Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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Important announcement for parents/ carers that the Plymouth Studio School meeting has been moved to 5pm on Friday 18 May following concerns raised by Luke Pollard MP.

The Regional Schools Commissioner sent a letter to parents and carers that said:

  • The meeting has been rescheduled to start at 5pm, and to finish at 6:15pm.
  • Parents and carers are welcome to join the discussions at any point during the meeting.
  • When submitting views to the mailbox SW.academy@responses.gov.uk, parents, carers and interested parties have been advised that it is not being monitored. This was due to an IT error, which has now been resolved.
  • The mailbox has been in use since the listening period started, and is being monitored.
  • Local MPs have been invited to attend the meeting.

 The full text of the letter is below:

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Plymouth Studio School meeting changed to 5pm Friday 18 May

Important announcement for parents/ carers that the Plymouth Studio School meeting has been moved to 5pm on Friday 18 May following concerns raised by Luke Pollard MP.

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This week, Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport led a roundtable discussion making the case to create National Marine Parks and designate Plymouth Sound and Plymouth’s surrounding coastal waters the UK’s first.

Martin Attrill, Professor of Marine Ecology from University of Plymouth, delivered the keynote on why Marine National Parks could be important and which outlined Plymouth as the perfect location to test the National Marine Park concept due to its profile as Britain’s ‘Ocean City’ and vibrant fishing industry.

Designating Plymouth Sound and Plymouth’s surrounding coastal waters as the UK’s first National Marine Park was an election pledge from Luke Pollard in the General Election last year. Since June, Luke has been holding meetings in Plymouth to perfect proposals for a National Marine Park. This Westminster roundtable brought together MPs from all parties with Plymouth's experts and London-based NGOs, journalists, marine experts, government agencies and environmental campaigners.

The idea to consult on the creation of National Marine Parks was recently included in Labour’s new animal welfare plans. Like the classification of National Parks which exist to protect our green spaces, National Marine Parks aim to protect coastal waters, the seabed and marine habitats by bench-marking, monitoring and implementing changes to protect the environment.

Professor Martin Attrill said: 

“I was pleased to make the case alongside Luke for the creation of National Marine Parks. The aim of the roundtable was to establish the need for National Marine Parks to increase public engagement with the UK’s marine environment. While fishing is important to the UK economy, by expanding and diversifying the use of our coastal seas we can also massively boost coastal economies like Plymouth.”

“Plymouth is the perfect location to receive a National Marine Park classification, as we benefit from a huge marine science community, a long maritime heritage, and are surrounded by National Parks in Dartmoor and Exmouth. Most importantly, we have wonderful marine life fit for Blue Planet right here in our waters so we just need people love and cherish the marine environment.”

“A National Marine Park designation would be a huge asset to Plymouth and the opportunities that come from designations are exciting. We could see improvements in the local economy through increased employment and tourism, with new opportunities for local businesses, plus potential benefits to health and welfare of getting people more engaged with the sea. I look forward to working with Luke in the next steps of this campaign.”

Luke Pollard MP said:

“During the election I proposed Plymouth Sound and Plymouth’s surrounding coastal waters should be the UK's first National Marine Park. Plymouth Sound already has a designated Special Area of Conservation and has Marine Conservation Zones. By consulting on this idea locally and nationally, the goal is to find a way of managing our waters to protect marine ecosystems, while sustaining naval, fishing and recreational activities.”

“I am proud of Plymouth and its rich commitment to marine research and marine engineering. Not only do we have world-leading experts in our city at the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Plymouth University, we also benefit from superb fishing grounds and a strong Naval heritage. 

“Yet we simply are not doing enough to protect the beautiful sea-life and marine environment that surrounds us in Plymouth. We have an environmental responsibility to invest in our waters, and a designated National Marine Park in Plymouth would bring much-needed attention to environmental sustainability. We were all shocked by the Blue Planet documentary, which showed how urgently we must act to save our oceans. This is a first step of many towards doing that.”

“I was pleased to see members from different parties join together for this important cause. I am also proud that Labour have committed to a consultation on National Marine Parks should they win at the next election.”

“I hope that this discussion is the first of many as we get closer to seeing a National Marine Park designation in Plymouth and in other coastal cities around the UK.”

 

Labour MP and University expert take Plymouth’s National Marine Park campaign to Parliament

This week, Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport led a roundtable discussion making the case to create National Marine Parks and designate Plymouth Sound and Plymouth’s surrounding coastal...

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Almost one year after the Grenfell fire, Government seems to have given in to demands of local campaigners in Plymouth to pay for the emergency recladding for the Mount Wise tower blocks.

This follows a long term campaign from Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Luke Pollard, and a petition by Devonport Councillor, Bill Stevens calling on Government to help Plymouth Community Homes with the estimated costs of £13 million for the essential work.

Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May announced the Government will fully fund the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400 million. Despite verbal assurances of support from central Government in the wake of the Grenfell Fire, it taken almost eleven months for promises to be matched with funding.

Luke Pollard said this meant justice for the people of Devonport but criticised the delay in the decision. Despite failing safety tests in the wake of the fire, similar combustible cladding still remains on three tower blocks in Mount Wise, Devonport.

The Labour MP has also called for Government to make sure Plymouth Community Homes is given the full funding that it needs. There are 153 social housing blocks with combustible cladding. Split evenly the £400 million fund would be around £2.6 million per block which would not cover the estimated £13 million the Mount Wise tower block needs.

Until the announcement today, Plymouth Community Homes was set to receive no financial support from Government and would have paused building 220 new homes or 413 refurbishments for the city to pay for the emergency.

Luke Pollard MP recently presented a petition to Parliament, started by Devonport Councillor, Bill Stevens and signed by hundreds of people across Plymouth, including the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn MP calling for the Government to allocate emergency funds for the recladding.

Luke Pollard MP said:

“I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has finally listened to communities like Mount Wise who have rightly been asking for Government support to pay for tower blocks to be reclad. This is good news but it should not have taken eleven months for this funding to be made available.

“We have been here before though. After the Grenfell fire, the PM pledged support, and then took it away. What we need to see now is a firm government commitment to funding the full bill of recladding the Mount Wise tower blocks. Not some of it, not part of it, but the entire cost of recladding. I also want to see the timetable for this work to be set out by Ministers for paying for this work so Plymouth Community Homes can get on and reclad this work.

“My party said from day one that Labour would fund this work. On his recent visit to Mount Wise, Jeremy Corbyn reiterated Labour’s support for tower block communities. I am so proud of the response of Mount Wise in the wake of the Grenfell Tower. Community campaigners, Devonport’s councillors and local residents have been determined to get the money needed to reclad the Mount Wise tower blocks. I have spoken in the Commons time and time again calling for this funding and I am pleased this looks like a campaign we have won and won together. We now need to get the money from Government and so this work can begin.

“I won’t stop speaking up for the people of Devonport and until the combustible cladding is removed from Lynher, Tamar and Tavy Houses I will continue to demand action and full funding for this work.”

Luke Pollard MP previously called for the £1.1bn, that the Ministry of Housing gave back to the Treasury, as reported by the Huffington Post on 4 March, that was apparently not required, to be spent on these essential works.

This month, following the appointment of the new Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing Luke Pollard MP wrote to him asking for a “fresh start for the people of Lynher, Tavy and Tamar Houses,” and to assist Plymouth Community Homes.

 

Plymouth MP praises work of local campaigners as Government announce funds to replace dangerous tower block cladding

Almost one year after the Grenfell fire, Government seems to have given in to demands of local campaigners in Plymouth to pay for the emergency recladding for the Mount Wise...


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