Town twinning welcomed

Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate Ellesmere Port and the German city of Reutlingen on celebrating 50 years of twinning. elle

English towns and cities have twinned with those in Europe for over a hundred years and the Ellesmere Port – Reutlingen friendship pre-dated the UK joining the European Economic Community. Twinning is now becoming common with cities in China and America.

I would therefore like to assure everybody that there is no reason why this twinning would not continue long after we leave the European Union.

Last month, the nation voted by a clear majority to leave the European Union and I now hope that the process of formally applying to leave, so called Article 50, is carried out as soon as possible.

But let us be clear, we are leaving a political union. We are not leaving Europe. We are not moving our isles into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. An independent Great Britain will still be very much European in a geographical, economical and cultural sense and we will always be good neighbours to our friends across on the continent.

Therefore I see no reason why twinning of Ellesmere Port and Reutlingen cannot go on for another 50 years to come.

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours MEP

Accept the will of the people

wedidit

Dear Editor,

Warrington and Halton Green Party leader Steph Davies has shown her utter contempt for democracy with her apparent labelling of Brexiters as a ‘Tory-UKIP Alliance”.

Whilst ‘Remain’ campaigners are obviously disappointed in the result, most are taking it on the chin and yielding to the democratic process, forgoing the need to insult those who happen to have voted differently.

I must remind Steph Davies that across Warrington, voters backed ‘Leave’ by 54.3% to 45.7%. This is a decisive result that must be respected. Also, I can assure the Green Party in Warrington that many people on both the left as well as the right of politics voted ‘Leave’.

As UKIP’s health spokesman at the last General Election, I can say with gladness that now we have voted to leave, our treasured NHS will now be safe from the clutches of the EU/US TTIP agreement that would have seen American drug and insurance companies elbow their way into our healthcare. I would have thought that the local Green Party would at least join me in celebrating on this issue.

Yours faithfully 

Louise Bours MEP

Concerns over FGM

Dear Editor,

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. fem

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. 

Yours faithfully

Louise Bours,  MEP

Anti Slavery campaign welcomed

Dear Editor,

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

Councillor suspension welcomed

Dear Editor,

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.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Bours MEP 

 

MND Diagnoses need improvement

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

EU Alcohol rules row

It has been reported that lobbyists are having an influence on official alcohol safety limits. label

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

Tampon Tax issue still unresolved

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”.

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Louise Bours MEP

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.”