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Kate has nominated a group of students from Stretford High and Stretford Grammar schools for an award for their work helping refugee children. 

Following a tough selection process, Ajai Singh, Danish Amin, Aimee Monaghan and Sania Muhammed from Stretford High and Lauryn Duncan-Rouse, Dylan Holden-Sim and Adeel Anwar from Stretford Grammar travelled to Dunkirk in July 2016, together with some of their teachers, to work in a refugee camp school.

While at Dunkirk, the students worked full time with the refugee children –doing everything from organising and throwing an Eid party to helping the children with their English, Maths and Art. The students also helped the children develop "soft skills" such as sharing, helping others and teamwork. 

The work undertaken by the Stretford students was very challenging. The refugee children had very little experience of school and even sitting at a desk presented a challenge for them. However, the students maintained a calm professionalism throughout and were a credit to their schools and their communities.

On returning to the UK, the students addressed a Trafford Council meeting to let councillors and the Mayor know about the work they’d done and implored the local council officials to do their part in helping to alleviate the refugee crisis.

Kate was really impressed to hear about the students work and therefore nominated the students under the category ‘Most Inspirational Young Person’ for a 2017 Kids Count “Inspire the House” Award.

Kids Count is a grass-roots organisation aiming to find practical solutions to issues that affect children and young people.

The aim of the “Inspire the House” awards is to recognise those individuals and organisations that have quite literally inspired young people in their communities.

Kate said: “I’m really proud of the work of the students from Stretford High and Stretford Grammar Schools in Dunkirk. It’s great to be able to recognise their achievements by nominating them for this award – I’m keeping everything crossed that they’ll be successful. 

“With so much division and uncertainty in the world today, the future of our community certainly seems bright when our young people take such positive action helping others.”

Hearing about the nomination, Aimee Monaghan, one of the Stretford High School students involved in the project said, “It is an honour to be nominated in recognition of the work we did in Dunkirk with the young refugees.

“It was an eye opening experience for all of the students and teachers involved and one that I will never forget."

Kate nominates inspirational local young people for award

Kate has nominated a group of students from Stretford High and Stretford Grammar schools for an award for their work helping refugee children. 

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Kate has started the new parliamentary term highlighting the importance of animal welfare by meeting with the RSPCA and their inspectors at the House of Commons.

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.

Kate said: “I’m proud to support the RSPCA and the work that their inspectors do to protect animals on the ground in Trafford. 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 an issue that I intend to take up on their behalf in this parliament.

“I’m 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.”

David Bowles, Head of Public Affairs at the RSPCA, said: “It is always a pleasure to be able to highlight the work that our outstanding team of inspectors do day in, day out, twenty four hours a day. Despite having limited resources the RSPCA continues to be the leading enforcement organisation for animal welfare in England and Wales, as the fact that we receive a call to our Cruelty Line every 27 seconds shows.

“As the UK exits the European Union there are all sorts of animal welfare issues that we need to work with politicians to make progress on; from protecting animal sentience to working to end live animal exports, from reforming the Common Agricultural Policy to encourage better farm animal welfare to improving food labelling.”

 

Kate meets RSPCA inspectors in parliament

Kate has started the new parliamentary term highlighting the importance of animal welfare by meeting with the RSPCA and their inspectors at the House of Commons.

Parliament resumed two weeks ago after the summer break. Business has been dominated by the process of withdrawing from the European Union.

Whether you voted to leave the EU or to remain, the situation is pretty alarming. The government have now frittered away 15 months since last year's referendum. We need to have wrapped up the exit arrangements by the end of next year, to allow time for the UK and EU parliaments to vote on the final exit agreement. Yet we're no further forward in agreeing a deal with the other 27 EU countries about arrangements for our exit. 

No deal on how much money the UK might have to pay. No deal on what happens to UK citizens living in EU countries (or EU citizens in this country) after Brexit. No deal on trading arrangements, no deal on cross-border police and security, no deal on travelling between the UK and the EU, no deal on the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Instead, Conservative ministers have taken the opportunity for a series of shocking power grabs from parliament. The EU Withdrawal Bill allows them to change any law without a vote in parliament if they think it's necessary to give effect to Brexit. In votes that went on until nearly 1am last Monday, Labour voted against this outrageous bill, and even some Tories are unhappy with it. 

Then, on Tuesday, we saw another blatant power grab, when the Tories forced through a vote giving them an inbuilt majority on so-called 'delegated legislation' committees - the committees that will scrutinise the detail of these law changes. And as a final insult to democracy, on Wednesday when the government realised it would lose votes to Labour on NHS pay and on student fees, the Tories simply refused to hold a vote at all.

This isn't the way democracy works, handing absolute power to the government. It isn't democracy when a party that doesn't win a majority in a general election fixes itself a majority on parliamentary committees. Democracy isn't just a talking shop - votes are a vital part of decision-making, representation and accountability. Airbrushing votes out of the parliamentary process is downright undemocratic. 

 I'm so angry about all this, and it's got nothing to do with Brexit. It is a fundamentally dangerous attack on British parliamentary democracy. I don't want any prime minister, any government, to be able to force through laws without proper scrutiny, but that's what the government has enabled. Labour will be fighting the EU Withdrawal Bill tooth and nail as it continues its passage through parliament.

Meantime, if you'd like to hear more about the Brexit process, I'm holding a public meeting from 6-7.30 pm on Monday evening at Stretford Public Hall - contact my office 0161 749 9120 for more details.

Finally, some good news, especially if you live in Partington, Carrington or Ashton on Mersey. I'm delighted to report the election last night of a new Labour Councillor, Aidan Williams, in a by-election to Trafford Council. That's another dent in the Tory majority on Trafford Council, and local people will have an excellent and very hardworking councillor in Aidan. After events in parliament over the past few days, it's nice to know at least that democracy remains alive and well locally.

 Best wishes

 

Kate

Labour resist determined Conservative attempts to grab power from parliament

Parliament resumed two weeks ago after the summer break. Business has been dominated by the process of withdrawing from the European Union. Whether you voted to leave the EU or...


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