Holly Lynch MP

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

News

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Holly has welcomed today’s decision by Wetherspoons to phase out straws across its 900 pubs in the UK and Republic of Ireland by the end of this year.

She has recently launched a campaign to reduce the amount of waste resulting from plastic drinking straws and wrote to the top 20 chain restaurants and pubs urging them to offer straws on request only.

Commenting on today’s announcement by Wetherspoons she said:

“This is a really welcome announcement by one of the country’s most prominent pub chains. It is great to see them taking a lead on tackling avoidable plastic waste.

“Globally over 500m straws are thrown away every day with almost all of them ending up in landfill, being incinerated, or in our waterways, seas and oceans.

“I’m calling on more pubs and restaurants to join this growing campaign which has widespread public support. Working together on this we can make a real difference towards tackling the problem of single use plastics.”

Holly welcomes Wetherspoon's announcement to phase out straws

Holly has welcomed today’s decision by Wetherspoons to phase out straws across its 900 pubs in the UK and Republic of Ireland by the end of this year. She has...

This week, I have written to the top 20 chain restaurants and bars asking them to join the campaign to ditch drinking straws.

We are all in the habit of using low-cost, consumable plastics which may offer small conveniences at the time, but all add up to have a detrimental impact on our communities and environment.

However things are starting to change. When you consider the reduction in the use of plastic carrier-bags since a fee was introduced in conjunction with awareness raising campaigns, progress is being made in reducing the amount of plastic waste we produce.

Similarly, drinking straws have become ever-present in our bars, pubs and restaurants. It is not unusual to order a drink which comes with one or two straws whether we have asked for them or not. These straws are designed for a single use, lasting for a matter of minutes, yet once thrown away they will litter our planet for centuries.

Globally, over 500 million straws are thrown away every single day. They are very rarely recycled meaning most will be either incinerated or sent to landfill. Unfortunately, many straws also end up in our waterways, seas and oceans and form part of the estimated 5 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tons afloat at sea. This results in great harm to sea life, impacting on birds, fish and sea mammals.

There have been many highlighted cases of this including a study last August by Plymouth University which reported that plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish with cod, haddock and mackerel all affected. Many people will also have seen the video of a Sea Turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nostril which has to be removed, causing immense pain for the animal.

An obvious first step is to ask ourselves - do we really notice if a drink comes with or without a straw? Is a straw really necessary? Much in the same way many of us do with plastic bags since the introduction of a small charge.  

So this week, I have written to the top 20 pub, bar and restaurant chains to urge them to adopt a straws on request policy. Listing straws on menus as ‘available on request’ and providing biodegradable straws to those who do need them would help bring about a huge reduction in plastic waste.

All Bar One have taken a lead on this and have already committed to phasing out plastic straws from their bars in an effort to reduce the 4.7 million straws they purchase each year.

You can let your favourite bars, pubs and restaurants know that you’re joining the #GoStrawFree campaign by tweeting your support or writing to their head office. It is crucial that they know there is widespread public support for tackling damaging levels of plastic waste.

It is my hope is that with consumers, businesses and law makers working together on this, we can make a real difference towards tackling the problem of single use plastics.

This article first appeared on the Politics Home website https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/environment/opinion/house-commons/89135/holly-lynch-mp-its-final-straw-waste-plastic-bars

Holly's Blog: FInal Straw for Waste Plastic

This week, I have written to the top 20 chain restaurants and bars asking them to join the campaign to ditch drinking straws. We are all in the habit of...

Holly Lynch MP has joined 157 Parliamentarians calling on the Government to suspend and review its military training programme of the Burmese military in light of the recent escalation of violence towards Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Following attacks against government buildings on 25th of August by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the Burmese military have been accused by the United Nations, human rights organisations and Rohingya organisations of killing hundreds of people and forcing more than 100,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee from their homes.

In a letter addressed to the Foreign Secretary, the 157 Parliamentarians have urged Boris Johnson MP to apply greater pressure on both Aung San Sui Kyi and Min Aung Hlaing, commander in chief of the military in Myanmar, see below.

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Holly signs letter urging action on Rohingya

Holly Lynch MP has joined 157 Parliamentarians calling on the Government to suspend and review its military training programme of the Burmese military in light of the recent escalation of violence...

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Holly has had a busy summer and her Summer Report provides a round up of her activities, working on both national campaigns and the local issues which have been keeping her and her team busy in Halifax.

Click below to read about Holly's recent work including her trip to Halifax's twin town of Aachen, her work on fishing issues as a Shadow Minister, and her thoughts on the Piece Hall redevelopment.

To read the report click here.

 

 

Summer Report

Holly has had a busy summer and her Summer Report provides a round up of her activities, working on both national campaigns and the local issues which have been keeping her and her...

Read Holly's article for the Yorkshire Post on 03/08/17 here.

