From Jo Stevens MP <[email protected]>
Subject My Monthly Newsletter
Date February 2, 2023 7:30 AM
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I know people across Cardiff Central will have been shocked and
saddened to hear of the sudden death of Clare Drakeford, wife of our
First Minister Mark Drakeford, at the weekend. Clare and Mark were
married for 46 years, devoted to each other and my thoughts and
sympathy are with Mark and Clare’s family and friends.


Visiting schools in Cardiff Central offers an opportunity to listen to
the concerns and understand the priorities of a new generation of
voters. It was great to meet A-level Law students at Cardiff High
School Sixth Form and discuss being a solicitor, then a  Member of
Parliament and how legal training and knowledge has helped me in both
those roles. 

The students asked lots of interesting questions about Parliament,
online safety, trade union laws, parliamentary procedure and the most
rewarding part of my role, casework helping to solve problems for
residents in Cardiff Central.


I was pleased to join representatives from Welsh Water to view the
progress of works to build a new visitor centre at Lisvane and
Llanishen Reservoir.

This project will bring so many benefits to the local community. A
range of activities and volunteering opportunities will be offered,
and I was really interested to hear about the water sports, education
oportunities and wildlife, birdlife and nature that are an integral
part of the reservoirs and their surroundings.

Find out more about this exciting new development here
[[link removed]].


I had a great time visiting the Glenwood Church and Wellbeing Centre
in Llanedeyrn to see their new facilities, which have received funding
from the Welsh Labour Government and the National Lottery Community

The centre offers a safe space for all, with a community pantry, a
youth space, counselling spaces, wellbeing and support services and an
accessible kitchen to teach cooking skills.

A big thank you to Paul Francis for the tour of the facilities and for
the ongoing support you and the wonderful team at Glenwood provide for
people across Llanederyn.


In January 2022, I was proud to join Cardiff Labour colleagues at the
launch of Cardiff Bus's electrical fleet. Funded through joint
investment from the Welsh Labour Government and Cardiff Council, the
impact from these zero-emission buses has been incredible. 

Throughout 2022, the buses have:

• Saved 1,000 tonnes of CO2

• Spent 94,976 hours in operation

• Travelled 1,403,604 kms

• Consumed 91.8 kWh / 100 kms in energy

I look forward to the expansion of the fleet and the further benefits
it will have for our local environment in the near future.


Alongside my Welsh Labour colleague and friend, Carolyn Harris MP, we
hosted over 80 people from businesses and organisations across South
Wales to discuss how they can support menopausal and peri-menopausal
women in work. At any one time across the UK there are 13 million
women experiencing the menopause. Over half the UK population are
women and its essential that employers understand the impact of the
menopause on women in their workplaces. It was such a positive
conference and I learnt a lot.  

Thank you to Delsion who organised the conference for Carolyn and I as
well as the speakers and contributors from Delsion, Wellbeing of
Women, Theramex, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
and Nationwide Building Society for sharing their experiences and
resources to help women who need support.


I welcome the news that Cardiff Council’s Levelling Up Fund bid, to
which I gave my wholehearted support, as did my constituency neighbour
Stephen Doughty, to improve rail links between Cardiff Central and
Cardiff Bay has been successful. This bid, which will receive match
funding from the Welsh Government, is an endorsement for our Welsh
Labour council’s transformative plans for Cardiff’s public
transport. Not only will this investment finally connect the Bay to
Cardiff Central with a regular tram service, it will also act as a
catalyst for the wider Cardiff Crossrail scheme, connecting
communities across our city. This service will improve transport not
just for the people of Cardiff, but for the people of South Wales.

The Tory Government’s flagship Levelling Up scheme has been plagued
by delays and a lack of transparency. Many communities with real need
have been ignored while the Prime Minister’s own wealthy
constituency has benefited. What Wales will receive from this fund is
only a partial refund for the money successive Conservative
governments have ripped out of our communities. We were promised we
would not be a penny worse off from the EU replacement funds, yet the
reality is that Wales remains £1.1bn worse off.

Watch my interview with ITV Wales here
[[link removed]].


