From Jo Stevens MP <[email protected]>
Subject Monthly Newsletter
Date December 21, 2022 5:31 PM
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Well, as 2022 draws to a close, where do I start on the politics of
the past twelve months? Firstly though, thank you for being a regular
reader of my monthly newsletters. I wish you, your families and
friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This year, the Tory Party has ripped through 5 Tory Education
Secretaries, 4 Tory Chancellors, 3 Tory Prime Ministers, 2 Tory
leadership coups but not 1 general election for you to decide who
should govern the country. What a catalogue of chaos. And across the
country, people are paying the price for this incompetence, negligence
and sleaze.

This week Rishi Sunak is claiming that it would cost £28bn to award
public sector workers a pay rise that matches inflation costing every
household “an extra £1000 a year” in tax. Yet the Tories cost the
country £30bn in that disastrous mini-budget in September, with
households given no choice whatsoever about having to pick up the

That tells you everything about the UK Tory Government’s priorities.
It’s time for change.




This month, I met with HSBC to discuss their proposed closure of the
Rhyd-y-penau branch. The bank’s own figures about the Rhyd-y-penau
branch show that 32% of its customers rely solely on branch banking.
Despite this, HSBC were adamant in the meeting that their decision is
final. The branch will close in August 2023.

I am very disappointed both in the decision and the manner in which
HSBC reached it. I do not believe that they have taken local
customers’ needs into consideration.

You can read more about my discussions with HSBC in my blog
[[link removed]]. 



I was pleased to meet with representatives from NUS Wales to discuss
how students are being affected by the cost of living crisis. I was
deeply concerned to hear that almost a third left with just £50 a
month after paying rent and bills. 

If you are a student facing difficulties, visit Student Space
[[link removed]], which offers information on where
to find extra funding to help with your living costs and budgeting



The Welsh Labour Government has published its draft 2023/24 Budget to
help protect public services and the most vulnerable in the face of a
perfect storm of financial pressures.

Difficult reprioritising decisions have had to be made to maximise
support for public services and for people and businesses most
affected by the cost-of-living crisis. Facing a shortfall of over
£1bn, the Welsh Government has committed:

·         £165m for NHS Wales to help protect frontline

·         £227m to protect council services

·         £28m for the education budget

·         £40m to support public transport

·         £18.8m to protect people facing financial hardship

Find out more about the budget plans here
[[link removed]]. 

Show Racism the

Red Card


Congratulations to St Philip Evans R.C. Primary School pupil, Luchia
Ellul-Alimikhena, whose fantastic poster features in educational
charity Show Racism the Red Card's 2023 Calendar.

The calendar features young peoples’ artwork and poetry from their
schools’ competition. The winners have produced inspiring and
thought-provoking work which is both powerful and effective in
spreading the anti-racism message.

You can get yours here
[[link removed]].

The Cardiff Christmas



It is heart-warming, but no surprise, to see the kindness of
volunteers in Cardiff Central, working together to give care leavers a
special Christmas Day.

The Cardiff Christmas Dinner Project provides care leavers in Cardiff
with an opportunity to get together at Christmas. As well as a dinner,
guests are given presents and treats.

I would like to thank everyone in Cardiff Central who is giving up
their time to make Christmas special for others. Find out how to get
involved here
[[link removed]]. 



Cardiff University has launched a new immigration advice service to
help Ukrainians living in Wales.

Ukraine Project Cymru offers free one-off advice to help people
understand their immigration status and progress their cases.

The scheme is offered in partnership with Asylum Justice, an
independent legal service charity for asylum seekers and refugees in
Wales with whom I have worked closely for many years, with funding
from Welsh Government and is open to Ukrainians who wish to enter or
remain in Wales.

Find out more here
[[link removed]]. 




Applications for primary school admissions for September 2023 are open
until January 9. Regardless of which nursery school your child
attends, you still need to apply for a primary school reception class

Every area of Cardiff is served by a Welsh-medium community primary
school, an English-medium community primary school, a Church in Wales
Primary School and a Catholic Primary School. You do not need to speak
English or Welsh at home or practice a particular faith​ to apply
for admission for any of these schools.

