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.
This Week in Parliament, I’ve been busy preparing in the lead up to the parliamentary Christmas recess. There have been lots of important issues to address affecting the Wansbeck constituency that have been keeping me and my colleagues in the Labour Party focused on helping all of our constituents during the festive period.
On Wednesday, I attended the final session of Prime Ministers Questions for yet another year. I was pleased to hear Jeremy Corbyn provide a heartfelt tribute to our colleague and friend Jo Cox and her family, who will sadly spend their first Christmas without her this year due to her tragic death in June. The leader of the Labour Party then went on to call out Theresa May and her Government on their shocking health and social care record explaining that figures released by Age UK researchers show that 1.2 million people in Britain are not receiving the care they need. Telling the prime minister to ‘get a grip and fund it properly’ Corbyn delivered a passionate performance and I was proud to sit on the front bench, the country needs a strong opposition to stand up for those in our society who are being consistently let down by the Conservative Government.
Also this week, an important motion was submitted to parliament to ratify a European Council treaty called ‘The Istanbul Convention’ that many other countries across Europe have already signed and ratified. The convention is designed to stop violence towards women, give more support to victims of domestic violence and to ensure that new measures increase the prosecutions of these crimes. I believe violence against women is a major concern at home and internationally and I am proud to be part of a party that is supporting this important convention on behalf of the people of Britain.
During the rest of the week in Westminster my petition against school cuts continued to generate fantastic support from people all over the constituency, with nearly 200 residents now having signed up, we need to ensure our Wansbeck schools have the proper funding they need and that all children are given the equal opportunities they deserve. The effect these cuts could have on our communities was really brought home to me during a visit to the wonderful Bedlington West End first school on Friday.
A few months ago, I launched a competition at the school asking the Children to design the official Christmas card that I would send out this year. There were many entries and it was inspiring to see such an astounding display of creativity and imagination. Councillor Terry Johnstone of Bedlington, who had selected the winner and runners up, came along to help me hand out the prizes to the children. Each of the 12 runners up received a pack of their own designs printed onto cards, a thank you letter and of course – a selection box. The winning card was made by Grace Nicholas, whose design has now been used as my personal Christmas card. It was a pleasure meeting all the Children and Staff of the school and we were even lucky enough to receive a visit from Santa Claus himself!
Whilst I was back in Wansbeck, I was updated on the progress of many projects across the constituency. I was pleased to hear that residents of Hebron now have access to Superfast Broadband thanks to the continuous roll-out of the nationwide scheme operated by BT and Openreach. Keeping our area at the forefront of developments to important technology is essential and it certainly is positive to see these changes taking place on our doorstep.
Also on Friday I was lucky enough to visit the local charity ‘The Real Deal’ based in Ashington. The support which the staff and volunteers are giving to members of our community is inspiring. They’re helping people affected not only by poverty but also loneliness. Especially at this time of year – seeing the work that is being done to bring people together and provide them with a Christmas dinner and some company made me incredibly proud of the people in our constituency.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a great start to 2017. I’m looking forward to helping more of the Constituents of Wansbeck in the New Year and as always, it gives me great pride to represent our fantastic area and the passionate people who live here.
Are you a constituent experiencing difficulty or do you have a cause you wish to raise? You can email email@example.com, call 01670852494 or write to Ian Lavery MP, 7 Esther Court, Wansbeck Business Park, Ashington, NE63 8QZ