John Whittingdale - A strong voice for Maldon

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Parliamentary events and visits

Beer Champion Award

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John, who champions Britain’s beer industry, has been honoured with a unique award in Parliament.

He was presented with a certificate and souvenir pump clip by the British Beer & Pub Association and SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers. The special award is a joint initiative from the BBPA and SIBA, who wanted to recognise the role of MPs who supported Britain’s national drink during the 2010-2015 Parliament. It recognises acts of advocacy in Parliament, in votes, supportive motions, and debates.

In particular, the award highlights John Whittingdale’s support in securing historic consecutive cuts in beer duty in the 2013 and 2014 Budgets, helping to safeguard jobs and investment, and keeping beer affordable for consumers.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “MPs of all parties made a huge difference in achieving the historic duty cuts in 2013 and 2014, and deserve our thanks and recognition. We are delighted to honour their contribution to this achievement.

Mike Benner, Managing Director of SIBA, comments: “We are enormously grateful to the MPs whose support for British beer over recent years has created a far more optimistic outlook for our industry. As a result of the consecutive beer duty cuts, our members feel more confident about the future of British brewing and are investing in their business and creating local employment, with an estimated 1,600 new jobs in SIBA breweries last year. “With at least one independent brewery now operating in almost every parliamentary constituency, the Beer Champions announced today will I’m sure be invited to celebrate their success in their home town, with a pint of great, locally brewed beer.”

 

NSPCC Share Aware campaign

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John Whittingdale attended the NSPCC’s Parliamentary Reception on Online Safety to support the charity’s new ‘Share Aware’ campaign which aims to get families talking about socialising safely online. The NSPCC has created a new online guide to help inform parents about the risks of different social networking sites used by children. This comes after an NSPCC survey revealed that three quarters of parents surveyed found sexual, violent, or other inappropriate content on SickipediaOmegleDeviant Art, and F my Life within half an hour of logging into the sites.

An NSPCC panel of more than 500 parents from Mumsnet reviewed 48 social networking sites and said all those aimed at adults and teenagers were too easy for children under 13 to sign-up to. On more than 40 per cent of the sites, the panel struggled to locate privacy, reporting and safety information. Those aimed at younger children, like Club PenguinMoshi MonstersPopjam and Bearville, fared better and parents did not find any unsuitable content on them. The NSPCC also asked just under 2,000 children and young people which social networking sites they used. Talking to strangers or sexual content were the main concerns mentioned by children. But they also thought the minimum age limit for signing up to many sites should be higher, despite saying they’d used the sites when they were underage.John is pictured with Felix and Hassan who took part in the survey.

 

 

Beer Champion

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John Whittingdale’s support for pubs has been recognised as he received a new “Beer Champion” award in Parliament. The special award is a joint initiative from the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale, and the Society of Independent Brewers and recognises John’s role in supporting the brewing industry and pubs, and his successful campaigning for an end to the Beer Duty Escalator and a cut in Beer Duty which was announced by the Chancellor in last year’s Budget.

John Whittingdale said: “Pubs play a vital role in local communities and need support. In the Maldon constituency, we have 90 Pubs and four breweries, directly providing over 1,000 jobs. After successive tax increases totalling 42 per cent over 4 years, I am delighted that the Chancellor listened to our concerns and cut the duty on Beer. This will provide a real boost to local pubs and I am proud to be recognised as a Parliamentary Beer Champion”

John is pictured receiving his certificate with Keith Bott of the Society of Independent Brewers, Brigid Simmonds of the British Beer and Pub Association and Colin Valentine of the Campaign for Real Ale.

 

SET for Britain Competition

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John Whittingdale MP attended the SET for Britain event in the House of Commons to meet Dr Zoe Barker, one of the finalists who lives in Maldon. SET for Britain is the major scientific competition and exhibition in Parliament to highlight the work of Britain’s Early-Stage Researchers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematical Sciences.

 

Dr Barker, who is a post doctoral research assistant at Writtle College, was one of the finalists in the Bioscience section with her colleague, Dr Jorge Vazquez Diosdado of Essex University. Dr Barker and Dr Vazquez Diosdado have been developing a method of Early-Automatic Detection of Welfare Problems in Dairy Cows by using a tracker device to monitor the behaviour of individual cows in order to provide early warning of behaviour which may indicate health or welfare problems. Around 270 applicants entered for the Biology and Biomedical Sciences category and Dr Marker and Dr Vazquez Diosdado were one of the 60 short-listed.

John Whittingdale is pictured with Dr Barker and Dr Vazquez Diosdado in front of their poster explaining their work. John Whittingdale said:”I warmly congratulate Zoe and Jorge on making it through to the finals of the SET for Britain Competition. The pioneering work that they are doing offers real benefits to dairy farmers and is a great example of the quality of research and innovation being carried out by our young scientists in Essex”.

 

 

Holocaust Memorial Day

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Marking Holocaust Memorial Day this week, John Whittingdale signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, honouring those who died during the Holocaust as well as honouring the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured.

Monday 27th January will mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

John Whittingdale said: “Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau – and is an important opportunity to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of my community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are proud that John Whittingdale is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. It is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.”

 
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