Posts by Esther McVey
It was interesting to note that in recent press articles in the Post and Echo Unite the Union criticised the Works and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith for being silent. I am fully aware that Mr Duncan Smith offered to visit the Birkenhead site on two occasions, and on both his requests was refused. I know this, because I was instrumental in organising the visits
I asked the Secretary of State to come along to the site after I had visited the factory and met with the workers. During my visit to the site we had an open discussion and the entire workforce impressed me. I also met with the Managers and came up with the suggestion that I appeal the decision of closure on two points:
This week I was happy to defend the Education Secretary over the leaked plan to overhaul secondary school exams.
I believe that Michael Gove was right to point out that the current system has become fragmented, exam results inflated, and Britain's international educational rankings had slumped.
The leak which last week provoked a political storm was not an announcement, but a departmental leak. We have yet to see the details but any changes were to be part of a 12 week consultation this autumn. What cannot be denied is that the present system is letting kids down.
Last Sunday I was on Sky News discussing 'Parents Can' an initiative announced by David Cameron to provide parenting classes to families who need them.
The aim is to support families, teaching discipline and early education. This will be piloted in three areas and if it proves successful, it will be extended throughout England and Wales. Boots the chemist will be distributing vouchers to be used to buy lessons from independent organisations such as the National Childcare Trust.
During a Commons debate on Monday on the Queen's Speech I made it clear that shareholders are "flexing their muscles" to veto massive bonuses and deals secured by banking bosses, including Barclay's Bob Diamond.
It's clear that voters are sick of corporate greed in general while ordinary families are struggling to get through the recession. Earlier this month I delivered my own report to Business Secretary Vince Cable highlighting runaway executive pay and perks which has seen the average bonuses of top executives rise by over 253 per cent over four years, while share prices fell by 5.4 per cent.
THE government has agreed to allow Britain's first business careers service aimed at teenage girls to be set up in the Wirral. By the spring the region's leading female entrepreneurs will visit local secondary schools in a bid to inspire them to follow their lead.
The scheme is part of my broad strategy to show girls that nothing is out of their reach, and last week I pressed Business, Innovation and Skills Ministers Mark Prisk and John Hayes to approve the scheme, and both did so "whole heartedly."
Last week I won a promise from the prime minister that the government will take action over the Anna Klonowski report on abuse of the of vulnerable adults in care in Wirral.
During PM's Questions I told David Cameron that the "violence and intimidation" revealed was "shocking, and it is the blame of the Labour-controlled local council which is already facing a vote of no confidence next week.
Earlier this week I met key officials in Downing Street to stress that the second phase of the £32.7 billion fast-track rail project has to go beyond Birmingham and provide a "Y" connection to both Liverpool and Manchester.
I believe it's essential that we ALL come together and lobby for Liverpool, especially if we want our city to grow as a tourist centre, a port centre and a business centre. The first HS2 phase will slash journey times between the West Midlands and London.
Christmas and New Year is a time for families and loved ones. It is a time to reflect on the year gone by, as well as to look forward to the forthcoming year.
It is a time for children and laughter, for recharging the 'old batteries' and seeing friends. It's also a time for thinking of those who have given up their Christmas to care for others, as well as remembering those who are less fortunate and in need of our care and support. Most importantly it's a time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, and here on Wirral we have wonderful church services where we can gather together to celebrate the message of Christmas, hope & joy.
Earlier this year I wrote to the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke QC MP asking for tougher action to be introduced to stop mobile phones being smuggled into, and used in prisons. prison.
It has now been revealed that the Justice Secretary is looking at ways of introducing phone jamming equipment into our prisons.
I am delighted that the Justice Secretary has listened to what has been said and is taking long-overdue action to stop prisoners utilising smuggled phones for whatever reason.
It was and still remains clear for everyone to see that current procedures are not stopping prisoners accessing mobile phones and the use of the internet and it really is time for this much tougher action by the prison authorities.
Whilst prisoners are serving their sentences they are effectively removed from society and this should include exclusion from the online technological world we now live in. We should also not forget that mobile phone use can facilitate the continuation of criminal activity whilst in prison
Earlier this month, Channel 4 Education, in partnership with high street bank Barclays launched 'The Stake' - a competition that provides young people in the UK with the chance to decide how £100k of real money is spent. The Stake will inspire young people to use their business and enterprising skills to win a slice of £100,000 prize pot to support community or business ideas that will make a difference.