Jim Cunningham MP and Cllr Jayne Innes were accompanied by Unite Trade Union Official Alan Lewis. They met with Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for City Environment Cllr Steve Evans, and Chair of Licensing Committee Cllr Alan Bolshaw. Officers working in Wolverhampton's Taxi Licensing Office were also present.
"I think everyone in Coventry now knows that Uber is not licensed to operate taxis here in Coventry. Here in Coventry we have black cabs, a gold standard delivering the very best taxi service for local people, in addition to being a powerful symbol of our nation.
"Here in Coventry we place tight rules and regulations on our taxi drivers. We require them to have excellent local knowledge, good standards of English, to undergo disabilities and child sexual exploitation training, and to have their vehicles checked on a 6 monthly basis. It goes without saying they also need to be DBS cleared.
"Our taxi licensing process is based on repeated face-to-face contact. This is one of the ways we differ from Wolverhampton, where there is only the need for one face-to-face meeting between the Council and each driver. In Wolverhampton most of the application process takes place online, and it is possible for a new taxi driver to be taking fares just 2 weeks after first accessing the website.
"I am fighting for safe professional taxis here in Coventry. It is frustrating that taxi law has not kept pace with technological advances. It is now possible for customers to use a phone app for taxi bookings, and this means taxi drivers can effectively adopt a 'flag of convenience' to operate outside the rules. This places drivers who play by the rules at a disadvantage.
"I'm delighted Coventry MP Jim Cunningham is working hard on behalf of Coventry's taxi customers and taxi drivers to lobby Government to change the law.
"The meeting was pretty frank at points, and lasted 2 hours. Wolverhampton City Council admitted that they license 241 taxi drivers with addresses in Coventry. And they acknowledge these drivers work in the Coventry area, and not Wolverhampton.
"As Wolverhampton is granting licenses to taxi drivers that it will be up to Coventry City Council to manage on a day-to-day basis, the fees paid by Coventry taxi drivers are essentially subsidising Wolverhampton's taxi office.
"I explained this subsidy is not acceptable, and Wolverhampton City Council has agreed to provide enforcement of Wolverhampton-licensed taxis in Coventry.
"Wolverhampton City Council has also agreed to contact their Coventry-based taxi drivers with any messages Coventry City Council needs to communicate. We need to issue messages to local drivers on a variety of occasions through the year, e.g. when there is a big event in the city, or when there are major road works.
"Wolverhampton Council has also agreed to ask Coventry-based applicants to consider choosing to license in Coventry instead" concluded Jayne.
Cllr Jayne Innes, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for City Services, today visited Wolverhampton City Council's taxi bosseswith Coventry South's, Jim Cunningham MP. The visit was organised by Jim Cunningham's...
Jim Cunningham, Coventry South’s representative in Westminster has today called on the Government to scrap the public sector pay cap for NHS Workers.
Jim Cunningham MP said,
“The Government’s public sector pay cap has been a disaster for the NHS. We are 10,000 GPs, 3,500 midwives and now 40,000 nurses short of the number we need.
“Today Labour are calling on the Government to scrap the cap and make sure our NHS staff get a fair days pay for the lifesaving care they provide to millions of people a week.
“The Government’s derisory offer to Police and Prison Officers yesterday just doesn’t cut it. Across the public sector we need to end austerity and ensure those people who protect us and save our lives, are paid enough money to live on so that the stories of nurses using foodbanks are a thing of the past.”
Jim Cunningham, Coventry South’s representative in Westminster has today called on the Government to scrap the public sector pay cap for NHS Workers. Jim Cunningham MP said, “The Government’s public...
Coventry businesses are being called on to provide an insight as to how migrant workers are feeling after the Brexit vote last June.
Companies across the city are being asked by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to their share views on the employment situation.
The Chamber is hearing anecdotally that many migrant workers are planning to leave the country or have already left since the vote last year and this could have a significant impact on employers.
The call was sent out during the quarterly meeting of the Coventry Branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, which was held at The Welcome Centre in Parkside.
Martyne Manning, senior policy officer at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Chamber needs the help of businesses in Coventry to find out more about what is happening with migrant workers.
“We have heard of many leaving the country or planning to leave since the Brexit vote and we want to actually gauge what is happening out there.
“It seems that the reason could be because the pound is weak or that they are worried about what will happen once we leave the European Union.
“But if this is happening, it could have a massive impact on employment within the city and the wider Coventry and Warwickshire region. So we want to assess the situation now and be prepared to advise businesses appropriately.”
