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- 04 October 2017
This e-newsletter covers my work as your MP, both in east Bristol and in Westminster.
- 04 October 2017
Coughs and hecklers and falling signs aside, there were some important policy announcements from Theresa May in her speech to the Tory Party Conference today. There is a housing crisis in Britain, and in Bristol this problem is especially acute. We have sky-high rents and rising house-prices, and despite huge demand for houses we still have the lowest levels of house-building since the 1920s. Developers realise that by holding on to land, building slowly and with the minimum number of affordable homes, they can maximise their profits. We need radical government action to stimulate house-building, and Theresa May’s “big announcement” on housing at the Tory Conference falls short of this. The Government would build an additional 25,000 Council Homes, which works at only 15 new homes per local authority per year. I welcome the announcement that the Government will introduce a cap on energy bills. Energy prices have risen higher than inflation and wages, meaning that many people are for
- 03 October 2017
Yesterday I had a great visit to Chester Park Juniors School, accompanied by Hillfields Councillor Anna Keen, and Harriet from the British Lung Foundation. We talked to Year 3 pupils about the dangers of air pollution, and discussed with them how they can help change behaviour and campaign to reduce the amount of emissions we produce. Air pollution poses a great danger to many, especially young people living in built-up areas in cities, and drastic action is needed to tackle the issue. Some great points from the children as well!
- 02 October 2017
I am delighted to see that the Government has given into the pressure for longer punishments for those who commit animal cruelty offences, with the announcement yesterday by Michael Gove that sentences will be extended to up to a maximum of 5 years in prison. Currently, England and Wales has the lowest sentence across 100 jurisdictions including Europe, the United States, and Australia for these types of crimes. I sponsored my Labour colleague Anna Turley MP for Redcar's Animal Cruelty (Sentencing) Bill last Parliament which would have made this change in sentencing, but unfortunately the Bill never got to a debate. This is a success for animal rights campaigners who have been working on this issue, and shows we are prepared to take tough action against those who commit sick animal abuse offences. I hope Michael Gove will not delay too long in bringing legislation forward.
- 29 September 2017
I was pleased to support the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign, as I think no one who wants to remain in work should face job dismissal after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Every person battling terminal conditions deserves to be able to choose how to spend their final months. I will support any change in the law that will close the legal loophole allowing heartless employers to dismiss dying employees due to their illness, and encourage business in my constituency to sign the Charter committing them to support employees who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. -
- 28 September 2017
I’ve just got back from Labour Party Conference in Brighton, where I spoke at a couple of events, on ‘Sustainable Solutions for British Agriculture after Brexit’, which proved to be a fascinating discussion, and on divestment of pension funds from fossil fuels at a Labour Energy Forum event. The mood of the Party and of Conference was that of unity and optimism. After the unexpected gains for Labour in June, gaining 30 seats and winning almost 13 million votes, there is now a clear belief that Labour can go on to win the next General Election. The task now is to present to the public a clear plan for what a Labour Government would look like, and, as Jeremy Corbyn said, to win broader support across the country for this vision. It was on housing - a particular issue of concern in Bristol - that Jeremy divulged the most significant developments in Labour policy: including action to stop the social-cleansing seen in many areas, to solve the housing crisis through a mass-housebuilding pr
- 22 September 2017
Just had a fun visit to Wicklea Academy to speak to the Year 3-6 pupils. Lots of tough questions and some which were easier to answer, such as "Is Donald Trump nice?"!
- 22 September 2017
I was very pleased to support the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s campaign to increase protection for elephants as a matter of urgency last week. This is a cause I care deeply about, and I have been clear that the UK should legislate to completely outlaw the ivory trade, which would stop the sale of modern ivory sold by traders who are getting away with passing it off as antique. IFAW’s research shows that the UK and Europe as a whole do play a role in the illegal ivory chain; this reinforces the need for an ivory ban here in the UK to close these markets and help save elephants in the wild.
- 21 September 2017
I've just heard that the Lamplighters were successful in their bid for this funding, so look out St George for a Lantern Parade which should happen in February! ??
- 21 September 2017
Thousands of dolphins, porpoises and whales die in UK seas every year by getting trapped in fishing gear. These horrific and unnecessary deaths can be prevented, and I am calling on the Government to work with NGOs, the fishing industry and coastal communities to do much more to reduce and prevent this. I am also supporting the WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) campaign to ensure the UK has strong laws to protect dolphins, porpoises and whales after we exit the EU.
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