Jenny Chapman MP

JENNY CHAPMAN

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Last week Jenny joined 128 MPs calling on the Football Association to donate unsold England Football Team tickets at Wembley stadium to schools across the country. 

The letter, spearheaded by Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP (Shadow Minister for Sport), wants steps to be taken to ensure that the days of wasted empty seats are ended and to work with schools across the country. 

Jenny said: 

"It is important we give girls and boys from across the country the chance to cheer on the Three Lions and inspire the next generation of footballers.

There were 28,000 empty seats at England's last home game against Slovenia. I echo Rosena's comments, it is 28,000 lost opportunities. I recently visited a team in Darlington, I am sure the girls and boys I met would dream of cheering on our national side at Wembley, but all too often they never get the chance. 

Whilst the FA has done much to boost the sport at the grassroots level, more could and should be done to inspire the next generation of footballers. Giving away unsold tickets, particularly to schools in the most deprived areas, would do a great deal toward balancing out opportunities for all our young people"

 

Text from letter


Dear Mr Clarke,

We are writing today on behalf of the millions of England supporters we represent in Parliament.

Firstly, we would like to extend our congratulations to the Football Association, Gareth Southgate and the entire England team for qualifying for next year's World Cup. We're going to be cheering you on and the Three Lions will once again carry the hopes and dreams of this country as we will them to succeed.

But we are writing to you today because last week, England played Slovenia at Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of 61,000 people - with 28,000 seats left empty. They represent 28,000 lost opportunities - opportunities to inspire England stars of the future.

We appreciate the work that the FA does at a grassroots level in our constituencies and note that the FA gave away 7,000 complimentary tickets to last Thursday’s game to charities and organisations from across the country. But this was a chance to do so much more. Wembley's 28,000 empty seats represents around a thousand school classes.

There are children across the country dreaming of being the next Harry Kane but seeing him play live remains a distant fantasy for many of them. There are children living in London's most deprived estates who can see Wembley from their bedroom windows but will never get the chance to go inside.

This is where the FA can make a real difference. For games where the FA expects or knows there will be a large number of empty seats, these unsold tickets should be given to our schools, especially those from deprived areas. Doing so could help transform the future of thousands of children.

The experiences we have in our formative years - especially when we are young children – help to shape what we believe is possible for us to achieve. Visiting Wembley, one of the world’s most famous stadiums, to watch our national team play, broadens the horizons of those fortunate enough to go.

We ask you to take steps to ensure that the days of wasted empty seats are ended and to work with schools across the country so that current and future generations of schoolchildren are given the opportunity to be entertained, motivated and inspired.

We look forward to your response.

With many thanks and best wishes,

Jenny joins MPs in rally call for England tickets for schoolkids

  Last week Jenny joined 128 MPs calling on the Football Association to donate unsold England Football Team tickets at Wembley stadium to schools across the country.  The letter, spearheaded...

Today is World Mental Health Day. I've already pledged to raise the bar for better mental health alongside Mind in Darlington.

I will also continue to support better provision for our young people and Government ring-fenced mental health budgets.

#WMHD2017

Jenny supports World Mental Health Day 2017

Today is World Mental Health Day. I've already pledged to raise the bar for better mental health alongside Mind in Darlington. I will also continue to support better provision for our young...

Jenny stopped by to show her support for the UK Guide Dogs campaign on guide dog taxi refusals. Jenny learnt about the challenges assistance dog owners face when being illegally refused by taxis and minicabs.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for a taxi or minicab driver to refuse to take an assistance dog or to charge extra for carrying it. However, Guide Dogs research found that 42% of assistance dog owners have been turned away by a taxi or minicab in a one-year period because of their dog. The research also uncovered that 38% of assistance dog owners have been asked to pay an extra fare for carrying their dog.

Jenny is supporting UK Guide Dogs’ call for all taxi and minicab drivers to undertake disability equality training so they understand the rights and needs of disabled passengers and feel confident to offer assistance. The campaign is supported by more than 30 organisations, including trade bodies, local government representatives and disability groups.

Jenny said:

“I welcome the Guide Dogs’ efforts to bring about positive change for people who require the assistance of a guide dog and find it really difficult to use taxi services.

I know, having spoken to local residents in Darlington, that this is an issue which has a detrimental effect on people living independent lives”.

