Helen's response to Boundary Commission proposals

The Boundary Commission for England has recently published its latest set of proposals for new constituency boundaries, for consultation.  The proposals are based the requirement to reduce the number of Parliamentary constituencies from 650 to 600, an initiative of the Coalition government, in order to reduce the costs of our democracy.  

At a time when the UK population is increasing, I believe that this reduction is profoundly undemocratic, and that cost savings should be achieved by reforming the House of Lords into a modern, democratically elected Chamber, with fewer than the current 800 Peers.  The current Boundary Commission proposals would split Dulwich and West Norwood constituency into four different new constituencies, and I believe that this would be very damaging for our communities.  I have set out the reasons for this in my response to the Boundary Commission consultation, the full text of which is pasted below.

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More money to pay for Brexit than to fund our NHS

The Chancellor delivered a Budget last week which exposed the extent to which Theresa May’s Tory government is mired in its own divisions, unable to articulate a vision for the country, negotiate Brexit effectively, deliver a strong economy or invest in our public services.

Before delivering his announcements, the Chancellor set out an extraordinarily weak context – our economy is flat lining, and wages stagnating, underpinned by poor productivity.  Theresa May fought the general election in June based on the promise of a strong economy.  She has abjectly failed to deliver it.

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EU (Withdrawal) Bill update from Helen

The detailed debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill has now started – over eight full days of debate, MPs will discuss every aspect of the Bill during its ‘committee stage’.

This Bill is deeply flawed, damaging and not fit for purpose. It gives carte blanche to a small number of government ministers to water down regulations, rights and protections which come from the EU without Parliamentary scrutiny; it fails to make any provision for our laws to keep pace with future changes in EU law on important issues like the regulation of toxic chemicals; and it denies Parliament a meaningful vote on the proposed Brexit deal.

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Helen’s fight for supported housing continues as government plans come up short

Earlier this month the government’s plans for supported housing were announced in response to the inquiry into supported housing that I co-chaired in Parliament.

Whilst there are certainly aspects to be welcomed – in particular the designation of a new “sheltered rent” for housing for older people – there are significant disappointments and concerns too.

 

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Helen calls for proper schools funding ahead of Budget

I have been campaigning with parents, teachers and head teachers in Dulwich and West Norwood against the government’s damaging cuts to our schools.

We have excellent local schools, but the Tories are putting them at risk, forcing our schools to consider cutting teacher and teaching assistant posts, extra curricular activities and additional support for children who need it.

That’s why I’ve written to the Chancellor ahead of next week’s Budget urging him to reverse the cuts to schools in my constituency and to ensure they are properly funded in the future.

The government’s own modelling shows that under the revised School Funding Formula every school in my constituency faces a real terms cut in funding every year going forward.

I will continue to stand up on behalf of my constituents on this issue and to press for the action on funding our schools so desperately need.

 

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Helen's response to local police station closures

I have written to the Deputy Mayor for Policing asking her to retain the current open access police stations in Lambeth and Southwark, as well as the local police bases used by my constituents which are due to close under recent proposals.

You can read my full letter below: 

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Royal Mail Delivery Office closures - update

As you may be aware, Royal Mail has announced the planned closure of its delivery offices in West Norwood and East Dulwich. This would mean residents having to travel to Penge or Peckham to collect undelivered parcels, oversized letters or Recorded Delivery post.

 I am clear that these plans are totally unacceptable and are part of a damaging asset stripping agenda at Royal Mail which puts profit before the needs of residents. 

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Helen joins new group to tackle knife crime

Last month I attended the launch of a new All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime chaired by Sarah Jones, the newly elected Member of Parliament for Croydon Central.

Violent crime, including knife crime, is going up under this Tory government and at the same time the number of police has been cut by more than 20,000 as always happens with Conservative governments. Every single life lost to knife crime is a tragedy for the family and friends of the victim and the wider community and much more must urgently be done to reduce it. I know from speaking to local residents in Dulwich and West Norwood that this is something that they are very concerned about.

Over the coming months, the new group will examine the factors contributing to the increase in knife crime and the most effective ways to address it - including neighbourhood policing, youth work, education, mental health services and a range of other areas.

We will make recommendations and call on the government to take urgent action to keep our young people safer. 

 

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Westminster Hall debate: Letting agent fees speech

Last week in Parliament I spoke about the urgent need for comprehensive reform of the housing private rented sector and for letting agent fees to be scrapped.

You can read my speech below or watch it at: goo.gl/5cy47X 

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Westminster Hall debate: New housing design speech

Last week in Parliament I spoke about the government’s lack of leadership on design or build quality for new housing and outlined the action that is urgently needed.

You can read my speech below or watch it at: https://goo.gl/KKEBjr 

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