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Open days to be held as part of the City of Glastonbury investment plan submitted to the government

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A £ 23.6million plan to improve a Somerset town has been officially submitted to the government – and open houses will give residents a voice.

The confirmation document for the 12 projects described in the City of Glastonbury Investment Plan (TIP) has been officially submitted to the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The City of Glastonbury Board of Directors and Mendip District Council (MDC) will now focus on developing detailed business cases as required by the government.

The Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Jon Cousins, said: “As the City of Glastonbury Agreement progresses and business cases are developed, this is the perfect time for our residents and businesses to contribute to the development of these brilliant projects, which will no doubt help Glastonbury – our community and this special place – to flourish.

As part of the business case process, open houses will be held for the community of Glastonbury over the coming months. This is to help finalize the details within each individual project.

Town Deal Board Chairman Robert Richards added: “Investing in the town deal offers an incredible opportunity for Glastonbury. Now that the confirmation documents have been submitted, we can move on to the next step in the process, working on the details of the 12 TIP projects.

“We look forward to engaging with residents and local businesses on this over the coming months and want to ensure this one-in-a-generation investment benefits the Glastonbury community as a whole. ”

A five-step business case will be developed for each project, along with an overall business case for the entire program. This work will be undertaken over the next 10 months, and all business cases must be submitted to MHCLG by June 28, 2022. Funds will be released as individual business cases have been approved.

As a result, Glastonbury’s Board of Directors and Support Team are keen to engage with the local community to gather opinions, feedback and ideas regarding the projects outlined in the TIP prior to the business cases. are not completed.

“The processes we have followed to date have been rigorous and in line with government requirements to realize the potential of this major investment in Glastonbury,” said MDC Chief Cllr Ros Wyke.

“Now that the development of the business cases is underway, the Town Deal Board and MDC will invite the local community to learn more about the projects and influence the details, ensuring that this investment offers the greatest potential for the entire community. city. ”

Information on the community-driven open houses will be posted on the Glastonbury Town Deal website and social media pages.


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New £ 500,000 cycle path opens in Bridgwater

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The route, the latest addition to the city’s active transportation network, runs from Stockmoor to Wills Road and will connect with existing cycling and walking infrastructure.

It was jointly funded by Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council and North Petherton City Council and includes £ 250,000 in funding from the Hinkley Point C Community Fund and a contribution from the developer.

The route is barrier-free and includes a parallel pedestrian and cycle crossing to make progress easier for cyclists and will be included in Somerset County Council’s Bridgwater Way initiative.

“It’s really satisfying to see another section of cycling infrastructure added to the network in Bridgwater – it’s a great partnership effort,” said John Woodman, county council cabinet member for highways and transport.


Bridgwater Mayor Leigh Redman, North Petherton Mayor Alan Bradford, Cllr John Woodman, Cllr Gill Slocombe and Cllr Bill Revans

“We are committed to helping more people choose active travel as a way of getting around and this new route is an important contribution to that goal. ”

The new road connects Limousin Way with Stockmoor and crosses the corner of Wilstock Country Park along the Rhine, before joining Wills Road in Hamp.

Somerset County Official Gazette:


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UK faces ‘winter of discontent’ over Brexit, says Swinney

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T

he UK faces a “winter of discontent” after Tories push Brexit out of the European Union, the Scottish Deputy Prime Minister will warn.

With supermarkets having already experienced shortage problems, John Swinney will argue that such problems show how ‘Westminster does not work’.

Scottish Deputy Prime Minister to use speech at SNP national conference to denounce ‘tough unionism’ of Boris Johnson’s Tory government – adding PM and colleagues’ just don’t have the brains to match the muscles “.

The Westminster government “will cover the country with union flags” and “use every opportunity to undermine the Scottish government,” Swinney said.

Supermarkets have been hit by supply issues after Brexit. (Michael Drummond / PA)

The Deputy Prime Minister will continue to castigate the Tories for pushing Brexit forward amid the coronavirus pandemic, telling SNP delegates that “there is perhaps no better example of how the Union failed in Scotland as the sad “Brexit saga”.

Mr Swinney will say: ‘Despite the warnings, against the will of the Scottish people and in the grip of a pandemic, the Tories continued with the harshest of pauses.

