Paul Uppal MP for Wolverhampton South West has joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign's flagship fundraiser, wear it pink day.
The theme of wear it pink this year is to 'look good, do good' in support of breast cancer research. On Friday 24 October people across the country will come together to find fun and stylish ways to wear pink in the office, at home or at school. Donations raised by this year's fashion inspired event will go to Breast Cancer Campaign to fund lifesaving breast cancer research.
Paul Uppal MP says "Every year in the UK around 50,000 women and 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, 12,000 women and 80 men die from this disease each year. This is why we need to support Breast Cancer Campaign's fundraising efforts to support world-class breast cancer research that saves and improves lives, giving people quicker diagnoses and more effective treatments. I hope you'll all join me by wearing it pink on Friday 24 October and showing your support for breast cancer research."
Today Paul Uppal, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West, questioned the Leader of the House, William Hague, over the suspected sale of Barbara Hepworth's bronze "Rock Form". For three months, the major stakeholders in the Mander centre, RBS and Delancey, have refused to deny that they intended to sell the bronze which, in the current market, would probably fetch several million pounds.
Speaking on his intervention Paul said, "Barbara Hepworth's "Rock Form" is not for sale. It belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, the City of Wolverhampton.
"As William Hague commented, many will appreciate Barbara Hepworth's work, as many visitors to the Mander centre have done over the past 46 years. I want to ensure that as many people for years to come can share the same enjoyment I have over the years.
"The Leader of the House suggested that it is possible to protect such sculptures through statutory listing and I will be speaking with Ministers from DCMS over the coming weeks to see what help they can offer to ensure that this much treasured icon stays in Wolverhampton."
On Monday, Paul paid a visit to the former Springfield Brewery Site in Wolverhampton, where the University of Wolverhampton has unveiled plans to build a multi-million pound new hub for construction education.
The twelve acre brownfield site, which has been vacant since 1991 after the closure of Springfield Brewery, will become the new home of the West Midlands Construction University Technical College (UTC), and the University will also be relocating its School of Architecture and the Built Environment to the new site from the City Campus.
The purchase was made possible with support from the government funded Education Funding Agency which provides funding for education of children and young people.
The UTC will educate 14-19 year olds specialising in construction and the application of IT in the built environment, as well as preparing them for professional and technical careers in construction. It will be led by the Construction Industry Training Board and will open in a temporary base in 2015, before moving to the Springfield site in 2016.
Paul said, "These plans for the new University Technical College are very exciting and mark a new chapter in the University's story. This site has been derelict for a long time and I'm pleased that it will finally be developed and provide youngsters with the training they need for construction careers. I am glad that the Education Funding Agency is able to provide support to such worthy causes."
Paul competed in the Carver Wolverhampton Marathon on Sunday, raising money for several local charities in the process. The chosen charities for 2014 were the Compton Hospice, the West Park Stroke Cycle Group, Broadmeadow Special School and the Mayoral Charity Fund.
Having got on his bike to take part in the cycle race in previous years, this year's Wolverhampton Marathon saw Paul competing in the Bank's 10k run where he crossed the finish line in just under 53 minutes. Over 2,000 competitors took part in this year's event, which also includes a full and half marathon, and a mini marathon for children.
Paul said, "The Wolverhampton Marathon is always a great day for our city, bringing people and families together and invoking a healthy, competitive spirit. But most importantly it raises money for charities in our city who do much to help others. I have seen the work that Compton Hospice do first hand on a number of occasions, and I am pleased that from this year they will become a permanent beneficiary of the Wolverhampton Marathon."
"I would also like to thank everyone who makes this day possible, including the Police, stewards, Council officials, and the sponsors of the Marathon," added Paul. "They do a tremendous job each year and without them this event would not go ahead."
Paul Uppal has welcomed new figures which show the Government's Start-Up Loans scheme has so far supported 48 people in Wolverhampton South West with the ideas and determination to start a new business with £232 434 of loans to help them get going.
