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So, the Big Conversation is over for another year but it has been a brilliant two weeks of events and meetings. I’ve really enjoyed being in Hull West and Hessle and speaking to residents about the issues which matter most to them.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be reflecting on the conversations I’ve had and incorporating the concerns and issues raised with me, into a plan for the upcoming months.

Without a doubt, the biggest concern amongst our community was the cost of living, especially with winter approaching. I’ll be looking at ways to support constituents through the winter and calling on the Government to offer support too.

There were some brilliant steps forwards in terms of supporting endometriosis sufferers at work during a meeting with local trade union reps and HEY Endo Support. My aim is to make Hull the most endometriosis friendly place to work in the UK.

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It was great to practice what we preach and host the Modernising Employment APPG meeting in Hull which would otherwise have been in London. It was really interesting to hear ideas about the benefits of remote working, improving the recruitment process and how to ensure the workforce has the right skills to cope in their role.

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I met with Federation of Small Businesses and heard about some of the pressures they are facing at the moment. Small businesses are a vital part of our economy and it is essential they receive the support they need to thrive and grow.

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I held a coffee morning with Ukrainian refugees to hear about how they’ve settle down in Hull and what issues they’re facing as refugees. With the uncertainty of the war, it’s clear that more clarity is needed from Government about how long refugees will be able to stay in the UK. This is something I will be taking directly to the Home Office.

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The annual plant and seed swap at Anlaby Park Library is always a highlight and it was great to work with Butterfly City, handing our free seeds and plants to encourage people to get their fingers green.

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As always, I’ve loved meeting with our fantastic local community groups and charities, HU4 Hub, Royal British Legion, Hessle Road Network and Peel Project’s Women’s Group. These groups provide important opportunities for socialising and supporting one another. They’ve also raised key issues which I will be following up on.

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It was also good to have the opportunity to speak to residents one to one at the surgeries I held in each ward. I hold surgeries weekly so if you live in Hull West and Hessle and want to raise an issue with me then please contact my office to arrange a meeting.

I’ve met lots of people out at meetings and events but I’ve also put on five Facebook live events with expert panels on housing, SEND, flooding, endometriosis and anti-social behaviour. It was great to give people the opportunity to ask the experts questions directly and give them immediate answers and to discuss relevant issues to such a wide audience.

To conclude, it’s been a really interesting two weeks and I’m looking forward to working on the issues that were raised with me. Thank you to all those who were part of meetings, events, surgeries, Facebook lives. All being well, the Big Conversation will be back for 2024!


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