Evennett urges action on FOBTs

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has urged the Government to take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), by reducing the maximum stake from the current £100 to £2.

Currently, there are around 33,000 FOBTs in betting shops across the country, and the current maximum stake of £100 is 50 times higher than what is widely available on most other gaming machines.

Gambling Commission figures have shown that in 2015-16 there were more than 230,000 individual sessions in which someone lost £1,000 or more. Data from the Gambling Commission also suggests that there are 430,000 problem gamblers in across the UK, with almost 2million more people being considered ‘at risk’ based on their gambling behaviour.

In March 2018, the Gambling Commission published advice to the Government, in which it recommended that FOBT slots stakes should be limited to £2, and that the stake limit for FOBT non-slot games (which includes roulette) should be set at or below £30 if it is to have a significant effect on the potential for players to lose large amounts of money in a short space of time.

Mr Evennett recently tabled a Parliamentary question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to ask when a decision will be made on a possible reduction of the maximum stake for FOBTs. He has also made representations to the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, to express his concerns at the current situation as well as his strong support for a significant reduction in the maximum stake.

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Evennett praises Bexley schools

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, spoke in an Opposition Day Debate in the House of Commons yesterday (25 April) on School Funding.

Mr Evennett praised the Conservative Government’s record on schools since 2010, highlighting how there are now 1.9million more children in good or outstanding schools than there were in 2010, funding for schools continues to increase and rise from £41billion this year to £43.5billion in 2019-20, and that the new Funding Formula will provide a cash increase to local authorities.

He also discussed his role in assisting the then Education Secretary, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, in implementing the academies programme, which has transformed schools across the country.

During the debate, Mr Evennett said:

“In my Borough of Bexley, as a result of the coalition Government and then the Conservative Government, there are now 25 more good and outstanding schools than there were in 2010. Schools in Bexley have seen a funding boost of £3.8 million for 2018-19, which brings the funding for schools in Bexley to just over £211 million a year. That is a real achievement. The Government have to be praised for doing this, and so do the teachers, parents and pupils who have rowed in behind those extra resources to make sure they achieve for themselves in society.

We have many brilliant secondary and primary schools in Bexley, with diverse education provision—church schools, academies, grammar schools and technical schools—and that is the way forward. Diversity allows children’s talents to be maximised.

He also highlighted progress on schools in Slade Green, which has certainly been disadvantaged in the past in primary provision. He praised St Paul’s (Slade Green) Primary School, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Temple Grove north campus, and Peareswood Primary School, for their tremendous work, enthusiasm and education provision.

Care Home Open Day 2018

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, paid a visit to Parkview Care Home in Bexleyheath over the weekend in support of Care Home Open Day, which took place on 21 April.

Mr Evennett toured the care home with senior staff, and chatted with staff, residents and visitors. He is pictured in the gardens speaking with residents.

Care Home Open Day has now run for six consecutive years, and aims to reinforce connections within local communities and showcase the excellent care being provided by care staff across the UK.

Parkview care home provides a wealth of support services for people living with dementia, with the aim of not just providing care and comfort, but also a new, positive and more engaging stage in their lives. Earlier this year, Parkview was recognised for its commitment to supporting vibrant and fulfilling lives for people living with dementia.

MP joins Businesses for Breakfast meeting

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was the guest speaker at a business breakfast event hosted by the South East London Chamber of Commerce at the Marriott Hotel in Bexleyheath, on Friday 20 April.

The event was attended by a number of businesses across South East London, and during his speech Mr Evennett primarily focussed on education and social mobility.

Mr Evennett spoke of his previous Government roles, and the issues he has been involved with since stepping down from the Government in January. He highlighted the work of former Education Secretary, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, on the Social Mobility Pledge, which he supported at its launch in Parliament last month, and discussed the Pledge in-depth.

Mr Evennett also spoke of the various ways in which businesses can help support local schools and promote social mobility, before answering questions on a range of topics, from careers advice to immigration.

Following the event, Mr Evennett commented: “I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to meet business people from across South East London, and to be able to raise the profile of the Social Mobility Pledge. It is vitally important that businesses engage with central and local Government, schools and the local community so that we can ensure talent is harvested, create more opportunities and improve social mobility across the UK”.

Evennett promotes Social Mobility Pledge in Bexley

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, is urging local businesses to help deliver more opportunities for young people across the Borough by signing up to the Social Mobility Pledge.

The Pledge was launched last week by the former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, during a Westminster Hall debate, at which Mr Evennett was also present to support.

