CPI

For years the rate of inflation was measured by reference to the Retail Prices Index and when I was in legal practice this term was often found in leases and other such long term arrangements to provide a means by which the value could be increased over a period of time to defeat the corrosive effects of price inflation. Then a few years ago along cam e the Consumer Prices Index and the measure of inflation is now more complex some things are measured in accordance with the old Retail Prices Index (RPI) and some with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). With the news yesterday that inflation as measured by the CPI I decided to investigate what exactly was included in this figure. As you might expect from the Office of National Statistics the answer is detailed and complex.
You can read and study what is involved here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/consumerpriceinflationbasketofgoodsandservices/2016

An early election?

As could be expected in the wake of Theresa May becoming our new Prime Minister in place of David Cameron one of the questions I am most frequently asked at the moment is: Are we going to have an early general election?

In light of all that has happened in recent months in British politics making a prediction about almost anything is a risky business. What I can say is this. Firstly, Theresa May made it pretty clear when she made her pitch to Conservative MP’s that she believed the Party already has a mandate from last year’s general election to press ahead with carrying out our manifesto. I should add to that the referendum result gives all the democratic mandate that is needed for the government to negotiate our exit from the European Union.
Secondly, to those who maintain the Fixed Term Parliament Act means that there is no chance of an early election I would simply say that if the PM did decide she wanted an early election and put such a proposition to the House of Commons realistically the Opposition could do nothing but vote for an early election. No official opposition could ever make a case that they were happy to stay in opposition and not want to put their case to become the government to the people in a general election.

All in all my view is that there is not going to be an early general election. After a general election last year and the EU referendum this year we need a period of consolidation. A period of no elections.

Reassurance for EU cash recipients

One fear expressed by all those who were in receipt of EU cash in the run up to the referendum was how would they cope without EU handouts. Of course as Vote Leave always pointed out EU cash was in reality just our own UK contribution recycled with a EI badge. As we pay far more into the EU budget than we received in EU payments it does not take a mathematics expert to realise that once we are no longer handing billions every year over to the EU we could easily afford to maintain payments to those previously in receipt of RU cash. I was not surprised therefore to read the Chancellor has announced that he intends to honour EU commitments. It is brings stability and gives reassurance to those who have planned on these monies arriving. The great advantage in leaving the EU is that in future we will be able to devise our own schemes to suit Britain rather than be forced to accept the schemes imposed on us by the RU.

Kashmir Meeting in Bury

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Many thanks to all those from all parties who attended the  Kashmir meeting at the Jinnah Day Centre in Bury today. Organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Self Determination Movement it provided a good opportunity to hear a range of views of how the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir can help those who have worked so hard on this issue for so long.

Active Citizen’s Fund

Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s Active Citizens’ Fund is open for applications from next Monday (15th August). The Police and Crime Commissioner is inviting individuals and community organisations to apply for their share of £200,000

Organisations can apply for grants of up to £5,000 for projects that help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in their area.

There will be an information event held at Bury Town Hall on 5th September between 10am and noon.

All the information required in order to apply can be found at this website:
www.gmpcc.org.uk/funding

Pennine Acute CQC Report

The report from the Care and Quality Commission into the standards of healthcare provided by Pennine Acute NHS Trust is published today. As expected it makes grim and disappointing reading.Overall Fairfield is rated as requiring improvement and where it not for the steps already taken by the Trust to improve matters the whole of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust would be placed in special measures.

It is easy to be critical after a report like this and undoubtedly there must be some individuals who have been lacking to allow things to get in to this state. However we must not lose sight of the fact that the are thousands of dedicated and hardworking staff who provide us all with the healthcare we depend on.

It is also worth noting that the CQC is doing its job. I do hear many criticisms of this body but on this occasion they have highlighted failings which need to be remedied. It is also go the credit of the Trust that action has been taken so promptly in light of the CQC’s findings even before the report has been made public.

Minority Sports

Yesterday saw Britain’s best day so far in terms of winning medals at Rio 2016. The weather was certainly more British Summer than Competitors would have expected in Brazil. It is great that our golds came in the Kayak racing and the 3 metre synchronised diving. Along with medals in sports like judo, shooting and cycling it is a real boost for sports that usually struggle to compete with sports like football, cricket and rugby. I always bear in mind how much hard work our Olympians have had to put in even to get to the Olympics. Years of making sacrifices and dedication. Hopefully there will be lots more success for our team in the days ahead.