Helen leads debate on reforming the Mental Health Act

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Helen speaks in debate on planning reform

The planning system has a vital role to play in our response to the climate emergency and in delivering the homes and infrastructure needed to end the housing crisis. It should be a framework for fairness, ensuring that new development is focused on meeting the needs of local communities and not the profits of developers.

The Tories’ plans to reform the planning system will shut local communities and local councils out of planning decisions and do nothing to deliver the genuinely affordable, zero-carbon homes we desperately need. Yesterday I urged the Government to think again and put the climate emergency and delivering genuinely affordable housing at the heart of planning policy, and people at the heart of the planning process.

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Helen speaks in debate on Royal Mail services

At the start of the pandemic, many of my constituents in the East Dulwich and Dulwich Village areas covered by the SE22 postcode area reported that Royal Mail delivery services had become completely unreliable. For months residents were left without a regular service and at times waited weeks between deliveries.  This was not the fault of our posties who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic as vital frontline workers, often providing the only conversation of the day for residents who were spending lockdown alone.  The problems in SE22 can be traced back to Royal Mail’s disastrous decision to close the SE22 delivery office on Silvester Road without opening a new delivery office in the SE22 area. Royal Mail should never have been privatised, and the sale of sites such as the Silvester Road delivery office to the highest bidder is just one example of how privatisation has failed.

I have raised these issues repeatedly with Royal Mail and with Ofcom, but it is clear that there is a need for stronger regulation to ensure the reliability of Royal Mail services. This includes the need for delivery office closures to be subject to public consultation and requirements for Royal Mail to take on more staff in times of emergency. There is also an urgent need for more transparent monitoring of services. Royal Mail refuses to provide data at a postcode level making it impossible to accurately assess the quality of service. Ultimately, we need an end to the failed privatisation of this vital public service.  You can see part of my recent speech below>>

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Helen questions the Minister on plans for peat soil restoration

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Helen challenges the Prime Minister on the cladding scandal

On the fifth anniversary of the murder of Jo Cox, I paid tribute to Jo during Prime Minister’s Questions.  Jo was a dear personal friend and colleague.  We were the same age, elected to Parliament on the same day and got to know each other we navigated the early weeks and months as new MPs together.  Jo will always be missed and remembered, and her legacy lives on.

This week we also marked the fourth anniversary of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower which claimed the lives of 72 people.  Four years on from the Grenfell Tower fire, thousands of people across the country are still living in unsafe flats. More than 200 high-rise buildings in England are still fitted with combustible cladding like that on Grenfell, and many more blocks still do not have fire prevention measures installed, while the government has broken its promise to protect leaseholders from the catastrophic costs of cladding replacement and fire safety measures.

I asked the Prime Minister why his Government has failed to act to  end the cladding scandal. You can see my question, and the Prime Minister’s dreadful response, here>>

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Helen calls for urgent action to end the use of sexual violence in the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia

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Emergency debate on the UK's International Development budget

Frustratingly, I was too far down the speaker list in yesterday's emergency debate on the International Development budget in the House of Commons to be called to speak, so I’ve published the speech I had prepared instead.  You can read the full speech here >>

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Helen speaks in debate on education catch up funding

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Windsor Grove and Southwark Metal's planning application

I have been contacted by hundreds of my constituents who are concerned about the planning application by Southwark Metals for a metal recycling centre on Windsor Grove in West Norwood. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch.

Windsor Grove is a completely unacceptable location for a metal recycling facility. The development would bring hundreds of trucks every week onto a narrow cul-de-sac with housing on one side and the local Royal Mail delivery office other, as well as on to other local roads.  There are several schools in the local area, and these plans would increase danger on our local roads.

I joined around 200 local residents, Norwood Action Group and Norwood Forum at the #ScrapTheYard protest yesterday.  Together with all the local Labour ward councillors, I have written to Lambeth Council to object to this application on behalf of local residents.  You can watch my short film about this application and read our joint objection here >>  

 

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Helen calls on the Prime Minister to support a global minimum rate of corporate tax

President Biden’s plan for a global minimum rate of corporate tax is a once in a generation opportunity to stop tax avoidance by large multinationals. Online giants, like Amazon, saw huge increases in sales over the past year but paid hardly any tax in the UK. They undercut British businesses who pay their fair share of tax and leave our high streets struggling. President Biden’s plan would mean an additional £13.5bn a year extra to invest in public services and make sure we have thriving high streets and town centres at the heart of our communities.

This week, the Labour Party forced a vote in Parliament calling on the Government to support this plan when the G7 meets next month. The Tories voted against this amendment, shamefully siding with tax avoiders over British businesses and communities. You can see my question to the Prime Minister, and his obfuscating non-answer here >>

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