YOUR MP TO GO ‘BACK TO THE FLOOR’ FOR BRITISH TOURISM WEEK
heads into another holiday season, businesses, accommodation
providers and attractions, Tourist Information Centres, regions and
destinations, are being urged to encourage their local MP to gain a
1st-hand understanding of tourism and the issues they face.
The 2nd annual British Tourism Week takes place from 10 to 18 March
this year and the Constituency Day – when MPs are encouraged to ‘go
back to the floor’ in tourism businesses – takes place on Friday
Tom Wright, chief executive of VisitBritain and co-chairman of
British Tourism Week’s multi-sector steering committee, says:-
“I hope that MPs will take this chance to lead the way in
demonstrating their commitment to Britain’s fifth largest industry
and visit a tourism business in their area during British Tourism
Week. Their help will highlight the appeals of heritage sites
and historic buildings, of exploring our countryside and cinematic
landscapes or taking a break in contemporary cities.”
Last year many MPs, including Nadine Dorries, Michael Howard, Simon
Hughes, Theresa May, Dawn Primarolo and Andrew Smith, visited their
local tourist information centres, holiday parks and centres, farms,
accommodation providers and attractions. MPs are also being
asked to show their support ahead of the Week by signing a pledge
card at the House of Commons on Wednesday 5 March. They also have
the opportunity to enjoy a ‘Blue Badge’ guided coach tour of
attractions around their London ‘office’ on Thursday 13 March
Stephen Dowd, co-chairman of British Tourism Week and chief
executive of UKinbound, adds:- “We urge businesses to write,
email or call their local MP and persuade them to take some time to
show their support for tourism in the area and the people who depend
on the industry for jobs and livelihoods.”
With His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales as patron, British
Tourism Week aims to galvanise organisations and individuals to take
pride in being part of the nation’s 5th biggest industry. Events aim
to raise the profile of an £85 billion visitor economy and draw
national awareness to its critical importance and the contribution
it makes to local economies and millions of livelihoods.
Already more than 60 different events are listed on the website, but
organisers hope that every region and destination will organise
something to help businesses or raise awareness of tourism
experiences among consumers.
and enter your postcode to find your local MP.
You can also visit
for more information on the week of events being organised around
Coastguards Begin Voting On Strike Action
ON 5 February
2008, Public & Commercial Services Union members with in Maritime
and Coastguard Agency (MCA) began being balloted for strike action
in a dispute over pay. If a strike is called by MCA staff, it would
be an unprecedented move as it would be the first time in the
organisation's history. The move comes in response to pay levels
that fall way behind those paid to other emergency services and
below inflation cost of living increases.
One officer who does not want to be named told us that:- "It
comes as a shock to think that in the MCA, a Coastguard Watch
Assistant, only earns the national minimum wage! A
Coastguard Watch Assistant actively participate in search planning
and other duties, in response to 999 calls, so they are highly
trained people and the pay they get should reflect this.
We have also
been expected to stomach a pay cut, with our pay rises averaging
just 2.5% for many and the most experienced staff receiving pay
increases of less than 1%.
I do not think people and the
government in the UK realise just how vitally important our roll is
and what we do."
The strike ballot closes on 27 February 2008 with the result being
announced shortly after.
Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary told the media
that:- "Members are angry at the continued refusal to
implement findings of pay comparison exercises carried out at the
end of last year that support the union's claim for comparability
with other 999 services. It is an absolute disgrace that you have
coastguard watch assistants receiving a pay rise in October last
year (2007) merely to comply with the increase in the national
minimum wage. Added to this is the insult of below inflation
pay which is leading to a pay cut in real terms for dedicated staff
who deliver a vital emergency service and save lives.
within the MCA take on both administrative and operational duties in
respect of emergency and 999 distress calls, like anti-pollution
measures and ship registration. Operating out of 19 rescue
co-ordination centres they control search and rescue operations and
task Lifeboats, helicopters and other rescue teams. Some
of our PCS members also have to look after the River Thames and
other inland waterways through out the UK. This is a
vast area that they cover.
Together our members have save
thousends of lives every year, so it is shocking to see them treated
this way. The government and the MCA can avoid the inevitable
disruption that strike action will bring by acting now and
recognising that coastguards deserve fair pay at comparable levels
to other emergency services."