Coventry South MP, Jim Cunningham, attended the meeting and heard a range of issues raised by firms.
These included the lack of employment land and space for firms of all sizes and sectors and improving Coventry city centre to try to attract more visitors to the area.
Jim Cunningham said: “I always appreciate meeting the Chamber and its members as it lets me know exactly what businesses are thinking and feeling.
“It proved very interesting and the points raised are ones that seem to be arising more and more at this time.
“All of the businesses that attended the event are passionate about Coventry and making sure that it can be a thriving city.
“It is very much a case of if you go looking for doom, you will find doom. If you go looking for light, you will find light and I appreciated the fact that these members were looking at ways to boost Coventry and raise its profile, which was very encouraging.”
Businesses who would like to pass on any details about migrant workers can do so through the Chamber by emailing policy officer Martyne Manning at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coventry businesses are being called on to provide an insight as to how migrant workers are feeling after the Brexit vote last June. Companies across the city are being asked...
Despite the myth that MP’s take a long summer holiday during a Parliamentary Recess, the reality is very different. It’s been a busy few weeks in Coventry South as I use the time to catch up with local groups and organisations to hear about the work they are doing for local people across the city.
This recess I’ve also used the time to deliver on some of the pledges I made during the General Election on schools, education, housing, policing, Brexit and the greenbelt.
A few weeks ago I met with Whitefrairs to discuss their plans to build more social housing in the city, as well as ensuring that they are doing all they can to improve the properties they have. I regularly receive correspondence from constituents who are Whitefrairs tenants about issues of anti-social behaviour and sometimes poor living conditions. I continue to speak to Whitefrairs on a regular basis about their plans.
Building new homes does not however mean building on our green belt. I’ve been a strong and vocal opponent of Warwick District Council’s plans to build on Kings Hill and earlier this summer I joined over 100 local residents to show our opposition to the plans that would not only destroy part of our green belt but would also cause additional pressure on our roads and overstretched public services.
Education was a key part of the election campaign. I campaigned against the damaging Conservative cuts to our schools and their plans to raise tuition fees even further, putting working class kids at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to higher education. Prior to the recess I met with a number of Head Teachers and the Council to discuss how we could work together to stop these cuts to school budgets and whilst the Government has now backtracked slightly, ask any Head Teacher if they are confident the money coming from Government will cover their costs in the years to come and the answer will be a resounding no.
On Higher Education I met with Warwick University’s new Vice-Chancellor to hear about the exciting plans afoot for one of our two world class universities in the city. It’s fantastic that Coventry, a population seven years younger than the UK average is able to boast about two brilliant Universities now both in the top 12 nationally!
I was back at Warwick to welcome hundreds of young people to the Biology Olympiad where they came together to celebrate the huge achievements of this sector over the last few years. Not only were these people at Warwick University, they were in Coventry and it’s another example of how much the wider city benefits from our world class universities.
It’s our world class universities that are key to our City of Culture 2021 bid and I was delighted to meet with the bid team earlier this month to talk about how we can work together to deliver Coventry the crown when the results are announced at the end of this year. I’m hosting a Westminster Hall debate on September 5th followed a week later by a reception in the House of Commons as we look to drum up support for this exciting venture.
Last week I had the honour of visiting Acorns Childrens Hospice in Birmingham. It’s one of the most humbling experiences you have as an MP, visiting those in unthinkable situations but seeing the compassion shown to them by staff and volunteers. It’s the best and the worst of our world coming together. Hospice’s play a vital role in health care and what’s most shocking perhaps is they are too often reliant on fundraising rather than NHS cash. It’s something that we as a country must look at, whether it’s a hospice for adults or children, as we live longer and as medical advances occur the need for hospices will only grow.
Later this week I’m meeting with the Superintendent for Coventry and then with David Jamieson, our Police and Crime Commissioner. Fear of crime was an issue raised with me time and time again during the election campaign and although money is tight, I’m hopeful we can secure more resource for Coventry. In Parliament, I’m battling the Tories to give us the cash we need in Coventry to provide more Police on our streets. Their cuts to the Coventry Police since 2010 have been scandalous and Labour have opposed them every step of the way.
And as we head back to London in September, the diary is already filling up with a meeting scheduled in with West Midlands Trains firs up, the new rail company who won the recent franchise bid.
As ever, my office remains open throughout the summer and you can contact us through telephone, email and the post.
