Update on my work in Parliament and the constituency
Update on my work in Parliament and the constituency
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Thank you for reading my July newsletter.
During July my team and I held nine advice surgeries, including specialist immigration clinics. Details of my July advice surgeries are at the bottom of this email. You don't need an appointment for any of my surgeries, please just drop in.
** Crime and Community Policing Survey
Share your views!
Over the summer I'm asking local residents to complete my crime and community safety survey so you can tell me about your concerns about or experiences of crime and what you think needs to be done about them.
I'd be really grateful if you could take 5 minutes to complete my survey by visiting the link below. Of course, you can always raise any other issues with me as well - please just get in touch.
🗣️ Access the survey here ⬇️
** Brexit and a new Prime Minister
So we have a new Conservative Prime Minister, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. And he's wasted no time in constructing a hard-right, hard no deal Brexit Cabinet along with people from the 'Vote Leave' senior team at the heart of Government in Number 10. I've raised concerns about his appointment of Dominic Cummings to a top advisor role following his being found in contempt of Parliament ([link removed]) following his failure to appear in front of our DCMS Select Committee to answer significant allegations of misconduct during the 2016 referendum.
Labour has twice prevented the Government from having a parliamentary mandate to take the UK out of the EU with no deal and there is a clear and strong majority in Parliament against no deal. The First Ministers in Wales and Scotland have made their opposition clear to the Prime Minister too.
I will continue to make the case for a second referendum, or revocation of Article 50 altogether.
The official Government spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) confirmed that a no-deal Brexit would cost the UK £30 billion a year and cause a full-on economic recession. This latest warning comes along with a raft of other warnings from Government and businesses that a no-deal exit from the EU would wreak havoc on our economy.
You can read my comments in Politics Home about how we cannot have Brexit and an end to austerity. ([link removed])
We’ve done more work on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook this month and Cambridge Analytica’s role in the EU referendum through work for UKIP and the Leave.EU campaign following our publication of new evidence indicating that witnesses failed to give truthful evidence in our hearings. Netflix are currently showing a film called ‘The Great Hack’ about the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal and it features our DCMS Committee.
This month we've also had the BBC and Channel 4 in for questioning and continued our inquiries into reality TV and addictive and immersive technologies.
We’ve also published our report into Garden Tourism setting out how gardens and garden design contribute to tourism, to the creative economy and to our national heritage. Garden tourism has much more economic potential which is yet to be exploited and we have made recommendations to Government that gardens should be formally recognised as part of the UK’s creative sector.
You can read more about the conclusions and recommendations in the report by clicking here ([link removed]) .
We also published our ‘Lessons from the First World War Centenary’ report, in which we evaluated the successes and reflected on a number of commemorative events that spanned a four-year period to learn lessons for future commemorations. Our Report will be a resource for Governments to draw on when planning similar commemorations in future. You can read our report by clicking here. ([link removed])
I questioned BBC Director General Lord Hall on the removal of the free TV licence fee for over 75’s. This change will hit over 3,610 households in Cardiff Central. This change is only happening because the BBC were ambushed by the Government during the quickest and least transparent negotiations on the BBC Charter renewal, ever. The BBC then had the rug pulled from under their feet further by a broken Tory 2017 manifesto pledge.
You can watch my questionning by clicking here. ([link removed])
Equality in Northern Ireland
We won some big victories for equality this month – following a long campaign to extend equal marriage and abortion rights to Northern Ireland. I was proud to be a signatory to both amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill and when the successful votes were announced they were some of the most emotional moments I’ve had in Parliament.
These votes mean that unless the Northern Ireland Assembly is back up and running within the next three months, there will be an automatic change in law to extend these rights to Northern Ireland.
** Persistent Campaigning Results in £58 Million for Cardiff Central Upgrading
When you first elected me in 2015, I was determined to make the case to the UK Government for money to upgrade Cardiff Central Station. When the station is named after the constituency I represent and having been a regular commuter for many years, I knew from experience as well as from constituents’ conversations with me that we desperately needed funding to improve the station.
This month's announcement of a £58 million funding package is very welcome. After questions to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Wales in the chamber, lots of written questions and exchange of correspondence, this is good news for my constituents, for commuters to and from the constituency and for rail workers that we’ll get this £58 million funding to upgrade Wales’ busiest station – and not a moment too soon.
Young Legal Aid Lawyers Campaign/70 Years of Legal Aid
I was proud to take part in celebrations to mark 70 years since the introduction of Legal Aid and to support the #TakeYourMPToWork campaign highlighting the lack of access to justice through savage cuts to legal aid over the past nine years. Before you elected me as your MP, I worked as a legal aid solicitor and I recently wrote about why we need to restore early legal help for people in more detail in an article, which you can read by clicking here. ([link removed])
I’m here in this photo (below) with Warren & Cynthia from the The Speakeasy Law Centre in Cardiff Central who everyday through their work, show just how vital access to justice is.
Action for Children's 150th Anniversary and 'Choose Childhood' Campaign
I joined young people and children’s services experts from Action for Children in Parliament to back their new campaign urging political leaders across the UK to prioritise children and put them at the heart of domestic policy agendas. It’s pretty depressing to learn that two-fifths of parents and grandparents think children do not have a brighter future than the previous generation. This is a really troubling reflection on the experience of childhood today.
That’s why I’m supporting Action for Children and their Choose Childhood campaign, and will be doing all that I can to prioritise children and make sure that young people across Cardiff Central can have a safe and happy childhood.
Visiting Superbugs Pop-up Science Event
Cardiff University have a pop-up science shop in the St David’s Centre (opposite the Apple shop) about the bacteria in our bodies and the world around us until August 11^th.
I called in to meet the University researchers , learn about the bacteria that live in, on, and around us and how to use antibiotics wisely. A particular highlight was making bacteria from a swab taken off the back of my mobile phone. I’ll be checking the results online in a few days time.
If you’re shopping with children in town, I'd thoroughly recommend stopping by for a visit. The children there when I called in absolutely loved it. There is lots of stuff to keep children occupied and amused and everything is free of charge.
The Homeless World Cup Comes to Cardiff Central!
I visited the 2019 Homeless World Cup being held in Bute Park, Cardiff Central earlier this week. The opening ceremony was awash with colour, sunshine and singing, we had rousing words from Michael Sheen and a brilliant performance by Only Boys Aloud and Samba Galez. I saw a thrilling opening game between Wales men and Denmark men that ended in a 6-6 draw and Denmark winning the penalty shoot out. It’s a remarkable event, with over 500 players, 64 teams and over 50 countries participating. The tournament finishes on August 3rd so pay a visit while you can!
Tour of Bute Park Nursery
Ever wondered how the beautiful flowers and shrubs in our Cardiff parks are grown and nurtured? I had the pleasure of a tour around Bute Park Nursery by Chay Sanders, Nursery Supervisor to see what lies beyond the walls of the Education Centre and Secret Garden Café in the heart of the park. As well as growing plants for the parks across Cardiff, the small Nursery team together with volunteers produce the amazing hanging baskets, funded by For Cardiff, that we see throughout the city centre as well as plants to sell to the public. Volunteers contribute around a thousand hours a year.
Full details of upcoming surgeries are listed on my website ([link removed]) .
My staff team are available in the Albany Road office every day from 9am-5pm (except Thursdays when the office closes at 12 noon). You can contact us any time using 02921 329736 or by emailing [email protected]
Our mailing address is:
Jo Stevens MP
116 Albany Road
Cardiff, CF24 3RU
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