February Edition 2009

       Saj Reports Back       
                   North West England
February 2009 Edition 


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I hope that you’re well and enjoyed reading last month’s newsletter. Thank you to all of you who got in touch and added your name to the ‘One Seat Campaign’. We really must not lose momentum with this. Please read on for more information and to view my monthly update of some of the work I have been involved in.
Scrap Strasbourg!
Once a month, as I am sure you all know too well, MEPs have to go on a travelling circus to Strasbourg. I agree that we should STOP this tremendous waste of tax payers’ money. Please sign the ONE SEAT CAMPAIGN petition by sending us your name, address and contact number to 442-444 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 0BQ, or by emailing info@sajjadkarim.eu - encourage others to do the same - the more signatures we get, the more likely we are to stop it.
Saj in the North West
Campaign Day with Susan Williams – 31st January 2009
At the very end of January, I took part in a campaign day that was organised by Susan Williams, our PPC for Bolton West. After having arrived at the constituency office, we teamed off into groups of 4 and canvassed and leafleted during the afternoon! One of the main issues facing Bolton, I learned, is transport. After having campaigned ardently against the congestion charge and won – with 79% of the voters against the charge – Susan is now channelling her concerns towards the improvement of rail services between Bolton, Manchester and Manchester Airport.

Susan has kindly contributed the following piece:
Rail chaos Must Stop
Following an unprecedented level of chaos on Bolton’s trains, Susan Williams is campaigning for services to be resumed and sufficient carriages provided for people to get to work
Overcrowded rush hour services have become so bad that some passengers are having to stand in toilets and sometimes trains are turning up with only 1 carriage.
In addition, the number of trains running to Piccadilly has drastically reduced. After the 7.30am train from Lostock, there will be just one direct train per hour to Manchester Piccadilly and only one directly to Manchester Airport.
There used to be one train each hour from Lostock to the airport, but as of December 14 this was cut to just four per day, leaving 11 hours of the day without a direct train. The services in the opposite direction have also been cut.
Although trains are still stopping at Horwich Parkway, only three are scheduled to stop at Lostock.
In response to this situation, Susan said “I am appalled at the conditions that people are facing in getting to work. The Government has said that it wants people to use public transport in getting to work but it is making it even harder to do so. I have started collecting signatures to present to Geoff Hoon to request that services are resumed and sufficient carriages provided for people to get to work.”
Susan Williams, PPC Bolton West
Black Tie Dinner in Oldham East and Saddleworth – 6th February 2009
I was delighted to have been invited by John Hudson and Association Chairwoman, Barbara Jackson to the Oldham East and Saddleworth Black Tie Dinner. My wife Zahida and I were absolutely delighted to meet everybody there and thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening. It was equally a good opportunity to learn more about the issues facing people in Oldham and what the Conservatives have been doing to address these issues.
Wythenshawe and Sale East Conservative Sunday Lunch – 8th February 2009
On the 8th February, I was invited to attend the Wythenshawe and Sale East Conservative Sunday Lunch. I had the opportunity to talk those who attended about my recent experiences in Mumbai. Everybody was very receptive and interested in what I had to say. I was really pleased to have had the opportunity to interact with those in Wythenshawe and Sale East and to meet more of Greater Manchester’s Conservative Team.
Rainhill By-Election – 14th February 2009
The by-election in Rainhill has been called for the 12th March after the sad death of the sitting councillor. On the morning of the 14th, my colleagues and fellow candidates for the forthcoming Euro elections went along to help leaflet and canvass. Our candidate, Stephen Bligh, will be fighting hard for the Conservative corner.
In Parliament
Guantanamo Resolution – February 2009
This month, the European Parliament debated the closure of Guantanamo. I have called on the US administration to close Guantanamo Bay for years. I was delighted to hear of Obama’s executive orders which clearly mark a significant step in a change in the US. I am adamant that the US takes primary responsibility for the whole process of releasing the inmates and I am equally adamant that UK Borders must be protected. Each case for asylum must be treated individually on its merits after release from the detention facility.  
Jaguar and Land Rover meeting – 11th February 2009
This month, after a meeting with Global Director for Government Affairs at Jaguar and Land Rover in Brussels to discuss the latest on Jaguar Land Rover in my constituency the North West of England, the West Midlands and North East and how they are coping in the current financial situation, I called on the European Commissioner for International Trade, Commissioner Ashton, to make available a significantly broader and quicker access to financial support through the European Investment Bank as a part of a more comprehensive set of measures to survive the economic downturn.
For more information, please contact my office on 0161 861 7571 or info@sajjadkarim.eu
The Private Equity Lunch – 11th February 2009
I attended a round table discussion on Private Equity this month in Brussels. The European Parliament passed Resolutions on two separate reports from fellow parliamentarians and a special Representative Group convened by the European private equity industry wanted to meet to discuss the role private equity plays within the European social and economic model. Their aim is to create a dynamic private equity industry that wants to play a significant role in the short-term crisis in financial markets and also the long-term competitiveness and prosperity in the EU.
Dialogue on India and Pakistan – 17th February 2009
I was invited to participate in a dialogue entitled ‘Indian-Pakistan Relations: From Tension to Cooperation’ which was hosted by the European Policy Centre. As EU-India FTA Rapporteur in the European Parliament and the Founding Chair of the European Parliament Friends of Pakistan Group, this was an exciting opportunity for me. The relationship between India and Pakistan has never been uncomplicated and in the wake of the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks, it has become tenser and all the more delicate. The relationship between the Nations given that both states have nuclear potential and the ongoing disputed territory; Kashmir.
Smoke-Free North West – 19th February 2009
The Smoke-Free North West initiative supports individuals and voluntary organisations in their goal to reduce the popularity and prevalence of smoking. Their aim is also to make both the North West’s public and work places smoke-free. A group of young people visited the European Parliament this month to promote their European Campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of tobacco farming on the lives of children and young people worldwide. They also talked about the impact of advertising and smoking, targeting youth people as smokers and much more. The young people that came to talk to us delivered a poignant presentation and encouraged us to get involved.

If you haven’t already, please don’t forget to send in your details so that we can add you to the One Seat Campaign. Either email us at info@sajjadkarim.eu or write to us at 442-444 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 0BQ or telephone on 0161 861 7571.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes

 Sajjad Karim MEP - Putting The North West First 
Contact Team Karim:
Sajjad Karim MEP
442-444 Barlow Moor Road
M21 0BQ
Tel: 01618617571                                                       Fax: 01618607582
Email: info@sajjadkarim.eu