30 Hours Free Childcare for 2-4 Year Olds

A Labour Government is good news for families. Labour are going to give 30 hours of high quality free childcare each week to 2,222 children aged between two and four years old in the Constituency of Stafford. Labour have also outlined plans to reverse the Conservatives cuts to Sure Start, opening 1,000 new Sure Start centres in England. The provision of free high quality childcare is real change that the next Labour Government will bring to people’s lives. This will make life and work much easier for the parents of young families. Not only will this save families thousands of pounds each year, but the provision of a high standard of childcare will reduce the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers. When children start school, aged 5, the attainment gap between disadvantaged and more advantaged children has been measured at 4.3 months of learning. This gap …

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Whether We Stay or Go… We Need to Sort Brexit

I am happy that Labour made a commitment to get Brexit sorted within 6 months. I am also glad that Labour will give the public a final say on whether we ‘leave the EU with a deal’ or ‘remain within the EU’. I also respect that on the 23rd of June 2016, the majority of people in Stafford voted Leave. If Britain does go ahead with Brexit, we need to be fully assured that the NHS is not part of any future trade agreement. As a Labour MP, I will uphold Labour’s promise to sort Brexit. I am deeply concerned about the stranglehold Brexit has placed on Parliament. Many people have suffered because of Parliament’s Brexit-induced stagnation over the last 3 years. Take for example, Murray Menzies. Mr. Menzies, a semi-retired plumber, paid into a pension scheme for his employees, before it became compulsory for employers to offer such schemes. …

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Ending Homelessness

We are the sixth richest nation in the world, yet according to Government-collated local authority figures, we have almost 5,000 people sleeping out on the streets. Across the West Midlands, the number of people rough sleeping increased by 42% between 2017 and 2018. Since 2010, the number of households in temporary accommodation due to homelessness has steadily increased from 48,000 to just shy of 85,000. This is a staggering number which has grown consistently year upon year. It is an absolute travesty that, in a developed country, levels of homelessness and dependence upon food banks are rising. Over 120,000 children do not have a home to call their own. These numbers of course only tell part of the story, given that those staying with friends or sofa surfing will not be included. Out on the door step and at our street stalls, this issue comes up a lot. It is …

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Addressing Climate Change

Many of you are deeply worried about the current national crisis of chaos and incompetence but it is easy to overlook other issues. On the future of our planet for instance, protest groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Youth4Climate are dedicated to proving that climate change is both fact and an immediate concern. Meanwhile a recent local inaction I am aware of showcases a certain Tory reluctance to adapt to the concerns of the modern era… The meeting of Stafford Borough Council on 23rd July opened with the debate of a motion to declare a Climate Emergency and commitment to a zero-carbon society by 2030. Surely an environmental endeavour worth supporting in light of the nation’s growing awareness of climate change? After all Parliament is committed to this target, more than 100 Councils across the country have pledged their support for such a motion, Newcastle under Lyme for instance, and …

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Stafford Aaccident & Emergency Department, Outside view

Hands off Our NHS

I am a trained nurse and midwife, and I work as a Health Visitor. I believe that my experience of the NHS, working with families and children, has given me a good understanding of what people are experiencing in Britain today. I have also been in Stafford, knocking on doors and in the town centre, meeting people and trying to find out their concerns. Local people are still very unhappy about the lack of Accident and Emergency services in Stafford. They do not want to be forced to take elderly relatives to Stoke to wait for hours to be seen. People are concerned about travelling to Royal Stoke University Hospital, particularly families with young children and older relatives. The time and cost of visiting family members is a burden many families cannot bear. Closer to home, people are finding it hard to get GP appointments. Many residents I have spoken …

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