A sure start for young Joseph

MANCHESTER:PROUD father Ivan Henderson is singing the praises of the Government's Sure Start scheme, designed to give children throughout England the help they need in early years education as well as proving childcare facilities and health screening.

Graham Dines

MANCHESTER:

PROUD father Ivan Henderson is singing the praises of the Government's Sure Start scheme, designed to give children throughout England the help they need in early years education as well as proving childcare facilities and health screening.

Mr Henderson's four year-old son Joseph has been with Sure Start in Harwich for two years in one of nine schemes which have been established in Tendring district since the scheme was introduced by Labour after winning the 1997 election.


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That landslide victory saw Mr Henderson elected as the first ever Labour MP for Harwich and went on to double his majority in 2001 before succumbing to increased support for the Conservatives in 2005.

“The changes in social justice brought about by this Labour government have seen a massive investment throughout Tendring and we should all be singing its praises,” says Mr Henderson, who will be attempting to return to the Commons at the next election.

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The traditional Harwich seat has been redrawn now under boundary changes which come into effect at the next election, severing Clacton and Frinton from Harwich and Dovercourt for the first time in parliamentary elections. Mr Henderson has been selected to fight Clacton, a tough battle against MP Douglas Carswell, who has also opted to stand in Clacton.

Certainly, Labour has not given up hope of taking Clacton. A government minister is due to visit the constituency in the next few days to show support for Mr Henderson. Baroness Andrews will be dropping in on Colbaynes high school to see for herself education advances in the Tendring area.

I CAUGHT up with Mr Henderson in the Circus Tavern, a hard drinking den near the Central Station complex where Labour is holding is annual party conference. With hardly room to swing a cat, the beer and lager flowed among the Labour stalwarts who like the atmosphere which is reminiscent to the tough, no nonsense bars of inner city Glasgow.

MPs in particular feel at home in the Circus Tavern - to my mind, it's just like Annie's Bar, the infamous watering holHendersone deep in the bowels of the Houses of Parliament.

LABOUR'S conference managers were less than impressed at the sweat shirts worn by employees of Rupert Murdoch's The Sun newspaper proclaiming that together, readers and the newspaper can mend Britain's broken society.

The party has been at pains this week to denounce the Conservatives, who coined the “phrase broken” society, claiming society is not broken and does not need the Tories talking it down. But it's yet another sign that the UK's biggest mass circulation newspaper will be backing David Cameron at the next election.

AWARD for the worst speech by a Cabinet minister so far goes to James Purnell, the Works and Pensions Secretary whose turgid contribution to a Sunday afternoon debate soon had delegates trying not to look disinterested.

OUTSIDE bet to be next Labour leader. Enter the Green Cardinal - John Reid - the one man the Tories most fear!

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