I recently hosted an event with Afruca, a charity set up to tackle the exploitation of children particularly from the African diaspora. This event focused on tackling modern slavery and human trafficking in Europe. We heard about progress to tackle modern slavery in Malta, India, Ghana and Nigeria. Afruca also used this event to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Anti-Trafficking Agency (NAPTIP). It is important that in Hackney we play a role in raising awareness of the issue of modern slavery.
Last week I highlighted the Department for Transport lack of grip on the cost and delivery of decent rail infrastructure in this country, following a series of failures including cancellations of electrifications, HS2 costs and the delay of Crossrail.
The knock on effect of delays and failures affect my constituents and people up and down the country
Cuts to policing are hitting Hackney hard. I recently challenged the Minister for Police about the ineffective funding formula for policing. The Home Office fails to systematically assess the financial sustainability of policing in England. Government needs to get a grip and understand the impact cuts to funding are having locally.
Last week I asked the Prime Minister what her message was to parents whose children’s schools were cutting short the school week due to funding pressures.
Schools within Hackney and across the country are facing no other option but to reduce schooling hours due to a lack of financial resources. This is not acceptable and the Government needs to ensure that this does not become the norm.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched an inquiry on leasehold reform.
This is an issue that is currently affecting a number of my constituents, so I am pleased to hear that the Committee has taken up these concerns.
If you have been affected, or have an interest in this issue, you can make a written submission via the following link.
I am very concerned for some of my poorest constituents who are eligible for £140 off their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount but not receiving it, because of a legal restriction – you only get it if your energy supplier has more than 250,000 customers.
I have joined with other MPs across the main political parties in asking the Government to look again at making it possible for all such vulnerable consumers to receive the same guaranteed support, irrespective of who happens to supply their energy – as recommended by Citizens Advice.
I have challenged the Prime Minister to intervene in the case of more than 13,000 Sainsbury’s workers who are being given a worse pay deal under what is described as ‘unscrupulous contract changes’ - leaving each of them up to £3000 worse off a year.
I am pressing the Home Office to provide the proper and adequate resources required to deal with the new fast-route EU citizens settlement programme they are planning to introduce by November this year.
The Government has also declared an amnesty on Commonwealth citizens and is having to implement a helpline and support for the Windrush generation, which will extend to others.
I have asked the minister: ‘Does she seriously believe that, practically, the Home Office and the Government have the resources to deal with this, and can she reassure my constituents?’
The Home Office has finally acknowledged its responsibility to British Citizens from the Caribbean - the Windrush generation. I am supporting a number of constituents.
But now, shockingly, we are finding other Commonwealth citizens who are in the same position. Where will all this end?
They are originally from Africa, but they are British, and yet they do not have the paperwork to prove it. The paper Immigration and Nationality Directorate letters that people come to my advice surgeries clutching have been enough to get them a job and their entitlements up to now.