Rotherham child service boss resignation call

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Rotherham MEP Amjad Bashir has joined in calls for the local child services boss to resign.

And he has expressed anger that Joyce Thacker, the council’s Strategic Director of Children and Young People Services, is now on on indefinite sick leave while still receiving full pay.

“She has resisted repeated calls for her to resign and has now gone off sick. She may well be ill, possibly through stress, but like Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, she should at last do the decent thing and resign,” said Mr Bashir, UKIP Euro-MP.

“The ratepayers of Rotherham deserve better than this and why should she be still receiving her six figure annual salary in the wake of the child abuse scandal which happened on her watch.

“And let’s not forget this is the same person who disgracefully removed three children from their foster parents because they were UKIP voters,” he added.

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A VOICE FOR ENGLAND

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UKIP is a national party with elected representation in all four nations of the United Kingdom. Accordingly we are pleased that the Scottish referendum resulted in a “No” vote but unhappy that Messrs. Cameron, Miliband and Clegg saw fit, without an electoral mandate, to make a last minute vow to Scotland for increased powers and the continuation of the Barnett Formula.
UKIP wants a new Constitutional Settlement for the UK which includes a fair deal for the 86% of the UK’s population who live in England.

 

WE DEMAND:
1. English only votes in Westminster. Nigel Farage is today writing to all Scottish MPs asking for their commitment not to vote on English matters that would otherwise fall within devolved powers if they related to Scotland (one such copy of that letter is attached)
2. Revision of the Barnett Formula. We want a full debate and vote in the House of Commons to rebalance this arbitrary and out-of-date concept.
3. No taxation without equal representation. The Electoral Commission must determine new boundaries for the constituencies of Scottish MPs so that the average number of constituents more closely resembles that in England.
4. A Constitutional Convention. Such a Convention needs to be rapidly established to put in place a plan for a Federal UK.
UKIP is confident that fulfilling these reasonable requests is vital to retaining the confidence of the electorate in a United Kingdom in which so many powers have been devolved.​
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Shaun Wright’s resignation welcomed

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The resignation of Shaun Wright as South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been welcomed by local UKIP MEP Amjad Bashir.

“I am glad that he has resigned at last, but it is a disgrace that he had to be pushed into it instead of doing the honourable thing and resigning when Professor Alexis Jay’s report about the child abuse in Rotherham was published last month.

“It seems to have taken talk of legislation to remove from him from post to actually get him to relinquish his £85,000 a year job. His attitude has smacked of self-concern when all that matters is the abused children.”

UKIP Communities spokesman condemns ISIS

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UKIP Communities spokesman Amjad Bashir today urged all Muslims to repudiate the unspeakable actions of Isis.

“The terrible slaughter of British aid worker David Haines is unforgivable and is a further demonstration of why Isis must be swiftly wiped out.

“As a fellow Yorkshire man I found the news of his death particularly hard to bear, though the murder of any innocent is deplorable. My heart goes out to his grieving family and those of the two American hostages who recently suffered the same awful fate.

“Islam is a religion of peace and as a Muslim I urge all Muslims to shout from the rooftops that this so-called Islamic State is nothing to do with Islam. 

“David Cameron is quite right to describe the killings as “pure evil” and we should all pray that the authorities are able to bring the British terrorist “Jihadi John” to justice and also end this warfare,” said Mr Bashir, MEP for Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire.

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Rotherham Council inspection welcomed

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MEP Amjad Bashir has welcomed news that the Rotherham Council is to face an independent inspection following the report revealing that 1,400 children were sexually abused in the town.

“We are told by Eric Pickles that the inspection will examine whether the council covered up information about the abuse. We already know that key reports from 2002 and 2003 relating to abuse have disappeared and who know what else may have done a vanishing trick.

“It is to examine whether the council ‘was and continues to be subject to institutionalised political correctness affecting its decision-making on sensitive issues’.

“Well here’s a clue – this is the council that in 2012, persecuted and ruined the lives of a foster couple who were providing a good, stable home to foster children, just because they were members of UKIP,” said Mr Bashir, local Euro-MP and UKIP Communities spokesman.

“I trust that this inspection will be extremely thorough and that all involved with the council will co-operate fully and not try to hide of their actions, or inactions, and the reasons behind them.

“I am pleased that Louise Casey, who is leading this inspection, has to report to Eric Pickles by November and also that if the inspection shows the council was failing, he has the power to intervene directly.

“This is a council in crisis and no stone must be left unturned to get to the truth. Meanwhile, however, it must not be forgotten that the residents of Rotherham rely on the council to meet many day to day needs and that must not be overlooked while this inspection is underway,” said Mr Bashir.

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Railway Station fall – explanation demanded

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Leeds MEP Amjad Bashir has written to Northern Rail requesting an urgent explanation for the apparently shameful treatment of an elderly woman who fell on an escalator at Leeds station.

It is reported that the pensioner fell backwards while travelling up the escalator last week but rail staff refused to help on the grounds they had not been trained in ‘people handling’.

