28th December 2011

Labour out of touch on Benefits Cap

David Mowat, MP for Warrington South, this week blasted the Labour Party for failing to back the Government's proposal to introduce a cap on the amount of benefits any one household can receive. The Government's Welfare Reform Bill would see a limit of around £25,000, or approximately £500 per week, on the combined amount of benefits a single family can receive. Disability Benefits and War Widow Pensions are excluded from the cap.

Labour MPs opposed the Bill at Third Reading and now it seems that Labour Peers may attempt to "gut" the provisions of the Cap at the Report Stage in the Lords.

David Mowat said:

"The principle behind the Cap is very simple: it's just not fair and not right that some families are able to earn more on benefits than many ordinary families in Warrington who have to work long hours to pay their bills.

"If Labour don't want this cap, they need to explain why they are taking the money of hard working taxpayers in Warrington and handing it over to families in London, some of who are receiving £100,000 a year in Housing Benefit alone. They've talked the talk on Welfare Reform, but when push comes to shove, they don't seem to want to walk the walk and they are completely out of touch with public opinion."

7th December 2011

Northern Hub will provide boost to North West

Warrington South MP David Mowat today welcomed the announcement in the Autumn Statement that work would soon begin on the "Northern Hub" project which is designed to increase the speed and frequency of rail services in the North West.

The Northern Hub project would see a new section of track known as the "Ordsall Chord" built to connect Manchester Victoria Station with Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations, relieving a major bottleneck in the region. This is in addition to the electrification of the line between Liverpool and Manchester and track improvements on transpennine routes to Leeds and Sheffield.

Network Rail has said that the improved infrastructure will mean quicker and more frequent services throughout the North West, knocking 10 minutes off the journey time from Liverpool to Manchester and another ten minutes off services heading through Warrington Central to Leeds and Sheffield.

David Mowat said:

"These major infrastructure plans should be welcomed by commuters in Warrington, particularly those who use transpennine routes on a regular basis. There are few things more irritating than when your already-delayed express train gets stuck behind a slow-moving service, holding you up even further. Hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past.

"The Coalition Government is committed to major transport infrastructure projects that bring prosperity to the North West and economic growth. As well as safeguarding skilled construction jobs, the project also has the potential to open up new business opportunities within the region."

4 December 2011

Helping Britain Get Back to Work

Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Mike Biggin was on hand Friday to hand out certificates to successful participants of the 6th season of the successful Jobs Club founded by David Mowat, MP for Warrington South and Karen Gould of CCOWork.

Since it began in 2009, the Jobs club has helped over 150 people in Warrington back into work or training with an number of participants choosing to start their own businesses. The Jobs Club harnesses the talents of local businessmen by using them as mentors to help participants improve their CVs, stand out during the interview process and remain motivated to keep hunting for work.

David Mowat said:

"Being out of work for a long period of time can be very dispiriting and it is all too easy to just give up. The fact that the people here today made the effort to come to a Jobs Club to give them the edge says much about them and that "can-do" attitude will come over during the interview process. That's why so many of our previous graduates have found work shortly after completing the course. I'd like to congratulate all those who took part for remaining motivated and I wish them all well for the future."

29th November 2011

Vascular Services Review "A Cause for Concern"

Warrington South MP David Mowat last night used a House of Commons debate to raise his concerns about the removal of vascular services from Warrington Hospital.

The Cheshire & Merseyside Vascular Services Review has announced that Warrington Hospital, along with Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral, will lose its specialist vascular services department in favour of a "centre of excellence" at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

David Mowat said:

"This review seems to have been carried out in a piecemeal fashion which is a cause for concern. If every centralisation decision is taken in this piecemeal way, Warrington and Halton hospitals might well lose out every single time. When decisions on centralisation are made, there needs to be some kind of strategy for deciding what will end up where, so that every decision is not made on a piecemeal basis

"As a result of Labour's botched PFI contract, we have a financial black hole just up the road at Whiston which could suck patients away from Warrington. With specialist vascular services now being moved elsewhere too, there is a real danger that this could have a detrimental effect, not just on the services provided for people in Warrington, but also on the future finances of our hospital."

25th November 2011

New Nuclear Good for Warrington

Warrington South MP David Mowat this week welcomed news that plans to build two new nuclear reactors at Hinckley Point Power Station in Somerset were moving forward once again. A recent report on nuclear safety by Britain's Chief Nuclear Inspector Mike Weightman confirmed that there was "no reason to curtail the operation of power plants or other nuclear facilities in the UK" in the wake of the powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami which crippled the Japanese plants in March.

Hinckley is one of 10 potential sites for new nuclear reactors identified by the Government for development. In Warrington more than 30 companies employing more than 3,200 employees have jobs connected to the UK supply chain according to a report by the Nuclear Industry Authority last year.

David Mowat said:

"Warrington has a major interest in the Nuclear industry, so it is excellent news to hear that new nuclear plants are finally moving forward after 13 years of dithering and delay by Labour. We have a number of businesses, of varying sizes, which are directly connected to the nuclear supply chain and that doesn't take account of the many other businesses which supply those businesses with everything from PCs to paperclips.

"A major factor in creating new jobs in Warrington will be a resurgence in our civil nuclear power industry. The addition of more nuclear plants will allow those businesses retain and expand their workforces as well as safeguarding specialist engineering jobs and expanding the pool of people with specialist skills."

Wednesday 9th November 2011

Focus on Warrington Franchising in Parliament

David Mowat along with a small selection of fellow UK MPs, met with franchising industry leaders at the Houses of Parliament on 31st October to discuss the economic impact of franchising through sustainable business growth, new business start-up and job creation.

The recent NatWest bfa Franchise Survey showed that better than 90% of franchisees report their businesses to be profitable and the rate of commercial failure is currently running at less than 4% per year; between 6 and 10 times better than conventional business start-ups.

There are 897 different brands franchising in the UK today, which support 36,900 individual franchise owners – a growth of 6.5% and 6% respectively on last year. This creates employment for over 520,000 people and generates £12.4 billion income for the UK each year. In Warrington South alone there are over 30 different franchise operations employing about 450 people.

Mr Mowat met with Trevor Brocklebank of Home Instead Senior Care, a franchising operation based in Stretton and employing around 3,500 carers.

The bfa is now looking to establish an environment with MPs from across the UK to build a regular two way exchange of ideas, education, advice and support.

Brian Smart, Director General of the bfa, said:

"The success rates are no surprise. Franchising operates through a locally owned and run proven business concept, driven by enterprising individuals, with training, branding, economies of scale and support from the wider network. This removes or reduces many of the hurdles that floor most SMEs.

"Franchising is not for everyone, which is why most of our work is in educating those investigating franchising, either as individuals, or as businesses looking to adopt it as a growth model. It is important that people take the right advice and carry out their own due diligence, because when they do we see some outstanding success stories and ones that inspire many others.

"We have been delighted by the positive response from MPs at today's exchange and we thank David Mowat MP for their important support. There is a real hunger by our MPs to capitalise on what is a sustainable, proven and low risk option for many. Our goal now is to work with our MPs to help open up information and advice to many more people that may at the moment be struggling to know where to turn."

Mr Mowat said:

"With recent public sector job cuts, there will be a number of new people wondering what their next step will be. In some cases franchising can provide their best route; either providing a business start-up platform with a lower level of risk, or providing the opportunity for someone who might not ordinarily have considered being their own boss to start and run a business, create jobs and help our economy grow.

"We need more businesses like Trevor's in Warrington."

Monday 7th November 2011

Mowat raises awareness of dyspraxia

David Mowat is raising awareness of dyspraxia, a neurological condition thought to affect up to ten percent of the population. Males are three times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia overlaps with autism and dyslexia due to the implications it has for skills like reading and writing. Dyspraxia though has its own symptoms.

Children often encounter late development in motor skills like standing and walking then later difficulties in running and catching a ball. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is probably the most famous dyspraxic.

Mr Mowat said:

"Dyspraxia Awareness Week aims to highlight the problems which dyspraxic children and adults can encounter. There is a lack of understanding within as to what dyspraxia is and how it is different to the more well-known autism and dyslexia. I'm fully behind dyspraxia awareness week and all the good work being done by the dyspraxia foundation."

If you think you or your child may have dyspraxia, or would like more information, visit www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

 2nd November 2011

Statement on St Rocco's

"It is clear that there have been important issues which must be resolved. However, it is also clear that many hundreds of residents and their families have benefitted significantly from the care offered by the hospice over the years.

"It is now important that these matters are resolved and St Rocco's gets back to doing what it does best....providing respite care and comfort to the people of the town."

1st November 2011

Labour Councillors giving up on Penketh & Cuerdley

David Mowat, MP for Warrington South, today slammed Labour Councillors for failing to back a motion condemning the breaking up of Warrington and calling for an "all-Warrington solution". Penketh & Cuerdley Councillor Paul Campbell and Lymm Councillor Bob Barr tabled a motion that would have expressed "concern" about the proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission and the "detrimental" effect it would have on the representation of the people of Warrington, particularly those in Penketh & Cuerdley.

Unfortunately, Labour Councillors tabled an amendment which gutted the main motion and sought only to "reassure the residents of Penketh & Cuerdley that they will still remain Warrington Borough Council Tax Payers." The amended motion was passed with Labour Councillors voting in favour and Conservative and Liberal Councillors voting against.

David Mowat said:

"We now know that Labour councillors are not interested in standing up for the people of Penketh & Cuerdley. Rather than make a strong case for keeping Warrington as a whole, which is not only possible, but would be superior to the Commission proposal, Labour Councillors seem to think that people in Penketh & Cuerdley will be reassured because they can still keep paying Council Tax to Warrington Borough Council! I'm not convinced that Labour Councillors truly understand the problem here.

"People in Penketh & Cuerdley don't want to be in Widnes, whether it's for the purposes of parliamentary elections, paying the rates or anything else. They want to stay part of Warrington, where they shop, where they do business and where they socialise. Labour Councillors are putting their allegiances to party proposals before people."

Cllr Paul Campbell added:

"I put forward this motion as a non-partisan way of highlighting the problems that these proposals will cause in Warrington. I simply don't understand what it was that Labour felt they couldn't back. Do they think Penketh would be better off in Widnes? Are they not concerned that thousands of people will change seats unnecessarily? Do they not think Warrington should be represented as an entity?

