This week in Parliament, Ian has been representing Wansbeck in Westminster, championing constituents inside and outside of the debate chamber. Events in Westminster have been in the headlines, and Ian and the Labour Party have been standing up for ordinary people in Wansbeck and beyond.
During a tumultuous week in Westminster, the Tory party have crowned a new Prime Minister. While speaking in language of unity and care for working people, she has stocked her cabinet with MPs on the right of the Tory Party. Our exit from Europe will be overseen by Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson, three MPs who have little regard for rights at work. John McDonnell’s warnings of a Tory Brexit that will damage working people can now be regarded as fact.
As the Cabinet took shape, I was particularly disappointed to see that the new government had scrapped the Department for Energy & Climate Change. Our energy needs and the future state of our planet deserve better than to be folded into the Department for Business.
Our track record in government, when we recognised that climate change was a serious enough issue to warrant a cabinet level position is a proud one. It is incredibly disappointing to see an issue as vital as this being diluted down. As a member of the Energy and Climate Change committee from November 2010 to March 2015 & July to October 2015, I have firsthand experience of the challenge facing policy makers of all parties in responding to the climate change crisis.
Due to the distressing reports from HMP Northumberland, I have continued to ask questions of ministers regarding national provision of drug treatment. I received three written answers this week, two of which said that the information was not centrally collected. Below is the answer on drug treatment programmes for inmates from Ben Gummer, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will list the prison establishments that currently run drug treatment programmes for inmates with addictions; and what estimate he has made of the annual cost of running such programmes.
All prisons in England are required to have drug treatment programmes for inmates with addictions.
NHS England has allocated approximately £405 million for health expenditure in the adult prison estate in 2016/17, with spending on substance misuse services expected to amount to approximately 20% of this.
Also this week, I was pleased to see the release of Nexus & NECA’s Metro and Local Rail Strategy, which could see the expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro to include South East Northumberland through the refitting of the current freight line that terminates at Woodhorn. A route that passes through the west of the constituency would bring real, tangible benefits to the area. Stops in Bedlington and Ashington would be an incredibly welcome development, and could attract further businesses to the area.
Are you a constituent experiencing difficulty or do you have a cause you wish to raise? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01670852494 or write to Ian Lavery MP, 7 Esther Court, Wansbeck Business Park, Ashington, NE63 8QZ