Nick Smith MP

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Nick Smith MP has urged householders in Blaenau Gwent to be vigilant after as part of a campaign to identify burglary hotspots.

The Blaenau Gwent MP is asking people to take five easy steps to help secure their homes and reduce the likelihood of burglary.

The call comes as MoneySuperMarket revealed that in every 1,000 insurance quotes they handle, 9.4 claims are made for burglaries.

Speaking after the figures were revealed, Mr Smith said  “Despite burglaries in Blaenau Gwent being below the big hotspots this research highlights that people must remain vigilant to protect their homes from theft.

“I would urge all of my constituents to take care of their homes by taking simple precautions.”

The five tips are:

1. Always keep doors and windows locked when your home is unoccupied and when you’re asleep at night
2. Install timers on your lights, so they come on at night when you’re not home
3. Ensure items of value are kept away from easy view through windows and don’t leave house or car keys where they can be reached through a letterbox
4. Install and use a suitable alarm system and join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
5. Ensure your home contents insurance is fully up to date and provides enough cover for all your belongings

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said:  “Burglars have two thoughts uppermost in their minds: where am I most likely to find something worth stealing and where am I least likely to get caught?

“The best way to avoid the emotional turmoil and financial distress associated with a burglary is to be vigilant, make a concerted effort to secure your home and put in place the safety net of appropriate contents insurance in case the worst should happen.”

For more information, visit http://www.moneysupermarket.com/hubs/burglary-hotspots/

Nick Smith MP urges people to protect their homes from burglaries

Nick Smith MP has urged householders in Blaenau Gwent to be vigilant after as part of a campaign to identify burglary hotspots.

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Nick Smith MP and Alun Davies AM encouraged the next generation of voters to take part in democracy as part of a college event.

The pair teamed up with campaigning group Hope not Hate to run a voter registration stall at the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone.

During the visit they had the chance to talk to youngsters about how important politics was to their everyday lives, while encouraging those who hadn’t yet registered to sign up.

Alun Davies AM said: “It was great to see so many people signing up at the event as I'm shocked at how many people are no longer on the register.

“As we walk up and down streets in different parts of the borough there's always a number of houses where no-one is registered to vote. This is a democratic disaster.

“It’s so important that people register and have their say on how our country is run and I encourage everyone to take part and share their views.”

Kirsty Wall, 23, from Brynithel, was one of the students who signed up on the day.

Kirsty said: “It’s important for our future. You get to choose who will benefit you the most.

“We want careers and families in future, and we get to shape that future by voting.”

Nick Smith MP added: “Voting is one of the bedrocks of our society. It gives people a voice on the most fundamental decisions over how we build our lives.

“The youngsters I spoke to today cared about everything from jobs to transport and education.

“By signing up to vote, it means they get a chance to shape the world they want to see in all these areas and more.

“It was great to work together with Alun, Hope Not Hate and Coleg Gwent to get more people involved in politics.”

To register to vote in five minutes, visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

AM and MP join Hope not Hate at campus voter event

Nick Smith MP and Alun Davies AM encouraged the next generation of voters to take part in democracy as part of a college event.

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Nick Smith MP has today written to Mark Grimshaw, Chief Executive at the Rural Payments Agency, to challenge him on the delays of vital payments to farmers.

With news that farmers in England are still waiting on £1bn of basic payments, the Shadow Farming Minister has asked Mr Grimshaw how many of the 44,000 farmers affected face further costly delays.

Mr Smith pressed the Government in December over the failures of the department’s IT system that saw the project go £60m over budget and force farmers back to a pen and paper application.

Mr Smith said: “Farmers are getting a really hard time at the moment with the weather conditions and reductions in farm gate prices.

“The Government’s administration of RPA must be top notch at this time to ensure they get a fair deal.

“Following the shambles of the RPA’s IT system failure, farmers need to have confidence their payments will be received so they don’t have cash flow problems early in the New Year.”

 

Please find the contents of the letter below.

Dear Mark,

I have received concerns from farmers about the delivery of the basic payments from the Rural Payments Agency.

The concerns that have been expressed to me centre around the fact that although the target of half of farmers being paid by December has been hit, it seems less than a third of the money has been paid out and 49% of farmers have yet to receive anything.

  1. In your press release today dated 4th January, Liz Truss is quoted as saying “The RPA is on track to pay the vast majority of claimants by the end of January.” Can you please be more specific? Is your target 85%, 90%, 95%? This would greatly help the farmers who have still not received their payment.

  2. You say the RPA will provide an update to those claimants unlikely to be paid by the end of January. What is your estimate of the amount of the global figure held by the RPA still to be paid out to farmers after the end of January?

  3. I have also been approached by one farmer who is concerned that if cases are delayed, there is no transparency as to what is causing the problem so claimants can help rectify any reason for a delay. What advice does the RPA have to farmers who might want to engage in a proactive way to try and support the agency to ensure their payments are made sooner rather than later?

  4. The NFU have asked whether or not a part payment can be made to those who are going to miss the deadline. Can you update me on the latest thinking on this request?

I would be grateful for a quick response as this is a live issue affecting many farmers across the country at this time.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Smith MP
Shadow Minister for Food, Farming and Rural Affairs

Questions for RPA over £1bn of unpaid funds for farmers

Nick Smith MP has today written to Mark Grimshaw, Chief Executive at the Rural Payments Agency, to challenge him on the delays of vital payments to farmers.


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