains passporting 92. If full compliance with EU financial regulation is the price required to retain passporting rights, does the government accept that price, and if so, how does it propose to influence the direction and detail of future regulation at EU level?

93. Specifically, does the government intend to bring domestic legislation on ring-fencing into line with the requirements of the planned Banking Structural Reform regulation, even if the BSR regulation does not come into force until after Brexit?

94. What assessment has the government made of the potential impact on the UK foreign exchange trading sector if the European Central Bank were to succeed in a fresh attempt to bar clearing houses outside the Eurozone from trading the Euro, and does it believe the risk of such a move will be higher once Britain has left the European Union?

95. Will audit thresholds for companies be maintained at their current levels, tightened or relaxed, once Britain leaves the European Union?

96. In particular, is the government considering moving to an American model where audits would only be required for companies whose shares are publicly traded, with private companies only required to face an audit if mandated by their shareholders or debtors?

97. Will the new European Audit Regulation and Directive remain in force, as incorporated into the 2016 Ethical Standard issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), or will the old Ethical Standard be left in place, with oversight by the professional bodies, rather than by the FRC?

98. Does the government intend to negotiate for the UK to remain a participant in the EC Regulation regime (Council Regulation 1346/2000) governing cross-border insolvency?

99. If so, how does the government propose to ensure that the interests of UK-based creditors are not disadvantaged in future negotiations over changes to the regulatory regime for insolvencies in which the UK will have no say, e.g. if France and Italy resume their attempts to bring UK schemes of arrangement within the regime?

100. If not, how does the government propose to retain the benefits for creditors located in the UK of being able simply to recover assets from debtors located in other member states, as they are able to do at present under the terms of the EC Regulation?

Business interests

101. Among the factors that have led dozens of multinational companies to locate their European or global headquarters in the UK in recent decades, what assessment has the government made of the importance of the UK being inside the Single Market?

102. If the UK opts to leave the Single Market, what is the government's plan to persuade those multinational companies to retain their bases in the UK?

103. If the government opts to remain outside of the EEA, and negotiate its own global trade deals, how does it plan to protect the competitiveness of the UK mining and manufacturing sector against punitive tariff regimes imposed by third countries?

104. What is the current status of the bidding process to take over the Tata Steelworks, and what impact is the uncertainty over Britain's post-Brexit future having on that process?

105. Will the government be seeking to negotiate continued membership of the European Chemicals Agency, and if so, how would it ensure that the UK retained influence over its decision-making processes?

106.How will the government go about protecting the brand status of the 77 UK products currently covered by the EU's registration of products under the protected Designation of Origin, Protected Geographical Indication, and Traditional Specialty Guaranteed schemes?

107. Will the government seek to negotiate a competition cooperation agreement with the European Commission to ensure continued collaboration in tackling cartel behaviour and other anticompetitive practices, and if there is any gap between Britain leaving the European Union and this agreement coming into force, what interim arrangements will the government put in place?

108. If UK businesses are still required to abide by EU laws on consumer protection, competition law, etc. in order to keep trading to the EU, how does the government propose to influence the negotiation of these laws to protect the interests of UK businesses, once we have left the EU?

109. Does the government intend – and will it be permitted – to retain the UK’s current shareholding in the European Investment Bank (EIB) after Britain leaves the European Union; how does it believe the UK’s level of borrowing from the EIB will be affected by Brexit, if at all; and what assessment has it made on the impact of any reduction in borrowing from the EIB on levels of infrastructure spending in the UK?

110. Does the government intend to proceed with ratification of the EU agreement to establish a Unified Patent Court, in the agreement’s present form; and if not, what steps is the government taking to negotiate an alternative agreement to which it would be willing to sign up?

11. If the Unified Patent Court (UPC) goes ahead, will the Human Necessities seat of its Central Division continue to be located in London, as prescribed in Article 7(2) of the UPC agreement? Consumer Interests

112. Will the government guarantee that all existing consumer rights protections underpinned by EU legislation will not just be fully transposed into UK law through the ‘Great Repeal Bill’, where they are not already, but will also be retained for the long-term?

113. Will the government also commit to enshrine in law those protections for consumers that currently derive not from EU legislation, but from judgements of the European Court of Justice?

114. How does the government propose to ensure that the protections that UK citizens currently enjoy (on price, faulty products or mis-selling) when purchasing goods and services from businesses located in other member states – including over the Internet – are maintained once Britain leaves the European Union (e.g. the Timeshare Directive)?

115. How does the government propose to ensure that, after Brexit, UK air passengers retain the protections they currently enjoy in respect of ticket pricing, and the right to compensation, alternative transportation, overnight accommodation, etc. in the event of flight delays or cancellations, and will it guarantee reciprocal protection for EU citizens using UK carriers?

116. With data roaming charges within the European Union due to be abolished from 15 June 2017, how does the government propose to ensure that those charges are not re-introduced once Britain leaves the European Union, and will it guarantee reciprocal arrangements for EU citizens using their mobile phone in Britain in order to achieve that?

