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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 May 2016 update on my work in Cardiff Central and in Parliament. It's a year since you elected me as your MP and it's a real privilege to represent you. Thank you for all your support during the past year.

During May my team and I have held 10 advice surgeries for constituents, including specialist weekly immigration clinics. Details of June surgeries are at the bottom of this email. You don't need an appointment for surgeries, please just drop in.

This month in Parliament I have questioned ministers on steelworkers' pensions, devolution of Air Passenger Duty to help strengthen Cardiff Airport's business and the funding model for the Serious Fraud Office which needs to do far more to tackle financial crime.

I launched Workplace 2020 with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and hosted a campaign event in parliament for the families of prisoners given indeterminate sentences (see below).

Together with PCS union members and the campaign group 38 Degrees, I handed in a 375,000 signature petition opposing the Government's privatisation of the Land Registry. St Philip Evans Primary School came to visit Parliament and I got a grilling from pupils at Adamsdown, Tredegarville and Albany Primary Schools, all of who had clever and engaging questions.

My Labour colleague and friend Jenny Rathbone was re-elected as our Cardiff Central Assembly Member this month. Thank you to everyone who supported Labour. I know Jenny will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of all of us in Cardiff Central.
Are You Registered to Vote?

The European Referendum is fast approaching. On 23rd June we will all get to make a choice about whether Britain should Remain in or Leave the European Union.

But you can't vote if you haven't registered! Make sure you're registered to vote by the 7th June. It's quick and easy - go to gov.uk/registertovote now.

If you want to find out more about what EU membership means for Wales, you can join your MEP Derek Vaughan and I on Friday 10th June, 3-4pm at Penylan Community Centre for an information session.
Out and About
With PCS Union activists and 38 Degrees campaigners at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills handing in the petition against the Government's proposed privatisation of the Land Registry. I strongly opposed privatisation when the Lib Dem and Tory Coalition Government tried to do it and I'm opposing it again. The Land Registry returns millions of pounds a year to the Treasury and privatising it is widely opposed. You can read about the campaign here and you can still sign the petition here.
Did you know that Cardiff University is home to world-leading research into dementia and Alzheimer's disease? I visited the labs to meet Dr Emma Kidd, one of the researchers working on the project, to find out about their work. You can read more about my visit via Alzheimer's Research UK.
This month I met trade union colleagues from New Zealand, members of Unite the Union's sister union, who have successfully campaigned to legislate against zero hours contracts there. Global companies like McDonald's, Burger King and Pizza Hut no longer use zero hours contracts in New Zealand and still run their operations successfully and profitably. Zero hours contracts in the UK trap far too many people in low paid work that isn't guaranteed, with the uncertainty of not knowing how much, if anything, their wages will be at the end of the month. I learnt some very useful campaigning tips and will continue to push for these exploitative contracts to be outlawed in the UK.
I had the pleasure of visiting Adamsdown Primary and Tredegarville Primary Schools in Adamsdown this month. Adamsdown school had prepared for my visit by learning about how Parliament works so when I got there they were ready with lots of very difficult questions about what I do as their MP.
Which? held a scam awareness stall and clinic in the city centre this month. I joined them to find out about the advice they provide on how to avoid scams, and was pleased to see that lots of shoppers were also popping in for advice. You can find out more and get advice online here.
I took part in the London Legal Walk this month with my Shadow Justice team colleagues. The annual event covers 10km around the City of London. I raised £250 for Asylum Justice, a Cardiff-based charity who provide free legal advice to refugees and asylum seekers who need to make applications for visas and to reunite their families.
Following my question to Prime Minister David Cameron last month on extending opt-out organ donation legislation to England, I met students Eliza Craston and Alicia Lloyd from City University London who are making a documentary on the subject. Read more about this issue here.
I launched Workplace 2020 with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP, Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle MP and Shadow Minister for Trade Unions Ian Lavery MP at Ecotricity in Stroud. Workplace 2020 will be the biggest ever UK consultation on what the world of work should look like for people employed and self employed and for businesses, in 2020. We want to hear about good practice, ideas and changes to help form policy on employment, rights and responsibilities for our 2020 manifesto. There will be listening events around the UK but please sign up to tell us your views and ideas here.
I also visited Albany Primary School where I was given a tour of the school and had the opportunity to meet some enthusiastic pupils and join in with their English lesson.

