Please find below a report of my work during February and March. Please do 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.
Police budget cuts
Labour used our Opposition Day Debate before Easter to hold a debate on Police Funding. I spoke in the debate criticising the 40% budget cut that Gwent Police has sustained since 2010. You can read my contribution here and I am keen to hear your views.
Supporting Our Steel Industry
In March President Trump announced that the United States would impose a tariff of 25% on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium imports. The UK steel industry and unions were clear about the impact this would have and John Griffiths AM and I backed their campaign. I raised this in an urgent debate on steel here and here. It was covered by the South Wales Argus and can be read here.
The President has subsequently announced the UK would be exempt from such tariffs.
Since the EU Withdrawal Bill moved to the Lords, the latest significant news on the UK’s exit from the EU was on the transition agreement. Britain and the European Union have agreed large parts of the terms of the Brexit transition period in a new draft withdrawal agreement which was agreed by the European Union’s 27 remaining countries.
You can read the Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons when returning from the European Council and the debate here https://goo.gl/5bg2vw
The EU Withdrawal Bill continues in the Lords this month.
Universal Credit roll-out
In Parliament I called for more regular debates and opportunities to question Government Ministers on the roll-out of Universal Credit given the rise in demand for food parcels. Food banks have reported as much as a three-fold increase in demand for food parcels where Universal Credit has been rolled out. Universal Credit has been rolled out in Newport since November 2017 and is due to be rolled out in Monmouthshire from June. I spoke on behalf of local food banks here and also spoke about the difficulties being faced in the private rented sector since Universal Credit was introduced
Welsh Affairs debate
I was pleased to speak in the Commons debate on Welsh Affairs raising issues affecting Newport East including, the steel industry, opportunities and challenges faced by the Severn Bridge tolls being abolished, the importance of improved rail transport links, as well as the positive developments in Newport East and South East Wales. I also paid tribute to some of the excellent and successful local women to mark the centenary of when some women were first given the vote. You can read my full contribution here https://goo.gl/WSBvFz
Call for rail improvements
The fight to improve rail services for constituents between Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction, Bristol and beyond continued this month and I spoke up for constituents in both the Welsh Grand Committee and in the Government’s consultation on the future of the Great Western Franchise. You can see my questions to the Secretary of State in the Committee here https://goo.gl/q6SJh6 and other questions here, here and here.
I will continue to highlight overcrowded and unreliable services to the South West and on a positive note I regularly meet with Magor Action Group on Rail whose campaign for a walkway station I very much support. They are making great strides towards delivering this new train station for Magor and Undy and you can read more on their website.
Contaminated Blood Inquiry
With the announcement that there would at last be an inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal of the 1970s and 1980s, I have spoken up for constituents affected by this scandal on issues relating to how the inquiry would progress and operate. Most recently I spoke on their behalf when questions were raised about the consultation phase of the inquiry.
New British Passports
I’ve linked up with the Daily Mirror, Unite and GMB unions to support their campaign to ensure that British passports continue to be made in the UK after the Conservative Government decided that the UK’s new passports will be made in France, putting hundreds of British jobs at risk.
Follow this link to sign the petition calling on the Prime Minister to reverse the Government’s decision and keep printing the British passport in the UK:
In Parliament I have also:
- Become the Vice-Chair of the new all-party parliamentary group on the impact of social media on young people's mental health with the news that some 70% of young people said they had suffered bullying online – 37% on a "high-frequency basis" – with long-lasting mental health effects often carried right through to adulthood.
- Raised the potential for tidal lagoons and for Wales to lead the way in tidal technology with the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, and the need for decisive action from the Government
- Questioned Transport Ministers on the need for greater UK-wide investigative work on road safety, on behalf of constituents who tragically lost their daughter in a road traffic accident. You can read my question here.
- Spoken about the challenges and opportunities presented by the abolition of the Severn Bridge Tolls at the end of this year
- Supported a range of events which marked the centenary of some women first gaining the vote
- Supported Fair Trade Wales
- Attended an event celebrating the 47th anniversary of Bangladeshi independence
- Supported the British Dyslexia Association awareness Parliamentary event
South Wales Argus - Your MP Writes
Plastic reduction campaign
Many constituents have contacted me about reducing plastic use. There are 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, with 8 million tonnes more ending up there every year. In Parliament I signed a pledge to #PassOnPlastic with Sky Ocean Rescue – a commitment to reduce single-use plastic consumption.
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) recruits in Newport
I recently joined colleagues a the CAF recruitment event and information day at the Nash Campus of Coleg Gwent, where there was huge interest.
CAF is one of the international market leaders in the design, manufacture, maintenance and supply of equipment and components for rail systems. CAF Rolling Stock UK, Ltd will open mid-2018 an assembly facility in Newport, with a workforce of around 200 staff. You can find out more here.
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, organised meetings with local groups and attended many events across the area. Some of these include:
- Caldicot Male Voice Choir's 55th Annual Concert
- Surgeries in Underwood, Newport and Magor
- International Women’s Day at the Riverfront and Newport Women’s Forum lunch
- Meeting with CEO Monmouthshire County Council about transport infrastructure
- Visit to Severn Area Rescue Association
- Meeting Welsh Ambulance NHS trust
- Gwent Police Passing Out Parade
- Caldicot District Rainbows, Brownies and Guide Celebration of 100 years of womens votes
- Attended Magor Action Group on Rail Committee meeting
- Attended Iqra Mosque and Jamia Mosque on Visit my Mosque Open Day
- Attended celebration of women organised by County in the Community
- Meeting with local volunteers about a Boxing Gym
- Spoke at International Women’s Day event in Monmouth
- Saturday doorknocking in Caldicot, Rogiet and Glan Llyn
- Visited Rogiet Community Cafe
- CAF recruitment day at Coleg Gwent
Rogiet Community Cafe
It was a real pleasure to join local volunteers and residents at the Rogiet Community Cafe at the Church Hall.
It runs every Wednesday from 9am - 12noon and offers breakfast and cakes baked by volunteers.
It was fantastic to see such a busy and warm community spirit. You can find out more here.
You can always find my advice surgery dates on my website.
My next surgery dates are:
|Friday 20th April, 1-3pm||Clarence House|
|Saturday 28th April, 10-12||St Patricks Church|
Please call if you'd like an appointment.
Alternatively you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org