Gareth Snell MP

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

News from Stoke on Trent Central

Many local residents have been in touch with me about the announcement last week from RBS that they intend to close several of their branches across North Staffordshire, including their Hanley Branch. There is no hiding from the fact that this is incredibly disappointing news, not only for local customers, but Hanley as a whole.

I've written to express my disappointment at this decision and question why there has been no consultation, just simply a press release blaming the rise of online banking and the decreasing numbers of people using the branch. I know from local small business owners how important a personal relationship with your local bank manager can be and no online app or person at the end of the telephone can replace that.

Gareth Writes to RBS re Bank Closures

Many local residents have been in touch with me about the announcement last week from RBS that they intend to close several of their branches across North Staffordshire, including their...

I wanted to share some news from Stoke-on-Trent City Council that they have announced their plans to close Snow Hill roundabout for repairs from 7pm tomorrow for two days

I think anyone who uses this roundabout can testify to the outrageous condition it had been left to fall into. Motorists weren't simply dodging potholes, but sheer gaps in the road that were dangerous. Whilst I welcome the added investment, the Council should never ever let our road surfaces get into such a ...dangerous state again.

If you spot a dangerous pothole please do report it online at https://www.stoke.gov.uk/…/report_a_pothole_and_other_dam…/1

Picture courtesy of SOTC twitter feed.

Snow Hill Roundabout Repairs

I wanted to share some news from Stoke-on-Trent City Council that they have announced their plans to close Snow Hill roundabout for repairs from 7pm tomorrow for two days I...

Concerns over the growing number of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) has been a growing issue for local residents across Stoke-on-Trent. At my coffee mornings and surgeries, many residents from areas such as Birches Head have contacted me concerned about the impact on local communities.

I've raised these concerns with the Council, yet there seems to be no action or consideration from them about the impact the growing number of HMO's is having on areas like Birches Head. Instead of converting the terraced houses of Birches Head into HMO's to answer our chronic shortage of housing we should be building new homes on the abundance of brown field sites across Stoke-on-Trent. There is a demand for one and two bedroom properties that needs to be met but this needs to be met with new homes and meeting demand, not turning family homes into seven bedroom properties. Local residents deserve better and those who need somewhere to live deserve better.

You can find a link to a Sentinel Article on the topic here

Gareth Concerned about Growing Number of HMOs

Concerns over the growing number of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) has been a growing issue for local residents across Stoke-on-Trent. At my coffee mornings and surgeries, many residents from...

This morning I am at the count for the Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council elections so please excuse the rosettes and stickers. But at 12pm we left the count to observe a minutes silence for Firefighters Memorial Day. We stand to remember those lost in front line service and their families for their sacrifice in keeping us safe. To remember those who run into the fire, when the rest of us are running for safety. It is an honour to stand with Andy Fox-Hewitt, Rob Moss and Peter Owen from Newcastle Fire Station.

Firefighters Memorial Day

This morning I am at the count for the Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council elections so please excuse the rosettes and stickers. But at 12pm we left the count to observe a...

I wholeheartedly support the campaign for justice for those members of the Windrush generation, so horrendously let down by the government. As a signature to David Lammy's original letter to the Home Office I'm appalled at the governments bumbling response to what was an attack on the rights of British citizens.

Some people have asked why I wasn't there for the vote. Like many other Labour MPs I was given permission by the whips to be in the West Midlands yesterday helping in key council battlegrounds. There had been an expectation that this would have been the same for Conservative MPs too for an opposition motion, until they made the unusual and last minute decision to put a three line whip on such a vote.

I'm saddened that the government in face of their obvious failings have now decided to be deliberately obstructive in our attempts to bring transparency to the issue of what they knew and when.

Gareth Supports Campaign for Windrush Justice

I wholeheartedly support the campaign for justice for those members of the Windrush generation, so horrendously let down by the government. As a signature to David Lammy's original letter to...

Delighted to see Chris Bryant's and Holly Lynch's campaign to #protecttheprotectors received cross party support today and now goes to the House of Lords.

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, introduces a new offence of common assault against an emergency worker and require courts to treat attacks on emergency workers as an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.

A fantastic result and I'm proud of my colleagues and Trade Unions involved who were integral in getting this through the House of Commons.

