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Daniel Zeichner MP has welcomed the announcement from Cambridge Regional College that they are joining forces with Huntingdonshire Regional College following discussions within the Government’s Area Review of Further Education – but wants guarantees that both sites will be secure in the future and that the process will not be used to cut jobs. 
Mr Zeichner said: “This announcement is not entirely unexpected, and it is good news for Huntingdon that they are being paired with a college that continues to be well-regarded by OFSTED. The link-up looks to be a good fit which should help both institutions, but it is important that both sites are retained and that staff are properly protected.”  

Cambridge Regional College and Huntingdonshire Regional College join forces

Daniel Zeichner MP has welcomed the announcement from Cambridge Regional College that they are joining forces with Huntingdonshire Regional College following discussions within the Government’s Area Review of Further Education –...

At a launch of the latest report from the West Anglia taskforce  in Bishop's Stortford, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner called  for the Government to accept the evidence and urgently stump up the cash for investment in the West Anglia Main Line.

 The West Anglia Taskforce recommendations call for a new station at Addenbrooke's and four-tracking the Liverpool Street rail line close to London in advance of Crossrail 2. With new airport capacity in the south east at least ten years away, the improvements will also allow unused capacity at Stansted to be used effectively.

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner said:

“With the new rail franchise in place, it is now vital that the line is improved. Investing in the West Anglia Main Line will cut journey times for Cambridge commuters and help growth in the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor.

“We need to get the right infrastructure in place to position Cambridge and the region as the place in the world to do business especially in the technology and bioscience sectors. We urgently need fast and reliable transport to connect people to places.

“The importance of excellent transport links cannot be overstated, particularly following the Brexit vote.”

Cambridge MP calls for better connectivity now

At a launch of the latest report from the West Anglia taskforce  in Bishop's Stortford, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner called  for the Government to accept the evidence and urgently stump...

Major changes to the funding system for nurseries, preschools and childminders have been set out by Government. 

But nursery schools in Cambridge fear that an unintended consequence of the changes could lead to the end of nursery schools staffed by qualified teachers.

Daniel Zeichner MP met local nursey staff to discuss their concerns at The Fields Children's Centre.

Currently Cambridge nursery schools are classified as schools. They must have a governing body, have qualified teachers and be run by a Head Teacher. As a school they get a lump sum of money from Cambridgeshire County Council to run their services. However this would not be permitted under the new funding formula.

Research shows that nursery schools with qualified staff have a positive impact on the quality of early years provision, especially for children from disadvantaged areas and with complex education or medical needs.

Rikke Waldau, Head of The Field's Children's Centre fears if the proposals go ahead it will mean that all the nursery schools in Cambridgeshire will find themselves in dire financial difficulties.

 She says: “We are already struggling, but this proposal is in fact the nail in the early education ‘coffin’. We will no longer be able to operate as a school.”

Daniel Zeichner MP said: “Early years cannot be about trying to warehouse children whose parents are at work. The government must understand you don’t get good nurseries on the cheap. A well-qualified workforce is vital to ensure that standards rise in the nursery sector and children get the best start in life.”

Please sign the petition at: www.danielzeichner.co.uk/nursery

Cambridge nursery schools under threat

Major changes to the funding system for nurseries, preschools and childminders have been set out by Government.  But nursery schools in Cambridge fear that an unintended consequence of the changes could...

cat_protect.jpgDaniel Zeichner MP met cute kitty Carro to help launch a campaign to raise awareness of the true cost of kittens and call on the Government to change the law. The cheerful black and white moggie is owned by Nicci Townley Branch Coordinator of the Cambridge Cats Protection who adopted her as a kitten.

Sadly Carro had been sold too young and had become ill, her owners couldn't cope and Nicci had to step in. Today Carro is full of life and wants to make sure other cats don't go through what she did.

Unfortunately there are people who, more motivated by money than welfare, are selling kittens that are sick and often far too young to be separated from the mother cat. Buyers report paying hundreds of pounds to private sellers for kittens that are ill and/or under eight weeks old.