117. Will the UK continue to benefit from the EU-funded pledges to equip all ‘public places’ throughout the EU with free wireless internet access by 2020, and uninterrupted 5G access on all road and rail networks by 2025, and if not, will the government commit to match and fund the delivery of these objectives itself?

Human Rights

118. Does it remain the government’s intention to scrap the UK’s current Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights?

119. Will this British Bill of Rights give the same human rights protections as are currently guaranteed under the Human Rights Act, and if not, in which areas will it withdraw those protections?

120. Alternatively, is the government prepared to extend the British Bill of Rights to include protections that are covered by the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights (and to which British citizens are therefore currently entitled), but which are not currently covered by the Human Rights Act, for example rights relating to work, such as the right to strike and the right to redress following an unfair dismissal?


121. As part of its Article 50 negotiating strategy, does the government intend to press for continued UK access to the Erasmus programme, including maintaining its funding contribution to the programme, so that e.g. language students in UK schools can continue to benefit from the presence of language assistants on Erasmus exchanges?

122. Similarly, will the government press for continued access to the Erasmus+ programme, so that UK teachers and students at secondary school and higher education level can continue to benefit from programmes facilitating the promotion of mobility, the learning of languages and intercultural understanding across Europe, including Comenius exchanges?

123. And will the government press for continued access to the Horizon 2020 programme, so that UK universities can stay at the top of the list across Europe for the allocation of research and innovation grants, and continue to work in collaboration with their counterparts in other European universities?

124. If the government intends to press for continued participation in these programmes, but also intends to end freedom of movement between the EU and the UK, how does it propose to avoid the fate of Switzerland, who had their access to Erasmus revoked in 2014 after imposing immigration controls?

125. Alternatively, if the government does not intend to press for continued participation in these programmes, or is unsuccessful in doing so, how does it intend to make up for the considerable shortfall in funding that will result for the education and research sectors beyond 2020?

126. What assessment has the government made of the impact of the uncertainty over future EU funding streams, particularly in the research sector, on the long-term planning of UK universities, and on their current access to collaborative research partnerships with other EU universities?

127. What will be the future migration status of EU citizens applying to study at British universities, and will this differ from the status of individuals from elsewhere in the world applying to come to the UK as students?

128. Will EU citizens applying to study at British universities from the start of the 2017/18 or 2018/19 academic years have the terms of their student status (e.g. their rates of tuition fees and their access to student loans) guaranteed for the duration of their course from the point at which they are accepted, or will they risk these terms being changed in the middle of their course?

129. What assessment has the government made of the impact of the uncertainty over the future status of EU students on levels of applications to UK universities for the 2017/18 academic year and beyond?

130. What will be the future migration status of academic professionals from other EU member states who wish to apply for academic posts at UK universities, and of academic professionals from the UK who wish to do likewise elsewhere in Europe, including in terms of the mutual recognition and quality assurance of qualifications?


131. Will the government seek to negotiate post-Brexit reciprocal healthcare arrangements with other EU countries, where British citizens can continue to obtain free healthcare when travelling on the continent, and citizens from other member states can do likewise in the UK via the NHS?

132. If the government does seek to negotiate such an arrangement, but there is a delay between leaving the European Union and securing a long-term deal, what interim arrangements will apply, both for British citizens visiting other European countries and EU citizens visiting the UK?

133. In either event, if there is a short-term or permanent loss of reciprocal healthcare arrangements after Britain leaves the European Union, how will the government address the inevitable increase in health and travel insurance costs for UK holidaymakers travelling to Europe?

134. Similarly, in either event, can the government confirm that any future loss of reciprocal healthcare arrangements will have no effect on UK citizens who will be living elsewhere in Europe at the point Britain leaves the EU, or EU citizens living and working in Britain, and that their respective rights to free healthcare will be totally unaffected?

135. Will the government guarantee that the Working Time Directive will continue to operate in its current form for all NHS employees, even after Britain has left the European Union?

136. What assessment has the government made of the impact on the staffing of the medical and social care professions once its proposed new system of migration controls is imposed on medical professionals from other EU countries seeking work in Britain, and will it publish that assessment?

137. Given the potential significance of that impact, will the government consider establishing special arrangements for the NHS within its new system of controls on EU migration?

138. Will the government guarantee that the UK will continue to be involved in all current and future EU-led collaborations on Pan-European public health initiatives, including infectious disease control and cooperation against bio-terrorism?

139. Will the government guarantee that the UK will continue to participate in the centralisedmarketing authorisation procedure for the licensing, sale and regulation of medicines governedby the European Medicines Agency?140. Can the government confirm whether the aforementioned European Medicines Agency willcontinue to remain headquartered in London?

141. Will the government seek to negotiate continued access for UK research institutions to the Innovative Medicines Initiative and other EU-funded research and collaboration programmes, both to safeguard the funding streams they provide and to continue bringing together institutions from different EU countries together to pool their expertise and research?

