Scottish Decision Welcomed

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Local MEP Paul Nuttall has described the “No” result in the Scottish referendum as a vote for common sense.

“I am delighted that the Scots, renowned for their canniness, have voted to stay part of the United Kingdom, there is no doubt that we are much stronger together.

“Now we must move forward and ensure that all parts of the country work together for everyone’s benefit. This referendum has stirred up feelings of antagonism in some quarters in Scotland and the issues raised need to be addressed.

“But politicians must ensure that while seeking to tackle those issues they do not do at the expense of the rest of the UK.

 

Spotlight on folly of EU open borders

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Revelations that a Latvian man wanted for questioning by police over a missing girl has a murder conviction in his home country highlights the folly of EU open borders, said UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall.

Arnis Zalkalns served seven years in prison for murder in Latvia, after being convicted in 1998.

Police now want to speak to the 41-year-old builder following the disappearance of  14-year-old Alice Gross, who was last seen on August 28 using the same canal route in West London that Zalkalns, who was reported missing on September 5, was known to use.

“Mr Zalkalns may know absolutely nothing about this teenager’s disappearance but the point is he should never have been allowed into the UK in the first place,” said Mr Nuttall, North West MEP.

“But, of course, as Latvia is a member of the EU, he had every right to move here and our border agency is powerless to turn back migrants from member states regardless of their criminal history.

“This particular case is a striking example of the folly of open borders and why we must control who comes into our country and be able to turn back those felt undesirable,” said Mr Nuttall.

Mr Zalkalns came to the UK in 2004. In 2009 he was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 14 year-old girl in London, but no further action was taken.

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Ban for legal highs backed by MEP

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A call to have “legal highs” banned has been welcomed by local MEP Paul Nuttall.

The Local Government Association (LGA) wants the government to adopt an approach similar to that in Ireland where instead of banning drugs on a case-by-case basis as in the UK, all “psychoactive” – brain altering – drugs are banned and then some, such as alcohol and tobacco, are exempted.

Deaths from so-called legal highs have more than doubled in the past four years – rising to 60 last year from 26 in 2009.

“The problem is that no sooner is one drug banned than the manufacturers alter the formula so that it can then be sold legally. It’s a drug making roundabout and we need legislation to stamp it out,” said Mr Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader.

“I find it wrong that there are shops selling legal highs where young people can just wander it and buy these potentially lethal drugs. I fully support the LGA and its call for the government to introduce legislation to ban these drugs.

“We have a serious drugs problem in this country and it is particularly young people who are attracted to them. In general terms we must do more by way of education to deter dallying with danger which can easily lead to long term addiction.

“Sadly it is all too easy to obtain illegal drugs without adding to the problem with legal highs,” he added.

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Top Eurocrat slammed by MEP

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A top Eurocrat has been described as “robotically toeing the company line” after arguing Britain should stop ‘moaning’ about problems caused here by European immigrants.

Laszlo Andor, EU Commissioner for employment, claims that EU migration is good for the UK and instead of complaining about pressure on schools, hospital and housing we should be building immigrants homes.

“These are ridiculous views from someone truly indoctrinated in the autocratic Brussels power game and they do not accord with the British public’s views,” said Deputy UKIP leader, Paul Nuttall.

“Our whole infrastructure is creaking at the seams as the result of mass immigration, particularly in recent years from eastern Europe, but he is blithely suggesting we just invest in more facilities to cope with the influx.

“He insists that migration from other EU countries is good for us. Well he doesn’t live in areas where not only is there no room in the inn but there’s no room in the schools or hospitals either. 

“The answer is not more but less immigration, we’re full up, we’re fed up and we’re broke. Instead of robotically toeing the company line, as Commissioners have to do to keep their place at the trough, he should accept the flaws in the free movement of workers policy,” said Mr Nuttall, North West MEP.

“We need to regain control of our borders and consequently our population numbers, and the only way to do so is to leave the EU,” he added.

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Grammar schools the answer

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A survey showing that two in five parents think every child should have the chance to go to private school, regardless of their family’s income, has been described as ‘flawed.’

“Like every survey the answers you get depend on the questions asked and in this case it appears that the question not asked was about reintroducing grammar schools,” said Paul Nuttall MEP, UKIP Education spokesman.

