Jessica Morden

Labour MP for Newport East

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I recently joined Baroness Anita Gale and Parkinson’s UK to mark 200 years since Parkinson’s was first recognised as a condition.

I met with representatives from the charity and people affected by Parkinson’s in Parliament to hear about the charity’s ambition to bring forward the day when no one fears Parkinson’s. 

Staff and volunteers told me about the huge strides that have been made in understanding the condition since James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy in 1817, but also the work that is still to be done as there is no cure for Parkinson’s and current medication can’t stop the condition from progressing.

Parkinson’s UK highlighted the issues faced by people with Parkinson’s, including getting the right financial support to help with the extra costs of living with the condition. 

I heard how 25 per cent of people with Parkinson’s are losing some or all of this support as they are moved from Disability Living Allowance to the replacement benefit Personal Independence Payment, leaving people unable to pay for aids and adaptations, energy bills and transport.

Parkinson’s affects one in 500 people in Newport East, and can cause a myriad of symptoms including insomnia, depression, and hallucinations, robbing people of their independence. But through more research, improved services, and empowering people with Parkinson’s to take control, their lives can be turned around.

Parkinson’s UK wants to see quality services as standard for the 127,000 people with Parkinson’s in the UK. They also want people with Parkinson’s to feel empowered to take control of their lives, and to take part in clinical trials in their local area to help find better treatments and a cure in years not decades.

For advice, information and support, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.

Parkinsons UK Reception

I recently joined Baroness Anita Gale and Parkinson’s UK to mark 200 years since Parkinson’s was first recognised as a condition. I met with representatives from the charity and people...

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I'm supporting the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter to support and protect employees who become terminally ill.

Since its launch in April 2016, The TUCs ‘Dying to Work’ Voluntary Charter now protects over half a million employees with companies such as Legal and General, Santander, Co-Op, Carillion, Rolls Royce and the Royal Mail joining E.On and signing up along with a number of public sector bodies including NHS trusts, police authorities and many local authorities.

The Dying to Work campaign was set up following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. The campaign is calling for a change in the law to prevent the same thing happening to other working people.

It is shocking to think that if people with terminal illnesses are dismissed or forced out of their jobs that their loved ones will lose the death in service payments that the employee has planned for and earned through a life-time of hard work. That is why I am proud to have signed the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter to protect my employees and I will be encouraging businesses in my constituency to follow suit and sign up to the TUC’s voluntary charter. I hope something will soon be done to ensure that every individual with terminal illness will receive the protection and support they deserve.

The campaign has also been endorsed by a number of trade unions and charities, including The National Council for Palliative Care, Hospice UK, Breast Cancer Care and Second Hope.

TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak said: "Serious illness is tough enough without having to put up with extra hassle at work. Everyone can surely agree that terminally-ill workers deserve protection.That's why unions, MPs, employers and charities are coming together to ensure that workers get the support and protections they need when times are toughest."

This broad support was demonstrated in a recent Survation poll of over a thousand people which found that 79% of respondents support a ‘protected period’ for terminally ill workers where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition with only 3% opposing it.

The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states the following:
1. We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
2. Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.
3. We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.
4. We support the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.

Dying to Work campaign

I'm supporting the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter to support and protect employees who become terminally ill. Since its launch in April 2016, The TUCs ‘Dying to Work’ Voluntary Charter...

Please find below a report of my work during October and November. Please get in touch if you have a case you wish me to raise or would like to let me know your views. Surgery dates are listed on my website www.jessicamorden.com and my contact details are listed below.  For updates on my work please follow me on twitter @jessicamordenmp or facebook

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Brexit

Recent business in Parliament has been dominated by the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will continue in the Commons during December. I am closely involved with the Commons stages as the Labour Whip on the Shadow Brexit team. 

Whilst I voted and campaigned to remain in the European Union, I respect the outcome of the vote in 2016 and accept that Britain is leaving the EU. However, Labour is clear that Brexit must not lead to any drop in rights and protections – including workplace rights, consumer rights, human rights and environmental standards – and that power should be brought back to Parliament and local communities. 

In its current form the Bill would side-line Parliament on major decisions and put crucial rights and protections at risk. Labour has tabled amendments to the Bill to restrict the use of executive powers, and to safeguard workplace, consumer and environmental rights. We will continue to push the government on these issues over the coming weeks, as well as the impact of the Bill on the devolved nations.

Universal Credit

Since the Government’s introduction of Universal Credit which replaces six existing benefits, the reports from around the UK have shown that it is pushing people into poverty, rent arrears, and to food banks.  In October I spoke on behalf of constituents and local organisations to urge the Government to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit and make much needed changes to the system.  While some important changes were later made in the Budget, the Government did not go nearly far enough in making it better or to help those it is supposed to support.

Budget

November 22nd was Budget Day and once again we saw little from the Tory government for constituents in Newport East.  Here’s my response to the budget amongst other issues  I will continue to press the Minister on behalf of the 3,000 public sector workers in our area who have not received a pay rise since 2010, something I raised here.

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Train overcrowding and electrification

This month I called on the Secretary of State for Transport to prioritise real action and improvements on rail services between Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol.  I have received many complaints from commuters about overcrowding on services and will continue to vigorously raise this with Ministers and GWR. Here’s my recent question to the Secretary of State for Transport. 

I would be grateful if you could share your experiences of local rail services with me, and I would encourage rail users to take part in the Government consultation on the future of the Great Western Franchise online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/great-western-rail-franchise The consultation closes on February 21st 2018.

At Welsh Questions I stood in for the Shadow Welsh Minister and challenged the UK Government over its decision to cancel the electrification of the mainline to Swansea which will have a negative impact on the South Wales economy - https://goo.gl/uVKknk

Legal Aid in Wales

This Government has brought in cuts over the last few years with the intention of reducing the legal aid budget by £450 million a year. On behalf of constituents affected, I highlighted at Justice Questions that Wales has seen one of the largest drops in legal aid providers over the last five years - a decrease of 29% - particularly in the housing sector. I asked if the Government’s belated review into its deep cuts to legal aid would specifically look at the impact of this. Here is a link to my question.

The plight of the Rohingya

As Foreign and Commonwealth Questions I questioned Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the plight of the Rohingya people following the shocking reports we have seen since the Myanmar Government’s military offensive in August. Thank you to the many constituents who have raised this issue with me – I know there has been a lot of concern about the situation in the local community. It’s important that the UK Government plays a role in international efforts to pursue peace in Myanmar.

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Protect the protectors

I have also pledged my support for Rhondda MP, Chris Bryant’s Private members bill that would make attacks on emergency workers a specific aggravated offence. The bill received its second reading on the 20th October and here’s a link to my contribution and the campaign here.

Tidal Lagoon

At Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Questions I also questioned the Government who are dragging their feet over the decision on whether or not to support the tidal lagoon project in Swansea – a project which could pave the way for further projects, including in Newport.

Also in Parliament

In October and November I’ve hosted a meeting for Newport East’s Liberty steel, welcomed the Rainbow Group from Newport and attended meetings held by a number of Trade Unions including GMB, Unison and USDAW.  I have also supported campaign events by organisations such as Parkinson's UK, Community Housing Cymru, Dogs Trust, Cat Protection League, RSPCA amongst many others. collageINPARLIAMENT.jpg

In the constituency, my office has helped constituents with issues ranging from Universal Credit, Police issues, Immigration, PIPs and more.  I have held advice surgeries in Newport and Caldicot, organised meetings with the Police and attended many events across the area.  These include:

  • Advice surgeries in Caldicot and Newport
  • Meeting with taxi drivers, councillors and Police
  • Attended Remembrance Day in Newport and Caldicot, and the Merchant Navy Memorial Day
  • Meeting with unions from Llanwern and Orb
  • Meeting at Orb works with TATA steel managers
  • Attended the Over-50s Information Day and a Community Information Fair at St Julians Baptist Church
  • Meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Reading at the Chartist Commemoration
  • Meetings with Newport Council Leader, Councillor Debbie Wilcox
  • Meeting at Severn Power Station
  • Met with the Bengali community to discuss the plight of the Rohinyga 
  • Attended Milton Court Macmillan Coffee Morning and Gwent Cruse fundraiser at Ringland Labour Club
  • Draig Dwr event at Newport International Sports Village
  • Presented an award at Love Live Music Awards
  • Newport Male Voice Choir Concert
  • Caldicot CAB meeting
  • Visited HMS Severn
  • Met with the Turkish Community
  • Awareness day out with RSPCA inspectors

NOV.jpgYou can always find my advice surgery dates on my website.  Please call if you'd like an appointment.  

Alternatively you can email me on jessica.morden.mp@parliament.uk

Parliamentary Report

Please find below a report of my work during October and November. Please get in touch if you have a case you wish me to raise or would like to let me...


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