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					   News from your Member of Parliament Gordon                                                                      Prentice

  PARLIAMENTARY                                                                  December 2009

   A critical report on the performance of the North West Ambulance
   Service gave it ‘Fair’ for its quality of service and judged it ‘Under                                 • Letter to the Secretary
   Achieved’ on the time ambulances take to respond to a call for help.                                     of State for Health
   In urban areas ambulances have 8
                                                                                                            following my Burnley A&E

   minutes to get there. In rural areas,
                                                                                                            meeting of 9 November 2009.

   they are given a 19 minute target.                                                                     • A&E figuring it all out
   I am meeting the top management of                                                                       East Lancs figures challenging
   the NW Ambulance Service NHS Trust                                                                       a single A&E department.
   to see how performance of the Ambulance
   service in East Lancashire, particularly                                                               • Battling for answers
   in Pendle, can be improved. For many                                                                     Freedom of Information Act is
   people, the A&E hospital in Blackburn
   is up to 25 miles away.
                                                                                                            worse than useless...

   We need a ‘top-notch’ service with
                                                                                                          • Colne Health Centre
   trained paramedics on every ambulance
                                                                                                            New state-of-the-art Health
   answering a 999 call. This was promised                                                                  Centre must be top priority.
   in 2006 as part of the package justifying
   a single A&E at Blackburn to serve over                                                                • Landlord licensing
   500,000 people across East Lancashire.                                                                   Pendle scheme to stop rogue
   Recent press stories from local
                                                                                                            landlords exploiting tenants.
   paramedics suggest more can be done
   to improve cover across the patch.
                                                                                                          • Go to Zurich or else
                                                                                                            Outrage at leaseholders
                                                                                                            having to change their
                                                                                                            buildings insurance.
   Bosom Friends                                                                                          • Pendle children
                                                                                                            missing out on savings.
   Barnoldswick based Bosom Friends have lost confidence in the hospital
   chiefs at Airedale who, say the women, are no longer listening to what
   they have to say.                                                                                      • Home energy producers
   It is all about where cancer services
                                                                                                            need a fair deal
   are provided - Airedale or Bradford -
                                                                                                            The Energy Act guarantees
   and how much account is taken of the
                                                                                                            payments for people who
   views of the patient.
                                                                                                            generate electricity.

   I am raising their concerns with the
   NHS later this month. Check my
                                                                                                          • Boarding School plan
   website for my meeting report.
                                                    Here I am with Sally Lambert, Mary Brennan
                                                                                                            A controversial proposal by                                                                                 the Birmingham based charity
                                                    and Marjorie Stewart at Barnoldswick’s
                                                    Remembrance Day Service                                 Islamic Help to convert
                                                                                                            Brierfield Mills.

To arrange an appointment please call 01282 695471, write to my Constituency Office at 33 Carr Road, Nelson, BB9 7JS, email
Latest figures from the Department
of Health for 2008 show that
145,055 people attended our single
A&E in Blackburn.
Compare this with the 131,689 people
who went to A&E in the Calderdale
and Huddersfield NHS Foundation
Trust where there are two A&Es, one
in Halifax and another in Huddersfield.
Just a few miles apart.
In the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust there were
115,057 attendances at the two A&Es –
in Preston and in Chorley.
In the last year when Burnley had its
own A&E department (2007) there
were an estimated 68,700 attendances.
Today, there are around 45 hospital
A&E departments with attendances
below 69,000.

              Calling on the Prime Minister at
             PMQ’s to reinstate Burnley’s A&E

Battling for answers
The Freedom of Information Act is
worse than useless if requests for
information can be stymied for years.
I have been battling to get an answer
to a simple question for 20 months.
But some other straightforward requests
go back to 2005.
In fact I know of hundreds of requests that
are still in the system, going nowhere fast.
The person responsible for policing the
FoI Act is the Information Commissioner.
I told the Speaker
recently I want him
brought to the Bar
of the House to
explain these
"grotesque delays".
                                                                                                       This was the message I left with
                                                                                                       Steve Spoerry, Chief Executive of the
A new state-of-the-art Health Centre in Colne must be a top priority for
                                                                                                       local NHS, when I met him recently.
the NHS in East Lancashire and a decision to press ahead with the
project should be taken before the end of 2009.
                                                                                                       I do not want to see the Colne Health
                                                                                                       Centre become an item on a wish list.
                                                                                                       People want it now.
                                                                                                       Endless consultations about where the
                                                                                                       new Health Centre should be located
                                                                                                       delayed things – so much so that other
                                                                                                       NHS building projects elsewhere in
                                                                                                       East Lancashire, which were behind us
                                                                                                       in the queue, have now overtaken us.
                                                                                                       I am pressing for a firm decision by the
                                                                                                       turn of the year to go-ahead with the new
                                                                                                       Health Centre that Colne so badly needs.
                                                            Colne’s present Health Centre