Yorkshire Post Article - End this unfairness for young workers

Read Holly's article for the Yorkshire Post on 03/08/17 here.

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I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped with our campaign in Halifax and all those who backed Labour at this election. I'm delighted to be re-elected as the MP for my hometown.

We won in all but one of the wards that make up the constituency showing the broad base of support for Labour’s positive message in this campaign. From my conversations with people on the doorstep it is clear that there is a real enthusiasm for our policies to hire more police officers, to invest in the NHS and to scrap tuition fees for our students.

Although nationally Labour have fallen short of forming a Government the result is undoubtedly a rejection of 7 years of falling living standards and Conservative cuts to our public services. I struggle to see how Theresa May will manage to pass many of her manifesto promises, such as the dementia tax, and Labour will oppose them every step of the way on these proposals.

This campaign has been powered by hundreds of volunteers who helped take our positive message directly to voters in Halifax. I’m hugely grateful for their efforts which resulted in over 20,000 conversations with local people.

The next few years will see some exciting developments for Halifax with the Piece Hall set to open this summer as well as the new library, the improved Square Chapel and revamped Industrial Museum. We all want these projects to be a success and I will provide any support they need.

I am also looking forward to continuing my campaigns; protecting our emergency services and those who work for them, defending our local schools and our hospital, and fighting for a fair living wage for under 25 year olds.

"I'm delighted to be re-elected as the MP for my hometown."

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped with our campaign in Halifax and all those who backed Labour at this election. I'm delighted to be...

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Halifax Labour candidate Holly Lynch has expressed her delight that Halifax has been officially declared a Fairtrade Town after nearly two years' work by Ms Lynch and local campaigners coordinating the application.

The award recognises a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the Fairtrade Mark and was presented by the Fairtrade Foundation at a special event in Halifax last Friday.

Fairtrade products guarantee that producers in the poorest parts of the world receive a fair price for the products they trade. The most popular Fairtrade product is bananas with one in three bananas bought in the UK being Fairtrade.

To become a Fairtrade Town required meeting certain criteria that show a commitment to Fairtrade. These included an active campaigning group for Fairtrade, shops, cafes and supermarkets stocking Fairtrade goods, and having passed a motion in support at Calderdale Council.

Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation said:

“Many congratulations to everyone involved. It’s inspiring work by Halifax campaigners and wonderful to have such active support from across the community.

“As a Fairtrade Town residents of Halifax can be proud that their efforts mean more producers receive a fair and stable price, get an extra premium to invest in their community and have improved workplace conditions and protection.”

During her time as an MP for Halifax Holly Lynch has been coordinating the bid for Fairtrade Town status. Ms Lynch said:

“This has been a long process and I have been working hard to achieve this award for Halifax. I am immensely proud of everyone here who has helped out and it was great to get everyone together for the special event where the award was presented.

“I’ve met with many schools, places of worship, employers, shop and cafe owners and local campaigners in our town while putting together the application. It’s been fantastic to see how many people are motivated to make a small change to their shopping to make a big difference to the poorest in the world.

“This is just the beginning and I’m hoping to keep on working closely with the newly established Halifax Fairtrade group to build on this success.”

The award puts Halifax in good company with 1,830 Fairtrade towns worldwide so far, one of the latest being Rio de Janeiro. Speaking after the launch event Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift said:

“This is a huge boost for Halifax and means that we now have two Fairtrade towns in the borough as Hebden Bridge has also attained this status.

“The council passed a motion supporting Fairtrade last year showing support for those in the developing world and recognising the advantages this prestigious status brings to the town.”

“I commend Holly’s work on this issue and this award is the result on two years of hard work to achieve this status for her hometown.”

Halifax awarded prestigious Fairtrade Town status

Halifax Labour candidate Holly Lynch has expressed her delight that Halifax has been officially declared a Fairtrade Town after nearly two years' work by Ms Lynch and local campaigners coordinating...

Halifax Labour candidate Holly Lynch has attacked the Conservative’s record on transport in Calderdale after the Conservative Transport Minister promised improvements to local rail services at a campaign stop at Sowerby Bridge Station.

In a video filmed at the station Ms Lynch claims that the Conservatives have failed to deliver on past campaign promises:

“Chris Grayling was here just this week talking about electrification. This Government keep on hiding behind excuses and we know they’re not going to deliver that anytime soon.

“They only show up talking about how important transport is in Halifax when there’s a General Election on.

“I’ve been campaigning on these issues for the last two years and it really bothers me that they only want to talk about it now.”

During a campaign stop video with Conservative Candidate for Halifax, which was posted on the social network Twitter, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

“This is one of the lines that is going to be getting new trains, longer trains, better services as its modernised and then the electrification.”

A local rail expert explained that it was very unlikely that the Conservatives would keep the promise to deliver electrification in the near future:

“The fact is nobody knows when the Calder Valley Line is going to be electrified. The Department for Transport over which Grayling presides is at the moment in the process of backtracking on all sorts of electrification commitments.

