Jessica Morden

Labour MP for Newport East

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I've called for action from the UK Government following last week's announcement that the Severn Bridge tolls will be rising again in 2017.

For many of my constituents on the Tories' minimum wage, the cost of travelling across the bridge is now almost equivalent to an hour's pay, and is actually above it for people under 21. That means they are effectively losing an hour's pay every day that they cross the bridge.

Meanwhile the UK Government has still not provided any clarity on its plans for the bridges' return to public ownership in 2018. All we do know is that the government have announced that the tolls will come down next year when the contract comes to an end, but there is still no sign of the public consultation that was promised.

BBC Wales reported the story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38182358

Call for action on Severn Bridge tolls

I've called for action from the UK Government following last week's announcement that the Severn Bridge tolls will be rising again in 2017. For many of my constituents on the...

2Small_Biz_Saturday.jpg 

I was pleased to mark Small Business Saturday in Maindee this Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is now the biggest annual celebration of small businesses in the UK, and enables us to put centre stage the great work that small businesses do.  As well as encouraging shoppers back to Britain’s High Streets and to use small shops, it is about banging the drum for entrepreneurs and small businesses in all sectors.

Small and medium-sized businesses play a hugely important role in local economies across Britain - including here in Newport East - and it's important to support them as much as we can.

Pictured above - John Griffiths AM, Cllr Deb Davies and I enjoying a refreshing cuppa in Friends Cafe in Maindee.

Small Business Saturday

  I was pleased to mark Small Business Saturday in Maindee this Saturday. Small Business Saturday is now the biggest annual celebration of small businesses in the UK, and enables...

From this week's South Wales Argus 'Your MP Writes' column:

There were slim pickings for Newport East and Wales in last week’s Autumn Statement. Yet again the government have treated Wales as an afterthought, with virtually nothing to say on the significant challenges facing our country.

Yes, the additional money announced for Wales for the next five years is welcome, but it is simply a consequence of the Barnett formula rather than any real show of intent or support for Wales.

There were calls in the run up to the Autumn Statement for investment in big spending infrastructure projects, in view of the uncertainty in Wales around Brexit. Existing EU funds are worth around £650 million to Wales every year, and the government have yet to say if they will replace the funds Wales will be losing out on.

That means there is still uncertainty for ambitious projects like the South Wales Metro, despite last week’s the warm words of support for it from the UK transport minister. The Metro could help to integrate Newport East transport with the rest of South Wales, including better links with the Valleys, and a significant economic boost for our area.  There’s huge potential in this project, but in addition to the Welsh Government’s funding, the UK government needs to give concrete assurances that they will provide the funds to guarantee that Wales will not lose out.

There was also no news on the day for tidal lagoons. There is much support for the pathfinder Swansea Bay lagoon, which could lead the way in kick starting a new energy sector in Wales, with big potential for more lagoons in Newport and Cardiff.

There was also little mention of help for the steel industry in the autumn statement, and it is clear we must continue to make sure the government uses UK steel in new infrastructure projects.

This month I spoke in an important debate on police safety on behalf of various families in Newport. This was raised again in PMQs, and I will continue to support the hard working police officers and their families that are being stretched thin by government cuts.

As my next column is after Christmas, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all organisations working across Newport East.

It’s a lovely time to meet so many constituents at the events, markets, and fairs.

I’ll be out and about and I hope to see many of you.

South Wales Argus column for December

From this week's South Wales Argus 'Your MP Writes' column: There were slim pickings for Newport East and Wales in last week’s Autumn Statement. Yet again the government have treated...


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