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 has launched a petition against proposed changes to how our local schools are funded which would see many of them face a cut of hundreds of pounds a year in funding per pupil.

The petition is available to sign online here.

Holly said:

"These proposed funding cuts are talked about by the Government as making things fairer. Yet there is nothing fair about cutting funding for local children when their schools already face huge cost pressures.

"I have met with local Headteachers who have said in no uncertain terms that they will not be able to provide the same quality of education if these cuts go ahead."

Even before the proposed new funding formula school budgets already faced extreme pressures. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) have estimated that increases in pupil numbers mean that per pupil real terms spending was likely to fall by at least 7 per cent between 2015-16 and 2019-20, or by about 8 per cent if changes in the costs likely to be faced by schools were also accounted for.

These changes will impact on all primary and secondary schools in Calderdale and the figures for every school can be found here (click 'NFF all schools' and then use ctrl-f to find a specific school). The proposals would see four local secondary schools see a significant fall in their budgets:

  • Park Lane Learning Trust -2.6%
  • The North Halifax Grammar School -2.6%
  • Trinity Academy, Halifax -1.0%
  • The Crossley Heath School  -2.3%

Cutting funding for the next generation's education is never the way to find savings. A number of our schools already fall well below the average state school per pupil spending level of £6,200 a year at secondary level and £4,800 at primary.

Please show your support for our local schools and sign the petition here.

Holly launches petition to fight school funding cuts

Holly has launched a petition against proposed changes to how our local schools are funded which would see many of them face a cut of hundreds of pounds a year in...

Since launching my campaign to ‘Protect The Protectors’ last year, many officers have come to me with horrendous tales of having being spat at whilst on duty.

As well as being thoroughly unpleasant, ​spitting blood and saliva at another human being can pose a real risk of transmission of a range of infectious diseases, some with life-changing or even lethal consequences.

It not only causes distress at the time, but can do so for months afterwards if officers have to under go antiviral treatment, sometimes impacting not just on themselves, but also on their families. Anti-viral treatments are not guaranteed to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, and an officer may have to endure a wait of over six months to find out whether the treatment has been successful.

A third of forces currently use spit guards or hoods in some way, yet when the Metropolitan Police halted the roll-out of their use across London in September last year, a ‘nervousness’ about them resonated through forces across the country.

I am all for informed discussion about the issue, and taking the time to ensure the public understand and appreciate the need for their use will only be a good thing, but the truth is that if people are politically ‘uncomfortable’ about spit guards, I can promise them that somewhere, right now, there is a police officer who is being spat at and who is even more ‘uncomfortable’.

I firstly want to discount the myth that ‘The Left’ is to blame for an unease with the use of spit guards. As a Labour MP, my party was born out of a desire to protect working people in every way. The police are not only working people, but people that dedicate themselves to keeping the rest of us safe. This isn't an issue of right and left, it's an issue of right and wrong – and spitting is wrong, by any measure. No-one should be expected to endure it as part of any job.

A recent briefing published by The Centre for Public Safety cited a case where Metropolitan police were called to a disturbance and arrested a 20-year-old woman on suspicion of a public order offence. The woman, who had hepatitis B, then bit her own lip and spat blood at three officers who had to be taken to hospital for anti-viral treatment.

During a speech to the House of Commons at the end of last year, I shared with MPs the story of Arina Koltsova, a police woman in the Ukraine who died after contracting TB from an offender who spat at her whilst she was trying to arrest him.

Spitting could not be more serious and so in trying to do something about it, I felt that there are two different means of improving the situation. We need both legislative change in Westminster, and we need MPs to lend their political support to Chief Constables to make spit guards available to their officers.  

So on the 31st January, I hosted a myth-busting briefing session for MPs to meet with two officers who have been spat at on duty and had thoroughly difficult experiences in the 6 months that followed. The Federation also gave a presentation about spit guards and their use and even allowed MPs to try them on and ask questions. The event was really well attended and MPs want away having been encouraged to contact their own Chief Constable outlining their support for their use.

Then last week, I presented my ‘10 Minute Rule Bill’ to the House of Commons. This is a piece of draft legislation which will look to toughen up the sentences handed out to those who assault police officers, and offer the same protection to all emergency service responders. The bill will also include a clause which would mean an offender who spits at the police will have to provide a blood sample.

In order to do that, we looked to legislation in Australia where the penalty for failing to provide a blood sample for those who have spat at an officer is a $12,000 fine and 12 months imprisonment. My draft bill will propose that we adopt similar measures.

I am pleased to say that my bill passed through to second reading with support from all sides of the House.

I very much hope that this approach will have the desired impact and really start to make a difference in tackling the problem. Please do encourage your local MPs to support both of these initiatives.

This is an updated edition of the article published by Policing Insight at the end of January.

  

 

Spitting at emergency services is a very real problem - so we must talk solutions

Since launching my campaign to ‘Protect The Protectors’ last year, many officers have come to me with horrendous tales of having being spat at whilst on duty. As well as...

Speaker-of-the-House-of-Commons-John-Bercow.jpg

On Monday this week something quite special happened in the Chamber and I wanted to place on record, my support for The Speaker of the House, John Bercow.

As The Speaker, his command of the English language never fails to amaze me (if not leave me reaching for the dictionary) and it has allowed him to manage many a sticky situation in the chamber, often with a unique balance of grace and humour.

Since arriving at Westminster, I have found the Speaker to have a reassuring grasp of the need to both respect the traditions and the heritage of our Parliament, but also embrace every opportunity to reach out to the country, using new techonolgy and media platforms to bring the public and the House of Commons closer together. His Education Centre for schools is just one of the examples that springs to mind.

Whilst the Speaker is elected as a Member of Parliament, on becoming The Speaker, he then serves as a chair to procedings in the Chamber, and seeks to remain neutral and above the politics unfolding inside.

That having been said, when he was asked about a State Visit of President Trump on Monday this week, and the suggestion that it could involve an address to both houses - the House of Commons and the House of Lords – he made his feelings quite clear that he was not in favour.

I like many others, am worried about the election of President Trump, and whilst I live in hope that the legacy of the ‘Special Relationship’ might give us the opportunity to impress our expectations on him, I believe he still has a lot to prove before members of the UK Parliament would want to see him here.

I am a long way from being satisfied that President Trump shares our values around respect, equality, human rights and upholding the personal freedoms that we hold dear, and my hopes that his actions would not be as severe as his rhetoric were diminished within days of him taking office.

I for one was incredibly proud when the Speaker conveyed the same message to the House and to the world. It comes as no surprise to me that elements of the press, the same press who make a profit selling papers by playing on the same fears that Donald Trump does, have been grossly offended by his decision to take such a stance.

I want to thank you Mr Speaker for upholding the values of our nation and our Parliament. Where the Prime Minister failed, it fell to you, to put party politics aside and simply assert universal values that we can all be proud of.

We all regret that President Trump is currently falling a long way short of those values, and I like many of my colleagues believe that he should not be welcome into the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ until that drastcially changes for the better.

You can watch The Speaker’s full response to the Point of Order online here:
https://youtu.be/QP0c6smM_NM

Blog: "Thank you Mr Speaker"

On Monday this week something quite special happened in the Chamber and I wanted to place on record, my support for The Speaker of the House, John Bercow.


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