Labour MPs from across the region came together in a Parliamentary debate to demand that the Government reconsider the tolls on the two bridges across the Mersey in Halton.
Following the construction of the Mersey Gateway Bridge, tolls of £2 in each direction on both the new bridge and the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge were introduced. For regular uses, this can lead to a new cost of over £1,000 per year. Only residents living in the Borough of Halton do not have to pay the charges.
Weaver Vale MP, Mike Amesbury labelled this "a postcode lottery that people didn't ask to enter" and said that the winner of the 'lottery' is "a private company making quite a hefty profit."
Just two weeks before the 2015 General Election, the then Chancellor George Osborne promised residents in Warrington and Cheshire West & Chester that they would be exempt from the charges. But the Conservative party then u-turned and revoked this promise after its success in the election. Along with the fact that the offer was only made for marginal constituencies and not areas like Liverpool and Knowsley, this has led to accusations that it was an election stunt and not a genuine offer.
During the debate, reference was made to the new Queensferry Crossing across the Forth in Scotland, which was also opened this year and has no tolls in place. The Government recently announced that tolls across the Severn are being scrapped next year, while the 18 crossings across the Thames in Greater London are free.
Garston & Halewood MP, Maria Eagle said that some of her constituents "are considering giving up their jobs" because of the bridge tolls.
Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders agreed, saying that his “hard working constituents feel that they are being penalised for having a job” and asked “when did the so called Northern Powerhouse become a tax on jobs?”
Commenting after the debate, Justin Madders said:
“People in this area have been misled by the Government plain and simple. After a long campaign by many people in this region, we were promised free crossings for local residents ahead of the 2015 election, but they quietly backtracked on this a year later.
“What we have learned from this sorry story is that you can’t trust a word that this Tory Government says. They only pretend to listen to people in this region when they want our votes.
“This is a tax on jobs for people who travel across the Mersey for work, adding over £1,000 each year to their cost of living. Some are telling me that they would be better off losing their jobs.
“We will keep calling on the Government to keep their promises and scrap the tolls.”
Labour MPs from across the region came together in a Parliamentary debate to demand that the Government reconsider the tolls on the two bridges across the Mersey in Halton. Following...
Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, met with NHS providers and patients at a briefing held in Parliament to learn about radiotherapy and the benefits it can bring to cancer patients.
“Radiotherapy is a cost-effective and cutting-edge treatment that forms a core part of the health care regime for many cancer patients. Last year, more than 130,000 people with cancer in England had radiotherapy as part of their treatment.
“Although radiotherapy technology has rapidly advanced and investment has been made in replacing outdated machines throughout the UK, there is still variation in patient access across the country. Recent investment in new machines for the NHS is welcome, however further investment is essential to address the demand for this life-changing treatment.”
Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, met with NHS providers and patients at a briefing held in Parliament to learn about radiotherapy and the benefits it can bring...
Justin Madders MP has pledged to get on Purple Alert this November for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to help transform the lives of people affected by pancreatic cancer in Ellesmere Port and Neston.
At a Parliamentary drop-in event, Justin heard that 93 per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will not survive five years or more and there has been very little improvement in survival since the early 1970s.
“Tragically, pancreatic cancer took the lives of 171 people in the NHS West Cheshire CCG area during 2010-2014. It is clear that much more work is required to achieve the improvements in survival so desperately needed.
“This year, 9,600 people in the UK will get pancreatic cancer. I want to encourage everyone in Ellesmere Port and Neston to join me in getting on Purple Alert this November, to help change the future for everyone affected by the disease.
“To join the Purple Alert campaign and help Pancreatic Cancer UK raise funds to offer vital support to patients and families, invest in crucial research and be a voice for everyone affected by the disease, have a look at: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/pcam”
Justin Madders MP has pledged to get on Purple Alert this November for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to help transform the lives of people affected by pancreatic cancer in...
Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders is demanding action from the Government to support Vauxhall and the automotive sector ahead of the Autumn Budget.
In a private meeting with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP; Justin Madders emphasised the strategic importance of the manufacturing sector and the need for an interventionist approach from Government if the UK is to compete with the likes of Germany and France.
He called upon the Government to support the long-standing aspiration to bring more of the supply chain to Ellesmere Port, which would reduce costs and boost efficiency, as well as delivering a number of skilled jobs to the local economy.
In a separate move, Mr Madders has written to the country’s 41 Police and Crime Commissioners to encourage them to procure British manufactured vehicles. Cheshire Constabulary came under fire when it moved from locally made Vauxhall Astras to Hyundais, which are manufactured overseas. He is pushing for social impact to be given much greater consideration when purchasing decisions are made.
Commenting, Justin Madders said:
“The Ellesmere Port factory remains of one of the most efficient of its kind anywhere in Europe, but when we are competing against other countries, we need more than just a highly skilled and productive workforce.
