The first two weeks back after recess have been absolutely packed in Westminster. Last week I raised in Parliament fracking, the refugee crisis and the Government’s Work Capability Assessments, which are simply not fit for purpose.
Before I went down to London last Monday I dropped into Holy Cross coffee morning at Newfield, where we had a few in-depth discussions about the Assisted Dying Bill. First thing in Westminster, I questioned the Secretary of State about the tragic revelations over the summer that thousands of people had died just weeks after being deemed ‘fit for work’. I have heard some harrowing stories about this process and the real dangers and risks to people going through it. You can find out more here: http://www.louisehaigh.org.uk/workcapability
On Tuesday we had the urgent statement from the PM on the refugee crisis, I was disappointed that the PM conflated the refugee crisis with terrorism in his statement. I contributed to the debate on Thursday around detention of immigrants. In response to the crisis I have set up my office 63 Chesterfield Road,S8 0RL as a drop off point for donations. People have given very generously over the past few weeks.
On Thursday I also spoke up about fracking and the fact that people have been denied a say over whether it takes place in literally their own back yards. Sign my petition here: http://www.louisehaigh.org.uk/fracking_petition
Finally, on Friday the Commons had an important debate on the Assisted Dying Bill, which did not pass, however I think it is worth noting the large number of constituents who took the time to get in touch with me about this issue. I appreciate that end of life care and the law concerning assisted dying are deeply personal issues which are filled with understandable emotion. There are strongly held moral and ethical arguments on both sides and constituents were almost equally split. I decided to vote for the Bill in large part because the current legislation isn’t suitable and we need greater safeguards for people who are dying and their loved ones.
This week there will be a debate on the electrification of Midlands Mainline. The Education and Adoption Bill, which I have tabled amendments to on the inspection of academies will be put through its final stages and the Trade Union Bill will be debated. I will also be meeting with apprentices and employers, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Taxation will be launched, I will be meeting with the New Economics Foundation and the High Pay Centre. And back in Sheffield on Wednesday night I will be meeting with the Citizens Advice Bureau, the NHS trust, visiting Abby Lane Primary School and Sheffield College. I will also be speaking at the Sheffield Climate Change Conference over the weekend.