Election Day Message – Vote Labour

I want to wish all Labour Council candidates the very best in the local elections especially in my constituency in County Durham but also all across the country where elections are taking place. Huge thanks to all the Labour supporters and volunteers who have helped in the campaign. I was a Councillor representing part of my home village of Murton for a number of years when my boys were young so I understand the pressures and the costs to personal and family life of standing for locally elected office.

I am sure we all ask at times why we do it particularly when tested by those who have in the main done little or nothing for their communities but carp criticise and sneer. I have asked at times if I am I done with this, but I don’t think I will ever be done with the Labour Party. My belief in the politics of community and the values of social justice are unshakable. The evidence is clear when we have the opportunity we can achieve great things that transform lives and life chances of those who with all humility we seek to represent. That has been my experience of Labour in power in local government and in national politics. In my youth I have been fortunate to see what I had hoped was an end to hunger homelessness and squalor, and be part of a Labour Council which built decent housing for families and warden controlled sheltered housing for the elderly. It was Labour in power which built the new schools and made education a priority which meant that we have had better lives than our parents and our children have had the opportunity of a good education and a better start in life.

Labour has made a difference to the lives of my family too. When I was battling lymphatic cancer at the turn of the year, it was Labour’s greatest achievement, the NHS, through early diagnosis and prompt treatment which saved my life.

So, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s election, I will never be cowed from standing up for Labour, and standing up for the difference we can make when we work together for the common good. I’m not done yet and neither is the Party which I love and owe so much to. So let us push cynicism aside and let’s press on to do our best. We are standing on the shoulders of those who went before and faced many adversities and hardships. I know that the Labour values we stand for are the hope of the world and WILL win through in the end.

Labour Candidate Grahame Morris makes #MindManifesto2017 pledge

Easington Labour Candidate Grahame Morris has backed Mind’s Mental Health manifesto and has committed to following their six actions for the next government.

The six action’s include:

1. Deliver the investment and commitments agreed in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health – the national plan to improve mental health care – and go beyond this to take us closer to putting mental health on an equal footing with physical health.

2. Improve public understanding of mental health and reduce negative attitudes and discrimination, including supporting the Time to Change campaign.

3. Tackle the culture of fear and silence of mental health in the workplace by providing increased and better support and incentives for employers to create mentally healthy workplaces for all staff, including employees with mental health problems. For people with mental health problems who are out of work, ensure they are offered voluntary, individually tailored back-to-work support delivered by trained staff who understand how mental health can impact on a person’s ability to get and stay in work.

4. Make sure anyone with a mental health problem who requires it can access financial support from the welfare system to help manage the extra costs of having a mental health problem, so they can stay well and live independently, free from the fear of sanctions and having their benefits removed if they are too unwell to work.

5. Ensure local authorities have sufficient funding to deliver tailored social support and advice to alleviate debt, social isolation and housing insecurity – the issues that make life harder for people with mental health problems.

6. Change outdated and discriminatory legislation like the Mental Health Act and the definition of disability to ensure everyone with mental health problems gets support and respect.
Easington Labour Candidate Grahame Morris speaking about the Mind Manifesto 2017 campaign said:

“I am delighted to add my support to this campaign and pledge to help deliver the six goals Mind have highlighted for the next Government.

The Tories record on mental health is one of failure with funding cut by over 8 per cent and 6,600 fewer mental health nurses compared to 2010.

It is unacceptable that thousands of patients in crisis have to travel out of the area for a psychiatric bed and that extra funding meant for children’s mental health services has actually been used for other NHS services.

I hope all candidates in this election will make mental health a priority of the campaign and ensure that mental health is given the due care, attention and funding required in order to support high quality mental health services that can be transformative for a persons’ quality of life.”

Register to Vote

 

Registering to vote online is quick and easy.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 22 May 2017.

You can now register to vote online, all you need is your national insurance number and to answer a few questions about yourself.

To register to vote please visit – www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Memorial to H.M.S Seaham

Labour Parliamentary Candidate Grahame Morris unveiled a new memorial honouring H.M.S Seaham.

H.M.S Seaham was a minesweeper built in 1942 following a fund raising effort by the community of Seaham. As part of the war effort communities were able to raise funds to buy their own warship for the Royal Navy.

