Celebrate St George’s Day in Southampton

St George’s Day is less than two weeks away

St George's Flag

I’d like to invite all of you to Southampton’s first major St George’s Day festival, to be held at 7:00pm on the 23rdApril at The Hub, City College.

Sign up for your free tickets now.

An evening celebration will feature spoken word and Shakespeare performances alongside music ranging from pop to English choral. Plus, we’ll be unveiling short films of sixteen community groups that help make our city a better place.

Please pass this on to friends and family. Everyone’s invited.

www.facebook.com/sotonstgeorge

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Lowering the cost of Higher Education

The Big Fees Debate: John Denham’s proposals

Watch the Newsnight debate with David Willetts

 

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Labour is taking action on zero hours contracts

The number of workers on zero hours contracts is likely double the official estimate.

Employers are increasingly turning to zero hours contracts. The recent ONS estimate for the end of 2013 puts the number at around 583,000 nationally, more than double the official estimate of 250,000.

Here in Southampton we’re having a Fair Employment Fortnight to highlight Southampton’s working families who are working hard but still struggling on low incomes, many of whom are on zero hours contracts.

When you’re on a zero hours contract you face uncertainty every week on how you will be able to pay for your bills, rent, and even food.

Labour would:

  • Ban zero hours contracts which also require you to work exclusively for one business.
  • Stop contracts where you have to be on call all day without a guarantee of work.
  • Clamp down on the use of zero hours contracts for employees who are doing regular hours.

Labour MP Alison McGovern also managed to secure a debate on zero hours contracts for the 19th March Budget Debate. Our economic recovery has to be for the many, not for the few.

Thanks to UNISON for the above information.

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Fair Employment Fortnight launches in Southampton

Join us at the Bargate from 10am until midday on Saturday 22nd March

We’ll be raising awareness of employment rights issues and providing practical support to Southampton residents.

FairEmploymentFortnight-mark

Too many of Southampton’s working families are struggling, even though they work all the hours they can.

More people in poverty are from working households than non-working. Many jobs don’t pay enough to live on and zero hours contracts leave people uncertain of their money situation day to day.

If you want to share your story, help do something about this, or just learn more about employment rights then meet us at the Bargate, from 10am on Saturday 22nd March.

Employment rights advice line

We are working with Southampton Advice and Representation Centre (SARC) to run a free telephone advice line. If you’re having trouble with your employer then call 07835 103 090 and someone will call you back with free advice.

Join the conversation online

Tweet about it on #HardWorkFairDeal and find us on Facebook.

#hardworkfairdeal

 

Thanks to UNISON who have helped make Fair Employment Fortnight possible.

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‘Commuter train tax’ now up to 8.7p per passenger per mile’

As rail commuters face further fare increases in the New Year ‘South West Trains passengers are paying 8.7p a mile to George Osborne’s Treasury on every journey they make’, according to a new analysis by Southampton Labour MP John Denham.

They and other London commutersSouthampton_Central_railway_station_MMB_12_444020_444003 from the South East and East Anglia are making combined payments to the Government of over £1bn a year.

Even when public subsidies to Network Rail are taken into account, London area commuters generally make higher payments and get less taxpayer support than rail travellers in other parts of the country.

Mr Denham has said:

‘A massive unfairness has developed in railway funding. London commuters face the highest fares, spend the highest proportion of their incomes on getting to work, and have the lowest levels of satisfaction with the value for money they get’.

‘London commuters can be forgiven for feeling they are paying over the odds to subsidise railways compared to passengers in other parts of Britain.’

Mr Denham said that passenger payments to the Treasury by London commuters had quadrupled since the Coalition came to power.

‘For London commuters, fares are now a massive factor in the cost of living standards. With many passengers spending up to a quarter of their income on train fares, it is time to review how the system works with the aim of capping and then reducing the commuter train tax’ said Mr Denham

A season ticket to London Waterloo from Southampton Central in John Denham’s constituency now costs just over £5000 per year.

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Southampton Labour respond to the Autumn Statement

Labour MPs for Southampton, Alan Whitehead and John Denham, and Labour’s Southampton Itchen candidate for 2015 Rowenna Davis, have responded to today’s Autumn Statement.

John on ITV Meridian's 'The Last Word'John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said:

“What we needed to hear from the Chancellor was a plan to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis. While millionaires get a tax cut, hard-working families in my constituency aren’t reaping the benefits from an economic recovery.  The Tories and Lib Dems have the wrong priorities.

“Labour would freeze energy bills, expand free childcare and introduce a non-negotiable jobs guarantee for young people and the long-term unemployed. Nothing less will do”.

Alan Whitehead MPAlan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, said:

“Looking at the figures released today shows that there is a long way for the UK economy to go. In his Autumn Statement Osborne only told half the story – the OBR today downgraded its forecast for average wages but prices are growing as fast as they were before. This cost of living crisis means that people in Southampton will now see their living standards squeezed even further.

“In 2010 George Osborne promised the people of this country that he’d eliminate the deficit by 2015. Now he wants praise for planning to eliminate it in 2019. It’s ludicrous that he has had to revise every forecast he has made and is still urging us to follow the plan that has made the majority of the people in this country worse off. The Tories said we were all in this together. It’s astonishing how far from the truth this statement has turned out to be.”

Rowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton ItchenRowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen, said:

“In Southampton and across the country, people are struggling to make ends meet in the run up to Christmas, and in need of hope for the new year. In response this government has simply announced more pain. We desperately need action to rebalance the economy and support manufacturing, make our banking system work for people again and deal with the cost of living crisis. This government has failed to do that. It’s time for change. Labour will work with people to build a better Britain”

 

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Portsmouth dockyard news: John Denham and Rowenna Davis respond

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, and Rowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen, have spoken out following today’s devastating news about shipbuilding job losses in Portsmouth dockyard.

John Denham speaking in WestminsterMr Denham, speaking in the House of Commons, said:

 “Labour secured ship building on the south coast with shares of the destroyer and carrier programmes.

“Government statement today made it clear that no efforts have been made to win new work for Portsmouth in the past three years and that they have agreed to transfer work from Portsmouth to other shipyards.

“Many on the south coast feel they have been sold down the river by a government whose interest and attention has been elsewhere.”

 

Rowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen, said:

Rowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen“The end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth is a great loss for the 1200 workers there, and for our country as a whole. Our thoughts are with employees and their families as this great 500 year tradition and all their hard work comes to an end.

“Labour worked hard to secure shipbuilding in the south of England, whilst this government has done nothing, following the same sad path as Ford earlier this year. Now our Royal Navy may be forced to commission work abroad or from a potentially independent Scotland. 

“We should be protecting and supporting our skilled jobs, not letting them slip away.” 

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