"Once the principle has been established that Penketh can be outside the Borough of Warrington for Parliamentary elections it makes it more likely that future reviews of local boundaries may decide that Penketh should no longer be in the Borough of Warrington at all."

Friday 28th October 2011

Mowat celebrates British Pub Week

David Mowat is supporting this year's British Pub Week. The event, which commences today, aims to promote the positive impact of pubs on the British Society in order to get people back into pubs.
Hundreds of pubs across the country are participating and bringing together members of the community. The event is supported by major businesses in the relevant field, such as Punch, Marston's and Admiral Taverns.
Mr Mowat said:
"British Pub Week will create a greater sense of intimacy amongst our society and make us realise what we're missing as we get busier and busier in our working life. The pub is a unique feature for Britain; it represents our special culture and heritage, which is something we can all be proud of as a nation. I'm looking forward to enjoying a nice pint of beer!"
The event takes place from today until 6 November. For more information, please visit britishpubweek.org.uk

Thursday 27th October 2011

Mowat welcomes Government U-turn on juvenile knife crime

David Mowat today welcomed news that the Government has changed its mind on mandatory minimum sentences for juveniles involved in knife crime.

The Government was already planning to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for anyone over the age of 18 using a knife to "threaten or endanger" in the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Bill, being discussed in the Commons next week. However amendments put down by David Mowat and Conservative colleague Nick de Bois MP – and now accepted by the Government – would extend these sentences to those aged 16 or 17. 15 year olds would also be significantly more likely to be sent to prison under the proposals.

The amendments would impose a minimum sentence of 4 months for 16 and 17 year olds of which 2 months would be under a close supervision order. Young Offenders would be taken out of their present environment would work closely with officers in youth custody to resolve issues and to prevent them from carrying knives once their sentence had been completed. In metropolitan areas, up to 40% of knife crimes are committed by people under the age of 18.

Mr Mowat said:

"I warmly welcome the Government's policy of introducing minimum sentences for adults involved in knife crime, but I felt that the policy didn't go far enough in tackling the root cause of the problem. Statistics suggest that in urban areas, up to 40% of knife crime involves someone who wouldn't have been covered by the Government's original policy, so I welcome the fact that they have sensibly decided to extend the scope of the Bill.

"We need to send out a very strong message that, whatever age you are, it is simply not acceptable to carry a knife in public. By adopting these amendments, the Government is making it very clear to criminals: if you are involved in knife crime, you will go to prison."

14 October 2011

Boundary Proposals Announced

Warrington South MP, David Mowat, this week commented on the differences between the 3 major political party's plans for redrawing the electoral boundaries of Warrington. All three main parties have put forward proposals to alter the existing constituency boundaries.

The Official Conservative Party proposal for the North West would see the existing seats remain largely unchanged, however Bewsey & Whitecross would move from Warrington South to Warrington North. Warrington South would extend slightly further west by incorporating Halton View ward to the west of Penketh. Approximately 8,000 people in Warrington and another 5,000 in Halton View would see their MP change. However, David Mowat and Cllr Paul Campbell have also proposed a simpler version, which would keep the existing constituencies the same, but would shift Latchford East from Warrington South to Warrington North

The Liberal Democrats have proposed to split Warrington between 3 seats: the current Warrington South seat would gain Daresbury and two wards from the outskirts of Runcorn. The new seat (renamed Warrington South & Norton) would also incorporate the entire core of the town by gaining Fairfield & Howley, Orford and Poplars & Hulme wards from Warrington North. A new seat of "Warrington North & Lymm" would be based on the existing Warrington North seat, but would get all three wards from the Parish of Sankey (Great Sankey North, Great Sankey South and Whittle Hall) and Lymm. Penketh would be put into a new Widnes & Runcorn seat. Nearly 63,000 people would change their MP with another 13,000 people moving into Warrington from Runcorn.

The Labour Proposal would see Warrington split 4 ways. A new "Warrington West & Widnes" seat would incorporate Westbrook, Sankey and Penketh and stretch all the way to the Land Rover plant at Halewood. Warrington North would be largely unchanged although it would lose Westbrook to Warrington West and gain Bewsey & Whitecross from Warrington South. Lymm would move into Altrincham & Sale and all other wards south of the Manchester Ship Canal, as well as Latchford East and Latchford West would be combined with the outskirts of Runcorn and Knutsford to form a new "North Cheshire" seat which would extend East as far as Mobberley and south as far as Chelford.

Find out more about the changes and how to have your say here

David Mowat said:

"I have said from the outset that it is completely unacceptable to divide Warrington into more constituencies than are necessary and the Commission's own figures show that Warrington fits perfectly into two seats. I made it very clear to my party bosses that I was not prepared to support any proposal that required Penketh to leave Warrington, or that didn't broadly reflect the current boundaries and that has been reflected in our party's submission.

"Warrington politicians, from all parties, need to come together and make sure we have a solution which keeps Warrington as a whole – even if it means disowning their own party's official proposal. I understand a motion along similar lines will be debated at next week's Full Council meeting and I hope that all Councillors will feel able to support it.

"As well as commenting on the Boundary Commission's proposals, local people can now air their opinions on all the various counter-proposals that have been put forward. I would encourage everyone to write in to the Commission and share their views."

 Monday 17th October 2011

Mowat welcomes Purple Flag award

David Mowat today welcomed the news the Stockton Heath has won a prestigious Purple Flag Award from the National Association of Town Management. Stockton Heath is the first village in the UK to receive this award.

In order to qualify, the village had to demonstrate that it was properly managing its night time economy and was achieving a balance between the night time economy and the concerns of local residents.

Mr Mowat said:

"To become the first village to receive an award usually reserved for towns is a tremendous honour for Stockton Heath and it hasn't happened by accident. Stockton Heath Parish Council and its individual Councillors deserve tremendous credit for all their hard work, as do officers of the Borough Council. Stockton Heath is now a thriving village, both during the day and later in the evening. That inevitably causes tensions with local residents, but this award clearly shows that a sensible balance is being achieved."

Thursday 13th October 2011

David Mowat shows support for bereaved Armed Forces families

David Mowat, MP for Warrington South has attended an event at the House of Commons organised by The Royal British Legion to highlight the importance of supporting bereaved Armed Forces families.

At the event, servicemen were told about the Legion's work to improve the welfare of the Armed Forces family in the local area. The MP also learnt more about the Legion's concern that the Government should support bereaved Armed Forces families by appointing a Chief Coroner to improve investigations into deaths of Service personnel.

David Murray, the Legion's County Manager for Cheshire and Merseyside, said:

"It was great to see David ; we really appreciated his making the time to drop in. Many people don't realise that we spend nearly £1.4 million a week on helping both the serving and the ex-Service communities, including their families, so we were delighted to tell him about the range of services we provide. The Legion is currently celebrating its 90th Anniversary Year, and campaigning for the Armed Forces family is as important to us now as it was in 1921. Our main campaign at the moment is calling on the Government to do all they possibly can for bereaved Armed Forces families, specifically by appointing a Chief Coroner to spearhead reform of the inquest system."

David Mowat MP said:

"I was really pleased to see my local Region Manager and tell him that just as the Legion supports bereaved Armed Forces families, so do I. The Legion does very important welfare work for some of my most vulnerable constituents in both the serving and ex-Service communities. It is vital that we, as a nation, are there for those serving in current conflicts, and especially for the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about how, in its 90th anniversary year, the Legion stands shoulder to shoulder with all who Serve, including bereaved Armed Forces families. They deserve as much support as we can give them".

Thursday 6th October 2011

Mowat records book for the blind as part of Social Action

David Mowat spent an enjoyable half hour taking part in the Conservative Party's social action project at Conference this week. 

Mr Mowat went to the Conference's specially designed, world-class 'Social Action Zone' within its conference venue and recorded a short story for Calibre Audio Library, a self-funded charity that operates an audio library for visually impaired people, free of charge.

He joined a number of Ministers, Members of Parliament, Party Staff, journalists and delegates who also recorded a story – as well as members of the Cabinet, who read a selection of children's stories.

Mr Mowat said:

"I was delighted to be able to take part in this year's Social Action project at the Conservative Party Conference.  Calibre Audio Library is an admirable organisation and an indispensable service for those who are visually impaired. I really enjoyed recording a story at the Social Action Zone and I hope it will be listened to again and again!"

Monday 3rd October 2011

Mowat raises concerns over travelling showmen site

David Mowat today voiced his concerns over plans to put a "travelling showpeople" site on Green Belt land in Stretton, just south of Junction 10 on the M56, saying that he believes this application to be entirely at odds with the original intention of designating this area of the town as a green belt zone.

An application has been made to construct storage and parking space for vehicles on a site just north of Hall Lane. The applicants have claimed that, as Travelling Showpeople, there are "special circumstances" which override the Council's obligation to protect Green Belt land.

Mr Mowat said:

"The application that has been submitted is completely at odds with the culture and tradition of this small, rural community. Green Belt is Green Belt for a reason and the developers have not convinced me that there are any "special circumstances" which would justify such an inappropriate development. There are already sites in Warrington for Travellers and Travelling Showpeople and so there is no need to build on the Green Belt.

"I have been working closely with the Borough Council, Stretton Parish Council and Hatton, Stretton and Walton Councillor Paul Kennedy in order to ensure that everything is being done to prevent the application from being approved."

Friday 23rd September 2011

Fight to keep Penketh in Warrington

David Mowat and Cllr Paul Campbell (Con – Penketh) this week announced that they were joining forces to help keep Penketh in Warrington. The pair will be encouraging residents in Penketh and across Warrington to write to the Boundary Commission to protest against the proposal to put Penketh in a different constituency.

Last week the Boundary Commission for England, the body charged with drawing the constituency boundaries for elections to Parliament, published its recommendations for Warrington and Halton. As well as moving 36,000 people in the town either from South to North or vice versa, they have declared that Penketh should be part of the new Widnes & Runcorn seat – although its councillors would still sit on Warrington Borough Council.

Anyone who wishes to write to or email the Boundary Commission can find template letters on David Mowat's website www.davidmowat.org/downloads.php. The Consultation lasts till December 5th.

