Mike Joins Parliamentary ‘English Votes for English Laws’ Campaign

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has signed up to become a Parliamentary Patron of the English Votes for English Laws campaign that aims to introduce the change.

The campaign will feature the collection and co-ordinated presentation to Parliament of petitions expressing popular support for this proposal from constituencies across England.

The West Lothian question, also known as English Votes for English Laws, refers to whether MPs from other areas of the United Kingdom should vote on matters that only affect England. Following on from the promises of greater devolution if Scots rejected independence, the question of English Votes for English Laws has become a pressing national issue.

Commenting, Mike said: “I was delighted to become a parliamentary patron of this long-overdue campaign for English Votes for English Laws. It is only right that, following on from devolution on a number of issues for Scotland, laws which only effect England should only be voted on by Members representing English voters.”

Mike Encourages Local Budding Film Makers to Enter National Competition

Film the House

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is encouraging budding film makers from both Hove and Portslade to enter his national Film the House competition.

Following the success of Mike’s Rock the House parliamentary competition, Film the House helps to draw attention to the importance of the British film industry which supporting over 100,000 jobs in the UK and contributes more than £4.5 billion to our GDP.

Sponsors include Lionsgate, Fox and Odeon Cinemas. The 2015 competition also sees the expansion of the competition into the U.S. Congress, the Australian Parliament, and the European Parliament.

Categories include drama, thriller, action, comedy, music video and documentary, as well as a separate category for under-18s, which can be any genre. The closing date for nominations is 31st December and the finals will be held on 18th March 2015 a special reception and screening of the winning film. For more information on the competition, please visit www.filmthehouse.com.

Commenting, Mike said: “Film the House have gone from strength to strength each year, with more participants from more constituencies involved last year than ever before. If you’re a film maker, make sure you take part in the 2015 competition!”

Mike Backs Autumn Statement and A27 Investment

Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in the House of Commons, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed the Government’s financial update which highlight that the UK is the fastest-growing major economy in the world.

In his Autumn Statement, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, outlined future Government spending which spans across the entire economy. Mike was particularly pleased with the £350m investment assigned to improving the A27 corridor.

Other highlights from the Autumn Statement include:

  • A cut in Stamp Duty for 98% of those who pay the tax.
  • The tax-free personal allowance to be increased by a further £100 in April 2015, to £10,600.
  • Children to be exempt from tax on economy flights.
  • Spouses to inherit their partner’s individual saving account (ISA) benefits after death.
  • An additional £2 billion funding for the NHS.
  • Business rates to be cut and capped, with extra Help for the High Street.
  • The government to clamp down on tax avoidance by multinational companies.

Commenting, Mike said: “The autumn statement included a bounty of positive measures for the country and some excellent investment for the South East. I was particularly pleased with the long-overdue investment for the A27, which will bring welcome relief to anyone who uses the busy road. Improvements such as this are possible as a result of the Government’s sound management of the economy.”

Mike Encourages Budding Local Musicians to Enter Music Competition and PM Wishes Competitors Best of Luck

Rth 1

Following the launch of Rock the House 2015 earlier this year, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade and founder of Rock the House, is encouraging his constituents to take part in the competition.

Rock the House, backed by the Prime Minister and Parliament’s largest competition, raises awareness of the importance of protecting intellectual property rights among legislators and the general public. Musicians enter their original material to their MP, who ultimately nominates one entrant per competition category.

This is an excellent opportunity for budding musicians. A panel of industry executives presides over choosing the finalists and winners, who go on to have their pieces played in Parliament and win an array of prizes, from equipment, festival slots, exposure, recording sessions, radio and TV airplay and more. For more information on how to take part, visit www.rockthehousehoc.com.

Patrons include: Alice Cooper, Brian May, Young Guns, Ian Gillan, Rick Wakeman, Mark Hoppus, Charlie Simpson, Matt Tuck, Don Broco, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steel Panther, Scott Gorham, All Time Low, Bernie Marsden, Adam Perry, Bob Daisley

Commenting, Mike said: “Every year the competition gets bigger and better and my thanks go to our Patrons, Sponsors, Judges, the entrants, the MPs who take part and the loyal team who have run the project since its inception in 2010. If you’re a keen musician and especially if you’re from Hove and Portslade, make sure you take part in the 2014 competition.”

Commenting, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to Mike Weatherley and all who have participated in Rock the House…it is a great opportunity for us to celebrate up-and-coming unsigned British talent in a fantastic setting. I wish the 2015 competitors the best of luck.”

Former IP Adviser to PM Reiterates Need for International Anti-Piracy Strategy

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, who earlier in the year published a report examining the advertising revenue on pirate websites, has reiterated the need for a co-ordinated international approach to address piracy.

The recent cyber-attack on Sony and the theft of a number of films before their theatrical release has highlighted the on-going problem facing film makers. Mike has published three seminal reports on IP issues, namely search engines and advertising revenue on pirate sites, with his third report on ‘Copyright Education and Awareness’.

Mike also backed the recent arrest of two individuals by officers from the national Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) who are believed to be responsible for leaking the new The Expendables 3 movie online. For more information on the story, click here.

Commenting, Mike said: “Piracy is a huge international problem. The recent cyber-attack on Sony and subsequent release of films to illegal websites is just one high-profile example of how criminals exploit others’ Intellectual Property. Unfortunately, the theft of these films – and their subsequent downloads – has been facilitated by web-hosting companies and, ultimately, ISPs who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.”

Mike added: “Following the money is a sensible strategy that time and again leads back to the advertising revenue that criminals receive as a result of hosting illegal material. This funding stream has to be tackled and will require a co-ordinated approach with international crime agencies. However, we must recognise that this is being driven by consumer demand, which I hope, with education and the proliferation of innovative new steaming services, will change over time in favour of legitimate sources.”

CLARENCE MITCHELL: CONSERVATIVES HELPING HARDWORKING TAXPAYERS ONTO THE HOUSING LADDER IN BRIGHTON PAVILION

Clarence Mitchell, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion, has welcomed new figures showing that the Conservatives’ Help to Buy scheme is helping families to achieve their dream of buying their own home.

In total, 31 people have been able to access an affordable mortgage and get on the housing ladder in Brighton Pavilion.

Across the UK, Help to Buy has helped over 71,000 families buy their own home – with over 80 per cent of sales going to first-time buyers. 94 per cent of sales have been in areas outside of London with the average price of a home bought under the scheme around £180,000, well below the national average.

Help to Buy is giving developers the confidence they need to build, with house building now at its highest level since 2007 and house building orders now rising at their fastest rate since 2003, and is also supporting responsible lending.

Despite this Labour want to cut back and restrict Help to Buy – which would make it harder for people to access an affordable mortgage and get on the housing ladder.

Clarence Mitchell said:

‘Thanks to Labour’s Great Recession the prospect of buying a first home was nothing more than a pipe dream for many thousands of hardworking taxpayers in Britain.

‘That’s why the Conservatives, as part of our long-term economic plan, launched Help to Buy which has so far helped 31 families in Brighton Pavilion buy their own home and is playing a major part in increasing the number of new homes being built. This means 31 more families able to achieve their dream of homeownership and enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes with that.

‘Help to Buy is a key part of our long-term economic plan that is helping people to buy their own home and, together with cutting income tax and freezing fuel duty, is backing those who work hard and get on find the financial security they deserve.’

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.”