Gareth Thomas MP

From Harrow, For Harrow.

PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES AND QUESTIONS

Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, has spoken out to raise concerns over lack of money to help provide more than 120 beds for Northwick Park Hospital's A&E department.

Mr Thomas spoke in the House of Commons about his disappointment over the lack of action to tackle the increasing pressure on A&E services at Northwick Park Hospital. See the full story here. 

Gareth Thomas MP speaks out over lack of action to ease pressure at Northwick Park Hospital's A&E

Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, has spoken out to raise concerns over lack of money to help provide more than 120 beds for Northwick Park Hospital's A&E department. Mr...

Gareth Thomas MP, Labour’s Shadow Europe Minister, delivered a speech at Queen Mary, University of London, outlining Labour's commitment that Britain’s national interest lies in a reformed European Union.  

Gareth Thomas MP set out why we should stay in a reformed EU, when reforms could and should be taking place, and Labour's views on the specific reforms and new EU priorities that are needed.

Read the full speech here. 

Gareth Thomas MP, Labour’s Shadow Europe Minister, delivered a speech at Queen Mary University of London

Gareth Thomas MP, Labour’s Shadow Europe Minister, delivered a speech at Queen Mary, University of London, outlining Labour's commitment that Britain’s national interest lies in a reformed European Union.  ...

Gareth Thomas MP spoke in Wednesday's (05.06.13) debate on Accident and Emergency waiting times. To read the full debate, click here.
 

Mr Thomas:

Are the closures and restricted opening hours of many walk-in centres not having an impact on the increasing A and E crisis? Alexandra Avenue polyclinic, which serves my constituents, now restricts its opening hours to weekends.


Andy Burnham:

I entirely agree, and I shall say more about that issue shortly.
- - - 
Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op):

I am grateful for the opportunity to follow the hon. Member for Bracknell (Dr Lee). Given the views he articulated, I hope he will come and canvass for my opponent at the next general election; we would be very happy to have him there. I say that in the context of the situation in the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, which in 2010-11 was well within the waiting times targets for A and E. Just 2.9% of patients waited more than four hours, but by 2011-12, that figure had risen to some 10.8% at the end of the year, while for the whole of the last financial year the figure is 12.2%—the second worst set of statistics in London, surpassed only by the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, where almost 16% of patients had to wait over four hours.


Stephen Pound:

I am grateful to my hon. Friend and neighbour for giving way. In view of what he has just said, does he think that the best possible prescription is that currently recommended by the Government whereby the existing A and E departments at Ealing, Park Royal, Hammersmith and Charing Cross all close? Does he think that will improve waiting times in A and E departments?
Mr Thomas: My hon. Friend, as ever, is ahead of me. He makes the perfectly reasonable point that if the Northwick Park and Central Middlesex A and E departments are not achieving the 95% target now, how can our constituents have any more confidence about reaching that target should the Central Middlesex and Ealing hospitals close?

Gareth Thomas MP reveals statistics for A&E waiting times in Harrow

Gareth Thomas MP spoke in Wednesday's (05.06.13) debate on Accident and Emergency waiting times. To read the full debate, click here.  Mr Thomas: Are the closures and restricted opening hours of...

Gareth Thomas MP this week highlighted in the House of Commons the huge cuts in the number of Police Officers and Community Police Officers (PCSOs) in every part of London since the General Election, the drop in the number of crimes solved and the reduction of frontline uniformed police staff that will have occurred in every borough by 2015.  
 
The debate took place on Wednesday 6th February in Westminster Hall, the House of Commons, and can be viewed here or read here.
   
In Harrow, the number of Police Officers and PCSOs has reduced by 100 - a drop of nearly 20% - between March 2010 and April 2012. The Mayor’s own figures predict the number of Police Officers alone in Harrow will have reduced by 17 officers by 2015. The Mayor has not published borough figures for the expected number of PCSOs by 2015 but given that there is expected to be a further 1,100 cut across London by 2015 there is sure to be fewer officers on Harrow’s streets.
   
The number of crimes solved in London has dropped by 22,500 and the percentage of crimes solved has dropped to 21%. Furthermore the Crown Prosecution Service in London has 18% fewer barristers and solicitors to lead crime prosecutions.
   
Gareth Thomas MP also highlighted the end of funding to tackle gang violence; the huge cut in funding used to pay for preventing alcohol and drug misuse; and to divert young people away from youth violence.
  
 
Gareth Thomas MP said:
   
“The scale of cuts that David Cameron and Boris Johnson have already made to the Metropolitan Police is shocking, but the fact there will be fewer frontline uniformed police officers on London’s streets by the next General Election only underlines their broken promises to protect the ‘thin blue line’ in our communities.
  
 The Mayor’s plan will reduce local police teams to just one guaranteed PC and PCSO in each community. This is a reckless plan which needs to be rethought urgently.”

Huge cuts to the number of Harrow police officers

Gareth Thomas MP this week highlighted in the House of Commons the huge cuts in the number of Police Officers and Community Police Officers (PCSOs) in every part of London...

 Labour & Co-op MP Gareth Thomas today (13.02.13) challenged David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Question Time to explain the loss of 4,000 frontline police officers in London’s boroughs since the Conservative-led government came to power, including the loss of 100 officers from Harrow; and the drop in the number of crimes solved across London.   
A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that 4,000 fewer police staff were in place by April 2012 compared to March 2010 – a period which saw major riots take place across London and growing concern about gang crime. 
  
The number of police officers and community police officers across London reduced from 25,036 on 31st March 2010 to just 20,951 on 8th April 2012; a 16% drop including a reduction of over 2,000 police officers and over 2,000 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)1.
  
