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News from Bob Blackman MP
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Since my last edition, I have continued my programme of street surgeries all around the constituency and I have been doing my part as your representative in Westminster.

Here are a few of the events and engagements I have taken part in recently:

 
VISIT MY MOSQUE OPEN DAY
I visited the Husaini Islamic Centre on a Visit My Mosque open day. The National event, which is organised by the Muslim Council of Britain, is in its second year in running and has received a tremendous response from local residents. It is an opportunity for people of all faiths to learn about Islam and build bridges between different religions.
MESSAGE IN A BARREL
Prior to the Budget, I joined a campaign by the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and sent a ‘Message in a Barrel’ calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help the industry on beer duty and I'm pleased to say that the Chancellor listened and it was frozen again.
WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL AND GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT IN DELHI
I was given the opportunity to attend the 35th World Culture Festival in New Delhi, hosted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living team, where I was particularly privileged to be welcomed by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar himself.
The event is one of the largest celebrations of world culture with around 3.5 million people from all over the world coming together to promote a message of global peace and harmony. 
Alongside the World Culture Festival, I was invited to speak among World Leaders at the Global Leadership Forum organised jointly by AOL and World Forum for Ethics in Business. I spoke on the topic, “Boundaryless Nations: A myth or reality” addressing representatives from nearly 155 countries. 
 
WELCOMING YOEL EDELSTEIN TO PARLIAMENT
I was happy to welcome the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, the Hon. Yuli (Yoel) Edelstein, to Parliament during a briefing session held by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and to also attend a dinner held in the Speaker's House to welcome this senior Israeli politician to the UK.
RAISING AWARENESS OF BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH
I went to an event held by Brain Tumour Research, bringing together patients, charities, scientists, clinicians and supporters together to raise awareness of the disease and boost funding for research. As I was invited to 'wear a hat' for the event, I brought along one which was kindly gifted to me recently in India.
STANMORE SYNAGOGUE EVENING OF FRIENDSHIP
Stanmore Synagogue has one of the largest United Synagogue congregations in Europe. They held an Evening of Friendship in an effort to forge closer relationships and mutual understanding with the wider community locally and I was pleased to be invited to join in.
APPG PRIMARY CARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH REPORT LAUNCH
As co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health, I launched the group's latest report calling for a National Strategy for Self Care to combat the rise in the number of people using scarce and expensive A&E and GP resources for self-treatable conditions like muscle strain and the common cold.
The report, entitled 'Five Year Forward View:  Behavioural change, information and signposting', was based on evidence heard by the APPG from a variety of sources and suggests that measures aimed at lifting levels of health literacy, delivering greater consistency in advice on common symptoms of self-treatable conditions and reinforcing sign-posting for people to access NHS services appropriately.
 
A CHANCE TO SHINE
As a long time cricket fan, I was only too pleased to held spread the word about Chance to Shine, a national charity which aims to bring the sport to more young people, by taking part in a round of 'Street Cricket' with some of my Parliamentary colleagues. Since 2005, the charity has brought cricket to three million young people in over 11,000 schools across the UK.
FIRMFOUNDATION WINTER NIGHT SHELTER
The FirmFoundation winter night shelter is run annually by a collection of churches in Harrow. I am always keen to make a visit to support the charity and to talk to the homeless people who are provided with food and shelter by volunteers while they are given vital support to find solutions to their immediate problems. 
 
EDGWARE FRIENDS OF ISRAEL MEETING
I was very pleased to be invited to attend a public meeting held by the Edgware Friends of Israel at the Yeshurun Synagogue and to be able to talk about my work with the Conservative Friends of Israel, the APPG British Jews and APPG Antisemitism, and my support for Israel more generally in Parliament.
SEWA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL INAUGURATION
During a week-long visit to India, I inaugurated DIVYA, a residential school for children with disabilities in the village Jawhar in Maharashtra (India) and set up by the efforts of trustees and volunteers of Sewa International India and Sewa UK. The school provides special educational facilities to children from Jawhar and other villages in Maharashtra thereby plugging the gap in educational facilities for children with disabilities.
On the occasion of Hindu New Year, Gudi Padva, I had the opportunity to participate in the Shobha Yatra (parade) and further energised the enthralled audience by my chanting of: “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. I was also able to visit other Sewa International projects in Mumbai and interact with trustees and volunteers. I also called on the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Devendra Phadnavis and RSS Chief, Mr. Mohanrao Bhagwat during his stay in Mumbai.
 
Smoking remains the biggest preventable cause of death in the UK and kills around 100,000 users in the UK every year. But, research shows that 2 in 3 smokers want to quit. Stop Smoking Services are proven to be the most effective way to quit smoking and these services need continued investment. Find out more about the services available to you in Harrow, here.

IN PARLIAMENT
 
You can read some of my most recent contributions in Parliament below:
Backbench Business Debate on Equitable Life
That this House congratulates the Government on providing a scheme to compensate victims of the Equitable Life scandal; welcomes the Government’s acceptance of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s findings in full; notes that the Parliamentary Ombudsman recommended that policyholders should be put back in the position they would have been in had maladministration not occurred; further notes that most victims have only received partial compensation compared to the confirmed losses and that the compensation scheme is now closed to new applicants; and calls on the Government to ensure that the entire existing budget allocated for compensation to date is paid to eligible policyholders and to make a further commitment to provide full compensation for relative losses to all victims of this scandal.

Easter Adjournment Debate
First, may I put on the record the sad death today of Johan Cruyff, one of the most brilliant footballers I have had the pleasure of watching and one who will be ever remembered for the Cruyff turn? This is the time of the festival of Purim, which, as Jewish Members will know, commemorates the delivery of the Jewish people from the Persian Haman, who attempted the first genocide against the Jews but failed. This week was also the anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, where he inflicted the holocaust on the Jewish population and the world. We will forever remember those evil atrocities in Germany.

Debate on the NHS in London
I want to speak about three issues in my contribution: primary care; the position at Northwick Park hospital; and the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital. In terms of primary care, without doubt, one problem we experience in London is that people have difficulty getting on to a list for a GP and then getting appointments when they are ill. As a result, when a person is ill, they immediately say, “Well, if I can’t get an appointment with my GP, I will go to A&E or the urgent care centre or whatever facilities are around.” That means that people turn up at A&E and at urgent care centres who should be seen by GPs or even by nurses at GP surgeries—they do not necessarily need to be seen by doctors. 
 
Read more online, here.
 

IN THE MEDIA
 

GET IN TOUCH
 
If you have any issues or concerns which you feel I could help you with, please don't hesitate to get in touch using the contact details below:
 
Email: bob.blackman.mp@parliament.uk
Please remember to include your full name and address, even if you've written to Bob before!

Phone:
To discuss a case, report an issue or make a surgery appointment, please contact Bob's office in Harrow, on 020 8421 3323
For diary, media or tour enquiries, please contact Bob's office in Westminster, on 020 7219 7082


Write to:
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
or
209 Headstone Lane, Harrow, HA2 6ND

 
Copyright © 2016 Bob Blackman, all rights reserved.