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Tag Archives: campaign

Petition started to change law over reporting of cat deaths on Britain’s roads

A woman has started a petition to make it the law to have to report the death of a cat on Britain’s roads.

At the moment, drivers only legally have to tell the police if they run over a dog or other animals including goats, horses and cattle.

Gemma Conway, who’s from Dorset, took action after her cat Bertie went missing in April.

Her 14-month-old pet still hasn’t been found but her petition now has nearly 200,000 signatures.

“After our cat Bertie went missing I joined a Facebook group for lost and found cats,” Gemma tells Newsbeat.

Gemma Conway

“I noticed that people would post about cats being left on the side of the road after being run over.

“After I found out that it’s not the law to report incidents like that, I felt that needed to change, which is why I started the petition.”

Under section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, motorists are required to stop and report an accident involving animals including horses, cattle, mules, sheep, pigs, goats or dogs.

Cats and wild animals aren’t included though, although rule 286 of The Highway Code does advise drivers to report any accident involving an animal to the police.

Bertie

Gemma says she hopes to achieve two things with her petition.

“First, I hope the law is changed so people have to report an accident when it happens and two, that all cats are microchipped so they can be identified if they’re involved in an accident.”

Cat Matters, a campaign group that works to raise drivers’ awareness of cats on Britain’s roads, wants the law changed.

But the organisation doesn’t want it included in the Road Traffic Act 1988 because it says it could restrict the cats’ freedom.

Gemma Conway

Image caption Gemma has been telling her son James that Bertie’s gone on an adventure but he still says goodnight to him every day

Another part of that law makes it an offence to walk a dog down a road without a lead and Cat Matters says a new piece of legislation is needed to stop that happening with cats and to stop them being locked up at home.

Gemma, 35, says she’s meeting her local MP, Oliver Letwin, in the next few weeks to talk about how to present her petition to the government.

“What I do hope is that the change happens, as with 185,000 signatures gained already this proves it’s a change thousands wish for.”

Another petition in 2015 by Londoner Christina Rezik Mount managed to get 115,000 signatures.

And Gloucestershire-based cat re-homing charity, New Start Cat Rescue, also submitted a petition to parliament in 2012.

If you hit an animal included under the Road Traffic Act, call 999 if there’s a danger to other road users or 101 if not.

Or call the RSPCA 24-hour hotline on 0300 1234 999 to report other animals which have been hit including cats and other wild animals like deer.

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Shipley and Pudsey to choose Labour candidates ‘before Christmas’

SHIPLEY and Pudsey Tory-held seats have been named in a leaked list of 75 key marginals where the Labour Party is reportedly getting ready to select candidates before Christmas.

The list was leaked to the left-wing website Labour List and includes just two other seats in Yorkshire – Morley & Outwood in Leeds and York Outer.

And the local Labour Party has revealed that Shipley, where Philip Davies has been the MP since 2005, is to have an all-women shortlist.

Shipley Constituency Labour Party chairman Joe Wheatley said last night: “It’s fantastic to be put down nationally as a marginal seat. It means more resources and a great opportunity to get Philip Davies out and we intend to get him out.”

Meanwhile, a post on the Shipley Labour Party Facebook page revealed the constituency had been designated an All Women Shortlist. “Shipley has NEVER had a woman MP, we are looking forward to changing this at the next election,” it said.

At the snap General Election in June, Mr Davies saw his majority narrow to 4,681 while Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew held on to his seat by just 331 votes. Labour gained 30 seats in all, closing the gap on the Tories to 56 as Theresa May lost her overall majority.

Earlier this month left-wing journalist Owen Jones and pro-Jeremy Corbyn group Momentum were in Shipley to host an event in the town called Unseat Philip Davies, beginning a campaign to get him replaced by a Labour MP.

The Shipley MP had already hit back in a war of words, branding Mr Jones a “metropolitan, left-wing luvvie” and challenging him to a battle at the ballot box.

The event on September 10 at Shipley and District Social Club was to train people up to canvass on doorsteps even before the next General Election is announced.

When the Telegraph & Argus contacted Mr Davies yesterday about his constituency being included in the leaked list, he said it was not a surprise.

He said: “I don’t think that it’s going to come as a surprise to anyone.

“We had Owen Jones up here last week so it’s perfectly obvious they are targeting Shipley, that’s democracy. I will keep working hard and doing everything I can but it’s up to the people of Shipley to decide who they want.

“It’s a healthy state of affairs for democracy.”

Pudsey MP Mr Andrew did not respond to requests for a comment.