142. To that end, will the government also guarantee that the UK will continue to adhere to the EU regulatory framework on the authorisation and conduct of clinical trials?

143. If the government does not secure this access, how does it intend to make up for the considerable shortfall in funding that will result for the medical research sectors beyond 2020, and for losing the current benefits of cross-border collaboration?


144. Will the government guarantee the full and prompt enactment of the European Accessibility Act into UK law, so that its provisions in respect of access to computers, phones, ATM and ticketing machines, e-books and television equipment are fully in force before Britain leaves the EU?

145. Will the government guarantee that all existing anti-discrimination rights for disabled people underpinned by EU legislation will not just be fully transposed into UK law through the ‘Great Repeal Bill’, where they are not already, but will also be retained for the long-term?

146. Will the government also commit to enshrine in law those protections for disabled people against discrimination that currently derive not from EU legislation, but from judgements of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, including the latter’s rulings on the government’s bedroom tax?

147. Will the government guarantee to make up any post-2020 shortfall in funding aimed at promoting accessibility, inclusion and employment opportunities for disabled people that will arise when Britain leaves the European Union?

148. Will the government also guarantee that accessibility for disabled people remains a clear and stringent part of the qualifying criteria for the grants deriving from any new funding system that replaces the ERDF and ESDF programmes after Britain leaves the European Union


149. Will the government commit to push for the UK to retain its membership of the Creative Europe programme, even after Britain leaves the European Union, so that our cultural institutions can continue to benefit from the funding and cross-border collaboration it offers?

150. As part of the above, will the government encourage those British cities who were intending to compete for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2023 (including Dundee, Leeds and Milton Keynes) to press ahead with the preparation of their bids in the knowledge that the UK will still take part in the scheme?

151. If the UK is no longer part of Creative Europe post-Brexit, how does the government intend to make up the shortfall in funding post-2020 for cultural institutions and initiatives in the UK?

152. Will the government seek access to the Digital Single Market (DSM) as part of any agreement on Britain’s future outside the European Union?

153. If it does not do so, or is unsuccessful, how does the government plan: (i) to manage the risk that films and television programmes which would otherwise have been made in Britain may be relocated to other member states to stay within the provisions of the DSM; and (ii) to deliver the benefit for UK digital subscribers of being able to access the same online content and services wherever they travel in Europe?

154. Following Britain’s departure from the EU, will football players with European passports be subject to the same work permit rules as currently apply to all other overseas players; will FIFA’s Article 19 ban on the international transfer of football players under the age of 18 be extended to transfers of European players by UK clubs; and if so, what assessment has the government made of the impact of these restrictions on the future competitiveness of UK football teams?


155. How does the government propose to protect the continued ability of the UK rail, aviation and maritime industries to operate freely within the rest of the EU?

156. In the area of aviation, if this requires the negotiation of free access to the European Common Aviation Area, how will the government ensure there is no delay between Britain leaving the European Union and such agreements being reached?

157. Given that the UK’s ‘Future Airspace Strategy’ was developed (in concert with the Irish Republic) to implement the objectives of the ‘Single European Sky’ project, will the government remain committed to implementing that strategy even after Britain leaves the European Union?

158. How does the government plan to make up for any shortfall in investment in the rail network arising from the loss of direct EU funding or loans from the European Investment Bank?

159. Will the government commit to maintain the Common Vehicle Standards currently in operation across the EU to ensure road vehicles may continue to travel or be sold between owners in different member states without being subject to further inspections?


160. Will the UK’s VAT system post-Brexit continue to be broadly governed by the tenets of the EU VAT Directives, e.g. in terms of the number of VAT rates each country may set, the scope and incidence of VAT, etc., or will the government take the opportunity to reform the current system to a more bespoke British model?

161. Likewise, will other taxes governed by EU directives (e.g. alcohol and tobacco duties, capital duties, etc.) remain constructed largely as they are at present, or will the government move towards systems of taxation in each area better tailored towards the interests of UK businesses and the Exchequer?

162. Where, in different areas, the European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of taxpayers in disputes with the UK authorities over their tax rulings, finding them to be incompatible with EU law, what will happen in future when taxpayers seek to rely on those ECJ judgements; will we revert to a position where the authorities’ original rulings take precedence?

Parliamentary accountability

163. Does the government accept that nowhere in the referendum question put to the British people on 23 June 2016, was it clearly laid out what agreement the government would be seeking to reach on Britain’s future relationship with the EU in the event of a Brexit vote?

164. Does the government further accept that – looking at the detail of what was promised by the ‘Leave’ campaign in the run-up to that referendum about the consequences of a Brexit vote (e.g. a points-based immigration system, extra funding for the NHS, etc.) – all those promises have been abandoned by the current government?

165. Does the government therefore accept that – while there is a clear democratic mandate from the British people to leave the European Union, which must be followed – there is no mandate whatsoever for the specific ‘plan’ it is developing for Britain’s post-Brexit future?

166. What therefore is the government’s objection to the proposal to hold a Parliamentary debate and vote on that plan before the Article 50 negotiations are triggered, so that the public’s elected representatives have a chance to approve that plan before it is put into action?

167. And similarly, will the government commit not just to consult the devolved administrations, the devolved territories and the Mayor of London, but to seek their approval and consent to the detail of its proposed negotiating plan?

On the matter of the ‘Great Repeal Bill’, can you answer the following questions:

168. Given that many areas of EU law are policed and enforced by the relevant EU regulators, and that the government surely does not intend that they would retain that regulatory function within the UK post-Brexit, who will be responsible for the regulation of relevant laws contained in the Bill, for as long as they remain in existence?

169. At present, if the UK courts are required to interpret the meaning of an EU directive, they may ask the ECJ for a preliminary ruling to guide them; if all such EU regulations are maintained – at least for an interim period – after Brexit, will the UK courts continue to follow the ECJ’s rulings as to what the underlying directive means, and if not, who will provide that interpretation?

170. Since the government is proposing to convert many important protections currently guaranteed in EU law into statutory instruments (SIs) within UK legislation, can the government guarantee that any future effort to repeal these protections will not simply be made through secondary legislation, but subject to the proper parliamentary scrutiny and debate that they deserve?

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Councillor urges residents to speak up over services

A Labour County Councillor has urged residents to speak up over budget cuts of £67million to the county’s budget. Last week it was revealed that Warwickshire County Council had been told that it had to make cuts of £67million by 2020.

In response to the future cuts the council invited residents across the county to have their say on their local services.The public events,‘Let’s Talk’ were held over the last two weeks in Rugby, Warwick and Leamington.

Warwick Town Councillor, John Holland, who was at the town’s event last Saturday, said the roadshow was well attended. He said: “It was a good idea to invite residents and clearly there was a lot of public interest, which was great, but in more ways it was a miserable day for Warwick because of the threat of the cuts ahead of us.”

As well as the roadshow, the council also launched an online budget calculator, which allows people to “adjust the budget and also shows the impact their spending decisions would have on their local services”. Cllr Holland is urging the county’s residents to have their say on their local services. He said: “People need to step up and say they do not want their services reduced. They should take part in the consultation and find a way of saying they do not want their service taken away. “It would be inevitable for every service provided by the county council to be under threat because the local reduction is so great and quite unprecedented.”

Over the next few months the county will need to identify where it can make the £67million worth of cuts in the next three years.

In a public statement, leader of the county council, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said the massive cuts had come from “reductions in Government grant, inflation and additional demographic pressures”.

According to the council all comments and feedback received from the public events will “help to shape and inform the county council’s budget setting process”.

A spokesman for Warwickshire County Council said: “Our ‘Let’s Talk’ events have been well attended and hundreds of people have been giving their feedback. There has been a very positive response from everybody.” The findings gathered from resident’s comments will be presented to the council’s cabinet in December with the final budget being set in February.

Residents who still want to have their say but missed the roadshow can email their views up until October 21 to


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Labour Response to Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn’s response to Theresa May’s speech at Conservative Party Conference 2016.
"Conservative Party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures.
“Drawing up lists of foreign workers won’t stop unscrupulous employers undercutting wages in Britain. Shutting the door to international students won’t pay young people’s tuition fee debts, and ditching doctors from abroad won’t cut NHS waiting lists.
“The Conservatives will instead foster division and discrimination in our workplaces and communities.
“Once again, they are making false promises on immigration they can’t deliver. Instead of turning people against each other, ministers should take action now to deal with the real impact of migration.
“They should stop the abuse of migrant labour to undercut pay and conditions, which would reduce numbers. They should support communities with high levels of migration and they should set out a positive agenda for fair migration rules as part of the Brexit negotiations for a new relationship with the European Union."
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Education not Segregation - Say no to new grammar schools



County says no to new grammar schools

New grammar schools have been officially opposed by county councillors after they debated the idea in a meeting last week. Warwickshire County Council voted to pass the Labour-led motion by 28 votes to 25.

The majority of opponents to the motion came from the Conservatives, who were more supportive of the Government’s plan to create new grammar schools. After the meeting, Cllr Matt Western (Lab, Leamington Willes) said: “Warwickshire is proud of its existing good schools and we argue that any additional grammar schools would be to the detriment of the current schools network. “This is not just our view but one endorsed by both the former Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan and more importantly by Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former Head of OFSTED.

“Even David Cameron was against their re-introduction. Virtually all education professionals oppose the expansion of grammar schools stating that, far from increasing social mobility, they undermine the quality of existing secondary schools and improving life chances across the board.”

Cllr Western also met up with the Shadow Minister for Education Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool this week. She will now be sent a dossier about Warwickshire’s schools. He added: “The shadow minister was delighted to hear that Warwickshire County Council has formally voted against grammar schools. “We will work with Angela Rayner to oppose this policy. Warwickshire has a proud record that we do not want to see destroyed.”

Read more at:

SAM JACKSON-28 September 2016 0


In addition to this outcome - We are specifically campaigning for the restoration of Further Education EMA grants/allowances which assist young people who are in F.E.  These grants are often a vital financial boost for those in FE who have significant shortfalls of income and which would deny them an opportunity of study.

It is imperative to state that we are not campaigning about the existence of current grammar schools, but rather the expansion of NEW grammar schools and the re-entrenchment of Selection at a very young age.  We believe that this is toxic and can stunt a child's opportunity to learn. It tells a clever child they are stupid, it takes no understanding of learning styles, strips a child of self-esteem and embeds inequality.  

A good education is every child’s right. It is not a privilege reserved for a gifted few. 

Educational experts, teachers have expressed that they do not support the expansion of New Grammars but instead say an inclusive education with streaming for the gifted is a preference.  Even former Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron said that rejecting the grammars debate was a “key test”.

"Teachers are “almost unanimous” in rejecting government proposals to lift the ban on new grammar schools, according to research by The Fair Education Alliance (FEA), which found four in five opposed the plans.

The survey of more than 2,500 teachers, school leaders and heads also revealed that 80 per cent of the profession did not believe that the 11-plus test, taken to get into selective schools, could reliably measure long term academic potential."

After talking to teachers at Ashlawn School - they confirmed that many who passed the entrance test for their grammar stream are pipped at the post by those who found their academic feet later in their school career.  Ashlawn school is Bi-lateral meaning they take both Special Educational needs students, 11+ pass and failures and use streaming to stretch kids as they progress.  

The results are excellent - and compare very favourably with recognised 'classical' grammar schools in the country.

When the Inspectorate for British schools announces that May's plan for grammar schools will set British education back by 20 years - its a sign we should listen to the experts...

"We will fail as a nation if only the top 15-20% of children achieve well in school, a prospect made more likely by the expansion of grammar schools", the chief inspector of schools says.

In the interview below: Sir Michael Wilshaw tells Sarah Montague he fears that increasing grammar schools would lead to the creation of secondary moderns, which would prevent the UK's education system from competing globally.


Please sign the petition.


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Radio 4 Any Questions invite

Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, will be hosting Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions?’ radio programme on Friday 16th September 2016.
We would like to invite members of local political parties to attend and participate in the recording of this programme, and are able to reserve a limited number of tickets for your party.
Tickets for this event are free, and are available from Warwick Business School Reception at:
Warwick Business School
Scarman Road
University of Warwick
The event is open to all members of the public over the age of 14.
If you have any queries regarding the event or programme, please do not hesitate to contact me on the number below.
Yours faithfully,
Eleanor Bowering
02476 573627
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Houlton - update: Link Road significantly ahead of schedule

Quick Update for Rugby Residents regarding Houlton:  (Thanks to Johanna at Urban and Civic for the information)


  • First primary school opens in September 2017 – well ahead of the 200 home section 106 trigger.  Urban and Civic will have built roughly 40-50 homes by the time the school opens.


  • Urban and Civic have secured funding to deliver the Link Road significantly ahead of schedule.  The link road connects the development (and first phase) with Butlers Leap and is intended to encourage people at Houlton to use Rugby town centre and also to relieve pressure on the A428 and other routes into town. In section 106 terms (planning) this road didn’t need to go in until the 1750th home is built but we are now delivering this by the end of 2018 – some 5-7 years ahead of schedule. This has been received positively locally as there will only be c. 150-200 homes built by then. This is a huge story for Hillmorton and we are keen that people know this as it will make a big difference to the impact on Hillmorton. I know again, this doesn’t take account of other development in this part of Rugby but I would be keen for people to know that we have secured this investment to deliver this road early and that infrastructure is going in early at Houlton.


  • There are also mitigation (to be clarified - Jim) plans for junctions along the A428 as part of the section 106 at Watts Lane, Paddox pub junction and Kilsby Lane.

The timescale for the delivery of these (by the 800th home in the s.106) did used to frustrate people but that was when they also didn’t think the link road was going in until 1750th home. The link road changes all of that now hence my keenness to make sure that news is known locally.   


  • We are delivering the offset footway and cycleway along the A428 connecting DIRFT to Hillmorton early in response to local concern on the safety along that stretch of road. This will be open by the end of October this year.


  • We are working with the NHS to bring early GP provision on to the site. Current section 106 trigger sees an 8 GP health centre delivered at Houlton (with more than enough capacity for the whole development) but that doesn’t have to be delivered until halfway through the development.
  • We have been working with the NHS to explore earlier provision as soon as possible. They have stated circa 2018 as a date at which they see enough residents to warrant a small GP offer. This again is about 7-8 years ahead of planning trigger and this will feature in our first Local Centre at Houlton.


