Dame Vera Baird QC backs the Annie Kenney project

I WAS delighted and honoured to host Dame Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria in a  visit to my constituency today. Dame Baird came to show her support for the Annie Kenney Project, an inspirational role model herself I was delighted to present her with a limited edition of an Annie Kenney print donated by Manchester based artist Stan Chow.

 Jim and Vera

Vera Baird is now the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria. Vera, an Oldhamer herself I learned, used to live at number 95 Coalshaw Green Rd, in the Chadderton South ward of my constituency. Determined not to let the rain put us off, we enjoyed a lovely walk around Chadderton South visiting the home she grew up in, and Coalshaw Green Park whilst she shared some fond memories of her childhood.

Vera Baird
Vera Baird DBE QC with Chadderton South campaign coordinator, Arooj Shah

Again, councils barely get the crumbs from the table

YESTERDAY I asked the Secretary of State Sajid Javid a number of questions about the latest local government finance settlement. First, does it step up to meet the scale of the challenges facing local public services in England today?

Does it meet the challenge of 1.2 million older people who would have been entitled to social care in 2010 who no longer get the care they need?

Does it meet the challenge of huge increases in the number of child protection and looked-after children cases reported by the LGA?

After nearly a decade of Tory-dominated Government, does it begin to rebuild the essential community infrastructure that was taken away after the financial crash?

My view is that it fails on every one of those counts.

Jim in Parliament


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100 ago today women were first given the vote. What role did Oldham play?

A CENTURY ago today the vote was extended to women for the first time in Britain. Although the act stopped short of giving the vote to all women, it paved the way for universal voting rights here in 1928.

The First World War was still raging across the globe when the act was passed in Parliament, but the role of women in the war effort had been recognised. So too had the long-fought and high profile campaign run by the Suffragettes – members of women’s organisations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who advocated the extension of the franchise, or right to vote, to women.


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Rough Sleeping is up, but it is only the tip of the iceberg

HOW LONG can a crisis of your own making be left to grow before you start taking responsibility? The latest stats show that rough sleeping has increased again in the last year. In fact rough sleeping has increased every year under the Tories. The facts are that the Tories have done too little to repair a broken housing market of their own making, and cut too deep into the support available to help low income households. 

Rough Sleeping Stats
Rough Sleeping is not just confined to London – it is a growing issue across the North West too. Ref: Homeless Link.

Continue reading “Rough Sleeping is up, but it is only the tip of the iceberg”