Post by: @JulieForBurnley
Yesterday I stood up for Women who are victims of Domestic Violence in Jess Phillips MP Westminster Hall debate
I highlighted the shocking statistics facing women escaping domestic violence and highlighted the fantastic work of women's refuges in Lancashire
"In the north-west last year there were 140,000 reported incidents of domestic violence, and some of those women are most at risk when they take a step to leave—that is when they need us; that is when they need a refuge. Last year in my constituency 359 women benefited from the refuge service, as did 761 children.
When I became an MP in 2015 one of my first actions was to introduce a private members bill to end the morally wrong practice of charging carers for hospital car parking. This was the result of months of hard work put in by me and my constituents as part of our Park the Charges campaign. If you are unwell in a hospital sometimes the love of a caring family member can lift your spirits in your darkest times. It is immoral to charge that family member up to £40 a week just so they can visit a relative in a time of need.
Last week in Prime Minister’s Questions I challenged the Prime Minister directly about her plans to introduce grammar schools while at the same time refusing to protect existing schools from £3 billion worth of spending cuts under the new School Funding Formula and continuing to underfund nursery schools. I asked the Prime Minister the following:
“In my constituency of Burnley, primary and secondary schools are severely underfunded, and maintained nursery schools are struggling to survive. Why, then, at a time when we cannot adequately fund the schools we already have, is the Prime Minister suggesting spending millions of pounds to create new grammar schools that will help only a minority of children? That is unfair as a new funding formula, and will do nothing to help social mobility.
Everyone has heard the warning before “Drive safely and cautiously”, but when you really think about this important message, it is clear that we as a community are falling short in our efforts. Looking at the most recent statistics for road accidents in Lancashire, Burnley makes up 10% of the driving accidents. This is a very large amount when we take into account the fact that Burnley’s population only makes up for 5% of the whole of Lancashire. New statistics released by the House of Commons research library show that in 2010 road accidents in Burnley were decreasing, as well as the mortality and injury rates involved in these accidents.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the UK this week comes just a few days after he announced the construction of 5,500 new settlements in the West Bank in direct opposition to UN Security Resolution 2334.
His visit was a perfect opportunity for Theresa May to raise the UK public’s increasing concerns over the stalling of the peace process. Yet once again she struggled to tell hard truths to our closest allies, instead choosing the easy path. As Prime Minister she is once again putting trade over the promotion of human rights and the right to self-determination and freedoms that we all believe in.
The fact that families are still having to choose between vital necessities such as food or heating their homes is an appalling reality. Fuel poverty describes the epidemic in which people are having to pay more than 10% of their annual income on heating their homes. That amount of money is utterly ridiculous and it unfortunately leaves families with even less income to support themselves in many of the other necessary aspects of their lives. Those who fall victim to fuel poverty are much more prone to issues such as avoidable illnesses and even winter deaths.
Last night I joined with parliamentary colleagues and the Labour frontbench to vote in favour of the 2nd reading of the Bill to trigger Article 50 and begin the process for Britain to negotiate exiting the European Union. I said the following:
“Since the vote nearly seven months ago, a shadow has been cast across this country. The decision to leave the EU has weighed heavy on us all. It has divided communities, workplaces, families and political parties. The campaigns were not our finest hour. I campaigned to remain in the EU not because I thought the EU was perfect but because I did not want the UK to close its doors and shut itself off from the rest of the world.
Like many people my heart sank when Donald Trump was unexpectedly elected President of the United States in November last year. He is a man who has shown in the months campaigning for the presidency and his first week in office that he is completely unsuited to one of the most powerful positions in the world. Trump campaigned on a platform of division and fear with racism and misogyny at its foundation, calling Mexicans “rapists and murderers”, openly bragging about sexually assaulting women and calling for a permanent ban on Muslims in America.
Last week I spoke in the House of Commons regarding school funding. The Government proposals will drastically impact on schools in Burnley and Padiham which will be some of the worst hit by this plan. In my speech I said the following:
“As a former teacher, experienced school governor and parent, I fully understand the value of providing every child with an excellent education. Education changes lives, it empowers individuals, it increases social mobility, and it is the single biggest driver of economic success for a nation. It is right that we pursue high standards and seek to provide the very best education for all the children of this country.
This week I participated in a Westminster Hall debate on community pharmacies. I once again raised the Oppositions deep concerns about the long term impact of the Government’s cuts to the pharmacy budget, which will inevitably lead to a greater stain on A & E and GPs. In my speech I discussed the following:
“It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bailey. I thank Mrs Main for securing this debate on a very important subject. It is pleasing to hear so much agreement around the room; I hope that the Minister is listening.