MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

In Parliament I attended a drop-in session regarding the Living Wage.

Those behind the campaign, an independent movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay, told me Danbro in Lytham is Fylde’s largest Living Wage Employer, and Crofte Goode Architects gave most members of their staff a pay rise when they accredited.

A Living Wage is vital for everyone – hard work should be justly rewarded.

This week the Government will reduce the maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 down to between £50 and £2.

We have launched a 12-week consultation to look at a range of options to help improve a system created by the last Labour Government. As part of this, we have asked the Gambling Commission for more information about how better tracking and monitoring of play on FOBTs can help with interventions to protect players.

These machines can consume huge amounts of people’s money, should they be inclined to throw it away on them. Those with a gambling addiction can find themselves in serious financial trouble in minutes at present.

It is vital we strike the right balance between socially responsible growth and protecting the most vulnerable in society, including children, from gambling-related harm. Given the strong evidence and public concerns about the risks of high stakes gaming machines on the high street, we are convinced of the need for action.

We also saw the publication of the report into the ransomware attack on the NHS in May.

Thankfully no data was lost and no patients harmed as a result of the unprecedented attack, which targeted organisations and governments around the world.

However, some 6,900 NHS appointments were cancelled.

An extra £21 million has since been allocated to ensure an attack of this nature does not happen again.

My congratulations go to the In Bloom volunteers in Elswick after they scooped the Champion of Champions 2017 title.

It is no mean feat to win such an award and every single one of the 50 volunteers who helped plant bulbs, mow grass, tidy areas and more should be rightly proud of their achievement.

I’m told Elswick’s entry impressed the RHS judges with its high impact floral displays, attention to detail and wider 1,000-strong support base which has translated into a wealth of stunning front gardens and business premises.

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