Despite the myth that MP’s take a long summer holiday during a Parliamentary Recess, the reality is very different. It’s been a busy few weeks in Coventry South as I use...
Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry, met with older people from across the country at an event in Parliament organised by the charity Age UK.
The Age Champions event was the charity’s annual summer reception and highlighted the challenges of an ageing population and opportunities in later life.
MPs heard how they can tackle issues affecting older people in Coventry South and across the country, including loneliness and isolation, social care and the importance of a decent income.
Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry, met with older people from across the country at an event in Parliament organised by the charity Age UK. The Age Champions event was... Read more
Below is the contribution I made to the Queens Speech debate on Tuesday of this week:
I have visited a number of schools in my constituency, and the message has been the same at each one: they may have to make teachers and classroom assistants redundant. I believe that every child should receive every possible opportunity to succeed in life, regardless of their background. I am therefore disappointed that no clear education legislation is outlined in the Queen’s Speech. There are only vague commitments to allow children to attend good schools.
I hope that the Government have finally dropped their vanity project of introducing more grammar schools. That policy would have served only to increase the divisions in society. Instead of trying to create new schools, we should be focusing on our existing schools to ensure that they are sufficiently funded. That is what will give our children the best opportunities in life. However, despite having pledged to ensure that every child gets the education they deserve, the Government proposed in their manifesto to remove free school meals. I am pleased that that policy has been scrapped, but we must not forget that they tried to introduce it in the first place.
It is under proposals from this same Government that schools are having their funding cut for the first time in 20 years, which will mean teachers losing their jobs and our children being taught in supersized classes. In Coventry, over £29 million will be cut from the local authority’s education budget, which will mean, on average, £600 less per pupil. One school in my constituency is facing a reduction of £1,600 per pupil. That is simply not good enough. Our children deserve better.
We have seen time and again that this Government are failing the people of this country, whether children at the start of their lives or people at the other end of their lives—for example, by threatening to scrap the pensions triple lock, or by letting down the women who have seen their state pension age increase but received inadequate transitional arrangements.
I will now move on to local services. We have seen a shift in focus, with responsibility moving from central to local government. It is important that local authorities can shape their service provision, but they are having to do so in the face of constant budget cuts. Since 2010, Coventry Council has lost £106 million a year, which represents a 50% cut in Government grant funding. By 2020, the Government will have cut £655 million from the council’s budget. When people have increasingly complex needs, especially in areas such as adult social care and mental health services, Coventry and Warwickshire local authorities expect a deficit of £33 million by 2020-21 in social care. Although we have, I hope, seen the back of the Government’s proposed dementia tax, more must be done urgently to tackle the crisis in social care, and there was no specific mention of that in the Green Paper.
The Chancellor said in his Mansion House speech that,
“people are weary of the long slog”
and that the Conservatives are listening to people after the election. But is he really hearing what the people of this country need? It is simply staggering that the Government are continuing to pursue an agenda of austerity. Other vital local services are still being cut. The Department for Work and Pensions has announced the closure of 108 sites by March 2018, including the Tile Hill jobcentre in Coventry, which means that claimants will now have to travel for up to an hour to get to a jobcentre. That will be incredibly difficult for many of the more vulnerable users of the jobcentre.
At a time when the gap between rich and poor is widening, it is more important than ever to ensure that we are caring for those who need it the most. Therefore, while I welcome the mention in the Queen’s Speech of the very important issue of domestic violence, let us not forget that 17% of specialist women’s refuges have closed since 2010. That means that women will have been unable to get the help and support they so desperately need. Some 20,000 police officers have been cut, and much has been made in the national press of the consequences. While the Government say one thing, their policies seem to do the exact opposite.
Below is the contribution I made to the Queens Speech debate on Tuesday of this week: I have visited a number of schools in my constituency, and the message has...
On Thursday 8th June, residents of Coventry returned me to Parliament for the 7th time. I am deeply humbled and honoured to once again represent the people of Coventry South.
I want to thank everyone who voted for me. I will do very best to deliver for you over the months and years to come.
During the election, my team spoke to thousands of people about their concerns. My job now is to stand up for the people who live in Coventry South. I made some key pledges during the campaign and now I intend to carry them out.
I wrote for the Coventry Telegraph, my plan for the first 100 days. You can read it online here.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have a policy question or a personal issue. I'll try my best to help. You can get in touch using the information here.
On Thursday 8th June, residents of Coventry returned me to Parliament for the 7th time. I am deeply humbled and honoured to once again represent the people of Coventry South. ...
