Network Rail’s South East Route Strategic Plan for 2019-2024.

 

I am concerned for the reliability of local rail services in the years ahead, given what Network Rail is saying in its latest strategy. https://cdn.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/South-East-Route-Strategic-Plan.pdf

As the body responsible for railway tracks, bridges, junctions and signalling, Network Rail is admitting that it hasn’t spent enough money looking after some of its crucial assets. Because of this it may be impossible to keep them in order with routine maintenance.

The report says: “the route’s asset base is incredibly fragile with an ongoing potential for low frequency, high impact failures.”

We know all about low frequency, high impact failure, given the weeks of disruption while Network Rail replaced the broken points at Lewisham station. We know all about the high impact failure of trains not able to pick up power in the snow and the passengers stranded for five hours. We do not deserve more of the same.

I find it ironic that Network Rail has spent so much money extending the platforms along our line, yet there is no prospect in the medium term of longer trains to take advantage of the longer platforms. To me this demonstrates why the fragmentation of the rail system simply does not work in the best interests of the people who use it. I have written to the Minister to set out my concerns.

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Teresa calls on Bexley Council to offer more support for deaf children

Teresa attending the National Deaf Children Society’s parliamentary event at Speaker’s House on Wednesday 10th January.

Teresa Pearce has called upon Bexley Council to help more than 200 deaf children living in the borough.

Bexley is one of 54% of councils in England which is not funding radio aids which help deaf children in the early years develop language skills at a faster rate. Councils have been allocated funding through the Special Provision Capital Fund which could be used to offer these radio aids and Teresa has written to the council asking them to provide this facility.

Recent research from the National Deaf Children’s Society shows that they have significant benefits for deaf children in the home, in cars and outdoors, particularly during the early years when language development is at a critical phase.

Speaking about the issue, Teresa Pearce MP said:

 “There are more than 200 deaf children across Bexley. It is fantastic to learn about the incredible support on offer to them, and I hope our local authority will take advantage of this brilliant new scheme that can make such a profound difference to so many of their lives.”

National Deaf Children’s Society research has shown that using radio aids at home is key for increasing conversations between parents and deaf children under-5 in noisy environments. When a radio aid is used in a family car, conversations with a deaf child increased by 144%, and when outdoors by 88%.”

 

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Teresa Pearce MP joins up to fight the fakes

Teresa has joined forces with Electrical Safety First to raise awareness of risks in the home caused by fake electronic goods sold online.

The Charity’s research has found that 3 out of 5 fake electricals are bought online, and a third of those buyers experience major problems with their purchase.

Almost half of all domestic fires in UK homes are caused by electricity, so the charity has developed a handy range of resources on its website, including a mobile phone app which provides a handy visual check of electrics in a home, plus a link to find a registered electrician.

Speaking about the problem, Teresa said:

“Please beware of buying fake electrical products online. Counterfeit products are often cheaper because they do not include key components which would make them safe. So even if the bargain seems too good to resist, think twice.

“Better still check out the Electrical Safety First website www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/electrical-items/safe-shopping/ to find out how to spot a fake and more handy tips. Have a safe Christmas.”

 

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Teresa has joined forces with leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, to help protect constituents in their home

I recently attended Electrical Safety First’s recent reception to find out more about how I can help my constituents stay electrically safe at home – especially now, as winter has arrived and older people in particular, are at greater risk of an electrical accident.

White goods, such as dishwashers, tumble dryers, and fridge freezers, are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in England’s homes. Last year, they caused almost 2,000 fires – the equivalent of over five fires per day.I would like to encourage people to sign up and support this campaign by visiting www.supportsaferhomes.com

Electrical fires in the home are generally caused by misuse of appliances, poor regulation of electrical safety checks – particularly in the private rented sector – faulty appliances and electrical distribution faults. Electrical Safety First believes these issues must be tackled in tandem to make a real impact on the problem. So it is calling on the Government to establish a package of measures to reduce electrical fires by 10% over the next five years.  These include introducing compulsory, five-yearly electrical checks in privately rented homes and boosting the Fire Kill’s campaign to focus more on electrical fires.

