Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Dudley North MP Ian Austin has called on local colleges, universities and community groups to make the most of funds available from the National Express Foundation.

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The Foundation, now in its seventh year, has already given hundreds of thousands of pounds to local community groups, colleges and universities, which has so far benefit over 16,000 young people.

Austin wants to ensure community groups and colleges in Dudley make the most of the opportunity to use some of the funding available, to help even more local youngsters in the area.

The transport provider’s Foundation will provide grants for bursaries to help local disadvantaged young students attend further and higher education, as well as support local community groups working with local young people.

The National Express Foundation will award £10,000 per annum to successful colleges and universities to enable them to provide individuals in challenging personal or financial situations with a bursary to help with their costs whilst a student.

The Foundation will also provide grants of £2,500 or £5,000 to local groups who will deliver positive and engaging activities for local young people in the community.

Ian Austin said:

“Since 2012 the National Express Foundation has given hundreds of thousands of pounds to community groups, colleges and universities across the West Midlands and I want to make sure young people in Dudley get a fair share.

“There are some brilliant charities doing great work with young people in Dudley so I hope they apply for this opportunity”

Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said:

“We are extremely proud that over the last six years, the National Express Foundation grants have helped over 16,000 young people to enjoy positive, developmental and engaging activities and helped them to gain qualifications and learn new skills.

“We want to support even more young people this year. We’ve therefore launched an additional funding round, to run alongside the projects we’re already supporting from our first programme earlier this year.

“External funding support is extremely limited - especially so in recent years - which is why I would urge all local educational institutions and community groups to make the most of this excellent opportunity and submit an application for Foundation funding.”

Dudley MP calls on local colleges and community groups to make the most of new funds

Dudley North MP Ian Austin has called on local colleges, universities and community groups to make the most of funds available from the National Express Foundation.

Dudley MP Ian Austin is backing a new Parliamentary campaign to back people who blow the whistle on fraud, corruption or public safety concerns.

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Whistle-blowers, the people who raise awareness of wrongdoing in an organisation, are essential to transparency and exposing the fraud or corruption that is detrimental to public safety and security. While there is legislation to protect whistle-blowers, it is often ineffective, difficult to understand or access and prohibitively expensive to enforce.

Whistle-blowers have been responsible for the exposure of industrial scale child sexual abuse, exploitation and neglect, food safety and public health warnings, banking malpractice, scams and mistakes that defraud the government and public purse.

Austin wants an APPG to work on access to justice for whistle-blowers, who can lose their career, they can lose their homes, families, friends, health and self-esteem. They become the subject of injustice through the legal system set up to protect them, where inbuilt inequalities and inadequacies mean that most whistle-blowers must navigate the complex legal process without help or support.

 Ian Austin said:

“Over the years high-profile cases have come to light because of the courageous acts of whistle-blowers calling out corruption, fraud and wrongdoing in organisations.

“They should not be discouraged from doing because there is not a system in place to give them access to justice.

“I want the APPG to look in to matters such as access to public finds for those going through the legal system, specialist tribunals for whistle-blowers and proper training to judges and panel members”

Austin demands protection for whistle-blowers

Dudley MP Ian Austin is backing a new Parliamentary campaign to back people who blow the whistle on fraud, corruption or public safety concerns.

Austin demands action after news that taxpayers are set to face huge bill.

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Dudley MP Ian Austin has written to the Cabinet Office this week to ask for action to get the Midland Metropolitan Hospital back on track, but also wants West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to live up to his promise to get the work moving again.

Building at the site stalled after the collapse of Carillion last year, leaving the site out of action since January. The project took another setback last month when banks providing the £350m of funding pulled out, and now is not set to finish until 2022 – four years later than planned. Unless an alternative can be found the government might have to take on the work, with the taxpayer footing the bill.

He has written to David Lidington MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, urging him to find a way of getting the project moving again.

Ian Austin said:

“It is in everyone’s interest to get this project back on track. It’s taking far too long and the costs are going up and up.

“I have asked for a meeting with David Lidington, but I also want West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to live up to the promise he made to get the work moving again.

“We need to see work moving again. Not only will it provide much-needed new health facilities, but large numbers of construction jobs and training places, which will be lost as a result of it coming to a halt.”

Action needed to get Midland Metropolitan Hospital back on track

Austin demands action after news that taxpayers are set to face huge bill.


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