From Tracy Brabin MP <[email protected]>
Subject Tracy Brabin MP's Newsletter - April
Date April 12, 2020 5:59 AM
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
Welcome to my newsletter for April

The latest news from your local Member of Parliament
View this email in your browser ([link removed])
News from Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin

Welcome to the April edition of my e-newsletter; coming out during worrying and uncertain times.

The country is in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic and on lockdown to try and slow the spread of the virus and help defeat this terrible illness.

Covid-19 does not discriminate, it has killed people young and old, those who have underlying conditions and those who are fit and healthy. My thoughts are with all those families who have lost loved ones to this virus.

I'm sure you will all join me in wishing the Prime Minister Boris Johnson a speedy recovery after he was admitted to intensive care last week after contracting Covid-19.

It's so important everyone sticks to the Government's lockdown rules. By abiding by the rules we can stop the spread of Covid-19 and save so many lives. The quicker this happens the sooner we can come out of lockdown and get back to normality.

Since the outbreak began, I have pushed the Government to support the self-employed and freelance workers to ensure this vital cog in our economy is not forgotten about. My team and I have also been in almost constant contact with constituents, local businesses, charities and Kirklees Council in recent weeks to ensure people who need help most can get it.

For full guidance and advice during the Covid-19 crisis, please visit my website here ([link removed]) . If you need any help or support, please email me on [email protected]
Coronavirus - Supporting local people
Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, my office has been inundated with requests for help and support from people across our community, and my team and I have been working hard to help as many people as we can.

We've had families contact us whose loved ones are stranded in far-flung nations all over the world, and my team have worked hard to get these people home as fast as possible.

We've had businesses concerned about how they will survive, and we have done all we can to signpost them to the support available. In Parliament I repeatedly made demands to the Government to increase its support for the self-employed and charities to ensure no-one falls through the gaps during this crisis.

Locally it has been heartwarming to see so many volunteers, community groups and charitable organisations come together to be part of Kirklees Council's Community Response. These people and groups are supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities. If you need support, know someone who needs help or want to join the Community Response, call 01484 226919 or visit the Kirklees Council website ([link removed]) .

My team and I are here to help you and we will not stop working to help everyone in Batley & Spen at this trying time.
Our amazing NHS - thank you

[link removed]

Even in the best of times, our NHS staff deserve praise for the incredible, life-saving work they carry out on a daily basis. But now during the Covid-19 crisis, they need our love and thanks more than ever.

Faced with a never-before-seen virus and unprecedented demand on already stretched services, our doctors and nurses have performed heroically, working long hours in extreme circumstances to treat patients.

The past three Thursday evenings have been incredibly emotional, seeing people across Batley and Spen and the rest of the country standing on their doorsteps to applaud our NHS workers. They truly deserve it, and seeing the applause must give them such a boost.

To every member of NHS staff who lives in Batley and Spen. To all those working hard at Dewsbury Hospital, Pinderfields, Pontefract and every hospital around the country. The doctors, the nurses, the porters, the cleaners. Thank you.

In March, my chosen charity of the month was the Friends of Batley Station. The community group does so much great work improving the appearance and surroundings of Batley Station to make rail passengers' visits to the station as pleasant as possible. Whether that be litter picking, weeding or planting beautiful colourful flowers, Councillor Gwen Lowe and her team of volunteers work so hard making our station a nicer place to be. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 lockdown, I haven't been able to visit the team and see their hard work in action, but when the restrictions are lifted I will definitely be paying them a visit.

Coronavirus - Impact on business
Shortly before lockdown was announced I visited two brilliant local businesses who were both deeply concerned about how the Covid-19 crisis was going to affect them.

I visited Banana Moon Clothing based in Birstall and Batley chair specialists HSL, who had both seen orders wiped because of Covid-19, to discuss how the crisis might affect them and to see how I could support them.

Both are brilliant, successful companies ingrained in our communities, and are just two examples from our area. We have so many great businesses employing thousands of people and they need to be protected.

That's why it was a relief when the Chancellor announced the Government's business rescue plans to pay staff and keep companies alive. But the plans were not exhaustive, missing out charity workers, the self-employed and freelancers, and I have and will continue to push the Government to ensure as many people as possible are protected in these unprecedented times.
Access to loved ones in intensive care and maternity units
When a loved one gets taken into hospital, it's an extremely scary and stressful time for family members. When they are ill, it's only human that you want to be there with them to help them through it.

The following information is from Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, I am sharing it to keep you and your family up to date, for the latest information please check their website here ([link removed]) .

Due to social distancing measures, the Trust has taken the unprecedented step of suspending visits. This is to protect you, your loved ones and NHS staff, and to combat the spread of Covid-19.

This is a difficult time for us all, and I cannot imagine how much harder not being able to see your loved ones in hospital is making it for those of you affected, but it's crucial we abide by the social distancing rules to beat this virus.

One visitor will be permitted in exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the ward manager. Those exceptions can be made for:
- Parents of a patient under the age of 18
- Carers for patients requiring assistance
- Relatives collecting a patient being discharged
- Immediate family/partner of those at end of life
- Birthing partners.

I know it will be tough, but by sticking to these rules we can beat Covid-19.

