Gareth Snell MP

Labour and Co-operative MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central

News from Stoke on Trent Central

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One of the most enjoyable elements of being your Member of Parliament is visiting our local schools and meeting children, teachers and parents. As we entered November I asked local schoolchildren to get their thinking hats on and their creative juices flowing to design my Christmas card for this year. The brief was simple, something Christmassy and that celebrates our wonderful city.

I've literally had hundreds of responses and the standard has been incredibly high. Below is just a snapshot of some of the entrants! Wish me luck in picking a winner!

Gareth spoilt for choice with Christmas Card designs

One of the most enjoyable elements of being your Member of Parliament is visiting our local schools and meeting children, teachers and parents. As we entered November I asked local...

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Joint statement from: Ruth Smeeth MP, Gareth Snell MP and Labour Group leader Councillor Mohammed Pervez.

A pay more, get less budget from an exhausted out of touch administration

“Today, any veneer of confidence in the Independent—Tory administration to competently run council services has been shattered. Unfortunately for the residents of Stoke-on-Trent, they are now going to pay for the mistakes of a tired Council leadership which is out of its depth.

The Council has today published its budget proposals, with a foreword from the leader and deputy- leader of the council that states their ‘Strategy is working”. A statement so detached from the reality of the situation, begs the question are they really in touch with the crisis that they are facing or the impact their proposals will have on local residents.

A strategy that will result in a 4% budget busting council tax rise and hit the pockets of residents in Stoke-on-Trent at a time when many have their own wages frozen or cut; that increases parking charges and adds to the list of services the Council is costing out local residents from using such as pest control.

A strategy that when Adult and Social Care services have never been in greater demand, cuts £2.4million from its budget through a system redesign, which will undoubtedly see the quality of services for our most vulnerable worsen.

A strategy, hot on the heels of their plans to fine rough-sleepers £1000, reduce the support on offer for children in care and intention to steal £3million from the classrooms of our local schools to prop up their budget mistakes.

Tragically, for those residents that rely and depend on the services the Council delivers the news today is confirmation not only don’t they have a plan to address these problems, but that they aren’t fully aware of the crisis they are facing or making worse. A crisis made worse by a government committed to defunding local government resulting in today’s announcement by the council and their intention to pick the pockets of local residents.

Over the next couple of days we will work with stakeholders to properly assess some of the worst elements of this budget and do all we can to oppose plans that will have such a detrimental effect on the lives of the residents of Stoke-on-Trent”.

Gareth releases statement on Council Budget

Joint statement from: Ruth Smeeth MP, Gareth Snell MP and Labour Group leader Councillor Mohammed Pervez. A pay more, get less budget from an exhausted out of touch administration “Today,...

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National HIV Testing Week 18th to 25th November

Last week I took a public HIV test in an effort to encourage more local people to test for the virus during National HIV Testing Week. I had a simple finger-prick blood test and my negative result was delivered in under 15 minutes after the test.

New figures released by Public Health England in October 2017 revealed that a decline in new HIV infections but late diagnoses remain high. Organised by Terrence Higgins Trust and Staffordshire Buddies, I met volunteers and staff to discuss the importance of normalising testing and busting stigma.

National HIV Testing Week, which runs from 18th to 25th November, is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England. The week encourages people to take a painless, simple and quick HIV test, particularly those from the groups most at-risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men and black African communities.

Local HIV testing events are taking place across the city during the week, local staff and volunteers from Staffordshire Buddies will be on hand to explain more about HIV and maintaining good sexual health.

I was delighted to meet with the Terrence Higgins Trust and Staffordshire Buddies in Stoke and raise awareness of the importance of testing for HIV. As I found out today by taking a test – testing is free, fast and simple, and it’s one of the best weapons we have to stop the spread of HIV.

You can find out more about National HIV Testing Week at www.startswithme.org.uk

Gareth supports National HIV Testing Week

National HIV Testing Week 18th to 25th November Last week I took a public HIV test in an effort to encourage more local people to test for the virus during...

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Yesterday I held the latest of my coffee mornings at West End Village, an extra care housing village in Boothen. These coffee mornings are an informal way for local residents to come and meet me and my team and discuss any local or national issues that they might want to discuss. I was grateful to local Councillor Andy Platt for joining me and helping to offer a council perspective to some of the issues raised.

Thanks to all those at West End Village and Staffordshire Housing for all the help with advertising and the logistics of the event and local residents for taking the time to sit down and talk with us.

Gareth holds coffee morning at West End Village

Yesterday I held the latest of my coffee mornings at West End Village, an extra care housing village in Boothen. These coffee mornings are an informal way for local residents...

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You may have seen on the news that the government have commissioned 58 independent studies on the likely effects of Brexit on key industries.

