Please find below an update of my work since my last parliamentary report. Please do get in touch if you have a case you wish me to raise or would like to let me know your views. My contact details are listed below. Please ring or email for details of my advice surgeries. For updates on my work please follow me on twitter @jessicamordenmp or facebook.
Armed Forces Day Debate
Armed Forces Day is an important way of ensuring we continue to recognise the service and sacrifice of our armed forces. During last week’s debate in Parliament in recognition of Armed Forces Day I raised the experiences of my constituent Anthony Lock from Newport, who served in the Royal Welsh regiment in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was twice injured by exploding IEDS – on the second occasion, very nearly costing him his life.
The life-changing injuries Anthony sustained in Helmand province were accompanied by a long-term legacy of depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which has had a severe impact on his employment prospects.
Anthony deserves huge credit for his continued commitment to fight for dignity for veterans, and I’d recommend his excellent book Broken By War, which powerfully recounts his own experiences of war and encourages other veterans to reach out for support. You can read the full debate here and you can find details of how to get the book here.
Standing up for the Car and Steel Industry
Following the worrying recent developments at Ford Bridgend and British Steel in Scunthorpe and Teeside, I highlighted the importance of ensuring we have a robust and positive industrial strategy, with steel as a key part. I spoke about the need to include support for the automotive industry and its supply chains. The Government’s lack of support for the steel industry in its industrial strategy is undermining the sector’s ability to compete.
I also signed the Charter for Steel in Parliament last month to show my support for our steel industry. The charter encourages the industry and government bodies to target procurement policies towards the use of UK-produced steel and I’m pleased to say the Welsh Government was the first signatory. This is a step in the right direction, but it cannot act as a substitute for meaningful action on some of the key issues affecting the sector across the country – energy costs, procurement policies, and protections for steel exports and supply chains across Europe after Brexit.
Debate on serious violence
Questions on unauthorised encampments
In Parliament I pressed the Government for further assurances on powers for the Police and local authorities to deal with unauthorised encampments. I highlighted a string of recent unauthorised encampments at a series of sites across Newport East, and the huge frustration and cost for residents. I didn’t receive much of an answer so raised the issue again. You can read about it in the South Wales Argus here.
The Minister is right to recognise the pressures our local authorities and police forces face when dealing with unauthorised encampments. These encampments are frustrating for residents and can come at a cost to police and the Council. We need the Government to give our authorities the tools they need to act as swiftly as possible.
In Parliament our responsibility is now to ensure that a Tory civil war and leadership contest does not push us into a No Deal Brexit, which would be hugely damaging for jobs and industry.
This month Labour used our Opposition Day to table a Business of the House motion which, if agreed, would have given Parliament control of the Order Paper on Tuesday 25th June and guaranteed an opportunity for MPs to introduce legislation that could have prevented a new Tory Prime Minister pursuing a reckless no deal Brexit on 31st October. The vote was unsuccessful but its clear that ultimately the deadlock in Parliament can now only be broken by the issue going back to the people through a general election or a public vote.
In Parliament I’ve called on the Government to act to reduce eye-watering rail fares; highlighting the experiences of constituents who commute to Bristol and tell me that extortionate ticket prices are forcing them into using their cars. You can find more on this issue here.
I also called on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to address the UK Government’s underfunding of Welsh rail infrastructure. You can read more here. As part of this I asked for the Minister’s support for a new station in Magor and recently the Magor Action Group on Rail travelled to London to meet with me and the Department for Transport to discuss their proposals, with a view to submitting an application to the New Stations Fund in the future. You can read more here about the proposals. Labour would keep fares down, and bring our railways back into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.
EU Settlement scheme
You can read my speech and the full transcript of the debate here: http://bit.ly/2HSiQVJ
I was disappointed with the announcement that the TV licence concession for over-75s will be linked to pension credit. You can read more about Labour’s campaign to save the free TV licences here.
Other debate contributions in Parliament
Here are links to other issues I have raised on your behalf.
- Supported the Labour campaign to keep TV licences free for over 75’s
- Called for greater recognition of Newport’s Chartists in Parliament
- Questioned Home Office Ministers on Windrush Compensation Scheme
- Spoke in urgent statement on the announcement of job losses at Bridgend Ford
- Signed a public letter to the Justice Secretary calling for an independent inquiry into the family courts system
- Raised the issue of understaffing at the Home Office, particularly in the Third Country Unit
- Called for UK Government to provide resources to safeguard the long-term future of refuge and accommodation services for domestic abuse victims in Wales
- Called for the UK Government to follow Wales’ lead on recycling
- Contributed to the Westminster Hall debate on the Shared Prosperity Fund, calling on the Government for clarity on future funding for Wales
- Highlighted the plight of severely disabled people who have been moved on to Universal Credit and lost their Severe Disability Premium
- Supported public letter calling on the UK Government to end the delay in introducing the Children’s Funeral Fund
- Attended meeting with Magor Action Group on Rail and the Department for Transport
- Attended Violence Against Women coalition reception along with local representatives from Chwarae Teg
- Attended UK Steel Charter launch
- Met local WASPI campaigners in Parliament square
- Attended Usdaw Industrial Strategy report launch
- Met with Mission To Seafarers
- Met with Wales Air Ambulance
- Attended inaugural meeting of APPG for Nutritional Growth
- Took part in Carers Week reception
- Met with representatives from Airbus at aerospace reception in Parliament
- Met Welsh campaigners at Royal British Legion Parliamentary reception
- Attended EFL Trust Joy of Moving reception with County in the Community
- Took part in Christian Aid week reception
- Met with team from Newport’s Rutherford Cancer Centre
- Met with Welsh Women’s Aid
- Attended APPG Children in Wales meeting with UNICEF
- Took part in Therapy Dogs UK drop-in reception
- Met with Budweiser Brewing Group, owners of Magor Brewery
- Attended World Parkinson’s Day event
- Chaired weekly Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments meetings and attended weekly House of Commons Administration Committee meetings
In the constituency
These are a few examples of events and meetings I have recently attended in Newport East
- D-Day landings parade in Newport
- Visit to Orb to meet with unions and management
- Gwent Levels Revealed launch reception
- BBC Wales interview on Magor Station campaign
- Visits to Newport Wetlands and Magor Marsh to meet with RSPB and Gwent Wildlife Trust
- Loving the Lysaght event remembering life in World War 2
- Magor Baptist Chapel lunch
- 50th anniversary service for Community House on Eton Road
- Newport and Monmouthshire Polish Community Heritage Day event
- Launch of new production line at Exxon Mobil chemical plant in Newport
- Llanvaches Picnic in the Park
- Caldicot Feast-ival
- Magor May Fayre
- Women of Newport exhibition
- Rogiet Parkrun
- Meeting with Newport Live at Newport Stadium in Spytty
- Met with Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery
- Severn Area Rescue Association Open Day
- Meeting with Newport County AFC to discuss mental health campaigns
- Newport Cycle Group launch at Horton’s Coffee House
- Africa Day celebrations at Rodney Parade
- Meeting with Julie Lydon to discuss University of South Wales Cyber Security Academy
- Meeting with Caldicot Food Bank
- Campaigning in Glan Llyn ahead of EU elections
- Meeting with Newport Grandparents Support Group to discuss kinship care
- Meeting with Pobl Go Girls group to discuss problems with Universal Credit
- Regular advice surgeries