Another Fantastic Festival Line-up

Champion of the creative industries, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has praised the 2014 Brighton Festival line-up and encourages residents to support the events.

The Brighton Festival was founded in 1965 and, together with the Brighton Fringe, is now the largest arts festival in England. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Brighton & Hove each year. Mike is particularly looking forward to a number of events that are taking place in both Hove and Portslade.

This year, the Brighton Festival takes place from Saturday 3rd May to Sunday 25th May. For more information on Brighton Festival events, visit www.brightonfestival.org. The Brighton Fringe 2014 takes place from Saturday 3rd May to Sunday 1st June. For more information on Fringe events, visit www.brightonfringe.org.

Commenting, Mike said: “Once again, the festival organisers have put together an excellent array of events which showcase our city as a hub of creativity. I look forward to the Festival every year and the line-up this time around is fantastic. I hope that residents will take advantage of the plethora of events that are being held right across Brighton & Hove.”

Mike Welcomes Local Fall in Unemployment

Following another fall in unemployment locally, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has reiterated that the Government’s economic recovery is working.

The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that the number of unemployed claimants in Hove and Portslade in March 2014 was 1,602. This figure is 504 lower than that of March 2013 and 65 lower than in February 2014. Overall, the jobless total is down by 26% since the Conservative-led government came to power in 2010.

The latest figures represent a rate of 2.9% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64 and highlight that the Government’s strategy to rebuild the economy is coming to fruition. Over one million more people are now in full time work since the General Election.

Commenting, Mike said: “I am delighted that we have seen another drop in unemployment. Looking back to the beginning of last year, there has been a huge fall in unemployment locally. The fact that unemployment has continued to drop in Hove and Portslade is great news for the city. These figures highlight how the Government’s economic plans are making a significant difference to the country.”

Mike Encourages Residents to Visit Open Gardens

Following successful calls for keen gardeners to open their gardens to the public, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is encouraging residents to help support the Sussex Beacon’s annual open garden event by visiting gardens around Brighton & Hove, now that the final garden list has been published.

The Garden Gadabout sees over 60 private gardens and community spaces in Brighton & Hove and surrounding areas, open to the public over two weekends in June. The event raises money for The Sussex Beacon, a charity for men, women and families that are affected by HIV. Open 365 days a year, the Sussex Beacon helps people to manage the everyday realities of living with this life-long condition.

The Garden Gadabout event is being held on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June as well as on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June. Details of the open gardens have now been put online, so to plan your day and buy tickets, simply visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk/gardengadabout.

Commenting, Mike said: “I am delighted that people with an active interest in gardening have been generous enough to open their wonderful gardens to the public in aid of charity. The Garden Gadabout is a fascinating opportunity to explore interesting gardens around the city and help raise money for an important local charity, the Sussex Beacon.”

Mike Wishes Jewish Residents a Joyous Festival as Passover Begins

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has wished his Jewish residents ‘Chag Sameach’, which means Joyous Festival, a common Jewish greeting for Passover.

Passover is an eight day festival that marks the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Mike is keen to extend his thoughts to the Jewish community within his constituency on this important festival. This year, Passover begins at sunset on Monday 14th April and ends at nightfall on Tuesday 22nd April.

Since his election in 2010, Mike has visited a number of the synagogues in Hove to discuss a range of key issues that affect his Jewish constituents.

Commenting, Mike said: “Passover is a very important event for my Jewish constituents, so I want to wish them Chag Sameach as the festival begins.”

Choice on Europe is Clear

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed the Prime Minister’s promises on Britain’s relationship with Europe in the upcoming election on Thursday 22nd May.

The core guarantees of the Conservative Party European election manifesto are to:

  • Keep the cost of Europe down
  • Make Europe work for British business
  • Keep our country in control of its own borders
  • Take back control of criminal justice
  • Keep Britain out of Eurozone bailouts
  • Keep the Pound and Britain out of the Euro

The Conservatives are also the only main party to offer an In-Out referendum on whether or not to stay in the EU. For more information on the pledges of the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, click here. Residents must register before Tuesday 6th May in order to be eligible to vote in the European elections. To register to vote in Brighton & Hove, click here.

Commenting, Mike said: “It is important that residents have their say in the European elections given how much influence Europe has on our country. I am proud to represent a serious party that offers a clear pledge on how we, as Conservatives, will deal with Europe. To me, the choice on Europe is clear. No matter how you vote, don’t forget to register before the deadline on 6th May.”

Mike Backs Parliamentary Motion on Human Trafficking

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed an Early Day Motion (EDM) against Human Trafficking to help raise awareness of issue.

