On the 14th February the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport told the Public Accounts Committee that the first letter they received from the Irish company backing Seaborne Ferries was in January. The next day Chris Grayling said in response to my question that it was Christmas. They both can’t be right! 

 

Another example of the whole Seaborne Ferries mess and how Theresa May is pushing us to the brink. We’re not ready for Brexit let alone crashing out without a deal. 

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See the new round-up of my week in Hackney and Parliament. This week action on London Overground skipping Hackney stops (please get in touch if you've experienced this), the PAC session on Seaborne and the Department for Transport (DfT) + Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs' (DEFRA) unpreparedness for a no-deal Brexit, and Thursday 14th February’s Brexit votes.

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This week on my weekly round-up: temporary accommodation & housing in Hackney, the Public Accounts Committee’s latest report (local government spending), and my update on Brexit.

Read the full PAC report on Local Government Spending here.

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As Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, I recently heard evidence of how it is local authorities who are still dealing with the housing issues created by this government’s handling of the Windrush scandal. This is not good enough. 

See the full Urgent Question session here.

 

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Colleges in Hackney and their staff deserve better funding and fair pay so they can continue to support local people and the national economy.

This week I met with students from New City College, which now runs Hackney Community College, to talk about the Love Our Colleges campaign. The campaign highlights the vital importance of Further Education Colleges.

Cuts to further education funding have led to courses closing and a significant reduction of free learning hours for adult learners. Further education colleges cannot afford any more funding cuts.

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Over 40,000 Hackney residents are EU nationals.

I am concerned that following Brexit, the Home Office will not be able to manage the number of immigration applications from EU citizens, given that it is already overwhelmed.

I recently asked a question in question time to the Department for Exiting the European Union.  

See the Minister’s response here.

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As many of you are aware, Universal Credit has rolled out in Hackney this month and replaces six other benefits with a single monthly payment. However, the introduction of Universal Credit is causing unacceptable hardship and difficulties for many people in Hackney and across the UK.

If you live in Hackney and need any advice on what Universal Credit will mean for you, visit the Hackney Council website https://www.hackney.gov.uk/universal-credit for useful advice.

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Many people in Hackney rely on the London Overground service to commute to and from work. However, the London Overground service is frequently missing out stops in Hackney, in order to reduce delay times.  

I have raised this issue with Transport for London and asked them to state how they will address this problem. It is unfair that Hackney residents face long delays on a regular basis.

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Last week I asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) if it is prepared for Brexit.

Many businesses are not being informed on what they will need to do if we leave the EU. Defra acknowledged that it had sent out more detailed communications later than it should have.

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Last week I asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) if it is prepared for Brexit.

 Many businesses are not being informed on what they will need to do if we leave the EU. Defra acknowledged that it had sent out more detailed communications later than it should have.

read more.

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