John Spellar MP

Member of Parliament for Warley

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The Black Country is set to benefit if Coventry wins the competition to be the UK’s next City of Culture, according to local MP, John Spellar.

The MP joined fellow West Midlands MPs in Parliament to show his support for Coventry this week, following the official launch of the competition by Culture Minister Matt Hancock in Hull.

Commenting on the competition, John Spellar MP said:

“I’m proud to be backing our fellow Midlands town Coventry as the UK’s next City of Culture – a city that has reinvented itself on many occasions over the centuries and now stands as a modern, diverse city.

“Coventry and our wider region have so much to offer in terms of culture and this title would be a win for the whole of the region.

“It would bring millions to the local economy and help to put the West Midlands well and truly on the map.”

The DCMS set out the process for bidding for UK City of Culture in 2021 earlier this month but Coventry has been preparing to bid for more than a year.

David Burbidge, the chair of the City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry has moved people by car, by jet plane and bicycle over the years and continues to do so through culture. We have learned much about what the city has to offer during the past 12 months but also the many issues we believe City of Culture can help to tackle.

“Winning would bring so many benefits to the city and the West Midlands. Places like Glasgow, Manchester, Hull and Liverpool have shown how perceptions of the north can be changed. The time is right for the Midlands to stand up and deliver.

“We are inspired by Hull which has kicked off its year so dramatically and so positively, attracting 340,000 visitors to its first event.

“And for Coventry, which once stood as the capital of England, this is a great chance to take centre stage once again.”

Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support. The Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, Pertemps and CEF (City Electrical Factors) are all Bid Development Sponsors.

For more information please go to: www.coventry2021.co.uk

“Coventry City of Culture would be a boost for the Black Country” says John Spellar MP

The Black Country is set to benefit if Coventry wins the competition to be the UK’s next City of Culture, according to local MP, John Spellar. The MP joined fellow...

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This week John Spellar MP signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.

Friday 27th January will mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘How can life go on?’

After signing the Book of Commitment, John Spellar MP commented:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Sandwell and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to John Spellar for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.

John Spellar MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

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With winter now upon us and colder temperatures forecast, many older people are worried about fuel bills and rely on portable electric heaters and electric blankets to keep warm and cut the costs of heating an entire home. But it can be a risky business.

Electricity causes almost half of all domestic fires – most of which arise from electrical products – with the over 60s at far greater risk from them than any other age group. Almost 40% of deaths from portable heaters were of people aged 80 and over during 2013-2014.  And it’s been estimated that damaged electric blankets are responsible for over 5,000 UK house fires each year.

To get some advice and support in highlighting the need for electrical safety for older people, John Spellar MP visited Electrical Safety First’s drop-in ‘surgery’, which was recently held in Portcullis House, Westminster.

“As we live longer and tend to remain in properties for longer, regular home safety checks are often forgotten and electrical wiring and appliances tend to be older”, explains Mr Spellar.

 “Electrical Safety First’s campaign highlights how - by taking just a few moments to ensure electrical sockets, wires and cords are in good condition and sockets aren’t overloaded - can make a real difference to the safety of older relatives and friends”.

The Charity has regularly run a series of campaigns to increase awareness of electrical risk but this is the first time it has offered a ‘surgery’ for MPs.

“This winter we have been encouraging friends and family to check in on older people and look around for electrical danger”, adds Robert Jervis-Gibbons, Public Affairs Manager for the Electrical Safety First. “Providing MPs with a drop-in ‘surgery’ means we can offer them the information and material to help ensure their older constituents stay electrically safe, particularly in the winter months.”

The Charity has been calling for a free, five-yearly electrical safety check for all households with one person aged over 75 and statutory, five-yearly checks in all care homes. It has also developed information packs to help keep older people electrically safe this winter, which can be downloaded from http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/for-older-people/

AGEING SAFELY IN WARLEY


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