  • Additional provision coming forward from day one are green spaces, natural play and opening up of Normandy Hill as a recreational space.
  • A Visitors Centre, community centre and café. All of these will be open by the end of this year – before any homes are built.


  • Housebuilding begins at the end of this month/early September.


Hope this information is helpful - and goes towards relieving people's concerns about sustainable and sensitive development.  

Thanks to Jo for the information.


Jim Ellis

Rugby East Labour Party


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Sun Shines with Labour Cllrs Webb & Edwards in Brownsover

10:31Monday 15 August 2016

Brownsover residents enjoyed fun in the fun when their first community day was held. Families flocked to the Hollowell Way play area last Friday to enjoy a number of different activities. 


 Cllrs Webb(s) and Cllr Claire Edwards have some Fun in Brownsover.

There were bouncy castles funded by Brownsover Community Association, games, music, face-painting and delicious food and drink. Local groups and organisations took part in the event to let people know what’s on offer in the area.

Jennifer McCabe, community development worker (Rugby) Localities & Partnerships, ​Warwickshire County Council, said: “Warwickshire Police brought along a car and pieces of uniform for kids to try on, the Queen Diamond Jubilee Centre and On Track provided sports activities and there was a dance contest for youngsters - and some grown-ups! “

It was great to see so many people out enjoying themselves and they showed what a close-knit and thriving community Brownsover is.” She added: “There was real interest on the day for this event to be repeated every year and it would be great if this happened.”

If anyone from Brownsover has any ideas about next year or would like to get involved, email

Read more at:

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Leadership Debates LIVE

Dear Member - 

Labour is a broad church - we have people who know where they stand and those, who, are undecided.

Wherever you are in the debate, we hope you will listen to both parties to arrive at a respectful, informed position to make the right decision for the party, members & voters which of course leads to and defines our electability, ultimately taking our arguments forward to battle the Tories.

Our CLP is co-operative with and supportive of its members, respectful of individual perspectives, its candidates and its Councillors.  

We are a team.

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Labours Cllr Ramesh Srivastava works toward helping Rugby's unemployed

Donation will help unemployed people

Benn Partnership has received a further grant from Rugby Benevolent Fund to help fund the Beyond Recession Project for another year. The project, which supports Rugby’s unemployed, is in its sixth year and has been supported by Rugby Benevolent Fund, a charity supported by cement manufacturing firm Cemex UK, since it started.


Pictured are BPC trustee Cllr Ramesh Srivastava (left) with Rebekka Clarkson (BPC Centre Manager) receiving the cheque for £16,050 from Ian Southcott, Cemex UK Community Affairs Manager.

The Beyond Recession Project aims to support the unemployed with job planning and also helps them to understand how changes to benefits rules will affect them. It also helps people get back into work.

Read more at:

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Cooperating is key to Paddox crossing

Since we are £192 million pounds in debt in Warks due to successive Conservative budget cuts – it seems that we are unable to fund traffic safety at the paddox junction.


It turns out that a Crossing can cost an eye watering £65,000.


I applaud the Greens for re-emphasising and calling for it again though – so credit to them – it is an issue both they and I share. Indeed – it was one of the main reasons on that very spot that I ran for local Council in May since my own son runs the gauntlet at that spot every day.

However – just because it is expensive to install a crossing – it isnt the only solution and it certainly isnt possible for the unelected to push this issue other than writing to the local paper.


However take this example of co-operation between Labour councillors in Newbold. They faced an issue when Avon valley school kids were dodging traffic. Since they were equally short of a few bob – they combined budgets to afford one crossing.

The whole highway safety budget for Warwickshire covering five districts the size of Rugby amounts to £2M and is spread between 62 councillors, each allotted a budget of £32,258. A puffin crossing costs £65,000. They co-operated combined their budgets and made sure the kids were safe on a busy road.


Now – we dont have Labour councillors in Hillmorton and Paddox – but we do have Liberal County Councillors in Hillmorton. I ask respectfully - Can they not follow the same co-oeprative policy of combining their budgets to produce a similar solution?

Combining budgets allows for the £65K we require for a crossing – but if this is beyond capacity – I offer the cheaper solution of employing a 'lollipop' man.

For those interested – the ongoing associated costs are only in the region of £4000 a year.

I'm sure one childs life is worth £4000?


Infact I'd advocate that a childs life is worth more than the budget cuts of £192 million that we are currently enduring in Warwickshire.

Further info:

Jim Ellis

Labour – Rugby East

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Leadership Debates 2016

Choose Labour’s next Prime Minister

Over the coming weeks and months Labour members and supporters will choose our candidate for next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

During the leadership election the two candidates will take part in a series of live debates organised by the Labour Party and media organisations. You will be able to watch the Labour Party debates live on this page – on your computer, smart phone, ipad and TV.

Unlike previous contests, these events will be available for everyone to watch.  No matter where you are in the country you’ll be able to hear what the candidates have to say as the debates happen.