“Boris Johnson once spoke about Brexit and the ‘sunny meadows beyond,’ but the reality he delivered is that food is rotting in the fields because there is no one to pick it up.

“The end of free movement and the draconian crackdown on migration from the EU has been a disaster for the economy – not just here in Scotland but across the UK.

“Perhaps the most obvious example is the empty shelves in our supermarkets. But staff shortages are starting to weigh on the economy.

“Last month we saw the rather extraordinary news that the NHS in England had to tell GPs to cancel blood tests due to a severe shortage of supplies.”

Mr Swinney will warn: ‘Every sector will feel the cold wind brought by Brexit. And there is no end in sight.

“The Conservatives are unwilling and unable to take the simple steps necessary to fix the problem they have created. The UK faces a winter of discontent and Westminster is not working.

Strikes and labor disputes were a feature of the “winter of discontent” in 1978 and 1979. (PA Archives)

The so-called ‘winter of discontent’ in the UK came in the late 1970s, when strikes and industrial action were exacerbated by the coldest winter in 16 years – with storms leaving some more remote parts of the UK isolated.

The Labor government of the day came under increasing pressure, with Prime Minister James Callaghan defeated by Conservative Margaret Thatcher in May 1979.

In reference to this time, the Tories accused the SNP of “increasing the divide to distract from their decade of disasters that have hit our schools, hospitals, jobs, businesses, ferries and pretty much everything in between. Scotland “.

Scottish Conservative health spokeswoman Annie Wells said: ‘The SNP blames everything on Brexit because it has nothing more to say.

“No new ideas to tackle the drug-related death crisis they’ve created, nothing to help the businesses they’ve run for years, and no plan to cut shocking ambulance wait times.”


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Labor accuses Priti Patel of breaking ministerial code in meeting

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Labor accused the Home Secretary of being ‘reckless’ and ‘a serial offender’ for breaking the ministerial code after allegations she brokered a meeting between a billionaire Tory donor and British Airways.

The Sunday Mirror reported that Priti Patel held a meeting on August 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow Airport, which is part of a chain owned by conservative donor Surinder Arora.

Mr. Arora – who is founder and chairman of the Arora Group – was present at the meeting with his son and Arora’s chief strategy officer, Sanjay; Carlton Brown, Chief Financial Officer of Arora; Dubai Airports General Manager Paul Griffiths; and BA’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Lisa Tremble.

BA CEO Sean Doyle was reportedly invited but was unable to attend.

Surinder Arora is pictured winning the KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 2007 Asian Business Awards (Cathal McNaughton / PA)

But the Sunday Mirror reported that there were no Home Office officials present, as rules would dictate there should be if government business was discussed.

The ministerial code states: “A private secretary or official must be present for all discussions relating to government business.

“If a minister meets with an outside organization or individual and finds himself discussing official business without an official present – for example at a social occasion or on vacation – all important content should be returned to the ministry as soon as possible. possible after the event. “

A spokesperson for the Minister of the Interior said: “Details of all relevant external meetings of the Minister of the Interior will be published in the usual manner in accordance with the ministerial code.”

It is understood that the Home Secretary considered this to be a private meeting and the lunch was declared at his office private.

But reports will raise eyebrows after Ms Patel was forced to resign her post as International Development Secretary in 2017 after unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials.

Deputy Labor Party leader Angela Rayner said: “The Home Secretary is a serial offender who breaks the ministerial code. It is time for the Prime Minister to take his release card away from him.

“This secret lobbying lunch would break the rules three times. She has serious questions to answer and must be investigated by the Secretary to Cabinet immediately. “

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow Home Secretary for Labor, added: “The Home Secretary is so reckless in her duties that it appears she is participating in closed-door meetings without an official presence. “

Opel investment
Kwasi Kwarteng is Secretary of State in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Peter Byrne / PA)

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was also present at the meeting without anyone from his department.

The Sunday Mirror reported he was present in his role as a local MP as Heathrow borders his constituency of Spelthorne.

Mr Arora had previously donated to former Conservative Chancellor Philip Hammond when he was his local MP.

