Nick Smith

Working for you in Blaenau Gwent

News

 

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Nick Smith MP is calling for a halt to the Tory Tax Credit cut as thousands of families in Blaenau Gwent face the reality of losing an average of £1,300 a year.

 

Halt the Tory Tax Credit cut

  Nick Smith MP is calling for a halt to the Tory Tax Credit cut as thousands of families in Blaenau Gwent face the reality of losing an average of... Read more

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Nick Smith MP has called for proper scrutiny of the auto-renewal insurance cost after claims Blaenau Gwent drivers have overpaid by an estimated £1.4m.

 

Criticising the £1.4m bill for Blaenau Gwent drivers

Nick Smith MP has called for proper scrutiny of the auto-renewal insurance cost after claims Blaenau Gwent drivers have overpaid by an estimated £1.4m.   Read more

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Nick Smith MP has celebrated the success of a Blaenau Gwent band after their victory at a national competition.

 

Ebbw Valley Brass have now made it three wins in a row at the Nationals, taking place this year at Cheltenham.

 

Celebrating Ebbw Valley Brass victory

  Nick Smith MP has celebrated the success of a Blaenau Gwent band after their victory at a national competition.   Ebbw Valley Brass have now made it three wins... Read more

 

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Nick Smith MP has warned people to be vigilant on the eve of the Rugby World Cup for ticket fraud as he continues to campaign for a fair secondary ticket market.

 

The Blaenau Gwent MP was part of a delegation to meet Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Nick Boles as reports continue to flood in about sky-high ticket prices and fans being swindled by fake or non-existent tickets.

 

With a prominent website still running despite its phone line being suspended by the police, Mr Smith said it was important rugby fans used official channels wherever possible to avoid disappointment.

 

The getsporting.com website is still currently on the first page of Google, with tickets for all matches of the RWC being available.

 

But the national fraud intelligence bureau has suspended the website’s phone line and was assessing the website as of the end of August, with the City of London police confirming it had also referred the matter to a local police force for possible investigation.

 

Speaking as the rugby celebrations are set to get underway, Mr Smith said to ensure you are protected you should use the RWC’s official ticket resale service at https://tickets.rugbyworldcup.com/

 

“Most games still have seats available on the resale site but people might think they have no option but to look elsewhere”, he said.

 

“We campaigned hard for legislation earlier this year that would protect ordinary fans from rip-offs and fraud online, with several protections being brought in so buyers have more peace of mind.

 

“But sites are still selling tickets for all sorts of events with incomplete information, tickets for rows and blocks that don’t even exist or at its most simple tickets that aren’t even owned by the seller at all.

 

“We are in real danger of the UK becoming the ticket fraud capital of the world”.

 

“I’ll be continuing to work with colleagues to fight against the internet spivs. Until then, make sure whenever possible to go to the official site.”

 

Reg Walker, the Operations Director at ticket security firm Iridium, said practices such as “speculative ticketing” where touts sell tickets they don’t own in the hope of buying them at a later date were hurting ordinary fans.

 

He confirmed his team dealt with 3,600 people who had presented invalid and counterfeit tickets for shows at the 02 in 2013.

 

“This country has a fantastic reputation for events, it’s a real jewel in the crown, but that reputation is being tarnished,” he said.

 

For more information, visit http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/rugby-world-cup-2015-tickets-10072914

Nick Smith MP warns people to be vigilant of ticket rip-offs in build up to RWC

  Nick Smith MP has warned people to be vigilant on the eve of the Rugby World Cup for ticket fraud as he continues to campaign for a fair secondary...

Nick Smith MP has welcomed a credit union’s efforts to encourage shoppers to spend responsibly in their town.

 

The Blaenau Gwent MP was at the launch of Smart Money Cymru’s loyalty scheme in Tredegar, designed to encourage people to use credit union services and spend in town at the same time.

 

Members of the credit union can use their Smart Spend Prepayment Card to get rewards and discounts in town while also avoiding overspending or other financial problems.

 

Mr Smith has been backing credit unions since revealing pay day lenders Wonga had loaned more than £1m in a year to people in Blaenau Gwent.

 

Speaking at the Aneurin Bevan House launch, Mr Smith said it was great to see the community working together to support the local economy and people’s finances.

 

“I am a strong believer in alternatives to high-interest, quick fix credit from the pay day loan companies because it is so easy to start a downward spiral of debt”, he said.

 

“The credit union is looking to support its members, not make profit off them. This is a great service and as a member myself I am pleased to see it being pushed out in Blaenau Gwent.

 

“This scheme is offering important financial education for those who need it. People shouldn’t have to learn these lessons on their own the hard way.”

 

Alun Taylor, chairman of Smart Money Cymru, said this was an important step to ensuring more people in Blaenau Gwent knew about the service on their doorstep.

 

“It’s important because there are real issues facing people in Blaenau Gwent such as debt”, he said.

 

“This is a real opportunity after many years of running to bring this service into the high street.”

 

To learn more or set up an account, call 02920 883751 or visit www.smartmoneycymru.co.uk

 

 

A welcome to Blaenau Gwent for socially responsible credit

Nick Smith MP has welcomed a credit union’s efforts to encourage shoppers to spend responsibly in their town.   The Blaenau Gwent MP was at the launch of Smart Money...

