From Jo Stevens MP <[email protected]>
Subject News from Your Labour MP Jo Stevens
Date January 31, 2020 5:44 PM
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Update on my work in Parliament and the constituency 

Update on my work in Parliament and the constituency

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Thank you for reading my January newsletter. This is my first update to you since last December’s General Election. Thank you for re-electing me for the third time in four and half years, giving me the honour of representing you in Parliament.

Since the election, I’ve held 13 advice surgeries including specialist immigration clinics. If you have an issue you’d like some help with, future advice surgery dates can be found at the bottom of this email.

** Leaving the European Union

With Boris Johnson returning to Parliament after the election with an 80 seat Conservative majority, passing his Withdrawal Agreement Bill was always going to be an unfortunate formality. He chose to instruct his MPs to vote down our amendments to the Bill, which would have protected our rights at work, guaranteed family reunion rights for refugee children stuck in desperate situations in camps in Europe when they have adult family here, guaranteed the rights of EU citizens after Brexit and continued the UK’s membership of the Erasmus+ scheme. I voted for all the amendments. I cannot understand how any MP could choose not to.

It has been very sad this week to see the pictures from the European Parliament, as hardworking Labour MEPs and staff clearing their desks and offices, including our own Jackie Jones MEP who, in just a short time as our MEP, has done a really fantastic job standing up for Wales’s interests in Europe.

The UK will leave the European Union at 11pm tonight. I still fundamentally believe that this is a terrible act of self harm.

What happens next will largely depend on the outcome of Government negotiations on our future relationship with the EU. As a Labour MP, my job now is to scrutinise and challenge the Government not just on all the promises they made about how great the country will be post Brexit (I’m looking forward to the promised 40 trade deals to be announced “within seconds” of our exit and the £350 million a week for our NHS) but on the progress and outcome of those negotiations. Unless a trade deal is successfully negotiated by December – just 10 months away – there will be a no-deal exit. The worst outcome possible.

You will have undoubtedly seen that we have new Speaker in Lindsay Hoyle, and a new team of deputy speakers. We await the news of the (apparently large scale) re-organisation of Government departments following the UK’s exit from the EU. There are rumours that the Government plan to axe the Department for International Development for example, which would be a massively backward step for our country.

** In Parliament

Debate on the Contribution of Live Music
Last week I spoke in a debate about the contribution of live music to our economy and our society. You’ll know this is something I feel very strongly about. In my speech, I recognised the role of music teachers and orchestra volunteers alike, spoke up about the fights to save independent live music venues in Cardiff like 10 Feet Tall and Gwdihw, and asked the Government Minister about the implementation of the recommendations we made in our report last year into live music on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

You can watch my speech in full by clicking here. ([link removed])

Policing and Crime
Thank you to everyone who participated in my constituency survey on crime and community safety before the General Election was called. I have been able to meet with the Chief Constable and senior officers covering Cardiff Central to outline the concerns you have raised and ask for action. South Wales Police are underfunded, under-resourced and facing an increase in violent crime, but despite this perform a remarkable task day in, day out.

Despite having made repeated calls to a series of Government Ministers, Cardiff still doesn't receive the specific extra Capital City Police Funding that cities like Edinburgh, Belfast and London do. I raised this again in a debate on policing and crime in Parliament and asked the Policing Minister to meet me to explain why Cardiff is discriminated against and what he is going to do about it.

You can view my speech by clicking here. ([link removed])

Pushing for the Government to Review Gambling Laws
Earlier in January following the announcement of a deal between the Football Association and Bet 365, I pressed the Government to finally take some action on reviewing our outdated gambling laws. Despite promises from the Government, we still haven’t heard when their review of the current legislation is going to happen. The laws pre-date online gambling and there is ample evidence problem gambling is rife and ruining lives.

You can watch my Question here: ([link removed])

Clean Air in Cardiff and the Planned Incinerator
In a debate on the planned incinerator in Wentloog, I raised my concerns about the impact on our city’s air quality. Cardiff recently ranked as the 4^th worst city in the country for air quality, and as the fastest growing city in the UK outside London, this incinerator could push us even further up this list.

You can watch my intervention here. ([link removed])
Re-election as Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Students

I’ve been re-elected as Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Students which I have been a member of since 2015. Our Group hosted a large number of student representatives for a discussion on student mental health.

In the year ahead, we will focus our work on pressing the Government about a proper replacement for Erasmus+, student accommodation and student finance.
Protecting the Oceans

Our seas provide half of our oxygen, food for a billion people, and a home for some of the most spectacular wildlife on Earth. But the impacts of climate change, pollution and destructive industries mean they’re in more danger than ever. We urgently need to turn things around. Working with Greenpeace I have tabled an Early Day Motion ([link removed]) pressing the Government to pursue bold international action to help protect our global oceans.