I joined Vaughan Gething MS and Councillor Grace Ferguson-Thorne at
Cardiff Reform Synagogue to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. 

As well as commemorating the lives of all those who lost their lives
during the Holocaust, we remember that these horrific acts did not
begin with the concentration camps, ghettos or deportations. It
started with ordinary people taking a blind eye to discrimination,
dehuminsation, legal segregation and escalating violence. 

We cannot be complacent. We must be united in our efforts to challenge
prejudice and hatred to build a kinder, safer future.


Congratulations to Wendy Larner, who will become the first female Vice
Chancellor of Cardiff University in its 140 year history. 

I look forward to welcoming Wendy to Cardiff Central and working with
her to support our university's ongoing world-class research,
teaching, innovation and student experience. 

Read more here
[[link removed]].



My advice surgery dates for February 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 plan of surgeries dates online using the link
below – please call my office on 029 2132 9736 – or email me at
[email protected] to make an appointment.

• Friday 3rd February – Cyncoed

• Friday 17th February – Roath

• Friday 24th February - Penylan


As the Conservative cost-of-living crisis continues, I know that many
households across Cardiff Central are finding coping with utility
bills, food shopping and debt management more and more difficult.

I want to make it as easy as possible for residents to access any help
you may be entitled to, so I’ve put together a cost-of-living advice
hub. This includes links to support for gas, electricity and water
bills, and any benefits or discounts you may be entitled to – and
some links to support agencies who will be able to provide tailored
advice and assist you if needed.

Cost-of-Living Advice Hub
[[link removed]]



At this month’s Welsh Questions, I challenged the Tory Secretary of
State on his government’s failure to support our steel industry.
Thirteen years of Conservative governments has seen decline, offshored
jobs, and damage to communities.

The Tories have no long-term plan to protect this vital industry. More
sticking plasters will not do. Labour will put Welsh and UK Steel at
the heart of our wider industrial strategy, building wind turbines,
railways and investing in Carbon Capture Storage and hydrogen

We would invest up to £3bn over the coming decade to green the steel
industry, working with steelmakers, to secure a proud future to match
the proud past and present of Britain’s steel communities. We've
also put forward plans for a £1 billion contingency fund for
energy-intensive industries to help with sky-high electricity costs.

You can watch my full exchange here
[[link removed]].

And you can read my and Jessica Morden MP’s Wales Online article on
our proud steel community and industry in Wales here.
[[link removed]]


The Welsh Rugby Union have failed women employees, players and
Wales’ rugby supporters. The BBC Wales expose of sexism, bullying
and harassment within the organisation was shocking.

The WRU cannot continue marking its own homework. Rugby is too
important to Wales and our international reputation, to be run badly
and in such a toxic atmosphere and culture. After more than a week of
failing to read the room, the WRU finally took the first step towards
accepting it has a significant problem that requires new leadership,
root and branch reform and a complete overhaul of governance.

Watch my interview with Sky Sports News here
[[link removed]]. 


I visited General Dynamics Land Systems in Merthyr Tydfil to receive
an update on the British Army’s AJAX tank building programme.
General Dynamics is one of the largest employers in Merthyr Tydfil and
provides hundreds of high-skilled jobs in the area.

It was fascinating to hear about the AJAX tank's capabilities and see
them being tested on a specially built terrain at the factory. 



The Tory Government’s latest anti-worker legislation is yet another
demonstration that this is a dead-end Government, all out of ideas.
Strikes are always a last resort; workers don’t want to take strike
action or see disruption to services. But if the government won’t
negotiate or give employers a mandate to either, strikes will
inevitably take place.

The right to strike is a fundamental British freedom – but this
government is determined to attack it. This legislation will mean that
when workers democratically vote to strike, they can be forced to work
and sacked if they don’t comply.

As a life-long trade unionist and on behalf of key workers across
Cardiff Central, I joined my Labour colleagues in parliament to vote
against this desperate and divisive attack on working people.  

I wrote in Wales Online about how the Tories clapped, but now
they’ll sack our key workers. You can read my article here
[[link removed]].