He told the Sunday Mirror: “I have known Kwarsi and Priti for years. I said to come, have lunch and see my new hotel.

“I don’t do politics. I can’t stand anybody. There was no agenda.


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Archant to recruit up to two new publishers in Devon and Somerset

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A regional editor seeks up to two new editors as a current CIO prepares to leave the company.

Archant has launched a search for a group editor or two senior editors in the South West of England.

The research comes after the company confirmed that Vicky Angear, who publishes the Weston Mercury and the North Somerset Times, will be leaving the company.

Vicky, pictured, had helmed both titles since last February and worked for Archant for 14 years.

Archant will now recruit either an editor for Devon and an editor for Somerset, or an editor who will work in both counties.

Positions are currently posted on HTFP, and the successful candidate (s) will report to Group Editor Michael Adkins.

In addition to The Mercury and The Times in Somerset, the titles of Devon, the Sidmouth Herald, the Midweek Herald and the Exmouth Journal, fall under the West Country portfolio of Enchant.

The latest move follows a few hectic months for Archant in the region.

Last summer, South-West Group editor Jim Robinson and Devon editor Andrew Coley left the company as part of a restructuring.

Since then, the company has launched and then sold Torbay Weekly, now owned by Clear Sky Publishing, a company run by former Archant executive chairman Simon Bax, as well as the North Devon Gazette and Exeter Life magazine.


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Consultation on compulsory vaccination for health and primary care personnel

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  • Launch today of a consultation to make vaccination a condition for the deployment of frontline workers in health and care establishments
  • Staff may be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza to protect patients from infection, serious illness or death
  • 92% of NHS staff have received their first dose and 88% both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and ministers are urging others to accept the offer now to ensure their safety and that of their loved ones.

The government is seeking advice on plans to require staff at health and care facilities in England to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu to protect vulnerable people.

A six-week consultation will be launched today, to determine whether requirements should apply to healthcare workers and social workers at large: those who come into contact with patients and those receiving care. This would mean that only those who are fully vaccinated, unless medically exempt, could be deployed to provide health and care services. The consultation will also seek views on whether influenza vaccines should be a requirement for health and care workers.

There is a long-standing precedent for immunization requirements in NHS roles. Occupational health and safety and occupational health policies are already in place that require hepatitis B vaccine for people undertaking a procedure at risk of exposure, such as surgeons.

The percentage of trusted NHS staff who have received a dose of a Covid vaccine is around 92% nationwide, with 88% of staff having received both doses. However, there is variation in uptake with new expected data due to be released today showing that between NHS trusts uptake rates can range from around 78% to 94% for both doses.
National influenza vaccination rates in the health services have increased from 14% in 2002 to 76% last year. In some settings, however, the rates are as low as 53%.

Influenza vaccination has been recommended for staff and vulnerable groups in the UK since the late 1960s, with the average number of deaths in England for the five seasons 2015-2020 estimated to be over 11,000 deaths per year. During the 2019/2020 winter season, 86% of influenza-associated deaths were in people aged 65 and over.

In addition to protecting vulnerable patients, the proposals will protect staff, which is particularly important for hospital trusts where many unplanned staff absences can put additional pressure on already hard-working clinicians providing patient care during periods of time. peak like winter.

Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Many patients treated in hospitals and other clinical settings are most at risk for serious consequences from COVID-19, and we must do what we can to protect them.

It’s so clear to see the impact of vaccines against respiratory viruses that can be fatal for vulnerable people, and that’s why we are exploring mandatory vaccines for COVID-19 and influenza.

We will carefully review responses to the consultation but, whatever happens, I urge the small minority of NHS staff who have yet to be stung to consider getting the vaccine – for their own health as well as that of their own. entourage.

The government recently consulted on the need to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for staff working in the adult social care sector. To protect nursing home residents, workers will now have to receive a double needle stick as a condition of deployment to CQC-regulated nursing homes in England by November 11, unless exempted.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) Social Care Working Group also indicated that there is a strong scientific case for similar approaches to immunization offerings and support in hospital care settings across the country. NHS, as there will be in nursing homes, given the equally close and overlapping networks. between residents or patients and workers of all kinds in both.