Cardiff Greenpeace are hosting an exhibition on February 8th, showcasing the beauty of the Global Oceans, in support of Greenpeace’s ‘Protect the Oceans’ campaign. You can view the Facebook event by clicking here. ([link removed])
Hope Not Hate event with Gordon Brown

I went to a lecture by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown about the future of the UK as a Union. As always, Gordon spoke expertly, knowledgeably and passionately about the future of the UK and the importance of keeping Scotland with us. He’s a remarkable public speaker, and one of the biggest advocates of Scotland’s place in the Union – even 10 years on from leaving office as Prime Minister he’s still playing a hugely important role in keeping the UK together. We need empathy not enmity, cooperation not conflict and reciprocity and solidarity between each part of the UK.
Supporting the ‘Long Live the Local’ Campaign

I met with campaigners from the ‘Long Live the Local’ campaign in Parliament, where I pledged my support for the campaign to help pubs in Cardiff Central keep their doors open, joining more than 240,000 people who have signed the petition so far, including hundreds here in Cardiff Central. With three British pubs closing their doors for good every day I fully believe the Government should consider a cut to beer tax to help keep our cherished pubs thriving.

Welcoming USW Photojournalism and Media Students to Parliament

I really enjoyed welcoming photojournalism and media students from the University of South Wales in Cardiff Central to Parliament.

After the students enjoyed a tour of Parliament, we had a wide ranging discussion about current politics, my work on the DCMS Select Committee particularly around disinformation, local journalism, media ownership and wider media issues. We also discussed live music venues and the campaigns to save Womanby St, Gwdihw and 10 Feet Tall.

It was good to welcome such an enthused and engaged group of students to Parliament, and best of luck for the rest of your studies.
Votes at 16 in Wales Receives Royal Assent

We had a landmark day in Wales this month as the Act giving 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in Welsh elections received Royal Assent.

I've long been a supporter of Votes At 16 and it's wonderful to see Wales taking a lead.I will continue my work in Parliament to try to get legislation passed so that 16 and 17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland can vote, too.
Holocaust Memorial Day

January 27^th was Holocaust Memorial Day. A day where we join together to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust alongside the millions of others killed under Nazi persecution. HMD serves as a day to come together, remember the horrors of the past and pledge to learn and take action to ensure a safer future for all.
EU Settled Status

A big thank you to everyone who came along to my joint advice surgery with Citizens Advice Bureau for EU nationals applying for settled status.

Thanks also to Cardiff and Vale Citizens Advice Bureau for helping to host the surgery and for everything they are doing to ensure people are getting the support that they need to properly guarantee their rights to stay here after Brexit.

If you’re having problems with your application for settled status, please don’t hesitate to contact my office for help.
Cardiff for Europe Vigil on 31^st January

Tonight and tomorrow, Cardiff for Europe will be holding a series of events and actions to celebrate our European identity and to show solidarity with our European friends. I will be speaking at the vigil this evening.

Friday 31st January
6.15 - 6.45pm: Vigil for Peace in Europe - 6.15pm, Cenotaph, Alexandra Gardens, Cathays Park: a chance to reflect on 75 years of peace in Europe.

Saturday 1st February
11am: EU Flag Flash Mob: wave your EU flags at 11am to show solidarity with our EU27 friends. Meet outside Cardiff Castle, main entrance on Castle Street. Please gather at 10.50am so we are ready for 11am on the dot. Hide your flag if possible and wait for the signal.

** Upcoming Advice Surgeries
Friday 7th February - Roath
(This surgery is with the casework team)
4pm - 6pm
Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RU

Friday 14th February - Cyncoed
1.30pm - 2.30pm
Waterloo Tea Lakeside, 17-19 Clearwater Way, Cyncoed, CF23 6DL

Thursday 20th February - Llanederyn
3pm- 4pm
Powerhouse Hub, Roundwood, Llanedeyrn CF23 9PL

Friday 28th February - Adamsdown
11am - 12 noon
Adamsdown Day Centre (next to St German's Church), Star Street, Adamsdown CF24 0JY

Friday 6th March - Roath
4pm - 6pm
Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RU

In addition to these advice surgeries, I run a specific weekly immigration advice clinic every Wednesday between 11am and 12 noon at my constituency office.

You can view all future advice surgery dates on my website by clicking here. ([link removed])

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