Village could get its own volunteer fire brigade

A LEADING campaigner in the ill-fated battle to save Haworth‘s fire station hopes a volunteer brigade can be launched in the future.

Steve Thorpe vowed this week that he wouldn’t give-up on efforts to restore firefighting provision to the village.

He was speaking after West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) confirmed that it had sold the former fire station.

County brigade bosses announced that the Station Road premises, controversially closed three years ago due to budget cuts, had been bought by a private company for £340,000 – £65,000 above the asking price.

Mr Thorpe, chairman of the Friends of Haworth and Worth Valley Fire Station, said he was saddened at the news.

But he remained optimistic.

“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t save the fire station however we are moving forward,” he said.

“The facility used to be in Belle Isle until it moved to Station Road 50 years ago and there’s no reason why we can’t look for other premises.

“I think in the future we will go back to having a voluntary fire service based somewhere in the village.”

Mr Thorpe said a Worth Valley fire and emergency cadets scheme was proving hugely successful.

A third training course is being staged, giving young people tuition in a range of skills, including firefighting.

Each course has ten attendees and lasts around two months.

“It’s going brilliantly well,” added Mr Thorpe.

“We’ve also got our own fire engine, and we offer a pumping-out service in flooding situations.

“And we have sandbags that we can provide to the community.”

WYFRS declined to name the buyer of the Station Road building, but said it was a West Yorkshire firm.

Senior technical services manager, Noel Rodriguez, added: “Now that the building is no longer our responsibility, we hope that whatever it is transformed into will benefit the local community.

“We are glad to have sold the building for above the valued price.

“The money from the sale will be reinvested back into the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and into the maintenance and development of excellent service to our communities.”

The property was put up for sale last summer despite a campaign to save and re-open it as a community-run emergency services hub.

Harry Redknapp: Birmingham City sack manager after poor run

Birmingham City won four of Harry Redknapp’s 13 games in charge in all competitions

Birmingham City have sacked manager Harry Redknapp following six straight defeats in all competitions.

The 70-year-old took charge of the club with three games remaining last term, winning the final two to avoid relegation from the Championship on the final day.

The former Tottenham and Portsmouth boss then signed a one-year deal in May to stay on as Blues boss.

Former Blues midfielder Lee Carsley has been placed in temporary charge.

Redknapp’s assistant Kevin Bond has also left St Andrew’s, but coaches Paul Groves and Kevin Hitchcock are set to stay.

A Blues statement said: “Unfortunately due to the poor start to the campaign which sees the club second from bottom of the Championship, we are left with no choice but to terminate the contract of the manager with immediate effect.

“We thank him for all his efforts and wish him good luck for the future. There will be no further comment at this time.”

Less than five months in charge

Birmingham signed 14 players during the summer transfer window, but six defeats from their first eight league games in 2017-18 saw Redknapp become the first managerial casualty of the Championship season.

Saturday’s 3-1 home loss to Preston was the ex-West Ham and QPR boss’ final match in charge of the Blues.

Redknapp initially worked without asking for payment from Blues for the final three games of 2016-17, having replaced Gianfranco Zola.

Birmingham are 23rd in the table after their first eight league games, above only winless, newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers.

Carsley, 43, who was previously head coach at Brentford on an interim basis in 2015, steps up from the role of development squad manager at Birmingham.

Redknapp ‘enjoying the job’

Speaking after the loss to Preston but before his departure was announced, Redknapp told BBC WM 95.6: “Fans deserve better and that was my motivation to carry on this season.

“I do not come to work because I need the money, I enjoy the job and leaving home at 5.15 every morning. I would love to be the manager to bring some success to Birmingham.”

Redknapp had replaced Zola 16 hours after the Italian’s resignation in April, following the Blues’ dismal run of two wins in 24 matches under the former Chelsea forward.

When Gary Rowett was sacked in December, Blues had been seventh in the table, outside the play-off places only on goal difference, but they narrowly survived relegation on the final day thanks to a 1-0 win at Bristol City.

Birmingham’s next match on Saturday, 23 September is away to Rowett’s current side, Derby County.

Lib Dems the ‘common sense’ alternative says Cable

Sir Vince Cable arrives at the party's conference with his wife RachelImage copyright PA
Image caption Sir Vince Cable will make his first leader’s speech on Tuesday

The Lib Dems are the voice of “common sense” in a “very polarised” political system, leader Sir Vince Cable has said as the party’s conference opened.

Sir Vince said his party would occupy the “moderate, middle ground” between an “extreme Brexit” Tory government and “hard left” Labour opposition.