Under Captain Robert Brett, H.M.S Seaham served with distinction, clearing mines from the channel for the invasion fleet, and capturing the Italian submarine, Bronzo, off Syracuse, Sicily. In December 1943, H.M.S Seaham sailed through the Bay of Biscay and rescued 62 survivors from the German blockade ship Alsterufer, which had been sunk by the Royal Air Force.

Following the war, H.M.S Seaham served as part of the Fisheries Protection Flotilla, until she was sold to Burma in 1947. H.M.S Seaham was sunk in 1948 by an uncharted Japanese mine.

Speaking at the unveiling of the memorial Grahame Morris said:

“I am immensely proud and honoured to be asked to unveil the memorial to H.M.S Seaham.

Seaham as well as the wider community have a close affinity to our Armed Forces. Historically our region has been a major recruiting area, which can be seen through the ways in which we honour and commemorate those who have served, from the restoration of the war memorial, to the pride we take in Tommy; the tribute at Seaham High School and now the memorial to H.M.S Seaham.

The history of H.M.S Seaham is fascinating and I must thank Dave McKenna and the Remember Them Fund for all their time, effort and research which has made this memorial possible.”

Grahame Morris launches new weight awareness campaign for dogs and their owners.

Easington’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate Grahame Morris helped launch a new weight awareness campaign devised by Dogs Trust in partnership with Durham County Council and Durham NHS. The launch of Woof, Waggle and Waistline, at Seaham Leisure Centre in County Durham, will be the first of many community events aimed at improving the lives and welfare of overweight dogs and their owners, across the North of England.

Woof, Waggle and Waistline aims to help thousands of dogs in the North of England due to a growing trend in canine obesity hitting the region. Statistics gathered by Dogs Trust’s campaigns team in the North of England show that almost half of the 12,607 dogs who attended their community events in 2016 were overweight, while the NHS tells us that 2 in 3 adults are considered overweight.

Dog owners who attended the launch were provided with important information on supporting the health and wellbeing of their dog, including how to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. Owners of dogs identified as being overweight were given a free pack which included a comprehensive information booklet with lots of useful dietary advice.

The Durham Council Walk4Life and Wellbeing for Life team also attended the launch to highlight the benefits of regular exercise and how having a pet dog can help you get fitter. The Wellbeing for Life team also offered blood pressure checks to any dog owners who were interested in receiving them.

Labour Parliamentary Candidate Grahame Morris said:

“Woof, Waggle and Waistline is a great initiative which will ensure more dog owners are aware of the importance of responsible dog ownership and how putting Dogs Trust’s advice and resources into practice can be a very rewarding experience for them.

“Obesity remains a huge problem across the UK for many families, including their dogs, so it is encouraging to see creative solutions being rolled out which can tackle this in a way that brings families and their pets closer together.”

Denise Kelly, Campaigns Manager for Dogs Trust North of England, said:

“We are very grateful that Grahame could come along and support the launch. We received some fantastic feedback from families who attended as they got to have fun whilst learning a lot about how we should be treating our family pets.

“We plan on holding a number of community events across the North of England throughout the year that offer informative advice to dog owners and potential dog owners alike on the fundamentals of owning a dog. This will include the importance of neutering your pet, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the cost and time involved in owning a dog and resources on dog training and behaviour, as well as the legal requirement to have your dog microchipped.”

Dogs Trust will be holding regular community events across the North of England. For more information, please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/ifwoofswerewords

Stop animal cruelty in East Durham

In 2015, the RSPCA investigated 3253 complaints about animal cruelty in the county, with this number increasing to 3388 complaints last year. Calls to the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line rose by nearly 4% last year, averaging one call every 27 seconds.

While saddening that such incidences of animal cruelty are continuing in Durham, this does not necessarily mean that residents are becoming crueller. Rather, people are now simply less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering.

These latest statistics clearly show that animal cruelty remains a major issue in the UK. However, we take satisfaction in knowing that because of the RSPCA’s intervention, they have prevented many more animals from suffering at the hands of those they have investigated and brought before the courts.

The RSPCA has been investigating and prosecuting animal welfare offences since they were founded in 1824. Each year they investigate almost 150,000 complaints of alleged animal cruelty across England and Wales.