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Bill Cash MP
for Stone

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Bill Cash MP welcomes exciting new Staffordshire Credit Union

Press release 19/06/09       

Local MP, Bill Cash last night made a speech at the launch of the Staffordshire Credit Union. He praised all the management and the Chief Executive, Kevin Waters, for what he regarded as one of the most exciting developments in recent Staffordshire history, which he had himself originally proposed for Cheadle and Stone and other parts of the constituency.
Bill Cash said “Because of the problems of loan sharks against the background of dire economic circumstances and including the problems at Wedgwood and JCB and the dairy farmers and others affected in the rural community, I regard the initiative of the Staffordshire Credit Union as vital to the local communities within my constituency.”
Mr. Cash had been pursuing the idea of a credit union which would serve his constituents for many months.

Bill Cash MP slams new EU deal for British dairy farmers

Press release 20/10/09

As farmers protested outside talks in Luxembourg against low milk prices and plummeting incomes, Bill Cash MP said:
“Given the historic failure of European Union interference and subsidies in agricultural markets, I am hardly surprised that the EU Agriculture Commissioner wants to doll out £250 million in next year's EU budget to prop up the dairy sector. It is a sham. It is not in the interests of the UK dairy sector as a whole or local dairy farmers across Staffordshire.” 
“This new top-up simply means that Brussels wants to continue the old regime of subsidies, which is not in anyone’s interest in the United Kingdom.”
It follows Mr. Cash’s earlier meeting in Slindon with dairy farmers from across Staffordshire, when he wrote to the Secretary of State for Agriculture, Hilary Benn, providing specific supply margin data which demonstrates the real challenges created for dairy producers.
Cash said: “The impact of the existing system is far reaching across the Staffordshire rural economy and is increasingly unsustainable for many businesses.
Before the parliamentary recess, Cash had put down an Early Day Motion (EDM 1724) calling for the Government to address the serious problems faced by the UK dairy industry. The EDM reads: 
“That this House notes the severe problems facing the UK dairy industry; is dismayed by the collapse of the co-operative, Dairy Farmers of Britain; and urges the Government to support those numerous producers affected, whilst also requesting urgent action to be taken in tightening up EU and UK labelling requirements on all products of animal origin including dairy products, particularly cheese, so that misleading labelling is stamped out and that consumers can make informed choices about the dairy products they buy, and can clearly identify the country in which the animal was reared, and raw material produced and processed.”

Bill Cash MP seeks action to tackle problems of alcohol-related violence and yob behaviour

Press release 24/08/09       

Today, MP for Stone, Bill Cash added his voice to calls for action to take tough action against the uncontrolled spread in binge-drinking.
The latest Home Office crime figures have revealed that across Newcastle-under-Lyme there were 2,162 violent attacks against individuals last year – based on Government surveys of crime victims, this suggests that 1,016 of these attacks could have been alcohol-related. Across Staffordshire Moorlands there were 1,264 violent attacks against individuals last year – based on Government surveys, this suggests that 594 of these attacks could have been alcohol-related. And across Stafford there were 2,009 violent attacks against individuals last year and based on Government surveys, this suggests that 944 of these attacks could have been alcohol-related. Cash said “These incidents are of grave concern and it is a real threat to my constituents.”
There is growing concern about the overlapping problems of late night drinking, fast food outlets selling alcohol at night; under-age drinking; the easy availability of high-strength alcohol; and retailers like supermarkets selling alcohol below cost-price. The licensing laws which came into effect in 2005 have created a presumption in favour of alcohol licences being given out, and imposed tight restrictions on who can object to any licensing application.
The Police Federation has warned that the need to police town centres around the clock is making it harder to answer emergency calls elsewhere.
  • Massive expansion in late night premises: Nationally, four-fifths of pubs, bars and clubs now close after 11pm, at least part of the week. One in five of all pubs, bars and clubs are open beyond 1am. By contrast, under the old licensing, regime, 80 per cent of pubs, public bars and night-clubs closed by 11pm (DCMS, Licensing Key Statistics, November 2006).
  • Fast food outlets also fuelling nuisance: After the second full year of the new licensing laws, over 76,800 fast food premises are now licensed into open into the early hours. The so-called ‘late night refreshment’ outlets can open as late at 5am. Such outlets are often magnets for post-pub/post-club anti-social behaviour. Large numbers of intoxicated customers gather at places into the early hours, creating nuisance and disturbance for local residents. Many are licensed to sell alcohol into the early hours.
  • Alcohol-related violent attacks: Last year, there were 973,000 violent attacks where the offender was under the influence of alcohol, equivalent to nearly half of all violent incidents; 57 per cent of all assaults with minor injuries are alcohol-related (Home Office, Crime in England and Wales 2008-09, July 2009).
  • More crime in the early hours: The Home Office’s own review of the new licensing laws show rising levels of criminal damage under the new licensing laws: ‘Substantial increases occurred in all evening and night-time hour periods from 9pm… The number of offences happening between 3am and 6am were consistently higher in each of the four three-monthly periods after the introduction of the Act compared with the equivalent periods in the previous year… The peak hours of criminal damage offending during the evening and night-time were between 6pm and 1am.’ The study noted a 22 per cent increase in all offences committed between 3am and 6am (Home Office, Violent Crime, Disorder and Criminal Damage since the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003, July 2007, p.12-13).
  • Increased pressure on the police: The shifting of such crime to the early hours has increased the pressure on the police to man town centres around the clock, diverting resources from neighbourhood police in suburban areas. The Police Federation has warned: ‘All too frequently our members cannot attend to emergency calls because they are tied up with intervening in pub fights or drunken street brawls’ (Police Federation, Consultation Response to the Culture, Media & Sport Committee Inquiry: Licensing Act 2003, 30 September 2008, p.2).
  • Alcohol misuse rising: Since 1997, the number of alcohol-related deaths has increased by 47 per cent (Office of National Statistics, Alcohol-related deaths, 25 January 2008).  The number of under-18s hospitalised for alcohol misuse has increased by nearly 40 per cent since 2002-03 to 12,388 in 2007-08. The number of adults hospitalised for alcohol misuse has increased by 80 per cent to 194,050 over the same period (Hansard, 1 July 2009, col. 332W). 

