Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Government has to tackle identity fraud

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, welcomes the speeding up the supply of national identity cards to those most in need, so that they can benefit from a secure form of ID that also protects their privacy.

David Williams said, "The National Identity Service is now an entirely voluntary service. This means that there will be no compulsory element around critical workers. So, no UK national will be compelled to get a national identity card.

"In an age when we are regularly required to prove our identity, I am convinced of the benefits of the National Identity Service, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.

"The passport is the document most used and trusted when proving our identity, yet one-in-five of the population do not have one. The most vulnerable in our society also struggle to produce documents that the rest of us take for granted, such as utility bills.

"We all face the threat of identity theft and fraud and minimising the paper trail of your identity details is key to facing that threat. This is where a national identity card can help all of us."

You can declare your interest in a identity card by visiting Identity and Passport Service

Friday, 10 July 2009

David Williams welcomes a historic climate agreement

David Williams has welcomed the agreement on climate change reached by G8 leaders in Italy.

On the first day of the G8 summit in L'Aquila, leaders have reached an agreement to cap global temperature rises by two degrees Celsius and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The deal paves the way for a global agreement to be made at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December.

The Prime Minister hopes to secure a similar agreement from the "plus five" group of emerging economies, including China and India, today.

Gordon Brown said, "For the first time, the G8 has agreed what I believe are vital decisions that take us on the road to Copenhagen and change the way we look at energy policy in the future."

Labour has made Britain a world leader in meeting the challenges of climate change and energy security, putting in place the world's first legally-binding carbon targets and by investing to make Britain a global leader in low carbon industries.

At the end of June, Labour published ‘The Road to Copenhagen' - Labour's vision for what the deal we aim to reach in December should include. We will be arguing for ambitious action and a deal that every country signs up to.

Act on Copenhagen

Thursday, 9 July 2009

David Williams hails Labour's contribution to fight against global poverty

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, today welcomed plans to spend more UK overseas aid on helping poor people in states affected by conflict. The new policy was unveiled in a White Paper published by Labour’s International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander today.

The DFID White Paper commits the UK Government to meeting the UN goal of 0.7% in aid spending and on achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals on poverty, hunger, disease, maternal health, and schools. It also sets out new priorities, including:

• making sure every pound of UK aid is spent well

• helping poor countries adapt to climate change and grow their economies in a low carbon way

• providing economic opportunities for 7.5 million people in states affected by conflict, training police forces, setting up law courts and giving priority to measures to tackle violence against women

• boosting support for democratic politics, including peaceful, free and fair elections

• more than doubling partnerships with local charities, faith groups, trade unions and ethical businesses

David Williams said, “People in Crewe and Nantwich can be proud that the Labour Government is leading the world with it’s commitment to the poorest. At a time when some are questioning whether we should be cutting our aid budget, Labour is committed to investment for social justice both at home and abroad.”

Since 1997, Labour has helped lift 3 million people out of poverty each year. The proportion of the world’s population living in poverty has fallen from a third to a quarter. Labour created the Department for International Development in 1997. DFID is now acknowledged by the OECD not just as the best aid administration in the world but as an outstanding development agency.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown led the G8 through the Gleneagles process in 2005, at the time of Make Poverty History and Live 8, cementing international commitments to aid, debt relief and development. At the London G20 summit, Gordon Brown made sure the poor were at the heart of the global response to the economic crisis.

Labour has kept promises on aid. We are on track to reach this historic UN target of 0.7% of national income by 2013. Britain is now regarded as the leader on aid effectiveness in the G7. We have provided leadership on climate change, proposing a global fund of $100bn to support the world’s poorest, who will be hit worst and first.

Building our common future - DfID White Paper

Picture: Kamla is from a drought affected region in India. She is the first woman trained as a solar engineer in Rajasthan. Photo: Robert Wallis/Panos Pictures

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Anger at threat to close Crewe Station travel centre

by Belinda Ryan, Crewe Chronicle

LABOUR candidate David Williams has hit out at plans by Virgin Trains to close the travel centre at Crewe Station.

Mr Williams, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Crewe & Nantwich, said: “I am shocked to hear that Virgin is considering the closure of their travel centres at Crewe, Stafford, Birmingham International and Coventry stations, alongside a reduction of 21 booking office machines across the network.”

