Datum Monitoring

I often hear the problem with Bury is that there is no manufacturing and there are no well paid jobs. I know from my visits to Companies in and around Bury over the years that actually the truth is very different. I saw further evidence of this yesterday when I visited a great Bury based company yesterday called Datum Monitoring. They provide technical services and equipment which essentially measure the movement of surrounding buildings during excavation activities. Well, that is my very simplified description of what they do.

They employ dozens of people here at their headquarters in Bury and dozens more around the Country with some overseas as they export their goods and services. You can find out more about Datum at their website here

Bury Art Festival

The 7th Bury Art Festival starts today in the Bury Art Museum. I attended the preview evening last night and whatever your taste in art there is a good chance you will see something you like. The work of dozens of talented local artists is on display. It is all in aid of Bury Hospice and a share of the proceeds of any of the works of art which are sold goes to the Hospice. More information can be found at the Bury Art Festival website here: http://www.buryartfestival.co.uk/#!2016-exhibition/c8ey



After 27 years the families of the 96 who died at Hillsborough have finally got the justice they have been fighting for when the Inquest jury delivered their verdicts this week. Yesterday, the Commons sat in silence as the  Home Secretary made a statement of the findings and read out each of the questions the jury had been asked to rule on and the verdict they gave. One of the reasons why I hate lying is that I always believe the truth will always come out. The scale of the cover up in this case was astonishing. Police are now able to come forward and admit they were asked to make false statements.

After the Home Secretary had left the Commons she immediately had to come before the Procedure committee which I sit on and answer questions as to why the performance of the Home Office in answering written questions form MP’s was below what others can achieve and below target. Some may think this is irrelevant compared to Hillsborough but as I pointed out actually very often MP’s are asking questions on behalf of constituents often in relation to matters like Hillsborough. This is what it is important that questions from MP’s are answered accurately and in a timely manner.

Trade Union Bill

Today the main business in the Commons is consideration of amendments made in the House of Lords to the Trade Union Bill. before that there will be prime Minister’s Questions and I expect the Home Secretary will make a statement on the result of the Inquest into the disaster at Hillsborough football stadium.

More Action on Nuisance Phone calls

As readers will know I have been campaigning on the scourge of unwanted telephone calls for some time. These nuisance phone calls are a modern day menace and after increasing the potential fines which can be imposed the government has now gone further and is to introduce a requirement that direct marketing companies provide their Calling Line Identification. It will not come into force until next month but it is another step which hopefully improve matters. I have sent out below the written statement which was issued in full.

On 12 January 2016, the Government published a consultation seeking views on a proposal to amend the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (the 2003 Regulations) to make it a requirement for direct marketing callers to provide Calling Line Identification (CLI). This followed a commitment by the Government to impose such a requirement, subject to consultation, during the passage of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and forms part of the Government’s strategy to tackle the problem of nuisance calls and to protect the vulnerable and elderly in society who are most impacted by this issue.

I am today publishing the Government’s response to the consultation, a copy of which will be placed in the libraries of both Houses. The overwhelming majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of the proposal and agreed that it would improve consumer choice and would make it easier for the regulator to take enforcement action against those who breach the rules. The consultation can also be found here.

I am therefore also laying before Parliament a statutory instrument amending the 2003 Regulations so as to implement the proposal. The requirement to provide CLI will come into force on 16 May 2016.

The Government is clear that there is no silver bullet to the problem of nuisance calls, but we are committed to working closely with regulators, industry, consumer groups and others to raise awareness and develop practical solutions to this complex issue.

Meningitis B Vaccine

I am hoping to be called to speak in the debate which is to be held in Westminster Hall today about the availability of a vaccine against Meningitis B. I hope to be able to raise the case of a young boy Charlie who attends the Sunday School at St. Anne’s and just two days after taking part in the Christingle in December was struck down with this terrible virus.

Fortunately he survived, but not before spending days in intensive care. Christmas and New Year were ruined. He faces many more trips to hospital as his condition continues to be monitored. His treatment will cost the NHS tens of thousands of pounds and it could have been avoided if he had been vaccinated. Babies up to 12 months are now being vaccinated but not those who are slightly older.

Let’s Value Milk – Our Cow Molly

I have always been intrigued why it is people will pay so much for a bottle of water when virtually the same product can be obtained for a fraction of a penny from the tap. The answer lies in marketing. Clever marketing.

As readers will know I grew up near Sheffield (actually in Rotherham ) but my work was always in Sheffield and the first Parliamentary seat I contested was Sheffield Hillsborough. Everyone thinks of Sheffield as being built up and industrialised but Sheffield Hillsborough contained large rural areas too. Several reservoirs and lots of farmers. I was perhaps less surprised than some to hear about the success of a farmer from a village called Dungworth near Sheffield which was in the Sheffield Hillsborough constituency when I fought it on the radio today.

At a time when farmers are struggling to sell their milk at a decent price they have bucked the trend by developing their own Our Cow Molly brand of milk and it is has the USP in the jargon – Unique Selling Point – of being Super Fresh. They don’t just produce the milk from the cows on their farm they process it on site and deliver it next day. You can find out more about them at their website here


They are a finalist in the future foods category of this year’s BBC Food and Farming Awards.