“I wouldn't be at all surprised if early next year the announcement is that wiring from Huddersfield to Manchester is "too difficult", and the Calder Valley Line is behind the Huddersfield line in the queue.

“Ten years away might be a reasonable estimate. Since the Northern Electrification Taskforce put the Calder Valley Line at the top of the list of schemes over 2 years ago, the government has done absolutely nothing to suggest it will pursue these schemes.

“The Conservative candidate’s opening on the video is really quite disingenuous.”

Holly slams Conservatives for broken transport promises following Transport Secretary visit

Halifax Labour candidate Holly Lynch has attacked the Conservative’s record on transport in Calderdale after the Conservative Transport Minister promised improvements to local rail services at a campaign stop at...

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Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth has backed a campaign to increase protections for emergency service workers from assault after meeting with paramedics in Halifax this week.

Halifax Labour candidate Holly Lynch has been running a campaign to ‘Protect the Protectors’ after having to call 999 from the back of a police car for back-up when shadowing a police officer in Halifax last year who was at risk of being assaulted.

Local paramedics from the trade unions UNITE, Unison and GMB met with Ms Lynch and Mr Ashworth and explained some of the dangers they face on the job.

A report published earlier this year by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service revealed that staff faced “violence and aggression” on a weekly basis. There was a 50 per cent increase in reported incidents of verbal and physical attacks on staff, with 606 incidents reported in 2015-16.

Mr Ashworth used the visit to announce that a Labour Government would introduce legislation to make it a specific offence to attack NHS staff as “no one should have to go to work scared and intimidated”.

Speaking after the meeting he said:

“Today I've been in Halifax listening to paramedics about the conditions they work in. They are assaulted and threatened week in week out, just going about their duty serving the community. It's a disgrace.

“Following the brilliant campaigning work of Halifax’s Labour candidate Holly Lynch, as Secretary of State for Health I'll make it a specific criminal offence to assault paramedics and NHS staff.”

Ms Lynch said:

“It’s great to get Jon’s support for my campaign to introduce more protections for emergency service workers.

“I’ve been working hard over the last two years to tackle this problem and recently put forward a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament which, despite having cross party support, the Government failed to adopt.

“If emergency workers feel unsafe we all get a worse service. Those who assault these brave workers should receive custodial sentences which reflect the seriousness of the crime.”

Labour Health Secretary Backs Holly's Campaign against 'disgrace' of Paramedic Assaults

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth has backed a campaign to increase protections for emergency service workers from assault after meeting with paramedics in Halifax this week. Halifax Labour candidate...

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Holly’s campaign to deliver free entry to the popular Eureka Museum has received a boost from the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party who backed the proposal during a visit to Halifax this week.

Holly is calling on the Government to review its rules on museum funding which see the pioneering Eureka! miss out.

Holly and Eureka! chief executive Leigh-Anne Stradeski held talks with Conservative Minister Matt Hancock over the lack of support for the pioneering attraction in Halifax last December.

“It cannot be right that almost all the top museums in London are free yet families in Halifax have to pay to access their local cultural spaces” said Holly.

“Of all the National Museums, the ‘children’s museum’ should surely be as accessible as possible so it’s great to get this support from Tom Watson for my campaign.”

Despite being The National Children’s Museum, Eureka! does not qualify for the financial support which allows other national museums to allow free entry.

Ms Stradeski explained:

“Any profits from our entrance fees, gift shop, café, nursery and corporate activities go towards staffing and general upkeep of Eureka! Museum and Nursery.

“Eureka! currently gets no Government support and additional funding could bring the benefit of our unique educational experience to many more children from diverse backgrounds, opening their eyes to their potential and inspiring them to pursue new learning opportunities as they grow older.

“It was great to meet with Tom Watson and our local MP Holly Lynch who recently organised a meeting in London with myself and the Museums Minister on this issue.”

The Government has previously defended its decision not to fund Eureka! on the same basis as other national museums. Ministers have pointed to the collection of artefacts held by institutions such as the British Museum and described those of attractions such as Eureka! as “not of a standard or scale comparable”.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson MP said:

 “Eureka! is a world class museum, it’s somewhere I’ve brought my own children and it was fantastic today to see the huge range of exhibits and activities for children of all ages.

 “I pay tribute to Holly Lynch’s campaign for proper government funding for this museum – it is a national museum, with children coming from across the country to experience it, and it should be treated as such.

“On 8th June, people in Halifax have a choice to make – if you want a strong, determined campaigner who will fight for the issues that matter here in Halifax, you need to re-elect Holly.”

Deputy Labour Leader Tom Watson backs Holly's campaign on Eureka Funding

Holly’s campaign to deliver free entry to the popular Eureka Museum has received a boost from the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party who backed the proposal during a visit...

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