It’s been a sleazy couple of weeks with the Government defending the indefensible – MPs using their position to lobby Parliament or the Government on behalf of paying clients. This is completely unacceptable and I joined my Labour colleagues in voting to rule this out completely. But the Government’s majority meant this initiative was defeated. The Government, instead, tabled a loosely-worded motion that will see this issue kicked further into the long grass. It means the next time this issue will be revisited is in February.
Hackney is at the sharp end of the housing crisis, with high rents and many in insecure temporary accommodation. ‘Affordable housing’ set as 80% of private rents is not affordable for people in Hackney in temporary accommodation or overcrowded housing.
Hackney families were recently hit by a £20 per week cut to Universal Credit. There are 16,760 households in Hackney South and Shoreditch on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, which meant a total cut of £17,430,400 in our constituency. 6 in 10 of all single-parent families in the UK will be hit. It will bring the basic rate of benefits to its lowest level since 1990.
Good broadband speeds are a vital need but parts of Hackney still face issues with slow broadband speeds.
The average download speed in London is 78.3 Mbps, however in Hackney Central it is as low as 47.4 Mbps, putting it in the worst 30 per cent of areas across the UK. Shoreditch is also in the worst 10 per cent of areas in the UK for people unable to receive good speeds.
On Remembrance Day we take time to thank those who've served and continue to serve in our armed forces as well as reflect on those who've paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country.
We honour and remember them.
I called out the Chancellor for delivering another smoke and mirrors Budget this week. The promises of extra money unravel when you look into the details. There is no money for the properly affordable housing that so many families in Hackney need and the school settlement is not enough to make up for past cuts. The money given to government departments will have to cover pay rises now that the public sector pay freeze has been lifted – but this has not been funded so schools, the NHS, and local government still face financial pressures.
I recognise the impact of the pandemic but I believe bus services need to be regular and reliable and these should be a priority for investment.
Buses are a lot cheaper than the train or tube and these are just not affordable alternatives for many. I am keen to promote cycling but this is not an option for many Hackney residents who will continue to rely on the bus.
I will work with Hackney's representative to the London Assembly, Sem Moema, to monitor bus routes and push against the worst changes.
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