Comment and News from Anna Soubry MP

Hello again,  Today’s news is dominated by the disturbing events in Spain and new allegations of misconduct by Members of Parliament.
In my experience the overwhelming majority of MPs of all parties are hard working, decent people dedicated to serving their constituents. As in all organisations there are some whose behaviour is not acceptable. But unlike other workplaces, people working in Parliament do not have the protection they need from that small minority. The Prime Minister has already called for a new grievance and discipline system in Parliament and I contacted the Speaker first thing this morning for this matter to be raised urgently in Parliament tomorrow.

Finally, a huge congratulation to Beeston Oxjam on raising a magnificent (record breaking) £18,000 at this year’s annual event – and there are two gigs still to go! Full details in the large diary section which also contains this year’s Remembrance Sunday Services.

As ever, Anna

Thank you!    A huge thank you to everyone who helped Stapleford’s Nicola Yankee and her son, who were evacuated from hurricane torn Dominica a month ago. Nicola lived on Dominica with her husband, his family and their 22 month old son Dante for nine years, until their home was destroyed by a hurricane.

British nationals, like Nicola, were evacuated by the British Government within days, but on her return to Stapleford Nicola and Dante were left to sleep on her mums sofa and with no benefits for at least 3 months. The Stapleford community rallied round and Nicola says a huge thank you to everyone who has been so generous.

I raised Nicola’s case in Parliament three times and directly with the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers. But still the Beeston Job Centre refused help. In the end I turned to Channel 4 News and as a result, the Department of Work and Pensions called Nicola to tell her she would receive what she is clearly entitled to, immediately.

Nicola Yankee worked and paid her taxes in our country and was evacuated back here for the sake of Dante’s well being in particular. We must have a benefits system that sees the person whilst acting responsibly with tax payers money. The various shortcomings relating to Nicola and Dante are very concerning and I will continue to campaign for changes to the existing system.

Universal Credit  There has been a great deal of debate about Universal Credit which will streamline and better administer six existing benefits. The aim of UC is to help more people back in to work and ensure that work always pays more than being on benefits. No benefits system has worked well – tax credits were introduced by Labour; they very badly administered, kept down wages and left some people better off not working more than 16 hours.
But; people going on to UC should not have to wait 6 weeks for their money. Labour has called for a pause in the introduction of UC. I don’t agree; we do need to fix UC but must get on with making a fairer benefits system that meets the various needs of recipients.

Forever Stars shines on  

Chilwell’s Richard and Michelle Daniels will mark the loss of their baby Emily in December, knowing they have raised over £250,000 in the four years since she was still born. Their Forever Stars Charity goes from strength to strength.

On Friday evening I attended their Halloween Gala Dinner at The Village where thousands of pounds were raised to support their work for bereavement suites in hospitals.  Forever Stars is also supporting a new counselling service in Nottingham specifically for siblings who have suffered the loss of a baby, as well as funding additional bereavement training for midwives at the City and QMC.

Parliament held its annual Baby Loss week (see below for my contribution to the debate). Forever Stars is at the forefront of raising this issue and I was delighted Richard attended the reception to launch the weeks activities. The Government has set a target of halving the number of still born and neonatal baby deaths.

Meanwhile I am working with MP’s of all parties to support the call to allow Coroners to have the right to investigate cases where a baby dies before or during delivery.

To find out how you can support Forever Stars click here and please download the charity’s single ‘A moment of Hope’ which Richard wrote and is beautifully sung by Leanne-Paige.

Home Secretary visits Broxtowe    The Home Secretary was in Nottinghamshire on Thursday. Amber Rudd spoke about new Government measures to combat crime on line – notably abuse and terrorist related offences. Amber also welcomed the 120 new police officers Notts Police are recruiting. In the evening the Home Secretary joined Broxtowe Conservatives for a dinner at The Belfry.

RSPCA welcome “incredible” action on animal welfare    The Government has taken a number of important measures to reduce animal cruelty home and abroad including a ban on the sale of all ivory in the UK. The current law allows the sale of ‘antique’ ivory and certificated ivory products and many campaigners have been delighted by the Government’s announcement.

Microbeads have been banned.   CCTV in abattoirs will be made mandatory and there are plans for a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles. The maximum punishment for animal cruelty offences will be increased tenfold, to five years imprisonment. I’m very pleased that action is being taken to improve animal welfare, especially as many constituents have contacted me with their concerns. The RSPCA described the announcements on animal welfare as a “fortnight of incredible news for animal welfare”.

Business rates boost for our small businesses and pubs    Over 38 pubs and an extra 11 small businesses in Broxtowe have been awarded reductions in their Business Rates. So far a total of 439 businesses have received rate relief worth over £165,000. Supporting small businesses and our great pubs, remains a priority for me and Conservative led Broxtowe Borough Council, who have implemented the rate relief scheme funded by the Government.

MacMillan Coffee Morning Success    I opened a Macmillan Coffee Morning in Moorgreen organised by Elaine Sweeney which raised £417. I know there were many held in Broxtowe and congratulations to everyone who contributed. Since 1990 Macmillan Coffee Mornings have raised over £165.5 million nationally. For more information on getting involved and holding your own coffee morning click here.

Community Policing rooms withdrawn from Nuthall and Kimberley    With barely a few hours notice and no consultation, Notts Police have withdrawn community policing rooms in Nuthall’s Temple Centre and Kimberley Parish Hall. I immediately raised the matter in Parliament and the Police Minister agreed community policing only works with the co-operation of the local community (you can read the exchange below in the section on my work in Parliament) I have also written to the Chief Constable for an explanation. I will share any response with you.

Stapleford Bell to Ring for the First Time in 30 Years     The bell in Stapleford Cemetery Chapel will ring for the first time in 30 years. The bell fell into disrepair and has not been heard since the 1970s. Stapleford Town Council has given the go ahead for the bell to be repaired.

Thriving ABC Arts Trail    The Attenborough, Beeston and Chilwell Art Trail started four years ago opening up homes and studios to the public.

The ABC trail has grown from a hand full of artists to 29 in 7 venues in 2017. For regular news and info please visit www.abcarttrail.uk, follow the group on Facebook ‘ABC Art Trail’, or on Twitter @abcarttrail or email joflood@hotmail.co.uk

Christmas tour of Parliament 

Our annual trip to Parliament is on Monday 18th December. The tour is free and the coach is £15.00 per person. You need to be at Barton House, High Road, Chilwell at 6.15am. After a visiting Parliament the day is yours with the coach leaving London at 4.00pm. Please call the office on 0115 943 6507 – places are limited so book while you can!

Calling all photographers! 

This year’s Christmas Card competition is new and open to all photographers – amateurs and professionals.  Please email me your finest festive snaps. The winner will feature on my Christmas Card with runners up on the inside. Around 16,000 people receive my card by post and email – including the Prime Minister. Please email me your entry NOW!

Broxtowe’s voice in Parliament

Right and Proper Benefits System   The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has agreed to meet to discuss how we can make the benefits system work better following the experience of Stapleford’s Nicola Yankee and her son Dante. Read the exchange here.

Prime Minister’s EU Statement   I supported the Prime Minister’s Florence Speech in the House of Commons. Read my contribution here or watch it here.

Baby Loss Awareness Week   I highlighted the fantastic work of Forever Stars in the House of Commons during the Baby Loss Awareness Week debate. Read my contribution here.

Community Policing in Kimberley and Nuthall   I raised this with the Police Minister, Nick Hurd. Read our exchange  here.

The Rohingya and the Myanmar Government  I spoke about the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The scale of this problem is now absolutely, totally and without any doubt unacceptable. Read my full contribution here.

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