Nick Smith MP

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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

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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