Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Dudley North MP Ian Austin and members of the local Labour Party have stepped in with donations worth £500 to help the local food bank.

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They handed over much needed foodstuffs and household items when the Black Country Foodbank launched an urgent appeal after stock levels ran “critically low”.

Demand for their work has gone up as a result of the increase in rough sleeping and people hit by benefit sanctions or Universal Credit which are seeing people having their benefits delayed or stopped.

The charity provided 182,000 meals between April 2017 to March 2018. Of these, 60,020 were for children, an increase of five per cent on the previous year. More than 6,750 children are expected to have been fed during the six-week school summer holidays.

The Foodbank urgently needs fruit juice, fruit cordial, UHT milk, instant noodles, tinned tomatoes, potatoes, meat, fish and fruit, small jars of coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits. Items can be handed over at the main warehouse on Albion Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3EE Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am-2pm

Ian Austin said:

“It’s a scandal foodbanks are needed at all in this day and age, but more and more people are being hit by benefit cuts or sleeping rough and the Black Country Foodbank does superb work in our community so we asked local Labour members to help when they issued a call for help.

“I promised to match anything members contributed with the Good Causes fund I set up when I refused to take the MPs’ pay rise and I reckon we’ve got donations or food totalling about £500 in just a couple of days.”

Labour steps in with £500 to help Doodbank appeal

Dudley North MP Ian Austin and members of the local Labour Party have stepped in with donations worth £500 to help the local food bank.

Citizens Advice campaign against excess profits for big energy firms

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In May I supported Citizens Advice’s campaign on energy bills and backed 5 pledges to make sure hard working people in the Black Country weren’t footing the bill for energy companies’ big profits.

I am really pleased to hear that after their consultation Ofgem is on track to meeting 2 of these pledges with progress being made on the other three.

In the West Midlands companies make £305 per household of excess profits per year, the third highest rate in the UK. Energy bills are a huge outgoing for people and I know that £305 extra in people’s pockets would make a huge difference to people in Dudley when budgets are tight.

The 5 pledges I supported and urged Ofgem to meet during their recent consultation were:

  1. Profits are lower than the previous price control, to more accurately reflect the relative low risk for investors in this sector.
  2. The value of any unspent funding for infrastructure projects is returned to consumers promptly and in full.
  3. Industry business plans and regulatory decisions are directly informed by consumer (including future consumer) feedback and research.
  4. Companies are required to publish complete information on their performance, financial structures, gearing and ownership.
  5. Innovation funding and incentives support consumers in the transition to a low-carbon future, particularly those consumers in vulnerable circumstances

Thanks to Citizens Advice and their fantastic volunteers who work so hard to help people in Dudley and across the Country.

Energy bills update

Citizens Advice campaign against excess profits for big energy firms

Ian Austin MP has expressed his disappointment with the government’s response to his call for tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving.

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Figures show that In Dudley North there were 37 serious or fatal road accidents in 2016 alone, including two deaths on Priory Road and in 2017 a young mother was killed on Wood Road in Gornal.

Following a number of high profile cases and pressure from the families of victims, campaigners, and MPs, in October last year the government announced it intended to introduce tougher sentences. However, nine months later no legislation has yet been brought forward, affecting hundreds of families across the West Midlands.

Ian and more than 70 other MP’s wrote to the Justice Secretary last month to ask when the government would take the action it promised. In response, Justice Minister Rory Stewart has yet again failed to confirm when the tougher sentences can be expected to be introduced.

Ian Austin said:

“Residents in Dudley often get in touch with concerns about road safety. Just last year there was a fatal accident in Gornal, and people tell me they are worried it will happen again on Dudley’s roads. I want the Minister to do more to provide justice to victims and their families who have been effected by dangerous driving.

“I hoped progress was being made when the government announced it intended to toughen the sentences for causing death by dangerous driving, but since then, whenever Ministers have been questioned about the delay they have said that the changes will be introduced ‘as soon as parliamentary time allows’.

“I hoped that pressure from MPs and campaigners would prompt a different and more positive response, but sadly not. How many more families must be made to suffer before the government take action?”

A spokesperson for the road safety charity Brake says: 

“This response is cold comfort for families across the country who have lost loved ones on our roads and seen the killers escape with far too lenient sentences. More than nine months on from the government announcement it is clear that no progress has been made and this is simply unacceptable. The government must act now and deliver justice for road crash victims.”

Dudley MP anger at government response to dangerous driving sentences

Ian Austin MP has expressed his disappointment with the government’s response to his call for tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving.


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