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- 10 October 2017
Today is World Mental Health Day, which is a time to raise awareness of how many people will be affected by a mental health condition during their lifetime, and to consider what more can be done to help them. Young Minds, the children’s mental health charity, is urging people to wear yellow today and tweet their support at #HelloYellow. They say that three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health condition, and over 80,000 young people in the UK are severely depressed. But it’s becoming more difficult to get assessment or treatment, and more and more young people are being admitted to A&E for self-harm. I have co-signed a letter, along with many other Labour MPs, calling on the Government to give mental and physical health parity of esteem, and to ensure funding for mental health services is protected by ring fencing.
- 10 October 2017
As I have posted on here recently, there are growing concerns about the roll-out of universal credit. Councils have now said they fear a surge in evictions will inevitably follow, as claimants wait up to six weeks to receive any money. The Government should put the roll-out of universal credit on hold until these issues are addressed.
- 10 October 2017
Today Theresa May launched the results of her audit of racial inequality and said ‘there will be nowhere for it to hide’. But currently the Home Office’s immigration officials do not collect ethnicity data on the people they stop and, as the Bristol Cable has revealed, many British citizens have been questioned when coming into the UK, for immigration crimes they cannot commit (because they are British!) There is no official data on the race of the people who have been stopped, but it is clear racial profiling techniques are being used. If the Government really wants to shine a light on ongoing racial injustice then Departments like the Home Office must be included.
- 09 October 2017
A damning new report from the IFS has revealed that taxpayers are now making more of a contribution towards students’ university education than they did when tuition fees were set at the much lower level of £3000 a year. Theresa May announced in her conference speech that fees would be capped at £9,250 - a policy that does nothing to help students leaving university with massive debts and nothing to help the taxpayer either. A radical review of how we fund higher education in this country is needed.
- 09 October 2017
I’m campaigning for a full ban on imports of foie gras into the UK, due to the extreme suffering the ducks and geese used to make this dish are forced to endure. Producing foie gras is already illegal in the UK, and when the UK leaves the EU we should close this trade loophole and ban it for good. – Sign the petition in support here - http://animalequality.org.uk/foie-gras/
- 07 October 2017
Healthy City Week starts today and is a great opportunity to focus on healthy habits and sustainability. Through the Feeding Bristol project we are looking at ways to ensure everyone in Bristol can access good, healthy food, including through supporting local food growing projects. I have also been campaigning for a change in planning law so that new fast-food stores need to be at least 800 metres away from schools, rather than the current 400 metres.
- 06 October 2017
I’ve just written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to call for additional money to be given to sixth forms colleges such as St Brendan’s in my constituency. Currently 16-19 education is severely underfunded, with students receiving 21% less than the funding for 11-16 year olds and 48% less than the average university tuition fee. This unfair underfunding of sixth-form education must be stopped.
- 06 October 2017
My Senior Caseworker, Lois and I had a useful visit to Easton’s Job Centre Plus last week. We met staff and raised some of the issues I see in my casework, including ESA and PIP assessments (which are carried out elsewhere), the effect of sanctions, and the support given to jobseekers. We also sat in on a Case Conference, where the staff discussed a few examples of people struggling to find suitable work, and the options available to help them. We also talked about the roll-out of universal credit. It was reassuring to hear that the staff believe the new computer system is much better, and that the move to new offices with the Housing Benefit team will help joint-working, but I remain concerned that claimants may have to wait up to six weeks to receive any money. Along with many other MPs I have signed this letter on Universal Credit to raise our concerns with the Minister. - https://drive.google.com/…/0B5hq3WTB8y7XOEZDcTI2TWJPNjg/view
- 05 October 2017
I am showing my support for Noel Conway in his fight to challenge the law on assisted dying. Noel has terminal motor neurone disease. He wants the choice to end his life, within a safeguarded law for terminally ill, mentally competent adults with six months or less to live. He says: ‘Having the option of an assisted death would bring me great comfort in my final months. I believe it is my fundamental human right – one I am willing to fight in the courts to secure.’ I encourage you to join m
- 04 October 2017
123 MPs of different parties have signed a letter to David Gauke, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, to urgently call on him to delay the planned roll out of Universal Credit to 55 new areas a month from next week, to avoid hardship and increased debt for millions of families.
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