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  • Hope Construction Materials | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Hope Construction Materials 25th January 2016 Alok Sharma the Member of Parliament for Reading West on Friday 22 January 2016 spoke at the official opening of Hope Construction Materials new concrete plant in Theale Launched in January 2013 Hope Construction Materials already has a rail linked cement depot in Theale but has invested in upgrading the site to provide ready mix concrete and aggregates to the Reading construction market The Theale depot is now able to take rail deliveries of cement via the rail network from the company s works in Derbyshire and aggregates from a quarry near Buxton helping to reduce the impact on local roads by removing up to 10 000 lorry movements Now operating in its third year the company has 900 employees and in the last year sold 1 5 million tonnes of cement 4 7 million tonnes of aggregates and 2 3 million cubic metres of concrete Alok was joined by Hope Construction Materials CEO Chris Plant and Chairman Amit Bhatia on a tour of the new concrete plant and also saw first hand how the company brings its raw materials in by train Alok Sharma said Hope Construction Material s decision to invest in and expand their operations in Theale is good news for the wider construction industry in and around Reading and is a massive show of confidence in our local economy once again proving that Reading is an economic powerhouse I wish the company all the best for the future as they continue to provide jobs for my constituents Hope Construction Materials Chairman Amit Bhatia

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/hope-construction-materials (2016-02-14)
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  • News | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Lane Surgery Securing infrastructure fit for the 21st Century Sewage problems in Theale Supporting Heathrow Airport Tackling overcrowding on trains Tackling potholes in Reading West Past Campaigns Exporting for Growth Seminar Battle Health Petition Boosting primary school places in Reading Delivery of Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links News Infrastructure Envoy to India Sharma appointed David Cameron s Infrastructure Envoy to India 20th January 2016 Unemployment at new low Unemployment in Reading West at new low 20th January 2016 Circuit Lane Surgery Circuit Lane Surgery Public Information Meeting to take place on 28 January 14th January 2016 Wren School Sharma elated Wren School granted planning permission 14th January 2016 Ahmad Zeidan Sharma raises alleged torture case in House of Commons 12th January 2016 RBC Education Admissions Reading Borough Council must take immediate action to fix online education admissions service 11th January 2016 previous 2 of 134

