Monday, 18 April 2016

Westminster this week: brain tumour research and living wage debates, meeting Air Ambulance teams, + rail in the north dominate

The Commons today has a double header which I am trying to attend - a debate on the living wage and its impact, and a separate debate in Westminster hall at the same time on the petition relating to brain tumour research. 
My views on the living wage are well known, but here is my recent Morpteth Herald article: http://www.morpethherald.co.uk/news/local-news/millions-will-benefit-from-living-wage-1-7846301

The Brain Tumour Research Petition, and the evidence gathered as part of this, has produced a full report, and it is the findings of this report that the Commons will debate upon. Local mum of Stu Ridley, Celia Ridley, has helped with this evidence making process. 
It is clear from the report that we need to change the emphasis of cancer research funding so that more funding can be channelled into researching brain tumours. Importantly, central government only has the power to assign the money, but not what areas that money is invested into. The actual total amount available has gone up, but the allocation to brain tumour research is low as they are competitive with other cancer charities and research specialisms. This is something which the relevant bodies – Cancer Research UK & the Cancer Research Institute in particular – ultimately decide. However today's debate in the House of Commons can help to shape the future of funding. I will be attending for at least part of the debate. 
Sedately this week I shall be getting a briefing on air ambulance developments, both locally and nationally, and debating the financial services bill, along with trying to make the Rail in the North meeting on Tuesday. 

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