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Dawn Primarolo MP's response to constituents regarding the  vote on Palestinian Statehood.

"Thank you for your recent email regarding the debate and vote on Palestinian Statehood which took place last night in the House of Commons. It is to the credit of my Labour colleague Grahame Morris MP that he secured the debate and successful mobilised public support for this issue.

As you are probably aware as one of the Deputy Speakers I do not participate in divisions of the House, however I am on record as strongly supporting Palestinian Statehood.

In the vote there was a majority of 262 for the motion, taking what Grahame Morris described as the “small but symbolically important” step of recognising the Palestinian right to Statehood. I was very pleased that Ed Miliband was one of the very many Labour MPs who voted in favour, although clearly there is now considerably cross Party support for this issue. Douglas Alexander MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, has written an article regarding Labour policy which is available here.

I was in the Chair for much of the debate and there were excellent contributions from across the House. It is clear to me that the recent Israeli actions in Gaza and the annexation of further land on the West Bank contributed to the strength of feelings expressed. MPs with strong ties to Israel expressed their deep concerns about these actions and voted accordingly.

You may have seen media reports of the Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo in which over $5 billion in aid was pledged to provide emergency relief, rebuild Gaza and boost economic activity. However there must be progress towards a permanent peace if the cycle of violence is not to be perpetuated. In my recent talks with Palestinian MPs they reiterated that their position that the framework for negotiations should be a two state solution based on 1967 borders as envisaged by UN Resolution 242.

It should be clear to all sides that now is the opportunity to return to the negotiating table and restart talks which will hopefully result in the peace the region so desperately needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue."

Vote on Palestinian Statehood

Dawn Primarolo MP's response to constituents regarding the  vote on Palestinian Statehood. "Thank you for your recent email regarding the debate and vote on Palestinian Statehood which took place last...

Reacting to the announcement of the publication of the Initial Programme for Bristol 2015 Dawn Primarolo said:

 

“For Bristol 2015 to be a success there needs to be a genuine legacy for Bristol. Solar powered balloons and street parties are great fun and will grab the headlines, but much more important for the long term is the proposed Bristol Energy Supply Company.

 

“Over the last few months I have offered my full support for the plans, which have the potential to offer local business, schools and residents a sustainable local alternative to the Big 6 energy companies.

 

“We should be hearing a great deal more about this in the coming months.

 

Local community and voluntary groups still have until Friday 17th October to apply for the first phase of the Bristol 2015 Small Grants Fund. Up to £10,000 is available for projects which encourage sustainable living, with a very broad criteria.

 

“I am very pleased that applications for the Small Grants Fund are particularly welcomed from groups that have been previously involved in Bristol 2015. It is vital that every community in Bristol feels involved,” said Dawn.

Bristol 2015 – Dawn welcomes plans for Bristol Energy Company

Reacting to the announcement of the publication of the Initial Programme for Bristol 2015 Dawn Primarolo said:   “For Bristol 2015 to be a success there needs to be a...

When the idea of striking over pay this autumn was first muted I was not in support and was going to vote no in my Union's ballot.  I don’t believe the government will listen and thought our time and energy was better spent on making the public aware of the pressures in the service and pressure on staff at all levels. Then on August 6th, while many of the overwhelmingly female staff may have been enjoying a summer holiday with family and the press were not looking, Danny Alexander Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced he was not going to ask the independent pay review body to make any recommendations on next year’s pay.  It is the death knell of the independent pay review body, set up by Margaret Thatcher to take pay negotiations out of politics!

 

Why has he done this? Pay for the 1.4m employees of the NHS is fully budgeted.  The framework for most employees pay, Agenda for Change, needs review but it keeps a cap on the pay bill.  Walking away from this allows the wage bill to spiral out of control downward for most and upward for some.  Those on minimum wages, frontline nurses, physiotherapist, and ambulance crews, those on lower pay bands will see wages fall further relative to 2008 levels.

Those in more senior roles will start to negotiate bigger packages.  It is yet another free for all market.  Is that how we want to motivate and reward people who treat us at our most vulnerable?

 

Agenda for Change makes NHS staff unattractive to private sector take overs.  That is why Danny Alexander is using the cloak of austerity to make his announcement in the summer holidays.

 

That is why I will be joining my union, Managers in Partnership, part of Unison on strike on Monday morning.

 

The campaign is not just about individual’s pay –  it is also about ensuring the NHS has pay that can continue to recruit, retain and motivate our dedicated, high quality workforce.

 

All health unions support the campaign. The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, Royal College of Midwives (for the first time in its 133 year history), UNISON, Unite and GMB are taking industrial action. Others are still balloting and the rest are supporting the campaign in other ways.

 

The industrial action programme has been designed to allow dedicated healthcare staff to register the sort of protest of which politicians, employers and the media take note, while keeping disruption to patients to a minimum.

 

The industrial action is part of a wider campaign for fair pay. For example, health unions are lobbying Conservative and Lib Dem MPs to ask them to put pressure on the government and Jeremy Hunt to resolve the dispute.

 

The unions are ready to talk about seven day working, productivity and implementing the existing agreement on incremental pay progression.

 

NHS staff have, like many other employees, had a pay freeze now for 5 years as well as increased workload due to staff reductions.  Staff have more than done their bit for austerity.  

 

I don’t expect many people will strike.  People cannot afford to lose more pay and are weary.  I hope the public can express support for staff this week and please put pressure on Tory and Liberal MPs not to further disrupt the NHS by abandoning the independent review body.

Why I'm on strike

When the idea of striking over pay this autumn was first muted I was not in support and was going to vote no in my Union's ballot.  I don’t believe the...

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