“The countries with whom we are competing pull out all the stops to support their manufacturing industries, including offering incentives to relocate the supply chain and working with the owners to optimise the local infrastructure. It’s also much more common to see the public sector purchasing in a way that supports local jobs in other countries than our own.
“Ministers can’t afford to just sit on their hands and hope for the best any longer, a modern economy demands an active Government with a positive industrial strategy. I will continue to press the Chancellor to deliver the measures in the budget that our local area needs if it is to thrive. The budget later this month is the opportunity for the Government to show by its actions, not just words, that it supports British manufacturing.”
“There is also no escaping the fact that uncertainty around the plans for Brexit and the chaos at the heart of Theresa May’s Government have deterred companies like PSA from making long-term decisions about their future. We were promised a Northern Powerhouse, but it seems to have descended into a Westminster power struggle.”
Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders is demanding action from the Government to support Vauxhall and the automotive sector ahead of the Autumn Budget. In a private meeting with...
Local MP Justin Madders, is urging those in Ellesmere Port and Neston who are at risk of getting flu to get their free vaccine jab before winter sets in as it emerged that over 41,500 local people missed out on protection last year.
“Flu and complications associated with it cause 8,000 deaths a year on average in England - around 6,000 of which are people with existing heart and lung conditions.
“In the Cheshire West and Chester area last year 16,652 older people missed out on their jab and a further 17,174 working age people with long-term conditions also didn’t get the vaccine. Thousands of eligible young children and pregnant women also failed to take advantage of free protection.
“Getting the flu can be bad enough for even the fittest of us, but for older people and those with long-term conditions in particular, it can cause serious health problems.
“Getting the flu jab is free and easy, and offers the best chance we have of avoiding the flu. I’d therefore urge all those eligible – including all care home staff for the first time - to speak to your GP or local pharmacist and get your vaccination booked before the cold weather sets in.
“Information on eligibility for the free flu jab, and other tips on staying well this winter, can be found at www.nhs.uk/staywell .”
Local MP Justin Madders, is urging those in Ellesmere Port and Neston who are at risk of getting flu to get their free vaccine jab before winter sets in as...
A straightforward, cost effective and fair system should be established for the owners of leasehold houses to purchase the freehold of their home, an MP will propose in a new Bill. The system would also apply to the owners of flats where a majority of leaseholders within a block wish to purchase the freehold.
The new system would be based on a simple calculation, with a cap on the total paid for a freehold and would replace the lengthy, complicated and expensive system of enfranchisement currently in operation. Similar systems exist in Scotland, Northern Ireland and a number of other countries.
The new Bill, being introduced by Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders also seeks to establish a new compensation scheme for those who have been misled into leasehold agreements and to change the rules around the award of costs in Property Tribunal cases, which Madders claims are “unfairly weighted in favour of the freeholder.”
The Leasehold Reform Bill is to be introduced through the ‘Ten Minute Rule’ procedure, which allows an MP to make their case for a new law. The process will start with a ten minute speech by Justin Madders in the House of Commons on 7th November 2017.
The Government consultation, “tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market” closed on 19th September and proposed a number of measures including banning the sale of leasehold houses in future and limiting the ground-rent levied on other leasehold properties.
While Mr Madders, who is also the Deputy Chair of the APPG on Leasehold Reform, welcomed the Government’s proposals, he expressed concern that they did nothing to address the issues being experiences by existing leaseholders.
Commenting, Justin Madders MP said:
“Abuses of the leasehold system have made huge profits for developers, while causing misery to thousands of people. Many owners of leasehold houses were led to believe that they were buying their dream home, but instead they were providing a revenue stream for an offshore company operating from a tax haven.
“While I welcome the Government’s proposals, they do nothing to address the injustice that current leaseholders face, many of whom feel trapped in properties with escalating ground rents because of the complexity and expense of the current system for purchasing freeholds.
“The current system allows freeholders to delay and put off people who want to buy their freehold. The whole process is extremely costly, archaic and lacks transparency. Great expense is also incurred in just proceeding to a Tribunal to purchase the freehold due to the practice of freeholders using surveyors and lawyers to argue for unrealistically high costs to purchase the freehold. The system I am proposing removes the opportunity for them to do that: by creating a simple formula set out in law to purchase a freehold there will be no need to resort to expensive and time consuming tribunals.
“There have been some examples of poor practices by both developers and solicitors and in those cases, there needs to be some form of redress that does not rely upon the victims handing over thousands of pounds in legal fees.
“I hope that MPs from all parties will back these reforms, which would make a huge difference to large numbers of their constituents.”
A straightforward, cost effective and fair system should be established for the owners of leasehold houses to purchase the freehold of their home, an MP will propose in a new...
Justin Madders MP has criticised the Government’s failure to bring down the maximum allowed stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2
Labour MPs, including local Ellesmere Port & Neston MP Justin Madders, have been campaigning for many years to tighten control on FOBTs gaming machines which have been described as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ and have caused huge damage to families and communities across the country.