This is helping create jobs in Wolverhampton at new businesses like Jacob's Jams.
Across the UK more than 20,000 Start-Up loans, worth over £100 million, have been awarded to help new businesses get going.
Paul Uppal said: "This is great news. It shows the Start-Up Loans scheme is giving people in Wolverhampton South West with the ideas and determination to start a new business and the finance they need to kick-start and grow it.
"So far 48 loans, worth a total of £232 434, have been made in Wolverhampton South West to help people put their business idea into practice, supporting new businesses like Jacob's Jams. This means more jobs and opportunities for local people.
"The Conservatives' aim is to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business. This is all part of our long-term economic plan. By backing businesses to create more jobs, it is ensuring that more people in Wolverhampton South West can have the security and stability of a regular pay packet, with a brighter future ahead of them."
Following a letter to Baroness Thornton, Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, has received clarification that Labour will not undo work the Government has undertaken to protect Turban wearing Sikhs.
Speaking about these assurances Paul said, "I am pleased that following my letter to Labour's Shadow Equalities Minister within the House of Lords, Baroness Thornton has now assured me that these two amendments will be withdrawn after the debate and not voted upon.
"As the law currently stands, turban-wearing Sikhs are exempt from wearing head protection in the most hazardous industry, construction, but may be required to wear it in less hazardous workplaces. This has led to conflict in the workplace with cases commonly ending up in Employment Tribunals. We as a Government took action to end this and I am glad the Labour party in Lords will now not seek to reverse it.
"It is important that we restore common sense to health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive will now be carrying out a short consultation on the proposed amendment so this can be introduced as quickly as possible."
Further to a letter to the Home Secretary, Paul today met with Theresa May to discuss the 35 Sikh asylum seekers who were discovered in a container at Tilbury Docks. Three British men have now been arrested due to their involvement in the arrangement and movement of the container. They have been charged and remanded in custody to appear at court in November - the investigation is continuing into possible manslaughter charges and links to serious organised crime.
Speaking about these developments Paul said, "I thank the Home Secretary for meeting me with me today and her continued interest in the case.
"It is shocking that if the asylum seekers had remained in the container for another two hours the fatalities would have been much higher and could have included all 35. All individuals are now in the process of claiming asylum in the UK and we are providing accommodation and support to those who require it while their cases are considered.
"I am glad the Government and Essex Police have dealt swiftly with this incident, with Immigration officials travelling to Belgium in order to arrange a joint investigation with the Belgian police. One thing that is reassuring is that from current enquiries there is no current evidence to support offences of modern day slavery or exploitation."
After the Prime Minister's statement and my question yesterday I would like to share my thoughts on this important and defining issue for Britian.
In light of the worrying fact that British men are fighting abroad for ISIS, it is crucial that we reopen the debate about how we define British values, especially for those of us with a duel heritage. We must recognise our cultural history and values and embrace our own unique British identity. To be British is not dependent upon race but an assortment of values and characteristics that makes us the nation we are.
Every one of us faces the difficult task at some point in our lives of defining ourselves; with a dual identity this is sometimes harder as we are torn between our cultural past and our future in Britain. Although we may possess different traditions and customs we have more in common than this apparent dichotomy suggests. What binds us is a desire for a prosperous and secure future, if not for ourselves then for our children and grandchildren. All of us are conscious of the fact that, like everyone else, we wish to be valued, special to our nearest and dearest and warmed by a sense of belonging. It is this journey which shapes our sense of belonging, unifying our streets, building strong communities.
I was born in Birmingham to migrants from East Africa. Like many second generation immigrants from Kenya and Uganda, I'm struck by the passionate patriotism expressed by my parents, similar to many Asian Africans from the 1960s. Faced with the fact that they were not only homeless but stateless too, the fact Britain kindly took us in is something that is deep rooted within the Asian African psyche.
