On Friday 10th February I led a group of patients, NHS staff, local campaigners and MPs to deliver a petition of 128,356 signatures to Number 10 Downing Street calling for a public review into NHS England’s plans to stop children’s heart surgery services at Glenfield Hospital.
The sheer number of people who signed the petition shows the strength of public opposition to the plans. It wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and commitment of local campaigners, patients and staff – and I want to thank everyone who has been involved from the bottom of my heart.
I am more convinced than ever that it would be a huge mistake to stop children’s heart surgery at Glenfield. Our service has amongst the best clinical outcomes of any children’s heart surgery unit in the country and was recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
If the plans go ahead, the East Midlands would be the only region in the country without a children’s heart surgery unit, denying choice to hundreds of parents who want their children to be treated at Glenfield.
I’m determined to make sure the views of local people are heard loud and clear, and to continue our campaign against these proposals.
One of their biggest concerns at the moment is cuts to their funding because of the Government’s proposed changes to the national funding formula for schools.
I have written an article for the Leicester Mercury about why these changes are so wrong, which you can read here.
I recently visited the Ur Choice Young People’s Project in Home Farm, Beaumont Leys.
I’ve worked with Ur Choice over many years. They are a small voluntary organisation that supports young people to take the lead in making positive changes in their lives and their community.
The project’s volunteers, local parents, councillors and police discussed the challenges facing young people face in this area and what more we can do to support Ur Choice’s work in future, particularly when the council is facing huge cuts to its budget. I will do all I can to make sure Ur Choice can continue the support it provides by building stronger partnerships with all the organisations who support young people in my constituency.
On Wednesday 8th January I questioned the Prime Minister about whether Parliament will get a meaningful vote on the final deal when Britain leaves the EU.
Under the PM’s current plan, Parliament will have to accept whatever the Government offers, or we’ll face the cliff-edge of falling back on World Trade Organisation rules. In the event no deal is reached with the EU, there will be no vote at all.
This “take it or leave it” approach isn’t good enough for jobs, businesses and our economy as a whole.
On Monday 6th February I questioned the Education Minister on the Government’s plans to cut funding for nine schools in some of the most deprived parts of Leicester West.
It is completely wrong to cut funding for pupils who need help the most. That’s why I have written to the Education Secretary Justine Greening demanding she reverse the cuts and protect funding for schools in Leicester West.
I’m campaigning for more affordable housing in Leicester West – including building more rented social housing – and help for homeowners through the recession.
As Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People I’m campaigning for better services and support for older people, carers and their families, and a sustainable system for funding social care in future.
I’m working to help your family by pressing for faster progress in local schools, more improvements in our NHS, and continued investment in children’s early years.
Helping businesses and making sure people have got the skills and training they need to work and earn a decent living is a top priority in Leicester West.