I provide regular updates on my work to local residents.
You can find previous reports of my work on my web site;
www.ruthcadbury.co.uk  I also report regularly on my Facebook page 
and via Twitter  and Instagram @RuthCadbury . You can see full
details of my questions and speeches in Parliament, and get Regular updates
about my Parliamentary activities on TheyWorkForYou in Hansard and on
SEE MY SPECIAL CORONAVIRUS WEB-PAGE  FOR INFORMATION ON
LOCAL AND NATIONAL SERVICES, HELP-LINES AND VOLUNTEERING;
AND TO SIGN UP FOR HOUNSLOW COUNCIL’S DAILY UPDATES.
My last report was my first since lock-down began. A month later, my team
and I are more used to working on-line; on constituency issues and now back
in "virtual" Parliament, holding the government to account. The hours are
as long as usual, but the workplace has changed.
I have regular calls with Hounslow Council, the Police, the GLA, Health and
community leaders. In Hounslow the emergency response appears to have
worked well, with food and medicines being delivered to those in isolation.
West Middlesex Hospital and care homes have not been overwhelmed, although
there is no doubt it has been a tough 6 weeks and supplies of PPE are only
just keeping up with demand. The challenge now is that many who would not
have described themselves as vulnerable are struggling. Already the food
banks, Open Kitchen and faith groups are seeing an increasing demand for
food and other help and advice.
It's been a difficult month for everyone, and for some much more. We all
know people who have sadly passed away through Covid-19, and family and
friends we cannot grieve for properly. So many have lost their livelihoods
and will be lucky if they have any income at all in the weeks or months
ahead, and for so many, staying at home has been very tough.
But each week we thank all those who are there to help us during this
challenging time; NHS and care workers, teachers, Council staff, transport
workers, emergency and utilities workers and many many more.
LOCAL JOB LOSSES
Hounslow appears to be one of the worst hit boroughs in London for job
losses; Heathrow is operating at 10% of normal levels, and there are so
many hotel, hospitality and media jobs based here. Tens of thousands of
Hounslow borough residents work at Heathrow and in the supply chain and
many have been furloughed, or have already lost their jobs. This crisis
exposes just how dependent our area is on a single workplace, as aviation
will take longer than other sectors to recover. Hounslow Council is working
on a strategy to mitigate the worst effects and, with other local Councils
and the business community, will be seeking support from the Government to
support new jobs and quality training.
However, some companies should be better able to weather the storm than
others. I was particularly concerned with British Airways' announcement to
permanently cut 12,000 jobs (30% of the workforce) and severely cut pay and
conditions for remaining staff, to come into effect once staff return from
furlough. There is no case for punishing loyal staff and undermining the
future of the nation's flag-carrier at this time, when BA's parent company
IAG secured a EUR1bn loan backed by the Spanish State bank, and the company
has such a strong credit line. I have had hundreds of emails from worried
BA staff, and have met Unite and BALPA, the two main unions that represent
BA staff. And as a member of the Transport Committee I have been calling
BA's Willie Walsh to account.
Of course it is to be expected that the pandemic will have a long-term
impact on aviation, and that is why I have joined with other Labour MPs to
demand that the Government sets up a high-level task-force with aviation
business leaders and unions to develop a coherent strategy for UK aviation
that takes account of the need to link the regions with London and the UK
to the world whilst also addressing our climate commitments and developing
opportunities for diversification.
APRIL CONSTITUENCY WORK
Whilst there have been no community events or face-to-face meetings to
attend, my team and I continue to respond to issues raised with us by, or
on behalf of, constituents generally coming to me because they fall through
the cracks of the various Government schemes. I am receiving an average of
20 new requests for help and support every day.
We continue to respond to calls for help from constituents stuck overseas.
The Foreign Office were clearly not prepared with a system for getting
people home to Britain, unlike other countries that seemed to get their
citizens home quicker. After our pressure, flights were put on from
Amritsar, but at the time of writing I am aware of constituents still stuck
in India, some running out of essential medication.