The COVID-19 vaccine has already had a significant impact in reducing hospitalizations and deaths, with Public Health England estimating that more than 112,000 lives have been saved so far.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has said this will be the first winter in the UK when SARS-CoV-2 is expected to co-circulate with other respiratory viruses such as influenza. This could contribute significantly to winter pressures from the NHS, with more vulnerable people due to be admitted to hospital in the coming months.

The consultation will seek advice on the proposals, their scope and any potential impact they may have on staff and safety, such as reducing staff sick leave. The results will then help inform decision-making on how the change might be implemented and who might be exempt – if a decision is made to introduce this requirement. Staff, healthcare providers, stakeholders, patients and their families are invited to participate to make their views heard, with a final decision expected this winter.

Since the COVID-19 vaccination rollout began in December 2020, the Department of Health and Welfare has partnered with NHS England to make vaccines as accessible as possible for healthcare and social service workers. NHS England continues to set up hundreds of COVID-19 vaccination centers across the country to make vaccinations as easy as possible, and have provided information at all times to address concerns staff may have about safety and the effectiveness of vaccines for different groups.

For example, lots of real data showing that vaccines are safe and very effective for vulnerable groups, including pregnant women – a group we know may have some reluctance to get vaccinated. However, research shows pregnant women are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 and 98% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated – while no pregnant woman who has received two doses vaccine has never been hospitalized due to COVID. -19 in the UK.

Each year, NHS organizations need to ensure that staff can also easily access the flu vaccine and encourage staff to get vaccinated, for example by opening easily accessible clinics at hospital sites or offering 24 hour mobile vaccinations.

We continue to do all we can to protect NHS patients and prevent transmission in hospital. As part of the £ 5.4bn package announced on Monday to support the NHS over the next six months, £ 2.8bn will cover the costs of improved infection control measures to protect staff and patients virus.

Background

  • The consultation will be posted on gov.uk later today.
  • The consultation will examine three clinical risks and how they can be mitigated by vaccination: the level of clinical interaction between staff, patients and visitors; the vulnerability of patients; and high risk procedures.
  • Some people have an allergy or illness for which the Green Paper or JCVI advise seeking medical advice before proceeding with the vaccination, to find out whether the person should be exempted. We will ensure that any regulations allow for exemptions for medical reasons. Any future regulations will comply with the Green Paper on Infectious Disease Vaccination (COVID-19: the Green Paper, Chapter 14a) and the JCVI which reflects clinical advice.


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PHOTOS: Sun shines on Pilton Picnic and scarecrow contest

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THE village of Pilton came together to share food, drink, fun – and scarecrows – at a weekend event.

While the usual Pilton Show includes a party and a flower show, this year has been a bit different due to the pandemic.

So, the organizers decided to organize an outdoor party – the Pilton Picnic.

Instead of a competitive flower show, villagers were invited to bring offerings, as would happen for the Harvest Festival, resulting in a diverse and colorful array of flowers, fruits and vegetables, which were sold at the end.

A strange collection of scarecrows greeted people on the grounds, having already been on display in the village for two weeks and voted on by people walking around.

A total of 102 votes were received, putting Maureen and Steve Tofts’ Super Market Worker in first place, followed by Harrison’s Humpty by Harrison Foley, and then by ex-firefighter William Ogborne’s Mr Burns.

Luckily the sun was shining and everyone was able to relax outside and have a picnic, or grab a bargain at the Emporium, play silly games at the stalls, watch the kids run around or generally let off steam, while the bluegrass and live jazz were performed by the Olde Boston Goûter.


FAMILY EFFORT: Scarecrow Contest 2nd Prize Winner Harrison Foley with Harrison’s Humpty, pictured with the James family, Hollie and Piper Foley

In between, Haggis and Charlie juggled and joked, or held workshops, giving the event a festival feel.

Under the marquee, local artisans (pottery or fleeces and objects made of wool from local sheep) or vendors of healing lotions and potions were selling their wares.

Show President Jenny de Gex said: “It was so good to see everyone having a good time with their friends and family in relatively relaxed mode – as was the intention without the stress of a full show while getting out of blockages.

“It was also interesting meeting new people, as well as old friends that we hadn’t seen in a while.