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented:

Imagine you were turned away by a taxi driver for no reason. This happens to people living with sight loss with shocking regularity just because they are travelling with their guide dog. It’s not only illegal, it knocks people’s confidence and stops them doing the everyday things that most people take for granted – going to a café, meeting friends, going to the doctor’s or to their local football match.

We are urging the Government to require disability equality training for all drivers to help reduce the number of access refusals.”

Jenny shows red card to taxi refusals

Jenny stopped by to show her support for the UK Guide Dogs campaign on guide dog taxi refusals. Jenny learnt about the challenges assistance dog owners face when being illegally...

Darlington’s MP Jenny Chapman last week attended a parliamentary event bringing together people with living with mental health problems, representatives from Darlington Mind and other parliamentarians to discuss mental health provision in England.

Jenny joined the ‘Mental Health: Raising the Bar’ event organised by national mental health charity Mind in the House of Commons, with the aim of promoting conversations between people with mental health problems, local Minds responsible for providing services and policymakers.

Following on from Jenny’s recent visit to Darlington MIND, she listened to the experiences of people affected by poor mental health and committed to ‘raising the bar’ for mental health services in the town.

Jenny said:

“I know from my time representing Darlington the issues surrounding mental health provision in our town, including access to services and referral times. I have helped support many constituents with poor mental health access vital services and care. I’m committed to doing all I can to transform mental health services so that everyone in Darlington gets the information, advice and treatment they need and deserve, when they need it. I am committed to working with local organisations.

Around 1 in 4 people in Darlington will experience a mental health problem in any given year. It’s so vital that we collectively ‘raise the bar’ for mental health services”.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:

“Mental health problems can affect anyone, no matter what their background. All main political parties have recognised the scale of the problem, but after decades of neglect and underfunding there’s still a great deal of unmet need. Every day we hear from people struggling to access the support they need.

“We are really pleased that [name of MP] took the time to listen to people’s first-hand experiences as well as find out more about some of the work our local Minds do to support people in [area]. By participating in this event, we hope that MPs recognise the importance of mental health and the vital role they play in ensuring that those of us living with mental health problems get the services and support they need to recover, stay well and lead fulfilling lives.”

 

How to get in touch with Darlington MIND: 

Telephone - 01325 283 169 

Email - contactus@darlingtonmind.com 

MIND national helpline - 0300 123 3393

Jenny pledges to raise the bar for mental health in Darlington.

Darlington’s MP Jenny Chapman last week attended a parliamentary event bringing together people with living with mental health problems, representatives from Darlington Mind and other parliamentarians to discuss mental health...

Jenny is encouraging Darlington residents to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grants to explore the town’s First World War legacy.

Jenny welcomes the news that more than £11 million has been invested in Darlington’s heritage projects since 1994 by the National Lottery. The money has enabled research into the town’s local history, helping to preserve important local sites and providing grants for other heritage related projects. Recent examples of funding include Darlington Borough Council’s successful bid in winning £42,300 investment for the town’s Head of Steam Museum.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is encouraging people in Darlington to apply for grants between £3,000 and £10,000 to undertake projects exploring the impact and legacy of the First World War and its aftermath. Whether that is looking at the role the war played in bringing about universal suffrage; the introduction of daylight saving hours; or the mechanisation of agriculture, there is a wealth of local stories waiting to be explored about life following the war.

Jenny said:

Darlington has a rich history and I’m delighted to support the Heritage Lottery Funds call for local residents to take part in exploring our town’s important history. British society was inextricably altered by the Great War, no part of our society was left untouched. Our town will be no different, I would be fascinated to learn more about the part Darlington played in the First World War.

Many people have an interest in research and local history, but perhaps do not have the funds to dig deeper. I would encourage residents to find out more and apply.

Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sir Peter Luff, said:

Sadly, the ‘war to end all wars’ was no such thing and so it is right the events of the First World War should never be forgotten. We’ve been helping people across the UK explore an incredible array of stories from 1914-18, but the war had an impact beyond 1918 and we must recognise this. The legacy of the First World War needs to be better understood and so we are encouraging people to come to us with their ideas for projects.

The money is available through HLF’s community grants programme, First World War: then and now.

Jenny welcomes National Lottery investment in Darlington’s heritage

Jenny is encouraging Darlington residents to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grants to explore the town’s First World War legacy. Jenny welcomes the news that more than £11...

