Last week a Private Members Bill, tabled by the Lib Dem MP Andrew George, and sponsored by Labour’s Alison Seabeck MP, passed its first House of Commons hurdle in the House of Commons.
The Bill sought to exempt those whose homes have been adapted to meet a disability need, those who need all their bedrooms because of a disabled member of the household who can’t share a room, and those who have not had a “reasonable offer of alternative accommodation”. The Tory-led Government were heavily defeated on the Bill which is a stepping stone towards Labour’s aim of totally abolishing this insidious tax.
Alison, having previously brought forward a ten-minute rule Bill designed to repeal the bedroom tax for victims of domestic violence, as well as personally challenging David Cameron on its application to members of the Armed Forces, was delighted with this outcome.
Alison said: “I was more than happy to co-sponsor this Bill, which is seeking to exempt some of the most vulnerable people from this insidious tax. By actively opposing this Bill, Tory MP’s have continued to support an evil and damaging piece of legislation which disproportionately effects disabled people, is purely based on ideology and does not achieve the savings in housing benefit which their inaccurate early assessments suggested.
“The Labour Party will completely repeal the bedroom tax should we enter Government in 2015 and while this Bill fell short of doing that, its aims are laudable and it would have removed many vulnerable and trapped people from paying an unfair tax which they cannot avoid.”
Last week a Private Members Bill, tabled by the Lib Dem MP Andrew George, and sponsored by Labour’s Alison Seabeck MP, passed its first House of Commons hurdle in the...
Responding to the news that HMS Plymouth has been towed from Merseyside this morning and is due to be scrapped in Turkey, Alison has said:
“This is an incredibly sad moment, particularly for all those who served on this ship and who understand better than most of us just how important she has been and how gallant her actions. What has been so deeply frustrating and has made me very angry has been the way in which every request to ascertain ownership of the vessel has been blocked.
“Without knowing who actually owns her, it has been impossible to make any progress regarding buying her, saving her for the nation or to proceed to try and find a suitable mooring. Over the years I have made enquiries to the MoD, Peel Ports and other ports around the UK as well as taken basic legal advice on other options. Every single enquiry has either come back as a negative or resulted in more questions rather than answers.
“I am still seeking confirmation that this is in fact her final voyage. HMS Plymouth and her proud record will never be forgotten by our City.”
A spokesman for Peel Ports Group said: “The Historic Warships Preservation Trust rented a berth for HMS Plymouth in 1990 within the East Float, Birkenhead from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company but when the Trust went into liquidation in 2006, HMS Plymouth became, the legal responsibility of Peel Ports.
“We understand Plymouth City Council attempted to acquire the vessel and display her in the city’s docks in 2007 but this was abandoned when no suitable berth could be found.
“We are very sympathetic to the historical significance of the vessel but no public or private body has come forward with a feasible plan to maintain, restore or remove her during the past seven years.
“We have no expertise in the preservation and restoration of historic ships and given the fact that she is deteriorating further at berth, the group feels, reluctantly, we have no practical choice but to dispose of her responsibly. We can confirm that HMS Plymouth left our waters this morning after departing Birkenhead Docks at 7:15am. HMS Plymouth left in a accordance with the statutory and regulatory permits associated with her transit and recycling program.”
Responding to the news that HMS Plymouth has been towed from Merseyside this morning and is due to be scrapped in Turkey, Alison has said: “This is an incredibly sad moment,...
Alison has pledged to ensure that veterans in her constituency, Plymouth Moor View, will not have to battle blindness alone after attending a special parliamentary reception earlier this week.
The event was held by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women, to raise awareness of the charity’s vital support and services, and to highlight its beneficiary recruitment campaign which seeks to reach more veterans who are eligible for its support.
Alison joined some of the charity’s blind veterans, along with a number of MP’s and representatives from the NHS and related charities, to meet a number of Blind Veterans UK beneficiaries and to back the charity’s campaign.
Alison said: “Plymouth has a strong history of supporting our brave veterans who have served for our country. To suffer blindness as a result of service or after serving must be a real struggle for veterans across the country. I met many who have been affected by Macular degeneration as they have got older and therefore I am delighted to pledge my support to Blind Veterans UK and to help ensure that veterans in Plymouth will not have to battle blindness alone. The work of Blind Veterans UK is vital to ensuring that all vision impaired veterans are able to overcome the challenges of sight loss.”
The charity’s No One Alone campaign is reaching out to the estimated 68,000 veterans with vision impairment in the UK who could be eligible for support but are not currently receiving it.
The event also saw the launch of Blind Veterans UK’s ‘Living the Pledge’ report which set out the current difficulties faced by the veterans’ community, and called on MP’s, local authorities and NHS healthcare professionals to improve referral pathways to the charity so that veterans are signposted to support as a matter of course, once they are diagnosed with severe sight loss.
Barry Porter, Blind Veterans UK’s Chief Executive, said: “It is fantastic that so many MPs and key figures attended the event and have pledged their support to ensure that ex-Service men and women can enjoy a life beyond sight loss.
“This event is crucial in helping us spread the word about Blind Veterans UK’s vital work. We want every MP, health networks and local authority in the UK to consider what can be done to improve the way veterans are referred to the charity, so that we can ensure every vision impaired veteran gets the support they need and deserve.”
If you are, or know of, a veteran with severe vision impairment and would like more information about Blind Veterans UK’s free, lifelong support visit www.noonealone.org.uk or call freephone 0800 389 7979.
Alison has pledged to ensure that veterans in her constituency, Plymouth Moor View, will not have to battle blindness alone after attending a special parliamentary reception earlier this week. The...