_85453746_nicksmithmp.jpgNick Smith MP has said the Welsh public deserve a commitment from the Government to electrify the Great Western line on time after David Cameron evaded the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Blaenau Gwent MP used his opportunity at PMQs to press for assurances over the development of the Paddington to Swansea line after recent fears the project could miss its 2018 deadline by as much as two years.

However, the Prime Minister refused to give a timetable for the line, only saying they were making “record investments in our railway line”.

Speaking after PMQs, Mr Smith said concerns about the project would only increase if the Government fail to throw their weight behind the endeavour.

“The Prime Minister has a duty to answer the important questions and support development of the Welsh economy.

“Instead of taking the opportunity to put our fears to rest, he dodged the question and has left us all in the dark.

“The Government must now come clean so we know what is going to be happening on this important project.”

Notes: Below is the transcript of Nick’s question at PMQs.

Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent) (Lab):

Experts say that delivery of the electrification of the main line between Paddington and Swansea is slipping. How will the Prime Minister get this project back on track and budget by the delivery date of 2018?

The Prime Minister:

We are committed to this electrification all the way to Swansea, and we are making record investments in our railway line. Many of us, including Opposition Members, were privileged to be at Newton Aycliffe for the opening of the Hitachi factory that will be providing the state-of-the-art trains—trains built not in Japan, but here in Britain, bringing 700 new jobs to the north-east of England.

Nick asks for electrification deadline at PMQs

Nick Smith MP has said the Welsh public deserve a commitment from the Government to electrify the Great Western line on time after David Cameron evaded the issue at Prime...

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Nick Smith MP is asking the borough’s talents to apply for a scheme that could make their voices heard in the Houses of Parliament.

The Blaenau Gwent MP is promoting the Speaker’s Parliamentary Scheme, which gives 10 people every year the chance to work in Westminster when they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity.

The nine-month internships, paid at the London Living Wage, see people from all backgrounds spend time working with an MP from Monday to Thursday.

They then spend their Fridays rotating between the many departments that make up Parliament, giving them a full experience and a big boost to their CV.

Last year’s success stories included a single parent, a part-time carer and someone who was previously working in a call centre.

Mr Smith, who has applied to be one of the hosting MPs, said he knew more than most about the need to give people of all walks of life an opportunity in the corridors of power.

“We can talk all we want about widening who represents us in the world of politics, but for too long the hurdles to even get a foot in the door have proved too high for too many”, he said.

“In the years to come I want to see plenty of people from places such as Blaenau Gwent working here and helping to shape Britain.

“But that only happens if we make the effort to give them a leg up in the first place.

“I feel it’s our duty to do that as older generations did for us, which is why I’m supporting a scheme that gives our talented workers a real chance and a real taste of a political career -  and a scheme that doesn’t rely on the bank of mum and dad as well.”

Anyone can apply to take part in this year's Speakers' Parliamentary Placement Scheme until 12 midday on Friday 21 August. Successful applicants will start their role in October 2015.

To find out more, visit www.thecreativesociety.co.uk/projects/speakers-internship-scheme/

Backing a scheme to get Blaenau Gwent people working in Parliament

Nick Smith MP is asking the borough’s talents to apply for a scheme that could make their voices heard in the Houses of Parliament. The Blaenau Gwent MP is promoting...

Nick Smith MP has urged borough projects to apply for a funding boost to help remember the lessons of war.

 

A year from the Battle of the Somme Centenary, the Blaenau Gwent MP has told the community not to miss out on their share of a £4m Heritage Lottery Fund money to explore the impact of the war.

 

Speaking after the announcement of the funds, Mr Smith said projects such as www.blaenaugwentremembers.com, set up by colleague Alun Davies AM, had been an inspiration.

 

“The stories that have already been shared as part of the First World War Centenary are so important to us as a country and a community”, he said.

 

“We mustn’t forgot not only the toll and consequences of war, but the people who fought in them.

 

“We have a rich military history in Blaenau Gwent, so if any group can take advantage of this new funding it would be a fantastic boon for the area.”

 

Following the success of its community grants programme First World War: then and now, HLF has made an additional £4million available in 2015/16 for communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War.  Grants are available between £3,000 to £10,000.

 

Thanks to National Lottery funding, thousands of young people and communities throughout the UK have already been involved in activities marking the Centenary such as researching and recording local heritage, conserving and finding out more about war memorials and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories they uncover. 

 

More information on how to apply for HLF funding is available at www.hlf.org.uk

Welcoming £4m HLF grant for remembrance projects

Nick Smith MP has urged borough projects to apply for a funding boost to help remember the lessons of war.   A year from the Battle of the Somme Centenary,...

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Nick Smith MP has called for the Crown Prosecution Service to take action after a damning report into Operation Jasmine.

A damning report into Operation Jasmine

    Nick Smith MP has called for the Crown Prosecution Service to take action after a damning report into Operation Jasmine. Read more

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Nick Smith MP recently joined forces with Team Fox and Dr Brian May in fight to keep the ban on hunting in placeahead of Wednesday’s vote.

Joining Team Fox to keep the Hunting Ban

Nick Smith MP recently joined forces with Team Fox and Dr Brian May in fight to keep the ban on hunting in placeahead of Wednesday’s vote. Read more

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