An e-newsletter from your MP, Mary Robinson.
View this email in your browser ([link removed])
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter updating you on my activities in Parliament and the constituency. Read on for updates on my roles as Chair of the Whistleblowers All Party Parliamentary Group, a member of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, as well as my work championing Cheadle and the North.
This week, the lockdown restrictions which have been in place for a month came to an end, and the House of Commons voted on the next stage forward. The Coronavirus Tier regulations will put in place a path out of lockdown and towards, what we hope will be a return to a more normal life by spring when a vaccination programme will have been rolled out. However, I was unable to vote for my Cheadle constituents to be placed in the Very High Tier 3 level of restrictions which Stockport Borough and the whole of Greater Manchester had been allocated.
It was a difficult decision, but I felt that it was important to make a strong case for our rapidly falling rates of transmission to be recognised and for our Hospitality businesses, who have made significant investments in being Covid-safe, to have hope for a return to work.
I have received assurances that the review, which takes place on the 16th of December, will reflect the continually lowering rates across greater Manchester and on a more local borough basis if appropriate. I have also called for a roll out of Rapid (lateral Flow) testing, targeted and at scale, in the Stockport area to further drive down our figures and enable us to move into a lower tier where people can once again enjoy more freedoms to socialise.
It is disappointing news that we are not in a position to have more restrictions lifted this week. However: I welcome the news that we will finally be able to visit places of worship as well as continue to keep fit and healthy with gyms opening.
Despite our allocation into Tier 3, we will certainly be in a much better position by 16^th December in order to be moved into a lower tier and hopefully reopen our hospitality venues. I am continuing to work with ministers and ensure our community's voice is heard.
A good news day indeed!
This week I was able to congratulate the Health Secretary on the news that the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine has been approved. I am pleased that Stepping Hill Hospital has been earmarked as one of the 50 national vaccine hubs and look forward to the roll out of mass testing.
This news come on the back of further breakthroughs for several other vaccines, as we begin to vaccinate from next week. By testing and vaccinating, we will navigate our way out of this pandemic.
Vaccines are being rolled out this month
The Government has set up a £4 billion Levelling Up Fund
Levelling up the North! My work with the Northern Research Group
The Northern Research Group was set up to work constructively with Government in order to level up the North and build back better after Covid.
Having been particularly hard hit by Covid in the North, I welcome the announcement in the Spending Review of a £4 billion Levelling Up fund - so any local area will be able to bid directly to fund local projects.
I raised the impact of Covid on our young people’s education and the prospect of difficulties in assessing or examining students next year, following the disproportionate time spent out of school because of virus rates in our area. I asked the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, to consider a debate about this. Young people in our area continue to work and study hard for examinations and assessments despite difficult conditions. It is essential that this virus does not disadvantage them. I am pleased that a billion pound fund has been put in place by the Government with £350 million in place for the most disadvantaged in order to receive special tutoring.
All this news comes alongside the Government setting up a new UK infrastructure bank, to work with the private sector to finance major new investment projects across the UK. Pleased that this will also be Headquartered in the North of England!
Our Cheadle Towns Fund remains on track too, with up to £25 million available for our bid for projects.
Visiting Jim Hall Sports in Bramhall
Small Business Saturday
This Saturday is Small Business Saturday - and there are many small shops that we can support locally in our area!
As many of us gear up for Christmas shopping, don't forget to give our local shops a boost, many of whom are now able to open, sell online and deliver.
Today I spoke ([link removed]) in the House of Commons about big retailers playing their part to support small business too, ensuring that local shops, like Jim Hall Sports, can continue to be a welcome face on our high street.
A recent Select Committee meeting reviewing local government finance
Ensuring all housing is safe
The Select Committee has certainly been busy in the last few months! We have been scrutinising the Building Safety Bill which is currently making its way through the legislative process. On the back of the tragic Grenfell fire in London, where 72 people lost their lives, this important Bill looks at ensuring that all homes are safe. Our report can be read here ([link removed]) .
We produced several recommendations for Government, including that they publish with the Bill a timetable for commencement for compliance, as well as establish a national system of accreditation and registration for those working on the design and construction of higher-risk buildings with agreed standards.
Most importantly, we urge the Government to recommit to the principle that leaseholders should not be required to pay towards the cost of putting right historical building safety defects.
We have also been reviewing local government finance, as well as the work of the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government as a whole.
More must be done to protect brave whistleblowers
Protecting those brave enough to speak up
My ongoing work as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Whistleblowing has included a recent debate on reforming the current legislation, which does not go far enough to protect people who when they raise serious concerns at work, find themselves suffering because of it, with their jobs at risk.
We are currently gathering evidence and working on a draft proposal for legislation to comprehensively reform the system and ensure those who speak up are supported and protected.
My article in the Stockport Express - 11/11/20
Remembering those who sacrificed the most
This year Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day have been very different. I took part in a recorded service with St Mary's Church in Cheadle, which you can watch here ([link removed]) . Like many others, I also laid wreaths at our local cenotaphs and war memorials privately, and stood on my doorstep to observe the 11am two minute silence to remember those who bravely gave their lives for our country and freedoms. You can also read my article which featured in the Stockport Express for Armistice Day here ([link removed]) .
We've welcomed a new Chief Exec to Stepping Hill Hospital
Stepping Hill Hospital
I welcome the appointment of the new Chief Executive, Karen James OBE, who recently joined us at Stepping Hill. Her record at Tameside and Glossop NHS Trust which was in special measures before she began her tenure and raised standards, bodes well for our local hospital and we have discussed our joint ambitions for the Health Service in our area.
