From Paul Maynard MP <[email protected]>
Subject Paul Maynard MP's letter from Westminster
Date April 13, 2023 11:39 AM
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Read all about what I have recently been doing on your behalf

Lovely to drop in and meet the team at the pdsa here in #blackpool ([link removed][0]=AZVUy4Lr4JnDr-5LYAsbVBhAJ0d4yyOUnbgPtvDPqy2t6tMnpr6fjCgQQig6GmWQ3is5pbn9fYX1kmRQYADpLAZj2bKZXYkTrN3dE5ohvlb4m--cnbnY2iHOwPmnjrFn14mF-4e-upt0NI0ojMLjLBqinhMf-wRVwTx_DrchDYi7ExdLqxn_aW8uUexfpPWFmqw&__tn__=*NK*F) and to learn all about their hard work supporting animal welfare, particularly with low income families, here on the Fylde Coast.
Dear Resident,

It has been a busy few weeks for the Prime Minister as he seeks to demonstrate that we can deliver stable, competent government that works in both your interests and the nation’s.

I know I normally I write a fairly non-partisan account of what I have been getting up to in the constituency, and that will follow in a few days.

But I thought it worth pointing out some of the things you might have missed amidst the flood of announcements, and explain how some of them are things I have been either arguing for or involved with for some time, and their connection with the constituency. I know it can sometimes be hard to connect the events you see me attend or places I visit with tangible output so here are some examples.
Take the Budget– always loads hidden in the small print
* The energy price cap for pre-payment meters will now be the same for standard energy connections – something I asked for over two years ago. It may only save pre-payment meter users £45 a year, but the principle was wrong.
* You may not have noticed, but energy companies are now offering fixed rate energy deals below energy cap for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine. I wouldn’t go for them myself as they will fix you at a higher cost than the likely trajectory of the cap between now and autumn, so I would sit tight a little longer.
* An end to the Work Capability Assessment which has been a blight for so many for so long. It was almost a decade ago I first argued that people should only be subjected to a single assessment, not twice for PIP then ESA. It was traumatic for those going through it, doubled the chance for things to be gotten wrong, and a missed opportunity for the assessment to look at solutions rather than erect further hurdles as I felt it did.
* Help to Save is the workplace savings scheme that few know about, where those on Universal Credit get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years. In constituencies like mine where savings rates are low, and low-income families are highly vulnerable to financial shocks, to me this was a hidden gem. It was due to come to an end, but has now been extended and the Government will review how to turbo-charge so more who are eligible can benefit. It is a good example of where quiet, long-term persistence can pay off.
* We are stopping the rather ridiculous system whereby those on Universal Credit had to pay upfront for childcare before getting that money back in arrears. This ignored the very basic fact that most on UC don’t have the cash flow to do this, and so weren’t taking advantage and not taking up paid work as a consequence.
* The Maynard Review I authored back in 2016 looked at how to get people with cognitive and learning disabilities into apprenticeships. A key part of this were ‘Supported Internships’ that were tasters for individuals and employers alike to see how the world of work could benefit everyone. This is now being funded to expand from those with Education Health & Care Plans to those with SEN who don’t have EHCPs. Technical, I know, but there are so many with SEN who don’t qualify for the extra help an EHCP gives, and this change closes a fundamental gap in implementing my original recommendations.
* On a local level, I was quite annoyed the plans for the £8m redevelopment of the Abingdon Street post office as a hotel didn’t get the green light from the Government when the Levelling Up fund announcements were made. After kicking up a fuss, it was one of a handful of projects that sneaked into the Budget where the Government tacitly admitted it should have said ‘yes’ earlier.
* The £150m Community Ownership Fund was relaunched – this funds community groups to take over local treasured community assets to benefit the local community. It can be visitor centres, theatres, pubs – the scope is wide. In a few weeks’ time, I will be seeking some ideas from across the constituency.
* When I was a Justice Minister, I was struck by the size of the “Unclaimed Balances” that have accrued for the payment of civil claims within the Court Funds Office. Yes – tech-y again. But it amounts to millions. I argued it should be treated a bit like the existing Dormant Assets Fund which supports charities across the country. It also supports Fair4All Finance to accelerate their work on affordable consolidation loans for people in financially vulnerable circumstances who I have done a lot of work with.
* Fair4All Finance were also thrilled that my lobbying saw significant improvements to how these ‘social lenders’ can raise money from the banks. So-called Community Development Financial Institutions have struggled to raise sufficient capital from commercial banks to make the kind of micro-loans that constituents often need but the high street banks no longer hand out. This drives people into the arms of high cost or illegal money lending. It is a massive problem in the constituency, and the solutions are highly complex, and I seem to be the only MP making the effort to address this.
* £60m going into the Swimming Pool Support Fund so the likes of Fleetwood Pool and Moor Park Health Centre can stay open despite soaring energy prices.
* There is also going to be £100m to help charities supporting the most vulnerable who have high ‘delivery’ costs to find ways to minimise their energy costs so that more of what they raise can go to support the people they exist to serve. We’re now waiting for details of precisely how it will work, but please let me know if you are interested.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Maynard MP
01253 473071

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