From: Conor Burns MP news@conorburns.

com Subject: News Bulletin from Conor Burns MP #114 Date: 23 December 2013 12:23 To: news@conorburns.com

In this edition:

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Issue 114 – Monday 23rd December 2013

Conor Burns MP’s Diary Photo news: Bourne Acacemy teacher dicusses education reform with Secretary of State for Education Photo news: MP's Christmas Card competition winner 2013 Conor in Parliament: Conor questions Education Secretary on grammar in the secondary system Conor in the papers: Bournemouth MP backs Legacy for Lucy bid to ban blind cords Conor in the papers: Dorset MPs slam 11% pay rise as "crazy" - but Drax says they should accept increase Conor in Parliament: Conor quizzes Leader of Hosue of Commons on offshore wind farms Conor in the papers: 'Abuse on Twitter is too hard to report' says Bournemouth MP Conor Burns Conor in the papers: Merger proposal was “big distraction” for Royal Bournemouth Hospital says MP Photo news: Conor welcomes Turkish delegation to Westminster Conor in the papers: BBC accused of 'losing all proportion' over Mandela's death after dedicating 100 programmes about him in just one week Conor in the papers: BBC show dropped feature on heritage awards 'for being English only' Photo news: Conor hosts Governor Jeb Bush at House of Commons How to contact Conor Burns MP

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Conor Burns MP would like to wish all Bournemouth, Alderney and Branksome East residents a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Artwork design by James Barringer, age 9. A pupil at Moordown St John’s CE Primary School, Bournemouth. Winner of Conor Burns MP’s Christmas Card Competition 2013.

Since the past edition, Conor has:
Attended a meeting of the Poole & Christchurch Bays’ Association to oppose the Navitus Bay Wind Farm. Visited Moordown St John’s school to present pupil James Barringer with his award for winning Conor’s 2014 Christmas Card Competition. Answered questions at a meeting of the UK Arts and Design Industry Association, chaired by Professor Stuart Bartholomew of Arts University Bournemouth. Met in Westminster with a delegation of parliamentary staff from Turkey, hosted by Bournemouth’s MLS Language School. Answered questions from Bournemouth University Politics Society students at an event in the House of Commons. Been featured in the Bournemouth Echo regarding MPs’ pay, the campaign to ban looped blind cords, the difficulty of reporting Twitter abuse, and the CQC report into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Attended a meeting with a teacher from the Bourne Academy with Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, to discuss the Government’s education reforms. Launched the first donor club for The Margaret Thatcher Centre at the East India Club. Hosted a meeting for Conservative MPs with Governor Jeb Bush in the House of Commons. Been mentioned in the Daily Mail regarding the BBC’s coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death, and in the Daily Telegraph regarding the BBC’s decision to drop of segment of the One Show for being too focused on England. Held a surgery at the Triangle to help local residents with their problems.

Photo news:

Bourne Acacemy teacher dicusses education reform with Secretary of State for Education

Conor with Bourne Academy teacher Kate Forbes and Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.

Photo news:

MP's Christmas Card competition winner 2013

Conor with Christmas Card Competition Winner James Barringer, a pupil at Moordown St John’s CE Primary School, Bournemouth.

Conor speaking to the school assembly at Moordown St John’s CE Primary School, where this year's MP Christmas Card competition winner goes to school.

Conor in Parliament:
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Conor questions Education Secretary on grammar in the secondary system
Tuesday 3rd December 2013

Click on the image above to watch Conor's question. The full text of the exchange was as follows: Conor Burns (Bournemouth West, Conservative): I thank my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for yesterday meeting Kate Forbes, an excellent young English teacher from Bourne academy in my constituency, to discuss her ideas for the implementation of grammar in the secondary system. It is people like Miss Forbes, who share his determination that the child should come first, whom we should be listening to in implementing his reforms. Michael Gove (The Secretary of State for Education; Surrey Heath, Conservative): I am grateful to my hon. Friend. It was a pleasure to meet the teacher from his constituency, who is wholly committed to implementing the reforms we have introduced, utterly committed to raising standards for every child and, to my mind, representative and emblematic of the idealistic and supremely talented young people now entering teaching.