“I am sure if that had been among those asked in this education charity commissioned survey there would not have been the same result about all children having the opportunity to go to private school.

“All parents want the very best education for their offspring and they see private schools as offering that opportunity. But top quality grammar schools can meet the same standards and provide a level playing field regardless of background and income.

“It is imperative that the existing grammar schools remain but it is vital that more are opened. The survey is about social mobility and grammar schools provide the best gateway,” he said.

The survey commissioned by the Sutton Trust  also found that more than a quarter of the parents quizzed are in favour of at least some state school places being allocated randomly, or by ballot, with a further 19 per cent agreeing that half of places should be allocated in this way and the remaining places handed out based on distance from home to school.

“I have great reservations about introducing allocation by ballot. This could mean children living just yards from the school of their choice have to travel miles to another one with all the difficulties that would create.

“It is difficult when schools are over-subscribed but lessons need to be learnt about why they are so popular and that knowledge used to raise standards at the other schools,” said Mr Nuttall.

 

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UKIP Northern Ireland AGM

I recently visited our colleagues in UKIP Northern Ireland – you can see some pictures from the trip below and you can watch a video of an Interview I gave while I was over there HERE

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Anger at Rail fare increases

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MEP Paul Nuttall has reacted angrily to plans to increase train fare costs for Northern Rail customers.

“As a result of the botched franchising of the West Coast line the government had to negotiate extensions to existing franchises including Northern Rail and this has led to axing some off peak tickets,” he said.

“Thousands of commuters will see their fares double and Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge that next January’s increases will be capped at 2.5 per cent is scant comfort for customers in my region.

“Again it seems that those living in the Westminster bubble just do not understand how tight people’s budgets are. Many are literally counting the pennies and a big increase in the cost of commuting will be catastrophic for some families.

Northern Rail has been forced to introduce evening peak ticket restrictions on local services.  Off-peak tickets are no longer be valid on some trains between 4.01pm and 6.29pm on weekdays. A return journey between those times from Wigan to Manchester Piccadilly  has risen from £4.20 to £9.10 – massive 117% increase.

Osborne’s own constituents will be hit with a 52% increase in a day return from Styal to Manchester bringing it to £5.20.

“I am not surprised that protests have been taking place at some railway stations, people are desperate to work to support their families and these rises make it harder for them to do so,” said Mr  Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader.

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E-cigarette cafe welcomed

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Dear Editor,

Following the recent £60,000 renovation of the Empire Coffee House on St James’s Street which sees the business become perhaps Burnley’s first e-cigarette friendly social establishment, this concept should be looked at with the hope that more of the same will follow.

Since the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007, pubs around the country have been closing down and converted into flats and convenience stores. Pub closures hit a height of 52 per week in 2009 and remain stubbornly high at 31 per week this year.

Sadly, whilst e-cigarettes are not legally covered by the smoking ban, many public buildings have extended the ban even though research by University College London last week has shown that as many as 54,000 lives in the UK could be saved if smokers switched to the electronic, water vapour variety.

With ambitious plans to acquire an alcohol licence and expand across the region, I wish the owner Ryan Lord all the best in his attempt at breathing life back into the struggling pub industry.

Yours Faithfully,

Paul Nuttall MEP

Letter to Crewe newspapers

 

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Dear Editor,

Calls by Council Leader Michael Jones for the merger of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester Councils must be looked at with deep suspicion.

The last round of local government reforms in the area which came into effect in 2009 saw Cheshire County Council scrapped and the councils in Crewe and Nantwich, Congleton and Macclesfield merged into what we see today. Scrapping the County Council was the wrong thing to do, but so too was the decision to scrap Crewe and Nantwich, Congleton and Macclesfield Borough Council. 

A proposed super council in Cheshire could have as many as 157 councillors covering an area 200 square miles larger than Greater London. This risks creating a huge gulf between ordinary voters and their elected councillors leading to cronyism and unaccountability.

I am all for councils working together to deliver savings and safeguard public services but as a member of UKIP, I firmly believe in democracy on a local level. A larger, combined authority risks power being taken further away from local residents and for that reason I am against any proposed merger.

Yours Faithfully,

Paul Nuttall MEP

UKIP Member of the European Parliament for the the North West of England