Jeremy Hilton welcomes £15million roof repair scheme for places of worship

Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester has urged places of worship, serving Gloucester to apply for a new £15million fund available for the repair of roofs and guttering. The fund is available for churches, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and synagogues.

The Coalition government announced the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund in the Autumn Statement and grants between £10,000 and £100,000 will be available to listed places of worship of all faiths and denominations across the UK, where roof repairs are deemed to be urgent and necessary.

Jeremy Hilton said: “Places of worship play a huge part in many people’s lives in Gloucester and this fund will help ensure some of our most significant buildings remain open as safe and sustainable places in our communities.

“I hope that places of worship in Gloucester will take advantage of the extra money available to keep the roof of their building in good condition. The deadline to apply is the 30th of January.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Applications for a grant must be made by midday on 30 January 2015, with awards to be allocated by the end of March 2015. Enquiries can be made by email to enquiries@lpowroof.org.uk or telephone 01392 223 979.

Further information about the scheme is available online by visiting www.nhmf.org.uk and clicking on the link to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

“Give votes to 16 year olds” – Jeremy Hilton

The government should introduce voting for 16 year olds in time for the General Election, says Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton.

Mr Hilton said: “It would be great if legislation could be passed by parliament to enable 16 and 17 year olds to vote on the 7th of May next year, but unfortunately the Tories are against, they want to keep the voting age at 18.

“I am delighted that the Liberal Democrat manifesto will give a commitment to introduce legislation to allow 16 year olds to vote.

“The evidence from the Scottish referendum clearly showed that 16 and 17 year olds engaged in the political process in a mature way, with a turnout in this age group of 75%.

“David Cameron has agreed to fast-track new powers through parliament to give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in the 2016 elections to the Scottish Parliament. He should now do the same for all elections in the United Kingdom.”

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A417 upgrade good for road safety and reducing congestion

01_12_2014 E01 10-GEC Echo GECH2S2

Today the coalition government has reserved millions of pounds towards improvements along the A417 at the Air Balloon. These improvements will see the road converted to a dual carraigeway from Brockworth to Cowley roundabout. The estimated cost is £255m.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton has welcomed the government announcement.

Jeremy Hilton said: “The A147 along the missing link is congested and dangerous. Upgrading it to a dual carriageway will improve road safety and reduce congestion. Pollution levels will go down. Connectivity will get better, enhancing travel times from Gloucester to London and the South East This should boost the economy in Gloucestershire and create new jobs.

“I now call on all of the county’s MPs and councillors to work together to back this scheme which will make this road safer and less congested.”

Fire safety of e-cigarettes warning by Jeremy Hilton

Graphic safety messages should be displayed on all e-cigarette chargers say fire authorities, after shock new statistics show a surge in fires connected to the devices.

Latest reported figures from fire services up and down the country reveal that since 2012 they have attended 113 calls to e-cigarette-related blazes. There were just eight call-outs in 2012 but this soared to 43 last year and there have been at least 62 so far this year. This means firefighters are now dealing with e-cigarette related incidents at more than one a week.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents all 46 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, fears that these are the “tip of the iceberg” and many cases go unreported. The warning comes during national Electrical Fire Safety Week, which is run by the Electrical Safety Council charity. E-cigarettes have rocketed in popularity and are now used by an estimated 2.1 million Britons each year.

These latest statistics come just weeks after a 62-year-old man died when an e-cigarette battery on charge exploded and ignited oxygen equipment he was believed to have been using.
Fire chiefs say many blazes are taking place because smokers are not using compatible chargers. This means too much current goes into the batteries and they overheat and eventually explode. Battery material shoots out – up to two to three metres in distance – and can cause a fire if it lands on anything combustible.

Now the LGA is calling for e-cigarette manufacturers to do more to warn of the dangers. This includes displaying prominent safety warnings, highlighting this issue, on e-cigarette kits and chargers.