The first Leadership debate will take place in:

  • Cardiff: 7pm to 9.30pm Thursday 4 August

  • Nottinghamshire: Wednesday 17 August - BBC

  • Birmingham: Thursday 18 August

  • Glasgow: Thursday 25 August

  • London: Thursday 1 September - Guardian


More information and to submit a question via this link:

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Brownsover Community Day

Cllr Kieren Brown: "Proud to be at the Brownsover Community Day today. Great to be with the people and pleased to see that they are looking to go from strength to strength with these types of projects!"


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Houlton - Progress report

Houlton is progressing - they have also updated their website:

In addition to this they have also released an ariel image showing progress. You can see the roads forming and connecting too.

There will be an alignment of the A428 with a new junction and Roundabout. Temporary Lights will be in place until beginning of September.

If you don't know already the town is being named Houlton because of where the radio masts first broadcast.


 Looking at the first homes - if the brochure is anything to go by - they are large Executive style homes.  Prices are unsurprisingly expensive for local residents and whilst the development may include cheaper homes in the future - current prices are:

A two bedroom home starts at £200,000
A three bedroom home starts at £320,000
A four bedroom home starts at £435,000
A five bedroom home is £523 - 600,000

Which for most people in rugby may prove exclusive.

They will be aiming for:

  • 6,200 new homes
  • 500 Acres of open space
  • New Secondary school - (chance of Ashlawn II)
  • 8 GP Health Centre
  • 3 Primary Schools
  • 3 Local centres and a District centre
  • Grade II renovation of Heritage Building.
  • New link road to Rugby
  • 13,850 meters of footpaths
  • Community facilities
  • Network of cycle paths
  • Natural play

From their spiel:

"What you see today is only the beginning of your journey, as well as ours. 6,200 homes will be created in the verdant Warwickshire countryside with new schools and an excellent location. Set within 1,200 acres of beautiful open space, this is an unspoiled, super-connected place with a rich history and an exciting future.


The first homes at Houlton will be built in summer 2016 and by spring 2017, our first residents will move in to their new homes. Our carefully selected housebuilders build quality homes that look good and fit well into the beautiful countryside setting at Houlton.


Example of house style from Urban & Civic.


This is one of the most well-connected places in the country, and from Rugby you can reach 80% of the country within 4 hours. So whether it’s visiting family, weekends away or the daily commute – you couldn’t be in a better place.


The development is being brought forward by Urban&Civic in partnership with Aviva Investors and partners – combining long term investment with experience of delivering largescale communities across the country.


We are proud of our track record for community engagement in Rugby. Local Parish Councils, community groups, elected members and neighbouring residents are amongst our wider network of partners. They come with us on the journey and help steer us in creating a place that truly fits with Rugby and its existing communities.



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Candidates Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn

Dear Member,
Today the Procedures Committee, established by the Labour Party National Executive Committee, declared that the following would be candidates in the 2016 Leadership election: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Owen Smith MP.
Applications to become a Registered Supporter of the Labour Party and vote in the 2016 Leadership Contest closed at 5.00pm today.
Ballots will be dispatched in the period from 22 August until 12 September. Members will receive ballots via post and email. Registered and affiliated supporters will receive ballots via email. The balloting period will close at 12 noon on 21 September.
For members whose subscription is in arrears, the deadline for renewal is noon on 8 August. If your membership is in arrears, you can renew here.
Registration for the Leadership Conference at which the results will be declared will open at in the coming weeks.
Data Protection
We thought it would be useful to remind everyone that the Labour Party National Executive Committee has set strict guidelines regarding the use of data by candidates in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner.
Here is what you can expect from the Labour Party.
The Labour Party does not sell or give personal data to third parties. However, during the Leadership contest you may get phone calls from the candidates and direct mail in accordance with the procedures set out by the National Executive Committee. The national Labour Party will be sending emails on behalf of the candidates.
If you think you are receiving unsolicited communications from people or organisations who shouldn't have your data, then there are some simple steps you can take.
Ask them exactly who they are and where they got your data.
Tell them to stop contacting you by phone or email (or both).
If you believe they have unauthorised access to your Labour Party data let us know by emailing
with 'Personal Data Query' as the subject line and giving as much detail as you can.
Finally, you should also complain to the Information Commissioner if you believe someone is misusing or has unauthorised access to your data.
for more information.
The Labour Party does issue a range of communications - nationally, locally and from elected representatives at every level. We hope that these communications will help people get the most of their membership. But we are committed to stamping out nuisance calls and emails.
For more information about the 2016 Leadership Election visit:
Yours sincerely
Iain McNicol
General Secretary
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Ashlawn School Expansion

*** news from Ashlawn ***


At last we have received exciting news from the DFE. Our bid to open an additional school has been accepted and we can now move forward into a pre-opening phase. 