Responding to the latest social care funding report, Jenny Chapman has accused the Government of overseeing a devastating social care crisis. Since 2010 local authorities in England have seen their budgets cut by £4.6 billion, resulting in 400,000 fewer people now receiving publicly funded social care. As a result of Government decision making 1.2 million pensioners in England currently live with unmet care needs, which Ms Chapman calls a “shame on our society”. 

Jenny Chapman MP echoes comments made by Barbara Keeley, Shadow Minister for Social Care and Mental Health. Jenny said:

“Social care is in crisis in our country. Decisions made in Downing Street have brought us to this point, Theresa May must stop turning a blind eye to the problems in social care and address the funding crisis urgently.

“The local authority in Darlington has seen its budget for social care cut by 37.4 per cent between 2011 and 2017. These statistics highlight the Government’s shockingly inept commitment to safeguard vulnerable people in our community – these are people in Darlington who are not getting the care and support they need.

“These same plans were drawn up by the same people who wanted to introduce the “Dementia Tax”, which was so unpopular nationally our Prime Minister was forced into a U-turn on the idea.

“Labour has warned time and again of the growing crisis in social care. The competing pressures of an ageing population and chronic underfunding cannot go on. Theresa May must act now to make sure that councils like ours in Darlington have the money to provide quality social care for all those who need it.”

Councillor Sue Richmond, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Darlington Borough Council said:

“There is no doubt that the Government’s unprecedented cuts have had, and will continue to have, a significant effect on the provision of adult social care in Darlington.

Although staff in adult social care have been proactive in order to adapt to service pressures and have worked hard to ensure the impact to residents is minimal, we will need to work differently with residents and our partners in health and the voluntary sector in order to sustain and improve services for the future as a result of budget cuts.” 

Jenny speaks out against social care crisis

Responding to the latest social care funding report, Jenny Chapman has accused the Government of overseeing a devastating social care crisis. Since 2010 local authorities in England have seen their...

Yesterday students from Darlington's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form met with Jenny in Parliament to talk politics. 

After taking a tour of the Parliamentary estate, 23 students spent lunchtime mulling over the current political landscape with Jenny in the Commons. They discussed the triggering of article 50 among other issues before spending time debating with Jenny.  

The trip formed a part of the students politics A-level course, a visit that proves important to understand the working life of a Member of Parliament at the heart of British democracy. 

Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form students talk politics with Jenny in Parliament

I have been working hard over the last few months standing up for our town and local services in Parliament. 

As you may know our local health services at Darlington Memorial Hospital are under threat from possible downgrades as part of the local NHS Trust's Sustainability and Transformation Plan. 

I have raised the issue on a number of occasions in Parliament. I have called out the hugely expensive Better Health programme which includes PR and community engagements and has cost a whopping £4.6 million pounds and counting. Yet it has failed to communicate with the people who rely on services effectively, to the point that people from Darlington, Northallerton, Barnard Castle and so on aren't aware of the plans. 

Further to this I have been continually putting pressure on the Government over cuts to NHS funding and the crisis within the social care system. I have spoken numerous times about the need to protect services at Darlington Memorial Hospital

I will continue to raise the issue of services cuts to our hospital and support our local health campaign - SOS Darlington. 

Working hard for Darlington

I have been working hard over the last few months standing up for our town and local services in Parliament.  As you may know our local health services at Darlington...

jenny-blog.png

Jenny asked the Secretary of State for Education a series of written questions on April 27. Here is a summary, with the answers from Sam Gyimah, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary.

Q: What assessment has the Secretary of State made of the effect of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services on the health, wellbeing and performance of young people in schools and colleges?

A: We want children to do well academically. Attainment is supported if students have good health and mental wellbeing and when they have access to specialist mental health services where they need it. The Government is investing an additional £1.4bn in children’s mental health this Parliament. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the country have worked with partners, including schools and colleges, to produce local transformation plans for children and young people’s mental health services. These should set out what will be done locally to make the best use of the resources available – changing how child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are delivered in response to the challenges set out in the Future in Mind report and increasing the focus on preventative activity. NHS England has put the plans through an assurance process before releasing funds and is carrying out an analysis of plans to identify practice that can be shared to inform future planning. In addition we have contributed to a £3m joint pilot with NHS England which is testing how single points of contact in CAMHS and schools can secure effective mental health support to pupils. The pilots are involving over 250 schools in 27 CCG areas through joint training, which supports schools and CAMHS leads to identify specific activity to improve support in their area. The Department of Health has commissioned a new survey into the prevalence of mental health conditions in children and young people in England, the first since 2004. They expect this to be published in 2018.

