Bob Ainsworth is calling on the Government to change course after figures released this week show that Police numbers have fallen to the lowest for nearly a decade, including the loss of 800 in the West Midlands since March 2010.
The figures show that there are now nearly 10,000 fewer officers on the streets, with the majority of the officers lost coming from 999, neighbourhood and traffic response units – the officers we rely on in an emergency.
Labour is calling for the Government to change course and implement a proper plan to cut crime, not just police officers.
“People from the West Midlands want to see police on their streets, but these figures show the Tory-led Government’s cuts mean 800 have already been lost from our local communities, with more cuts to come.
“Crime fell by 43 per cent with Labour according to the British Crime Survey. The same survey shows this progress has ground to a halt under the Tory-led Government during which time we now know they have cut nearly 10,000 officers.
“We need real change from this Government to make our streets safer. Prioritising neighbourhood policing, taking anti-social behaviour seriously, tackling the causes of crime with police and local authorities working together, ensuring no privatisation of core policing, and building strong communities with respect to all and responsibility by all.”
Bob Ainsworth has uncovered worrying statistics which show that the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks to start treatment on the NHS increased hugely in the Coventry Primary Care Trust area between 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The figures, which emerged in response to a parliamentary question asked by Bob, show that the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks to start treatment in the Coventry Primary Care Trust area increased from 3,377 in 2010-11 to 3,853 in 2011-12.
However, the increase in waiting times was not isolated to Coventry alone. The figures reveal that the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks to start treatment also increased in the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority from 52,285 in 2010-11 to 65,237 in 2011-12 and in England as a whole there was an increase from 528,768 in 2010-11 to 610,240 in 2011-12.
“These figures are extremely worrying and completely undermine the claims made by the Tory-led Government that waiting times in the NHS are falling.
“The most worrying aspect of all is that as a result of the Government’s mishandling of the NHS, patients are suffering and public satisfaction with the NHS is plummeting.
“We are now seeing signs of strain in the National Health Service; waiting times are rising; treatments are being rationed; frontline jobs are being cut; and NHS finances are being squeezed; and all this comes on top of the £3bn cost of the Government’s top-down reorganisation of the NHS.
“This just proves the old adage; the Tories can’t be trusted on the NHS”.
Bob Ainsworth has uncovered worrying statistics which show that the number of 16 to 24 years olds in Coventry who have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) for 12 months or more skyrocketed over the last year.
The figures, which emerged in response to a parliamentary question asked by Bob, show that the number of 16-24 year olds who were claiming JSA for 12 months or more in Coventry North East constituent increased from 45 in May 2011 to 180 in May 2012, a 300% increase in just one year. In Coventry as a whole the number jumped from 115 in May 2011 to 405 in May 2012, a 250% increase.
These statistics come on top of figures released last month by the Office for National Statistics which showed that the proportion of the working population in Coventry claiming JSA stood at 4.8%, which was 0.9% higher than the national average.
“Last month we were given the worrying news that the JSA claimant count in Coventry is persistently higher than the national average. Now we learn that the long-term JSA claimant count amongst young people in our city has skyrocketed over the last year.
“These figures are a wake-up call for the Tory-led Government and show they need to change course on the economy now.
“The Government needs to take urgent action and implement a sustainable growth plan that targets support to areas, such as Coventry, where JSA claimant counts are high.
“It is clear that we need to get people back to work and off benefits, or the scar of unemployment will do long term damage in our area.”
Bob Ainsworth is concerned that the number of households that received assistance from the Warm Front Scheme over the last two financial years has plummeted in the Coventry local authority area and in Coventry North East constituency.
The figures, which emerged in response to a parliamentary question asked by Bob, show that in Coventry North East constituency there was a 56% decrease in the number of households benefiting from Warm Front assistance between 2009-10 and 2010-11 and a 58% decrease between 2010-11 and 2011-12. In the Coventry local authority area there was a decrease of 61% between 2009-10 and 2010-11 and a 57% decrease between 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The table below shows the number of households assisted in Coventry and Coventry North East constituency in each of the last five years:
|Coventry local authority
|Coventry North East constituency
|(1) Figures up to 30 June 2012
“It is disappointing to see such a massive drop in the number of eligible households receiving assistance with their heating and insulation through the Warm Front Scheme.
“With soaring energy bills contributing to a cost of living crisis that is affectingthousands of households in Coventry, it is clear that the Government should be making every effort to ensure that homes are more energy efficient in order to reduce household bills.
“Instead, this Government is so out-of-touch that when families are facing record energy bills, it has cut help for people trying to do the right thing and make their homes more energy efficient.
“There are already around 26,000 households in Coventry living in fuel poverty and there is a real concern that this number could increase because of the cuts introduced by this Tory-led Government”.
The Warm Front scheme installs insulation and heating improvements to make homes more energy efficient. Qualifying households can get improvements worth up to £3,500.
Bob Ainsworth has today been nominated to Chair the Joint Committee on the Draft Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill.
The Joint Committee, under Bob’s Chairmanship, will conduct pre-legislative scrutiny into the draft Bill and the policies it seeks to implement.
The Joint Committee comprises six Members of Parliament and six peers. It will take written and oral evidence and will report to both Houses of Parliament.
“We will be considering very important matters that will have a significant bearing on the balance between national security and the protection of civil liberties.
“I take these responsibilities very seriously indeed”.
The number of 16 to 24 years olds claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in Coventry North East Constituency increased in May 2012 (the latest date for which figures are available) compared with the same period in the previous year.
The figures, which were revealed in response to a parliamentary question asked by Bob, show that the number of 16 to 24 year olds claiming JSA in Coventry North East constituency increased from 1,185 in May 2011 to 1,210 in May 2012. Over the same period the number of 16 to 24 years olds claiming JSA in the West Midlands and England increased also.
The following table shows the number of persons aged 16 to 24 resident in Coventry North East constituency, the West Midlands and England claiming jobseeker’s allowance:
As at May: Coventry NE West Midlands England
2011 1,185 47,190 341,710
2012 1,210 48,665 371,625
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department plans to undertake a statistical analysis to establish the effectiveness of the 2010 Drugs Strategy in (a) reducing demand and (b) restricting supply of illicit drugs. 
James Brokenshire: The Home Office is committed to undertaking an evaluation of the effectiveness and value for money of the 2010 Drug Strategy. A document setting out the approach to the evaluation will be published in autumn 2012. (Hansard, 3 July 2012)