John Murphy (Lords Branch Manager), Dr Rupa Huq MP (Labour, Ealing Central & Acton) and Shanker Patel (Lords Group Chief Executive)
With local elections in all London Boroughs in May, political parties should remember that housing is not built, nor are homes improved, without London’s builders, plumbers and timber merchants. That was the message from Lords Builders’ Merchant, West London’s number 1 independent merchant, to Rupa Huq MP when she visited the 33-year old business in Park Royal, Ealing.
Dr Huq was welcomed by Shanker Patel, Lords Chief Executive, to learn more on how merchants deliver for their communities - and to discuss issues affecting the supply chain and the wider London economy. The MP toured the business with Mr Patel and John Murphy (Branch Manager) who outlined the role, value and importance of merchants in creating local jobs and growth.
Dr Huq heard how merchants like Lords have evolved since the ‘Credit Crunch’ of nearly ten years’ ago - and how the building materials’ supply chain is responding to today’s housing challenges.
Several issues aimed at narrowing the gap between housing demand and supply were discussed in the context of the Mayor of London’s Housing Strategy and the new draft London Plan. If Londoners are to see the 66,000 new homes a year they need, one solution is a stronger emphasis on developing small sites that SME builders can undertake. According to Shanker Patel, better use has to be made of existing buildings and building upwards to add extra storeys must also be part of the package to deliver more homes in the capital.
After visiting the 2-acre site, Rupa Huq MP said:
“I was delighted to visit Lords here in the constituency and see for myself their contribution to Ealing and the wider London economy. I pay tribute to Branch Manager, John Murphy and his team in helping customers with their building projects”.
Housing is central to my Party’s thinking and we want to see better quality and more affordable housing in London if we are to improve the lives of constituents. This week, we saw another new Housing Minister appointed, meaning that there has been 7 Housing Ministers in the last 7 years, and 3 in the last 7 months. This is not helpful to firms like Lords that want certainty and stability in housing and planning policy to be able to invest confidently in people and products”.
Concluding the visit, Shanker Patel, Chief Executive of Lords Group, said:
“I was grateful to Rupa for taking time to come today and gain further insight into our supply chain. We wanted to show her that builders’ merchants like Lords offer good jobs and rewarding careers, to people of all ages, and serve local communities in helping to improve their homes”.
“Lords and the BMF are pleased that housing remains at the top of the political agenda and that MPs like Rupa Huq recognise the urgent need to build many more new homes. Merchants want to see unstinting efforts by both national government in Whitehall and local authorities in London to narrow the gap between housing demand and supply”
Mr Patel is also a Board Director of the Builders Merchants’ Federation that represents the interests of builders, plumbers & timber merchants and manufacturers. Dr Huq noted that the latest available BMF economic data shows that sales figures for October 2017 were up nearly 10% overall, compared to the same month in 2016. These robust sales’ figures demonstrate the adaptable nature of merchants like Lords - especially in the housing repair & maintenance market.
John Murphy (Lords Branch Manager), Dr Rupa Huq MP (Labour, Ealing Central & Acton) and Shanker Patel (Lords Group Chief Executive) With local elections in all London Boroughs in May,...Go to the post
(Photo: Samia Rida)
The Christmas season is now officially underway. I’ve come across Santa three times in the course of officiating at three Christmas fairs last weekend. The first was at St Stephens - round the corner from my old school Notting Hill and Ealing. This was followed by the Ealing 135 festivities at Kingsdown Methodist Church up the road from me and then on Sunday I went to the scene of my old playgroup St Barnabas in Pitshanger Lane where Father Justin stepped in to provide a venue for carols and mince pies when the usual “Light up the Lane” outdoor stage fell through this year. A very good time was had by all concerned.
Yet at each of these three events the charities that were being supported tell a story that is far from being all about Christmas cheer. St Stephens were raising funds for the Ealing Winter Night Churches Shelter (EWNCS) which works across the Ealing borough offering the homeless a bed for the night as the chill sets in throughout a network of churches. The 135 were batting for Ealing Homestart who support families in difficulty. At St Barnabas it was the Pitshanger Community Association (PCA) who were rattling tins for various local charities dealing with social welfare, recreation and leisure
This Tory government’s record on homelessness and rough sleeping is shameful. There are 13 times more hidden homeless people in London than those visibly sleeping rough – as many as 12,500 per night. Even though the government introduced a Homelessness Reduction Bill it doesn't come up with additional funding. Given Ealing’s immensely stretched resources (a central government grant 65% cut by 2019/20) and the housing waiting list of 12,000 we have to be very wary that the bill is not raising false hopes or forcing additional cuts elsewhere.
Figures for child poverty are the highest they’ve ever been since the data was first collected in 1963. Increasingly our children are now reliant on foodbanks – another growth industry under Tory Britain. When the changes to benefits hit and Universal Benefit takes effect in Ealing this Spring more and more will face being forced from their homes. The stories I hear from other MP colleagues from areas picked as pilot boroughs such as neighbouring Hounslow for this disastrous experiment are horrifying. This rolling of six benefits into one was meant to simplify things. Instead it’s made them worse with payments in arrears to add insult to injury, the money to pay for Christmas - one of the most expensive times of the year - will only come weeks after event.