Mr Mowat said:

"The proposals issued by the Boundary Commission are deeply unfair to the people of Warrington and particularly Penketh. The Commission appear to have ignored their own rules on respecting existing constituency boundaries wherever possible and are trying to needlessly move wards between the constituencies as well as kicking Penketh out of the town altogether. People won't know who their MP is supposed to be.

"Equalising the size of constituencies is the right thing to do, but Warrington has been particularly badly treated. To put it bluntly, it appears that we have suffered because of mistakes elsewhere. I would urge people to contact the Boundary Commission and let them know that Warrington deserves to be treated better than this."

Cllr Campbell added:

"I thought it was obvious to everyone that Penketh is in Warrington, but apparently not. I really fear for Penketh if it is made part of Widnes & Runcorn, it's quite clear from the name where the new MP's priorities are likely to lie."

To find out more and join the campaign, visit www.davidmowat.org/downloads.php

 12 September 2011

6th Jobs Club to begin Saturday

The successful Jobs Club founded by Warrington South MP David Mowat will return this Saturday (16th September) for its sixth season. Founded in 2009, the Jobs Club has already helped around 160 people from across the town. 110 have since found work with an additional 25 going on to start their own businesses – an overall success rate of more than 84%.

Building on the experience and expertise of local businessmen, participants are encouraged to share their experiences of searching for work, learn from each other as well as outside advisors and to hone job-hunting skills.

For more information or to book a place email wsca@talktalk.net or call Anna on 01925 231267. Places are free, but we would be grateful if you could let us know if you plan to attend.

David Mowat said:

"We know from recent research that getting people back in to work could be worth thousands to the local economy. Despite difficult economic times, vacancies are still being created, but people need to ensure that they put themselves at the front of the queue, which is where the Jobs Club comes in. The extra skills and motivation the Jobs Club provides helps make sure participants stand out when interviewers are sorting through long list of applications."

5 September 2011

Mersey Port Plan needs mitigation measures

Warrington South MP David Mowat has today officially responded to the consultation on the Mersey Ports Master Plan with broad support for its principles. The Plan, currently being consulted on by Peel Ports, would invest around £500m in 6 ports along the length of the Manchester Ship Canal, including a brand new Port Warrington at Acton Grange.

However, Mr Mowat also stressed the need for measures to mitigate the unique effect on Warrington of a significant increase in the number of ships travelling to and from Salford Quays. Suggested measures include a more stable and predictable timetable for ship movements; better management of canal traffic to avoid road traffic disruption during rush hours; improvement to the bridge mechanisms on two of the bridges to reduce the total time needed for each swing; improved sharing and dissemination of information on ship movements along the canal and consideration of a new high level crossing to ease some of the pressure on the road network.

David Mowat wrote:

"I fully support the principles which underpin this ambitious strategy. The injection of such a substantial amount of money into the region will create large numbers of jobs and many of these will be created close to areas of high deprivation. The switching of a substantial amount of freight from road to ship will also create benefits for the region: not only will a reduction in road traffic improve air quality; it is also likely to ease some of the congestion on the region's major roads.

"That said, I am concerned that an increase in the amount of traffic going to and from Port Salford will have a detrimental effect that is unique to Warrington. The current status quo pushes the resilience of the road network in south Warrington almost to the limit. My concern is that the implication of the proposals outlined in the Master Plan is that there will be a significant increase in the amount of traffic using the canal and hence the amount of times the bridges will swing and that that could lead to the network becoming completely overloaded."

Read David's full response here

30 August 2011

Mowat Barnett campaign goes national

Warrington South MP David Mowat this week highlighted articles in three national newspapers as evidence of a growing anger in England at the unfair subsidy paid to Scotland each year.

The Daily Mail, the Sun, and the Daily Telegraph have run stories on the Barnett formula this week, quoting David and the issue has also been picked up by the Press Association, the London Evening Standard and popular blog ConservativeHome.

It comes as new figures show that the average family in England is having to pay an additional £420 a year in tax to pay for services that Scots receive for free such as free prescriptions, free personal care for the elderly and free university tuition.

David will be appearing on BBC Radio 5Live's "5Live Drive" show this evening at 5:30pm to discuss the Barnett Formula.

David Mowat said:

"I'm delighted that this issue is now receiving the national attention it deserves. I've been saying for over a year now that people in Warrington are getting a raw deal and now it seems that more and more people are starting to realise just how unfair the current system is.

"My work on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee has highlighted a number of examples of people in Warrington suffering because of the Barnett formula. The new Runcorn Bridge will have to be tolled, yet the Government have bent over backwards to help the Scottish Government avoid a toll. We simply cannot continue with the failed policy of the last Labour Government."

22 August 2011

4 Warrington Students on their way to Westminster

4 Students from Warrington, 3 from Priestley College and 1 from Great Sankey High have won the chance to spend a week in the House of Commons as interns for David Mowat, Member of Parliament for Warrington South. Jenny George, Alice Poole and Alex Gannon from Priestley and Jack Jevons from Great Sankey will complete their internships in September and October.

During their internships they be responsible for answering letters and producing briefings for David, as well as taking a tour of the Palace of Westminster and watching PMQs.

In order to win the prize, the students were asked to write a 1,000 word answer to the question "Should the legal age of school leavers be increased to 18?" David Mowat visited Priestley College recently to announce the winning entries.

David Mowat said:

"I was extremely impressed by the quality, depth and variety of essays we received. Selecting just 4 winners was a difficult process, but we felt that these 4 had something just a little bit more special than the others. I'd like to thank all those who submitted entries, but particularly the 4 winners. I hope that the experience will inspire them in their future careers."

17 August 2011

Mowat welcomes new Enterprise Zone

Warrington South MP David Mowat today welcomed the news that Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus was to become an Enterprise Zone, creating nearly 1,000 jobs over 4 years. Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Cheshire to see the campus for himself.

Daresbury's bid was submitted by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and was one of thirty enterprise zones to submit bids. Cheshire & Warrington LEP's bid to get an enterprise zone on Omega was unfortunately unsuccessful.

Enterprise zones are able to benefit from a 100% discount on business rates for 5 years, radically simplified planning processes and the installation of superfast broadband.

David Mowat said:

"Having 1,000 new jobs created within easy reach of Warrington is excellent news for the area. Daresbury is already producing world-leading research and technology and this is only going to increase following today's announcement.

"It's a shame that Omega has lost out. The Cheshire & Warrington LEP submitted an excellent bid and I wrote to the Minister myself to push the case. However we do have an enterprise zone on our doorstep and I warmly welcome it."

Tuesday 2nd August 2011

Mowat backs CommunityForce

David Mowat is backing a NatWest initiative to support local communities.

CommunityForce gives charities, projects and groups an opportunity to promote their work, and the chance to access funds and skills as well as volunteers to make a lasting difference in their local communities.

There are three awards of £6,000 available for each area. The winners will also be able to take advantage of volunteering support. Warrington residents will decide the winners, who know the projects and what will benefit the community most.

Mr Mowat said:

"CommunityForce is a fantastic initiative which is about more than just financial support; it is about encouraging people to volunteer their own time and talents to support the causes closest to their heart.

"There are many organisations in Warrington who could really benefit from CommunityForce so it is important to recognise its significance."

Applications are now open and must be submitted online by 4 September 2011. For more information, go to http://communityforce.natwest.com or contact your nearest NatWest branch.        

Thursday 21st July 2011

Apprenticeship boost to Warrington

David Mowat today highlighted new figures showing a sharp rise in Apprenticeships in Warrington South. Skills Minister John Hayes announced recently that the Government was set to smash its target of delivering an additional 50,000 apprenticeship places in its first year.

Figures released by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills show that in the 8 months to April of this year, 930 people started an apprenticeship, an additional 90 places compared to 2009/10 and more than twice the number in 2005. Across the country, apprenticeship starts increased by 114,000 and the Coalition government has already announced funding for at least 250,000 more apprenticeship places by 2015.

Mr Mowat said:

"Apprenticeships work and we should do all we can to support and to increase the number of places available. The recently released figures show that this year more than twice as many people are starting apprenticeships as did so in 2005 under the last Labour Government. The Coalition is committed to dramatically increasing the number of apprenticeships during this Parliament and I will do everything I can to help support that."

Tuesday 19th July 2011

Mowat to oversee banking overhaul

David Mowat has been nominated to a prestigious committee which will scrutinise Government plans to overhaul the financial system and prevent another banking crash.

In June, the Treasury published its Draft Bill: A New Approach to Financial Regulation: The Blueprint for Reform and it has been decided that a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament should be set up to scrutinise the Draft Bill before it is formally presented to Parliament and begins its passage into law.

As well as Mr Mowat, the committee also includes former Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws, former Chief Whip Nick Brown, former Social Security Secretary Peter Lilley as well as Lord McFall, former chair of the Commons' Treasury Select Committee and Baroness Wheatcroft who was editor of the Wall Street Journal in Europe.

Mr Mowat said:

"Banking Reform is possibly the most important and far-reaching reform that this Government has to deal with. Gordon Brown and Ed Balls designed a system of financial regulation which completely and utterly failed to prevent a banking crisis and it needs root and branch reform.

"I am extremely honoured to have been nominated to sit alongside such an eminent group of people and I am determined to ensure that ordinary savers are protected from the casino-style risk taking of investment bankers."

Tuesday 12th July 2011

Mowat supports 20th Disability Awareness Day

David Mowat attended Disability Awareness Day on Sunday, held at Walton Hall and Gardens. The annual event celebrated its 20th anniversary and attracted more than 28,000 visitors. Organised by Warrington Disability Partnership, Disability Awareness Day is the largest event of its kind in Europe.

Mr Mowat was presented with a certificate of appreciation for he support he has given to the event over the past four years.

David Mowat said:

"Disability Awareness Day is a tremendous event which is a real highlight in the Warrington calendar and puts the town on the map. It is something we should all be very proud of."

Monday 4th July 2011

Mowat welcomes "Horses help Heroes" to Warrington

Mayor of Warrington Cllr Mike Biggin and David Mowat braved the elements in the early hours of last Saturday Morning to welcome wounded soldiers into Warrington as part of their 1,000 mile trek from Land's End to John O'Groats.

A team of servicemen, many of whom have lost limbs on active service, are attempting to use horses to pull a World War 1 Ambulance from Land's End to John O' Groats, travelling 24 hours a day and raise £1million for Help For Heroes in the process.

