Prime Minister Puts Weight of No 10 Behind Mike’s Education Report

Following the publication of his IP education report, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has received full support and endorsement from his colleague, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, for his contribution on this important subject.

Mike’s report, ‘Copyright Education and Awareness’ was published in October and the Prime Minister has now responded having read the report. To read the report in full, click here.

Recommendations include: A step up in the coordination of IP awareness programmes, led by the IPO; Greater measurement of IP perceptions and behaviours; Incorporating IP education in the school curriculum; The BBC to create a copyright education programme; Emphasis on better, clearer information on IP education; Making better use of technology; Introduction of an IP/Education coordinator; Emphasis on reporting outcomes across Government; the IPO to coordinate an inclusive steering group to deliver a robust programme of IP respect throughout the country.

In his letter, commenting on Mike’s report, the Prime Minister said: “It is an excellent report, which highlights the key issues we must tackle to raise the understanding of copyright amongst future generations.”

Commenting, Mike said: “I am pleased that the Prime Minister was delighted and fully supportive of my report on copyright education and awareness. Changing attitudes is a slow process, but more and more people are considering the implications of intellectual property rights and boosting IP education across the board will help shift how people perceive this important issue.”

Mike Signs Online Bowls Petition

Bowls Picture

Mike Weatherley, Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has signed the online bowls petition which has been launched by Cllr Graham Cox, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade.

The petition follows the release of the council’s specification for a replacement leisure centre for Hove which specifies a three-rink bowls room rather than a six-rink bowls hall. Without six rinks, competition will not be possible. It will spell the demise of the King Alfred Indoor Bowls Club and the end of public competitive indoor bowling in the whole city.

Following overwhelming demand to sign the paper petition, Cllr Graham Cox has started an online petition calling on Brighton & Hove City Council to reverse plans to downgrade bowling facilities at the King Alfred in Hove. To sign the petition, click here.

Commenting, Mike said: “I was very keen to sign the petition as I am 100% behind the provision of decent bowling facilities at a new King Alfred. We need a bowls hall that is better than what we have already got, not worse, and so I would urge any residents that want to see better facilities to sign the petition.”

Cllr Graham Cox said: “I am fully behind the club on this issue and I hope that as many residents as possible will show their support for a decent indoor bowls Indoor bowls facility. There is simply no reason to downgrade what we have in place already.”

Mike Backs Cllr Graham Cox Bowls Petition

Bowls Picture

Mike Weatherley, Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed a petition that has been launched by Cllr Graham Cox, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade.

Cllr Graham Cox has started a petition calling on Brighton & Hove City Council to reverse plans to downgrade bowling facilities at the King Alfred in Hove (copy attached).

This follows the release of the council’s specification for a replacement leisure centre for Hove which specifies a three-rink bowls room rather than a six-rink bowls hall. Without six rinks, competition will not be possible. It will spell the demise of the King Alfred Indoor Bowls Club and the end of public competitive indoor bowling in the whole city.

Commenting, Mike said: “I am 100% behind the provision of decent bowling facilities at a new King Alfred. We need a bowls hall that is better than what we have already got, not worse.”

Mike added: “I am pleased that Cllr Graham Cox has taken the initiative to draw attention to this important issue. Bowls have a long and proud history in Hove and it would not be right for this to be diminished by cutting corners with the new King Alfred.”

Cllr Graham Cox said: “Indoor bowling is a popular sport that is carried out by hundreds of residents of Hove and Portslade every week. There is simply no reason to downgrade what we have in place already. I am fully behind the club.”

Conservatives welcome new Government transparency rules on Trade Unions

Conservatives have warmly welcomed new Government rules which will force councils to come clean on how much they spend subsidising staff working on Trade Union business rather than frontline services.