The passionate patriotism my parent's had for Britain was far removed from the attitude of my peers. Routinely I was told on my journey to school that I should go home. It soon dawned on me that "home" referred to the Indian Subcontinent and not the terraced house a few yards down the road. Equally perplexing was the accusation that the lifestyle I was leading was essentially foreign and alien despite the fact it embraced many British values. Even against this backdrop of rejection, I've learnt to take the best of both worlds defining myself as British first and foremost but intertwined with traditional Indian values.
And it is this point which is so often lost on politicians - second and third generation migrants learn to live with a dual heritage, quite comfortably in fact. Politicians cannot control the individual choices of young Britons, it is our community leaders and families which are key in this process. They become stewards, ensuring that their own cultural history and values find a place within modern Britain. Through this process we continue our proud tradition of strengthening ties with differing cultures around the globe, inevitably enriching British society.
This may sound like a simplistic and wishful solution to combat those who preach and encourage hatred, but it will not be robust policing nor the intelligence services alone that prevents the radicalisation of British men and women. Alone, the security services can only deal with the present threat and are unable to stop the conveyor belt of radicalisation which is capturing many young minds. They cannot tackle the underlying problem of why people are initially turning towards, and are receptive to, a contrary way of thinking - to attempt to do so would push them even further away.
To stop this cycle of radicalisation the message must come from within their own community. We must support these stewards by stressing a sense of being British which comfortably sits with an Immigrant's cultural background - It is what my parents did for me. Only through this can we hope to deter young British men, who feel alien in Britain, from taking up arms abroad. In doing this they are not only rejecting their British identity but the values and principles that we defend. Instead of a clash of cultures we need to demonstrate that we can live together, challenging the perceived notion that radical causes are more appealing. It is only Britain that can offer them the bright future they are striving for, not these extremist organisations.
In the style of the famous TV show, today Paul was a dragon for the afternoon as part of the National Citizens Service and Challenge Network's Dragon's Den event held at the University of Wolverhampton.
The Challenge Network is a charity which aims to build a more integrated society by running youth and community programmes inclusive of people across all ages and walks of life. Working with the National Citizen's Service they aim to help young people build skills for employment and transition into adulthood.
After three weeks of learning about themselves, each other and their communities, five teams of young people aged 16-18 formulated campaigns which would serve to benefit their neighborhood. Paul, alongside other invited dragons then made decisions on how much money to award the teams so that they could deliver their project. These funds had been allocated by the charity for the event.
Paul was thoroughly impressed by the topics covered by the teams which included attitudes towards fostering and mental health; he was also impressed by the quality of the presentations and the professional manner in which they given.
Speaking about the day Paul said "given the complexity of the issues which were raised I thought every team's pitch was worth the full amount of funding.
Those who participated demonstrated part of what it means to be a model citizen. The skills that they used today will be useful in whatever they choose to do with their adult lives."
Paul paid a visit to Asda on Molineux Way today, to meet customers on the Asda Mumdex panel and speak about issues of concern to them.
As well as meeting Asda's Public Affairs Executive and the store's Community Life Champion Liz Richardson, Paul met with nine customers and discussed various issues including the cost of living, utility bills, food banks and social housing, and was able to offer advice from personal experiences.
The Asda Mumdex has over 11,500 participants nationally and has been established to ascertain views on political engagement, voting intentions and opinions on key issues of the day.
"I think the Asda Mumdex is a great way of engaging with the public and keeping in touch with what matters to the public", said Paul after his visit. "My visit to the Wolverhampton store today was very informative and I welcomed the opportunity to hear people's thoughts and offer help where possible."
PHOTO: Paul with Community Life Champion Liz Richardson (fourth from right) and Asda customers (l-r): Marjorie, Kamika, Anthony, Jermaine, Eileen, Lisa and Helen
Welcome. My name is Paul Uppal and I am the Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West.
I hope that this website will keep you up to date with what I am doing for the people of Wolverhampton both in the constituency and in Westminster.
PAUL UPPAL MP
Paul Uppal MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
020 7219 7195
020 7219 5221 (fax)
Paul Uppal MP
14 Lichfield Street
01902 712 134
01902 238 931(fax)