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The government should appoint a Minister for Older People to help tackle the complex issues many older people face.

We have government Ministers for Women and Equalities, for disabled people and for loneliness, but we have no Minister for older people.

15.3 million people are aged over 60 in this country. By 2035, 29% of people will be over 60, and nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday. Around 60% of older people agree that age discrimination exists in the daily lives of older people.

Yet we have no dedicated Minister who is able to work on the many complex and serious issues faced by the older population.

We’re making progress on these issues here in the north west. Last month Greater Manchester became the UK’s first age-friendly City Region as recognised by the World Health Organisation, and the cross-party older people’s champions network here in the region works hard to fight for the interests of older people and is campaigning for the appointment of a Minister for Older People.

But nationally we could do far more to join up policy and address the complex issues affecting many older people. Age UK have said that they would like to see a cross-cutting unit that could work across government departments, and the appointment of a Minister for Older People would surely be the best way to help achieve that.

We live in an ageing society, and the impact and implications for us all will be immense.

The creation of the role of an older people’s Minister is an idea whose time has come.

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Watch my full speech in parliament on this issue here

Liz calls for appointment of Minister for Older People

The government should appoint a Minister for Older People to help tackle the complex issues many older people face.

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The Kerslake report into last May's devastating Manchester Arena attack raises many questions about the response of our emergency services. 

In particular, people are quite rightly asking why it took Fire and Rescue services two hours to be given the order to enter the arena.

I support our emergency services as they try to learn from any mistakes made, and I'm grateful to Mayor Andy Burnham for commissioning this report.

Yesterday I joined fellow Labour MPs from across Greater Manchester in questioning the government on the findings of the report, and I raised the point made by the Fire Brigades Union that Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue is the only emergency service in Manchester which doesn't have its own dedicated service control room. Click here to watch my question and the full debate

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Find out more about the Kerslake report at https://www.kerslakearenareview.co.uk/ or read the Guardian's helpful summary of the main findings here

 

 

Kerslake report raises questions, but emergency services deserve our support

The Kerslake report into last May's devastating Manchester Arena attack raises many questions about the response of our emergency services. 

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The latest inspection report into Greater Manchester Police has rated the force as 'requiring improvement', which should be a cause for concern to us all.

The work of GMP in tackling serious and organised crime has been rated as outstanding, and the report found other aspects of their work to commend. There can be no doubt that the force and their officers are doing the very best they can in increasingly difficult circumstances. However, there is no denying that the overall judgement of the inspection report is concerning.

I receive regular reports from residents of anti-social behaviour and relatively low-level crime in Heywood and Middleton. Residents tell me how difficult it is to get through to 101 and how infrequently they feel they see officers on the streets in their communities.

Crime is on the rise, but Theresa May has spent the last 8 years cutting police funding, first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister.

You simply can’t protect the public on the cheap. £180 million has been cut from GMP since 2010 by the Tories. Such a drastic reduction in funding would have a significant impact on any business or service, and the police are no different.

The government have chosen to cut that money, but whenever the police themselves or myself and other MPs try to explain the impact of these cuts on local policing to the government they simply refuse to acknowledge that the problems exist.

The loss of around 25% of the workforce under the Tories since 2010, including 2,000 police officers, is huge. It is no surprise that the ability of GMP to monitor, prevent and respond to reports of crime in our communities is suffering under the weight of such massive losses in resources and personnel.

Residents deserve better, and our police deserve better too.

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Read the full inspection report at https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/publications/peel-police-effectiveness-2017-greater-manchester/

 

Residents and the police deserve better

The latest inspection report into Greater Manchester Police has rated the force as 'requiring improvement', which should be a cause for concern to us all.

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