Daniel Zeichner MP said: “The true cost of a kitten to a purchaser can be the heartbreak of buying a kitten that becomes sick – and in some cases dies – and facing significant vet bills.”

The Government is reviewing the law governing the sale of pets for the first time in over 60 years. Nicci Townley from Cats Protection will explain their charity wants to see better safeguards for the commercial sale of all types of cats across the board including banning the sale of kittens under eight weeks and a clear definition of commercial pet sales to protect the welfare of cats and kittens.

To back the campaign please collect a postcard from The Cat Flap (Charity Shop), 172 Mill Rd, Cambridge, CB1 3LP or sign up online at http://www.cats.org.uk/truecostofkittens

Help change the law to prevent the sale of sick and underage kittens

Daniel Zeichner MP met cute kitty Carro to help launch a campaign to raise awareness of the true cost of kittens and call on the Government to change the law....

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner had the chance to see behind the steering wheel in a behind the scenes tour of Cambridge car rental company Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Swann's Road Cambridge CB5 8JZ.

During his visit, Mr. Zeichner met the branch manager, and find out how the rental car industry is taking safety and customer service to the next gear. 

Daniel Zeichner, who is also a Shadow Transport Minister, also had a chat with the staff about changes and challenges to the rental car industry over the next few years, especially with developments in autonomous cars, and green fuel emissions. 

 Daniel said “It's great to see companies like Enterprise taking the driving seat in vehicle safety, green emissions, and customer care.”

 

MP in driving seat at Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner had the chance to see behind the steering wheel in a behind the scenes tour of Cambridge car rental company Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Swann's Road Cambridge CB5...

Daniel Zeichner MP warned that the NHS risks being starved of cash if the Government fails to co-ordinate medicines regulation with the EU after Brexit as he led a debate in Parliament on the future of the European Medicines Agency.

The UK based European Medicines Agency simplifies and streamlines the regulation of medicines across Europe and allows companies to get the use of a medicine authorised across all EU countries in one go. 

NHS bill to soar if Government fails on Brexit medicines regulation warns Zeichner

Daniel Zeichner MP warned that the NHS risks being starved of cash if the Government fails to co-ordinate medicines regulation with the EU after Brexit as he led a debate in... Read more

Article first published in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2016/oct/14/why-losing-the-european-medicines-agency-is-bad-news-for-patients-jobs-and-the-nhs

I’m old enough to remember John Major’s government like it was yesterday. I watched the Maastricht debates, and I’m prepared to admit I even read the treaty. I remember the troubles that John Major had navigating debates over Europe, and that one of his achievements, despite all those difficulties, was securing the location of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the UK.

Twenty years on, that success is being put at risk by another Conservative prime minister. Major complained about “the bastards” on his own side – now they’re running the show. Earlier this week, I led a debate in Westminster on the future of the EMA because we need to know about the government’s plans for medicines regulation following Brexit.

While the EMA wasn’t spoken about much during the EU referendum campaign, the NHS certainly was, and the UK’s relationship with the EMA is absolutely crucial to the NHS. Strangely enough, no minister from the Department for Exiting the EU was available for the debate – a health minister was left to field the questions.

For two decades, the EMA has overseen medicines regulation across Europe. Responsible for the scientific evaluation of human and veterinary medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies, it grants marketing authorisations across the 28 EU member states, as well as the countries of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

The EMA is tasked with ensuring that all medicines available on the EU market are safe, effective and of high quality. It also works to harmonise the approach of national regulatory bodies – like the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Located in London’s Canary Wharf, with around 900 highly-skilled staff, the EMA serves a market of over 500 million people across the EU, accounting for 25 per cent of all global pharmaceutical sales. On its own, the UK accounts for just 3 per cent.

Last week, the chancellor Philip Hammond said that no one voted for Brexit to make us poorer. Yet the impact of Brexit on the EMA could do just that. As Theresa May herself said in July, “It is hard to think of an industry of greater strategic importance to Britain than its pharmaceutical industry.” In 2015, the UK pharmaceutical industry was worth £12.7 billion. A quarter of the world’s top prescription medicines were discovered and developed in the UK.