Conor in the papers:
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Bournemouth MP backs Legacy for Lucy bid to ban blind cords
Alex Winter, Bournemouth Echo Friday 13th December 2013 An MP is backing the Daily Echo’s campaign to ban looped blind cords.

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Conor Burns has confirmed he will support initiative Legacy for Lucy, set up in the wake of the death of two-year-old Lucy Cutts five years ago. The tot died after getting herself caught up in the blind cord in her bedroom, and heartbroken mum Annette Latimer is now calling on Echo readers to sign a petition calling for a ban on such cords in the UK. The MP, who represents Bournemouth West, met Annette at a surgery in Kinson last week and has pledged to support her fight. He said: “If with a very simple measure, you can prevent an avoidable death, then we absolutely need to push that as far as we can.” Christchurch MP Christopher Chope is also supporting the campaign, and said that manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products do not put live at risks. Conor said: “Some of these products already have a device that encloses the lower half of a blind cord in a sealed plastic unit. “However, a lot of people would choose not to attach it. These can be quite unsightly and you’d have to screw them into a wall, so it doesn’t always happen.” He added: “If there is a way to encourage manufacturers into taking responsibility, then we must keep trying.” Lucy is one of 27 children whose deaths have involved the cords since 1999. Visit bournemouthecho.co.uk/legacyforlucy for all stories and details of the campaign. To sign the petition, visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55067 and see how to get involved on Facebook at facebook.com/legacyforlucyban.

Conor in the papers:

Dorset MPs slam 11% pay rise as "crazy" but Drax says they should accept increase
Arron Hendy, Bournemouth Echo Monday 9th December 2013 MPs in Dorset have slammed their planned 11 percent pay rise as “crazy” and “unacceptable”. Both Conor Burns and Annette Brooke criticized the proposed £7,600 increase and called for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to have a re-think before the next election. Mr Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, would not say if he would accept the money but believes IPSA are making a mistake. “The bottom line is that at the moment an 11 percent rise is crazy,” he said. “I don't think it should happen. “I do think at some point there should be a grown-up debate.” But Mr Burns said that 20 years ago MPs' salaries were comparable with GPs and head teachers and warned “people of quality” could be less likely to take public office if they have to give up a higher salary. Mr Burns believes IPSA has made a “cynical” decision to propose the pay rise while also looking to change the pensions in a way that he believes will see MPs lose out in total. IPSA is also looking to change MPs' pensions from matching their final salary to matching their career average, a move made elsewhere in the public sector. On Thursday IPSA is poised to announce whether it plans to go ahead with the proposals. The 11 percent increase would see MPs salaries rise to £74,000 from the 2015 election. Future increases would then be linked to average pay rises. Annette Brooke, MP for Mid-Dorset and North Poole, is standing down at the next election. “But I personally feel the rise should be phased in over five years after the general election,” she said. She added: “To talk about an 11 percent pay increase is just unacceptable in these times of austerity, when people are being asked to make sacrifices.” Mrs Brooke said she is standing down with the understanding that the resettlement grant provided to previous MPs will not be available to her. This is another proposal which IPSA will make an announcement on, on Thursday. But Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, said MPs should accept the rise as it has been proposed by an independent body. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Committee (IPSA), set up in 2009 in the wake of the expenses scandal, will reveal its proposals for MPs pay on Thursday. Mr Drax said: “I would abide by whatever IPSA recommends. “I think if some MPs accept it and others don’t there is going to be absolute chaos. “If all the party leaders were to instruct MPs not to take it, then that would be something to be considered.” He added: “The point is that it’s an independent body, and if they are recommending a pay rise then they must have looked at the matter and felt that MPs should be paid more.” He admitted the move may ‘stick in people’s gullets’. Mr Drax added: “I can understand why the public feel as they do on this and I’m sure some are grieved that they are not getting a pay rise. “It feels as though we are getting one better. “But how can you set up an independent body to make recommendations and then decide that these recommendations are wrong?” The proposals also include plans to change pensions for MPs from matching their final salaries to matching their career average. IPSA will announce on Thursday whether the proposals will go ahead. Mr Letwin said he would not be accepting the increase. He said: “It is not appropriate for MPs to receive such a pay rise at a time when pay rises in the rest of the public sector are being capped at one per cent.”

