In questions to the Secretary of State for Transport, Paul Uppal, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West, has reaffirmed his commitment to improving transport in the city. Paul has backed two projects, the reintroduction of the Wolverhampton to Walsall line and the completion of the Wolverhampton Interchange.
Paul said "Transport links are crucial to the economy of the Black Country. Currently, commuters between Wolverhampton and Walsall have to go through a connection at Birmingham New Street, which takes double the time it would take to drive. The reintroduction of the Wolverhampton to Walsall line which has local support, would not only deliver a better journey time between Wolverhampton and Walsall, but would relieve some of the pressure on Birmingham New Street.
"Since 2005, the number of passengers visiting Wolverhampton station has more than doubled. Recent passenger survey returns show that the service is poor, particularly at peak times. There are proposals on the table to ensure the completion of the interchange, as a Government I want to make sure we do all we can to finish this project, giving Wolverhampton the new station it needs."
We have all been concerned by the waiting times at A&E this winter, it is not good enough that some patients have had to wait longer than expected. Let me begin by saying thank you to all that work at New Cross Hospital, even though it has been a difficult time, staff have been working tirelessly to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and treatment.
Even though we have faced difficulties this winter, I would warn against talking down the NHS. We have a world leading health care system that we should be proud of. In the three months prior to January more than nine out of 10 A&E patients in England continued to be seen and treated in under four hours; the best measured performance of any major western country.
The outlook for rest of the winter is encouraging with services across the country returning to normal. We must not be complacent and I will continue to monitor the situation at New Cross Hospital. I want to assure residents of Wolverhampton that I, like the government, are taking these problems seriously – any delays are unacceptable and need to be dealt with.
On Wednesday I had a productive meeting with Jeremy Hunt, The Secretary of State for Health, informing him of the situation at New Cross and the problems that the city faced. I wanted to share with you all the steps the Department of Health and the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust are taking to improve the service that residents of Wolverhampton receive.
The transfer of non-critical operations to Cannock in February will help, as will a £30m investment, creating a state of the art accident and emergency department. In the future, patients at New Cross will receive even better care when they need it the most.
If anyone who lives in Wolverhampton South West has any concerns, or experiences any problems with A&E or any part of the NHS, I would urge them to contact me or see me at one of my weekly surgeries.
Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West visited Compton hospice this week to announce he will be supporting the charity again this Christmas with a donation to the hospice. The news comes as Lloyds Bank Community Fund announced that Compton Hospice topped a local poll and will receive a grant of £3000, and George Osborne announced that the Government will be refunding the VAT that they incur.
Paul speaking during the visit said, "We are fortunate to have Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton, they do a fantastic job and I would like to pay tribute to all their hard work. This year I will be showing my thanks to their inspirational staff and volunteers by dedicating my Christmas to Compton Hospice and making a donation.
"George Osborne used his Autumn Statement to say that hospices will have their VAT costs refunded. At the moment hospices cannot reclaim VAT even though they provide services that the government would otherwise have to pay for. Hospices such as Compton have long been subject to unfair rules and I am glad this is changing."
Paul Uppal, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West welcomed the last Autumn Statement before next year's General Election. Within the Statement the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasted 'meaningful wage growth' which will grow above inflation for the next five years, as well as half a million new jobs next year. Changes included the reform of Stamp Duty, an increase in the personal allowance and help for small businesses.
Speaking after the statement Paul said, "Unemployment, inflation and the deficit are all falling, while Britain is forecast to be the fastest growing economy of any major advanced economy in the world. In just over 4 years we have gone from having the largest budget deficit in the G8 to a position of economic strength.
"We have made important changes to Stamp duty, the current model was outdated and penalised the wrong people. The new system will mean the buyer of the average family home in the West Midlands will pay £4,500 less. This ambitious reform of stamp duty is a tax cut for 98% of people paying stamp duty. It will help people get on to the housing ladder – but also make sure the richest pay their fair share.
"The many constituents who contacted me about Air Passenger Duty will be pleased that From May, the duty for under 12s will be abolished and from 2016 it will be abolished for under 16s. This will save a two child family travelling from Birmingham Airport £26 on the cost of economy short-haul flights and £142 on the cost of economy long-haul flights.
"We will never shy away from the problems that remain unresolved in the British economy. But it's only by working through the plan that we can deliver more security for hardworking people"
Paul Uppal visited the University of Wolverhampton to support their Business Start-Up Programme designed specifically to provide training and support for Armed Forces families and met with Sue Hopkins, whose company Little Brown Mouse House, has been supported by the scheme. The programme is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant LIBOR Fund and has been very successful since it was set up just a year ago.
Paul speaking after the event commented, "Our armed forces and their families give so much to our country, so it is only right that we ensure they are supported as much as possible. Today was about showcasing the businesses they have set up and listening to the numerous success stories.
"I am delighted that 'Supporting the Unsung Hero' the Dependants' Business Start-Up Programme will now continue for another five years as The University have managed to secure additional funding from the Armed Forces Covenant LIBOR Fund and HSBC Sponsorship.
"In December 2012, the importance of the covenant was highlighted by the decision of the Chancellor to transfer £35 million from fines levied on the banks for use in supporting the armed forces community. We are delivering on our promises, ensuring that no member of personnel or their families are disadvantaged by the contribution and sacrifice they make for their service."
Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, has called for a replacement to the Levy system in British horseracing. In a letter to Helen Grant, Paul argued that a new scheme proposed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will help to secure the long-term funding of the sport and provide opportunities for continued development and innovation - helping the industry and Wolverhampton Racecourse to thrive.
Paul said, "British Racing contributes £3.45 billion to the UK economy, supports 85,000 jobs and is the nation's biggest sport after football.
"Smaller racecourses such as Wolverhampton and the wider racing industry are currently at a crossroads in terms of their funding. I had the pleasure of helping to reopen Wolverhampton racecourse in August, as part of the BHA's Back Your Local Racecourse week', after an extensive redevelopment programme to install the first Tapeta racing surface in the United Kingdom was undertaken.
"I believe that it is crucial that British Racing is provided with the necessary support in terms of its funding. This will be of particular benefit to Wolverhampton racecourse, which can look to build upon its recent programme of developments and further improve the local economic impact of the racecourse through increased attendances and employment."
Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, has today wrote to the Chancellor, George Osborne, to ask him to create a specific fund for installing audio visual systems on new buses in the upcoming Autumn Statement. These talking buses would make journeys easier by announcing and displaying the name of the upcoming stop.
Paul said 'A fund to install AV on new buses would only cost the Treasury £5.75 million per anum yet would provide considerable benefits for partially sighted bus users in Wolverhampton and across the country. Talking busses are essential to people with sight loss allowing them to travel with the confidence of knowing that they will not miss their stop.
I am pleased to support Guide Dogs charity's Talking Bus campaign and hope that Talking Buses will soon be a feature on all busses across Wolverhampton and the Midlands making journeys easier for all passengers.'
Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, set out his ambition for local people to have cancer services amongst the best in Europe during a local 'cancer summit'.
Last Friday, Paul met with people affected by cancer and representatives from cancer services in Wolverhampton South West, to discuss what issues are currently faced by those living with and after cancer in Wolverhampton, and how he could support and champion better cancer awareness and care.
After the summit Paul said, "Cancer is a disease which affects too many families and I want to help do what I can to increase survival rates and help those families affected by it. It was interesting to hear ideas around how outcomes could be improved for people affected by cancer and how public awareness of signs and symptoms can be improved – this being particularly important to increase early diagnosis and increase chances of survival.
From listening to the participants at the summit is clear that privacy and dignity are key and it is obviously important to always remember that patients should be treated as an individual throughout.
"Wolverhampton's one year outcomes for people affected by cancer are similar to the UK average but I would like to see them improved further to rival those across Europe.
Marika Hills, Macmillan Development Manager for Wolverhampton says, "We are thrilled that Paul is so enthusiastic about ensuring people affected by cancer receive the best possible support and care both locally and nationally. The summit was a great opportunity for constituents who have experienced cancer to voice their concerns and opinions in a safe forum where they knew their input was valued.
"The number of people living with and beyond cancer is set to double so Macmillan is working to ensure cancer care is prioritised by the government. It's fantastic that Paul is committed to continuing to work with us, and other local healthcare services, to ensure the needs of people affected by cancer are being met and that outcomes are improved."
Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, welcomed the UK Punjab Heritage Association to Parliament on Monday to mark the Sikh role in World War I as well as remembering all those who contributed from British India - a total of close to 1.5 million personnel, all of whom were volunteers.
Paul was also joined by The National Army project, 'War and Sikhs: Road to the Trenches', a team of volunteers who recreated the 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment as it was in 1914 at the outbreak of War. There was a special musical performance of a Punjabi wartime folk song, and a moment of remembrance after a unique rendition of the last post.
"Over 138,000 Indian troops fought in Belgium and France, and over a quarter of these would, unfortunately, become casualties." Paul said. "Indeed, after the bloody battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915, the Sikh regiments had lost 80% of their men, with three regiments standing at just 16% of their original compliment.
"As the only Sikh MP in the house, I am proud to be able to support this important event commemorating the Sikh soldiers who fought in the Great War. Sikhs made up just 2% of the population of India but made up 20% of those who chose to serve. The valour and courage of Sikh soldiers is something that was quite rightly commended by British Generals - as a nation we should recognise the sacrifice of these often forgotten heroes."
Today Paul Uppal, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West, attended the opening ceremony of the new Wolves Academy & Arena at Compton Park, Wolverhampton.
This extension to the existing training ground will provide category 1 academy status facilities for be Wolves Academy age groups from under 9s to under 18s and includes a full-size indoor 3G pitch, dressing rooms, fitness suite and a media suite.
The opening also concluded a £50m public and private sector development project. As part of this, the University of Wolverhampton gained a new science block in the city center, huge improvements were made to St Edmunds School and 55 new homes were built by Redrow on the site. In addition to this the football club donated the £750,000 Aldersley Indoor Dome, which they previously used, to the Wolves Community Trust.
Speaking about the event, Paul said "I've been greatly impressed today by the quality of these new facilities. At the moment half of the current first team squad came through Wolves youth academy and with the new academy finished I can't see why that should not continue.
This whole development project will benefit the whole community; it's great to see that it's not only the futures of the youth players that is being invested in, but the city as a whole."
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
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Paul Uppal MP
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