And the pharmaceutical industry is the backbone of the broader life sciences sector, which has a turnover of more than £60bn a year. In 2014, it invested £4bn in research and development, more than any other sector, and it employs 220,000 people. In my constituency of Cambridge alone, there are over 160 life sciences companies, reinforcing the local knowledge economy and contributing outside of the region as well. Indeed, Cambridge is one of just a handful of UK cities making a net contribution to HM Treasury, thanks in no small part to its vibrant life sciences. Under Brexit, this is now at risk.

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A hard Brexit would see the UK out of the single market and the European Economic Area. So for pharmaceuticals and life sciences, what would change? First, industry experts suggest we could see delays to the approval of new medicines. In Canada and Australia, where drugs are regulated nationally, new medicines come to market between six months and a year later than in the EU.

So if pharmaceutical companies have to apply separately to the UK’s MHRA to supply a drug in the UK, we could see patients denied faster access to new medicines. The MHRA may struggle to cope with the additional burden, leading to a slower, less efficient system. Pharmaceutical companies may forego the smaller UK market in favour of the much larger EU market. And smaller companies, often developing pioneering treatments, may not have the capacity to file multiple applications at once.

Second, there is likely to be a physical change. The EMA’s headquarters is expected to move elsewhere. Several EU member states have reportedly thrown their hats in the ring to host it – including Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Spain. This may create a knock-on effect on future investment and relocation decisions by global and European pharmaceutical companies, further chipping away at the UK economy.

Finally, losing the EMA could lead to a significant brain drain. Not only would we potentially lose the 900 people currently employed by the agency, but we could lose experienced people working elsewhere in the pharmaceutical industry. For instance, any company that sells into the European Economic Area must have a “qualified person for pharmacovigilance” (QPPV), as well as a deputy. There are currently 1,299 QPPVs in the UK who would either have to leave the UK or lose their role.

Negotiations are of course ongoing, but it is crucial the government gets this right. We need to secure the closest possible relationship between the EMA and the MHRA, and their continued regulatory cooperation, because ensuring swift access to the newest treatments is essential to public health. We need the UK’s pharmaceutical industry to remain strong to deliver jobs and economic benefits across the country, and to stimulate companies researching revolutionary treatments. Get this wrong and treatments will slow down, drug prices will go up – and our NHS will foot the bill.

Why losing the European Medicines Agency is bad news for patients, jobs – and the NHS

Article first published in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2016/oct/14/why-losing-the-european-medicines-agency-is-bad-news-for-patients-jobs-and-the-nhs I’m old enough to remember John Major’s government like it was yesterday. I watched the Maastricht debates, and I’m prepared to admit I even...

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner hosted a much anticipated debate on the merits of divestment from fossils fuels as part of the fight against climate change.

MP to speak at Divestment debate tonight

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner hosted a much anticipated debate on the merits of divestment from fossils fuels as part of the fight against climate change. Read more

Daniel Zeichner is getting into the ‘spirits’ of October as he visits Cambridge’s “Haunted Bookshop” as part of Books Are My Bag Bookshop Day.

Books Are My Bag is a nationwide campaign to celebrate our high street bookshops and promote a fully literate society in the UK.

Cambridge MP backs #bookshopday

Daniel Zeichner is getting into the ‘spirits’ of October as he visits Cambridge’s “Haunted Bookshop” as part of Books Are My Bag Bookshop Day. Books Are My Bag is a... Read more

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Daniel Zeichner proved he’s done his homework as they scored 9 out of 9 on Terrence Higgins Trust’s HIV and sexual health quiz.

At Labours autumn conference in Liverpool, Daniel Zeichner went back to school and put on his thinking cap by taking the test, “How HIV aware are you?”. 

Gold star for Cambridge MP as they go to ‘top of the class’ with their knowledge of HIV

Daniel Zeichner proved he’s done his homework as they scored 9 out of 9 on Terrence Higgins Trust’s HIV and sexual health quiz. At Labours autumn conference in Liverpool, Daniel... Read more

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