He conceded it had not done as well in June’s election as hoped and leading a party with 12 MPs was a “challenge”.

The four-day conference is set to be dominated by the UK‘s exit from the EU.

Activists in Bournemouth will debate the UK‘s future relationship with the EU on Sunday amid calls from some quarters of the party for the Brexit process to be stopped.

Speaking at a fringe meeting on Saturday, Sir Vince said the Lib Dems would not be satisfied with securing a “soft, easy” Brexit, suggesting such a prospect was “not for real”.

“We are for Remain. We believe Britain should stay in the European Union. Period.”

The Lib Dems want a further referendum on the terms of the final withdrawal deal, with the public to be given the option to stay in the UK.

‘Optimistic’

Sir Vince suggested this was the kind of “common sense solution” which would appeal to a large number of voters dismayed by the “ideological extremes” embraced by their political opponents.

British politics is now becoming very polarised between extreme hardline Brexit government and a hard left Labour Party.

“People are going to be looking for sensible, moderate, middle-ground politics. That is what we can provide.”

Despite making a second referendum the centrepiece of their general election campaign, the Lib Dems got a lower share of the vote than in 2015 – 7.4% – although they did see four more MPs elected.

Sir Vince, who was elected unopposed this summer after Tim Farron resigned in the wake of the election, said the party had “a lot of things going for us”.

“Yes, the result did not live up to our expectations,” Sir Vince added. “I think we are going to turn it around… It is a challenge but I wouldn’t have taken it on unless I was optimistic.”

The 74-year old and his deputy Jo Swinson will address the conference’s opening night rally later.

On Sunday, activists will also debate the armed forces covenant and housing standards among other issues.

More good news for Odeon project as operator ‘breakthrough’ unlocks borrowing potential

A ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ in the battle to save Bradford’s former Odeon means the project could soon be fully funded, the businessman behind the scheme has revealed.

The full cost of restoring the building and reopening it as a major live venue is now put at £19.8m.

But Lee Craven, director of Bradford Live, said last week’s announcement of an operator for the venue was “a breakthrough” that could mean 70 per cent of this cost is secured.

Mr Craven said not only was the NEC Group investing £2m in the scheme, the income stream from its 30-year lease would also allow the project team to borrow money to finance much of the restoration.

Mr Craven said: “I’m pretty sure now that the Odeon is safe. Nothing’s certain until it’s happened, but I would not bet against the Odeon reopening in 2020.”

He said the model of borrowing money for the construction work and repaying it with lease income was “tried and tested” and lay behind the schemes to build Leeds’ First Direct Arena and the in-development Hull Venue.

Now Bradford Live is setting its sights on finding the final piece of the funding jigsaw – around £6m – and is confident that the venue will open in just three years’ time.

Mr Craven said the team was hopeful that the project would be put forward by the Leeds Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as its entry into a contest for a share of a £15m Government funding pot.

The fund, which ties in with next year’s Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle-Gateshead, will give grants of £3m to £4m out to three or four large cultural regeneration projects across the North.

Eleven northern areas are being invited to apply for grants – but can only put forward one project each for consideration.

Bradford Live has been working with Bradford Council on a bid for the cash.

Bradford Civic Society has now handed in a petition to the LEP, calling for it to make the Odeon project its choice.

Society chairman Si Cunningham said: “As only one bid per Local Enterprise Partnership can be submitted, we feel it’s imperative that Bradford is at the front of the queue for this funding.

“Since starting the petition, we’ve had over 2,700 signatures in support and received the backing of Bradford’s MPs.”

Mr Craven said he valued the support of the petitioners.

He said: “It’s another example of the grassroots support for the Odeon which has been there from the start, and the campaign to stop the building from being demolished.”

And he also welcomed the public reaction to last week’s announcement that an operator had been found.

He said: “I think there was an element of relief. I think this is unfortunately true of Bradford, that there have been so many false starts with Bradford over the years.

“With the Odeon, people were thinking, ‘Will this ever really happen?’

“It came as a pleasant surprise that yes, it will happen, and there is a major corporate investor willing to commit to the Odeon and to this city.

“It really is a tremendous boost of confidence for the Odeon and for this city.”

Earlier this week, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority announced it was releasing a £325,000 grant for the Odeon, which had been set aside last year lined up since last year, now an operator was on board.

Originally, the money had been intended to help woo an operator by paying for the 1930s auditorium to be opened out once more, after decades spent split into two cinemas and a bingo hall.

Mr Craven said discussions were now ongoing about how the cash would best be spent.