Labour is determined to stand up for working people. We have
legislation ready to go in the first 100 days of the next UK Labour
Government to implement a New Deal for Working People. 

Find out more about our plan here
[[link removed]]. 



Many constituents contacted me to share their concerns about the
Conservative Government’s Retained EU Law Bill. 

It is clear that the Government wants to use this Bill to embark on a
process of mass deregulation, driving down standards, rights and
protections. The laws at risk are not cumbersome “red tape” but
important, often basic rights and protections that the public rightly
expects. And the Bill doesn’t even provide Parliament with the right
to scrutinise and make decisions. It’s a power grab by Ministers
that undermines democratic accountability.

Instead of pandering to the right of the Tory Party on his
backbenches, putting the Tory Party before the country, Rishi Sunak
should bring forward a positive set of proposals to create improved
protections and rights and allow MPs the time and power to scrutinise
those proposals on behalf of our constituents.

Read more in my blog
[[link removed]].


Rishi Sunak promised a government of integrity, professionalism, and
accountability. Instead, we see the same old scandal-ridden Tories.

We now know the shocking truth that Nadhim Zahawi was negotiating
payment of his millions of pounds of overdue tax with HMRC and a
penalty reported to be in the region of a million pounds for not
paying that tax, whilst he was in charge of HMRC!

In addition, the BBC chairman, Richard Sharp (Rishi Sunak’s former
boss) helped the former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson to arrange a
guarantee on a loan of up to £800,000 just weeks before Johnson
approved his appointment as BBC Chairman.

And the Deputy Tory Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, is subject to well
over 20 allegations of bullying by public servants who have worked
with him.

The Conservatives know they’re defending the indefensible, but the
Prime Minister is so weak, he won’t take action until he’s
absolutely forced to do so.

Labour will clean up politics and restore standards in public life
after years of Tory sleaze and scandal. Our genuinely independent
Integrity and Ethics Commission will have powers to launch
investigations without ministerial approval, collect evidence and
decide sanctions.


Near-record vacancies in our economy are undermining growth and
stalling living standards, all whilst hundreds of thousands of people
who want to work are not getting the help they need.

Labour will take a fundamentally different and new approach, where we
prioritise wellbeing and security above all when helping people into

We’ll do this by offering genuine quality, tailored support for
those who want it, with help to explore the opportunities available
and what might be appropriate.

We’ll provide people with more independence, inclusion and
fulfilment. For people who cannot work, we will guarantee security.
For people who do want to work we’ll stand by them throughout any
steps they are able to take, as they move into employment.

The Tories have let down millions of people who are out of work due to
sickness. We need a Labour UK Government, which will be committed to
delivering an employment support system that meets the needs of
workers, those who want to get back into work, and businesses across

Read more in my blog
[[link removed]].


Cervical screening coverage in Cardiff Central is just 66.3%, meaning
that almost a one-third of women do not attend their screening when

I was pleased to join the CEO of Jo's Trust, Samantha Dixon to discuss
the importance of Cervical screening and HPV vaccines in the
prevention of cervical cancer. I would encourage everyone to make use
of these vital tools.

Visit Jo's Trust [[link removed]] for more information.


It was a pleasure to meet with brilliant ambulance staff from GMB
Wales and South West in Parliament. It is deeply troubling that the UK
Tory Government are attacking their right to strike. 


I was honoured to recieve an award at the Rail Industry Association's
(RIA) annual awards for my involvement in the Rail Fellowship

The Rail Fellowship Programme helps MPs to engage with the exciting
and innovative work carried out by our rail sector, not only to keep
the country moving but to provide skilled jobs and investment to our
local communities. 


Fur farming within the UK was banned by the last Labour Government in
2003. But the UK imports more than £800 million worth of animal fur
from countries including Finland, China, France and Poland, where
animals can experience terrible suffering and mental distress on fur

We cannot challenge the exploitation and abuse of animals at home,
whilst at the same time continuing to accept these practices for
imported products. 

It was great to meet with representatives from Fur Free Britain to
discuss how we can eradicate this hypocrisy by banning the import and
sale of fur in the UK. 

[Labour Rose]

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