The changes in the budget do nothing to address any of these ills. The stamp duty tinkering will not address the housing crisis that Ealing and London are in the grip of. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies it’ll just push up prices of homes. The recreation and leisure that the PCA support are always the first casualties of school cuts which have been swingeing in Ealing.
As the season of Black Friday and its American orgy of consumerism comes to an end it’s great to celebrate Christmas and all that is good; it’s just a shame that Theresa May’s chaotic government are acting like a bunch of Scrooges.
(Photo: Samia Rida) The Christmas season is now officially underway. I’ve come across Santa three times in the course of officiating at three Christmas fairs last weekend. The first was...Go to the post
MP for Ealing Central and Acton Dr Rupa Huq spent the day with food charity ‘The Felix Project’ at their depot in Park Royal. The Felix Project is a charity which works with food suppliers and charities to reduce food surplus and food poverty.
The charity collects food from supermarkets, wholesalers and other food suppliers, food that is fresh and nutritious, but cannot be sold for various reasons. The food is then delivered free of charge to a range of charities across London who provide meals, snacks or food parcels for their communities. These include the elderly, the homeless, those with mental health issues, refugees and asylum seekers and vulnerable families and their children. The simple aim of The Felix Project is to see good food go to good causes.
Rupa praised The Felix Project saying - “There can be no justification for food poverty in a country such as ours. However it does, and having such a fantastic charity based out of Ealing is a real source of pride, and it was inspiring to see the work they do. The Felix Project is always looking for new volunteers, as they couldn’t do what they do without them. If you can spare a morning, an afternoon or an evening a week, volunteering with them it’s a great way to be a part of them and our local community”
Hilary Croft, CEO of The Felix Project, reflected on Rupa’s visit and explained “It was very encouraging having Rupa come and see our important work in action. We are re-distributing 10 tons of food that would otherwise go to waste every week, and this serves around 12,000 Londoners who need our support the very most. I am delighted that Rupa is championing what we do. It is so important that we start to realise the dual issues of both food surplus and food poverty that exists in our community and that we work together to address it”.
To find out a bit more about volunteering for The Felix Project and supporting their vital work either as a driver, co-pilot or helping to organise deliveries from their Park Royal depot you can read their Volunteering FAQs or complete your details online and they’ll be in contact very soon:
MP for Ealing Central and Acton Dr Rupa Huq spent the day with food charity ‘The Felix Project’ at their depot in Park Royal. The Felix Project is a charity...Go to the post
Ealing Central & Acton MP Rupa Huq has joined with representatives of the UK's beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans to urge the Chancellor to keep pubs afloat in the Autumn Budget.
Huq was one of over 50 MPs to add their voice to the campaign, calling on the Chancellor to give serious consideration to introducing an annual £5,000 business rate relief for pubs in England as well as a freeze in beer duty for the rest of this Parliament.
Rupa Huq MP said: "Pubs are a force for good in Ealing Central & Acton and across the UK. Pubs are at the heart of our communities and the local economy. Even a teetotaller like me knows that but pubs are struggling under the weight of a growing tax burden, with each paying nearly £140,000 on average in tax every year. In Ealing Central & Acton we have 2 breweries, 50 pubs and the industry supports over 1,280 jobs. These establishments need all the help they can get, which is why I’m asking the Chancellor to do whatever he can to support them in the Autumn budget.”
Reviews of business rates across England mean many pubs are being hit with a massive new financial burden, which in some cases could only be covered by them selling thousands of extra pints of beer every year. The Government introduced a welcome one-off £1,000 discount scheme for some pubs in the latest Budget, but more action is needed to keep pubs afloat.
Taxes now make up a third of the cost of a pint, and UK beer duty is among the highest in Europe. Recent research carried out by YouGov  for CAMRA found that 55% of people who expressed an opinion believe beer duty is too high at 54p per pint.
Huq said: “The £1,000 business rates relief introduced this year has been a valuable lifeline for many pubs but it’s clear this is not enough to secure the long-term future of our valued pubs. I urge the Chancellor to go further and show more support for this important industry”.
Ealing Central & Acton MP Rupa Huq has joined with representatives of the UK's beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans to urge the Chancellor to keep pubs afloat in...Go to the post
Job Title: Parliamentary Assistant/Senior Parliamentary Assistant
Working for: Rupa Huq MP
Salary: In line with IPSA pay scales, dependent on experience
Rupa Huq MP is looking for a confident, self-motivated individual to work in her busy Westminster office to assist with her parliamentary work. The ideal candidate will have experience of working in Parliament, be well organised with strong research, communication and administrative skills.
Develop and maintain knowledge of current legislation, Parliamentary Questions, Early Day Motions and debates.
Undertake research on issues, prepare and present results for the purposes of briefing notes for committees, Parliamentary Questions, articles and press releases.
Analyse, evaluate and interpret data to ensure that Rupa is accurately informed on key issues and to ensure opportunities to contribute to debates and to table questions are maximised.
