Every Month I receive hundreds of emails covering different issues in regards to what bills are going through Parliament and issues that effect our community in the Bootle constituency. Each month I will summarise the top issues that I am working explaining what I am doing so you can keep up to date and also get information that may be of benefit to you.
Community Pharmacy cuts
The Government has announced plans to cut financial support to community pharmacies. I have received many contacts from people, including local pharmacies, expressing their concern. I have worked close with both national and local pharmaceutical representatives and took part in a debate on this matter in the House of Commons. Community pharmacies are literally a life line to many people and they need all the support they can get.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
I have had a great deal of correspondence from people concerned at the Government’s proposal to cut support for those people on Personal Independence Payments. In the light of a great deal of hostility and campaigning against the proposals the Government has now, at least for the time being, backed down on their proposals. But I will continue to keep a watchful eye out for any alternative proposals.
HMRC Tax Office reorganisation
The Government is proposing to “rationalise” over 100 tax offices into just over 10 offices employing more than 3,000 people. It is proposed that the 3 Bootle offices will be victims of the proposals. I have had a great deal of contact from people, both locally and nationally, worried about the effect this will have on jobs and the future of Bootle Town Centre. I have worked close with the tax office staff’s Union PCS and have met senior tax officers as in addition to raising the matter Parliament.
School Academies and Free Schools
The Government have announced plans to force all schools – primary and secondary – to become academies or Free Schools in the next 5 years regardless of the wishes of parents, children! Staff or the wider community. The co-ordination role of the locally democratically elected Council will cease to exist with direct rule from London and no local say in how the schools are run and even parent governors will be a thing of the past. More expensive rung academies will be set up whose track record in education terms is at best mixed and at worst dreadful
The Government’s housing proposals are the most centralising legislation for a generation dressed up as delivering housing need for communities. The proposals will require take away secure tenancies from tenants, require people at work to pay, more rent to stay in their homes and driving people into the private or home owning sector – so much for choice. I sat of the Housing and Planning Bill in Parliament for many weeks in late 2015 and the Government were clearly in chaos on their proposals. They have built the least amount of homes since the 1920s and their chaotic proposals will do little to sort out the housing crisis.
On top of the chaos caused by the Government’s NHS reorganisation plans a few years ago, the Government is intent on its drive to privatise the NHS come what may. In addition, they are blaming every one else for their shocking NHS record and are now putting junior doctors in the dock for wanting to ensure a safe and viable NHS.