From Tracy Brabin MP <[email protected]>
Subject Tracy Brabin MP e-newsletter - October 2019
Date October 14, 2019 10:29 AM
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News from Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin

Welcome to the latest edition of my E-newsletter.

I've had quite a busy few weeks, in Parliament and in our constituency.

Over the summer recess it was lovely to spend more time back in my hometown, meeting all the wonderful people in Batley & Spen dedicated to improving our community.

Back in Parliament
After the summer recess it was back to work in the Commons, until Boris Johnson abruptly ended this with a prorogation that was found to be unlawful.

This meant we could get back to work. Also, the extremely important Domestic Abuse Bill didn't fall. The debate on that Bill was one of the most emotive, meaningful and proactive debates I've been involved in for a while. The Bill will protect women and girls from domestic abuse and ensure abusers are properly punished for their crimes.

The first day back after prorogation however was less positive, my worst day in Parliament since I was elected. The toxic atmosphere, with MPs shouting at one another, was not pleasant and came to a head when the Prime Minister called my colleague Paula Sherriff's worries about death threats and abuse "Humbug".

My plea for the Prime Minister to moderate his language fell on deaf ears, but hopefully moving forward political debate and discussion can be more civil, both inside the Commons and out, to stop the country becoming more divided.

Parliament has been prorogued again, but as soon as we are back I'll be doing all I can to act in the best interests of all my constituents on all issues, including stopping a No Deal Brexit which would be so damaging for Batley & Spen.
Batley is booming
Over the past few months I've been lucky to visit so many great businesses across Batley and Spen, and there have been a number of great community events and success stories.

Mount CC were named Asian Cricket Club of the Year and there's wasn't the only cricketing success, with Batley CC crowned champions of Bradford Cricket League Championship One.

Bangla Lounge in Birstall finished as a runner-up in the hotly contested Tiffin Cup for Britain's best South Asian restaurants, and that award is now proudly on display in the restaurant. It was my pleasure to present this award to them.

Recent months have also seen two fantastic community days, firstly the Battle of Britain Day in Batley, and most recently Batley Festival.

The service at the Battle of Britain Day was so moving, and it was brilliant to see so many young men and women proudly parading through the town in their uniform. The Salvation Army Band also provided a wonderful soundtrack.

Batley Festival once again was a sight to behold, with so many fantastic singers, dancers, actors and musicians performing for the crowds. A special mention must go to the volunteers and stall holders, without whom we would've no festival at all. You're all fab!
I've also visited a number of successful business operating in the constituency, which show how diverse and exciting the economy in Batley and Spen is.

Angloco, who produce firefighting vehicles for clients worldwide, Liversedge bed-makers Highgrove, Birstall's dental experts Beaumont Ceramics, Batley jewellers Pugata and health food producer Hale Naturals all welcomed me to their offices and it was great to see the work being done in our area.

Batley and Spen is a great place to run a business and I can't wait to meet more of the flourishing companies that call our constituency their home.
Some sad news
Sadly, among all these highs, there have been some lows which have hit our communities in the past few months.

The unrest currently ongoing in Kashmir has had a huge impact on communities in Batley and Spen, many of whom have family still living in the region or have strong links to the area.

The removal of Kashmir's right to autonomy by the Indian government and subsequent media blackout is gravely concerning for people in Kashmir and their families here in Batley.

I've asked the Government to speak to their Indian counterparts to try and resolve this issue to give Kashmiri people their independence back, and will continue to ask questions to try and reach a peaceful solution to the turmoil affecting Kashmir.

We were also shocked by the tragic death of Batley Bulldogs player Archie Bruce aged 20, just hours after making his debut for the club. I know everyone in Batley and Spen would want to send their respects to his friends and family.
Domestic Abuse
As I said earlier, I was involved in the debate on the Domestic Abuse Bill, a bill which will bring into law definitions on what domestic abuse and violence constitutes, to ensure victims are properly protected and abusers are punished.

Everyone listening was moved by my colleagues Rosie Duffield and Naz Shah's first-hand accounts of how they've been victims of domestic abuse and a forced marriage. They explained how it took them a long time to realise they were victims of abuse and the long-lasting effects it has had on them.

Mark Garnier also shared a harrowing tale of the killing of one of his constituents, and the inadequacies of the current legislation in protecting victims.

I highlighted how Clare's Law - fought for by her father and my constituent Michael Brown - is not available to all people, and that the government needs to ensure it's not a postcode lottery. Clare's Law, named after Mr Brown's daughter who was murdered by her partner, gives people access to their new partner's history of domestic abuse, and that only 45 per cent of requests are successful is a tragedy. This early intervention could save a life.

I also spoke about my constituents Kirsty and Jess, who both suffered economic abuse at the hands of ex-partners who locked them in joint bank accounts and mortgages, and called on the Government to recognise the gendered nature of domestic abuse in the Bill.

This debate showed our democracy at its finest, MPs working cross-bench and cross-party to ensure the Bill is as robust as possible so everyone is protected from domestic abuse. I look forward to the next debate on this hugely important piece of legislation.
I briefly mentioned the wonderful Batley Festival earlier on, but I need to say more about this fantastic event. It's truly one of the feathers in our constituency's cap. The Market Place and Memorial Gardens were a hive of activity with arts performances, street theatre and a range of fun activities. The range of entertainment on offer paid tribute to Batley's wonderfully diverse and multicultural community, from Batley Community Choir to Bhangra, Polish and contemporary dance performances. Alongside the entertainment were plenty of exciting arts and crafts workshops, and a wide range of stalls offering games, art, a vast array of food and much more. Everyone involved in putting on such a brilliant afternoon deserves a huge pat on the back, especially the wonderful volunteers. They put so much time and energy into ensuring Batley Festival gets better and better every year!
Ready for action
I was honoured to be re-selected unanimously by the Batley & Spen Constituency Labour Party to be the party's candidate at the next General Election at a recent meeting

On a personal note I'm delighted the local Labour Party has once again put its faith in me.

It is an honour representing my hometown and I look forward to the election - whenever it may come!

Key issues
I believe it's important that people know my position on key issues facing people in my constituency and beyond. That's why I have spoken out in several debates in Parliament since my last newsletter.

The issues I raised included:
* Funding for Dewsbury Hospital
* Anti-social bikes and behaviour
* Domestic Abuse
* Childcare funding

Finally, I was honoured to open Angloco's new site in Alexandra Road. Alongside its headquarters means the company can now turn out more than 100 fire engines a year. It exports engines to 70 countries worldwide and recently received a 33 engine order from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service. Angloco is also building a pioneering fire-fighting boat to be used in South America. It is the UK's largest manufacturer of fire engines, and employs 90 people with plans to increase staff numbers to more than 100. For more information about Angloco, or if you want to work for this fantastic Batley business, click ** here ([link removed])
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Write to me at:
Tracy Brabin MP
House of Commons

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

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