Alison Seabeck MP

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chamber_for_web.jpgAlison wrote to Business Secretary Vince Cable today, demanding to know why the Government continue to block action on equal pay.

Last month MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of measures for pay transparency that would see big companies (with over 250 staff) publish their gender pay gap. However the Government has so-far refused to implement it.

The measure is supported by leading employers including PwC who are one of just 5 large companies known to voluntarily publish the information.

Tories and Lib Dems will next have an opportunity to support pay transparency on February 27th when the Government have another chance to support the proposal.

Alison said: “In Plymouth, women and their families will be wondering why this Government won't take action on equal pay.

“Today I’ve written to the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, calling on him to support Equal Pay and get on with implementing pay transparency.

“Women across Britain are still earning on average 81p for every pound a man earns, leaving themselves and their families poorer. Pay transparency will encourage action on the pay gap. If this Government refuses to implement it a Labour Government will.”

Alison demands action from Business Secretary on Equal Pay for Women

Alison wrote to Business Secretary Vince Cable today, demanding to know why the Government continue to block action on equal pay.

books.pngOpening an adjournment debate into the educational achievement of deaf students in Britain last night, Alison highlighted some of the many challenges faced by those with hearing difficulties, and urged Ministers to look into a local shortage in specialist teachers.

Deafness affects over 45,000 children across the UK, the majority of whom are born to hearing parents with no background in deafness. Over three quarters of these children attend mainstream schools, with little specialist provision, where they are often the only deaf child in attendance. According to the Government, 73% of deaf children achieve 5 GCSEs (including English and Maths) at grades A* to C. This is compared to 89% of children with no identified special educational need. 

Alison, who has been deaf in one ear since contracting mumps at the age of 16, said: “Deafness is a disability and although it does not mean that children who are deaf are categorised as having learning difficulties, it does most definitely mean that learning can be difficult.  There remains a wide attainment gap between deaf children and their peers. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, however it needn’t be this way, and it is clear that more could be done across the country to ensure deaf children receive the support they need to close this gap.

“There is a short fall in specialist teachers nationally and this is having an impact in Plymouth. The ratio of specialist teachers to deaf children in Plymouth is 1 to 72, much higher than the national average, and I have been told that these teachers are really being stretched, with unrealistic and unmanageable caseloads. In the South West as a whole, 49% of deaf children managed to achieve five GCSEs at grades A* to C in 2011, way below the average for children without a special educational need.”

Alison highlights concerns about education services for deaf children in Plymouth

Opening an adjournment debate into the educational achievement of deaf students in Britain last night, Alison highlighted some of the many challenges faced by those with hearing difficulties, and urged...

shrunk.pngThis week Alison raised her concern about the huge strain that Plymouth’s A&E is under this winter and urged the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, to ‘take his head out of the sand’ and acknowledge the current crisis in A&E and agree to a cross-party summit, to look at all the issues behind the crisis.

Speaking during Labour’s Urgent Question in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Alison said:

“Last week 1,631 people visited Plymouth A&E. One in 10 of them waited more than four hours. Staff are showing great dedication and doing extra shifts, but that is not sustainable. Will the Secretary of State please take his head out of the sand and, if he is serious about depoliticising the issue, will he take up the shadow Secretary of State’s offer of a cross-party summit to look at all the issues behind the crisis?”

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, refused to accept the Labour Party’s offer for a joint summit. He said he had spoken to doctors in Plymouth, but offered no solution to the current crisis which has left A&E’s across the country in disarray. With Nurses and Doctors taking the strain, while the Government flounders.

Please make sure that you only visit A&E if you really need to and please try your local GP or call NHS Direct on 111 if your problem is not urgent.

Alison urges Health Secretary to ‘take his head out of the sand’ and acknowledge A&E crisis

This week Alison raised her concern about the huge strain that Plymouth’s A&E is under this winter and urged the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, to ‘take his head out...


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