Every Month I receive hundreds of emails covering different issues in regards to what bills are going through Parliament and issues that affect 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. Here are the issues for May 2016.
The government announced that it would require all schools to become academies by 2022. This was despite no mandate from the electorate to introduce this policy. Fortunately the government have announced that it is abandoning its plans to force schools to become academies. However it took a great deal of pressure from various organisations to get the government to back down. Many people are more concerned with shortage of teachers, school budgets being under pressure and problems within the exam system.
A great deal people are concerned with the government housing policies. Many indicated that the government seem to be more focused on so-called "starter homes" which will go some way to helping with the housing shortage but still falls way behind what is needed to deal with the housing crisis. People also expressed concerns about growing homelessness crisis and government proposals to deal with this are poor.
People have expressed worry at the slow pace of getting child refugees in to Britain. The figure of 3,000 being resettled is has been set out but we know there are as many as 10,000 vulnerable children in Europe who have already gone missing. The government is attempting to deal with the issue at the source where the children come from. But there is also an urgent need to help many unaccompanied children now.
Pension arrangements for women (WASPI).
Concern continues to be expressed that the government is simply not tackling the issue of women born in the early to mid-1950s and their pensions. These women are seeing their state pensions being eroded because they are having to wait longer to receive them. The government has still not come forward with any transitional proposals to mitigate the financial hardship their decisions have made for these women.
A good deal of concern has been expressed about the potential proposals in relation to the BBC and the effect it might have on its quality provision. Also concern has been expressed about the potential of the newly proposed Charter to affect the independence of the BBC. The government have made announcements in the past few days and have been forced to backtrack on some of its more extreme proposals and there is still a concern that the editorial and financial independence of the BBC must not remain under any threat.
A large number of people have expressed the view that the government seems to be on concerned about the effect of pesticides on the bee population and the long-term negative effects of reductions in the bee population will have on the food chain. The government has committed to an evidence-based approach to the question of pesticides and the impact on the bee population. I will continue to monitor the government's approach.