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MP supports campaign to raise awareness on brain tumours in young people

Ynys Mon MP Albert Owen is supporting the campaign to raise awareness and get more support for research into brain tumour in young people. Mr Owen, who is the Vice Chair of the All Party Group on Cancer in Parliament said:

“During my time as Member of Parliament for Anglesey I have met with many extraordinary people, none more so than 24 year old Anglesey resident Lucy Beesley.

Lucy has been diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, an incurable and rare brain tumour, and has been bravely battling this illness since the age of 19.

Although undergoing intensive treatment, Lucy lives life to the full and has created an inspiring and heartening blog lucylife24.wordpress.com  appropriately titled ‘Fighting Fit’.

Indeed, it was Lucy’s fighting spirit that first brought her to meet with me when she asked me to help raise awareness of the impact of brain tumours.

Sadly, brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer and unlike most cancers, brain cancer incidence continues to rise.

There is no doubt that brain tumour research is under-funded and far too low on the list of research priorities. This simply has to change.

Having met with Lucy and having experience within my own family of this terrible and debilitating illness, I will be calling on the government to increase investment into brain tumour research.

Lucy is an inspirational young woman and I would encourage everyone to visit her excellent and uplifting blog.”

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Albert Owen urges the backing of British farming

On Wednesday 14th September, Albert Owen MP for Ynys Môn attended an event outside the Houses of Parliament hosted by the National Farmers’ Union.

Mr Owen said “It is vital that we continue to recognise the importance of this industry to our country. Farming is the bedrock of our largest manufacturing sector of food and drink, it’s worth £108 billion to our economy and employs 3.9 million people of all ages and localities.

“Farming is embedded in the community and culture of Anglesey, which is why I have always championed the island’s excellent produce. In 2010 I fought for a Supermarkets Ombudsman, and when I had the opportunity to I put a Private Members Bill before Parliament, the bill as lost but was then taken on by Government and later became the Groceries Code Adjudicator.

img_3551“I will always support the work of the farming unions on Anglesey, in Wales and the rest of UK. I will also continue to promote British produce and fight for clear labelling.”

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Ynys Môn MP speaks out against Boundary Review.

Today we have seen the first chapter of the 2018 Boundary Review with the publishing of the Initial Proposals Report. Make no mistake, this is a bad day for democracy. The number of elected representatives in the House of Commons is being cut, all whilst there’s an increase in unelected members of the House of Lords.

Wales as a whole has been disproportionately hit, losing 11 seats, with North Wales also being hit hard, down four seats. The current boundaries have links that go all the way back to the Act of Union in the 16th Century, what we get from these proposed changes are no historical ties. The changes in this review would weaken the link between elected members and their constituents, with one Member of Parliament being expected to represent an average of 74,769 registered voters. This is made worse when it is taken into account that the cut-off date used to calculate these changes was 1st December 2015. Since then over 2 million more people have registered to vote across the country, meaning that this review is already out of date.

We need a proper constitutional convention, one that seriously looks at role of the House of Lords/2nd Chamber in Parliament; oversees boundary changes; and is inclusive of Members of devolved administrations. It would also have to take into account how post-Brexit, representation from MEPs will be lost across the entire United Kingdom.

On a local level, the identity that Anglesey as an island should be recognised and respected as such by being given special status. There should be no exemptions or at the least fair exemptions, and it would indeed be fair for Anglesey to be exempt.

This is the biggest attack by the Government on Wales since English votes for English laws. Democracy in Wales has been diluted, and voices aren’t going to be heard.

 

This post can also be seen as an article on the Daily Post website: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/boundary-changes-attack-wales-says-11880573

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Uncertainty: a major concern for investment

The strongly worded message from the Japanese government to the United Kingdom and European Union on Brexit was both predictable and concerning. During the referendum campaign many Japanese companies warned of the uncertainty that a ‘Leave’ result would cause and also that it would mean a reassessment of future investment plans in both the UK and EU.

Japan is a major investor here. In my own constituency, plans to build a new nuclear power station are moving ahead by Hitachi/Horizon. This is a multibillion pound investment, important to the local, regional and national economy. Hitachi took over Horizon Nuclear Power after the German joint venture between EON and RWE pulled out. It then moved its European headquarters to the UK and, along with new nuclear, has major investments in the north-east of England in the manufacture of trains.

While the company has been clear that Brexit will not affect any of its current investment and business plans, it is looking to the future and, like all Japanese companies, wants certainty and clarity as to what Brexit means.

The Japanese government’s intervention is apt given that business from Japan has created 440,000 jobs in Europe, many of which are in this country, and nearly half of Japanese investment in 2015 that came to Europe flowed to the UK. The Japanese government has made a strong request to both the UK and EU that market integrity is maintained and the UK continues to be a gateway to Europe.

Horizon’s plans to build a new nuclear plant – Wylfa Newydd – on Anglesey is well under way, but it is not anticipated to make a Final Investment Decision until 2019. That said, it is continuing to spend on all the necessary consents for the site. The Wylfa Newydd project is engaging with local and national companies on site clearance and skills training in order to creat thousands of jobs. Such commitment does require business certainty.

When Horizon/Hitachi embarked on the project the UK was firmly in the EU. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is currently in the negotiations stage, so it is reasonable for Japan to ascertain the positions of both the UK and EU, and therefore it is willing to cooperate so that the process of the UK’s withdrawal moves forward smoothly without causing any serious disturbances to the world economy.

When pro-‘Remain’ figures, including myself, raised the issue of Brexit and the uncertainty it may cause, we were dismissed as scaremongers. The new prime minister in her first encounter with the Japanese prime minister had a cordial meeting, but there is no doubt that the decision for the UK to exit the EU will have a profound affect, not just on Anglesey or the UK, but within the EU and indeed the global economy beyond. The UK and EU economies are recognised as an integral part of the world economy. Japan is aware of this, as are the people I represent on the Isle of Anglesey. They too have concerns for the future and want an open and transparent Brexit process to restore business confidence so that the UK remains open for Japanese business.

 

This post can also be seen as an article on the Progress website at: http://prog.rs/8dm