The next Labour government will put rail passengers first by putting the brakes on rapidly increasing rail fares andsaving commuters an average of £1,014 on their season tickets
Under a Labour government, passengers will on average save £1,014 on their rail season tickets over the next parliament, compared to the cost under a Tory government.
Since 2010, regulated rail fares have risen by 27.1%, increasing the average cost of a season ticket by £594.
The 2015 Conservative manifesto included a commitment to keeping rail fares frozen in real terms. However, regulated fares were capped at the Retail Price Index (RPI), which consistently over-estimates inflation, rather than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Labour will cap regulated fair rises at the Consumer Price Index (CPI), using the money saved through bringing rail franchises back into public ownership. As more services come into public ownership, greater amounts of savings become available, and Labour will aim to introduce further fare caps or reductions.
Jim Cunningham, Labour’s candidate for Coventry South said:
“One popular route in Coventry South is Coventry to Oxford where rail users have seen season tickets increase from £3388 in 2010 to £4440 today.
“The Tories have, for seven years, presided over huge increases – and under another five years of the Tories ticket prices are on course to be as high as £5233 by the end of the next parliament.
“Labour has a different plan – to bring rail franchises back into public ownership that would save commuters in Coventry £1617 over the next five years.
Labour are also committed to maintaining three trains from Coventry to London per hour. The Tories have given no such guarantee.”
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, said:
“Under the Conservatives, rail fares have sky-rocketed and tickets are some of the most expensive in Europe.
“Labour will take Britain's railways back into public control and put more money into people's pockets by capping fares. This will save commuters £1,014 on their rail season tickets over the next Parliament, as part of our plan to promote services for the many, not the few.”
Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:
“Theresa May’s failure to commit to freezing rail fares shows just how out of touch they are.
“Under the Conservatives, fares have risen three times faster than wages, passenger satisfaction is plummeting, punctuality has fallen to a 10 year low and promised upgrades have either been delayed by years or scrapped altogether.
“Privatised rail has failed and it will take more than tinkering around the edges to deliver much needed improvements for passengers. Labour will take the railways back into public ownership and put passengers first by capping fares.
The 2017 Tory manifesto has failed to make any commitment to keeping rail fares frozen in real terms, meaning rail fares are likely to rise above inflation (RPI) if the Conservatives win the general election.
Between 2011 - 2013 the Tories allowed fares to rise by RPI plus 1 per cent. If fares continue to increase by the same rate, the average cost of a season ticket will rise by an extra £160 by the end of the next parliament, compared to being frozen at RPI.
The next Labour government will put rail passengers first by putting the brakes on rapidly increasing rail fares andsaving commuters an average of £1,014 on their season tickets Under a...
The Conservative’s plans to scrap universal infant free school meals will leave the families of infant children £450 worse off everyyear, Labour analysis shows.
Labour analysis has shown that there are around 11,857 children in Coventry who will no longer be eligible for free school meals under the new system, where only those children who were eligible for free school meals under the means testing system will still be eligible.
Labour will ensure that every primary school child, whatever their background, have a hot and healthy meal during the school day, by introducing universal free school meals for every primary school child.
Jim Cunningham, Labour’s candidate for Coventry South, said:
“These figures show that, under Tory proposals, 11,857 children in Coventry will no longer be eligible for free school meals.
“The fact that working families, already facing falling real wages under the Tories, will need to find nearly £450 a year to pay the Tories’ lunch tax shows that Theresa May’s Conservatives have no plans to help those who are just about managing.
“Only Labour will stand up for working families, from universal free school meals in primary school, to a real living wage of £10 an hour, as we build a country for the many, not the few.”
The Conservative’s plans to scrap universal infant free school meals will leave the families of infant children £450 worse off everyyear, Labour analysis shows. Labour analysis has shown that there...
“This is truly heart breaking news and my thoughts are with those affected.
“The details are still coming to light but from what we know, this cowardly attack has killed 22 people and injured another 59. This callous and indiscriminate act of violence has again achieved nothing but heartache and pain.
“My thoughts are today with those killed and injured and their families. At times like this, I also think of our emergency services – those people who are at this very moment saving lives, protecting lives and searching to discover the truth and bring to justice those involved.
“As a mark of respect, my campaign to be re-elected in Coventry South will be suspended until further notice.”
“This is truly heart breaking news and my thoughts are with those affected. “The details are still coming to light but from what we know, this cowardly attack has killed...