Early Day Motion 54 draws attention to the problem of human trafficking in Britain and highlights the suffering of victims. Through this parliamentary motion, Mike has voiced his support for the need for legislation to assist in limiting or eliminating the root causes of this pernicious crime.

The motion also highlights the role of human trafficking in sustaining the criminal economy and recognises that many products sold to consumers are being produced using forced labour. The cross-party EDM calls for better cooperation between EU member states and the appointment of liaisons to increase the effectiveness of international anti-human trafficking efforts.

Commenting, Mike said: “Human trafficking is a silent menace whose very existence is totally unacceptable in the 21st century. That is why through support for this motion, and the Government’s work on this issue, we aim to send a message to the world that the United Kingdom supports human rights and will not tolerate modern day slavery.”

Mike Backs New Home HIV Self-Testing Kits

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed changes that have been brought in by the Department for Health to allow anyone to conduct an HIV self-test in their own home.

Since his election, Mike has been calling on ministerial colleagues to ease restrictions that, until 6th April this year, barred HIV self-testing kits. While no self-test kits have yet to be approved for sale, it is hoped that they will be available later in the year. For more information, click here.

Mike is an active member of Halve It, a coalition of national experts and politicians who are determined to tackle the continued public health challenges that are posed by HIV. The group’s main goals are to halve the proportion of people diagnosed late with HIV by 2015 and halve the proportion of people living with undiagnosed HIV by 2015. For details on the work of Halve It, visit www.halveit.org.uk.

Commenting, Mike said: “Allowing people to test themselves for HIV in the privacy of their own home is a great step forward in awareness and preventing the disease and another notch at reducing the stigma attached to HIV. I look forward to the first self-testing kits being available soon and would encourage anyone who is unsure about their status to get checked.”

Mike Calls for Permanent Funding for New National IP Crime Unit

Mike Weatherley, Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister and Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has called on the Prime Minister to establish permanent funding for the newly-formed Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), which tackles IP crime across the country.

Mike has written to both the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, and the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, to praise the excellent work of PIPCU, which is based at the City of London Police. PIPCU is currently funded by the Intellectual Property Office.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mike said: “I appreciate that funding for this new unit is not permanent. However, I would like to put on record my support for committing future funding to fighting IP crime and boosting the current level of financial support that is available for PIPCU. As I am sure that you are aware, the creative industries add over £70 billion to our economy each year and so it really is in our national interest to protect that revenue.”

Commenting, Mike said: “PIPCU is a fantastic scheme that I really hope will get secure financial backing, which will help our long-term strategy to tackle IP crime. I have been working closely with the head of the unit, who is leading a number of interesting avenues that are being explored to help address, for example, the huge number of websites that host copyright-infringing material.”

Tax Cuts are Good for Jobs and Country

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has praised the Government for its commitment to job recreation with the new Employment Allowance scheme.

The Employment Allowance will see up to 1.25 million businesses getting a tax cut of up to £2,000. 90% of the benefit will go to businesses that employ fewer than 50 people and 450,000 small businesses will stop paying employer National Insurance altogether. The new Employment Allowance scheme is designed to be straightforward, with claimants only having to tick the right box on their payroll software.

The Government has published guidance on the £2,000 Employment Allowance and how to benefit.  Information about eligibility and further details are available here.

Commenting, Mike said: “Freeing employers from tax burdens is a boost for the whole economy, which is why the Employment Allowance is an excellent scheme. When speaking to local employers I hear again and again that taxes are crippling them and are one of the main barriers to them being able to grow. Growth, in the long run, will help create more jobs, lessen the overall burden on the state and add to tax revenues.”

Mike Backs Film Friendly City Status

Champion of the creative industries, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has praised Brighton & Hove as it is designated a Film Friendly City.

Officials from Brighton & Hove City Council and Creative England will sign a Film Friendly Charter which sends out a clear message to the film and TV industry that it is easy and straightforward to film in Brighton & Hove – so helping to attract crews to film here, bringing money into the local economy and supporting local jobs.

A new website has been launched as a go-to place for filmmakers, providing a wealth of local film information which includes: film activities, events, business and talent support, a guide to filming in the city as well as some film history. For more details, visit www.filmcitybrighton.org.

Commenting, Mike said: “Brighton & Hove is a fantastic location for filmmakers and it is encouraging that the city is taking its filming credentials seriously by signing up to Creative England’s Film Friendly Charter. The direct and indirect benefits of filming in Brighton & Hove are huge and it is important that it is made as easy as possible for people to choose us as their next film set.”