Rushanara Ali MP commends work of volunteering agency and calls for strong successor mentoring program to help a million young people over the next decade

Immediate Release – 17th January 2017

Rushanara Ali MP called on the government to ensure that young people who receive help from the National Citizens Service will be able to continue their progress in ambitious plans for a new mentoring scheme, during the second reading of the National Citizens Service Bill.

The National Citizen Service facilitates 15 – 17 year olds from all background to come together for between three to four weeks, mainly in the summer holidays after GCSE exams. Working together to deliver a project to make a difference in their community these young people learn important life skills, increasing their levels of civic engagements and social action.

It has already delivered 8 million hours of youth volunteering since its inception in 2009 with more than 300,000 teenagers taking part in NCS programs across the UK.

Speaking in the chamber, Rushanara highlighted the important work that NCS does with the charity Uprising, which she co-founded and chairs, as it has recently delivered the NCS program from its regional office in Birmingham to young people from the West Midlands.

But Rushanara called on the government to back a new program which she is establishing called One Million Mentors that aims to ensure that the progress that is made out of the NCS program is continued.
Speaking in the Chamber, she said:

“The NCS represents an impressive cross-party effort. Its precursor came under the previous Labour Government in the form of the “Be Inspired” programme in which Lord Blunkett and Gordon Brown, among others, were involved.”


“How much work will be done on successor programmes for the hundreds of thousands of young people who will be going through the NCS?”


Speaking after the debate she said:

“Mentoring can widen horizons, opportunities and networks for young people. 1MM will build a national online platform to recruit, train and deploy mentors to organisations working with young people.”

Statement on Bangladesh Victory Day

Marking the 45th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence on December 16th, Bethnal Green and Bow MP, Rushanara Ali paid her respects to those who sacrificed their lives to secure the freedom and independence of Bangladesh.

Rushanara Ali said:

“On Bangladesh Victory Day, we remember the three million people who lost their lives for the freedom of their nation. On this important day, we pay our respect to their memory and recognise the great sacrifice they made.

Earlier this year I was delighted to be appointed as the UK Trade Envoy to Bangladesh. I am pleased to be in a role that will help to promote even stronger links between our two countries.

As we mark the anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence and look to the future, I look forward to the United Kingdom and Bangladesh working closely together to tackle the threat of climate change, promote economic prosperity in both countries and boost development in Bangladesh.”

Rushanara Ali MP refers East Thames Housing to regulator after Ocean Estate is left without heating and hot water

Some 600 flats occupied by some 3,000 residents on the Ocean Estate in Tower Hamlets were recently left without hot water and heating for a week during one of the coldest periods of the year. With no alternative accommodation offered to vulnerable residents at a time of near freezing temperatures following the breakdown of the district heating system, Rushanara Ali MP has referred East Thames to the Housing Regulator, the Housing and Communities Agency, to ensure that lessons are learnt and this doesn’t happen again.

The district heating system provided by Vital Energi for the Ocean Estate has broken down twice over the last six weeks and left residents relying on East Thames to provide electric heaters and oil radiators to keep warm. Many residents were subsequently advised to use facilities at the Mile End Stadium, where there are only a handful of showers, an amount that was clearly not adequate for the needs of some 3,000 residents.

The Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow has been inundated with calls and emails from residents complaining about the total absence of basic services on the Ocean Estate. Over the past week she has been in constant contact with East Thames to try and resolve the issue.

During a meeting in the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday with the Housing and Communities Agency, Rushanara called for an investigation to be undertaken to make sure that lessons are learnt from this recent problem and that residents are fully compensated. Rushanara has also requested that East Thames open an investigation to ensure that this incident is not repeated.

Rushanara said:

“I have asked the regulator to investigate why 3,000 of my constituents went without heating or hot water for a whole week and were left to go to the local gym to shower and rely on electric heaters to keep warm. I believe Vital Energi and East Thames have a case to answer.”

“The regulator must ensure lessons are learnt from this recent crisis so that residents do not have to suffer in this way in the future.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
1) For further information or comment please contact Rushanara Ali MP’s Office on 020 7219 7200 or email rushanara.ali.mp@parliament.uk
2) You can find more information on Rushanara’s work in Parliament here:

Rushanara Ali MP calls on Government to fight discrimination if it is serious about achieving integration

For Immediate Release

In response to the publication of Dame Louise Casey’s year-long study of ‘opportunity and integration’ in Britain, Rushanara Ali, Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow has urged the Government to ensure that efforts to improve integration remain a ‘two-way process’.

Speaking in the chamber, Rushanara said:

“Integration is a two-way process. I want to highlight that in the last Labour Government we set up the Forced Marriage Unit and the community Cohesion Unit that I was involved in establishing and they did excellent work tackling the underlying causes, particularly around human rights violations.”

“I have as many challenges in my constituency encouraging middle class newcomers to integrate with settled communities which are predominately ethnic minorities, as much as I do the other way around.”

“We all have a part to play. And if we can connect those communities together through projects, through mentoring, through engagement then we can genuinely have a two way process and a practical way to integrate people rather than stigmatizing certain communities – In this case, I believe the Muslim community, in this report.”

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ENDS
Notes to Editors:
1) For further information or comment please contact Rushanara Ali MP’s Office on 020 7219 7200 or email rushanara.ali.mp@parliament.uk

Letter calling for the protection of Rohingya Muslims

A cross-party party group of 70 Parliamentarians is urging the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson to intensify the Government’s pressure on the Myanmar Government and allow full humanitarian access to the Rohingya Muslims in the North Rakhine State of Myanmar.

According to reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations, there has been a recent escalation of violence towards thousands of Rohingya Muslims over the last month. All three agencies have reported on the wide-spread violation of human rights abuses following the killing of border posts on 9th October.  

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