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/news?page=1 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma leads debate calling for tougher sentencing for causing death by dangerous driving | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    I will fight by their side for justice for as long as it takes If we are able to achieve a change in the law and it is indeed strengthened it would be fitting if that law was referred to as John and Kris s law That would be a tribute to the memory of two family men whose tragic deaths led to a national campaign to strengthen sentencing for dangerous driving Hansard Minister s Response The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice Andrew Selous As always it is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship Mr Hollobone Thank you for the efficient way in which you have chaired our proceedings I congratulate my hon Friend the Member for Reading West Alok Sharma on securing this important debate The seriousness with which dangerous driving is taken is evident from the strength of feeling among Members on both sides of the House I pay tribute to him for his persistence and for how he has brought this matter before the House Indeed I thank all hon Members for the non party political way in which these serious matters have been addressed My hon Friend was right to say that it is not possible for us to imagine the pain of the families who have lost loved ones to such terrible experiences I regularly meet victims and I will continue to be available to do that to try to give myself the best possible idea of what they have been through He mentioned the 102 000 signature petition which is a significant achievement I note that he has been to see the Prime Minister The shadow Minister spoke about the Prime Minister s supportive attitude on this matter I am also grateful to my hon Friend for mentioning the case of my hon Friend the Member for Stafford Jeremy Lefroy whose constituent a teacher was killed on account of someone browsing the internet while driving a lorry an atrocious thing to have done My hon Friend the Member for Reading West asked three particular questions and yes the five issues that he raised are being considered as part of the Government s review Secondly I hope to be able to move to the public phase of the review soon and we will do everything possible to attract the widest public attention Thirdly the reforms are likely to require legislation and so will be debated by Parliament All hon Members will have a chance as they have had this afternoon to put the views of their constituents in that debate Jim Fitzpatrick The Minister says that he hopes the review will move to its public phase soon Can he be more specific about the definition of soon When I was the Minister for a time a civil servant drafted an answer for me that said The answer to the parliamentary question will be published in the autumn I asked When is the autumn They said 23 December Minister I said Well that s usually Christmas They said It s the end of the autumn Session Minister The word soon is even less specific than autumn and certainly this year It would be nice to know whether that means the calendar year or the parliamentary year Andrew Selous The right hon Gentleman is a former Minister and he knows how such things work I am sorry that I am not able to be more specific but I can tell him and every other Member here that I get it There is clearly huge concern on both sides of the House about dangerous driving A commitment has been made to have the review and I assure the hon Gentleman that my officials and others are working on that in earnest I would be extremely grateful if he were good enough to accept that for now The hon Gentleman made an excellent speech and he is right that we all want safer roads He spoke about the language we use in such matters and I agree that using drink drugs or phones does not make it an accident Getting the language right matters and I hugely agree that enforcement is critical as my hon Friend the Member for Reading West also said As a former road safety Minister the hon Member for Poplar and Limehouse Jim Fitzpatrick brings great experience and knowledge to this debate The issue of prevention resonated most strongly with me and the public reporting of drivers who break the rules is an interesting idea He also said that the punishment should fit the crime I assure hon Members that Ministers and officials in the Department for Transport will be sent the transcript of this debate so that they can study what has been said because that is an important aspect of our proceedings The hon Gentleman specifically asked about prosecutions and despite the increased number of cars on our roads the number of incidents and more significantly the number of deaths on our roads have fallen very significantly As a result there are fewer prosecutions for causing death by dangerous driving but the sentence length has increased which is part of a long term trend I listened with great interest to the speech of my hon Friend the Member for Mid Derbyshire Pauline Latham Safety near schools is incredibly important and I commend her for continuing to campaign on that issue She made an important point which links to the point raised by the hon Member for Poplar and Limehouse about the need for effective enforcement Again I will ensure that that point is passed on to the Department for Transport The three E s mentioned by the hon Member for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West education engineering and enforcement are right She also made a useful contribution to our proceedings My hon Friend the Member for Henley John Howell told us of a personal experience from his constituency He speaks as a member of the Select Committee on Justice

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-leads-debate-calling-tougher-sentencing-causing-death-dangerous-driving (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma condemns local council failure to do more to help struggling schools | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Alok Sharma condemns local council failure to do more to help struggling schools 1st July 2015 Speaking in Prime Minister s Questions Alok Sharma calls on the PM to ensure that Reading Borough Council which recently received a damning report from Ofsted does more to help struggling schools under its control Alok Sharma Reading West Con Labour controlled Reading Borough Council recently received a damning report from Ofsted for not doing enough to help struggling schools under its control Will the Prime Minister tell us what the Government intend to do to ensure that systemically failing local education authorities such as Reading do not continue to ruin the life chances of our young people The Prime Minister My hon Friend is absolutely right to raise that Frankly one extra term in a failing school is too long for our children In the past Governments and LEAs have been too tolerant in allowing schools to continue to fail year after year so this Government have set a very testing regime for failing schools and for those that are inadequate As my right hon Friend the Education Secretary set out this week we will do similar things to schools that we would define as coasting and that could be doing better We can now see the model of academy chains taking over a failing school changing some of the leadership and putting in place the things that are necessary We can see