The soldiers and their horses had a brief pit stop in Warrington in the early hours of the morning to feed and water the horses and raise awareness of their mission. Backers of the campaign include HRH Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, Survival Expert and TV Star Bear Grylls and former Chiefs of the Defence Staff, General Lord Dannatt and General Lord Guthrie

Mr Mowat said:

"Despite the late arrival and the rain, it was a great moment to see the team arrive in Warrington. Horses Help Heroes is an original and innovative way, not only to raise money for our brave soldiers, but for the entire nation to show its gratitude to the young men and women who put their lives on the line for our country every single day. Many thanks to all those who came out to support and donate.

"We raised just over £300 on the night to give to the campaign and I would particularly like to thank the people, restaurants and shops of Stockton Heath for giving so generously to such a worthy cause."

Thursday 30th June 2011

Mowat supports Campaign for High Speed Rail

David Mowat this week joined a rally in Westminster supporting the Yes to High Speed Rail campaign.

Commenting on their support for the campaign Mr Mowat said:

"I am passionate about supporting high-speed rail and urge everyone in Warrington South to do the same. High speed rail will significantly help Britain's economy; creating jobs and boosting Warrington South. The knock-on effect of a true nationwide high-speed rail link will be huge bringing jobs and investment to millions."

Professor David Begg, Director of Yes to High Speed Rail agreed with Mr Mowat by saying:

"It is fantastic to have the support of David Mowat. Building a new high-speed rail line can be a part of solving some of the big questions facing this country today and in the future. This is why businesses and unions joined MPs from all parties today in London to campaign for high-speed rail."

The rally was part of an on-going nationwide tour of the UK being undertaken by the Yes to High Speed Rail campaign bus highlighting the benefits to the country of the positive impact of high-speed rail – for jobs, investment, growth and a better quality of life.

The campaign bus has visited Manchester, Birmingham as well as London and is scheduled to be the centre-piece of further rallies in Leeds, Sheffield and other cities in the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

Tuesday 28th June 2011

Boost for town as Mowat delivers on election promise

Conservative Transport Minister Mike Penning MP, has confirmed that people in Warrington will soon be able to take their Driving Test in Warrington once again. The previous Labour Government closed the original test centre in Orford back in 2008 despite widespread local opposition.

In a letter to David Mowat, Mr Penning said that he wanted the Driving Standards Agency, which oversees Driving Tests, "to be more flexible and innovative in delivering driving test to make sure it is offering the best service possible wherever they live" and that they were currently "working to identify suitable test routes in the Warrington area and find a venue that offers the right level of service for candidates"

The announcement is a personal victory for both David Mowat and Cllr Paul Campbell (Con – Penketh), who both opposed the closure of the centre at the time. David promised to take the matter up with ministers if elected to Parliament. Since then he has tabled questions, spoken in debates and written to Mr Penning about the problems in Warrington.

Mr Mowat said:

"Against all the advice of local instructors and local opinion, Labour ploughed ahead with their national closure programme and left Warrington as one of the biggest towns in the country without its own test centre. I'm delighted that Warrington will be leading the way in delivering a local service like this to local learners.

"I've been campaigning on this issue for nearly 4 years and it's great to see that ministers will take note of MPs willing to stand up for their constituency."

Cllr Paul Campbell said:

"The previous Council administration was trying hard to get Driving Test facilities back into the town and so I am thrilled to hear that this hard work has now paid off. Council Officers are in the process of shortlisting possible sites that could be used as a base and I will be monitoring the situation closely to make sure that this trial is a success.

"Delivering flexible local services to local people is right at the heart of what this Government is about and I am pleased that we are delivering for Warrington."

Wednesday 22nd June 2011

Warrington bashed by Barnett again

David Mowat took to the floor of the House of Commons this week to protest at a small but significant change to the Scotland Bill which was parachuted in at the last moment. It increases the Scottish Government's borrowing capability, specifically to allow for the building of the replacement Forth Road Bridge just outside Edinburgh.

Mr Mowat highlighted the difference in treatment between the Forth Road Bridge, which is being funded largely by public money and the new replacement Runcorn Bridge, which will be operated by a private company who will have to charge a toll to pay for the cost of building and then maintaining the Bridge.

Mr Mowat said:

"Once again, people in Warrington are getting a raw deal because the Barnett formula is not going to be reformed.

"People in Warrington are going to see increased traffic flow around Bridge foot from 2015 onwards because of drivers seeking to avoid tolls on the new Runcorn Bridge. Unfortunately, these tolls are necessary to pay for the construction of the bridge, because central government at the time, said it couldn't find the money.

"Yet when the Scottish Government wants to spend nearly £1.5bn on a new bridge, the UK Government bends over backwards to help them with pre-payments courtesy of the English taxpayer.

"Even Lord Barnett himself accepts that the Formula no longer serves any useful purpose beyond preventing a row with vested interests north of the border. I recognise that sorting out Labour's mess has to be the Government's top priority, but I have repeatedly called on the Government to at least start the process of looking at a new formula."

Monday 20th June 2011

Manchester event shows growing support for HS2

David Mowat today welcomed the rally in support of HS2 held at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester and said that it indicated a high level of support for the project in the North West.

Mr Mowat was amongst 100 supporters, including the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, who attended the official "Yes" campaign launch in London last week and is due to attend a rally at Westminster on Wednesday.

Mr Mowat said:

"So far the HS2 debate has been dominated by a small but determined group from the South of England. It is important that we demonstrate the widespread support, particularly amongst the business community for this project.

"Commuters travelling from Warrington Bank Quay to Euston will begin to benefit from HS2 as soon as Phase One (London to Birmingham) is complete and connected to the West Coast Main Line. Initially, the line will use so-called "inter-operable" trains, capable of using both the new high speed line and then transferring onto the existing West Coast Main Line to run at normal speed. This will mean significant reductions in the travelling times."

Friday 17th June 2011

Cabinet Minister visits Warrington

The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was welcomed to Warrington JobCentre Plus on Thursday by David Mowat. Mr Duncan Smith wanted to see for himself how the Centre was implementing a Pilot Scheme. JobCentres in Cheshire are trialling a new scheme which gives greater flexibility to centre managers and to staff to exercise their discretion in tailoring a support programme to help people back in to work and to target resources where they are most needed.

Mr Duncan Smith also held a round table discussion with staff at the centre to understand the queries and concerns they had with the Government's new Work Programme. The Work Programme aims to tackle long term unemployment by getting private companies to get people ready to work. The longer a person on the work programme remains in their job, the more the company will get paid.

Mr Mowat said:

"Iain Duncan Smith is at the forefront of one of the most important reforms the Coalition Government is carrying out: getting people back into work and overhauling our bloated benefits system, so I am delighted that he has been able to visit Warrington.

"JobCentre Plus Warrington is pioneering a new approach to helping people back into work, one which empowers local people to set local priorities and use their local knowledge to help people back in to work, not just following box-ticking exercises laid down by Whitehall.

"But Mr Duncan Smith's visit also reminds us how tough it will be to reform Welfare so that people are always better off in work than on the dole. On Wednesday I voted in favour of a Bill which caps the total amount of benefits any one household can receive at £26,000, caps excessive Housing Benefit claims at £400 a week and introduces a new benefit which will ensure that people are always better off in work than on benefits. A lot of my constituents who work long hours to make ends meet will be astonished to learn that Labour MPs voted against these reforms."

Wednesday 15th June 2011

A sweet treat for Mowat as he raises awareness of Breast Cancer Care's Strawberry Tea

David Mowat took time out for a special Strawberry Tea party in the House of Commons yesterday. 

Arranged by Breast Cancer Care, the event was a chance for David to find out more about the charity's work supporting people affected by breast cancer and the issues that are important to the 50,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year.

And as well as sampling a superb selection of mouth-watering strawberry treats, David also had the chance to meet some of the charity's volunteers, who are instrumental in delivering its free support services in communities across the UK.

Commenting on the event, Mr Mowat said:

"I know that there will be countless families across my constituency who have been affected by breast cancer, either personally or through the experience of a friend, family member or work colleague.

The Strawberry Tea was a great way to find out more about the impact breast cancer can have on the lives of people affected and to learn about the free support services Breast Cancer Care provide. By hosting your own Strawberry Tea event this summer you can help Breast Cancer Care to continue to be there for anyone affected by this disease."

Samia al Qadhi, Breast Cancer Care's Chief Executive, urged anyone interested in supporting the charity to host their own Strawberry Tea.

"Getting together with your favourite people and throwing a Strawberry Tea for Breast Cancer Care is both an easy and fun way to support us," she said.

"Your party can be as simple or as lavish as you want it to be, and a donation from your guests will help us make a real difference to the lives of people affected by breast cancer."

Tuesday 14th June 2011

Mowat welcomes Peel Consultation

David Mowat has welcomed the announcement by Peel Ports Group of a consultation on the "Mersey Ports Master Plan." The Plan is a 20 year growth strategy for two of the UK's most significant infrastructure assets, the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal.

The plan forms part of the Atlantic Gateway strategy, an ambitious plan to create jobs and boost growth in the North West by opening up the Ship Canal. This will include the creation of "Port Warrington" near the Acton Grange viaduct.

Mr Mowat said:

"The Atlantic Gateway plan has the potential to bring transformational benefits to Warrington. The extra investment in the area will create new jobs, secure existing ones and provide further opportunities for smaller businesses further down the supply chain. I would encourage people in Warrington, particularly business owners, to participate in the consultation and make the case for bringing investment to Warrington."

Thursday 9th June 2011

Mowat meets with IGas CEO

David Mowat recently met with Andrew Austin, Chief Executive of IGas Ltd. IGas recently announced that it was expanding production at its Coal Bed Methane plant in Doe Green on the outskirts of Penketh.

Coal Bed Methane is one form of Unconventional Gas Extraction and involves drilling horizontally into intact coal seams to extract the gas that has been created within the coal bed. Unlike conventional gas extraction, the methane that is extracted has been trapped within the coal bed where it was created, rather than having seeped into a layer of more permeable rock.

Mr Mowat said:

"I am delighted to have been updated on this exciting project taking place on the outskirts of Warrington. With North Sea Gas reserves dwindling, we need to explore more ways of securing our gas supply to ensure we don't end up dependent on Russian or Arab oligarchs."