The Pledge consists of three commitments:

  1. Partnering directly with schools or colleges to provide coaching through quality careers advice, enrichment experience and/or mentoring to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances. Businesses can work through the many social mobility charities and organisations, such as Speakers for Schools, Inspiring the Future, the Princes Trust, the Careers and Enterprise Company, that are already there to help businesses and employers do more on the ground.
  2. Access – providing structured work experience and/or apprenticeship opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.
  3. Recruitment – adopting open employee recruitment practices which promote a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances, such as name blind recruitment and contextual recruitment.

Mr Evennett is now writing to prominent local businesses in the hope that they will also support the initiative, which has the backing of the Confederation of British Industry, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Mr Evennett commented: “Education and social mobility are two passions of mine, especially as a former teacher and lecturer. Despite some great successes, unfortunately for too long the UK hasn’t done as well on social mobility as we would like, and where you start in life often determines where you finish.”

“I strongly believe that talent and hard work alone should determine how far people can go in life, whoever you are, and wherever you are from. Whilst Bexley is a social mobility hotspot, there is still more to be done and I therefore hope local businesses will sign up to the Pledge.”

MP and Mayor join opening celebration of new Bexleyheath office of MW Solicitors

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Thursday evening (5 April) saw the opening of the new McMillan Williams Solicitors office in Bexleyheath. Among the attendees were Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, and Cllr Peter Reader, Mayor of Bexley.

The firm aspires to have more specialist solicitors in offices in high streets and to be more accessible to its clients.

Mr Evennett commented: “it was great to meet the Chief Executive of MW Solicitors, Dominic Harrison, as well as various members of staff at this new branch to learn about their plans and the services that will be offered in Bexleyheath. Also, they have done a superb job in renovating the offices to create a welcoming space for clients.”

Evennett welcomes deposit return scheme

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A deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and significantly reduce the amount of waste polluting our land and seas will be introduced subject to consultation later this year, it was confirmed today (28 March). The consultation will look at the details of how such a scheme would work, alongside other measures to increase recycling rates.

It is estimated that UK consumers dispose of 13billion plastic drinks bottles a year, but more than three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.

A deposit return scheme sees consumers pay an up-front deposit when they buy a drink, which is redeemed on return of the empty drink container. Possible variants of a deposit return scheme include cash rewards for returning drinks containers without an upfront deposit.

Today’s announcement is the latest move in the Government’s crackdown on plastic, following the plastic microbead ban and the 5p plastic bag charge – which has led to nine billion fewer bags distributed.

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has welcomed the measures and consultation announced by the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP. He commented: “Bexley was named as the number one Borough for recycling in London, with just over half our waste sent to recycling or composting. However, there is still more to be done, especially on plastics, which cause many problems for our marine environment.

“The Government is committed to tackling the problem and this is a welcome step in the right direction.”

Evennett Backs Social Mobility Pledge

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Today (28 March) MPs took part in a Westminster Hall Debate on ‘Social Mobility and the Economy’. The debate was secured by the former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, and she also used the opportunity to launch the Social Mobility Pledge.

Ms Greening explained that the pledge involves businesses:

  1. Forming partnerships with schools.
  2. Offering access to work experience or apprenticeships.
  3. Having recruitment practices that are transparent and open, to promote a level playing field for talent, such as by introducing name-blind recruitment.

Local MP, Rt Hon David Evennett, also participated in the debate. He spoke of how education and social mobility had impacted his own life, and he welcomed and strongly endorsed the Social Mobility Pledge.

Mr Evennett commented: “The Government have made considerable progress on education and opportunities, with 1.9 million more children now in good or outstanding schools. That is a real achievement and we should not minimise that. We should be proud of what has been done, but we need to do more. Local and central Government cannot do it all. It has to be businesses and communities—all of us—contributing and participating.

“Everyone has the potential wherever they come from. It is not party political; it is something for the benefit of this country and I endorse it strongly.”

Mr Evennett also used his speech to highlight social mobility in Bexley, and the good news that Bexley Borough was listed as a social mobility hotspot according to the State of the Nation report published in November 2017.

Evennett urges rethink on passports

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Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has urged the Home Secretary to think again on the proposal to award a contract for the printing of the new blue passports post-Brexit to a French-Dutch company.

“I believe our passports should be made by a British company and I have therefore raised my concerns, as well as the concerns of my constituents, with the Home Secretary to request that she reviews this decision.”