“Thanks everyone for coming and supporting our fresher variation on a village day – everyone seemed to be having fun which was the intention! ”

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  Kelly Knight and Tessa Munt.
Kelly Knight and Tessa Munt

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: DRINKS: Malcolm and Sylvia Drakes with John and Many Rossiter
Malcolm and Sylvia Drakes with John and Mandy Rossiter

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: OFFERS: Rachel Austin and Rebecca Hobbs at Barnardo's booth
Rachel Austin and Rebecca Hobbs at Barnardo’s booth

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: FUN TIMES: Stephen and Lesley Parry, Ann Millard, Jack Matthews and Sue Millard
Stephen and Lesley Parry, Ann Millard, Jack Matthews and Sue Millard

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  Vicky Knight and Gail Milne.
Vicky Knight and Gail Milne

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  Richard, Emily and Yasmin Gulliford.
Richard, Emily and Yasmin Gulliford

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  Jean Warry, Sandra House and Shirley Chiffers of Nearly New.
Jean Warry, Sandra House and Shirley Chiffers from Nearly New

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  visitors to the chicken stall in a basket.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  visitors to the bowling alley.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: SPORY: Ted Rogers and Roger Burr of Pilton United
Ted Rogers and Roger Burr of Pilton United

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  Olde Boston Tea Party.
Olde Boston tea

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest;  Andy Bracken, Buzz and Niki Fisher.
Andy Bracken, Buzz and Niki Fisher

Somerset County Gazette: Pilton Picnic and Scarecrow Contest.


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“Make social media companies legally responsible for fighting fraud,” says watchdog

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Social media companies should be legally responsible for removing fraudulent ads from their networks and protecting users from fraud, the head of a law enforcement agency said.

James Thomson, chairman of the City of London Police Board of Directors, told an audience on Thursday, including Security Secretary Damian Hinds, that tougher measures to tackle internet fraud should be included in the online security bill.

He also wants fraud to become a national priority across all UK local police forces, in the same way that tackling drug gangs in the counties has been at the center of attention in recent years.

Mr Thomson is expected to say: ‘Fraud not only affects millions of UK citizens every year, some of whom are very vulnerable, but it weakens our economy and threatens our international reputation as a safe place to do business.

“It is essential that online platforms, such as social media companies, take legal responsibility for identifying, removing and preventing false and fraudulent activity on their websites.

“Unfortunately, this is something they have failed to do effectively to date, so it is now essential to introduce the right regulatory framework.”

Mr Thomson will call for fraud to be listed as a priority harm in the Online Safety Bill, and that the legislation include measures to tackle paid social media advertising that crooks use to lure victims.

His views echo those of consumer champion Martin Lewis, whose image and name have been used repeatedly by scammers and who has long advocated for stricter rules around fraudulent advertising.

Earlier this year, Mr Lewis reacted angrily when the scams were not included in the government‘s online security plans, as noted in the Queen’s Speech, saying the omission left criminals ‘s’ get away with it “.

The calls were also supported by the consumer rights organization Which ?.

Rocio Concha, which one? director of policy and advocacy, said: “There has been a devastating increase in scams since the start of the pandemic, but despite the emotional and financial impact on victims, the tech giants are failing to scale up and to adequately protect their users.

“The case for including fraudulent advertisements in the online safety bill is overwhelming, with law enforcement agencies, businesses, regulators, consumer groups and many MPs all agreeing that action is taken. urgent is needed. It is vital that the government seizes the opportunity to act now.

The City of London Police are the main national law enforcement force and the Police Authority Board oversees their work.

Fraud is estimated to account for around a third of all crime in England and Wales, and Mr Thomson will say around 80% are classified as cyber-enabled, involving the use of the internet and digital devices .

A government spokesperson said: “We have included user-generated fraud within the scope of our new online laws to increase protection for people from the devastating impact of scams.

“This decision is only part of our plan to fight fraud in all its forms. We continue to pursue scammers and shut down the vulnerabilities they exploit, help people spot and report scams, and will be looking into whether tighter online advertising regulations are needed as well.

She said the government would hold a consultation on the rules for paid online advertising later this year.