Q: What recent representations has the Department received from primary schools on the requirement to make milk available during the school day? What guidance has it provided to schools on their compliance with the milk requirements of the Department's school food standards? What assessment has the Minister made of the effect of those standards on milk consumption in primary schools?

A: “We have had one piece of correspondence on milk from a school in recent months. The Department does not collect data on the consumption of milk. The revised School Food Standards are effective from January 1 2015 and designed to be easier to read and implement. A full public consultation on the School Food Standards regulations was held between March 6 and April 16 in 2014. All schools were subsequently notified of the guidance through our termly communications with schools.” The standards and guidance are available on gov.uk at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1603/contents/madehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standards-for-school-food-in-englandhttp://www.schoolfoodplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/School-Food-Standards-Guidance-FINAL-140911-V2C.pdf

Q: What progress had been made on the provision of universal infant free school meals?

A: Universal infant free school meals have been a great success, with over 1.3m additional infants enjoying a nutritious, free meal at lunchtime and parents saving hundreds of pounds a year. She also asked how many Sure Start centres were in operation on March 1, this year. Mr Gyimah said there were 3,331 main children's centres and sites open to families and children providing children's centre services as part of a network. Children’s centre records are maintained by local authorities and are made publicly available via the department’s “EduBase portal” at: http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml

Q: how many Sure Start centres were in operation on March 1, 2016?

A: Local authorities listed as being in operation 3,331 main children's centres and sites open to families and children providing children's centre services as part of a network.
Children’s centre records are maintained by local authorities and are made publicly available via the department’s “EduBase portal” at: http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml

Jenny asked the Secretary of State for Education a series of written questions on April 27. Here is a summary, with the answers from Sam Gyimah, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary.

Q: What assessment has the Secretary of State made of the effect of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services on the health, wellbeing and performance of young people in schools and colleges?

A: We want children to do well academically. Attainment is supported if students have good health and mental wellbeing and when they have access to specialist mental health services where they need it. The Government is investing an additional £1.4bn in children’s mental health this Parliament. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the country have worked with partners, including schools and colleges, to produce local transformation plans for children and young people’s mental health services. These should set out what will be done locally to make the best use of the resources available – changing how child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are delivered in response to the challenges set out in the Future in Mind report and increasing the focus on preventative activity. NHS England has put the plans through an assurance process before releasing funds and is carrying out an analysis of plans to identify practice that can be shared to inform future planning. In addition we have contributed to a £3m joint pilot with NHS England which is testing how single points of contact in CAMHS and schools can secure effective mental health support to pupils. The pilots are involving over 250 schools in 27 CCG areas through joint training, which supports schools and CAMHS leads to identify specific activity to improve support in their area. The Department of Health has commissioned a new survey into the prevalence of mental health conditions in children and young people in England, the first since 2004. They expect this to be published in 2018.

Q: What recent representations has the Department received from primary schools on the requirement to make milk available during the school day? What guidance has it provided to schools on their compliance with the milk requirements of the Department's school food standards? What assessment has the Minister made of the effect of those standards on milk consumption in primary schools?

A: “We have had one piece of correspondence on milk from a school in recent months. The Department does not collect data on the consumption of milk. The revised School Food Standards are effective from January 1 2015 and designed to be easier to read and implement. A full public consultation on the School Food Standards regulations was held between March 6 and April 16 in 2014. All schools were subsequently notified of the guidance through our termly communications with schools.” The standards and guidance are available on gov.uk at:http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1603/contents/madehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standards-for-school-food-in-englandhttp://www.schoolfoodplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/School-Food-Standards-Guidance-FINAL-140911-V2C.pdf

Q: What progress had been made on the provision of universal infant free school meals?

A: Universal infant free school meals have been a great success, with over 1.3m additional infants enjoying a nutritious, free meal at lunchtime and parents saving hundreds of pounds a year. She also asked how many Sure Start centres were in operation on March 1, this year. Mr Gyimah said there were 3,331 main children's centres and sites open to families and children providing children's centre services as part of a network. Children’s centre records are maintained by local authorities and are made publicly available via the department’s “EduBase portal” at: http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml

Q: how many Sure Start centres were in operation on March 1, 2016?