Students living in the Paragon student accommodation owned by Notting Hill
Genesis contacted me when they were being told they were liable for the
summer term's rent, despite the fact they could not travel back to clear
their rooms, there were no classes to attend and they no longer had any
work to pay for their rent. Unlike other student landlords, including other
housing associations, NHG would not pay refunds. However the University of
West London has recognised the inequity, and supported all the Paragon
student residents who were in hardship.
A large number of constituents have told me that the various Government
Covid loan and grants schemes do not help them. As a result of pressure
from MPs there were some improvements announced, such as the scheme for
very small businesses. However too many people are falling through the
quite large cracks. What's more, anyone needing to apply for Universal
Credit will have to wait five weeks for the first payment, and with rents
for many being well above the assumed housing allowance part of the benefit
- many families will be left with less than £100 per week for all other
costs. This is why Labour is demanding a release of the benefits cap and a
number of other changes to UC.
Following a request from a teacher at a local special school that all their
bicycles had been stolen, I put out a call via Twitter and Facebook and
collected 10 bikes kindly donated by local residents. Brian from Hounslow
Cycling Campaign ensured they were safe to ride and they are now being
enjoyed by the children.
I've been supporting and promoting our Covid Mutual Aid Groups who are
doing an amazing job linking those in need with volunteers, and collecting
food and household essentials for the local foodbanks. I also helped out at
Hounslow's Community Hub food collection and sorting centre, and learnt
about the range of ways that the Council is supporting vulnerable people.
If you can VOLUNTEER, please do; with your local Covid19 Mutual Aid Group,
or the NHS or Council volunteer services. If you can SPARE MONEY to
hard-pressed charities - then please do that too. Many vital charities may
not survive the loss of income as normal charitable giving collapses. And
now there will be the exponential growth in demand for some such as
foodbanks, advice and information services and domestic violence charities.
IF YOU CAN – PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY OF YOUR TIME OR YOUR MONEY!!
CONTACTING ME AND MY TEAM
Although I am no longer able to meet with you in person for the time being,
my team and I are still working to assist you. Please understand that we
will have to deal with the most urgent situations first and then any
relating to COVID-19. Other emails and calls may take longer to receive a
response. Please email [email protected] including your full contact
details (& any relevant reference numbers e.g. DWP. Home Office, and/or my
ZA reference) if we've responded on the same issue before. Without all the
above information, there may be a delay processing your enquiry.
Phone: 020 8581 3646 between 10am - 2pm Monday - Thursday and we will do
our very best to assist you or 020 7219 8590.
Parliament is now up and running again, albeit in a slightly changed format
with a minimal number of MPs in the chamber, and the rest of us using Zoom
to challenge Ministers and speak in debates.
During April I:
Challenged the Foreign Secretary standing in at Prime Minister's Questions
to learn lessons from other countries and past delays to improve the UK's
response to Covid-19
Co-signed a letter from Seema Malhotra with neighbouring Labour MPs calling
for a meeting with BA over job losses
Wrote to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary re
business grants- raised the concerns of local business and called for
changes to make sure those not fulfilling existing criteria could get
Wrote to the Food Voucher Scheme after Chiswick School raised concerns
At an Urgent Question session, asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock to
invest in short & long term mental health support including for PTSD for
NHS/Care staff and those affected by Covid-19
Signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for BA to stop job cuts & to work
with trade unions and Government to get a solution that protects jobs
Signed an EDM calling on Government to take urgent measures around free
school meal vouchers to make sure that new voucher system is working fully
Keir was elected at the start of the month, but already he has built a
strong front-bench team from across the Parliamentary party, who bring with
them a wealth of experience and energy to their portfolios. For the first
time we have a woman shadow Chancellor in Anneliese Dodds, developing a
progressive economic policy that is strong on jobs and the environment,
targeting income support on those who need it most, and committing to go
tough on the tax havens.
It's been good to see Keir committing to work with the Government to
improve the Covid response, whilst saying he won't be afraid to
constructively criticise and call out problems that emerge.
THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO ARE WORKING AND VOLUNTEERING TO KEEP US SAFE AND
SUPPORTED THROUGH THIS CRISIS AND MY BEST WISHES TO ALL CONSTITUENTS
Printed from an email sent my Ruth Cadbury MP 367 Chiswick High Road
London, LON W4 4AG