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Update on my work in Parliament and the constituency
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News from your local Labour MP

Thank you for reading my September 2016 update on my work in Cardiff Central and in Parliament. 

During September my team and I have held 9 advice surgeries for constituents, including specialist weekly immigration clinics. Details of forthcoming surgeries are at the bottom of this email. You don't need an appointment for surgeries, please just drop in.
Out and About
On 29th September I was pleased to attend the Cardiff High School awards evening. Hearing about the achievements of so many students in their academic as well as extra-curricular work was fantastic. Headteacher Steve Jones was right to describe Cardiff High as a 'truly comprehensive school' where positive attitudes and enthusiasm are highly valued.
I have become a patron of Cân Cymru. This charity, founded by Cardiff University student Luke Fletcher, is a new organisation aiming to improve the quality of life of those suffering from Alzheimer's disease through the use of music as reminiscent therapy. I'm pleased to be playing a part in this new charity.
This month I made my annual visit to Labour Party Conference. As well as political debate and decision making, the conference is an opportunity to meet representatives from many charities who exhibit at the conference. I focused my meetings with those charities that constituents had asked me to visit and support including Cancer Research UK. I also had chance to catch up with trade unions who represent many people across Cardiff Central, particularly the education sector.
This month I hosted my first Macmillan Coffee Morning at Rhydypennau Library in Cyncoed. This annual event is Macmillan's biggest fundraising effort to support people facing cancer and their families, with £25million being raised from coffee mornings last year alone. Thank you to everyone who came and donated, and to the staff at Rhydypennau Library for helping to make it so successful.
On 16th September I joined Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaigners from across south Wales outside the Senedd at a protest against the unfair changes to the State Pension Age.
I visited Cardiff Muslim Primary School, who won a £100,000 energy efficiency makeover with British Gas. The school has had solar panels installed, a new energy-efficient boiler, window insulation and a monitor so that pupils can see how much energy they're saving.
The national Prisoner Learning Alliance Conference was held in Cardiff this year and I was invited to speak about prison education. I also presented awards to prison educators and learners. With daily news from our prisons that is unremittingly bad, it was a real pleasure to hear about and celebrate education and rehabilitation success.

In Parliament

The Boundary Commission has published its proposals to redraw the parliamentary boundaries reducing the number of seats from 650 to 600. 

In Wales we lose the highest proportion of seats of any nation or region. On the current proposals, the number of Welsh seats is reduced from 40 to 29. 

In Cardiff where we have 3.5 seats within the city boundary, those are reduced to 3 seats based on the December 2015 electoral roll and applying the equalised number of voters per constituency formula that the Boundary Commission have been instructed to base their proposals on.
 
Under the proposals, a new seat called Cardiff South and East is created and is the successor seat to Cardiff Central and to Cardiff South and Penarth. It contains the following wards; Penylan, Cathays, Plasnewydd, Adamsdown, Pontprennau and Old St Mellons, Tremorfa, Splott, Llanrumney, Rumney and Butetown.
 
Cyncoed and Pentwyn and Llanedeyrn move into Cardiff North.
 
Grangetown and Taffs Well move into Cardiff West.
 
Penarth moves into the new seat of Vale of Glamorgan East.

You can look at the Commission's proposals here.

Justice Questions

I asked the new Justice Secretary about the failure of prison officer recruitment and for an urgent review of pre-sentence reporting for the courts following the Government's privatisation of the probation sector.

Levels of violence, suicide and self-harm in prisons  are at unprecedented levels. The combination of 7000 fewer prison officers since 2010, along with a growing prisoner population, now at 85,000 people, is a toxic combination.

Click here to watch the full exchange.

Prison Safety Report

This month I also spoke as shadow prisons minister in a debate on prison safety. I shared my views about what needs to be done to improve safety in our prisons including increasing prison officer recruitment and retention and a national strategy to tackle drug use.

Transport Questions

In Transport Questions this month I asked the Secretary of State for Transport about any Government plans to update the laws governing taxis and private hire vehicles. 

The lack of national standards has resulted in a fragmented licensing system, with different rules and regulations around the country. With mobile phones and the internet having revolutionised the industry, regulation has failed to keep pace. I am keen to see businesses such as Uber properly regulated for passenger safety.

Business Questions: The Post Office

This year alone, 2,000 postal workers will lose their jobs, the occupational pension scheme is being closed and 100 Post Office branches are shutting.

Services have been outsourced to retailers, with Post Office counters at the back of other stores. For the public this means a worse service, and for staff it means poorer terms and conditions and in many cases redundancy, so that they can be replaced with part-time workers on the minimum wage.

So on the day that postal workers took industrial action to safeguard their jobs and pensions and our Post Offices, I asked the Government if we could have a debate on the future of the Post Office. 

Upcoming Advice Surgeries

I hold regular surgeries around the constituency. All surgeries are drop-in, no appointment is needed.

Every Wednesday, 11am - 12 noon
Immigration Clinic at Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road

Friday 14th October, 4pm - 6pm
Advice Surgery at Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road

Saturday 15th October 10am - 11am
Advice Surgery with Plasnewydd Councillors, Penylan Library and Community Centre

Saturday 15th October 11am - 12noon
Advice Surgery with Cathays Councillors, Cathays Library

Friday 21st October, 11am - 12.30pm
Advice Surgery at St German's Church Hall, Adamsdown

Friday 21st October, 12.30 - 2pm
Advice Surgery at Central Library Foyer, City Centre

Friday 28th October, 4pm - 6pm
Advice Surgery at Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road

Full details of upcoming surgeries are listed on my website.

Copyright © 2016 Jo Stevens MP, All rights reserved.


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