In the meantime, the charity has developed a range of resources  to help check the safety of a property. This includes a mobile phone app, which provides a quick visual check of the electrics in a home, plus a link to find a registered electrician in your area.

 

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Teresa welcomes news that Bexleyheath Police Station will remain open

 

Teresa Pearce MP has today welcomed the news that Bexleyheath Police Station is no longer being considered for closure.

Following a substantial consultation with Londoners, today MOPAC have published the joint MOPAC/MPS Public Access Strategy. This can be found here.

Speaking about the decision, Teresa Pearce MP said: 

“I am delighted that Bexleyheath Police Station has been saved. 

 

“Closing the station and moving the front counter to Sidcup would have directly impacted upon my constituents and I opposed the proposals in the strongest terms to the London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

 

“As with any change on this scale, our community has voiced genuine and passionate concerns. Through the consultation process, the police have listened to those concerns and where possible and operationally viable, revised their plans accordingly. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to have their say and help guide making these difficult decisions.

 

“With crime on the rise and policing budgets strained, I am hopeful that later this month the Chancellor will come forward with much needed funds for the Metropolitan Police in the Budget so that our officers can get the support they need to provide the protection that local residents deserve.”

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Teresa calls for constituents affected by mesh implants to get in touch

Last week I was pleased to attend the Westminster Hall debate on “Surgical Mesh Implants,” secured by my colleague Emma Hardy MP.

Surgical mesh implants are medical devices used by surgeons to treat pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence in women, conditions that can commonly occur after childbirth. The mesh, usually made from synthetic polypropylene, the same material that is used to make drinks bottles, is intended to repair damaged or weakened tissue, and have been widely used across Europe.

However, some women have reported severe and constant abdominal and vaginal pain following the surgery, and some have been told that they can no longer have sexual intercourse. Other women have experienced infections and bleeding, while many have said their original incontinence symptoms have not been improved by the surgery.

I was disappointed with the Minister’s response to the debate which failed to recognise the risks of mesh implants. I believe there should be an urgent public inquiry into the number of women adversely affected by vaginal mesh implants and into why the safety of so many women have been disregarded.

If any of my constituents have been affected by mesh implants, I would be grateful if they contacted me so that I can raise their concerns directly with the minister. Only by revealing the full scale of this problem will we be able to force the government to look again at this issue.

To contact me, please email me on teresa.pearce.mp@parliament.uk.

You can read the debate here.

 

Posted in Consultation, House of Commons, News

Teresa calls on FA to fill empty seats at England matches with free tickets for schools

 

Teresa has signed a letter calling on the Football Association to fill empty seats at England matches with free tickets for schoolchildren.

The letter, signed by a cross-party group of 128 MPs was drafted by Shadow Sports Minister, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and sent to the FA Chair, Greg Clarke.

It states that the 28,000 empty seats for the recent England game against Slovenia represent ’28,000 lost opportunities to inspire England starts of the future.’

Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead said:

“The FA does some good work in communities across the country but there is more to be done.

 

“There are dozens of schools in our local area that would welcome the opportunity to send children to Wembley Stadium to see England play, and when there are so many empty seats, there is no real reason not to.”

 

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Sports Minister said: 

“This letter represents agreement from a large cross-party group of MPs, that where they can foresee large blocks of empty seats at Wembley – they need to commit to giving these to schools across the country.

 

“The 28,000 empty seats at Wembley represent 28,000 lost opportunities – for many young children across the country, seeing England play live at Wembley is a distant dream. The FA can turn this dream into a reality.”

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Teresa calls on Chancellor to Keep Pubs Afloat

Teresa has joined with representatives of the UK’s beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans to urge the Chancellor to keep pubs afloat in the Autumn Budget.

