Local Conservative MP Andrew Bingham has welcomed recent news that prisoners across England and Wales will in future need to make real progress towards their own rehabilitation and work hard in prison before they can receive privileges, like access to television sets and being able to wear their own clothes.
Under the new policy, the mere absence of bad behaviour will not be enough to earn perks, as is the case at the moment. Other changes include:
• All convicted adult male prisoners will have to wear prison uniform whilst on the new Entry-level in prisons.
• In-cell television sets will not be provided for prisoners on basic level and no prisoner should be allowed to watch television when he should be working or engaging in purposeful activity.
• Prison regimes will change so that convicted prisoners will work a longer day and bad behaviour will lead to a downgrade in status.
Welcoming the new measures, Andrew said:
“Like many local people across the High Peak, I think our prisons should be places of hard work and serious rehabilitation. Any privileges that convicted criminals receive should be hard-earned, and be rewards for taking real steps towards rehabilitation and reform. They certainly should not come as a right.
“Conservatives are on the side of people who work hard and do the right thing. These tough and sensible reforms show that our prisons are becoming places of serious rehabilitation and reform. That way we can break the cycle of reoffending and make our streets and communities safer.”
Conservative Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP said:
“It is not right that some prisoners appear to be spending hours languishing in their cells and watching daytime television while the rest of the country goes out to work.
“For too long, there has been an expectation that privileges are an automatic right, given simply as a reward for staying out of trouble. This cannot continue. Prisoners need to earn privileges, not simply through the avoidance of bad behaviour but also by working, taking part in education or accepting the opportunities to rehabilitate themselves.
“We have reviewed the scheme fully, and I believe it is now something the public can have confidence in. Only by tackling bad behaviour and taking part in education or work programmes as well as addressing any alcohol or drug issues can we cut reoffending.”
Local MP Andrew Bingham recently joined an Ofgem drive to increase the take-up of free services available from energy suppliers. These services are available to vulnerable people who sign up to the Priority Service Register (PSR).
The Priority Service Register is a list of domestic customers who are of pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick. Each energy supplier is required to have their own PSR and to provide free help to people who add themselves, or are referred, to their list. Ofgem have launched a new referral form to make it even easier to sign up to the PSR.
The type of services available to PSR customers include:
• Advance notice of planned power cuts for customers who depend on their energy supply for medical reasons.
• Password protection scheme to provide reassurance that callers, for example meter readers, are genuine.
• Bill nominee scheme – customers can ask their supplier to send their bill to anybody (for example a family member or carer) who has agreed to receive it.
• Prepayment meters – if a customer is unable to bend down or reach to their prepayment meter they can asked for it to be moved.
• Accessible information – suppliers can provide customers with account and bill information in an accessible format e.g. larger print or braille.
• Free annual gas appliance safety checks for homeowners.
“Currently there are over 2 million people signed up to a Priority Service Register, but many more eligible people remain unaware that it exists and what benefits it could bring them. Ofgem’s new form is a quick and simple way to sign up and gain access to free services for those that need them most. I am working with and for constituents to raise awareness of the PSR and urge people to sign up now.”
Andrew visited local firm Avanti Conveyors last week, to see for himself how they have expanded both their manufacturing and exporting activity.
Avanti Conveyors is a world leader in conveyor systems and an international supplier – exporting to over 30 countries and with hundreds of installations all over the world. Established in 1988 and based in Furness Vale, they have developed a reputation for technical excellence in their field of expertise and manufacture their complete machinery range locally.
Andrew’s visit to the company followed an invite from Managing Director Simon Mander. Andrew was shown around the site and spoke to some of the staff, as well as discussing the expansion of the firm with Mr Mander.
Managing Director of Avanti, Simon Mander, said:
"We'd like to thank Andrew for visiting us today. Not only are Keith and I delighted that he made time to visit, but more importantly his visit was a great boost to our staff. They have worked amazingly hard since the recession in building the business today and Andrew's visit really cemented the importance of what they have built."
“I’m delighted to visit yet another manufacturing company based in the High Peak, who are bucking the current economic climate and expanding their business. Avanti and their staff have worked hard to get where they are now, and they demonstrate once again that manufacturing is certainly alive and well here in the High Peak.”
High Peak MP Andrew Bingham has added his voice to those paying tribute to Baroness Thatcher following her death on Monday. Andrew said:
"Mrs. Thatcher was a giant of the political landscape. She divided opinion and many took issue with her policies, but she inherited a country in 1979 which was dubbed the sick man of Europe and left it as one of the main economic power centres of the continent.
"I was privileged to meet her on more than one occasion and the first time I saw her - in the early 90's, before I was involved in politics - she spoke of the need for people who have worked outside politics to enter politics in later life to bring their knowledge and experience to government of all levels. It was this speech that made me look to get involved in politics."
"She was Britain's first - and so far only - female Prime Minister, which in itself was a great achievement and it is widely acknowledged that she, along with Clement Atlee, was a Prime Minister who really changed the country. She will be sadly missed and I hope that everyone, even those who opposed her policies, will lament the loss of the person as well as probably Britain's greatest peacetime Prime Minister."
Local MP Andrew Bingham met with a new ‘collaborative law’ service called HOTpod in Glossop last week.
Andrew met with Alison Bull, solicitor & mediator at Mills & Reeve in Manchester, and Anita Shepherd, spokeswoman for HOTpod and head of the collaborative law team at Davis Blank Furniss.
The concept of collaborative law is relatively new, differing from mediation as it provides couples with legal and financial support during the separation process.
HOTpod is a service - involving family lawyers, finance professionals and counsellors - which has recently been launched in the Glossop area to help couples sort out their differences. It is overseen by Resolution, formerly known as the Solicitors Family Law Association.
Member organisations include local law firms Davis Blank Furniss, and Bakers Solicitors, along with other firms in the Manchester and Macclesfield areas.
"I was very pleased to meet with Alison and Anita to discuss this new service, as I think that anything which can help families through such a traumatic time is to be applauded. I hope the launch of HOTpod will help couples and families across Glossop and the High Peak."
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