He said he was delighted to hear the Government commit to the Crewe Gateway Scheme last week, adding: “This week we are due to see the long-overdue opening of a first class lounge at Crewe. But the removal of the travel centre amounts to nothing less than a downgrading of our station.”

A spokesman for Virgin Trains said the company was committed to Crewe.

“We are looking at the possibility of combining the travel centre and the ticket office. There is no question of reducing the number of staff but the change would give a more flexible way of delivering services to customers,” he said.

He added with regard to the number of ticket machines these were machines used by staff and would not affect customers.

Crewe Chronicle

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Dharma Day

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich said, "I wanted to pass on my very best wishes to all of Crewe and Nantwich’s Buddhists, who are celebrating Dharma Day today.

The messages of Dharma Day are ones that all communities can learn from: gratitude for wisdom, generosity in sharing it and patience in reflecting upon it. As we think today about the Buddha beginning his teaching we should all celebrate the values which Buddhism has to teach us and the contribution of our Buddhist community to Britain’s national life.

Whether meditating at home, gathering with family or attending temple, I wish you all a very peaceful Dharma Day.

David Williams welcomes plans to scrap blacklists

“It’s time to make the blacklisting of employees illegal”, said David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.

The Government has launched a six-week consultation into the practice of creating or using blacklists. Some rogue employers use them to sack or not employ people for reasons that can be as innocent as belonging to a union.

David Williams is already campaigning with the Government against the National Staff Dismissal Register, run by a group called Action Against Business Crime. This blacklist includes details of shopworkers who have been dismissed or left their company for a range of reasons, whether they were guilty or not.

David Williams said, “No blacklist should be lawful, whether it identifies workers for their trade union activities or is based on conjecture about the honesty of individual employees.

“There is already a Criminal Records Bureau, which employers can check to ensure they are making safe appointments. The blacklisting of individuals where there has not been a prosecution or disciplinary action is grossly unfair; particularly when individuals are not aware they have been blacklisted.

“We live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty. That is a point I will be making very strongly to Government in response to the consultation.”

Consultation on blacklisting

Monday, 6 July 2009

David Williams condemns plans to close the Travel Centre at Crewe Station

"We do not want to see any downgrading of Crewe Station”, said David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.

David Williams continued, “I am shocked to hear that Virgin is considering the closure of their Travel Centres at Crewe, Stafford, Birmingham International and Coventry stations; alongside a reduction of 21 booking office machines across the network.

“Just when I thought that we were making progress with Crewe Station, after the dithering and delay caused by the nonsensical suggested move to Basford, this news is yet another setback.

“I was delighted to hear the Minister commit to the Crewe Gateway Scheme last week, after Labour’s campaigning. This week we are due to see the long-overdue opening of a first class lounge at Crewe. But the removal of the travel centre amounts to nothing less than a downgrading of our station.

“Our travel centre is an important service to passengers. It gives people the opportunity to discuss their travel plans and gain advice without holding up queues at the booking office.

“I am also concerned for the many people in Crewe and Nantwich who hold a free travel pass, including retired railway workers. They tell me that the travel centre is a very convenient way to access services like seat reservations, which are not available to them on the web.

“I am stunned that after Virgin’s attempts to push people into pre-booking travel, they are now removing a facility that helps passengers pre-book. Rail travel should be as easy and as passenger friendly as possible. I know the staff at Crewe Travel Centre offer great advice, helping people get the most out of our train services

“I am now seeking the support of my Parliamentary colleagues whose constituencies are also affected by these proposals and I am writing to Virgin to express my opposition to the closure of the Crewe Travel Centre.”

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Fighting climate change in Crewe & Nantwich

Climate change is something we all need to be concerned with. I often speak to people on the doorstep about this issue, worried about what kind of planet we are going to leave for the next generation.

And you are right to be concerned. Scientists recently gave their clearest warning yet of what could happen. They warned of:
Drought: In some parts of Britain summer rainwater could drop by a quarter.
Floods: Winter rains and snow could increase by almost a third. Flooding from heavier rainstorms would take its toll on businesses and homes.
Heatwaves: In 2003, an increase in average temperature of just two degrees led to 35,000 extra deaths across Europe.