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Conor in Parliament:

Conor quizzes Leader of Hosue of Commons on offshore wind farms
Thursday 5th December 2013

Click on the image above to watch Conor's question. The full text of the exchange was as follows: Conor Burns (Bournemouth West, Conservative): My right hon. Friend will be aware of a proposal for a large offshore wind farm by the Navitus Bay company off the coast of Bournemouth. In the light of the Government’s announcement this week on onshore and offshore wind farm subsidy, my constituents are profoundly concerned that the development could go ahead. It has been shown that a third of summertime visitors would not return during the five-year period of construction and that 14% would never return. Will he provide an opportunity for the Government to reassure my constituents that some offshore wind farms are, and remain, as inappropriate as some onshore ones? Andrew Lansley (The Leader of the House of Commons ; South Cambridgeshire, Conservative): My hon. Friend makes his point straightforwardly and forcefully. I will talk with my right hon. and hon. Friends at the Department for Communities and Local Government about that, particularly the extent to which the points he raises are material considerations in relation to planning.

Conor in the papers:

'Abuse on Twitter is too hard to report' says Bournemouth MP Conor Burns
Bournemouth Echo Monday 25th November 2013 Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns has said Twitter makes it too hard for users to report abuse. The MP, who has more than 6,000 followers on the micro-blogging site, said none of his colleagues on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee were aware of the company’s reporting system. Twitter faced questions about the way it handled a sustained campaign of abuse against Labour MP Stella Creasy and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez over the call for a woman’s portrait to feature on a banknote. Mr Burns questioned Twitter’s public policy director Sinead McSweeney about the procedure for reporting abusive comments. He said: “Does it alarm you that you have got three relatively sophisticated and regular tweeters and we can’t find it? “I wasn’t aware that it existed.'' Ms McSweeney said: “It was rolled out at the end of July. “The plan was to roll it out across all platforms by Christmas but, in fact, we achieved that by the end of September. “If you are saying to me that we need to highlight it more, that’s something that I can take away from here and we can ensure that we continue – we’ve done blog posts, we’ve tweeted about it, we’ve spoken to various safety organisations who work in this space.”