Wednesday 8th June 2011

Mowat attends Participation Through Sport Community Festival

David Mowat recently attended an Olympic themed community club festival organised by NSPCC Participation Through Sport at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Young People's Centre in Great Sankey.

Alongside the scheme's co-ordinator, Jameel Hadi, and the scheme's young participants, David helped to celebrate the establishment of seven sports leader community groups across Warrington.

Mr Mowat said:

"This scheme is an excellent example of a brilliant provision for our town's young people by creating a supportive and enjoyable environment via the medium of sport.

"I look forward to seeing this success replicated as the scheme grows across Warrington."

Participation Through Sport aims to build upon young peoples' self esteem and confidence, encouraging social and emotional development as well as providing volunteering.

Tuesday 7th June 2011

Mowat attends Warrington Town FC Turf Cutting ceremony

David Mowat attended a special launch event at the grounds of Warrington Town Football Club recently alongside the Mayor of Warrington Cllr John Joyce and WTFC Chairman Gary Skentelbery.

The launch marked the creation of a 'Centre of Footballing Excellence' at the club's grounds in Cantilever Park aided by a generous donation of £50,000 from landfill charity, Waste Recycling Environmental Limited. The ceremony marked the development of  two new 3G all weather pitches. As a condition of the donation means that the pitches must be used for the benefit of underprivileged groups in the wider community and will be made available for free. If you are interested in booking a pitch, please call James on 07714 571 452.

In other news, WTFC's Academy has appointed it's first full time community development officer, James Standing.  This new scheme will help to create work experience and will provide training qualifications for young people in Warrington who are out of full time education and without employment.

Mr Mowat, a director of WTFC, said:

"We have spent the past few seasons consolidating and improving our facilities and the new all weather pitches should help us kick on to the next level. I wish James every success in his new position at the Academy and look forward to seeing the benefits of the Club's hard work in the community in the future months ahead."

Tuesday 24th May 2011

Welcome news on World Cup funding

The All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group has this week received confirmation that the North West Development Agency will be honouring the £1 million funding pledge it made to support the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. In a letter to a North West MP, the NWDA have confirmed that funding will be made available.

David Mowat has repeatedly pushed both the Government and the NWDA to resolve the issue and secure the Tournament's future, tabling a number of Parliamentary Questions and calling on his Government colleagues to "get their act together" and make sure that the tournament is a success.

Mr Mowat said:

"The Government committed themselves to ensuring the successful delivery of the World Cup, but my concern has always been that those of us in Warrington might suffer indirectly because of cuts to other bodies.  Independent studies have shown that the tournament will generate around £24 million for the region so it always seemed foolish to break an agreement of this scale. The NWDA have made the right choice, and I am looking forward to seeing the Halliwell Jones Stadium play host to some outstanding rugby."

Wednesday 18th May 2011

Liverpool Echo take up David's Rugby League World Cup Campaign

from the Liverpool Echo:

Government promises funding safeguards for Rugby League 2013 World Cup

THE Government has pledged to underwrite funding for the Rugby League 2013 World Cup.

The tournament – which could be held in Warrington – was threatened by the scrapping of the Northwest Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward which had each promised £1.25m. But sports minister Hugh Robertson signalled the money will be forthcoming, either from the winding up fund for the agencies or from central government.

And he revealed he has recently discussed "other funding options" with the Rugby Football League.

The breakthrough came after pressure from Warrington South Conservative MP David Mowat who previously told ministers to "get their act together."

Read this article in the Liverpool Echo

Wednesday 18th May 2011

Mowat joins sponsored walk for CLAPA

David Mowat this week joined a sponsored walk through Sankey Valley Park in aid of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association. The walk was organised by Leigh Brabin whose son Lewis recently had an operation to correct a cleft palate.

Between 1 in 8,000 and 1 in 30,000 children are born with a cleft lip or palate. During pregnancy, different parts of the foetus' face form and grow at different times. Normally these parts will eventually grow together and unite, but sometimes they do not unite properly and this causes a cleft palate. As well as causing facial disfigurement, the condition can also lead to breathing problems.

Mr Mowat said:

"I'm delighted to be able to support the work of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association in the excellent work that they do and I congratulate Mr and Mrs Brabin for the hard work they have put into organising this event."

Monday 16th May 2011

Mowat encourages constituents to learn something new

David Mowat is backing National Learners Week 2011, which runs from the 14th to 20th May.

The 20th anniversary of the UK's largest annual festival of learning is recognising extraordinary adults with inspirational learning journeys that have helped them transform not only their own lives, but the lives of their friends, families and communities as well.

The week also gives adults the opportunity to choose from thousands of learning events taking place across England. 17 events are taking place in Warrington and these can be found here: http://www.alw.org.uk//courses-events/search/North%20West?search_for=Warrington

Mr Mowat said:

"Adult Learners' Week celebrates the fantastic achievements of learners. It is never too late to learn and I would encourage all my constituents to learn something new this week."

John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills & Lifelong Learning said:

"I want to encourage people to take up learning - whatever their age. In all its forms, learning has the power to change lives, shape communities and  transform Britain."

For more information please go to http://www.alw.org.uk/

Thursday 12th May 2011

Mowat surprised by Miliband's immigration denial

David Mowat was surprised to hear Labour leader Ed Miliband admit that he would still like to see more immigration into the UK. Even though under Labour immigration rocketed with net migration at a record 2.2 million people – twice the population of Birmingham – the Labour leader refused to admit that they had let too many people into the country.

In an interview last week, Ed Miliband continued Labour's denial on immigration:    

• He denied that net migration was too high under Labour.
• He denied that immigration needs to be reduced now. 
• He denied that Government plans to reduce net migration down to sustainable levels in the tens not hundreds of thousands a year should be supported.

Despite their record on immigration Labour are refusing to offer a full apology. Ed Miliband's denials confirm that Labour still aren't being straight with people on immigration:

• Last month Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, tried to claim that Labour had reduced migration whereas in fact the 12 months before June 2010 saw record levels of net migration. 
• A few weeks ago Ed Miliband's former speech writer Lord Glasman said that 'Labour lied to people about the extent of immigration' but Ed Miliband refused to admit to this.
• Ed Miliband has also attacked the Government's cap on economic migration, calling it a 'very dubious thing' even though it is backed by more than 4 in 5 people including two thirds of Labour voters.

This government is committed to controlling immigration. We aim to reduce net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands a year. To achieve this we need to address all visa routes:
• We have capped economic migration from outside of the EU
• We have reformed the largest route, the student visa system, and clamped down on widespread abuses – we except student visa numbers to fall by up to 80,000 or a quarter of the current total.  
• We will soon take action to break the link between temporary routes and permanent settlement, and to address the family visa route.

Mr Mowat said:

"Just like on the economy, Labour are in denial on immigration – they refuse to admit that levels of migration were too high under Labour. Their message on immigration seems to be "vote for us and we will do it all over again".

"Labour aren't being straight with people - they claim to support controlled migration but they won't support our plans to reduce immigration. They have attacked our cap on economic migration and our reforms to the student visa route to tackle abuse.

"Only the Government is committed to bringing down net migration back to the levels of the 1990s - the tens of thousands not the hundreds of thousands."

Tuesday 3rd May 2011

Mowat backs Deaf Awareness Week

David Mowat is backing a campaign in Warrington this week, running as part of Deaf Awareness Week.

Running from 2nd to 8th May, the "Look at me" theme is organised by the UK Council on Deafness and aims to increase awareness of the different types of deafness.

The theme aims to improve understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading.

The week will also be celebrating the proactive access policies implemented by major UK companies and organisations to ensure that deaf and hard of    hearing people are treated fairly and have equal access.

Mr Mowat said: "Many people don't realise how important their hearing is in their everyday lives, until they start to lose it.

"Campaigns like this have a vital role to play. I am in full support of Deaf Awareness Week and wish the UK Council on Deafness every success."

For more information, go to http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk

Thursday 28th April 2011

World Cup funding hit

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson MP today suggested that the Government could be prepared to step in to provide funding for the tournament, if the North West Development Agency reneges on its promise to provide funding.

In response to a question in the Commons from Mr Mowat, Mr Robertson said that although the Government's preference was for the North West Development Agency to provide the £1m it originally promised, he had recently discussed other funding options with the Rugby Football League. The North West Development Agency is not due to announce its decision till May.

Mr Mowat said:

"An independent survey has said that the Rugby League World Cup will bring £24m to the North West. For £1m, that seems like a pretty decent investment to me.

"Warrington has submitted an excellent bid to host the tournament, which I fully support and I have continued to pursue this issue in Parliament as I know what a difference it will make to the Town."

Tuesday 26th April 2011

Grounds for optimism on Warrington Driving Test Service

David Mowat today welcomed the news that the Driving Standards Agency was seeking to increase local services for learner drivers taking driving tests. The DSA is looking to trial a new method for testing drivers which could see candidates beginning their test at a building owned by the Council or a Hotel car park. Warrington is just one of the sites now under consideration, with Council Officers preparing a list of suitable sites.

Mr Mowat has raised this matter in Parliament, with the minister with responsibility for the DSA, Mike Penning MP, during a Westminster Hall Debate and has also written letters and tabled Parliamentary Questions to the Minister.

Mr Mowat said:

"The last Labour Government took the ridiculous decision to scrap the popular and well used Driving Test Centre in Warrington based  on an over-zealous interpretation of an EU Directive. It should never have happened in the first place.

  "I understand that the DSA is now looking at reinstating services in some parts of the country, possibly including Warrington. This  doesn't necessarily mean the reopening of the old test centre, but it could mean that some form of test centre service will begin operating  in Warrington once again. I understand that the Council is now actively seeking suitable sites for the DSA to consider. This is good news  for both instructors and learner drivers,
who were badly let down by Labour."

Cllr Paul Campbell added:

"Both David and I have campaigned for the Test Centre in Warrington to be reopened for several years. Labour's botched closure programme left Warrington as one of the biggest towns in the country without its own test centre. Local Instructors saw their business disappear and local learners saw their pass rates fall as they were forced to travel longer distances to drive on unfamiliar roads. I've asked Council Officers to draw up a list of possible sites for the DSA to consider and I will continue to work closely with David to make sure that the DSA knows how important it is to have a driving test facility in Warrington."