If we do act we could have a more stable climate and new jobs in Britain.

Acting on climate change means jobs in construction as we embark on a Great British refurb of our homes, to cut down on wasted energy. It means jobs in manufacturing as we lead new low-carbon industries, like electric cars. It means a new future for places like the North Sea, which could start to store the CO2 from our power stations and heavy industry.

So here is the challenge for Britain. We need to show the way to a low-carbon future, but we also need to get all countries signed up to acting as well. We can help tip the balance by our own actions and by persuading other countries to join a global deal at the UN meeting in Copenhagen, this December.

At the end of June the Labour Government published “The Road to Copenhagen”, Britain’s pitch for what the deal should include. That will contain the details, but we’ve already made clear that at the UN meeting in Copenhagen this December, we will be on the side arguing for ambitious action.

We’ll be arguing for a deal that every country signs up to – there can be no carbon buck-passing.

And we’ll be arguing that the world’s release of heat-trapping gasses needs to stop growing in the next decade and start shrinking – with support for the poorest countries to make sure they can do their bit.

This is the first time we’ve ever published our position in advance of global climate talks, but I believe it’s right. This meeting is make-or-break for all of us, and every British citizen should be able to know what their government is arguing for. Instead of it being treated like a government secret, it will be sent to schools, libraries, citizens advice centres and other places across Crewe and Nantwich.

We can get the deal. If people across the world call on governments to act, if we carry on saving carbon at home, we can stop dangerous climate change. We can make a difference, and know that we’ll be able to look our kids in the eye because we stood up for their future.

Pledge your support

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Royal Mail is saved from privatisation but the fight for Crewe continues

“We did it”, said David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, “We saved Royal Mail from the Government’s part-privatisation plans.”

Lord Mandelson confirmed today in the House of Lords that there is “no prospect” of the Government continuing with its Postal Services Bill.

David Williams continued, “I backed the CWU campaign right from the very beginning and I congratulate the Union for putting up a superb fight. This has always been a matter of principle for me, I voted for a wholly publically owned Post Office at Labour’s Policy Forum and I expect a Labour Government to stick to the Party’s Policy. I regard this as a good result for Party democracy.

“In my conversations on doorsteps many people in Crewe and Nantwich agreed with me that selling Royal Mail is not the right way forward.”

Opposition for the Government’s plans came from all parts of the Labour Party. Many Labour MPs, parliamentary candidates and activists opposed the plans and joined trade unionists in backing the CWU campaign. Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party also made its opposition clear by contacting the Prime Minister.

David Williams concluded, “This is very welcome news, but it still leaves the future of Crewe sorting office up in the air. I have spoken to the CWU and they are now looking to establish proper negotiations on the modernisation programme.

“Royal Mail’s approach of picking off sorting offices one-by-one is totally wrong. The union should be allowed to look at the issue on a UK-wide basis. It is the only hope to keep Crewe open. I have written to the Postal services Minister, Lord Young, asking him force management to the table.

"When it comes to the next general election supporters of a wholly publically owned Royal Mail should bear in mind that the only party with that policy is Labour. The Tories are fully committed to a wholesale sell-off.”

Pictured: David Williams with, Billy Hayes, CWU General Secretary at the Union's rally at Labour Party Conference.

David Williams calls on the Tory Council to meet the housing challenge

“The Government is right to invest in new affordable homes”, says David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, “But we now need the same commitment from the Tories on Cheshire East Council.

David was speaking at a launch of the Government draft legislative programme Building Britain’s Future in Downing Street yesterday.

David Williams said, “Affordable housing is an issue often raised with me on the doorstep. Not just by young people looking to set up a new home, but also their parents who worry the future for their sons and daughters.”

The Government is investing an additional £1.5 billion over the next two years to deliver 20,000 new affordable homes, creating 45,000 jobs in the construction and related sectors.

David Williams concluded, “I do not believe the Tories share our commitment to providing affordable social housing. But I am even more concerned that they will frustrate planning applications, as their not in my backyard instincts take over.

“The challenge is to meet the housing needs of local people. I want to see Cheshire East Council grasp the nettle, identify new build sites in Crewe and Nantwich, bid for the Government’s new investment.

Building Britain's Future website