Conor in the papers:
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Merger proposal was “big distraction” for Royal Bournemouth Hospital says MP
Bournmouth Echo Thursday 19th December 2013 Christchurch MP Christopher Chope said the recent proposal to merge Royal Bournemouth with Poole General Hospital had proved to be a “big distraction” for hospital management. The MP said: “I am glad that the merger business which was a big distraction is out of the way and they can now focus on their responsibilities and issues. “We are very lucky this is a good hospital compared with many others and we want to ensure that it continues to improve.” He added: “It is vindication for those of us that were concerned about the weakening effect of the merger.” He also said a “knee-jerk reaction” in terms of resignations would not be effective and that he would “concentrate on the directors and the trust itself.” “I think it is a matter for the board chairman and board of directors. “Elected governors need to be encouraged to be more critical. “I think from speaking to some, there is an atmosphere that if they say anything that is anything other than supportive they are guilty of treachery.” Conor Burns, Bournemouth West MP, said: “The local population will be shocked at some of the instances of elderly people soiling themselves before nursing staff or other staff could help them get to the toilet. “Examples such as the patient who wasn’t fed because somebody had failed to remove a nil by mouth sign for the previous occupant of the bed are particularly shocking. “Now that the CQC has identified these failings I think the trust is responding in the right way by increasing numbers of nursing staff and targeting them on wards where there’s a high concentration of elderly patients and moving nursing sisters who oversaw those wards where those failings occurred. “When elderly people go into hospital they are very vulnerable and are quite literally putting their lives in the hands of the clinical and nursing staff. These failings are entirely unacceptable and the trust must move very, very quickly as I think they are.” Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, said: “Whilst it's welcome to see the hospital's children’s care, midwifery, critical care and end of life care services described as ‘good’, Bournemouth residents will rightly be shocked to learn that two wards providing elderly medical care were described as ‘inadequate, not always safe or well led’.” “The trust’s board must now explain why the internal scrutiny process failed so spectacularly in identifying two wards out of thirty were so poor; how the 70 staff shortages will be filled; and how security in A&E will be improved. “I will be meeting with the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Michael Richards, to take his advice on whether he has confidence in the hospital's leadership to rectify these failings.” CQC demands CQC has told the Trust it must take action to improve in the following areas: All patients need to have their needs assessed and care delivered safely and in a timely manner by staff who are skilled to do so. At all times, patients must be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and basic care needs must be met. The trust must reassure itself and stakeholders that all opportunities to drive quality improvement and quality assurance are taken. The trust must ensure that the required number of staff with the correct skills are employed and managed shift by shift, to demonstrate that there are sufficient staff to meet people’s needs.

Photo news:

Conor welcomes Turkish delegation to Westminster

Conor with delegates from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey studying at MLS International College.

Conor in the papers:

BBC accused of 'losing all proportion' over Mandela's death after dedicating 100 programmes about him in just one week
Alasdair Glennie, Daily Mail Friday 13th December 2013 The BBC has been accused of ‘losing all proportion’ in its coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death after it emerged more than 100 programmes have been broadcast about him in the past week. A total of 1,834 viewers and listeners have complained as the airwaves continue to be flooded with tributes disrupting radio and TV schedules. MPs castigated the corporation for wasting money as it was revealed bosses spent thousands of pounds sending eight staff to Johannesburg for a special edition of Question Time. They even admitted splashing out on business class flights for one panellist, Labour MP Peter Hain. Last night, Tory MP Conor Burns, who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said the programme added ‘precisely nothing’ to viewers’ knowledge of South African affairs, adding: ‘There is no doubt that Mandela’s death was an international event. ‘This was a man who was one of the great leaders of the 20th and 21st centuries. He taught us all about peace and recognition. But the BBC could have told us about these things without going to the huge expense they have. ‘They have simply got carried away with the emotional importance of the event. Question Time might have been fascinating for a South African audience. We knew everything they told us without having to pay for Peter Hain to fly business class.’ Earlier this week, it was revealed the BBC has flown a total of 140 journalists and production staff to South Africa since Mr Mandela died aged 95 last Thursday, nearly three times as many as all its rival British broadcasters put together. Sky News sent 15 staff, ITV and Channel 4 each sent nine, and Channel 5 sent four. According to an analysis by the Daily Mail, a total of 104 special programmes devoted to Mandela will have been aired on the BBC’s main radio and TV channels by the time of his funeral tomorrow. The news of his death has also topped almost every news bulletin for a week, dominated current affairs shows such as Newsnight, and has been screened almost continuously on BBC News 24. Mr Burns said: ‘It has got to the stage where we are being told “Breaking News – Mandela is still dead”. They are losing all sense of proportion.’ Over the past week, BBC1 and BBC2 have carried a series of live programmes – totalling more than 21 hours of screen time, covering every moment of every ceremony. On Tuesday, five hours were devoted to his memorial service, a further four hours was allocated to coverage of his coffin being laid in state the following day, and today BBC2 will report on the transfer of his coffin to his childhood village. Another extended programme will cover his funeral tomorrow. Meanwhile, Radio 5 Live commissioned more than 48 hours of programming, there was another ten hours on Radio 4, and 27 hours on the World Service. Thursday’s Question Time – hosted by David Dimbleby – was originally scheduled to be filmed in Swansea, but was moved to Johannesburg instead. The BBC refused to reveal the cost of flights for him and eight staff. Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It just proves how overfunded the BBC is if they can spend money on this kind of largesse. The BBC is spending other people’s money and that is why it doesn’t matter to them. ‘They are spending the money of many people who are struggling to pay their licence fee.’ A BBC spokesman said: ‘Nelson Mandela was a hugely significant world leader. His death has been of considerable interest to millions of people watching and listening to the BBC at home and across the globe.’ He added: ‘Peter Hain was an integral part of the panel, bringing the UK government’s involvement into the wider story. We felt his inclusion was important and so we did pay for his flights but we kept costs as low as we could.’