 In Harrow, the number of Police Officers and PCSOs reduced by 100 - a drop of nearly 20% - between March 2010 and April 20122. The Mayor’s own figures predict the number of Police Officers alone in Harrow will have reduced by 17 officers by 2015. The Mayor has not published borough figures for the expected number of PCSOs by 2015 but given that there is expected to be a further 1,100 cut across London by 20153 there is sure to be fewer officers on Harrow’s streets.
 
The number of crimes solved in London has dropped by 22,500 and the percentage of crimes solved has dropped to 21%4. The Crown Prosecution Service in London has 18% fewer barristers and solicitors to lead crime prosecutors5.
   
Gareth Thomas MP said:
 
  “David Cameron and Boris Johnson have claimed, using a choice of statistics which characters from the Thick of It would have been proud of, that the number of police officers in London is increasing. From the Metropolitan Police’s own figures we know this just isn’t true – Harrow has 100 fewer police officers than when Cameron came into office.
   
Worryingly too the percentage of crimes being solved is rapidly decreasing. It’s time the Conservatives came clean with Harrow residents and explained why they’ve broken their promise to increase neighbourhood policing.”
 
 Prime Minister’s Question Time can be viewed here, the transcript is also available here.

Local MP challenges Prime Minister about the loss of 4,000 police officers across London

 Labour & Co-op MP Gareth Thomas today (13.02.13) challenged David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Question Time to explain the loss of 4,000 frontline police officers in London’s boroughs since the Conservative-led...

Gareth Thomas MP asked the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice in yesterday's debate (07.01.13) about his opinion on the impact of the decrease in police numbers:

 Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op): A freedom of information answer from the Metropolitan police revealed that some 4,000 front-line police officers covering the London boroughs had been lost during the Government’s first two years in office. How does the Minister think that that is helping to tackle gang violence and antisocial behaviour—which is causing growing concern—and does he think that it may have contributed to the riots in any way?

 The Minister's response: 

The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice (Damian Green): No, I do not think that, and nor does anyone who has investigated the riots. I want to make an overall point about policing in London, which is extremely difficult but hugely important not just to Londoners, but to the whole country. In this time of financial stringency, the reason for which the hon. Gentleman will understand —it is because of what his Government did—recorded crime in the Metropolitan police area over the past 12 months was down by 3%. London is becoming safer. I wish that Opposition Members who have raised this matter a lot would look at the facts of what is happening on our streets—they are becoming safer.

Gareth Thomas MP raises concerns about the impact of the cuts to front-line police officers in Parliament

Gareth Thomas MP asked the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice in yesterday's debate (07.01.13) about his opinion on the impact of the decrease in police numbers:  Mr Gareth Thomas...

In yesterday's debate (04.12.2012) entitled "Gangs and Youth Violence (2011 Riots)", local MP Gareth Thomas highlighted Harrow's growing gang problem.

 Mr Thomas said:

I thank my hon. Friend for giving way, and I apologise for missing some of her opening remarks. Does she accept that whereas gang crime in London was perhaps once seen as an inner-city issue, it now very much affects a number of London's suburbs, including my borough? Notwithstanding the need to maintain funding levels for the existing series of gang projects in the main London boroughs..."


To read the full debate, please click here.

Gareth Thomas MP highlights Harrow's growing gang problem

In yesterday's debate (04.12.2012) entitled "Gangs and Youth Violence (2011 Riots)", local MP Gareth Thomas highlighted Harrow's growing gang problem.  Mr Thomas said: I thank my hon. Friend for giving...

Local MP Gareth Thomas spoke out about long waiting times in A&E units in today's (31.10.2012) Prime Minister's Questions.

Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op):  “The number of people waiting more than four hours in accident and emergency units has more than doubled in the past two years, and the Prime Minister will not intervene to stop the closures of A and E units at Central Middlesex hospital and Ealing hospital; and we now know about Lewisham—and I suspect that, despite his weasel words, Kettering hospital too. What confidence can my constituents have that if they end up in casualty they will not have to wait longer for A and E services too?”

To watch the video, click here.

 

Local MP Gareth Thomas asks Cameron about lengthy A&E waiting times

Local MP Gareth Thomas spoke out about long waiting times in A&E units in today's (31.10.2012) Prime Minister's Questions. Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op):  “The number of people waiting...

Gareth Thomas MP has backed Harrow's police and asked the Prime Minister, David Cameron, why there are fewer police on our streets in yesterday's (24/10/2012) Prime Minister's Questions.

Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op): "Last year the Prime Minister told the House that there was no reason why front-line police officer numbers needed to fall, but my constituents in Harrow tell me that they are seeing fewer police on our streets. Is not the real truth that there are 6,800 fewer police officers since he came to power?"

To watch the video, click here.

Further to this, Gareth asked two questions during the debate on the Police yesterday (24/10/2012):

Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op): Is not what has happened in London particularly instructive in terms of the context for this debate? Mayor Boris Johnson has presided over almost 1,500 police officers being cut and almost 2,000 police community support officers being lost. Is that not part of the Conservative record and to be regretted?

 Mr Thomas: The right hon. Gentleman referred to reports by HMIC, so he will presumably be familiar with the concerns that it made clear earlier this year about the future performance of the Metropolitan police, given the cuts that the Mayor of London is likely to push through. Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that there is even more concern, particularly in the suburbs of London, about rumours of significant closures of police stations and custody suites and mergers of borough commands?

To watch the video, click here.

Gareth Thomas MP speaks out about police cuts in Harrow

Gareth Thomas MP has backed Harrow's police and asked the Prime Minister, David Cameron, why there are fewer police on our streets in yesterday's (24/10/2012) Prime Minister's Questions. Mr Gareth...

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