East Ham MP Stephen Timms today wished a Happy Birthday to one of East Ham’s most famous former residents – Dame Vera Lynn, who has reached 100 today.  Dame Vera lived as a child in Ladysmith Avenue, East Ham – a fact highlighted in the street signs recently set up by Newham Council – and was a pupil at Brampton Primary School.

Mr Timms said: “I am delighted to add my voice to so many wishing Dame Vera well on this special day.  She has always been proud of her roots in East Ham – she recently told the BBC journalist Michael Freedland ‘I’m a girl from East Ham’ – and we are proud of her.  She has held a unique place in the nation’s affections for an amazing 75 years.”

Dame Vera visited Brampton Primary School to open a new parents’ room twenty years ago, and sent a video message to congratulate the school on its recent centenary.  Today, children at the school sang a medley of Dame Vera’s songs – which was beamed to her home live in Sussex via a video link.

Mr Timms was in the Commons Chamber when the Speaker, John Bercow MP, started the day’s business by paying Dame Vera a birthday tribute.  The first item of business was Questions to the Education Secretary.  Mr Timms pointed out that Dame Vera had been a pupil at Brampton – and that Brampton, like every other school in Newham, will have its budget cut under the Government’s new funding formula.

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AuthorStephen Timms

Stephen has released the following statement in light of meetings he has had this week about the proposed closure of the Newham Acute Day Hospital:

“Earlier this week, I met with Marie Gabriel, Chair of East London Foundation NHS Trust, and Dr Dudley Mann, the Trust's Clinical Director for Newham. We discussed their proposal to close the Newham Acute Day Hospital. It seemed clear that - to my great regret - the closure will go ahead.

“Although this is disappointing for users, Marie and Dudley assured me that individual care plans would be drawn up for each individual who is using the hospital at present, after a one-to-one discussion with each, and that new services would be introduced to fill the gap. I am disappointed with this outcome but will be pressing the Trust to ensure they follow through with their discussions with users.“

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AuthorStephen Timms

Stephen has lent his support to those campaigning against the proposed closure of the Acute Day Hospital in Plaistow, which is due to take place at the end of March. 

The closure of the hospital was first reported in the Newham Recorder. Stephen is concerned that there has not been a full consultation over an extended period time about the closure. 

In a letter to the Chief Executive of the East London NHS Foundation Trust, Stephen wrote: "It seems that the aim of the closure is to cut costs, however severe the impact. I’ve heard that one of the arguments for closure is that the hospital is not fully utilised – yet considering that the utilisation is at a similar level to the in-patient wards at Newham, it should be possible to increase utilisation by making places available to residents of boroughs other than Newham."

East London NHS Foundation Trust believes that sufficient care could be provided by the home treatment team in Newham. Stephen is concerned, however, that the treatment team in Newham is smaller than in other areas and work shorter hours – and the situation will not improve if the hospital closes: "...the closure will mean that fewer resources will have to stretched even further than they currently are – patients could be serious trouble if they are not attended to enough," he said.

After sending the letter Stephen said: "Over the last week, a number of my constituents have raised with me their concerns about the effects any closure will have on patients. I am keen that the Trust look again at the proposed closure."

Stephen's full letter to the Chief Executive of East London NHS Foundation Trust can be read here.

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AuthorStephen Timms

On Monday, Stephen supported a lobby of Parliament organised by the3million.org.uk, UNISON and New Europeans in support of EU citizens right to stay in the country after Brexit. 

Since the referendum, UK citizens living in Europe have been following the situation of EU citizens in the UK and are concerned that their existing acquired rights were not guaranteed by the Government as soon as the results of the referendum were announced.

Like UK citizens living in Europe, EU citizens in the UK have come and settled in another EU country in good faith on the basis of their EU citizenship rights.  They have acquired rights that cannot be withdrawn retrospectively and the guarantee of their rights should be given before the Brexit negotiations because this is the right and fair thing to do.

Speaking about the campaign: “I signed a pledge to call on Theresa May to guarantee unilaterally the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. MPs from six different parties signed this pledge, representing the widespread concern of parliamentarians of this issue.

"I believe workers from across Europe play a vital role in our public services, especially in the NHS and social care. There are currently around 55,000 EU nationals working in the NHS and 84,000 working in social care in England alone. These services would not be able to survive without these people. 

"Some of these people are long existing residents of the UK, they and their families deserve better than years of uncertainty and being reduced to bargaining chips in the upcoming negotiations.”

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AuthorStephen Timms
The students with London Mayor, Sadiq Khan

The students with London Mayor, Sadiq Khan

Last week – during the February half term – Stephen held his annual Politics School for ten Newham students aged 16 -18. The Politics School – which is sponsored by London City Airport – aims to help young people learn about politics. This year the students visited places such as Parliament, Sky Studios, and City Hall. 

On the first day of the Politics School, the students met with Stephen in Westminster, and learnt about his role as an MP – from voting in the House of Commons to constituency work. They later visited the Treasury and met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke. David spoke to them about the workings of the Treasury and the wider Civil Service.

The next day, the students visited City Hall and gained an insight into local government from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Afterwards, they were afforded the chance to learn about European Politics at Europe House, staging a mock debate modelled on the European Parliament. Other activities included a visit the Sky Studios in Osterley where they made their own news bulletin about youth engagement and Donald Trump. 

Stephen at the students at Newham Dockside

Stephen at the students at Newham Dockside

The week ended with a day in Newham which focussed on the regeneration of the borough. The day started with a visit to Stratford station and Westfield to learn about the development of the area and the conditions which led to East London winning the bid for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Then the students visited Newham Council and spoke to local Councillors Clive Furness and Terry Paul. They also met with the Young Mayor of Newham too. Afterwards, the students visited London City Airport and Tate & Lyle. The day ended with a visit to the London Stadium where the students met with Joe Lyons from the West Ham Foundation who spoke to them about the club’s desire to extend its Corporate Social Responsibility in Newham.

Two of students hosting a Sky News bulletin

Two of students hosting a Sky News bulletin

Speaking at the end of the week, Zayd Kouria, who attends NewVIc said: “The Politics School was a great opportunity for me – after all, not everyone gets the chance to go to Parliament and Sky Studios! Every day was interesting. I got to meet new people and make new friends. The highlight was meeting Sadiq Khan. He was so welcoming and interested in us – it made me proud to be a Londoner!”

Stephen added: “I look forward to the Politics School every year, it is a fantastic opportunity for Newham students to learn more about the workings of politics and inspire them to engage with local issues. I would also like to thank London City Airport for their continued support of the Politics School.”
 

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AuthorStephen Timms