Respond to routine correspondence and enquiries from constituents, the media, lobbyists and pressure groups.
Progress policy casework and respond to routine correspondence and enquiries relating to policy issues.
Provide organisational support for events in Westminster.
Other duties as required.
Good understanding of the parliamentary process with previous experience of working for an MP.
Sound research and analytical skills to provide concise but informative briefings.
Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Highly organised and able to prioritise a demanding workload, meet deadlines and work under pressure.
Ability to show initiative and work independently but also be a member of a close-knit team.
Sympathetic to the aims and values of the Labour Party.
Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.
Monday 25th September - applications close at 9am. Any applications received after this time will not be considered. Please note that due to the high volume of expected applications we will only contact you if shortlisted for the role.
To apply, please email your CV plus a short covering letter of no more than one A4 side setting out your eligibility for the role, paying particular attention to the necessary skills, responsibilities and experience to email@example.com copying in firstname.lastname@example.org and using the subject line ‘Parliamentary Assistant – YOUR NAME’.
Job Title: Parliamentary Assistant/Senior Parliamentary Assistant Working for: Rupa Huq MP Location: London Salary: In line with IPSA pay scales, dependent on experience Job Details Rupa Huq MP is looking...Go to the post
Catalyst Gateway’s Summer Programme enjoyed its first West London finale event, celebrating a month of activities for young people and families in four of Catalyst’s neighbourhoods.
The Catalyst Summer Programme, which provides a wide range of free activities for children and young people every weekday throughout August, has long been a highpoint of the year at Church End in Brent. This year, Catalyst Gateway rolled it out to three more areas in West London: Windmill Park in, Havelock, and Friary Park. The month ended with a carnival celebration at North Acton Playing fields, bringing together families from all four neighbourhoods.
Over 200 children came along to the celebration, many bringing their families along. The day began with a mixed football tournament run by QPR, with a barbecue lunch followed by a live band. The afternoon was filled with various activities, including a graffiti mural from Goldfinger Factory, giant inflatable games, healthy cooking and arts and crafts. There were also performances from young people who’d been learning rap and street dance throughout the week.
By building relationships with young people throughout the programme, and holding the carnival celebration in a location outside any of the four neighbourhoods, Catalyst Gateway were able to overcome perceived barriers between the neighbourhoods and attract a great crowd. Angelina Cox, Brent resident and regular volunteer with the Summer Programme, said ‘This is a great venue for the carnival event, with space for everyone to run and play. It’s wonderful to see all four centres come together.’
The day ended with certificates for all the young people who participated, awarded by Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, who said, "It was great to reward the young people from various corners of Ealing Borough with certificates for their participation in the summer programme. I hear a lot of youth complaining that there is nothing to do in the holidays so this addresses that very thoroughly. It's the first time that this scheme has operated in these West London neighbourhoods; let's hope that there are many more to come."
Catalyst Gateway’s Summer Programme enjoyed its first West London finale event, celebrating a month of activities for young people and families in four of Catalyst’s neighbourhoods. The Catalyst Summer Programme,...Go to the post
As widely reported in the news this week the decision was taken by Parliamentary authorities that the famous chimes of Big Ben should fall silent for the next four years while restoration of the palace of Westminster takes place.
Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton meanwhile commented “What it actually means is that an old clock needs fixing. I think we need to get a sense of perspective. There are much worse things occurring in our world than to see this as a cause for national mourning.”
While the final chimes rang out at midday there was a mini media scrum in the grounds of the totemic landmark. Rupa Huq who was present as she was onsite in any case maintained that she wouldn’t have come in particularly to pay her respects. She said “We shouldn’t lose sight of the reason why this is being done. It’s to protect the hearing of the workers doing the restoration. We’ve seen with Grenfell Tower what happens when you cut corners with health and safety and scrimp on the sort of protections that the extreme right sees as meddlesome red tape. MPs are always seen as self-obsessed and insular. I honestly can’t see any of the general public being too bothered about what appears to be a Westminster obsession. Our constituents need us to be fighting for them not defending some ancient tradition for the sake of it”.
Prime Minister Theresa May had been castigated for being slow to condemn President Trump’s stance on the racist violence at Charlottesville USA but swift to condemn the silencing of Big Ben. Rupa remarked “When I saw the headline ‘May speaks up for bongs’ I had to say I hadn’t had her down as that type”, Rupa joked.
As widely reported in the news this week the decision was taken by Parliamentary authorities that the famous chimes of Big Ben should fall silent for the next four...Go to the post
The General Election of 2017 was nothing short of historic. I and the Labour Party will be taking the fight to the Tories soon!
The General Election of 2017 was nothing short of historic. I and the Labour Party will be taking the fight to the Tories soon! Read more »Go to the post
After this election was cynically called I gave my constituents an update on my recent Parliamentary work. For those of you who missed it here it is.
After this election was cynically called I gave my constituents an update on my recent Parliamentary work. For those of you who missed it here it is. Read more »Go to the post
In response to the Tory boycott of election hustings, a spokesperson for Dr Huq stated:
In response to the Tory boycott of election hustings, a spokesperson for Dr Huq stated: Read more »Go to the post