My Column in the Morley Observer

Anyone for a cuppa? UK Older People’s Day was last week and coincides with the UN International Day of Older People. It is a celebration of the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and the economy. And I marked the occasion by hosting afternoon tea in Morley for local pensioners from across my constituency.

But as well as the bingo, raffle for the local branch of the Royal British Legion, there was a more serious side to our get-together. I know from my post bag how worried older people are about the direction our National Health Service is going in. And after some horrific stories in the national media about older people being abused or exploited, ensuring we have a high quality of health and social care for older people in our area is a really big issue.

So when a local pensioner wrote to me asking me to sign up to the National Pensioner’s Convention’s Dignity Code for older people I thought it was important to investigate.

The Code has been written to uphold the rights and maintain the personal dignity of older people. It aims to ensure older people, who are sometimes less able to care for themselves, have their health, safety and wellbeing protected.  It calls for the wishes, habits, values and cultural backgrounds of older people to be respected and for them to be allowed to express and make up their own minds.

Staff from Knowle Manor attending on Friday told me that they adopted the Dignity Code a while back. Leeds City Council also adopted it recently.

So I was delighted to add my name. Most of those attending on Friday did the same. It was a great show of solidarity that we all believe that older people deserve respect and dignity. A really great way to mark a national celebration of older people!


It most certainly wasn’t business as usual on Friday night. At the Village Hotel in Tingley the great and the good from the Morley business community gathered to celebrate a year of high achievements. And there were performances from local samba dancers, band, Ream and DJ Ollie kept things lively all evening.

The awards themselves were an emotional affair. From Sole Trader, Andy who runs Yorkshire Delicious in Morley Market, the fashionistas at Room 94 who won the award for Customer Focus, Restaurant Table 27 who won the Start-up Award and Onwards and Upwards who scooped the Business Personality Award. It was a great evening.

But one of the highlights for me was the Social Impact Award I presented to Enabled Works in Morley – a group of disabled workers who formed their own cooperative after their Remploy Factory was closed a few years back. I officially opened their factory a year ago and since then they have gone from strength to strength, winning orders and delivering a real quality service.

And I can’t believe there was a dry eye in the house when Chocolate Spa won the Business of the year award. Owner, Shanda only set up the business 18 months ago and since then it’s clearly gone from strength to strength. No one was more delighted that Team ‘Chocolate’ who gave the biggest cheer of the night when Shanda took to the stage.

The awards themselves were a great testimony to the hard work of Lee Jagger, President of Morley Chamber and Rachael Kennedy the Chamber’s Events Manager. The whole evening showcased the best in the local business community. But it was an event for everyone – and I have no doubt that all attendees – especially the young people there – will have left believing that there’s nothing stopping them setting up a business and making it a success.

And in the end that’s the most important thing for our local economy. Our businesses create the jobs and wealth our area needs to prosper and do well. I’ll certainly continue to do my bit to make sure the local business community has all the support it needs to succeed.

Congratulations to all the winners and those who were nominated. It was a fabulous evening!


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Posted October 7th, 2014 by Ed's team