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Fact Check: Pramila Jayapal Has Stretched the Truth About Her Achievements in Olympia – Slog

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State Senator Pramila Jayapal is running for Seattle’s 7th Congressional District. Heidi Groover

In the final days of the campaign to represent Seattle in Congress, Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw have been waging a war over one word: effectiveness.

The fight over which of these lefty Democrats can get more done is ongoing and complex—want to get deep in it?—but how about a simpler question: Are the candidates telling the truth when they talk about what they’ve accomplished?

In Jayapal’s case, the answer appears to be not always.

Video and audio recordings obtained by The Stranger, as well as publicly available documents, show that in a series of campaign statements this year, Jayapal has stretched the truth about her role in killing a bad payday lending bill and about the impact of a policy she supported to expand access to contraceptives for people on Medicaid.

Before you keep reading, full disclosure: I was a member of the Stranger Election Control Board who voted to endorse Jayapal. Unlike Dan, I stand by that vote. The issues I’ve explored here may not change your mind, either. They’re not Watergate. They’re not fabricated military accomplishments. They may seem wonky or semantic. But facts do matter and Jayapal has been stretching some facts about her record in Olympia. So let’s get into it.

PAYDAY LENDING

Throughout the campaign, Jayapal has taken credit for helping to “kill” a payday lending bill in the state legislature last session.

The controversial Moneytree-backed proposal would have replaced two-week payday loans with loans that spread repayment out for longer. Opponents said this would hurt low-income people and weaken the state’s strong payday lending protections.

Lynnwood Democrat Marko Liias sponsored the bill in the Republican-controlled state senate. Some other Democrats in the chamber were supportive, too. But several Democratic state senators, including Jayapal, fiercely opposed the bill and introduced dozens of amendments to try to kill it.

However, they didn’t succeed in their effort to kill the senate bill. They lost that fight and the bill passed out of the senate, 30-18. It was later stopped in the state house, where lawmakers who worked on the effort say House Speaker Frank Chopp, who helps decide which bills get considered, consistently opposed the bill.

On the campaign trail, Jayapal has often brought up the payday lending bill fight as an example of her willingness to stand up to her own party.

“I stood up and introduced 87 amendments to kill that bill, against a democratic caucus member,” Jayapal said in an interview aired on the Laura Flanders Show on October 25. “And it was challenging, but we killed it.”

On The Stranger’s Blabbermouth podcast in June, Jayapal highlighted her accomplishments, including “introducing 87 amendments to kill the bad payday lending bill.”

But the legislative record shows that Jayapal introduced only 13 amendments. In total, senators introduced 40 amendments. The characterization that Jayapal and other senators successfully killed the bill is also misleading because the bill did not in fact die in the senate; it passed.

In a statement, Jayapal’s campaign said she and Senator Sharon Nelson wrote 87 amendments. Of those, “40 were introduced; the rest couldn’t be introduced because there was a last minute striker.” In other words, Jayapal did not actually introduce 87 amendments.

In a statement on November 1, Jayapal’s campaign said: “It has not been disputed (at least not before today) that the floor fight put a spotlight on the payday lending bill which led to its death. The anti-consumer nature of the bill was spotlighted in the senate and the bill was sent to the house to die. Pramila and her colleagues’ coordinated strategy protected thousands of Washington State families from higher interest rates from this predatory industry. It’s what happens when you work together—you win.”

Senator Mark Mullet, who fought the bill and supports Walkinshaw, says he and other senators gave speeches “to make sure people understood the flaws of the bill,” but “it was always clear Speaker Chopp was not supporting it [in the house].”

“It’s super accurate saying [Jayapal is] passionate against payday lenders,” Mullet says. “But, like a lot of stuff in Olympia, you can’t say one person is responsible for killing something—especially when that person is in the minority in the chamber that the bill passed out of.”

Marcy Bowers, executive director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, which lobbied against the bill (but does not endorse candidates in political campaigns), describes Jayapal as “the champion in the senate. She organized the floor fight.” Bowers says senators’ public fight against the bill added pressure on the house to not let it move forward.

