Nick Smith MP

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Nick Smith MP was the master of ceremonies for the next generation of jokers at a Parliament competition.

Since September 2015, hundreds of schoolchildren across Wales, Scotland and England have taken part in the joke-telling competition, Voice Box.

Twenty made it through to the final for the annual competition at Speaker’s House, Westminster in London.

Organised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and partnered by The Communication Trust, it aims to remind people that there are children in every classroom who need support to help them speak and understand what is being said to them.

Speaking after the event, Mr Smith, who returned as the host after last year’s event, said it was great to support such a worthy cause.

“As a former Director at the RCSLT, I got to see first-hand some of the good work being done to raise awareness that some children need early help with communication”, he said.

“It’s fantastic to see these youngsters have the confidence to stand up and tell their jokes, and it’s up to all of us to make sure they have that confidence.”

John Bercow, Speaker of The House of Commons, said: “I am delighted to be able to host this wonderful event for the second year running. It is extremely important that children with speech, language and communication needs receive the support they require to reach their potential.”

Nearly 20% of the population may experience communication difficulties at some point in their lives.

7% of children aged about five years have specific speech and language impairment and a further 1.8% have speech, language and communication needs linked to other conditions, such as learning disability, cerebral palsy, and autism spectrum disorders.

Nick Smith is host for Voicebox finals in Parliament

Nick Smith MP was the master of ceremonies for the next generation of jokers at a Parliament competition.

Shadow Minister for Food, Farming and Rural Affairs Nick Smith has blasted the Government's handling of vital payments to farmers after a Public Account Committee report into their failings.

Speaking after the report's publication, which can be found HERE, Mr Smith said:

“The PAC’s report has exposed the childish squabbling and terrible mismanagement that has created this payments fiasco, but that will be of little comfort to farmers still waiting for payments.

“Now we are all left to count the cost of this failure.

“The Government must accept their part in a project that may well have landed us with a £180m annual fine from the EU.

“The Farming Minister when challenged refuses to accept the fallout from this scheme.

“Money that could have gone to flood defences and British agriculture will now be wasted on unnecessary fines.

“The blame for this lies firmly in the hands of Ministers and senior officials who failed to control the RPA’s delivery programme.

  • Ends

Editor’s note: The latest response to Nick’s questioning of the Government on disallowance is at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-02-04a.1068.4#g1069.6

Shadow Farming Minister brands CAP mismanagement "a fiasco"

Shadow Minister for Food, Farming and Rural Affairs Nick Smith has blasted the Government's handling of vital payments to farmers after a Public Account Committee report into their failings.

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Nick Smith MP is urging Blaenau Gwent projects to apply for lottery funding to mark the Centenary of the First World War

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded more than £7m to projects in Blaenau Gwent since 1998, helping everything from Abertillery & District Museum to Tredegar’s “Made in Blaenau Gwent” film project.

Now with the Centenary of the First World War reaching its mid point, Mr Smith is urging constituents to boost their community projects by applying for a piece of the £1m available for 2016

The Blaenau Gwent MP said: “We have a rich tradition of serving in the Armed Forces in Blaenau Gwent, and I am always immensely proud of how our community marks remembrance events throughout the year.

“I’m delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is making this money available to local communities.  For those who want to find out more about its legacy or who wish to mark the Centenary, I would urge them to get in touch with HLF.”

Nick attended a Heritage Lottery Fund event in Parliament that showed how HLF supports projects across the UK that focus not just on the events of 1914–1918 but also on the lasting changes the war brought about.

It provides grants of £3,000 to £10,000 enabling groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.

Since April 2010, HLF has awarded over £70million to more than 1,300 projects – large and small – that will mark the Centenary of First World War.

If a group have a project idea to mark the Centenary of the First World War, an online application pack is available http://www.hlf.org.uk/ThenAndNow.

Urging the community to apply for lottery funding to mark the First World War

Nick Smith MP is urging Blaenau Gwent projects to apply for lottery funding to mark the Centenary of the First World War


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