Crossrail was due to be completed in late 2018. It is now not likely to open until spring 2020 (at the earliest) and will be at least £2.8 billion over-budget.  

See me challenge the Department for Transport and Crossrail management team on this here.

Read the transcript of the PAC hearing here.

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The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

The PAC has repeatedly raised concerns about the current franchising model; it has been challenged in the courts and we see few bidders for each franchise. All clear signs that there is a problem.

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Since 2008 there've been 66 fires in the Parliamentary estate. It is only the hard work of the fire wardens and estate staff that have prevented a disaster.  

See this in my new weekly round-up + an inspirational evening with Project Indigo at Pinsent Masons - Stonewall’s 2019 most LGBT+ inclusive employer, and a visit to the Crossrail site ahead of a Public Accounts Committee session on this next week.

 

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The London Assembly Health Committee published a report highlighting the inequalities in organ donation rates between white and black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Though organ donation shortages are relevant to all backgrounds, it is particularly acute for people with BAME heritage who are more likely to need an organ transplant, but less likely to get one. In the survey conducted for the report, the London Assembly Health Committee found that only 1% of BAME respondents were registered as organ donors.

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With Parliament making history by recognizing the Climate Emergency, now is the time for urgent climate action.

See this and more, including botched probation reforms and Monday’s surgery in Hackney, in my new weekly round-up. Please don’t forget to register by 7 May to vote in the European Elections.

Click here for the PAC report on Transforming Rehabilitation: Progress Review.

 

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Last winter, I had the privilege of selecting Hackney’s winning joke to compete in the final of the VoiceBox competition. VoiceBox is a UK-wide joke-telling competition run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. It helps build young people’s confidence whilst raising awareness of the life-long importance of communication skills.

Today saw the final take place in Parliament. It was a real pleasure to see the talent on display from children across the UK. British comedy is in safe hands.

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Economically, environmentally, and existentially, there is urgent need for action on Climate Change. There’s a lot to be done and we mustn’t let this slip off the agenda just because of Brexit.

See this and more in my new weekly round-up.

Read the transcript of the PAC hearing on NHS waiting times for elective and cancer care here

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In the wake of last year’s River Lea oil spill, Sue Hayman (Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment) and I jointly hosted local campaigners, the Environmental Agency (EA), and the Canal & River Trust (CRT) at a roundtable meeting in Parliament

I am pleased that the EA has launched a ‘key messages’ service. You can now sign up to receive email notifications of significant and major environmental incidents in the Lower River Lea area.

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