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- 22 November 2017
Lots of constituents have contacted me regarding NHS funding ahead of the Autumn Budget, as they are understandably concerned that our health service is not being given the resources it needs. After seven years of Tory failure, our NHS is at breaking point. I have written to Phillip Hammond to urge him to commit to giving the NHS the billions of pounds of extra funding it needs to ensure that the impending winter health crisis - forecasted by the healthcare watchdog NHS Improvement - is avoided. I sincerely hope that the Government heeds these calls and gives the NHS the money that is desperately required to protect patients and staff and ensure the long-term sustainability of our health service.
- 21 November 2017
I had a useful meeting on Friday with the Principal of St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, along with some of their students. We discussed the challenges arising from the underfunding of 16-19 education, which has seen a real terms cut in spending per pupil of over £200 since 2013. The college is determined not to introduce any cuts to the curriculum so as to keep students’ options as wide as possible, but they have reached the limit of what they can do to make savings. I have lobbied the Government about unfair funding for sixth form colleges in the past, and have again written to the Chancellor about this in the run-up to the Budget. We also discussed what the college is doing to raise awareness of Meningitis, given the tragic deaths of two students in the last few years, and encourage take-up of the vaccine amongst students, who, along with babies, are the most vulnerable to this disease.
- 21 November 2017
This Guardian article provides a useful insight into what so many people in Bristol are already experiencing when it comes to the housing market – with high rents and unaffordable house prices. After seven years of failure to tackle this growing crisis, I hope the Government now takes on board the clear need to invest in house-building in the Autumn Budget, due to be announced tomorrow.
- 17 November 2017
Ken Clarke issues a stark warning about the unprecedented powers being granted to the Government in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which will let them amend, weaken and even repeal crucial EU laws without scrutiny in Parliament after we have carried them over into UK law. With characteristic candour he said that many Tory MPs would relish the opportunity to cut environmental protections and remove workers’ rights post-Brexit. This has been my concern all along and last night in Parliament I pushed my new clause 25 to a vote, as well as supporting the Labour frontbench’s new clause 58, both of which are designed to prevent too much power falling into Ministers’ hands. Sadly, but somewhat predictably, Ken Clarke was the sole Tory rebel against the Conservative whip so the votes were narrowly lost. The Bill is next due back in the House on Tuesday 21st, for day 3 of committee stage, but it’s unlikely day 4 (of 8) will come before December because of the Budget on November 22nd and subsequent d
- 16 November 2017
This week is UK Parliament Week, the aim of which is to engage people from across the UK with Parliament, explore what it means to them and empower them to get involved. As part of this I’ll be giving an assembly to the children at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in my constituency tomorrow morning. I’d encourage all of you to engage with Parliament throughout the year, not just during UK Parliament Week. All constituents are able to contact their MP to arrange a free tour of the Houses of Parliament, or to request tickets to watch debates from the Public Galleries in the House of Commons.
- 15 November 2017
Please click the link for an update on my work, on issues of the upcoming Autumn Budget, Police Cuts, Universal Credit, an update on my Meningitis Campaign, Brexit, Votes at 16 and Modern Slavery.
- 15 November 2017
Public sector workers need more than just a pat on the back. For the last 7 years, pay rises have been capped yet the cost of living has shot up. The Government needs to do more than just pay lip service, and give them they pay rise they deserve. Watch this amusing film from UNISON to learn more.
- 15 November 2017
Had a lovely and inspirational evening meeting the Bristol City Youth Council last week. Really impressive seeing these dedicated young people trying to bring about positive change in their local communities, and campaigns on issues like better PHSE in schools and opposing discrimination in all its forms. Those opposed to reducing the voting age to 16 should meet some of these guys!
- 14 November 2017
This is very good news. Bees are a crucial part of our eco system but their numbers have been in serious decline. I am glad Michael Gove, unlike his predecessors, has come out in favour of a total ban. This is also why I am pushing for the precautionary principle, which has been involved in this case, to be protected when we leave the EU, and have tabled amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, currently going through Parliament, to achieve this.
- 14 November 2017
Kerry's column in the Times
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