Cllr Jeremy Hilton, Chair of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee, said: “The spiralling upward trend of fires connected with e-cigarettes is a major cause for concern and much more needs to be done to combat it. We expect this to continue to rise as more smokers switch to e-cigarettes. Alarmingly, there is no way of knowing the true figure as we understand many cases are going unreported.

“We are urging e-cigarette manufacturers to introduce clear, prominent and graphic new warnings spelling out to users the dangers of using incompatible chargers with e-cigarette batteries.

“Tragically, at least one life has been claimed and more fatalities could follow unless this issue is addressed rigorously and robustly.

“We are warning users that it is simply not worth risking their lives to save a few pounds by buying dodgy, dangerous or incompatible chargers”
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E-CIGARETTE SAFETY TIPS

E-cigarette users are advised to follow these safety tips when charging:

* Always use the correct charger and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
* Never charge a battery that has signs of damage, that has been dropped, or has been subjected to impact
* Never plug a charger into a non-approved mains power transformer
* Check that your e-cigarette battery has overcharge or overheat protection
* Remove the battery from charge when complete – don’t over charge
* Never leave a battery on charge unattended
* Don’t use if wet or exposed to water
* Do not over tighten the atomiser or when connecting to charger
* Ensure that you dispose of batteries correctly.
 

Liberal Democrats created 1,190 new apprentices in Gloucester last year – Jeremy Hilton

New figures from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills show 1,190 people started an apprenticeship in Gloucester in the last 12 months.
Liberal Democrats in Government have led the apprentice drive and are on course to deliver two million apprenticeships in Britain by the end of this parliament.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:
“Gone are the days when a vocational education was seen as the poor relation when it came to choosing a career path. Apprenticeships offer young people an opportunity to earn a living while they learn their vocation.
“We are seeing more young people choosing apprenticeships while hearing from businesses in Gloucester who say they simply couldn’t function without the talent and ambition they bring. The recent Grow Gloucestershire Showcase Awards held at Cheltenham Racecourse, which I attended, showed how important apprenticeships are to young people starting out on their careers and to their employers.
“All young people in Gloucester should have an opportunity to get on in life and apprenticeships are a great way to deliver that.
“Vince Cable the Business Secretary and Liberal Democrats have pushed this policy in Government and made sure apprentice programmes are rigorous, responsive and meet the changing needs of the future economy.
“Delivering on apprenticeships helps build the stronger economy and fairer society Britain needs.”

Disadvantaged Gloucestershire primary school pupils to receive £18.27 million boost

Disadvantaged primary school pupils in Gloucestershire are set to receive £18.27 million to boost attainment, the Liberal Democrats have announced. The pupil premium funding for 2015/16 will help teachers support those children at most risk of falling behind their colleagues. It means primary schools will receive £1,320 for every pupil who has registered for free school meals at any time in the last six years. Evidence shows raising the attainment of pupils by the end of primary schools has a direct impact on future exam results.
Liberal Democrat county group leader, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:
“Every child should be able to reach their full potential, whatever their background. The pupil premium will get extra money to schools in Gloucestershire, targeted at the children who need it most. The whole class benefits when fewer children are struggling. Teachers in Gloucestershire do a great job, and I can’t wait to see how they use this additional funding to help all our children and young people succeed.”
Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws said:
“In government, Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society, with opportunity for everyone. We have already protected school budgets, introduced the pupil premium and expanded early years education for the very youngest children. This additional funding is another boost for schools in Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats are determined that teachers will continue to have the resources they need to give all pupils the best possible start in life, regardless of their background.”
ENDS…

Born and Bred in Gloucester – Jeremy Hilton will fight to become Gloucester’s MP

Jeremy Hilton - Wotton Pitch

Jeremy Hilton, a well-known figure in Gloucester has been selected by the Liberal Democrats as their parliamentary candidate. He has fought the Gloucester seat three times before in 1987, 2005 and 2010. Mr Hilton currently serves as local councillor.

