Preston Constituency Newsletter - September 2016

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Mark Hendrick MP

Member of Parliament for Preston

Dear Member

Welcome to my September 2016 e-newsletter. 

It's been a particularly hectic year so far. In Parliament, the HS2 Committee, of which I was a member, concluded its business and submitted its findings, the outcome of which is currently with the House of Lords. This was a particularly intensive Committee which met four days a week and accepted 820 petitions.  We have also had Brexit, a new Prime Minister and Cabinet and an impending Labour Leadership contest, which will be concluded during the Conference Season later this month.

In the meantime, please find below some of my visits in Preston along with links to recent Parliamentary Questions on a range of topics. 

Please do get in touch with your feedback. 

Best wishes

Community Futures

I recently met with representatives of iCANN - Independent Community Advocacy Network North, who are based at the Community Futures in Fulwood and who provide a much needed service for people in the Preston area claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP). 

Trained volunteers are able to meet with individuals before their medical assessment to offer support and advice as well as help them to understand the process and to try to ensure that the person has their voice heard throughout their claim.

I am sorry to say that in these times of austerity, I have had many constituents who approach me about their ESA and PIP claims. Where they would benefit from an advocacy service in addition to the help I am able to give them as an MP, my office refers claimants to iCANN.

If you would like a referral to iCANN to assist you with your ESA or PIP claim, please contact the Constituency Office on 01772 883575.

The organisation is also actively seeking volunteers to provide their services, so if you're interested in becoming a volunteer, please visit their webpage.


Written Questions

I continue to ask many written questions to Ministers about a wide range of issues, breastfeeding facilities, English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review, the impact of Brexit on funding and recruitment of Astrophysicists, court facilities for victims of Domestic Violence, Alcoholic Drinks labelling amongst other issues.

I invite feedback on the questions raised and answers given by Ministers.  Please email me at, with your views.

Spoken Questions

Read the full text of my questions and speeches in the House of Commons.

Rock FM Radio

Pictured above with me is Rock FM Reporter Amy Scarisbrick discussing the current topics at his weekly radio interview. I meet with Amy weekly to discuss current political, local and national news stories. These are then broadcast throughout the following week as part of the regular news bulletins on Rock FM.  Please listen out for the broadcasts which I hope you find interesting.

St Augustine's Primary School
Visit to Parliament

I am always delighted to meet with young people who are showing an interest in our democratic system.  I recently met with year 5 and 6 Pupils from St Augustine's Primary School when they visited Parliament on a trip to London.  Before meeting me, they had taken a tour of the Palace of Westminster facilitated by the
Parliament Education Service. I am continually pleasantly surprised by the calibre of questions asked of me by the pupils, which cover a wide variety of topics and I hope that the visit has inspired the next generation of parliamentarians. 

If you would like to arrange a visit for your school group to visit Parliament, please visit the Parliament Education pages.  If they are fully booked, my office will be able to book a separate tour; please telephone 01772 883575 to request a booking.
Time to Fix Britain's Internet
This month, I have received a considerable number of emails in my inbox about the quality of broadband in Preston. A reliable broadband connection has become an essential part of everyday life for a lot of my constituents – and it's a real headache when something goes wrong.
While we’re all using the internet more and more, BT’s investment in the Openreach hasn’t grown (when you take inflation into account) for the best part of a decade, which means many of us still can’t get the speeds or the service we need to carry out everyday tasks.
Ofcom, the industry regulator, has realised that there is a problem and has set out plans about how to change Openreach. They’ve initiated a public consultation so that people in Preston can have their say about the future of the UK’s internet – I urge as many people as people to make their voice heard.  Visit: find out how you can take part in the consultation process.

I will be keeping a close eye on this campaign and hope to see a broadband provision that meets the growing needs of individuals, families and businesses in Preston.

Preston Muslim Girls High School  Awards Ceremony

I was honoured to have been invited to present the awards at Preston Muslim Girls School at their GCSE Award ceremony, earlier this year.

The school keeps going from strength to strength and this year celebrated outstanding GCSE results, with 87% of students gaining 5 GCSE passes or more across all subjects A*-C, including passes in English and Mathematics.

During the evening I was given the opportunity to speak to former pupils and parents about my long standing support for the school and to congratulate them on their academic success and also their commitment to fundraising. These results are once again a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone associated with the school; the Headteacher, Mufti Javid, teachers, staff, parents, governors, the local community and especially the pupils themselves.  Congratulations all!

Preston East Children's Centre Celebration

I attended the 10 Year Anniversary Celebration of Preston East Children's Centre in Brookfield, which was held on 23rd July 2016 to see first hand the invaluable support they offer to families in Preston.

Preston East Children's Centre runs many activities for babies, toddlers and parents which not only help to bond parent with child but also help form friendships and support networks. The centre also provides outreach services, one-to-one support and a Parents' Forum. As it has now been decade since the centre opened its door, it was appropriate that a celebration was held in the community, which included donkey rides, a bouncy castle, face painting, sports challenges and a tombola. A good day was had by all.

The Centre will continue to be funded by Lancashire County Council, following a recent consultation during which some services were earmarked for closure.  This is a great outcome for Preston East and the Brookfield area and I hope that their good work for local families can continue.
Copyright © 2016 Mark Hendrick MP, All rights reserved.

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