The fight against Puppy Smuggling

Earlier this week, Liz visited a House of Commons reception hosted by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity. The charity coined the famous slogan – ‘A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’ and Liz gave her full support in the fight against Puppy Smuggling.

Dogs Trust has been investigating the problem since 2014, and through three undercover investigations has found that unscrupulous breeders take advantage of, and profit from issues with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). As a result, underage puppies are being illegally imported into Great Britain from Central and Eastern Europe, and sold to unsuspecting members of the public.

Liz Twist MP said “I’m very pleased to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the plight of illegally imported puppies, who suffer the most harrowing of journeys at the hands of these unscrupulous dealers. It’s imperative that the Government takes immediate action by enforcing proper checks at the ports and on-the-spot fines to deter these breeders and dealers, as well as introducing revised legislation as a priority when the UK leaves the EU. We hope this will help to effectively regulate pet travel.

Due to the amount of correspondence my office receives, I understand that the animal welfare is a major concern for many constituents across Blaydon constituency.”

Liz speaks in Universal Credit debate

I spoke in the Universal Credit debate last night. Universal Credit is being rolled out for most of Blaydon Constituency on the 1st November. We know from experience that Universal Credit is causing real problems including increased debt and more reliance on Gateshead Foodbank as people wait at least 6 weeks for their first payment. The Government must pause the roll out.

You can watch my contribution below:

“I was going to talk about the real problems experienced in my constituency—initially with the live service, the comparatively straightforward bit. I was going to talk about the huge amount of help needed by people applying for universal credit. I was going to talk about the delays in payments, and the practical problems that that causes, and about the arrears that people on universal credit are experiencing: an average of £625, as against the general average of £121. I was going to talk about the evidence that private landlords are beginning to refuse tenancies to people on universal credit and about the fear that some children could go without free school meals while their parents wait for their claims to be assessed, which is a problem that we really need to look at.

But the House has heard about all that from everyone else, so instead I am going to talk about Gateshead Foodbank, which covers my constituency and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead (Ian Mearns). In 2016 it issued 4,861 food parcels to keep families going, largely owing to the roll-out of live universal credit—and that is before we see full service.

This is about people. It is about families and children who are building up debt and going without, choosing between heat and food and making other difficult choices, and experiencing all the frustration of dealing with the new system. I ask the Government to think again about pausing. We have talked about “test, learn and rectify”; let us do that.”

 

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The Great Blaydon Bake Off

My team and I are hosting a Macmillan coffee morning on Friday 29th September from 10am-12pm in my Blaydon Constituency office.

Come along and buy a cup of coffee, a slice of cake and have a chat to raise money for a very worthwhile cause.

If you would like to join us please RSVP by emailing judithb.turner@parliament.uk

Constituency office: St Cuthbert’s Community Hall, Shibdon Road, Blaydon, NE21 5PT.

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Further real-terms funding cuts for schools

NEU

Commenting on the Education Secretary’s statement to the House of Commons on the new schools National Funding Formula, Liz Twist MP for Blaydon said:

“Today’s announcement shows the Government has yet again failed to address the real issue at the heart of our schools; that there simply isn’t enough money going to schools in the first place. At the recent General Election school cuts came up time and time again on the doorstep, with many parents and teachers concerned that many schools were struggling to cope with the increasing demand and reaching a tipping point.

“The Education Secretary has now confirmed that, despite a record number of pupils in schools and inflationary pressures, there is no new money going into the system, meaning a real terms cut for schools.

“Schools across Blaydon constituency face real uncertainty about the future. Head teachers cannot be expected to make further “efficiency savings” when they are already struggling to set school budgets. Heads need to be able to plan for the future and this announcement gives very little detail about funding beyond 2020.

“This broken promise shows the true extent of Tory contempt for pupils, teachers and parents, many of whom are still waiting for new schools to be built seven years after the school building programme was cancelled. Only a Labour government can be trusted to reverse the school cuts and invest in our young people, to make sure that every child is given the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Blaydon needs a Post Office

Liz Twist is calling for the re-opening of a local Post Office in Blaydon

Liz said:

“A number of people have asked me what’s happening about re-opening a Post Office in Blaydon. I’ve contacted Post Office, who tell me that although their last option fell through, they are still very keen to have a Post Office in Blaydon and their Field Team will be coming here soon to identify further possible options. If you know of any businesses which may be interested please get in touch and I’ll pass on the information.

We really do need a Post Office in Blaydon!”