Conor in the papers:

BBC show dropped feature on heritage awards 'for being English only'
Sam Marsden, The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 8th December 2013 A flagship BBC television programme pulled out of plans to feature awards celebrating local efforts to save England’s historic buildings because they did not represent the whole of Britain. Producers from The One Show, which is broadcast on BBC1 on weekday evenings and often draws more than five million viewers, were said to have been “very keen” to make a film about last year’s English Heritage Angel Awards. However, the item was later dropped on the grounds that the awards only related to England and so did not fit in with the programme’s UKwide remit. An English Heritage spokesman said: "The One Show was very keen and did consider it very seriously, but they felt that because their particular remit is to cover the whole nation, it wouldn't be appropriate for them." A BBC source said the decision to drop the item from The One Show was a “routine” editorial judgment. Conor Burns, a Conservative MP who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said there was a misunderstanding among BBC executives about how people outside the “metropolitan London elite” viewed their national identities. He said: “It always strikes me that the BBC’s output has disproportionate coverage of the cultures and national identities of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. “The one aspect of our national story that people seem to be scared of is a discussion of England and Englishness. “I think it is born out of a misplaced paranoia and a desire not to offend. My feeling is that people from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have no problem with other people celebrating their identity in the way that they celebrate their own.” Mr Burns, who was himself born in Northern Ireland, also suggested that the BBC was “absolutely paranoid” about issues of national identity in the run-up to next year’s Scottish independence referendum. Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, said: “There is almost deep embarrassment about anything that is English. I think that organisations that behave like this are very out of touch with public opinion. “There’s a growing awareness and pride in being English. They should have been on The One Show. The One Show and the BBC have got Englishness wrong. It’s time they grew up and realised that there is nothing wrong with being English.” The English Heritage Angel Awards were founded by Lord Lloyd Webber in 2011 to recognise the efforts of people around the country in conserving and rescuing local historic buildings and sites. In their first year the awards, which are supported by the Telegraph, were the subject of six short films broadcast by BBC2’s The Culture Show. English Heritage commissioned its own films about the projects shortlisted for the awards last year and this year, which can be viewed on its website. Organisers have been contacted by several production companies interested in making programmes about next year’s awards, but they need a broadcaster to get involved as well. The English Heritage spokesman said: “We would love a channel to get behind this and commission a proper series on the Angel Awards because we feel that these wonderful stories about people restoring the country’s heritage deserve to be celebrated.” The role of English Heritage is fulfilled elsewhere in the UK by Historic Scotland, Cadw in Wales and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. A BBC spokesman said: "The One Show was in talks with English Heritage about this but on this occasion decided not to proceed. “We have referenced their excellent Angel Awards on air in the past and would be delighted to do so again.”

Photo news:

Conor hosts Governor Jeb Bush at House of Commons

Conor with Governor Jeb Bush on the Terrace at the House of Commons.

Conor and fellow Conservative MPs listen to Governor Jeb Bush.

Three ways to contact Conor Burns MP:
By Phone: 020 7219 7021 By email: conor.burns.mp@parliament.uk By post: Conor Burns MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

www.conorburns.com

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