As another year draws to a close, with the nights getting longer and the weather getting colder, many Wulfrunians will be busy getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Trees are being decorated, presents are being wrapped, and preparations are being made for the traditional roast turkey dinner. Younger residents in our city will be sending their wish list off to the North Pole, in the hope that they've been good enough for Santa to pay them a visit. As a family man myself, the Christmas season is one I eagerly relish.
The festive season offers many of us the opportunity to relax and recharge, and to think about our aims and ambitions for the forthcoming year. Christmas is an especially poignant time for Christians who will be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and I look forward to singing carols and sharing mince pies with the congregation of All Nations Church when I join them at their service next week.
The end of the year also offers an opportunity to reflect on the past year, and when I look back at 2013 I am pleased that we have seen economic growth, lower unemployment and a reduction in crime. There is still plenty of work to do to get Britain back on track and no one should be getting complacent. In April, I was honoured to receive an invitation from the Prime Minister to join his Policy Board, and I will continue to ensure that fairness, aspiration and reward for hard work are at the heart of decision making.
As fascinating and challenging as life in Westminster can be, I always look forward to returning to Wolverhampton at the end of week. This year I have had the opportunity to visit many places in our city, including schools, businesses, medical facilities and sporting venues amongst others. I often hear many success stories and tales of achievement when out and about, and each one makes me proud to represent Wolverhampton South West in Parliament.
My work for the year is far from done and this Friday (13th December) I will be holding a surgery at my Constituency Office in the city centre. This will be my last surgery of the year, so if you wish to make an appointment please call 01902 712134. Weekly surgeries will resume in the new year from January 10th.
I would like to conclude by wishing all my constituents a very Merry Christmas, and I hope that 2014 will be a happy and successful one for us all.
Paul visited Wolverhampton Art Gallery today, as part of local school activities held there for Parliament Week. School Children from around Wolverhampton were invited to the art gallery to make a giant model of Big Ben, officially renamed Elizabeth Tower from "the Clock Tower" in 2012, an iconic symbol of the Houses of Parliament known worldwide.
Children from Bilston Primary had made their own model of the tower during Parliament week and Paul arranged to catch up with them afterwards. Paul also saw a model from Warstones Primary School.
Speaking about the event Paul said "It's great to see children engaging with politics. I thank Wolverhampton Art Gallery for putting on these activities as part of Parliament Week which offers a fun and informal way of starting to engage and connect pupils with parliamentary democracy."
Picture (from left to right): Students from Bilston Primary School: Dajon Walters, age 10, Alex Woodham, age 10, Kia Flavell, age 10, Leah Campbell, age 10 & Paul Uppal MP
Paul laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in St Peter's Gardens today in remembrance of soldiers from Wolverhampton who gave their lives in combat.
Over 1,700 soldiers from the city lost their lives in the First World War, which came to an end 95 years ago today. During both World Wars, Wolverhampton was a target for the German Air Force due to the industrial contributions the city made to war efforts, thus putting civilian lives on the line.
The annual Observance of Remembrance was led by the Band of the West Midlands Fire Service, and the parade also included detachments from ex-Service, Regular, Reserve, Cadet Units and representatives of other local uniformed organisations. A drumhead service was held in St Peter's Square, followed by a second service in St Peter's Collegiate Church.
On Thursday, Paul spoke in a debate on the First World War in the House of Commons, where he praised the contribution of Sikh soldiers and the contribution of Wolverhampton. You can read what Paul had to say at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131107/debtext/131107-0003.htm#13110788000754
Last week The Football Association celebrated its 150th anniversary and Paul took the opportunity to get his hands on The FA Cup and pledge his support to Wolves.
Paul, who was photographed at the event with The FA Cup, said: "Football has come such a long way since that first meeting back in 1863 which created the first laws of the game.
"Today the game plays a huge part in the lives of millions across the country and it's great to see so many people in Wolverhampton enjoying the game.
"I hope this weekend is a great one for Wolves in the First Round of The FA Cup, the competition always has a special place in football fans' hearts and I hope Wolves can go on and be that giant killing team that everyone talks about this season".
Paul was invited to join England Manager Roy Hodgson and FA Chairman Greg Dyke at a special event in parliament to celebrate this landmark anniversary and learn more about how The FA supports football in England.
In England there are seven million players of all ages and backgrounds who regularly play the game, as well as 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 referees.
For more information about how to get involved in football whether through playing, coaching or refereeing please visit:
Paul accompanied the Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling on a visit to Wolverhampton Youth Offending Team today, to see firsthand the work they are doing in helping young people in their rehabilitation.
Paul and Chris Grayling spoke with staff and managers from the Team about a range of issues including restorative justice, gang and youth violence and the importance of engaging young people in education and training. They also spoke to the service users and
their families to hear about their experiences and the impact that youth offending has had on them.
Wolverhampton Youth Offending Team, based at Beckminster House in Pennfields, was established as a result of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act and works with offenders aged under 18. Their aim is to provide counsel and rehabilitation to stop re-offending and ensure that local neighbourhoods are safer.
"I was delighted that the Justice Secretary took the time to come and visit Wolverhampton Youth Offending Team today" said Paul. "The Team are providing great support to young people, and I hope they will continue to work effectively to bring down re-offending rates in our city."