“It’s potentially an overstatement to imply she alone killed the bill,” Bowers says, “but she certainly played a key role in it. I can’t point to any one thing that was the key to killing the bill… We were using all the tools we had available to us.”

While Jayapal has increasingly strayed toward taking credit for killing the payday lending bill as her Congressional campaign has progressed, she was somewhat more clear about what happened during a June primary endorsement interview with The Stranger.

“I pushed back against bills and ran my own little filibuster on the senate floor with the payday lending bill,” she told The Stranger’s editorial board. “[I] introduced 87 amendments to kill that bill, which we were able to use that as the movement that then stopped payday lending from moving forward in the house and made it impossible for even Democrats to want to take that forward.”

While the “introduced 87 amendments” statement was and is false, the rest of her June statement is a closer-to-accurate description of what actually happened. Still, even we at The Stranger have been confused by all of this; in our general election endorsement of Jayapal we initially wrote that she’d “fought and won against more senior Democrats in her chamber who tried to push through a destructive law backed by predatory payday lenders.” We’ve recently corrected our endorsement to make clear that Jayapal lost her fight in the senate.

EXPANDING CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE FOR WOMEN ON MEDICAID

Jayapal has taken credit for “expanding access to contraceptives for women on Medicaid” but has varied in how she explains exactly what happened. She has also greatly exaggerated the number of women affected by the change.

Here’s what actually happened:

While the Affordable Care Act already required that Medicaid cover all forms of birth control in Washington, the reimbursement rates for long-acting contraceptives like IUDs were so low that some clinics were not offering those forms of birth control to patients on Medicaid.

In 2015, Jayapal introduced a bill to try to fix this by raising reimbursement rates for long-acting contraceptives. Republican senators balked and Jayapal’s 2015 bill didn’t go anywhere. Later, Governor Jay Inslee included the increase to reimbursement rates for long-acting contraceptives in his budget proposal. Again, Republicans weren’t having it. So Inslee simply directed the Washington State Health Care Authority to find a way to pay for the increased reimbursement rates—about $1 million a year—in the authority’s existing budget.

Jayapal did play a role here. She introduced the 2015 bill that Republicans refused to entertain. Then, according to Planned Parenthood representatives and the governor’s office, she kept consistent pressure on the governor’s office to get the effort funded by other means.

“I also credit the governor, but I give [Jayapal] a lot of credit for elevating this through that months-long process,” says Planned Parenthood lobbyist Jennifer Allen. (Planned Parenthood’s political arm has endorsed Jayapal.) “Nothing is written down with her name on it. She never did it for the glory. She did it because it was the right thing to do.”

In some cases, like a recent debate at Seattle University, Jayapal has referred to this effort as an example of her successfully passing “legislation,” which isn’t true.

In an interview for this story, Jayapal acknowledged that while she tries to refer to the increased reimbursement rates as a “policy” victory, she may have used the word “legislation.” (She did, twice.) This is significant beyond the semantic level because passed legislation is state law. Unless it’s repealed, it lasts forever. In contrast, policy victories that rely on a particular governor’s decision—victories like this one—are only safe until a governor who disagrees comes into office.

At other times, like at this campaign event and in this Reddit AMA, Jayapal said the increased reimbursement rates for long-acting contraceptives benefited “millions” of women. But there are not millions of women on Medicaid in Washington, and estimates from people close to the contraception coverage expansion process put the number of women affected by that policy change at somewhere between 7,000 and 30,000. Allen says the state estimated at the time that every year about 26,750 women on Medicaid would switch to long-term contraceptives like IUDs if they were available. The Jayapal campaign did not respond to a question about this discrepancy.

Like on the payday lending issue, Jayapal was more clear about exactly what she’d achieved on long-lasting contraception reimbursement rates during the primary election. “[I] have been able to expand access to long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs for tens of thousands of women across our state by raising Medicaid reimbursement rates,” Jayapal said during her June endorsement meeting with The Stranger.

Both of these issues come on top of the clip Dan recently used here on Slog to attack Jayapal for taking too much credit for the passage of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage. In that clip, she says, “Some of you know me for actually passing a $15 minimum wage here in Seattle.” (Members of the city’s minimum wage task force disputed her involvement. The task force’s co-chair, David Rolf, meanwhile, credits Jayapal for making the issue central for Mayor Ed Murray during his election campaign. Jayapal’s campaign says she regrets the misstatement.)