I continue to working with Ministers, Stockport Council as well as Stepping Hill Hospital to ensure that the funding that is needed is in place. The NHS has received unprecedented levels of financial support this year. Stepping Hill Hospital alone has had more than £46 million written off from its debt, as well as an award of £30.6 million to build a new A&E.
The Government has also recognised that this winter period will be tougher than normal and provided £3.6 million in funding to help alleviate this. Stepping Hill Hospital is also benefiting from extra national funding. Just last week our Chancellor announced an extra £3 billion for the NHS which will go to tackling any backlog that has resulted from Covid, reducing waiting times, funding an extra million treatments and providing further support for mental health.
And there is further good news: nationally, we have record numbers of doctors and over 14,800 more nurses working in our NHS than last year. We are well on our way to delivering our manifesto commitment of 50,000 more nurses in the NHS.
Local mobile breast screening units are vital for women's health
Breast Cancer awareness month
Every October, just after MacMillan's national coffee morning at the end of September, we mark breast cancer awareness month.
A disease which can have a devastating impact, the breast cancer screening programme here in the UK detects thousands of early cases of breast cancer every year, that might otherwise have not been detected until further down the line, when it can become harder to treat.
However, worryingly, some women in Heald Green have not had access to a local mobile screening unit for mammograms.
I raised this issue in the House of Commons and have met with the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to discuss this serious matter further, urging the roll out of more mobile testing units.
Meeting with 2nd Cheadle Scouts for Parliament Week!
UK Parliament Week
I always look forward to the first week of November, which heralds the start of the annual UK Parliament Week. This is a week to empower and engage with young people and encourage learning about our political system.
Most years, I visit plenty of schools and groups. This year is very different - I've been taking part in Zoom sessions with our local young people and recording videos for them!
I had an excellent time talking about women in Parliament, the importance of voting and tackling some tough questions in Q&As…especially from 2^nd Cheadle Scouts! And I enjoyed explaining my role to Cheadle Hulme Primary's new Pupil Parliament and much, much more.
A packed meeting with the young members of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh!
Working with the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
There are many faith and community groups across Cheadle helping people, not only through Covid, but all year round, and it’s always a pleasure to meet with the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), to discuss all the things they have been doing to help communities during Covid. As part of our virtual meeting I took part in a session on our country's political system and enjoyed the engagement with their young members as they considered their ideas for change!
A big thank you to them and all our local groups for all their hard work!
A brand new ticket office at Cheadle Hulme!
Cheadle Hulme Station - refurbed!
In some more good news, our station in Cheadle Hulme has had its ticket office refurbished. Work has also been done on the roof as well as improving the staircase. The new station looks very smart!
DELAYED: Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
A key council vote on the Labour Mayor's plan for jobs and homes - the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) - was held on 17th November at Stockport Town Hall, where Conservatives, Heald Green Ratepayers and Labour councillors voted together to delay the decision until tonight, to give the Mayor of Greater Manchester more time to improve the proposals.
Throughout this process, Conservatives have worked to get a draft plan that suits our area. In its current form, it was clear that Conservatives on Stockport Council could not support the plan which was put before them on the night, which included 1,700 houses to be built at two Green Belt sites in Heald Green, and a further 750 houses to be built at Woodford Aerodrome.
It is right to fight for these changes, and this deferral provides an opportunity for the right plan to be put in place that is fit for purpose.
Numerous opportunities have been missed to get this plan right and to protect our Green Belt. However, this last chance may provide the opportunity needed to safeguard our green spaces for generations to come whilst ensuring housing is provided in the right areas.
During my time as your MP, I have lobbied hard for the protection of our green spaces and presented a petition to Parliament on behalf of more than 3,000 people who signed against losing our Green Belt. Our Green Belt land is protected for a reason. It is irreplaceable. Destroying this land is too high a price to pay for the Mayor’s plans.
I urged Stockport Council to vote to protect our Green Belt and oppose the plan to concrete over huge swathes of Heald Green and Woodford.
The Mayor must take this chance to work with local representatives to put a plan in place that works for my constituents.
In addition to regular casework correspondence, I receive a number of campaign emails and postcards each month regarding various topics. While I always prefer to get back to people directly in the first instance, each month I publish these views on my website. You can read these here ([link removed]) .
I hold regular surgeries both at my office in Cheadle Hulme and around the constituency. In-person surgeries are suspended at the moment in the light of the current situation. However, my team and I will be assisting on all enquiries so please do continue to get in touch with us.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest e-newsletter. As ever, if there are any issues you'd like to raise with me then please do get in touch.
Mary Robinson MP
Member of Parliament for Cheadle
8A Station Rd | Cheadle Hulme | SK8 5AE
0161 672 6855
[link removed] Forward this on to a friend! ([link removed])
mailto:[email protected][email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
[link removed] facebook.com/MaryRobinson01 ([link removed])
[link removed] @MaryRobinson01 ([link removed])
[link removed] www.mary-robinson.org.uk
Our mailing address is:
8A Station Road, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 5AE
For more information regarding how your data is processed, please see the privacy notice ** here ([link removed])
You can unsubscribe from this list at any time by emailing Mary ** here (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20unsubscribe%20me%20from%20your%20mailing%20list.)
This email was sent to [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
why did I get this? ([link removed]) unsubscribe from this list ([link removed]) update subscription preferences ([link removed])
Mary Robinson MP . 8A Station Road . Cheadle Hulme . Stockport, SK8 5AE . United Kingdom