Bell’s Regular Newsletter – 10th June

Jun 10, 2023 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

10th June 2023

Dear *|FNAME|*,

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Brixton Hill Studios. Over the last decade, the team running the studio have turned this space into a real hub for local musicians, providing them with affordable recording and rehearsal spaces. I was therefore saddened to hear that their landlord is proposing an 136% rental increase when their lease expires in September. By the look of things, so are a lot of people living in our area, who wrote to me to express their concern over the announcement of its closure. 

Bell stands outside Brixton Hill Studios with landlord Stephen Gilchrist

This week, I wrote to the Studios’ landlord, Lexadon Property Group urging them to rethink the rent rise, or, failing that, to extend the lease and give them time to find new premises. After a decade of giving so much to our local music community, this is the least they deserve. We should be really proud of the creative scene in our constituency and do all we can to protect it. I will continue to work closely with local venues, artists, and creatives to push for the support our live performing arts scenes needs to survive and thrive.

A Vicious Cycle of Declining Educational Services

A Vicious Cycle of Declining Educational Services: Debate on London School Closures (7th June 2023)

Thank you to my friend Florence Eshalomi MP for securing this week’s London school closure debate. I was very worried to see the recent closure of two schools serving young people in Lambeth: Archbishop Tenison’s and St Martin-in-the-Field High School for Girls. This is a consequence of more and more families being priced out of our city. I urged the Government to give London the powers we need to tackle the crisis of housing affordability which is at the heart of this.

United for Nature Petition Hand-in 

Bell stands outside 10 Downing Street with other MPs and Zero Hour activists. They are all holding signs calling for action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

On Monday, I joined Zero Hour activists to hand in their United for Nature petition to Ten Downing Street. Climate breakdown is an existential threat, which demands urgent action to cut emissions. It also has devastating ramifications for our natural environment. In the UK alone, over 70 million birds have vanished in the last 50 years. On current trend, climate breakdown will leave 1 in 10 species extinct by the end of the century. The existing Environment Act only contains provisions to stop this decline. The Climate and Ecology Bill tabled by Caroline Lucas in 2020 (with my support) would set legally binding targets to reverse it. As the Government allows sewage to spew into our waterways, signs off new fossil fuel licenses and rips up environmental protections, it’s clear we have our work cut out. 

Marking Carers’ Week 

Bell in a parliamentary committee room with unpaid carers. She holds a sign that says 'I have pledged my support for young carers and young adult carers'.

On Carers Week, we reflect on unpaid carers’ indispensable contribution to our society and redouble our efforts to tackle the problems they face. Research from the Carers’ Trust this week revealed that 73% of the UK’s unpaid carers have not identified themselves as such. This means 19 million people are missing out on important information, support or advice that could make a real difference to their day-to-day lives. Charities involved with Carers Week are calling for greater cross-departmental action in support of carers, and a funded National Carers Strategy. It was great to meet with young carers in Parliament on Tuesday to thank them for all they do and hear about some of the challenges they face and make the Carers’ Trust pledge to fight for better recognition and support across government.  The failure to fix the social care crisis places huge strains on unpaid carers in Streatham and across the country. 

SRTRC Meeting 

Bell sits on a Show Racism the Red Card Panel in Parliament alongside MPs and anti-racism activists.

On Monday, I took part in a parliamentary meeting with Show Racism the Red Card, appearin alongside former National Education Union General Secretary Kevin Courtenay, current National Education Union Secretary, Daniel Kebede, rugby star Luther Burrell and my colleagues Kim Johnson MP, Mary Foy MP, and Kate Osborne MP. We talked about the need to embed anti-racism teaching in our National Curriculum and teacher training.  By equipping all our children with an honest understanding of history and the realities of racism in the present, we can prepare them for life in a more equal country that truly respects and values diversity.

Access to Cash: Brixton Barclays Closure

This week, the three Lambeth MPs wrote to the CEO of Barclays UK over the planned closure of their Brixton branch. Many of my constituents rely on this branch, situated in the bustling heart of Brixton, and shutting it down would have a particularly negative impact on elderly and disabled people’s ability to access in-person banking services. I would like to see banks making a concerted effort to make themselves more accessible to these groups, not less – especially given the current economic situation. 

As ever, if you have any questions about the work I’m doing as MP, please get in touch at this address:

Best wishes,

Bell Ribeiro-Addy,
Labour MP for Streatham

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