Asked about the stretched truths concerning her record in Olympia, a spokesperson for Jayapal’s campaign provided some responses by e-mail and said: “It’s sad that this race has suddenly turned into the world’s pettiest gotcha game. It doesn’t serve anybody.”

To be clear, Jayapal is not the only candidate for political office to ever exaggerate her record. In fact, she’d be something of an outlier if she didn’t. Passing policies happens as the result of lots of people—not least among them activists—pushing for certain policy changes and a lot of lawmakers voting for them. Then, those lawmakers go out and run as individuals, along the way taking individual credit for policies that they know were a group effort. But here, Jayapal’s statements about her achievements have, at times, veered from overgeneralizations into factual inaccuracies.

WHAT ABOUT WALKINSHAW?

If you haven’t been shouting this question at the screen already, you’re probably asking by now: What about Walkinshaw? Well, Walkinshaw, too, has run his campaign—and made his effectiveness argument—largely on the basis of legislation he sponsored in Olympia. And he’s certainly made sweeping statements and taken credit for bills he sponsored but that ultimately passed with the help of the entire legislature.

“I’ve started the state’s work on opiate addiction over the last three years and it’s led to a set of results that are pretty far ranging, that are the reason the Seattle Police Department is able to carry naloxone,” Walkinshaw told The Stranger during an endorsement interview.

“I fought for the authorization of Sound Transit and did it in a way that [Representative] Jessyn Farrell and I passed legislation in the authorization of the transportation package that requires the development of affordable housing around light rail stations,” he said later.

Walkinshaw’s website describes one piece of legislation he supported, the Certificate of Restoration of Opportunities, as “the single most important piece of criminal justice legislation to come out of Olympia the past five years.” And he has taken credit for “legislation that expands access to emergency contraceptives” for people leaving prison. He did sponsor that proposal, though it was the bill’s senate companion that actually passed the legislature.

But those statements don’t involve an untruth about whether and how he killed a bill (as with Jayapal’s statements about payday lending) or a huge exaggeration of the number of people affected (as with Jayapal’s claim that “millions of women” benefitted from increased reimbursement rates for long-acting contraception).

“Campaigns are about communicating our records and how we’ve represented those to voters,” Walkinshaw says. “Whether [the] claims we’re making are supported by the facts is important. We’re electing a legislator. Legislative records matter.”

When I asked Jayapal’s campaign whether they had heard Walkinshaw exaggerate his record, a spokesperson said: “We don’t have hours of taped footage on Brady to compare notes and mince every word.”


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NSW COVID Cases Rise, Victoria Cases Rise, ACT COVID Cases Rise, More Pfizer Doses Arriving, NSW Lockdown Continues, Victoria Lockdown Continues, ACT Lockdown Continues

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Federal COVID-19 task force commander Lt. Gen. John Frewen said supply was no longer an issue for the rollout of the vaccine in the country.

General Frewen said Australia would have about double the number of doses of the mRNA vaccine – which includes Pfizer and Moderna – as expected this month.

“We will move forward as quickly as possible,” he told radio station 3AW.

Lieutenant General John Frewen. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Moderna vaccines are expected to be rolled out in people’s arms in the coming weeks, in pharmacies, around September 20.

General Frewen said Victoria’s vaccination targets could be met sooner than originally planned, to facilitate the state’s slow release from lockdown.

“Supply and distribution is not the main challenge right now. The main challenge now is really about people’s willingness to come forward. It’s really important now that we continue to urge people to, if they haven’t made a reservation, have a reservation in the system and if they’ve had their first dose to take their second dose.

“It’s really now about the public’s willingness to get vaccinated. “

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General Frewen said the public’s will was encouraging, with 80% wanting to be vaccinated and 14-15% still considering their position.

He said he would not take those numbers for granted and would continue to push for as many people as possible to get clear information and get vaccinated.

The number of people who would not get vaccinated was low, he said, estimated at around 5-6% of the population.

“There is simply no time for complacency now, everything is in place, but we just need to fix it urgently. “


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