Monday 18th April 2011

World Cup in North West facing crunch meeting

A crucial meeting on funding for the Rugby League World Cup is due to take place this week. The North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), is being wound-down and it is looking to break agreements worth nearly £1m made with the tournament organiser: the RFL. At a meeting the NWDA is due to review its budget for the next few years and decide which of its agreements it will honour.

David Mowat has raised this matter in Parliament in order to ensure the agreed funding is in place and the UK and the North of England isn't embarrassed by having to pull out of delivering the tournament.  David Mowat is now urging the NWDA to provide that funding so that the North West will feel the benefits of staging the tournament.

Mr Mowat said:

"The NWDA need to consider the wider impact this will have on the region.   I know the Sports Industry Research Centre at Sheffield University calculated that the total economic activity that will be generated by the World Cup is in excess of £24m in the North West alone.  When you think about how much rugby league means to the North West and particularly to Warrington, it would be ridiculous if we were unable to have our fair share of games and lose out on that vital financial income.

"The decision resides squarely with the NWDA and I am highly disappointed that they are trying to renege on signed contracts. I appreciate that Regional    Development Agencies are being wound up and there are hard choices to make, but I would stress to anyone involved in the decision at the NWDA on the World Cup, that this is one way they can leave a lasting legacy in the region they have been supporting for many years."

Monday 12th April 2011

Mowat welcomes help for poorest children through pupil premium

David Mowat has welcomed new figures which show that disadvantaged children in Warrington South are set to receive an additional £672,000 this year under the Coalition government's new 'pupil premium'.

The pupil premium is a new policy promised by both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats before the general election last year. It is an extra lump sum of cash which follows each disadvantaged child and is received by schools, allowing them to provide additional support such as one-to-one tuition and extra pastoral care.

The Government has announced that in the year from April 2011, the pupil premium will be worth £430 for every pupil on Free School Meals, £430 for every looked-after child, and £200 for every child who has a parent in the armed services. This means that in Warrington South this year 1,570 children overall will benefit from the additional money.

Mr Mowat said:

"This is fantastic news for children in Warrington. The gap between the academic performance of children from deprived backgrounds and their peers is far too big and has been ignored for too long.

"The pupil premium will tackle this disparity head on, providing targeted funding for those who need it most. This could mean extra one-to-one tuition or more pastoral support.

'The Coalition government didn't create these problems but, even in these tough times, it is delivering a massive boost to the education of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children."

Friday 8th April 2011

Mowat urges against backsliding on HS2

David Mowat used a Westminster Hall debate last week to once again push the case for High Speed Rail 2, which is estimated to create 40,000 jobs in the North of England according to a study by KPMG. A number of MPs from London and the midlands criticised the cost and disruption that the line would cause, but Mr Mowat argued that the project would bring transformational benefits to Warrington and the North West. It comes the same week as Mr Mowat joined a number of Conservative MPs from the North of England who signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph in support of HS2.

The HS2 Network will eventually link London with Manchester and Leeds. Phase 1 includes the construction of a High Speed Line between London and Birmingham; Phase 2 will add two additional "legs," one to Manchester and one to Leeds. Heathrow and Crossrail will also eventually be linked to the network, which will include a connecting spur to the existing West Coast Main Line. Warrington is one of the possible locations for the connection. But the project is under fire from some Labour and Conservative MPs whose constituencies would be affected by the building of the line.

Mr Mowat said:

"I want to put a couple of things on the record in relation to transformational benefits. The point is that the North-West chamber of commerce believes that the scheme will bring £8 billion worth of benefits to my region. Those benefits will accrue to Warrington in the same way that they will accrue to other parts of the country. Let us at least get that clear.

"A recent report that KPMG produced for Greengauge 21 estimates that there will be an incremental, steady-state increase in jobs of 40,000 in the north and the north-west due to the scheme. I am pleased that the Select Committee on Transport is going to validate the numbers: these are important transformational issues, and they must be taken seriously. It's important that transformational projects like these do not get blocked by NIMBYs."

Thursday 31st March 2011
Mowat warns Government not to forget regional imbalances

David Mowat used his speech in the Budget Debate to highlight the problem of regional imbalances in the UK. He noted that under the last years of Labour, economic growth per head in London had accelerated far beyond that in the regions and that the UK's economy was now more dependent on its capital city than France, Germany or Holland.

During his speech, Mr Mowat also warned of the rising costs of energy in the UK, welcomed the additional £10 million grant for Daresbury Laboratory and made the case for continuing to move ahead with major infrastructure projects to help boost growth in the regions.

Mr Mowat said:

"One thing that the Budget has to do is tackle the problem I have outlined, and I am delighted to say that we have started to do that. The Budget has developed 21 regional development areas, one of which I hope will end up in Warrington.

"One policy developed before the Budget was the national insurance holiday for start-ups in the regions, and I was genuinely disappointed that Labour Members voted against it, in favour of a different proposal that, by the way, would have simply put more money into London. We have to address the imbalance, and that is what we will do. The Budget has started to do it already."

Wednesday 30th March 2011

Mowat welcomes more pothole money

David Mowat today welcomed Transport Secretary Philip Hammond's announcement that Warrington Borough Council had been awarded an additional £555,292 to tackle potholes across the Borough.

All Local Authorities were initially invited to bid for money from a £100m fund, but in his Budget, the Chancellor doubled the size of that pot to £200m. The sum allocated took account of the condition of each Authority's road network. The money announced this week is in addition to the £500,000 already set aside by Warrington Borough Council to deal with the problems of potholes.

Welcoming the announcement, Mr Mowat said:

"I'm delighted that Warrington has been awarded a share of this money. We certainly need it. The Borough's roads have been hit hard by two harsh winters and they badly need some relief. I was delighted that the Chancellor and the Transport Secretary recognised this in the Budget and doubled the size of the fund available. The Council and I lobbied hard for a share of these funds and I hope that we will soon see the benefits."

Tuesday 29th March 2011

Mowat warns the Government must get its act together on Rugby League World Cup

David Mowat has called on the Government to do more to support the Rugby League World Cup in 2013. The Tournament's organisers have expressed concern that a total of £1.25 million, that had been pledged by the North West Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward to the tournament, is now at risk as the two agencies are set to be abolished.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he criticised the confusion over which government department was responsible for making up the shortfall and called for the appropriate minister to give a statement to Parliament on the matter. Leader of the House Sir George Young assured him that support for the Tournament was a Conservative manifesto commitment and that the Government was committed to ensuring that the Tournament was a success.

Mr Mowat said:

"There is now a £1 million shortfall in the funding for the rugby league world cup. We are having some difficulty establishing whether that is a matter for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (who are responsible for RDAs) or the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The confusion over who is actually responsible for this money is adding to the concerns that I and many others have over the financial support for the Tournament.

"The support already shown for the Council's e-petition on the World Cup shows how important this tournament is to our town. As a member of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, I've called on the Government to get its act together and I'm going to keep the pressure on until we get a decision."

Monday 28th March 2011

Mowat joins volunteers to clean up the community

David Mowat took part in a community clean-up in Westbrook on Saturday.

Mr Mowat joined 32 other volunteers to help collect littler from the streets and hedgerows in the surrounding area of Westbrook and Mary Ann Meadows.

In just two hours, 57 large bags of litter were collected.

Mr Mowat said:

"I am very pleased to join the community clean up and play my part. It is so important that volunteers come together to look after their community and this event is a great example of the Big Society in action."

Wednesday 23rd March 2011

Mowat helps out with ACTivism

David Mowat attended the prize giving ceremony for Oxfam's ACTivism awards at the Pyramid Centre in Warrington.

The ACTivism awards encourage children to use drama as a tool to show their support for the Education For All campaign. Across the world some 72 million children, two thirds of them girls, do not attend school and 771 million adults are illiterate. Providing education for all by 2015 would require an additional 15 million teachers.

Along with "Tiswas" presenter Gordon Astley, David helped give out first prize to St Basil's Catholic Primary School in Widnes who used role play and dance to highlight issues of discrimination and injustice.

To find out more about ACTivism, visit the

Oxfam blog

David Mowat said:

All children, wherever they live across the world, should have access to education as it helps them escape the poverty trap. Oxfam's initiative is a fun way of highlighting this issue and how much more still needs to be done.

I would also like to congratulate the children from St Basil's Catholic Primary School for their original and innovative entry"

Monday 21st March 2011

More success for Mowat's Jobs Club

David Mowat this week celebrated the conclusion of the fifth session of the Jobs Club in a ceremony at Verve Place, Mersey Street, Warrington, a secure accommodation unit for homeless sixteen to twenty-five year olds. The Jobs Club has been holding workshops here for young people since the beginning of the year. Mr Mowat presented certificates to successful Jobs Club attendees as well as budding entrepreneurs, assisted by the new Saturday afternoon session created to help new business start ups. Mr Mowat was also proud to be able to congratulate Mr Bradley Skolodera, the Verve Place Resident of the Month. 

Between January 2009 to March 2011, the Jobs Club has helped more than 160 people, assisting 110 back into employment, encouraging the creation of 25 business start ups and assisting others back into further education: an incredible success rate of over 84%. In a recent value added assessment, the Department for Work and Pensions has estimated that the combined effect of the reduced benefits and increased tax revenues that are produced when people moves off the dole and back in to work could be worth thousands to the local economy.

Mr Mowat said:

"Finding work is not easy right now, so having a success rate of over 80% is absolutely outstanding and a tribute to all those who volunteer to help advise and mentor our participants. The value of a club like this is brought home by the latest assessment from the Department for Work & Pensions. I'm really pleased that the club has now been nominated for a Big Society Award and I hope we can carry on helping people across Warrington."

Friday 18th March 2011

Mowat launches Blastbeat in Warrington

David Mowat today launched the Blastbeat Education UK Warrington initiative at Priestley College. Blastbeat is a business and social enterprise charity empowering young people to set up and run a Blastbeat music challenge. By organising their own musical event, students are able to develop key skills and raise money for the chosen charity of their choice.

Warrington businesses including Fiona Bruce LLP, Unilever, Watkinson Black, the Rotary Club and Arley Homes joined Head teachers from Penketh High, Sir Thomas Boteler, Priestley College and Great Sankey High, as well as dozens of eager Priestley students who have already signed up to the project.