Council Group Leader, Geoffrey Theobald, has been pressing Brighton & Hove City Council to release this information for a number of years but, until recently, they have resisted. However, a recent Freedom of Information request by Cllr. Theobald revealed that in addition to 7 staff who are given full-time paid ‘release’ from their jobs to carry out Trade Union activity, there are a further 161 ‘local workplace representatives’ whose paid time off is not recorded. It is understood that at least 3 of these also work full-time as Trade Union officials.

At the last Full Council meeting, in response to a question from Cllr. Theobald, Council Leader Jason Kitcat stated that officers have finally given notice to the Unison and GMB Unions of the Council’s intention to review the so-called Trade Union Facilities Agreement in terms of both “its spirit and its practical operation”. The agreement has not been formally reviewed since it was introduced by the Council’s then Labour Administration back in 1997.

Cllr. Theobald said: “The fact that they are unable to tell me how much council taxpayers’ money is spent subsidising Trade Union activity is a damning indictment of how this Council is run. It is only as a result of constant pressure from the Conservative Group, and now the Government’s new transparency ruling, that this information is slowly coming to light and the agreement is being reviewed.”

“We need sensible and realistic Trade Unions who are willing to work constructively with the Council to help introduce the modernising reforms to Council services that are happening in other councils of all political colours up and down the country. Instead, here in Brighton & Hove we have a plethora of highly politicised full and part-time Union officials whose default reaction is to try and block any sensible measures that the Council puts forward. And the galling thing is that it is residents who are footing the bill for this. I warmly welcome the Government’s insistence on greater transparency and look forward to a more constructive future relationship between the Council and Trade Unions as a result.”

Prime Minister Responds to Mike’s Letter Highlighting Local Anti-Semitism

Letter from PM

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, who recently wrote to his colleague the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, in order to highlight the problem of anti-Semitism in Hove has received a response.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mike said: “It is deeply saddening that a synagogue in Hove was targeted by anti-Semitic vandals earlier in August. I had assumed – wrongly – that Jewish community in my constituency was safe and free to worship and live their lives without fear of attack. Over the past few weeks, I have heard from a number of concerned constituents who feel that the anti-Semitism that is taking place cannot be ignored any longer. I stand by these residents and look to the Government for assurances on what is being done to address this serious situation.”

Commenting, Mike said: “I am pleased that the Prime Minister has recognised the harassment against Jewish people in Hove and agrees with me that it is completely unacceptable. The anti-Semitic abuse that residents have been subjected is absolutely disgusting and I join with the Prime Minister in urging anyone who is a victim of a hate crime to report the incident to the police.”

Cllr Graham Cox, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade, added: “The response from the Prime Minister is reassuring. Anti-Semitism is a terrible crime and it is important that the Jewish community in Hove not only feels safe but are safe from any form of harassment.”

Mike & Residents Make a Splash Handing in 50m Pool Petition

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, along with around 100 supporters of the 50m swimming pool campaign, met outside Hove Town Hall before the important Brighton & Hove City Council meeting, which accepted the successful petition.

The petition, in support of a 50m swimming pool, received over 2000 signatures. Signatories included Olympic Diver Chris Mears and swimming champion Karen Pickering MBE.

Mike has been actively supporting new state-of-the-art sporting facilities in Hove. Last year Mike hosted a public meeting – attended by hundreds of residents – on the redevelopment and also spoke at a Brighton & Hove City Council Policy & Resources meeting in order to keep the desire for a 50m swimming pool alive.

Supporters include: Shiverers Swimming Club; Amateur Swimming Association; Olympic Diver Chris Mears; Karen Pickering MBE; Swimtrek; Brighton Swimming Centre; Brighton Swimming Club; Dolphins Swimming Club; Dolphins Disabled Swimming Club; Marlins Swimming Club.

In his speech to the full council meeting, Mike said: “The beauty of a flexible 50m facility is that every now and then, perhaps during early mornings and Friday evenings, it would be transformed into all of its 50m glory and used by the more serious swimmers – many of whom are children…There are large economic benefits too. A 50m pool that can be used for galas will attract teams from all around the country and, indeed, the continent. These teams will use our local hotels and local restaurants. They will use our shops and spend money at our attractions. Any other configuration will fail in that regard.”

