Helen calls on the Minister to commit to the full recommendations of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review

2023 is the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks. This year, as we celebrate the enormous contribution the Windrush Generation has made to our local community, it is vital that we continue to fight for justice for everyone affected by the Windrush Scandal.

The Home Office has responded painfully slowly to Wendy Williams’ Windrush Lessons Learned Review. Just 8 recommendations have been fully implemented, more than four years since the review’s publication, and reports now suggest the Home Secretary plans to abandon many of the commitments made in response to the Windrush Scandal.

These is a shameful betrayal of the Windrush Generation and their families. Today I asked the Minister to confirm whether her government is still committed to the full review>>

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Helen visits the Southwyck Panty

It was great to visit the brilliant team at Southwyck Pantry with Cllr Scarlett O’Hara. The pantry opened between Christmas and New Year so that local residents were able to access low cost fresh food and a delicious hot lunch.
Healthy Living Platform has pantries open throughout the week across Lambeth, providing low cost food on a sustainable basis and helping to tackle isolation in our communities. You can learn more here: http://healthylivingplatform.org/
Thank you to Carla, Lizzie and all of your hard-working team for welcoming us.
May be an image of 4 people, people standing, fruit and indoor
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Helen and local councillors write to Royal Mail regarding services in SE22 and across Dulwich and West Norwood

Disastrous decision making at Royal Mail has led to chaos across our local postal system. I have been contacted by hundreds of my constituents who are waiting for urgent post and parcels ahead of Christmas.

The problems are particularly acute in SE22. Ever since Royal Mail closed the Silvester Road delivery office in 2018, SE22 residents have faced endless disruption to their postal services. Royal Mail’s management have refused to take any responsibility and instead repeatedly blame striking workers, despite these issues starting more than four years before the current strikes.

Postal workers have served the public tirelessly throughout the pandemic, often acting as a lifeline for isolated residents unable to leave their homes. They are now facing a real terms pay cut in the face of soaring inflation and being forced into changes to their terms and conditions at a time when Royal Mail is giving over £567m to its shareholders.

I stand in solidarity with our postal workers.  Today, with local councillors in SE22 where the problems are particularly acute, I have written to Royal Mail to urge them to remove the threats to staff terms and conditions and to reconsider the disastrous closure of the SE22 delivery office.  I have written separately to Royal Mail about the problems in other postcode areas that local residents have contacted me about in recent weeks.  You can read both letters here>>

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Thank you to all our NHS staff working over the Christmas period

Staff across our NHS will be working 24 hours a day over the holiday period to provide care and treatment for everyone who needs it. 

This is the hardest winter ever for our NHS.  No-one in our NHS wants to strike, but the refusal of the government to negotiate in good faith has meant that nurses and ambulance staff have felt that they have no other choice.

NHS staff deserve all our support, and I want to say thank you this Christmas and New Year to everyone working in King’s College Hospital, the Maudsley Hospital and in community-based services for all that they are doing.  Thank you NHS!

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Helen speaks in debate on the affordability and availability of childcare

Childcare is a huge pressure on the cost of living for families with young children.  It is clear that our current childcare system does not work for parents or childcare providers. Costs for parents have risen by an eyewatering £2,200 since 2010, whilst thousands of providers every year are being forced to close. Many families are paying more for childcare than they spend on their rent or mortgage and for the first time in decades the number of women leaving the workforce to care for family is increasing.

Childcare is basic infrastructure – vital to family life, children’s start in education and economic growth – but the Conservative Chancellor was completely silent on this issue in his budget statement last month.

Labour would be taking action now to address the cost and availability of childcare. We are committed to build a system which supports children and their families from the end of parental leave until the end of primary school, starting with fully funded breakfast clubs in every primary school. You can see my speech from today here >>

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Helen calls on the Secretary of State to fix dental services

Twelve years of Tory mismanagement have seen NHS dental services eroded across the country, and increasing numbers of dental practices are taking the decision to stop providing NHS services altogether.

Yesterday I raised this issue with the Secretary of State for Health.

I have been contacted by many of my constituents who are struggling to access dental services on the NHS and simply cannot afford the costs of private treatment.

I will be meeting with NHS England later this month to raise my constituents concerns.

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Update on the Parliamentary Boundary Review

Thank you to everyone across Dulwich and West Norwood who responded to the Boundary Commission for England’s consultation on draft proposals for new Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries earlier this year.  

As you may know, the initial proposal was to split the current Dulwich and West Norwood constituency between four new constituencies, with all of our cross-borough communities being represented by multiple Members of Parliament.  There was a wide consensus that this proposal would have been bad for our area, and I’m grateful to the hundreds of local people and community organisations who made a very strong case to the Boundary Commission that they needed to think again. There were over 400 submissions from Dulwich and West Norwood focused on the impact on communities including West Norwood, Herne Hill, Gipsy Hill and West Dulwich.

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Helen challenges the Minister on reform of the SEND system

It has now been more than three years since the government commissioned the SEND review to improve support for children with special educational needs. In the meantime, we have had endless reshuffles to Ministerial teams pushing any reform further into the future. Every delay leaves children, families and schools fighting to access the support they need.

The Government has previous committed to responding to the SEND review by the end of the year. However, the new Minister has now announced that this response has again been delayed. Children and families need certainty.

Today I called on the Minister to set a firm date for responding to the consultation and setting out how the Government will reform the SEND system>>

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Helen questions the Chancellor on the costs of childcare

For the first time in decades, the number of women leaving the workforce is increasing. The cost of childcare is forcing women to cut their hours or give up work altogether to care for their children. The government’s failure to invest in accessible, affordable childcare is holding back women, and it is holding back our economy.
So it is astonishing that the Chancellor made no mention of childcare in his Autumn Statement today. Childcare is vital social and economic infrastructure. A good childcare system benefits children, families and the economy. You can watch my question to the Chancellor here >>
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Helen speaks in debate on the conflict in Ethiopia

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