We have issued a press release to that effect which you can find on the web site 

As soon as I have any concrete information about site or admissions I will update you all again. I do not expect that we will know much more until we return in September. 

In the mean-time please spread the word and encourage friends and family who are interested in receiving information directly to visit the web site and sign up. 

Thank you for your support and patience so far. I look forward to sharing more details of our plans through out the coming year. 

Kindest Regards

April Gold

Deputy Head Teacher (Partnerships)

Ashlawn School

Ashlawn Road


CV22 5ET

01788 573425


----------------- Update  ----------------


The bid was for 180 year 7 students in Sept 2017, growing by 180 each year until we are fully populated including sixth form so it will be a 7 year rolling growth plan.

The site is still undecided. The EFA will now begin to discuss with us possibilities.

Regarding potential sites I would welcome your local knowledge. We suggested the Bishop Wulstan fields, but the Rugby Free Secondary School are now going there, and the Radio Station as potential spots to the EFA. There may be other pieces of land designated in the past for educational use or 106 agreements that can be called in which they will look at also.

I will keep you updated as soon as I know anything.  (With thanks to April Gold - Deputy Head)

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A message from Neena Gill Labour MEP

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you following the disappointing result of the EU Referendum.

Before I talk about what is next for Britain I want to say a huge Thank You. I really appreciate the help of everyone from across the region who attended rallies, phoned voters, knocked doors, delivered leaflets and even had conversations at the pub. I hope that all of you who volunteered, many of whom came out for the first time, are not too disheartened by the result and will work with your local parties in future to get a Labour Government and more Local authorities. This referendum was close and we must now make sure the voice of the 48% are not ignored.

But the decision has been made and Britain is taking a leap in the unknown. The shock-waves have been felt across the globe, but in the UK it’s like a tsunami. We have seen the pound collapse to a 31 year low against the dollar and a fall against the euro. $3 trillion was wiped off the global stock market in 2 days after June 23rd. We went from being the 5th largest economy in the world to the 6th overnight.  For many of us the summer holidays have just got a lot more expensive and with consumer confidence so low - there are real worries of a recession in early 2017.

The disappointment in losing the referendum nationally was made harder because the results fared no better in the West Midlands. Looking at the results from across the region they followed the national trend; more economically deprived areas voted in higher numbers to leave. It was an extremely disappointing but not unsurprising result.

It's becoming clear to many who voted leave that they were made false promises and were told half-truths. Understandably the public is very angry. The leaders of the leave campaign are playing a game of hot potato and the Conservative leadership have absolutely no plan. It appears we will continue in limbo until we have a new Prime Minister. This simply isn't good enough - the people of Britain deserve to know what's next. 

The Labour Party must come together now to ensure that all the issues raised in the campaign are not ignored.  In these times of uncertainty it is important that the Labour Party remain united in their fight for social justice. Sadly, Britain seems to have lost its tolerance and harmony - I utterly condemn this sharp rise in racist attacks.  It’s important that Labour politicians and members up and down the count take initiative and counter this.
It is now time to think about how we will navigate through this period of transition. MEPs are likely continue to work until article 50 has been invoked and for up to 2 years after that. We will therefore continue to make sure we get the best deal for British people and the West Midlands. 

I hope you are able to take a break from political turmoil and have an an enjoyable summer. I will be in touch in the Autumn with further updates.

Warm Regards


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Rugby Labour Newsletters

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Labour In for Britain: Ed and Harriet in Birmingham

Join Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman in Birmingham tomorrow 

As Polling Day approaches join Ed and Harriet as they make the case for all of us to Vote Remain


As we enter the last few days of the Referendum campaign it is as vital as ever that Labour voters hear the positive case for voting to Remain in the European Union from the Labour Party. 

As part of this Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman will be coming to Birmingham tomorrow afternoon for an event at 3pm to make the case for why we are all better off voting to Remain in the EU.

If you would like to attend please RSVP on our website here.

Once you have RSVP'd we will send you the venue details.

Don't delay, places are limited so please RSVP immediately if you would like to attend!


 West Midlands Labour IN for Britain





Reproduced from an email sent by West Midlands Labour. Promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of the Labour Party both at The Labour Party, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT.

To unsubscribe, please click here. Privacy: we won't pass on your email address to anyone else. See

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Save Oakfield update: 11am 18th June

Today Local Councillors had an opportunity to do what they do best: Support our local community in the issues that matter to them.  Labour Councillors Steve Birkett, Maggie O'Rourke, Ish Mistry and new Councillor Kieren Brown offered their support to the Save Oakfield community campaign. 

Maggie O'Rouke who has been involved from the outset gave interviews to Rugby FM!  

Today saw a great turn out of over 100+ people who chanted Save OakField!!  

The protesters then formed a Human chain to show their community solidarity with the hope that the Co-op will live by its ethos of being at the heart of the community and listen to them in their wish; To Save Oakfield.  This has been a long fought campaign by the community supported every step of the way by Maggie, Ish and Steve...










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