There aren’t many good days that begin with a 5am start, but this month’s trip down to Parliament was a great day out for my staff and several dozen constituents. I was able to organise a tour of the Houses of Parliament, tickets to the public gallery during Home Office Questions, where I had a chance to question the Government on police rationing of callouts for crimes like burglary - and how the Minister would feel if he was burgled and didn’t receive a visit.
The Friends of Woodseats Playground have only got started recently but they’ve hit the ground running with some great initiatives for improving the playground. One of them was this weekend’s Community Dig Day, which saw local people drop by to help plant new bulbs and seeds to brighten up the park next Spring, as well as clearing up the banks of the stream.
This month Parliament has returned and the party conferences are over for another year. As normal service resumes, we've had to deal with some major issues in Parliament, particularly the Government's outrageous power grab in the form of their EU Withdrawal Bill. There's been continuing pressure on policing and more strain on our our public services and in the run up to the Budget we want to keep the pressure on to end cuts to our services. To receive next month's email straight to your inbox, sign up here.
I’ve long been clear about the problems of Universal Credit and so I’m joining forces with lots of colleagues to call once again for David Gauke and the DWP to delay their full rollout. Despite only having been rolled out in a few places, the DWP admit only 40% of people can assess the Verify portal and 23% don’t receive their payment within 6 weeks. Payment delays are often 12-13 weeks, causing enormous hardship and anxiety to claimants facing huge delays in payment.
I had a great visit this week to the Intake Wives’ Group. The group’s been meeting for 56 years, and arranges trips and meals for local women as well as inviting speakers on all sorts of topics.