FOBTs machines allow users to gamble up to £100 every 20 seconds, which can lead to huge losses, wider societal issues and family breakdown.
British gamblers lost a total of £1.7 billion on FOBTs in 2015, and 11.5% of all FOBTs users are serious gambling addicts.
Today, following a much delayed review, and sustained pressure from the Labour Party and gambling campaigners, the Government has announced a further consultation on the maximum stake allowed on FOBTs, rather than take firm action to curb these addictive machines.
Restrictions on the machines would have a huge positive impact on the local area.
Figures compiled for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling estimate that there are 54 FOBTS in Ellesmere Port & Neston alone, with local residents losing £2,226,499 between 2015-16 and a total of £15,084,218 between 2008-2016.
Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston, said:
“This is a disappointing move from the Government, who appear deaf to the concerns raised by campaigners and others who have been telling the Government for years that they must do something about these highly addictive machines.
“Families across the country have been devastated by the effects of gambling addiction which is too often accompanied by theft and drug and alcohol abuse.
“Reducing the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2 will make all our communities safer and better off and it’s now up to the Government to reconsider its approach and take firm action now”
New figures estimate that over £15m was lost to the local economy through the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’
Justin Madders MP has criticised the Government’s failure to bring down the maximum allowed stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2 Labour MPs, including local Ellesmere Port...
Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, was delighted to meet eight-year-old German Shepherd Finn, along with handler PC Dave Wardell, at the recent International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) awards in Parliament.
Presented with IFAW’s Animal of the Year Award, hero police dog Finn beat the odds to survive horrific knife wounds to the head and chest inflicted in the line of duty just over a year ago whilst chasing a suspect. Despite his injuries, Finn held on to the suspect until PC Wardell was able to handcuff him. Finn was then rushed for emergency surgery where he was deemed to be within minutes of losing his life.
“I really enjoyed meeting Finn and his handler PC Dave Wardell and hearing their story first hand.
“Finn is a truly remarkable dog. His defence of his handler and his dedication to duty shows the special relationships that can exist between dogs and people and I fully support Dave’s campaign for ‘Finn’s Law’, calling for attacks on police animals to be recognised as more than ‘damage to property’.
“Although such attacks have now been elevated by the Sentencing Council from the category of criminal damage to an aggravated offence and there are plans to increase the maximum sentence under the Animal Welfare Act for the most severe cruelty cases to five years in prison, it is vital that we all keep up the pressure for the Government to keep its promise on this, and for police animals to be specifically recognised in this legislation.
“For more information visit http://www.finnslaw.com/”
Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, was delighted to meet eight-year-old German Shepherd Finn, along with handler PC Dave Wardell, at the recent International Fund for Animal Welfare...
Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, supported Organ Donation Week and an appeal for constituents to talk about organ donation at a recent Parliamentary reception.
33,278 people in Ellesmere Port and Neston are on the NHS Organ Donor Register but hundreds of lifesaving transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.
NHS Blood and Transplant, hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation are encouraging people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their relatives and friends.
“I’m proud to support this lifesaving appeal and it’s really easy for everyone to take part – just have a chat.
“If you want to be a donor, your family’s agreement is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register, so it’s important that they know what you want in advance.”
“I met Joanne Roberts from Ellesmere Port at the Parliamentary event and it was extremely interesting to be able to talk to someone who really knows how important organ donation is.
“At least one person dies every day whilst waiting for a kidney transplant and of the people on the transplant waiting list locally, around 90% of them are waiting for a kidney. You are more likely to need a transplant than to be a donor so please take a few minutes to have a think about what you would do if you needed a transplant, and have that life-saving chat with your family so they know your wishes.
“Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel an enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.”
Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, supported Organ Donation Week and an appeal for constituents to talk about organ donation at a recent Parliamentary reception. 33,278 people in...
Animal lover Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, met with the RSPCA and their inspectors at the House of Commons to highlight the importance of animal welfare.
“I’m proud to support the RSPCA and the work that their inspectors do to protect animals on the ground in Ellesmere Port and Neston. It was fantastic to meet some of their hard working inspectors and to thank them on behalf of the animal lovers in our area for all that they do.
“I know how important animal welfare issues are to my constituents and it is something that I intend to take up on their behalf in this Parliament. I am looking forward to working with the RSPCA to ensure that animal welfare is also a key part of the Brexit debate and that the protection of the idea that animals are sentient beings continues to be enshrined in UK law after we leave the EU.”
Since being founded in 1824, the RSPCA has established itself as the leading organisation on animal welfare in England and Wales and its influence has spread world-wide. Their work encompasses companion animals, farm animals, wildlife and animals used in research, and includes education and campaigning, as well as enforcement, rescue and rehabilitation.
In 2016 alone, the RSPCA received over 1.1 million calls to its cruelty line and investigated just under 160,000 complaints of animal cruelty.
Animal lover Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, met with the RSPCA and their inspectors at the House of Commons to highlight the importance of animal welfare. Justin...