Friday, 17 October 2014
Welcome to this, my 155th news bulletin.
At this time of year, as the nights draw in and winter approaches, a number of my constituents have contacted me about their utility bills. As temperatures fall, energy bills can rise sharply. Heating your home over the winter doesn’t need to be costly and the Department of Energy and Climate Change has come up with a few useful tips on how you can lower your energy bills and have a warmer home.
• Check your energy bills to see if you could get a better deal by switching tariff or supplier. Energy regulator Ofgem has introduced measures to make energy bills clearer and ensure that everyone is on the cheapest tariff to suit their needs. If you want to find out whether you could save money on your energy bill by switching tariff or supplier, visit www.goenergyshopping.co.uk to find a list of Ofgem accredited price comparison web sites. Households switching for the first time can, on average, save up to £200.
• Have a better understanding of improvements you can make to your home and things you can do in your home. Smart meters are being offered to every household and small business in Great Britain. Smart meters provide accurate meter readings directly to your energy supplier, telling you how much you are spending on energy and bringing an end to estimated billing. The Government estimates that household savings as a result of smart metering will be an average of £26 a year by 2020.
• Get information and guidance that’s right for your circumstances. Older people and low-income families can claim relief through the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment. This winter, more than two million of the most vulnerable households will receive a discount of up to £140 on their energy bills under the Warm Home Discount scheme, which the Government is committed to extending to 2015-16 with £320 million of funding.
For more information on how to bring down your energy bills, you can click here to read the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s guide, “Keep Warm This Winter”.
Edward Timpson MP
Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich and Minister of the Year
Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.
Locally, I have...
- Officially opened the newly refurbished Family and Community Centre at St. Michael's Community Academy in Crewe.
- Hosted the 2014 Crewe and Nantwich Jobs Fair at Crewe Alex FC, in partnership with the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and The Chronicle (pictured, right).
- Attended Harvest Eucharist at St Bertoline's Church in Barthomley, to celebrate the award of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to complete repairs.
- Spoken at the Cheshire Young Carers Launch Event, held at Bentley Motors' Legends Club.
- Held two of my regular constituency advice surgeries in Crewe and Nantwich. To make an appointment to speak to me about any issue or concern, please contact my office.
- Addressed the North West Adoption Conference at Crewe Hall.
- Spoken to local people at my "On Your Street" events in Shavington and in Stapeley.
- Met with the new Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, Simon Byrne.
The latest edition of my Westminster Report has been delivered across Crewe and Nantwich, with the latest news on jobs and employment, as well as the major infrastructure investment that is coming our way.
You can click here or on the image to read a copy online.
New family centre open at St Michael's Academy
I was honoured to officially open the newly refurbished Family and Community Centre at St Michael's Community Academy in Crewe, last week.
Positive adoption figures welcomed by Crewe's MP
Crewe & Nantwich Guardian: Crewe's MP has welcomed figures that show more children are being adopted from care facilities compared to a year ago.
770 children in the north west were placed in stable families during the last 12 months – up from 650 in the previous year. In Cheshire East, 30 children were placed with new families compared to 25 in 2013.
Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, said: "It's great to see that the number of children adopted from care in the north west. However we refuse to be complacent and we know there is more to be done. I'm all too aware that welcoming a vulnerable child into your home is a rewarding but challenging experience.
"That's why we're putting in more support than ever to ensure that families get a fighting chance including better support services focussed on the needs of the family."
As a young boy, the minister had a unique insight into adoption and the care system because his parents, John and Alex Timpson, fostered over 90 children and formally adopted two.
The figures proceeded a major national conference, held at the Crewe Hall Hotel on October 6, on the issue of adoption, where Mr Timpson delivered the keynote speech.
Experts from the full spectrum of adoption services in England gathered at the event, hosted by Cheshire East Council.
Councillor Rachel Bailey, CEC's Portfolio holder for safeguarding children and adults said:"In Cheshire East we are fortunate to have a small but highly successful and innovative adoption support team who together with partners in Four4adoption, provide much needed support to families often at crisis point as well as to the birth families and other relatives, assisting them to come to terms with adoption and to move forward."
- To find out more about fostering and adoption in Cheshire East, visit four4adoption.co.uk
St Bertoline's church receives HLF grant of up to £70,000
Crewe Chronicle: A church in Barthomley held a Harvest Eucharist at the weekend to celebrate been awarded a restoration grant of up to £70,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Under the banner of Project 14, St Bertoline's Church is using the funds awarded earlier this month on a series of church and community projects including restoration work to the ancient tower - which is set to be completed by the end of November. The 900-year-old church has been undergoing a lengthy and expensive makeover since 2010 and with both the north and south side now fully completed the historic tower remains the last piece of the jigsaw.