At the last Prime Minister's Questions before Parliament was shut down, I asked Boris Johnson what was being done to support charities throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Charities supporting the most vulnerable people in our society are really struggling, facing a £4.3 billion drop in income.They can't just furlough staff, it's not an option when there are vulnerable people who need help. More than 150 MPs from across Parliament have called for an urgent package to support charities. The Prime Minister said the Culture Secretary and Chanceller were "looking at a package" for charities, and on Wednesday afternoon that finally came, a £750 million package to support charities. This included £360m for hospices, children’s charities and charities for vulnerable groups, which will be allocated by Government departments, and £370m for small and medium-sized charities.While this is a start, far more money is needed to keep our beloved local charities going.
Watch my question to the Prime Minister here ([link removed]) .

Our local heroes
During this dark and worrying time, there have been so many rays of light across Batley and Spen brightening people's lives with amazing gestures, often going above and beyond the call of duty to help people in need.

Local businesses, charities, community groups and members of the public have all put their hands up to help, whether that being to help deliver food to those in need, entertaining people on their street or helping out in the Kirklees Community Response.

The Batley Food Bank team have been working hard since the outbreak began ensuring vulnerable families have enough food; the team do amazing work and their response to the Covid-19 crisis has been incredible.

The fantastic Ellie's Flowers in Birstall has been delivering packages of fresh fruit and vegetables to people, providing families with the healthy and nutritious food we need. This is so important for keeping people's diets healthy, especially for those who can't make it to supermarkets.

At the weekend I saw an amazing video on Facebook showing the community spirit we have in Batley and Spen. It was from Cleckheaton-based Dancercize, whose leader Emma Kitching led a mass dance in the street for her neighbours to get them out in the sun exercising. It was great to see so many people taking part and having fun. I'm sure it cheered up everyone taking part and those watching it online, it definitely put a smile on my face.

I also want to thank groups such as One Nation, Batley Cricket Club, Soothill Community Association, the Al-Mubarak Foundation and many more who have signed up to the Community Response programme and are working hard with the Council to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities are looked after.

If you know of any more local heroes who deserve recognition please get in touch and let me know so I can help celebrate their selfless work.

Last week, Keir Starmer was elected as the new leader of the Labour Party, with Angela Rayner as deputy leader. I nominated both Keir and Angela, and the Batley and Spen Constituency Labour Party also nominated both in the election, so I'm delighted they have been chosen as our new leadership team. Keir has visited Batley and Spen a couple of times, most recently earlier this year during the campaign when he visited Batley Food Bank and Foundations Nursery, and Angela has joined us campaigning numerous times across the constituency. I think Keir's message of hope and unity really resonated with local members. With Keir's appointment sadly I'm no longer part of the Shadow Cabinet, but it was a privilege to serve as Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary and I'm really proud of what my team achieved in a short space of time - holding the Government to account on Huawei and supporting the creative industries during the Covid-19 crisis. I hope to be able to serve Keir and the party
in the future.
Culture for All
At the start of this month, I unveiled the Culture for All white paper calling for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to be at the heart of everything Labour does going forward.

You can read the white paper here ([link removed]) , and view a dossier of stories from freelancers affected by Covid-19 by clicking here ([link removed]) .

The cultural sector is the fasting growing sector of our economy, employing millions and contributing billions of pounds to the UK economy. It also enriches the lives of millions of people, whether that be watching top-quality television dramas, going to the theatre, the digital infrastructure which binds our society together, high-quality, trusted local journalism or going to cheer on your favourite sports team at the weekend.

My 30 year career in the arts showed me what can be achieved when working class people are given opportunities, and since I became an MP I have seen the disconnect between careers in the arts and certain communities who think it's "not for people like them".

DCMS also has the ability to improve people's physical and mental wellbeing, whether that's technology reducing loneliness by allowing kids to video call their grandparents, the joy of expression that comes with performing arts, or donning your whites to run out for the local cricket team. DCMS is in every area of our lives. It binds our communities together and it's ingrained in British life.

By putting digital, culture, media and sport at the heart of our journey forward, Labour can heal the wounds of division on our country and rebuild the sectors left to rot by a decade of Conservative austerity.


The last weekend before social gatherings were banned, pubs and theatres forced to close, and the sporting calendar put on hold, I enjoyed a morning watching Batley Girls under 12s rugby league side take on Dewbury Moor and Drighlington in a local derby. It was great to see the girls enjoying playing rugby, and there were some thrilling runs and tries on display, as well as some big hits! Batley Girls ran out 32-14 winners and some of the girls certainly have the talent to follow in the footsteps of Batley and Spen's England stars Georgia Roche and Caitlin Beevers.
Thousands of sportspeople across all sports in our area have seen their season's cut abruptly short or postponed, with the very real threat of cancellation depending on how long this crisis lasts for, and clubs have also been left in the lurch financially. I'll be doing all I can to support our local sports clubs so when life returns to normal, our young people still have clubs to go back to.

** ([link removed])
** ([link removed])
** ([link removed])
Write to me at:
Tracy Brabin MP
House of Commons

For details of my upcoming surgeries, call my constituency office on:
01924 900036

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences ([link removed])
or ** unsubscribe from this list ([link removed])

Copyright © 2020 Tracy Brabin, All rights reserved.
You signed up to this newsletter to be kept up to date with the work of Tracy Brabin.

Our mailing address is:
Tracy Brabin
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
United Kingdom
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences ([link removed])
or ** unsubscribe from this list ([link removed])
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
[link removed]
Screenshot of the email generated on import

Message Analysis