Protect the Protectors Bill

Delighted to see Chris Bryant's and Holly Lynch's campaign to #protecttheprotectors received cross party support today and now goes to the House of Lords. The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences)...

When I recently met with local group Stoke-on-Trent Area Network for Disability (STAND) I was deeply concerned to hear from their members about the ongoing problems of access to public buildings. I was told that residents attending the North Staffordshire combined justice centre in Newcastle where PIP appeals are held faced a large number of steps, couldn't park or were asked to remove life saving equipment to be scanned to simply get in the building.

STAND as part of their complaint, which I support, have suggested several small changes that will make the building accessible for all and not to add further stress and anxiety to residents taking part in appeals. In the House of Commons I tabelled the following written question: What discussions he has had with HM Courts & Tribunals Service on improving physical access to courts and tribunals for people with disabilities.

At the start of this clip you can see the Ministers answer to this. Followed by my follow up verbal supplementary question. The Minister's answer was positive and I shall post it below this text. But the people I represent need more than warm words, so ill be are ensuring action is taken before thanking the government just yet:

The Minister replied:

"The hon. Gentleman is right: I am aware of that. The charity he mentions—the Stoke-on-Trent Area Network for Disability—made a complaint, and HMCTS had a meeting on 5 April to discuss the issue. It is looking at the feasibility of implementing the suggestions that were made, such as putting in place automatic doors, signage and improvements to the waiting area, but I would be very happy to meet the hon. Gentleman and his constituents to discuss them".

Gareth Speaks on Disabled Access to Public Buildings

When I recently met with local group Stoke-on-Trent Area Network for Disability (STAND) I was deeply concerned to hear from their members about the ongoing problems of access to public...

It's been a busy day in Parliament today. But I wanted to wish all of you a happy St George's Day and point you in the direction of Labour's policy announcement to make St George's Day a bank holiday and give people the opportunity to celebrate our culture, diversity and tradition.

Happy St. Geroge's Day!

It's been a busy day in Parliament today. But I wanted to wish all of you a happy St George's Day and point you in the direction of Labour's policy...

Modern Day Slavery happens in our communities and it is ruining the lives of up to fifteen thousand people in the UK and trapping twenty one million people across the world in inhumane and disgusting conditions. The Modern Day Slavery Act passed in 2015 and was designed to give government, he power to prosecute those forcing people into modern day slavery and protect their victims.

As the Guardian reported in 2015 it also laid out clear instructions and made clear the responsibilities of large companies to combat Modern Day Slavery and people trafficking. "Any business – or part of a business – that has a global turnover of £36m or more and supplies goods or services in the UK will have to produce and publish an annual slavery and trafficking statement in a “prominent” place on its website every year. The statement must set out what steps the organisation has taken to ensure there is no slavery in any part of its business, including its supply chains".

However, despite these good intentions, I'm concerned about what is being done to uphold these requirements and what action is being taken against those who are either willingly or unwittingly hindering the efforts to remove these awful practices. That's why I raised the issue with the government yesterday in the House of Commons and will watch the government's actions carefully.

Gareth Speaks in Parliament on Modern Day Slavery

Modern Day Slavery happens in our communities and it is ruining the lives of up to fifteen thousand people in the UK and trapping twenty one million people across the...

Last week I had the pleasure to join local members of the North Staffordshire Pensioners Convention and Stoke-on-Trent North MP Ruth Smeeth to support the TUC's campaign to protect the freedom pass. At a time when we are becoming increasingly aware about the social isolation of some of the older members of our community it is vital that we defend the bus pass.

Whether it is your link to local health services, shops or keeping in touch with family the freedom pass has proven to be an essential tool in fighting isolation.

In Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire we already face significant problems in regards to our transport network. Bus subsidies have been cut and routes lost. If we are serious about having a fit for purpose public transport network, we must not only invest in our infrastructure but we must ensure the Freedom Pass remains universally available.

Gareth joins North Staffordshire Pensioner's Convention in supporting TUC Freedom Pass Campaign

Last week I had the pleasure to join local members of the North Staffordshire Pensioners Convention and Stoke-on-Trent North MP Ruth Smeeth to support the TUC's campaign to protect the...

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