Holly Lynch MP

Working hard for the people of Halifax, Illingworth & Mixenden, Town, Ovenden, Park, Skircoat, Northowram & Shelf, Sowerby Bridge and Warley

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Holly Lynch, pictured second from right, spent the night in freezing temperatures

 

Charity fundraisers braved freezing temperatures to spend a night sleeping out at the Shay stadium in order to raise funds and awareness for homelessness in Calderdale.

 

The fundraiser was in aid of Calderdale SmartMove who work to help homeless and vulnerably housed people across the borough. From their centre on Harrison Road in Halifax, Smartmove assists people in securing accommodation, and offers additional support and training courses where appropriate.

 

Temperatures were near freezing as participants arrived at the Shay where they had to find an area to sleep in the stands. Around 60 people, including Holly and members of her staff, took part bringing sleeping bags, blankets and cardboard boxes in order to keep warm. Bacon sandwiches and cups of tea were provided to everyone in the morning.

 

Homelessness case work has risen by a third in Yorkshire and the Humber since the height of the recession, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics. More than 32,000 families and individuals were recorded as being homeless or at risk of becoming so during the past financial year, a rise of 37.10% since 2009/10.

Cuts to council budgets as well as reductions in housing benefit have meant that charities are needing to do more to help those in need of shelter.

 

Holly, who was attending the Sleep Out for the second time, said:

 

“Homelessness is a growing problem and now that the weather is getting colder it is so important that no one ends up spending the night outside.

 

“Everyone taking part in this event saw how challenging it is to be sleeping rough and all money raised for Smart Move will help this brilliant charity provide the best support for people in our local area. A really big well done to all those who took part in the sleep-out.”

 

For more information about Smart Move: Ring 01422 361515 or visit www.calderdalesmartmove.org.uk

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Holly sleeps rough at Shay Stadium

Holly Lynch, pictured second from right, spent the night in freezing temperatures   Charity fundraisers braved freezing temperatures to spend a night sleeping out at the Shay stadium in order...

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Local ‘Waspi’ women born in the 1950s, who are being adversely affected by an increase in the state pension age, have described facing uncertainty and financial hardship at a meeting organised by Halifax MP Holly Lynch.

 

‘Women against State pension Inequality’ have been campaigning for the Government to rethink the way it has increased the retirement age for women, without sufficient notice.  The problems stem from legislation from 1995 which looked to change the age at which women could claim their state pension from 60 to 65, to equalise it with the state pension age for men.

 

In 2011, the Government accelerated the changes however the local women explained that they were given as little as one year’s notice of up to a 6 year increase to their state pension age.

 

Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsely and Eccles and the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on WASPI spoke at the meeting to give women in Halifax an overview of what has been happening in Westminster to address the issue.

 

At the meeting, women shared their stories including one women who took the decision to take early retirement, a year from when she believed she could retire, in order to balance caring responsibilities at home. She was then told that she needed to work a further 6 years in order to draw her pension, and found it difficult to find another job.

 

Elizabeth Mitchell of Wheatley had hoped to receive her Pension and Bus Pass on turning 60 having been made redundant aged 58. She said:

 

“I started work at Crossleys Carpets from the age of 15 and I've paid full stamp from the day I started work. In those days we did not have equal pay and women were expected to get married, leave work and have children.

 

“I, like so many others, checked out the Pensions website and followed the instructions which showed that yes, my retirement age was 60.

 

“I was 60 in December 2015 and stupidly thought I would apply for my bus pass. I was shocked to learn that I would not only have to wait until I was 67 for my pension but I won't get my bus pass until then either.

 

“There are loads of women like me in our area and I hope everyone will support the 1950s’ women of Calderdale”.

 

Ms Lynch said; “There have been 6 debates in Westminster on this issue now, with MPs from all over the country calling on the Government to introduce transitional measures, to gradually increase the state pension age.

 

“Hundreds of women in Halifax are affected by these changes and we can’t forget that these women have faced a great deal of inequality in the workplace since the 1950s when there were no maternity rights and no equal pay.

 

“They cannot be left to face further inequality in their retirement so it is only fair to give them time to financially re-adjust to these changes.”

 

The Waspi group is looking to form a Halifax group and are looking to meet with people affected by the changes in the State pension age. Contact holly.lynch.mp@parliament.uk or call 01422 399 515 for more information.

‘Uncertainty and financial hardship’ for local Waspi women

  Local ‘Waspi’ women born in the 1950s, who are being adversely affected by an increase in the state pension age, have described facing uncertainty and financial hardship at a...

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Holly and PC Dave Wardell who was injured during the attack on himself and Police Dog Finn

Holly has taken the Finn’s law campaign to Parliament after urging MPs to offer more protections to police dogs and horses.

Finn's Law is named after a Hertfordshire police dog who was stabbed, along with his handler, while they were pursuing a suspect. German shepherd Finn was stabbed in the head and chest and PC Dave Wardell his handler, received a hand injury.

In response to this attack an online petition was set up calling for tougher sentences for those who attack police animals. At present an offender can only be charged with criminal damage. The petition now has over 120,000 signatures which has led to it being scheduled for debate by MPs.

Ms Lynch recently met with campaigners for Finn’s Law in Westminster. She first raised the issue in a debate on Police Officer safety calling for better protections for Police Officers and police animals. Then this Monday she spoke in a dedicated debate about Finn's law and met with Finn's handler PC Wardell.

Speaking after the debate she said:

“I am delighted that MPs are to consider reforming the law to look at ways of giving police dogs and horses more protection to allow them to continue their vital duties of supporting officers and keeping us safe.

“The heartbreaking case of police dog Finn who was stabbed in the head and chest shows that these animals need better protections.

“I have urged the Government to make sure that the law reflects that these are hardworking and highly trained animals and stops treating them the same as objects.”

Finn underwent emergency surgery and is now making a good recovery.

The petition can be signed at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168678

Holly backs campaign to end attacks on police animals

Holly and PC Dave Wardell who was injured during the attack on himself and Police Dog Finn Holly has taken the Finn’s law campaign to Parliament after urging MPs to offer...


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