Ian Austin MP

Member of Parliament for Dudley North

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I've been listening to people in Dudley and raising their concerns about immigration.

I’ve been listening to people in Dudley and raising their concerns about immigration since I became an MP nine years ago. I told the last Labour Government it was making mistakes – including on Eastern Europe - and that immigration was too high.

But this Government is getting it wrong too. David Cameron promised he’d get net immigration down to the tens of thousands but it’s actually gone up to over 240,000.

It’s no wonder people in the Black Country think politicians in Westminster haven’t been listening.

I’ve always said that if you want to live in Britain you must be prepared to work hard and pay your way, obey the law and speak English. There’s no other way to play a full part in British society.

Most people think that if you have the skills we need and are working and contributing you’re welcome, but they also agree with me that people shouldn’t be free to come and be unemployed or claim benefits without paying in first. That’s just not fair to people working hard and paying taxes.

I’ve held a dozen meetings across Dudley to listen to local people’s ideas. I promise that if elected next May I will push for these measures in a new Immigration Bill.

Reform the benefits system. People must wait longer before claiming and should only get benefits after paying in first. No one should get Child Benefit for children living abroad.

Tighter border controls. The border force has been cut so the number stopped and sent home has fallen by 45 per cent.  They need more resources to count people in and out.

Bring back fingerprinting at Calais.  The Government scrapped fingerprinting at Calais so illegal immigrants can’t be identified and turned round.

Deport foreign criminals.  It should be easier to deport criminals. People guilty of serious crimes abroad should be banned from coming here in the first place.

Charge visitors for NHS care.  I've always said people who come to Britain should pay up front or their country should foot the bill.  Now I want the NHS to have powers to make sure people coming here pay a fair price for care.

Local people at the top of the list for new houses. Dudley’s Labour Council introduced new rules this year so you can only get on the housing list if you have lived or worked locally for two years. 

Controls on cheap foreign labour.  The minimum wage must be enforced to stop unscrupulous employers exploiting foreign labour and undercutting British workers. I want fines raised to £50,000, exploitative zero hours contracts banned and recruitment agencies stopped from hiring solely overseas.

Train our young people instead of hiring from abroad. If a large firm can’t find a British worker to fill a vacancy and has to hire abroad they should have to train a British apprentice too.

I think these changes could be introduced now and I’ve urged the government and the Labour Party leadership to look at them. People in London might not like it, but it's my job to listen to local people and speak up for them in the House of Commons.

My detailed plan on immigration

I've been listening to people in Dudley and raising their concerns about immigration.

We have to send criminals the message that killing a police officer means life behind bars.

HARRY ROBERTS
 
I know lots of local people will have been outraged by last week’s news that the notorious police killer Harry Roberts is to be released from prison.
 
It’s been 48 years since Roberts was convicted for the brutal murder of three unarmed police officers.  At the time he narrowly escaped the death sentence and was told by a judge that he should never be released.
 
I think life must mean life for an evil criminal like Roberts, and his release is a betrayal of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us.  I know that the majority of decent, law-abiding people in Dudley will agree.
 
That’s why I stood up in the House of Commons last week and demanded that the Home Secretary Theresa May stick to her promise that “life should mean life for anyone convicted of killing a police officer”.
 
We have to send criminals the message that killing a police officer means life behind bars.
 
EUROPE
 
People often tell me that politicians in Westminster don’t care what they’ve got to say about immigration, but I know local people think it’s an important issue and politicians should be listening.
 
That’s why over the last few weeks I’ve held a dozen meetings across Dudley to hear what local people think.
 
I listened to lots of local people who want a say on our membership of the EU and want their concerns about this to be heard in Westminster.
 
That's something that I'm determined to do.  I’ve been calling for an EU referendum for years, and I recently stood up in the House of Commons to say we should have one before the next election.  The Government hasn’t been able to sort this out to public satisfaction, so I think people should be trusted to have their say.
 
Personally, I would keep a free-trade single market but I think we should make our own decisions on things like UK relations with the rest of the world, domestic law and social security.
 
But I also think there’s more that the Government can do right now to address local people’s concerns.  I think we should change the benefits system so that you can only take benefits out of the system if you have paid into it first and I think the Government should reverse its cuts to the border force so it has the staff to count people in and out of the country properly.
 
It's my job to go to London and speak up for people in Dudley so I will be taking advantage of every opportunity to raise points made at these meetings in House of Commons debates.  I promise that I'll also push for a new immigration bill in the first 12 months of the next government if I’m re-elected, and I will be telling politicians in Westminster exactly what local people said should be in it.
 
RUSSELLS HALL
 
When me or a member of my family is ill, we queue up at Russells Hall like anybody else in Dudley, so I’m really concerned about what’s happening to our local hospital.
 
Bosses at Russells Hall say that jobs are at risk as they battle a £12 million deficit.  At the same time, the hospital has missed its cancer treatment targets for the last three months, has kept patients waiting up to five hours for chemotherapy and is being investigated for waits at A&E.
 
Over the last couple of months I have spoken to hundreds of people in Dudley about Russells Hall, and more than nine in ten said they share my concerns about the effect that the hospital's £12 million deficit could have on services and waiting times.
 
That’s why last week I stood up in the House of Commons and called on the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to get a grip and make sure that patients and hard-working staff at Russells Hall get the support that they need.
 
I want a new 'time to care' fund to make sure the NHS always has the time to provide the care we all rely on.  That would provide 20,000 more doctors, 8,000 more GPs, more midwives and care workers paid for by a 'mansion tax' on the most expensive properties to help hospitals like Russells Hall that have been hit hard under the Tories.
 
BERT BISSELL MEMORIAL WALK
 
Thanks again to everyone who supported our climb up Ben Nevis for local causes in honour of local hero Bert Bissell.
 
The final total is in and with your help we have raised a massive £4,600.  I think that’s a brilliant tribute to the great man and we’re really looking forward to meeting the local charities we’re supporting in the coming weeks.

Dudley Chronicle, 30 October

We have to send criminals the message that killing a police officer means life behind bars.

Dudley MP Ian Austin has welcomed new plans to reopen the Hippodrome as an entertainment venue.

Wolverhampton-based businessman Jonathan Kendrick has proposed an £8 million plan to work with Friends of the Hippodrome campaigners and turn the building into a multi-purpose venue.

Austin asked Dudley Council to listen to Mr Kendrick’s proposals last Christmas after meeting campaigners battling to save the building.

Ian Austin said:

“I grew up in Dudley and had my first job in the High Street.  Like anyone else from here, I want to see new ideas to bring new investment, trade and jobs to the town.

“In its heyday the Hippodrome brought stars like Laurel & Hardy, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby to Dudley, and I would love to see it become a thriving venue again.

“I’d also like to see the Castle opened up throughout the summer with concerts, plays and other attractions bringing thousands of extra visitors to Dudley, boosting trade and changing the town’s image.

“Tourism is central to Dudley’s future. That’s why I will be working hard to make these plans to save the Hippodrome into a reality.”

Austin welcomes plan to save Hippodrome

Dudley MP Ian Austin has welcomed new plans to reopen the Hippodrome as an entertainment venue.


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