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  • Unemployment at new low | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Dee Road Securing future for Circuit 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 Unemployment at new low 20th January 2016 Alok Sharma the Member of Parliament for Reading West has welcomed the news that the number of people claiming Jobseeker s Allowance in the Reading West constituency has fallen to a new record low The number of people claiming JSA in December 2015 has fallen to 764 down from 2 483 in May 2010 a fall of 69 per cent The number of people under 25 claiming JSA has also fallen to 70 down from 640 in May 2010 a fall of 89 The news comes on the day that new statistics show the UK employment rate is the highest since records began in 1971 Alok Sharma said The employment rate across the UK is now at the highest rate in our history there are more women in work than ever before and youth unemployment is continuing to fall thanks to the Government s economic policies The local statistics for my Reading West constituency demonstrate that Reading is an extremely attractive place for businesses to invest and this news only solidifies the town s status as an economic powerhouse Sign up for my e newsletter

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/unemployment-new-low (2016-02-14)
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  • Circuit Lane Surgery | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    at St Matthew s Church 205 Southcote Lane Reading RG30 3AX on Thursday 28th January 2016 at 19 00 and will provide patients with an opportunity to learn more about developments at the surgery over the past months and about the process of appointing a permanent provider at the surgery Attending the meeting along with Alok will be representatives from the current interim GP service provider Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as well as representatives from NHS England which is responsible for appointing a permanent provider at the surgery and North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning Group NHS England and North West Reading CCG representatives will be able to provide an update on how feedback from public meetings held in September 2015 and a recent patient survey has been reflected in the service specification document being used to identify a new provider for Circuit Lane Patients attending the meeting will have an opportunity to put questions to the healthcare professionals present To assist with planning those wishing to attend the meeting on Thursday 28 th January at 7pm should get in touch via alok sharma mp parliament uk or 0118 941 3803 The full list of panellists includes Alok Sharma MP for Reading West Dr Rod Smith clinical lead for Circuit Lane Surgery Helen Mackenzie Director of Nursing and Governance at BHFT Dr Geoff Payne Medical Director at NHS England along with a senior member of the Nursing Team Shirley Edwards Primary Care Commissioning Manager North and West Reading CCG NHS England Dr Barbara Barrie Governing Body Clinical Lead North and West Reading CCG In September 2014 five GPs running Circuit Lane Surgery in Southcote tendered their resignation and gave notice that they would end their contract for providing services in January 2015 Following this announcement Alok organised several public

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/circuit-lane-surgery (2016-02-14)
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  • Ahmad Zeidan | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    in the UAE can carry the death penalty On 28 May 2014 he was convicted and sentenced to 9 years in prison for the lesser charge facilitation of consumption of a narcotic substance to another Ahmad s sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 25 September 2014 his appeal to the Supreme Court was denied in September 2015 Ahmad s family have explained to Alok that upon Ahmad s arrest he was subjected to brutal beatings and threats of physical and sexual violence by police officers and that he was forced to sign legal documents in Arabic a language he cannot read Ahmad has informed his lawyers that the statement which he was forced to sign is not an accurate account of what he said or what happened on the evening of his arrest Ahmad s representatives have also raised concerns that he was denied access to lawyers and an interpreter when questioned by the Public Prosecutor as well as being denied the right to consular assistance upon his arrest All of those arrested with Ahmad have since been freed as a result of amnesties which are routinely carried out at state and federal level Ahmad has been excluded from multiple amnesties Ahmad s legal representatives have stated that the only factor differentiating Ahmad s case from his pardoned co defendants is that he submitted a complaint against the arresting officers after they subjected him to 8 days of torture and that Ahmad raised his illegal treatment at trial Speaking in Parliament during Foreign Office Questions Alok Sharma said Mr Speaker my former constituent Ahmad Zeidan who is a British national is currently serving a 9 year custodial sentence in the United Arab Emirates Mr Zeidan s family have informed me that whilst in prison he has been

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/ahmad-zeidan (2016-02-14)
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  • RBC Education Admissions | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    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 RBC Education Admissions 11th January 2016 Alok Sharma the Member of Parliament for Reading West has been contacted by frustrated Reading West parents who have been unable to access Reading Borough Council s online admissions service for primary school places which has been down all weekend and is still not accessible Alok has written to the Managing Director of Reading Borough Council urging the Council to take immediate action to rectify this problem since the deadline for applications is this Friday 15 January Alok Sharma said It really is completely unacceptable that the online admissions service has been down all weekend and is still not working Parents who have contacted me are angry frustrated and very stressed given that the deadline for applications is Friday 15 January Reading Borough Council s education department has a poor history of planning for enough school places with parents being frustrated at not getting their top choice of schools and this latest problem is not making local parents feel any more confident in Reading Borough Council Alok continued The Council needs to take immediate action to fix the problems with this website and should consider extending the admissions deadline beyond this Friday to give parents a few extra

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/rbc-education-admissions (2016-02-14)
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  • News | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    for Circuit 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 Arts Summit Sharma to host summit to strengthen arts in Reading 8th January 2016 Norcot Community Centre Sharma welcomes Barclays funding for Norcot Community Centre 8th January 2016 Tilehurst childcare petition Alok backs petition to expand childcare provision in Tilehurst 21st December 2015 Green Park Station Alok meets Rail Minister to discuss Green Park Station 15th December 2015 Denefield School Alok Sharma guest of honour at Denefield School Presentation Evening 15th December 2015 Royal Mail Christmas Visit Alok delivers Christmas cheer to Reading West posties 11th December 2015 previous 3 of 134 next Sign up

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/news?page=2 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma leads debate calling for tougher sentencing for causing death by dangerous driving
    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 so I welcome his contribution I am struck that 63 of respondents in his constituency expressed a fear of road traffic crime I agree that that is a significant finding and one of which we should take note John Howell That was 63 across the UK not just in my constituency Andrew Selous I thank my hon Friend for that correction which makes the finding even more significant Like him I was deeply shocked by the case he mentioned of someone driving at more than twice the legal speed limit

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/959 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma condemns local council failure to do more to help struggling schools
    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 radical increases in the results which is what we want We will today talk about how we tackle poverty in the long term Tackling sink schools and educational underachievement is vital to the life chances of our

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/864 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma leads debate on treatment of fibromyalgia
    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 investigation to exclude other potential causes of the patient s ill health It is therefore important that clinicians have the training tools and resources to help them identify fibromyalgia symptoms when a patient presents Musculoskeletal conditions are a key part of the generalist undergraduate MBBS medical curriculum The General Medical Council requires that the MBBS curriculum provides enough structured clinical placements to enable students to demonstrate the outcomes for graduates across a range of clinical specialties including musculoskeletal health Musculoskeletal health is also a key component of

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/865 (2016-02-14)
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