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Kevan Jones MP has pledged to ensure that Armed Forces veterans will not have to battle blindness alone at a special parliamentary reception earlier this week, held at the House of Commons.
The reception, held on Tuesday 23 February, was organised by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women, to raise awareness of the charity and to encourage all local authorities to work with Blind Veterans UK to reach out to more veterans with severe sight loss so that they are able to access the charity’s free services and support.
On 26 January, Kevan spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on Further Education Colleges in the North East.
Kevan said, "I do not have a further education college in my constituency. My learners access Derwentside College in Consett and New College Durham. They also travel further afield to Newcastle and Sunderland and to other colleges in the region. As my hon. Friend outlined, some go to Darlington and Teesside. The colleges are an asset to our region. It is clear to anyone who speaks to or visits any of them that they are not inward-looking institutions—they are dynamic and forward-thinking. Derwentside College has a good liaison with local engineering companies, both large and small. It not only engages in recognising and understanding what further training is needed, but actively takes part in encouraging young people and adult learners to think of a career in engineering."
You can read the rest of Kevan's contribution, and the full debate, here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160126/hall...
On Friday 22 January, Kevan visited the Royal British Legion in Newcastle for a tour of their new offices and Pop-in Centre on Grainger Street. You can contact the RBL on 0808 802 8080.
On Monday 11 January, Kevan spoke in the debate on the remaining stages of the Armed Forces Bill, in support of an amendment removing remaining discriminatory legislation from the statute books.
Kevan said, "Tomorrow will be the 16th anniversary of the Labour Government abolishing the draconian regulations that meant that someone who was gay or bisexual could be dismissed from the armed services, so it is apt that we are agreeing to the amendment today.
It is strange how things work out. I moved similar amendments in Committee and on the Floor of the House. I pay tribute to the Minister, whose approach to the Bill has been constructive, ensuring that practical measures such as this are taken forward. I accepted during earlier stages of the Bill that the measure should apply also to the merchant navy, and I look forward to the Government introducing legislation to mirror this provisions for the merchant navy.
I join the Minister in paying tribute to Professor Paul Johnson, professor of sociology at York University, who not only gave evidence to the Committee but in my conversations with him assisted me and ensured that I understood that the legislation currently on the statute books was discriminatory. As the Minister rightly said, it means nothing, but for lesbian, gay and bisexual potential members of the armed forces, the measure expunges those provisions from the law. That should celebrated. I wholeheartedly support the new clause, which is a great step forward."
You can read the full debate here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160111/debt...
On January 8th (Friday), MP for North Durham Kevan Jones visited Dogs Trust Darlington. This was Kevan’s first visit to the rehoming centre, and he was given an extensive tour of the facilities by staff. He also met a number of dogs currently waiting for their “fur-ever” homes, including two year old terrier crossbreed Foxy.
Kevan has marked the 20th anniversary of CRY with a blog post for Politics Home. in his article, Kevan pays tribute to the work of the charity and talks about his involvement with CRY over the years.
You can read the article here: https://www.politicshome.com/health-and-care/articles/opinion/cardiac-ri...
On Monday 4 January, Kevan visited 'Sing for the Brain', a group run by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Alzheimers Society at Cornerstones, Chester-le-Street Methodist Church.
On Saturday 19 December, Kevan officially opened 'Mrs Boucake', a new cake shop at 2 West Lane, Chester-le-Street, run by Ashley Harkness.
On Friday 18 December, Kevan joined local school children at a 'Mini Police' event at Durham Constabulary Headquarters at Aykley Heads.