“This is making a mockery of health and safety legislation. Concerned members of the public rushed to help this poor lady; it is unbelievable instinctive human nature to help the vulnerable did not kick in for the watching staff,” said Mr Bashir, UKIP Communities spokesman.

“Witnesses have described the situation as ‘shameful’ and I entirely agree on the information I have been given.

“I have written to Northern Rail asking for their side of the story and an explanation of just what happened. They are the largest train operator in the UK and have had the temerity to hike up some evening fares but this doesn’t sound much like good customer service to me.

“It is easy for these incidents to be swept under the carpet but this must not happen. Heaven forbid some other passenger falls on the escalators but if they do staff must help, ‘people handling trained’ or not.

“And what would have happened if this lady had fallen onto the tracks. Would the staff have just stood by in such a circumstance?” queried Mr Bashir.

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Improved mental health care needed

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A report highlighting the need for improved mental health care provision was welcomed today by UKIP Communities spokesman Amjad Bashir.

In her annual report England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has said that mental health needs to be more of a priority and has warned that there were signs funding was being cut at a time when the cost to the economy was rising.

“This often invisible illness tends to be overlooked and treated less seriously than physical ill health. But Dame Sally is quite right to say it needs to be given a greater priority,” said Mr Bashir, MEP for Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire.

“The NHS is being financially squeezed from all sides but mental health services need to be given their fair share of the budget. Figures show it accounts for 13% of the budget despite causing 28% of illness.

“This annual report reveals that mental illness led to the loss of 70 million working days last year. That’s up 24% since 2009 and in terms of lost productivity, benefit payments and absence from work it costs the economy between £70bn and £100bn.

“That alone should make the government sit up and think. But I am concerned for the actual people suffering mental health problems, which is a terrible debilitating illness which affects the whole family not just the sufferer.

“It also affects the wider community but there is still a stigma attached to mental health illness and this situation must be remedied.

“Like all illness, early intervention is important, and can help the situation getting far worse. Three quarters of adults with mental health problems develop them by the age of 18 and that is too many lives blighted when swift help is absent.

“It must no longer be ignored and I hope that Dame Sally’s recommendations are put into operation and not like the subject itself swept under the carpet.”

 

Train fare rise anger

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MEP Amjad Bashir has reacted angrily to the fares rise for Northern Rail customers.

“As a result of the botched franchising of the West Coast line the government had to negotiate extensions to existing franchises including Northern Rail and this has led to axing some off peak tickets,” he said.

“Thousands of commuters will see their fares double and Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge that next January’s increases will be capped at 2.5 per cent is scant comfort for customers in my region.

“Again it seems that those living in the Westminster bubble just do not understand how tight people’s budgets are. Many are literally counting the pennies and a big increase in the cost of commuting will be catastrophic for some families.

Northern Rail has been forced to introduce evening peak ticket restrictions on local services.  Off-peak tickets are no longer be valid on some trains between 4.01pm and 6.29pm on weekdays. This means for example a return trip from Bradford to Leeds rises from £4.70 to £6.50  – up 38.3%

“Commuters travelling to Sheffield will also be affected by these changes. Even Osborne’s own constituents will be hit with a 52% increase in a day return from Styal to Manchester bringing it to £5.20.

“I am not surprised that protests have been taking place at some railway stations, people are desperate to work to support their families and these rises make it harder for them to do so. Part-time and shift workers may well be hit hardest,” said Mr Bashir, UKIP Communities spokesman.

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Police crime recording methodology challenged

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UKIP Communities spokesman Amjad Bashir is demanding a sea change in police methods of recording crimes following the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

“An official report has particularly highlighted the South Yorkshire Constabulary for wrongly describing 23% of rape reports as ‘no crime’, which just beggars belief,” said Mr Bashir, Yorkshire MEP.

“What has gone on in Rotherham is an appalling stain on the conscience of the nation and the more we learn about the council’s and police behaviour the more disturbing it becomes.

“Apparently the South Yorkshire force is still failing to record crimes against children and has an “unacceptable” culture of disregarding victims of serious crime .

“And it has been criticised in this report of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for spending a “great deal of time” trying to “disprove” the word of victims rather than investigating offences. That is just terrible,” said Mr Bashir.

HMIC inspectors said: ‘This level of under-recorded crime is a significant cause of concern and is a matter of material and urgent importance, particularly as some of these relate to violence and sexual assault against vulnerable children.’

“We all know that news can be a one day wonder but there must be a tightening up of procedures so that reports of all alleged offences are property dealt with,” he continued.

“I am also appalled that so far not one person involved in the Rotherham situation –  police or council – has had the moral courage to resign. Heads must roll.

“The study also said that of 284 of cases they examined from West Yorkshire 97 crimes were not recorded, a term which means a report is initially recorded as a crime but subsequently dismissed.

“It is not just forces in Yorkshire that have been found wanting in regard to their handling but as the region’s MEP that is where my main concerns lie.

“The report has recommended in South Yorkshire that there should be an overhaul of the way that rape is reported and calls for an independent review of historical records in areas where recording was particularly poor.

“I fully support that and I for one which will not let this matter drop, it is much too important, said Mr Bashir.

Follow Amjad on Twitter: @AmjadBashirMEP

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