MAKERFIELD MP Yvonne Fovargue has been given a top honour by a national charity.
The Citizens Advice Bureau has named her their ‘Parliamentarian of the Year 2011’ because of her forthright campaign to save the Legal Aid system from the worst of Government cuts.
Chief Executive of CAB Gillian Guy described the MP as a “tireless champion” for the service in the House of Commons and a guardian of their clients’ interests among the decision makers since being elected in 2010.
She will share space on the award with the name of her predecessor in the constituency Sir Ian McCartney who was honoured by them three year ago.
CAB say that together with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Debt and Personal Finance which she chairs, Ms Fovargue had fought an effective battle for more regulation of fee-charging debt management plans which remained a huge issue for their clients.
Ms Fovargue herself is a former chief executive of St Helens Citizens Advice Bureau for almost a quarter of a century.
She admitted: “As a former CAB manager, receiving this award is extra special and I am delighted to be recognised in this way by the service I worked in for so long.”
National CAB chief executive Ms Guy said that while still a relatively new MP, Ms Fovargue has impressed with the determination she has put into keeping the issues Citizens Advice work with high on the political agenda along with the effective way in which she has secured the support of so many colleagues, on both sides of the House, has had a huge impact on the service and on clients.
She said: “Yvonne’s successful leadership is evidenced in her work as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid and the new chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Debt and Personal Finance.
“In these latter roles she has secured several debates on the impact of legal aid reform and on the impact other public spending cuts will have on the future of funding for free debt and welfare benefits advice.”
Previous winners include current Coalition Government Business Secretary Vince Cable and former Treasury Select Committee Chairman Right Hon John McFall MP in 2007.
The reception this year was supported by Prudential.
CAB comprises a network of local bureau, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice, who help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice.
The advice provided is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone.