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