Rough sleeping is a national emergency
Rough sleeping in Blackpool has increased 200 per cent since 2010. And across the North West rough sleeping has increased 328 per cent.
These new figures are deeply disturbing, and reveal the damage caused by years of austerity to families and communities in Blackpool and across the North West.
When speaking to the homeless community in Blackpool just the other week they told me their awful stories. Many forced to the streets because of debt, addiction, mental illness or abuse.
This is a national emergency and the Government needs to take immediate action.
I will fight to guarantee emergency accommodation for every rough sleeper in this cold weather and work to ensure 8,000 homes are available to keep those who have slept rough off the streets for good.
Labour’s Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys
There are so many adverts on the BBC
The controversy continues about whether or not the over-75s should have free TV licences.
The BBC transmits so many adverts for its future programmes that it may as well go commercial and become more financially viable and allow lonely pensioners to continue their viewing, often the only contact they have with the outside world.
Isis bride must be prosecuted
Shamima Begum was a mature 15 year-old when she along with two other girls decided voluntarily to leave the family home and travel 3,000 miles to Syria to join Isis.
Isis is a barbarous, evil entity peopled by thugs who have tortured, crucified, burnt alive and beheaded innocent people. They follow a sickening ideology that is abhorrent to any civilised person.
This girl had been radicalised, that is brainwashed. Not under duress but by willingly listening to and reading about Isis propaganda. She knew exactly what she was joining.
Within weeks she became the wife of 26 year-old Yago Riedijk, an Isis terrorist from the Netherlands and subsequently bore him two children who she says died of starvation. Undeterred, she is pregnant with his third child.
She is now pleading to return to this country, a country she has betrayed by supporting an enemy of this nation. She shows no remorse or contrition for her actions.
Astonishingly, she admits that seeing severed heads in bins “didn’t faze her”.
Legally, she can return to England. But if she does she must be prosecuted and kept under surveillance.
So-called deradicalisation is not reliable. Many studies in America, Sweden and this country demonstrate that such programmes are easy to defeat. One major reason is that radicalisation includes training in how to overcome deradicalisation. The latter can be beaten as can lie detector tests. People like Begum remain potentially very dangerous.
Nineteen year old Shamima doesn’t look like a victim to me. Women like her have been shown to be just as fanatical and dangerous as young men.
Begum planned her way to Isis meticulously. She created alibis and saved up money. She was not abducted or lured into becoming a jihadi bride.
Many will no doubt find it hard to believe that any girl could wish to live under Sharia law. She may have taken part in atrocities, we will never know. For her the cause overrode any moral scruples.
We need to ask this. If the caliphate had been winning would she have pleaded to come home?
This woman is an agent of her own destiny.
Dr Barry Clayton