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Statement re Grandparents and Locked Bedroom Case

I have now reviewed the case paperwork for the above case where I have been asked for further and better particulars of the situation with the final hearing and had a meeting with the grandparents. There is no judgment for the case. I have read the transcript of the hearing. This confirms that the hearing lasted of the order of 10 minutes as what was treated as a consent hearing. The grandmother was in the court building, but not in the hearing. The grandfather was in part of the court hearing, but because of hearing difficulties could not really hear what was going on.

The judge was told that the grandparents consented both to a care order and to the threshold documents. The grandparents are both adamant that they did not consent to the care order or that the facts of the the threshold warranted removing their grandchild. The nub of the case was the agreed fact that the grandfather in order to keep their granddaughter safe and stop her getting up to cook during the night, loc…
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Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Looking at what Austerity means in terms of current public spending

I have always wanted to put together some figures to see what has been happening to total government expenditure. It was clear at the start of the coalition government that what started as a government which was really quite tight as to finance developed into a government with some financial flexibility. At the time I knew that was because the interest rates on government debt were coming down which freed up money to be spent.

I have spent a little time getting at the statistics from the ONS to try to see what actually has happened actually since 1998. In the chart below I have taken the ONS figures for spending in the calendar year. That is because the inflation figures (RPI/CPI) are also calendar year figures. In the end a similar pattern would arise with financial year figures. What I have taken is the current spending excluding banks and calculated that in 1987 Equivalent Pounds sterling. When copying the image from my source data I have left the source figures both for c…

A grassroots uprising against terrorism

Original Date 26th May 2017

One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group.  In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.

Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.

It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.

I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict.  It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".

A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.

One said that the mosque "Unequivoc…

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Scrapping free school lunches would waste £2,267,245 spent upgrading kitchens in Birmingham

Plans by Theresa May to axe free school lunches would waste the £2,267,245 invested in Birmingham to upgrade school kitchens, according to the Liberal Democrats.

It comes after figures revealed 31,895 children in Birmingham are set to lose out under the Conservative proposals.

When in government, the Liberal Democrats invested £160m upgrading school kitchen facilities to enable them to prepare hot lunches, including £2,267,245 in Birmingham.

John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Yardley commented:

“The Liberal Democrats in government invested £160m to give schools the kitchens they needed to ensure that no infant would go hungry, including over £2,000,000 in Birmingham.

"This policy was extremely successful and guaranteed that local children received at least two of their five a day in their school lunch.

“But now Theresa May is threatening to throw that money down the drain.

"A Conservative measure designed to save money will waste money. Not only is it heartless, it is…

The Conservative manifesto could lump residents of Birmingham with £65,182 social care bill

Conservative manifesto plans will mean the average household in Birmingham could be forced to pay 39.5% of the value of their homes for social care after they die, it has been revealed.

The manifesto plans, which would mean that people would be forced to hand over assets worth over £100,000 to pay for social care at home, would have a particularly damaging impact on sufferers of dementia, who have complicated long-term health needs.

The Liberal Democrats have hit out at the plans and are calling for a cap of £72,000 to protect people from crippling care costs.

John Hemming, Liberal Democrat candidate for Yardley said:

“Many elderly people currently face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs.  Now the frail and elderly receiving care in their own home will face a ‘Personal Death Tax’ charged against their home. And the more help you need, the more the Conservatives will take when you die.

“The Liberal Democrats will stand up to th…

Full scale of 'dementia tax' revealed as diagnosed cases rise to record high of 442,000

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative proposed "dementia tax," as official figures have revealed the number of people diagnosed with dementia reached a record high of over 442,000 last month.

NHS digital statistics show that in April 2017, the number of patients recorded by GPs as having dementia was 442,000, more than double the 220,000 cases recorded 10 years ago.

Older people with dementia often need care in their own homes for many years, meaning they would be hit with crippling costs to pay for their own care under Conservative proposals.

Over 134,000 patients with dementia were below the age of 79, while 307,000 were 80 or older.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented:

"These figures reveal the impact the Conservative dementia tax will have on thousands of vulnerable people across the country.

"Frail and elderly people receiving care in their own home will now face a ‘Personal Death Tax’ charged against their home. …