PHOTO: Paul alongside Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, local Councillors, and staff at Wolverhampton Youth Offending Team
Paul visited the City of Wolverhampton College today to talk to students about aspiration, ambition and achieving success.
He told students about his journey from growing up in Smethwick, to studying politics at Warwick University and running his own business, before achieving his ambition of entering Parliament in 2010.
Over 100 students, aged 16-25 who are studying for A Levels or qualifications in motor vehicle, hair and beauty and uniformed public services at the college attended the talk and questioned Paul about his career and advice for success in a question and answer session following his presentation.
Paul said: "I always find it a great experience to talk to young people about politics and to see them engaging with issues which affect their everyday lives. I appreciate the opportunity to share my experiences from before I was an MP, when I ran a successful business and decided to embark on my political journey, to my life after being elected a Member of Parliament."
Mark Robertson, principal of the college, said: "Mr Uppal has a very interesting story to tell and we are delighted that he was able to make time in his busy schedule to share his experiences with our students and inspire them to achieve their ambitions."
Paul visited Paycare in George Street to check on the health of one of the country's oldest cash plan providers, founded in 1874.
In August, Paul had met Paycare's Chief Executive when he paid a visit to the new disabled facilities at the Molineux stadium, which Paycare sponsors.
Speaking of the visit, Paul said "Kevin told me about Paycare and the work it does in offering individuals and employers a cost effective way to help people to afford everyday healthcare costs. He invited me to visit to see the operation first hand. I was pleased to accept.
"Meeting local businesses is important to me," explained Mr Uppal, "through such contact I can more easily understand what they do and how I might be able to represent them on key issues as they arise in parliament.
"I was particularly interested in how Paycare's not for profit aspect benefits their policyholders and how, if there is a surplus at the end of the year, the Paycare Charity Trust can make donations to deserving medical charities and research,"
Readers can get more information about Paycare on their website at www.paycare.org
Picture (From left to right): Kevin Rogers, Chief Executive of Paycare, Paul Uppal MP and Donald McIntosh, Chairman of Paycare
Today Paul spoke at an "Access to Law" event in Birmingham designed for people from BME backgrounds interested in a career in Law.
The aim of the event was to create a platform for students and graduates from under-represented groups to gain insight and a better understanding of the industry. Paul gave a key note speech on the theme of diversity and careers.
Afterwards he said "I feel tonight was a great event and I wish all those wishing to pursue a career in law the best of luck in the future. It was a unique chance for attendees to learn from people who have a successful background in the industry on a range of topics about breaking into the legal profession.
Standing infront of those who attended tonight as a Member of Parliament, I see no reason all of them cannot follow their ambitions to their conclusions, as long as they are aware and resilient to the challenges that they will face."
Paul attended a ceremony at Aldersley Leisure Village today to celebrate the achievements of three of the city's sporting champions, who were immortalised in Wolverhampton's Sporting Hall of Fame.
The ceremony saw Liz Brown, Helen Lower and Michael Ayre, who have represented Wolverhampton in squash, table tennis and swimming respectively.
Oxley Park Golf Club was also honoured in the Hall of Fame after celebrating its 100th anniversary last week.
Liz Brown, a Member of Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club has represented her country at a Masters level and Helen Lower has represented England over 100 times, winning 17 national table tennis titles. Michael Ayre was honoured for his achievements as a swimming coach.
Paul said, "Wolverhampton has a proud sporting heritage, and I was delighted to be at the ceremony today to honour the achievements of Liz, Helen and Michael. I hope that recognition in the Sporting Hall of Fame will inspire many others across the city to take up sport."
Wolverhampton City Council launched the Hall of Fame in 1999 to recognise the achievements of local sportsmen and women who have made an impact on a national and international stage. There is also a special Hall of Fame book, now in its second volume, which records many famous sporting faces from the city.
Paul Uppal, the MP for Wolverhampton South West, has welcomed the opening of Wolverhampton's first free school after visiting the school last week to help with last minute preparations.
Anand Primary School is a Sikh ethos free school and will admit pupils of any or no faith. Opened as part of the Government's free school scheme, the school will open with 31 pupils and will provide 420 places when at full capacity. Anand Primary aims to teach children to take responsibility for themselves, to care for others and to reach for more.
It will offer a broad and balanced teaching programme based on the National Curriculum. The core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science will be given priority.The school will take advantage of academy freedoms by having a longer school day, using the extended afternoon to focus on a range of sporting and cultural activities and provide opportunities for pupils to learn community languages.
Paul said that it is great to see Wolverhampton's first free school opening.
"I am very excited about the opening of Anand Primary and I believe that it captures the very purpose of free schools; to give parents the choice of a good local school for their children and to provide the best possible education for young people.
"It will be a Sikh Ethos Free School encapsulating the values of fairness, of a strong family and respect for others. Anand will provide young people with an education to compete with the world's best, giving them the skills they need to succeed."
This school is one of five free schools opening in the West Midlands taking the total to 14 in the region – almost twice as many as this time last year. When full, these schools will create almost 2,000 new places.
The huge increase in the number of new free schools underlines the desire among teachers, parents, local communities and organisations to set up their own high-quality school.
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)