Staggeringly though, this didn't include a report into the effects of Brexit on the Ceramic industry. An industry that exports over £200million worth of goods to the European Union. Nationally the industry has a £2bn turnover and employs over 20,000 people directly and many more in supply chain industries. A significant cluster of the Ceramic industry is based in Stoke-on-Trent and adds £285 GVA to our local economy and is responsible for £180million of export sales from Stoke-on-Trent based companies.

Today myself and Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove MP Ruth Smeeth have written to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis urging him to explain this inexplicable oversight and to instigate a report into effects of Brexit on the Ceramic industry urgently and publish it to show the government is doing all it can for this world-leading British industry during Brexit negotiations.

Gareths criticises Government for forgetting ceramics industry

You may have seen on the news that the government have commissioned 58 independent studies on the likely effects of Brexit on key industries. Staggeringly though, this didn't include a...

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On Saturday I had the pleasure of joining the Royal British Legion to help launch this year’s Poppy Appeal for Stoke-On-Trent. It was a real honour to receive with my fellow MPs one of the first poppies of the appeal. I know the people of Stoke-on-Trent will join me in supporting the campaign and wear their poppies with pride and remembrance of the sacrifice of our armed forces to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.

Gareth meets Royal British Legion to launch Poppy Appeal

On Saturday I had the pleasure of joining the Royal British Legion to help launch this year’s Poppy Appeal for Stoke-On-Trent. It was a real honour to receive with my...

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On Tuesday night I attended the Fire Brigades Union 'Love your Fire Fighter ' event in Parliament. It was a pleasure to meet the men and women on the front-line keeping us safe.

It was also the opportunity to watch two important short films. Firstly, the ‘Operator’ won the Bafta short film award last year (2016) for its depiction of a control room operator taking an emergency fire call. Then ‘The Firefighters’ Dilemma’ was made this year to convey the stress fire crews are under when they turn out to a fire if they have to wait for a second fire engine before entering the premises due to service cuts.

Our Fire Fighters are doing an incredible job in our local communities. All they ask is that we support them in ensuring our world class service in maintained. I know that I'll be doing all I can to do this inside and outside Parliament.

Gareth supports our firefighters

On Tuesday night I attended the Fire Brigades Union 'Love your Fire Fighter ' event in Parliament. It was a pleasure to meet the men and women on the front-line...

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On Monday evening I held an adjournment debate regarding the future of health care provision in North Staffordshire. Adjournment debates or discussions are held at the end of business in the House of Commons so that MPs can bring to the attention of the House an issue that is important to their constituents. In this case I wanted to bring to the attention of the government the ongoing problems affecting my constituents' right to access the levels of health care they deserve.

I used this opportunity to discuss the funding crisis affecting our local hospital, made worse by the governments capped expenditure process that inflicts financial penalties when hospitals, already underfunded, fail to meet unrealistic budget targets. I brought up the fact that it is nearly a year since Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council passed motions referring the decision by North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to the government regarding their decision to cut community beds. Despite acknowledging this cross-party concern, there has been no satisfactory response from the Secretary of State.

The debate also included mentions about the worrying statistics that show locally, the NHS is failing to meet targets on cancer waits, waits for operations and to be seen in Accident and Emergency. You can view the full debate on Parliament TV (http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons) by viewing Mondays evening schedule and see my full speech and the response of the government.

In my closing remarks, I again invited Jeremy Hunt or a member of his Health team to meet me in my constituency to see first hand the challenges the NHS are facing and how the government should listen to clinical professionals and patients and change course to ensure my constituents get the care they need.

Gareth asks Government to give NHS more support

On Monday evening I held an adjournment debate regarding the future of health care provision in North Staffordshire. Adjournment debates or discussions are held at the end of business in...

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Several people have been in touch with me today about universal credit. I will of course be in the chamber today and with my Labour colleagues asking for the government to pause and fix the bill.

Gareth asks the Government to pause and fix universal credit

Several people have been in touch with me today about universal credit. I will of course be in the chamber today and with my Labour colleagues asking for the government...

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If you could ask the government a question about local health services - what would you ask? Please share!

On Monday 23rd October I have an adjournment debate in Parliament on healthcare provision in North Staffordshire. It's my opportunity to challenge the government about or concerns about the sustainability and future of good quality healthcare in our region.

But I want to hear from you! I want to hear about what you would ask the government so that I represent you as well as I can.

What would you ask the government? Please share this video and either write your question below or email me on gareth.snell.mp@parliament.uk

Gareth invites constituents to have their say on NHS services

If you could ask the government a question about local health services - what would you ask? Please share! On Monday 23rd October I have an adjournment debate in Parliament...

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