Helen speaks in Withdrawal Agreement debate

As Parliament prepares to vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal on Tuesday, I spoke this week in the debate to explain why I will vote against the deal. You can watch my speech below.

I've also written a blog explaining in greater detail the ways in which I have been representing my constituents views on Brexit since June 2016. You can read this here: https://www.helenhayes.org.uk/brexit_update

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Helen challenges the Minister on the impacts of Universal Credit

Universal Credit is causing enormous hardship and anxiety for many of my constituents and the Labour Party has been calling for the roll out to be stopped so that the problems can be addressed. Under pressure, the government announced some changes to Universal Credit in the Autumn Budget, but they do little to fix many of the issues. In particular, for many people suffering with anxiety and other mental illnesses who are too unwell and fearful to open their post, still less to begin a complex application process, there is a risk that they will be left without any income.

It is completely unacceptable that the DWP’s plans offer no means to protect vulnerable people from being left without any form of income. This week I challenged the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to halt the Universal Credit roll out until this problem is addressed.

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Helen speaks in the Autumn Budget debate

The Chancellor claimed in his budget speech this week that austerity is ending, yet our local councils continue to face tens of millions of pounds of cuts over the next four years; 1.4 million adults who need social care are receiving no support at all; our schools are cutting teacher and teaching assistant posts; police numbers are falling while crime is going up; and our local hospital remains in financial special measures being penalised by the government for not having sufficient funding. The Tories have outsourced austerity to local government and our public services and our communities are living with the consequences every single day.

 

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Helen delivers letter to DCMS in support of the Black Cultural Archives

The Black Cultural Archives, based on Windrush Square in Brixton is the only national organisation dedicated to collecting, preserving & celebrating the heritage of black people in Britain.

In this Windrush 70th anniversary year, BCA’s work has never been more important but it currently faces serious & urgent funding challenges. Today more than 100 MPs are joining me in calling on the government to act now to #BackBCA you can read our letter below>>

 

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Helen challenges the Secretary of State on mental health services

Today I challenged the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the Government’s shameful underfunding of mental health services. Far too many people in a mental health crisis have to endure long waits in A & E where they cannot access the care they need. I am grateful to my constituent David and his son for sharing their experience. It is time for the government to end this scandal and provide the funding our mental health services desperately need.

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Helen visits Auschwitz-Birkenau with local schools

On 21 March I travelled to the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland with the Holocaust Education Trust and a group of young people from Dulwich and West Norwood and South London.

I learned about the Holocaust as a teenager at school in the North-West of England, every year in January I commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, and I have met and spoken to a number of Holocaust survivors. Yet nothing quite prepared me for visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau. The museum which has been created at the sites of the two camps which formed Auschwitz-Birkenau communicates very powerfully the horrific scale of the mass persecution and killing which took place there, but the displays of personal belongings stolen from the prisoners – a handmade child’s dress, a decorated cup and bowl, thousands of pairs of shoes – also remind us that each and every person who was murdered by the Nazis was an individual with their own story, their loved ones, their talents, their struggles and their hopes.

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Helen leads debate in Parliament on Dulwich Hamlet FC

I recently led a debate in Parliament on Dulwich Hamlet Football Club. The club was locked out of its Champion Hill ground last month by its landlord Meadow Residential LLP.

I have received countless emails, letters and messages from my constituents who are deeply concerned about the Dulwich Hamlet FC’s future. DHFC has deep roots in our community and it is loved for its charitable and community work as much as for the inclusive approach to football, family atmosphere at its home games and its recent strong performance in the Bostik League. I was delighted to join around a thousand fans at the protest and rally the day after the debate support of the club.

In Parliament I asked the Sports Minister to join me in calling on Meadow to re-engage with the Council and the club, and to negotiate a way forward which places a secure future for Dulwich Hamlet Football Club at its historic home Champion Hill as its highest priority. The situation at Dulwich Hamlet has implications for non-league and league football in communities across the country. 

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Helen delivers letter to Royal Mail opposing delivery office closures

I have been fighting Royal Mail’s proposed closure of the SE27 delivery office in West Norwood and SE22 delivery office in East Dulwich since these plans first came to light.  The plans would see residents in SE27 having to travel to Penge to collect parcels and registered post on a journey which can take up to an hour in each direction, and residents in SE22 having to travel to Peckham to an area with no on-street parking.

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Helen tables Early Day Motion on mental health

I’ve tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament to highlight the pressures faced by mental health services in my constituency and across South London. Despite the Government’s tough talk on mental health, the reality is that under the Tories half of all Clinical Commission Groups say they plan to reduce the proportion of their budget spent on mental health.

My Early Day Motion calls on the Government to review current NHS spending standards for mental health and to ensure future funding for mental health is properly ring-fenced.

It’s great to have support for the EDM from MPs across South London. I will continue to press for mental health services to be properly resourced and to receive the priority that they deserve.  You can read my EDM here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/895

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Helen leads debate in Parliament on the pressures at King’s

Yesterday I led a debate in Parliament on the financial pressures at King’s College Hospital.

I gave birth to my two children at King’s and my mum worked there for ten years until she retired. The situation at King’s is as personal and as important to me and my family as it is to tens of thousands of my constituents, and it is very concerning to see the current financial difficulties the Trust is facing.

King’s has been on a journey over the past twenty years. Back in 1998, when I was an in-patient, it was a struggling, failing hospital. Years of investment under the last Labour government transformed King’s so that by 2010 it was meeting all of its main clinical targets and consistently achieving a small annual financial surplus.

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