Commenting, Mike said: “This 50m pool campaign has received huge support from residents across Brighton & Hove, as well as local swimming clubs and national swimming celebrities. I have been clear that I will only support proposals that include a flexible 50m swimming pool and this petition highlights the strength of feeling amongst residents on this matter. I want to thank everyone who helped make this petition so successful and look forward to seeing innovative designs for the King Alfred in the near future.”

Mike Welcomes Funding Boost for National IP Crime Unit

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has welcomed a funding announcement by his colleague Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, which pledges £3m for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Mike was a strong advocate for PIPCU during his time as the IP Adviser to the Prime Minister, and wrote to both the his colleague the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary, to praise the excellent work of PIPCU, and the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP to push for extra funding. PIPCU is currently funded by the Intellectual Property Office, but before today’s announcement funding beyond 2015 was uncertain.

Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe announced today that £3m will be made available to PIPCU to fund the operations of the police unit from 2016-2017. For more information on the funding boost, click here.

In his letter to the Prime Minister in April this year, 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 and so it really is in our national interest to protect that revenue.”

Commenting, Mike said: “I am delighted that this funding boost has been announced. Throughout my time as the Prime Minister’s Intellectual Property adviser I called for PIPCU to receive more secure financial backing, so I am pleased that the Government has taken this issue seriously. PIPCU without doubt is invaluable in our long-term strategy to tackle IP crime and I know that the dedicated team, led by Commander Steve Head, will be delighted with this welcome news.”

Clarence Mitchell: new apprenticeships mean more young people in Brighton Pavilion getting the skills they need for the future

Clarence Mitchell, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion, has welcomed new figures showing 410 new apprenticeships were started by people in Brighton Pavilion last year. In total it means that 1,990 new apprenticeships have been started in Brighton Pavilion since 2010.

This means more young people getting the skills they’ll need to get on in life – as they do locally at Brighton & Hove City Council, not least promoted by the excellent, recently launched BHCC Apprentice Ambassadors scheme.

Across England more than 1.9 million apprenticeships have been started since 2010 – with the number of apprenticeships having more than doubled in this parliament.

As the Prime Minister announced on Monday a future Conservative government would go even further: making a £1 billion commitment to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 and end youth unemployment, funded by reducing the maximum amount that can be claimed on benefits from £26,000 to £23,000, and limiting young people’s access to housing benefit.

Clarence Mitchell said:

“These figures are great news. 1,990 new apprenticeships since 2010 means more young people in Brighton Pavilion getting the skills for they’ll need for the future, as they are locally at Brighton & Hove City Council and many other city employers.

“And I’m pleased a future Conservative government would go even further, with a £1 billion commitment to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 and to end youth unemployment.

“By making sure, as part of our long-term economic plan, we deliver the best schools and skills for young people the Conservatives are ensuring the next generation have the skills and opportunities they’ll need to get a good job – so they can have a brighter, more secure future ahead of them.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

• Overall more than 1.9 million apprenticeships have been started since 2010. From 2010/11 to 2013/14 1,920,400 apprenticeships have been started (BIS, FE data library: apprenticeships, 16 October 2014, link).

• Having doubled the number of apprenticeships this parliament, we have set out a £1 billion commitment to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020 and abolish youth unemployment. This will be paid for by reducing the benefits cap from £26,000 to £23,000, and restricting housing benefit for young people (Daily Mail, 20 October 2014, link).

• Youth unemployment is down 253,000 over the past year – the largest annual fall since records began. Over the last year youth unemployment has seen its largest fall on record, dropping to 733,000 (ONS, Labour Market Statistics, 15 October 2014, link).

Conservatives welcom Council noise abatement action against Govia Thameslink on behalf of Preston Park residents

Brighton & Hove Conservatives have today (Mon 20th) welcomed the serving of a formal noise abatement notice on train operator Govia Thameslink by Brighton & Hove City Council following a successful Conservative campaign on behalf of the residents of Grange Close, Preston Park who have been suffering from serious noise disturbance and disruption caused by the stabling of trains in the new Brighton Down Yard sidings, north of Brighton Station.