A: Local authorities listed as being in operation 3,331 main children's centres and sites open to families and children providing children's centre services as part of a network.
Children’s centre records are maintained by local authorities and are made publicly available via the department’s “EduBase portal” at: http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml

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Quizzing the Minister

Jenny asked the Secretary of State for Education a series of written questions on April 27. Here is a summary, with the answers from Sam Gyimah, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary.

Labour MPs from the region spoke at a Westminster meeting, called by Jenny, on the cuts facing North East councils.

Jenny discussed the challenges facing the North East, in the context of severe cuts to local authority funding from central Government. Unfortunately, despite being well attended by Labour MPs from the region, no Conservative MPs from the region turned up.

Jenny said she was particularly disappointed by the absence of Stockton South MP James Wharton, whom David Cameron had put in charge of the much-touted "Northern Powerhouse" project.

During the debate, she strongly criticised the recently announced funding to soften the impact of cuts, described as 'transitional support', of which 83% has gone to Conservative-led authorities. At the same time, Darlington has received a £44 million reduction in funding between 2010 and 2020 - a 50% cut.

She described how the Government was finding money to give to Greater London boroughs and richer shires like Bucks, Oxfordshire and Surrey.

"But there is nothing for Darlington. Or for Durham, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside," she said.

Communities Minister Marcus Jones said the Government had "done its utmost" to ensure that the settlement was right and fair for all.

Jenny and her colleagues called for a National Audit Office probe into the way the £300m transitional support package had been shared out.

You can see the debate here:

http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/b2b6cbee-d351-4f73-b756-50b69f25dcc4

Jenny leads debate on North East council funding

Labour MPs from the region spoke at a Westminster meeting, called by Jenny, on the cuts facing North East councils. Jenny discussed the challenges facing the North East, in the...

In an article for New Statesman magazine, Jenny criticised the Government for claiming that we are living in a 'golden age of childcare' and noted the problems with their approach, including;

- Tax-free childcare promised by Autumn 2015 is now delayed well into 2017

- Childcare places have fallen by 40,000 since 2010 with 10,000 childminders leaving the profession

- Childcare costs have increased, with the Family and Childcare Trust's Annual Childcare Survey noting that (for example) the price of a part-time nursery place for a child under two and an after-school club for a five-year-old is now £7,933 a year

- A third of working parents of children aged three and four, who were promised to receive 30 hours of fre childcare, will now not get it

- Independent analysis for the Pre-School Learning Alliance has revealed there is a £480 million shortfall in funding for the Government's childcare plan

"Childcare is a major barrier to our economic success yet all we get is talk from ministers that everything is golden when time and time again experts warn of serious problems," Jenny said.

"Taken together, these difficulties will be devastating for families up and down the country already feeling the squeeze in their household budgets." 

You can read the full article at:

[ http://www.newstatesman.com/politicis/welfare/2016/02/government-needs-get-grip-childcarev ]

Broken promises on childcare

In an article for New Statesman magazine, Jenny criticised the Government for claiming that we are living in a 'golden age of childcare' and noted the problems with their approach, including;...

Jenny gave an impassioned speech in the Commons last night after Government announces extra £300m for mostly wealthy Conservative-run areas.

Greg Clark, Communities Secretary, insisted the new funding settlement was not about placating Conservative rebels. However several MPs  

Jenny spoke out on the matter, in speech which strongly criticised the Government's approach and labelled their funding strategy as divisive and disgraceful.

She said: "It's extraordinary what this Government has managed to do in pitting town against village, north against the south, the metropolitan areas against the shires - it is disgraceful. I don't resent members opposite being good champions for their areas, winning some extra funding for their councils.

"That's one of the things we're here to do. But I hope they enjoy that extra money they get. I hope they win their shire council seats that it was clearly designed to provide victory for, I hope they enjoy that."

She told MPs that, because of the Government's cuts, both libraries and the central market in her constituency were threatened, 200 jobs were to go and services which were vital to many would be lost.

"My town and the people in my town are angry. I have never seen them this angry before. They are angry about what is going to happen but also about the unfairness."

In response to these criticisms, Greg Clark warned that councils would have to get used to a new world of scarcer cash from central government. 

You can see her speech on Parliament TV here:    

[ http://goo.gl/9U1D18 ]

Anger over 'Disgraceful' Transitional Funding

Jenny gave an impassioned speech in the Commons last night after Government announces extra £300m for mostly wealthy Conservative-run areas. Greg Clark, Communities Secretary, insisted the new funding settlement was...


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