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April 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friend,


I hope this finds you well and you are looking forward to the long Easter weekend. I’m hoping for some decent weather and a bit of peace and quiet with my friends and family.


The Budget


It was a very disappointing Budget from the latest Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. The most recent figures show that since December 2019, the average household is having to find an extra £3,500 for the essentials of housing, fuel and power, food, clothing and footwear, household goods and services, and transport. The Budget did little to address the needs of the majority and instead gave away at least £2.75 billion to the wealthiest 1% by scrapping pension allowance and opening-up yet another tax-loophole for them.


I am pleased that they have listened to the campaign I have been a part of on the injustice of pre-payment meters and have asked Ofwat to instruct the energy companies to charge people using them the same rates as those who pay by direct debit. I would have liked this change to begin immediately, but users must wait until July before the changes happen. There are still issues around their standing charges which remain very high, and what happens to pre-payment rates when energy companies begin offering cheaper deals again.


The Chancellor appeared before the Treasury Select Committee the following week, and I was able to ask him when he was going to fulfil the promise he made to me in November that he would meet with the head of the Trades Union Congress to discuss public sector funding and pay. The TUC had written to the Chancellor and his special advisor three times since then requesting a meeting and had no response. His reply was that he is waiting for “the appropriate time.”


Support your local businesses


I also brought up the plight of small businesses with the Chancellor. They don’t have time to wait to see what the economic forecast will look like in six months’ time, they need support, and they need it now. The small businesses I speak to in Hull and East Yorkshire don’t share the Chancellor’s unrealistic view that “everything is fine” and neither do the Federation of Small Businesses who said his budget “proves that small firms are overlooked and undervalued.”


I am trying to secure a debate in Parliament about the help they need, and in the constituency, I’m encouraging people to tell me about the great local businesses they use and have been visiting as many during Easter recess and then publicising it on social media to try and give them a boost. If you know of any you think deserve a shout-out, let me know. If the government won’t help them, it’s up to us.


Derringham Aquagreen


I mentioned last time that there were things happening around flood prevention in Derringham. I met with the Living with Water team for a look around and to hear their plans. The area constituents had contacted me about is getting its own aquagreen, which will soak away water and prevent water runoff into gardens and flooding down the ten foots. There will also be work in other parts of the ward including verges.

Right now, residents are being consulted over the proposed works and how they would like it to look. More details, with a “before and after” photo, here


The Bank West Hull Community Hub

The Bank is a wonderful community space at at the junction of Willerby Road and Calvert Road with lots going on. I visited last week and got to talk to some of the members of their knit and natter club, who were making really cute chick covers for Easter Eggs. Everyone found the club relaxing and a great way to socialise.

There are plenty of other groups and activities with places available and the Bank will be announcing their Fayre soon. I’ve heard some of the great pieces from the Knit and Natter club will be for sale.

Check out what else is happening on their Facebook page. I love the sound of Zumba on Monday nights 6:30-7:30pm, or African Drumming Fridays 4:00-6:00pm or Saturdays 11am-1:00pm.



Ron Dearing UTC and Adelaide Primary visit to Parliament

I hosted two sets of young people from Hull in Parliament last month on the same day! There was a group from Ron Dearing UTC, who are involved in a project investigating the threats from flooding and climate change, and how the law and the Parliamentary process can make a difference. I had booked a room for them to hold a meeting with Parliamentarians and learn about how it all works in Westminster.

The other group were from Adelaide Primary (pictured below), who had booked one of the tours available to school groups, with the added extra of time with their constituency MP.

It was a pleasure to meet them all and to hear young Hull voices in the “corridors of power”. I hope it will have encouraged them to believe change is possible through political engagement and that they can be the ones making it happen. We need MPs – and the people who work for and with them – to come from a broader section of society.



Endometriosis awareness coffee morning and union support

Last month was Endometriosis Awareness month and I met with Endometriosis Support Hull to hear about their work and about some exciting new research University of Hull are doing on endometriosis diagnosis. Currently, the average time from the first visit to a GP to diagnosis of endometriosis is seven years, so bringing this down is vital.

There’s still a lot to be done to raise awareness of endometriosis, especially in the workplace. Following this meeting, I contacted the unions to see if we can get together with local employers to make work in Hull more endometriosis friendly. NEU, NASUWT, UNITE and RMT have all agreed and I’m expecting to hear from others.

Voter I.D.

The local elections on 4 May will be the first where you will need to show photo I.D. at the polling station to be allowed to vote. Acceptable I.D. includes passport, driving license (including provisional), older person’s bus pass and any PASS accredited proof of age card. The full list is here. If you don’t have any of these, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate here. To get one in time for the local elections in the deadline is 5pm on 25 April. It will be valid for all elections after.

A postal vote does not require photo I.D. You need to be already registered to vote and to apply in writing. You can download the form to print out here, or request a form is posted to you for Hull here or East Riding here.

It is vitally important that everyone who wants to vote can do so. If you know anyone who isn’t aware of the changes, or is struggling to get what they need, please pass this information on. If there’s still a problem, get them to contact my office.



And finally,

As always, please feel free to share this letter with anyone you think might be interested. I will be doing as much as I can to offer assistance and advice over the coming months and represent the constituency in Parliament; please do not hesitate to contact me if you think I can help.

Have a lovely Easter,


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