Mr Mowat said:

"I am proud to be introducing the Blastbeat initiative to Warrington. The young people that are getting involved today are going to develop invaluable life skills by being involved in a project that's not only fun, but will raise a considerable amount of money for charity. I would encourage any business to get involved in whatever way they can."

The Rt Hon Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Civil Society, said:

"Having first heard about Blastbeat at a presentation in the House of Commons, I am wholeheartedly supporting this initiative, initially by introducing Blastbeat to the commercial and academic communities in my constituency, which I trust will draw attention to the value to this excellent programme and initiative and encourage uptake." 

Friday 18th March 2011

Mowat stresses the importance of science and engineering

David Mowat is supporting National Science and Engineering Week which runs from 11 to 20 March.

Schools, community groups, science centres and museums across the country are organising thousands of events and activities involving hundreds of scientists and engineers.  National Science and Engineering Week and its partners offer a wealth of opportunities for young people to enjoy and learn more about the sciences and engineering.

Mr Mowat said:

"It is so important that we as a nation start producing more graduates in science and engineering as they have such an important role to  play in society.

Mr Mowat sits on the Board of the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, the non-partisan advisory board on Science and Technology policy within Parliament.

Tuesday 15th March 2011 

Mowat toasts victory on military ID

David Mowat today celebrated victory as the Ministry of Defence announced that it would in future be forcing pubs and clubs to accept military ID as proof of age. Following an oral question to the Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Minister Andrew Robathan MP, confirmed that the policy had been changed and that the MoD was writing to trade associations to encourage their members to comply with the new recommendations.

The change is a personal victory for Mowat who has been lobbying hard to get the rules changed since being elected to Parliament. Latchford man Lance Reah brought the matter to the attention of Mowat before the election after Reah's son (who also served in the Coldstream Guards) was refused entry to a bar in Warrington. Mowat wrote to Armed Forces Minister Andrew Robathan MP and tabled an EDM which immediately attracted support from all sides of the House. The EDM created such a buzz on military forums that it became the focal point of the "Cheers for Heroes" campaign.

Lance Reah has also been working with local Councillor Mike Biggin to pilot this scheme in Warrington. After Mr Reah's son was turned away from a town centre pub, he and Cllr Biggin lobbied officers in the Council's licensing department to work with local licensed premises to recognise the special circumstances of serving soldiers. However, they soon realised that the problem went far beyond Warrington and so, along with Mr Mowat, they began lobbying the Ministry of Defence.

Currently, licensed premises often have a specific list of acceptable forms of ID and this does not include an Armed Forces ID card. As Soldiers returning on leave have often had their passports held at their barracks, this leaves soldiers without any form of ID.

Mr Mowat said:

"I am delighted that the Government has shown its commitment to our Armed Forces by making this change just months after coming to office; it should have been done years ago. It's difficult to imagine how depressing it must feel for young men and women who return home from the front line, only to find that they can't get served in their local because they don't carry the right form of ID. Our servicemen and women deserve nothing but respect and I am proud to have played my own small part in making a difference to their lives."

Ex-Guardsman Lance Reah said:

"The acceptance of MOD 90 as proof of age will have a substantial effect on the moral of all serving troops and I would like to thank Mr Robathan, Cllr Biggin and David for the unwavering support they have shown to our campaign."

Cllr Mike Biggin (LD – Grappenhall & Thelwall) said:

"What appeared at first to be a local issue turned out to be a national disgrace. Officers of Warrington Borough Council and I have been honoured to support the campaign alongside David and former Guardsman Lance Reah and we are all delighted by the outcome."

Wednesday 9th March 2011

Labour's council tax bombshell

David Mowat today accused Labour Councillors of plotting a hike in Council Tax, should they take over the Council. It comes after Monday night's Council meeting, when Labour Councillors outlined £2.5 million of extra spending commitments.

Mr Mowat said:

"Labour are guilty of rank hypocrisy. They criticised the supposed "secrecy" of the Council's budget, yet produced £2.5 million of spending commitments at a Council meeting with no consultation whatsoever. They criticised the effect it would have on elderly residents, yet refused to commit to any extra spending. In short, they would change less than 2% of the total Budget. Far from opposing cuts, they are implicitly endorsing them.

"But what worries me most is that Labour are basing £2.5 million of extra spending on the money they claim they will find down the back of a sofa. Since they can't identify a single spending cut that they would make, if this money doesn't materialise, Labour would have to put up Council Tax and hit pensioners and families struggling on low and fixed incomes. The last thing Warrington needs is more Council Tax."

Tuesday 8th March 2011

"Warrington way" budget an example to others says Mowat

David Mowat today welcomed the passage of the Warrington Borough Council's budget for the 2011 Fiscal Year and praised Council leaders for the thoughtful and considered way the budget had been put together, he also praised Unions for their willingness to work constructively with Council Officers to minimise job losses.

In a Joint Statement last week, the Council and union leaders announced that, as a result of their approach, only 180 redundancies would be required out of a total Council workforce of 9,000. In addition, the 2011 Budget provides for a real terms cut in the rate of Council Tax; a £5m programme to help first-time buyers afford mortgages; £500,000 allocated for pothole repairs and a £48m investment over 3 years to redevelop Bridge Street.

Mr Mowat said:

"Up and down the country, we have sadly seen Councils deliberately slashing front line services and targeting vulnerable people in order to make a political point. That's not the Warrington way of doing things. Labour's appalling mismanagement of the public finances left the Council with no option but to make significant savings, but rather than whining, they have rolled up their sleeves and got on with the job. They have consulted more than ever before to find out what people in Warrington actually want; what services they value most highly and where they think savings can be made.

"Sadly, up to 180 people could be made redundant and that is an individual tragedy for each of those families, but it could have been much, much worse. Just up the road, Manchester Council is cutting more than 1 in 6 of its staff. It's a tribute to the positive and constructive way union officials and the Council cooperate together that we have not seen such savage reductions in Warrington. Given that nearly 200 people have expressed an interest in voluntary redundancy, hopefully there will hardly any compulsory redundancies

"There is some good news in this Budget too. I warmly welcome the freeze in Council Tax this year, which will help pensioners and those on low and fixed incomes. Voluntary sector grants have been cut by just £18,000 out of a budget of millions and I am also pleased to see support for first-time buyers: something that is badly needed in the current climate."

Tuesday 1st March 2011

Mowat welcomes high speed rail consultation as good for Warrington

The Government has launched one of the biggest consultations ever undertaken on the proposals to establish a high speed rail network across the country. The finished network is expected to generate economic benefits of around £44 billion and the first phase alone will create over 40,000 jobs. The 'Y shaped' network will link London, the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds. Future expansions will link the High-Speed line with Liverpool and the West Coast Mainline with Warrington being a potential location for a terminal.

High Speed Rail would bring Birmingham within 49 minutes of London, and Manchester and Leeds within 80 minutes or less. Birmingham and Manchester would be less than 50 minutes apart and Leeds and Birmingham just over an hour. Travel from London to Scotland's major cities would take around 3 hours 30 minutes. Running 14 or more trains per hour, each with up to 1,100 seats and offering much higher levels of reliability than the existing network, high speed rail could shift as many as 6 million air trips and 9 million road trips a year on to rail.

Commenting Mr Mowat said:

"High Speed Rail could make a real difference in Warrington and the plans will lead to a better connected Britain. Countries across the world are already pressing ahead with ambitious plans for high speed rail.The scheme will create up to 20,000 jobs in the North West and Warrington needs it's share of those.

"I have spoken in favour of High Speed Rail on several occasions, because I think it will definitely benefit the Town. As well as seeing an improved service on the West Coast Main Line as a result of freed up capacity, Warrington would be the ideal location for HS2 to connect with the existing West Coast Main Line. I would urge everyone in Warrington to get involved in this consultation We cannot afford to be left behind – investing in high speed rail is vital to the prosperity of future generations."

Sunday 27 February 2011

Action for Warrington's potholes

David Mowat has welcomed the Coalition Government's announcement that it will give over £100 million to councils for pothole repair.This is especially valuable after the terrible weather this winter caused terrible damage to a lot of our roads.

The Government's move has been welcomed by the AA who estimate that it could be used to repair 1.5 million potholes. The money is in addition to the £831 million already provided to councils for road maintenance this year and the £30 billion of transport infrastructure spending the Government has committed to over the next four years.

Warrington Borough Council's Draft Budget for the 2011 Fiscal Year already includes £500,000 for repairs to the Borough's roads and they will now have an opportunity to bid for additional money from the Government's fund.

Mr Mowat said:

"Two harsh winters have taken a severe toll on Warrington's roads. I've lost count of the number of constituents who have complained about potholes damaging their vehicles: Birchdale Road in Appleton seems to be particularly bad.

"I am delighted that the Council has already set aside half a million for investment in our Town's road network. This additional money should make a real difference in Warrington to the huge number of drivers and cyclists who are fed up with having to continually battle against dangerous potholes, giving them safer and smoother journeys."

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

Mowat backs campaign to "mend broken hearts"

David Mowat is backing a campaign by the British Heart Foundation to raise money to fund research that aims to help those with heart failure as a result of a heart attack.

Hundreds of Warrington South constituents could benefit from the research.

Mr Mowat said:

"This groundbreaking research could offer hope to people like the hundreds living in our region with heart failure as a result of a heart attack. It's incredible to think that in as little as 10 years time we could literally mend broken hearts.

"I urge everyone to support this appeal and help make a cure for damaged hearts become a reality."

Call the British Heart Foundation on 0300 333 0333 or visit bnf.org.uk/mbh to order an appeal pack.

Monday 14th February 2011

Mowat welcomes Cabinet minister to Peace Centre

David Mowat welcomed the Right Honourable Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to Warrington on Friday. Mr Paterson visited the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace at the Peace Centre in Warrington to hear about the work the Foundation is undertaking.

As well as taking a tour of the facilities, Foundation founders, Colin and Wendy Parry explained the unique nature of the work that they do empowering people affected by violent conflict to make a positive contribution in their own communities. They were also keen to emphasise the work that they do with young people to tackle extreme behaviour and community division across the UK.

The Peace Centre was formally opened in 2000 by HRH the Duchess of Kent. It was built as a permanent memorial to Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball who were killed by an IRA bomb on Bridge Street in 1993.