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson attended the Harvest Eucharist on Sunday where the first £35,000 was presented to representatives from the church.
Parish Priest Canon Darrel Speedy, said: "The HLF only give grants to church's on the grounds of heritage so it has to have historic and archeological interest. They do want like to give out the grant to help encourage members of the public to come and look at the heritage and the beauty of a place.
"We are a church that goes back over 900 years in origin, we have people from all over the world coming to visit including Australia and New Zealand who have ancestors buried in the church grounds.
"We had a flower festival in 2010 and Edward Timpson came during stage one of the restoration, we thought it would be appropriate to have him come back."
The money from the grant will be used to fund the repair of the Audley road entrance steps, an embossed ceiling under the bell tower, restoration of the tower clock and a visitor information panel about the Two Saint's Way Pilgrimage.
"With the money from the grant we also hope to start up a website including a data base for the graveyard where people can look up records of their ancestors without having to travel half way round the world."
MP gets a taste of new school lunch roll-out
Crewe & Nantwich Guardian: Children and staff from Weaver Primary School in Nantwich had a special visit this week from Children’s Minister Edward Timpson.
The Crewe and Nantwich MP congratulated the team for their hard work over the last 12 months preparing to serve all infants with a hot school lunch.
The school catering team at Cheshire East Council, together with schools across the borough, have been busy over the last year preparing for the new term – where over 4,000 additional free school meals will be served to infants, equating to an increase of 38 per cent.
"Our goal to offer every infant child a healthy, tasty school meal has become a reality – a move that will put money back in parents’ pockets while ensuring all children get the best possible start in life,” said Mr Timpson.
“I wanted to meet the school staff and hear their views on the way this new system is working in Crewe and Nantwich.
“Everyone has put in a great deal of hard work to ensure that we meet our promise to provide Reception Year 1 and 2 children at primary school with a nutritious, hot school lunch.”
The changes are as a result of the Government’s commitment to fund schools in England to provide every child in Reception, year 1 and year 2 with a hot, nutritious meal at lunch time.
At Weaver Primary School over 125 school meals are prepared every day, an increase from 85 last term. The catering team at the school has increased by 100 per cent, now employing four staff and led by catering supervisor, Catherine Blackhurst who has worked at the school for 30 years.
Councillor Rachel Bailey, from Cheshire East Council added: “Eating lunch at school encourages children to socialise at meal times, develop good table manners and broaden experience of food. “A good diet assists learning and improved behaviour and sets children on the way to making healthier food choices in the future.
“I thank the catering team for their tremendous hard work over the last 12 months to ensure Cheshire East is ‘up and running’ and ready to serve nearly 15,000 free school meals every day across the borough.”
New beginnings for baby care unit
Crewe Chronicle: Fundraisers who helped to realise the dream of a new neonatal unit at Crewe's Leighton Hospital can now witness the rewards of their hard work.
Thanks to the fantastic support given to the One in Eleven Appeal, the target of £1.8m was raised in just two years to enable the construction of a first class facility for women and babies from antenatal to birth and beyond. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opened its doors to patients on September 24 with an official opening and tour two days prior.
Now complete, the revamped unit will provide state-of-the-art facilities, as well as more comfort and privacy for families of seriously ill babies. It is roughly double the size and housed in a space adjacent to the recently refurbished labour ward. The redevelopment includes an enhanced design and layout to help modernise the delivery of neonatal services, with glass walls which will provide better visibility for patients under observation, and bespoke equipment storage rooms.
Supporters and donors who attended the official opening included representatives from The Frank Hockenhull Trust, Middlewich High School Community Choir, Wincanton Logistics, RedShift Radio and Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club.
They were joined by charity patrons, David Briggs (The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire) and Edward Timpson (MP for Crewe and Nantwich), alongside members of staff from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT).
Dennis Dunn MBE, MCHFT chairman said: "I'd like to thank everybody who supported and donated to the One in Eleven appeal, enabling us to construct one of the best neonatal facilities in the UK in just two years. It's fantastic to see so many local people and businesses support their local community. Without these donations and support, we wouldn't have achieved this".
Approximately 3,000 babies are born at Mid Cheshire Hospitals each year, with one in 11 of these needing additional support, ranging from a couple of hours of special care to several weeks in an intensive care unit.
Following the success of the appeal, all further money raised has, and will continue to be, put towards equipping and furnishing the new unit and improving the environment for babies, parents and staff.
5 ways to contact Edward Timpson
- By e-mail: email@example.com
- On the web: www.edwardtimpson.com
- By phone: 01270 501 725
- By post: 30 Victoria Street, Crewe CW1 2JE
- In person: Click here to see surgery times