Friday, 11 February 2011

Inviting Local Bands to Rock The House!

Calling all unsigned local bands!

A press release has just landed on my desk asking me to propose the best unsigned band and best live venue from my Chatham & Aylesford constituency and I want to hear your suggestions!

This follows the official launch of ‘Rock The House’, a national music competition in search of talented new artists and venues from across the UK, being sponsored by the Hove MP Mike Weatherley, a Parliamentary champion for the music industry.

‘Rock The House’ is a music competition with a political twist; supporting unsigned bands and artists, it will raise political awareness of issues around music copyright and the importance of protecting the intellectual property of artists’ work.

Bands, artists and venues are invited to enter themselves, via their local MP, who will make nominations to a judging panel of music industry heavyweights, on behalf of their own constituencies. Entries can be submitted until the closing date of 31st March 2011. Winners will be announced by the end of May.
You can email me direct with a link to your myspace or other audio sharing space on [email protected]

All competition finalists will be invited to attend an exclusive star-studded event on the Terrace of the House of Commons on 30th June. Other top prizes up for grabs for winners include: Yamaha music gear and instruments, master classes with top industry consultants, high profile media coverage, and much more.

Sponsors and supporters include: UK Music, Future Publishing, EMI, Yamaha, Consumer Focus, Music Managers Forum (MMF), Incorporated Society of Musicians, and All Party Parliamentary Group on Music (APPG).

Monday, 7 February 2011

Launching Financial Education For Young People

On Monday, I attended the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People as part of a major campaign for compulsory financial education in schools. Over 170 MPs from all parties have joined the group, making it one of the largest APPGs ever.

Formed on the back of a debt-ridden financial crisis and an increasingly complex financial world, the group is calling is for compulsory financial education in schools, ensuring young people understand money, consuming and debt. It’s set to be the new force behind pushing financial education up the agenda, and co-ordinating the agencies already working towards it, including charity pfeg and

I think it is vital that we equip the next generation with the understanding to be able to make informed financial decisions. I am pleased to be a member of this group, and hope that through working together we will be able to help young people better understand the difficult choices that they will need to make.

The Launch was attended by Martin Lewis, creator of Martin is a great champion for the cause. Martin hit the nail on the head when he said “What’s been deeply frustrating campaigning on this over the years is while virtually everybody agrees it’s needed and people often say ‘I wish I’d had it’, making it happen is a nightmare. That’s why this co-ordinated effort is so exciting. After all, as a financially illiterate nation, it’s not enough to rely on parents to teach financial education. Schools are the key to breaking the debt cycle leading to less mis-selling, fewer bad debts, better consumers and could save the public purse a fortune. It’s a national disgrace that in the 20 years since student loans were launched we’ve educated our youth into debt, but never about debt. Now as tuition fees are getting bigger we simply cannot leave young people uneducated on this matter.”