Matrina Yannoukadakis MEP reports back from Brussels
Tackling FGM at home and abroad
Marina Yannakoudakis London MEP kicked off the New Year by meeting with the Orchid Project to discuss the brilliant work they do to help eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by partnering projects in Africa. Greater awareness of FGM is desperately needed.
Charities such as the Orchid Project can offer great insights into how to tackle FGM. Thousands of women and girls in London are currently at risk.
Marina is planning conferences to help raise this issue both in London and Brussels. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raising awareness of allergies
Marina participated in a skin prick test in support of her written declaration on allergies this month. The event sought to highlight the prevalence of allergies and encourage people to get tested. An estimated 21 million British adults suffer from one or more allergies. The UK has one of the highest incident rates for allergies in the world and the NHS spends nearly £1 billion a year on treating them. Marina will continue to raise awareness of this issue and fight for better treatment.
You can read more about Marina’s work in Brussels here
Conservative Councillor Peter Geiringer has given a painting showing the Cock pub, which used to stand in the town centre, to Sutton Council. He came across the painting whilst at an auction. The painting, which Cllr Geiringer donated at Monday’s Full Council meeting, will hang on a wall of the mayor’s parlour at Sutton Civic Offices in St Nicholas Way.
Cllr Geiringer, who has been a councillor for more than 33 years has an equal interest in art and had been looking for some time for a particular painting for Sutton.
The painting shows the Cock pub, which stood where the sign of the Cock is at the cross-roads of the High Street and Carshalton Road.
At last Monday’s Full Council Meeting, the Conservatives in Opposition tabled the motion ‘This Council endorses the wider campaign for, and commits to, implementing the London Living Wage.’ This had been raised at a previous meeting but one of the LibDem Councillors had ruled it out saying Sutton Council could not afford it. Cllr Graham Whitham tabled this motion and the item was duly debated by Councillors. The vote was unanimous. Cllr Whitham’s opening comments were:
Cllr Graham Whitham tabled the motion on the London Living Wage at Monday’s Full Council Meeting.
We often hear how parties can fall into the trap of ‘knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing’. Tonight members will have the opportunity to demonstrate the value they place, on a living reward for those who have the work ethic. As Boris Johnson said when implementing the LLW ‘it really is a win for employers as paying a fair wage fosters a loyal and motivated workforce while at the same time continues to pull many Londoners out of poverty”.
LLW just consider those three words and look at the squeezed middle word the word ‘living’ which all parties should care about. In the UK we now see the Red Cross starting food collections for families to tackle what they see as the current food poverty challenge. This is the first time in my lifetime and I was born just after the Second World War with all the long term implications that conflict had for this country.
The Prime Minister correctly articulates support for hard working families and the Deputy Prime Minister draws attention to what he terms are the working poor. The paradox of low pay is that it is these very categories who are often the victims of low pay. In many the mother is in a minimum wage job, trying to pay the bills, for the question of low pay is often a gender question with low pay mainly focused on women’s employment.
There is a mythology that paying a proper wage, the LLW, would kill off jobs. Although the LLW may be seen as a cost for employers they will also benefit by people getting into work with a reduced reliance on benefits in the longer term, enabling Government spending to be targeted on more necessary budgets and whilst increasing spending in the local economy.
I would like to give Members, indeed everyone sitting here, something to think about. Do you know how much per hour you are on? Possibly not. But if your income exceeds £15,500 then you are in excess of the LLW, so how many of you doing a 35 hour week or its equivalent are on less than that?
Ed Miliband made reference to 2 nations, in essence picking up Benjamin Disraeli’s theme of One Nation. Nowadays we see this as Social Conservatism but whatever name the various parties attach to this belief their aims are the same. Nick Clegg’s working poor need a living wage so do younger people seeking their first job. We do not need a system where people in employment are potential victims of pay day loan sharks. In Britain, and for the people of the London Borough of Sutton, we need a system as rightly stated by Ian Duncan Smith where work pays and by Boris Johnson who believes, as we do, that ‘decent hard working Londoners deserve proper reward for their labours’,
Petition against Council increases in residents' parking permit fees
We, the undersigned, as local tax payers object to the inflation busting increase of over 10% for resident car parking permits as unrepresentative of inflation today. Residents have a right to expect a reasonably set fee that does not price them out of parking close to their home and we call upon the Council to review its planned increases.
Last night local residents of Twickenham attended an Open Primary and selected local Twickenham councilor Dr Tania Mathias to be their Conservative candidate for the Twickenham Constituency at the General Election in 2015.