Following recent inspections and independent noise readings taken by BHCC Environmental Protection officers, the Council has said it is now satisfied that, under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, a statutory noise nuisance does exist at Grange Close. The Council is therefore required to serve the train operator, Govia Thameslink, with a noise abatement notice. Govia Thameslink now has four months until February 2015 to rectify the serious noise problems the residents have been facing or face further enforcement action.

Local Conservative candidates have been campaigning on behalf of residents in both Grange Close and nearby Millers Road to raise awareness of the problems they had been facing, particularly the noise and light disturbance caused by the stabled trains overnight. Residents living closest to the sidings were often finding it difficult to sleep. Many were also concerned about privacy intrusions. The Conservatives liaisied with BHCC Environmental Protection officers on behalf of the residents ahead of the Council decision. Withdean ward Councillors Ann and Ken Norman have also been campaigning on behalf of residents in Millers Road on the western side of the tracks who have been similarly affected by lighting problems.

Lee Wares, the Conservative ward candidate for Patcham in next year’s Brighton & Hove City Council elections, said: “I am delighted that the Council has taken this position although I acknowledge Govia Thameslink have the right to appeal. We have spoken with the residents who are obviously very pleased. They also understand the position and they are prepared to attend Court to give evidence should that become necessary. They, and us, are extremely appreciative of the Council’s Environmental Protection team’s efforts so far.”

Clarence Mitchell, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion, said: “This is a very significant step forward in ensuring that the residents of Grange Close are disturbed no further. Govia Thameslink has been found to be in breach of the law and is now obliged to rectify the noise disturbance problems to the satisfaction of everyone affected by the stabling of the Brighton Down Yard trains. However, it is by no means the end of the fight on behalf of the residents of Grange Close and Millers Road and we will go on campaigning for them over the coming months.”

Should Govia Thameslink choose to appeal against the BHCC noise abatement notice, the matter will be dealt with in a Magistrates Court within Sussex, most likely within six months. If the train operator does not appeal and does not fulfil the terms of the noise abatement notice, such a breach of the notice would trigger a criminal investigation.

CLARENCE WELCOMES UNEMPLOYMENT FALL

In the Brighton Pavilion parliamentary constituency the jobseekers allowance claimant count fell by a further 55 in September. Overall the unemployment rate in Brighton Pavilion is 1.6%. This is a massive drop of 48% since 2010.

Clarence Mitchell, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion said, “I am delighted at the continuing fall in unemployment in Pavilion. This is not only good news for those people who have found work, but it is good for the city of Brighton as well as for the country. The fact that there are businesses recruiting across a range of sectors, shows how confidence is continuing to build and the government’s long term economic plan is working.”

At the Conservative Party Conference the Prime Minister announced plans to raise the tax-free allowance from £10,500 to £12,500 by 2020, taking one million people out if tax altogether. At the other end of the tax spectrum, the Conservatives would raise the 40p income tax threshold from £41,900 to £50,000 by the end of a five-year Conservative government.

Clarence adds, “It is no accident that Brighton is in the top 10% in the country for new job creation. The Conservatives are backing small businesses and enterprise with lower jobs taxes, while reforming welfare so that work always pays. The Green Party want a minimum wage of £10 an hour and Labour wants £8 an hour. While I support the Living Wage where an employer can afford it, such legal minimum pay levels would cause many businesses to be far less competitive leading to substantial job losses. Ed Miliband predicted our long term economic plan would lead to the loss of a million jobs and now can’t understand why unemployment is falling. Neither the Greens or Labour can be trusted with the economy or with people’s jobs.”

End

Notes to Editors

Pictures for publication are available to the media at www.clarence4pavilion.com
For further comments and information, call Clarence Mitchell on 07796 261623