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.”

‘Brighton & Hove is the Jewel is England’s Tourism Crown’, says Mike

At a tourism event in the House of Commons, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed English Tourism Week, which is a week-long celebration of events showcasing the quality and vibrancy of visitor experiences and the value which the industry brings to our nation.

Brighton & Hove is a major tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors. Mike is particularly grateful to individuals who continue to promote tourism in the city, such as Soozie Campbell, Chair of the Tourism Alliance and Nick Mosley, Managing Director of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival.

This year, English Tourism Week is from Saturday 29th March to Sunday 6th April. For more information on English Tourism Week and a list of events around the country, click here. Locally, the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival Spring Harvest is being held from Wednesday 16th April to Sunday 27th April. For more details, visit www.brightonfoodfestival.com.

Commenting, Mike said: “Understandably, tourism is a vital part of the economy for our seaside city. Visitor numbers are strong, but I am confident that we will boost our popularity as a destination in the future with attractions such as the i360. With our impressive history and award-winning seafront, Brighton & Hove really is the jewel in England’s tourism crown.”

Mike Calls on Transport Minister to Review Fuel Economy Figures

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has written to his colleague the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, on behalf of a constituent to request that fuel economy advertising is displayed in miles per litre, not miles per gallon.

Mike was recently contacted by a constituent who highlighted to him that the current advertising makes it difficult to clearly understand the true costs of running a car as fuel is sold in litres, yet fuel economy figures are given in gallons.

In an effort to make things clearer for consumers, Mike has written to the Secretary of State for Transport for his thoughts on changing the way that figures are advertised by the motoring industry.

Commenting, Mike said: “I very much agreed with my constituent that fuel economy advertising is hard to put into perspective and that it would be much more helpful if it was displayed in miles per litre. While it is obviously possible to convert the figures, it seems needlessly complicated and stops people properly understanding the fuel efficiency of cars.”