GO TO ZURICH OR ELSE                                                                                   Pendle Children
Top item in my mailbag recently has been the number of letters from
householders with long leases being told they have to change their                                     Missing Out on
buildings insurance.
The Swansea based Compton Group,                   The Burnley and Pendle Law Society
which owns the freeholds of many                   tell me the law needs to be tightened up
properties in Pendle, has provoked                 to protect people from being ripped off.
                                                                                                       The Child Trust Fund (CTF) is
outrage by ordering leaseholders to                I am pressing the Government to act.                a savings and investment account
insure their homes with the Zurich
                                                   A useful guide to leaseholders’ rights
                                                                                                       for children. Children born from
Insurance Co – even if they have
                                                   is available at
                                                                                                       1 September 2002 receive a £250
perfectly good cover from elsewhere.                                                                   voucher from the government to
They refused to tell me how many
                                                               start their account.
leaseholders have switched their

insurance, under duress, to Zurich.
This is unacceptable.
The law allows leaseholders to stay
with their current insurer provided
certain conditions are met. If there
is a dispute, the Leasehold Valuation
Tribunal can be brought in.
I want the Compton Group to tell                                                                       The account belongs to the child and
leaseholders that option is available.                                                                 can't be touched until they turn 18,
                                                                                                       so that children have some money
                                                                                                       behind them to start their adult life.
LANDLORD LICENSING                                                                                     Since the Fund was introduced four
                                                                                                       years ago, 6,752 vouchers have been
Problems from the private rented sector come up regularly.                                             issued in Pendle and of these 68.6% have
                                                                                                       been used by parents to open accounts.
                                                                                                       But this compares with a national
Two years ago I called on Pendle Council to make faster progress

                                                                                                       average of 74.0%. I want to see more
on implementing a selective landlord licensing scheme to stop

                                                                                                       Pendle parents opening accounts and
rogue landlords exploiting tenants.
If more evidence for this were needed,             for Pendle to introduce a Borough-wide
the “Place Survey” by the Council,                 licensing scheme is under consideration.            making the most of the opportunities
which measures people’s satisfaction                                                                   the Child Trust Fund offers.
with their homes as a place to live,                                                                   Vouchers are sent out automatically
showed that only 58% of private rented                                                                 if you are receiving Child Benefit.
tenants were satisfied, as compared                                                                    Parents can find out how to open
with 85 % overall.                                                                                     an account by visiting
So I am delighted that the Council has                                                       
finally approved a selective licensing
scheme for Waterside in Colne and is
in the process of putting a bid together.
Looking ahead, an ambitious proposal

  To arrange an appointment please call 01282 695471, write to my Constituency Office at 33 Carr Road, Nelson, BB9 7JS, email
The Energy Act guarantees payments for people who generate electricity from renewable sources
which is then fed into the national grid.
These ‘feed-in tariffs’ are designed to          to take advantage of more efficient                    investment involved, I do not see these
encourage micro producers of wind, solar         heating and insulation through the Warm                installations taking off.
and other green energies. Householders           Front scheme which provides a grant of
who install these technologies will              £3,500 to pay for heating and energy
receive a ‘payback’ for the extra energy         efficiency measures.
they produce.
                                                 In a new development this year Warm
However the tariffs proposed for the             Front management company, Eaga,
Government’s Clean Energy Cashback               has included Pendle in its pilot project
scheme will mean that this renewable             for solar power heating paid for by
electricity might contribute only two            the Warm Front scheme and intended
per cent of the UK’s electricity by the          to take homes out of fuel poverty.
year 2020.
                                                 But without realistic and attractive
In Pendle over the last decade 9,000             feed-in tariffs for renewable heat and
households have shown their willingness          energy to deliver a higher return on the

A controversial proposal by the Birmingham based charity Islamic Help
to convert Brierfield Mills - the Grade II listed building and former home
of the medical fabrics manufacturer Smith and Nephew – into a 5,000
place boarding school for Muslim girls raises big issues.
I want young people to mix and grow              in Asia and Africa, but does that mean
up together, learning from each other.           the girls would come from overseas?
                                                 We wait for information on the
But a huge boarding school in the
                                                 Birmingham based charity, Islamic Help.
middle of Pendle could, potentially,
have a colossal impact on other schools
                                                 Visit the Charity Commission website at:
in East Lancashire. For this reason and
for others I am opposed to the proposal.
The main charitable objective of
Islamic Help is to help respond to
emergency disasters overseas. It seems
to me that the "Pendle School for Girls"
takes them well away from their main
charitable objective. True, the charity
says it wants to expand the educational
work that it is supporting, especially

I hold regular surgeries across the constituency fortnightly on Saturdays and some Fridays.
I also do home visits for those who are ill and for the elderly who cannot get out of the house.

First Saturday of the month                       Third Saturday of the month
                                                                                                         To read more, visit my website at:
Barnoldswick Civic Hall                           Earby, New Road Community Centre
9.15 – 10.00                                      9.15 - 10.00                                 
Colne Primet Community Centre                     Trawden, Community Hall                                Details of my work at Westminster are
10.15 – 11.15                                     10.15 – 10.45                                          available through links from:
Nelson, 33 Carr Road                              Barrowford, Parish Council Office,                     /westminster-activities
11.30 – 12.30                                     55 Gisburn Road
                                                  11.00 – 11.30                                          You can sign up to receive my regular
                                                                                                         constituency newsletter by visiting
                                                  Brierfield Community Centre                            the website.
                                                  11.45 – 12.30

To arrange an appointment please call 01282 695471, or write to my Constituency Office at 33 Carr Road, Nelson, BB9 7JS
       or email or visit the website: and click on ‘contact me’.
                                                                 Funded by the Parliamentary Communications Allowance, printed and designed in Pendle by The Image Works

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