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Kate has visited Trafford Park based Brew Tea Co.to see the benefits the business is enjoying since its connection to ultrafast broadband. 

Brew Tea Co., which provides high quality rolled, whole leaf tea for supermarkets such as Waitrose and Sainsburys, has recruited 10 new staff and increased its business by 40 per cent since getting the latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, which is capable of delivering ultrafast speeds up to one gigabit per second (Gbps).   

The firm is one of more than 8,000 businesses in Greater Manchester able to benefit from high-speed fibre broadband being rolled out by the Get Digital Faster programme.

Get Digital Faster, which is supported with funding from the UK Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, local Greater Manchester districts, the EU and BT, has also made fibre broadband available to nearly 40,000 households.

Aideen Kirby, co-founder of the Brew Tea Co, which started using ultrafast broadband last Autumn, said: “Since ordering fibre broadband, the difference to my business is like night to day. I’ve been able to streamline my business by taking advantage of apps in the cloud, which has made our order process more streamlined.  This wasn’t possible when we had our slow broadband connection.

“The fast connection, giving us access to cloud software, has meant we can take and fulfil more orders and predict demand more accurately so much so we’ve had to take on 10 new staff to cope with the demand.

“It doesn't just help with order processing though, it helps us with literally every aspect of our business from financial planning to raw material tracking to order processing. It's this streamlined process that has helped us focus on growth rather than living up to our necks in paperwork and my business has grown 40 per cent as a result.”

Kate said: “Fast, reliable broadband is crucial for our local businesses and it’s great to hear of the success Brew Tea Co. have had since they started using ultrafast broadband.

“As MP, over the past several years I’ve pressed Ministers to introduce superfast broadband in Trafford Park and will continue to press for this so that all local businesses can see the benefits of a fast and reliable internet connection enjoyed by Brew Tea Co.”

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Kate visits Brew Tea Co. to see their broadband success

Kate has visited Trafford Park based Brew Tea Co.to see the benefits the business is enjoying since its connection to ultrafast broadband. 

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Kate has called for local musicians to get the best possible deal from Brexit. 

Musicians are very concerned that the Brexit process may lead to the introduction of individual member state work permits and/or visas for British musicians touring and working across Europe.

Most professional musicians and performers rely on touring and travelling for their careers and livelihoods and gigs are often organised at short notice. As some performers can be working in several different European countries over the course of a few days, the possible introduction of work permissions and/or visas for British musicians touring and working in Europe could be extremely detrimental.

The creative industries are worth over £87bn in GVA – more than oil and gas, life sciences and aerospace combined – and is the fastest-growing sector of the economy, employing 1 in 11 people.

The UK is the largest producer of recorded music in Europe and is the second largest exporter of music (after the USA).

Kate said: “I support professional musicians and performers in Manchester, and will urge the government to ensure that they can continue to be able to travel easily across Europe post-Brexit for touring and performing with the minimum amount of hassle”.

“Kelly Hingley, a member of the Musicians’ Union who lives in Stretford, said, “I’m really worried that the Brexit process might make it more difficult for us musicians to be able to tour freely around Europe.

“Many of our livelihoods depend on being able to easily tour around Europe, often at short notice. That’s why I’m really pleased that Kate has pledged to support Musicians in parliament.”

Horace Trubridge, Musicians’ Union General Secretary says: “British musicians have long enjoyed easy access to touring in Europe, as UK venues and festivals have benefited from easy access to European performers.

“We know from touring in the US and elsewhere, that visas and other restrictions impose significant costs and administration, and occasionally considerable financial loss when visas aren’t processed in time. We are calling on MPs and the Government to help secure a deal that will ensure ease of movement for touring and performing post-Brexit”.  

Kate backs musicians in her constituency to get the best possible deal from Brexit

Kate has called for local musicians to get the best possible deal from Brexit. 


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Less than a month into the new parliament and the government is in more disarray than ever. It has so little new legislation to propose that debates that would normally take place among small committees of MPs are being held for all of us in the full chamber. Without a majority unless the DUP care to turn up, the government is having to abandon large swathes of the Conservative manifesto. Meanwhile ministers are forced to back down on a whole host of their plans whenever they look like losing a vote on them.  

So, last week the government was forced into abandoning charges for Northern Ireland women who have to come to England for abortions, when so many Tory backbenchers refused to back their ministers. This week, my colleague Diana Johnson forced a major climbdown, when ministers finally gave way on calls for a public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal.

This matter goes back many decades, when the NHS bought blood cheaply from abroad. Some of it had been supplied by drug addicts, or those with diseases, and as a result, infections were passed on to British patients receiving blood transfusions. Many became ill; some died. Yet until now, they and their families have been denied justice. It's good news that there will finally be a proper inquiry into what happened and who is responsible.

But these wins apart, the lack of business is frustrating for Labour MPs - we are keen to be up and at the government. So I was glad to participate in a debate on fire safety, calling for much more clarity and vigour in the aftermath of terrible fire in Grenfell Tower (you can read it here). But overall, there has been so little legislation, and so few proper debates, that this week Labour demanded, and secured, time for a debate about.....the lack of debates. It sounds a bit 'through the looking glass', but look out for that debate happening on Monday.

And in another example of how parliament works (or doesn't), along came the government's Repeal Bill, which is a bill to incorporate all EU law onto our statute book ahead of Brexit. We won't be debating that before the summer break, but when the bill was introduced on Thursday, we had to explain to new MPs that the clerk's announcement that the next debate on the bill would take place 'tomorrow' actually meant that it would happen in September.

Tomorrow isn't tomorrow in parliament, but rather sometime in the future. It can take a while to get your head round how the place goes about its business.

Things are much more straightforward back in Manchester, where I've been involved in some very moving activities. I attended the annual commemoration ceremony for mesothelioma victims, and joined campaigners in calling for funding for research into this terrible cancer. It was a pleasure to lecture at St Michael's Flixton as part of Flixton Folk Festival. The subject was 'Hope, not Hate', and it couldn't have been more timely, as this week we remember the Srebrenica genocide. I was also glad to attend a remembrance service for Srebrenica victims in Manchester cathedral.

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It was also a pleasure to attend Trafford Music Service's summer concert, and to listen to some very talented young performers. And I thoroughly enjoyed my 'digital surgery' with Lostock College, a Q&A organised by the Politics Project, which we held on skype for students to question me about political issues. We had more debate in that hour online than I saw in the whole week in parliament. 

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Kate's blog: A frustrating lack of legislation in the new parliament as this government is in more disarray than ever

Less than a month into the new parliament and the government is in more disarray than ever. It has so little new legislation to propose that debates that would normally...


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