Trailblazing plan for disability garden on long-abandoned allotment plots

FOUR overgrown allotments could be given new life as a disability-friendly garden, under trailblazing new plans.

The scheme, at Bowling Park Allotments in Bradford, would be a first for the district and organisers say it would be a positive way of responding to a horrifying vandalism attack on one man’s plot earlier this year.

Disabled John Tatersall, from Tyersal, was left devastated by back-to-back attacks in July which saw his chickens burned alive, his vegetable beds wiped out and his two sheds razed to the ground.

Mr Tatersall has now pieced his plot back together, with help from family and friends, while a fundraising campaign will also pay for him to get some new tools.

Mr Tatersall, who suffers from depression, said the disability-friendly garden was a great idea and he said he himself had found tending to his allotment therapeutic.

He said: “It’s a good idea. It’s an unused area at the moment, therefore if it could be tidied up it’s a good idea.”

The plan is the brainchild of Andrew Hastie, the chairman of Bowling Allotments and Gardens Association.

He said the four plots, which form a rectangle, had been left abandoned and overgrown for many years.

He said: “I look at things sometimes and think, what can we do here?

“I have had the idea for a couple of years, to turn this area into a disability area.

“But after what went on with Mr Tatersall, it brought everybody in, like the Council and the local police, to say, ‘What can we do?’

“I put forward the idea and everybody said it was great.”

Under the plans, the four abandoned plots would be transformed into a new accessible garden, with a community building installed as well as disabled parking spaces, a sloping path and raised beds for easy access.

The project would cost £20,000 to £40,000, depending on whether the community building was included.

Mr Hastie said they were hoping to finance the project through a mixture of grants and crowdfunding, but they were also looking for anyone who could donate materials such as sleepers or compost, as well as volunteers who could help to design and build the garden.

He said the scheme would see an old toilet relocated and security features added such as anti-vandal paint.

And he said they were in talks with Bradford-based organisation Equality Together about how the garden would be used, but said it wouldn’t just be for disabled people and that local schools and other groups could get involved as well.

Anyone who can help with the project can email Mr Hastie at andrew@bagsbradford.co.uk.

The crowdfunding campaign can be found at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/garden14.

‘Help us have a happy ending’ say young campaigners aiming to create story room at centre

A GROUP of young people holding a crowdfunding campaign for a Bradford community centre have just four days to reach their fundraising target of £1,500.

The group of youngsters are hoping to create a story room at the Springfield Youth and Community Centre in Thorpe Edge.

They are aiming to raise money to buy a range of new books to help stock the room with a variety of reading material for all ages and interests.

The group of volunteers, aged 14 and above, help members of the junior youth club at the centre with their reading.

They are hoping to raise £1,500 for new books, and have so far raised almost three-quarters of the total, but have until the end of Monday to hit their target.

They have also received a funding boost from local businessman Mark Drummond, who runs the award-winning Towngate Fisheries in Idle.

Mr Drummond donated £620 to the campaign, which he said he was “happy to support”.

He said: “This is a great local project which I am happy to support. These young people are working hard to help other children learn to read and enjoy books. I’m delighted to help and hope that other people and local businesses join in by donating online.”

Helena Rhodes, Springfield young children and young people’s development worker, added: “Our young people don’t generally use the public libraries because their parents fear the books will be lost and they will be fined.

“We run libraries in three youth centres and reward children with stickers for both reading and returning books.

“When they have collected a number of reward stickers they get a small prize and we’ve not lost a book yet! This idea for a separate story room means that we can have storytime running alongside our normal junior youth club.”

The room will offer a quieter, more reading-focused space in the centre to help young children develop their reading skills, aided by older mentors.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley), a trustee at the Springfield Centre, thanked Mr Drummond for his support. She said: “It’s great to see a local business supporting young people and their learning.

“All my thanks go to Mark for backing this project, not only are his fish and chips award-winning, but by supporting these young people he is helping to make his local community a success.”

Alongside the book club, the centre also runs a range of different activities and classes for people of all ages in the local community.

To support the campaign, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/springwood-story-room.

Charity anger at ministers’ refusal to relax lobbying rules

Peter Tatchell attends a freedom of speech demonstration in Parliament Square ahead of a vote on the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union BillImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption There were protests against the lobbying legislation when it went through Parliament in 2013

Charities have reacted angrily after ministers refused to relax rules restricting them from campaigning during elections.

More than 100 charities – ranging from Greenpeace to the Girl Guides – wrote to the government calling for the Lobbying Act to be overhauled.

