Affordable housing

In Theresa May’s keynote speech to Tory conference yesterday, she said that not enough attention has been paid to affordable housing. She’s correct, and I raised this issue in the House last month.

However the Prime Minister’s proposal to build a miniscule 5,000 affordable houses per year is not the answer. Councils will still be unable to borrow money to build houses, and the 1.2 million households on waiting lists will still be in unsuitable homes.

Since 2010 homelessness has risen by over 50%, housebuilding is at it’s lowest since the 1920s, and rents are rising faster than incomes.

The Tories must act to solve this problem, and not just rely on platitudes to avoid real action.

WASPI Petition

As you know, the WASPI campaign is something I support; I was only made aware that my pension age had changed when I read it in a newspaper!

The campaign supports equalisation of the pension age, but not the way these changes were introduced. Many retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences.

Several constituents have asked me to publicise this petition, which aims to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for 1950’s women, and I am more than happy to do so.

Please will you sign the petition, and share this post so that more people are aware of the situation. The Government must act to make this right.

SB Homes

This weekend I visited the SBHomes development in Slaithwaite to see the new homes that Steve, his daughters, and the rest of the team are creating.

Slaithwaite has a special place in my heart so I was pleased to be shown their vision of developing within the Colne Valley in an environmentally friendly manner, which is in keeping with cultural heritage and feel of our area.

Supporting local family-run businesses like SBHomes who employ local trades, retains money within our local economy and increases housing provision in a sustainable way. The houses are quite beautiful, and have turned a disused brownfield site into a place for families to live.


Royal British Legion Manifesto 2017

Several people have recently contacted me regarding pledges that The Royal British Legion have asked the Government to make as part of their manifesto.

As your MP I have written to the Defence Secretary to make clear that our service personnel should be supported fully, and that implementation of such basic things as appropriate healthcare for veterans, housing support, and ensuring proper communication, should be taken seriously.

The Armed Forces community have my full support, and I fully agree with The Royal British Legion and the constituents who have contacted me on this matter.

As ever, I will share the Government’s response with you.

Campaign day – Hope

Great day campaigning across the constituency, talking to people about Labour’s message of hope – we can make things better with an alternative to austerity.

Had a great response from people in all areas of Colne Valley, thank you to all the local Labour teams, and to everyone who took the time to talk to us.

Funding for neonatal care

The first few moments after birth can have lifelong outcomes, yet tiny and sick babies are being denied the comforting presence of a parent due to a lack of resources.

One young mother from Colne Valley told me how she was transferred to three different hospitals in 24 hours after giving birth, and was not able to stay with her son, having to make a 2 hour journey to see him. This is an entirely avoidable problem, and seems to be yet another example of our NHS not receiving the resources it needs.

I have asked the Health Secretary to explain why national standards are not being met in this area, and what steps are being taken to better support new parents and families during and after their stay in hospital.

My inspirational time at Labour Conference

I had a wonderful time at Labour Conference this week in Brighton. Labour are a government in waiting, and we will change Britain for the better!

Such an inspirational event, bristling with enthusiasm and democracy, it was great to meet so many inspiring people.

I met with Jo and Beccy from the National Deaf Children’s Society to discuss how we can support deaf children to overcome barriers in education.

Also enjoyed a chat with The Children’s Society about supporting Colne Valley children. The UK is the sixth richest country in the world and yet 4 million children live in poverty. I am committed to tackling this as your MP.