Green Party mailing
Welcome to my latest newsletter, with news of what I've been doing over the
past two weeks.
I was in Parliament last week with the opportunity to question the Treasury
minister about what plans the Government had for a green recovery from
coronavirus - although the Prime Minister has promised this, we've had very
few details. So I asked for assurances that nature would not be bull-dozed
in the name of an economic stimulus. You can see my question here .
On the same theme, I gave a virtual talk to CogX, a festival of leadership
and technology, about how we get the next 10 years right. The IPCC has
warned us that this is all the time we have left to get off the
climate-wrecking path we are currently on, so the discussion about economic
recovery from coronavirus felt even more urgent.
I'm very honoured to be a patron of the Carers' Centre in Brighton - which
gives so much support to adult & young carers - with workshops, legal
advice & just the chance to meet other carers and share experiences.
Coronavirus and the lockdown have massively increased the strain on them,
with the loss of many of the support systems like the regular Friday coffee
morning. We had a virtual coffee morning at the end of Carers Week, which
gave me the chance to hear how carers have been managing and to explain
what I've been doing to advocate for them in Parliament. I have also tabled
an Early Day Motion  in Parliament about the urgency of more support for
SMALL BUSINESSES AND CORONAVIRUS
The lockdown has had a disastrous impact on many small businesses in
Brighton and Hove, and I've spent much of the past few months trying to
ensure they get the support they need: helping secure the discretionary
grant fund, calling for an extension to the ban on commercial evictions,
pushing for an extension to the SEISS scheme and for the gaps in it to be
closed, and repeatedly urging ministers to keep the scheme in operation for
some time to come as sectors like hospitality and tourism are going to take
months to recover.
I'm pleased the Government has extended measures to prevent companies being
evicted over the summer, but another three months does not give these
struggling businesses the security they need to be able to plan for a
I continue to hear from many businesses in the city who are struggling to
access grant funding or loans that the Government has made available. So in
addition to lobbying ministers, I'm making representations to HMRC and the
local Council on their behalf.
I heard more about the situation in the city on a video call with the local
Federation of Small Businesses. We discussed what the "new normal" might
look like, what restrictions may stay in place and how both public and
business spaces can be managed as lockdown restrictions start to be lifted.
BRIGHTON SEAFRONT AND OPEN SPACES
Many constituents have written to me recently about the easing of lockdown,
the busier streets and the difficulty of maintaining social distancing.
I've raised this with Brighton and Hove City Council, in addition to some
of the particular challenges on the seafront, which includes people not
disposing of their litter properly, public urinating and other anti-social
TACKLING DISCRIMINATION IN BRIGHTON AND HOVE
I've also been receiving correspondence from constituents who have
experienced race-related discrimination, some in the past and others more
recently. Whilst I'm encouraged that more of my constituents are feeling
able to speak out about their own experiences, it's important that they are
heard and feel supported when doing so. I've been in contact with the Chief
Superintendent in Brighton and Hove about some of the individual cases.
LOCKDOWN IMPACT ON DOMESTIC ABUSE
Domestic abuse charities have reported worrying increases during lockdown
in the number of calls from people who feel threatened or at risk. In my
own constituency, the domestic abuse charity RISE has seen a tripling in
the number of calls. The Government has provided some emergency support,
but it has to be spent before the end of October - and this could be the
moment when domestic abuse survivors first try to access support. I wrote
to the Minister for Women asking that this time limit be removed, and
sufficient funds be made available for organisations to give the help that
survivors need. You can read the letter on my website here .
I also wrote to the Education Secretary raising my serious concerns about
the way the Government has failed to make education and schools a priority
(the letter is here ). Children face losing five months of their
education, and parents feel abandoned. Where parents are working, they have
had to balance childcare, home-schooling and work - a near impossible task.
The recent announcement of a £1 billion catch-up tutoring fund is welcome,
but it has come very late in the day and there are still no clear plans for
a safe return to school in September.
EAST SUSSEX FIRE & RESCUE
Reforms to the local fire service, including a reduction in the number of
fire crews and the possible change in response times, have caused real
concern among firefighters, who are rightly worried and want there to be a
full consultation - something that is difficult giving current
restrictions. I had a meeting with the Fire Brigades Union and plan to
speak with the Chief Fire Officer next week.
If you are a local resident and need help with case work or to find out more about my activities locally please do contact me at the office of: Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Media Centre 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL.
Tel: 01273 201 130. Email: [email protected]
I hold regular surgeries across the constituency. If you would like to book an appointment at a forthcoming surgery please call Liz Collis on 01273 201130.
She coordinates my constituency office and is able to help with most local enquiries.
If you would like to know about my parliamentary work please get in touch at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Tel: 020 7219 7025. Email: [email protected]
You can also keep up to date with my news on:
My Website: www.carolinelucas.com
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