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Tories Scrap Rail Electrification Plans

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The Transport Secretary, following the rise of Parliament, has made it known that he will scrap the electrification of the TransPennine route. York passengers would have gained from the electrification project which would have improved journey times to Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester and Liverpool and as a result increased capacity on the trains which are frequently overcrowded.

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Supporting the Summer Reading Challenge

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Rachael Maskell MP for York Central is supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which launches across England and Wales on Saturday 15th July.

To mark the starting date of the summer-long project, Rachael will be donating several books to York’s city centre library York Explore on Saturday morning. The Summer Reading Challenge, a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK, last year got over 729,000 children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.

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Rachael's Column: Thank You For Placing Your Trust In Me

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Thank you for placing your trust in me again and re-electing me to represent you in Parliament. I have already made progress on many of the issues that concern you. No-one could have imagined we would end up with a Government in chaos without a serious programme to address the needs of our nation. Neither could we imagine they would pay the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for their votes to cling onto power, rather than giving our hard working public sector workers a pay rise.

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Petitioning to stop privatisation of Patient Transport

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Rachael Maskell MP for York Central joined Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff on Saturday morning in Parliament Street to give her support and to collect signatures for the petition to stop the privatisation of Patient Transport in North Yorkshire.

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Launching Dads Breakfast Club in Acomb

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Over the weekend, Rachael Maskell MP for York Central met with Acomb Labour Councillor Stuart Barnes to launch a Dad's Breakfast Club in Acomb with the Yorkey Dads group at Lidgett Grove Church.

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Rachael Maskell is Appointed Shadow Rail Minister

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Rachael Maskell York Central MP has been appointed as the Shadow Rail Minister in the reshuffle which took place on Monday. Ms Maskell, who was re-elected on 8 June with an 18,575 majority is looking forward to developing Labour’s rail strategy, not least due to the pivotal role that York has played as a railway city through the years.  The MP has been promoted as Jeremy Corbyn prepares his line up ready to challenge the Government and face the possibility of another General Election.

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Armed Forces Day Campaigning

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To mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24 June, Rachael Maskell MP for York Central has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal and to save York’s Barracks. Ms Maskell continued to gather signatures for her petition to save Imphal and Queen Elizabeth II Barracks with a stall in the city-centre, before making a speech in the afternoon at the York Armed Forces Day event on Parliament St.

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Responding to announcement on York's Mental Health Hospital

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Rachael Maskell MP has welcomed Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust’s decision to increase the number of beds planned for its new mental health facility. In her response to the consultation on the new hospital, Ms Maskell raised serious concern that 60 beds would not meet the need of the city, and could result in people in crisis being sent out of the area. The decision to increase the number of beds by 20% on the original plans means that the people’s concerns have been heard and responded to in the consultation.

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York Pride 2017

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It was amazing to see so many community groups and the fantastic Labour Party stall at York Pride again this year!

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York Human Rights City

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On Monday, Rachael Maskell MP for York Central attended the declaration to make York the first Human Rights City in the UK.

From Bandung in Indonesia and Graz in Austria to Richmond, California in the US and Thies in Senegal, residents and authorities are looking at international human rights and putting them into action in their own communities.

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Easter Egg Collection for York Foodbank

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Over Easter, Rachael Maskell MP attended the Gateway Centre in Front Street, Acomb, together with Councillor Janet Looker to hand over Easter eggs to York Food Banks. The Trussell Trust run the food bank in Acomb but they distribute food throughout York and have centres in Tang Hall, Bell Farm and the city centre.

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Free School Meals For All

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A major policy announcement outlined how the next Labour Government will provide free school meals for all primary school children, in a change that could benefit 14,449 children in York. Many Labour Councils are already introducing free school meals and are seeing the positive impact that this is having on children.

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Comments on the Triggering of Article 50

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Today the Prime Minister will trigger Article 50, and embark on her negotiations for a hard Brexit – out of the Single Market and out of the Customs Union.

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York Sleepout for Homeless Charity SASH

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Last Friday night, Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central joined staff and volunteers from the homeless charity, SASH to take part in the York Sleepout. York Sleepout, which is taking place in the grounds of Tang Hall Community Centre, has been devised to raise awareness of homelessness in York and also to help with fundraising for the charity.

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Save York Barracks

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Rachael Maskell MP this week launched her petition to Save York Barracks at Imphal Barracks on Fulford Road. Ms Maskell is leading the campaign to reverse the Government’s decision to move 1400 skilled jobs from the city and protect 2,000 years of York’s proud history as a Garrison City. Sign the petition at: www.saveyorkbarracks.com

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Anti-Fracking Camp

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Rachael Maskell MP for York Central visited Kirby Misperton Protection Camp last Saturday (4 March) to meet the campaigners taking direct action to stop fracking in their community and to see the KM8 well site with Frack Free York and Thirsk & Malton Labour activists.

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Celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight

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Rachael Maskell MP for York Central met with with Leonard Kachebonaho, the Chief Executive of Kaderes, a coffee producing co-operative from Tanzania to celebrate fair-trade fortnight, which highlights the work and living standards in developing countries of the UK's everyday groceries.

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Business Rates

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On 1 April, the Government will change the annual uprating of business rates in England from the Retail Prices Index to the Consumer Price Index. They will permanently double Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) in England, and raise the SBRR threshold in England to rateable values of up to £12,000 tapering to £15,000. This is the first reform of business rates in seven years and whilst the changes may be welcome news to some businesses, a major half a million firms will face rises of up to 300% according to the Federation of Small Businesses, (in some cases transitional relief may be available to lessen this).

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Rachael's Column: What Does The Future Hold

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Although the EU Referendum divided the country in two last June, and while York voted clearly to remain in the EU, my conversations with constituents since the summer has shown that the city is more united than divided.

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Statement from Rachael Maskell MP

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I will be voting against the triggering of Article 50, in line with the strong remain vote from my constituents last June.

There is much diversity across all communities in the UK, and Labour is the only Party that can speak for the whole country by ensuring that local people have a voice in politics. York has over a 1000 year history of being a centre of trade in Europe, and its economy through its two universities, manufacturers and tourism base still very much relying on Single Market membership and free trade arrangements.

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