I hope you are all keeping safe and well. We are sadly still living in very dystopian times, with a lockdown still in place, and many struggling in our communities. I am so very grateful to so many of you who are out and about, working with charities and in our communities and trying to make a real and positive difference.
So many have lost work already, and many more are likely to be at risk before this crisis ends. I am referring more people to food banks for support. It is a damning indictment of the Tory Government’s handling of this pandemic and is why those of you who follow my Twitter feed have seen me being so persistent in trying to garner support for West Ham Foodbank’s campaign. Should any of you not have seen this campaign, or wish to donate, it can be found .
We all know how hard this is on our children. Many will be going without toys this year, not understanding that it’s not their fault Father Christmas has forgotten them. This year, AAA charity is again organising a . If you are able to promote the Toy Appeal or Foodbank campaigns on social media, or to donate, I would be very grateful.
I can see the impact of the ongoing crisis from my casework, which is hugely higher than normal, and normal was already very high. The level of new cases coming in a month is roughly double what it was at the start of the year, and my staff are now sending out almost 1,000 emails a month to constituents just on casework alone, and that doesn’t account for the calls or letters my office have to handle on top.
As a result of those extreme levels of correspondence, we have had to deprioritise responses to policy requests a little. The number of policy letters coming in has also been much higher than normal this year, and it is taking us a much longer to respond to many requests. If you are waiting for a reply, please bear with me.
Since my member’s update in November, I have spoken in Parliament twice. On Monday 23rd I spoke about the human rights abuses and terrible violence that protestors against police brutality and corruption in Nigeria have faced, which you can see .
I also spoke in an on the Government’s plans to make leaseholders responsible in some circumstances for the bills to make their homes safe from fire. As we know, the terrible tragedy of Grenfell has exposed the fire risks in many homes across the country and hundreds of constituents are writing to me about their plights. They’re trapped in homes that they’ve been told aren’t safe, they can’t sell because their homes are effectively worthless and the Tories expect them to foot the bill to put it right. I’ve managed to secure a meeting with the Minister to argue our case.
You can see everything I do in Parliament by signing up to e-mail alerts at .
I am sorry that this newsletter is not full of festive fun and greetings. I will try and make up for that with an e-card just before Christmas
Until then, please stay safe and keep well and thank you all for what you do in and for our communities