Notes from Westminster

Notes from Westminster, Chapter.2

This week in Westminster was a relatively short one and I was back in Hull West & Hessle on Thursday conducting my constituency duties.

However, even a short week in Parliament is one of interest where important votes take place which can have a huge influence over people’s lives.

I was in the House of Commons on Monday questioning if the Secretary of State Education, Gavin Williamson would honour what the Education Select Committee and the Further Education Sector suggested of increasing per pupil expenditure to £4760. The Raise the Rate campaign states there has been a 78% reduction in student support and extra-curricular activities. This will impact most heavily on pupils who need the most support – typically those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and this extra funding would benefit these students the most.

A topic that has a detrimental affect to our region is the increase in Vehicle Excise Duty on Motor homes by 705% and already there are talks of redundancies as the local industry is expected to take a hit. I spoke on this on Tuesday in Westminster Hall, where I raised my concerns and asked the government to reconsider. Click here to see the clip. I will be following this very closely and updating you when I have more.

Prior to the election, I was part of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Endometriosis and last week it was agreed that the APPG would launch an inquiry into endometriosis early this year. This will be a huge opportunity to hear from the endometriosis community and healthcare practitioners about what challenges women are facing in accessing care and what the Government can further do to support.

On Wednesday, the House of Commons considered amendments made to the Government’s EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill by the House of Lords. The House of Lords made amendments to the Bill in four areas: citizens’ rights; Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU); devolved legislatures; and unaccompanied child refugees.

I am particularly disappointed that the Government also removed an amendment by Lord Dubs. The amendment would have reinstated a commitment previously made by the Government to negotiate reciprocal arrangements with the EU to allow unaccompanied child refugees to reunite with their families. The Bill therefore passed all its parliamentary stages unamended. It has now become an Act of Parliament, following Royal Assent on Thursday.

What upsets me the most about these amendments not being passed is that the UK has always been a haven for refugees fleeing situations not of their making and to not allow unaccompanied children to seek refuge in the UK is heart-breaking news. Children so often suffer for the mistakes that we, the adults make. 

On a lighter note, back in Hull I had the privilege of being on the board of members that will decide the winning name for the new A63 bridge. There have been lots of essays submitted by children across Hull with some wonderful tales, and heartfelt stories, I look forward to this competition progressing and to declaring the winner!

I have also met with lots of residents at my office and in surgeries across Hull West & Hessle again and if you would like to arrange one please do get in touch: emma.hardy.mp@parliament.uk

Well that’s it for another week, keep an eye out on my twitter and Facebook for my latest vlog, have a great weekend and see you on the other side!

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