A government-commissioned review by Tory peer Lord Hodgson backed them.

But government sources said there was no time in a packed legislative programme to change the law.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The rules on third party campaigning in elections ensure that activity is transparent and prevents any individual, company or organisation exerting undue influence in terms of an election outcome.

“We recognise and value the role that charities play in our society and are keen to work with voluntary bodies to ensure the rules are well understood.”

‘Terrible day’

The charities claim legislation passed in 2014 stopped them from “engaging” during the general election campaign.

“How are charities supposed to speak up for the most vulnerable and marginalised people in society, both here and globally, when they are at risk of being penalised by the Lobbying Act?,” said Tamsyn Barton, chief executive of international development charity Bond.

“The government is legislating the sector into silence at a time when our voices are needed the most. This is a terrible day for British democracy.”

The act limits how organisations not deemed to be “party political” can campaign during election periods.

Charities say they either have to take expensive legal advice to stay within the rules or restrict their activities.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, which represents 13,000 voluntary organisations in England, said: “The failure of the Cabinet Office to address this issue is unacceptable.

“The government made a clear commitment to reviewing the impact of this law, and to now reject any changes out of hand can only weaken the voice of those that charities serve.

“These reasonable and considered recommendations were recently endorsed by politicians from all parties in the House of Lords, and the government must reconsider.”

Charities warned of potential difficulties with the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act when it passed through parliament in 2013.

At the time, Labour MPs called the legislation “risible and misconceived”, predicting that it would give a “hammering” to the voluntary sector.

Police aim to break wall of silence in some inner-city areas of Bradford

POLICE are battling to break down a wall of silence over crime in some inner-city areas of Bradford.

Residents in parts of the city are “reluctant” to speak to officers about criminal activity in their neighbourhoods, a meeting was told last night.

Now Inspector Di Collins has appealed for Bradford residents to come forward with intelligence to help them tackle growing crime in the district.

She said small amounts of information helped build up a picture of information which they could use to gain entry warrants to places where crimes were taking place.

Addressing members of the Council’s Bradford East Area Committee on behalf of the Bradford East Neighbourhood Policing Team, Insp Collins said she wanted to break down barriers among some areas of the community where there was little trust at the moment.

She said: “Some of these people are reluctant to speak to us because of the way policing may be carried out in their own country.

“We want to establish groups to talk and recruit volunteers from these communities to work with the police.

“We are doing a lot of recruitment and asking them to volunteer for us and if they like doing that they could perhaps be recruited full time.”

She added that Police Community Support Officers were working with ward officers, mostly on the beat to create visual awareness and improve intelligence from residents.

She said the idea was to be on the front foot with issues, rather than reacting to them.

Issues surrounding the problems with drugs were the biggest cause of worry in the ward.

Councillor Safar Iqbal (Labour, Bradford Moor) said drug dealing issues were a concern.

“In BD3 it has got out of hand,” he said.

“I get a lot of calls from residents who are worried out it. We need to try and run some sort of campaign. Drugs have got big in the last few years. Now people are buying high performance cars

with money from drugs and then they race around. They are going to end up killing people.

“If there is a campaign to create awareness then people can report these crimes.”

Councillor Mohammad Shafiq (Labour, Bradford Moor) said lots of people had approached him with concerns about drug dealing.

“One of those who came to me with concerns was a 14-year-old boy. It is wrong they should be worried about this at their age,” he said.

Councillor Hassan Khan (Labour, Bowling and Barkerend) said he was also concerned about vehicle crimes.

“Crimes such as driving without insurance in the BD3 area are so bad it puts insurances high. In some cases it is twice as high as in BD2 which is unfair on residents.”

Bradford East Area Committee chair Councillor Rachel Sunderland (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe) said: “People have spoken to me about witnessing drug crimes and when I have told them to contact the police they say the police are not bothered and are only interested in the big fish.”

Inspector Collins said the police were working on ways to get intelligence of crimes.

“We need people to talk to us. Even small amounts of information given anonymously through Crimestoppers will help.

“We are looking at ways of going into communities to speak to people because inviting people to come to us does not work.

“Crimestoppers is a way to build that bridge. If we are told of a drugs issue we need to get as much information together to be able to go to the magistrate and get a warrant so we can go in and disrupt them. We can’t go to court with half baked evidence.

“Over the past weeks we have seized a lot of stuff. Taking this off the streets causes the most disruption. That’s what it’s all about.

“We won’t cure it but we will stop the: “It’s all right to do it attitude”.”