Bill Cash MP requests that Agriculture Minister respond to local farming concerns

Press release 16/06/09       

Following up on a letter on local farming concerns which Bill Cash had sent to Agriculture Minister, Hilary Benn MP, on 1st April, and on which he had not yet received a reply, Cash asked the new farming minister, Jim Fitzpatrick for an urgent response to the concerns.
On the evening of Monday 15 June, in the House of Commons debate on Rural Communities, the following exchanges were recorded:
Mr. Cash: With respect, the Minister has already said something about his predecessor, and I rise to make a simple point. I wrote to DEFRA on 1 April with a detailed request for certain pieces of information that are highly relevant to this debate. I still have not received a reply, and on behalf of my farmers, who have been having a very difficult time, I ask the Minister to make sure that I receive one as soon as possible.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I am only too pleased to apologise to the hon. Gentleman on behalf of the Department, and I will endeavour to look up his correspondence and respond at my earliest opportunity. . . .
Only 10 minutes after the parliamentary debate, an official from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs telephoned Mr. Cash’s office to obtain the unanswered letter, and promised to have a response drafted urgently. 
Mr. Cash awaits that urgent response so that he can get to the bottom of those ongoing concerns within the local farming industry.

Bill Cash MP gravely concerned at Nuon’s revised proposal for Poplar Lane

Press release 04/09/09       

After hearing the news that, after the Public Inquiry in May 2009, Nuon UK is now considering a “revised proposal that can achieve the production of clean energy at the Poplar Lane site”, local MP, Bill Cash said “I am extremely concerned that Nuon has taken the decision to work vigorously towards a new proposal, despite all the local opposition and despite its rejection at the Public Inquiry.
“I do not know how a renewables company can do this, or the Government can allow this sort of activity. We have followed all the local and central government procedures for years to oppose this application for wind turbines and I will continue to fight every step of the way to stop any wind turbine application happening on this turf.
“I have written to Nuon asking for them to elaborate on their suggestion that they are going to reopen the proposals for a Polar Lane site.”
Following the Public Inquiry in May 2009, Nuon UK Ltd was surprised by Mr Cookson’s (the Planning Inspector) decision, not to reverse the refusal by Members of the former North Shropshire District Council (NSDC) planning committee to grant permission to build a wind farm at Poplar Lane near Woore.
Nuon UK Ltd understandably disagrees with Mr Cookson’s conclusions but it is satisfied that his decision is lawful and therefore will not be challenged. 
Not withstanding the position taken by Mr Cookson, given the substantial body of professional opinion that supported building the proposed wind farm at Poplar Lane, Nuon feels that it is appropriate to consider the possibilities for a redesigned wind farm at Poplar Lane which addresses the Inspector’s concerns.
In the wider context, Mr Cookson’s decision has not altered the fact that there is an acute need to consider options for building renewable energy supply within the Region. Currently the West Midlands Region is woefully behind its targets. This begs a question, if not Poplar Lane where else? Nuon is therefore assessing whether a revised proposal can achieve the production of clean energy at the Poplar Lane site having regard to both the extensive body of work to date and the outcome of the Appeal.  The decision to either come forward with a revised application or withdraw completely will not be taken lightly but Nuon is working vigorously towards that decision and will keep people informed.

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