Jenny Chapman MP

JENNY CHAPMAN

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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

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 crime statistics released last week which revealed the largest rise in recorded crime in a decade, with Durham Constabulary recording the largest percentage increase in crime in England and Wales[1]. Jenny Chapman has warned that this is an “unacceptable increase”, highlighting how police office cuts are “leaving Darlington’s communities exposed”.

Jenny said:

“Our police force do a great job in difficult circumstances, but the latest report shows a concerning increase in crime in the in our area. Unfortunately the Government continue to pursue real term cuts to our police service”

“The increase in crime begins to expose gaps in police cuts and their lack of credibility. I know people in Darlington want their police service well-resourced to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour”

“When I was re-elected I promised I would fight to make sure that our police force has the resources it needs to keep us safe”  

“Darlington is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Durham Constabulary, which covers Darlington, recorded the lowest number of crimes in the North East. But I am extremely worried Durham Constabulary has also recorded the highest increase in crime in England and Wales, jumping 55% between March 2016 and 2017

Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Policing and Crime Minister said:

“These damning new figures prove that this government cannot be trust to keep our communities safe”

“You can’t protect the public on the cheap”

“This is the grim legacy of seven years of Tory austerity; dedicated police officers fighting hard to keep the public safe with few officers per head than ever before. Labour will recruit another 10,000 new police officers to help keep us safe.” 

Jenny slams Government as Police report largest rise in crime for a decade

On Monday 10th July Jenny spoke in the Commons regarding the life satisfaction of service personal. Jenny also argued for a review into the services offered to the family of those in the Armed Forces by local authorities and the rules around divorce.

You can read the transcript here or follow the link to watch Jenny speak in the Chamber.  

 

Defence questions – House of Commons – 10th July 2017

Oral questions to the Secretary of State for Defence and team

 

Jenny Chapman MP – Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU:

What steps is his Department taking to improve service life satisfaction rates in the Armed Forces.

 

Tobias Ellwood MP – Undersecretary of State for Defence:

The experience and morale of service personnel are central to defence. Both the Department and the new single services place the management of this as a high priority. As such, we have put in place a large number of programmes, namely the flexible engagement system—a Bill on which will come to the House shortly—the future accommodation model, the new joiners offer and the armed forces family strategy.

 

Jenny Chapman MP – Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU:

Currently, forces families are given special assistance by local authorities when they leave the Army. Is the Minister aware that, upon divorce or separation, an Army spouse is instantly no longer classed as part of an Army family and receives no such support?

Will he look into this and consider amending the advice given to local authorities?

 

Tobias Ellwood MP – Undersecretary of State for Defence:

I am certainly happy to look into that, and I am grateful that the hon. Lady has taken the matter up. It is important that we get the package of measures right so that we can support our armed forces personnel and their families as they transition through their career.


Watch Jenny by clicking here

Jenny quizzes Defence Ministers

To mark Armed Forces Day on 24th June, Jenny Chapman, Member of Parliament for Darlington has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal.

Jenny said “I am delighted to support our Forces, serving personnel and Veterans and their families, on Armed Forces Day. It’s wonderful that we have a day that recognises the hard work and bravery of the forces community but of course we need to be supporting them year round and the Government must ensure that our Armed Forces are getting a good deal on pay, welfare, housing and services.  

Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence said “Our servicemen and women stand up for us every day, it’s especially important that we stand up for them on Armed Forces Day.

“Satisfaction with Service life has dropped every year since 2009 and the number of personnel leaving the Forces is worryingly high. It’s time the Tories show our personnel they are valued and invest in them. The Government needs to get a grip of this problem and take action now.”

Darlington’s ‘Veterans Champion’, Veronica Copeland, said “As someone who works with our Veterans all year round, it is fantastic to see them have a day dedicated to them on Armed Forces Day. Too many of our Veterans end up as homeless, living on the streets especially in our cities. They need that extra bit of help and support to deal with additional problems resulting from their military service and that needs to be properly funded by the government


 

Jenny is pictured with the Hon. Admiral Lord Alan West, a decorated veteran of both the Falklands & Iraq conflicts and former senior security advisor to the UK Government.

Jenny champions veterans rights

As you know, the General Election will be held on 8th June 2017. 

This session of Parliament will end on 3rd May and so we will have no MPs until the new Parliament meets. 

That means I will no longer be your elected representative - I will become a Parliamentary candidate as of May 3rd. 

Best wishes, 

Jenny Chapman

General Election

As you know, the General Election will be held on 8th June 2017.  This session of Parliament will end on 3rd May and so we will have no MPs until...

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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