Reviews of business rates across England mean many pubs are being hit with a massive new financial burden, which in some cases could only be covered by them selling thousands of extra pints of beer every year. The Government introduced a welcome one-off £1,000 discount scheme for some pubs in the latest Budget, but more action is needed to keep pubs afloat.

Teresa Pearce MP said:

“Pubs are a force for good in Erith & Thamesmead and across the UK. Pubs are at the heart of our communities and the local economy, but they are struggling under the weight of a growing tax burden, with each paying nearly £140,000 on average in tax every year.

 

“In Erith & Thamesmead we have 28 pubs and the industry supports over 400 jobs. These establishments need all the help they can get, which is why I’m asking the Chancellor to do whatever he can to support them in the Autumn Budget.”

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Teresa reminds constituents of £1 coin deadline

Teresa has today encouraged her constituents to check for and use any old £1 coins before they are phased out on the 15th October.

On the 28th March the government introduced the new 12-sided £1 coin to reduce the cost of counterfeits to businesses and the taxpayer.

Approximately one in thirty round £1 coins in circulation are counterfeit.

Teresa Pearce MP said:

“Don’t forget to spend, deposit or donate all of your remaining old £1 coins by the 15th October.

 

After that date you won’t be able to use them, so get digging down the side of the sofa, check your pockets and make sure you aren’t caught out by the change!”

More information about the transition can be found at www.thenewpoundcoin.com

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Teresa poses in pink at Westminster to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research

 

Teresa has dressed in pink to lend her support to Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, which will see thousands of people across the UK adding a splash of pink to their outfits on Friday 20 October and raise vital funds for breast cancer research.

Teresa is encouraging her constituents in Erith and Thamesmead to join her, and sign up to take part in the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser. The event, which takes place during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is in its 16th year and has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.

Teresa was joined by fellow parliamentarians in Westminster last week showed her support for the thousands of women and men affected by breast cancer each year, encouraging people across the UK to take part on wear it pink day.

Anyone can take part in wear it pink, which brings together schools, workplaces and communities. All you need to do is wear something pink, or hold a pink event at home, work or school, and make a donation to Breast Cancer Now. Whatever you do, you’re helping the charity achieve its aim that, if we all act now, by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live.

 Teresa continues her support for women affected by breast cancer by joining over 190 MPs across the country in being a Breast Cancer Now Ambassador, championing breast cancer issues both in locally and nationally, working towards a day that the disease will stop taking lives.

Teresa said:

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. One in eight women will face it in their lifetime, and every year around 11,500 women and 80 men lose their lives to the disease. This is why I’m urging everyone to take part in wear it pink on Friday 20 October. It’s such a fun and easy way to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research, and help stop breast cancer taking the lives of those we love.

 

“Breast cancer affects so many people in Erith and Thamesmead, so as a Breast Cancer Now Ambassador I am proud to take part in wear it pink to raise awareness of the impact of the disease locally and to support for Breast Cancer Now’s vital research. I hope that everybody will join me and wear it pink on Friday 20 October.”

 

Teresa with Sky News presenter and former Olympic gymnast Jacquie Beltrao.

Jacquie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. She is lending her support to wear it pink in the hope that thousands of people across the country will take part in the event.

Jacquie Beltrao said:

“I’m very proud to support wear it pink; it’s a great excuse to dress up in pink and have some fun while raising money for a really important cause. I have had breast cancer myself and following my diagnosis and treatment have become incredibly passionate about raising awareness and funds for research.

“Wear it pink has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now, which is incredible. The event raises funds for the charity’s world-class research, which will hopefully one day put a stop to this dreadful disease. That is why I’m asking people across the country join me, and the MPs who took part in Westminster, by adding a splash of pink to their outfits on wear it pink day and donating to Breast Cancer Now. I hope lots of people across the UK take part!”

 To take part in wear it pink this October, please visit wearitpink.org/2017 for further details, fundraising ideas and how to register for your free fundraising pack.

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