In Parliament

Standing Up for Steelworkers
The threat to the Port Talbot steel plant and tens of thousands of steel jobs and other jobs in the supply chain continues as owner Tata looks for bids to buy out their UK business.

The company's pension scheme has a huge deficit and the Government has been in talks with Tata resulting in a complex proposal that, as well as requiring a change to pension legislation, will also reduce the pensions payable to current and future pensioners.

I asked Business Secretary Sajid Javid about whether or not these proposals have been discussed properly with the Pensions Regulator. I am extremely concerned about current and future pensioners but also about the significant risks in the proposals and the precedent they set, when they may not even solve the problem. Steelworkers should not have to pay the price to prop up a strategically important industry left to languish by Governments and multinational owners.

Click here to watch the exchange.
IPP Prisoners Event 
In my role as Shadow Prisons Minister, I hosted a meeting in Parliament for families and friends of prisoners on 'Imprisonment for Public Protection' (IPP) sentences. These prisoners were initially set a tariff to serve for the crime committed and then be reviewed by the parole board for release. There are, however, many more IPP prisoners than initially expected, meaning thousands of prisoners have been behind bars much longer than their tariff.

The Parole Board is currently lacking resources and funding, and at the current rate the backlog of IPP cases will take up to 10 years to work through. With overcrowded, understaffed prisons and high levels of violence and self-harm, we should not be adding to this problem by keeping people in prison beyond the length of their original sentence unless they pose a significant risk to the public.

I have been pressing the Government to act on this issue and will continue to do so.
Attorney General Questions
This month at Attorney General Questions I pressed the Government to look at the way the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is funded.

I asked Jeremy Wright, the Attorney General, about the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate report which stated that the current funding model for the SFO does not represent taxpayer value for money and is not building expertise within the SFO for future investigations and prosecutions of financial crime. The Government is telling us they are serious about tackling corruption and tax avoidance. Without a properly funded and functioning SFO, this won't happen.

You can watch the exchange here.
Welsh Questions
In Welsh Questions I asked about devolving responsibility for Air Passenger Duty to the Welsh Government. It is already devolved to Northern Ireland and very recently to Scotland.

Following the Welsh Government's purchase of Cardiff Airport, I have been campaigning for devolution of decisions on Air Passenger Duty to Wales. This would mean the levels of duty could be set for Wales separately from the rest of the UK and, for example, rates could be reduced on certain types of flights in order to encourage airlines to offer routes from Wales rather than just from London, building our national airport's capacity.

Click here to watch the exchange.

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 3rd June, 4pm - 6pm
Advice surgery at Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road

Saturday 4th June, 12 noon - 1pm
Advice surgery at Sainsbury's Store, Colchester Avenue, Penylan

Friday 10th June, 11am - 12 noon
Advice Surgery at Rhydypennau Library, Cyncoed

Friday 10th June, 3pm - 4pm
EU Information Session with Derek Vaughan, Labour MEP for Wales
At Penylan Library and Community Centre, Penylan Road

Friday 17th June, 2pm - 3pm
Advice surgery at Rhydypennau Library, Cyncoed

Saturday 18th June, 10am - 11am
Advice surgery with Plasnewydd Councillors, Penylan Community Centre

Saturday 18th June, 11am - 12 noon
Advice surgery with Cathays Councillors at Cathays Library

Friday 24th June, 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Advice surgery at the Powerhouse, Llanedeyrn

Friday 1st July, 11am - 12 noon
Advice surgery at St German's Church, Adamsdown

Full details of upcoming surgeries are listed on my website.

Copyright © 2016 Jo Stevens MP, All rights reserved.


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