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- 21 September 2017
Last night I was at Colston Hall for its 150th anniversary celebrations, where I said a few words from the main stage about its work on music education, and increasing participation in music. Over the years Colston Hall has seen performances from a huge range of artists, including the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Rachmaninov, the Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and my favourite band, Joy Division. Sadly I wasn’t there in 1979 to see them!
- 20 September 2017
I'm delighted to be featured in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, as the new Species Champion for the Swift! Swift numbers have been steadily declining in Bristol so ensuring their conservation is something I care deeply about.
- 20 September 2017
Last night I had a productive visit to the Creative Youth Network’s Meadowvale project, which is a weekly session for young people between the ages of 9 and 12. It was great to see the work they do, bringing together children from the local community, offering support as well as play activities, and to speak to the children who use the service. The Meadowvale centre is a valuable community resource and I am supporting efforts to improve the facilities in the building and in the park.
- 19 September 2017
It is shameful that the Government still hasn’t guaranteed the rights of EU citizens in the UK. I support the Citizens Lobby campaign and believe that the UK Government and the EU should grant EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living abroad in the EU the assurances they need that they won’t be forced to leave due to Brexit
- 18 September 2017
was pleased to support the Breast Cancer ‘Wear it Pink’ campaign last week. The Wear it Pink campaign runs every year, this year coming up on the 20th of October and I encourage you to take part as it raises money to fund life-saving research. More information of how to fundraise money here - https://wearitpink.org/fundraising-ideas
- 14 September 2017
Over the last 7 years, Government policy has served as to massively increase homelessness. Cuts to local housing allowance and other benefits, the lowest level of house-building since the 1920's at a time of rising rents and house-prices, and swingeing cuts to welfare and mental health-services have all served to exacerbate this problem. I know first-hand through casework the damage that this causes; we need Government investment in house-building and a welfare system adequate to support those in need, and not condemn them to life on the streets.
- 13 September 2017
Labour’s motion on removing the NHS Pay Cap passed the House of Commons without a vote! The Government knew it would lose if it came to a vote on removing the 1% pay cap for nurses, midwives and other NHS staff, so instead of letting it come to that, the Government allowed it to pass unopposed. Whilst it is welcome that the Government has accepted defeat on this, we must now wait for the NHS Pay Review Board to announce in the next few weeks what sort of pay rises these staff are to expect and whether they will receive the fair pay rise they deserve.
- 13 September 2017
Following on from the successful Rally on Saturday, in which over 8,000 people marched to show opposition to further Austerity and to demand Bristol gets the funding and investment it needs, yesterday all the Bristol MPs met with Marvin Rees in Parliament at the launch of the Core Cities Green Paper. The Green Paper sets out what investment and further devolved powers our Core Cities need to ensure they can prosper after Brexit. At the parliamentary event we were told that Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator for Brexit, has offered to meet the Core Cities – something which David Davis, despite repeated requests, is yet to do.
- 13 September 2017
Another Opposition motion and another defeat for the Toriest, this time on opposing the planned rise in tuition fees for University students. It looks that depriving the Tories of a majority in June really had a significant impact, Government should now act to stop any further rise past the £9,250 current fee level, as Labour's motion required; they should also review the overall impact of tuition fees and the higher interest rates now charged on student debt.
- 12 September 2017
Last night – or, rather, in the early hours of this morning – I voted against giving the Bill a Second Reading as I believe it is deeply flawed and damaging to our democracy. This is in line with Labour’s manifesto commitment at the recent General Election, to drop what was then known as the “Great Repeal Bill” and replace it with an EU Rights and Protections Bill. It is not about blocking Brexit, but about ensuring that a Brexit deal protects jobs, the economy, fundamental human rights, workers’ protection and environmental safeguards. The decisions that are made during the Brexit negotiations will affect our country for many years to come, and it cannot be right that we give a blank cheque to the likes of David Davis, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox to make deals, without any proper scrutiny. People voted Leave for many reasons, including to empower the British Parliament. But this Bill does not allow the British people, or even the British parliament, to ‘take back control’. As it stan
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