As 2018 draws to a close, I wanted some key points from my activity in Parliament since being elected in June.
It has been a busy time for our Constituency Labour Party (CLP) this year, but it has also been an enjoyable one. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Labour party members for their dedication, commitment and hard work which has helped support our success in the local and by-elections.
Finally, a very special thanks to our CLP Executive Committee who are doing vital work to ensure our local party functions well.
I wish you all those celebrating a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I was humbled and honoured to be elected to represent Lewisham East in Parliament. Thank you again to all the Labour members who helped campaign for me. It was a campaign run by and for our community and I am so grateful for your support.
I was delighted to formally represent Lewisham East in the House of Commons for the first time, where I set out some of my initial priorities.
The on-going Windrush scandal has seen many rightful British citizens lose everything under the Government’s ‘Hostile Environment’ Policy. I have called for a genuinely public enquiry and pressed the Government to accept responsibility for the suffering caused and establish a proper hardship fund.
Vicky Foxcroft and I have written to rail minister Nusrat Ghani urging her to prioritise accessibility works at Hither Green station. Four out of the six platforms at this station are currently only accessible by steps. This is part of ongoing efforts to improve services for users which includes continued liaison with the Lewisham Station Users Group, South Eastern and Network Rail.
Universal Credit was only introduced in Lewisham in July, but it is already causing hardship and confusion for claimants, many of whom are among the most vulnerable in our community. The roll out is not fit for purpose and should be halted.
I was pleased to speak out on heat networks, the unregulated domestic heating systems that have residents in Catford and around London paying over the odds for their energy. I will be meeting with Ministers in the new year to ensure consumer protections are improved.
I have received lots of correspondence regarding the latest disruption on South Eastern trains. Delays, cancellations and overcrowding do not need to be a fact of life for commuters. Passengers deserve so much better. I have written to Transport Minister Chris Grayling regarding repeated delays to new franchise award, which is holding up vital investment and improvement. I have also contacted South Eastern and Network Rail regarding re-signalling work at Hither Green and Lewisham which will improve reliability of service in the immediacy.
I was proud to represent Lewisham East Labour members and the wider community in the Chamber when I spoke against the Withdrawal Agreement and advocated for a peoples vote. I will not vote for something which makes our community poorer and will continue to speak out on this early in the new year.
Below you can see further highlights from Parliament and around the constituency.