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-condemns-local-council-failure-do-more-help-struggling-schools (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma leads debate on treatment of fibromyalgia | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    a result there is no consistency of approach or care across the country in helping sufferers to deal with the effects of fibromyalgia exactly the point that my right hon Friend the Member for Clwyd West Mr Jones Thirdly the condition is not well enough understood by the general public or employers and sufferers have told me that they have faced discrimination in the workplace as well as the wider community That is completely unacceptable At this point I want to mention the good work of the Fibromyalgia Association UK which today merges with FibroAction to speak up with a louder voice for sufferers of fibromyalgia provide national helplines and raise awareness of the condition with GPs Although knowledge is inconsistent within the GP and health community there are pockets of excellence Last October I was invited to the one year anniversary celebrations of the re launched Reading fibromyalgia support group There I met with Dr Antoni Chan a consultant rheumatologist and physician at the Royal Berkshire hospital who gave a presentation on the ongoing research aimed at understanding the condition and developing treatments I also met Dr Deepak Ravindran a consultant pain specialist at the Berkshire pain clinic The clinic offers a comprehensive service starting with expert diagnosis and followed up by medical treatment which is complemented by good support from specialists in physiotherapy and psychology a truly multi disciplinary approach I pay tribute to Dr Chan and Dr Ravindran for the excellent work they are doing to help fibromyalgia sufferers in Berkshire As a result of that meeting I wrote to north west Reading clinical commissioning group last November providing a copy of the pamphlet on fibromyalgia that Dr Ravindran has produced and asking the CCG to promote understanding of the condition among the local general practitioner community Dr Ravindran recently informed me that the need for an integrated and collaborative approach to managing fibromyalgia has been recognised locally and a community pain service in the Reading area will start in September That will be a collaboration between the Royal Berkshire hospital and the Berkshire healthcare NHS foundation trust and its vision is to provide fibromyalgia specific pain management programmes That is good news for fibromyalgia sufferers in Reading and Berkshire but as other colleagues and I have remarked the approach is inconsistent across the country I have three asks for the Minister and the NHS First education and knowledge of fibromyalgia must be improved among GPs and other healthcare professionals and awareness of new diagnostic criteria must be increased and disseminated more widely Secondly strategies that provide an integrated and holistic service with patient empowerment as key must be promoted and developed because patients need to be involved in decision making and the management of their condition Thirdly the aim should be to set up a network of fibromyalgia clinics across the country so that patients who have had a flare up of the condition have somewhere to go for treatment other than A E or hospital My final point is about raising awareness of the condition more generally Jeanne Hambleton a freelance journalist and health writer has informed me that last year she wrote to two well known TV soap operas and asked whether one of the characters could be diagnosed with fibromyalgia to raise viewers awareness of the condition Sadly she did not hear back from the producers of either programme I have no doubt that many people watch debates on Parliament TV but it is safe to venture that many many more watch soap operas If the producers of Casualty or Holby City are watching the debate they may want to get back to Ms Hambleton about her suggestion I look forward to the Minister s response 11 14 am The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences George Freeman I congratulate my hon Friend the Member for Reading West Alok Sharma on securing a debate on this important issue In his constituency he has shown great support for his local fibromyalgia patient group by advocating on its behalf raising money and raising the profile of the disease which is so debilitating for its sufferers He has helped the group to continue its important work of improving awareness of the condition and providing advice to patients and their families I pay tribute to the work of FMA UK other fibromyalgia charities and the many patient support groups around the country who work tirelessly to raise the profile of the disease and support those who are affected by it I welcome today s merger of FMA UK and FibroAction which will help to give a stronger patient voice to those who are affected Fibromyalgia is an incurable musculoskeletal condition of unknown cause that can have a debilitating impact on those who are affected Although no exact figures are available research suggests that fibromyalgia affects around 2 5 million patients in the UK the majority of whom are women over the age of 40 Fibromyalgia symptoms affect the soft tissues muscles tendons and ligaments of the body and result in widespread and variable pain throughout the body Poor quality non refreshing sleep contributes to an ongoing cycle of chronic pain and fatigue and in some cases poor concentration and short term memory problems Irritable bowel syndrome restless legs head and neck pain and sensitivity to temperature change are also associated symptoms of fibromyalgia The symptoms and their severity differ from patient to patient Diagnosing the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be challenging for GPs Some 20 of the general population consult their GP about a musculoskeletal problem each year which amounts to more than 100 000 consultations a day The symptoms of fibromyalgia are common to other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome In addition patients with fibromyalgia can often visibly appear well despite their symptoms GPs face a further obstacle because there is no diagnostic test that accurately identifies the condition A diagnosis is usually made via a process of diagnostic