Mr Mowat said:

"The work that the Peace Centre does is unique and we should be really proud to have such a resource in Warrington. The IRA bomb in 1993 shocked the town, but something really positive has emerged from it. I am glad that Owen Paterson is keen to recognise the great work that is going on in Warrington and I hope he does all he can to promote it."

Colin Parry said: 

"The Foundation's work has developed significantly since the Centre opened 10 years ago. We have taken the learning from the Northern Ireland 'Troubles' and applied it to conflicts elsewhere in the world. Last year we ran a youth programme with participants from Israel, Palestine, Africa, Ireland, England and the Basque region of Spain. The aim was for young people to learn about each others' conflicts and develop skills to become ambassadors for peace within their own communities. We are delighted that Owen and David spent their time with us looking at ways in which we can further promote our work locally, nationally and within Central Government."

The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said:

"The response of Colin and Wendy Parry to the terrible tragedy of Warrington is moving and inspirational.

"The Foundation is engaged in important work that now goes well beyond the particular circumstances of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

"I wish the all those who are working to resolve conflict, help victims and survivors to come terms with their trauma and to deal with the past every success".

Friday 11th February 2011

Mowat - Balls should apologise to Warrington

Commenting on Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls' recent visit to Warrington, David Mowat said:

"Ed Balls should be apologising to the people of Warrington for the fact that a third of the taxes they will pay this year will go towards paying the interest on debts that he and Gordon Brown ran up. In 1970, when he was three years old, every person was born with £600 of debt, today it is £37,000. He and Ed Miliband have irresponsibly opposed every single measure the Government has taken to deal with our crippling deficit; now he comes here waving the blank piece of paper that is the Labour recovery plan to tell us: "Vote for us and we'll do it all over again.

"I spent 30 years in business and I know that every penny that is wasted means higher prices and lower profits. The same principle applies in the public sector: money wasted on bureaucrats is money we can't spend on teachers, on policemen and on doctors. If Ed Balls had ever had a proper job he'd know that too. To try and claim that cutting waste will drive the country back in to recession is complete and utter rubbish."

Thursday 10th February 2011

Mowat embraces online politics
David Mowat is one of a growing number of MPs to start using the new political platform Whistle. He is inviting constituents to get in touch with him through his profile on the new website. Whistle has been set up to offer a 'one stop shop' for political information, activism and debate in order to bridge the gap between politicians and people by making politics open, clear and relevant.

Constituents can engage directly with local issues. Those who sign up to the website can follow Mr Mowat's updates and debate local issues on the forums. They can then start campaigns on the Causes section of the website to raise the profile of important local issues. Whistle will give thousands of constituents a greater opportunity to engage in a wider political debate.

David Mowat said:

"I am always looking for new ways to engage with my constituents using online media and Whistle has the potential to grow into an excellent platform for this purpose."

Wednesday 9th February 2011

Mowat helps block unwanted development in Penketh
David Mowat visited the site of a proposed hand car wash in Penketh last Friday, to meet with local councillors and  more than 50 residents to oppose the plans. A planning application was made for the car wash to be sited opposite the Crown and Cushion pub on the junction with Farmworth Road and Stocks Lane.

Voicing his opposition, Mr Mowat said:
"The land is totally unsuitable for the area as it is already difficult enough for both residents and businesses in the area to park."
Following strong opposition, the planning application has now been rejected.

Monday 7th February 2011

Mowat meets with the UK's number one manufacturing exporter

David Mowat attended the industry launch of the UK programme for the United Nations International Year of Chemistry at the Houses of Parliament last week, sponsored by chemical company Johnson Matthey. 

Commenting at the event Mr Mowat said:
"I welcome the aim of the International Year of Chemistry to inspire people to take more interest in the sciences and to encourage pupils to study science and technical subjects at school and beyond.  The UK has a wonderful heritage in its science and engineering skills base and we need to work hard to ensure we have the right skills for building its future growth and prosperity".

Speaking at the event, Chemical Industries Association Chief Executive Steve Elliott said:           
"I am delighted at the cross party support for the International Year of Chemistry, the chemical industry which is the UK's number one manufacturing exporter is just one of the sectors that relies on highly skilled scientists and engineers, I hope the series of events we have planned for the IYC helps achieve recognition for the contribution science makes to everyday life and inspire a new generation of students to take a fresh look at science and engineering".

At the event, major chemical company INEOS were proud to sponsor a competition for school pupils.  The winners of the competition will be the students who come up with the most original ideas about how science will change their lives in 2050.  For competition details see www.cia.org.uk. 

Joydip Sanyal, Chemical Industry Young Ambassador 2011 said:
"This competition is a great opportunity for school pupils to think about why science is important to their lives, now and in the future and hopefully inspire some of them to take up science and engineering".

Monday 31st January 2011

Mowat speaks on disadvantaged children

David Mowat spoke in a debate on disadvantaged children recently and raised the issue of social mobility and how it is measured.

Commenting on it, Mr Mowat claimed that three different things have been confused, poverty, inequality and life chances. He noted that these things are heavily correlated but are not the same and warned that applying a policy to the wrong one would cause the wrong outcomes.

Mr Mowat said:

"I have conceded that everything is correlated, but it is not just about money; it is about attitude.

"Positive parenting is a strong phrase that describes the breeding of self-confidence and aspiration in some communities. I hope that the Government will test those indices and take them up if they find them valuable, because we need a proxy for social mobility that is not the same as some of those embedded in the Child Poverty Act 2010."

Click here to read Mr Mowat's speech in full.

Wednesday 27th January 2011

Mowat pays tribute to Holocaust survivors

David Mowat has paid tribute to those who survived the appalling events of the Holocaust, as Holocaust Memorial Day approaches. This year marks the 66th anniversary of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Mr Mowat wishes to remember those who were persecuted and murdered during the Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Day was first held in January 2001 and has been on the same date every year since. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945, the date also chosen for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and some other national Holocaust Memorial Days.

Services take place across the country. To find out where your nearest service is taking place, go to http://www.warrington.gov.uk/

Mr Mowat said:

"Holocaust survivors are extraordinary people. We have a duty to them to pass on the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations.

"Holocaust Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of the survivors, to commemorate the millions who died under Hitler's regime and to commit to a future free from racism and discrimination."

Monday 25th January 2011

Mowat slams Labour's two trillion pound debt

Today official figures have revealed that the national debt has risen above £2 trillion for the first time in our history.

According to the Office for National Statistics the national debt, including the cost of bailing out the banks, now stands at £2,323,000,000,000. That works out at over £37,600 for every man, woman and child in the country.

This terrible debt is Labour's legacy. They thought that they had abolished boom and bust and so ran large deficits even before the financial crisis.

Because of this, we are currently paying £43 billion per year, over £120 million per day, in debt interest. This is money that could otherwise be spent on frontline services like schools and hospitals. The average earner in Warrington South has to work for 120 days just to pay the interest on Labour's debts.

Commenting, Mr Mowat said:

"These are shocking figures. Labour maxed out the nation's credit card with over £1 trillion of government debt. The longer it is left the worse it will get. If we don't take steps now to live within our means we'll end up paying higher taxes and face deeper cuts just to pay off our debt".

Tuesday 18th January 2011

Labour trying to block help for North West says Mowat

David Mowat, MP for Warrington South has hit out at Labour MPs in the North West for failing to help new business growth in the region, by voting to send more money to businesses in London and the South East.

Last week, the House of Commons debated the National Insurance Contributions Bill, which includes a scheme to help new businesses in the North West. Each new business would not be required to pay Employer's National Insurance Contributions for the first ten people they employee within two years of starting. Labour MPs attempted to wreck the programme by tabling an amendment which would have forced money for the scheme to be spent in London, the South East and East Anglia instead. The amendment was ultimately defeated.

Mr Mowat said:

I'm frankly astonished that Labour MPs don't seem interested in standing up for businesses in the North West. Not only was their last act in Government to make it more expensive to employ people, but now they are trying to wreck a scheme designed specifically to target growth in the North of England by voting send yet more money to London and the South East instead.

"I spent twenty five years in business trying to fight against a mentality that if something is important it has to be done in London. Output in the North West is only half that in London and that is completely unsustainable. The Coalition is determined to help stimulate jobs in the North West, but unfortunately it looks as though we can't expect any help from Labour."

Monday 17th January 2011

Mowat congratulates schools on exam success

David Mowat today congratulated Warrington's schools for their excellent recent exam results. Warrington was ranked 24th nationally with 61.8% of children attaining at least five good GCSEs including English and Maths. The Government target for the area was 60%.

Mr Mowat said:

"These are excellent results and we should be celebrating them. It's also important to remember that results like this don't just happen. A lot of effort has gone in from pupils, parents, teachers and staff at the Council. We can be very proud of what has been achieved."

Monday 10th January 2011

Jobs Club relaunched from Saturday

David Mowat announced today that the successful Jobs Club he helped set up two years ago is now back for a fifth session. Run by Karen Gould of Connect Consultancy, the Jobs Club draws on the experience and expertise of local businesspeople to help give those searching for a job the edge over the competition.

The Jobs Club was founded in April 2009 and has helped more than 100 people in Warrington. Over 70% of those who attended subsequently found jobs, started their own businesses or went back into education or training. The Jobs Club will start at 10:30am on Saturday 15th January at 1 Stafford Road, WA4 6RP. All are welcome to attend. Please give Anna a call on 231267 or email your CV to wsca@talktalk.net.

Mr Mowat said:

"Being on the dole can be immensely frustrating and depressing. When you are constantly being turned down for job offers you can completely lose your self-esteem. Many of our past participants have commented that one of the most valuable things about the Jobs Club is that they find out that they are not alone: it gives them the extra motivation to carry on trying to find work."

Previous members said:

"The extended session on interviews on Saturday followed by a pep talk on Sunday really helped set me up for this. I wanted to say a big thank you to you, the mentors and fellow job seekers for the advice and support you have given me over the last few months."

- Dewi from Appleton

"It has been a privilege to have met truly wonderful people, who not only gave up their precious time to attend, but provided support and hopefully their continued encouragement as we all face the same road to whatever dreams we aspire to do with the rest of our lives.  Without their knowledge, skills and experiences of each of the Job Club programme team, they have enabled this programme to be a great success."

 - Sheila from Orford

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