Parents and Guardians are encouraged to use all three preferences and
visit schools before making an application. For more information,
click here
[[link removed]].




My advice surgery dates for January 2023 are now confirmed. These are
an opportunity for any resident living in Cardiff Central to come and
chat to me about any issue you might need assistance with or, to ask
any question you have about my work in Parliament and here, on your

You can see my full diary of surgery dates here
[[link removed]] – call my
office on 029 2132 9736 – or email me at [email protected]
to make an appointment.

·         Friday 13th January – Penylan

·         Friday 20th January – Pentwyn

·         Friday 27th January - Adamsdown

You don’t have to come to a surgery to get help and advice. You can
telephone or email at any time and I and my team will do our very best
to answer and resolve your enquiry. 

My office is now closed for Christmas and will be closed until the New

If you need help or advice over the Christmas period, please take a
look at my Christmas contact list below. 



I visited the Awen Institute at Swansea University this month to see
and hear more about their work. Awen brings together leading academic
researchers to work with people aged 50 and over and the creative
industries, to co-produce products, services and environments for an
increasing older population across the UK.

I took part in a virtual reality exercise designed to simulate the
visual challenges faced by someone with dementia. Eye movement data is
tracked and used to help design environments that make dealing with
everyday tasks at home easier and safer for people living with
dementia. The work of the Awen Institute is benefitting people in
Cardiff Central and across Wales.





I have long campaigned for stronger protections for children and the
public online. As Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital,
Culture, Media and Sport, I led on the issue in the lead up to the
publication of the government’s draft online safety legislation and
worked extensively with child protection charities making the case for
proper, focussed, and effective legislation.

The Online Safety Bill was first proposed in 2019, by Theresa May.
Three Prime Ministers later, the Tories continue to put party before
the safety of people online. When the bill finally returned to the
Commons this month, the Tories voted to water down the key components
of the bill and delay it even further.

We cannot allow the government’s ineptitude and chaos kill off this
Bill and leave the internet unregulated. We have longstanding
regulation covering broadcast and print media and every sector of the
economy has some regulation. Social media and website cannot be exempt
from it.  If the Tories fail to take our concerns seriously, the next
Labour government will introduce further regulation to make sure the
online world is safe. 





The Tories’ ‘VIP lane’ for PPE is a scandal of epic proportions
that has allowed the shameful waste of taxpayers’ money and
inexcusable profiteering, largely by Tory cronies.

Earlier this month, Labour forced a binding vote in Parliament to make
the government come clean on the murky award of £203 million in
taxpayers’ money to a shady company linked to Tory Peer, Baroness
Mone. Not a single Tory MP bothered to vote.

As Chancellor, Rishi Sunak never lifted a finger to stop this money
being thrown away, and in many cases, ignored direct warnings of the
risks. The public is sick of being ripped off by the Tories. 



Nurses are on strike for the first time in their history. They don’t
want to strike but have been forced to take action as a last resort.
The UK Government could have prevented the strikes happening. All
Rishi Sunak had to do was to confirm that his ministers would meet
with the healthcare unions and TALK about pay. Instead, the Prime
Minister decided to play politics with people’s lives.

The Welsh Government continues to press the UK Government to pass on
the full funding necessary for fair pay rises for public sector
workers. They have also taken action to ensure that the lowest paid
staff in the NHS see the biggest uplift in their pay, equivalent to a
10.8% pay rise, making the NHS in Wales the highest-paying UK nation
for staff in the lowest pay bands.

This month, I voted to abolish non-dom tax status and instead use that
money to train a new generation of nurses, midwives and doctors to
treat patients, so the shortage of healthcare workers can be
addressed. If the Tories won’t do it, they should stand aside for a
government that will. 


place to start and grow a


This month, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves MP, set out
our ambition to make the UK the high growth, start-up hub of the
world. As part of our plan, we will:

• Remove barriers to investment in high growth firms

• Help make academic innovation become a reality

• Give the British Business Bank real independence to allow it to
bring in more investment into the economy

These are the kind of policies the country needs to avoid continuing
the Tory path of economic decline and for us all to look towards a
more dynamic future.

Take a look at our plan here
[[link removed]]. 

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