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-leads-debate-treatment-fibromyalgia (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma welcomes Budget measures to create a fairer tax system | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    their vehicle Mr Gauke My hon Friend is absolutely right Very often the debate in this House is about the impact on individuals of the freeze on fuel duty which has considerably reduced how much fuel costs As a consequence of our measures 10 is saved per tank full of petrol He is also right to mention the impact on businesses because many of them particularly smaller ones pay this tax We can sometimes forget that in that debate Fuel duty is now 16p per litre lower than it would have been under the previous Government s plans Hansard Alok Sharma My hon Friend is being generous in giving way I welcome the diverted profits tax and I think that my constituents will very much welcome that measure Will he confirm that it comes on top of all the work the Government are leading at the OECD and that in September or later this year we will therefore see further rules coming in to clamp down on base erosion Mr Gauke My hon Friend again makes a very good point This Government have led the way in the establishment of the OECD s base erosion and profit shifting project We are already implementing some of its conclusions including in this Bill but there is more work to be done The diverted profits tax is consistent with the direction that we want the BEPS project to go in which is to align economic activity more closely with taxing rights That is the direction in which the international tax system needs to move and the diverted profits tax is consistent with that approach The Bill legislates for corporation tax loss refresh prevention which will stop companies obtaining a tax advantage by entering highly contrived arrangements to turn old tax losses into new

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-welcomes-budget-measures-create-fairer-tax-system (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma calls for compensation for AEA Technology pension scheme members | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Alok Sharma calls for compensation for AEA Technology pension scheme members Speaking in a Parliamentary debate on the AEA Technology pension scheme and the information which members were given when they transferred their entitlements Alok Sharma calls for compensation for scheme members who have lost out Alok Sharma Reading West Con My hon Friend has come quickly to the nub of the matter People made the transfer because they believed that the terms would be no less favourable than those they were enjoying before they did so Does he agree that the key question is who will compensate those who have lost out I know that it happened many years ago under a previous Minister but perhaps the Minister will address that point as well when he makes his remarks Geoffrey Clifton Brown My hon Friend has made his point cogently I will return to the matter of compensation later in my speech Hansard Alok Sharma I wanted to make the point that people affected by the scheme will be listening to the debate and the bottom line for them is that what the Minister is saying perhaps he will correct me if I am wrong is that no compensation or redress will be forthcoming from the Government Steve Webb Clearly Government have set up the Pension Protection Fund As I have said more than about 10 years ago people in the situation we are talking about might have received a tiny fraction of the pension they had been going to get In the present case

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-calls-compensation-aea-technology-pension-scheme-members (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma praises job creation by businesses in Reading West | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    and the event was one of the most emotional and uplifting that I have been to during my five years as an MP The sheer sense of achievement and pride for those graduating was palpable and it was not because somebody had just come along and handed them a job but because they had each worked hard had achieved and had won a job on their own merits There are many examples of employers across my constituency who have created jobs over the past five years A number of my colleagues have talked about apprenticeships They have been a huge success in Reading West in the past five years We have had thousands of new starts All sorts and sizes of businesses everyone from Sisco and Microsoft to Chiltern Training and Pertemps a huge range of organisations have been taking advantage of help from the Government to start apprenticeships We talk about real jobs these organisations have been creating real opportunities for young people The end result of all that job creation and help for young people is a massive 60 fall in unemployment in my constituency since May 2010 Overall unemployment is now below 2 The right hon Member for East Ham Stephen Timms talked about youth unemployment That has fallen from 7 8 in May 2010 to 1 7 today Those businesses did not need any kind of compulsory guarantee from Government they got on and created jobs The reason why businesses have invested putting money into research and development and infrastructure is that they have regained the one absolutely precious commodity that one needs to succeed in business confidence Businesses have confidence in the British economy and they have confidence in the future Above all they have confidence in a Government who have cut corporation tax national insurance and red tape and increased the investment allowance and extended small business rate relief All these are policies designed to create jobs It is not Governments who create jobs it is companies in the private sector that create jobs The right hon Member for East Ham who is no longer in his place was not able to say what percentage of jobs under the compulsory job guarantee would come from the private sector I can tell him that according to a BBC report in March 2014 the Labour party was talking about 80 of jobs coming from the private sector In the past few weeks it has been bashing businesses and demonising wealth creators Labour has made it clear that it will put up taxes and have more red tape That will end up driving businesses away from our shores With all due respect I have to say that I do not think the Leader of the Opposition or indeed very many Labour Members understand business That is because they have never worked in business Gemma Doyle West Dunbartonshire Lab Co op There are a number of Labour Members who have worked in business including me What the hon

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-praises-job-creation-businesses-reading-west (2016-02-14)
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