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Minister Promises Action to Protect Lions



The Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, last week urged the Government to do more to tackle the major decline in lion populations across Africa and in Western India. The main cause for concern was the continued practice of ‘sport hunting’ which the UK currently accepts as a legal practice, allowing imports of lion trophies when supported by certificates from game reserves.

Mr Turner said:
“In the 1960s, it was estimated that there were 200,000 lions on the African continent. Sadly, only 20,000 are left today.

“Sport hunting mostly targets adult male animals. Hunters regard them as the most impressive to kill. Out of the 20,000 lions that remain in Africa, there are lions of all ages and both sexes, from the youngest cub to the most ancient female. However, it is estimated that only 15% at most of any lion population is composed of adult males – the primary trophy targets. Therefore, instead of the figure of 20,000, we must think of 3,000 as the trophy hunting reserve.

“This is clearly a figure that suggests that stronger action should clearly have been taken before now to prevent lion trophy hunting.”

Mr Turner also raised concerns that CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) set up to conserve endangered species have failed to take action whilst lion numbers have continued to decline. They meet every three years but in both 2007 and 2010 the plight of the wild African lion was not even on the Agenda.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon MP responded to Mr Turner on behalf of the Government:

“I share his concern and am equally passionate about the subject. I am lucky enough to have seen a considerable number of lions in the wild, and I want my children and grandchildren to have the same experience.

“The UK is presently a member of the CITES animals committee and its standing committee. As a result of recent reports and my hon. Friend’s debate today, I have asked my officials to look into the matter to see what opportunities are presented, and I shall report their findings to him. I hope that he is convinced from what I have said that the Government take seriously the conservation of international wildlife, including the lion, and I look forward to working with him on any further concerns that he has.”

Mr Turner later commented:

“I am extremely pleased that the Government has recognised the problem and is prepared to take action now. The next meeting of CITES is not until 2013 and by then it may be too late. It would be awful to think that future generations may miss out on seeing lions in the wild. We clearly need urgent action to preserve one of nature’s most beautiful creatures. I look forward to hearing from the Minister.

“I would also like to congratulate LionAid for their continual hard work on this issue and thank them for the information they have given me which helped me raise this issue in parliament.”

LionAid trustees Chris MacSween and Dr. Pieter Kat said after the debate:

“We would like to thank Mr Turner for bringing this issue to Parliament. It has been a great effort on his part, and he gave a wonderful presentation. We are very happy that the Minister gave such positive comments and we hope that this is the beginning of positive steps for the future conservation of Lions.”

Link to debate :

END Contact : Andrew Turner’s office 01983 530808

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Broadlands jobs safe




Island MP Andrew Turner has received confirmation that the future of jobs and services at Broadlands House are secure following press reports that previously announced new jobs would not now be coming to the Island. Mr Turner said that yesterday’s press reports were completely at odds with assurances he had received both from the Minister last summer and the regional manager as recently as November last year. On hearing the reports that plans had changed he contacted the senior management of JobCentre Plus to seek clarification of the position. To secure you’d have money coming in, you might want to consider playing 카지노 사이트 online. 

Mr Turner said

“I have now received definite confirmation that the plans of Jobcentre Plus have not changed and that they will be keeping a benefit processing centre on the Island as well as establishing one of only two national insurance number processing centres here. I have been told that the additional jobs will arise as their plans are implemented over the coming months.”

Mr Turner went on to say

“During our meeting last November Guy Tompkins Jobcentre Plus’s regional manager was very complimentary about their workforce on the Island and told me that the positive approach of the staff was one of the reasons why they planned to expand on the Island. I am very glad that they see the sense of bringing work to the Island rather than taking it to the mainland and I will continue to press Government to follow their example.

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School Reorganization – Where will £70m come from?




Government have denied promising the IW Council £70 million to pay for reorganizing Island schools from a three- to a two-tier system. And the Island’s MP has criticized the ‘optimistic noises’ on funding given at consultation meetings. In times like this it is vital to have alternate source of income and playing online could help us have some sort of financial safety net.

