06 MAR 2015

Be the Change welcomes Vicky Ford

Read the full story at Cambridge News

Cambridge is not short of visionaries. Social action, higher causes and selfless endeavour run through the heart of worthy groups and individuals across one of Britain's most engaged cities.

But according to Antony Carpen, one of the founders of Be the Change Cambridge, there is often a disconnect between these disparate groups.

"In a nutshell, Be the Change Cambridge is a grassroots project with the ultimate aim of creating a city that is greater than the sum of our parts," he said.

There is significant political interest in Be the Change Cambridge, with city MP Julian Huppert, regional MEP Vicky Ford and council leader Cllr Lewis Herbert among those in attendance at the first Be the Cambridge event last year.

But they were joined by visitors from across a broad spectrum of city life, including local government officials, construction giants Morgan Sindall, the Cambridge Arts Network, student group Cambridge Hub, teachers and local entrepreneurs.


06 MAR 2015

We really need to learn our lessons from Ebola

Read the full story on the European Parliament Website

The Ebola outbreak wreaking havoc in a number of West African countries since last year has been the most lethal one since the disease was discovered in 1976. On 4 March, the EP's Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) unit organised a hearing with experts to talk about how Ebola should be tackled, the need for research and what lessons should be drawn from the current crisis.

During the meeting MEPs criticised the lack of response to the initial outbreak. Charles Goerens, a Luxembourg member of the Alde group, said: "The attitude of the international community iscomparable to the attitude toward the economic crisis: too little too late. We really need to learn our lessons." Vicky Ford, a UK member of the ECR group, added that the EU also took too much time to realise the severity of the situation: "The Ebola crisis is really forcing us to rethink how we should react to situations like this."


05 MAR 2015

Foreign criminal living in Ipswich can finally be publicly identified after being deported

Read the full story at the Ipswich Star

Today we can finally reveal the identity of a career criminal who has now been deported back to Latvia.

Previously, on legal advice, we were unable to name Rolands Marcinkevics, of Chevallier Street, Ipswich, despite a string of convictions in his homeland and Sweden as police and the Home Office would not confirm them due to data protection issues.

In January Marcinkevics was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 60 hours' unpaid work after admitting shoplifting two bottles of Beyonce perfume worth £78 from Boots in Tavern Street, Ipswich, on January 3.

The serial offender amassed 14 convictions for 27 offences – including 18 thefts – after coming to England just over three years ago.

East of England MEP Vicky Ford and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer have been trying to get measures put in place for information-sharing between authorities across Europe to enable the tracking of criminals crossing borders.


05 MAR 2015

Campaign to protect funding for science

Read the full story in EDP24

Plans to cut funding for science across Europe have come under fire amid concerns the East of England's research centres in Norwich and Cambridge could be affected.

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, has suggested raiding 2.7bn euros from its flagship research programme Horizon 2020 in order to finance a new strategic investment fund aimed at stimulating economic growth across Europe.

The 79bn euros research programme is the one area where the UK gets back more from the EU than it contributes. In February, 28 of Europe's Nobel Prize winners and a swathe of other prize-holders wrote to MEPs urging them to try to stop the commission's proposal. The prize-winners single out for concern the proposed cuts to the European Research Council budget and warn that by "cutting this funding the European Union will send a message that Europe is not the place to do high level science".


05 MAR 2015

Nobel Prize winners and Cambridge MEP Vicky Ford attack plan to raid Horizon 2020 science funding

Read the full story at Cambridge News

Plans to cut funding for science across Europe have come under fire from top UK scientists and Cambridge based MEP Vicky Ford.

The European Commission has suggested raiding money from its flagship research programme 'Horizon 2020' in order to finance a new strategic investment fund.

Mrs Ford was the only UK MEP involved in the negotiations of Horizon 2020 which were finalised only last year, after more than two years of detailed discussions.

In February, 28 of Europe's Nobel Prize winners, 10 Field Medallists and Wolf and Abel prize-holders wrote to MEPs urging them to try to stop the Commission's proposal.



04 MAR 2015

Hogan wants MEPs to speak up on CAP

Read the full story at Farming Life

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has called for MEPs to contribute to the debate on CAP simplification.

As well as calling for member states to submit responses, the commissioner specifically hopes to discuss the issue in more depth with MEPs at a meeting in Parliament at the end of March...

This week Vicky Ford MEP (Conservative, Eastern) hosted a British bacon and egg breakfast in the European Parliament.

British farmers have invested heavily to meet and exceed the demands of European welfare legislation – such as the cage ban for hens (in force since 2012) and the sow stall ban (completely outlawed in the UK since 1999 in contrast to the European ban which only came in during 2013.)


26 FEB 2015

British pig industry 'being sold short by Brussels'

Read more at Farming UK

The British pig industry has made huge strides in professionalism — but in some areas it is being sold short by Brussels, National Pig Association chairman Richard Longthorp told MEPs.

He said British pig-keepers were proud of their professional standards and urged others in Europe to adopt and demonstrate similar standards in order to inspire consumer confidence in the safety and wholesomeness of European Union pork.

But in several ways the industry was shackled by a Brussels executive that did not always inspire confidence in producers or consumers, he claimed — citing insufficient checks and enforcement of the 2013 gestation stall ban, and an apparent reluctance to introduce country of origin labelling for processed meats, even lightly processed products such as bacon, ham and sausages.

"We live in an era where consumers have been faced with a host of real and potential issues and continue to seek more assurances regarding food safety, provenance and ethical and environmental criteria," he told MEPs at a British-bacon-and-eggs breakfast organised by the British Agriculture Bureau in association with the National Farmers Union and the National Pig Association and hosted by Vicky Ford MEP.


25 FEB 2015

Cambridge MEP Vicky Ford hosts controversial deal debate

Read more at Cambridge News

A controversial EU-US trade deal was put under the spotlight in Brussels this week by local MEP Vicky Ford.

Opponents of the Transatlantic Investment Partnership, nicknamed "TTIP," suggest that the agreement risks lowering standards for consumers and claim it is being negotiated behind closed doors.

However this week Vicky Ford chaired a public hearing in the European Parliament. There was standing room only as MEPs and members of the public from all over Europe came to listen to evidence from independent experts and consumer groups.

The EU's Chief Negotiator also briefed the audience about the challenges and opportunities.


24 FEB 2015

European Parliament Members Hear Why British Pork is Special

Read the full story at The Pig Site

EU - British pig farmers will lay claim to being the most forward-looking in Europe when they join MEPs for a British breakfast in Brussels on Thursday hosted by Vicky Ford MEP.

They will cite the industry's skilling-up programme in readiness for the global food challenges of the future, along with ground-breaking animal welfare audits and an advanced tracing system for every pig.


23 FEB 2015

NPA will tell MEPs why British pork is special

Read the full story at Farming UK

British pig farmers will lay claim to being the most forward-looking in Europe when they join MEPs for a British breakfast in Brussels on Thursday hosted by Vicky Ford MEP.

They will cite the industry's skilling-up programme in readiness for the global food challenges of the future, along with ground-breaking animal welfare audits and an advanced tracing system for every pig.

'Combine this can-do attitude with the fact that 90 percent of our pigs are covered by an independently-audited quality assurance scheme and almost a third are also inspected by RSPCA for its animal welfare label, and you can see we really do have something to shout about,' National Pig Association chairman Richard Longthorp will tell MEPs at a British bacon-and-eggs breakfast organised by the British Agriculture Bureau in association with the NFU and NPA.


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