I was really pleased this week to welcome a number of students and young people from Hackney to my Westminster Experience Day. They got the chance to talk to me and another MP, as well as senior members of staff at the House of Commons, about career opportunities in Parliament. Seeing such bright and politically engaged young people is always reassuring – they asked focused, sharp, and pertinent questions about the issues of the day. It is good to know the future of Hackney and the UK is in safe hands.  

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This article was first published in the Hackney Gazette. To read the latest edition, see here

The Prime Minister’s announced he is axing the rail line from Birmingham to Manchester. This may seem like a long way from Hackney but it’s a symptom of a bigger problem.

Over the last 13 years we’ve seen a lack of investment in the fabric of our public services - schools, hospitals and housing alone have been neglected.

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The Public Accounts Committee took evidence from the most senior civil servant at the Department for Education on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, also known as RAAC. The Government promised swift action for the children left out of classrooms and the schools with reduced facilities, but from the answers we heard this is likely to go on for some time. See here for the full hearing. 

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This article was first published in the Hackney Gazette. To read the latest edition, see here

Nearly a quarter of Hackney’s children live in poverty. When housing costs are taken into account, this figure rises to almost half. These figures are appalling, and pressure continues to mount on families with the cost of living crisis. I regularly speak to parents who are worried about their children’s futures, and how they can support them to get on in life in the current climate.

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Parliament returned from its summer break this week and the one topic of discussion was about the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in some schools. This is a material used in the construction of many public buildings between the 1960s and 1990s. Its ability to support buildings is much lower than other types of reinforced concrete – and this gets worse if water is present (for instance from leaking roofs).

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