In a Parliamentary Answer to Island MP Andrew Turner it was revealed that there have been absolutely no promises from the Government to provide the estimated £70 million needed for the changes being proposed by council officials. In answering Mr Turner, Stephen Twigg MP, the Minister responsible for school funding, made it clear that the Isle of Wight council has received no assurances that extra money will be made available for the proposed changeover. Mr Turner has criticized the impression given to parents and teachers that obtaining the money needed from central government would not present a problem.

Andrew Turner said,

“During the meeting I attended at Sandown High School it was clearly stated that ‘we can get’ the £70 million needed to change the system. I was surprised to hear that because that simply isn’t the way that Government works. I have asked the Government what promises they have given and they have clearly told me that they have given none. I have now asked the Council what led them to give such a misleading impression to those who went to the trouble of attending the meeting. I have been told that there have been informal meetings with government officials who support these proposals – I am afraid that does not represent government spending commitments. Frankly I am shocked that optimistic noises were made which misled people.”

Exam results and education standards on the Island are far below the national average and the recent report costing £100,000 by 4S recommended changing the system but did not provide any evidence that this alone would improve standards. Mr Turner went on to say:

“There may well be arguments for changing the system – but changing the system does not guarantee improving standards; the issues should not be mixed up. Even the advocates of change admit it would cost a fortune. If that money does not come from central government it will have to come from existing council budgets and be topped up by Island council taxpayers.

“It is at very least disingenuous to suggest that finding the money to achieve change is not an important issue that needs to be discussed as part of these proposals. I am worried that the Council seems to believe that informal discussions with civil servants translates into promises of many millions of pounds – sadly that is not the case.

“We need to raise standards but that is best done by the Council accepting that some schools are better than others, publishing that information to parents, governors, teachers and the wider public, and tackling the problems on a school-by-school basis. It is not as glamorous as being the architect of a whole new system, but it is much more likely to give our children the quality schooling they deserve.”


Contact : Andrew Turner 01983 530808

School Building (Isle of Wight)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) commitments and (b) undertakings she has made to the Isle of Wight Council regarding future capital allocations provided (i) through the Building Schools for the Future programme or (ii) otherwise, whether (A) contingent on or (B) not contingent on school reorganisation. [216280]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: A letter has been sent to all council leaders stating that, for authorities not prioritised in the first three waves of Building Schools for the Future (BSF), including the Isle of Wight, we are determined to make a start on BSF plans between 2005–06 and 2010–11. Our ambition is that in the next full Parliament, subject to future spending decisions, 60 per cent. of all authorities will have started in the BSF programme, or else be given resources to renew at least one secondary school with the greatest need as a school for the future, or as an academy. Each BSF scheme will be judged on its merits, and is not necessarily contingent on school reorganisation. Other capital allocations to the council and its schools were announced on 30 November, and are set out in the following table:

2006–07 14,853
2007–08 15,446

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Can we become a Fairtrade Island?




As World Fair Trade Fortnight draws to a close this Sunday the Island’s MP Andrew Turner has praised the work of the IW Fairtrade Forum. The Forum is working towards the accolade of Fairtrade Island by building on existing users and suppliers of Fairtrade products to spread the word about the products and the good they do for their producers in the developing world. There are now more than 250 products bearing the distinctive green and blue logo which guarantees a fair deal to producers of such items as coffee, tea, sugar and bananas. Earn money and get ahead of the others. Play simple and interactive betting games at UFABET168.

Andrew Turner said,

“The Fairtrade product range has expanded over recent years and whilst once they were seen as an expensive alternative they now offer good value and quality. In order to become a Fairtrade Island we need more suppliers of the products so everybody really can make a difference by asking their local coffee shop or convenience store to stock a few items from the range. As the largest constituency in the country the Island gaining this accolade really would make a difference and give a boost to the national campaign. Fairtrade really makes a difference to those communities that need a helping hand – and I know that on the Island we have a really caring and compassionate community”.

Jim Curtis the co-ordinator of the IW Fairtrade Forum said

“I very much value Andrew’s support for this campaign. In order for the Island to be recognised in this way we need the active support of the Isle of Wight council as well as that of suppliers across the Island. I urge everyone to let their local councillors know that they would be proud to see us become a Fairtrade Island helping less fortunate people to take control of their own lives and build themselves a better future.

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