Jeremy Hilton was born and bred in Gloucester. He lives in the heart of the city close to the cathedral and vows that his fight is for a stronger and fairer Gloucester.

Cllr. Hilton has an excellent track record of public service, representing Kingsholm on both the city and county councils, where he is also the Liberal Democrat group leader. With over 22 years experience as a councillor, Jeremy is a local person ideally qualified to become Gloucester’s next MP.

As the current chairperson of the Local Government Association’s, Fire Service Management Committee, Jeremy is experienced in parliamentary matters. He has given verbal evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee.

As the Next MP for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton will work hard for a strong economy and fairer society, by:-

• campaigning for good education for all Gloucester children and free school meals for everyone at primary school

• delivering better rail connections to Gloucester and a new central bus station

• raising the income tax free allowance to £12,500 and securing the triple lock, in law, for state pensions

• securing Gloucester’s regeneration with UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the cathedral, whilst building more affordable homes for young families

• increasing the number apprenticeships for young people and ensuring a diverse and growing economy in Gloucester

• guaranteeing equal care and waiting times for mental health as for physical health, by increasing spending on the NHS

Liberal Democrats Conference report – day four

On the day that Gloucester City Football Club secured planning permission for a new stadium at Meadow Park, Liberal Democrats were debating the future of football at our Glasgow conference. It was good to listen to my old friend Paul Baker, the chairman of Cheltenham Town FC, who has kindly provided the Tigers with a home in the last few years. The Tigers have been homeless for the last few years since the old ground was flooded back in 2007.

Following on from this debate, delegates debated and voted on the party’s pre-manifesto policy paper “A Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society”. The debate was introduced by the Schools Minister, David Laws MP, who is also in charge of writing the party’s manifesto. He has been consulting members widely on what we want to do if in government again for the next 5 years.

David Laws is the minster responsible for introducing Free School Meals for year one and two infant school children in September this year, saving a family £420 a year for every child in this age group. Liberal Democrats will extend free school meals to all children in primary education, as resources allow.

Liberal Democrats Conference report – day three

The third day of the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow ended for me with my attendance at the South West Liberal Democrats reception held in the main conference hotel. This reception gave me an opportunity to hear short speeches from a number of South West MP’s and to meet members from other constituencies.

During the day I also had a one to one meeting with an officer of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors to discuss the 2015 local election campaign in Gloucester. Next year we shall have elections to the city council on the same day as the general election. Polling Day, May the 7th, will be an important day for Gloucester and the country.

In his keynote speech to conference Vince Cable the Business Secretary cracked one of the best jokes of the day when he reminded delegates of the time when Gladstone spoke for five hours without notes, but didn’t forget what he was talking about, unlike the recent speech by Ed Miliband when he forgot to mention the deficit. Vince Cable also reminded conference how the coalition government had created almost 2 million apprenticeships since 2010.

Liberal Democrats Conference report -day two

The major speech of the day came from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP. As our senior Scottish MP in the cabinet, Danny started his speech by thanking everyone who helped in the Scottish Referendum, in support of the No campaign. He also reaffirmed Liberal Democrat policy that we should have votes for 16 & 17 year olds in all elections as they did in the referendum.

Danny said Liberal Democrats should be proud that we gave the country strong government in 2010 at a time when we needed it most. He reminded delegates that Labour had bankrupted the country and that they should never be trusted to run the country by themselves again.

Since the Liberal Democrats had been in government, 27 million people had benefited from income tax cuts by the raising of the threshold to £10,500. This is something David Cameron said could not be done during the 2010 election campaign. Danny Alexander said we would raise the tax free threshold to £12,500 in the next parliament. This could only be guaranteed to be done fairly by Liberal Democrats being in government next time.

Danny Alexander said Liberal Democrats would borrow less than Labour and cut public spending less than the Tories. He said we would insist on a fairness rule on any changes to tax and benefits.