While I am glad to see that new government guidance about reporting cases of female genital mutilation appears to be working I am nevertheless shocked at the extent of the problem in this country.
It has just been reported that 1,242 cases have been reported to healthcare providers in England between January and March. The NHS’s own estimate last year of 137,000 women and girls having been harmed in this way is simply appalling.
And what is also terrible is that there has never been a single successful prosecution for FGM in the UK.
It may not be regarded as an appropriate topic in polite company but it is a serious issue and must not be swept under the table.
Louise Bours, MEP
As a Cheshire MEP, I very much welcome Operation Activity which saw police and other agencies raid businesses across the county in an effort to tackle the scourge that is modern day slavery.
Forced labour has no place in this country nor anywhere else in the civilised world and must be stamped out at every opportunity.
Sadly, gang masters and sex traffickers have been able to take advantage of our membership of the European Union in order to facilitate the movement of people seamlessly across the continent. A sad consequence of an open borders Europe is that vulnerable people, often women and children, can be shipped across Europe and abused without much impediment.
Last year, children’s charity Barnardo’s warned of a ‘surge’ in the number of children who had been trafficked to Britain from Albania. Many of these children have been forced into prostitution or to work on cannabis farms. Continue reading Anti Slavery campaign welcomed
I am glad that the local Labour party have acted swiftly and suspended Councillor Caleb Tomlinson after he was caught verbally abusing two doormen outside a pub in Preston.
Who does this councillor think he is? It is poor behaviour such as this that turns people off local politics altogether.
Doormen have a difficult job as it is, keeping people safe on busy nights out without elected councillors hurling drunken abuse and claiming authority.
Councillors, especially those who sit on the licensing committee, would be the first to speak out against a pub or nightclub acting irresponsibly by admitting those who are too drunk.
Would Councillor Tomlinson have taken full responsibility if the Preston pub in question were to lose its licence that night due to his behaviour? I somewhat doubt it.
Louise Bours MEP
WATCH: My appearance on the BBC Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria:
Motor Neurone disease diagnoses must improve says Louise Bours
Improvements are needed to the ways in which people are diagnosed with motor neurone disease, says Ukip health spokesman Louise Bours.
The BBC reports today (link below) that 1 in 5 of those with MND had to wait up to a year before seeing a brain specialist.
Such delays stop sufferers getting early care, says a report by the MND Association, which collected data from 900 patients.
The charity recognises that a diagnosis is “notoriously difficult” to make but is urging GPs to be more vigilant about the disease.
There are around 5,000 people in the UK with MND, which is incurable.
Two in five people interviewed in the survey said they had visited their GP two or three times before it was suggested they be referred to a neurologist. Continue reading MND Diagnoses need improvement
But the EU has banned minimum alcohol pricing and just objected to Ireland introducing alcohol labelling laws.
Responding UKIP Health spokeswomen Louise Bours MEPs said:”Anybody worried about the influence of lobbyists should come to Brussels where there are 15,000 of them working for mainly large corporations.
“But an even more important issue before we ask is a specific law good or bad, is the question of ‘Who finally decides the law?’
“The European Court of Justice forbade the Scottish Parliament from introducing a minimum price on alcohol a few months ago.
“And just yesterday we learn that 11 EU states and the European Commission have objected to the Republic of Ireland from introducing a law regarding labelling for alcohol and calories in drinks. Continue reading EU Alcohol rules row
European Parliament vote against reduced Tampon Tax
Published May 26, 2016
The EU parliament today voted against calls for a reduced rate of VAT on tampons as part of a vote on the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality report, “Poverty: a gender perspective”.
There was a separate vote on paragraph 39 of the report which said: “39. Stresses that taxation policies have a gender dimension; calls, therefore, on the Commission to promote best practice on taxation policies that takes gender impact into account and furthers gender equality, particularly in terms of taxation of household income, which in some cases can subject lower earners to higher rates of taxation, including VAT, also by introducing a reduced VAT rate for goods that are essential for women, such as tampons;”
This was rejected by a show of hands, as can be seen at 11:15 in this video.
UKIP MEP Louise Bours said after the vote in Brussels: “The Commission promised urgent action to allow reductions on VAT for things like tampons, but yet they have not included it in the latest VAT reform proposals and have kicked it in to the long grass by saying they will come up with something later this year. And now the EU parliament has voted against calls for reduced VAT on tampons, which shows this is very unlikely to happen anytime soon. The EU has so much power over the UK that we can’t even decide how much to tax women’s sanitary items. Only the EU Commission can propose changes to legislation and they are not elected or accountable. If we really want to scrap the hated tampon tax, the only way is to vote to leave the EU on the 23rd of June.”
EU TREATING WOMEN WITH CONTEMPT, SAYS MEP
Women have been treated with contempt by the EU Parliament, said UKIP MEP Louise Bours.
Her anger follows the parliament voting against calls for a reduced rate of VAT on tampons.
“”The Commission had promised urgent action to allow reductions on VAT for items such as tampons, but yet they did not include it in the latest VAT reform proposals.
“They kicked it in to the long grass by saying they will come up with something later this year and now the EU parliament has voted against calls for reduced VAT on tampons, which shows this is very unlikely to happen anytime soon.
“I think it is an insult to women that such an attitude has been displayed by this male dominated organisation,” said Ms Bours, North West Euro-MP.
‘“The EU has so much power over the UK that we can’t even decide how much to tax women’s sanitary items. Only the EU Commission can propose changes to legislation and they are not elected or accountable.
“Outside the EU we could set our own VAT rules and act immediately rather than beg for EU concessions that could take years to implement.
“If we really want to scrap the hated tampon tax, the only way is to vote to leave the EU on the 23rd of June.”
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ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE MUST BE CONFRONTED WITH URGENCY, SAYS LOUISE BOURS MEP
Pharmaceutical companies must be encouraged to invest further into discovering new antibiotic drugs, says UKIP health spokesman Louise Bours.
Her call comes after a report by Lord Jim O’Neill revealed that Caesarean sections, joint replacements and even chemotherapy could become too dangerous to be performed.
Lord O’Neill said the situation whereby growing resistance to antimicrobial drugs is not being tackled adequately enough should be treated as “an economic and security threat”, reported Sky News.
Ms Bours, MEP for the North West region, said: “It’s hardly breaking news that the effectiveness of antibiotics is constantly reducing, and that’s why this is so disturbing. Continue reading Prioritise Antibiotics call